Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Cook Whole Food From Scratch--and Keep Your Day Job!



I thought this was a GREAT article and decided to post it in it's entirety here.  I find in my holistic practice that people really want to eat well, but time and money are always limiting factors.  This well written article helps overcome some of those obstacles.  


How to Cook Whole Food From Scratch -- and Keep Your Day Job!

By Colleen Huber


Whole fresh foods should be the basis of what we all eat, whether your metabolic type is protein type, carb type or mixed type. Whole foods, whether meat, vegetable or fruit, do two things: they provide all the nutrients that nature put into the food--not just as a sum of nutrients, but even more, as a synergy of nutrients that work together because they naturally interact within the living plant or animal. When we eat these foods, which have been connected with our whole existence as a species, the total health benefit to us is much greater than the sum of the parts. The second practical advantage of eating whole fresh foods is that they substitute, by their sheer bulk, the chemicals and denatured food derivatives that we might otherwise eat.

But you work non-stop and when you get home there is no time or energy to do anything but nuke half-synthetic processed food in the microwave. How do we get into that trap?
According to Dr. Kenneth Proefrock, NMD, a huge part of the problem is not knowing what you’re going to eat on Thursday night until ... Thursday night. By that time, you’re lucky if you even make it home for dinner because your tummy rang the dinner bell back around Exit 128, and there just happen to be about four fast food outlets off that exit, as well as at the next exit coming up. (Funny how those fast food places are right there when the stomach growls.)

Here’s a big key, says Dr. Proefrock, to getting out of that trap. Plan on the weekend what you will eat for every meal the coming week. Your menu does not have to be set in stone; you can leave room to juggle for spontaneity now and then, but at least provide for enough of your own homemade food to eat each time you get hungry.

So how do you make your own homemade whole food and keep your day job too?
Here are several steps you can take to streamline your efforts and maximize the productivity of your kitchen, while keeping your time spent there to a minimum.

1. Clear enough freezer space--about one cubic foot--to store several pint and quart- size containers of the food you will cook. Then on the weekend, plan all of your meals for the week, and go to the supermarket once to purchase the whole food ingredients in one trip. Consolidating all grocery shopping into one trip already saves time over shopping for a few items everyday.  Plus, with whole foods, you only need to go around the periphery of the supermarket where they are located, rather than taking time to go up and down the interior aisles where the processed foods are.

Once you’ve brought home all the groceries, cook all your meals for the week at the same time. This way, instead of standing at the stovetop each day for each meal, you are there for one longer session during that week, and then you’re done!

2. The trick is to cook big portions, but freeze in the smaller quantities that you and your family will eat throughout the week. If you cook for a family, a large recipe will probably be good for two dinners (on alternate days) during the week, as well as a lunch or two. If you live alone, you will get at least four meal portions with half of them saved for the following week. At this point you don’t have to spend any more time throughout the week than you would on TV dinners.

3.  A food processor will work well for foods that you want to chop finely. Make freezer bags full of pre-cut vegetables that you can then defrost as needed during the week. One bag might contain pressed garlic with coarsely chopped string beans, which a few days from now you can sauté in coconut oil for a few minutes.

 Another bag might contain chopped carrots, onions and tomatoes, along with cabbage that you cut into quarters. Sprinkle some caraway seeds into the bag. When you’re ready to make a meal of it, you can cook it a portion of it in a cup of chicken broth for a delicious meal of balanced nutrients.

4.  Make use of large cooking vessels in order to accomplish the weekend cooking fiesta. A large crockpot really lends itself well to a whole foods diet. Here you don’t need a food processor.  Chop vegetables very coarsely, in much larger chunks than you can get away with in a stovetop meal. This step alone saves a lot of time. Put an organic beef round or two turkey legs or a whole organic chicken on top of the vegetables, add a few cups of water, and/or tomato sauce, perhaps with balsamic vinegar. Sesame oil and tamari may be used instead for marinade. Add whole leaf herbs as you like, and you’re done. After practicing once or twice, you will have a huge crockpot meal thrown together in five to 10 minutes. Set it on "low" in the morning, and you’re done till dinnertime. In cool weather, you could do the same in the regular oven, with a Dutch oven type covered pot in fewer hours.

5.  Now it’s a Tuesday morning, and you’ll need something for dinner. Defrost one of the meals you prepared on the weekend. In the evening when you’re ready to cook it, place it into a serving dish in a toaster oven rather than a microwave. Toaster ovens have several advantages over microwaves. At about $40 they are much cheaper, smaller, and quieter. However, those benefits are far outweighed by the health advantage: microwave rays are unhealthy radiation, and when you microwave in a plastic container, it drives the phthalates of the plastic right into your food, which gives an otherwise excellent meal a toxic twist that you definitely do not need.

Microwave radiation also leaks throughout the whole kitchen from most microwave ovens, which creates an unhealthy atmosphere for adults, children and pets. For re-heating in your toaster oven, you’ll need one or two Pyrex-type serving dishes, about a liter each. Heating leftovers for two or three people in a toaster oven takes 10 to 15 minutes, not very much longer than a microwave.

6.  Also use your toaster oven for breakfast. Take out some of the freezer vegetables you prepared, and sprinkle some cheese, raw is preferable, over top, and heat it up for a healthy whole food breakfast, or break an egg over the vegetables. Neither of these will spike your insulin levels, unlike so many other dishes that we unfortunately have become accustomed to thinking of as breakfast foods.

7.  Use your toaster oven to prepare hot, healthy lunches for yourself and your family. Invest in a good-sized thermos with either glass or stainless steel (not aluminum) interior for each family member. While eating breakfast, heat up leftovers from last night, or a separately defrosted meal in your serving dish in the toaster oven, again for 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon it into each thermos. Then in each lunchbox, add a fork and little containers of nuts or some fresh fruit or some celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber or carrot sticks.

You all will then have lunches that will be wonderfully nutritious, well balanced, and appetizing for every adult and child in your family. When all lunches are prepared together assembly-line style, the process will go faster than if each lunch is made separately. And your savings will begin to be obvious as your restaurant and fast food expenses plummet toward zero.

8.  Take advantage of savings on seasonal produce. Get organic whenever possible. It has been by steadily rising consumer demand that growers have begun to get more and more organic produce into your local stores.

Here is a way to extend the seasonal savings. Fruit preserves can be made unsweetened, and rely only on the natural sweetness of the fruit. Buy a case of about four pounds of berries when in season. Also buy three Granny Smith apples for pectin, which is a natural jelling agent. Peel and core the apples. Cut into about 1/2-inch cubes. Place the apple pieces in a large pot, with about three pounds of washed and stemmed (if necessary) berries. (Keep the other one pound fresh for snacking.)

Simmer the berries and apples on low for about an hour while you are preparing your week’s worth of meals. At the end of an hour, you should have a thin fruit spread. Take a potato masher and mash any remaining chunks of apple and berries as desired. Let it cool. The texture will get a little thicker. Freeze it in pint-size containers. This makes a nice fruit spread that will keep indefinitely. You may be surprised that the berry flavor is plenty sweet enough without added sweetener.  You can spread this with a nut butter on slices of apple or pear for breakfast or snacks.

9.  Don’t forget condiments. How often have you bought a bunch of parsley or cilantro with the good intention of using all of it, only to find most of it forgotten and wilted two weeks later, shoved behind other foods?

When it’s still fresh, chop it up finely and store in Ziploc-type bags in the freezer. Then you can access it as needed for the one teaspoonful you may want, without having it wilt away before you get a chance to use it. But if you really want fresh herbs, grow them. My favorite Greek salad dressing calls for mint, oregano and parsley, which fortunately are all easy to grow, so I make sure I always have at least one plant of each growing, and I harvest sprigs each time I make the dressing. The fragrance alone of the just-picked herbs are what make the salad.

10.  For the crockpot, food processor, thermoses and toaster oven recommended above you may spend about $130. In order to recoup that investment, do yourself a huge favor and change your mindset about potable liquids. There is really no good reason to drink anything other than water (R.O filtered or spring water). In fact, when we drink other liquids, we train ourselves to slake our thirst with different tastes than water, which then makes the taste of water seem strange. Since our bodies are 90 percent water, the only thing strange about this is our acquired perception of water as strange.

Leave the heavy and expensive juices, teas, lattes and liquor at the store. Water is the only substance that can quench both the thirst we feel and the dehydration that almost everyone experiences to one degree or another. Drink it as you like it, with ice or without, with lemon or without, but reacquaint yourself with the one beverage that hydrates and moisturizes all the way in to the cellular level and out to the skin: water.

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When it comes to meal preparation, many people feel that their own lifestyle and difficult or hectic life circumstances keep them from attempting to cook. What is so beneficial about preparing your own whole, healthy food using some of the above steps is that any able-bodied adult can do it.

Cooking big but freezing small is the best way for a single person to enjoy fully balanced home-cooked meals. For a busy parent with children of various ages, the kids can be recruited to help, and in turn receive the nutrients they most desperately need.
Even toddlers can peel carrots, while older children can wash and chop foods. Some of our warmest childhood memories are from ordinary days and activities together with family members in the kitchen. Bestow the goodness on them too; pass the tradition to the next generation so that cooking does not become just another lost art. 

Do any of you have any time and cost saving ideas to share??

Friday, November 2, 2012

New Sponsor: Thinner, Leaner, Stronger



Please join me in welcoming Living A Whole Life's newest sponsor Thinner, Leaner, Stronger by Michael Matthews.  I downloaded this book this week and am really enjoying reading it.  If you want to break some of those old weight loss myths and finally get down to the basics of exercise, eating, and fitness; you need to read this great book.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Green Smoothies



Here's a post we published almost 4 years ago, but the basics of Green Smoothie making never get old.  Green smoothies are quick food and packed with easily absorbable nutrition.  I've recently started using a Nutribullet Extractor and love the smoothies it makes. 



If you haven't heard of a green smoothie or maybe you just haven't tried one yet, you're in for a treat.

By adding a green smoothie to your daily routine, you are increasing the amount of whole plant foods in your diet in a way that is both easy and delicious. I love a green smoothie after my workout. It boosts my mood and my energy level knowing how many great vitamins and minerals I have just taken in.

Here is my favorite Green Smoothie recipe. There are many out there and I will share others as I try them myself. You can get creative too! Mix your favorite fruits and any great green veggies you like.

Put the following ingredients into your blender:
1 cup water or nut milk
Ice (optional - I skip it if I am using frozen fruit)
1 banana
Fresh or frozen fruit of your choice (strawberries, blueberries, mango, etc.)
Large handful of greens like fresh spinach leaves, parsley, or romaine lettuce
Handful of nuts or seeds

Blend well and enjoy!

Make it kid friendly - we call it "Flower Power" at our house and the girls think it is cool to add the spinach as though they are the leaves of a flower.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Zuchini Crust Pizza


I love this recipe for Zucchini Crust Pizza.  It's easy to make, full of nutrition and tastes so yummy.  Top it with all your favorite pizza toppings and it's a great meal on the go!

Ingredients:

5 medium zucchini grated

3 eggs, well beaten

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, to taste

pizza sauce

favorite pizza toppings, cheese, meats, etc.


Preparation:

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.  Drain the grated zucchini. Place the zucchini pulp in mixing bowl with eggs, flour and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.

3.  Spread the mix onto a prepared, greased pan and bake for 8 minutes.  Another easy clean-up is to bake the crust on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 

4.  Remove from oven. Top with favorite pizza sauce and favorite pizza toppings.

5.  Return to oven and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 

6.  Cut and serve. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Homeopathic Cough Syrup


This is a post previously published in December of 2008 I thought I would recycle as it pertains to a great flu season remedy.  I'm happy to report that the 2 preschoolers are now solidly into elementary; colds and flus rarely get us down; but when they do, this homeopathic cough syrup is still a favorite!  


I have 2 preschoolers and one thing you can count on in the fall is the start of cold season. There will be coughing, runny noses, and all kinds of yuck. I went many years with hardly a cold, but now with mini Petri dishes running around my house, I’m good for several good cold bouts. I caught a good one a couple of weeks ago that involved lots of coughing and not sleeping and found myself wandering around a CVS store of all places for help. I’m really excited about a new product I discovered there and want to tell you about it. It’s a homeopathic cough syrup made by a company called Boiron. They call it Children’s Chestal.

As I move toward a healthier lifestyle I’ve tried to avoid using over the counter remedies whenever I can. Many over the counter remedies simply suppress symptoms which are the body’s natural way of telling you there is a problem. Besides that, let’s face it, if most cough syrups were tested side by side with a sip of water, the water would win. They just don’t work.

I’ve recently been introduced to and love Homeopathics. These are natural substances that strengthen the body and allow it to resist bacteria and viruses and fight off colds, flu, and etc. I’m sure I will be talking more about these wonderful products over time.

Anyway, this syrup has 10 different homeopathics in it. I looked them up in my homeopathic book here at home and they all help the body fight off colds and flu and particularly those associated with coughs. I tried the syrup for two nights and I have to tell you, I slept like a baby. I felt rested in the morning and didn’t wake up coughing once.

I hear those in naturopathy talk about how they never get sick and how they rarely if ever go to the doctor. I hope as I head down this road to better health that one day I will be able to say the same thing. In the meantime, it’s nice to have a good natural remedy standing by when I need it.




Karla

Monday, October 22, 2012

Flu Season Essentials: Vitamin C Flush




 

The Vitamin C flush is another great tool to stimulate your lymphatic system, boost immunity and helps your body recover from illness and move a healing protocol ahead quicker.  We all know that Vitamin C is great during times of colds and flu to help the body recover, but few know all the other great qualities of this vitamin which include:
  • Collagen formation
  • Bone, teeth, gum, nail, muscular, ligament and connective tissue health
  • Blood vessel strengthening and reduction of plaque formation in the arteries
  • Increase iron absorption and utilization
  • Strong anti-oxidant which helps prevent cancer and heart disease
  • Natural anti-histamine (in high doses)
  • Lowers cholesterol
I recommend doing this flush at least 4 times a year for preventive maintenance and/or when a cold or flu has set in to speed healing.  It's best to use a powdered form of Vitamin C ascorbate - not buffered with minerals.  I really like Energetix Alka-C for this flush.  You can also find/purchase this product on my Products page.  Most important - drink lots of water.  It's a flush after all.  Drinking lots of water will help pull toxins out of your system and flush them out.  If you use a powdered form of Vitamin C - it can easily be added to a bottle of water and sipped slowly throughout the day.  

This flush is a little harder on the GI tract - at least for the first day - but well worth it.  Starting in the morning, take 1000 mg of Vitamin C.  Every 30 minutes repeat the dose of Vitamin C until (and here comes the hard part) you pass a loose stool or feel some tummy upset.  Sorry that's the bad part.  Make sure that you keep track of how much Vitamin C in total you have taken up to that point.  Take the total mg of Vitamin C ingested and multiply it by 0.75.  This is your daily dose of vitamin C.  If you are depleted or fighting off a cold/virus you can expect this number to be on the high side.  Your daily dose should be divided by 2 or 4 and taken 2-4 times a day.  You can vary how long you take this amount.  You can finish your entire bottle of Vitamin C; only take the high Vitamin C dose until you are feeling better; or continue until you do another "flush" to see if the dosage amount changes.  You can repeat this flush from time to time to see if your Vitamin C needs change or just to boost your immunity when needed. Keeping the Vitamin C levels at your body's optimum level will ensure that your body has the resources to fight any infection that comes your way.  

Happy Flushing!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Easy Fall Applesauce




Here is a great fall recipe that takes very little prep or cook time.  It makes your house smell so yummy too! 

Ingredients:

10 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or less)

1 cup organic cane sugar

Preparation:


Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours

To make this a well rounded snack or mini-meal, add some feta cheese, walnuts, or almonds.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Flu Season Essentials: Probiotic Flush


I'm seeing signs pop up all over encouraging the community to get their flu vaccines.  This can only mean that the dreaded flu season is right around the corner.  I want to do a few posts in the next few weeks to give you some tools to help fight flu season naturally.  One of my favorites in the Probiotic Flush.  This is very simple and straightforward - we all know that probiotics increase our gut immunity, thus helping us fight off and prevent colds and flu.  If you find yourself coming down with a cold or flu, this Probiotic Flush will help decrease your time sick.  I recommend doing this flush quarterly as a preventative measure and to boost overall gut health.  


Probiotic Flush


A probiotic is a beneficial microbe - bacteria, yeast or fungus that helps in some way.  According to most estimates there are approximately 10 times more probiotic organisms living in our bodies than actual cells in the human body.  It stands to reason then that when the balance of probiotics falters - illness occurs.  Here is an interesting list of all the jobs these little organisms are responsible for. 
  • Improve digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Dramatically improve human immune function
  • Protect against invasion of foreign pathogens
  • Provide a source of Vitamin K
  • Lower cholesterol by metabolizing it
  • Control bowel toxicity and decrease the risk of bowel cancer
  • Reduce gas production by non-disease producing microorganisms
  • Produce short chain fatty acids that are converted into energy
  • Help absorb important vitamins and minerals
  • Slow or stop tooth decay and periodontal disease
Our bodies need a good balance of "good" probiotics (85%) and "bad" bacteria (15%).  Many things can throw this balance off including:
  • Standard American Diet (SAD)
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals through our food supply and surrounding environment
  • Overuse of alcohol and certain prescription medications
  • Stressful lifestyles
  • Antibiotic medications
  • Highly processed foods and those with sugar and sugar substitutes 
Doing a Probiotic Flush infrequently will do wonders to replenish the healthy gut probiotics that we need.  I recommend doing this flush 4 times a year to maintain gut health.  It can also be done at the start of a cold/flu or when beginning any type of healing protocol to help the body recover faster. 

The flush is very simple.  You take 3 probiotic capsules 8 times in a day.  Continue this for 3 days and then discontinue the flush and return to your normal probiotic regimen.  (Don't worry about the amount of probiotics - I've done this many times myself.)  

Remember - this is a flush, so make sure to drink lots of water while doing it!  

There are many probiotics on the market that work great.  I recommend Energetix Flora Synergy or Flora chewable.  Visit my Products I Love page for more information. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quick Webinar With Tons of Great Nutrition Information

Click Here To Go To Webinar


I just watched a great webinar entitled Super Nutrition for Babies.  It was recorded by Dr. Katherine Erlich and is a mini introduction to her book of the same title.  It's 22 minutes long and PACKED with great information for feeding young kids and really anyone.  Click under the picture to go directly to the webinar.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

BioEnergetic Assessment

 As my regular blog followers probably already know...I've been a little busy the last 2 years.  This blog, which went from very routine 2/week posts to hardly ever.


It started when I had my 3rd little one and continued when I decided to make a huge leap and start my own BioEnergetic Wellness practice.  Now I'm moving full circle and able to find the time to incorporate what I've been learning into posting again.  Today I wanted to give a brief explanation for those out there who are unsure of exactly what BioEnergetic Medicine or wondered what a BioEnergetic Assessment includes.  



What is BioEnergetic Assessment?
BioEnergetic Assessment is a non-intrusive, painless method of energetic testing which measures imbalances in meridian points (meridians correspond to organ systems).  This information can further be compared with remedies, both homeopathic and nutritional that will bring the imbalanced meridians back into balance.    Our bodies come into contact daily with chemicals, heavy metals, toxins and viruses from the air, the environment and other everyday stress.  Balancing bioenergetic patterns requires detoxification, nurturing and rebuilding the cells of the body. 

What are "Meridians"?
Those of you familiar with the Chinese model of medicine will remember that meridians are energetic pathways that flow through the body.  There is a meridian for each of the various organs and systems in the body.  Chinese research showed that when the energy was out of balance in these points there would be a physical change in the organs or systems associated with the point.  The imbalance of energy in the meridian always shows first and then the organ deterioration.  Matter follows the energy. 

 How does the Assessment Work?
There are many forms of BioEnergetic Assessment.  Some use machines others muscle testing.  I personally have learned to do BioEnergetic Assessment using an Avatar EAV machine.  It allows me to point test a client's meridian points on their hands to find organ imbalance and weakness.  The test involves using a probe (like the one in the first picture above) to touch meridian points on the hands.  Once this information is obtained, a protocol of herbs and homeopathics can be formed based on an individuals actual needs.  Each protocol lasts on an average of 6 weeks at which time the meridians are reassessed and the protocol is tweaked.  As a client moves through subsequent assessments and protocols the meridians come back into balance, toxins are removed, proper nutrition is restored, and the body begins to remember how to care for itself.  




If you are interested in this type of testing and live in the South Eastern Michigan area, you can find me at The Natural View Market in Brighton, Michigan.  The store address is 128 West Main Street, Brighton, Michigan.  Feel free to call or text Karla Heaman at 734.417.1339 or email at kheaman@cablespeed.com for appointments.  If you don't live in the South Eastern Michigan area, remote testing can be done using hair or saliva samples.  If you are interested see contact information above. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Congratulations to the Winners of the Utama Spice Giveaway!!

Please join me in congratulating:

Moonsword who said that she likes natural products "because they are healthier for your body and for the planet."

Alba who said she likes natural products because she "trusts my expertise and research".  (Wow!  How sweet was that!), and

Jhall who likes natural products because "they are easier on [her] skin and she prefers supporting companies that put people and product quality first." 

Please email me at kheaman@cablespeed.com with your shipping information and I will pass along to Utama Spice.  Then get ready to enjoy some great products!!

If you would like to see your product reviewed here please email me at kheaman@cablespeed.com

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Product Giveaway: Utama Spice


You know when you open a really great skin care product. Visually it's beautiful, the smell is heavenly, and it feels rich and luxurious on your skin. This was my experience recently when I opened a box of skin care products from Utama Spice.  I picked the box up at the post office and it filled my care with the most wonderful aroma.  Even my 2 year old was asking me what was in the box. 

Utama Spice is a Balinese based, mostly skin care company.  I should say a skin healing company as they have focused their business on reviving ancient Balinese medicinal herbal knowledge.  According to Utama, "every ingredient that goes into our recipes is of the highest of quality and maintain all of their healing properties. We use no binders, preservatives, or synthetics in our products and all of our essential oils that we use to create our unique aromas are the finest available to us."  I love this philosophy.  In addition to the purity of their products, they maintain a fair trade approach and are working to empower and encourage local farmers to grow the ingredients they use in their products.  Click here to read more press about their slavery free/free trade approach. 



They have MANY products to choose from but they sent me a few to review.  These included four different lip balms, two of their body butters, a bar soap, and a package of their incense.  I will just start by saying that I loved each and every item I tried.  Each item is so very simple; but healing to the skin; and they smell GREAT! 

They have a wide array of products and there is no way I could do each one justice in just one blog post.  Take a minute and browse their selection of bath and shower items, essential oils, hair care, household items, hydrating body mist, massage oils (these are in beautiful bottles), moisturizers, and traditional scrubs and masks


Aloe, coconut oil, and beeswax form the base of many of their products, but from there the sky is the limit.  They have so many wonderful herbs, oils, spices and other natural ingredients it's like looking at a recipe card for a delicious meal.  Check out their ingredients page which not only lists their ingredients, but also tells you the therapeutic benefit of each.  I loved browsing this page. 
All in all, I was very impressed with this company, both the quality of their product and the passion behind what they do. 

You can purchase their products for yourself at http://www.utamaspicebali.com/.  While you are at it check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UtamaSpiceBali or Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/UtamaSpice.


As a special treat, Utama Spice is offering our readers a GIVEAWAY.  To enter this giveaway leave a comment telling us why you like natural products better than conventional products.  THREE lucky winners will receive a sample of Utama Spice body lotion, bath salt, body scrub, lip balm, and bar soap.  Can I just tell you how lucky those three winners will be!!  We will leave this open until July 15th - get your comments in!!


Karla

Friday, June 22, 2012

Congratulations to the Winner of our Revitalize Organics Giveaway

...and the winner is All Natural Katie. Please email us your name and address as soon as possible. Send email to Karla Heaman at kheaman@cablespeed.com. Thanks to all that participated and to Revitalize Organics for their wonderful products.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Product Giveaway: Revitalize Organics



Is there anything better than purchasing beautifully crafted organic soap products to use on your skin? Actually there is...it's knowing that when you purchase these beautiful products, the company will make a donation of the same products to one of 7 very worthy charities.  Have you ever heard of such a wonderful thing?  

Revitalize Organics is a wonderful skin care company started by a spa owner in my home state of Michigan.  They use all organic products and have a wonderful assortment of shower gel, castile soap, hand soap, baby wash and pet shampoo.  The first three are blended with pure essential oils into 18 different essential oil blends.  (Definitely something for everyone!) 

I had the privelege of testing three of their products and I was very impressed!  I reviewed their Get Up and Go Go Energizing Shower Gel, Castile Soap, and Hand Soap. 

 



The Get Up and Go Go is a very energizing scent which I immediately loved.  It has rosemary and bergamot oils in it.  All of their soaps are made with castile soap or saponified oils of coconut, olive and jojoba which are very mild on your skin, yet super cleansing.  They point out on their website that their soaps are tough enough for household cleaning, but gentle enough for everyday use on your skin.  I love that these soaps were created by spa owners who obviously care about the effect their cleansing agents have on skin.  Their philosphy is "care for yourself and others." 


I also love that they took the time to create a baby wash and a pet shampoo.  Both ingredient decks are as pure and gentle for the more delicate skin of a baby or pet as their other products.  They even added some aloe which is great for delicate skin. 

As a special treat, Revitalize Organics has offered to do a Product Giveaway for our readers.  They are offering one lucky reader a set of the Get Up and Go Go Shower Gel, Castile Soap. and Hand Soap.  Leave a comment below to enter yourself for a chance to win.  For an additional chance to win, check out their website and leave another comment telling me which of their yummy aromatherapy blends is your fave.  I will choose one lucky winner on Thursday, June 21st.  

Karla

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Simple Thought For Today

We are all perfectly imperfect!

Think about that for a few minutes today and show yourself a little grace...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Freshmaker Wipes



I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Freshmaker's Fruit Wet Wipes and I really love their product!

You know what I like about these wipes? 
  • They have 4 very fun scents (apple, strawberry, melon and mango, and tropic). 
  • They are alcohol-free and they are free of the really harsh chemicals that most wipes contain. 
  • They come in small packages of 15 wipes - this is so nice for a mom of 3 kids like me who already has too much stuff to carry around in her purse.  
  • They actually clean!!
  • They are very affordable!
You can purchase these wipes on Amazon and soon they will be available in larger retail stores like Walgreens, CVS, and the Dollar Tree.  Make these fun little wipes a part of your summer purse/bag/beach/outing necessities.  

Check out and like their Freshmaker's Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/FreshmakerFruitWetWipes

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Healthy Life Deals: Coupons and Deals for Healthy Foods

I just stumbled on a new blog that I wanted to pass along.  I've been a subscriber to  Common Sense With Money for a long time and find great coupons and online deals.  Recently they ran a post about the best deals at Trader Joe's with printable coupons written by the author of Healthy Life DealsThis blog is devoted to finding coupons, freebies and deals on good food.  Check them out and subscribe!! 

Karla

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Super Body Care



What girl doesn't love to try new body care products?  Well this one does and I was delighted to try some great products from Super Body Care recently.  Much of my like or dislike of products happens in the first few minutes of initially seeing or smelling a product and the first smell of this product is heavenly.  Think Rosemary, Tea Tree Oil, Lavender and Peppermint - Yum!


Super Body Care's Founder, Cheri Huberling is very committed to making products that "help, and do not harm."  Her products therefore do not contain any petroleum products or mineral oils; they are anti-anti-bacterial; and they never contain sulfates or parabens. 


I had the pleasure of trying a few of their products:


  • The Shower Gel is a wonderful cleanser with peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, and lavender oils.  It's ingredients are all bio-degradeable. 
  • The Body Lotion is made with hydrating organic herb infusions of peppermint, rosemary, tea tree and lavendar.  It actually tingles when it hits your skin.  I loved it!
  • The Soap Bar with Loofah Bits - what a great idea!  This bar of soap actually has bits of loofah added to really clean and exfoliate skin.  Plus it has peppermint which is so invigorating!
  • The Walnut Scrub was wonderful.  Tiny particles of ground up walnut are mixed into the shower gel to help clean and exfoliate your skin.  It smells great with all of the essential oils mixed in.  I especially loved this product. 


Super Body Care also has other great products including lip balm, cleansing body wipes (safe for the face), body spray, and deoderizers.  You can purchase these products on their website http://www.superbodycare.com/ or search for a local retailer although it looks like they are mostly located in California. 


Karla


(If you would like to have your product reviewed here on Living A Whole Life please feel free to send us an email and detailed information about your product.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nourishing Herbal Infusions - Part Three of Three

Three Part Series on Nourishing Infusions
PART THREE - More Details on Nettles - Sources, the Variety of Actions of Nettles
Now we know how to make a Nourishing Herbal Infusion and we’ve learned how to expand it to customize it somewhat to our constitution (there are endless varieties in this... just the basic of basics so far).
To start out on a more doable level (if it is winter and you can’t harvest nettles in the wild or if you are sick, overdone and just need an easy start) - you can buy dried herbs and make your nourishing infusion from that and then build up to locally harvesting and drying your herbs by yourself (and some of the herbs you want in your infusion may not be local or in season).  You can buy dried herbs from your local food co-op or health food store.  You can also mail order herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Supporting local whenever you can is awesome - try and find a local herbalist and buy from them and ask them to help you learn to make your own medicine - so much fun!!!
Notes: Stinging Nettles is a perennial that grows June - September in the Eastern/Central United States.  Nettles likes moist soils.
Just to give you a flavor of the power and versatility of Nettles --- here are the traditional uses of Nettles (from the Peterson’s Field Guide): “blood purifier, blood builder, diuretic, astringent; for anemia, gout, glandular diseases, rheumatism, poor circulation, enlarged spleen, mucous discharges of lungs, internal bleeding, diarrhea, dysentery” (p. 239).  Add I have to add: helpful for seasonal allergies!
From Matthew Wood’s “The Earthwise Herbal” about Nettles (p. 496-497): “Urtica is native to the Old World, but widely naturalized throughout the world.  It has native cousins in the woods of North America.  Nettle grows around septic systems, outhouses, and manure piles, demonstrating its utility in dealing with protein waste products.  It is one of the plants highest in protein and helps all protein pathways in the body -- digestion, immune response, liver metabolism, skin reactions, and kidney elimination.  It contains chlorophyll, indoles (including histamine and serotonin), acetylcholine, flavonoids, vitamins (including C), proteins, and dietary fiber.”
References & Resources: 
Beautiful Improvement with my allergies after taking nettles!!!
jim mcdonald - Herbal Intensive
Matthew Wood - “The Earthwise Herbal, A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants”
Isla Burgess - “Weeds Heal, A Working Herbal”
Kiva Rose - class correspondence
John Gallagher - herbmentor.com and learningherbs.com
Peterson Field Guide: Medicinal Plants & Herbs by Steven Foster & James A.  Duke

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nourishing Herbal Infusions - Part Two of Three

Three Part Series on Nourishing Herbal Infusions
PART TWO - Other Herbs Useful to put in Nourishing Herbal Infusions
OK, now that we know how to make a simple Nourishing Herbal Infusion with one herb, let’s take it to the next step.  It is actually ideal to get to know one herb at a time and study the plant, harvest it, draw it, look at it, read about it, consume it over a period of time before you put it into blends.  Then you get to know its action in your body and then you are ready to add it to combination blends.  You can get to know its taste, smell, action in your body (read “Weeds Heal, A Working Herbal” by Isla Burgess for more).
Nourishing infusions can be tweaked for many different constitutions (hot/cold, dry/damp, tense/lax) - occasionally Nettles doesn’t suit someone so either for that reason or just for variety here are some other options great as the base of a nourishing herbal infusion blend:
pastedGraphic.pdf
Violet odorata
~ Violet Leaf (Viola odorata) - try this especially if you have a dry constitution - Violet is a more muscilagenous plant than nettles (also easy to wildcraft)
~ Oatstraw (Avena sativia) - wonderful addition to a blend - great for stress and nerves (which of us can’t use that!!!)
~ Raspberry Leaves (Rubus idaeus) - another excellent daily nourishing infusion (and not just for pregnant and nursing moms - good for men and women of all ages).                                                  
           These are also found easily and are very plentiful in my region.
Here’s my favorite blend at present (I tweak it regularly based on my needs/ailments - but Nettles and Oatstraw is often the foundation for me).  I have also sent this blend to friends and family going through an especially stressful time (a child with cancer, a traumatic move or heartache) --- this is a very nourishing blend that will help support your body during a crisis.  But feed your body this great nourishment in the calm times as well!
~ Nettles
~ Oatstraw
~ Rosehips (great vitamin C)
~ Hawthorne Berries (great for your heart - emotional and physical)
~ Rose Petals (great for your heart - emotional and physical)
~ Burdock Root (great for skin ailments like eczema and just overall really nourishing)
Also consider adding some mint, lemon balm, orange peel, honey, or hibiscus if you want to make it more tasty and palatable.
References & Resources: 
Beautiful Improvement with my allergies after taking nettles!!!
jim mcdonald - Herbal Intensive
Matthew Wood - “The Earthwise Herbal, A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants”
Isla Burgess - “Weeds Heal, A Working Herbal”
Kiva Rose - class correspondence
John Gallagher - herbmentor.com and learningherbs.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rosellica: Natural Support for Hypertension


Janzee Incorporated contacted me recently to review a dietary supplement they have formulated called Rosellica.  This supplement contains Hibiscus sabdariffa an herb that has shown amazing blood pressure lowering properties for those suffering from mild to moderate hypertension.  A Tufts University study in 2008 showed that people who consume Hibiscus sabdariffa tea daily saw a blood pressure reduction of up to 13.2 percent.  Another study found that the effects of Hibiscus sabdariffa were statistically similar to a common anti-hypertensive medication only without other side effects.  Awesome!


Hypertension isn't something I personally struggle with, so I have not personally tried the product but I always like to pass on a natural alternative to try when dealing with various health issues.  I know that many who do struggle with hypertension lament the side effects of the blood pressure medication more than the high blood pressure.  This may be a wonderful alternative.  Obviously this should be done under the care of your physician. 




Hibiscus - so pretty!

Rosellica is in capsule form and also contains other active ingredients including cranberry powder, elderberry powder, orange juice, and olive leaf powder.  That sounds yummy!


Janzee is an interesting company born 10 years ago out of the founder Michael Ruehle's need to help a mother who had suffered a serious stroke.  It speaks volumes to me personally when the founder of a company is motivated by helping someone near and dear to their own heart and to the quality of their products. 


You can purchase a 30 day supply of Rosellica for $29.95 by going to http://www.rosellica.com/.  They also conveniently sell on Amazon!


Karla


(If you have a great natural product and would like to see it reviewed here on Living A Whole Life please feel free to email us at this link!)
This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog is intended to replace the advice of a physician. We recommend consulting a physician before embarking on diet changes or a fitness routine. In addition, we recommend that you thoroughly research alternate points of view and make your own decisions as an informed consumer. You are ultimately responsible for your health.