Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Benefits of Golden Milk

I have been finding ways to add turmeric into my daily routine for a while now.  With more and more credible information coming out in favor of this super food, I was needing to find creative ways to enjoy it even more.  I have stumbled upon golden-milk, and I am loving it!

First, let us talk about the health benefits of turmeric, specifically curcumin.  Turmeric comes from the roots of the Curcuma longa plant, a member of the ginger family.  Curcumin is the most active ingredient found in turmeric.  Because only about 3-4% of the turmeric root holds curcumin, it is hard for us to get its full effect.  If you are looking for higher doses of curcumin then you would need to look into curcumin supplements.

Since curcumin has been shown to reduce body inflammation, turmeric has been a top choice in natural medicine for many people that suffer from several types of inflammation.  Turmeric has been used for arthritis, heartburn, joint pain, stomach pain, Crohn’s disease, stomach bloating, stomach ulcers, IBS, gallbladder disorder, high cholesterol, and skin inflammation from radiation treatment.  It has also been used to help with colds and lung infections,  bronchitis, menstrual problems, and most importantly, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Curcumin sounds like the super food of all super foods, doesn’t it?  Well this super food needs a little help to do its job properly.  Knowing how your body absorbs certain nutrients is very important.  Curcumin is poorly absorbed into the blood stream when left to its own devises.  However, studies have found that piperine, found in black pepper, enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times.  Also, curcumin is fat soluble (this is why we add coconut oil to our tea) which means without fat, the most important ingredient, curcumin, will have difficulty traveling though the stomach, into the small intestines and into the blood, where it achieves its effectiveness.

So let’s make some tea!


-1 cup organic almond milk- Read my blog to learn how to make your own fresh organic almond milk.  You can use organic coconut milk too.

-1/2 tsp. organic ground turmeric (I really love this brand)

-1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp. organic raw honey (optional, especially if you sweetened your almond milk with honey)

1/2 tsp. organic extra virgin coconut oil 

Dash of vanilla

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

You can make this two different ways.  You can mix all ingredients in a sauce pan until warmed or you can make a turmeric paste first (which can be stored in the fridge for weeks) and add it to your warm milk whenever you want your tea.

To make paste:

1/4 cup turmeric powder 

1 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup distilled water


Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and mix well.  Turn the heat to medium and stir constantly until the mixture is a thick paste.  This will happen quickly so do not walk away from the pan.  After the paste has cooled completely, pour it into a glass jar and store in the fridge.  When you are ready to make tea, heat your milk, oil, vanilla, honey and add 1/2 tsp. of the paste.  Top it off with the cinnamon.  You may need to stir while you are drinking to avoid a strong turmeric gulp at the end.  A cinnamon stick added in place of the cinnamon can help with this.

You will love this powerhouse drink, especially in the evening.  One of the blessings of naturopathy is finding a way to bring healing into our lives within our daily habits.  By learning how and when to eat certain foods, we can have a profound impact on our health.  Remember, curcumin is a strong anti-inflammatory so turn to your turmeric next time your body is screaming at you and let’s see what it can do for you!

I am in love with one other tea.  I drink it hot and cold all day long.  If you love turmeric/ginger, then you have got to try this tea.  Turmeric/Ginger Tea.  It’s not the powerhouse tea like the golden milk tea is, but it is wonderful tasting!!

Happy “tea” time!





All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.


Oil Pulling and Why You Should Start Now!

I’m sure we all have our own versions of stories that our parents would share with us as children. You know, the stories that started out like….”when I was your age”.  I genuinely loved hearing these stories growing up.  Of course, my dad’s version of his childhood always portrayed him as the hero in some way.  We giggle about them now, but the lost art of story telling is missing in our families today.  We need to put the iPads and cell phones down long enough to hear from our elders about the past.  There is wisdom in those stories.  After all, I believe the greatest teacher of all is history.

My mom grew up on a dairy farm.  She was out of 11 children and worked hard every day of her childhood.  There are no ‘fish stories’ when it comes to her relieving her childhood.  Her mom died when she was 11, and with her being the oldest girl in the house, she resumed the role as ‘mother’.  With having four girls of my own, I have stopped and pondered this very hardship every time one of them has had an 11th birthday.  It’s hard to picture any of them running a household at that age.

Both my mom and dad lived in very rural areas.  Calling it ‘simple times’ is putting it lightly.  They didn’t have the luxury of Amazon or Pinterest to solve their problems.  What they did have was handed-down home remedies that I would frown upon.  Now, I feel foolish for not listening to some of their home remedies.  Oh, simple times…..where apple cider vinegar and baking soda could fix anything!

One particular convenience my parents didn’t have was toothpaste.  They simply used baking soda and at times, hydrogen peroxide.  I laugh at the thought of giving that combination to my children.  We use a natural toothpaste already that has a lovely mint flavor and they still squirm at it… first world problems!

Another home remedy that has fallen through the cracks is oil pulling.  I am so happy that this therapy is beginning to pick up speed.  Which is hard to do in our society of, ‘I want it now or not at all’.  Oil pulling takes time, effort, and a lot of patience, but if you are willing to put in the effort, you will see the benefits.  Like so many other natural remedies, people give up too soon.  I challenge you to stick with this.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling simply refers to the way you work the oil in your mouth.  Think of it as ‘pulling’ all the harmful bacteria out of your mouth.  Once you place oil in your mouth and work it through all the gaps and hard-to-reach places of your teeth, it will strip the bacteria where bacteria likes to hide.  The fatty molecules in the oil attract and bond with the fatty membrane that surrounds each microorganism cell.  It will strip your teeth from the harmful bacteria and you get to spit all the bacteria away!  This case study showed great results in the reduction of plaque and gingival indices in just 30 days!

So what oil do we use?

Many oils have been used with this technique but the more we learn about all the health benefits of coconut oil, it is clearly the right choice.  Organic coconut oil  facilitates the absorption of calcium, allowing our teeth to become stronger.  It also helps to stop tooth decay.  Because the oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties, it can remove stain-causing bacteria that will then produce whiter teeth.  Some studies have even shown that body inflammation is reduced simply because of the reduction of bacteria in the mouth allowing a detoxification of the body.

How do we oil pull?

Now this is where stamina and patience comes into play.  The thought behind successful oil pulling is that it needs to be done on an empty stomach, so first thing in the morning is the obvious choice.  Take about 1-2 tsps of organic coconut oil (some people like to add essential oils to their oil) and start swooshing away.  If the oil is not softened then just start chewing; the heat of your mouth will have it melted in no time.  You will need to do this at least 20 minutes, 3x a week.  Don’t worry, you will need to work your way up to this time.  The best way to start is to oil pull while you are in the shower.  This saves time and keeps your mind off the fact that you are swooshing oil in your mouth for what seems to be hours.  When your mouth has had it, spit it out and DO NOT SWALLOW.  Remember, the oil is now packed with bacteria from your mouth.  You want it all out of your body.  Just spit it out in the trash, rinse throughly and then brush your teeth like normal. I finish it off with a homemade mouthwash that is amazing.  You can read my blog entry on how to make your own mouthwash here.

Once you have gained this habit, you should start to see a noticeable improvement in your overall dental hygiene in 3-6 months.  This is such a cost-effective way to clean up your mouth.  It’s a shame more people do not have the discipline to develop this habit.

Again, people like to add in a drop of essential oils too.  We just can’t seem to get away from our mint addiction when it comes to dental hygiene.   Thieves  is a great choice for its antibacterial properties or Peppermint  is great EO choice for its popular ‘minty’ and tingleing sensation.

Further reading on the benefits of oral health and essential oils read this link on sore throats and essential oils.

Happy pulling!



Drying Herbs

I have loved cooking with fresh herbs my entire adult life.   It has always been so rewarding going into your garden to snip a couple of fresh herbs for dinner each night.  What I didn’t know was how easy and affordable it was to grow your own organic herbs to be dried for the winter when those fresh herbs are not at your disposal.

This is the first season that I attempted drying my own herbs and I am very pleased with the success of it.  Simplifying steps and thinking through the process has really made this not only a pantry stocker but also a fun new hobby!

If drying herbs is new to you, do not let it overwhelm you.  Pick a couple of your favorite herbs to start with and let it grow from there. You will soon know your herbs very well, from where they grow best, to when it’s time to pick them.

I wanted a decorative herb garden this year so I splurged a little and ordered a stackable herb garden container.  IMG_0315I have been pleased with it.  I started all my herbs early, around March, and have gotten two cuttings off it so far.  I planted thyme, oregano, cilantro, sage, parsley, rosemary, and dill in this container.  I have lavender and basil growing separate.   I ordered my herbs from Rebel Gardens and have been very pleased with the quality.  Next year, I will start my rosemary and lavender sooner.  I will have a late crop with those two, as we have a short enough growing season here in Colorado.

Knowing when to cut the herbs has been my biggest investigative element to this project.  Each herb is a little different so make sure you know exactly when to cut and dry the herbs you choose.  For the most part, it is best to harvest late morning after any dew has been dried up.  Choose a warm, sunny day.  This helps maximize the essential oil content, which is what we want in our herbs anyway.  Also, use sharp scissors.  This will help with minimal damage to your plant, and in some plants, it will only prune them with continual growth.   Some herbs needs the bloom before you snip, like dill for instance.  If you are harvesting dill seed, you have to wait until the entire flowering process has cycled, but for me, I wanted dill weed this year so I harvested before any blooms.

My sage, parsley, and dill were the first to be picked this year.  They have been grown, cut, hung to dry, stripped, and bottled.

I used an old jewelry hanger to dry my herbs on.  It worked perfect and is super affordable.  In my climate, which is very dry, it took about one full week for the herbs to dry out completely.  Once they were dry I crumbled them off the stem, bottled and labeled them for storage.  I LOVE these  apothecary bottles I found.  I use them for many things and they store nicely in the cabinet.  Another great investment is labels with a chalk pen.  I have used these over and over.  The chalk can be washed off so you can reuse the label over and over.

So, to recap:

1) Choose your herbs you wish to grow.

2) Grow them in organic soil mix and watch the soil pH.  You can read up on the importance of correct soil pH in my blog, Preparing Your Garden Soil.

3)  Cut herbs at peek time.

4) Wash herbs and hang to dry in sunny, but dry location.  In front of a window would work great.

5) Once herbs are completely dry, strip them off stems, crush, and bottle of storage.


Now you have fresh, organic herbs at your disposal all winter long.  It is such a good feeling knowing that the foods I prepare for my family have pure, chemical-free herbs to be seasoned with!


Happy Seasoning!!

Are There Toxins in Your Home?

Have you been hearing a lot about unknown toxins in your home and are wondering what people are talking about?  You clean your home, sanitize everything, you even burn good smelling candles… how can your home be filled with toxins?

There is so much to learn when you dive into the world of toxic-free living.  It can be overwhelming at first so I have compiled a list to start with.  Once you start reading product labels as much as food labels, you will be well on your way to toxic-free living.

For every article that you find with reports of toxins in popular household products, you can also find an article that counteracts its claims.  I do not run with the mainstream perspective so this will have to be an area that you are convicted in for you to make the switch.  Don’t settle for someone’s opinion.  Do your own research and find out what so many people are finding out.  Here is a great article that lists toxic body-care ingredients to be on the watch for.

According to an article from Bloomberg L.P., the U.S ranks 34th for healthiest countries.  Seeing how we spend more than the top three countries combined for healthcare and only rank 34th, I would say something is wrong.  It appears that healthcare is more of a business than a provision.  My point in bringing this to your attention is that not everything is as it appears.  Maybe, just maybe, our country cares more about selling products than what the effects are of the products.  I will get off my soapbox for now.

Top 5 List of Products to Ditch and Switch:

1. Laundry Soap/Detergent
2. Dryer Sheets
3. Hand Soap
4. Body Soap
5. Candles

There is so much more we could cover, but I specifically want to cover the products we use that effect our body first hand and more specifically, our skin.  Our skin is the largest absorbing organ.  Everything that goes onto the skin goes into the bloodstream.  How important do you think it is to pay attention to what you are slathering all over your skin?


1. Laundry Soap/Detergent

  We live in our clothes all day.  We sleep in a bed that is lined with fresh smelling sheets and blankets.  It’s clear that our laundry products are with us all day long.  Switching to a natural laundry detergent and fabric softener is a very easy switch.  Just make sure you are buying a detergent, not soap.  I dabbled for years in making my own laundry soap until I found out that soap and detergent are two completely different things.  I was so proud of myself for making my own soap with my awesome essential oils!  Ha… all I got was dingy clothes and a sticky washing machine.  What’s the difference you ask?  Think of it this way…. if you take a bath every night, how long does it take before you have a soap ring around your tub?  In a couple days you will start to see the appearing soap ring.  This is exactly what will to happen with your laundry after time when using soap.  It will not rinse free.  For my fellow chemist freaks out there, this article goes into detail.

2. Dryer Sheets  

With a couple of  organic wool dryer balls (you can even make your own)  and some drops of essential oils, your laundry will be soft and toxic-free.  This is not only a healthier option but a much more affordable one too.

3. Hand Soap

You can purchase natural hand soaps almost anywhere, but I highly recommend making your own.  I make a large batch once a month and refill all my jars. If you would like to tackle this project you can check out my blog article here  for step-by-step directions.  This is such a fun project to do with your kids.  Bring math and science alive AND they actually get excited about washing their hands when they have made their very own soap.  They especially like to pick out the fragrant oils to use.

4. Body Soap

Between synthetic chemicals, fragrances, and the dyes, you really need to switch to a natural body soap.  The good news for us is this trend is on the rise and natural body soaps can even be found in local grocery stores.  I am in love with my Lavender body soap from Young Living.  My kiddos even have their own Kid’s Scents …..perfect before bed time!
5. Candles

Have you ever walked into a department store that was highly fragranced by candles just to walk out with a terrible headache?  Have you ever wondered why?   I used to make and sell all my own candles so for me to have this conviction was a big deal.  When learning about the toxicity that they pump into the air from being burned, it was a no-brainer.  Plus, I have since learned about all the wonderful attributes of aroma therapy with using essential oils.  You can even use your candle warmers with oils.  Just fill with your favorite carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil and add a few drops of your essential oils.  Diffusers have too many health benefits not to use them.  Having clean air and receiving the healthy benefits is worth the switch.  I even have diffusers in my car!  They travel everywhere with me.

Again, this is a very short list of products to remove and the switch to healthier options is super convenient.  Every little bit will help and you will soon find your own balance of convictions in this area.  Our bodies are wonderfully and fearfully made.  Let us be good stewards of them.  They have a tough enough job just trying to filter all the environmental toxins out of our body.  Let’s not make them work harder than they have to.

Happy Switching!

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. This means I earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links.*

Beat the Summer Boredom Blues

As a home-school mom, summer break can be an exhausting experience.  After all, the only difference between the school year and summer vacation is now the kids are bored and are constantly asking you for something to do.  I often call it the ‘Summer Boredom Blues’.  They’ve been so busy all year with structured activities that they have trouble entertaining themselves.  I don’t know about your kids but mine love to be busy.  Not in the ‘chore’ aspect of busy, but in the ‘mind’ aspect of busy.  Put a challenge in front of them and we have balance in our home.

I tend to get in a rut with new experiences for the summer.  We just got out of school and all the busyness that school brings.  The last thing I want to do is jam-pack our schedule again.  So I look for the more ‘out-of-the-box’ adventures.

First rule for success….Don’t let them know it’s coming.  You have the element of surprise on your side, don’t waste it.  This can also be used as a motivational tool when behaviors start to act up.

Second rule…..These activities do NOT have to be flashy.  It’s more about the memories than anything else.  I especially need to remember this!  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just memorable….

I have compiled a list of 10 summer activities to share with your kids.  Here is my list of activities we WILL experience this summer…

1. Sleep on the trampoline with your kids.  I so hope you have one.  This activity was one of my absolute favorites growing up as a kid.  I couldn’t wait to drag out every blanket (and critter) we owned.  I would lie for hours just gazing up at the massive sky.  Now I love to see my kids’ same excitement.  You can do some extra planning with this and save it for a meteor shower or eclipse.

2. Give yourself pedicures.  Even boys can appreciate a pampering foot soak.  I have girls so this is right up their alley.  I go all out.  We start with a lavender-infused salt bath.  I do throw a little teaching in there with proper foot hygiene.  There is always one kiddo that just can’t seem to trim their toenails correctly.

3. Take them fishing.  This is a NO gadget activity (for the adults too).  Even if you don’t catch a single fish, the activity is more about connecting back with your kids’ hearts.   I am so guilty for not slowing down enough to hear them.  This gives us a chance to really talk.  I am looking forward to this so much this summer.

4. Let them choose a small town on your state map and hit the road.  Let them pick the music and snacks (with guidance).  Sorry, but I want to eat too!!

5. Hiking with a scavenger list.  We hike a lot as it is, so this makes it a little more special.   It’s amazing how fast the trail goes when they have a list of objects they are looking for.  My family is very competitive so we always make it a contest.  No sore winners or losers allowed.  Be creative when making your list.  Know the area you will be hiking and have them search for items they normally wouldn’t look to find.

6. Volunteer at a shelter.  I have said we are going to do this every year and have failed to do so.  Having a rural family, we are sheltered from so much of the world’s hardness.  We tend to think the entire world is our own 30 acres.  This is such a good lesson for them to understand that life has hard consequences and we still have a responsibility to act with love, hospitality, and compassion.  I’m specifically saving this activity for when the kids’ complaining starts up….or maybe even mine!

7. Make garden labels.  This is a selfish project, but I don’t feel too bad because the kids really enjoy this.  Anytime they can whip out the paints and get creative they are ALL IN.  This year I’m going with a ladybug theme.  They can paint them what ever color they want as long as it resembles a lady bug and has the garden plant name written on the stripe down the middle.  I use about 3-4″ rocks.  Part of the project is finding them.  This works perfect if you need a field or garden cleared of rocks.

8. Visit a nursing home.  Sometimes I forget what a gift my kids are to others.  It is a shame that I keep them all to myself.  Every time I have ever visited a nursing home, my kids have been a hit.  There is always someone there that could use some lovin’ on.  This is such a great way for them to grow their compassion and respect.

9. Let them plan, shop for, and cook dinner.  This is a team effort and you, the parent, are there to guide.  It is so fun to see them come up with a menu and look very satisfied with the element of control they have.  Of course, they also get to clean up!  This is a great hidden life-skill lesson.

10. Learn one new hobby WITH them.  Nothing says humility like learning something new along side your kids.  I haven’t discussed with them yet, but they will have equal input.  I cringe at the possibilities, but I feel it is important that they see me grow too.

I know now more than ever that the time we have with our kids is short.  We have a small window of opportunity to capture their hearts and engage with them.  I have been down the road where I’ve let busyness steal these precious times away.  Beating the summer boredom blues is so much more than being busy.  You beat it by finding contentment in growing their creativity.  Summer is such a great time to slow down and grow right along with our kids.

What are your favorite summer activities?  How do you beat the summer boredom blues?  What are some of our favorite childhood summer memories?  Do you incorporate those with your kids today?  I’d love to hear from you!

Easy-To-Make Liquid Hand Soap

If you’re like me, you want to rid your home of as many toxins as you can.  One of the simplest changes you can make is your hand soap.  With this easy, 4-ingredient recipe for liquid hand soap, you’ll be setting your own custom-looking jars around each sink of your house in no time!  Not only will you be eliminating harsh hand soaps, you will be saving money with this very inexpensive method.  WIN!

What you need for your liquid hand soap:

– Mason Jars
–  Foaming Pump attachments
– Distilled Water
– Castile Soap
– Vitamin E Oil
– Anti-Bacterial Essential Oil


If you don’t already have your jars and pumps, hop on over to Amazon and get them ordered.  They are super affordable and you can choose the designs from the comfort of your home.

When I make soap, I make a large batch and refill my jars once a month unless we run out before then.  This recipe will make one jar.

– 1 cup distilled water
– 1/3 cup Castile Soap
– 1/2 half dropper Vitamin E oil (this oil has Avocado oil and Jojoba oil in it)
– 10-15 drops of your choice of anti-bacterial essential oil (I prefer Thieves or Purification).

Pour water into jar.  In a measuring cup add soap, vitamin E oil, and EO (adding in the vitamin E oil gives you a moisturizing hand soap).  Pour mix into water and attach lid.   After you have attached the lid, give the jar a couple shakes and you are all set.  I told you it was simple!  The foaming hand pump attachment really allows your soap to go a long way.  You will never buy commercial soap again!!

Happy Pumping!!


Are you new to the Essentil Oil world?  Click here  and let’s get started!!


All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. This means I earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links.*