Inspiring Real Wellness

Restoring the day. What does that look like? Real total wellness, what does that look like? It’s a journey, right? An intensely personal one, at that!

When I started this blog, I was toying around with making it a food blog for plant-based lifestyles. I follow several of those and I refer to them often. There’s always a need for good resources like that, always! And that may become a reality in the future as I grow.  But Restoring the Day is more about realizing and supporting our quest for restoring real wellness. Creating a healthy, safe space from which we can live and thrive and benefit others! Real wellness encompasses so much more than just healthy eating. 

When looking at true, real wellness we have to look at the food we eat, the environment we live in, the people we surround ourselves with, our self-talk, our spiritual health, our physical activity, emotional health… we could go on! And then of course within those categories, whatever activities we partake in to flesh this wellness thing out in real life is where we start to see results.

Actively CREATE Your Healthy Space

If you’re like me, I need consistent encouragement and inspiration to keep fighting for my wellness. Let’s face it, our environments are not aways a healthy place. We have to actively create that healthy space, and sometimes that takes some hard work and discipline. But we know it can be fun. We love it! Right? We love how we feel when we take good care of ourselves and make the better choices.

But how do we keep that momentum going the next day and the next when it’s so easy to give up and give in? (I say this in total realism!) For me, the key is staying inspired. We need to support one another, surround ourselves with encouraging people, things, and situations so that when life inevitably gets tough, we are well enough to stand up to it. Support slower healthier living that encompasses more than diet, also stepping into the mind and emotions, our environment and our relationships. I think this is total wellness.

I want to inspire all of us to bridge the gap of all these diets and wellness fads, to cut through the clutter of all of this “advice” available to us, and just remind us all to “restore the day” as best we can to peaceful, compassionate, healthy living. To bring life back to being as close to the earth as we safely can.

What did “the day” used to look like? What should it look like? Well, this is not an ideal world –  but don’t you think that in an ideal world, we would be touching the ground a little more often? We would be more active, we would eat better foods, and yes, we would be less anxious and less busy?

No one can argue that the closer we stay to nature, the healthier we would be. We live in a world where nearly everything we do is artificial. We live in apartment highrises instead of in huts on the ground; maybe we sleep on multi-thousand dollar mattresses, we work out on treadmills for heaven’s sake! We drive cars to our workplaces where we sit within four walls and communicate with one another through wired (and wireless) devices. A bit odd, when you think about it, right!? 

 

We may never truthfully know which diet or wellness modality is the absolute healthiest on the planet. And I am not in a place to suggest that one is, over another (although I’ll cheer for plants all the way!) I’ll leave that to those more educated than I am. 

But as we learn more about how we can create that safe space for wellness in our lives, we talk about practical tips and the benefits of each, let’s remember to embrace our wellness journey as our own, tune out the external noise, and create our own journey.

susan-blog-signature

 

 

Continue Reading

Family Friendly Natural Cold & Flu Remedies + DIY pedialyte drink

It’s no secret that winter in MN can be a big old germ pot. And to be quite honest, for us moms of young ones, living here from January through March can be downright miserable. I chatter back and forth with family and friends about how wonderful it would be to escape this part of the year altogether and head south for a few months. Enough people do! Maybe someday, eh? But in the meantime, let’s talk about surviving and thriving the cold season.

We held out for a long time this year without catching any colds at all, even when those around us were picking up viruses! I was keeping my fingers crossed. I wish we could report we have stayed virus free all season, but that is simply not the case – one sorry day, it happened. Papa came home from work with a cold. At least, I think that’s how it happened…. (sorry, hubby, no one is blaming you.)

I feel silly, but I often have to remind myself how to treat viruses. This year when the kids came down with their first cold, I stood there in shock like “uhhh what do I do, again?”So I started repacking my brain with good holistic tips and tricks. And remembering back to my mom’s good old fashioned go-to’s.

fruits and flowersEating a diet full of whole foods, as unprocessed as possible, is, of course going to be our best defense in keeping our immune systems armed and ready. So before we go any further,  we need to all start here. 

I personally have been able to kick each set of viruses (we are now on round three in our household, regrettably, as are many other families I know!) within 24 hours each time, so I’d like to be able to attribute much of that to this plant based lifestyle! In the past, if I was near a virus, I expected to come down with it myself within a day or two. So this is a HUGE turnaround for me, and I’m certainly not complaining. I’ve never had this good of an immune system. That being said, I’ll be sure to let you know if I just jinxed myself!

Why not just reach for the Tylenol and Nyquil? I think it’s important for us all, especially mothers, to self-educate on why we may not want to be ingesting these drugs. But without getting into that, my biggest problem with modern western medicine is that we seem to have this mindset that the body doesn’t know what it’s doing and that we need to help it do EVERYTHING by medicating it. This is simply untrue. Our bodies are brilliantly created and know how to take care of self better than we could ever imagine. Of course, having OTC drugs and clinics available to us is a wonderful safety net we wouldn’t want to be without, but for most of us who are generally healthy, we need to just trust our bodies and feel confident using natural remedies.

If you’re like me and are looking for some extra ideas on treating common viruses naturally at home, I hope you enjoy this post! As always, don’t take my ideas as professional advice, and if the virus worsens, make sure you see a doctor. Do I need to put that disclaimer in there? Probably safe to do so.

Treating the Common Cold/Fever

A mother’s back rub, snuggles, and loving touch gives the child (or anyone!) the confidence they need to be able to bravely endure through the virus and let their body do its work. Remind your children what their body is doing what it knows best how to do to help them recover! Kid’s Health has this great explanation of a fever that I used to coach my son through understanding what a fever is and how it helps him.

And when the sick one is myself or my husband, going out of our way to show kindness, bring water or a snack, are great ways to keep showing love. The ill person’s energy will lift naturally when shown love and affection. Easier said than done, to remain the cheerful caregiver – the very thought of someone being sick and having to stay home just sounds so inconvenient, doesn’t it!? But, I have to adjust my focus, put down my to-do list and be extra intentional. Cliche as it may sound, I believe a body can heal faster with love.

Here are my other favorite remedies. Oh! And as always, they’re all Vegan-friendly!

  • Mama’s massages. A little back rub, neck rub, or gentle back scratch can make a world of difference. I wish someone STILL did this for me whenever I felt sick!
  • Oil of oregano, essential oil, is highly effective in kicking a virus to the curb! We’ve had enormous success with it. There’s controversy on the best way to use this and whether or not to use it around children, but I’ve found that a single drop mixed in some shea butter and applied a couple times a day to the feet can greatly reduce cold fever or flu symptoms. It has tremendously worked for all of us! But again, never use my ideas as medical advice and know that I am not a doctor or medical professional. Also note that I use very safe, pure essential oils, and be advised that Oregano is very potent and should never be applied to the skin directly, especially on children.
  • Thieves oil, essential oil. This is another oil that can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the bottoms of the feet, in very small amounts. It packs an immune boosting punch!
  • Warm baths with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and lavender oil are so soothing, and safe for kids and adults alike. Some say this will “draw out” a fever. I do not know for sure, but it does seem to work. I’ve used this method regularly! One cup of ACV in a shallow bath with a couple drops of lavender and not only does it feel great, there’s been a significant decrease in body temperature following, and a lovely night’s sleep!
  • Sleeeeeeping & staying in bed can’t be over-rated! But hang out with them and keep them company best you can.
  • Brothy veggie soups with fresh onion and garlic. Emphasis on the onion and garlic being fresh and organic, I’ve made some mighty tasty vegetable broths with these, and the stems and ends of organic carrots, celery, and mushrooms! Oh, they are so delicious, nutritious, hydrating, and pleasantly easy on upset tummies.
  • Diluted fruit juice or squeezed berries and a dash of sea salt in water can help replace electrolytes and be a fabulous replacement for things like Pedialyte drinks, which have added ingredients we don’t need in our bodies! I use this recipe for a cold, rehydrating drink! (I also use this or a similar one post-cardio workout to replenish electrolytes!) And go ahead and eat the thawed out berries after you’ve finished the drink! Mmmm!
    • A mason jar or glass of pure clean water, 8-10 oz
    • 1/2 cup frozen berries, blueberries or frozen mixed berries are our favorite
    • 1/2 to 1 Tbs pure maple syrup (or <Tbs organic cane sugar)
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt (or liquid trace minerals)

 

Re-boosting Immunity

  • Probiotic drinks like kombucha or water kefir can be very beneficial for the immune system! Not to mention a great way to get extra fluids in! Healing begins in the gut!
  • Green & red smoothies. My favorite recipes contain a banana, spinach or kale, a raw greens powder, and fresh or frozen berries! This is our go to.
  • Ginger, onion, garlic, when freshly minced and grated, add to your main dish for a powerful immune boost.
  • Elderberry syrups or lozenges. Where do you buy these? Whole Foods carries elderberries in their dry bulk herbs section!  The lozenges I also picked up from there were from on a great sale and my son thinks they’re candy. This link here takes you to my and my sister’s favorite Elderberry Syrup Recipe.
  • Keep to whole unprocessed foods!

 

There are dozens other great ideas out there for naturally giving colds and flus the kick in the pants. And if you’re like me, more reminders and new information is always helpful. Sometimes we simply need to be reminded of some of the tips and tricks that we know work best.

One of my dreams is to have an extensive education in family friendly herbal remedies. Wouldn’t that be fun?!  I have signed up to take a Homeopathy workshop here locally and cannot wait to get my hands on a homeopathy kit! There are so many holistic modalities available to us when illness strikes! We definitely don’t need to feel like we are forced to reach for OTC drugs and medications. Let’s celebrate the body’s incredible intuition to heal and help it along, trusting it all the way.

I’m sure many of YOU may have a much more extensive knowledge than I do in some of these areas! What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for your family?

susan-blog-signature

 

A Note on Essential Oils:

There are so many many ways of using Essential Oils Medicinally. However, if you’re not confident in your use of them, it’s always a good idea to refer to your essential oil’s company website to check on recommended uses. I would also recommend this course, which I am not an affiliate for, but which I have had the honor and joy of going through! I use this resource guide from this course regularly since enrolling! https://my.draxe.com/essential-oil-transformation

 

 

Continue Reading

Too Many Nuts Bothering Your Digestion?

Nuts are a great way to pack on extra calories when you’re eating a healthy diet. Paleo plans and plant-based plans encourage nuts as a great source of protein fats and minerals. Nut butters are great for subbing out oil in baked goods, peanut butter is the most delicious thing on the planet, and then there are the alternative milks made from every single nut you could think of. Oh! And every recipe for healthy baked goods seems to contain almond flour these days.

Especially when you’re first transitioning to a healthier diet from something less optimal, it can be tempting to keep reaching for the nuts. Why? Because you’re quite possibly feeling hungry, and you know those nice crunchy little calorie rich nuggets of yum will be there for you. That is until you perhaps start experiencing tummy upset and start sprinting to the bathroom on a regular basis. Along with fiber, nuts contain a defense mechanism, as most plants do, called phytic acid. Because when nuts and seeds particularly are eaten by animals, they need to somehow survive so that when they come out the other end… ahem… they still hold the nutrients to grow into a new plant, even after all they’ve been through. It’s quite remarkable actually.  But phytic acid can actually interfere with our body’s mineral absorption.

So before we get mad at the nuts, it’s not their fault. It’s simply part of nature.  But since phytic acid can interfere with our body’s mineral absorption, this is where it becomes necessary to limit our consumption and prepare them properly. When we cannot absorb minerals well enough, this can weaken teeth and bones and make us more susceptible to decay and injury. Nuts are not only food containing this antinutrient, phytic acid. We’ve got a whole lineup of plants that contain this in order to survive.

Good news is, soaking, sprouting, fermenting, roasting, and cooking are great ways to help reduce phytates, depending upon the plant product you’re dealing with. Especially with grains, legumes, and nuts. You can drastically reduce phytates in these categories with soaking and sprouting.

There is so much we could go into here, but I’m not going to address it all, for fear of getting in over my head and saying things I’m not totally sure about. I’m no expert on these things. But there is such extensive research on this issue, and enough of us seem to have trouble with digesting these foods, so I thought it important to share with you like-minded healthy people.

Here are my thoughts on nuts. I absolutely love nuts. I mean really – I go for nut butters like gangbusters. Creamy goodness right there. And when I’m stressed, we can really plow through the peanut butter around here. Organic peanut butter, of course. But is it always a good thing? I experience some pretty foul digestive side effects when I OD on the nuts, you guys. I just have to be honest.

When I first started making the switch to a healthier diet, my digestion actually got a little bit worse. What!? Now I have learned (though it took me a while to figure it out!) that cutting back on the nuts really helps, if not eliminates the issue completely. Yes, I’m talking about foul gas. Let’s get real. Nuts are high in fats as well, and too much of a good thing isn’t always good.

Have you ever read the serving size suggestion on the nut package or nut butter container? 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter. Or almond butter. Alright… so let’s say I eat that (or a little extra, c’mon…), on some sprouted toast. Then I have almond milk creamer in my coffee. And later that day I make an almond milk smoothie, and we make a creamy cashew or tahini dressing for our salad for dinner. A healthy day, right? Woah! My digestion would be in total uproar.

So, soak em, sprout em, soak em again… your body will thank you.

Practical ways I live this out:

  • I love oatmeal, but I always soak my oats overnight with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and then I can lightly cook them in the morning. The ACV is key because it’s an acid that helps break down the antinutrients. It’s pretty cool. Oatmeal seems to be lower in phytic acid overall, to begin with.
  • Gluten Free. Yes, it’s a fad, but there’s a lot to it, as many of you know. Wheat is extremely high in phytic acid!
  • Soak, rinse, soak, rinse your beans, and maybe even sprout some of them. There are many tutorials for how to do this on the internet. Oh yes, that also means that I don’t reach for the canned beans too often. And if I do, in a pinch, I rinse them very thoroughly.
  • I Cut back on alternative nut milks. Actually, I nearly completely cut them out. Alternative milks are often fortified with essential vitamins and minerals which is one reason they can be helpful – so just be mindful that you’re getting those nutrients someplace else in your diet. But for me, my personal favorite way to eat nuts is in the form of nut butter. So figure out your favorite way to have them, and have them that way.

But in spite of all this, let’s not forget the great benefits that we CAN reap from consuming nuts! When eaten in appropriate quantities (maybe a serving a day instead of six, for example?) we can enjoy them for being actually quite high in minerals, and they are a good source of healthy fat.

But seriously, do you experience digestive upset when you OD on nuts? Lets get real. TMI? Go for it, I think it’s high time we “health nuts” (no pun intended) start taking it easy on the nuts.

susan-blog-signature

 

 

Disclaimer: Please do not take my story and my opinion as medical advice. I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. I’m simply sharing my research and observations with you, my readers in hopes you can identify with me and maybe glean some tips and tricks every once in a while!

 

Articles on this topic I find helpful:

http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/health/is-soaking-grains-and-legumes-necessary-and-how-to-properly-soak-and-prepare-them/

https://chriskresser.com/another-reason-you-shouldnt-go-nuts-on-nuts/

https://authoritynutrition.com/8-benefits-of-nuts/

http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/living-with-phytic-acid/

https://wellnessmama.com/59139/soaking-nuts-seeds/

Continue Reading