Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Health Pantry: Neti Pot

The neti pot is my new best friend and has been a lifesaver for me this allergy season!

I've heard about the benefits of using neti pots for years, but honestly, I resisted ever buying one because I just saw them as. . . well, gross.
Ok, there it is. I admit it.

But I broke down finally and went for it, purchasing my first neti pot for under $20. Now. . . I wouldn't sell it for the world.

After recently being able to easily fight off a serious sinus infection with only a minimal sacrifice of time and sea salt, I am a now big believer in the benefits of regularly using a neti pot to cleanse your sinus passageways. In India and parts of Southeast Asia, it is as common to flush your sinuses as it is to brush your teeth.

The instructions are simple and you can use the neti over and over again (Wash between uses, of course, to keep from spreading any germs). And, if you have sons, they'll be fascinated to watch you use it. :-)

Between my two big guns--alfalfa and the neti pot--I am definitely breathing easy this allergy season!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Tribute to Samson

It rained the day Samson died.

Born from a litter of nine pups, Samson stole our hearts immediately. To be such a big, strong animal, he startled and ran at the slightest intimidation. But he had a big bark, and I loved that bark on the long, dark nights when Paul was gone with work.

Samson was a lover for sure--hogging all the petting and love we had to give, often pushing his mom, Lil' Ann, out of the way to get it. :-)

I really miss seeing him playing around the yard with his mom or the click of his nails on the tile when we'd bring him inside to play.

Losing Samson so suddenly has awakened me to several realities about life and health.

One, we never truly know how much time we have with our loved ones. It is so important to make the most of the moments we have. Those moments are a gift. I have replayed Samson's last hours many times in my mind and wish I would have lived them more tenderly, more meaningfully. I don't want to regret anything with my family members.

And two, I've realized that if we did live with that awareness that any one of us could be gone in a breath, we would live life a lot differently. We would live more peacefully with one another and a lot less selfishly. We would live more powerfully and make a difference on this earth for good. And we would live more joyfully with one another, delighting in the good only.

I have also realized that no matter how careful we try to be with caring for our health, the results are ultimately in the Lord's hands alone. And I'm good with that now. For years I struggled with pride in the area of health. The choices I made to eat this or not eat that or take this supplement or that herb distanced me from the people I loved so much because I allowed myself to care for my family's health for my own glory rather than God's.

But I know now that God takes good care of His stuff and if He loves my children more than even I do, then He's going to do the best for them, no matter what. I completely trust that now.

Samson was such a blessing to our family and added to our joy each day. We are grateful for the time we had with him. He will hold a forever place in our hearts.

The rain of the past few days has passed and a cool front has moved through, bringing with it hope for a new day. Go hug your "baby" today--more than once.

I love this tribute Paul put together for Samson and want to share it with you here. . .

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Health Pantry: ALFALFA

The "new kid" in my wintertime health pantry this year is ALFALFA.

This power-packed little herb is great for sinuses and has been knocking out my allergies very well this winter at a time when I am usually struggling for weeks at a time with upper respiratory congestion and headaches and sore, itchy throat. Can you tell I am a sold-out alfalfa convert??

Allergies is the one thing that I have fought year in and year out all of my life. Over the years, I have tried many wonderful things which were great for my immune system, but didn't seem to provide that targeted punch at my head that I needed.

If you struggle with allergies like I do, keep these three things in mind:
* cut the dairy immediately
it is an allergen and will cause extra mucous
* cut the sugar immediately
I even fast from honey for the most part--a tiny bit to sweeten your hot cereal seems to be ok--you'll be able to tell right away if you've eaten too much sweet because your mucous will increase or your throat will get scratchier, etc
* take alfalfa faithfully every day
4 capsules a day seems to work best for me

Alfalfa is such a great herb, partly because its roots grow so deep--sometimes up to 15 feet--that it is able to absorb nutrients that other plants don't have access to. Take alfalfa and you will super-boost your blood, digestion and heart (alfalfa helps to reduce bad cholesterol), among getting vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B6 and Vitamin D. Alfalfa has been reported to provide more protein than beef, milk or eggs!

The best prices I have found so far for alfalfa are at Mountain Rose Herbs. I order my alfalfa loose in a bag and make the capsules myself, saving tons of money. It is so EASY and QUICK to make your own capsules--you can get your kids to do it. Click on the blinky at the top right of this screen to browse Mountain Rose Herbs' great site.

So, that's the scoop on alfalfa, "the father of all foods." Next time I'll step you through making your own alfalfa capsules for just pennies!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Health Pantry: Emergen-C

One of the staples of our wintertime health pantry is good ol' Vitamin C.

We've tried different Vitamin-C brands over the years, and we finally found one that all of my kids really like: Emergen-C.

Emergen-c is Vitamin-C plus a whole lot more good for you. First, they start with a whopping 1,000 milligrams of non-acidic Vitamin-C, which your body will appreciate. Then they add 32 minerals and electrolytes. Then they throw in B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12 for energy.

The result is a tasty little powder that you pour into filtered water for a non-carbonated health and energy boost. My kids love the raspberry and ruby lemon honey flavors the best. And I am able to easily find Emergen-C at my local Walmart and Kroger stores, which I love.

Each box of Emergen-C packets costs under $10 in my area, which makes it one of the more affordable ways to get good stuff down my kids, and I really love that!

Hey--check out The Emergen-C web site to see the latest product for kids, by kids: Emergen-C Kidz complete multi-vitamin!! I just discovered this new product while writing this blog. I really like the fact that each packet has 24 essential nutrients, plus choline for healthy brain function. My kids loved the cool names like: Strawnanaberry Blast, Orange Pineapple Explosion, and Cherry Yumberry. Sounds like a winner to me!

I believe you will be as pleased as we have been with the health and energy boost that you experience with only one little packet of Emergen-C a day. Cheers to the FIZZ!