Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Fire Cider…A Healthy, Homeopathic Tonic For Kicking & Preventing Colds & Flus

Living in the Midwest, means suffering with cold winters and too many germs! Someone in my family of 6 has been sick in our house since before Christmas.  I’m always on the look out for natural, homeopathic ways of dealing with germs and sickness.  A friend on Facebook shared of something she had made that she called “fire cider“. I had never heard of this so I immediately looked it up on Pinterest.  I found so many different recipes but what I discovered about the benefits of this tonic had me wanting to make it NOW!! First off, it is made with apple cider vinegar and other natural, immune-boosting ingredients.  It has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties.  You can drink it daily as an immune booster during the winter months as a preventative or at the onset of colds or the flu.  You can warm it up, add it a Bloody Mary, use it in soups, add a bit to juice for the kiddos, as a marinade or salad dressing or add a bit of it to tea with honey.  Now I’ve never tried this tonic before but I’m going to assume that it is nasty & very spicy!! So, in my opinion however you can choke it down is what you should do.

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My fire cider…looks kind of pretty.

Most of the recipes I’ve found consist of these main ingredients:

 

Apple Cider Vinegar ~ Helps maintain proper pH levels

Honey ~ Contains powerful antioxidants with antiseptic and antibacterial properties

Horseradish Root ~ High in Vit C & has antimicrobial activities

Onion ~ Traditionally this has been a food remedy for cold, cough, bronchitis & influenza.

Ginger Root ~ Has the ability to warm the stomach to ease vomiting & nausea and fight off colds and coughs

Hot Peppers ~ Herbalists have traditionally used this to cure stomach aches, cramping, gas varicose veins, allergies, constipation & heart attacks

 

For my recipe, I didn’t measure exactly but followed the recipes I found on Pinterest and created my own version.  I decided to make 3 jars and here is what I used per jar:

 

* 1/2 cup ginger root (scrub it clean)

* 1 head of garlic

* 2 – 3 T of fresh rosemary

* 2 – 3 T of fresh thyme

* 1 T parsley

* 1 Jalepeno pepper

* 1/4 of a large onion

* 3 orange slices

* 3 lemon slices

* 1 T peppercorns

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Putting it all together…

• Grate the horse radish, garlic, and ginger
• Crush or chop the garlic cloves
• Slice the jalapenos in half
• Bruise or chop the fresh rosemary & thyme
• Throw everything into a pint size jar & top it off with raw apple cider vinegar. For my 3 jars, I used 2 jars.
• Keep the fire cider in a cool dark place where you won’t forget to shake it once a day
• Age for 4 – 6 weeks
• Strain and bottle.  Add honey to sweeten to taste

I used organic ingredients in my fire cider & I would recommend you do the same if they are available.

My fire cider has at least 2 more weeks to brew but as soon as I can give this a taste test, I will be sure to share my thoughts with you.  I’m a bit scared to taste it honestly! But if it will prevent sickness or help me kick it faster, then I’m drinking it…just a shot that its! 😉 If you have tried this yourself, I’d love to hear from you.  Did you use different ingredients? What were your results using this? I’m super excited to give this a try!!

Have a happy clean Monday!

~ Michelle

 

My homemade eczema cure…

Happy February!! It’s hard to believe that Spring is less than 2 months away! Living in the Midwest with the snow & bitter cold sometimes the winters can drag on forever.  This winter has been very hectic and crazy for myself and my family.  The week before Christmas we moved into a home we built (yay!) so I’m still unpacking, painting, decorating & dealing with contractor issues that need fixed.  I also took on an unexpected new as the PTO president at my younger kiddo’s elementary school.  I have my blog of course which I’m trying to more consistent with.  I have my business & then just all of my hobbies and duties as a Mom of 4 kiddos.  So, the winter has just flown by for me! I may be busy & pulled in a million different directions often, but I am very blessed & I know it.

One of my newest obsessions or hobbies or whatever you want to call it that is keeping me busy in my “free” time…Ha! Ha!, is researching ingredients & making my own body care.  So far, I’ve made whipped body butter out of natural & organic ingredients.  There are no chemicals, toxins, or artificial anything in my body care.  It’s been really difficult to find a body creme that is not only natural & organic but works for me.  I saw a dermatologist about a year ago for dry, itchy skin on my legs…it’s only on my lower legs.  She diagnosed it as a form of eczema and prescribed me a creme.  Well, a year later I still have that eczema and I gave up on that cream.  Most lotions and cremes burn and make the condition worse.  So I started doing some research on making my own cream and found several recipes on Pinterest for whipped body butter.  It looks good enough to eat!! You actually could eat it but I’m sure it’s not very tasty! 😉

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Once I started looking at the recipes I was finding for these body butters, I started doing my research on the different ingredients that can be used and what I discovered was that all this time I’ve been using lotions and creams that are water based.  When the water evaporates after you put on your lotion, what do you think happens to your skin? It’s definitely going to stay hydrated for long.  Is it? These body butters have no water at all, so they are super emollient & nourishing for your skin.

So far, I’ve made 2 batches of my whipped body butter & I’ve been using them daily on my legs.  I made Peppermint White Chocolate and a Lavender one.  I am happy to report that my eczema is virtually gone.  The dry itchy skin is gone! My husband even noticed how smooth and soft my legs were the other night in bed.  He was very impressed and couldn’t get over how smooth they were.  I am working on some new scents and can’t wait to give these a try…Orange Mango & Coconut Lime. Yum!!

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The ingredients I use in my body butters are natural, organic, unrefined and so good for your skin such as raw mango butter, cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, almond oil & essential oils.  Below I will share with you all the wonderful properties of these ingredients:

Raw Mango Butter

* hydrates, nourishes & is highly emollient

* users note that it protects & heals against sunburn, frostbite, eczema, insect bites & poison ivy

* prevents drying skin and formation of wrinkles

* restores skin’s elasticity

Apricot Kernel Oil

* softens fine lines & restores skin’s healthy glow

* rich in essential fatty acids

* soothes irritated skin

*nourishes and moisturizes

* contains Vitamins E, A & C

* users note that it has helped calm inflammation from eczema & dermatitis

Cocoa Butter 

* high in antioxidants which fight free radicals that cause skin stressers & signs of aging

* users note that it can help reduce stretch marks

* high in fatty acids which hydrates the skin

* users noted it protects & heals eczema & dermatitis

Shea Butter

* contains Vitamins A, E, F and antioxidants

* promotes and accelerates healing

* it has anti-inflammatory properties

* natural sunscreen

* stimulates collagen production

* users note that it protects & heals sunburn, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles, and blemishes

Almond Oil

* contains Vitamins A, D & E

* it has been shown to have a calming effect on people with skin allergies and inflammation

* it has anti-aging properties & has been shown to reverse the signs of sun damage

* users note it can clear up eye puffiness and dark circles as well as delay appearances of wrinkles

* it promotes better blood circulation which can tighten the skin

* users noted that it protects and heals against chapped skin, minor wounds, eczema and acne

Coconut Oil

* strengthens underlying tissues

* contains antioxidants

* protects against free radical damage

* anti-aging properties

* exfoliates dead skin cells

* made up of medium chain triglycerides which is skin conditioning

* users note it protects and heals eczema & provides sun damage

* very moisturizing

Essential Oils

* I use only the best 100% pure essential oils

* Each oil has different health benefits for your skin.

Want a secret all natural wrinkle treatment?

Try adding 2 drops of lemon essential oil, 2 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 drops of frankincense essential oil with 1 oz almond oil.

I’m going to be selling my body butters very soon, so please like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/happycleanlife and keep up to date with my new body care. If you have a recipe or suggestion for me, please feel free to leave it below in a comment or email me at happycleanlife@gmail.com

Happy Monday!

~ Michelle

New Year, New Level, New You…6 Tips For Making 2015 Your Healthiest Year Ever!

Wow! Isn’t it hard to believe that 2014 is over? What a year it has been!! I received so many unexpected blessings and some of those blessings have left me scrabbling to keep up with everything, thus my MIA blog posts.  It’s all good though! I’m back and my life is back to my “normal” and I am ready to jump back in to helping educate others about the importance of good nutrition & staying healthy in 2015 and for many years to come. I am always aware that there is a greater plan in store for me & that He has my back.  Everything in life happens for a reason! That is what I say to myself when things don’t go the way I think they should.  2014 was a great year! I made some big changes in my life as far as my health & wellness goes and my personal business.  2015 is going to be even more exciting and more amazing! I have big goals to help even more people attain their own personal health and wellness goals.  I’m taking things to a new level in 2015.  I’m inspired to help you create a new and improved you.  So, with that I would love to share my 6 tips for making 2015 your healthiest year ever!

Blue Happy New Year 2015 Greeting Art Paper Card
Happy New Year 2015

NEW YEAR, NEW LEVEL, NEW YOU…6 TIPS FOR MAKING 2015 YOUR HEALTHIEST YEAR EVER!

Tip #1: DRINK YOUR WATER

drink water
Drink your water…1/2 of your body weight in ounces daily

This is SO much more important than people realize.  Drink your water people! Put down the soft drinks, sports drinks, flavored waters, teas and coffees and DRINK YOUR WATER! You should be drinking 1/2 of your body weight in ounces.  So, if you weigh 160 pounds then you need 80 ounces of water A DAY.  Keep track of your water intake.  Chances are if you are a water drinker…you don’t drink as much as you think you do.  Water fills you up, so drink a glass before each meal.  I like to start my day with a glass of ice cold water…it gets my metabolism charged and ready to go for the day.

Tip #2: WALK MORE

WALK MORE
Walk more…aim for 10,000 steps per day.

I recommend getting a step tracker.  There are many of them on the market.  Choose the one that’s right for you and aim for 10,000 steps a day.

Tip #3: KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL

FOOD JOURNAL
Keep a food journal to see just how many extra calories you are consuming every day.

This is one of my favorite tips.  Most people don’t realize how many mindless calories they consume a day.  Write down everything you put in your mouth and then total up those calories.  I’m sure you will be shocked by how many calories you are consuming that you shouldn’t be.  Simple changes in your eating can make all the difference.  I do not suggest anyone go on a “diet”.  We all know they help us to lose the weight but then we eventually gain it all back (and more) when we go off the diet.  I suggest  you simply make healthier choices every day.  Give your body the proper nutrition it needs to work at it’s very best.  It’s ok to treat yourself and it’s ok to splurge on occasion.  Just don’t do it every day! 😉

Tip #4: CONSUME LESS CARBS

GLYCEMIC FOODS
Know the “good” low glycemic carbs from the “bad” high glycemic carbs

I’m a big fan of a low glycemic carb lifestyle.  We eat WAY TOO MANY carbs on a daily basis and these carbs are wrecking havoc on our bodies.  Eating carbs such as breads, potatoes, crackers, chips, cookies, cereal and etc. repeatedly spike our blood sugar levels which stimulates the release of insulin in order to bring the blood sugar level down.  This process over and over causes overeating and increases inflammation in the arteries.  When you stop spiking your blood sugar levels, you stop the cravings for these high glycemic carb foods.  When someone eats a high glycemic meal that spikes the blood sugar (a sandwich, chips, cookie & soda) they will eat 80% more food the rest of the day!! That’s HUGE!! Isn’t it? I also recommend eat no carbs after 6:00pm.

Tip #5: SUPPLEMENT

SUPPLEMENTS
Supplementation is key to giving your body the good nutrition it needs to function at it’s very best.

Taking high quality nutritional supplements is crucial these days.  Not only does it promote health benefits but supplementing gives your body the important nutrients we simply are not getting from our foods these days.  Our soils are depleted of the rich vitamins and minerals that it once had, thus our produce is also depleted of these vitamins and minerals.  It’s virtually impossible to eat only the best organic raw food diet and still get all of the nutrients your body needs.  Supplementation is the key to feeding your body and helping it run at it’s very best.

‘Tip #6: DETOX & CLEANSE

TOXIC
Are you toxic?

This is one of the most important tips I can share with you because this is the missing link for most people.  There are LOTS of cleanses and detoxing products out there.  I know…I’ve tried many.  However, the BEST way to detox your body is to do a nutritional cleanse.  One that not only removes the toxins from your body but also feeds your body the essential nutrients it needs.  When you add the best possible nutrition plus a cleanse that removes the toxins, you get amazing results.  Not only will you SEE the results but you will feel them too.  Most who do a nutritional cleansing program, have more energy, less joint pain, less anxiety, sleep better, lose weight, notice inch loss, and much more.  Please feel free to reach out to me or check out this video here for more information on the nutritional cleansing program I use & recommend.  It’s whole food nutrition that is all natural, organic and non-GMO.

I wish you all the very best in 2015.  If you desire to lose weight and just get your health back, I would love to help you with your goals.  I have a money back guaranteed plan for you that will work and will produce results for you! Let’s make 2015 the year that we lose the weight for good and live our healthiest lives ever!! I believe in you!! You can do it!! Please share your comments down below.  Subscribe to my blog or email me your questions and concerns to happycleanlife@gmail.com.

10 Commandments for Busy Moms

10 Commandments for Busy Moms

I take my role as a Mom pretty seriously.  I always try to do the best for my family & make each day special.  I am big on making memories & giving my kiddos the best childhood I can.  I don’t try to be “perfect”.  I just try to be the best Mom I can be.  God gifted me with 4 amazing humans and they deserve my very best.  Now granted there have been many days that I have been stressed out and cranky but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that so many times we get upset and cranky about the stuff that just doesn’t really matter.

I keep adding more and more commitments these days.  Maybe because my kids are getting older and are more “self sufficient” I feel like I can devote more time to other things.  I don’t know what I’m thinking actually.  I’m so busy most days! I did tell my husband recently though, that I’m NOT going to complain about any of it though because I am the one who signed up for all that is going on in my life right now.  I could have said, “No”, but I chose be a part of everything that I’m involved in right now.  Sure there will be days when I’m stressed, tired, need to cry, and feeling very cranky but I will do my best to not take it out on my family…that’s what friends are for! Ha Ha 🙂

Seriously, though as Moms we tend to sometimes take on too much and we need to really take a step back and look at what’s really important and weed out the stuff that’s not.  We are all different and we all handle stress differently.  Some can handle a lot that gets thrown at them and some can’t handle very much at all.  Know your limits and learn to deal with the daily stresses of being a busy Mom.

 Here are 10 Commandments that I will be printing and putting up in my office to remind myself of.  Some of these I REALLY need to work on.

TEN COMMANDMENTS
10 Commandments for Busy Moms

I. Thou shalt not be perfect or even try to be.

Just be the best Mom you can be for your kids but that doesn’t mean you are “perfect”.  We all have our bad days.  Don’t stress about it and move on.

II. Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people.

You can not please everyone so don’t even try.  Do your best and help people to understand that you are one person.

III. Thou shalt sometimes leave things undone.

It’s ok to leave dishes in the sink and laundry piling up in the hamper.  It’s also ok to take a nap when you need it if you can.

IV. Thou shalt not spread thyself too thin.

Don’t over commit yourself.  Do what you can with the time you have.

V. Thou shalt learn to say “no”.

It’s ok to say “NO”.  Really it is! You CAN NOT do it all so learn what your limits are and what you can handle without stressing out too much.  Say “yes” to what’s really important!

VI. Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and for thy support network.

Make time for yourself.  Go get a mani or pedi.  Take time to read a book or enjoy a hobby.  Spend time with friends who lift you up.

VII. Thou shalt switch thyself off, and do nothing regularly.

Make sure you take time to do nothing.  Give yourself a break.  Your brain needs to turn off and recharge. (This one is a tough one for me!)

VIII. Thou shalt not even feel guilty for doing nothing, or saying no.

Nope! Don’t feel guilty for taking some time to do nothing or for saying no to something you really don’t want to do.  You deserve a break so enjoy it!

IX. Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant, and unattractive at times.

It’s ok to stay in your yoga pants.  It’s ok to not do your hair or makeup (although I rarely go without makeup).  It’s okay to be lazy!

X. Thou shalt not be thine own worst enemy but be thine own best friend.

Love yourself! Love all your faults, your wrongs, your rights, your worst days and your best days.  You are human & don’t forget that!

Acidic-Alkaline Balance & It’s Effect On Your Overall Health

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When I first started my health and wellness journey, I was oblivious to the concept about your body’s pH or acid-alkaline balance. Sure I’d heard it said that you wanted to maintain an “alkaline” body and avoid an acidic pH.  It wasn’t until I really started to connect the dots between pH balance and what I was eating and drinking that my overall well-being changed.  The body maintains a delicate acid-alkaline balance. Everything from healthy cells to cancer cells to soil quality and ocean life is affected by pH. Wondering what the heck pH even means? The term pH stands for “potential hydrogen” which is the measure of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. In our case, that “solution” refers to our body’s fluids and tissues.

Acidic-Alkaline Balance
Acidic-Alkaline Balance & It’s Effect On Your Overall Health

The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral. Below 7 becomes increasingly acidic, above 7 increasingly alkaline.

When there’s even the slightest chance that you could become overly acidic (due to food and lifestyle choices, environment, chemicals etc.) your amazing body will actually make alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium from your bones, teeth, and organs to neutralize the acids. This is fine every now and then. But over-use of these reserves over the long term can lead to osteoporosis and other health challenges.

Let’s look at the standard American diet (SAD). Most folks are bathing their cells in an inflammatory acid bath multiple times per day with tons of sugar, processed foods, factory farmed animal products, etc. One of the biggest casualties of the SAD is the toll it takes on the body, especially the digestive system, liver, and kidneys. Inflammation, allergies, arthritis, skin problems, constipation, bowel issues, stress (physical & mental) and chronic disease LOVE this diet. Excess acidity also sets the stage for bad bacteria (like yeast and fungus) and even viruses that wreak havoc on our health.

Conventional medicine ignores pH balance — while holistic doctors recognize that our bodies are continually striving for this balance, and that chronic imbalance leaves us susceptible to disease. Most important: Acid-alkaline balance is easy to regulate. You can make very simple changes to your diet — and improve your body’s pH balance within hours.

Wondering if your system is too acidic? I personally don’t think people take this seriously enough.  Some people don’t even realize that your body’s pH levels can be off and can cause issues.  It can and it is for so many people.  But it doesn’t have to.  Check out this list of symptoms in the infographic below.  See any that you suffer from? If so, it’s time to alkaline your body and get your pH levels balanced so you feel better and your body can fight off disease and illness.  Excess fat can’t even survive in an alkaline environment.

ACIDIC SYSTEM
Acidic-Alkaline Balance & It’s Effect on Your Overall Health

Your body’s pH levels are directly linked to the foods and drinks you consume as well as the thoughts we think.  Take a look of this list of foods.  Alkaline pH means that your body is not acidic.  What foods and/or beverages from the list do you consume the most of? If it’s the foods in the Acidic pH list, which is the case for most American’s, it’s time to make some changes.  Every single person who has cancer has a pH that is too acidic.  Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for proving that cancer cannot survive in an alkaline oxygen rich environment but thrives in an acidic, low oxygen environment. Think about that!! That’s a HUGE eye opener…isn’t it? EVERYTHING you put in your body is either breeding cancer or fighting it.  Which is it for you?

pH Acidic vs. Alkaline chart
Acidic-Alkaline Balance & It’s Effect On Your Overall Health

I’ve discovered there are some amazing all natural, organic and non-gmo products out there that can easily alkaline your body while giving your body the good nutrition that it needs.  It’s like the perfect food!  It comes in the form of a shake and it’s available in chocolate or vanilla.  It tastes great and it’s so good for me! When I discovered it alkalines my body, I knew it was the right product for me and that there are so many out there who desperately NEED this product.  Not only do I faithfully drink my shakes every morning, but I also try to avoid too many acidic foods in my diet.  Of course we all will eat or drink foods that are acidic at some point.  But my goal is to not make it a daily habit.  You can certainly make simple changes in your diet that can make all the difference in how balanced your body’s pH is.  For instance, I have switched to cold brewed coffee because it’s less acidic and it tastes amazing! I was drinking only reverse osmosis water until I did my research and found the spring water is actually a better choice.  Meat is very acidic so switching to meatless meals a few nights a week is another great option for lowering your body’s overall acidity.

Please share your comments or questions with me below or feel free to email me at happycleanlife@gmail.com.  I’m happy to help you with your healthy lifestyle needs and questions.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love sweets! Cookies, cupcakes, and baked goodies are my weakness.  I try to limit my sweets though because of the calories, extra sugar and their unhealthy ingredients.  As we all know, so many pre-packaged foods contain harmful ingredients that we really should avoid.  So when I find a sweet treat that not only tastes good but is good for me, I just have to share it! I found these amazing little chocolate chip cookies at Sam’s recently and my whole family loves them! They are crispy which is perfect for those of us who crave “crunchy” snacks.  They are non-gmo.  They contain no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and no corn syrup.

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If you can’t get to Sam’s, I found these on Amazon too. You don’t have to give up your sweets and treats.  You can splurge occasionally, just make healthier choices.  Start reading labels and be open to trying new foods.

Day 15 – Learn To Read Nutritional Labels

(15) Learn to read nutritional labels ~ Learn what ingredients are natural and which ones are not. Google ingredients if you aren’t sure what they are. If you can’t pronounce it, your body probably won’t recognize it either. There are chemicals & toxins in many of the products consumed & used daily. Educate yourself on their dangers & start buying healthier options. For now, start small. Make one small change on this list and then try another. With each step along the way, you’ll get used to it and it will become your new normal.

Day 13 – Less Stress

(13) Less stress~ Life is stressful! Find ways to deal with that stress that are healthy…go for a walk, exercise, meditate, talk to a friend or spouse, pray, find a hobby, etc. Know that life is always going to get hectic and stressful. Just learn to deal with it the best you can. I just tell myself that everything happens for a reason.