Cold remedies

It’s cold and flu season, but *crossing fingers* I rarely catch the affliction. Here are my secrets.

Prevention

water

Aside from eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins, I do these things every day to prevent colds, the flu, and headaches:

  • Garlic pill. It’s odorless and is my sure-fire, fail-safe cold prevention. I never miss a day!
  • Netipot. I got a new netipot for my birthday. Love it! I do the netipot every day during spring and fall.
  • Drink lots of water and tea. Lots.
  • Nettle tea. If you’ve got allergies, drink nettle tea.
  • Wash hands often. And protect your skin with a good moisturizer.
  • Use essential oils like peppermint to clear sinuses and prevent headaches.

Remedy

If I start to feel like a cold is coming on, or I’ve been near sick people, I do these things, even if I’m not sick.

  • Continue with the prevention tactics.
  • Get extra sleep.
  • Eat lentil or split pea soup. Load up on the protein, naturally.
  • Drink pure pomegranate juice. Hint: mix pomegranate juice with Dark Chocolate Almond Milk by Silk for a tootsie-roll pop beverage. You get super antioxidants and protein in this yummy drink. (this does NOT work with cranberry juice)
  • Drink even more water and tea.
  • Put some peppermint oil or Vics vaporub on the bottom of your feet when you go to bed.
  • In addition to garlic, take a zinc supplement.
  • Many people use oregano oil to ward off sickness, but I haven’t tried it.

What is your favorite cold prevention or remedy?

Healers in your backyard

One of the great things I learned when I was in Nelsonville a few weekends ago was how many natural healers can be found in our backyard. Everything that grows has a purpose. Sure, there are some we don’t like, but others are very beneficial. Here are a few of my recent favorites.

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle is a weed that grows in Ohio. Auntie Mame wrote a great post about the benefits of nettle. I haven’t found any in my yard (and I’m not that confident that I could identify it), so I buy nettle tea. But, if you have some, you can dry it and make your own nettle tea. Nettle tea is great for allergies! I drink some every day and it has definitely helped my allergies more than pills do (especially since nearly all allergy pills contain lactose). Mr drinks it and feels immediate allergy relief. It’s also good for the metabolism and creating energy.

jewelweed

jewelweed

Jewelweed

This is a healer. It can heal mosquito bites and sunburns. When I got a sunburn and we didn’t have any aloe nearby, I mashed up some jewelweed and spread it on my burns like aloe. It definitely provided some relief. I’m going to try it on mosquito bites too. Jewelweed grows in our metro parks, and in my backyard. It’s invasive, but it pulls out pretty easily. The flowers remind me of irises.

Mint

Ok, so you may have planted mint, but it grows like a weed. I love mint in milkshakes. It’s also very cooling and healing. Of course, you can use mint as a breath freshener, but it’s also good for digestion, relieving headaches, and more. Organicfacts breaks it down.

The Oil Cleansing Method

SunflowerI have a real passion for healthy skin. In fact, I often compliment people for having nice skin.

For years now, I have been on a quest to find the best products to help our biggest organ look its best. Some products have worked great.. others.. well I wish I could have that money back.

As part of my new year’s resolution, I have slowly started to move towards only using natural stuff. So after changing my cleaning products, tooth paste, shampoo, etc.. it came time for my skincare. Why, you ask? Think about all the harmful chemicals they put into lotion and skin care.. a lot of people do not realize they all get soaked into the body through the skin. No thank you!

After a trip to our local natural health food store I thought I landed a winner. However, my experience was less than hoped. I have roscea so my skin constantly looks irritated if I am not using the right products, well after two trips to the store I was still at a loss. That was until I discovered a pin on pinterest linking to this blog post.

The Oil Cleansing Method

I know what you are thinking, “Are you crazy?” or “Who would want to add oil to their face?”. Well after trying it, I can tell you who.. this girl! My skin has never looked better. In fact, after washing my face with it, you can’t even tell that I am not wearing make up (aka no redness at all).

The blog I looked at used this recipe:

  • Normal Skin- One part castor oil with one part sunflower oil
  • Oily Skin- 2-3 parts castor oil with one part sunflower oil
  • Dry Skin- one part castor oil with 2-3 parts sunflower oil

Directions

Moisten skin with the oil mixture, place a warm cloth over your face until you feel it cool and then wipe off. Sometimes if my skin is feeling extra dry, I will put more on and let it soak in while I sleep.

Some of the other places I researched used different oils other than sunflower oil like jojoba, almond, argon, olive, grapeseed.. the list goes on. Sunflower was easy for me to find at the store and so far has worked perfectly!

Safer sunscreens

Daisies and lilySummer is here and we finally need sunscreen here in Ohio!

Many of these are not tested on animals! That’s a win-win. I went with Badger sunscreen with lavender to protect my skin from sun and mosquitoes. So far, so good.

Sunscreen should have zinc oxide, and should avoid oxybenzone and vitamin A. Zinc oxide blocks harmful rays but doesn’t get absorbed into the skin like oxybenzone.

Don’t forget to get your vitamin D.

Lavender oil = mosquito repellent

Lavender spray

Lavender spray in a patch of lavender

Mosquitoes are back in full force! I’m sticking with my favorite mosquito repellent, lavender oil. Check out these past posts about lavender oil spray, and how to prevent mosquitoes.

We have found lavender oil to be the safest and best mosquito repellent. Just last weekend, we sprayed some on and watched the mosquitoes fly around us and then leave! No kidding! It really works.

Bonus: if you forget to put on the lavender oil mosquito repellent, and you get bit, just dab a drop of lavender oil on your bite. It will relieve the itch.

Recipe:

10 drops of lavender oil
2 oz. water

Put it in a small spray bottle and spray whenever you go outside. Or if you just want to freshen up.

Recipe Friday: Impromptu Pesto

Upcoming Recipe Friday

Impromptu Pesto: carrot greens, basil, spinach

We recently switched from baby carrots to whole carrots and at Krieger, they sell them with the greens on top. Whenever they sell the veggies with the greens on top (beets, radishes, etc), I kinda figure the greens are edible. Sure enough, I looked online and found plenty of recipes for carrot greens. Then, …

On Sunday night, we wanted some pesto, but we didn’t have a lot of basil. We did have spinach and carrot tops. So, we altered this recipe a little. We toasted some pine nuts and sautéed the garlic cloves (I don’t like the strong garlicy taste, so I sauté the garlic just a little to calm it down). Then, we added 2 cups of greens – basil, carrot tops, and spinach – to the food processor. A little olive oil … a pinch of salt … Tada ~ Pesto!

This pesto is so yummy! The basil flavor really carries through, and the carrot tops add just a little “green” flavor, but not too much. Next time you have a craving for pesto, find some greens and improvise.

The Weekly Savor- Little changes you can make to be more eco saavy

Since coming to the blog, I am finding that I am even more in tune to things I could be doing to help minimize my negative touch on the environment. Here are a couple things I have come up with over the week that we all can improve on!

Plastic Lids and Straws– If you are at a restaurant and order a drink, don’t use a straw or lid. You would be surprised how much plastic we could save if everyone did this! Need more of a reason than to just save plastic? Straws are one of the reasons people develop wrinkles around the mouth… not fun

Plastic Bags for Dog Poop–  I have always tried to convince my parents not to clean up dog poop with plastic bags by  making the joke that someday in the future their grandkids will be playing in fields full of poop-filled plastic bags. Props to them for making sure they reuse their plastic but that doesn’t get rid of the bag…it just turns them into modern tumbleweeds filled with yucky-ness!  There are two solutions to this problem, biodegradable bags and reusable bags. Grossed out by reusable bags? Just dump their contents into the toilet!

Buying produce at the grocery store– As I was at the grocery store this week, it occurred to me how much plastic bags are used to carry around produce. My sister-in-law shared these with me and I’ve been sold ever since! (look around the site, they have some really awesome products!)

This next one may cross some comfort zones but an interesting thought…

Pads and Tampons- I know, I know ew.. especially if you’re a guy, but has anyone ever considered how much waste comes with using them? Here is a solution I found after doing some research. Still not accustomed to the idea but I’d be willing to try if meant less waste!

Just some ideas, I’ll share more with you as they come 🙂

Naturally beautiful.. and moisturized too!

Along with buy nothing new, one of my new years resolutions ( yes I know I am a month late in sharing this with you) is to only use beauty products (make up, lotions, hair products, etc ) that are natural and not tested on animals. although it may be hard to see the benefits in only using natural products, believe it or not you can really tell a difference… not to mention you’re not hurting any critters in the process. Whats better than that? 🙂

Believe it or not, this is not a hard goal to fulfill and you will be shocked to find out that products like these can even be found in your own grocery store! There are plenty of places where you can shop but I am going to share with you a couple of my favorites!

The Body Shop: This is a company that I cannot say enough about. Not only are all the products in the store vegan and natural, they are also fair trade! I know many people are reluctant to buy products like these because they might think they are more expensive but you will be shocked to find out how comparable the prices are to other specialty stores. Their body butter, what they are most known for, only runs at about $16.00 and lasts so long.. not to mention the container can serve many purposes once emptied. I like to use it to carry food in my lunch box since it is small and compact, I have also used it as a portable water dish for my dogs when I take them to the park in the summer. Way cool! If you do not want to reuse the containers, some of the stores will even recycle them for you if you return them when they are empty.

Besides the awesome products they also are doing a fabulous job at staying green. All of their plastic bags are biodegradable and the bottles that the products come in are 100% post consumer recycled plastic! Not to mention, as of 2010 they are a carbon neutral retailer!

Currently, they are partnering  a campaign with the Somaly Mam Foundation that helps stop sex trafficking! ( something I am über passionate about)

PS the palm oil in their soaps comes from only sustainable sources so that no rainforests are being cut down! YAY for orangutans!

Garden Botanika: Another one of my favorites! It can be compared to the body shop in price. I get my perfume from there and have gotten some lipsticks! The lipsticks come in a really neat miniature tube, you get the same amount as you would anywhere else, they are just being sure to use less packaging!

Lush:  Lush carries soaps, shampoos, lotions, and make up! All of their products are natural and produced in sustainable ways with fair trade ingredients… and for those of you who do not use palm oil, their soaps do not contain any of it!  Also, 70% of their products are totally unpreserved.When it comes to their packaging, they give customers the option to take their products home naked, aka without packaging! For those that prefer  packaging the bottles used are made out of 100% recycled plastic and their plastic bags are compostable. For more information on their green policies click here.

Here are some ideas if you are looking for something cheaper and still want to make a difference:

St. Ives: All of their products are natural and are not tested on animals. Their packaging is made from 20% PCR which means that their bottles can be recycled after they are used. I adore their apricot face scrub and, for those of us who are still using soap, I recommend their oatmeal and shea body soap and lotion! It smells amazing!

They also have some great facial skin care products. Their anti-aging moisturizer runs just over $3.00 and its huge!

Hard Candy: This company is a make up company that does not test on animals and quite a few of their products are completely vegan. The reason I think it is important to share this brand with you is for the fact that it is now carried at Walmart and can be a real steal for what you are getting out of the product and can be found right around the corner!

Remember: There are many other brands out there that meet my qualifications, these are just a couple of my favorites.

See how easy it is to shop green, kindly, and feel pretty too 🙂

PS- If you are currently using other products and decide to try this with me, please be sure to finish your current supply first so that nothing goes to waste!