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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baby Daniel Is Here!

Enjoy the pictures and birth story.  I have not had time to proof-read so I apologize for any mistake.  

My friend Angela took this picture along with the next 4 pictures.  She did such a great job!

 My daughter Allysha singing to her baby brother.

 Daddy with all his boys! 

 The first time the kids saw baby.

Daddy is in love.

Because of my elevated blood pressure, my induction date for our dear Daniel was on Thursday, November 8th.  I was so ready to have him and so excited we had a date that we would have him for sure.

Daniel…well, he decided he didn't want to wait till 6am the morning of his induction.  No way!  He decided he wanted to start the process at midnight.  This is when I started having intense contractions right away 5-7 minutes apart.  By 2pm I went to the bathroom, wiped and saw "boody show".  I knew then it was on.  Contractions at this point were closer yet.  I called hubby up to get things around for me.  With high bp…I had to stay down as much as possible and let me tell you, laboring on your left side alone stinks!  Yes I had my lovely back labor again.  

We got into the car ready to go - I sat out waiting while Matt went back in a couple times - for what I can't remember. I just remember the windows were frosted and I was shaking so bad; my whole body.  Not just from the cold but that's how my body was acting during labor.  As my husband drove me to the hospital, contractions were getting much harder and were 2-3 minutes apart.  When we arrived, I got into a wheel chair and was wheeled up to labor and delivery  while Matt parked the car.  I cried at the fact he wouldn't be going up with me initially but wiped my tears and tried to pull up my big girl panties.  Just as I sat down, my water broke.  Good thing I had a pad on as I was expecting this.

When I arrived at about 2:30pm, I was put in the midwife room - love it!  It's nice and large and even has a queen sized bed along with the regular hospital bed for laboring.  I was told to change into a gown which I felt I could barely do with how I was feeling.  I got on the toilet and contractions again were insane.  I got the gown on, their disposable socks and got into bed remembering I had to lay down to keep my bp down.  I'd do whatever it took to have this little guy vaginally.  It's funny how they say they have to check and make sure it's truly the water that broke.  When mine breaks it doesn't trickle, it's gushes.  But check they did.  lol  We went on for a few hours with labor definitely making progress.  My body got to 6-7 centimeters on it's own which has never happened before!  I'm so glad it worked so well.  At this point with not being able to move, sit on my ball, etc… because of bp, I ended up asking for an epideral.  My main reason other than pain was adrenal issues.  I had the same type of back pain with my last labor and really think the trauma of it all contributed to adrenal issues later.  The epideral was put in around 6:30am and my blood pressure dropped like a rock down to 74/44 and I felt pretty crappy kinda in and out of it.  I was given a couple things in my iv to help bring it back up.  The whole time I had my sweet hubby fan me as I thought I was either going to throw up, pass out or both.  Praise God things started to even out and my body came back to a much better place.  Things started going numb from the waist down and I finally got some much needed relief.  It was actually quite wonderful.  My body quit shaking like it had the entire time and not only was I able to relax, I was able to take short naps which was a HUGE blessing!  If you know anything about epiderals you know that they can slow labor and that it did.  They had to use a bit of pitocin to get my body to start back up again and it worked great.

It got to the point where I could start feeling contractions up high in my belly but not in my back…then I literally felt baby moving down the birth canal.  I'm guessing this was around 10:30am or so???  No pain, just feeling him move down.  It was honestly the coolest feeling because I had no pain but could feel what was happening.  He'd go down, then come up a bit.  After that went on for awhile, I felt him really moving low and asked them to check me because I felt like he was there ready to come out.  Sure enough, they say half a head!!!  My body was pushing him out on it's own.  I have pushed to get the rest of his head out and then one full push and the rest of him came out.  The crazy thing was my midwife wasn't expecting him to come that soon and she was just on her way up.  She missed the delivery and the nurses in there ended up delivery my sweet baby boy.  My midwife walked in just afterwards and apologized…I was just super happy my baby was here safe and sound - so thankful!  Daniel was born at 12:28pm which was just in time for mama to have her lunch she had ordered in.  lol!  See, he's a good boy to his mama already!  He was immediately put on my belly which I love!  I got more emotional this time than I ever have before.  My midwife looked at me and said "you look SO happy!"  I indeed was!  She said my placenta looked incredibly healthy which I was SO happy for!

And…he has hair!!!!!  My first son didn't have any and my second only had peach fuzz.  I really wanted a dark haired baby and God saw to even give me my want…not just a healthy baby but one with dark hair. 

Fast forward to today - he's 5 days old and is my little dream boy.  He's such a good, sweet baby.  He nurses so well and has since birth.  Yes…definitely baby mooning here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Restaurant Impossible - Paliani's - Review Here!

Picture taken from here -

A couple years or so ago I was recommended Paliani's by a couple people.  We were able to get a coupon off of so I figured we might as well.  My husband was out of town and it was just the two kids (at the time) and I.

When we walked into the dining area, we were shocked at how the seats upholstery was torn up and how uncomfortable the seating was.  It didn't seem nice or clean.  We thought we'd give the food a shot anyway.

It's been so long ago I honestly don't remember what my daughter ordered but I remember it not being good.  My son ordered pasta which was over cooked and the sauce was horrible.  On to my meal was a stuffed chicken dish.  It was very obviously frozen then cooked so long I couldn't even cut into part of it.  My sides were a starch and a vegetable blend.  The veggies were the cheapest you can get in food service, you know, the carrots that are crinkle cut and other veggies that come with it.  But it all tastes like carrots and is rubbery.  Not only was our food really bad, the price was that of a very nice restaurant.  I was very disappointed and vowed I would never go back to their establishment.  I had never paid so much for such bad food.

Fast forward to this year.  We heard that this restaurant was airing on Restaurant Impossible.  I kept thinking about what a great opportunity it was for them but very, very skeptical of ever returning because of my very bad past experience.  I believe it was in June that the changes began.  It's now October (middle of October) and I finally mustered up the courage to go try them out.  I'm almost 9 months pregnant and I was too hungry to wait for hubby to make food.  So, I figured since they are so close, I would go ahead and try their food.  Only take-out this time.  My 6 year old son and my 13 year old daughter took the 4 minute drive with me to the restaurant.  As we got out of the car I was still very skeptical of what I might receive even though their online menu has since changed and looked a great deal better.  I was just hoping I was not going to have overcooked frozen, tasteless food again.

As soon as we walked in we were immediately blown away by the new furniture and decor on the walls. It was gorgeous!   I told my daughter I would eat here with daddy on a date it was so pretty!  Definitely a big change from before.  We went up to the counter to get our food and I couldn't wait to get home and try it.  Just seeing the new decor and furniture made me giddy.  The smells coming from inside the restaurant this time were very good as well.

I got home, opened up my food and started plating it for myself. The portions were large enough for two meals (the picture only shows 1/2).  I started first with the Caesar Salad I was able to add to my meal for $2 more.  The dressing was SO good and there was enough of it.  I usually get Caesar salads where they don't use enough dressing. This was perfect!  There was also freshly grated parmesan cheese and lovely croutons in with it.  The salad was lovely!  Score #1!!  Next up was their breadsticks they've had for years with their sauce.  Very yummy! I'm trying to not eat bread but it was pretty good.  Score #2!  Next up was the Herb Stuffed Chicken with Cheese Polenta and Mushroom Ragout (description of menu).  I'm not a polenta fan but this was very tasty!  The chicken was fresh, seasoned perfectly and cooked to perfection!  Could this really be the same place I had such a horrible experience in the past?  Score #3 for my main dish!

All in all I would definitely recommend this restaurant to everyone I know. Not only is it close, it's so good!  I love to be able to support local economy and this is one place that will continue to get our money as long as they keep the up the amazing work!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Adrenal Fatigue Awareness - What You Don't Know Could Hurt You

Why make an Adrenal Fatigue Awareness post?  Many people suffer from this either in a minor, moderate or major way.   In fact it's been said that at least 80% of Americans suffer from Adrenal Fatigue in one of these forms.  Just like fibromyalgia was once thought to be all in the patients head, many medical doctors believe the same with Adrenal Fatigue.  How do I know it's a real ailment - I've suffered with it from what I believe is all my life from in utero.  I'll talk about that later but it explains so much!  As I got older, things got worse and worse and I did a lot to help it get worse without realizing it.  Now my goal is to spread the word and try to help those who want to be helped in avoiding getting as bad as I have.  It's a long process to recovery - it's very slow.  But praise God I've seen recovery and even gotten pregnant when honestly, it shouldn't have happened with the way things were.  So, here goes.

What are some signs that your Adrenal Glands are "tired" or "fatigued"?  

1. You need coffee or sugar or other similar stimulants to wake up in the morning and/or get you through your day.  Especially so in the afternoon around 2-3pm as well.  Craving sweets and caffeine when tired is on this list.

2. Difficulty winding down or getting to sleep and staying to sleep - racing mind.

3. Depression - especially postpartum depression.

4. Low libido - even though this is common in women, it is NOT normal.

5. Cravings for salty foods and fat (like butter, and other animal products).

6. Low blood pressure.

7. Low body temperature.

8. Troubles with female hormones.  PCOS is a big one.  Thyroid and insulin resistance is usually in here as well for women.

9. Getting sick often or having a harder time than normal getting better.

10. Allergies

11. Indigestion or slow digestion.  There should be waste after every meal.  Again, 2-3 bowel movements per day isn't common but common doesn't always mean good.

12. Panic attacks.

13. Jolted at loud noises (this is when it's getting worse).

14. Easily upset/frustrated - more so than "normal".

Some people may have a few of these symptoms but not all of them.  For instance, people have said "well I'm not tired all the time so this can't be it" even though they exhibit many other symptoms.  They just aren't severe - yet.  Dr. James Wilson has a fabulous book called Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome.  He talks about how getting better sleep, reducing stress (even in forms we may not realize) and eating better can tremendously help our health.  If you look at how far we've come with our "conveniences", we've just packed many more things into our day than I believe we were ever meant to do.  If you look back in history, people used their day to feed, cloth and take care of their families and worship their God.  Today, we pack in that plus entertainment galore, activities galore (for kids and adults), "good deeds" for various different things and more.  Is any of that in itself bad?  I don't think so at all - when it is done in moderation.  What we're finding is that people pack way too much into their day/week/month and are having a hard time functioning normally.  But they are afraid that if they don't do it, no one will.  Sound familiar?  That's how I used to be.

My personal history:
I tried to trace back where my issues started and while I can't be 100% sure, I think it has been traced back to in utero.  Here's how I feel things started out slow and progressed as time went on.

1. My mom drank a lot of Mountain Dew while pregnant with me.  I know had she known this would possibly affect me later on she would have never done it.  You see, refined sugar and caffeine really harm the adrenal glands.

2. By the age of 4 years old I had horrible seasonal allergies.  When the adrenal glands aren't functioning optimally people tend to get seasonal allergies.

3. I knew even in elementary that eating something sweet in the morning made me sick - especially bananas.  I would much rather have a sandwich or something with protein.   I would even get shaky if I didn't eat on time and this followed me from grade school up through marriage!

4. In elementary I knew I needed more sleep than some of the other kids.  I needed at least a good 9 hours per night to feel "alive".  I was often thought of as lazy because of needing more sleep and being sluggish when I didn't get it.

5. As soon as my periods started, they were horrible and heavy.  I had terrible cramps and started by using tylenol and by the time I was out of high school, I was using Pamprin and other things to help with the horrible pain.

6. While growing up I had tonsillitis and/or strep throat along with throat infections several times per year.  I was sick a lot!

7. In high school I started not eating or throwing up my food - starving myself for quite awhile.  This even followed me through right after I got married.  Praise God, I prayed about it and have not done this in 8 years!  God is good!

8. I had a suicide attempt after high school overdosing on caffeine pills and drugs.  I was also a drug abuser.  Along with that I smoked 2 packs of cigarettes per day.  Very bad for health all around.

9. I got pregnant and was a single mom for several years.  There was so much stress in so many forms during those 4 years of my life.  My daughter was amazing so don't get me wrong there...but I had so much stress (a lot of it emotional) than I can explain.  Some of that same type of stress followed me into my marriage and it's still something I'm working through.

10.  I had several miscarriages over the years after I got married.

11.  My sleep schedule has always been horrible up until I learned how bad it was for adrenals.

12. Very traumatic (in my eyes) birth of my 3rd son where I felt very out of control.

13. I way over scheduled myself in the past.  In fact after my 3rd child was born, I thought I'd show everyone what a super mom I could be by jumping into homeschooling right afterward along with doing all my normal chores and tasks within a week of him being born.  With the lack of sleep and already tired adrenals, using stimulants and such, that's when my health took it's biggest drop.  You can see how horrible things really were by looking up Adrenal Fatigue on my blog here.  My first post explains it all and it was frightening to say the least.  I thought I was dying.

I know there are things in there that I have since forgotten that have contributed to my journey towards bad adrenal health along with poor food choices, and poor choices in cleaning and body care products. It all contributes.

So, now that we know some things that contribute to poor adrenal health, what can you do?  If you are not severe yet like I put in this post, there's a lot of things you can easily do to help improve your adrenal function and not every have to go on things that I have to take.  Taking steps now can help you tremendously while continuing on the path you're on now can lead you in a direction that you do not want to go.

Things That Can Help

Bedtime - Go to bed by 10:30pm and make sure you get good sleep.  No lights, music, etc...  Just nice, dark and quiet sleep.  Stay in bed if at all possible till 8am (or later if you need to).

Food - Eating right and at the right times are very important.  Here's a great schedule to follow.  If you are hypoglycemic, this will be super for you!  Oh and real salt (sea salt) and real fats (butter, coconut oil and such) are essential to good adrenal health.  If you go low-fat or vegan on this, you will get worse.

Breakfast - eat within 1 hour of waking up and no later than 9:00am.  Make sure to eat protein for breakfast and no sweets, not even fruit juice.  This causes too much of a spike in blood sugar and then causes you to crash later.  An ideal breakfast if you can handle it is 1-2 eggs fried in butter, some sort of veggie or salad and some good quality toast using Ezekiel bread.  Make sure to use butter.  Just remember protein, fats and veggies for breakfast.

Lunch - eat by 11:30 if possible to keep things nice and steady.  Some kind of complete protein, raw or cooked veggies and good fat.  Some people can tolerate basmati rice, potatoes and such while others can't.  Go by how you feel.

Snack - eat around 2:00pm.  This can be a handful of nuts, cheese sticks, meat and cheese roll-up, etc...  Be careful but some people can add in 1/2 piece of fruit with this snack.

Dinner - eat by 5:30pm and again, good protein, veggies, good fat.

Snack - eat a snack before bed.  I know some people say it will make you fat but if you have adrenal issues, not only will this help you, it actually helped me lose weight and feel better as opposed to get fat.  There is a huge myth that if you eat fat you get fat.  Anyway, the snack here can be like your afternoon snack minus the fruit.  Even a piece of whole grain toast with a nut butter can be nice.

Make sure to salt your food to taste.  Your body doesn't want it when it has what it needs.  Iodonized table salt is not good salt - this salt does lead to heart problems.  However, real unrefined sea salt does not lead to heart problems and helps feed your adrenals.  Two top salts are Himalyan Pink Sea Salt and Celtic Sea Salt.

Make sure to eat "real" foods and not refined processed food.  This makes a huge difference in how your body works and how you feel.  Real fat (butter, coconut oil and such) is not the problem with heart disease.  It's the margarine and other foods that contain high omega 6 fats vs omega 3s.

Reduce Stress!  There are so many different forms of stress.  Point blank, simplify your life so you can breathe on a regular basis.  If you think there's no way you can free up your schedule, think again.  You don't want to be in the place I was not able to get out of bed for a 2 month period.  That is something you can't afford.

Vitamin C feeds the adrenal glands.  Look online for a good quality supplement and start taking it regular.  Space out taking it 2 times per day - once in the morning when waking and once in the afternoon no later than 2pm.  I get mine from  You'll know if you're getting too much because you'll start having the runs.  It is water soluble so if this happens, lay off for 1 day and you'll return back to normal.

Multi-vitamin - get a good quality multi-vitamin.  I've tried many and by far the best are Nature's Sunshine.  They are amazing quality and are very well priced.

Magnesium - this is a big one!  Most people in the U.S. are deficient in magnesium.  If you're not going to get a blood test to see where your vitamin/mineral count is, and are nervous about taking too much magnesium, start taking epsom salt baths 3 times per week or so.  Up to 2 cups in a bath per time is sufficient.  Your body will absorb the magnesium from the salts.  Make sure to stay in at least 15 minutes, don't add any soap or anything to the water and make sure to rest 1/2 hour afterwards and hydrate.  These are especially nice before bed because they have a calming effect on the body.

Get rid of toxins as much as possible.
When we first got married, I started getting rashes and headaches.  I later realized it was being around all the cleaning products, wall flowers (scents) and other things.  I started making my switch over to more natural things for my body care and cleaning products and I haven't had problems with that since. My body was way overloaded.  There are many sites online that can show you alternatives you can use in place of your cleaners and body care products, even how to make your own.  I know many people who think you have to use bleach but the thing is you don't.  My kids are the healthiest around and we never use bleach.  In fact, it can make problems worse.  If I find a good link for this I'll ad it below.

Well, that is the very basic version of my explanation on adrenal fatigue and how small changes can help everyone!  If you're more severe, there are other things you'd have to add in.  But this post isn't for that, it's for the average person who is doing too much and hyping themselves up on too much caffeine and sugar.

To sum it up:
Get good sleep.
Eat good food at the right times.
Support your body with very basic nutrients.
Most importantly, reduce stress which is probably what got you here in the first place.

Some helpful books/websites that will go much more in depth about what I talked about are:
Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome
Eat Fat, Lose Fat 
Total Forgiveness
The Weston A. Price Foundation
Dr. James Wilson on Adrenal Fatigue

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Whooping Cough - How to Help Along Recovery

With all the whooping cough info in the media, I thought I'd do some research and figure out what would be best should my children or someone we know and love were to get whooping cough.  Hey, this is for you too even if we don't know you :)

I thought about what I know about which herbs/foods are best for lung and mucus issues.  I then combined that info with researching I did online from other people who have made lovely recoveries with these items.  The below information is what I found and will be using if we contract it.  Now it is a bacterial infection so if this were to come up for our family, we would be getting the antibiotic.  We don't use them often (only for strep so far) but this is one instance we would receive the antibiotic.  We would support our body with probitiocs and probiotic food during this time to make sure we restore our gut health.

So without further ado, here are some things others have found to be very helpful.

Foods to Avoid.  
The main reason to avoid these foods is because they promote mucus build up which is what you want to get rid of or cut down on when you have whooping cough.
  1. wheat
  2. sugar
  3. dairy - milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, butter, etc...
  4. soy
  5. chocolate
  6. dry foods (these are because they can induce a cough)

Foods to make sure to ingest as they can be very helpful in thinning mucus and helping it leave the body much easier.
  1. spoonful of honey and ginger
  2. cayenne pepper
  3. herbal tea - thyme tea is amazing for lung issues.  almost any herbal tea (not caffeinated) would be helpful.
  4. lemons
  5. garlic
  6. acv (apple cider vinegar) - this has been controversial.  Some people say it helps and others say don't use it.
  7. bone broth
  8. almonds - great food for lung issues
  9. lots of fresh soups
  10. pumpkin seeds - they are full of zinc and magnesium!

Here's a list of grains that should not cause mucus problems  Make sure your corn is not genetically modified!
  1. barley
  2. corn
  3. millet
  4. quinoa

Here are some foods to eat in moderation if at all since they can be a hindrance.  If you do still eat them, just make sure they are not a diet staple during the time of infection.
  1. rice
  2. oats
  3. red meat
  4. anything really cold

Here are some remedies that I personally know are helpful for having an infinity for the lungs and mucus.  I have also researched these and saw that people with whooping cough used them and had good results.
  1. hawthorn berry - helps heart beat stronger reducing the chance of fluid build-up
  2. thyme tea - expectorant, anti-inflammatory among other things.  great for respiratory infections. (do not use if you have thyroid disease)
  3. vitamin c to tolerance
  4. d3
  5. probiotics
  6. inhalation of thyme tea vapors for 10 minutes
  7. 1/2 cup each of epsom salt and baking soda in bath at night with 1 quart thyme infusion.  follow with massage of the back, neck and shoulders with comfrey oil if you have it.
  8. garlic syrup or garlic tonic - see recipes below.

Other helpful tips.
  1. fresh air is good.
  2. have towels handy at night in case of vomiting.
  3. Menthol type baths are nice, soothing and help open airways
  4. humidifiers are helpful in helping mucus stay thin and helping baby/child/adult breathe better at night.  We like to use cool mist humidifiers.
  5. vapor rub of some kind.  
  6. quarantine your family to keep others from being infected.

Here are some things you can purchase

Garlic Tonic - Cure All (shown to me by my friend Emillee

For one dose

* 1 smal/medl clove of garlic about the size of the tip of your thumb but if it's a larger one, only use half per dose. * Slice garlic into pieces and place into a small bowl 

* cover with 1-2 Tsp of Raw Honey, coconut oil or olive oil...or enough to cover the cloves .

* let steep for 10-15 minutes. If it's cold you can warm the toaster oven and turn it off and set the honey on top to give enough warmth to help the juices flow.

* DO NOT HEAT or boil the honey or garlic!!

* Remove the cloves and toss and eat the tonic straight or mix with an ounce of juice or yogurt or something your child enjoys to help it go down. They barely notice it in just a gulp/bite, by then it's already down the hatch! :) 

Repeat dosage every few hours as needed (with a new clove), especially before bed. Usually after the 1st or 2nd dose you can feel an effect already. This works EXTREMELY fast and well.

For a child with extreme gastric upset, or an infant, use coconut or olive oil to infuse and rub on the soles of their feet and also the top of the foot near the base of the toes this is one of the areas for the lungs. The soles of the feet will allow the lymphatic system to uptake the garlic and take it through the body just like ingesting well for an infant they can ingest a small amount of the tonic in coconut or olive oil as well, just try a small amt and see how they do with that, just use a med dropper or syringe.

Use this for all sorts of ailments...bacterial, viral, fungal, coughs, colds, flus and more...most sinus infections are fungal related and the garlic helps to balance fungal growth, many colds or runny noses are caused by fungal growth and acidity as well from excess sugar and refined carbohydrate intake....this works ESPECIALLY well for respiratory issues as garlic really helps the lymphatic system and purifies the blood. Garlic does not "supress" your symptoms it CURES THEM! <3 a="a" addition="addition" all="all" along="along" also="also" and="and" antiinflamatories="antiinflamatories" apple="apple" are="are" as="as" be="be" blood="blood" bring="bring" but="but" by="by" can="can" candida="candida" carbohydrates="carbohydrates" caused="caused" cautiously="cautiously" cayenne="cayenne" cider="cider" cinnamon...these="cinnamon...these" down.="down." eat="eat" especially="especially" few="few" flair-ups="flair-ups" flow....cinnamon="flow....cinnamon" font="font" for="for" fungal="fungal" garlic="garlic" get="get" glucose="glucose" good="good" grains="grains" great="great" have="have" headaches="headaches" help="help" helps="helps" high="high" i="i" if="if" in="in" infections.="infections." is="is" issues="issues" levels="levels" low="low" lower="lower" more="more" much="much" nbsp="nbsp" or="or" purifiers="purifiers" refined="refined" regulate="regulate" severe="severe" sinus="sinus" situations="situations" so="so" someone="someone" sugar.="sugar." sugar="sugar" sugars.="sugars." that="that" the="the" their="their" things="things" to="to" tonic="tonic" too="too" turmeric="turmeric" use="use" used="used" very="very" vinegar="vinegar" well="well" when="when" with="with" would="would" you="you">

Garlic Syrup
A local herbalist/mama shared this recipe in our local newspaper a couple of years ago. (There is one type-o, where the article reads "4 hours" should say "4 days". Thanks D. for bringing the article to my attention.) We have been taking this throughout our illness and it seems to be a wonder tonic. This is a good one if you are exposed to someone with WC as well as just general immunity boosting throughout the season. A quick google of "garlic syrup" yields dozens of formulas, so pick one and go for it.
We are using this:
1 pound garlic, peeled and chopped
apple cider vinegar
Place chopped garlic in a quart jar and cover with 1/2 water and 1/2 apple cider vinegar to fill the jar. Infuse for four days (or more), shaking often.
Strain, pressing garlic to extract all the juices you can. Make a simple syrup of 1/2 water and 1/2 honey to total the volume of your garlic infusion. (If you have 2 C of garlic infusion, add a simple syrup made of 1 C water and 1 C honey. I pour 1 tsp of this in a small cup for the kids several times a day and take 1 tablespoon myself. This is a great remedy for cold and flu season and shouldn't be reserved just for whooping cough. Spread the garlic out on a cookie sheet in the freezer and use in your cooking.

Last but not least, notes from a webinar for whooping cough.  You can find this article in full at the following link.
Whooping Cough - Notes from 5/29/12 Webinar
Whooping Cough

Notes for the Webinar given by Rosalee de la Foret and Michael Tierra

What is Pertussis?

Commonly called whooping cough or pertussis, this is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract which can be caused by Bordetella pertussis or B.  parapertussis.
 Three Stages of Whooping Cough and Appropriate treatment for Each:
 1. The cold or mucus stage -- about 2 weeks
Treat with Marshmallow root, thyme, ginger and lobelia decoction described below. Garlic oil made by macerating garlic in olve oil and giving a teaspoonful every hour or two. If food is taken give the Garlic thyme chicken soup below. The idea is to keep hydrated so mucus does not congeal and is expectorated more easily. If one is breast feeding an infant, continue, as this provides the best nourishment for the infant, of course the mother’s diet should be exemplary.
2. The whooping stage -- about 2 weeks
This is the most frightening stage as infants can turn blue and even vomit as they struggle to catch a breath between fits of coughing. If possible have a humidifier in the room. Rub camphorated oil and Vick’s Vaporub on the chest and back and/or apply a hot ginger fomentation. For infants try sucking the excess mucus with a bulb designed for this purpose to reduce post nasal drip and assist breathing.
 3. The post-whooping stage -- about 2 weeks
Continue previous treatment protocol as appropriate according to the severity of the symptoms.  Here it is important to provide more nourishing foods to rebuild the body’s reserves.
 What You Will Need:
1. Fresh Ginger (or dried)
2.  Two whole garlic bulbs
3. Two ounces each of dried thyme and marshmallow root
4. Honey and/or brown sugar,
5. Camphorated oil
6.  Vick’s VapoRub
7. Humidifier
8. Suction bulb.

The question of Pertussis Vaccines:

Pertussiss vaccine is among the more problematic vaccines given usually in three stages to infants. It often causes some adverse reaction, and the evidence regarding its effectiveness is controversial with proponents arguing the case from both perspectives.
Following are some sites that might help you make a more informed decision as to whether to vaccinate your child or not:
 A More balanced Opinion of the Pros and cons for or against Pertussis vaccine
 Anti whooping cough vaccine
 Vaccinated children do get whooping cough. The question as to whether it is more prevalent or not among vaccinated children is certainly debatable. In my opinion some vaccines have been extremely important in preventing certain conditions, others less so, and still others such as the flu vaccine, there is no statistical proof that it offers a benefit. In other words many vaccines are given on the theoretical possibility that they may be effective irrespective of any possible short or long term adverse reactions. When making such an important decision frame it in terms of trying to evaluate the likelihood of risk versus benefit. Consider how real the threat is and an honest evaluation.
 A very good book on the subject is Vaccinations: A thoughtful Parent’s Guide by Aviva Jill Romm (pub by Healing arts Press). In it she outlines 8 questions that parents might ask themselves before vaccinating each of their children:
  • How dangerous is the disease?
  • What is the likelihood of my child contracting the disease?
  • What are the risks and how likely are they to occur?
  • Is my child at high risk for an adverse reaction?
  • Can I minimize my child’s risks of a vaccine reaction?
  • What legal concerns does my decision involve?
  • Can I live comfortably with my decision if I choose not to vaccinate?

Homeopathic Medicine for Relieving Adverse Reactions from Vaccination:
The book also describes homeopathic remedies that can be administered prior and after a vaccination to mitigate adverse reactions. I have treated one infant who was having an adverse reaction to a DPT shot by simply giving one dose of homeopathic Thuja 30C.  It seemed to be dramatically effective within one day.
 One can alternate between Ledum 30C taken in the morning and Thuja 30C taken in the afternoon beginning one day before and three days after vaccination
 For polio vaccine both Ledum and and Hypericum 30 C and Thuja 30 C is given one dose daily spaced 3 or 4 hours apart two weeks before and two weeks after vaccination.
 Western Medical Protocols
Vaccination, DTAP for prevention.
Diptheria, tetanus and pertussis
Antibiotics for those in contact with pertussis and for the person diagnosed with pertussis.
Antibiotics help reduce the contagious nature of the bacteria

Contact with pathogens and dirt, along with some non-life threatening childhood diseases is by children is important to build lifelong immunity. However, certain herbs and tonics such as Astragalus and Astragalus Jade Screen Formula manufactured by Planetary Herbals are specific to protect the body from contracting infectious diseases.  These are only given preventively before acute sickness or during the recovery stage. One wants to strengthen the body’s reserves not the disease process itself.
 “The assumption that healthy children don’t get sick is erroneous -- and some illness is desirable because the immune system is stimulated and builds immunity against infectious diseases.”  -- Healthy children do get sick. Aviva Jill Romm “Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide” (pub by Healing Arts Press)
 Over consumption of sugar, including fruit juice depresses the immune system.
 Sugar and honey, however, can be useful when formulating herbal syrups and preparations to help loosen dry, sticky mucus and assist expectoration.
 Vitamin D3 along with Vitamin C are both extremely important for a healthy immune system.
 Adequate first class protein is important for growing children and for a health immune system. Try to avoid food fetishes and fads. Eat according to your own and your families needs not according to some extraneous belief system. We all have individual genetic predisposition and we need to recognize that we must choose foods based on our evolutionary development and ancestral predisposition.
 Determining the type of cough
Expectorant coughs - with mucus
Non-productive coughs - no mucus
Dry-spasmodic coughing
Thick, yellow phlegm indicates heat and infection
White phlegm signifies coldness
 What is mucus?
Mucus is a slick, naturally occurring fluid secreted by the mucus membranes that line the lungs and nasal passages
It consists of proteins, antimicrobial enzymes, antibodies and salt.
In excess, it is an indication of incomplete digestion of food.
Normally it is thin and clear.
It’s three main functions are:
1. to moisten tissues
2. to prevent infection
3. to attack pathogens causing infections

There is both good and bad mucus
Herbal expectorants are used to help dissolve and eliminate excess infective mucus. Many herbs possess expectorant properties including those described here.
Herbal stimulants and carminatives are used to regulate and dry excess production of mucus in the digestive tract which is the seat where mucus is first generated
Herbal Demulcents lubricate and help supply good quality (non-infective) mucus to assuage irritation.
 Herbs for cough including whooping cough
 Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Very ancient remedy mentioned by Pliny and Virgil.
It is antimicrobial, stimulant, antiseptic, stimulant, digestive
Use as a tea or powdered and combined with crushed garlic in honey or olive oil.
 Bee Balm (Monarda spp.)
Native and endemic to the Americas, taste is similar to oregano and thyme, spicy, used for a variety of infections. Can be given as a tea or mixed with honey or applied externally as a poultice.
A specific for all lung affections and should be included in all protocols for upper respiratory tract infections, coughs and whooping cough. Macerate crushed fresh garlic cloves in honey and give a dose hourly or every two hours. Powdered thyme, and lemon juice can be mixed with this.
Garlic oil can be similarly used by mashing a clove in olive oil. This can be administered by dipping a bit or bread into the garlic oil.
 Honey is extremely important for all mucus conditions. Honey dries and breaks up mucus while sugar generates more and as stated in a syrup or medicine it can help liquify thick mucus for better expectoration.
 Honey should not be given to infants so the oil version would be better.
 If a child is nursing, the mother can take any herbs internally with the assurance that the healing properties of the herbs will be quickly delivered via her breast milk to her suckling child.
Ginger is one of the most useful herbs for many diseases both acute and chronic and it is a near specific for colds, flus and coughs. At the first sign of a build up of mucus, give warm ginger tea with honey. Children will usually readily accept this and it works wonders. You can go another step by adding lemon juice to the tea.
 Ginger compress
A warm compress applied to the chest can bring comfort to the child and help to stop the coughing.
 2 tablespoons dried ginger root
1 tsp crampbark
pint of water
 Simmer this for twenty minutes with the lid on.
Strain and allow to cool somewhat.
Place a wash cloth in the tea blend and then wring it out enough so that it is no long dripping wet.
 Place the washcloth over the chest and then a dry towel. A hot water bottle can be placed over this, along with another towel to keep the compress warm. It’s called at “hot” water bottle, but obviously this should be an appropriate temperature for the child. Check the skin frequently to ensure it is not too hot.
 I recommend making this up during the daytime and then placing it in the fridge. When it is needed at night, reheat and apply.
 Herbal Demulcents: Marshmallow Root
It was mentioned in the Book of Job, and the leaves were used as a vegetable by the Romans. All mallows can be used. They contain an abundance of mucilage and is an excellent remedy for all inflamed surfaces and organs, including the lungs, coughs, laryngitis and sore throat. It is a yin-nourishing herb for weak rundown children.
 Linden, Marshmallow and Lemon Balm Tea
 1/4 cup Linden leaves (Tilia cordata)
1/8 cup marshmallow root(Althaea officinalis)
2 teaspoons lemon balm leaves (Melissa officinalis)
 Place these in a pint jar and then fill with just boiled water.
 Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain and flavor with honey if desired. These are very safe, nourishing herbs so you needn’t worry about getting too much. Emphasis should be on getting enough!
 Thyme, Ginger, Marshmallow and Lobelia Syrup for Whooping Cough
2 ounces marshmallow root
2 ounces garden thyme
2 ounces of fresh, sliced ginger
1 quart of distilled water.
 Slowly boil the marshmallow and thyme  in the distilled water until reduced to 1 pint. Strain, press, return liquor to saucepan and add 2 lbs brown sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Skim as the scum arises. Add two ounces of minced ginger, allow steeping until cool. Strain and bottle and keep in a cold place.
 Dose For young children give 1 teaspoon as often as needed.
Older children give 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls according to age.
Adults. 1 tablespoon every 2 or 3 hours.
 Specific for paroxysmal whooping cough. It gives almost instant relief. Keep the child on a diet of mostly warm fruit juices, especially pineapple, no eggs, heavy protein or greasy foods. For spasmodic asthma add 1/2 ounce lobelia herb to the above formula and a little more water but ending with the same amount when boiled down (1pint).
If the individual is constitutionally weak or deficient add 2 ounces of elecampane root and cook in 1 ½ quarts of water. Cook down to the same amount (1 pint).
 If there is constipation or sluggish bowels be sure to take triphala throughout the treatment.
 Garlic-Thyme-Ginger Chicken Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
at least one whole head of garlic
1 1/2 quart chicken stock
At least 1 or 2 tablespoons of thyme
At least 4 or 5 slices of fresh ginger
Chopped leafy greens or other vegetables as desired
a splash of apple cider vinegar and or lemon juice
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add diced onion, celery, carrots and a pinch of sea salt. Saute for about 5 minutes or until onions are transparent. Chop all of the garlic setting aside 3 cloves that are finely minced. Add garlic to vegetables, saute one more minute and add stock, thyme and chopped leafy greens and other vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes on a low flame, covered.
Add precooked chicken along with a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and taste the broth for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. At thi stage add more minced garlic and extra thyme. Serve as hot as possible.
 Two Antispasmodic Herbs
California poppy and lobelia
 Either can be taken to allay the spasms during the second stage of whooping cough or they can be combined together.
These are taken as an alcoholic or vinegar extract. Begin with one drop as often as needed and increase until you find the dose that works best.
 Rosalee’s Experience with Stopping the Cough
 Two part approach:
 Demulcent teas during the day and antispamodic tinctures at night.
 Michael recommends the old fashioned but effective treatment of rubbing warm camphorated oil over the chest and back and then applying Vick’s VapoRub made with Eucalyptus with a Vaseline base. The Vaseline is important because it protects the skin from irritation and keeps the effect of the eucalyptus on the surface of the body.
 Two useful Planetary Herbal Syrups are:
Old Indian Wild Cherry Bark Syrup and Loquat Respiratory Syrup.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Our Whole Foods Pantry Staples

I thought I'd post this for anyone interested.  We try to purchase as much local/organic as possible.  Most of our meats are free range meats.  I don't want to have to label everything "organic", "free range", etc...  We don't have an actual pantry but we do have some cupboards.  The picture above is of a dream pantry.  The picture was borrowed from here.  Oh and hubby makes most of our condiments which is cool!

Hubby does love to bake and has his own baking supplies that I don't use.  Things like flour, sugars, etc...  Here's what I personally keep on hand.  Happy cooking!

Canned food:
diced tomatoes
diced tomatoes and chilis
tomato sauce
tomato paste
beans - mostly black beans but sometimes pinto and great northern
veggies - green beans, peas, corn
nut butters - Usually peanut butter or sunbutter.  Occasionally almond butter
pasta sauce
tuna fish

Dry goods:
basmati rice
beans - pinto, black, great northern
old fashioned oats
steel cut oats
nuts and seeds - almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, sunflower nuts
cocoa powder
baking soda
baking powder

Coconut oil - refined and extra virgin
olive oil - extra virgin

ground beef
whole chickens

in season fruit
in season veggies
cheese - cheddar and mozzarella
hard cheeses - Parmesan or Romano
lemons and/or limes

maple syrup

salad dressings
Bragg apple cider vinegar
balsamic vinegar
white vinegar

Himalayan pink sea salt
peppercorns in grinder
bay leaves
cayenne pepper
celery seed
chili powder
cinnamon - ground
cinnamon - sticks
garlic powder
cardamom - pods
cardamom - ground
cloves - whole
cloves - ground
mustard - dry
nutmeg - ground
nutmeg - whole
onion powder
red pepper flakes

bottled water
coconut milk
herbal teas - yogi tea, traditional medicinals, bigelow, etc...
bulk herbs for tea - red raspberry, peppermint, nettle, oat straw