The Natural Bud

Blossoming into a Healthier Lifestyle


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Green Living: Not Just a New Trend

photocredit: streetsblog.org

photocredit: streetsblog.org

After we moved to NYC, many of our lifestyle choices changed. Some people may get the impression that we’ve simply joined in the city’s fads – become a “health fanatic” because it’s the popular thing to do here.

We do buy a significant amount of organic food, make our own nontoxic cleaners, encourage breastfeeding when possible, etc. It’s just a coincidence that we lived in the city when we made certain changes.

photocredit: rew-online.com

photocredit: rew-online.com

For those who have read the last few posts, you know that poor choices regarding both diet and environment nearly destroyed my health. I was 22 yrs old, newly married, and hardly had the energy to clean our 1000 sq ft apartment. It was draining physically, emotionally and spiritually. Would I ever have the energy to be the wife I wanted to be? Exposure to black mold, chemical cleaners, eating only cooked and processed foods, birth control pill – all of these contributed to my toxic overload.

photocredit: viktoriastrology.wordpress.com

photocredit: viktoriastrology.wordpress.com

For us as Christians, it’s more than just a better life.  We seek to know and live by God’s Word.  Jesus said that “to whom much is given, much is required.”  The more we know, the more responsible we are to make appropriate choices. (*see note below*)

photocredit: thestrouplawfirm.com

photocredit: thestrouplawfirm.com

After years of health problems, doctor visits, new solutions and research… here is what our family knows**:

  1. Eat Fresh: Our bodies require 50% fresh food (live enzymes) with each meal to benefit from the nutrients. Otherwise our bodies respond to the cooked food as they would to an enemy.
  2. Cut Out Sugar: Sugar has negative side-effects: those who consume sugar age faster, have more difficulty losing weight, tend to have more difficult labors & are more likely to tear at birth. Sugar can also be addictive and feeds candida which can lead to many other problems. (Fatigue, headaches, ear pressure…)
  3. Eliminate Toxins: Chemical cleaners and cosmetics contain ingredients that have been linked to several different cancers.
  4. Rebuild Your System: Live enzymes, nutritional supplementation and probiotics play a significant part in rebuilding the digestive system.
  5. Eat Organic: “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children eat organic whenever possible.” – Dr. Herzog, Board Certified Pediatrician. Exposure to certain pesticides have been linked to significant problems later in life. Higher amounts of pesticides are found in fat (butter, yogurt). Pesticides also soak into several fruits and vegetables – “The Dirty Dozen” – meaning washing the skin will not protect you from consuming multiple pesticides.

    agapegeek.com

    agapegeek.com

Apathy and ignorance nearly destroyed my health and with that, the freedom to serve my family.

No, this isn’t a trend.  It’s a belief system.  It’s a new way of life.

photocredit: zawaj.com

photocredit: zawaj.com

*Note: We certainly can’t control everything about our health; but we are responsible to be faithful with what we can control.  (I’m still working on this….)  For example, we can’t always control how we feel physically or emotionally. I may feel overwhelmed or discouraged, and that is okay… but I choose how to handle those feelings.  I can feed those discouraged feelings by focusing on all my problems or I can choose to cultivate a grateful heart for what I have. I can also support my body physically, which in turn will help emotionally.

**For sake of brevity, I’ll cite research in the following post.  For those who are overwhelmed with pursuing a healthier lifestyle, I’ll also share some basic tips to help you get started.

***Nothing in this post or blog is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.***

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We’ve just returned from a refreshing family retreat in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  After splurging a little too much on vacation, and after a long day out yesterday (dr. appt., lunch, Trader Joe’s), I enjoyed making this refreshing – HEALTHY – afternoon snack.  Then I realized almost every ingredient was from Trader Joe’s.  (No, they haven’t asked me to advertise. 😉 )

Here’s the simple recipe.  Modify to your liking…
1. Layer the bottom of the bowl with walnuts (got those from Costco)
2. Cover the walnuts with organic Greek Yogurt
3. Top with a handful of Organic Raspberries and Sliced Almonds
4. Add a couple squares of Trader Joe’s soy-free, sugar-free dark chocolate candy bar.

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Side-note: Something about this recipe makes me want to have a girls’ day watching Anne of Green Gables.

photocredit: weheartit.com

photocredit: weheartit.com


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DIY Air Fresheners

This was my fun project for the week!  It doesn’t take long, except that you leave it out to dry for a few days.  I had never used silicon molds before, so I was nervous about how they would turn out… but I’m so excited about the results!!

The recipe is for Refrigerator Refreshers, but you can use them as air fresheners in many different locations.  Click here for the recipe I used:http://doterrablog.com/diy-fridge-refreshers/  The only modification I did was to add about 10-15 drops of doTERRA lemon oil along with the purify.

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(Had to include a picture of my husband’s special Star Flex (sp?) also. It’s a retired part of one of the helicopters he worked on.)

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Great addition to a gift basket for your crafty or natural-minded friends.

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Happy Memorial Day

memorial-day-flag2

I hope I’m as kind a stranger as the tall, well-dressed brunette I passed outside Costco this Saturday.  I had gotten my shopping cart, then realized I was at the wrong entrance (the entrance for the tire shop).  So I’m walking around outside Costco, pushing my cart and feeling ridiculous that I can’t find the entrance.  As the lady pushed her cart past, I laughed to myself, figuring she must think how lost I look 🙂  She looked at me and said, “You look beautiful.”  Made me smile and look for ways to brighten another stranger’s day.

Looking back, the overall Costco experience that morning was extremely pleasant – a bit surprising, considering the “Memorial Day crowd” was there already.  It could be that everyone was excited about the weekend with family – or maybe my 6-month-pregnant belly bump made everyone more considerate of me.  In any case, I’m thankful and encouraged to be kind to those around me. You never know what they’re going through.

photocredit: memorialday-quotes.com

photocredit: memorialday-quotes.com

On that note, Happy Memorial Day!  I’m so grateful for the freedoms we experience in this country.  For those of you who are veterans or have veterans in your family, please know that we deeply appreciate their service and the sacrifices they have made on our behalf.

“If you ever see a soldier, shake his hand and thank him.” – my dad

photocredit: memorialday-quotes.com

photocredit: memorialday-quotes.com


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Guilt-Free Mango “Ice Cream”

Mango Ice Cream

Mango Ice Cream

 

I just made this mango “ice cream” for breakfast.  It began as a quick smoothie with what we had on hand, but it turned into a light, creamy mango ice cream!  My two-year-old ate at least half of it!  And it only takes three ingredients! (Well, four if you count the water :))

Mango Ice Cream: the amount it actually made

Mango Ice Cream: the amount it actually made

1. Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream.  I used 1/2 a can, maybe a little more (my coconut cream had been in the fridge, leftover from a previous recipe; I think that added to the ice cream texture).  Coconut cream is also great for making dairy-free whipped topping. 🙂

Trader Joe's Coconut Cream

Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream

2. Half a slice of frozen pineapple (more if you want it sweeter).

3. About 2 Cups of Frozen Mango Cubes.  The Costco near us just started carrying this big bag of organic mango cubes!
IMG_6504Ingredients in Vitamix: note: the vitamin looked fuller the first time. When I took this pic my coconut cream wasn't refrigerated, plus I had no pineapple.

Add these all to the Vitamix (or a high-quality blender) in the order listed, then add 1/4 cup of water (just enough to help it blend). I also have raw honey that I got from Trader Joe’s; may add that next time if anyone wanted it sweeter.  I enjoyed the light taste of this though!  Great as a quick, healthy breakfast!

Quick Overview for those who NEED an EXACT Recipe 😉

  • 3/4 cup coconut cream (Best if refrigerated first)
  • 2 cups frozen mango cubes
  • Half Slice of Frozen Pineapple
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Add in the order listed, then blend until creamy and enjoy 🙂
Toddler Loved It :)  Excuse the "bed-head."

Toddler Loved It 🙂
Excuse the “bed-head.”


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12 Things You Can Never Pack Too Much Of- From a Mom

photocredit: blog.clicktale.com

photocredit: blog.clicktale.com

Lately it seems our rate of travel has doubled. (Not that our rate was high in the first place :))  I grew up in Africa, so traveling isn’t really new to me (in light of that, you’d think I’d be more skilled at packing!)  – but traveling with a baby, that’s a whole new realm!
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Even with a two-year-old, I feel like I’m just now getting better at it.  I’ve tried learning to pack light, and in my effort to do that, we’ve had some interesting predicaments – “what? out of diapers already?”  So, I’ve come up with a list of things that are ALWAYS worth packing, and sometimes packing a little extra… Nothing really new here, you experienced mothers will laugh at these.

1. Diapers; Baby Wipes (homemade, of course)

2. Tissues

3. Blankets: Even in the summer, I find myself wishing I had a blanket to hang up and shade the sun from baby’s eyes while he’s in the carseat.

4. Toys & Books for the road; bath toys.

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5.Baby clothes for all different types of weather (e.g. a sweater/rain jacket even in the summer – gets chilly sometimes!)  At least 3 extra outfits…more for a newborn. 🙂

6. Pajamas.  For both warm and chilly weather.  Funny how you can forget these things.

7. Comfortable evening social wear.  Maybe even some bedroom slippers.

8. Food!  Lots and lots of food.  Not only because it keeps the baby entertained and happy, but also because I’m hungry every two hours as a pregnant and nursing mother.

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9. Hand Sanitizer (homemade, naturally. 🙂 here’s the recipe I used: http://doterrablog.com/diy-make-your-own-on-guard-hand-sanitizer/)

10. A Water Bottle (maybe even some gallon jugs)

11. Essential Oils/Diffuser

12. My Spray Bottle of Natural Disinfectants along with Paper Towels.

photocredit: howdoesshe.com

photocredit: howdoesshe.com

And then there’s other basics like toiletries, razors etc… Oh audio books are great too.

Well this is from the mom of ONE toddler.  I’m sure I’ll have more to add after our trip this weekend, but I’d love to hear input from all of you!  What have you found useful while traveling?  Maybe even from a different stage of life or those who have multiple babies.


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A Special Easter Gift

As both a Christian and a wellness advocate, it’s important to me that people feel our genuine concern for their needs.  While sharing essential oils is a source of income for us, we should always focus on others’ needs, not what we can “get” from them.  One thing I love about this business is the new opportunities it has given us to show kindness- God has provided more income to reach out to others, the ability to meet many physical and emotional needs, and creative new ways to give gifts.

photo credit: doterrablog.com

photo credit: doterrablog.com

Last year, my mom developed a beautiful new gift to share, relating the essential oils of the Bible to the account of Easter week.  It is the Easter Roll-on, a blend of essential oils that produce a grounding, calming effect.

Here are the specific oils, with their correlation to Easter Week and a few of their benefits.  (See the source link for more benefits of each.)

Myrrh & Frankincense
Correlation: Given to Jesus as gifts at His birth.
Benefits: Immune Strengthener, Skin Care, Go-To Salve

Gifts for Jesus' Birth  photo credit: atouchofhealth.biz

Gifts for Jesus’ Birth
photo credit: atouchofhealth.biz

Vetiver
Correlation:
Aroma smells like the ground. Reminds us of the burial of Jesus Christ.
Benefits: Calms Anxious Feelings, Enhances Circulation
Also used as a base for many colognes/perfumes.

Sandalwood (“Aloes”)
Correlation: Used along with frankincense and myrrh to anoint Jesus at His burial.
Benefits: Immune Strengthener, Skin Care

Orange & Lime photo credit: eofamily.com

Orange & Lime
photo credit: eofamily.com

Wild Orange & Lime
Correlation: Reminds us of new life & Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Benefits of Lime: Calming, Respiratory Support.
Often used to help those who are grieving.

Benefits of Wild Orange: Invigorating, Uplifting.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live [again in Heaven].'”
photocredit: createdforamission.com

“[….]that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“’O Death, where is your sting? O [Grave], where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin […] But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved […], be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-58

photocredit: pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com

photocredit: pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com