Giveaway time!!! I try to keep giveaways to a minimum here. Perhaps it is because I am uber picky about the types of products I endorse. The beauty of this giveaway though is that the winner gets to choose what they need and want because it is a gift card. Amazon is one of my favorite places to shop because they have great prices and virtually anything under the sun I could need or want. I buy books, I buy food, I buy supplements, I buy….lots of stuff.
The prize for this giveaway is an Amazon gift card for a whopping $450!! Just think about what $450 would buy. You could opt to buy lots of little things…
A book or two… I would recommend some great gardening reads since spring is coming.
You could also buy some of the supplements you have been wanting to try. Grab some grassfed gelatin and some fermented cod liver oil and butter oil capsules.
Maybe those brand spanking new heritage Ball jars…in green. You know you want them…..er I mean NEED them.
The option is also there is get one or two BIG things.
How about a lawn mower with a rechargeable battery so you can stop spraying your lawn and garden with gasoline fumes?
Or a KitchenAid Mixer? Can’t go wrong there!
How to Enter for Your Chance to Win:
1. Subscribe to the NatureMoms weekly newsletter highlighting the latest posts and health tips from me. (Sign up below)
2. Leave a comment letting me know what you would you would buy with this gift card…
3. Use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to confirm these entries and unlock more chances to win.
***For more ways to win, be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway!***
Our Small Hours
Weed ‘em and Reap
LA Healthy Living
The Healthy Honeys
Yuppie Farm Girl
a Rafflecopter giveaway
A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on Friday, April 1st. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to an email with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone!
Citrus fruits are actually quite amazing. Not only are they delicious and refreshing to eat they have many other household uses as well. One of their most powerful side uses is their ability to clean your home.
When you have a tough cleaning job you need to do, you may automatically think you need a heavy duty commercial cleaner to get the job done right. Well, not only are those cleaners laden with chemicals that are not healthy for you and your family they are also very harsh and abrasive. Citrus fruits are a cleaning powerhouse that you should consider instead.
The natural ingredients of a citrus fruit can clean just as effectively as harsh, conventional cleaners without the harmful side effects. They are completely biodegradable and safe for use in your home. You never need to worry about your child’s exposure to lemons on a floor you just cleaned. And a big bonus is that they smell great too!
Here are just some of the ways you can use citrus to clean your home:
• Clean your garbage disposal and keep it smelling fresh with citrus. Drop a handful of citrus peels (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) into your garbage disposal and run it with the cold water turned on. The citric acid will help deodorize your disposal and leave it smelling fresh.
• Use citrus as a degreaser wherever you have greasy build-up such as the stove, the outdoor grill, and the garage. Some major cruise ship lines are even using citrus a degreaser for their engine rooms!
• Make a citrus and vinegar all purpose cleaner. Just fill a jar with citrus peels and cover in white vinegar. Let is brew for four weeks, giving it an occasional shake. After four weeks, strain out the peels, dilute, and use to clean stovetops, bathroom surfaces, mirrors, and floors. You can even throw some in the laundry to give your whites a boost.
• Toss some orange or lemon peels in your wood burning fireplace to give the room a nice, fresh smell.
• Remove stains from enamel pots by filling ¾ full of water, adding a handful of citrus peels and boiling for 15 minutes.
• Put a used lemon half in your dishwasher to cut grease on your dishes.
• Use half a lemon to rub stainless steel draining boards and taps. Leave on for a few minutes and then rinse and shine.
• Mix some olive oil and lemon juice together and put in a spray bottle. Use the mixture to clean hard wood furniture, rubbing and then drying with a cloth rag.
• Use lemon juice to clean and shine brass and copper.
• Squeeze a little lemon juice on stained clothing or cloth diapers and set out in the sun to bleach away the stain.
• Mix lemon or lime juice with baking soda and vinegar to create a paste that will cut through soap scum and dissolve grime in bathtubs and sinks.
When life throws a mess your way, break out the lemons!
It’s a key ingredient in curry powder. It is a gorgeous bright yellow-orange spice that adds color to your dishes and it tastes amazing when added to a variety of dishes. And I do mean a variety…one of my fave desserts is turmeric ice cream with ample amounts of the spice and grassfed cream. It is that amazingly earthy spice that has some pretty wonderful qualities…antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-angiogenesis (blood vessel formation). Turmeric, also known as curcuma longa, is a very common herb that acts as a natural medicine which heals the human body and serves it in many ways. Since ancient times, turmeric has been a medicinal aid and a source of relief. Even today it is well known as a great aid for curing a cold and fever when you drink turmeric milk. This article expands on the qualities of this natural medicine and why you may want make sure you getting enough turmeric in the diet.
Turmeric helps a person fight cancer. In 2010 a study was published by The European Journal of Pharmacology and it revealed that curcumin (an antioxidant found in turmeric) inhibited the metastasis of breast cancer cells that had been implanted in mice. Consuming the spice would be advantageous for those in the initial stages of cancer so that the disease is prevented from metastasizing (spreading) throughout the body. This is huge because it is often the spread of cancer to vital organs that lowers the chance of survival. Anything that can stop cancer in its tracks is hugely beneficial and it can be supported with a spice that virtually anyone can access.
Many health conscious folks in Asian communities swear by drinking turmeric milk with honey in the morning every day to keep fit. The same compound discussed above, curcumin also does wonders to regulate our metabolism and break down fats in the body. Both of these aspects can help us to maintain a healthy weight or lose some pounds. Exercising and eating healthy will always be the holy grail when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight but turmeric can be used as an assist if this is an issue for you. Another study, also done on mice, revealed this to be true when two groups of mice were fed unusually high caloric diets. The group that was also given turmeric did not gain nearly as much weight as their counterparts who were not given turmeric.
Turmeric also helps in healing wounds faster than any other medicine mostly because of its antibacterial powers. It has been used since ancient times for just this purpose. A turmeric paste would be applied to a cut or wound as soon as possible to stop the bleeding and heal the wound. It can be used in first aid today as well. To use this method yourself make sure to clean the wound thoroughly and eliminate any dirt and debris. Then cover the clean wound with turmeric powder and reapply as necessary. For rashes, bruises, stings, sprains, or bites mix the powder with water to create a paste and apply. This will help prevent infection, reduce swelling, and help with healing.
Turmeric is also used to boost immunity. When ingested it helps fight off bacteria, viruses, and infection (sepsis). It gives immune compromised or ill people a much needed assist and healthy people an advantage when they are exposed to illness.
Anti-aging & Beauty:
Aging is sped up by free radicals in the body and antioxidants (like turmeric) help neutralize free radicals and the damage they cause to cells and organs. This slows down the signs of aging and improves overall health and vitality. Applying it directly to the skin via a mask can help with skin problems such as acne and dry or oily skin.
Turmeric is a pretty amazing spice that helps in healing wounds, improving immunity, fighting disease, and keeping a person fit and fine in life. Adding more of it to your life/diet seems like a no brainer.
How to Get More Turmeric:
Eat more curry dishes
Add to a fruit smoothie
Sprinkle on yogurt
Add to chicken soup or homemade broth
Sprinkle on eggs, rice, and potatoes
Add it to homemade soaps (or buy turmeric soap)
Drink turmeric milk (recipe below)
Mix with coconut oil or water for a topical paste
Add to tea
Take it in pill form
Easy Turmeric Milk Recipe
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups regular, almond, or coconut milk (full fat)
2 teaspoons raw honey
Dash of cinnamon
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan or heat up just enough to warm through if you want to preserve the benefits of the raw honey. Remove from heat and pour into a mug. Enjoy!
There is an old saying that “you are what you eat”. We hear it often and maybe it has begin to become a bit watered down (by overuse) but really it is quite a truthful statement. Nutritionists like to repeat this quote over and over again to get across to people that food choices are directly linked to our health and to our quality of life. The food that we eat and all of the nutrients contained therein are what provide the building blocks for new cell growth. Cells die off daily and are replaced with new cells. Our bodies are always replenishing and regenerating and that process cannot happen efficiently without the best building materials. Empty calories or substandard food will only ensure that our foundation for health and wellness is weak.
The same applies to the animals that we consume. Many factory farm operations feed their animals foods designed to fatten them up quickly with empty calories so that they can be slaughtered at ever increasing rates. Their goal is not to turn out a healthy animal…just a fat and meaty one. They are fed genetically modified crops that are heavily sprayed with pesticides and often they are fed foods that not appropriate for their digestive systems. Cows for instance are meant to eat grass and roughage but in factory farms they are forced to eat grains such as corn. The sugars in corn increase the fat content unnaturally and they cause illness and disease. Some cows have even been given candy when corn prices are too high! Chickens are shut away indoors and kept from the greens they love so much. We have also heard horror stories for years that diseased animals who die in factory farms are recycled as food for the remaining ones.
If you are what you eat, then what do we hope to become by eating animal products that come from factory farms?
This is a scary thought and it is one that paved the way for the rebirth of the grass fed and pastured foods movement. Many consumers are no longer comfortable eating factory farmed meat and eggs. Instead they are seeking out beef from cows who are allowed to graze freely and eat the healthy food that they were intended to eat. These same folks also buy farm fresh eggs from farms where the chickens are cage free and allowed to roam and eat grass, seeds, bugs, fruit, and other foods more natural to them.
People who want grassfed and pastured products aren’t being snobs or prescribing to some kind of elitism. We hear all the time that paleo (which centers around wild, grassfed, pastured foods) is elitist. But is it really being snobbish and elitist if you want to consume healthy animals?? No.
Grassfed meat is lean and has a fat content that more closely resembles chicken or wild game. This actually helps to improve your cholesterol levels instead of raise them. While it is low in the bad fats associated with high cholesterol, it is very high in the good fats, the omega-3 fatty acids. All of the nutrition from the pastures they graze translates into lean cuts of meat and delicious milk that are nutritionally superior and much healthier for your family.
Pastured eggs are said to have about 20 times more omega-3 fatty acids than their factory farmed counterparts. The moment you crack open a pastured egg you can tell from the dark orange yolk that you are eating something rich and full of nutrition. They also taste infinitely better than conventional store bought eggs. Once you try them you will be hard pressed to ever go without again.
We truly are what we eat and if we choose to eat animal products then would be wise to choose the healthiest and most nutritious animals… grass fed and pastured.
How to Find GrassFed, Pastured Foods:
Check out what you have locally available. The web site Eat Wild should be your first stop. It will tell you all the places in your area where you can get these products. Within seconds of checking my own locale I was linked to sources for chickens, eggs, rabbit, duck, cows, pigs, milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, etc. All come from grassfed, pastured, or wild animals.
If you cannot find much locally there are places to buy online such as US Wellness Meats.
To your health!
Attn: Giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Tampons and menstrual pads are the go-to products for most women. They are what you see sold in traditional stores and what you see advertised in TV commercials and magazine ads. They are far from the only options women have though. Hopefully by now you have also heard of some of the alternatives…cloth pads, natural tampons (sponges), and of course menstrual cups.
Let’s start off by saying that this product was not my first rodeo with menstrual cups. I have been using them for years. I have tried several different brands and have been happy with all them. Last month though was my first time using the Sckoon cup brand. Before that I used to purchase their cloth diapers and baby clothes…though that was some time ago.
A menstrual cup does what a tampon or pad does but rather than absorb the flow it collects it. It IS a cup. If you are not squeamish about inserting a tampon then you should not be squeamish about inserting a cup. It is basically the exact same thing. The only difference is that you pull a tampon out with a string and toss it in the toilet. With a cup you pull it out, empty it into the toilet, and then wash it for re-use. I guess it is slightly more complicated then a pad or tampon but once you get the hang of it, it is no big deal.
I like menstrual cups more than I ever liked tampons. For whatever reason I could always feel tampons, even though they say you shouldn’t. With a cup…I truly cannot feel it. Tampon applicators are also really slippery, which meant many times I had problems with insertion and had to use toilet paper to kind of dry it off and try again. With one brand of menstrual cup I have had some launch failures for the same reason, slippery-ness. With the Sckoon cup there are neato grooves on the bottom (of their otherwise silky smooth and comfortable cup) that give you something to grip and hence no issues with that. See them below…
While on the subject of how it compares to other cups let me also use this same photo to show you how it has that little stem sticking out of the bottom of the cup. The other brands have that too but instead of a solid stem that tapers off they have a little hollow tube. That tube collects menstrual flow and has to be washed out…this is not an issue with the Sckoon. This may seem like a small detail but I really like it.
I also love that the Sckoon cups come in COLORS!!! My other cup is clear and it has started to look dingy over time. I am not willing to use anything harsher than soap and water to clean it because I want it to last. These colored cups solve that issue because they will stay pretty and not get discolored. I have blue obviously but they also come in other colors.
As with other cups it comes in two sizes. Size 1 is for people who have never given birth vaginally. Size 2 is for those of us who have given birth vaginally. It is made from FDA approved soft medical-grade silicon, so it’s safe, reusable, environmentally friendly.
If you need a crash course in how to use a menstrual cup it is really very easy… Take the cup in hand and fold it using your fingers. Insert pushing up and backwards (towards your back). Your vaginal muscles will grip it and keep it in place and it will open once it is up there too. When you are ready to take it out simply bear down a little bit and the bottom part will come out. Grip it and pull it out carefully so you don’t spill. Dump the contents, wash it with soap and water, and re-insert.
The only time when this becomes a bit tricky is when you are using a public bathroom. I simply dump it out and reinsert it and then remember to wash it as soon as I get home. I also use toilet paper from the bathroom stall to clean my hands off so I don’t leave a public bathroom stall with blood all over them. No need to freak anyone out. I don’t imagine that it is any harder than inserting a tampon in a public place.
After using it through two menstrual cycles I will be reaching for my Sckoon cup before my “other” cup now. It gets an A++ in my book!
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The company is generously allowing me to giveaway one of their cups! I have a size 2 cup in blue. Just like the one in my photos. To enter to win in fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received a free menstrual cup to facilitate this review and it was done in affiliation with the Green Moms Media.