30
Oct

Boiron Homeopathic Remedies

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

boiron homeopathic remedies for children

Hot on the heels of my post about staying well this season with healthy eating I thought it was a good time to post about Boiron Homeopathic Remedies for Children.

Boiron graciously sent me three of their homeopathic products… the Oscillo, Coldcalm, and Chestal for Children. Since we never buy over the counter medicines I am always eager to try homeopathic remedies. My kids don’t get sick for long usually or have severe symptoms so we usually just let things run their course. Unlike when I was growing up and got children’s fever medication at the first sign of a fever, I realize that fevers are the body’s natural way of healing so I don’t medicate my kids fevers away. I also won’t try to suppress a cough but if requested I can use teas or herbs to try and make their throats more comfy.

Looking at the Boiron ingredients I like what I see for the most part… allium cepa (onion), Belladonna, kali bichromicum and the like… homeopathic ingredients. The children’s chestal is sweetened with honey.

The Coldcalm is a dose of little pellets that dissolve in the mouth and is supposed to help with sneezing, running nose, congestion, and sore throat. The Chestal Honey is supposed to help with throat discomfort and loosening phlegm. The Oscillococcinum is more pellets designed to help with body aches and chills from the flu.

Boiron is heads and tails better in terms of healthiness than what you will find in a drugstore IMO. I love that homeopathics are getting more mainstream. I was not, however, so thrilled with one of the inactive ingredients… sucrose (table sugar). Since white sugar suppresses the immune system I am not sure why it makes an appearance here. Yes, I am sure it tastes better but it seems to me that selling an unsweetened version you could dissolve in tea and honey would make more sense.

For parents stuck in the habit of reaching for that Tylenol cold medicine this is a much better alternative. It also good for parents who are just getting to know about homeopathic and herbal remedies. I am just learning myself and taking a class about herbs for kids. Until I know how to set my own home apothecary Boiron products will be a convenient alternative. There is a coupon for $1 off on their web site for anyone who may be interested.

29
Oct

Stay Well – Stay Away from the White Stuff

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

sick child

LOTS of news sources are talking about staying well this season. Mostly if seems they share a message of doom and gloom and then follow it up with talk of vaccines. Or they promise to share the secrets for staying well and it ends up being obvious things like get enough sleep and wash your hands.

As a natural family we are taking a different approach. There will be no vaccines… EVER. Instead we usually like to tackle the season of sickness with healthy eating, natural germ killers, and herbal tinctures.

Why exactly do so many people get sick this time of year? Well, public schooling makes sharing the germs all to easy. The average person starts eating badly this time of year to. White sugar suppresses the immune system up to 50% for 24-48 hours and starting with Halloween kids eat lots of candy. My own kids got sick after we went to a Halloween party early this month. It is not rocket science to figure out why. I love Halloween but the candy part sucks big time.

White flour is another thing people consume alot of during the winter months and it too is bad news. People bake, they eat lots of bread and pasta, and they get sick. White flour and rice has had all the good stuff removed during processing and it is left with chemicals from the bleaching and enrichment processes. These chemicals suppress our immune system. Add white sugar in baked desserts and you get a double whammy.

Staying healthy this winter will be a whole heckuva alot easier if we stay away from the white stuff. The good news is that there are some wonderful, nutritious and delicious alternatives to white pasta, white (refined) sugar, and rice. 

* Quinoa is a protein-rich grain which is native to the Andes.  It has a delightful flavor and is easy to prepare.  You can use it in place of rice for stir fry and you can use it cold in salad. It tastes great either way.  It can also be made into pasta.

* Whole wheat pasta has become a high demand product that you can often find it in your local supermarket right alongside the traditional white pasta.  It’s higher in fiber, protein, B vitamins, and minerals than standard white flour varieties. You can also bake with whole wheat flour obviously.

* Buckwheat is another awesome alternative. My husband loves the stuff in pancakes and soba noodles?  Soba is made from buckwheat and is high in protein and fiber.  It’s delicious with Japanese recipes and flavors and also wonderful in soup.

* Spelt can be used to make gluten-free bread and cereal, and can also be used to make pasta. It has a sweet, nutty flavor. 

* Brown rice is just as filling and versatile as white rice but it’s much healthier for you.  It is a great source of fiber, has a bit of protein and other nutrients and has a delightful texture. 

* Honey can be used in baking instead of sugar. Banana bread with whole wheat flour, honey, and extra bananas tastes every bit as good as banana bread made with the white stuff. Honey is also great for sweetening tea.

* Agave Nectar is what we use for most of our desserts like raw chocolate fudge cookies. There is a raging debate on how similar the extraction method is to that of HFCS but we rarely use more than a few tablespoons a week.

* Dehydrated dates and other fruits are the reason we can get away with using so little agave in our cookies, nut bars, pies, etc. They are amazingly sweet and combined with good old fashioned nuts you have pie crusts and breakfast bars.

Avoiding foods and sweeteners that actually work to encourage sickness will be a great component in the battle to stay well. Killing germs is another but we don’t crazy with that here. We use soap and hot water and Four Thieves Vinegar which is a blend of wine vinegar, herbs, and garlic.

To encourage wellness we drink green juices, green smoothies, and tea with herbal tinctures. Herb Pharm’s Children’s Herbal Compound is a good one for kids that was recommended to me by an herbalist mom.

Staying well or getting well fast after an illness does not require elusive information… just some common sense practices and healthy eating. If we aren’t willing to saddle that pony and ride it then we shouldn’t be surprised when we get sick. It does, however, provide some teachings moments when your kids see a direct correlation between sugar intake and illness. Some things need to be learned the hard way.

27
Oct

Green Christmas Gift Guide

by Tiffany in Natural Toys

green toy guide

Been kinda absent but I have an excuse… I have been finishing my 2009 Green Christmas Gift Guide. It includes my top green older kids toys list, my top green toddler toys list, my top green baby toys list, and my eco moms and dads gift list. It took awhile to research it and find the BEST toys (in my opinion of course). I am only buying one or two small things for my kids this year so I wanted value.

My fave toy this year would have to be the E-Racer. My boys will be thrilled with these! The E-Racers will thrill eco-minded moms and kids with sleek design and nimble handling and the extra benefit of having a tiny environmental impact. The body of each E-Racer is built from one single piece of renewable bamboo and finished in non-toxic, water based paints. Simple, sustainable, classic, beautiful.

e-racer bamboo car

I am also loving these Nesting Rainbows for my daughter. They would make excellent fairy and gnome homes.

nesting rainbow stacker

I have also been busy making lenses at Squidoo. While searching for some leg warmers, tights, and socks for my daughter I decided to create this Funky Leg Warmers, Socks, and Tights page to highlight some of my awesome finds. I’ve got some other great lenses there to like Sexy Nursing Bras and Soft Sole Shoes. Oh and my Vita-Mix 5200 review lens.

And speaking of shopping I spotted two really good deals on organics kids clothes this week. Hanna Anderrson is offering 20% off of their organic long johns. I ordered some for my kidlets… just couldn’t pass that deal up. Also BabyLegs is having some great sales and a pumpkin hunt for coupon codes. I bought several pairs including a couple sets of organic wool leg warmers for only $7. Plus shipping is free through the end of the month. Woot!

Organic kids clothing can be so expensive.. I just LOVE finding good deals. Happy Shopping…

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

3 Comments on Green Christmas Gift Guide

24
Oct

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere

by Tiffany in Photography

Pulled the kids out of school this week to enjoy the Pumpkin Festival in Circleville, Ohio. To say that pumpkins were everywhere is an understatement! I added pumpkin burgers, pretzels, and pizza to my list of bizarre foods I have seen there. It was a lovely fall day.

I actually twisted my ankle that morning… ironically while I carted a big pumpkin out to the compost bin. It felt okay to walk on all during the festival but by the time I got home I could barely walk and spent the next two days in bed, LOL.

Glass Pumpkins

Pumpkin Elephant Ears

My mom got one of these and was peeved that my kids refused to help her eat it… not even a bite. She insists I have the most bizarre kids ever.

pumpkin festival

pumpkin festival

 Giant Pumpkin

pumpkin festival

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

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23
Oct

Bearly There Book Review

by Tiffany in Book Reviews, Children

Bearly There book

We read a lot in this house. It is enjoyable and it is a way to instill a love of learning in my kids. A BIG part of that is reading books that will help them come to know the natural and world around them and want to protect it. But instead of books with a “green” message I usually prefer to go a different route. We like to read books that encourage environmentalism and protection simply by painting a beautiful picture of the world around us so that kids will WANT to preserve it. There is no clear cut directive to protect or preserve because I believe that what they value… they will learn to protect. My job is just to show them how wonderful and amazing this planet and all its animal inhabitants are. I trust in the hearts of my kids to use that foundation to become environmental activists and enthusiasts as they grow up. So a book titled Little Jenny Goes Green is not likely to appeal to me but a book called Little Jenny Loves the Forest… THAT sounds more up my alley.

Little publishers like the Tilbury House turn out books that I like. Their books are about cultural diversity, social justice, nature, and the environment but they do not teach about these themes in preachy ways. I want my kids to value the same things I do but I want them to be critical thinkers to. The last Tilbury book we read was  Under the Night Sky, if you recall. It is a very special book.

This week we read Bearly There by Rebekah Raye and it too, is a special book. It follows the story of a black bear who wakes from hibernation. He does all the typical bear things like scratch his back on the bark of a tree, eat some acorns and wiggly bugs and then he catches the scent of something he cannot ignore. We then get transferred into the world of a little boy named Charlie who takes care of geese in his backyard. He raised them since they were hatch-lings and he is very protective of them. When the bear breaks into the shed that sits adjacent to the shed where Charlie’s geese live, he is very concerned. His dad informs him that the bear was more interested in the sunflower seeds that were in the shed and that they should store them where the bear cannot get them.

The bear makes the rounds to other homes in the area, raiding bird feeders and compost piles, and soon neighbors are starting to panic and talk of shooting the bear begins.

In a very lovely twist though, Charlie keeps a cool head and he does his research on black bears. He then draws a large poster with a bear on it and under the bear it reads “What To Do If You Have a Bear In Your Backyard – The bear isn’t the problem – you are!” Following that he highlights six ways to get proactive and deter a bear from coming onto your property. None of those ways involve harming the bear either. Then Charlie and his father use this list to get their own yard in order and create a plan to get the bear back in the woods where it belongs.

Black Bear

The story and the illustrations are fabulous. My kids understood right away what the point of the story was and especially like that it was a child who had acted on behalf of the bear. I loved the fact that research and a calm head were used to solve the problem rather than just “eliminate” it. The parents in the story were good role models as well.

It allowed for some great discussion afterwards… such as when I asked what will happen when we destroy our forests and wooded areas to build homes and shopping malls? Where will the bears go?

In my search for books that tell great stories about nature and animals Bearly There falls into the pretty darn close to perfect category. It has a great story, it highlights creative thinking and cooperation, and it highlights respect for our environment and the animals who live in it. All of this is accomplished just through the weaving of a good story and not by preaching.

Special thanks to Tillsbury Press for sending me a copy, although they sent me a galley copy that fell apart after one reading. I will definitely be buying this book for our family library.

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

14 Comments on Bearly There Book Review