Thoughtful Thursday

>> Thursday, July 26, 2012

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Giveaway: Eco Yoga Mat

>> Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hello Everyone! I have a (last minute) giveaway to share with you today.

Recently, I had been chatting on Twitter with @GeneralElectric about health (they liked the juices I was making with YS2). So just for fun they sent me a gift, which turns out to be an eco-friendly yoga mat. Woo hoo! I've been meaning to get one but didn't know where to begin in finding one.

Well, I have TWO because they were generous to send me another to give to a friend. I thought, my readers are my friends so a giveaway came to mind.

I will say that I have not used this mat (or any other) before so I can't compare it and since I just got it today I can't review it either other than I like what I see and feel. It's new to me but I'm looking forward to using it. Often. I hope. :)

GE has a facebook app (facebook.com/healthy) that you can sign up for that will help you and friends stay motivated to achieve your health goals or you can take a peak at HealthyShare.com or use the hashtag #HealthyShare.


How would you like to be the friend who gets the other Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat? I will be mailing this myself so unfortunately those who do not live in the same country as me will be excluded (US addresses only). Harsh, I know and I'm sorry.

Another thing I should point out, this comes without a carrier. It is only the mat and comes in blue.

Time to enter! Click below to get started. Giveaway will end at midnight (EST) 8/2/12.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thoughtful Thursday

>> Thursday, July 19, 2012

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DIY: Deodorant

>> Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's been awhile since I've shared a DIY I experimented with so today I bring you homemade deodorant. I'm sure someone I know reading this will think I've totally lost it and am about to run for the hills to live out my days free of shampoo and razors (I can think of a few who think I'm weird so this will just add to the list), but honestly, that is not the case. I still shave; I still wear makeup (sometimes...less so during the summer); I still use shampoo, although, healthier kinds. I'm not 100% hippie but I do have my tendencies, which I'm proud of. Peace.

Anyway. I gave up using antiperspirants years ago and began using deodorant. What's the difference between the two you ask? One blocks/clogs your pores (bad) and one lets you breathe (good). Read here for more. Basically, steer clear of antiperspirants for your health (say no to aluminum). Deodorant is much better. If you're still curious, just google 'antiperspirant dangers' or click this link for an overview. My opinion: even if it's not proven to cause cancer (and not proven it doesn't), why risk it? If the possibility is there I try to avoid it.


So, I had been thinking about making my own deodorant for quite sometime but hesitated because it seemed a little too granola but I also was concerned about the oil content wondering if it would it get on my clothes.

Well, I got over the granola factor but still worried about the oil so in order to know I had to make some. Plus it's waaay cheaper than buying deodorant and healthier because there are only a few ingredients.

My underarms are a little sensitive. Another reason I hesitated to try this. My pits don't like roll-ons (too sticky) or the mineral rock deodorant (again, involves stickiness). I never did sprays (do those even work?? I don't like fumes so I never tried it) and the antiperspirants when I used them, I had to be careful to not use the ones that claim to not leave any white marks because whatever chemical they used made my skin break out in a rash.

I found that the basic recipe of coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot or cornstarch is pretty much the same wherever I looked (see here and here) but I followed the recipe Kelli posted on Animal Friendly Eating because I know she's tried it and shared her notes.

Homemade Natural Deodorant (as posted on Animal Friendly Eating)

Ingredients:

5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Combine equal portions of baking soda and arrowroot powder. Then slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon until it maintains the substance you desire. It should be about the same texture as the store bought kind, solid but able to be applied easily. You can either scoop this into your old dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. After applying the product, you can just rub the remains into your hands as a lotion! This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.

I used arrowroot powder (you can buy this in the bulk section at your local market). If you opt to use cornstarch, make sure it's GMO-free and/or organic. Also, I used 6 tablespoons of coconut oil since Kelli noted that the baking soda may cause itchiness for some. Lastly, I added in drops of essential oil -- I used sweet orange -- but you can add whatever scent you like. Kelli suggested 5-10 drops, I think I used close to 10.


When I first made this, I put it in a couple of empty deodorant bottles. But as I was tapping it down into each and seeing that it was still warm, it made everything quite messy leaking out of the turn-dial that I gave up and put it in a glass jar. Works very well actually.

I've been using this homemade deodorant now for about two-ish weeks and it works great! I haven't had any issues with oil stains or itchiness for the matter. Although, one time I did put some on before I got a chance to shower and that did seem to cause a little itching but otherwise, none. No cancer-causing ingredients, no harsh chemicals or perfumes and it's super duper cheap, too. It's all good. I'm still working on hubby to try it. :)

If you've been thinking about trying this too, I say give it a go! It certainly can't hurt, right? What we've learned is antiperspirants are bad for our health, deodorants are better but not perfect and can also be pricey, homemade is the best choice with minimal ingredients and inexpensive. Whaddya think?

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Goodbye GITMR!

>> Friday, July 13, 2012

You may have heard already that Dhrumil has made the decision to shut down the Give it to Me Raw (GITMR) website/community on June 26th. You can watch his video here explaining his decision.

Even though I have not logged into GITMR in quite some time, I respect his decision and his reasons for it. When your heart isn't in it anymore it's probably time to move on.

Some of his comments are in line with how I view my own blog (no, I'm not going away!) but his views on holistic health. I initially started this blog with raw vegan food as the focus but as I have evolved so has my blog. As you can tell, I don't always talk about raw food. I love different topics. I love variety. Maybe it's because I get bored talking about one thing or maybe it's my personality but talking a little bit of this and a little bit of that is what I enjoy. < --- I'm talking about my blog only, not others'.

I've lost readers over the years because I don't always focus on raw food but I have other interests I like to share. I suppose there's an overall theme/vibe here where topics can relate or connect but also be completely different. It does make it a little more challenging when describing what my blog is about though! ha ha! Oh well. Varied suits me.

Anyway, going back to holistic health and raw food, I believe there are different ways to get healthy. Health is not a one-size-fits-all, including raw food. However, I'm a strong believer in its power and benefits and also, believe having raw food more present in one's diet can make a world of difference. Not enough people eat whole, raw, organic foods. But what I'm saying is, I don't believe one has to be 100% raw or whatever percentage to be considered healthy. I don't believe all cooked food is bad (with the Standard American Diet though, most foods are literally cooked to death that there is no benefit). Some people, however, go to forums like GITMR or people's blogs and argue how they are right and I/you am/are wrong. It's not as simple as that. It doesn't work that way. It's not inspiring or motivating to anyone on the receiving (or witnessing) end of that.

I'm still working on improving my own personal health journey. I have a list of things I should be doing, such as exercise and things I should be eating, many of which are raw.

Sam and I know someone who thought that because we weren't 100% raw 100% of the time, said we are liars and that we shouldn't call ourselves raw foodists at all (this person isn't raw in the least but is an angry person). Um, okaayy. This is one of the reasons why I like to steer clear of labels. They're helpful in one sense but confining in another, especially if someone is looking for something to be crabby about.

Where am I going with all this? Nowhere. I actually didn't mean to go on such a tangent. ha! But I think as we evolve, our interests change, our families grow, or what have you that what we talk about, who we associate with or where we frequent they all change as well so that's why my blog is the way it is now. Pretty much since YS2 was born my focus is mostly on him and his needs and less time putting things in the dehydrator or making pretty food presentations. Although, I've got some pulp left over from today's juice I need to make crackers with or something...

my juicing helper

Now that GITMR is shutting down, it's time to check in a little more often at rawfoodrehab.ning.com. I'm at a place in my life open to more inspiration and be more committed to MY health journey (I don't follow any one health guru to tell me what I should or shouldn't do -- I look to those who inspire). Maybe I'll see you there?

Enjoy the weekend!

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Thoughtful Thursday

>> Thursday, July 12, 2012

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Guest Post: The Benefits of Gardening with Kids

>> Friday, July 6, 2012

Kids of all ages can enjoy gardening. Even toddlers can be helpers in the garden who dig holes, water seeds, and pick crops. Older children can get their own patch in the garden, choosing which plants they would like to grow and overseeing their care.

There are many benefits to gardening with kids, which can affect their health, development, intellectual growth, and even their relationships. Here are a few of the benefits that can come with gardening with your children:

Improved Health

One of the most obvious benefits of gardening with children is that it will foster a love of healthy eating. Children are more inclined to eat fruits and vegetables that they have grown themselves, and the more fruits and vegetables they eat, the more healthy they are likely to be.

Gardening also teaches children the importance of eating in season as they learn about the growth cycles of their favorite crops. Children also learn the importance of eating all-natural foods, as they see first-hand the treatment of foods that they will eat with chemicals (or with natural substances instead).

Environmental Awareness

Gardening also fosters a love of nature. Children enjoy getting in the dirt and learning about the plants, the trees, the bugs that live in the garden, and the birds and other animals who eat from the garden.

That love of nature fosters greater environmental awareness. Children who feel that connection with nature become adults who understand the impact that our actions can have on nature, such as the use of fossil fuels, or improper waste disposal, or the use of chemical products.

Character Building

No matter how big a role your children take in the garden, they can learn the patience required to grow something slowly over time, the responsibility it takes to care for something, and the discipline required to see a project through to completion. Children also develop self-confidence from the knowledge of being able to take on and accomplish goals.

These are all wonderful character traits for your children to learn, which will benefit them now and throughout life.

Sense of Teamwork and Community

When you work together with your children in a garden, you teach them the value of teamwork and community. This lesson can be strengthened by working in a community garden, where you share your space with others in your neighborhood or civic community.

Learning the value of teamwork can set your children up for success in school and work, and understanding the value of community can make them better citizens and neighbors.

Family Bonding

Gardening is a great way to share time together as a family. While you work, you have the opportunity to talk, to share your ideas, and to learn more about one another. You have the opportunity to strengthen your bond.

Children who share a strong bond with their family are more confident, happier, healthier, and better able to form close relationships with others as adults.

Gardening with children teaches them many important life lessons and has many benefits. It is character building and instills a love of healthy eating and the environment. It inspires a sense of community and encourages family bonding. There are many more benefits, including promotion of physical activity and stress relief.

Do you garden with your children? What benefits has it had for your family? Share your experiences in the comments!

Heather Green is a Christian mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice about nursing school resources and online medical assistant degrees.

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Thoughtful Thursday

>> Thursday, July 5, 2012

image

In case the text in the pic above isn't fun for you to read, here it is below:


Everything that comes to us, comes to pass or, more accurately, for us to pass on. Not just the money in our pocket, but wisdom, objects, ideas, even opportunities, all come to us so that at the right moment we can pass them on. This is called flow. Being in the flow means being aware that the river of life is flowing to us at every moment. Being in the flow means accepting whatever comes and putting it to good use before passing it on. Going with the flow means allowing whatever comes to move on freely without holding on in any way. If we do not pass on, we are trying to block the flow and that’s when we feel pressure in our life. Pressure is always self-inflicted. Every time you feel “under pressure” look at what you need to release and to pass on to someone else. Once you do you can…relax…again.

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Catching up

>> Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hi Everyone! Happy 4th of July! For me, it's time for a stay-cation to relax and play and sleep and whatever else I need to catch up on.

Speaking of catching up, here are some pics I took in late April when YS2 and I went to a local botanical garden. I love gardens and this one was simply magical to me. I actually used my digital camera instead of my cellphone so the quality is an improvement from my usual here.

Because I had so many pictures and not wanting to bore those who may not be interested or wanting to see them all, I'm posting as a slideshow from my Flickr account (and there's many more not included!). Funny thing is, I couldn't remember my original Flickr account info it's been so long so I had to re-register.


Oh, and guess what? Little YS2 finally got his first haircut! He was 3 years and 44 days old...

even though it looks like he was really crabby, he actually wasn't :)


I nearly lost it when those first snips happened but I managed to keep it together. He was so good during the whole thing, never wiggly or crying. It helped he was distracted with Thomas the Train videos but even when those weren't playing, he was a good kid.

I miss those long curls but his new cut suits him.


Well, my friends, I hope you all have a safe and happy Independence Day or for those outside of the US, a happy 4th of July! I'll be back with more posts.

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