Last week was International Babywearing Week. I was extremely busy, but I still think it deserves a blog post.
Babywearing has been my lifesaver in so many different ways. When Lovebug was six months old and cutting her first two top teeth, the only way she would nurse was upright in my mei tai. My guess is that it helped with the fluid in her ears. On her first plane ride, also at six months, wearing her helped her feel safe in crowded airports. She could smell me, feel my heart beat, and rest her head on my chest. Experts write about the fourth trimester, and the baby carrier is a great transition from womb to world.
If you float around any of the naturally minded pages on facebook, then you’ve seen that some popular name brand toothpastes have been called out for some harmful ingredients. I stopped using toothpaste a while ago for two reasons. First of all, I want to avoid fluoride wherever I can. Our water is fluoridated, and we don’t have a fluoride removing filter yet. I am trying to remineralize my teeth to heal some cavities and have stronger teeth, and fluoride hurts that process. Secondly, if I wouldn’t eat it, I don’t want it in my mouth; and toothpaste has, well, nothing I would eat. The tissue in our mouths absorbs everything that enters it, so why would I put toothpaste in my mouth, even for two minutes? It really doesn’t make sense to me.
I love a good cup of coffee. I mean, I have piled the kids in the car at 8:00 at NIGHT to get a cup of iced coffee because I was all out, and I just had to have it (because the wrong person was tired, of course). Mr Hockey works a second shift job now, so I have bedtime on my own during the week. This week, he has overtime, so he’s out until 1:30 am. I have to be up with the kids at the crack of dawn (or so it feels), to shuffle them downstairs so he can sleep. It’s ironic, because I proclaim the awesomeness of magnesium, and I’ve been increasing mine bit by bit since arriving here in Vermont, but I still need that cup of Joe. Or sometimes two.
And I am picky about my coffee. It has to be Dunkin Donuts (don’t hate, I love my Dunkin). It has to be sweetened with grade b maple syrup (now called grade a extra dark, if the changes have made their way to your area), and needs a splash of almond milk (I buy a brand that doesn’t use carageenan, until the day that I can make our own). I’ll start putting raw milk in it soon, but that’s another blog post. For now, it’s still almond milk.
I also love kombucha.
So just how does a natural livin', essential oil lovin', salve makin' mama give birth? With a lot of hard work, of course! ;)
As a bit of background, Lovebug was born via c-section, which we later learned was never medically indicated. (Perhaps it was convenient for the provider; I don't really know). I learned everything I could between babies, and Freddie Bear had a completely different entrance into this world.
Some readers requested a video tutorial for belly wrapping. There's a LOT of different ways to do this. This is just how I'm doing it right now. Enjoy!
If you follow my facebook page, then it’s no secret that I’m pregnant, and having a much easier pregnancy this time around, despite being four years older. I want to share with you what’s working for me, complete with my “preggo chai” recipe. It’s so delicious, and has helped me so much!
Someone asked me to share about the first Over The Moon product predecessor I ever made. I think it’s kind of an ironic story, so here it is.
We used cloth diapers from the start, and I wanted cloth safe diaper ointment. I was still trying to get used to not bringing home a paycheck, so trying to spend a little as I possibly could while still keeping everyone healthy. Add to that, we knew within her first week that she was allergic to dairy, and the list just grew from there. We were given some calendula based zinc oxide diaper ointment before she was born, so we tried that first. Whoah. The zinc oxide unleashed a scream from her tiny ten pound self that could only be described as terrifying. So we tried another brand. It still had zinc oxide, but less, and she seemed to do better with it. But then we ran out, and the local stores stopped carrying it. I wound up buying a brand I respected and trusted, but couldn’t really afford, just to get us by until I found something that fit our needs better. It was a pain to carry around in the diaper bag because it always melted. Because of the melting issue, a friend gave me a diaper stick to keep in my bag. It was awesome! It wasn’t the most effective formula, but it was a neat, tidy, in a portable twist up tube, and it got the job done on the go.
Of course, I wanted to replace it for my friend, but I couldn’t afford it. I’ve always been fairly resourceful, and figured I could probably learn to make her a new one. And who doesn’t love home made gifts?! I spent weeks researching ingredients and containers. After about two months, I had my first “Owie Ointment.” It was VERY different from what I sell in my shop now. It had some ingredients that, in hindsight, were superfluous, and I couldn’t get a good jar for it at the time. I still have the left overs of that first batch in the deep recesses of our linen closet. (It's in a giant wheat germ jar, but I kind of don’t want to let it go). But through that process of just wishing to repay a favor, I learned how to infuse my own oils; work with oils, butters and waxes; and a little bit about herbal applications.
Two more years of learning, experimenting and playing around with recipes, and Over The Moon was born. During those two years, I rid our home of bleach, ammonia, carpet cleaner, insect repellent, furniture polish, disinfectant wipes and sprays, antibacterial soap, window cleaner, floor cleaner, toilet bowl and other bathroom cleaners, conventional shampoos, conditioners and soaps, shaving cream, even conventional pain killers, cough syrups, etc…. so many things I don’t even think I remember everything we used to use. About the only thing left is our non-stick cookware, and I’m in the process of reseasoning stripped cast iron and picking out stainless sauce pots. So we have a very natural-minded home, and the result has been more self reliance, and fewer medical bills. I know it doesn’t work that way for everyone, and there are more pieces to our puzzle, too (like the food we eat, the foods we don’t eat, and other practices) that also affect our health.
What green/natural living habits or changes have you made in your home? What changes are you hoping to make in 2014? What results have you noticed so far as you implement more natural living practices in your life?
Have You Had YOUR Magnesium Today?
I talk a LOT about magnesium on my facebook page, and “in real life,” too. Just ask Mr. Hockey, or my parents, my friends, or… you get the idea. So what is the big deal with magnesium? Well, do you suffer from chronic fatigue, muscle cramps, or frequent head aches? Do you have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep? If you’re pregnant, do you have frequent uncomfortable Braxton-Hicks, or nausea piled on top of nausea? How’s your blood pressure? What about your dental health? Any one of these can be tied to a magnesium deficiency. What follows should serve as a good introduction to magnesium’s role in our cellular health, and ways you can address a deficiency, internally and transdermally (and what products I make that can help).
Magnesium is (intended to be) the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. The highest concentrations of magnesium are in the brain and the heart - so it’s pretty important! Our cells crave magnesium, and it works in conjunction with calcium and Vitamin K2. When these are out of balance, we end up with calcium deposits in the wrong places. According to bodyecology.com, we need a 10:4 ratio of calcium:magnesium, but the typical American diet looks more like 10:2.67, or sometimes even 15:4. This can result in cell death, which we could feel in ways such as:
So what do we do with this? You can increase your dietary intake of magnesium through food sources. Some good ones include green vegetables rich in chlorophyll, or even just liquid chlorophyll itself. (This is the one I've used as an iron supplement when I needed one, and it was tolerable in a green smoothie, and it worked within a few days). Just like our blood has hemoglobin as it’s core, so to speak, chlorophyll has magnesium as its core. Almond butter, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are also good sources. A supplement can also help, and there are plenty of options available. Eating fermented foods (kombucha is my personal favorite) alongside magnesium rich foods can help the body absorb more magnesium. But, if you’re experiencing bowel disturbances, chances are you’re also losing all that precious magnesium.
What to do then? That’s where things like a remineralizing toothpaste, or magnesium oil or butter come in. You can make a toothpaste with coconut oil and calcium-magnesium powder (and some other ingredients - if I EVER find a recipe I like, I’ll be sure to share it) to help remineralize your teeth, which reportedly can heal - yes, reverse! - cavities. If you want to learn more about that, I highly recommend reading the book _Cure Tooth Decay_ by Ramiel Nagel (I have no affiliate link or anything like that, I gain nothing from sending you to his book).
The transdermal options - mainly magnesium oil and magnesium butter - can work better for a few different reasons. First, modern farming practices are depleting our soil of the magnesium that should be getting into our food. So in some cases, we can eat a great diet, but the magnesium just won’t be there. Second, our GI bacterial balance can be so off kilter that our bodies can’t absorb the magnesium we can get through our food. So, that leaves us with our skin. This can still be a positive!! Skin loves magnesium! Do you enjoy salt air and ocean swimming? The magnesium just might have something to do with that! Skin is also just more efficient at absorbing magnesium, as opposed to our digestive track. I like the idea of eating healthy (including ferments), supplementing AND using a transdermal source - cover all the bases.
My own experience since beginning my toothpaste (which I will share later), magnesium oil and magnesium butter with the occasional salt bath has been better sleep, decreased morning sickness, no more Braxton-Hicks (I had a very grumpy uterus in the second trimester when I slacked off the magnesium and wound up on modified bed rest - yuck!), fewer headaches, no chocolate cravings, lowest blood pressure I’ve ever had in my life (did I mention I’m 31 weeks pregnant as of writing?!), reduced muscle tightness and immediate charlie horse relief the one time I woke up on my back, and less frequent GI upset (also partly attributed to eating gluten free, I think, for me).
In my shop you’ll find lots of options for transdermal magnesium. My most popular is my Magnesium Oil, but I think the Magnesium Butter I’m stocking for the first time later this week might become even more popular. If you’re in an even bigger hurry, there’s Twinkle Toes - Remineralizing Body Polish. You can just leave this in the shower, rub it in and rinse it off. It exfoliates and leaves skin feeling silky, too. If you have the time, or maybe as a special treat, you can also soak with one of my Bath Salts. I use three different types of salt, all rich in trace minerals.
So, what do YOU think? Do you think you could be among the 60%+ of Americans that are magnesium deficient? What would you like to see change if you address a suspected deficiency? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
The legend has it that four thieves robbed dead bodies during the bubonic plague. They used botanicals to guard against contracting the plague. After being apprehended, they exchanged their formula and received a lesser penalty.
Whether the story is true, Robber's Oil is very effective. My blend includes seven essential oils. Most blends include only five. The well known blends include lemon, cassia (cinnamon) bark, eucalyptus, rosemary and clove bud essential oils. These are all fantastic oils! Mine adds frankincense and myrrh for their added antiseptic, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Robber's Oil has many possible applications:
- Use a 1-2% dilution rate with water in a spritzer bottle, shake well, and spray on all the surfaces in your home (doorknobs, counter tops, faucets, etc) to disinfect.
- Add to a diffuser or add a few drops to a pot of boiling water, and let it boil for half an hour. The steam will smell lovely, and it will help disinfect your home.
- Fill a small mason jar with about 1/4 cup of baking soda. Add a few drops of Robber's Oil, cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the top and use an air freshener.
- Add 6-12 drops per ounce of carrier oil (olive or jojoba work great!), and massage into sore muscles, and use as the "winter bugs" come around. We like to put it on our feet bottoms when we know we've been exposed to a bug.
So far we've thwarted every stomach bug to which we've been exposed. Of course, I am not a medical professional, and this post should not be used in place of professional medical advice. Always consult your medical provider.
If you'd like to try my Robber's Oil, just click here.
How have you used my oil or a similar blend in your home? I'd love to read your stories, too!
Our Robber's Oil air freshener. I keep one on the kitchen counter, and one in each bathroom. I can't smell the blend itself, but I also don't smell those usual bathroom "yuckies." When Tiny Toes arrives, it'll be nice to have that extra stench barrier with our wet bags.
I am the mama who is over the moon in love with her family and green living.