Getting Rid of Your Microwave Oven

Huh? Why on earth would anyone want to do that? I know, only those seriously extra crispy totally off the deep end crunchy people would do it for “health” reasons, right?

Wrong. Or, at least it should be.

And, before you stop reading because you don’t want to get rid of your microwave oven because you won’t have a way to make popcorn, don’t worry. There are MUCH better and tastier ways to make popcorn. I’ll tell you at the end.

Several years ago, my friend Andrea told me that she’d heard that microwaved water (cooled, of course), given to a plant, would make it die. Hmm. I stuck that in the back of my head where it collected with other hints that microwaving food might not be a very good idea if I care at all about the nutrition in what I eat. Here’s more about the microwaved water killing plants; if you try it yourself, I’d love to know about your results.

Basically, the microwave oven destroys the nutrients in your food because the electromagnetic impulses change the molecular makeup of it. So, although it might look the same, it’s not. Of course, any amount of cooking denatures enzymes. But it seems like this is different.

Here are some articles explaining why a microwave oven is bad for your health:

http://www.naturalnews.com/022015.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx

http://www.health-science.com/microwave_hazards.html

I’ve been using my dehydrator to make some killer raw granola (recipe soon) each week. But it takes up a lot of counter space. And it stays out for days at a time, and it’s been driving me a little batty. So, I’ve been wishing I had a place where it could stay out and not be in the way.

Then we started this detox. And ate completely raw for the first week, and are still eating mostly raw now, for the duration.  And, the microwave oven is DEFINITELY not going to get any use during these few weeks. So, wouldn’t it make sense for the dehydrator to take its place?

I don’t cook in my microwave. I just use it for reheating, and it is so convenient! I guess I’m going to have to learn to plan ahead a little more and leave enough time to use the stove. Or oven. I’ve been knowing I need to do this for a long time; just didn’t wanna. But, the time has come to say goodbye.  To go from this:

To this:

I guess it’s time to make some more granola.

And about that popcorn…..the chemicals in the microwave bagged stuff are nasty anyway. Seriously. Try a hot air popper; they’re great. Or, do it the old fashioned way: on the stove. In a pot. With a little oil. I do it all the time here. It’s really not hard!

Just for fun….

Hmm. Kinda makes me want some. Nothing like popcorn. But I’ll take the real (GMO, unfortunately) kind.

Unwanted Guests

Ever had an unwanted guest?

A few years ago we experienced the thrills of head lice. Boy, that was a hassle. Thankfully, it didn’t scar my 3 little boys too much to get a buzz cut, and I had a good friend who was willing to comb out my hair for me. Many times. But, what a hassle! Now we use rosemary oil regularly to help keep them away. It seems to work.

Last year at this time we were a little negligent lax about treating our dogs for ticks. We thought that as long as we checked them regularly and removed the ticks, that was good enough. Well, we discovered that ticks just LOOOVE to replicate in the house, and boy, are they good at it. A tick infestation is NOT a fun thing to deal with.  This spring, we did not take any chances, and have treated them with the chemicals. And, it seems to be working.

This year, we have a new unwanted guest. It’s a nasty one called Enterobius Vermicularis. Also known as Pinworm. Oh, if you don’t know about pinworm, let me enlighten you. Warning: it’s disgusting.

First, someone, presumably your young child (I’ve had 3 in and out of preschool, kindergarten, and first grade in the past 2 years) touches something that has a microscopic worm egg on it, probably at school, and puts his hand in his mouth. The egg is swallowed, and then hatches in your child’s intestine where it enjoys a nice warm place to sleep and food consumed by the child. When it’s ready, the female worm (which is very tiny, only about 8 mm long) lays eggs. Oh, this is the good part: it comes out your child’s rear end while he is sleeping and lays eggs around there. Tiny, microscopic eggs. The eggs are attached by sticky stuff that itches, so your child scratches, getting the eggs under his fingernails. And guess where the eggs go then? You got it: back in the mouth. Unless, of course, your child goes and touches ANYTHING ELSE IN THE HOUSE, like toys, etc, and then those eggs don’t go back in his mouth, oh no. They wait until someone else in the house touches that thing and gets to have the eggs for himself, sharing the love.

I know, you’re thinking THIS IS DISGUSTING! And you’re absolutely right. Want some more good news? Pinworms are EXTREMELY COMMON, and there’s a good chance that your children have them too. People often don’t experience symptoms, and they’re very hard to test for. You basically need to see one, which is tough to do.

Standard treatment is to take some nasty chemical pesticide, and treat everyone in the whole family at the same time with said nasty chemical.  We’ve tried the pesticide, but didn’t want to give something so toxic to those we weren’t sure had it. So, we probably have had this infection for ???? long without knowing it.

The good news, is now we know it. I’ve confirmed pinworms on 4 of the 5 children. I must assume that the 5th child and both my husband and I have it as well so that we can be serious about treatment. But what kind of treatment can we do without poisoning everyone? I’m not about to give that stuff to my 12 month old!

Well, we were able to get some all natural anti-parasite supplements that are safe for everyone. We are also taking apple cider vinegar, garlic, and cloves as much as I have time and creativity to prepare. And, we’re gearing up for a family detox starting next week that will leave our intestines so squeaky clean that those guys won’t even want to be there.

And as far as getting rid of the eggs….that’s the tricky part. I’m doing a LOT of laundry (sheets & towels, as often as possible), a LOT of vacuuming, and a LOT of toy washing. Yep, washing Every.Little.Toy. Sound like fun? Ha.

At least our play room will be in order by the time we’re done!

And about unwanted guests: watch this!

You can even watch the whole movie on YouTube. Here’s the link. I think I might need to watch it tonight!

Have you ever experienced a parasite? At least fleas? I know I’m not alone. Share your disgusting story here!

When Your Child Is Unwell: Attitudes Toward Illness

As some of you may have read on FamilyNatural’s Facebook Page, my 6 year old son was recently hospitalized with pneumonia.  And, thankfully, he is doing much better.  There are just so many aspects of the situation that I’d like to share; I’ll just start with first things first.

A little background: In case you don’t know me personally and can’t tell from reading this blog, I don’t have any warm fuzzy feelings toward the practices of “modern” medicine.  I believe that our bodies are made to be healthy, and created to be able to heal themselves as long as they have no interference. In other words, if we get rid of the garbage in our bodies and treat them right, they know what to do and usually need no help. Furthermore, I believe that most medical intervention (in the form of drugs) are not only unnecessary, but extremely harmful to the body, and actually create many and more severe problems than the symptom they were taken to mask.

So, what happens when someone in our family is unwell? (Notice I didn’t say “gets sick”….I do not believe that sickness is something that one “catches” or “gets”, but rather that the body develops) First, I’ll tell you what doesn’t happen. What doesn’t happen is any worry or fear. My (and my husband’s) attitude is: your body knows what it needs to do and it is doing it for a reason, even if I don’t know what that need is or understand the reason. My body was created with an inner wisdom, an innate intelligence far greater than my own. I respect it immensely.

The body needs to use its energy to do whatever healing or repairing needed. I don’t want to take that needed energy away from that work and force the body to use it for other unnecessary things.  Did you know that one third of the body’s energy is used just for digestion? ONE THIRD!!! The best way to accelerate healing is through fasting. By fasting, I mean eating no food, but drinking plenty of water and resting. So, if possible, we fast.

Not into fasting? Or can’t imagine having a child do such a thing? That’s OK. You can still help the body to use its energy more efficiently by eating only RAW foods while healing. Fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Water. Nothing else (food wise–I do give/have supplements such as echincea, vitamin C, etc.) until symptoms are gone. Raw foods include the enzymes necessary for digestion and therefore require much less work from your body. That’s a good thing when you want to conserve energy so that it can be used for more important things. I wrote a post on including more raw foods in our diets for healing; you can read it here.

What about fever reducers? Cough suppressants? Pain killers? Decongestants? Antibiotics?  It’s best to avoid them completely.  Not only are the chemicals toxic to the body even under normal conditions, but during healing time they would be even more disruptive, giving the body extra work to deal with.  Those symptoms serve a purpose, and the drugs usually hinder, not help the body to heal

I am thankful for my education in chiropractic; through my four years of school I gained a great deal of knowledge that has been extremely helpful toward raising my family through more natural means. Fortunately, we all have access now (mostly through the internet) to information that gives us the power to take responsibility for the health of our families.  Your medical doctor most certainly has knowledge that you don’t. But that doesn’t mean that he/she is wiser.

A resource I highly recommend for every family is the book How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite Of Your Doctor, by Robert Mendelsohn, MD.  It’s written by a pediatrician, so he knows common medical practice and also has had plenty of experience. It comes in handy when you’d like a reminder of what to look for to decide if your child actually needs a doctor visit, or if you can handle it at home. Even with my health education, I have referred to this book many times over the years, and it truly does empower the parent to make educated decisions for the child’s health.  My second child experienced febrile convulsions twice, and thanks to the book, I was able to keep myself together (though they were indeed scary) with the knowledge that my child was not in any actual danger.

I’ll share more about my son’s hospital experience in some of the posts to come. I’m thankful that he got helped. And I’m also thankful that I have the knowledge and ability to help his body recover from the help that he got (yes, his body needs to be cleaned up from all the chemicals that were put into him), now that he’s home.

Menu Plan For The Rest Of JULY!

As I’ve mentioned, I struggle with menu planning. Even though I KNOW it works, it helps, it’s good to do, I just don’t like to do it, which is why it’s so helpful for me to post it because I know I’ll get it done then. As you may (or may not) have noticed, I haven’t been posting them the last few weeks. And, that means, I haven’t been making them. Which means, I sometimes have no idea what I’m going to make for dinner, even half an hour before said dinner -time. I have a goal of making menus one month at a time, and doing some amount of prepping ahead and freezing what I can. Right now, the most I’ve done is make a double batch of some things and freezing the extra, and making some mixes. These are helpful, but not what I have in mind for my freezer cooking goals. Today is Tuesday. I didn’t have my menu planned for the rest of the week yet yesterday (on Monday, my menu planning/posting day). But today I am going grocery shopping, so it had to be done. And then, I did the unthinkable…..I planned the menus for the rest of the month! Using this monthly menu planner from $5 dinners, I filled in the rest. I know it’s only 2 1/2 weeks, but for me it’s a lot. Unfortunately there’s not many things I can prep ahead, but I may be able to figure some out.

So, here’s what’s planned for the next 3 weeks:

M- Baked Potatoes, grilled onion&mushroom toppings, steamed green beans

T- Eggs & toast, OJ

W-Burgers (Father’s Day–we never had it)

Th- Rainbow Salad & (hopefully) Homemade Bread

F- Chicken Pot Pie, Broccoli, Challah, Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies&Almond Milk

S- Granola, Raw Granola, Almond Milk, Pasta Tuna Salad

S-Vegetable Stuffed Eggplant

M- Spinach & Chickpeas with pita

T- Homemade Pizza, Greek Salad

W- Pancake Supper

Th- Homemade Hummus, Couscous Tabouli, pita

F- Crock pot Sweet n Sour Cabbage&Beef soup

S- Couscous Salad

S- Taco Casserole

M- Eggs & Toast, OJ

T- L/O Cabbage Soup

W- Spaghetti, Salad

Th- Cabbage & Potatoes (pan fried)

F- Baked Fish, Macaroni & Cheese, Candied Carrots, Spinach

S-Leftovers????

Summertime Fun: Camp At Home

With five children at home with me all day, every day, all summer long, …..um, I lost my train of thought. I guess that’s because I have FIVE CHILDREN! At HOME! WITH ME! EVERY DAY! And yes, I’m planning to begin homeschooling (more) after this summer, so this is something I need to know how to deal with.

You may be wondering how I’m going to stay sane. You’ll be happy to know that I have a PLAN.

A few years ago I heard from Flylady the great idea to make “camp” at home. Just like when kids go to day camp and they have lots of fun activities around a theme, you can create this at home. And so I did a one-week camp that summer. I called it “Camp Creation” and based it around the seven days of creation. Each day had activities based on what was created on that day during the creation week. It was a big hit.

Last summer, I was very pregnant, and just didn’t have it in me to do a camp. The boys attended a 3 week day camp at the preschool, and after that I did try to use some good scheduling ideas to manage things, though, and wrote about them in
Summertime Kids-How Scheduling Can Stop The Madness!

Children definitely have more fun and behave better when they have some kind of direction to their time and they’re not just on their own with “free” time all day long.

This year, they’re all at home. I decided I needed to plan something. I got great ideas for CampWannaLaffaLotta from LifeAsMom.com

The weekly themes she suggested were just right, so I’m keeping most of them the same. Last week was Week 1, and we were Down On The Farm. This week we’re Under The Sea. We’ll also have a week going on a Jungle Safari, then Camping in the Great Outdoors, and Blasting Into Space.

That’s 5 weeks. I’m not sure yet of the rest; I’m figuring this out as I go along. I haven’t had much time to post my links and activities, but there’s always next year. Right now it’s time to have fun!

And I don’t have a name for my camp, so if you think of one for me, pass it along!

Visit Flylady’s CampGonnaWannaFly page here

What’s your summer-fun plan?

It’s Bedtime! Day 17of Babystep Challenge To A Peaceful Home

Day 17 of Flylady’s babysteps is to set a bedtime and stick to it. I love this. And I hate it.

I love to sleep. So this is something that I actually want. I want to go to bed at 10 each night and wake at 6 in the morning. Somehow, though, I have trouble getting there on time.

I know that if I can get dinner served on time (6pm), then we can be done by 6:45, I can finish cleaning up by 7:30 (hubby gets kiddos ready for bed). And by 8 when the kids go to bed, I can have some time to myself or to spend with my husband. And then I can get ready for bed no later than 9:30 and to sleep by 10. I know this.

And yet….it doesn’t happen. It’s the dinner at 6 that is the problem. I have a lot of trouble getting dinner prep started on time (probably because I don’t want to stop the nap time and walk away from the computer). But, if I would, many good things would come from it.

I’d get enough sleep AND get time to myself in the evening. It’s a good trade off.

So, I’m going to go to bed on time. Which means I’m going to walk AWAY from the computer at 4 when it’s time to wake the kiddos from their nap. That’s my plan.

And since I make my bed every day, it’s nice and inviting.

Here’s a post I wrote on sleep a while back with interesting facts, including how much sleep different people need.

Summertime Kids-How Scheduling Can Stop The Madness!

I have four children, ages 6,5,3&16 months. And a baby due in about 4 weeks (yay!). The 3 older boys have been at day camp for the last 3 weeks, but today is the last day. They will ALL be home, with me, until school begins again September 1. (*Gulp!) They will ALL be home/out of school when the baby is born and for a few weeks after that. What am I going to do with them?

I am a big fan of homeschooling. I did it for one year of preschool, and am taking a break from it until they get a little bit older; they need to learn Hebrew which I believe can best be done by immersing them at school, and I do not feel I can homeschool when so many of them are so young. So, my plan (at the moment) is to begin homeschooling the oldest after first grade and add a child each year after that.

The reason I bring up homeschooling is that one of the biggest challenges of homeschooling is: how to get schooling AND housework AND playing AND (fill in the blank) done without everyone killing each other?

I find a similar challenge during vacation time. My boys love to play together, and are good at finding things to do. But after 2 days off or so, I find that there is not only an increase in bickering and injuries, but also they are more likely to find things to do that…ahem…I don’t approve of. While free time and “boredom” can stimulate creativity, I find that lack of boundaries/expectation/direction leads to less than desirable behavior.

What to do? Just as a homeschooling family must do, you schedule. Schedule, schedule. I know some of you are thinking that it doesn’t sound like much fun for them, that you want them to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, and think of their own activities. I’m not suggesting an absence of free time. Instead, I’m suggesting that even free time gets scheduled.

Most of the help in scheduling I learned from Teri Maxwell, in her book Managers Of Their Homes. www.Titus2.com It was the only guide I found for step by step help in creating a schedule for a large family that had time slots for all that was necessary.

Some of my favorite tips are:

  • Schedule play periods for 2 siblings together. They strengthen their relationships and get along better than they do when there are 3 or more.
  • Schedule meal helpers
  • Schedule one on one time with Mom or Dad
  • Schedule playtime alone; every child should learn to entertain himself
  • Choose activities for different days of the week so that they rotate and the children don’t get bored. Example: Monday fingerpaint, Tuesday playdough,Wednesday blocks, etc.

Kids love dependable routine. They are much more likely to go along with the program if you already know what the program will be. And I really think it’s the only way to stay calm in the eye of the vacation storm.

I’ve tried it the other way during vacation time. I didn’t like it much. This time…I’m ready.

What are you doing with your little ones during summer vacation?

My Story

I graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in 1995, and from Life University School of Chiropractic with a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree in 1999. After practicing a few years in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, I met my husband-to-be, and six months later was married and living in Jerusalem, Israel. Fast forward seven years, and here I am. I have four rambunctious boys, ages 6,5,3,and 1. And baby GIRL #5 is due to join us soon, in August, 2009. Though I’m not actively practicing Chiropractic, I not only adjust my family and friends, but I still teach others the benefits of a natural and healthy lifestyle. Through this blog, I hope to be able to share the benefits of my knowledge and experience, as well as the challenges and adventures of day to day life with lots of “littles” around.