Archive for 2008

Cooked Apples for Diarrhea

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Our family just went through a wave of diarrhea/stomach flu, and a few days ago Candice had it bad so I wanted to help her feel better quickly (with 5 kids ages 6 months to 6 years we both need to be well as much as possible). So I found this recommendation for Diarrhea in my Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies:

Cook one or two apples until they are mushy, then add 1 teaspoon ghee, a pinch of cardamom, and a pinch of nutmeg. Eat slowly. This mixture is not only delicious, it will also help stop diarrhea right away.

So after a quick trip to the nearest grocery store for apples, I cut one up, cored it, peeled off the skin, and sauteed it in a pan with a little water so it wouldn’t burn. When I could squish all the pieces with a fork, I added a little bit of ghee, cardamom, and nutmeg, mixed it up and put it into a bowl for Candice. She doesn’t normally like fruit so I only started with one, but she said it felt good to her. However, Nickalus ate most of the first apple so I cooked 2 more. By the end of the day Candice and the kids went through almost 6 apples. Fortunately I had some leftover that I put in the fridge because I needed it a couple days later:)

Feeling good despite circumstances

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Have you ever been enjoying a beautiful day and all of a sudden you observe something that elicits strong negative emotions from you?  How do you keep feeling good?  Yesterday I was in that situation, watching the kids playing outside when an argument broke out between neighbors.  It didn’t feel good to observe so I made a point not to get involved in the verbal argument.  However I was still focused on it and some strong negative emotions were brought up. 

One thing I did to help me feel better was to consider how it was a demonstration of the law of attraction (“what goes around, comes around” or “you reap what you sow”) – one person was angry and yelled at some kids, then the parents of those kids all came out and yelled at that person – so the angry one attracted more anger into his life (very quickly, I might add). 

This morning while discussing it with Candice, she helped me to forgive the people I observed arguing and set them free as I forgave myself and set myself free from their influence.  I have learned that it takes some effort to get out of a “victim” mindset and take control of my own feelings.  We learned this process from the Life Visioning audio program (see link to the right).

Warm salt water really does reduce swelling!

Friday, April 18th, 2008

This afternoon the kids were playing in the backyard and I had just opened the sliding glass door to plead with them to not take apart the travel cage for our rabbit that Candice bought this week. Eden (our 2 yr old daughter was near the door so I told her to watch out before I closed it. She stuck her fingers in just before it closed and they got smashed.

She started a constant panic crying at that point, so I brought her inside and gave her a couple homeopathic arnica pills (we call them “hurt pills”) but as soon as she had closed her mouth over them she continued her panic crying.

Her fingers were already swelling up, so I tried making a paste of turmeric and salt (recommended for swelling in the home remedies book – see link to the right) and she let me put a little bit on her fingers, but that didn’t seem to help (not right away, at least). Then I got a teacup, put a bunch of salt in the bottom, and filled it with almost hot water and told Eden to put her fingers in it. She did so willingly, and I could see a visible relief as she relaxed her shoulders and switched into normal crying mode.

After a few minutes, she began getting distracted and only cried when her awareness was brought back to her fingers since she had to stand in one place while soaking them (I would recommend using a mug rather than a teacup in this situation because the teacup kept falling over). After about 15 minutes she was playing in the water and it seemed like she forgot which hand got hurt. The swelling had already been reduced almost back to normal. So I told her to go wash her hands and get them dried off, and within an hour she was climbing and playing like nothing had happened!

Constipation in a Breast-Fed Baby

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I have dealt with a lot of poopy issues as a parent of five children. My oldest and my youngest children were and are constipated babies. As a baby, my oldest child, who was exclusively breast-fed the first 6 months of his life was very constipated. He would have a bowel movement once a week. A big blow-out at that. I had a few friends who said that some babies “just don’t go as often”. My family care MD said that breast-milk was a laxative and he couldn’t figure out why the baby was constipated.

When we first started giving our oldest solid food at 6 months, he became very very constipated. It was so bad, that one time he didn’t poop for 2 weeks. And when that bowel movement came, it was hard like rabbit poop and very painful. I knew something had to be done. So I started giving him water. I was told by several people, including lactation consultants that breast-fed babies don’t need water and that if they get water too soon, it can damage their kidneys. There is some truth to excessive water intake at an early age can weaken the Kidney system. But I learned that a blanket statement, such as “breast-fed babies don’t need water” does not apply to every baby!

Once I started offering my son water (an ounce or two at a time), his bowel movements occured once or twice a week and they weren’t as hard. I came to a conclusion that my baby was just dehydrated. In fact, I was too. By increasing my water intake, it also helped my baby get re hydrated. Another thing we did to help move his bowels more is we switched his diet. He was only 6 or 7 months old, but we switched to only feeding him Fruit-Eze. Fruit-Eze is a puree of dates, raisins, and prunes (see We started feeding him it thinned out with water at least twice a day. Within a week, his bowels were moving daily.

Once he was having a bowel movement every day, I noticed some positive changes in him. He wasn’t as fussy at bed time. My son was never ‘colicky’. But at night he would be fussy and pull his legs to his chest, etc. That quit! His eczema had also cleared up, and his allergies were better. We were doing a few other things at this time, like using natural laundry soap and no fabric softener; eating more organic foods; using natural cleaning products; and giving 1/8tsp of vinegar (pickle juice) to my son daily *I’ll be writing a post on how Apple Cider Vinegar healed my son’s allergies and asthma soon.

The concept is simple. When elimination happens, healing can happen. When your body is full of crap (literaly) and thus toxins, illness will surface. Whether that is eczema, food and environmental allergies, reoccurring colds/flus, runny noses, ear infections….I could go on, but this is a Good Feeling Place and I want to continue feeling good.

Anyways…my youngest child is still a baby at the writing of this post. He is almost an identical copy to my oldest son. He too is frequently constipated and only has a poopy diaper about every 5 days. He also is exclusively breast-fed and is currently not interested in food at 6 months old. I do offer him a bottle of water through out the day. More if we are out side. He seems interested in taking the water. But it doesn’t have the same immediate effect as it did with my oldest. So I assume that my baby is not as dehydrated as my first child was.

One time when we were on vacation, my baby hadn’t pooped in about 6 days, so I knew he would be going soon. I switched his regular filtered water out with a product called Smart Water (you can find it at grocery stores, Walmart, Sam’s Club). Smart Water is basically vapor distilled water with added Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, and Potassium (3 basic minerals everyone needs). After my baby drank about 1/2 oz of Smart Water, he pooped instantly. About every 2 oz of Smart Water I gave him, he’d poop. We had his bowels moving daily for a week straight. I was amazed at how much he could actually poop! And then I thought, I can’t believe he wasn’t going every day!

Minerals work for constipation because they heavy in nature. Its heaviness sort of pulled everything down and out of my son–if you want to think of it that way. That is also why those 3 minerals are important if you have leg cramps. Its heaviness pulls the nutrients and energy down to the legs and into the muscles to nourish them. The daily bowel movements went off and on for about 3 weeks. Then we were back to being constipated.

I am not sure how I heard of this [editor’s note: see home remedies book below], but I tried the ol’ warm salt water technique. You heat up in a pan on the stove as much water as you want to put in a bottle. Then you sprinkle salt (preferable rock salt-think minerals) into the pan and stir. You will want to season to taste. The water needs to be salty enough that it will make you pucker or gag, but not too salty that you feel you need to drink clean water get the taste out of your mouth. Once you got the right taste, give the warm salt water to your baby. Preferably do this first thing in the morning before feeding if possible. I am not certain how much each child will have to drink. The first time I tried this on my baby, he drank 4-5 swallows and then he had a poop. Another time, he drank 3oz and then pooped later that afternoon.

The salt water works because the salty taste drains downward. Just like the minerals do. The salty taste also increases fluids in the body, specifically the Intestines. For instance, Salted Lime Water will rehydrate you if you have sun stroke (or are out in the sun too long); also Epsom salt is a good laxative for adults.

Our baby still has issues with constipation. He is still strictly breast-fed and I am trying to eliminate foods from my diet to help him, but that is a challenge for me. The herbals I am giving him are helping to increase his digestive ability long term, along with the probiotics. Right now, the warm salt water bottle is our fix for acute constipation. Hope all of this helps some of you.

Peace and Blessings

The 15 Year Hair Cut!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Today we had to drop off packages at the GoodWill. Little did Robert know, but I had secretly decided to take him to get his hair cut. This was no ordinary hair cut. No, this was the “last time I saw the barber was 15 years ago” hair cut. Through the years, Robert managed to cut his own hair and trim his own beard (when he grew one) with fair success. But his hair had become a little long and unruly over the past six months.
Here is a before picture. So as you can see, I HAD to do something. When we got loaded in the car, I said to him,”Honey, you are going to have to bite the bullet and get your hair cut.” Robert then squirms in his chair like our 4 year old does when he has to go potty. “I don’t need to go get my hair cut. I can do it my self!” He whines (again, like our 4 year old). So I give him the puppy-dog eyes and the “Won’t you do it for me???” speech. Yeah, THAT one. The one I am secretly teaching our daughter to do.
He agrees to go to a barber, not a salon. “Salon’s are for girls.” he adds. So we pass salon, after salon, after salon and finally spot a place called Sports Cutters. We park, Robert goes in with our daughter Eden while I stay in the car with 2 sleeping babies. Ten minutes later, he comes back–all hairy still (see picture above). I said, with an annoyed tone “What’s the problem!” He then preceded to say something about how it was too much like a salon, there was only one woman cutting hair, CNN was too loud on the TV…ya’da, ya’da, ya’da…So I put my book on meditation down, threw a hissy-fit (like my 6 year old) and yell “You’re acting like a baby! The place is called Sports Cutters. It can’t be a salon. FINE! Lets just go some where else.”

A couple of miles of silence later, we pull into a strip mall hoping to get a bite to eat at a chinese buffet. Low and behold right next door to the restaurant is John’s Barber Shop. We all travel in this time and take a seat along a row of uncomfortable, deli-style chairs. A nice looking woman, with a waist about the size of my right thigh, motioned for Robert to come up and sit in the stylist chair. She said, “What would you like done?” “Everything!” I shouted. “Please, just clean him up some.”

Well to keep a not so long story even shorter…30 minutes and $25 dollars later, he was finished! I don’t remember the last time I saw my husband’s ears. Or have seen him so well groomed. Maybe on our wedding day almost 8 years ago. Needless to say, I am very happy now that I can see the face of my very handsome and dashing young husband. I took a picture because I know that it will probably be another 15 years before I get him back to a salon…I mean a barber!