Tuesday, September 30, 2014

D Family Health Boosters

I am a huge lover of anything natural to get rid of being sick!! Here are a few of my favorite things that we do as a family to try to keep us as healthy as possible.  
Fish Oil- 
We have done fish oil for probably the past 3-4 years. We used to take it in pill form but switched a few years back to fermented cod liver oil because it is better for you. We take it daily in a syringe. The boys don't even mind it. We just give them a syringe full and they squirt it in and chase it down with water. We get ours here at Green Pasture. We love the Oslo Orange. 

Kombucha- 
This is honestly my most favorite part of everyday. I am obsessed with this stuff!! I am now brewing 2 gallons a week so I can drink it daily! This stuff gives me energy and also makes me feel regular haha I will be doing another post about the whole brewing process now that I feel like I finally have it under my belt. I am obsessed with flavoring it!!! Blueberry Ginger is my favorite at the moment! 

Elderberry Syrup- 
Last year I did just elderberry pills and I swear they worked. I was pregnant and never got sick. Obviously I got stuffed up but nothing too crazy. Definitely no flu! This year I made the elderberry syrup in hopes that it will be easier for all of us to just take a daily shot! Its pretty tasty too and was super easy to make! 

Neti Pot-
We started the netipot over 5 years ago. I am still obsessed. This baby clears out your sinuses and relives pressure. It is life changing I swear!! I made my dad try it the other week and he felt relief instantly! You can buy them anywhere and they come with saline packets too! You have to neti! 

Super Tonic-
This is the newest addition to our arsenal. This is insane. Its probably one of the grossest things I have ever consumed. It burns the crap out of your throat and you can legit feel it going through your system but it works!! It clears out your sinuses and everything super quick. We will be getting more of this for the future but this is an Allie and Jordan only trick.  

Fermented Foods
I am not a lover of these. I honestly gag over the smell but Jordan LOVES them. I do not think he cares for the smell either but he always says it will make him live longer so he is all for it! We haven't made our own yet so we just order from a farm that has a delivery service to our town. It's amazing because they work with another farm who sells meat and eggs and team up! So we can get all our eggs, cheese, and fermented foods in one delivery. 

Shakeology
I know I technically work for "Beachbody" so this may seem like an ad and it's not. Even if I did not work for them I would still have this on my list! I love and swear by this stuff. I can instantly tell when I haven't had it during the day. This stuff fills my body with all the vitamins and minerals I need and makes me feel alive! I have been drinking it since March and am still obsessed not only with the effects but the taste. I crave it! 

Other than those I also love chia seeds and coconut oil!! I have also been trying raw honey and tumeric too! I am really willing to try anything! What are your favorite all natural tricks!? 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Spinach Artichoke Avocado Dip

I am a huge fan of Spinach Artichoke dip but clearly it is chalked full of not the healthiest of things! My friend posted this amazing recipe which uses avocados as the base!! GENIUS!!
I was a tad nervous to try because I am not the biggest fan of avocados but figured it was worth a shot! I added a few extras to spice it up and I think it turned out great!!
You will need:
1 tsp oil of choice 
16 oz spinach
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 (14 oz) can quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water, not oil)
3 small ripe avocados
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup shredded italian blend cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9” pie plate with cooking spray. Add oil and spinach, onion and garlic to deep skillet, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until spinach is mostly wilted. Once cooked, set aside to cool slightly. Pit and peel avocados. Place 2 avocados and lemon juice into a food processor and blend until very smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add remaining avocado to food processor and blend until small lumps remain (You could also just mash with a fork). Add to bowl. Drain artichoke hearts and chop into small pieces. Mix into avocados. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese and mix well. Transfer cooked spinach to cutting board and roughly chop. Add to avocado, artichoke and cheese mixture. Mix thoroughly and add salt and pepper to taste. Place into prepared pie plate and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes, broil at the end to brown the cheese.
Serve with your favorite tortilas. I love blue corn chips! Yummo!!! 

Enjoy the different take on this party favorite!!
xoxo

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cold + Flu Protection::Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Well, its that time of year again. Fall sickness is just around the corner and every year I get the same way. ANAL. haha. I become a freak washing my hands and making sure to stay away from people who look sick. I just hate being sick and having my kids be sick so I am all about trying my best to prevent it before it hits! Last year was the boys first year at preschool and shockingly we did not have many sick days! I was kind of shocked and I survived Sams pregnancy without getting sick, minus the typical head cold but we had a fairly calm flu season last year. 

This year I still want to be prepared. I did elderberry pills last year so this year I am upping the ante and made Elderberry Syrup. I was going to buy it until I saw the price tag. It was like $25 for 5oz. No thanks! So I decided to make my own. You know since I am all Martha Stewart like over here brewing my kombucha like a pro! It was SHOCKINGLY EASY!
So whats the magic about this syrup??

It is packed full of antioxidants. It is said to relieve symptoms of colds and the flu, some swear it's more effective than TamiFlu! People use it also as a preventive once fall begins, which is what I will be doing! I have read such amazing things that I had to try it! 

Here's what you need!
(I ordered it ALL on amazon for like $35)
::I am stocked to make a ton of syrup::
2/3 cup Dried Elderberries (bought 1 pound bag on amazon
3 1/2 cups water
2 TBS Ginger Root (amazon
1 tsp Cinnamon (amazon
1/2 tsp ground cloves (amazon
1 cup Raw Honey (amazon

Directions: 
Bring water, spices and elderberries to a boil. Cover and Simmer for 45 minutes.
ENJOY THE AMAZING SMELL IN YOUR HOUSE. It's awesome.
Drain the elderberries and discard them saving the syrup in a jar.
Once it has cooled add your honey.
BAM. 
Elderberry Syrup is complete. 
Seriously one of the easiest recipes I have done. 
Dosing is easy too.
For kids 1/2 tsp- 1 tsp
For adults 1/2 TBSP to 1 TBSP.
We are going to take daily for immunity boost!
If and when sickness occurs take the dose every 2-3 hours until symptoms disappear.
I am so excited to see how our family holds up this fall. KNOCK on wood. I pray this helps! The kids love the taste and have no problem at all taking it! I use a syringe so it's easy for them to just pop in their mouth and suck it down! 
Let me know if you guys make it!!! Would love to hear your thoughts!!
Happy Flu and Cold Season!!
xoxo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I don't....

I don't do salads. I have tried time and time again but salads just are not my jam. I can eat them sometimes but it's not my favorite thing. I have learned that you have to create your own menu when being healthy and just because you don't lie salads doesn't mean you are doomed. I love stirfry loaded with veggies and also lettuce wraps. NOM! 

I don't wear real bras. Okay that isn't fully true. When we go out to eat or somewhere nice I will wear a real bra but normal days its sports bras all the time. I am all about comfort. Also if I don't feel like getting fully dressed but wanna look semi put together I just throw on a tee and a scarf. The scarf fully covers the sports bra straps that always show! So that is why I wear a lot of scarves. 

I don't do "perfect". I laugh at people when they say I have it all together. That is the furthest thing from the truth. I am not and will never be perfect. I am normal. I am human. I make tons of mistakes....daily! I do rock the crap out of being imperfect! 

I don't do drama. I used to play those drama games in high school and college but I don't play that anymore. Leave the drama at the door. 

I don't do spiders. I just can't. I think this is LEGIT one of the reasons that always comes up when Jordan and I discuss moving South! How embarrassing that this is a reason on my list. Jordan always says that we need winter to kill off the spiders. Maybe Alaska would be best. Freeze those monsters away.

I don't do fake. There is nothing more I hate than spending time with people who aren't genuine. I don't care what your husband does for work. I don't care how many square feet your house is. I do not care what type of car you drive. All those things are silly. I care about YOU. I care about how you treat people and what makes you tick! I want to know you and have a real relationship! 

I don't do bathroom breaks. I hope I am not the only mom who does this. But when I travel alone with the boys to my parents or what not I do not get out of the car for bathroom breaks. It's called pee out the door of the car or into a cup that I pour out the door. I think this is one of the reasons God blessed me with boys. They are talented like that! 

I don't do organized or clean. Back to the not being perfect. My house can clean up real nice and I can organize stellar but within a day or two things go back to normal! I do try my best to keep things clean and organized but it's just not me. I have like 4-5 junk drawers in the kitchen! It's all because I do not like clutter on the counters so I just swipe it into drawers. 

I don't let the past dictate my future. I used to dwell on things that didn't go right or that didn't happen! Not worth the time worrying. I didn't grow up Catholic and never went to church but that didn't mean I couldn't change the path for my children. Now we don't miss a mass. My parents got a divorce but that doesn't tarnish by belief in marriage. It doesn't dictate that my marriage will fail. It actually drives me to not want that to happen. So instead of letting the past weigh you down use it to propel you to rock out life! 

I don't do sushi. Seriously. I just cannot even. CAN. NOT. 

I don't blow dry my hair. Honestly MAYBE once every few months. I shower at night and my hair goes up in a messy bun. Mom hair for the win. 

I don't really like going out. I honestly never have. Even in college the bar scene was more annoying than exciting. I would much rather chill out around a fire with some friends than go out. If I have to put on shoes....and heels...it better be really important. I just love being comfy! 

Anyone feel the same???

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Marriage: Communication

A few weeks back Jordan and I did our first engaged couples conference presentation. The engaged couples conference is mandatory if you are being married in the Catholic church. It is an afternoon full of presentations on different aspects of marriage. I remember ours and remember hoping that one day Jordan and I would be asked to present. I am overwhelmed that our deacon asked us to join the presenters! Obviously Jordan and I have been marriage just 5 years so I cannot act or claim that we are experts. And honestly I am not sure anyone is an expert on the topic of marriage but we are all experts on what works for our OWN marriage! So I figured that I would sum up what we went over on the topic of Communication for our conference. 
We started off with a little introduction. The whole how we met. Jordan walked into the store Express which I was working at and I caught a glimpse of him! He was meeting my co-worker Harold for lunch and I knew that I wanted to meet him up close and personal. We had walkie talkies so I told someone to send them my way and I shyly introduced myself to this cute hunk! 
We decided to meet for dinner with friends to see if we had anything in common. Well long story short we have been together everyday since that dinner. Inseparable! We moved in after just a month of knowing eachother! It was one of those moments where you just knew this was the person! We lined up on moral views and also were super attracted to each other. Hello 4 children in 5 years. Jordan honestly is my other half. We are not at all alike in life. He is uber organized and a tad OCD where I am a messy not so organized person. I am super laid back and let things roll off my back quick where he holds onto things. We really do help each other and balance each other out! 

Anyways back to communication! 

You are TWO different people. 
I said it above that Jordan and I are different. We react and communicate completely different. That doesn't make one of us right or wrong. We are JUST different. You have to figure out each others communication style. I know what buttons to NOT push for Jordan and I respect those boundaries! I know when to back off and when to just let things simmer. I am always someone who wants a resolution NOW and I have learned that is not how it works. Accepting that you are different is HUGE for your communication. And fully accepting that. Not just saying you accept it, but actually wholeheartedly accepting it. Jordan gets quiet when he is upset, so instead of harping on him and creating drama and stress, I walk away. I used to be immature and push and all that caused was unneeded strain. So learn your spouses love language and how they communicate and RESPECT that. Do not try to change them to your line of thinking. Work together to figure out how to communicate best.  

Don't go to bed Angry.
I mean seriously. How many times have you heard that little tidbit of advice!? Some people think this is the best advice ever. We disagree. Assuming that you should be able to solve every argument before bed is just insane. Sometimes things TAKE TIME. One of my best friends told me to always give it 24 hours before reacting. At first I was annoyed and thought I knew best but when you really think about a disagreement or argument for a full 24 hours you might see the other persons side a little more clearly. Sometimes things just take time to resolve so stating that a couple should never go to bed angry is just silly in our opinion. Take your time. Think before you speak and act. There is NO time limit for these type of things so throw that advice away. 

COMMUNICATE.....TALK
Guess what??? Communicating means talking. Your spouse cannot read your mind so if you are upset talk to him!!  Instead of posting to Facebook or social media about how upset you are, tell the person you are upset with!!! Chances are sometimes they might not even know that you are upset. Instead of wishing they would change, how about telling them how you feel! You cannot change something without work. I told the story about when Vincent was a baby I used to get so frustrated that I was the only one changing diapers. When he had a dirty diaper I would change him and I felt like I was the only one doing it. I would get so annoyed with Jordan and be frustrated. But guess what I never asked Jordan to change Vincent and I never told him that I was annoyed. So it just built and built inside me. I was wasting time being annoyed when I easily could have just said "hey babe will you change this one". So now I have started asking for help vs just doing it and then getting annoyed that he wasn't helping. He had NO IDEA that I was annoyed. So just little silly things like that can add built up anger for no reason at all. So TALK. TALK. TALK!  
Don't Throw BRICKS. EVER. 
You know what buttons to push to set your spouse off. Don't push them. We all have buttons that just send us over the top so respect those boundaries. Do not disrespect them. Honestly I see people talk down to their spouses all the time and it hurts my heart. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We learned that as children right?? Well I swear as adults we are quick to throw that rule out of the book. You don't like when someone talks down to you right?? So why would you think it is okay to talk down to the one person you love? The one person you vowed to love your entire life? It's not okay. Sure you will be annoyed with your spouse at times but walk away. Jordan frustrates me at times and I will just go upstairs and when I get in our room I will say "gosh you can be such a jerk!" to the wall. Just saying it relieves my anger. But saying that to Jordan would do NOTHING. It would create unneeded drama! So put those bricks down my friends! Even if you want to throw them THINK about how you would feel if your husband said that to you. 

Practice EMPATHY. 
This is huge for every relationship. Put yourself in their shoes. Just like I mentioned about throwing bricks! How would you feel? Probably not too great. So think before acting! ALWAYS!!! Also ask your spouse daily how they are feeling. Ask how their day was. We all have tons of outside stress and getting to talk openly about that helps a ton. You need to be there for each other all the time. Jordan has crazy outside stressed that I don't have with his job. He is constantly weighed down with work stuff so obviously it is huge for me to ask him about work and look at things from his perspective! So always think about things from their shoes. 

There is no one stop shop answer for How To Communicate! This was something huge that we shared. We do not have all the answers. Honestly the way we communicate and get along will be completely different than the way you and your spouse do things. Just like raising children. We all do what works for us! So while it might be nice to get some outside help on your marriage sometimes that doesn't help. There is no handbook to perfect communication. You have to do what works for you guys! Every relationship is different. Do not compare your marriage to ANYONE ELSES. EVER! Learn your own special formula. Listen to your spouse and talk often! We have been married 5 years and are still learning the exact formula to our communication. And also PRAISE them when you can see they are working on things! Jordan has become much more open with me in talking and letting him know that I see that progress is huge and vice versa.  

And one last thing. Please don't throw your spouse under the bus. EVER. This is one thing I am so passionate about. Marriage takes work. Just because you said "I do" and vowed yourselves does not mean that it's all magical and fun! Marriage is amazing and so rewarding but you have to be open and give yourself fully. You are a team now. All the single mindsets need to exit your mind! Love your husband with all your heart and be open with them!!! 
 xoxo