Why Aloe Vera Juice is Good For You

Why Aloe Vera Juice is Good For You
If you have followed me for very long, you'll know that I like to focus on nutrition.  This is something I've had to do for 12+ years now due to some special dietary needs in my family (more on this later).  Today I want to talk a little bit about the importance of aloe vera juice.  I recently added it to my daily routine and I absolutely love it!  

Just look at all the amazing benefits a good, quality aloe juice can have:
  • Antioxidant rich
  • Aid and support for digestion
  • Helps with body alkalinity
  • Hydration for skin
  • Liver function
  • and potentially so much more!
The particular one I use is formulated with a variety of antioxidant supporting phytonutrients and is made from pure organic Aloe Vera.*  It's also made with natural ingredients that aid and support digestion and contains naturally-occuring electrolytes to support cellular function*.  It has natural honey that aids to help soothe the stomach and also has natural pear juice to help support energy.*  Now that's a great ounce of juice right there!  Not to mention that it tastes amazing and is light & sweet.  It seriously makes taking care of your gastrointestinal health something you want to do.

One thing I'm learning more and more on my path to natural healing is that if the digestive tract is messed up, the whole body will eventually follow suit.  A heathy gut is sooooo important!  It allows the body to absorb the nutrients it needs and expel those it doesn't.  Aloe Vera is just one of the things I've added to my daily protocol.  You can read about my full regimen in "my health journal" on my website. 

As with any dietary product, please keep in mind: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

How To Have Balance In Life As A Work From Home, Homeschool Mom

Finding the right balance in life can be quite tricky, especially for stay at home moms who wear many hats.  But there is hope!  You may have seen the "life balance wheel" that has different areas in life that you rate to see where you are off balance.  This helps you determine what areas need more focus so that you can bring them back into balance.

I find this tool very helpful, but in itself it won't tell you how to bring those areas back into balance (more on this later).  I have narrowed the areas down a bit and found what I consider to be the main areas many moms find themselves to be off-balance in.  They are: personal growth, relationships, health, self care, business, and finance.  Everything in your life will likely fit into one of these categories.  

Now, what do you do once you have determined what areas you need to work on?  You hone in on the specific area that needs help and focus on bringing it back into balance.  You make a plan, keeping in mind that you want to maintain balance where you already have it.  This can all seem a bit overwhelming, right?  That's why I'm super excited about my upcoming course to help busy, stressed, overwhelmed moms bring their life of chaos back into balance! Yes, there is hope and I'm here to help you!

If you can relate to this and would like help finding balance in your life, join my email list to stay updated on the course and for weekly encouragement.

If you would like to be a part of a community of moms who are working together to find their balance in life, join this group.  It's so much easier to handle the daily chaos of life when you feel supported by others who share in your struggles and also celebrate your wins along with you!

Hyper Oxa What? What Is Hyperoxaluria?

When my daughter was just 5 years old, she was diagnosed with hyperoxaluria. Hyper oxa what?? Before I get into exactly what this is let me give you a little background story. 

Kyleigha had a bit of a rough start in life, you can read a little more about it here.  When she was in kindergarten, it wasn’t uncommon for me to get a phone call saying she wasn’t feeling well or that she had a high temperature.  We were constantly going to the doctor and trying to figure things out.  I finally got them to refer us to Children’s Hospital to see a specialist.  At the age of 5 she was diagnosed with Hyperoxaluria.  Not only was this a huge word I had never even heard before, it was also something that not many people even  knew about.  The doctor (who was amazing!) felt we could handle things by watching her diet instead of using medication so she sent us to a dietician.  This was huge for us!  So, off to the dietician we went.  Guess what?  Even she couldn’t help us.  Yep, that’s right.  She didn’t know enough about it and was basically no help at all.   

Once again, this momma bear had to take matters into her own hands.  It was time to do some more research.   

What exactly Hyperoxaluria is…

According to Wikepedia, Hyperoxaluria is an excessive urinary excretion of oxalate. Individuals with hyperoxaluria often have calcium oxalate kidney stones. 

The short of it is this:  have a low sodium, low oxalate diet to help prevent kidney stones from forming.

We don’t know if Kyleigha ever had kidney stones.  What we do know is that she often had blood in her urine and had “tummy” aches.  Either way, because of this condition, we had to watch her diet.  We were told that she should have no more than 140mg of sodium per serving.  Now, if you have ever read labels on the shelf, you know that this is near impossible to do.   

Grocery shopping and meal planning just got hard

I had to fight back the tears every time I shopped.  How was I supposed to take on these new dietary needs when no-one could help me? 

What did all of this mean?  It meant that I had to make pretty much everything from scratch.  At the time, I had a 2, 5, and 7 yr old.  You can imagine how much busier this made life.  I decided to learn to can foods so that we could have good food ready to go.  I purchased a heavy duty canner that I knew would be safe for meat.  And, lemme tell ya, home canned chicken is about as good as it gets!  

Foods high in oxalate

What exactly are foods high in oxalate?   

These are foods such as: (if you do a quick search you are bound to see a few variances) 

  • Beans 
  • Beer 
  • Beets 
  • Berries 
  • Chocolate 
  • Cocoa Powder 
  • Coffee 
  • Cranberries 
  • Dark green vegetables, such as spinach 
  • Nuts 
  • Okra 
  • Oranges 
  • Rhubarb 
  • Soda (cola) 
  • Soy beans 
  • Soy milk 
  • Spinach 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Tea (black) 
  • Tofu 
  • Wheat bran 

How we do low-sodium

We have also found that when we use pink himalayan salt, it doesn’t affect her as badly.  It has a lower sodium content than regular table salt.  Table salt may have about 2300 mg of sodium per tsp, sea salt has about 2000 mg of sodium per tsp, while pink himalayan salt has only about 1700 mg per tsp.  That’s a pretty big difference when you are on a low-sodium diet! 

Learning to do it on her own

By the time Kyleigha was 8 years old, she had already been on her special diet for 3 years so I decided to hand over some of the responsibilities to her.  If this was something she was going to be dealing with her whole life, I wanted her to know how to read and understand her body.   

Fast forward a few years, we went to the specialist for a regular checkup.  Things looked so good that she was told she didn’t have to go back for another 2 years.  When she first got the diagnosis, she had to go in every 6 months, then every year.  So this meant that we were on the right track.  Hooray for being able to control this all by watching her diet!

Join my facebook group where we focus on special dietary needs, homeschool, and being a well-balanced mom here.

The Best Gluten Free Pancakes (no egg, no dairy)

The Best Gluten Free Pancakes (no egg, no dairy)
If you have read many of my blogs, you know that in my family of 5, 3 of us have special dietary needs.  That often makes it super hard to find a meal that we can all enjoy and isn't a ton of extra time and work for me in the kitchen.  If you think gluten, sugar, and dairy free are hard to work with, try adding no pork and no eggs to the list.  Goodbye breakfast ideas...or maybe not!

We often like to have breakfast for dinner.  It's a favorite in my house.  I usually serve it with fruit or a smoothie so that we get in some of those extra nutrients.  However, I had been holding off on it due to some of our newfound dietary needs.  Just how do you make a breakfast with no pork (hello, bacon!...and sausage) and no eggs??  Oh, and did I mention that the no dairy also means no butter?  That's unheard of, right?  Wrong!!

That's when I came across this recipe and tweaked it a bit to suit our families needs.

Gluten-Free Pancakes (no egg, no dairy)

  • 1 cup gluten-free 1 for 1 flour
  • 1 Tbs ground flaxseed (flax meal)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt (or sea salt)
  • 2 Tbs pure maple syrup (can also use honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (see note)
  • 1 cup almond milk

  1. Grease griddle and preheat (see notes for suggestion).
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour, flax meal, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. You can sift if you want it more fine.  I skip this step because it seems to work fine to just mix it.
  3. In another bowl, combine maple syrup, vanilla, buttermilk (see note), and almond milk.  Slowly mix in half of the liquid into the dry ingredients.  Stir continually as you add the rest, 1/4 cup at a time.  This helps keep it from being too runny.   Mix until all the lumps are out of the batter.
  4. Place about 1/4 cup of mix onto prepared hot griddle.
  5. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until they start to bubble around the edges.  Flip and cook the other side for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Remove and serve.
To make buttermilk, add 1 TBS of lemon juice to 1 cup of almond milk.  Let stand for 5 min.
Here's the cast iron griddle I have used for years and it's been great!  

Why I Drink Organic Coffee

Why I Drink Organic Coffee

I enjoy drinking coffee. Ok, I LOVE drinking coffee! However, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. I’m very picky about the coffee I drink. Years ago I noticed that my stomach had a sensitivity to coffee. I then tried a more expensive brand, which made a difference. But over time, even that seemed to upset my stomach. What’s a coffee-lovin girl to do when she can no longer enjoy drinking coffee?

As the years went on my family became more and more health conscious. That’s when I decided to try organic coffee beans. You better believe it made a difference! Isn’t that odd?  Just a simple switch to organic and I can drink coffee again.  Well, turns out conventional coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. Yep, no wonder my body couldn’t handle it! You can read more about this here.

One of my favorite brands is Equal Exchange (this link will give you FREE shipping!). Not only are they organic, they also take great measures in how the grow and process their coffee.  They process through non-chemical means to eliminate any threat of mold getting into the coffee.  Believe it or not, this is actually a big deal and something to be on the look-out for. 

My favorite is the Ethiopian blend.  It has such a rich yet smooth flavor. There is NO added flavoring. Hooray for a natural flavor!  If you prefer more of a light or dark roast they have plenty to offer!  They also have chocolates, teas, and a few other items to choose from.  Mmmm...chocolate and coffee, two of my favorite things!

One last thing...because a post about coffee wouldn't be complete without sharing some of my coffee favorites, you can find them here.  Enjoy! 

I'd love to hear what your favorite coffee is, brand, blend, roast.  What makes your cup of coffee exceptional? 

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