Autoimmune The Cause And The Cure

“If you don’t give your body the nutrients it needs to create energy, you will someday cross the line from tired to exhausted.” (2)

Autoimmune, the Cause and the Cure by mother-daughter team, Annesse Brockley & Kristin Urdiales is a book that highlights illnesses caused by a lack of nutrients in the food we eat.

This book is a story about a quest for wellness in one family and is built on Brockley’s personal healing and research which highlights that we need nutrients and enzymes to create and maintain health. Brockley and Urdiales explain that we get these from our foods, but sadly much of today’s food is lacking in nutrients and enzymes. Brockley’s need to become healthy pushed her entire family to radically change their relationship with food. This book is the accumulation of their intensive research and personal experience.

Based in Spearfish, South Dakota, the writers own approximately 30 acres where they are committed to creating a place where they can live, work and thrive. Their farm has vegetable gardens, raspberry bushes, apple trees, chickens, llamas, cool well water and clean, fresh air. They never use commercial fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides, because they have learned that what we put in the soil makes its way directly back into our bodies. Continue reading

Is There One Major Thing We Can Do To Make Our Homes Greener?

We asked ourselves the question, is there one major thing we can do to make our homes greener?

In Green Home: A Sunset Guide, by Bridget Biscotti Bradley and her colleagues, they illustrate that there is not one thing that makes a home green or provides a natural environment to live in. Everything in your home, objects to electrical outlets can be made more environmentally friendly. Don’t get overwhelmed! Just break it down into categories and think about things one at a time.

“To begin, a green home is first and foremost an energy efficient one. That means making sure that your home is well insulated and that the appliances are energy efficient. This also means making sure that appliances waste less water. A simple caulking around windows and limiting other drafty areas can really make a huge difference and save you some serious coin.” (Bradley) Continue reading

Happy Healthy Halloween & Harvest Season

Image by Ashlee Dawn Photography found [here].

For many parents who are aware of all the chemicals and artificial ingredients lurking in Halloween candy this can be a precarious time of year. Likely you love the harvest time, the beautiful leaves, the pumpkins, the fun decorations and how darn cute your kid looks in their costume – but you are dreading all the junk they will be given. Many of us are also concerned about the type of candy we want to give out to other children in our neighbourhoods.

We have been speaking to lots of natural mommies and they have come up with some great ideas for a healthier Halloween for everyone, which we (of course) wanted to share with you. Continue reading

Farm Girl Nursery

Farm Girl Nursery opened on March 24th of this year in Novato, California. It’s pretty much been an experiment, according to owner Lisa Marvier who is excited about what might happen next. The fact that she knows that she is making a difference in the world means everything to her. Farm Girl Nursery is full of fresh organic fruits and veggies as well as a variety of animals, some of which are rescued like her former racehorses. They have also opened up a camp for kids, where they can learn about how food is grown and even do some of the cooking themselves. Lisa also encourages people to reuse materials in ways they have never thought of, instead of just buying new. She encourages kids in her camp to recycle everything from their homes: egg cartons, soda bottles, water bottles, milk containers…anything that they can use to start seeds. Lisa discovered that the plastic cartons with tops are great because they act as mini greenhouses!

We just had to meet up with Lisa (interview below) to learn more about Farm Girl Nursery, her philosophies and her future plans. You can connect with Lisa and Farm Girl Nursery through e-mail: marvier@comcast.net, over the phone: (415) 730.6917 or through their facebook page found [here]. Their current hours of operation are Wednesday and Saturday from 10-4PM.

NM: Why do you think it is important for people to grow their own food and or buy natural food grown locally?

Lisa: I see so many ill informed people all over the country. They eat what their parents eat, their parents are in a hurry, and they forget about health and nutrition. When you grow your own food it means something. You see a seed turn into a harvest and you want to eat it, prepare it and enjoy it. Eating locally is everything. I often ask my son to read the ingredients in the food he wants to eat because the “other” kids like it. I then ask him what is in an apple, a green bean, an orange. He gets it. His breakfast often consists of a walk through the gardens picking blueberries, strawberries, peas, carrots and tomatoes. It puts a huge smile on my face and heart! Continue reading

Locavore – A Documentary

Locavore is a documentary about local food. It is a documentary everyone should see. A locavore is someone who eats locally. It is more than a trend, it is the future of a sustainable food system. What we eat is the building block for every cell in our body. In addition to the health benefits, local food is also a solution to our global environmental issues and food crisis. As illustrated in Locavore, for thousands of years, the human diet was whole organic, local food. In the last 60 years our food has become highly processed, genetically modified, with mass produced food components – deconstructed and stripped then re-animated for consumption.

Locavore begins with the excitement of kids picking their own food to great folk music. Then the documentary urges the viewer to ask the question, where does your food come from and is it safe? Our great grandparents (and some of our grandparents) ate fruits and veggies that came from their community or personal gardens. We simply don’t. As one interviewee states, “the food in the grocery store isn’t food, it only looks like food.” Locavore also explores the questions: Where did food grown locally disappear to? Where is the local butcher and why can’t we eat like our ancestors?

Local food tastes better, is better for you, it is better for the planet and better for your community. A hard hitting point in this documentary is that organic soil is full of life, with millions of organisms. Flavour is a sign of nutrients and life in the soil. Sadly, the current mass-produced food system degrades the soil through pesticides, herbicides mono cropping and soil erosion…we are killing the very life in the soil. This is a problem because plants harvests micro nutrients and trace minerals out of the ground which gives food its health value. Instead of eating food grown in healthy soil, we have created a soil that is a dead medium just pumped up on nitrogen, potassium and prosperous. Flavour is an indicator of health. Dead soil has much less flavour and less health benefits. Sadly, many people don’t know how much better their food should taste, because they do not eat locally or grow their own. Continue reading

Sunscreen for Your Little Ones

By Breanna Rothe from sustainablemommy.ca, Photo: Tricia Hong

“A consumer advocacy group has a warning for parents who think they‘re protecting  their family with sunscreen: You may be getting burned. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based nonprofit, has released an investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreens that says four out of five don‘t adequately protect consumers and may contain harmful chemicals.” (Mercola)

With so many different sunscreens on the Market it is hard to decide which one is  right for your little ones. Beyond deciding on the brand and SPF, there are some other important factors to consider, such as the fact that many new studies such as the one mentioned above, have concluded that most of the ingredients in popular drugstore brands of sunscreen, contain chemicals that can be very harmful to your health, potentially cancer causing, and therefore not something you want to put on a baby or young child. Two main ingredients to avoid when purchasing a sunscreen for your family is anything containing Oxybenzone and Retinyl Palmitate. Continue reading

Babies & Kids with Eczema; no fun for anyone!

By: Jessica Carfagnini, ND, tbaynaturopathic.ca

Have you ever parented an itchy, unhappy child with an angry red rash? Perhaps your child had the rash with little bumps weeping fluid, or maybe she had the dry rash that cracked when she scratched it?  Eczema is an increasingly common health issue among babies and children and can be an endless source of frustration. What is eczema anyway? There are two main types.  Contact Dermatitis is an allergic reaction to laundry soap or another irritant in the environment.  This type of eczema can be usually be “cured” by removing the irritant. The other type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, is an itchy red rash that may be inherited from one or both parents. Allergies and asthma are linked to eczema so you may see any of these conditions occurring in members of the same family. Eczema, asthma and allergies are genetically linked and are all the result of a malfunctioning immune system. For this reason, they are sometimes considered autoimmune conditions. Continue reading

Natural Remedies for Labour, Birth & Postpartum

By Jessica Carfagnini, ND of Thunder Bay Naturopathic Clinic

Botanical tincture
This is a botanical tincture that can be taken 6 weeks prior to delivery. Mother’s cordial
Caulophyllum, Mitchella repens, Chamaelerium luteum, Vibernum opulus (equal parts of individual botanical tincture, can be compounded – see Resources below). Dosage: 1 tsp 3 times/day, take in warm water. Continue until onset of delivery/labour. This tincture helps prepare the uterus for delivery, and also increases the effectiveness of contractions.

If you are past 36 weeks (i.e., 9 months), taking evening primrose oil 500 mg capsules up to 2-4 times a day with food can help initiate labour by increasing prostaglandins in your body.

Walking and light exercise can also encourage the baby to orient her/himself in mom’s pelvis. Continue reading