Hippie Medicine Cabinet

Some of you think I’m crunchy; some of you know of my love for Chick-Fil-A, which negates some of my crunchy hippie points.  I don’t talk about my holistic-naturopath-weirdo habits very often, but today I’m making an exception.  Let’s talk about the Hippie Medicine Cabinet.

You should know that I am a former hardcore over-the-counter remedy lover.  Papercut?  Advil, please.  Back ache?  More Aleve.  Tummy rumbles?  Tum-ta-tum-tum-TUMS.  Allergies?  Claritin-D, even if it made me hallucinate.  Flu?  Robitussin (which also made me hallucinate).  Then I met my husband, the anti-medicine man (Did you know they have hippie tendencies in Jersey?  Me either; I thought it was all Goodfellas and meatballs up there).  At first I thought his papaya enzyme chewing was totally weird; but, the more I researched and educated myself, the more aware I became of what’s in some of the stuff we frequently take.

Let’s get holistic…

  1. Papaya Enzyme: This is the bees knees for stomach issues.  It helps to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  It also tastes way better than anything else you can take.  You can get it in chewables, or you can just eat raw papaya.  Fun fact: It can also be used as a meat tenderizer.  Important fact: You shouldn’t take more than a normal “food amount” while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar: Drinking a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water can help with indigestion and relieve a stuffy nose.  Sore throat coming on?  Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar with warm water, and gargle.  Dandruff?  Take that same equal parts vinegar-water mix, and spray it on your scalp.  Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse.  Acne?  Splash some on your face as a toner.  Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties to help fight infection (tummy and throat troubles) and balance the pH of your skin (face and hair).
  3. Raw, Natural Honey: Not the stuff in the squeezy bear bottle, people…you’re going to find this in a glass jar, and more than likely you’ll need to hit up Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or Mother Earth to find it.  Raw honey has incredible anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  Colds, sore throats, allergies, indigestion, ulcers…you get the idea.  There are several types of raw honey; most of my crunchy friends look for Manuka honey, but I’m of the mindset that anything is better than nothing.
  4. Aloe Vera: Everyone knows about aloe vera and its ability to soothe and heal burns, right?  I can’t begin to tell you the love I have for this plant.  A few years ago, I used a stainless steel skillet to sear my porkchops, then toss them in the oven to finish baking.  When they were done, I removed them from the oven (still in the skillet) and set them on top of the stove.  Not five minutes later, I grabbed the handle of the skillet to move it, and burned off what I am certain to be 4,573 layers of skin.  We slapped some aloe on that sucker, and the throbbing (which was intense) stopped within the hour.  By the next morning, I had minimal pain, and my hand never blistered or peeled.  That plant is a miracle worker.  I have also given up porkchops.
  5. Yoga: So you can’t store this in your medicine cabinet, but it’s worth adding to the list of remedies.  Aches and pains, headaches, allergies, digestion, energy, focus, there is absolutely nothing this practice can’t help improve.  Seriously.  Just a few stretches a day can work wonders.  Add in a glass of red wine, and you’ll feel like a new person.  Red wine is in hippie medicine cabinets, right?
  6. Water: Okay, another one you can’t exactly store in your medicine cabinet, but getting enough water is crucial to overall health.  And this one isn’t really a hippie thing, it should be an everyone thing.  You need 8-10 glasses of the good stuff daily.  I’ve also heard that you should halve your body weight (your real weight, not the one you lie fudge by five pounds) and drink that number of ounces.  So if you weigh 140 pounds, you should at least drink 70 ounces of water daily.

Finally, coconut oil.  This baby should have its very own special cabinet, with rainbows and sunbeams shooting out of it.  If you don’t have a jar of organic coconut oil, we need to talk.

Have you ever seen the moving “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”?  You know how they use Windex for everything?  Coconut oil is Windex for hippies (not for windows…I’m attempting a metaphor, people).

Let me get that eczema...

Let me get that eczema…

Things we do with coconut oil:

  1. Bake and cook.  I know, this seems obvious, right?  But really, it’s true.  All the things Food Network shows you with olive oil are kinda wrong.  Olive oil has a high smoke point, and can quickly turn rancid when cooked.  For how many years did we use olive oil at high temps to cook things on the stove top?  A million, and I do still use it on occasion.  We just try to sub coconut oil whenever possible.  If you get refined coconut oil, lots of the coconut flavor/smell has been removed, making it perfect to cook or bake most anything.
  2. Dry skin.  Those harsh Florida winters can cause dry skin, especially for our kiddo.  A couple dry patches on his cheeks showed up in January; rub some coconut oil on them a couple times a day, and they disappeared in no time.  Bonus: His cheeks smelled like delicious macaroons, making them even more edible than normal.
  3. Eat it.  No, really…have a shredded carrot salad with equal parts coconut oil and apple cider vinegar as a dressing.  Helps with digestion and keeping your hormones in check (read: no estrogen crazy pants).  It’s also a natural way to get an energy boost, and it helps increase your metabolism.
  4. Give it to the dog.  We have a Collie; they’re prone to dry skin, which equals dandruff.  Maggie gets a teaspoon of coconut oil in her dogfood, along with a massage on her dry spots, to help keep her dandruff at bay.
  5. Oil pulling.  Oh yes, I do oil pulling, and I cannot sing its praises enough.  From what I’ve seen, oil pulling is also becoming a fad, with articles and blogs touting the miraculous things it can do (such as providing the winning Power Ball numbers, picking up your dry cleaning and sorting your recyclables).  It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not everything some folks want you to believe.  The benefits I have personally experienced from oil pulling include healthier gums, clearer sinuses, and fewer sinus headaches.  I used to wake up every morning with a wicked sinus headache, and green snot for days (lovely, right?) After a few days of oil pulling, the headaches disappeared and my sinuses are so much better.  No pressure, no pain, no stuffiness, and minimal green snot rockets.  It’s awesome, and if you think it’s weird, don’t knock it ’til you try it.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, a naturopath, or an super hippie.  I’m just a mom (ha, JUST a mom…we are superheroes, are we not?) sharing her holistic thoughts.  Take it with a grain of sustainably harvested sea salt.  And get the damn coconut oil…you’ll thank me later.  Next week we’ll talk oil of oregano and composting, m’kay?

Coconut oil 4EVA,

K

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I hate you, Pinterest.

Monday morning…I’m doing my usual rundown of the mommy blogs, when I came across a post about the Elf.  You know the one…Elf on the Shelf?  Elf on a Shelf?  Whatever he/she/it is, I know it pops up in my Facebook newsfeed con-stant-ly.  The post was something along the lines of “101 Fun Things to Do with Your Elf!”
Not on the top 101 list.
Tangent: Can I tell you about how much I loathe the elf?  First, he’s creepy.  Second, why do we have to scare our children into behaving around Christmas?  The idea of some little elf spying on your kids is frightening to me as an adult…kids just buy into this garbage?  No.  Stop it with the elf.  You need to acknowledge and encourage your kids’ good behavior…not tattle-tale on the bad.  If you only focus on the good, your kids will catch on, and they’ll want to continue finding ways to do good.  At least that’s the plan in our house.
Back to the list 101 fun things:
‘Scuse me…did you say ONE HUNDRED AND ONE?  When does this Elf business start, Labor Day?!
Who has time to sit down and compose 101 fun things to do with an Elf doll?  I’ll tell you who:
PINTEREST PEOPLE.
You know who you are.
I waited a while before joining Pinterest because, let’s be honest, I needed another time-suck like I needed another glass of wine (I NEED IT).  So when I’m done spending unnecessary amounts of time on BuzzFeed, celebrity gossip, mommy blogs and Facebook, I can go pin things on boards.  Yay!
I never feel an ounce of inadequacy until I visit my Pinterest account.  Once the boards of recipes, organization tips, sewing patterns, paint colors and DIY everything that I’m absolutely never going to get around to actually DIY-ing pop up, it’s like looking at a failed to do list.  That I super failed, big time.
Remember my week of vacay at home?  One of the items on my list for that glorious week was to make my own household cleaners.  Enough with the harsh and dangerous chemicals; we having baking soda, vinegar, and other stuff that these crunchy mamas tell me will clean my oven better than Easy Off, and it’s so safe that Miles could drink seven gallons and instead of having to call Poison Control, I would have to call The New York Times because he would have baby super powers from the all natural goodness!  Yes!  I want a super baby! (Editor’s note: We already have a super baby.)
There were 31 different recipes for cleaners.  Some of them involved ingredients like lemongrass, essential oils and tears from virgin Alpacas in the Andes (they can only shed these tears during Summer Solstice, otherwise your window cleaner won’t work for poop).  Too much work.  In crept the feeling of defeat, before I’d even begun my stupid project.

We bring you gifts that will remove hard water build up from your shower door.

Don’t get me started on the kitchen stuff.  I have boards for recipes that use ingredients like cardamom, blood oranges and more virgin Alpaca Summer Solstice tears.  I shop at Publix.  There are days where they don’t even have parsley, let alone cactus pear.  Last time I checked, my kitchen wasn’t hosting episodes of “Chopped.” Also, who has time to cook a meal that has 15 ingredients and requires a fondue pot?  There are nights we’re so busy it’s just breakfast for dinner…and my husband is always super excited about breakfast for dinner, until I hand him a box of Honey Bunches of Oats and a carton of almond milk.  LOOK HONEY, BREAKFAST!
And do you know about the secret boards?  Oh yes, you can have secret boards, and you can choose who has access.  So for when I really want to pin a project that will never, ever in a million years even get considered to be added to my to do list, I can put it on a secret board.  There are times I laugh as I’m pinning.
I can’t drink the Pinterest Kool-Aid.  I don’t know when you People of Pinterest have time to crochet sweaters for your parakeets.  
You can seriously Google anything.
Maybe you do it after your kids go to bed.  And maybe I could do that, too…or maybe I’d really just like to take those couple hours to sit on the couch and vegetate.  Or read a book I started six weeks ago.  Or drink some Christmas beer and bitch about Pinterest in a blog.
I have time for painting with sweet potatoes (one of Miles’ current fave games) and making pig snorting noises and chasing the kid who’s chasing a cat around every single dining room chair.  I have time to live in the chaos and joy that is “new parents.”  I have time to relish these moments and days as they come.  I do not have time to Pin. 
Oh, and my DIY cleaning products?  I’m going to call it a half win, because I just ended up throwing away all of the cleaners I had in my cabinets before, and buying half a dozen different products from Seventh Generation.  I had a coupon.  And I’m lazy.  But I feel moderately accomplished, and you can drink our window cleaner. 
So Pinteresting,
Kristin

Friday Round-Up

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
WE HAVE NEW NEIGHBORS!  Eek, I am so excited.  Wanna know why?  Because not only are they our age, but they’re pregnant with their first child, and guess what?  IT’S A BOY!  This means instant best friend for Miles.  Also, because they bought the house, that means they’re locked in for a long term commitment with us as neighbors.  It’ll be just like a TV sitcom!  Yay!
My current concern is how long to wait before I begin the stalking.  Also, what’s an appropriate food item to welcome them to the ‘hood?  What if they have a food allergy?  Or can’t eat chicken on Saturdays because of some religious belief?  What if they only eat organic apples washed by the tears of happy apple picking children?  I thought about baking banana nut bread.  Or maybe something pumpkin, since the calendar tells me it’s Fall (although the weather does not).  Does it need to be gluten free, dairy free, vegan friendly, kosher and smell good?
Help me out here, people.  I don’t want to offend the parents of Miles’ future BFF.
Side note: Evan has met Cameron (the husband) and says he’s super nice.  They have two dogs.  Last night, one of the dogs came into our yard (TO POOP!!!) while they were probably lugging boxes inside.  Evan advised me of the dog’s (POOPING) presence by saying, “HONEY THERE’S AN ANIMAL IN THE YARD!”  This is not how you tell me there’s a dog (POOPING) in the yard.  If you tell me there’s an animal, my mind sees a grizzly bear or a sixteen foot alligator or a sharktopus (Google it).  I have a legitimate fear of zombies coming to my front door.  Ask my husband.  So the best way to tell me there’s a dog in the yard is to say, “Hey, there’s a cute, sweet, harmless looking dog in the front yard.”
I went to the window and peeked through the blinds.  The dog looked up (FROM HIS POOPING, IN MY YARD!!!) and we made eye contact.  And we both stood there, frozen.  I did what any rational adult would do: I stuck my tongue out at the dog.
The dog proceeded to bark hysterically at me.  I closed the blinds.  Right now I’m iffy about the new dogs next door. 
Reduce, Reuse…
Most of you know I am big on taking care of Mother Earth.  After all, what we do today is the legacy we’ll live our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren…and I would like to make sure there are still some trees, estuaries, wildlife, and other cool stuff left for them to enjoy.  I don’t drive a Prius (yet) and we haven’t gone totally organic (yet) but I do enjoy hugging trees, picking up garbage, cutting the plastic rings from six-packs so ducks don’t get stuck, and recycling.  I have always been quietly proud of my recycling efforts, until my husband jumped on board.
There are a few things I refuse to reduce, reuse, recycle:
–          Cat food cans
–          Jelly jars
–          Salad dressing bottles
The effort to clean these things is more than I can muster.  Also, cat food cans are smelly…I freak out if any of the cat food juice gets on my fingers (like, flailing because I touched a spider web freak out).  I am darn sure not washing the turkey giblets out of it.  Ick.
If Evan catches me discarding any of these items, he will remove them from the garbage (no matter how deep I’ve buried them) and proceed to wash them.  It’s not unusual to find a jelly jar soaking by the sink when I get home from work.  Even if I try to sneak said item into the garbage can, his Captain America senses tingle and he runs to the rescue.  If I try to beat him to the garbage can, he foils my attempt in QB sack fashion.
In 2009, we took a 4,000 miles road trip from FL to WashingtonDC, New Jersey, NYC, Niagara Falls, and then west to Kentucky for my brother’s graduation from basic training.  Side note: Does it count as cross-country if it was mostly north to south traveling?  I mean, we did go to Kentucky, which could really just secede and become its own country (sorry, Kentuckians…) so cross country it is.  We traveled for 15 days.  Evan kept every single water bottle, napkin, newspaper, coffee cup, flyer, take-out container and plastic utensil we used.  When we arrived back in Florida, we had two black garbage bags full of recycling.  Evan would have left luggage in Ohio if it meant we could squeeze more recyclable goods in our truck.
We’ve been to parties and cook-outs where folks weren’t recycling their bottles and cans.  People: don’t do this around my husband.  Do you know what he’ll do?  Turn into a raccoon and start rummaging through your garbage cans to remove all of the recyclables.  Then we have to take them all home.
Please, for my sanity, recycle.

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…
Floridians, what is up with this weather?!  It’s like the clouds have us confused with Seattle, and have sent all the grungy, depressed, flannel wearing rain to our neck of the woods.  Not cool.
This week alone, I’ve seen three accidents (minor) on my way to or from work.  The weather has brought the following to my attention:
–          Leaving adequate space between my car and the car ahead of me is something I view as a safety precaution.  Everyone else on the road believes I’m just leaving enough space to let six cars cut me off.
–          No one uses their headlights when it’s a monsoon; however, if it’s a light drizzle, at least two people will turn on their hazard lights and drive 25mph.
–          I never need to replace my wiper blades until it’s raining.
–          I never need to pump gas until it’s raining.
–          Umbrellas are stupid.  I am positive I get more water on me, in the car, in my purse, down my shirt and on Miles if I try to use an umbrella.  Is there some magical umbrella trick you can use to get in your car without soaking yourself?  Because it if you look at me after I’ve used an umbrella, you’d think I’m just standing outside, holding it upside down.  UMBRELLAS ARE STUPID.
–          No one remembers they needed to turn righthererightnowohmygoshhereicome until the very last minuteAt least I’ve given you plenty of space in front of me to attempt vehicular homicide.
–          The reduction of driving skills exhibited by the motorists on Del Prado is directly proportionate to the increase in precipitation.

Rain…please GTFO.  Thanks.
Happy Weekend!