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Health and Wellness

I Eat White Rice (Gasp!)

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Those of you that know me, know that I am a clean(ish) eater.  Have I removed every possible processed food from my life? No.  Do I obsess daily if a bit of sugar gets into my body? No.  (Are you kidding me?  I love dessert!)  Do I freak out if I’m tired and don’t want to cook and hubby brings home burgers?  No.  But I do make an effort to at least balance out the pathetic nutrition in the standard American diet, with real foods as often as possible.   Which leads me to my Earth-shattering confession.  I eat white rice!!  (I know….shocking).

Don’t get me wrong, my hat is off to all you super-moms and dads out there that have the time, energy, and dedication to ONLY serve the best of the best to your family.  I do not fall into that category.  Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what, exactly, I do all day; but at the end of each, I am exhausted and overwhelmed by all the things that remain undone, so I guess I must be doing something.  If any of you can point out something I’ve accomplished on any given day, please feel free to step forward. Please?  Haha.

I Eat White RiceOk, let’s talk about the rice already.  When I first started learning about the nutrition (or general lack thereof) in our modern diets, I agonized over what changes I could make to my family’s diet that would not cause them to stage a hostile coup of my kitchen, but still afford them better nutrition than the standard American diet (S.A.D.)  Rice was one of those foods.  I mean, seriously, who actually likes brown rice?  {Be honest!} Yuck!

As I’m sure you’ve heard, brown rice is touted as nutritionally superior to white rice due to the grains remaining intact, thus preserving the nutrients that would otherwise be discarded in white rice.  The nutrients live in the hull, or the bran, of the kernel.  In processing brown rice, only the outer husk is removed, leaving the hull intact.  In white rice, this hull is removed in processing which removes most of the vitamins and nutrients.  You would think that this is a bad thing, right?  Well, only partially.  You see, there is a little known monster that also lives in the hull of the rice called phytic acid. Continue Reading

Essential Oils, Health and Wellness

“Joy of the Mountains” – Marjoram Essential Oil

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Marjoram essential oil from Spark Naturals is from genus/species Origanum Marjorana from Hungary.  Origanum comes from a Greek words “oros” and “ganos” meaning “Joy of the Mountains“.  Marjoram is native to the Mediterranean region; it is an amber-colored liquid with a woody spicy and camphorus aroma. It has been used extensively in culinary applications and works great for muscular and rheumatic pains such as sprains, bruises or stiff joints.

Uses for Marjoram

Marjoram is Spark Naturals’ Oil of the Month (OOTM) for February so if you’re looking to score a 15 ml bottle for a great price, you’ll need to hurry and get signed up before the end of the month.  The Oil of the Month club delivers one 15 ml bottle of pure, independently certified, essential oils to you once every 30 days for only $15.99 with free shipping.  Unfortunately, since the oils are already steeply discounted, they do not qualify for the additional 10% discount from my coupon code, but I’d ask that you all use it anyway just so they’ll know I sent you.  ;0) Continue Reading

Essential Oils, Health and Wellness

Essential Oils – The essential 4-pack

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If you’ve spent any time at all on Pinterest these days, you’ve probably noticed a lot of people talking about essential oils.

What are essential oils?  Essential oils, are the botanical extracts from plants and plant materials; such as flowers, fruits, herbs, seeds, stems, trees and various other plant materials. They are the very essence of the plant providing protection to the plants from diseases and other maladies and play a role in the pollination of some plants as well.

Throughout history, essential oils have been used around the world for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits, so it’s really no surprise that the popularity of essential oils has experienced something of a revival in recent years.  More and more families are seeking out natural and holistic ways to preserve and promote good health.  Spark Naturals’ certified pure, therapeutic grade, essential oils represent 100% safe and pure essential oils for the benefit of your, and your family’s, well-being.

Essential oils are great for tons of different uses.  You can use them for aromatherapy, topically, in recipes, for your beauty and skin care routine, in your home and garden to deter pests, to clean your home, on your pets (please check with your vet), to flavor beverages, and the list goes on.

Spark Naturals Essential 4-pack KitThe Spark Naturals Essential 4-pack kit is a perfect set of starter oils for anyone just beginning their EO journey.  It includes four 5ml bottles of essential oils:  Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), and Peppermint.  The list of uses for these four oils might well be endless but I’m going to try to list a few ideas for you to get you started.

Please note that I only recommend Spark Naturals 100% Pure essential oils if you are going to use any of these oils in cooking, beverages, or otherwise ingesting them. Quality and purity are paramount when considering using essential oils internally.  That being said, lets move on, shall we? Continue Reading

Health and Wellness

Inflammatory Breast Cancer – A Silent Killer

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Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I want to share with you some critical information that could absolutely save your life, or that of someone you love.  This post is written with the ladies in mind, but if there are any gentlemen here, I would also urge you to read on.  I promise I won’t be too graphic.


This is my Mama.  Isn’t she beautiful?  I want to tell you a story about my Mama and what a rare form of breast cancer did to our family.

October 2008, was last the full month of what I consider healthy bliss for my family.  In November, on Election Day actually, my mother sustained what she thought was a minor injury to her breast.  The swelling and soreness persisted, so after a couple of weeks passed, she went to her OBGYN to have it checked out.  This doctor is a wonderful man and an excellent practitioner.  He determined that it must be an insect bite of some sort, prescribed her with an antibiotic cream and sent her home.  Another few weeks passed and there was still no improvement, so she went back to her doctor who then referred her to a breast specialist.  Continue Reading