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the haas machine: One Crunchy Mama's Wellness Tips

Friday, May 31, 2013

One Crunchy Mama's Wellness Tips

According to Urban Dictionary, a "Crunchy Mom" is: a member of an increasingly growing group of moms who are neo-hippies. They generally believe (for varying reasons) that there is something bad or less beneficial about buying mainstream products or doing other common activities in the mainstream way.You might be a crunchy mom if you:

  1. Bake all your own bread 
  2. Make your own jam, jelly, pickles, applesauce, etc. 
  3. Gave birth at home -- by CHOICE! (With a midwife, doula, or unassisted!) 
  4. Prefer to teach your children yourself at home instead of letting the public or private schools do it for you. 
  5. Grow your own food as much as possible, and buy the rest at farmer's markets or health food stores. 
  6. Are vegan or vegetarian. 
  7. Choose not to use birth control. 
  8. Don't wear a bra or shoes. 
  9. Don't use shampoo or soap, but instead maybe sea salt or a variety of other things. 
  10. Had your placenta chopped up for an anti-depressant pill or smoothie. 
  11. Have no television in your home -- and actually read BOOKS for entertainment! 
  12. Grind your own grain to make your own bread with (did you know that wheat looses about 90% of it's nutrients within 7 days of being ground?) 
  13. Don't cut your hair or wear pants (not going around half-naked, but wearing skirts! Silly people! Get your mind out of the gutter!) 
  14. Can add 10 more things to this list that I didn't even think of!
OK, so I might be more crunchy that I even realized, since I can check off at least 9 of the above mentioned (can you guess which ones?) This post might put all that over-the-top, but I thought it could be helpful to share.

The other week Ruby & I were coming down with a bit of a cold. Immediately, I started doing many things you will see on the list below & thought to myself, "We (I) are (am) so weird. Maybe there are people out there who want to be more weird like us?" Maybe that's the case, maybe it's not. Either way, here is a collection of some of the rituals we do either to prevent sickness or to nurse ourselves back to health.

I would love to hear if you have anything to add to this list or if you have any questions regarding some of the things we do. Please know that I am not a Dietitian, nor am I a Doctor or anything fancy like that. These are just some things that have worked for me & my family. Please see your family Doctor if you are needing medical attention!
  • Hand washing
    It's very basic, but it's one of the best ways to prevent spreading sickness. Wash your hands before you eat, after you use the bathroom, after handling money, after diaper changes, etc.
  • Safe cleaning at home
    We don't have anti-bacterial anything (we make all of our cleaning recipes). Outside of the home, I'm a bit more diligent about disinfecting (things like shopping carts, high chairs, & table tops, etc. especially with little ones who touch everything & put their hands in their mouth).
  • Nutrient-rich eating
    Food is fuel for the body, so what do you want to fill it with-- junk or food that will nourish your body? (we eat lots of whole grains, lean proteins, full fat dairy products, colorful vegetables, & some fruits & try to stay away from processed foods, empty sugary drinks, & lots of sugar). Check out this winter immune boost.
  • Eating fermented foods that are filled with probiotics
    Yogurt is our fav & it's super easy to make at home in your crockpot! I also give Ruby probiotic supplements when she's sick, but especially right after she started eating solid foods or if she's had to take antibiotics for any reason. Probiotics are super beneficial for a healthy gut & healthy body!
  • Vitamins
    Look for ones with no funky ingredients or artificial sweeteners (I recommend Rainbow Light).
  • Raw garlic
    It has to be raw! Raw garlic is a natural immune booster. I like it best minced on some scrambled eggs so it's easier to eat.
  • Garlic ear oil
    We use this to naturally heal ear infections (instead of taking antibiotics). Even when Ruby has a cold I put the drops in to prevent ear infections. I just put 3-5 drops in each ear 2-3 times a day.
  • Snot suckers during snotty times
    When I first saw the Nose Freida, I thought it was a joke. But then I heard all the rave reviews & caved. Although Ruby still isn't a huge fan, it really helps to clear out her nasal passages, especially right before bedtime or naptime. It works so much better than those ball syringe things & it's WAY easier to clean!
  • Ecalytpus essential oil on the feet with cotton socks
    I mix a little bit of oil (olive oil or sesame oil) with a few drops of essential oil & then rub them on Ruby's feet to alleviate coughs. I love Aura Cacia oils.
  • Vapor rub on the chest &/or feet
    I also like to use this vapor rub on our chests when we're stuffy or coughy. LuSa Organics is local & smells amazing!
  • Homeopathic medicine 
    We love Hylands line of medicines for coughs, allergies, & teething.
  • Steamy, hot showers 
    Shut the bathroom door & crank on the hot water to loosen mucus! You can take it one step further & hang sprigs of eucalyptus from your shower head or sprinkle the essential oil on the tub floor for an even more refreshing shower.
  • Unless dangerously high, we leave fevers alone
    Fevers are our bodies way of fighting infections
    , so I'm not big on giving Tylenol or any other fever reducer unless it's really necessary. We snuggle a lot & drink lots of fluids (namely tea, water, & 100% fruit juice) & I just keep an eye on Ruby's personality, which can be a big indicator if she's really dangerously sick or not.
  • Homemade pedialyte when dehydrated
    Pedialyte has so many funky ingredients in it, but if Ruby has been throwing up, it's important for her to be well-hydrated. This more natural recipe is one that I've used to help replentish her electrolytes. I haven't tried it yet, but I've also heard amazing things about coconut water.
  • Nursing
    My original goal was to nurse Ruby until she was 1 year old, but after I learned all of the benefits of continued nursing, I changed my mind. The World Health Organization actually recommends breastfeeding until age 2 or beyond to provide incredible nutrition for the child & many health benefits for mama, too. Check out this site for some humorous myths about nursing into toddlerhood & this site for a few other benefits.
  • Restful sleep/naps
    Sleep is one of the most important things when sick. There have been times where that means I need to sleep with Ruby if she's having a hard time napping during the day or just needs more cuddle time (she's a very cuddly sleeper!) I really think that sickness is often our bodies way of saying "slow down & rest!" & if we just keep go-go-going, we will just feel miserable longer.
  • Drinking lots of water (sometimes with lemon)
    Water is my cure-all for most things. Have a headache? Feel dizzy? Trying to kick a cold? Guzzle some water. When I'm starting to get sick, I aim to drink about a gallon of water a day with some fresh lemon. If it's hard for you to drink straight up water, try one of these refreshing recipes (I also like sticking cucumber spears in my water). Water is so important to me that I have even set an alarm on my phone every couple of hours so that I remember to drink more throughout the day (yes I am a super dork).
  • Smoothies packed with healthy fruits & yogurt
    Sometimes when we're sick, we don't feel like eating, but it's important for our bodies to get good vitamins & minerals. We eat this smoothie (or a variation of it, depending on what we have available) a lot so that we have energy to fight off the sickness.
  • Fresh air/sunshine every day
    I'm a big believer of outdoor therapy. There have been many days where Ruby was teething or fussy about something & just a 30-minute walk would alleviate her symptoms (or at least help me from not going too crazy because we were out of the house for a bit). If I have a headache, often times a good stroll will help me feel better. Fresh air & sunshine are restorative for your body! If you're not convinced, here are 10 reasons kids need fresh air.
  • Drinking tea
    Try peppermint & lavender for headaches/tension/anxiety, nettle for allergies, camomille for teething, etc. Kids can drink tea, too (non-caffeinated of course). I just steep it for 3-5 minutes & then pour it over ice so it is lukewarm. Ruby loves tea! Here is an exceptional tea blend to help with allergies (I swear that nettle tea has cured my allergies... I promise).
  • Essential oils for headaches & migraines
    I especially have found relief with peppermint & lavender oils. I usually take a hot bath & put some oils on a wash cloth & then put that on my forehead for 20 or so minutes (I love Aura Cacia's essential oils).
  • Neti pot for cleaning out the sinuses
    works wonderfully if you've got a cold or are suffering from allergies (once you get the hang of it). Just make sure you don't use tap water.
  • Washing your face often during allergy season
    If you're sensitive to pollen, it's a good idea to at least rinse your face off before bedtime so that you aren't bringing a bunch of pollen with you to bed. Here are a few other helpful allergy prevention tips.
  • Using raw, local honey for allergies
    There are literally hundreds of benefits to eating raw local honey, but allergy relief is one of the best ones I've experienced!
  • Exercise
    I know I already mentioned getting outside, but if it's rainy or something, we still try to do something physical. I like to start most days off doing a 40 minute yoga session (sometimes Ruby joins in if I'm too lazy to wake up before she does). We also like to go for an hour-long walk or bike ride most days & generally walk or ride whenever we have errands that are within a short-ish distance (we live right on the edge of downtown). Exercise is so important, even when you're sick, but make sure you don't overdo it.
  • Massage
    Massage is amazing for so many reasons, but I especially enjoy it for preventing headaches & for more comfort while pregnant. It can even help babies with teething or colds!
  • Hazlewood necklaces
    We have used these on Ruby for teething pain as well as clearing up ezcema & they really work! Last spring she was having some pretty funky skin rashes & after wearing her necklace for a day it was completely cleared up.
  • Amber teething necklaces for teething
    Amber necklaces
    are a little more popular & we have also tried these to help with Ruby's teething pain. The evidence hasn't been as obvious as with the hazlewood necklace, but there have been times where she wasn't wearing the amber necklace & was exceptionally cranky... who knows.
  • Homemade cough drops
    I don't like to take most cough drops because they contain so many sugary, fake ingredients (check out Halls cherry cough drops: Menthol 7 mg, Eucalyptus Oil, FD&C Blue 2, FD&C Red 40, Flavors, Glucose Syrup, Soy Lecithin, Sucralose, Sucrose, Water). These cough drops don't take much time to make, don't have artifical colors, & taste sooo much better.
  • Epsom salt baths
    A lot of people are deficient in magnesium. Epson salt baths are a super easy way for the skin to absorb some good-for-you minerals. Especially when you're sick these baths are beneficial to help remove toxins from your system. I like to buy the plain epsom salt & add a few drops of my favorite essential oils in before mixing the salt into hot water.
  • Chiropractic care
    We love our Chiropractor! Both Ruby & I go every 6 weeks or as needed (especially if Ruby has a bad fall or has a cold). For me, it helps prevent migraines & headaches & was especially helpful while I was pregnant. For kids it's very important since their little bodies are going through so much growth & trauma all the time (it's especially helpful for newborns since being born is kind of an event for them). And I bring Ruby when she's got a cold, too, to help prevent against ear infections & even strep throat! I started bringing Ruby to the Chiro when she was 7 or 8 months old, but I will definitely bring our future kid(s) within days of being born.
  • Natural ingredients to treat sunburn
    This is the only thing I'm suggesting that I haven't actually tried: putting a mixture of aloe, coconut oil, & raw honey on sunburn. I think I'm going to give it a try this summer!
And in case this wasn't entertaining enough, check out this funny video on sh*t crunch mamas say. I know it's old, but it still makes me laugh so much. Whew! That was a lot of things... what do you like to do to treat or prevent sickness naturally?

(This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something from amazon, I will get a small compensation).

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