Archive for the 'health' Category


Stomach Bug Survival Kit

Whether you need to run to the store for your family or you want to bless someone else’s family whose  has been hit by the stomach bug, here is a list of survival items we’ve found essential to weathering the storm.

  • Saltines: Mild carb, easy to digest.
  • Sprite: Sugar helps balance electrolytes and fights dehydration.
  • Chicken noodle soup: Salt also helps balance electrolytes. I’ve found chicken and rice soups to be more unpleasant to throw up. The rice gets stuck in the throat. The noodles slide back up easily.
  • Jello: Sugar and Salt for electrolytes and smoothly travels up and down.
  • Pedialyte: For electrolytes and fights dehydration, use sparingly since it is pretty strong and overuse can actually induce diarrhea.
  • Wet wipes: Because you can’t give them a bath every time they vomit on themselves.
  • Lysol III: It’s the only cleaner (aside from bleach) that I’m aware of that kills stomach bug viruses.
  • Rubbing alcohol: For cleaning cloth furniture that has been vomited on. It disinfects and evaporates quickly.
  • Paper towels: For vomit clean up.

Luxury Items:

  • Spearmint essential oil diluted in water (brown bottle): I spray this inside their cleaned vomit bowls to keep the vomit smell at bay (which can make them feel more nauseous).
  • Nice smelling all-purpose cleaner: To use as needed.
  • Laundry detergent: Because we do a lot of extra laundry during these times!
  • Diapers (if sickies are at that age): We go through double (triple?) the amount of diapers we go through normally.
  • Entertainment: Thankfully we have Netflix, but  if that isn’t available, bring some movies or stories on tape to help keep the kids entertained while they are laying down.
  • Food for mom: Often mom will end up neglecting to eat because she is so busy with the kids. Bring her something easy to eat (a sandwich, a ready made salad, protein smoothie?) and maybe some coffee to keep her going strong.
  • Garbage bags: For mess control!
  • Straws: Because it is better sip then gulp when you are throwing up a lot.



ginger and lemon tisane

Here’s a great drink to make (and drink) when you have a sore throat. You could just use “Lemon Zinger” or “Lemon and Ginger” tea bags, but they don’t come anywhere near to the clear, hot, refreshingness of this tisane. And if you’re in a pinch (or drinking 5 gallons a day and can’t afford it), you can probably leave out the lemongrass.

Ginger and Lemon Tisane
serves 4

2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
2 stalks lemongrass
4 teaspoons honey
1 lemon, sliced

Thinly slice the ginger and cut each lemongrass stalk in half crosswise, then lengthwise. Put the ginger and lemongrass into cups, then add the honey and a slice of lemon. Top up with boiling water and serve.


cleaning products

Lately I’ve been re-examining my house cleaning methods, or more particularly my house cleaning products. I’ve known for a while that I’ve probably been going a little overboard with my ‘bleach everything’ policy, and so I’ve slowly been warming up the ‘vinegar and baking soda method’ of cleaning. After doing some reading this morning, I’ve decided to launch into it and do away with my many bottles of specialized cleaning products and try to simplify it down to a few products that are easier to store and safer to use. One thing I’m wondering about though is a good all purpose cleaner. I’ve looked at that new line of Clorox Green Works products, and I’m considering their all purpose cleaner. I’m wondering, has anyone used that? Do you have any other suggestions for ‘safer’ cleaning products?



I found this article at to be a great overview of dealing with depression as a Christian.



“Depression has been called the “common cold” of mental disorders, and one source estimates that it disrupts the lives of 30 to 40 million Americans. [4]

Depression is too complicated to solve with a single pat answer. Gary Collins, in Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide (Dallas: Word, 1988), lists seven major categories of causes for depression,[1] and six major approaches to treating it. Each one has multiple options within each category. In addition, people use the word “depression” to cover everything from disappointment over losing a baseball game to the terrifying gloom that drives people to suicide.

The Bible does not use the word “depression,” although it describes people whom we might call depressed. It certainly doesn’t mention antidepressant drugs. However, there are a few general principles I would recommend when trying to deal with depression:

Aim to work on the causes of your depression, not just the symptoms.

Scripture points to many issues of sin or conflict that can affect your emotions; most counselors would agree that depression can result from other underlying issues. Don’t just worry about the depression itself; check to see what other problems need attention.

Realize that you can’t base life on your emotions

Christians base life on truth, not feelings. Philippians 4:1 commands us to rejoice (whether we feel like it or not!). And James 1:2 asks us to “Consider it all joy when we fall into various trials.” Notice that James doesn’t tell us to feel joyful; he tells us to reckon, to choose to think about your situation as a spot where you can have joy.


Choosing to trust truth rather than your feelings may require a lot of faith. And if that is what we mean by asking if faith can solve depression, then faith may be enough in some cases. Trusting what God says rather than your feelings is certainly a more realistic approach to life!

Heed God’s Advice

However, many people talk about “faith” and only mean a vague hope that God will somehow pull them through. That’s too nebulous a concept to be reliable. Many of the same people who claim to have faith keep plunging through life ignoring God’s principles for healthy living. If we spurn the good advice that the Bible contains, we won’t escape the consequences – even if we have faith.

Is it right to use antidepressant drugs? Or is faith enough to solve the problem?

Chemical Imbalances

Some cases of depression may be caused by chemical imbalances. If that is the cause, then antidepressant drugs may be the answer. God has allowed mankind to learn about many medical tools, and He sometimes uses medicine to heal. There may also be some cases of depression so severe that medications are necessary to bring the sufferer to the place where they can tackle some of the other issues; such cases might require medication, at least temporarily. I know of no Scripture that forbids such use. [1]

Unresolved Issues, Root Causes

However, any medications should be used with caution. Virtually any medicine has some side effects. Drugs can mask the symptoms, allowing you to ignore root causes. Some people may use antidepressants to avoid approaches that require you to deal with other unresolved issues. It seems easier to pop a pill. A general rule of thumb is to try other strategies first, unless the depression is so severe that the person endangers themselves or finds themselves unable to participate in other therapies.

Depression is a complex area, and severe problems of depression deserve the attention of a pastor or other counselor.”

Author: Dr. John Bechtle


Eating Disorders

I found these articles very interesting when I was researching. The first one addressed my particular fears completely and helped me refocus my priorities. It can be such a battle to maintain a healthy outlook about our maternal figures when the pressure to unhealthily thin is so strong. Remember that a beautiful body is a healthy body. God gave you those curves. Embrace them.


Back to bulimic
Taken from Today’s Christian Woman

Q: “I’m 27, married, and the mom of four. When I was a teen, I battled bulimia and anorexia. Although I feel God cured me of my eating disorders, now that I’m trying to lose the weight I gained after four pregnancies, I’m concerned I may relapse. Is this common?”

A: It is. After all, you’re probably tempted to find a shortcut to a prepregnancy body after having four babies in short succession. It’s also possible that with four young ones to care for, your life feels a little out of control. Attempting to control your weight may be one way you relieve your anxiety about that.

I encourage you to think about what function an eating disorder serves for you. Understanding its purpose will help you battle it more effectively. For example, when you were a teen, the odds are high your eating disorder had more to do with some other issue than simply your body weight. I suspect whatever that was has cropped up again and needs your attention.

Since you don’t want to model eating-disorder behaviors for your watching children, keep yourself from getting locked into this destructive pattern again. If the struggle intensifies or you begin to fall back into old habits, seek help in the ways that benefited you before—counseling or a support group.


Mom’s Body Image

Author: Lori Henry
Published: November 17, 2006 Mothers play a large role in shaping the behaviour of their daughters and sons

“It’s shown that mom’s who diet all the time and are chronic dieters will have daughters who may start dieting as early as age 9 or 10,” said Sonia Angel, a dietician with Memorial Hospital, or even spawning an eating disorder.

Young teenagers and children look up to their parents for guidance and eating habits are a common behaviour to emulate, whether conscious or not.

“There are certain foods they may not like but they will like others,” said Angel. “Prepare things differently because maybe they don’t like something raw but they’ll like something cooked, and vice versa.”

Ways to help young children retain a positive body image:

– don’t diet

– don’t focus on food as good or bad

speak positively about your own body in front of them (and with yourself, too!)

– don’t focus on weight and calories

– don’t value fad dieting above good ol’ common nutrition


Also check out this site for some great tips on how to avoid a relapse.


Get a Grip

If you’re like me, your monthly period is a hurricane of irritability, exhaustion, and hails of tears (not to mention worse-then-childbirth-cramps). After several attempts at natural remedies for the pain, my amazing gynecologist has given me pharmaceutical help. Thankfully, the Tylenol 3 takes the edge off the pains, but it doesn’t save my family from the barrage of violent mood swings. A couple months ago I found this tea at David’s Natural Market (like a food coop) and decided to give it a try, even though it was the most money I’d ever spent on tea. After 4 months of using it, I can report that it is a screaming success. As soon as I recognize my pms symptoms, I start a to boil a pot of water with one tea bag. I use 1 tea bag a day and just refill the pot every time I pour a cup. After it comes to a boil, I cover it and let it simmer on low until I’m ready for my next cup. I usually drink about 8 mugs of it a day (with 1 tea bag). Since I started drinking it, there’s been a gloriously notable stability to my emotions. I’m still a bit blue, but it’s not anywhere near what it was before. Nothing a little chocolate and a back rub can’t cure. The tea tastes soothing and it’s warm (so it helps relax your muscles, which is half the battle with pain caused by cramps). For about $10.00 you get 36 tea bags. I only use them on my worst days (2 days) a month, so those 36 bags will last me a year and a half and that isn’t half bad. My husband also learned a wonderful cramp massage I will ask him about and share in another post, but for the time being, get thee to an organic market and buy Get a Grip in bulk!


Pau D’Arco

Here’s my little plug for alternative medicine. Since colds, coughs, flu, virus, bacterias and everything else ugly tends to rear its head this time of year, I thought it would be wise to give you this little tip we picked up from the late Doctor Ann Raymer when we were patients at her clinic. Pau D’Arco extract tastes like dirt. Seriously, mix mud, mold and bark– tada!! Pau D’Arco! But the benefits far out way the taste (unlike my nemesis, apple cider vinegar, gross!). The trick is to notice the inevitable before you have a full blown case of the sickies. At that time, start taking one dropperfull, 3 times daily. I keep a bottle on hand at all times in my home. Whenever one of us begins to get that scratchy feeling in the back of our throats, or the tell tale aches and pains where your skin hurts, we break out the bark and start guzzling it down. When we do remember (which is the main problem here) to start a regimen with Pau D’Arco, 95% of the time we don’t end up getting sick! Generally, we start feeling better the next day. It really is amazing stuff. I’ve found it more effective then Airborne or Echinacea Goldenseal or even plain old vitamin C. I’m not saying the alternatives don’t work, I’m just saying this one seems to work the best for my family. You can pick it up at herbal stores (like the Co-op) but I’ve found it online as well. Click here for more medicinal uses. If you look online look for Pau D’Arco Extract, the capsules aren’t rumored to work as well.