Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tweak the Treats!

Today seems to mark the official beginning of our season of special treats. Whether you participate in this holiday or not, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and more are right around the corner, and there will be goodies o' plenty at every turn. So, what does this healthy livin' mommy think about all of the sugary treats?

Well, tonight we will be attending an event at our church, and there will be plenty of candy involved. I cannot hope for my little one to say "no thank you" to all of those yummy sweets. Of course I want to limit her sugar intake, but I want her to enjoy herself. When it comes to special days like this, birthday parties, etc, I don't fret too much. It is only one day, and since I am doing my best all throughout the year to keep nutritious, healthy food in our diets, I can shrug my shoulders and let my kiddo have a good time.

But do I want my three-year-old consuming all of her giant candy loot? No way. So here are a few ideas to help parents put a lid on the candy intake!

  • Buy their candy! Let your kids choose a handful of their favorites and "buy" the rest from them. Set a price of 5 to 25 cents per piece of candy, depending on the size of their collection (and their age). Then let them put that toward a special toy or other item they've had their eye on. OR instead of using cash, buy them out with stickers or other fun stuff!

  • I read about one mom showing her kids "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and then allowing them to keep a portion of their candy, and offering the rest to "the Great Pumpkin" (in reality, it's daddy, who hauls the loot off to work on Monday morning!)

  • Make a trade! Let your kids keep a few pieces in their bag, and trade the others for some healthier options. Here are a few ideas for replacements that are not necessarily "healthy", but are a better alternative to the more common treats filled with hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors and colors.

1. Fill a small bag with trailmix, carob chips, raisins, pretzels, or one of their other favorite snack foods.

2. Yummy Earth organic lollypops (my daughter's favorite)

3. SunSpire's natural candy bars and Sundrops- colorful "m & m"-like chocolate treats

4. Cliff Kid Organic Twisted Fruit

5. Annie's Organic BunnyFruit Snacks

(can all be found at Whole Foods and other health food stores, and Amazon)

These are just a few ideas to make your holiday a little bit healthier, but just as SWEET!
Here's to your health!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Warm Cup of Healthy Brew

It is so nice to enjoy a hot cup of tea in the morning, or just before heading off to bed at night. I drink tea a bit less frequently since moving here to Hawaii, but with the weather cooling off in the next few months, my husband and I will be enjoying an evening ritual that we always look forward to this time of year. A warm mug in my hand, the smell of it brewing, the way it sooths as it goes down. Aaaah.

When it comes to tea, I prefer vanilla, chocolate...or mint. Yum. Though I enjoy tea as a treat, I also know the many benefits herbal teas offer. Recently I shared
my top immune boosters. Even when we do our best to prevent it, we all get sick from time to time. When I feel the twinge of a sore throat coming on, I know I can reach for Traditional Medicinals. I may take lots of Vitamin C and other things to help fight a cold, but nothing soothes my throat like Throat Coat, by Traditional Medicinals.

Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years. Medicinal use of herbal tinctures exists all over the world, in various cultures.
Traditional Medicinals offers a variety of herbal blends, specially formulated for specific needs. In addition to Throat Coat, they make several blends of teas to help promote health in areas like digestion, sleep, and mood. A great one for new mommies is Mother's Milk, which is highly recommended by midwives and lactation consultants, for promoting healthy breast milk production.

Traditional Medicinals is the leader in fair trade certified herbal teas. For over 34 years, they have been making herbal teas, blending the ancient art of traditional formulating with the most modern methods to ensure a consistently reliable product. Visit their official site to explore the variety of tea blends and other products offered. You can also find Traditional Medicinal teas at health food stores, Target, and Amazon.

Here's to healthy sipping!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Refund From Disney

Many of you have likely heard about this. I have received several emails about it, so I am posting it to be sure you are all informed. Disney is offering a refund on all Baby Einstein videos. According to Brandweek, "The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood alleged the offer is a result of a complaint that was filed with the Federal Trade Commission regarding Baby Einstein’s marketing claims. The CCFC filed the complaint in 2006, citing the fact that there is no credible evidence that screen media can educate infants. Soon after, Disney removed the educational claims from Baby Einstein products."

For more information on how to receive a refund, click here.

15% OFF New Clean Well Spray

Recently I told you all how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Clean Well products. I am especially fond of the all-natural hand sanitizer, which is free of harsh chemicals and won't dry out your hands. When it comes to busting germs, Clean Well is the absolute BEST choice for you and your family!

Clean Well now makes this awesome hand sanitizer in their dreamy scent, Orange Vanilla. I just ordered mine. I am so excited because I use this spray "umteen" times a day, and now it comes in my favorite fragrance. Yum!

Right now you can receive 15% off this fabulous new product. The offer lasts through October 30th. Click here for details.

Here's to your health!

BioPro Cell Chip Winner!!

Congratulations Jen, you have won a BioPro protective chip for your phone. Enjoy!

Thanks to all who entered. Be sure to check out:

"EnviroBlox Giveaway"-ends 11/20

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Enviro BLOX Giveaway!!

Remember those great pics I posted of my husband's creations with Magic Nuudles? We have had so much fun with these...especially my other child, the hubby! He is quite talented when it comes to this kind of stuff. I might stick few together and call it a bracelet, while he is putting the finishing touches on an intricate design that just puts mine to shame.

Magic Nuudles are now called EnviroBLOX to better reflect the product. These natural building blocks are lots of fun and best of all, safe for kids and the environment. EnviroBLOX are proudly made in the USA, from a patented, high-cellulose cornstarch formulation. They are 100% bio-degradable (disappear under running water), free of petrochemicals, and are colored with safe, food-grade dyes. They are even harmless if chewed or sucked on! They simply dissolve. Now that is kid-friendly!

Want to test your skills with these eco-friendly blox? The folks over at Candaco are generously giving a Super-Tub Building Set of EnviroBLOX filled with more than 880 Enviro BLOX to one of my readers!


This giveaway is only available to To Your Health followers, so if you haven't signed up to follow, please do so first. New followers will automatically receive one extra entry for joining!!!

Initial entry: Visit the Cadaco site, then leave me a comment saying which other products interest you (in addition to the EnviroBLOX). This is mandatory for other entries to count :)

Extra entry: Follow me on twitter
Extra entry: Become a fan on facebook
Extra entry: Blog about this giveaway
Extra entry: Refer a friend to To Your Health!

~Please leave a separate comment for each entry. If you do not have a blog, please leave an email address so you can be notified if you have won!

**Contest ends Friday, November 20, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii time. Open to USA and Canada residents. Winner will be randomly selected by third party and will have 72 hours to respond.

Here's to happy, healthy playtime!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

If you're looking for Weekend Wisdom, I'm hosting it here on my family blog.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's In Your Bottled Water?

My husband took some much-needed time off from work this week, so we'll be spending lots of time hangin' out as a family. We're off to the beach! So for now I will leave you with some information on another interesting documentary-click below to read more about it and be sure to watch the trailer.

Don't Drink the (Bottled) Water

Monday, October 19, 2009

Carob Pudding With Sprinkles!

I adapted this recipe for raw pudding from one I found on Ani Phyo's site. My daughter said it wasn't sweet enough, so after a little tweaking, I created a pudding to suit her little pallet. This pudding can be made with carob chips, carob powder, or raw cocoa powder. The cashews are a great source of fiber, protein, and other nutritents, such as copper and magnesium.

My little one likes it topped with colorful sprinkles. We choose Let's Do... Sprinkelz. They are gluten free, contain no artificial ingredients, and are colored naturally with extracts of seeds, vegetables, or fruits. They are delicious. Who doesn't love sprinkles?!

I top mine with finely shredded organic coconut and carob chips. The consistency of this pudding reminds me of frosting. This would be a great and healthy alternative for those with lactose intolerance, dairy allergy, or a vegan lifestyle. I bet it would be great on vanilla cupcakes. I'll have to try it out and let you know!

Carob Pudding

1 cup raw organic cashews
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup pitted semi soft dates
1 tbs agave nectar
1/2 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs carob chips, carob powder, or raw cocoa powder

Blend all ingredients until smooth.
That's it. Easy, yummy, healthy. The trickiest part is getting every last bit out of your blender. For this part,use a rubber spatula or spoon. Serve chilled with your favorite toppings.

~Turn this recipe into a carob-coconut pudding by simply adding a little more coconut oil to enhance the coconut flavor~

*High speed blender recommended. For best results, try the Vita Mix.

Here's to sweet...and healthy treats!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

It's Friday night. I am posting a bit late...the week goes by so quickly! When it comes to wisdom, there is no better source than the infallible Word of God. So I look to the Bible daily, for wisdom, for hope, for truth.

This week I quote a passage from the book of John, chapter 6, verse 31 (also found in Matthew 7:12). We have all heard this quoted many times. The "Golden Rule" existed before Christ, in the rabbinic writings and also in other religions. All other versions cast the rule as a negative command, like Rabbi Hiilel's version, "What is hateful to yourself do not to someone else."
But Jesus made it a positive command, saying,

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Now the meaning of the saying comes to life, and we see this one command sum up the whole gist of the ethical principles provided in the Commandments. We see that we ought not to just avoid hating or hurting one another, but instead be actively loving one another.

Have some wisdom to share? Post your link below. Be sure to post the permalink to your post and not the general link to your blog. Have a great a healthy weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cell Chip GIVEAWAY!!!

The BioPro GIVEAWAY ends soon! If you haven't already entered, click here. Be sure to leave a comment after entering!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sneaky Spinach & Olive Pizza

We are pretty lucky to have a kid that actually likes vegetables. But like any toddler, she is selective about which ones she will eat and how often she'll partake. Green veggies are tricky. I often hide them in her food and I like to sneak them in when she's really hungry. If she is gobbling up her meal, she doesn't usually take time to dissect what I've put in front of her!

One of my little one's favorites is pizza. She loves to help me assemble mini pizzas, just the right size for little hands. I like to keep things simple most of the time. For a quick lunch or dinner, I can easily throw these together with whatever ingredients I have handy. Here is a recipe for quick and easy, healthy kid pizza.

Sneaky Spinach and Olive Pizza

Ezekiel Sprouted whole grain hamburger buns or English muffins
Organic ketchup (or marinara sauce)
Organic shredded cheese or cheese substitute
Organic baby spinach leaves
Sliced olives (We like Santa Barbara Olive Co.-no chemical preservatives)

1. Chop the baby spinach into very tiny pieces.
2. Spread about 1 tsp chopped spinach on half a bun or muffin.
3. Top with desired amount of ketcup or marinara.
4. Sprinkle plenty of cheese to fully cover any trace of green.
5. Add sliced olives
6. Bake or broil until cheese melts and bread browns.
7. Slice in half or quarters.

Voila'! Super easy. Quite a healthy little pizza. Use whatever ingredients you've got. Sometimes we add sliced turkey meat from the deli. The key is to use something your kid(s) really enjoys to distract from the spinach. You may have guessed that my Phoebe loves olives. She would eat a whole can if I let her.

Here's to healthy kids!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

It's Friday! Time for Weekend Wisdom. Several years ago, my husband and I received a gift subscription to Guideposts magazine. Our dear friends continue to renew our subscription every year for Christmas.

Guideposts magazine is an interfaith magazine, started by Norman Vincent Peale, author of the best seller, The Power of Positive Thinking. I really enjoy having a copy of Guideposts arrive every month. I can take it along to the beach, or read it while waiting for appointment at the dentist. I love reading so many inspirational stories from people of all walks of life. The stories are short, so it is easy to squeeze in a little inspiration just about anywhere. I used to keep one handy in the car, to read in various parking lots. Ah, those desperate days of early mommyhood, when my little one really needed a nap, but would only sleep if we hit the road!

One of my favorite bits in
Guideposts is a section called, "The Up Side". It is a collection of quotes-some sent in by readers, others taken from famous authors, doctors, reverends, etc. These quotes are great for getting a quick dose of inspiration or perspective for the day.

Here is a simple little quote I liked from August's issue:

"Worry often gives a small thing a great shadow."

-Swedish proverb submitted by Guideposts Intern Andrea Craig of New York, New York.

Now it's your turn! Post a little Weekend Wisdom on your blog and link back here.

*To participate:
1. Write your post-be sure to link back to this post so your readers can join in!
2. Stop by To Your Health and add your link-add the permalink to the specific blog post, not the general link to your blog.

*If you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by posting a comment.

Here's to your health!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Got Aches and Pains?

(Sigh) It is so good to finally sit down and relax! Running errands around town, taking care of a home, and keeping up with one very busy three-year-old, I feel like I hardly ever sit during the day. Somehow I manage to squeeze in a bit of Pilates, dance, running, and other fitness into the mix. Oh yeah, and a few massage clients here and there.

It seems now that my little one is becoming a bit more independent, I have a smidge more freedom to enjoy the things I love, like ballet class or Pilates...but I find myself adding more and more into my daily routine. And the laundry still has my name on it! With all of this activity, my muscles can feel pretty achy and sore.

I cannot get a massage every night (wouldn't that be nice?). Instead, I look forward to my evening ritual of taking a nice, hot bath. My quick remedy for sore muscles? I add a cup of good old-fashioned Epsom salt! You can find Epsom salt pretty much anywhere-Target, your local grocery store, or drug store. Epsom salt, or hydrated magnesium sulfate, is a natural anti-inflammatory, bringing a soothing relief to mild soreness, swelling, and bruises.

Another product I use is Arnica cream. Arnica is a natural analgesic. You can rub the cream directly into sore muscles, bruises, and minor sprains for relief. It is a great one for what I like to call "mouse arm"-the result of hours of clicking away on the computer mouse. My forearm gets pretty sore if I am at my keyboard or scrolling with the mouse for long periods of time.

Two great choices for Arnica cream are Arnicare and Traumeel. Both contain the homeopathic ingredient, Arnica montana. Generations of athletes, trainers, and others have benefited from the relief Arnica provides. Doctors and pharmacists recommend it as a safe and natural remedy for pain relief. Arnica is also available as an oral homeopathic medicine. You can find Arnica creams, gels, or oral medicine in health food stores or online.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Quick Beauty Tip

I like my skin to have a nice, healthy glow, but I never want it to look oily or "shiny". Every lady knows that restrooms are not just a place of rest. Women congregate in the ladies' room to check out their hair, reapply their lipgloss...and essentially, to "powder their noses".

A while back, cosmetic companies came out with blotting tissues, little mini tissues to absorb excess oil on the skin. A lot of companies make them, but here is a little trick I discovered several years ago while at my chiropractor's office. Many of you may already know this, but here it is just in case you haven't heard this one.

The chiropractor was just finishing up with me. I sat up from my face-down position on the table and realized that the sanitary paper on the table had an oily imprint of my face in it. A few days later, while in a public restroom, I noted that the toilet seat covers were made of this same paper. Aha! You know where I am going with this...blotting paper. FREE blotting paper!

Next time you are in a restroom, give it a try. It works! Some may be too germaphobic for this one..but I thought I'd share it anyway. Of course, it is best to avoid the first few papers toward the front of the stack! So there you have it, a quick and frugal beauty tip for the week.

I still like to keep blotting tissues readily available in my purse. When choosing a brand, be sure to check the ingredients before you buy. Stay away from those with added chemicals or talc. The most absorbant ones I have tried are Clinique's pore minimizer oil-blotting sheets. I was pleasantly surprised recently when I tried them. There are no added chemicals, they are very absorbant, and they don't leave any powdery residue. Plus, they are a bit more convenient than running to the nearest powder room!

Interesting fact:
The term powder room dates back to the early 18th century, when it was used to refer to a closet-sized room where people went to have their wigs repowdered. The expression carried through to Victorian times, when any reference to personal bodily functions was considered indelicate. Ladies of the era were embarrassed to speak of such things and would excuse themselves from mixed company to go to “powder their noses.” In fact, many women still use refer to a public ladies’ room as a powder room. (found on

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

I got this in an email the other day. Simple, yet profoundly wise words from a woman who has been around long enough to know a few things. Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you're sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age before you wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow,
but it's still a gift.

Well, I think this just about covers it all! But I would love to hear from you. Do you have a favorite quote or words of wisdom to share? I just can't help but want to get in on the blog party fun. So at the end of each week, To Your Health will be hosting Weekend Wisdom.

Stop by and share some wise ole' words. Did you learn something new this week? Did you learn a lesson the "hard way"? Or better yet, did your kids say something that had you laughing a lot...and taking yourself a whole lot less seriously? Write a quick post about it and share it here. Share a quote, a personal story, whatever you'd like. Since family time is precious, Weekend Wisdom will begin Friday and go through the weekend. Stop by anytime to join in and post your link! And please, do link back to To Your Health somewhere in your post :)

*To participate in the blog party:

1. Write your post-be sure to link back to the party so your readers can join in!

2. Stop by To Your Health and add your link-add the permalink to the specific blog post, not the general link to your blog.

*If you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by posting a comment.