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    I Imagine a Future of Compassion - On Becoming Vegan





    Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.

    ~Albert Schweitzer

    It's not too often in this short life you have truly life-changing experiences. Maybe the opportunities for such occurrences don't come about with frequency. Perhaps our hearts aren't always open. But occasionally, the giver of such opportunity and the recipient are in synch. All planets in alignment, so to speak, and the intended message, and subsequent experience, comes across loud & clear. This past week, such an opportunity presented itself to myself and my family.

    We had the occasion to visit a place called the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York. It's a beautiful place, rural (rural, anyhow to my Philadelphia-suburbs-living self), hilly, graced with wildflowers, lakes, streams, and lush woods. We came to the Farm Sanctuary thinking we would be simply visiting a zoo of sorts - a place where our children could come pet the rescued farm animals. What we left with was a far greater and deeper understanding of animals, the current state of factory farming, an introduction to the phenomenon of carnism (the human belief system that certain animals are okay to love and protect, while others are okay to kill and eat), and a real connection with farm animals that I've never in my 30-something years on this planet experienced before. Have you ever had the chance to pet and talk to a turkey (yes, a turkey)? I had the opportunity to do just that, and it was an eye-opening experience.

    Farm animals, truly, farms in general (again, being a suburban gal), have always been a bit elusive and distant to me. I'd venture to say the case is similar for most people living in the United States in the 21st century. In the US, most of us live in the suburbs or city and our encounters with farms, or farm animals, are brief and fleeting - a school field trip here, a farmer's market there. Most of our food purchases come from grocery stores, not directly from farmers. So, for the majority of North Americans, the connection with the living, feeling beings that live on farms - cows, pigs, chickens - and the food on our plates is tenuous; in some cases non-existent. Our grocery stores don't help the matter, either - there's no brilliantly colored photograph of the cow that donated her life on the wrapper of the shiny wrapped ground beef that you purchase in the store, no connection between the farm and the food. The fact is, for most folks, a bowl of cereal is a banana is a hamburger; just something to eat. The story of the cow's life before the burger doesn't even cross the mind. Of course, that being said, being a greenhorn when it comes to farming doesn't automatically correlate with ignorance surrounding food origins. For myself, being a vegetarian for over 20 years, I may not have ever spent time around a cow, but I've understood for a good long time that cows are alive, and that I wasn't comfortable eating them. But I know I'm in the minority; just look at any menu in any mainstream restaurant - the vast majority of items available for consumption are animal-based or contain animal derivatives - the names have been changed, of course. As the meat department in your local store doesn't show photographs of cows, the menu in your local restaurant doesn't call its hamburgers cowburgers. So, while the lack of physical or even suggested connection with the source of our food may not be the only motivating factor in why so many people choose animal-based diets, it certainly is a considerable factor; perhaps the most substantial. People don't see the meat on their plates as once being alive.

    One of the Farm Sanctuary's goals is to end that disconnect; to "bridge that gap most people have in understanding and empathizing with farm animals, which is a result of the fact that they rarely have an opportunity to interact with them in their everyday lives" [Bruce Friedrich] I can tell you that when you have the opportunity to: walk amongst a herd of cows out in a field and see a baby calf peeking out from around her mother's leg, have your hand licked by the rough tongue of a huge cow so incredibly gentle and receptive to human interaction, pet dozing pigs' bellies, or stroke the rough fur of a 3,000 pound bull... you don't forget the experience. It touches your soul. Vegetarian or not. Animal lover or not. You just can't help but be affected when a (former) dairy goat leans her body against your leg (not unlike my dog used to do) - connecting, communicating without words. When you walk around Farm Sanctuary - freely able to interact with the animals - that gap they're trying to bridge… doesn't feel like a gap at all.

    While at the farm, we not only had the opportunity to meet the animals face-to-face, but we also received a real education about the state of animal treatment and animal consumption in the United States. The number of animals slaughtered for consumption in this country alone (I looked the numbers up later, after getting home) is staggering, and sobering: In 2010, the USDA stat on land animals slaughtered for food (cattle, pigs, chickens/hens, and turkeys) was...

    Are you sitting down? You should be.

    10,153,000,000 Yes, that's billions (and does not include fish/sea life killed for consumption)

    While that number may be astounding, what is perhaps more astounding - and disturbing - is the knowledge that a far-too-large number of those animals (~875 million) die due to malnutrition, mistreatment, disease, injury, or outright slaughter (male chicks are discarded shortly after birth as they are not considered valuable for breeding or meat production purposes). We learned that most farm animals are slaughtered far sooner than their natural life span would dictate; and babies are routinely taken from mothers much earlier than their natural weaning age (which causes great distress to the nursing mother/baby pair, as well as increases the likelihood of illness in the babies from not having sustained breastmilk nourishment). That cows must be pregnant or lactating in order to produce enough milk to keep up with demand and are forced into a highly unnatural cycle of continuous impregnation, birth, and milking; along with hormone injections in many cases, to keep up with demand. That cows' tails are routinely docked without anesthetic in the name of hygiene. That pregnant pigs are often confined to gestation crates for the duration of their pregnancies - with barely enough room to lie down. That the living conditions of most chickens raised for meat are deplorable and sickening - extreme overcrowding, excessive feces, warehouse-like buildings with no access to outside, forced rapid growth that leads to deformities and health conditions. That many ill and injured animals are not protected against slaughter and are as such forced to suffer, often abused on their way to death. I could go on. It's sad that our society condones the mistreatment of so many animals just for the pleasure of eating.

    But still, I feel hopeful. In spite of those chilling facts, and while my heart aches for so many animals I've never met, having experienced the Farm Sanctuary's mission in person gives me hope that things are changing - and that they can continue to change for the better. Through their sanctuaries and website, they are bringing a greater awareness of animal rights to a younger generation (and my own!) by allowing people to really connect with animals in a way that most people don't have the opportunity to do. Their stories of animal rescue from abusive or neglectful situations are awe-inspiring; it was amazing to meet some of the sweet souls who have been rescued - so gentle and trusting, in spite of their past. The people working at the farm were so friendly; not judgmental, just informative. They truly care about animals, the earth, and yes, humans too.

    I left the Farm Sanctuary with my head spinning; saddened, astounded... inspired. It was a touching experience, and as I mentioned at the start, life-changing: as after leaving, and much discussion, we have decided as a family to change the way we eat to an all plant-based diet. We are migrating from being a family of vegetarians to a family of vegans - my husband, my daughter, my son, and myself. Knowing what we now know, it is the right choice, the best choice. I don't want to live making excuses for my choices when I can make a choice that doesn't require apology or defense (going vegan is easy, healthy, economical, peaceful, eco-friendly, and fun!). I know I can do better with my life, we can do better by our environment and our animal cohabitants; as a society I have hope. We can all choose not to ignore the connection between what's on our plate and the animals who have worked or given their lives (and perhaps suffered) to provide our nourishment. We can all vote with our dollars - choosing to buy and consume fewer, or even no, animal products. We can tell others about our choices, and point them in the direction of amazing places like the Farm Sanctuary. We can be heartened by knowing that our small choices - awareness of the source of your food and how those animals are treated, choices to reduce your meat, dairy, and egg consumption, to eat vegetarian, or vegan - can have large repercussions, not only on your own personal health, but on the health of the planet, the health of animals, and our collective future.

    I can imagine a future of compassion and sustainability; I teach my children that it is reachable. Can you and do you?

    If you have the opportunity, I highly encourage you to visit one of the sanctuaries to experience the animals in person, and to educate yourself about the state of farm animal treatment in our country, and the healthy, compassionate, and sustainable choice of a vegan diet.

     

    For more information on veganism and compassionate living:

     

    The Farm Sanctuary's Compassionate Communities Campaign

    Veganism in a Nutshell at The Vegetarian Resource Group

    ChooseVeg.com - Info on vegetarian and vegan living

    The Vegan Society - Become a Vegan

    Explore What Vegan Means

    Why Vegan? at the Beautiful-Vegan.com

    Top 10 Vegan Cooking Substitutes at VegNews.com

    Vegan Action

    Becoming a Vegan? Ask Dr. Weil

    On Going Vegan at VegSource.com

    Veg101: Becoming Vegan Starter Guide at The Happy Cow

    Vegan Recipes at VeganLunchBox

    Heart Attack and Women





    Hello readers; it's been a while. Today, I’m going to talk about something serious.
    1 in 3 women will develop cardiovascular disease in their lifetime and 1 in 17 women in the US will have a heart attack or hospitalization for heart disease before the age of 60.
    Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, regardless of race.
    While waiting somwhere recently, I read a magazine featurette of a woman who had experienced symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness. She mostly brushed them off, and continued on with her day. As they got progressively worse, her husband encouraged her to see a doctor, who then advised her to head to the hospital because the tests seemed slightly off. She waited at the hospital. (And waited.) While waiting, a man presented with a “typical” heart attack symptom of chest pain and was rushed ahead of her. After hours of waiting she was finally seen by a doctor, where, after more testing, determined that yes, indeed, she had a heart attack.
    After doing a bit of research online, it appears that this woman’s story is not unusual. Women are less likely to report heart attack symptoms, and when they DO report them, they are less likely to be diagnosed with a heart attack. Even when presenting with the same symptoms as men, women’s symptoms are more often diagnosed as “anxiety” than as heart disease.
    In a study at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 230 doctors were given cases of men & women with identical symptoms; only half of the cases included “feeling anxious” or “having a stressful experience”. In the cases where stress/anxiety was included, doctors diagnosed heart disease in 56% of men compared with 18% (just eighteen percent!) of women. Men were referred to cardiologists twice as often as women and cardiac meds were prescribed to half the men, vs. 13% of the women. Gender bias at work, folks.
    A big part of the problem may be that men’s & women’s heart attack symptoms can differ dramatically. Fewer than 30% of female heart attack suffers reported having chest pain prior to their heart attack, and 43% reported having no chest pain during any phase of their heart attack. NO CHEST PAIN. And yet, according to a study done by the National Institue of Health (“Women’s Early Warning Symptoms of Acute Myocardial Infarction” Circulation. 2003) MOST doctors still consider chest pain as the most significant symptom of a heart attack in both men AND women.
    I’m not sure what to make of this. Is it possible that the popular culture belief that heart attack = chest pain (watch any TV show or movie where someone is suffering a heart attack – they immediately grab their chest & collapse, right?) is so ingrained that even doctors don’t know the facts? Yikes.
    There was a recent survey of 500 doctors, in which only 8% of family doctors were aware that men’s & women’s heart attack symptoms differ. And (are you ready?) only 17% of CARDIOLOGISTS (you know, HEART doctors) were aware of the fact that more women die from heart disease than men. What?
    Ladies, we have a problem here. Women are dying of heart attacks because they aren’t recognizing they’re having them, the people around them aren’t recognizing they’re having them, and even their doctors aren’t recognizing they’re having them.
    It’s time for some education.
    Women, men, doctors, everyone needs to be aware that the symptoms of heart attack in women can be DIFFERENT than the symptoms of heart attacks in men. We need to change the perception that chest-clutching is the main indicator of heart attack.
    Here’s how the symptoms stack up:
    Women’s Top Three Heart Attack Symptoms
    Shortness of Breath
    Weakness
    Unusual Fatigue
    Women also commonly experience these symptoms leading up to & during a heart attack:
    Cold Sweat
    Dizziness
    Indigestion
    Anxiety
    Sleep Disturbance
    Men’s Top Three Heart Attack Symptoms
    Chest Pain
    Discomfort or pain in the arm or back
    Shortness of Breath
    If you experience ANY of these symptoms, don’t ignore them. Tell a loved one, call a doctor. Don’t shrug it off, don’t just soldier on. It may not be anxiety or indigestion. 1 in 17 of you will have a heart attack before you turn 60. That’s less than 25 years away for me, and I don’t particularly like those odds.
    So, now you know the differences. But what can we do to improve our odds at suffering cardiovascular disease? While heart disease is the number one killer of women, it’s also one of the most preventable. The basics:
    Stop smoking. (21.2 million US women smoke. Seriously?)
    Lower your blood pressure. (33% of US women have hypertension)
    Exercise. (at least 20 minutes a day; even walking counts – just move)
    Eat healthy foods. (Lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, and beans. Ditch the meat & dairy.)
    Maintain a healthy weight. (62% of women are overweight, including 33% who are obese)
    Control your diabetes. (7 – 10 million US women have diabetes)
    Don’t drink too much. (limit yourself to one alcoholic drink/day)
    Reduce stress. (Meditate. Write. Yoga. Do something you like, just for you.)
    For more information on heart disease in women:
    Posted: Jul 13 2011, 08:55 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Natural Health

    Vegan Strawberry Cream Smoothie





    Two days ago, we went cherry & strawberry picking! The cherries were gone within 24 hours - we ate every last delicious one of them! The strawberries, however, being small & at the end of the season, were not so tasty. As of this morning, they were ready to either be made into a smoothie, or tossed out to the woods for the squirrels. We decided to go for a smoothie - and I'm glad we did! Here's the super-simple, healthy recipe I threw together. It turned out so yummy, the kids asked for MORE! Too bad we were out of strawberries!

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 cup of fresh Strawberries

    10oz of Coconut Milk (we used vanilla-flavored)

    Ice

     

    PREPARATION:

    Put the ingredients into a blender and blend well! Serve immediately & ENJOY! This recipe made approximately 2 8oz servings.


    PS: I'm sure you could add whatever fruits - or even veggies - that suit your fancy & this would still taste delicious. The sugar in the vanilla coconut milk added just enough sweetness to the smoothie, though I'm sure you could add a bit of agave nectar or honey if you like it sweeter. I found the richness of the coconut milk made the smoothie just the right creamy consistency - but I'm sure yogurt or whole milk would work well too, if you prefer dairy. Please let me know if you make this smoothie & end up adding anything to it. We'll definitely be making this one again in the future & I'm always open to suggestions!

    Posted: Jun 18 2011, 15:50 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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    Why Should You Breastfeed Your Baby?





    If you are pregnant, you may be considering breastfeeding your baby once she arrives. Breastfeeding is natural, normal, and healthy – for your baby and for you! You may not know yet if it’s the choice you want to make, but, please consider these reasons why breastfeeding – even if you aren’t sure it’s the right choice for you – is likely the right choice for your baby:

     

    Breastmilk helps fight infection!
    When you breastfeed, your antibodies are passed from your body to your baby. What this means is that your baby will get sick less often [50% reduced risk of ear infections, 64% reduced risk of GI infections, 72% reduced risk of hospitalization from pneumonia | Source: http://www.breastfeedingtaskforla.org/resources/ABMRisks.htm
    ] and when she does get sick, it will likely be less severe, and the duration will be shorter. The antibacterial properties of breastmilk don’t stop IN your baby. You can use breastmilk topically too – to clear & moisturize tiny noses, treat pink eye, and soothe rashes, small scrapes, and other infections.


    [Source: WomensHealth.org]

    Breastfeeding your baby reduces the risk of SIDS!
    SIDS risk is diminished by about 50% in breastfed babies according to a study done in Germany
    . But WHY does breastfeeding help keep your little one safer? There are several reasons! [Eight of which are discussed in detail on Dr. Sears’ website]. The infection-reducing properties of human milk keep baby healthier while sleeping – reducing the risk of RSV which can lead to SIDS. Breastmilk contains vital nutrients and fats to help baby’s brain and nervous system develop more completely. Breast milk is natural – so if aspirated, is less likely than formula to cause irritation or lead to apnea. Breastmilk reduces the severity of GER in infants. Breastfeeding calms and organizes baby so she does not fall into unnaturally deep and potentially dangerous sleep. Breastfeeding helps mom connect more deeply with her baby – and become more sensitive to baby, even while asleep (I have felt this distinctly myself). Finally, breastfeeding is more of a challenge for baby than bottle feeding, so baby develops better sucking, breathing, and swallowing coordination and facial muscle tone – all of which help baby breathe better while sleeping.

     

    Breastfeeding is natural and normal; formula is not!

    Human milk is perfect for human babies! What comes from your body is designed specifically for your baby. If you can’t breastfeed, another human’s breastmilk is still far closer to what your baby needs than formula made from another species' breastmilk or from a plant. Breastmilk is living: it changes with your baby, according to her needs, and is always just the right temperature. Formula is made in a factory, and is mixed with water and served in a bottle. As such, it can be subject to contamination. The ingredients (water and bottle included) can be tainted with pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, cleaning chemicals, dangerous bacteria like salmonella, foreign material, high levels of metals like aluminum (particularly in soy-based formulas), and the list of potentially toxic or dangerous possibilities goes on. While breastmilk isn’t always contaminant-free, you can control most of what is in your breastmilk through your diet. And, even if what you eat or drink isn’t perfect, breastfeeding is still the healthiest choice for your baby. If you’re concerned that what you eat might not be compatible with breastfeeding, check this page out first – you might be surprised! There is very little that a mother can't ingest that would negatively affect baby. 

     

    “…research tells us that the quality of a mother’s diet has little influence on her milk. Nature is very forgiving – mother’s milk is designed to provide for and protect baby even in times of hardship and famine. A poor diet is more likely to affect the mother than her breastfed baby…” [Source: How does a mother’s diet affect her milk?]

     

    The truth is, our bodies do an excellent job of filtering out what isn’t good for baby, and giving baby exactly what she needs, even if we don’t do the best job of eating ourselves. Trust your body to do right by your baby!


    [Source: WomensHealth.gov] 

    Breastfeeding is free!

    This may seem like a simple concept, and as such, it is often overlooked – particularly if you’ve been given tons of free samples in the hospital (and from friends, or in the mail). But the fact is, when the free samples run out, you have to buy formula – and it is expensive; particularly if your baby needs a special formulation due to formula intolerance, or you choose premixed liquid, instead of powder. And as baby gets older, he’ll need MORE formula, as it is always the same and doesn’t change in composition like breastmilk. Going rates are anywhere from $100 - $300/mo. or more just in formula costs – and that doesn’t include bottles, bottle brush, drying rack, etc! Now, if you add in to the equation that breastfed babies are typically sick less often (thus reducing doctor and presccription bills), breastfeeding really is the most economical choice. For an interesting comparison of the cost of formula with the typical costs of breastfeeding, check out this calculator.

      

    With all these benefits in mind, why not give breastfeeding a try? Even if you only nurse your baby for a few days you will have given your baby the natural gift of your milk. I really believe the choice to breastfeed your baby is a choice you won’t regret. I know I never have; it's one of my most amazing parenting experiences so far!

    Natural Treatments for Eczema





    My daughter has battled eczema for the better part of 6 years – since she was a teeny tiny baby.  Over the years, we’ve tried many remedies – from the natural to the over-the-counter to the prescription.  Some things have worked better than others, some seemingly not at all.  Eczema is a frustrating ailment and the “cure” is elusive – even to doctors.  With time, and lots of experimentation, her eczema has improved dramatically, though it’s never completely gone.  I’ve found that the prescription “medications” work no better than the natural remedies, and so we avoid the toxic stuff as much as possible in favor of the natural solutions. Here are some natural-minded treatments which have worked best for us - divided by things that go on the skin, and things that go in the body. 


    (Artist: Orrling  Source: Wikimedia) 

     

    Things that go ON the skin:

     

    #1 – SOAP (don’t use it!) – One of the most simple and effective changes was eliminating soap from the bath. As a baby, just water, with a bit of baby oil (NOT Johnsons & Johnsons – they use mineral oil & artificially sourced fragrances – go with something simple like jojoba oil, or baby oil by Badger brand) on a washcloth was enough to keep clean, and gentle enough not to irritate her sensitive skin.  As our baby grew into toddler who gets into everything, having some kind of cleanser started to become more of a necessity.  Enter colloidal oatmeal.  When added to the bath water, it helps with cleansing, as well as moisturizing, and soothing. Aveeno makes a colloidal oatmeal that is 100% colloidal oatmeal (they also make one that’s loaded with other stuff, so read the labels carefully – the plain oatmeal is all you need). Once my toddler graduated into a little kid, we had to make the leap into:

     

    #2 – SHAMPOO & BODYWASH – Hair just doesn’t get that clean with colloidal oatmeal & baby oil (though we did try!).  After experimenting with many brands of shampoos and body washes, the best thing we’ve found for balancing cleaning with keeping sensitive scalp & eczema-prone skin irritation-free is California Baby’s Shampoo & Bodywash. The one (significant) downside is the price.  It’s expensive to the extreme – but – it’s the only thing that doesn’t irritate or sting, even an active eczema outbreak, so we continue to use it. 

     

    #3 – OILS – After bath, especially in the winter, it’s so important to moisturize. Not just ON the eczema patches, but everywhere on the skin, to lock in the moisture. Under the guidance of pediatricians and dermatologists, we’ve tried the Eucerin and the Aquaphor and the Uber-expensive-designer-prescrition lotions, yet the gentlest solutions we’ve found for moisturizing eczema are the simplest:

    1)      Coconut Oil – you can buy this in small bottles for a small fortune… or… if you’re not turned off by the presentation (i.e. a glass jar with a metal lid instead of a pretty plastic bathroom-styled bottle), go to the cooking section of your natural food store and get some organic virgin coconut oil.  The upsides: It smells heavenly, and is completely non-irritating.  The downsides: it needs to be warmed before every application – though we found that floating the jar in the sink filled with warm water while we were bathing, gave the oil plenty of time to soften. Also, it is quite greasy, and doesn’t absorb well… so this is best applied in the winter, when PJs will be put overtop, to keep the oil from getting all over the bedsheets.

    2)      Jojoba Oil – you can also buy this in small very expensive bottles, and I’ve yet to find it in larger bottles for much savings. The upsides are that it is unscented (so you can add essential oils if you’d like, or just leave it be) and that it’s already liquefied, so goes on smooth without any preparation or roughness which is helpful when eczema is very irritated.  The downside, aside from the cost, is that it too is quite greasy – though it absorbs more quickly than the coconut oil.

    3)      Badger Baby Balm – This is a soothing, good-smelling, pretty basic balm made from olive oil, castor oil, beeswax, and essential oils. The only downsides are that the tin is very small for the price, so we went through it quickly, and because of the thickness, application is pretty limited to small areas.  Coconut or Jojoba oil is much better for larger areas of application – like all over the legs. The balm is better for hot spots (like behind the knees).

     

    #4 – DETERGENT – Clothing detergent is a tough one. I’ve found that using NO detergent helped most with cutting down on the irritation, but, of course, clothing can only stand it so long being washed in water only.  I’ve tried many of the natural brands, even ones made specifically for cleaning cloth diapers (thinking they would be more gentle; this didn't seem to be the case).  The best result I’ve gotten – meaning, clothes are clean, smell fresh, and no irritated skin – comes from ECOS brand. ** 

     

    #5 – FABIC SOFTENER – DON’T USE IT.  Just that. It is highly toxic and downright nasty. For information on fabric softener, and why you shouldn’t use it, read this 

     

    #6 – CLOTHING – Choose cotton over synthetic materials, as much as possible; particularly organic cotton if you can find it. Acrylic & polyester don’t let the skin breathe, and in my opinion are just more rough on the body.  My daughter’s eczema definitely became more irritated when she wore fleece.

     

    Things that go IN your body:

     

    #1 – ALLERGENS – identify and avoid them! We discovered through trial & error with our daughter that she was sensitive to several different foods as a baby (even in my breastmilk), some of which seemed to exacerbate her eczema. When we cut out those allergens, her flare-ups were less dramatic.  The allergens which seemed to trigger her eczema most were the proteins: milk, eggs, and soy. When she was about 9 months old, I started an elimination diet for myself, and she went back to a breastmilk-only diet. The results were rather dramatic – she was far less fussy, and her itchy, dry skin was much improved.  I followed Dr. Sears’ recommended elimination diet (amended for my already vegetarian diet), started with a very bland, basic diet, and added one food every few days back into my diet, and then to hers. I kept a detailed food log – recording the date, what I ate, what she ate, any skin reactions, overall skin condition, and any change in her demeanor. It was tough, but well worth it as we were able to identify some items that seemed to aggravate her eczema.

     

    #2 – HYDRATION – drink lots of water. If you are well-hydrated, your body, and your skin will be less dry overall. It can be difficult to get little ones to drink a lot of water, so we do things like special cups, straws, and bottles for water. Sometimes adding a splash of juice to the water makes it more appealing to little ones. I also think it’s important to keep the AIR hydrated – particularly in the wintertime – by running a cool mist humidifier. We also have a lot of houseplants which increase the overall humidity level and remove toxins from the air.

     

    #3 – PROBIOTICS – probiotics are my go-to for everything, really. The easiest is unflavored powder which, if you’re breastfeeding, you can apply right on your nipple before latching baby on. It also easily mixes into baby’s bottle, or sprinkles unnoticed over food. Finally, I’ve mixed probiotic powder with a bit of oil and applied directly to the very dry spots – it’s balancing, and healing.

     

    #4 – OMEGA 3s – increasing healthy fats in the diet really helps with skin condition and dryness (not to mention it is good for your heart and brain too!). Vegetarian sources include flax seed (which you can grind & add to your oatmeal or baked goods) and walnuts.  Fish like salmon and herring also have high levels of omega 3s, and eggs from hens that are fed a diet which includes flax seed.

     

    We’ve read that eczema gets less severe as children get older, and becomes more easily managed.  So far, we have found this to be true, though it’s not gone completely for my daughter. I’m hoping with more time, she’ll outgrow it completely!

     

    Have you tried anything I haven’t mentioned here? I’d love to hear more natural suggestions!

    **I'd like to try Soap Nuts - which seems the most natural detergent of all, but once I find something that works for eczema, I'm loathe to change things up! If anyone has tried soap nuts, please let me know your experience.

    Posted: Nov 16 2010, 18:04 by kelly | Comments (14) RSS comment feed |
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