9/30/13

Can You Fight Depression Naturally? Part Four: Nutrition

In this series, I have been presenting ideas that one may use in place of medication or along with it to fight symptoms of depression. I do not want to go on Prozac or Zoloft myself, but certainly understand that is not the case for everyone. For those who are researching natural means for overcoming this horrible dark disease, I hope this series will cause you to look a little deeper at environmental factors. One reader commented on my introductory post that she wonders why so many are people depressed. Could it be the food we eat? I wonder that myself. Could food be the cause? Could food be the solution?

 

When was the last time you went to the doctor or therapist and he told you to go home and lay off the McDonald's, avoid food dyes and additives, eat organic veggies, grass fed meat and dairy, and free range eggs? I never have. Not once. Maybe I have been going to the wrong doctors! Do you suppose McDonald's causes depression?

I heard it said one time that the gut is your second brain. Feed your gut what it needs to be healthy and your brain will be too. I am convinced that the majority of health problems today (physical and mental) stem from a lack of proper nutrition. We eat sure; most of us too much. We have plenty of food in our country, but a severe lack of vitamins, minerals, and healthy brain boosting fats.

I seriously used to roll my eyes when I heard people say that this or that can be all better when we eat organic, non-processed food and avoid food dyes. Like my eyes would get stuck up there kind of rolling my eyes. But the more I have researched these claims, the more I have to think they are right on the money! Well almost. As with all wellness, it is only a key to the puzzle. Lowering stress and getting exercise are vital keys as well.


Aristotle himself coined the phrase: "Let food be thy medicine." I ponder on those words often.

Naturopathic Doctor, Linda Johnson said, "Nutritional deficiencies can cause depression. When so many people eat processed fast foods cooked in microwaves, it is no surprise that depression is so common." (source)  She goes on to say, "Serotonin is dependent on quality nutrients, so it is important to eat regularly and have some protein at each meal to help keep blood sugar balanced. Good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and flaxseed oil are also important to help you produce enough serotonin."

The oils in processed foods are soybean, canola, and hydrogenated fats. Unfortunately, today's "Standard American Diet" is severely lacking in healthy fats that increase serotonin. She also mentions that artificial sweeteners- another prominent feature in "diet foods" lowers serotonin levels.

Foods that help produce serotonin:
  • Fruits such as cherries, plums, bananas, and pineapple.
  • Turkey (a source of tryptophan) and other non-hormone treated meats and eggs.
  • Dark Chocolate... Oh yea! Something always told me that would be good for me.
  • Are you on a low carb diet? Pasta, potatoes and bread boost serotonin with a feeling of satiety.
  • Milk and Cheese (Best if it is raw from grass fed cows or goats).

Foods that reduce serotonin:

  • Sugary Snacks (some research credits sugar with temporary serotonin increase)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Low carb, high protein diets
  • Low fat diets
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

So, if you are depressed, have a talk with your diet. No one likes hearing that,  I know. Food is supposed to comfort, not cause anxiety and depression. Consider adding serotonin producing foods to your diet, and dumping the trans fats, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Your waistline with thank you. Your energy levels will thank you. Your mood will thank you. Your butter will thank you as you smother it on a hot out of the oven, carb filled dinner roll. Makes me happy just thinking about it!!

Have you changed your diet and noticed an increase in energy, happiness and general well being? Please tell us about it.

What else can increase serotonin levels? Sunlight, Sleep, and relaxation! We will explore those next.

*Note: Nothing I share here can or should be construed as medical advice. These are my thoughts and ideas only, meant to spur anyone interested into thinking outside the box of traditional health care. Take the time to do your own research and talk to your health care professional.

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9/26/13

Ten Foods You Can Freeze to Preserve

 
 
Freezing is a fantastic way to preserve food. Frozen food does not last as long as canned, but if you can remember that it is there (key point here) it is very convenient. When you have a small batch that is too little to preserve by canning and too much to get eaten before it goes bad, freezing is an excellent choice.

I have seen lists of things you can freeze on Pinterest. I have even tried some. There are some, like whole limes that work great. Others, like avocados, not so much. Can you can freeze whole avocados? Yes, you can. Should you? NO! They may look lovely when they come out all frozen. But believe me it is just a trick. Once they defrost and you slice them or mush them, the results are not pleasant. The taste reminds me of a cross between a rotten banana and a penny. Not a good combo. Whew. I tested that one out for you, so don't waste your pennies on that idea!

 

What can you freeze with little to no change? Here are ten foods that I thought were a raging success.


1.Whole Chilies
2. Jalapenos
3. Peppers
Defrost, and use in any recipe that calls for fresh.
 

4. Peaches
Wash and put in the freezer whole. Store them in Ziploc bags and pull them out as needed. Run them under hot water and the skins peel right off. Then allow to defrost and enjoy. For smoothies, I cut them up and store them in small containers.
 

5. Lemons/limes
Let them defrost just a bit and grate the zest into recipes. They defrost with juices flowing!
 

 6. Milk cubes
 All ready to go for smoothies or for making goat's milk lotion or soap in the winter.
 

 7. Grapes.
Now I wouldn't let them defrost and expect miracles. But they make a really good frozen treat.
 

 8. Mushrooms
Only one 'shroom eater in our home, so if I get a whole carton, there is no way to get them used up. Clean them sliced them, freeze them and throw them in his serving only.


9. Tomatoes
You can cut them up first and throw in freezer to defrost for sauce or chili. Alternately, clean them and put them in whole. Run the frozen tomato under hot water and the skins come right off.


10. Smoothies make great Popsicles. You can also put them in cups or mason jars and freeze. Add to kids lunches. By the time lunch rolls around, it is smoothie style again!

Bonus: Whipped cream
The time for hot chocolate is near. Resist the spray can and go for the real stuff. Whip up the cream, put it in baggie and cut one end off. Swirl onto a cookie sheet and freeze.

 
Once frozen, transfer to a storage container and keep in the freezer. Pull them out and top off your hot chocolate. Or, if you are in need of ice cream and are out, these are good in a pinch. Also good sandwiched between two warm chocolate chip cookies.  
Just for fun, add a drop of peppermint or orange essential oil when you are whipping for fun flavored cocoa. Bring on the fall and the cocoa!


Hey, there are way more than 10 great things to freeze, here are a few more:
  • Whole PBJ's. Make up ten at once and in the morning, your kids can throw the sandwich in their lunch bag.
  • Onions. If you need a good cry, dice the a bag of onions at one time. Store them in the freezer. Be sure to double bag them if you don't want onion flavored ice cream.
  • Chicken Broth
  • Fresh Herbs: dice them up first and stored covered in the freezer.
  • Chips and cookies
  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Bread and Tortillas
What are some other tried and true foods you can freeze and enjoy later?

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9/23/13

Can You Fight Depression Naturally? Part Three: Reduce Stress

Busy Busy Busy! And the tasks never seem to get done. We take so much upon ourselves these days. Is it any wonder depression is so common among us? According to WebMD, "Sustained or chronic stress, in particular, leads to elevated hormones such as cortisol, the "stress hormone," and reduced serotonin and other neurotransmitters  in the brain, including dopamine, which has been linked to depression."  The article did go on to say that 10% of those who are clinically depressed do not seem to have stress as a trigger. My math says then that for the other 90% stress may be a major contributor. So, time to have a talk with your stress. It may be blocking the wonderful natural anti-depressants Serotonin and Dopamine that are so necessary to "don't worry, be happy!"


Thanks to your wonderful comments, we have been discussing this week strategies to deal with depression when you feel medication is not the answer. If any of you follow my blog regularly, you know that for me, medication for anything is rarely the answer.  We are all different and there are individualized treatments for everyone. Not all of us fit the mold of go to doctor, get pill, take pill. The end.  And hey, guess what! A pill will not take our stress away! There is rarely a one size fits all cure for anything and many times the answer is multifaceted.  Many parts of the puzzle come together for real results. For this issue, one part of the puzzle might be exercise! Another, reducing stress. And how, you may ask?

Learn to say no. Practice with me: NO!


No thanks, Sorry, I just can't. Uh uh. Nada, nope. 
Humans! We are super heroes! We are amazing. Awesome! Extraordinary. We can do so many things. We were born to be successful. We were born to excel. But I fear that many of us, including me, try to do too much.

This year alone, I have taken on two part time jobs while raising my four kids, serving in some demanding volunteer positions, and added a nephew to our family. This on top of growing a garden, milking goats, trying to cook real food, and all the other mundane duties of a stay at home mom. Oh, and my husband is gone for days at a time for his job. So, when the choir director at church asked me, please, please come to choir. I politely practiced that two letter word. No! I am sorry, it is just too much. Perhaps in another season, but not this one. Is it any wonder I refuse to get a puppy?

Some days I am so overwhelmed by all that I have taken on that I fall into a heap and just do nothing. Overburdening ourselves can lead to a lack of inner peace, which always lands us in depression. On the other hand, doing too little to contribute to society or our family leads to the same end. We need some stress for the good feelings from stress hormones to kick in. Ah, that elusive balance! Ugh.

The point is, if I have taken so much upon myself that I do not have time to read to my toddler,  to exercise, to pray, to meditate, to serve others, then it is too much. I do not have to make Pinterest worthy cupcakes for all five kid's class parties. I do not have to write five posts a week!

Additional ideas to cut out stress:

Can you hire help? There is someone out there who has less money than you do. They could use an honest job to boost their self worth and I could use a break from scrubbing the tub or weeding the flower beds.

Can you let some things go until a later season?

Can you eat take out once in awhile? But not too often as I will talk about next!

What strategies have you implemented to reduce your work load and your stress?

Note: Nothing I share here can or should be construed as medical advice. These are my thoughts and ideas only, meant to spur anyone interested into thinking outside the box of traditional health care. Take the time to do your own research and talk to your health care professional.

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9/21/13

Pamper Your Skin with Pumpkin


I love fall. I get make soup and hot cocoa and wear sweaters. Of course the fall harvest has been celebrated since the beginning of this great nation. Nature is so full of wonderful goodness. Did you read about what corn silk can do? No wonder the Pilgrims and Indians sat down together to give thanks.  And what about the other Thanksgiving staple: pumpkin. It is full of vitamins as well as the antioxidant beta-carotene which is touted to fight cancer. The antioxidants stifle free radicals which can help your skin fight of wrinkles. Pumpkin seeds lower cholesterol and are serotonin producing, making your feel happy. Turns out an old fashioned pie in the face is actually very beneficial for vibrant, healthy skin.

Pumpkin face mask:
3 T pumpkin puree (anti-aging)
1 T goat's milk or coconut milk (softening)
1 t honey (cleansing and antibacterial)
Mix it all together and spread on your face. Leave for five to ten minutes and chase the kids around the house while making monster noises, then rinse with warm water. Let's do the mask, let's do the monster mask! Ha Ha!


But I digress. The real purpose of this post is to share my first ever attempt at making goat's milk lotion. Not as easy as you may think, mainly because goat milkers seem to guard their luxurious recipes with their lives. So, based on my experience making whipped body butter, I created my own recipe. In honor of the great pumpkin Charlie Brown, I just had to incorporate wonderful pumpkin to the mix.

 Moisturizing Pumpkin Foot Cream
 
 
Start off making yourself a nice strong cuppa! You will need the cinnamon variety. Warm up 12 oz of water and pour it over the tea bag to let it seep.

 
It smells awesome. While it is becoming all tea like, add to a pot:
2 oz Beeswax
2 oz SHEA BUTTER
8 oz Coconut Oil
8 T Palm Shortening
Melt it down and take off when the last bit of beeswax is liquid.


Add 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree, mix to combine (I prefer an immersion blender for this step.)

 

Then pour in 12 oz cinnamon tea and 8 oz goat's milk

I like to switch to a hand whisk, then add:


1/2 t vitamin e
1/2 t preservative (like germabin II) A must unless you keep it in the fridge.
5 drops clove, 5 drops cinnamon or cassia oil
1/4 t nutmeg (just for fun)

Whip it all with an immersion blender, beaters or just a whisk until it cools a bit. It will get thick like pudding. This recipe is thick and will not work in a pump dispenser. It is fantastic on cracked summer flip flop feet!


 Would you like to try some? The cream that is, not a  pie in the face. Although that would be fun. In honor of 900 likes on Facebook, I am giving away one jar pumpkin pie foot cream and a jar of pumpkin pie hand lotion (recipe to come).

 
If you would like to be entered in the drawing, be sure to like my Facebook page or follow my brand new Pinterest Boards. Then just leave a  comment below telling me your favorite thing to do with a pumpkin. Check back in next Saturday to see if you are the winner. You will need to contact me to get your awesome prize! Good Luck!

9/18/13

Can You Fight Depression Naturally? Part Two: Exercise

*Side effects include increased muscle strength, mood enhancement, lower body fat, immune support, improved sleep, increased energy and cardiovascular health. Some may even experience weight loss.   


In this post, I posed the question: Can you fight depression naturally. It was met with some doubt by a few. With absolute certainty by others. Do not mistake my intentions here. I am not judging anyone for their choices. That is not my job. I have enough to do. I am also not prescribing anything. I have no right. I am a woman on a mission to do all things that I can naturally. And to avoid at all costs taking a synthetic medication that may or may not help, or that I may never be able to afford.

We have choices, all of us. Isn't that wonderful? I am trying to explore all of mine. I have no way of knowing how you deal with depression any more than a reader of mine knows how I deal with it. We would have to walk a mile in one another's shoes for that to be the case. I like my shoes just fine thanks, I will stick with them.


But let's walk side by side, being willing to lift one another and encourage! I am sharing some things I have read, tried, prayed about and put some hope in.

The biggest problem with climbing out of the dark hole of depression is that the things you need to do to get out are the exact opposite of what you want to do.

One Piece of the puzzle: Exercise!


Free Stock Image: Bike Park Picture. Image: 110876

© Photographer Susan Quinland-stringer | Agency: Dreamstime.com
I remember a time when I used to shake my head at women I knew who said, "I just don't have time for exercise." I always responded with my ever so wise advice:
 You need to make time so you can be a better person for your kids and husband.

Well, guess what? My own exercise habits have been sporadic at best this past year. I rationalize that I am just too busy. And I am. More than ever. Maybe it's not a coincidence that It has been my hardest year emotionally as well. My young self really was wise. I should listen to her.

The Catch 22 is that exercise is perhaps the last thing one wants to do when feeling down.
Several events in our lives this year have left me a bit of a different person. I have experienced weight gain, shyness, apathy, and fatigue to name a few.

All of these things naturally make me want to sit on the couch and get lost in the world of Dr. Who. Then, of course, I feel guilty and ashamed of all I have neglected to do as a mother and it makes things worse.

How about if instead, I went for a walk? Or a swim, or took up belly dancing...well I won't, but you can! Go ahead, get those natural drugs (endorphins) going!

Regular exercise has been proven to:
  • Reduce stress
  • Minimize feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve sleep
Exercise has wonderful side effects. It warms us. It makes our bodies stronger and healthier. It boosts the immune system, reduces body fat and helps improve body image. It also gives one a great sense of accomplishment. General improvement in health has been shown to reduce depression.
Even more so when done with a friend or a class where social interaction can further develop a sense of self-worth and emotional comfort. 

Most significant however, is that exercise triggers endorphins. Our own natural antidepressants. They give a feeling of general well being. But more than that, they are analgesic, meaning soothing to pain.

For those suffering from postpartum depression, I can not stress enough how important it is to get out and exercise. That act alone quite literally saved me from overwhelming despair. I was blessed to find a work out buddy. She walked beside me, encouraged me and helped me out of a dark hole.



I am under no illusions that running a 5K is a cure all for depression. It is part of a puzzle of good health that gets our natural pleasure centers revving. It also aids in reducing stress, incidentally that is the next part of the puzzle in fighting depression naturally.

The question is, how do you "just do it?" How do you get yourself motivated to get up and moving when all you want to do is pull the covers back up and sleep? Please share your experiences if you will.

 *Note: Nothing I share here can or should be construed as medical advice. These are my thoughts and ideas only, meant to spur anyone interested into thinking outside the box of traditional health care. Take the time to do your own research and talk to your health care professional.
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9/16/13

Tasty Sides: Garlic Butter Green Beans


How do you get your kids (or husband as the case may be) to eat their greens? Smother them in butter of course! Before you start yelling: "Heart Attack!" Hear me out. Butter is not the enemy that the world out there would have you believe. Now were you to make this with margarine or fake spray butter or any other substitute, then yes, that would be bad. Very, very bad. 

I love this quote I read today from Natural Society:

For decades, people ate butter with nearly every meal, smeared on bread with fresh (homemade) jam or slathered over (non-GMO) corn. But in the 1920s when margarine made its debut, things changed for the creamy topper. We were quite literally sold on the benefits of this man-made chemical storm competitor, and only later would we figure out that it contained something called trans fats—far more dangerous than the saturated fats it chased us away from.

Do we have less heart attacks today because commercials and most nutritionist steered us towards margarine and away from butter? I think not! What is the number one cause of death in this country again? Oh yea, Heart Disease. What was it in 1900? Influenza and Pneumonia. What has changed since then? The creation of factory made foods! I will say it again and again. If God wanted us to eat low fat dairy, it would come out of the cow that way!

Green beans contain vitamin A and K. Cool! But both vitamins are fat soluble. Just try and absorb them if you steam your beans and omit the vital fat needed to process them. They also contain calcium and potassium, and Vitamin C.  (Note: Apples also contain A and K. How about eating with a bit of my other favorite butter: Peanut Butter.)

Rant over...Now on to the recipe! Whenever I cook up these beans, there are never any left. In fact, the kids fight over who gets the last serving. They would never do this with a plain old bean.

Garlic Butter Green Beans:


1 lb fresh or frozen green beans (or two cans if that is how you roll).
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/2 t salt (or to taste)

Wash beans, then cut in half. Add to a pot with a small amount of water and let steam until you reach your desired tenderness. Drain.

In a large fry pan, melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook one minute on medium heat. Then toss in the beans. Sprinkle on the salt. Let cook until heated through. One or two minutes. Serve immediately.

Variation: Add mushrooms and (cooked) bacon to the butter and garlic. Cook until mushrooms are tender and add the green beans.

Do not fear the butter my friends! Don't go off and eat a stick a day or anything. But do your research and then do what feels right and tastes great to you.

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9/14/13

Can You Fight Depression Naturally?

 

I went to college to become a psychologist. Yep, I was going to grow up and save people from sadness.  My sophomore year, I volunteered at a county crisis line. We showed up around nine pm and manned the phone to give desperate souls someone to talk to. The training lasted all of 15 min, and then my roomies and I were left alone to answer the phones.

 
I felt like Lucy Van Pelt from the Peanuts gang, offering Charlie Brown advice. My suggestions were not even worth a nickel. One weekend cured me from ever, ever wanting to hear people's problems again. I went to my academic counselor the next business day and changed my major to Early Childhood Education. That is kinda the same thing though, isn't it?

I recall distinctly my first ever encounter with depression. I had a friend in my Driver's Education class who failed to come to school for two weeks.  One day he brought his handsome face back to school and I asked where the heck he had been. He confided in me that he struggled with depression.
What the heck did that mean? I seriously had never heard of that particular condition.
Under his doctor's orders, his family decided to give Prozac a try. He said it nearly killed him. I do not remember all the details *ahem* 22 years later, but I know that all my life, in my mind, Prozac is that thing that almost killed- "like" the cutest boy I had known in the first 15 years of my life.

It was also the first time I started thinking about those ads on TV that give you a long list of side effects. It was also a time when my eyes were opened to a life outside my good little world...happens to every kid at some point, doesn't it?

So, check the warning for an anti-depressant drug:

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an anti-depressant.
 


Free Stock Photography: Sad Boy Picture. Image: 38727
 
© Photographer Caraman | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Does that seem effective to you?

And the warnings for drugs like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft:
The SSRIs act on serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps regulate mood. Serotonin also plays a role in digestion, pain, sleep, mental clarity, and other bodily functions, which is why SSRI antidepressants cause a wide range of side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Dizziness
  • Weight gain
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
 
While some side effects go away after the first few weeks of drug treatment, others persist and may even get worse. (source)

I do not propose to have the answer. I have a nickel's worth of advice here, and am certainly in no position to tell another person what to do (Psychology drop out remember) But I wonder...out loud...is it worth it? Do these drugs do the good they are purported to do?

I am going to admit something that I don't really want to. I have been struggling this year, this month in particular. I love to say it is just stress. We have had some major changes lately. But deep down, I know it is more than that. So, why am I talking about this? Because I really want to know. Can you fight depression naturally? If I told my doctor how I am feeling. He would say, "I can prescribe something." Not yet. Let's look at other options first.

In today's society, we all want a quick fix. Just give me some drugs! In fact, TV and unfortunately some doctors tell us that is what everyone should do. I found this suggestion from HelpGuide to be very refreshing.

If you have severe depression that’s interfering with your ability to function, medication may be right for you. However, it's important you first try therapy, exercise, or self-help strategies that work just as well or better—minus the side effects—as antidepressants.

I love that medication was listed as the last resort, rather than the first. If only all sick care professionals would first look at diet and exercise, and then go from there.  I am going to explore some strategies this week that are medication free!  Can't hurt to try them and there is no nausea, dry mouth, or weight gain involved. And for you my friends, I will even let you keep your nickel.

Have you found alternate methods to medication to help deal with depression? I would really like to know.

*Note: Nothing I share here can or should be construed as medical advice. These are my thoughts and ideas only, meant to spur anyone interested into thinking outside the box of traditional health care. Take the time to do your own research and talk to your health care professional.

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9/9/13

Waffle Corn Bread

I am on a corn kick lately. Tis the season!  It makes a healing tea, hair conditioner, and then there is my favorite use for it: Cornbread.

I love cornbread that tastes like cake. My favorite recipe ever is basically a yellow cake mix with 1/2 cup of cornmeal in it. You could frost it and no one would ever know the corn was there. But let's get real! Here is a recipe made with real ingredients with a great taste. No, it does not taste like cake, but it does taste great with chili!

 
Cornbread Waffles (Adapted from Chef Brad.)

2 cups Organic Popcorn, freshly ground
2 cups spelt or wheat, freshly ground
(This should be four total cups of flour, it will yield more, but you only need four once it is ground)
1/4 cup sugar (I use evaporated cane sugar or Organic Coconut Palm Sugar )
1 t. salt
2 T. Rumford Baking Powder
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
½ cup butter..I accidentally put a whole cup in once. I highly recommend that!

Grind the grains and set aside. Melt the butter and add it to the eggs, beat well. Add one cup of flour, the sugar, salt, baking powder. Then pour on 1/2 cup of butter milk, whisk to combine. Add another cup of flour and another 1/2 cup butter milk. Mix until combined. Then, you guessed it, another cup of flour and another 1/2 cup of buttermilk.

Are we out of flour yet?  Nope, one more time. It may be tempting to dump it all in at once and stir, but trust me, if you want this to come out light and delicious, follow those steps.  When done, it will look shiny and smooth and is ready to go. You can grease a pan with bacon grease and bake in the oven, or do it my way...waffles!

 
Pour 1/4 cup on each griddle and cook according to manufacturer's directions.

 
I also love these as a base for Navajo tacos. Pile on your favorite chili and top it like you would a taco. Delicious!
 
 
Freeze the leftovers for the next time you make soup or chili! Great with syrup or honey for breakfast too!
 
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9/8/13

Move over Paul Mitchell, I've got Corn Silk!

There was a time when waste not, want not was a way of living. Our ancestors used every part of the animal and plant. Nothing was wasted. In today's society, we eat only the breasts of the bird.. unless you are at the fair, then it is all about the Turkey leg! I am guilty of tossing fruits or veggies that are the least bit off. But I wonder how much we miss out on by being so wasteful.


Here is one you may never have even considered. The silky stuff that is sandwiched between the husk and the cob of the corn. The beautiful silky gold that is rumored to heal all that ails you. It is also a wonderfully moisturizing agent and the main ingredient in my corn silk conditioner. My mother-in-law turned me onto this neat trick. It just had to try it at home!


Fill a 2 oz spray bottle with warm corn silk tea
Add 4 drops rosemary essential oil
2 drops vitamin e (or the contents of half of one pill)
1/4 t quality vegetable oil. I used apricot. Coconut, Almond, or Olive would be fantastic.
Store in the refrigerator, or if you need shelf stable, you will need to add a bit of preservative.
Shake it all up and spray generously after shampooing. No need to rinse. It leaves hair soft and shiny.
I also use it as a de-tangler on my daughter. It works best if you let it penetrate for a bit before combing. Anything to avoid this:


I shampoo with baking soda and essential oils some days (Especially on days when my hair is oily). I have also been having fun with a home made shampoo recently made from equal parts peppermint castile soap and fresh goat's milk- another one of nature's moisturizers. I am not a huge fan of castile soap on my hair. It leaves it feeling funky, but as long as I alternate with the baking soda shampoo, it get great results.



Do I look like I just stepped out of a salon? Well actually, just out of the shower after lathering with castile soap and goats milk, then spraying down with conditioner made with discarded corn silk. Hollywood stylists would send me to fashion jail. Isn't is wonderful?  I love that nature can supply the soft silky look we need for a fraction of the cost!