4/29/14

Is it Safe to Ingest Essential Oils?

The answer is: Yes, you can take essential oils internally! And no, not all of them! But for a minute, I digress...

Memes are fun. I think that is what these things are called. I like this one. Funny how it showed up after my peppermint pest control post last week. Some are fun and right on the money. And they just look so official.



I fear because of that, people may feel that if it is shows up on a meme, it must be true. How can one go about on the Internet spreading false information through memes?  It is easy! You can make those yourself, oh yes, there's app for that. 

Let me tell ya about a pretty looking meme I saw earlier this week. I do not have access to it, but it said something like this:

Essential oils are pure and potent (true!)
One drop of citrus can eat through a Styrofoam cup. (True!)
If that is true, just think what it is doing to our soft internal organs. (?????)
Never! Never! Never! Ingest an essential oil. (maybe true)

This little meme had hundreds of people in an uproar. Is this true?

Well, if ..."Think what it does to our internal organs" means...lemon supports healthy adrenals and has an amazingly gentle detoxifying effect, well then, yes! By all means, think on what it is doing to our "soft" internal organs.

But due to the fact that she ended it with NEVER, EVER, even if it is the last thing on earth take this oil internally because it will dissolve your liver and your spleen, then no, I don't think the author is a proponent of oils internally. 

I like experiments. I should have been a scientist. They have cool tools. But I am horrible at math, and chemistry made me cry everyday for a year. So, instead, I am an experimenter. Or maybe just a mentor. But either way, I took a piece of Styrofoam and put on it one drop of pure and potent lemon oil. Sure enough, it eats through that stuff in a heartbeat. So absolutely, if you have a Styrofoam liver or spleen, please do not drink water with lemon.


Next, I do not know how "soft" an internal organ is. I have never touched one. I do recall how hard it was for the doctor to break my water before I had a baby and that no amount of jumping on a trampoline caused it to burst. So, I am thinking we don't really have soft organs, but okay. So, I picked the most vulnerable fruit I could. You know, something that is made of natural ingredients, like us. And I dropped lemon oil on it too. Guess what! I have the cleanest strawberry on the planet because if it was sprayed with chemicals when it was in the ground, surely they are gone now! Styrofoam chemicals gone, pesticides on strawberry gone! In fact, I think it actually perked up and said thanks! You could also spill a little on your hand and it won't dissolve. I have done it hundreds of times!

Not all oils should be taken internally. Not all are meant to help in that way. No oil has to be taken internally either, but if it is recommended as GRAS by the FDA, then should we fear? Okay, maybe not the best example as they also recommend Tylenol and Pepto, neither of which I would touch with a ten foot pole...not that I make a habit of taking ten foot poles into CVS. But I would recommend, for what my opinion is worth, if it does not have a supplement label, it is probably not meant for internal use. In fact, most bottles say not to. So, do what they say! Or not, I won't judge.


Anyhow, use your best judgment. We are all trying to do the best we know how to care for our health. If you feel uncomfortable taking an oil internally, then DONT! No one is gonna make you. If you feel it your duty to save the rest of us for our foolishness, well think about this: many a maverick was shunned by his friends because they thought he was crazy for boldly going where no man or aroma therapist had gone before.

I will continue to take my certified pure oils internally when I feel the need.  I will continue to encourage others to look at the information out there and make their own choices. Then I will say yea! We are all trying to do the best we can to be healthy and encourage one another to think outside the box, not just jump into someone else's greener box!

For those who want to come see what it is like in my box, try out this wonderfully refreshing, liver detoxing drink! Then come link up your judgment free home remedies below! Just take that precious strawberry, add a few of his buddies and turn them into something delicious. When life gives you strawberries, add lemon essential oils and make lemonade!

Strawberry Lemonade
1-2 Cups Organic Strawberries, quartered
1 gallon filtered Water
10 drops lemon essential oil
Best to let it mellow for an hour!


4/28/14

5-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream

It is getting warm in our neck of the woods and that means frozen treats!  We are an ice cream loving family, but also a family that is doing our best to cut out processed sugars. I am in awe of the humble banana. I feel sad for people who can not have them. Bananas have saved my sweet tooth. I am forever in awe. Did you know they can even replace ice cream? Frozen bananas whip up creamy and delicious, like ice cream! I wish I had discovered this years and years ago! So easy and delicious and this recipe reminds me of Grandma's strawberry ice cream. It wasn't a party without it. But this recipe has no sugar and is just wholesome goodness.



1 large, ripe banana, sliced and frozen hard (overnight is best)
1/2 cup diced frozen strawberries
You can add a drop of Stevia, but it is not necessary
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 T coconut cream or whipping cream
1/2 tsp orange or lemon zest

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. I like mine a little chunky, so I stopped early. But you can process to as smooth as soft serve ice cream.  Serves 2.

The banana is key. Add any other frozen fruits that blend up smooth. Some that are not as sweet may require a bit of Stevia or maple syrup.

For other flavor combinations that make mouths happy, follow the same directions above, but try these:
  • 2 frozen bananas, a scoop of peanut butter and a tsp of cocoa powder.
  • 2 frozen bananas, a half of avocado, a drop of spearmint or peppermint essential oil and a handful of mini chocolate chips!
  • 1 frozen banana and a frozen mango, orange essential oil
  • 1 frozen banana, and a 1/2 cup of raspberries or blackberries, lemon oil
  • 1 frozen banana, one frozen peach, lemon oil
  • 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup watermelon and a drop of lime oil.
Any flavor of ice cream  you love can be made in minutes. I am going to need more bananas!! Do you have any other wonderful flavor combinations to share?

Learn which essential oils you can use internally safely: Join my email class here. 


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4/22/14

Peppermint Pest Control

It is nearing tornado season in Oklahoma and that means time to open the storm shelter and vacuum out the bugs. Spiders, lots of them! They look a little like THIS:

                                    Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

                
        Lovely! I have a love/hate relationship with spring!

Imagine my surprise when I went to my friend's house and we opened her storm cellar to find not a single bug! Then I noticed the peppermint plants growing all around it. AHHH! That explains a lot. Bugs do not like peppermint. I can not grow it around my cellar as it is surrounded by concrete in the center of my garage. But I do have stock in peppermint essential oil!

On that note, I got a new pest control guy. He shows up in footie pjs. He is gonna be sad when it is too hot to work in his pajamas.



We are getting rid of pests with no added chemicals. He can spray me or himself, or even drink it and will be just fine! I know because he sprayed me every chance he got. Also, the strawberries will be safe to eat and so far, the bunnies have not gone near them. I sprayed around all the gardens, the house (inside and out), the barn, and the shed. You could call the pest control people who will spray who knows what! We haven' t used pest control in years due to our free range chickens. They do a great job at controlling the bug population in our yard, but they do not chase off mice or rabbits and the spiders still come in the house. So, this year, we took up our own pest control and why pay someone to do it when any four year old in his right mind will jump at the chance.

Our recipe:
1 Gallon Water
20 drops peppermint oil
1 four year old in footie pajamas
A windless day (preferred)

Fill the gallon sized sprayer, add 20 drops of peppermint oil, shake and spray. One gallon handled all of our application for one day. It is recommended to repeat every week. The cost for one treatment was $2! You could make it extra strong for twice that. We paid $75 a treatment to a pest control company. I love all the many wonderful uses for essential oils. Click here to learn more: Peppermint oil.


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4/21/14

Chicken Enchilada Bake

I love chicken enchiladas! The recipe I used early in my marriage contained cream of chicken soup. Once I learned what is in that stuff... really, stop using that stuff. This recipe was introduced to me years ago by my my sister-in-law.  I have never eaten better enchilada. This recipe is a bit faster and modified to be gluten free, but still the same great taste and all real food ingredients.  This recipe is fast and easy and these days, fast is best.


For the sauce:

1 Onion, diced
2 T butter
2 cups diced chicken
2 cups chicken broth
1 pinch coriander
1 cup sour cream
3 ounces cream cheese
2 cups cheddar jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup diced mild green chiles
1 package organic tortilla chips or corn tortillas
Lime for garnish

Dice the onion and sauté it in the butter until tender, add the coriander. Then pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Remove from heat and add the sour cream and green chiles. Next add 1 cup of  cheese and put back on the burner on low until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thicker. Finally, add the chicken and stir to combine.


To assemble:

Place 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add half of the chips or 5 tortillas. Then Pour another third of the sauce, and the rest of the chips. Finally, add the last bit of sauce to coat the top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40 min. Remove pan from the oven and cover the casserole with the last cup of cheese. Return the foil and let sit for 10 min until all melty and delicious.

Serve with avocado, salsa and olives and a squeeze of lime if desired.


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4/15/14

Citrus Laundry Care

I am dreaming of Summer, or at least 3 days in a row of Spring! Get a little summer in your life and tackle the laundry too! Do it your-selfers are gonna love this simple summer scented laundry care. Here are simple recipes that take from clean to static free.

DIY citrus laundry care

Image courtesy of amateurpic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net










Wild Orange Laundry Soap
2 bars grated soap (castile soap preferred)
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
24-30 drops orange essential oil

Grate the soap bar in a food processor, or by hand. Then add the rest of the ingredients and give it a whirl or mix by hand. Store in an airtight container and use 2T per load.

Image courtesy of master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net










Lemon Fabric Softener
5-10 lemon rinds
1 quart vinegar
5 drops lemon essential oil
Peel the lemons and juice. Set the juice aside for something wonderful. Put the rinds in a quart jar and cover with vinegar. Let it cure a week to 2 months. The longer the rinds soak, the less vinegar scent.  Strain the lemon rinds, add the lemon oil and shake. Add 1/4 cup to rinse cycle.

Image courtesy of cjansuebsri / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Lime Static Stopper Dryer Sheets
1 dish cloth
Safety pins
Lime essential oil
Fold cloth and secure with safety pins. Wet cloth and add 1-2 drops of essential oil on the cloth. Add to the dryer. The safety pins help to knock out static clean. The essential oil makes a fresh scent. Alternately, you could keep a spray bottle of vinegar or water with 10 drops of oil in it. Spray the cloth before adding to the dryer.

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Easter Message: Because of Him

I love this time of year. Baby chicks, baby goats, baby bunnies! All reminders of the newness of life.

It is a wonderful reminder that our life can be made new through the atonement of the Savior of the world. My Savior and yours. I am ever in awe of His grace and wonder. His majesty and power. His infinite love for all of us, no matter how far we have fallen, no matter that we may feel so little hope.

My kids go around the house singing a song they hear on the radio. The chorus says, "Don't you worry, don't you worry child. Heaven's got a plan for you." What a blessing it is as a parent to hear my young children testifying with confidence that they know there is a plan for them. They know that it is made possible through Christ. It is all because of Him. Please take the time to watch this short, powerful Easter tribute to my Friend and your Friend. My God and your God.  He who makes all things possible. Even the Lord, Jesus Christ. I hope that this message fills your lamp today and reminds you that because of Him, all things are possible! Happy Easter.




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4/14/14

Instructions for Disbudding Baby Goats

At Happy Feet Farm, we disbud our goats, unless the buyer tells us not to. It is without doubt the worst part of every spring. We have a nanny that has horns. Well, horn. One was torn off during a catfight with another hormonal mom. We were lucky it wasn't worse. She could have bled to death. So, in order to save these babies grief later on, we do it while they are young and forgiving.


This is our second year disbudding and it was easier for me. But I just stand and count to ten, and offer moral support. I am not the one burning the babies with a red hot poker!

Supplies needed:
  • "The machine!" Dehorner
  • Goat box (optional)
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Ice pack
  • Lavender oil
  • Melaleuca oil
  • Nerves of steel
  • Baby goats, around 2 weeks old
We raise miniature Nubians, so the babies are tiny. We wedged a copper fitting inside the head so that it could go around smaller horns on these tiny babies. You can wait until they are a bit older if you like and no attachment will be necessary.

I will spare you the torture of watching a video of the process. Although you can find them online.

This is how we do it:

To begin the process, plug in the Dehorner. It will need to be glowing red hot. We let it heat up for a good 30 minutes. You can test it on a piece of wood and if it leaves a good ring, it is ready.

  • Step one, Put the goat in the box. We made this one. It is not absolutely necessary, you could just hold the goat between your legs. We have done it both ways. If you wait to long, your goats will be too big for the box...ask me how we know!!
 
  • Step Two, shave around the nubs. This helps to guide the dehorner and cuts down on the smell of burning hair. 



  • Step three: Put on heavy work gloves to avoid burns. Hold the goats head steady with one hand and with the other, place the hot tool right over the nub until it makes contact with the skin around it. Making a circular motion, "stir" it around, never removing contact from the skin for 10 seconds. Remove and apply a drop each of melaleuca and lavender to soothe burn and prevent infection.  Repeat the process again on the other side. The ring around the horn should be a copper color all around. These nubs will fall off on their own.

  • Step four: give the goat a lot of love. Add an ice pack for a few minutes, then send it off to nurse with mama.
Do you disbud your babies? Why or why not?
 
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4/10/14

Love Your Guts: Part One

Not long ago, I was involved in a big trade show with a few of my favorite people. It was a large event with an even larger crowd expected. It was the first thing of it's kind I had ever been involved in and I was nervous. So nervous that my farm fresh egg and toast could not, would not go down. I tried to eat. I did. I told myself I should. So, why on earth do we get a nervous stomach when we have an emotional problem like fear and worry? They are all in your mind right? Absolutely right! Your gut is your second mind.


Listen to your gut!

My gut often tells me that something is right or wrong. And it is almost always right! My head isn't even right as often as my gut is. Have you ever stopped to think why we let our gut think for us? We are told to trust our gut instinct. Because it is a major player in our thinking. Especially as it relates to keeping the other systems in our body healthy.

Our gut not only "thinks" for us, it also runs our important body systems. The major player being our immune system. Cool, huh? In fact, the GI tract is responsible for 70% of the body's immune function. Why? That is where our nutrition is pulled out. That green smoothie you ate for breakfast, settles in the gut and there, the tummy goes to work pulling out the awesome vitamins and minerals you send to it. It will send those vitamins to all the systems of the body that need it most.

Take a look at the things that disturb healthy flora:

When we fill our guts with heavily processed foods, pasteurized dairy products, and sugar, we disrupt it's careful balance of healthy flora. These friendly bacteria are pivotal in helping our gut to think.
They prevent the growth of harmful pathogens and also the growth of histamine. They also make for a healthy immune response.

Other things that disrupt the healthy flora are physical stress (like my trade show event), Chemicals and toxins found in our environment (cleaners, beauty products, drugs, immunizations), a diet void of good nutrition (ie, processed food), and antibiotics. An over abundance of any of these stressors can result in low immune function, leading to tummy troubles, fatigue, aches and pains, sickness, allergies, and full blown auto-immune disease.

Signs that you have unhealthy gut flora:
  • Allergies (including hay fever)
  • Migraines
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Celiac
  • MS
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
I have had a lot of people approach me and ask if there is an oil for the above problems. I always say, well, yes. There certainly is, but I personally do not like to use oils like a band aid. Using oils for pain or as an antihistamine is a wonderful tool because we avoid adding to toxic load by introducing drugs. But there is only one way to give the body the support it needs to get better. That is through creating a healthy gut. Heal the gut, boost the immune system, and restore health.

You can research a lot of different ways to get rid of unhealthy bacteria and replace it with the good stuff. None of them are easy. The  GAPs diet,  (have researched, but not tried) Candida Cleanse (have used in our family) are two places to start. I have seen others but to not wish to promote them here. All agree on two things. Cut out sugar in all forms as bacteria loves it even more than we do, and flood the gut with probiotics.

I have a great formula for making happy flora in your gut! May help cut down on those allergies too. Click here to read part two.

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4/7/14

How to Cook a Rabbit

Have you ever eaten rabbit? I have heard it described as "the best chicken I ever ate." As I kid I remember loving it. So, when farmer Rocky suggested that we raise meat rabbits, I agreed as long as I didn't have to do the butchering. We have some rabbits that will soon be ready for the chopping block and decided before we do it, we should make sure we all like it. A new farm friend of ours generously donated an already butchered, skinned and quartered rabbit. That was soooo nice.

Well it was delicious. But there are a few important steps to preparing rabbit properly.
  • Number one: Never refer to it as bunny meat. Do I really have to explain why?
  • Number two: Don't tell your 7 year old that it is a rabbit, until they have finished it. At least she was relieved to know it was not one of ours...yet.
  • Number three: Never refer to it as bunny meat. I feel this warning bears repeating. Once you say it, the meat will stick in your throat and your tummy will churn a bit.
  • Number four: Farmer up and get over it. Chicks are cute too, and we eat them!
Ready for a delicious way to cook rabbit? This post and pictures will take my siblings back in time. Back to when we ate bunny oops, I mean rabbit meat as kids.


Oklahoma Fried Rabbit

Ingredients:
 
One rabbit, or two or four. Whatever will feed your family.
Buttermilk enough to cover the meat.
Soak the rabbit for a few hours in buttermilk. This makes it tenderlicious.
Then drain the buttermilk and discard. Shake the pieces up with:
1/4 cup flour,
1 tsp salt,
1/4 tsp pepper,
1/2 tsp garlic,
dash of paprika

Heat 4-5 T oil (olive or coconut oil of course) on the stove. Once it is hot, place the floured meat in the oil and brown on both sides.

 
Transfer the browned rabbit to a baking dish and pour white gravy over the top.
To make the gravy you will need:
3 T butter
2 t flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in small sauce pan. Then add the flour. Cook for one minute until it smells a bit toasty, then slowly stir in the milk. Whisk until smooth and let it heat through. Then pour over the rabbit. It will thicken into gravy in the oven.

 
Cover and bake at 400 for an hour. Remove the rabbit from the pan and then give the gravy a stir. It is soooo good over buttered mashed potatoes.

We attempted last spring to raise some rabbit meat. Click the link to read about our "almost roasted rabbit."  My readers were relieved to hear we didn't go through with it. I had a hater on Facebook recently too who chastised me for raising rabbits to eat. To all of those, I say, refer to rule number four. We are learning to do this now so that if it ever becomes necessary, we will know how to not starve to death.

So, have you eaten rabbit? Could you, would you with gravy and potatoes? And hot buttered rolls? Yes! Now that is Sunday dinner in the country!

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