vote for green and bitchy!

i am honored to have been nominated into 'circle of moms' top 25 food allergy mom blogs list.
if you enjoy this blog and like speculating beyond the food allergies, EE and other epidemic-proportion diagnoses our kids are getting these days to what might be causing them...and you suspect that finding more natural ways to nourish and nurture our children might be the key...then vote for greenandbitchy!

you can vote as often as once every 24 hours until 11/16. i'm delighted to have been nominated - thank you to whomever suggested my blog - and thank you all for the support!

this is a very exciting competition and we have a little less than 2 weeks to go! i have been hanging in at the top 3 spots by the skin of my teeth and even made it to #1 a few times - thank you for the support and votes and keep it coming!


healthy tips for flu season!

from a mom of five kids, four of whom are in public schools
during flu season in the midwest, USA, here are my pearls:

~cod liver oil (carlson's, lemon infused) - 1-2 tsp every night
(the vite d alone helps boost the immune system and reduce allergic reactivity- and this time of year in michigan, we ALL need more vite d - this is one of the best, most readily absorbed sources!) Cod Liver Oil Lemon Flavor at Carlson Labs
~elderberry extract or concentrate, 2 tsp every night when everyone is healthy, 2 tsp 3-4 times daily or as symptoms pop up - you can't overdo this stuff and it's super YUMMY! (just google "elderberry & flu" and you won't b/l the amazing properties of this wonder food).
Natural Sources Elderberry Juice Concentrate 16 oz

~pomegranate molasses for when the sore throat is past the 'tickle' stage. this powerhouse antioxidant is packed with immune-boosting vitamin c. even better, if honey or elderberry syrups are just too sickly-sweet for a queasy system, pomegranate molasses has that perfect tart zing to it, so it won't upset your stomach on top of a sore throat or impending flu. it's super heavy, so it coats and clings to a sore throat. this is our #1 choice for sore throats - we do 1 tsp 3x daily w/ sinus/flu/sore throat symptoms (some can experience a warm, tingly belly if taken on an empty stomach). most often used as an ingredient in latin and persian soups and sauces, it can usually be found in latin and middle-eastern stores. if not, it's also available online - or you can make your own by simmering pure pomegranate juice until thickened. 'indo-european' is the best brand.

~sinus rinsing/flushing. the squeeze bottles by neilmed seem to be easier for the young kids than an actual neti pot. we always use the neilmed saline packets - or you can make your own saline mixture to add to the warm water. NEVER use plain tap water, unless you boil it first. we buy a 3 gallon dispenser of distilled water just for the nose bottles and keep it in the bathroom closet. we do this every morning . (this helps to rinse away allergens, dust and environmental irritants breathed in while sleeping all night and helps to remoisturize sinuses dried out and irritated by the artificial dry heat in winter. evidence suggests that it can also help to control or alleviate facial eczema by soothing and controlling the initial flare-up that begins in the sinuses with airborne exposure to seasonal and environmental allergens.  if one of our kids has a stuffy or runny nose, we will do it as often as 2-3 times daily to keep the nose clear and prevent stuffiness. since beginning this routine, our kids have never progressed past clear nasal mucous nor had a crusty, snotty nose again!
NeilMed Pharmaceuticals

~lanolin or aquaphor to line nostrils, every morning. we use q-tips - if you don't like petroleum-based products, use 'lansinoh' brand lanolin. if you have hyperallergic kids, you might want to stick w/ the aquaphor. this lines and seals the delicate nasal membranes and prevents more penetration by airborne/environmental allergens. it also seals in the moisture from the nasal rinsing and is 100% effective in preventing winter nosebleeds if done at least daily! we do the rinsing & moisturizing 2-3X daily when the kids have very runny noses, especially if it turns greenish. with this routine, my kids never have more than clear snot for 2-3 days anymore, even with the worst flu and colds. this also prevents crusty, painful & irritating buildup -& boogers!- in the noses. i also apply a thin layer around mouths and cheeks in the colder weather to prevent dryness, chapping and cracking.

~slather the feet with vapor rub and cover with socks for congestion and coughs - especially at bedtime! it somehow penetrates and seems to work better - especially on kids who have sensitive skin and say that "it burns" on the upper body.

~peppermint oil in a tepid bath can help to reduce fever - and the anti-nausea part of the aromatherapy can help anyone around it!

~use pure hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash once weekly, especially during times of illness. not only does it have amazing health benefits and kill germs and bacteria, but even only doing this once a week, i notice all the kids' teeth get whiter and brighter right away & any bad breath is eliminated and reduced for days! i don't recommend it any more often for kids, though - as it can cause tooth sensitivity.
~we use 'republic of tea' brand 'get wellness' & 'get soothed' teas for when sore throats and stomach upset creep in. chock full of beneficial healing and soothing herbs, they're the perfect remedy to stomach flu.
The Republic of Tea

~coconut water for hydration during vomiting. loaded with essential rehydrators and electrolytes and nothing artificial, there is no match for pure coconut water during illness with vomiting and/or diarrhea. it has been used as an actual IV fluid in emergencies, it is so benign & beneficial to the human body. forget the bubbly corn syrup- laden clear sodas, this is best for sick people!
c2o Pure Coconut Water - Naturally Isotonic, All Natural Coconut Water

~ice chips spritzed with lemon juice and sprinkled with sugar is another aid i have found for children with stomach illnesses to help rehydrate them. doesn't leave a nasty aftertaste like 7up, and lemon juice is an incredible anti-bacterial and germicidal agent.
~'dr. bronner's' peppermint magic soap in a bucket for actual vomiting. perfect for kids who might not make it to the toilet. the uplifting, soothing fragrance is a known anti-nausea remedy and fills your house with much lovelier aromas than those that come with stomach bugs! also much nicer going down the toilet than a plain bucket of barf!!
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

~for travel barf buckets, we take an empty water gallon and cut a face-sized hole out of the top, leaving the handle 90% attached. this creates a portable receptacle that is virtually backsplash and spill- proof. it can even be set on the floor of the vehicle fairly reliably if the child can't stand to have have the smell near them after use. if we have foreknowledge that someone isn't feeling well, we add a cpl inches of soapy, peppermint dr. b's to it before leaving the house. this tip is a carsaver for families with children prone to carsickness!

and if you're reading this idea too late and your car has already been baptized, the same dr. bronner's i recommend as aromatherapy for the for the green-gilled is also the best vomit smell-remover and cleaner i've ever found. the hard way, of course - on a vacation in florida, in a rental car in 100 degree heat, no less! the car rental company ended up calling to ask what air freshener i had sprayed in their car as everyone loved it and they wanted to use it in all their cars! (i used hot water to make a rich lather, scrubbed with a scrub brush, toothbrush and q-tips over all the barfed on areas, then used hot, damp towels to wipe up and press out the excess soapy residue).
these are the things we do in our house that we've found really work in a state of neverending flu season and very little sun. we also can't use traditional medications on our multiple, hyperallergic little guy, so these are the natural remedies we've found & tried.

~and here's an addition we've just discovered for heartburn/reflux, queasy stomach, diarrhea and even constipation! this stuff just seems to put a GI tract right back on track:

a peek into my world.

i had the following convo this am & had to share:

me: "it's time to go - "where are 'lou's shoes, you know - the doc marten's?"
jonah: "which are those? did they used to be jake's?"
me: "yes, the black hand-me-down shoes that he just grew into."
jovie: "and were they bo's, too?"
me: "yes, you know, they're black with thick soles & yellow laces, he wears them all the time now - have you seen them?"
jonah: "were they mine, too?"
me: "yes, you loved them & helped me pack them away for the next baby - do you know the ones i mean now? where are they?"
jonah: "were they get-wet shoes or not?"
me: "not, they'll get ruined if you get them too wet."
jovie: "were they mine, too - or are they just ugly boy shoes?"
me: "ugly boy shoes, you never liked them."
jovie: "was he wearing them yesterday?"
me: "yes! those are the ones! the doc martens! where did he put them?"
:::long pause as they all look at each other:::
jovie: "we have no idea what you're talking about."

:::fast forward 20 minutes and i have found them down in the costume bin:::
me: "THESE are the ones, THESE are the doc martens, NOW do you guys know what i was talking about?"

jovie & 'lou get those light bulb expressions and exclaim almost in unison:
"OH! you mean the waspy SPIDOODLE STRING shoes!!! why didn't you say so?!"