Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guide to Natural Sweeteners

Yesterday, we talked about one of the Maker's superfoods: raw honey. But there are other sweeteners as well that meet the Maker's specifications for health. They must all be used in moderation (even honey) as excess use can upset body chemistry just as much as white sugar does, (albeit white sugar does mess things up every time, not just when used in moderation!) but there are some really good ones out there.

I know we're in the middle of a series on the Maker's superfoods, but I thought I'd pause while on the topic of raw honey to show you which sweeteners will bring health to your family, and which won't!

Accepted sweeteners on the Maker's Diet: (see p. 224)

1. Organic, raw honey (see my post yesterday)
2. Organic, whole, unrefined evaporated sugar cane juice: aka "Rapadura"
3. Organic maple syrup
4. Organic Stevia

Ok, so now some explanations are in order. What on earth
is Rapadura, and what really counts as "raw" honey?

definitions are taken from p. 537 of Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions.

1. Organic, raw honey:
"Honey that has not been heated over 117 degree is loaded with amylases, enzymes that digest
carbohydrates, as well as all the nutrients found in plant pollens... Glucose tolerance tests indicate that, for most people, honey does not upset blood sugar levels as severely as does refined sugar. Buy honey labeled "raw and use it in desserts that do not require heating."

2. Organic maple syrup:
"The concentrated sap of huge deciduous trees, maple syrup is rich in trace minerals, brought up from below ground by teh tree's deep rots. It imparts a wonderful flavor to cream-based desserts and may be used in baked goods, such as muffins and pancakes. Unfortunately, formaldehyde is used in the production of most commercial maple syrup."

3. Organic Rapadura:
"Rapadura is the commercial name for dehydrated cane sugar juice, which the people of India have used for thousands of years. It is rich in minerals, particularly silica. Rapadura has a wonderful flavor and closely mimics sugar in chemical properties. It gives the best results for
cookies and cakes but be careful not to overdo- in large amounts Rapadura can upset the body chemistry just as much as sugar..."

4. Stevia Powder:
"A sweet powder made from a South American herb, stevia can be used by those who are sensitive even to natural sweeteners. As it does not add bulk, it is difficult to use successfully in baked goods; but stevia powder is a good sweetener for salad dressings, smoothies, whipped cream and pie crusts."

In our family, we love using organic raw honey and organic dehydrated cane juice (Rapadura) for our sweeteners of choice. The Rapunzel brand of Rapadura is a really good one. Look at your local health food market for it or buy it online:

You already know about our family's favorite brand of raw honey, Really Raw Honey. We don't use organic maple syrup often, but when we do, it is delicious in plain, organic whole milk yogurt (preferably raw if possible) and on sprouted/soaked pancakes! You can buy organic Stevia at your local health food market if you want to give it a shot. I'm sure you can also find it easily online!

A note on the Rapadura: there is serious confusion regarding this type of sugar. That's because there are all kinds of sugars marketed as "natural" and healthy these days. Some of them are healthy, and others are not. Your best bet is to stick with the products I have outlined above, to spare yourself confusion and to ensure you are getting the highest amount of nutrients possible in your sweeteners. (Even though they really should be used sparingly, but it's totally unrealistic to never have sweets!)

For example, there is also "evaporated cane juice," "turbinado sugar," "sugar in the raw," etc. It is very confusing to walk down a health food store aisle. What I have discovered in my research is that all of these sugars are processed differently. Some, like "turbinado" and "sugar in the raw" are not too far removed from white sugar. They also metabolize in your body like white sugar does. Basically, I only use and recommend using Rapadura and evaporated cane juice. Sugar labeled "Rapadura" (Rapunzel is the only brand I know of marketing this product in the U.S.) is the absolute most pure form of sugar. However, evaporated cane juice is OK, but Rapadura is the purest, with the most nutrients and minerals intact.

My advice: if you want a white sugar subsitute that's not a liquid (e.g. honey or maple syrup) then use Rapadura. However, most organic sweets that are marketed (like Julie's ice cream, the best ice cream I have ever tasted!) in health food stores will contain evaporated cane juice. I think this is OK for these limited products, but it shouldn't be most food that you eat. I.e., make it the exception, not the rule! It's always best to make your own sweets with your Rapadura anyway!

I don't use other types of sugar because most of them are more refined. So if a product says, "Organic sugar" I won't buy it, because I don't have any way of knowing the processing of that product. I'll talk some more the next post about sugars and sweeteners you should avoid.

In the meantime, go get some Rapadura! ;)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Get Healthy with the Maker's Superfoods! Part 2

Want to sweeten your life? Do it the natural way with organic, raw and unfiltered honey. Honey is truly a biblical food. But the plastic bear at the grocery store full of processed, adulterated honey doesn't hold a candle to the real stuff:

Superfood/Healing Food #2: Honey
(from p. 151 of the Maker's Diet, by Jordan Rubin)

"The Creator chose to use honey to describe the abundance of the Promised Land, calling it the land of "milk and honey" (Exod. 13:5). Honey is on the of the most powerful healing foods we have at our disposal. Generations of grandmothers prepared hot honey drinks to soothe sore throats, calm frayed nerves, and ensure a good night's sleep. Asthmatics often swear by honey's ability to help them breathe easier. Honey wipes out bacteria that cause diarrhea. And honey may eliminate such disease-causing bacteria as salmonella, Shigella, E.coli, and cholera.

The Bible implies a strong influence of butter and honey on brain function. "Curds [butter] and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good" (Isa 7:15). The brain is made of mostly fat (which butter provides), and it runs on glucose (of which honey is an excellent source). Always look for high-quality honey produced locally and sold in its raw and unheated form- this preserves its rich storehouse of naturally occuring enzymes and bee pollen."

We love raw, organic honey in our house! We use it every day in smoothies, and for peanut butter/honey sandwiches. We also enjoy it in tea. We absolutely LOVE a brand called Really Raw Honey.

This honey is incredible. It is creamy, raw, totally unfiltered, and unprocessed. A few years ago I recommended it to a close friend struggling with insane allergies- it helped her tremendously! It is also amazing for burns, insect bites, and rashes. I have a hunch that it would work great for acne as well- albeit a little sticky!

Support the disappearing honeybees and your body by enjoying God's best natural sweetener- raw honey!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Get Healthy with the Maker's Superfoods! Part 1

This week we are going to talk about how to enrich your life with optimal health, using some of the best food choices that God has provided. We'll discuss the food and its benefit (taken from the Maker's Diet) and then I'll give my personal brand recommendations and recipes!

Superfood/Healing Food #1: Fish and Fish Oil
(from p. 145 of the Maker's Diet, by Jordan Rubin)

"If you follow the precise biblical recommendations for the Creator's seafood, you can ensure health and avoid disease. (See Leviticus 11:9-12.) Fish is a wonderfully rich source of protein, potassium, vitamins and minerals. For those who simply don't get enough cold-water fish, it is imperative that you take a form of high quality cod liver oil every day. Today we understand scientifically that fish and cod liver oil:
  • Thin the blood
  • Protect the arteries from damage
  • Inhibit blood clots (antithrombotic)
  • Reduce blood triglycerides
  • Lower LDL blood cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduce risk of lupus
  • Relieve migraine headaches
  • Fight inflammation
  • Help regulate the immune system
  • Inhibit cancer in animals (and possibly humans)
  • Soothe bronchial asthma
  • Combat early kidney disease
Much of the healing powers of fish reside in the omega-3 fatty acids that are particularly highly concentrated in cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, bluefish, herring, lake trout, mackarel, sablefish, white-fish, bluefin tuna and anchovies, as well as in cod liver oil. Doctors have prescribed cod liver oil for more than two hundred years for a number of ailments, including rheumatism and arthritis.

...Studies show that cod liver oil high in omega-3 fats EPA and DHA reduces or eliminates all three risks. {for heart attack and stroke} The higher the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, the lower your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease and cancer!"

Wow! It's amazing that fish and fish oil can do all that for us! In our house, we all take cod liver oil every day. (Even the little guys.) I could barely take it when we started the Maker's Diet 4.5 years ago, but I developed a technique where I just pour it off a spoon down the back of my throat bypassing my taste buds! :) We take the Garden of Life cod liver oil:

but they also sell capsules if you don't want to take the liquid form. The best place online I've found to purchase supplements is

And remember, when you're eating fish, you need to buy wild-caught fish if you want any of the aforementioned health benefits. Eating farm-raised salmon or any other farm raised fish is a good way to ensure you ingest toxins, not the benefits of one of the Maker's top superfoods! For more on the dangers of farmed fish, I'd recommend you check out these articles by Dr. Mercola:

What You Need to Know About Farmed Fish

Farmed Salmon May Increase Your Cancer Risk

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday's Food for Thought: Drink Your Whole Milk!

Monday's Food for Thought: Drink your (Whole) milk

"When animals are placed on skim milk...the animals develop very poorly. But when four percent butter fat is fed to similar animals, they develop normally. The vegetable oils now being pushed on the American people by organized medicine and self-styled nutrition experts will not work as a substitute for cream.

Skim milk-fed animals develop testicular atrophy with complete sterility. Male sterility is a major concern in our country today and the skim milk fad may be a contributing factor. The test animals also developed severe calcification of most large blood vessels, anemia, and high blood pressure.

Another characteristic of the syndrome that may be of significance in human medicine is the development of calcium deposits around the bone openings in the spine that provided for the exit of nerves. Sciatica and other nerve compression syndromes may be caused by this nutritional deficiency. Also, a decrease in hearing, leading to complete deafness."

William Campbell Douglass, MD The Milk Book

Friday, April 23, 2010

Food For Thought: Do You Still Want to Eat That Ice Cream?

Friday's Food For Thought: from PPNF Health Journal:

"In the old days when ice cream was made of whole eggs, milk and sugar and laboriously cranked out in the old home freezer, a serving of ice cream was only an occasional family treat which didn't do much harm,

Today in this mass producing, synthetic age, it is another matter entirely. Today you may be treating your family to poison!

Ice cream manufacturers are not required by law to list the additives used in the manufacturing of their product. Consequently, today most ice creams are synthetic from start to finish. Analysis has shown the following:

DIETHYLGLYCOL: A cheap chemical used as an emulsifier instead of eggs is the same chemical used in antifreeze and in paint removers.

PIPERONAL: Used in place of vanilla. This chemical is used to kill lice.

ALDEHYDE C-17: Used to flavor cherry ice cream. It is an inflammable liquid also used in aniline dyes, plastic and rubber.

ETHYL ACETATE: Used to give ice cream a pineapple flavor- and as a cleaner for leather and textiles; its vapors have been known to cause chronic lung, liver and heart damage.

BUTYRALDEHYDE: Used in nut flavored ice cream. It is one of the ingredients of rubber cement.

AMYL ACETATE: Used for its banana flavor. It is also used as an oil paint solvent.

BENZYL ACETATE: Used for its strawberry flavor. It is a nitrate solvent.

The next time you are tempted by a luscious looking banana split sundae made with commercial ice cream, think of it as a mixture of antifreeze, oil paint, nitrate solvent, and lice killer; and you won't find it so appetizing!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's the Story of Your Food?

From Fighting the Food Giants by Paul Stitt:

"The ones most devastated by the growth of the processed food industry are the populations of the underdeveloped nations. In their insatiable lust for sales, the food monsters are competing for overseas markets. They are pouring millions into Third World advertising campaigns, trying to convince the poor Brazilian farmer that "He Deserves a Break Today," and the starving child of Ghana that "Things Go Better with a Coke."

...The food giants are certainly racking up a lot of victories in the Third World.
Two noted food researchers, Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins, have visited the tiny, rotting stores in the rural areas of poor countries and have found chewing gum sold by the stick, Ritz crackers sold one-by-one, and two-packs of Twinkies split up so the awful things can be sold separately.

This demand for this poison has been generated by food conglomerate advertising which is doing a great job of teaching people in poor lands "that their traditional diets of beans, corn, millet and rice are worthless as compared to what Americans eat." To the food conglomerates, poor people turning from native, whole foods to processed junk means profit; to the people themselves it means death."

We didn't always eat this way, you know. How did processed food become the trademark of all "civilized" societies?

And the most unhealthy societies.

What's the story of your food? Go ask your kids. Why ask your kids? Because someone is paying big money to make sure they eat the same way that you do. And someone is making big money too. In a study of commercials aimed specifically at toddlers and preschoolers, and aired on Nickelodeon, Disney, and PBS, kids viewed 130 food-related commercials during a morning TV watching slot. Of these 130 commercials, more than half were specifically targeted towards kids, and 50 of them were for fast food, and 18 for sweetened cereals.

The study also found that 82% of the advertising on PBS, and 36% of the advertising on the Disney Channel was sponsored by fast-food chains.

Ask yourself: who is making money through the food that I'm buying for myself and my family? Do they really have my best interests in mind?

The answers might shock you.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How To Get Sick: Part 7: Swallow Your Food Without Chewing Well (Or At All)

Now this is one way to get sick that you wouldn't normally think about. Most of us chew our food incredibly quickly, especially children and men! :) We are constantly telling Nathaniel, "Lots of chews!" Some guys eat so fast that they are done with a meal in less than 5 minutes. Or even 10! If you can eat a full meal in less than 10 minutes, you're not chewing enough.

Here's why it's important to chew your food:

# 7 Way to Get Sick:
A Modern Prescription for Illness
: Swallow your food without chewing well (or at all) (p.91 of the Maker's Diet)

"Chewing is extremely important to proper digestion. The chewing reflex signals the body to release saliva containing the salivary enzyme ptyalin, a form of amylase, which begins to break down carbohydrates. Parotid glands behind the ears signal the thymus gland to produce T-cells just in case the food contains toxins or pathogens. The ultimate goal of the process is to deliver food to the stomach in a liquid state.

I'm convinced my habit of "wolfing down my food" in chunks contributed to the development of Crohn's disease in my body. Horace Fletcher, who lived in the early 1900's, had a wasting disease known as Addison's disease, which produced major digestive problems and weight loss. Mr. Fletcher allegedly cured himself by chewing each mouthful of food thirty-five to fifty times. His story inspired others who began chewing their food thoroughly; they called themselves "Fletcherizers."

Don't go calling yourself a "Rubinizer," but I do recommend chewing each bite twenty-five to fifty times as needed- especially when eating foods high in carbohydrates such as grains, sugars, and starches. Always eat sitting down, and avoid watching TV, arguing, or doing something that requires concentration."

I dare you to count how many times you are chewing each bite- I bet you will be surprised with how few times you chew your food! Remember, your food will get broken down into a liquid form at some point- but if you don't do the right job, you will tax your digestive system, feel less full and thereby eat more overall, and spend your body's energy on doing the job you didn't do, taking away from the mental energy and focus you need to make it through your day! So go and chew!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to Get Sick: Part 6: Shower Every Day, But Don't Take a Bath

I am preaching to myself with this post!

My wonderful husband takes a bath every night. I never take a bath. Sounds backwards, doesn't it? Well, there's a good reason for it. My husband has pretty sensitive skin, and showering irritates his skin far worse than bathing does. It turns out there's a good reason for that:

# 6 Way to Get Sick:
A Modern Prescription for Illness
: Shower every day, but don't take a bath (p.85 of the Maker's Diet)

"Excessive showering- even in the purest water- can actually rob your hair and body of the natural oils. It can also alter your body's pH (especially if you're using certain alkaline shampoos and soaps). Then you have the added problem of heavily chlorinated public water supplies. If the Maker has a preference, it might be the use of ritual bathing that combined bathing (washing in a shallow bath) with sprinkling (showering for brief periods)."

We must instinctively know that taking baths is better for your skin, since we insist on our children taking "baths" and not showers. And there is definitely nothing more relaxing than a nice bath at the end of the day. I like adding lavender oil or some Miracle soap for a nice bubble bath. Add some beeswax candles and you're set!

We like using New Wave Enviro's bath ball to remove the chlorine from the water.

Happy bathing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

How to Get Sick: Part 5: Take Lots of Medications

Did you take your medication today? That's a question you won't hear asked at my house. However, before I got sick and we started the Maker's Diet, I took medication 3-4 x a week. Growing up, I had headaches frequently, and they only worsened as I became a teenager. I started having headaches and migraines 2-3 x per week.

I never left the house without a plastic baggie full of white Ibuprofen pills. In college, the headaches would last for days, and even extra strength Excedrin wouldn't totally get rid of them. And I hated taking the Excedrin because the caffeine in it made me jittery and jumpy.

I'll never forget one time when Mark picked me up for a date. We had just started dating, and as I got in the car, my trusty bag of Ibuprofen fell out of my purse. "What's that?" he asked. "Oh, it's just my Ibuprofen," I casually responded. Glancing sidelong at me, he asked, "Do you always take those with you?" "Uh, yeah," I stuttered. "I mean, I might need them!"

I honestly thought everyone carried Ibuprofen or some other form of pain reliever around with them at all times! It never occurred to me that this practice of mine was abnormal! It also never occurred to me that it wasn't safe to take these drugs. I later found out from a doctor that every single time you take a pain killer of any kind, your liver bleeds. Now that is disturbing!

The good news is that my headaches completely stopped when I started the Maker's Diet. I haven't taken a pain killer or any kind of medication whatsoever for almost 5 years now. I also stopped taking the Pill when I got sick as well. (I plan to do a separate post on the dangers of the Pill!)

And I haven't taken antibiotics since I began the Maker's Diet, and will not ever take them again unless under extreme duress! I will also not allow my kids to take antibiotics unless it is a ridiculously serious and extenuating circumstance. (I'm hoping that never happens!) We take antibiotics incredibly flippantly in our society, with no thought of what is going on inside when we do. About three months before I got sick, I took two rounds of strong antibiotics for a sickness. It was only a few short months later when I woke up sick that fateful day. I really believe that the antibiotics were the straw that broke the camel's back of my digestive, and overall health.

Medications should really be used wisely and incredibly sparingly. I won't even go into the billion-dollar industry that manufacturers of drug products represent, and the incredible greed that is present in these companies. We really have to take control of our own health, instead of following the advice of people who don't necessarily have our best interest in mind, but their own.

So here's what Jordan Rubin has to say about taking medication:

# 5 Way to Get Sick:
A Modern Prescription for Illness
: Take Lots of Medications (p.88 of the Maker's Diet)

Every medicine has a side effect. There may be a time and place for the use of medication, but much of the prescription activity in the U.S. perpetuates health problems by treating symptoms rather than their root causes. Medications such as antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and corticosteroids may cause major problems with the gastrointestinal terrain, damage the immune system, cause liver problems, and alter enzyme function. The practice of taking a baby aspirin a day to prevent heart attacks is dangerous, for instance. Aspirin can cause bleeding in the intestinal track and can be toxic to the liver. You get similar health benefits with no side effects by consuming foods in the Maker's Diet such as cold-water fish, fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, and certain botanicals that naturally reduce the Cox-2 enzyme and provide other anti-inflammatory benefits."

Let's get back on the offensive, instead of the defensive, with our health. Following the Maker's Diet will give us the health we need to avoid medications, and take back control of our health. As Jordan Rubin says, "You'll either pay the farmer now, or the doctor later!"

Friday, April 16, 2010

How to Get Sick: Part 4- Drink, Shower & Swim in Chlorinated Water

(Photo courtesy of Juhanson)

Ah, water. We can't live without it, and most of us don't get enough of it. Did you know that an average 150 lb adult is supposed to be drinking 96 oz. of water every day? (I need to work on that!) Water is so important for our health, but it is one of the primary sources for introducing toxins into our body, day in and day out. Here's what Jordan Rubin has to say about the dangers of drinking, showering in and swimming in chlorinated water.

# 4 Way to Get Sick:
A Modern Prescription for Illness
: Swim in chlorinated pools (and drink and shower with chlorinated water.)

(From p. 85 of the Maker's Diet)

"Chlorine is an effective bacteria killer, although some strains of bacteria are developing a resistance to chlorine. Unfortunately, chlorine is an indiscriminate killer that kills both friendly and unfriendly bacteria. It also eats through lead pipes, corrodes most metals, and harms cells and DNA strands in virtually every living thing it touches.

Chlorine also introduces to our water supplies some highly carcinogenic chemicals called trihalomethanes. (THMs).

Studies show a strong link between chlorinated water supplies with elevated THM levels and cancers of the bladder, kidney, liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, colon, and brain.

It is risky enough to drink chlorinated tap water, but the mass exposure created by swimming in chlorinated pools or taking extended hot showers in heavily chlorinated water is much more dangerous. (The heat opens skin pores and increases the already high absorption rate of chlorine through the skin.)

Dogs exposed to chlorine (this is the ingredient used to bleach white bread) get the running fits, a disorder similar to many psychiatric disorders in humans."

Did you know that when you take a shower, you soak in as much chlorine as if you drank 7 or 8 glasses of tap water?

And did you know that it takes your body 7 years to fully detox these toxic chemicals?

But you're doing it day in and day out. One 7 year cycle of detoxing is just beginning when you take your shower the next day and add another 7 years to the process, and on and on every day!

No wonder our bodies are giving out and succumbing to cancer, Alzheimer's, and a host of other degenerative diseases. Jordan Rubin says our bodies are on "perpetual tilt!"

Translation: you MUST get water filters!!! :)

Start with a shower filter. Getting a shower filter is so easy and inexpensive. We use New Wave Enviro's shower and bath filter. For drinking, we buy spring water from Whole Foods (2.5 gal containers). You can also buy an inexpensive counter-top filter. If you're going to get a filter, the absolute best water filter I have seen is Dr. Mercola's. Check it out at his website.

Dr. Mercola and his staff perform incredible amounts of research in writing their articles and producing their products, and he is extraordinarily detailed-oriented. His products meet the highest standards out there! He also sells a shower filter, a garden hose filter, and a pool filter. I think I'll be getting his garden hose filter instead of the Pacific Sands one I recommended previously. (Don't forget to get a garden hose filter for your kids playing in kiddie pools, and for watering your plants!) And when my New Wave Enviro filter needs a replacement cartridge, I'll probably look into buying Dr. Mercola's! (His water filters are a recent addition to his products.)

Happy, and safe, drinking!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Get Sick: Part 3- Never Let Them See You Sweat

Did you go and get some sun yesterday? If you did, you probably broke a sweat, or maybe not, if you're using conventional deodorants! Here's what Jordan Rubin has to say about a product you're likely using every day:

# 3 Way to Get Sick:
A Modern Prescription for Illness
: Never Let Them See You Sweat
(From p. 83 of the Maker's Diet)

"Any attempt to artificially prevent perspiration is very unhealthy because perspiration is the Maker's method of safely cooling the body while excreting numerous toxins. Suppressing this natural sweat response in your underarms or other areas blocks the body's cleansing process and the natural flow of the lymphatic system. Interference in normal lymphatic function may increase the risk of breast cancer. The products most often used to stop perspiration contain forms of aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer's disease or other neurological problems; triclosan, an antimicrobial absorbed through the skin that poses some risk to the liver; and zirconium-based compounds that can cause underarm granulomas. For more information about these products and possible alternative choices, see David Steinman & Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., The Safe Shopper's Bible (New York: Hungry Minds, Inc.,1995)"

Next to getting to sleep on time and catching some rays, this is another very easy change to make! It's very important, particularly for women. Studies of breast cancer patients show that the cancerous part of the breast tissue invariably contained a preservative called parabens, used in essentially 100% of personal care products, including conventional deodorants. It makes sense that these toxic preservatives would wind up in cancerous breast tissue when they're found in deodorant, since that tissue is so close to your armpits! Note: not even all "natural" products are paraben free- you have to do your homework before buying!

For more on this, and for a listing of brands with paraben free products, I'd encourage you to read this article by Breast Cancer Action:

In searching out toxin free deodorants, I've found a couple that are my favorite. In particular, I love Tahitian Breeze deodorant by Miessence. It's not available at most natural health food stores, but it is online. It lasts forever. Mark loves the men's version of the Miessence, it's called Ancient Spice. I also love Weleda's citrus deodorant. Look for this at your Whole Foods, although I think even Target sells it online or in stores, or you can check it out at Vitacost. It's more expensive than most deodorants, but it works well and should last you a couple months at least. Mark also likes the Weleda Citrus, and it works well for him too.

Aubrey Organics makes some great deodorants with high quality ingredients, but we haven't found them to be as effective as the aforementioned brands. :)

Happy smelling!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How to Get Sick: Part 2- Stay out of the Sun

Yes, you read that correctly! I know it seems odd, because our culture is obsessed with sunscreen and staying out of the sun. Here's what Jordan Rubin has to say in the Maker's Diet:

# Way to Get Sick: A Modern Prescription for Illness: Stay out of the Sun.
(From p. 83 of the Maker's Diet)

"Civilizations throughout history have understood that he sun is vital to human health. The human skin uses the energy from the sun to manufacture vitamin D for the body. This hormone/vitamin is important for many reasons, including its role in strengthening immune system function and proper mineral absorption.

Critics claim that exposure to the UV rays of the sun cause higher rates of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. This might be true for a small population segment- those with compromised immune systems who don't consume adequate nutrients (especially healthy fats). However, the people who actually get the most exposure to sunlight in different parts of the world exhibit the lowest incidence of skin cancer. The only logical explanation is that exposure to sunlight is not unhealthy.

What is unhealthy is exposure to sunlight with the diets we consume. Rex Russell, M.D., notes that when sunlight activates the phyto-chemicals in healthy foods, consumption of these foods not only blocks the harmful effects of UV rays, but they also produce, "antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer components, as well as pest repellents."'

If you steer clear of the sun, you need to think again! If you watch the news, you'll know that Vitamin D is in the spotlight right now for preventing illnesses. In fact, what's amazing is that there are 33,000 genes in our body, and vitamin D influences over 2,000 of them! In study after study, vitamin D deficiency is being linked with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses like asthma, Alzheimer's, and even infertility. It's also being linked to colds and flu!

I'd encourage you to do some more reading on this topic, so you can take advantage of the powerhouse of Vitamin D. Check out this article on Dr. Mercola's site:

You'll also want to take advantage of the best form of Vitamin D there is- given to us by God- the sun! Go get some rays today!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How To Get Sick: Part 1- Go to Sleep After Midnight

Ok, so yesterday we talked about the importance of following God's ways for optimal health. Unfortunately, in our society we do the opposite of many things that bring health! This week we're going to go through a list that Jordan Rubin wrote in the Maker's Diet. I'll share his description of "how to get sick", and then discuss the changes we've made in our family to align ourselves with God's ways for health!
#1 Way to Get Sick: A Modern Prescription for Illness: Go to Bed After Midnight.
(From p. 83 of the Maker's Diet)

"This is a great way to get sick. From biblical times to just before the Industrial Revolution, people used to go to sleep and rise with the setting and rising of the sun. This is the natural way to link your peak activity to the body's natural hormonal rhythms.

Dr. Joseph Mercola believes the timing of your sleep affects its quality. He says, "The more hours that you can sleep before midnight, the better off you will be.'''

He cites a study published in the Lancet, (a respected medical journal in Great Britain) indicating chronic sleep loss produces serious symptoms mimicking the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes (including age-related insulin resistance and memory loss.) And finally, according to the late Elmer Josephson, "Authorities tell us that one hour of sleep before midnight is equivalent to four hours afterward."

This is a very easy change to make! It takes discipline to go to sleep at a good hour, but the results are well worth it! When Mark and I started the Maker's Diet, we began going to sleep at 10:30 p.m. Now that we have kids, I feel the best if I get to sleep by 10, although I could easily go to sleep earlier.

One interesting thing to remember: Dr. Mercola (one of the most respected natural health doctors there is, who was previously a practicing MD) says that from the hours of 11 p.m.- 1 a.m., your liver is detoxing. If you are awake during these hours, it dumps all those toxins back into your bloodstream instead of getting them where they need to be: out of your body!

Going to sleep after midnight is unnatural to your body. God created all of our hormones to be in sync with our body's circadian rhythm, which he set to be in tune with sunrise and sunset. So when you sleep out of sync with this rhythm, and especially when you do it consistently, you are disrupting your hormones, and also ensuring that your body's system to cleanse itself is impaired.

This also holds true for your kids. I hear of so many kids these days who go to sleep at 9 or 10 p.m. This is absolutely way too late for a child!!! Kids need to be in bed significantly earlier so that they can get the most hours of sleep before midnight as possible. Let's set our kids up for healthy hormones and the least amount of toxins in their bodies, not to mention better behavior! Going to sleep and waking up late is not natural. Sooner or later, we'll pay for going against what our bodies were made to do.

I guess Benjamin Franklin was right: "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise!"

Monday, April 12, 2010

So You Think You're Healthy? Part 2

So you think you're healthy?

So did I.

Then I went to sleep one night. Everything seemed normal. I was "healthy."

But I wasn't healthy. When I woke up that morning, my whole life changed.

I wasn't "healthy" anymore.

From the moment I woke up on February 19, 2005, until I started the Maker's Diet, and then got pregnant in May 2007, I was in constant pain, getting relief only when I was asleep. And even then, I would frequently dream about how badly my stomach hurt.

I was only 19.

Guess what? I was wrong. I wasn't healthy.

Could you be wrong too?

We Americans have the idea that if we don't eat Big Macs 3x a day, we're basically healthy. Actually, it's more like, if we don't eat Big Macs a couple times a week, we're basically healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Jordan Rubin calls this our belief that, "Health is the absence of disease." That's tantamount to saying, "I'm basically a good person because I'm not Hitler." We humans tend to compare ourself to the worst possible standard to justify whatever it is that we want to do. Things that are not in line with God's ways. Guess what? I have news for you. You're probably not as healthy as you think. Because if you're not doing things God's way, and I mean God's ways to
the "T"- you're not as healthy as you think. It's impossible. His laws cannot be mocked. Most of us Americans say we're "healthy," but we deal with "manageable" illnesses like frequent headaches, colds & flu, our kids get ear infections and suffer from constipation, or consistent diarrhea, and we women have problems with menstrual cramps and thyroid issues. But we're "healthy?"


We only seem to freak out when we get cancer, or if our doctor says we have a tumor or high cholesterol.

This is not how things should be. It's time we change our standard.

If you think about it, Americans should be the healthiest people in the world. We have an abundance of doctors and money. We have access to fruits and vegetables year round. We have everything we need to be healthy, but we are one of the most unhealthy nations in the world. Even our children now suffer from diabetes, cancer, asthma, and serious digestive disorders like Crohn's disease.

We have forgotten God's ways.

I know, I know, you think you're healthy because you don't have cancer or diabetes, or heart problems yet. But do you know the future? Can you see inside your cells right at this moment and know with certainty that disease will never visit your home?

God can. And He invites you to walk in His ways, with assurance that He's given you all you need to avoid sickness and disease.

What's funny is, even those who don't know Him, but obey His dietary and lifestyle laws, prosper.

Look at this beautiful girl. She is from the Hunza people, located in the Himalayas. They don't have access to very much food, but they all get enough. They drink lots of goat's milk, eat small amounts of meat (because not much is available) and eat fresh baked bread and apricots. They each have their own garden where they grow fruits and vegetables. They also drink the fresh glacier water of the Himalayas. Most Hunzas live to be over 100 years old, completely mentally competent and physically active. The men play sports and father children well into their 90s. Cancer and all degenerative diseases do not happen whatsoever. They do not suffer from tooth decay or respiratory problems. When it is their time to die, they pass away in their sleep, well into their 100's. The mortality rate for babies is extremely low.

Doesn't that sound more like the way things are meant to be?

Do you still think you're healthy compared to that standard?

I want you to live your life in optimal health.

I want to live my life in optimal health.

Then let's follow God's ways for healthy living and not the American way. You follow them for every other area of your life and believe them as true. Why not in your diet?

This week we'll explore ways that we unwittingly, every day, invite future sickness and disease into our home. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. Let's discover more about the wisdom of God's ways in preventing sickness in our lives, so that we can walk in them, and achieve true abundant health.

Friday, April 9, 2010

So You Think You're Healthy?

So did they.

They had all the money, the time, and the resources needed to keep themselves in top shape.

They had the personal trainers and the personal nutritionists. They had maids and chefs.

They had more incentive than most of us do to stay healthy and in shape- they're celebrities after all!

So why do they look like this? Why will they die of the same diseases that afflict most Americans: heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's?

Why didn't their good looks, fit bodies, and health last if they were doing all the "right" things?

Granted: time, stress and life take their toll on us all. But wouldn't you expect better results from people whose very livelihoods necessitate the stellar maintenance of their bodies?

I'm not trying to make fun of these celebrities. I'm trying to make a point. They thought they were healthy. They thought they'd always be healthy. They thought they'd always look the way they did in their 20's and 30's. But if this is how they look in their 50's and 60's, what will they look like in their 70's or 80's, if they even live that long?

My question to you is: why do you think you'll turn out any different?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Grow Your Own: How to Grow an Organic Garden: Part 4

So, did you find your hardiness zone? Did you select the delectable herbs, fruits and veggies you want to grow for your family this year? I hope so! I know you'll love your garden, no matter how big, or small it is!

Today I am going to show you my favorite garden accessories. These products make my life easier!

First we will start with my beloved tomato cages. If you've grown tomatoes before, you know that they can be a little crazy. A little more like tomato "trees." But not quite as well behaved. Anyway, the garden center tomato cages do work for the first month or so, but you definitely need something more heavy duty for the entire growing season. And if you're like me, and live in a place where there are ridiculous winds and crazy thunderstorms all summer, the right cage can mean life or death for the plant! My flimsy garden center tomato cages just blew right over last year until I got these! They are made of concrete reinforcing wire, and you can get the wire at Home Depot or any hardware store. You can also use them for cucumbers, peas, or any other climbing plant. Check out these articles to find out how to make your own:

Ok, speaking of tomatoes, here is some organic fertilizer I'm going to use this year. It's by Garden's Alive and I have heard nothing but great things about it. One woman I know grows 600 tomato plants a year here in K.C., MO. She says Tomatoes Alive is absolutely beyond...the best fertilizer she has ever used, even better than conventional fertilizers! She used Miracle Gro before she went organic. Click on the Garden's Alive link to see it!

My second favorite garden accessory are my earthworm castings. I got mine from Northern Lakes Worm Castings online. I especially love these when transplanting veggies that you've started inside. And I also love making it into "tea" to water the plants with. Earthworm castings are "black gold"- an aptly given name. They are an incredible allover fertilizer. Check out the link for more info.

Lastly, every gardener needs to decide how they are going to water their plants. I would love to make my own rain barrel. A rain barrel is just what it sounds like, a large container which catches rainwater coming off of your roof, so that you can use it to water your plants. It usually attaches the downspout of your home. I can't use rain barrels because I can't attach it to our home since we don't own it. Once we're in our own house someday, I definitely plan on making a few. You can make your own and it's really cheap- maybe $30 for supplies. It's really a great way to conserve water and be a good steward. Plus it's free! You can also watch videos on You Tube teaching you how to make one.

If you're not able to do a rain barrel, though, I'd recommend this hose filter by Pacific Sands. Remember that the chlorine in your water is harmful for your growing plants and also is a chemical you don't want to ingest! (Chlorine was used in chemical warfare in World War 2- do you still think it's ok to drink?!)

Well, this pretty much wraps up my favorite gardening accessories! I hope you're well on your way to growing food (and memories) that your whole family will enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grow Your Own! How to Grow an Organic Garden: Part 3

Ok, so now that you've seen some amazing reasons why you should garden, let's talk about how!

These are my top six tips for getting started from scratch!

1. Determine your hardiness zone, and your area's last spring/first fall frost.
If you don't know when you should be planting, you won't be able to grow things at the right times or harvest the maximum amount! Also check out the dates for your area's last frost in spring and first frost for fall on this website. Once you've got those dates figured out, you're ready to move to the next step.

2. Decide what you want to plant!
Do you want just an herb garden, or veggies and fruits? Do you love green beans but hate Swiss Chard? You can grow practically everything. My advice is: choose the veggies and herbs that you use anyway. It seems exotic to grow your own kale, but if you don't eat it anyway (it's really good for you!) use the space for something your family will eat! Make a list of your favorite fruits and veggies, and include a couple new ones you'd like to try. Just don't include 100 new ones! Our family's favorite veggies are green beans, squash, peppers, tomatoes (which are technically a fruit) peas, radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots. For herbs, I'm planning on growing basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley and mint this year. For fruits, we got all our fruit trees and plants from Fast Growing Trees, an online store that sells mature trees, so you don't have to wait 5 years to get fruit!

3. Decide how you want to grow.
Do you have space for a traditional in-ground garden? Will you use raised beds or containers, or is your garden on your windowsill? There are so many different options. If you have a backyard, and you can dig a traditional garden, that is truly a blessing. If you're like me, though, you have a backyard but you can't dig it up, because you don't own the house! I use containers that function as raised beds. (Actually they are better because air can circulate from all sides. They are called Smart Pots and I love them! You can use them in your yard, on your patio, or your front porch, or in a window! They come in sizes 1 gallon-200 gallons! And the great thing about them is that you can use regular dirt in them, you don't have to buy special potting soil like you do with standard containers. If you do decide to container garden, there is a FABULOUS book called "Bountiful Container" by McGee & Stuckey. It goes through each plant and tells you how to correctly plant it and maintain it. It is easy to read and reference, and not boring! I highly recommend it, even if you have a traditional garden, because the information on each plant is so good!

4. Decide if you'll grow from seed or transplants.
Once you've got your list of desired herbs and veggies, (and even fruits!) decide how you'll grow them. Some foods, like cucumbers, don't like being transplanted, so you have to grow them from seed. Personally,I like growing just about everything from seed, because it's fun, and it's the most affordable. I got my seeds from, and I like buying organic and heirloom seeds, because most seeds these days are genetically modified or hybridized. Even some "organic" ones! I go for heirloom seeds and make sure "hybrid" is nowhere on the package. This is especially true for tomato plants. You can also get organic seeds/heirloom seeds from Whole Foods or any natural food store.

5. Decide how you'll arrange your plants, and figure out when they need to be planted.
Timing is everything in gardening. And so is your growing arrangement. For example, some plants don't like each other and won't produce well when they're in close promixity. And some plants have mutually beneficial properties and grow better when they're together! This is a fascinating concept called companion planting. It's used a lot in organic gardening because the right arrangements not only encourage higher yields and greater growth, but they stave off unwanted insects. I read a great book on this called "Carrots Love Tomatoes" by Louise Riotte. Also check out this great article that has a list of "friendly" plants by Seeds of Change's newsletter. For timing, check out your county's local extension center for a listing of what should be planted on what dates. Do a google search for "*your county* extension center. This information should also be in the white pages of your phone book.

6. Decide what soil you will use.
The soil that you use for your plants is so important! If your soil is lacking nutrients, your plants won't grow properly. If you are growing in the ground, check out for natural soil amendments and tests to find out if your soil is lacking anything crucial. If you're growing in a raised bed or container, it is very important that you buy organic soil. But let me warn you, do not buy any "organic" soil by Miracle Gro or Scott's Brand. They are owned by Monsanto, the manufacturer of Round-Up. They are absolutely not "organic" or environmentally friendly. Don't waste your money! Instead, look for local lawn and leaf companies in your area that manufacture compost and distribute soil to residents. Here in Kansas City, I got my dirt from Missouri Organic. You might have to get a lot, but it would be well worth it! Plus it's much cheaper when you buy dirt locally. If you just have a few pots, though, and need some potting soil for ceramic/clay/plastic containers, I'd recommend you get some from your local natural foods store/Whole Foods. Don't buy it from Home Depot or Walmart. They're not really organic, even though they say they are.

Well this concludes my first 6 steps to growing your own organic garden. Tomorrow we'll talk about my favorite garden accessories. Happy Gardening everyone!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grow Your Own! How to Grow an Organic Garden: Part 2

So, have you started dreaming of your fresh picked cilantro or tomatoes yet? As I said yesterday, there is truly nothing like harvesting your own food! Except maybe the joy of eating it!

Today I'm going to talk about the top five reasons why I love my organic garden. I know you'll love your garden for the same reasons!

#1 Reason I love my organic garden :
It's fun!
Having a garden is so much fun for the entire family. Nathaniel loves being outside while I'm watering the plants. He digs his fingers in the dirt and puts his hands in the water. I can't wait to teach him how to plant seeds and harvest food from his "own" garden someday! These kinds of memories can be ones your children keep the rest of their lives. I'll never forget one hot Pleasanton summer when our large sideyard garden had watermelons galore! And I vividly remember picking zucchinis the size of a baseball bat and fresh rhubarb for pies. Having a garden truly is a family affair, which is good because it keeps it from being one more "task." We're all busy enough already!

#2 Reason why I love my organic garden: It's economical!
Especially these days, who's not in need of ways to save a little cash? Growing your own food can save you a ton! It's so affordable to get started, especially when you grow your food from seed, and you get SUCH a large return. If you do it right, you can even get enough to can, juice, or freeze the extra! And it's always fun to give some away to friends. It's the difference between spending $6 to buy one pound of organic tomatoes at Whole Foods, or buying $6 worth of seeds and having more tomatoes than you know what to do with, the entire summer!

#3 Reason why I love my organic garden:It's healthier!
Having your own garden is a great way to eat fresh picked organic food, especially if your budget is stretched already. And food is truly bursting with nutrients when it is picked at the peak of ripeness. If you do it right, you won't need to use any fertilizers or pesticides. I live in Missouri, referred to by some as a "very buggy state." Ew. I'm from California and hate bugs. But, in my garden last year, I did not need to use a single pesticide. (And wouldn't anyway) How you grow your plants can make all the difference with bug control. More on that later!

#4 Reason why I love my organic garden: It's pretty, and a stress reliever!
It is so beautiful to spend time in your garden (even if your garden is just a windowsill) There is just something life-giving about being around green and growing things. (My personal opinion about the cause of this is that we were created to live with God in a garden!) The beautiful colors, the heavenly fragrances, and the bees and birds that are attracted are just as wonderful as the food itself! Last year I grew beautiful 6' tall sunflowers called "Jerusalem Sunrise." They were a gorgeous lemony yellow. I had about 5 plants with flowers bursting all over each one. They were so beautiful, but what was even more fun was that they attracted these small birds that were an even brighter yellow than the flowers themselves. They did eat all of the seeds and totally ruin the plants, but they were so pretty to watch, I didn't care!

#5 Reason why I love my organic garden: It teaches you to be a good steward, and gives you an appreciation for seasons.
You'll never look at a handful of radishes at the store quite the same way again. Once you've done it yourself, you know how much work it took, so you appreciate food more. You're less likely to waste food or to buy things you don't really need. Honestly, it also makes you more thankful. You realize how little we are in control of things. You can't force any seed to grow. You can't even force it to rain. God truly is in control of all things. Just because we can go to the store in the U.S. and buy food aplenty, doesn't mean that it's available everywhere. And just because we can do this today, doesn't mean that we'll be able to tomorrow. God is truly our provider, and you can feel this more when you're appreciating all the steps that it takes to get food on your table.

I could go on and on, but let's get to the good stuff! How to do it! That's what I'll be talking about tomorrow. We'll discuss the first steps of what you need to do first to get your garden up and running. In the meantime, check out this website to find your growing zone. This will give you an idea of the time frames you're working with. See you all tomorrow!

(my concord grape plant just starting to bud!)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Grow Your Own! How to Grow an Organic Backyard Garden- Part 1

I love my garden. There is nothing quite like stepping into your backyard and picking fresh herbs for your spaghetti, fresh green beans to steam for a side dish, or scrumptious summer berries. If you want to eat local and organic, you can't get any more local than your own backyard! Having a garden takes some work, but the results are more than worth it. This week we'll talk about how to grow organic herbs, fruits and veggies- all in your own backyard! For now, let me introduce you to some of my current backyard loves...

one of my loves, because they grow in early spring, beautiful peas!

and here we have my ABSOLUTE favorite right now, my dwarf peach tree that is starting to blossom!aren't strawberry plants just so cheerful? They always seem like they're in a good mood.
here are my adorable lettuce and radish plants. Last year my husband said my home grown lettuce made the best salad he'd ever eaten. I hate to say it, but it was the best salad I've ever eaten too! I can't wait for this year's crop.

I look forward to helping you and your family eat backyard local and organic herbs, fruits and veggies this summer!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Maker's Diet on a Budget: Tips for Cutting Costs

Ok, if you've ever been to Whole Foods, you know why it is aptly nicknamed "Whole Paycheck." There's no way around it. Organic, unprocessed food as God intended for us to eat is expensive. These days, at least. It used to be that organic food was the norm, you didn't have to pay extra just to eat for optimal health. But before you get scared and run back to Costco for your Doritos and frozen pizza, I have some tips to help you eat well and get the most out of your hard earned dollar.

1) Cut out everything in your budget that is expensive and harming your health (e.g. daily coffee and eating out) and use that money for buying food and supplements.

2) Locate a food co-op in your area. Go to and do a search for one. A good co op can save you tons of money!

3) Go to Farmer's Markets! Eat local and organic as much as you can. It is so much cheaper to buy organic veggies and fruits from a farmer's market than it is from a health food store! (Tip: make friends with the organic farmers that you purchase food from. If they know you, they will often throw in free fruits and veggies or give you discounts!) Again, you can search or contact your city to find one locally.

4) Look into joining a local CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. How it works is you pay one amount at the beginning of the growing season, and then you are given a set amount of the fruits and veggies that are currently growing. You usually get a ton, and it is one more way to eat locally! Plus, it saves time if you don't want to go to a market each week. See

5) Even more fun, grow your own fruits & veggies! This is a GREAT way to get the most of out your money! Plus it's fun for your kids, and it's a good way to get them involved in the whole family eating healthy. It's so inexpensive, and you get so much! I think an organic backyard garden is the best way to get a large variety of fresh fruits, herbs, and veggies in your diet without breaking the bank. Plus nothing tastes better than fresh food from your own backyard!

6) Use ground beef as much as you can. You can make burgers, chili, meat loaf, spaghetti, tacos, etc.. I also like to use ground beef to make meals last- for example, we'll have tacos or spaghetti for a couple nights in a row, so I get a night off of making the meal from scratch.

7) Eggs are another great source of cheap protein. I eat an egg sandwich for lunch everyday! :)

8) Buy your organic grass fed beef locally. Consider buying 1/4 or 1/2 a cow, or splitting either of these arrangements with friends. It is always cheaper to buy a cow in bulk. But you have to faithfully use the meat! Don't just leave it sitting in your freezer! See to find an organic grass fed farm in your area.

9) Don't ever buy supplements from Whole Foods or any other natural food store. Retail prices are so expensive. You can find everything cheaper online. My favorite online store is If you order over $100, use coupon "10percent" for a 10 percent discount, and if you order over $50, you get free shipping. I also like but I have found that once you factor in shipping costs, it is cheaper to buy from Choice Nutritionals.

10) Buy whole organic chickens. Buying chicken breast/thighs/etc by the pound is so much more expensive. I roast a couple chickens each week and use them for dinners and lunches. I'll post recipes soon!

11) Don't buy organic snacks like bars, cereal, or even organic burritos and pizza. The more work it took someone else to make, the more money it's going to cost you.

Lastly, here are a few tips that will help you save money no matter what kind of food you eat. (But let's hope you're following God's plan for optimal wellness when you go grocery shopping!)

12) Know before you go. Take inventory of what's currently in your fridge and pantry, and plan out a week's worth of meals and snacks in advance. Make a list and stick to it! Wandering the aisles window shopping is a recipe for spending more money.

13)Limit your shopping to once a week. It's this amazing phenomenon. The more often I go to the store, the more money I spend! If you run out of something, I promise you'll survive 4 more days. But if you plan right, 95% of the time, you won't run out before the week is up.

14) Lastly, don't throw away food. You're just dumping money down the drain. Use your leftovers and don't buy things when there's half an unused jar sitting in the back or side of your fridge.

I hope these tips help you save some hard earned money, and eat better!

Next week, I'll be discussing how to grow an organic backyard/container garden!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why I Love Cloth Diapers...Part 5!

Ok, I promise this will be my final post on cloth diapering! Can you tell I love it very much? (I love anything that looks cute and saves me money!) Oh! and I forgot to mention, my #5 reason why I love cloth diapering is- NO BLOWOUTS! I think I have had about 5 or 6 total with Micah, and it was usually because I had the diapear on the wrong setting. With disposables, Nathaniel used to have blowouts 1-3 x per day when he was a newborn!

Anyway, for this last post in my series I wanted to share my favorite cloth diapering accessories. I'll start with my favorite night time accessories. Nathaniel is a SUPER heavy wetter and he will soak right through a gdiaper and prefold at night if I don't add anything else. Fortunately for me, he doesn't care one bit, he won't wake up or anything, but not all kids are like that.

So here is what I use for Nathaniel's night time diaper:

1 gdiaper +

1 Baby Kicks organic hemp/cotton fleece doubler underneath the prefold (for extra absorbency) +

1 Bummis Organic Infant size prefold

Bummis fleece liner on top of the prefold:

This works great for us for Nathaniel's night time! If I don't use the fleece liner, he will soak through to his clothes. For Micah, I use the same ingredients but use his Little Beetle wool covers. (By the way, I don't love using the fleece liners because polyester fleece is obviously not a natural material, wicks moisture away from the baby's body and onto the prefold below, so the baby feels dry. Unlike Nathaniel, Micah HATES being wet, and so I care more about him sleeping better!)

Ok, so that covers the night time accessories. Now let's move on to to the diaper storage accessories. I have Diaper Dekors for both boys, and I line them with these awesome Wahmie
diaper pail liners. ( I have an adorable monkey print!) As long as the bag is shut, I honestly have no odor issues, and overall have significantly less odor than I did with the throw away Diaper Dekor liner bags. (Another savings, btw!) You don't have to use them in a Diaper Dekor/Diaper genie type pail though- I know people who use trash cans or even a laundry basket.

On laundry day, the Wahmie's bag goes right in the wash after I dump out the diapers into the machine. Easy peasy!

Ok, so here are some more diaper accessories I love, my beloved cloth wipes. As I said yesterd
ay I love the Baby Kicks hemp/cotton wipes. I love these wipes because they do SERIOUS diaper cleanup duty. I can easily use one of them where I would have had to use 3 or even 4 disposable wipes. I started off with about 20 of them, but now I have probably about 50 or 60 since I'm diapering both boys. I do laundry 2x per week. I would figure that you'll need one wipe per messy diaper change, and I don't even bother with the pee diapers unless their skin is sticky! (Pee is a sterile substance, in case you didn't know!) You'll need 2 if it's a super messy diaper. Seeing how few I can use has kind of become a game for me. It's easy to use both sides of these during a cleanup and maximize its usage. Again I just combine it with my 99 cent spray bottle from Walmart, some diluted soap, spray it well and wipe!

All right, here's my final favorite diapering accessory- my washing accessories. I love this Imse Vimse wool wash for Micah's Little Beetles because you just squirt a little right in the machine, and it lasts foooorrrrreeever.

For washing everything besides the wools I love Biokleen's liquid laundry in citrus and their oxygen bleach. I use their Oxygen bleach in place of something like Oxi-Clean, which is not environmentally friendly or chemical- free, by the way.

The Biokleen is super concentrated, so it lasts me about 2-2.5 months per bottle. That's with all our other laundry as well. You only use 1/4 oz. for a load of diapers!

Ok, so to wrap this up, here are my favorite cloth diaper websites. I have found the absolute best prices on
They have free shipping, and I have bought my prefolds, Little Beetle covers, diaper pail liner and wool wash from them. I love getting free shipping, because I don't have to go anywhere, and I don't have to pay sales tax, which I'd have to if I buy something locally!

I bought my wipes, doublers, and fleece liners on Amazon. They actually have great prices and a lot of cloth diapering supplies!

I got my gdiapers at Whole Foods with a $2 off coupon. Babies R Us also sells them, so sometimes you can use those great Babies R Us coupons to get a discount there! Amazon also sells them.

For anyone concerned about price getting started, I'd definitely recommend the gdiaper system, or using prefolds with a polyester cover. I've heard great things about Bummi's wraps. Check out Bummi's organic diaper kit that is a very affordable way to get started.

Well this concludes my series on why I love cloth diapers! Feel free to send me any questions that you have!