What is a Vegetarian/Vegan Diet?

Vegetarian diets are becoming increasingly popular today with more convenient options being available. It’s hard to not have heard of it when it is estimated that 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians and 22.8 million follow one of many types of vegetarianism.

Find out what differs between a vegan and vegetarian what you can eat on these diets.
Find out what differs between a vegan and vegetarian what you can eat on these diets.

Vegetarianism isn’t new.  Pythagoreans were one of the first self-proclaimed vegetarians who adopted what they believed the Greek philosopher Pythagoras ate, though it is unknown if he really was vegetarian. Pythagoras’ supposed diet was mentioned in Greek philosopher Porphyry’s book On Abstinence from Killing Animalswhich was written in the third century.Continue reading →

What’s the Deal With Gluten?

I’m sure by now most people have heard of the Gluten-Free Diet. Most grocery stores now carry gluten-free products but what exactly is it?

Is gluten a fad or health concern? Learn what the gluten-free diet entails and if it may beneficial to you.
Is gluten a fad or health concern? Learn what the gluten-free diet entails and if it may beneficial to you.

It is estimated that man began baking bread about 30,000 years ago. Prehistoric bread consisted of flatbread made from dried, powdered roots cooked on hot rocks. The introduction of yeast allowed our ancestors to make different types of bread other than flatbread. Refined flour was originally hand ground and made coarse whole grain bread. Yet, the desire for the whitest flour leads to filtering out the bran and the germ and bleaching the flour.Continue reading →

What is a Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet, also known as the “caveman” diet, has become popular in the past few years but what is it?

Learn what a Paleo diet is and the basic diet plan.
Learn what a Paleo diet is and the basic diet plan.

The paleo diet is a diet that believes that the only diet that will truly keep us healthy, and even help us lose weight, is that of what our Paleolithic ancestors ate.

The paleo diet started to gain popularity when Dr. Loren Cordain published his book The Paleo Diet in 2002, which was revised and republished in 2010. In his book, the Paleo diet claims to help you lose weight and help you reach optimal health based on a diet we are “genetically designed to eat.”

What do you eat on the Paleo Diet?

The basic idea of the paleo diet is that you eat meats, fruits, and veggies. Here’s a list of things you can and cannot eat.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is a plant that you may or may not have had the pleasure to come across. It likes moist and nutrient-rich soils so when you walk along a river or a stream you may have been unfortunate enough to rub up against one. Little hairs on this plant create a stinging or burning sensation when it comes into contact with your skin.

Stinging Nettle may be bothersome but they can actually be used in herbal medicine and even eaten!
Stinging Nettle may be bothersome but they can actually be used in herbal medicine and even eaten!

Regardless of the painful nature of this plant people still eat it, use it for medicine, and make fabric and rope from its fibers. However, one should still be cautious of this plant especially with dogs as hunting dogs have died from extreme exposure to the plant.

It was once believed that if you pull up stinging nettles by their roots while calling a sick person’s name it would drive away a fever.

Nettle is native to North America but a different species was brought over from the U.K. Both plants are so similar that they are hard to differentiate but luckily they can be interchangeable. There are some other species of nettle including “false” nettle and wood nettle. You will want to familiarize yourself with the different species if you plan to go out and harvest some.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Wild Violets

Violets are neat little flowers that are sometimes considered a weed. Violets are also called Pansies. There are over 500 different species of violets and pansies in the genus Viola. 60 species are native to North America but a lot of what we find today are from Europe.

Wild Violets can be candied and even turned into medicine! Learn how to identify these early blooming flowers.
Wild Violets can be candied and even turned into medicine! Learn how to identify these early blooming flowers.

Since 500 B.C. violets have been used for medicinal purposes as well as for flavorings.

Syrup made from the flowers were used as laxatives for children and used as an expectorant for upper respiratory issues. The flowers can also be infused in oil to be used in salves and lip balms as well as infusing in honey for violet flavored honey. The flowers are completely edible so they are sometimes left in the honey.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Dandelions

Do you recognize this….this…..weed? Some of you may cringe at the sight of this plant popping up in your perfect, or not so perfectly, mowed lawn. Dandelions are actually really neat plants.

Dandelions have so many medicinal uses! Let them grow out in the spring to provide the bees with an early source of pollen.
Dandelions have so many medicinal uses! Let them grow out in the spring to provide the bees with an early source of pollen.

 

Dandelions are native to Greece. Crazy, right? They can grow just about anywhere the sun touches so they easily spread throughout Europe and then to the Americas when the English settlers sailed to the new land.

Dandelion is derived from the French word dent de lion meaning lion tooth. This comes from the tooth like leaves of the dandelion plant. It is also known by other names including pissabed, Irish daisy, bitterwort, puffball, cankerwort, and more.Continue reading →

How Allergies Changed What I Eat

Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s allergies?

Allergies can change a person's life. See how my new found allergies changed mine and how it can impact your health.
Allergies can change a person’s life. See how my new found allergies changed mine and how it can impact your health.

 

When it comes to food we all have our preferences. We like this or that, prefer that over this, but sometimes people have allergies. Maybe one or two, maybe more than they want.

Here are the top food allergies according to the Food Allergy Research & Education:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Can you guess which ones I’m allergic to? I’ll give you a hint; peanuts, milk, eggs (egg whites to be more specific), milk, and soy. So, four of the top eight most common allergies. That’s half. Yay (can you feel the sarcasm?).Continue reading →

Why We Need to Do More Than Just Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I’m sure most of us are familiar with the 3 R’s. It’s something many of us grew up being told that this is how we care for our planet. We reduce, reuse, and recycle. However, which of the 3 R’s do you hear about most often? What little triangle made out of arrows do you see on the corner of cereal boxes or on the bottom of plastic bottles? That’s right, the recycling symbol. Of the 3 R’s, recycling is what we all are most likely familiar with.

We all know that recycling is beneficial but there is actually more that we need to do than just recycle.
We all know that recycling is beneficial but there is actually more that we need to do than just recycle.

We often see recycling bins wherever we go. School, offices, grocery stores, restaurants, our own homes. Recycling is everywhere and we are encouraged to do so. We are good people if we recycle, but is it the answer? Continue reading →

Why It’s Important to Know The Difference Between an Allergy & Intolerance

One could assume that most people would know the difference between an allergy and an intolerance, but many do not.

Why It's Important to Know The Difference Between an Allergy & Intolerance

I hear this question most often when I talk about my milk allergy. I’ve had a lot of people tell me “An allergy? Don’t you mean an intolerance?” or “People can’t be allergic to milk, they are just lactose intolerance.” Nope, there is a difference. I am allergic to milk, I don’t have an intolerance even though the symptoms are very similar.Continue reading →

How to Make Tinctures

Making tinctures are a great addition to the natural first aid kit and are easy to make!

 

How to Make Tinctures

What you will need:

  • A mason jar
  • Chosen herb(s)
  • Alcohol-Vodka 80-90 proof
  1. Fill the jar up with ½-¾ with fresh or dried herbs. If using fresh herbs, chop them up to help release the juices.
  2. Fill the jar up with alcohol, enough so that it covers the herbs.
  3. Shake the jar. Herbs should be able to move freely.
  4. Keep the jar in a cool, dark place for 6-8 weeks.
  5. Shake a couple times per week and make sure there is always alcohol covering the herbs.

After 6-8 weeks…Continue reading →