Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Natural Stress Relievers

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In this world of constantly go, go, go we sometimes forget the important things in life. The only true important things in life are family, friends and the health of your friends, family and your self. So, why is it that we are constantly buying more stuff to make our life better. Is it possible that the stuff we are buying is causing more stress in our life. The answer is yes!

Some natural ways to relieve stress are also the simplest. Stop going to the stores. If you stop purchasing unnecessary items then you stop bringing clutter into your home. Sometimes it’s important for us to even do a pantry clean out. Use what you have! I love the old saying, use it up, wear it out, then do without. Doing without is something our culture could definitely do more of. I have family that repurchases items because they can’t find the one they have. If that’s the case then it’s time for you to clean the clutter out of your house. You may think that the stuff is bringing you peace. But the reality is the clutter is stressing you out. Start the one in and one out rule. If you buy a new shirt then get rid of an old one.

Simplify is another way to reduce stress in our lives. If you have reduced your clutter and you still are stressed maybe it’s time that you cut back on the after school activities. I am one of those people who gets stressed out if I have to many activities going on. So we only have one activity during the week and maybe one on the weekend. I do better with less. If you have too many irons in the fire are you really doing a good job at any one thing? Try simplifying at least take away one activity during the week and stay home. Eat dinner with your family and enjoy your night.

Try meditation or aromatherapy to help yourself relax at the end of the day. Either one will be a helpful addition to your nightly routine and it will be good for you too.  Add in a nice soothing cd and you are almost ready for bed. Our witch hazel essentials pm has added scents that are known to relax you so you can slow down enough to go to bed.  Natural aromatherapy that calms you down usually has chamomile and lavender in it. That is precisely what is in our evening witch hazel toner. Try a cup of chamomile tea, a good book and our witch hazel and watch your stress of the day melt away.

Natural skin care, natural parenting, cloth diapering and baby wearing

It is a slippery slope. When you  begin your path down the natural skin care route it tends to take you in directions you never knew you might go down. When I began looking into skin care I had no idea I would end up cloth diapering, wearing my baby and going down the path to trying to be as kind to the Earth as I was being to my children. Now, granted this doesn’t happen to everyone, but I am glad it happened to me!

Taking care of your skin naturally is only one step in the direction you might want to take your family. When I first got rosacea, after having eczema, it caused me to begin to look at what items I was applying to my face. It brought me to the Homestead Company’s eczema oil and that actually began to give me some relief. Thank you sweet relief! This search, also, caused me to look at how I can clean my home without using tons of chemicals either. One thing I found is that shark steam floor cleaner. No chemicals and just a good old fashioned cleaning makes me feel good about cleaning for my family and my home.  Checking off another awesome step on the natural living pathway.

This path of continued learning lead me to choose cloth diapers for my baby. I loved not running to the store to pick up diapers when I ran out. My diaper supply was only as far away as my laundry room. Time to do the laundry! 🙂 Since I had found the Homestead Company’s skin care I also checked out their diaper rash treatments. Their baby wipe companion is a dream for baby’s hurting bottoms! As a loyal customer pointed out, ” and I can pronounce all their ingredients in their products which is something I can not do with items bought at the local drug store. ” Once I was cloth diapering I began to check out the baby wearing scene. I absolutely loved wearing my baby. It freed up my hands to make dinner and he stayed content because he was on me, smelling me, feeling my heart beat and looking at everything I was doing. Baby wearing as a mom most definitely makes your life so much easier.

I would never tell you how to live your life. As a mom, this is the path my life ended up taking. That, in no way, means a path someone else is taking is wrong. It just means that we all live the life we are supposed to live. Educating yourself is a constant ongoing process. For me, now I am educating myself on how to eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables. I love that as a mom we can constantly strive to do just a little bit better than the day before. What are you currently educating yourself on?

Dina, mom of 3 children, 2 dogs and wife to one husband for the last 17 years. I am a writer for The Homestead Company and love learning about and experiencing new things!

Your body benefits when you eat organic non processed foods!

I’m constantly striving to do what’s right by my body. It’s a constant struggle. But there are definitely good benefits to eating a highly organic, no processed diet. If you are existing on all the foods in the middle aisles of the store you are not getting the nutrients that your body needs to sustain itself. You often hear that you need to eat on the outside walls of the grocery store and that is exactly right. That is where your calcium, folic acid, vitamins, minerals and protein are. If you are able to buy organic that is so good for you and for the environment. I know not everyone can afford organic. If you can’t afford organic try to get it on the one thing your family eats a lot of. For example, my family loves strawberries and salads. I can’t afford everything organic but these two items I make it a point to buy organic.

Cutting animal products back in your diet is also good for your body. Animal products contribute to most diseases found in the U.S. today. When you cut back on animal products and the processed foods, you are eating the way we ate back in the turn of the 20th century. One thing I heard the other day stood out to me. A man was discussing how his family uses meat to flavor their meals. They are not the main ingredient in his meals. Now that is a great way to think of your meat.  The average American fills half of their plate with meat.  Try this instead, if you have a family of 4 use 1/2 lb ground turkey, in say, making sloppy joes and use lentils for the other 1/2 lb. In this way you are getting the meat texture but you are also getting the lentils which are a superfood!

Processed food has stripped away everything that was once good about that food. You end up getting about 1/10th of the nutrients that you would get from eating a whole food (like an apple instead of  apple flavored cereal or cookies). I believe that the outside of your body reflects what is going on inside. By making sure you are eating well you can head off other diseases that happen because of eating the wrong foods.  Eczema can be thought of as a disorder that shows you when something is going on.  We have seen in our own personal experience that when you improve the way you eat eczema flare ups occur less and less frequently. Make sure you eat right for you and your body. After all, this is the only body we get. Treat it right and feed yourself properly with good healing foods.

Get more nutrients for your $$$

I have found, as a mom, it’s a challenge to get not only vegetables into my kids, but the ones with the most nutrition. One fact many don’t know is that corn is not a vegetable, it is a grain. Also, potatoes, sweet peas, sweet potatoes and carrots, are not the best vegetables to eat in large quantities, as they have high starch content, or high glycemic. This means that once your body takes it in, it quickly turns it into sugar. The ideal is to eat low glycemic vegetables so that you are getting the most nutrients and the least sugar. Another way to ensure you are getting the most from your fruits and vegetables, is to eat what is in season, which means it is the most recently harvested. If you aren’t able to buy what is in season, than it’s best to buy frozen. Frozen are harvested and quickly frozen which maintains the vitamin content, as oxygen and light are one of the most damaging factors to produce.
Another challenge is how to work vegetables into the meal plan. First of all, creating a weekly menu is very important, and makes it so much easier to make healthy meals. I always prepare my list with a weekly menu so that I don’t forget something when it is time to cook. This will save time and, in the long run, money as you reduce the amount of trips to the store. Every meal should have some vegetables included. Of course, breakfast is a challenge. I have worked spinach into the eggs, and made quiche with broccoli and cheese. I keep carrots, celery, cucumber, and sometimes, tomatoes, available throughout the day for the kids to snack on before lunch. I also serve them with lunch, and/or a salad. For dinner, the ideas are endless, and this month I will be posting different ideas from my own home, for how to hide and feed vegetables.
Here is a list of fruits and vegetables available in June:





Green beans







Yellow squash

Healthy Eating for Kids

A lot of toddlers and small children can be very finicky eaters. As a parent, you may find it difficult to convince your younger kids to eat healthy foods. It is especially important for your kids to eat healthy if they have a common skin condition such as eczema. The foods they eat affect their health, their skin, attitude, and energy. You may try bribing your kids to eat with toys, have endless battles at the dinner table, or give in and feed them cookies and candy. If you want your kids to eat healthy, here are some tips to get them to eat the foods that are good for them.

One of the best tips as a parent is to start your children young on healthy eating. When they are babies, feed them organic fruit and vegetable purees. When they start drinking juice, buy organic brands that do not add sugars or artificial substances. Your child will develop a pallet for healthy eating starting from the time they are a baby. It will be easier for you to feed your kids healthy fruits and vegetables. If you start feeding them sweet juices, processed foods, or candy than it can be hard later on to encourage them to eat healthier foods.

On the other hand, it is never too late to start eating healthy and organic if you and your kids are not already. Another great tip to get your kids to eat right is to involve them in the kitchen while you are cooking and grocery shopping. Encourage them to help you prepare dinner or snacks and to pick out food in the produce section. The produce section in the grocery store is a great place to teach your kids about healthy eating by naming fruits and vegetables. You can also teach them math and colors with the bright colored produce.

How you prepare food can make a difference when you introduce healthy food or encourage your kids to eat. When you are preparing snacks, you can cut fruit in fun shapes or prepare vegetables like finger foods. When you are serving vegetables, sometimes it will help if you have dip or dressing. You can also serve apple slices with organic peanut butter or cheese, and it tastes really good. It can help if you let your kids choose what they want for a snack too. You can limit their choices to a few things such as fruit, vegetables, or cheese and crackers. If you have other healthy snack ideas you can have that as a choice as well.

Having your kitchen filled with healthy foods will set a good example, and your kids will see that you are a family of healthy eaters. If you have processed foods that are high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial ingredients you should replace the items with healthy organic products. Have your fridge filled with fruits and vegetables and raw milk and cheeses.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit

Introducing Solid Foods to your Baby

Around four to six months your baby will start to have more control of their own bodies. For example, they will have better head control and will start to sit up. At this time, you may also start to notice your baby gaining weight at a steady, healthy rate. You will also see your baby become more curious about foods that you and your family are eating. When you see these changes, you will know they are a sure sign to start your baby on solid foods. Introducing solid foods is an exciting time to learn and educate yourself and your baby about what foods are healthy and what they like or dislike.

Introducing solid foods should be done with caution and care. Your baby is now getting more nutrition and vitamins than milk or formula has to offer. They are also trying new flavors and textures some of which they will like and some they will spit out. As a parent, you also have to be aware of food allergies. It’s really important to record any foods that your baby doesn’t like or experiences food allergies with.

Starting solid foods wills also need to be supplemented with milk or formula (preferably a raw milk formula). You don’t want to drastically make the switch to solids, but gradually work your way to only feeding your baby solid foods. It is best to start at feed your baby once a day with foods that are easy to digest for one meal, and have them bottle feed or nurse the rest of the day. Some good first foods are organic, soft boiled egg yolk from pastured hens, banana, avocado, papaya or mango. Feeding grains at this young age could lead to grain allergies as they get older. As they reach 10 months you can start incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and meats into their diet.

When preparing foods, remember not add any other seasoning or sweeteners. Sugar is very unhealthy for young children, and this also includes honey. Anything with honey or corn syrup can make your child very ill, and should only be introduced into their diets after they are one year old. Fruit juice should be avoided as well, they provide empty calories and may keep your baby from eating more nutrient dense foods. You may start to notice that your baby will start to get really bad diaper rash with the solid food, so be sure to use diaper ointment when you change them.

The introduction of solid foods should be done at a gradual rate. Let your baby get used to using the muscles in their mouths to swallow food. The taste and texture will be new. Also, you should introduce one type of solid food at a time., and then when adding a vegetable or fruit only try one type a day. Introduce bananas one day and peas the next day for example. Your baby will start to develop an interest in certain types of flavors.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit

Eat Healthy When Breastfeeding

Eating the right foods during your pregnancy is important because you are the sole provider for nutrition that your baby receives. It is equally important to eat just as healthy when you are breastfeeding if that is the option you are choosing for your newborn baby. Eating healthy foods provides the iron and calcium your baby needs to develop and get nutrition.

In addition to providing nutrition, you will also keep yourself in good shape because breastfeeding can cause minor problems such as constipation or fatigue. It takes a lot of energy to make milk for your baby. The list of foods not to eat while breastfeeding is pretty much nonexistent unlike during your pregnancy, however there are some exceptions. You can eat almost anything you want. Here are some healthy eating ideas for when you are breastfeeding your newborn.

Fruits and vegetables are two of the most important sources for vitamins. They contain natural vitamins that keep you healthy and provide you energy. In addition to providing vitamins, they are high in fiber, water, and natural sugars. You can start your day with a fruit salad, or enjoy a banana or apple for a snack during the day. It can be hard to find the time to sit down for a meal with a newborn, and grabbing a piece of fruit on the go will provide calories and keep you somewhat full. Vegetables are great as a side for dinner or as an afternoon snack.

Because you can get stomach problems, such as constipation, from breastfeeding it is a good idea to eat sprouted or soaked grains. They provide fiber to your body which can help you go to the bathroom. If eating whole grains makes your stomach ache worse, avoid eating it because it can be hard to digest.

There are some foods that you should avoid when breastfeeding, but not as much as when you were pregnant. A lot of fish contains mercury which is unhealthy for your baby. You should avoid shark and swordfish and eat salmon instead. You shouldn’t avoid milk like some studies suggest. If your baby has colic, you should consume raw dairy instead of not drinking milk or eating milk products. Milk allergies are usually caused because of how milk is processed, so raw dairy is the best way to go.

Something you may notice if you love spicy foods is that your baby will get an upset stomach after breastfeeding. The spicy foods can pass on into your milk and cause your newborn to have really bad stomach aches. This could lead to diarrhea, and if they are having a lot of diaper changes that could lead to diapers rash.

If you have been craving coffee or other caffeinated beverages during your pregnancy, here is your chance to enjoy a good brew in the morning. Don’t overload on caffeine because that could be harmful when you are breastfeeding, and it will also dehydrate you. Drink one cup of coffee in the morning or one caffeinated beverage during the day. Remember that moderation is key to health. In addition to drinking coffee, you can drink alcohol. Please do not drink too much because in addition to being unhealthy, it can be dangerous to drink too much while caring for a baby. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail, but limit yourself and be conservative.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit

Pregnancy Nutrition Information and What to Avoid

Eating healthy during a pregnancy is so important because you are now eating for two people. You are the sole provider for your baby, and have to provide the proper nutrition during pregnancy. There are certain foods and drinks that will provide maximum health benefits, and other foods that can be harmful to your baby. One of the joys of being pregnant is being able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want and not to feel guilty about it. If you want pickles with ice cream, by all means enjoy. However, there are some foods and drinks you will have to give up during the nine months your baby is developing. Here are some foods and drinks to avoid during your pregnancy to ensure the health of your newborn baby.

If you are a sushi lover, be sure to eat up before you plan on getting pregnant because raw food is very harmful. Any type of raw meat is unsafe to eat during a pregnancy. This not only includes seafood in things such as sushi or oysters, but also steaks, eggs, and poultry. Steaks and burgers will have to be cooked well done. You will also have to cook eggs well done and forego the sunny side up version during breakfast. There is a high risk for infection for your baby from consuming undercooked meat and seafood.

There is a lot of seafood that is very healthy for you. However, keep in mind that fish with high levels of mercury will need to be avoided. For example instead of eating shark or swordfish, you should eat shrimp or salmon instead. The portion sizes should remain small when eating fish. Mercury in seafood can damage the nervous system while your baby is developing. Smoked salmon is very nutritious, but during a pregnancy needs to be avoided.

An entire section of the grocery store that should be kept out of your diet for nine months is the deli section. A lot of the meats and cheeses are at a high risk for causing food poisoning. Listeria is a bacteria often found in deli meats are very dangerous because it can cross over the placenta and cause an infection to your baby. If you do eat deli meats in sandwiches, it is advised that you cook the meat on the stove top or microwave before making and eating your sandwich.

Another group of foods that can contain listeria in it is soft cheeses. This includes bleu or gorgonzola cheese, brie, feta, Roquefort, camembert, and Mexican style cheeses like queso fresco. These are unsafe because they contain unpasteurized milk. While this would normally be a healthy addition to your diet, when you are eating for both you and your baby they are unhealthy and dangerous.

Most women know to avoid alcohol during the nine months they are carrying. There are labels on every alcoholic beverage to remind you of the risks alcohol can cause to an unborn baby. Alcohol won’t allow your baby to properly develop. Another type of drink that should be avoided is anything with caffeine in it such as coffee or lattes. Caffeine can make you and your baby very dehydrated so it is better to drink plenty of water or organic juices. Some experts will say that caffeine in moderation during the nine months is okay, so it is really a personal choice you should make with your doctor.

Keep a healthy diet for you and your baby and remember to avoid these foods and drinks for nine months.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit

Eczema Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner

A favorite and festive holiday for most people is Thanksgiving. It is a time to come together with family and friends and give thanks for our health and prosperity. Let’s not forget to mention too how wonderful the food is and how fun it is to cook all day with our family and watch some competitive football games. There are traditional Thanksgiving foods that are cooked every year that we wait in anticipation for like green bean casserole and a perfectly baked turkey. Some foods, however, can cause allergies and eczema flare ups. Here are some menu items to make a perfect Thanksgiving dinner that won’t cause an eczema flare up.

Dairy products such as milk are a common known trigger. A traditional side eaten every year is green bean casserole. Two ingredients used to make this dish are cream of mushroom soup and milk. Instead of adding milk, you can substitute rice milk. If you don’t like the taste of rice milk, you could cook the green beans in vegetable broth and then add fried onions on top for some crunch after they are cooked how you like them.

Milk is also used to make mashed potatoes. A lot of recipes advise adding butter or margarine for added flavor and creamy potatoes. Substitute rice milk and use real butter and this should make the potatoes for allergy/eczema friendly. If the substitutions don’t quite have the flavor you like, you can make mashed cauliflower which is very healthy, tasty, and has the same consistency as mashed potatoes.

Wheat and breads also cause eczema flare ups. Instead of making rolls, you can make or buy fresh rye bread. There are many different types of breads that aren’t made with yeast or wheat. Try something like quinoa or spelt bread to make you stuffing with. You may need to play around with stuffing recipes using these breads in advance because it can take trial and error to get the best stuffing recipe. Recipes with substitutions need some tweaking but always take very good as a traditional recipe.

Pies of all varieties are a great dessert and offer a sweet taste after such a savory meal. When choosing which pies to bake for your after dinner treat, avoid acidic fruits and nuts. Instead of making pecan pie, make pumpkin pie instead. If you are making fruit pies, don’t use any fruits that are acidic. Also, artificial sweeteners are known to cause flare ups, so use real sugar. A little bit of sugar during the holidays can be a healthy splurge in this case.

Processed foods and chemical additives should also be avoided when planning your dinner menu. Use organic ingredients and spend a few extra dollars purchasing an organic free range turkey as well. The meat and produce will taste better, are healthier for you, and won’t cause eczema flare ups. Most prepackaged foods will cause skin irritation, so use all fresh ingredients in your recipes and invite friends and family to help you cook everything from scratch.

Allergies and eczema causes are different for everyone. If some of these foods don’t cause a flare up for you, then by all means stick to the original recipe. Keeping a food journal will help you keep track of what causes you problems or not. Plan your menu in advance, look at the recipes, and substitute ingredients as needed. Your Thanksgiving dinner will be perfect and very tasty.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit

Foods to Stay Away From If You Have Eczema

What you put inside your body, affects the outward appearance and health as well. Certain types of foods you eat make your skin healthier and can make you lose or gain weight. You have to be careful what you put in your body because of food allergies as well which can cause upset stomachs or external reactions such as rashes. People who suffer from eczema should pay extra attention to their diet, because certain foods can cause flare ups or reduce the amount of flare ups they are experiencing. Not all types of eczema are the same, and some foods for one person may not cause a flare up for a different person. It is trial and error and it can be helpful to keep a food journal of your diet and make a note of what caused a flare up.

Studies have found there are common triggers by certain foods that can affect your eczema flare ups. Keep in mind, however, that you may not have a problem with the food listed. Allergies are unique to individuals and not everyone with eczema will be allergic to apples for example. This is why a food journal comes in handy because you can keep track of what makes your flare ups worse. Some common triggers for most people with eczema are: milk, shellfish, wheat, peanut butter and peanut products, corn, soy, eggs, acidic fruits, food preservatives, and artificial sweeteners.

Because milk is a common trigger for allergies and eczema, you will have to avoid a lot of dairy products if you find that it does affect you. Dairy products that contain milk are foods like cheese and yogurt. You can find some great tasting cheese made from goat’s milk. Acidic fruits you should avoid are strawberries, oranges, and lemons. Another fruit, that is often mistaken for a vegetable, which you should stay away from, is tomatoes. You should try eating bananas, apples, or pears instead and see if they don’t cause a reaction. Soy products can be harmful because most are not fermented which makes them hard to digest.

Having a restricted diet can be hard to maintain and may require you to take supplements, vitamins, or super foods to stay healthy. Flaxseed has proven to be a healing power for flare ups. It reduces inflammation, a side effect of eczema. Flaxseed comes in the natural seed form, oil, and powder. You can add flaxseed oil or powder to most foods you cook or can be added to your drinks. In addition to having a healthy diet and using flaxseed or other types of supplements, you should also use natural skin care products to manage your flare ups and skin irritation.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit

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