Sunday, May 31, 2009


Recent studies have shown that taking at least a tablespoon of local honey each day can help with seasonal allergies. Because bees pollinate local plants, the honey contains small amounts of those allergens. Scientists believe that by taking in these small amounts your body will eventually build up an immunity to them (think of it as a natural allergy injection).
To maximize the health benefits, look for honey that is produced locally and that is raw and unpasteurized (or has not been heated over 117 degrees). High heat kills the enzymes that help with digestion. You can usually find it at your Farmer's Market or a local health food store.
Other benefits and uses for honey:
  • Helps heal a sore throat - Adam's favorite - Hotty Totty: cup of hot tea with honey, lemon and a shot of whiskey
  • Can eliminate the bacteria that cause diarrhea, as well as salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, and cholera
  • Improves brain function
  • Aids in predigestion because of it's high plant amylase - the enzymes break down starchy foods like breads.
Warning: Do not give honey to children under the age of one. They do not have enough stomach acid to break down the bacteria in the honey.
How it's working for us:
I like to take my honey with my tea. I grew up preferring the taste of table sugar in my tea, so the honey took some getting used to, but now I can't drink it any other way. Gabe gets his honey in his oatmeal every morning. I add about a tablespoon to his bowl after it has been cooked. Neither of us have needed OTC allergy medications since beginning this (which is quite something, considering that I have always had bad allergies and as a child I had to get weekly allergy injections to help with my allergy symptoms). Adam has not had the same luck yet with the honey - and still requires some medications to deal with his allergy flare-ups.
My Favorite Cookie Recipe - Using Honey:
Given to me by my friend and doula
Mix 1.5 t. baking soda and 1 T. milk. Beat 2 eggs; add 1/2 c honey, 1/2 t. vanilla, 1/3 c. butter, and 1 c. natural peanut butter; Mix well. Add 3 c. quick oats. Stir together. Drop onto a cookie sheet and flatten. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until light brown.
Fallon, Sally. Nourishing traditions the cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats. Washington, DC: NewTrends Pub., 1999.
Rubin, Jordan. Maker's diet. New York: Berkley Books, 2005.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


We would like to begin this blog with what we think is one of the most important keys to good health – probiotics.

Probiotics are supplements given to mimic the beneficial bacteria/intestinal flora we all have in our bodies. As a result of antibiotic use, many of these good bacteria are killed, causing what scientists believe to be a host of problems. Even if you aren’t taking antibiotics prescribed by your doctor for an illness, antibiotics are found in our drinking water and most of the meats, eggs, and dairy products we consume. Also, the pasteurization process and other modern food preservation techniques have caused the natural probiotic content of our foods to decrease, leaving many people deficient.

Benefits of probiotics:

  • Strengthens the immune system by creating a healthy balance of flora

  • Helps prevent and treat leaky gut syndrome/diarrhea

  • Helps to balance Candida levels in the body, which prevents and treats yeast problems (vaginal yeast infections, thrush, etc.) and UTIs

  • Treats IBD and IBS – inflammation of the colon

  • Reduces the recurrence of bladder cancer

  • Helps speed up the recovery of intestinal infections

  • Prevents eczema and other allergy symptoms

  • Believed to treat food allergies and intolerances

Ways to take probiotics naturally through your food:

  • Cultured/fermented veggies – sauerkraut, fermented sweet potatoes, pickled ginger, beets, etc.

  • Fermented beverages – kefir, natural ginger ale, kombuca, kvass – even some beers and wine

  • Unpasteurized milk and other dairy products (aged cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt)

  • Miso

You can find many recipes for these items in Jordan Rubin’s Maker’s Diet or by doing a simple Google search.

How our family uses them:

Adam prefers to get his probiotics naturally through food. He begins every day with a large bowl of all-natural plain yogurt, sweetened with honey. He also eats a lot of homemade fermented veggies – especially sauerkraut and pickled beets.

I used to drink raw milk and other dairy products daily, but since having my second baby I have been finding it harder to make the trip to get my milk on a regular basis. I now take a supplement two times per day if I haven’t eaten a probiotic-rich food in its place. I take Solaray’s Multidophilus 12, because there is no soy in the capsules. I began taking them about a year ago and since I have not had a flare-up of my Crohn’s Disease, made it through an entire pregnancy without a yeast infection or UTI, and have nursed a baby for four months without any thrush. The probiotics are also transferred through my breast milk to David, which I feel is a great preventative measure for seasonal and food allergies on top of being good for his overall health. Breast milk already has probiotics, but taking the supplement increases the amount he is receiving.

Gabe takes KAL Dinosaurs Baby Bifidactyl in powder form. I mix ¼ teaspoon into his rice milk with his morning drink. He began taking this approximately 4 months ago. At the time we began to notice that he had really bad breath (a sign of poor digestion). Within 3 days the bad breath was gone. He has also made it through the spring without needing any OTC allergy medications.



"Probiotics: What are they? -" Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living - 30 May 2009 .

Rubin, Jordan. Maker's diet. New York: Berkley Books, 2005.