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News – Page 3 – All Things O'Natural

THE SUPER FOOD...RAW CACAO..YOU WANT THIS IN YOUR LIFE!

By Dominique Harris
on October 26, 2015
With 0 comments

 

The benefits of raw cacao, this goodness from the Andes, is truly amazing! It aids in memory improvement, reducing heart disease, shedding fat, boosting immunity and increasing your bliss..to name a few.

Known as the 'drink of the gods' by Incas (hence its scientific name: theobroma cacao from the greek words (theo- god) and (broma - drink), this powerful superfood holds a healthy punch for overall mind, body and spirit.

 

Is Raw Cacao the same as Cocoa?

Nope! Raw (naturally fermented) cacao and processed cocoa are two totally separate foods. Chocolate, which comes from the combination of roasted cocoa, milk, sugar and other ingredients which help it become a solid treat is different in that with the addition of dairy, it blocks the absorption of the antioxidants in the cocoa. The benefits are found in 'raw' form. Cacao, unlike cocoa which is roasted, undergoes a fermentation process. This is done to remove the bitterness of the cacao. 

So..What's Really The Rave?

MOOD ENHANCER

Cacao, being one of the healthiest foods, contains a mood improving ingredient, anandamide, known as the bliss molecule. So that feeling of euphoria you get when consuming cacao comes from this. Cacao also contains serotonine, the feel good brain chemical. It's especially helpful for women during that time of the month, when levels of serotonine drop dramatically. The benefits that cacao holds have known to boost the brain levels of calming hormones and restore feelings of well being. It's the 'happy' superfood that allows you to legally get your euphoric 'buzz' on. 

ENERGY..ENERGY..ENERGY

Cacao (raw organic) has one of the highest concentrations of magnesium in plant based foods and one of the most deficient minerals in the Western world. Magnesium is an extremely important mineral for healthy heart and helps turn glucose into energy. Hence the reason you may crave a chocolate bar during an all nighter.

BLOOD PRESSURE

The fiber and polyphenols in cacao work together to help control blood pressure and blood glucose levels. 

IMPROVED MEMORY

A Harvard study by Dr. Gary Small showed that middle aged people who drank two cups a day or raw cacao had improved memory and increased blood flow to the brain. 

OUR SKIN'S FRIEND

A true superfood, raw cacao is loaded with antioxidants that the skin craves. It actually has more antioxidant power than wine, green tea and blueberries..COMBINED! Antioxidant rich foods like raw cacao are a vital part of the diet because they help repair damage to your skin tissue. Raw Cacao absorbs UV light, making it a wonderful natural protectant against cancer causing UV rays. As a bonus, it helps improve skin's hydration and complexion. So, eat it, drink it  and enjoy it on your skin as with our Cacao Clay Cleanse and Oats + Hibiscus Scrub Grains 

**(no more than 4 tsp 3 times per day and when drinking it, be sure to use a nut milk instead of dairy milk. Dairy milk prevents the absorption of antioxidants)

SOOTHES COUGH

Due to the ingredient, Theobromine, raw cacao has been found to halt coughs better than codeine or commercial cough suppressants with the equivalent of two cups. 

DIGESTION

Raw Cacao is high in fiber, which is extremely beneficial in improving digestion. 

HEART HEALTHY

Flavanols an anti-inflammatory and heart protective antioxidant found in raw cacao may protect against cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of stroke, and help improve blood circulation. Cacao contains over 700 compounds and the complex antioxidants found in it known as polyphenols help reduce ‘bad cholesterol’ and prevent hardening of the arteries. The Department of Nutrition at University of California, Davis discovered that cacao thins blood and can prevent blood clots. This finding shows that eating raw cacao can be just as beneficial as taking an aspirin a day.

HAIR

Raw Cacao contains two important nutrients that are beneficial for the hair, they are; sulfur and protein. Once again, adding raw cacao into your diet as well as in your hair regimen, as with our Deep Conditioner , it aids in helping hair grow healthy and strong, preventing breakage, which aids in length retention.

As always, I hope this information is enjoyably useful. 

* This information is not meant to diagnose nor treat any illness. For medicinal use, please visit your local holistic practitioner. 

 

 

So..WHAT'S THE RAVE ABOUT..RED CLOVER?

By Dominique Harris
on October 24, 2015
With 2 comments

Greetings, Folks! It's your Bohemianly holistic friend here to chat about a deliciously healthy herb, Red Clover. There's so many redo clover benefits that it would be hard to understand why anyone would eradicate it. Not only is this herb edible (you know, edible flowers and herbs), it holds a ton of health benefits. 

SO...WHAT IS RED CLOVER EXACTLY?

Red Clover is a legume, so it's part of the bean, peas and alfalfa family. The great thing about all of these plants is that they are all nitrogen fixers so they add the beneficial mineral, nitrogen, to the soil. I can only hope organic farmers are using this goody today.

BENEFITS OF RED CLOVER

Red Clover has a long history of uses and benefits. Let's indulge our knowledge and see just what this natural goodness is, well, good for.

  • As an expectorant or cough medicine (including whooping cough). Red clover is a conventional process of treatment for children that have a persistent, bad cough.

  • a diuretic for water retention

  • a sedative

  • an anti-inflammatory

  • treatment for asthma

  • externally and internally as a treatment for eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions

  • as a blood purifier or tonic. Blood flow seems to be enhanced by red clover since it can help prevent blood clots and thins the blood.

  • for menopause. Studies have shown that red clover has similar properties to estrogen which makes sense that it would help with menopause symptoms but women who are already doing hormone replacement should not use red clover medicinally.

  • for syphilis

  • as a cancer treatment. Its usage to help to slow cancer has a lengthy history, and studies show encouraging evidence of the herb’s effectiveness as a supplemental cancer treatment. Although, due to its estrogen-like qualities, red clover shouldn’t be utilized against breast cancer

  •  

    MORE TRADITIONAL USES:

    -- Acne
    – Allergies
    – Anti-inflammatory
    – Bone and Joint Health
    – Canker Sores
    – Cleansing
    – Detoxifying
    – Digestive Disorders
    – Eczema
    – Endometriosis
    – Fibroids
    – Fibromyalgia
    – Gastrointestinal Disorders
    – Headaches
    – Hormone Imbalances
    – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    – Joint Pain
    – Menopausal Problems
    – Migraines
    – Osteoporosis
    – Poultice
    – PMS
    – Psoriasis
    – Senility/Aging Conditions
    – Skin Disorders
    – Vascular Disorders

    MEDICINAL DOSES OF RED CLOVER 

    AS A TEA - Red clover makes a sweet tasting therapy tea! Use about 3 teaspoons of the dried flowers per cup of boiling water. Let steep 10 to 15 minutes and enjoy up to 3 cups per day.

    RED CLOVER TINCTURE - Use 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of tincture up to 3 times per day.

    RED CLOVER SALVE or OIL - Make a salve or an infused oil to treat any kind of skin ailment such as eczema or psoriasis. A good combination would be calendula and red clover!

    RED CLOVER COMPRESS - Make a strong batch of red clover tea and while still warm soak a cotton cloth in it. Use for arthritic pains and even gout!

    Fresh clover flowers can be crushed and used in the field to treat bug bites and stings.

    HOW WE ENJOY IT

    We enjoy an herbal floral bath using our FARMERS DAUGHTER herbal steam/tub tea blend, and I add it as part of my facial regimen for a wonderfully stimulating and soothing facial steam

     

    As a mama with 4 little ones, it's extremely important to enhance their growing bodies with healthier natural goodness. I make a tea blend for my husband and kids to enjoy. 

    This yummy blend includes (organic): Red Clover Blossom, Red Clover Leaf, Nettle, Orange Peel, Stevia Leaf, Calendula, Lavender, Chamomile, Echinacea Purpurea

    I purchase our yummy herbs HERE

     

    **This information is not intended to diagnose or cure any illnesses or ailments. Before using this herb as a medicinal substitute, please contact your holistic practitioner

    **Pregnant and nursing mothers should consult their holistic practitioner before use.



    COOL TIPS ON RELEASING STRESS

    By Dominique Harris
    on September 30, 2015
    With 5 comments

    COOL TIPS ON RELEASING STRESS

    Stress is one of the number one enemies to our health. It can aid in raising our blood pressure as well as aid in causing heart disease and stroke. Throughout our lives, we will all encounter a stressful situation or a stressful moment, however, the good news is, there’s always a way to kick stress to the curb.

     

    TIPS ON KICKING STRESS TO THE CURB

     Turn It Off.. 

    Photo credit Travel Noire

    Because so many things can aid in causing stress, it’s imperative that we have some ‘turn it off moments’ those moments where we turn off the TV, Computer, Phone and any other distraction that may create a rise in our stress level.

    Wake with intention

    photo credit Pinterest

    When waking in the morning, try rising a few minutes early to allow yourself time to think, pray, meditate, give thanks, reflect on something positive. In my periscope yesterday, I mentioned that in the mornings, I inhale my Calm Body Oil before applying over my skin. The ingredients allow me to reflect, meditate and give thanks in addition to having a sense of calm.

    Don’t get so bent out of control over what you can’t control...  

    Bottom line is, we can’t control everything.. and many times, we get bent out of shape over things we truly cannot control. Wanting to have control over every situation has more to do with ego than anything else, so lay low and don’t stress it..you couldn’t control it anyhow. Instead, give thanks to the things that you can very much control, such as what you will and will not allow to stress you.

    Work It On Out!  

     

    Photo credit Pinterest

    Exercise is super important. It releases endorphins which make us…happy! It also aids in getting circulation and blood flowing, aids in minimizing stress and makes us feel O’So sexy. So, even if it’s for 20-30 minutes, get your heart rate moving!

    Music Is Food for the Soul! 

     photo credit Natty Naturals

    Music has the capability to affect our soul..our mind, our body, our spirit. When you’re feeling stress, throw on some tunes that inspire a sense of peace, a sense of joy or a sense of laughter…no angry music that reminds us of what stressed us out in the first place.

    Stop Arguing and Trolling social media!  

    Arguing with people we’ve never met and possibly will never meet on social media is a stress giver in waiting. Bottom line, people say what they want and exude rude braveness behind the computer, so arguing with them is absolutely pointless. As Proverbs would say…’don’t cast your pearls before….’ We don’t know these people nor their issues and insecurities and everyone thinks they are right. And allowing all of your annoyances to show via social media is pointless. If people don’t like what you’re saying, who cares! They have every right to choose what they will or will not listen to…follow or will not follow and focusing on it only aids in stressing you and creating posts about what has annoyed you from something on social media, that a person you may or may not know is absurd. As Proverbs would say, ‘Only a fool allows his annoyances to be shown’..you don’t have to express every single thing on your mind.

    Clean up and Organize...

    photo credit Natty Naturals

    Oh boy! I can’t stress enough how a clean, clutter free environment truly helps clear the clutter from your mind and from your energy field. A clutter free, organized space truly allows your positive vibes and positive energy to flow freely.

    Evaluate your personal circle... 

    I have stressed this over and over..minimize the negative people in your life. It may be time for a clean sweep in your personal circle and negative people only aid in bringing you down and adding stress. If you can’t completely eliminate, minimize how much time you allow them to be around you and allowing yourself to be around them. If a person is not adding positively to your life then they may be taking away..negatively.

    Get some Good eats.....

    photo credit Natty Naturals

    Studies show that consuming a diet of poor foods not only affect our health, our weight, but it also affects our mentality and moods. In the book ‘Wheat Belly’, the author mentions how the foods we eat actually have a major effect on our brains when they conducted a study of patients who were suffering from schizophrenia in a mental hospital. When they removed certain foods from the diet, it had a much more impactful affect than the heavy medications

    Strategize Your Day!  

    photo courtesy of Natty Naturals

    When we plan out our day and have a strategic plan of action. Even if it takes making a to do list of what to do. This is best done the night before or early morning so you have enough time to actually plan out your day.

    Shift your focus…

     

    Focus on the positives..When we focus instead on things that we like or on the positives instead of the things that annoy us, we minimize the stress. Instead of focusing on the things that we don’t have, focus on the things that we do.. Recognize the blessings in your life so much that you don’t have time to focus on the things that you do not like or have.

    Delegate tasks..

    Delegating tasks is an awesome way to take stress loads off of you. If you are a manager at your job, or a business owner, delegate stressful tasks when your work load is too heavy. As parents, it's also a great practice to delegate tasks among our children. This life lesson is great and is best utilized as early as possible.

    Take a Soothing Bath

     

    photo courtesy of Pinterest

    One of the best relievers of stress is to take a nice warm bath. Adding essential oils, bath salts and/or a bath tea are excellent ways to aid in further relieving stress. When we take a bath, our skin dilates which allows the nutrients from the salts, herbs and/or botanicals to enter into our bodies aiding in providing benefits to our mind, body and spirit. 

     

    Take A Vacation

    photo courtesy of Travel Noire

    Traveling is not as expensive nor time consuming as you may think. Check out websites such as Travel Noire where they give amazing tips on how to travel to some of the best places that won't break your pockets. Sometimes, it takes taking a step back and being away from it all. You can always make moolah, but creating memories are priceless for mind, body and spirit.

     

    GET OUTDOORS

    photo courtesy of Natty Naturals

    There's just something about being in the presence of nature. If you've got a balcony, deck or outdoor living space, utilize it! The natural essence from the earth will bring a sense of euphoric peace. Open a window, listen to the rain. Enjoy a glass of wine on the porch or deck. Whatever you decide, just be sure to enjoy the natural essence of nature. I absolute love lighting up our outdoor firepit and enjoying the soft sound of rustling leaves while sipping a tasty beverage and indulging in a great read. Try it!

    3 DAY WATERMELON DETOX

    By Dominique Harris
    on August 17, 2015
    With 6 comments

     

    Greetings..greetings..greetings, Everyone! I hope you're having an O'Mazing day! Ok, so many of you who follow my social media pages: facebook (All Things O'Natural) and Instagram (@Team_ATON) may have saw and read my posts on the 3 day Watermelon Detox I embarked on early last week. I was really excited when I saw posts from 2 beautiful naturalistas who constantly embark on healthy natural and organic eats, so it made me want to indulge. And..I wanted to share with you guys how I did my 3 Day Detox and my results. If you know anything about me, I strive to be mindful, as much as possible, about what I put on my hair, skin and in my insides. Of course, I believe in balance as I do splurge and because of that, it's important that I give my temple a break, and this detox was a great way to do that. As always, I hope this information is super helpful.

     

    BENEFITS OF DETOXING

    1.) BOOSTS YOUR ENERGY: I can definitely agree that many detox participants feel more energetic while detoxing. This would make sense because while you’re detoxing you’re stopping the influx of the things that caused you to need a detox in the first place. By cutting out the sugar, caffeine, trans fat, saturated fat, and replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll be getting a natural energy boost, one that comes without a resultant crash. It’s vital to stay well hydrated while on any detox program, and that can also be a source of increased energy if you typically don’t get enough water throughout the day.

    2.) RIDS BODY OF EXCESS WASTES: A great benefit detoxing helps with is allowing the body to rid itself of any excess waste it’s been storing. Most detox programs are designed to stimulate the body to purge itself, helping the liver do its thing as well as the kidneys and colon. Cleansing the colon is an important part of the detoxing process because those toxins need to exit the body, and a backed up colon can cause them to be reintroduced into the body, rather than exiting as planned. Sticking with fruits and vegetables even after the detox program is completed is a good way to keep things moving. Because we drink so much during the detox, we rid our bodies of nasty wastes from dead foods (processed), sugars (processed), harmful chemicals from products, etc.

    3.) WEIGHT LOSS: It’s easy to see how a detox diet would cause you to lose weight in the short term, but a healthier way to look at it would be to establish long-term eating habits, and rid yourself of unhealthy habits. Many times it is the drastic reduction in calories and rapid weight loss that is focused on, especially in the media. But these short-term results won’t last if you don’t make it a point to replace bad foods with good, and use your new found energy to exercise more and be more active overall. 

    4.) HEALTHIER SKIN: Your skin is your largest organ, so it only makes sense that it would show positive results from a detox program. One way to help your detoxing efforts is to enjoy a sauna at the gym or spa to help the body sweat out additional toxins. You can expect clearer, smoother skin at the end of your detox plan. It’s also been reported that detoxing can help with acne, although the condition may worsen before it gets better as the toxins are released. You may find that your skin itches or gets patchy before clearing up, but this is part of the process and is a sign that you’re on the right track with your program. Keeping in mind that if we are not as mindful of the ingredients we place on our hair and skin, it aids in adding toxins to the body, entered via our pores. 

    5.) CLEARER THINKING: A good detox program will pay some attention to your state of mind during the cleanse. The use of meditation is often recommended as a way to get back in touch with your body during this time of purging and cleansing of toxins. Detox followers often say that they lose that sense of fogginess, and are able to think more clearly during a detox than when not on it. It makes sense, since many of the sugar-filled and fat-filled foods that surround us each day will cause us to feel lethargic and can factor heavily in the quality of our thinking. Again, for you who may have seen my detox info, I spoke tons about how my mental was amazing and I was having even more positive and amazing thoughts. There was a ton of spiritual enlightenment occurring. 

    6.) HEALTHIER HAIR: By the time you can see your hair, it’s already considered dead, as all of its growth occurs within the hair follicle. This is why it’s important to keep your body functioning at its full potential through a regular detoxing strategy. When your hair is able to grow uninhibited by internal toxins you’ll see and feel the difference in your hair. In many instances hair gets shinier, and feels softer to the touch. Detoxing isn’t enough to stop male pattern baldness, but many report that their hair grows more quickly, a sign of healthier hair. I recently posted a picture mentioning how my detox made my hair feel fuller and even more moisturized. Amazing!

    7.) PROMOTES HEALTHIER CHANGES: It’s hard to change a long-standing habit, and a detox program – no matter how long – is one way to put a wedge between your old ways and your new ones. If you have addictions to sugar, caffeine, fried, or crunchy foods you can use a detox program to help you kill those cravings. Often if you just try to quit eating those foods or drinking those beverages you’ll have limited success, and go back to your old ways. But if you cleanse the body and replace those foods with healthier choices, you can retrain yourself and be more likely to stick to your new habits.

     

    WATERMELON DETOX..THE DETAILS

    First, let me explain why I chose watermelon. Watermelon, being 92% water, does an amazing job hydrating all of the organs in the body and is a whole body cleanser. Though it contains natural sugar, the sugar is easily processed through the body and exited with the help of the fiber content. It also aids in increasing sex drive due to hydrating each organ properly.

    So, for the next  days, I ate, drank and enjoyed all things watermelon. 

    WATERMELON WATER

    Watermelon chunks, fresh mint and lemon (optional) in distilled water. I never add chemicals to enhance the ph of my water as I feel we should get our alkaline via fresh fruit and vegetables so the body can absorb and expel properly.

     

    WATERMELON JUICE/SMOOTHIE

    Watermelon chunks (seeded or unseeded. The seeds of watermelon pack a HUGE nutritious punk, but they may take some getting used to), fresh mint, lemon or lime (optional). I combined all ingredients into my Vitamix and blended. Now, if you want a more slushy smoothie, simply freeze your watermelon the day before. I add no liquid nor sweeteners as the watermelon is mostly water and has natural sugar.

     

    WATERMELON SALAD

    I combined the following: Fresh organic green leafy lettuce, raw sliced almonds, walnuts, fresh mint (roughly chopped), cherry tomato, watermelon chunks and made a dressing of: extra virgin olive oil, fresh dill, lemon juice, raw apple cider vinegar, chopped garlic, sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and poured atop my salad. I ate this twice per day (lunch and dinner). Because the foods combined are of alkaline nature, it made my body feel like LIFE! 

     

    My results were absolutely amazing and euphoric. I felt lighter, more energetic and less congested. My skin had more of a glow and my hair felt much more moisturized. Will I do this again? ABSOLUTELY!! My goal is to detox once per quarter. When you eat healthier, you feel healthier and look healthier..And, you feel O'So sexy! A Bientot!

     

     

     

    PREPOO...DO YOU????

    By Dominique Harris
    on August 05, 2015
    With 7 comments

    My PRE-POO METHOD..PrePooing is a beneficial step that is done before shampoo cleansing the hair. It allows the hair to retain more conditioner, it helps prevent swelling of the hair and it minimizes the harshness of shampooing and helps rid the hair of shed hairs accumulated throughout the days and weeks. (keep in mind, normal hair will shed between 100-150 hairs per day. You can tell shed hair by the white tip or bulb at the end of the hair)...If you have a prepoo method of your own that is working, please feel free to share. I do this about once per month each time I do a shampoo cleanse.


    The STEPS:

     


    STEP 1:

    Place hair into 2 to 4 sections (if long enough) to prep for pre pooing. The sections allow for ease of doing this method and to help prevent the hair from re-tangling. Select a spray bottle with water, your favorite oil and/or conditioner (recently, I've been using both an oil and conditioner.)

    STEP 2:

    Saturate hair with your water. (This aids in helping to detangle with ease)
    I use my Natty ACV Hair and Scalp Mist which also helps with removing product buildup.


    STEP 3:

    Apply your oil of choice (if I am doing an oil treatment, I will apply my Hair + Scalp Treatment on damp hair instead of my conditioner. This is beneficial if my hair is feeling exceptionally dry) or apply your conditioner. If using conditioner only, skip step 3 If using an oil only, skip step 4. Just FYI, oils that are able to penetrate the hair shaft are: olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil..

    STEP 4:

    Saturate the hair, making sure to thoroughly apply to your ends, with your favorite natural conditioner (I used my Natty Moist)

    STEP 5:

    Detangle with your choice of tool or your fingers. I mostly finger detangle. Be sure when using a tool, began detangling from ends working your way up to your roots now that your hair is slippery with conditioner. This minimizes breakage and allows for easy detangling. Be sure to thoroughly work the conditioner through.

    STEP 6:

    Place hair in twist, buns or plaits so hair does not retangle while pre pooing

    STEP 7:

    You can opt to use no heat or use a steamer or heat cap to help infuse the oils and/or conditioner into the hair. This is especially helpful for naturals with 'low porosity' hair. The heat helps to lift the cuticle and properly infuse moisture. If you are unsure what your hair's porosity may be, simply place a single hair into a cup of water and watch to see if it floats on top, in the middle or floats to the bottom. If it floats on top, you have low porosity, which is typically genetic. This means that your cuticle is closed very tight making it a bit difficult to penetrate the hair with moisture..but once moisture is infused, it holds moisture very well. This is why the heat, which helps lift the cuticle is beneficial. If the hair floats to the bottom, you have high porosity hair. This type is usually caused by damage such as chemical processes (relaxers, texturizers, colorants), heat and/or environmental pollutants. For high porosity, you can choose to use heat when conditioning or not, just be sure to use butters and oils when locking in moisture to help close the gaps that are in the hair follicle from damage. If the hair floats in the middle, you have normal porosity.
    Just, fyi, I have low porosity hair and it stays hydrated using these methods.

    STEP 8:

    Shampoo, deep condition, apply a leave in and seal in the moisture. For me, here is what I use:
    I SHAMPOO using our Dudu Osum's Black Soap Shampoo.

    I DEEP CONDITION: Using my Natty Cupuacu & Rhassoul Deep Conditioner

    I APPLY MY LEAVE IN: Using my Natty Moist Conditioner and Moisturizer

    I SEAL/LOCK IN MY MOISTURE: Using my Natty Butter

    VEGGIE and HUMMUS WRAP

    By Dominique Harris
    on July 31, 2015
    With 3 comments

    Hola Chica/Chicos...I pray all is well with everyone!!

    Well, let's talk eats...healthy eats, that is!! This yummy eat was hands down O'Mazing!! My hubby wanted something light and yummy for dinner and I was inspired to make this after seeing a yummy lentil wrap on HeyFranHey's  facebook page. My yummy eats made from hummus, roasted red peppers, avocado...well, let's just get into the thick of it and check out the scoop on this great eat!!

     
    YUMMY INGREDIENTS:
    • Wrap (there are all kinds: spinach, roasted tomato, plain, etc. The top pic, I show a wrap with lightly sauteed kale, red peppers, onion, tomato, hummus)
    • Hummus (you can purchase from your local grocery or make your own..see how to below to make your own hummus)
    • Tomato
    • Roasted Bell Red peppers
    • Avocado
    • Spinach
    • Red Onion (not as dominant as other onions, so it goes perfectly)

    YUMMY INSTRUCTIONS ON THE WRAP

    It's actually pretty simple, just pile your ingredients, beginning with your hummus, in the center of your wrap. Once ingredients are packed in the center, wrap your wrap (no pun intended), cut in half and serve with a fresh green leaf side salad or just enjoy solo!!






    HOW TO MAKE HUMMUS:
    • 1/2 cup uncooked chick peas + 1 & 1/4 cup water
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled
    • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp tahini
    • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
    • water to thin out, if needed
    • Herbs & seasonings of choice, if desired

    1. Rinse chickpeas in a small colander. In a medium-sized pot, add the chickpeas and 1 & 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover, simmering until the water is absorbed or about 10-13 minutes. Stir the chickpeas frequently to prevent them from sticking to the pot.

    2. With the food processor running, drop in the clove of garlic to mince. Add the cooked chickpeas, along with the lemon juice, tahini, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add a touch of water if necessary to thin out.

    3. Add salt to taste and other herbs and seasonings if desired.

    ** Who says healthy eats aren't YUMMY!!!

    Until next time..A Bientot!!

    FRUIT FLIES...HOW TO GET RID OF THEM, NATURALLY!

    By Dominique Harris
    on July 14, 2015
    With 14 comments

    There's so much to love about the hotter months; swimming, boating, hiking, camping, and so much more, however one of the negatives of the hotter months are those pesky fruit flies. And if you're like our family, you love the goodness of having fresh fruit available, and if you're like me, that glass of red or white wine to enjoy without the hassle of aggressive fruit flies.

    Now, there are many commercial chemicals or traps that can aid in ridding your home or office of them, however, here are some amazing remedies that you can do by using all natural goodies found in your pantry that's inexpensive and effective.

    Below, I will share some at home methods that worked when we had a visit with those pesky rascals. As always, I hope this helps. 

    APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

    Oh my gosh! Apple Cider Vinegar is truly a heaven send for attracting fruit flies. They absolutely cannot stay away from it. So, I've used a combo of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and added just a dab of grape jam, covered with plastic wrap and added some holes in the wrap and it will trap tons of them...Yukky, but effective. Check out this video that explains exactly what I mentioned HERE

     

    ESSENTIAL OILS AND HERBS

    Here are a few essential oils and herbs that deter fruit flies. 

    BASIL, PEPPERMINT, EUCALYPTUS: These are a few of the herbs that deter fruit flies. Placing these in muslin sacks, or tea bags and hanging them around the house will deter fruit flies. 

    CAMPHOR (be very cautious with this one), LAVENDER, PEPPERMINT, CLOVE, LEMONGRASS, all deter fruit flies. They can't stand the smell. You can dab some cotton balls in these oils and wipe around the home, especially in the kitchen area, and deter these rascals all while making your home smell naturally amazing. I love to dip tea bags into essential oil blends and hang around the home. They can't stand it, I tell ya!

     

    INCENSE

    I have learned, fruit flies hate smoke, and especially smoke from incense. They can't handle inhaling the smoke. When they inhale the smoke, they die fairly quickly, leaving you fruit fly free.

     

    WINE, BEER AND BOURBON

     

    Well, I guess these rascals like a good glass every now and then like we do. Fruit flies love the smell of wine and it will attract them in minutes! So, a small glass of wine used to trap them, similar to the apple cider vinegar method, works extremely well with attracting, trapping and killing the fruit flies.

     

    MILK, SUGAR + GROUND PEPPER

    Taking a mixture of 2 ounces of ground pepper, 1/4 lb of raw sugar and one pint of milk, simmer it together in a saucepan for 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and the fruit flies will be attracted to it instantly and die. 

    TIPS..TIPS..TIPS..

    Some other tips that can help minimize fruit fly infestations are: keep the area clean and tidy, keep fruit refrigerated (check out my pic below of our fridge and how we use glass ware to keep fruit secure and our area fruit fly free), minimize sitting water, fruit flies are attracted to sitting water. Get rid of rotting fruit as the yeast is where they lay their larvae and harvest. Again, I hope this helps and you can enjoy your summer pest free as much as possible.

    THE BENEFITS OF SALT BATHS

    By Dominique Harris
    on June 20, 2015
    With 7 comments

    Ahh, the wonders of bath time. For centuries, people have been enjoying baths as a soothing, therapeutic and meditative event. There's just something With the addition of some salts, oils or herbal teas partnered with a soothing candle or two or three and you have a spa experience right at home. In this post, I want to bring awareness to the benefits of using salts in a bath. Stay tuned and enjoy the ride..or soak :-)

    BENEFITS OF A BATH

    Baths have been praised for not only their relaxing qualities, but also to physical and mental well being. Baths must be at the proper temperature to be beneficial, warm. Baths that are too hot can leave a person feeling tired, dehydrated and dizzy. Hence the warning when soaking in a Jacuzzi or sauna. What we put into a bath is equally important. Due to the warm water, our skin dilates which allows an easier absorption of chemicals into our bodies and organs. Again, this is why it is very important to be mindful of what we do put into our bath. 

    WHY ADD SALTS TO BATHS

    When it comes to adding salts to a bath, the most common are, Epsom Salt and Sea Salt. Epsom and sea salts contain beneficial nutrients such as, magnesium and sulfate. Due to the depleted levels of magnesium in our food and the imbalance of nutrients in the foods, most people are deficient, sometimes dangerously deficient, in magnesium, which is the second most abundant element in our bodies. Unfortunately, many forms of magnesium are too difficult to absorb when taken orally, especially those with damaged guts (many of us). A damaged gut makes absorbing magnesium and other minerals through the digestive system more difficult, so topical additions of magnesium via oils and salt baths can be a great solution. Again, because the skin is the largest organ and has wonderful little holes known as pores, it has the amazing ability to absorb, filter toxins and deliver nutrients to the body.

     

    THE BENEFITS OF ADDING SALTS TO BATHS

    • Awesome stress reliever

    • Soothes and calms aching muscles 

    • Improves circulation

    • Helps with absorbing nutrients

    • Relieves headaches

    • Aids in speeding up wound healing

    • Helps children with mineral absorption 

    • Aids in better sleep

    • Aids in relieving joint pain

    • Great for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne

    • Aids in improving skin hydration (especially when soaking in warm, not hot, water)

    • Helps relieve poison ivy and skin reactions

    HOW TO ENJOY A SALT BATH

    While filling your bath with warm water, a few scoops up to a cup of salts at least once per week or more if you soak more often. For our kids, we add 3-5 scoops each bath time. For intensive relief, salt baths can be done daily for skin ailments such as eczema or illnesses such as respiratory illness. 

     

    SO..WHAT'S IN OUR SALTS?

    In our lovely LEMONGRASS SALTS:

    Dead Sea Salt: High in magnesium and sulfate, dead sea salts are beneficial in combating stress and fluid retention. Helps slow skin aging and calms the nervous system. 

    Epsom Salt: Named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually a salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches. Epsom salts help to ease stress and relax the body. Magnesium, found in Epsom Salt, helps to produce serotonin, a mood elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.

    Avocado and Castor Oils:With its high levels of omega fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins, Avocado Oil is an extremely beneficial oil that aids in helping skin remain moisturized, soft and youthful looking. Avocado and Castor oils are useful oils that aid in soothing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and Castor oil having pain easing properties which makes it useful for muscle aches and arthritis.

    Dried Herbs of Lemongrass, Eucalyptus and Rosemary: With combinations of anti microbial, anti bacterial and astringent properties, the combination of these beneficial dried leaves are helpful in aiding in soothing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and aches

    Essential Oils of Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Palmarosa, Lavender and Geranium: Beneficial in cleansing, calming and soothing skin ailments.

     

    In our lovely PINK HIMALAYAN SALTS:

    Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: Extremely high in mineral content, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt is extremely beneficial for the skin.

    Dead Sea Salt: High in magnesium and sulfate, dead sea salts are beneficial in combating stress and fluid retention. Helps slow skin aging and calms the nervous system. 

    Epsom Salt: Named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually a salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches. Epsom salts help to ease stress and relax the body. Magnesium, found in Epsom Salt, helps to produce serotonin, a mood elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.

    Avocado and Castor Oils:With its high levels of omega fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins, Avocado Oil is an extremely beneficial oil that aids in helping skin remain moisturized, soft and youthful looking. Avocado oil is also a useful oil that aids in soothing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

    Lavender Buds: Soothing, relaxing and calming

    Essential Oils of Geranium, Bay Rum, Anise, Lavender, Sweet Orange, Sweet Marjoram: This soothing blend of essential oils is beneficial for calming mental energy aiding in a relaxing night of rest. 

     

    Give your body much needed nutrients in a calm, relaxing soak in a wonderful SALT BATH

     

    Finding Peace in Commonality

    By Dominique Harris
    on June 05, 2015
    With 6 comments

    The smell of fresh river water. Amazing views of beautiful colored flowers and green life. The sound of fresh water crashing against multi sized rocks. Walkers and joggers hitting the pavement in concentrated movements of determined strive to reach a desired goal. Bike riders enjoying the cooling air as they enjoy the brisk movement of their spinning wheels. Lovers enjoying afternoon strolls and the sound of children's laughter echoing through the park. This is the sound of peaceful amazement as I was enjoying an afternoon of workout at Chattanooga's Riverfront Park with an awesome workout partner. Everything sounds perfect and looks perfect, according to what society would have you picture. So, when my workout partner and I were stopped in our tracks, as we finished enjoying a small pond and beautiful flowers, to see naturally toned physiques encased in sagging pants, galoshes with a crown of locs. From the judgemental eye, the view would seem 'out of place' from the scenery described above, but it was contradictorily perfect. 

    The scene was extremely peaceful as Marcel and George, standing a few feet apart, speaking no words, cast their rods into the endless wonders of the river. My workout partner and I made our approach. Our desire was to show that even the judged by it's cover stereotypes find peace in nature..find solace in the natural art of fishing. As we approached, the two men looked curiously at two women carefully making their way across the various sized rocks in hopes of receiving permission to snap a few photos. We explained why we wanted to snap the photos and the two men were extremely welcoming and friendly about our intrusion. We asked the two is this 'where you find your peace? Your meditation?' And George, with his longer locs gathered into a low bun, galoshes over pants that sagged so low that I curiously questioned, in my mind, how he was able to keep them on, responded by saying, 'Yea, this is where I come to think. I bring my home boys out here too. We love it. We enjoy it.'

    Marcel, casting his rod into the water, agreed with his friend of his enjoyment of being out amongst the water.  I could see in their peaceful silence that, for the time, any or all problems are null and void. Any reactions of defensiveness, created by the constant judgement of their outward appearance, disappeared like the rods that they gracefully cast into the deep water. The beauty of this meeting was that at this one place, there exuded many walks of life, yet we all found peace and beauty in the massiveness of this thing called nature. As I was snapping my photos, I began to realize and address my own mind of judgements. How, many times, I have judged a book by it's cover, not realizing that my reflection of the negative hindered the beauty of seeing the commonality that reside within us; the desire to be loved, take care of our families, heal from past brokenness and belong to a higher purpose greater than ourselves. The desire to find a place where dysfunction subsides and peace takes over. Many times we can't get to know or understand people because we so easily cast our societal views of them instead of humanizing them. We can't relate because, so often, we choose not to relate. We fear instead of understanding. We judge instead of exuding compassion. The same grace we expect, many times, we do not give to others. Though I may not agree with pants sagging, I realized that my bias had nothing to do with finding the beauty in the things we do have in common. Instead of focusing on what I may not like or understand, I focused on the beauty of what was...Two young men, finding peaceful moments in this madness called life.  As I view our younger generation, as these two young men, I realize that we need to put the walls down and truly get to know each other. Find the commonality that makes us see people as...people. That's growth..that's wisdom..that's Peace!

    As we were headed back to our trail for our walk, Marcel and George thanked us for 'taking the time to tell our story'. And a 'Thank You' to you young men for allowing us a moment of your time and photos, we truly appreciate you.

    Things To Do While In Chattanooga...TENNESSEE STILLHOUSE TOUR

    By Dominique Harris
    on May 22, 2015
    With 6 comments

    When my husband and I were out strolling the hip trendy area of Main St. in Chattanooga, TN, we were stopped in our tracks by this sign. Even in it's black and white simplicity, the sign peaked our interest immediately. So, we decided to stop in for a quick peak to see just what 'Tennessee Stillhouse' was all about. Located right across from the popular Chattanooga Choo Choo, Tennessee Stillhouse is in the perfect location for the, ah hem, stopper by-ers like us.
    When we stepped inside, the greeting was relaxed and friendly and we were told about the distillery tour which included a whiskey flight, including the Old Fashion that was the popular drink of choice by the character, Don Draper, of the show Mad Men. I was excited to hear about the complimentary syrups made using natural herbs, natural sugar and fruits and the ingredients used to brew their whiskey which uses all natural, non GMO ingredients. The tour was extremely in depth and gave me an awesome inside knowledge into the life of a distillery. The decor was amazingly appropriate with walls lined with old recycled barrels, original concrete floors..It definitely exuded the vintage charm that I so love with Amazing character. The facility was clean and neat, yes, that's a plus! They even have an outdoor area for those who wish to rent the facility for events. And, at the end of the tour, we were greeted with a flight of varying spirits that included their handmade syrups...delicious! 
    So, all in all, I would highly recommend this tour and would encourage this as part of your 'things to do' while in Chattanooga...or, if you live in Chattanooga, it's a great date idea or girlfriends only tour or hanging with the guy's tour...Oh, and they are the only place where you can purchase their ahhhh-mazing 113 proof whiskey on Sunday. Enjoy the photos.

    TENNESSEE STILLHOUSE TOUR

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