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News – Page 3 – All Things O'Natural

A LOOK INTO HOMESCHOOLING: PROS and CONS

By Dominique Harris
on March 24, 2016
With 3 comments

 

Today I want to focus and share some insight on a topic that I receive SO many emails, personal messages, comments and questions about and that is the pros and cons of homeschooling. Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular each year with a growth rate of about  7 – 15 percent. Homeschool children do exceptionally well on standardized tests, are welcomed at colleges and universities, and as adults, have a reputation for being self-directed learners, humanitarians, philanthropists, community activists, and reliable employees, as well as accomplished business owners and huge participants in community service and philanthropy. The demographics of homeschooling are quickly changing, as black Americans are becoming one of the fastest growing segments of the US population that is deciding to teach their own. Of course, there are many reasons parents decide to homeschool, and many are similar and some have additional reasons. For us, we wanted to ensure that our children received lessons of morals, high levels of critical thinking, lessons in history that educate beyond slavery and the likes, as there’s so much to Black and African History that is simply not covered in many schools today. As well as the removal of many of the music and arts in non-private schools. Another reason for us, we felt that the school system has an overtone of assimilation, teaching in manners where they feel everyone learns the same and that’s simply not accurate. With homeschooling, we get to see how each one of our children are different and how well they learn in their own manner. 

Again, these are some of the pros and cons we have considered being that my husband and I have homeschooled our 4 little ones for a few years now. As always, I hope this list is helpful so you can make informed decisions best for you and your family. For further reading, check out this article via Business Insider on 5 ways "Homeschooling Could Be The Smartest Way To Teach Kids In the 21st Century"

PROS

EDUCATIONAL FREEDOM and PERSONALIZED LEARNING

Most homeschooled students have the choice to study and learn what they want, when they want, for as long as they want. This is not to say that all of the basics (and more!) aren't covered. But those basics may be covered at age six for one child, and at age ten for another, depending on ability, maturity, and interest levels.

PHYSICAL FREEDOM

After the initial shock of leaving the school system has passed, parents who homeschool say they experience a real sense of freedom. With their lives no longer revolving around school hours, homework, and the school calendar, these families plan off-season vacations, visit parks and museums during the week, and live their lives according to what works for them.

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM

 As parents, we all understand that our children will be exposed to other children. And with that comes peer pressure. Sadly, peer pressure, competition, boredom, and bullies — are all part of a typical school day. This can be a particular problem for girls. According to studies, self-esteem plummets in middle-school girls. However, similar studies of homeschooled girls have shown that self-esteem remains intact and that these girls continue to thrive. (Read: A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls by Susannah Sheffer.) Homeschooled kids can dress and act and think the way they want, without fear of ridicule or a need to "fit in." They live in the real world, where lives aren't dictated by adolescent trends and dangerous experimentation. 

RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL FREEDOM

 Many families feel their religious and spiritual beliefs are an important part of who they are. Homeschooling provides the opportunity for parents to incorporate their beliefs into their daily lives.

CLOSER FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

 Just about every family stressed the important role that homeschooling played in helping them find time to foster loving ties between all family members. Teens seem to benefit enormously from this interaction, and rebellious, destructive behavior often begins to diminish soon after homeschooling begins.

WELL-RESTED CHILDREN

     As more and more studies are illustrating, sleep is vital to the emotional and physical well-being of kids, especially teens and preteens. The effects of early morning classes can be devastating to many children, especially those who are not morning people. What we've found is that our kids are definitely more alert being allowed to sleep in a bit longer in the morning. 

    FLEXIBILITY WITH CURRICULUM

       With the flexibility of the curriculum comes flexibility of time and vacation. You have more freedom over choosing vacation times, whether planned or spontaneous. Families can go on vacation when it’s less expensive because you don’t have to worry about interrupting school time and important school dates ( this is a HUGE benefit). Another great thing we've found is that being entrepreneurs, we are able to have lessons throughout the day, not only at scheduled times. So, we set a time of day that works for our family and that may vary from day to day. And..don't forget to take field trips!! These are the icing on the chocolate cupcake. Field trips are great for you to have a small break and for the kids to interact with other children. Each Wednesday, we have family field trip day and take the kids to various kid-friendly places, such as The Creative Discovery, The Tennessee Aquarium, Kid Zone (rock climbing), The Public Library, Jump Park, Hiking Trails, Parks, Lakes, etc. And be sure to save by getting a year membership (that's the best option for a family of 6 like ours). And, many of these places offer homeschool courses, such as ecology and STEM courses, so be sure to check with your local kid friendly places. Also, check out your local YMCA, many offer homeschool days. For instance, each Thursday  our kids attend the YMCA with other children who are homeschooled for four hours to enjoy a plethora of activities. 

      SOLID SENSE OF IDENTITY


      It's amazing how much our kids identify with who they are. They are allowed respectable free expression without feelings of hindrance or shame..or the feelings of wanting to belong or fit in.

       

        COMMUNITY

        Some parents may run into the issue of not being as advanced on a particular subject, especially during high school years. The benefit is there are a plethora of programs, videos (especially YouTube) and other homeschooling parents there to help. If possible, get with another parent who may be advanced in a particular subject and speak with them in a community homeschool environment. Also, many colleges and universities offer specific courses as well. And there are some kid-friendly places that offer courses for homeschool children, for example, art museums, zoos, rock climbing, woodworking, writing, drawing, etc. (ourTN Aquarium offers homeschool course on marine ecology). You can also opt to connect with other homeschooling parents and/or families.

         

        CONS

        TIME RESTRAINT


        There's no way around it: learning outside of a school environment can consume a lot of mom or dad's time. Most folks visualize that time being spent at the kitchen table with textbooks and worksheets, but for most families, that's not the case. My family has rarely gone that route, choosing hands-on experiences and interesting activities as learning tools, instead. However, planning, driving to, and participating in those activities (or waiting for them to be over) constitute the bulk of my day. And that can be very draining. 

        SACRIFICIAL FINANCIAL RESTRAINT

        For married parents, one partner often foregoes full-time employment out of the home in order to homeschool. This can be a big sacrifice for families who are struggling to balance their budget. Surprisingly, most homeschooling families believe that the brief loss of income is well worth the satisfaction of watching their kids grow and learn in freedom. What we've found is that operating our business in a manner that helps us in not becoming so overwhelmed with day to day business has truly worked in our favor. And, if you are fellow entrepreneurs like my husband and I, it's great to look into hiring help (like extra employees or even tutors for the kids on desired subjects) for the busy times with your business. 

        WITH THE KIDS PRETTY MUCH ALL DAY

        There's no denying it — if you choose to homeschool, you're going to be with your kids most of the time. If you don't enjoy being together, then homeschooling may not be for you. While it can sometimes be difficult, most homeschool parents view their daily interactions with their kids — the ups as well as the downs — as opportunities for personal and familial growth. With us operating a business, we also take the opportunity to bring the kids into our studio to help with packaging or learn little insights about the business. 

        MAY BE VIEWED AS LIVING OUTSIDE OF THE NORM

        Like any activity that challenges mainstream thinking, homeschooling may be seen as an oddity at best, or even as a threat to those who are unable to accept ordinary parents succeeding where trained professionals often fail. My family has developed a bit of a tough exterior over the years, but cynical comments and criticisms still filter in occasionally (it's pretty rare though). If you are unable to live "outside of the box," then homeschooling may not be for you.

        DON'T FORGET TO CELEBRATE MILESTONES:

        Keep in mind, that our children work hard on their education each session. In recognizing that, it's great to start some traditions to celebrate that hard work and those milestones. Some milestones to celebrate can be:

        • Beginning a new grade

        • Completing a grade

        • Completing a book series

        • Reading aloud

        • Mastering a difficult subject or task

        • Extracurricular Activities like, dances, sports, spelling bees, chess, etc

         

        Some ways to celebrate those milestones:

        • Pizza Party or some small party

        • Special Meal or treat

        • Special Field Trips (Acquarum, Zoo, Museum, Park, Theatre)

        • Small Gift

         Or, whatever way you feel works for you and your child (children).

        Now, Let's Chat about some tips that can help throughout your homeschool adventure:

        Ways To Encourage Independent Learning:

        What I've noticed in my children is that the need for more hands-on lessens the older that they get. Our 14-year-old is definitely an independent learner, but it definitely took some hands-on touches in the beginning to encourage this. Here are some ways that can help encourage independent learning when the time comes.

        Spend time laying the foundation in the beginning. In the beginning, there will tons of one on one time that will be needed as your young child learns to feel confident and secure to learn a bit more on their own. Be sure your kids are strong in basic skills such as reading, writing, and math. This way, they can read instructions on their own.

        Accountability. A great way to keep kids accountable is by having a checklist sheet. Your kids can check off each assignment as they complete it. Be sure before allowing your child to indulge in fun activities, that they have completed their assignment.

         

        Stickers and Incentives are great! Set a milestone and give incentives if your child completes their assignment within a set time.

        Provide resources. Be sure that your child has an idea of where and how to look for help when needed. For example, how to look up words they may not know via a dictionary (an online dictionary is fine as well). 

         

        SOME APPS WE LOVE:

        Here is a wonderful website that lists the requirements for intending to homeschool per state, click HERE to find out

        Stack the States (great for learning geography)

        Khan Academy Kids

        Stack the Countries (great for learning geography)

        Pet Bingo (awesome math app)

        Panda Preschool Activities

        Kids Shapes and Colors

        Kindergarten Activities

        Toddler Preschool Activities

        Amazing Alex (great enegineering app)

        Nick Jr Draw & Play

        Squeebles Times Tables

        Squeebles Spelling Tes

        ABC Mouse.com

        Multiplication Table Kids

        Puzzingo

        Friendly Puzzles

        and many more but these are some of our favorites!

           

        WEBSITES WE LOVE

        (Click each to view the website)

        Khan Academy (for all subjects, our favorite)

        Discovery K12 (for all subjects)

        Kamali Academy (for all subjects)

        Math Exercises for Kids (MATH)

        Youtube (great for teaching subjects such as algebra, calculus, multiplication, how to write essays, etc)

        Bino and Fino

        Hip Homeschool Moms

        Teaching Textbooks

        Mr. D Math

        TLSBOOKS (for all subjects)

        BrainPop

        IXL (one of my favorites for all subjects!)

        Apologia (for science)

        The Good and The Beautiful ( for all subjects)

        Brave Writer (for writing)

        Write Shop (for writing)

        Masterclass (amazing program for the artistic child)

         Grammar Girl (for grammar questions)

        Algebra Help

        All About Learning    (Spelling and Reading Kits)

        Typing Club (for typing)

        Woke Homeschooling (history)

        Math Salamander (Math)

        and many more!

         

        YOUTUBE CHANNELS WE LOVE

        Life Noggin

        Ted Ed

        Kurzgesagt-In a Nutshell

        It's Ok To Be Smart 

        The Origins of Everything (history)

        NETFLIX: EDUCATIONAL SHOWS WE LOVE

        Brain Games (via Netflix) is pretty awesome

        There are also a plethora of Nat geo documentaries

        SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

        Also, there are some amazing subscription services, a few in particular that we love are:

        Kiwi Co 

        Mel Chemistry

        Smore Magazine

         Curiosity Stream

         The Great Courses

         

         

         

        TAKE A MOMENT TO VIEW SOME OF OUR HOMESCHOOL FAMILY FUN!

         

         

         

         

         

        LOVE FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE!

        By Dominique Harris
        on March 06, 2016
        With 0 comments

         

        As we embark on our 5th year as a business, we are always thrilled and thankful for the support shown for our vision. We are even more thrilled with the high rate of repeat customers who have been supporting our vision since 2011, and Alicia Saldenha in Japan is one of those loyal customers. As always, we appreciate the inspiration, encouragement and support from all of you. Now, I must ask, please show your support for VibeOlogy  by clicking on the link: lovealicia - VibeOlogy - Music Podcast

        SEEDS..SEEDS..SEEDS..ORGANIC VS. GMO VS. HYBRID

        By Dominique Harris
        on February 05, 2016
        With 1 comments

        HOW BOUT THEM SEEDS?


        Here's some dope info to help demystify and keep us aware of not only what we eat, but the importance of the seed used to grow it. Bad seed bears bad fruit. The importance of understanding the seed is due to understanding the benefits we get from the fruit that it bears. Check out this breakdown of seeds..and why it's important to know the difference.

        1.) Heirloom Seeds: Seeds saved each year and passed down from one generation to the next. Heirloom seeds are open pollinated (pollinated by wind or insects, for example, the honey bee flying from one flower to the next). These seeds are rich in history, and more important, they bear fruit vegetables that have the needed nutrients and minerals we need for our bodies.

        2.) Hybrid Seeds: produced when 2 different but related parent plants are cross pollinated. These are inbred plants artificially fertilized by humans.They yield bigger, brighter and faster growing fruit/vegetables, as well as the ability to be able to survive in conditions that their parents could not, which make them a great selling point. The foods are unnaturally high in sugar and lower in nutritional value. When you consume too much hybridized fruit sugar or sugar from seedless hybrid fruits such as bananas, grapes, oranges, pineapple, watermelon the excess sugar can over stimulate the endocrine system, cause constipation, and start the process of leeching essential minerals like calcium from the body. Common hybrid vegetables include beets, carrots, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes. The seeds may not grow at all or may grow and produce less desirable results. The seeds cannot be reused, which results in having to buy new seeds every year $$$. Many Many modern diseases came after man began playing with the natural order. of plant life.

        3.) Open Pollinated Seeds: seeds that do not need human intervention to be pollinated since nature does this naturally with wind and insects.

        4.) Organic Seeds: Seeds produced without the introduction of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, and other toxic chemicals harmful to the body. They do not use seeds that are GMO (genetically modified), so they are nutritious and taste great.

        5.) Treated Seeds: Seeds that normally have an unnatural color to them due to being treated with chemical pesticides or fungicides to prevent mold.

        6.) GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) Seeds: A seed made in a labe where researches take genetic DNA from one species and artificially inject into another unrelated species. The process is unnatural and creates a plant that looks normal, but the genes are not naturally derived or pollinated, so it is minus the benefits, minerals and nutrients that the natural plant would contain. Many of the illnesses suffered, such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, etc are promoted by the consumption of GMO foods. Instead of infusing our bodies with alkaline nutrients, they infuse our bodies with acidic elements. Bacteria and viruses do not like bodies with a higher alkaline nature.

        7.) Wild Crafted Seeds: Seeds collected from plants growing naturally in the wild. They yield plants that are completely nature inspired.

        Information helps us make informed decisions over making the best choices for ourselves and family. While we may not all or always be able to avoid everything that is not the best for our bodies, the more information you have, the better. Now...go, my Wise ones..make the best decisions for your mind, body and spirit.

        WELCOME TO HEALTHY SKIN CARE

        By Dominique Harris
        on November 06, 2015
        With 4 comments

        Welcome Natty Beauties and Beaus!!

        In anticipation for our skin care products, we are super excited to announce our healthy all natural facial care line is now available for your enjoyment. In our first week, we sold out of our 4oz Cacao Clay Cleanse but have now restocked our shelves with one of the best mud pies ever!

        WHAT'S THE SCOOP ON NATURAL SKIN CARE?

        The beauty of products that are based on natural and organic ingredients is that it works to nourish your skin from the outside in. You don't have to worry about harsh ingredients potentially causing havoc on your insides. 

        HOW EXPENSIVE IS AN ALL NATURAL SKIN CARE REGIMEN?

        That truly depends on how much you want to spend based on your needs and your schedule. A truly great skin care protocol should not take a ton of time to do and should always be an enjoyable experience. 

        Each beauty is different; some may enjoy a spa experience utilizing a full facial protocol and some beauties are interest in time saving and need only one or a few goodies. It truly depend on your needs, lifestyle and budget. Another bonus is seeking products that can be used in multiple ways, for example, our Organic Oats Scrub Grains can be used as a cleanser, an exfoliation scrub and as a clay mask..that's 3 uses in 1 product!

        HOW DO I KNOW WHAT I NEED FOR MY REGIMEN?

        Well, I would say, first, understanding your skin type is key. Recognizing if your skin is Dry, Oily, Acne Prone, Sensitive, Combination or Normal. Each skin type appreciates different and similar ingredients. Many of our skin care products can serve the needs for all skin types. Check out the products for the various skin types below:

        DRY SKIN, MATURE + SENSITIVE SKIN:

        Cleanse:

        Calendula Makeup Remover (daily)or Cacao Clay Cleanse (daily)or Oats + Hibiscus Scrub Grains (weekly or bi monthly)

        Exfoliate: (weekly or bi monthly)

        Oats + Hibiscus Scrub Grains

        Steam: (monthly or bi monthly)

        Fields of Glory Herbal Steam (for more info on steaming, please click HERE)

        Tone: (daily)

        Clendula Makeup Remover or Rose + Neroli Toner Mist

        Moisturize: (daily)

        Rosehip Facial Serum or Calendula Makeup Remover

        OILY + ACNE PRONE SKIN

        Cleanse (daily):

        Cacao Clay Cleanse (daily) or Oats + Bamboo Charcoal Scrub Grains

        Exfoliate:

        Oats + Bamboo Charcoal Scrub Grains (weekly or bi monthly)

        Steam:

        Farmer's Daughter or Bohemian Forest Herbal Steam (weekly or bi monthly)

        Tone (daily):

        Calendula Makeup Remover or Rose+Neroli Toner Mist

        Moisturize (daily):

        Rosehip Facial Serum or Calendula Makeup Remover

        COMBINATION + NORMAL SKIN

        Cleanse:

        Calendula Makeup Remover, Cacao Clay Cleanse or Oats + Hibiscus Scrub Grains

        Exfoliate:

        Oats + Hibiscus Scrub Grains

        Steam:

        Farmer's Daughter or Fields of Glory Herbal Steam

        Tone:

        Calendula Makeup Remover or Rose + Neroli Toner Mist

        Moisturize:

        Rosehip Facial Serum or Calendula Makeup Remover

        So, as you can see, many products can serve a few functions. For example, our Calendula Makeup Remover is perfect for all skin types for the beauty or beau on the go go go for light cleansing, toning and moisturizing in one.

        IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SKIN IRRITATION...

        If you're experiencing skin irritation, it could be from a number of things, more commonly, it may be due to over stimulating the skin where you are utilizing too many products. This is why, many regimens should be 10 minutes or less and a full facial protocol (utilizing a full 5 or 6 step regimen) should be done weekly, biweekly or monthly, depending on your skin type. A full 5 or 6 step facial protocol (1.cleanse, 2.exfoliate, 3.steam, 4.clay mask, 5.tone, 6.moisturize) can be a bit harsh if done daily. Keeping products, ingredients and your regimen as simple as possible is better for pinpointing should you experience skin irritation. Again, keep it simple. A simple daily regimen could be as simple as one product, our Calendula Makeup Remover, or 2-3 products for cleansing, toning and moisturizing.

        HOW I UTILIZE MY SKIN CARE PRODUCTS AND MY FACIAL REGIMEN

        It wasn't until I truly understood my skin type and the reasons my skin was becoming irritated that I had a better idea of how to manage my skin and balance it out. First, diet and great water intake play a huge role. Exercise and releasing toxins are super important and minimal stress. I used to struggle with combination skin where I would experience breakouts and then hyper pigmentation once the breakout cleared. My skin type is now a balanced normal skin type with my hyper pigmentation (dark spots) fading nicely. Here's my regimen to date using our skin care products:

        DAILY:

        1. CLEANSE: Cacao Clay Cleanse nightly (distilled water in the day)

        2. TONE: Rose+Neroli Toner Mist

        3. MOISTURIZE: Rosehip Facial Toner

        If I'm in a hurry, I'll simply use my Calendula Makeup Remover for cleansing toning and moisturizing all in one.

        ONCE or TWICE PER MONTH (ONLY)

        1. CLEANSE: Cacao Clay Cleanse

        2. EXFOLIATE: Organic Oats Scrub Grains

        3. STEAM: Fields of Glory Herbal Steam (check out my 'How To Herbal Steam Video: HERE )

        4. MASK: Cacao Clay Cleanse

        5. TONE: Rose+Neroli Toner Mist

        6. MOISTURIZE: Rosehip Facial Serum

        OCCASIONAL BREAKOUTS (as needed)

        I'll do my daily regimen listed above and use  my Oats + Bamboo Charcoal Scrub Grains as a spot treatment. I simply activate and place a dab on a breakout at night, rinse in the morning.

        So, once I began utilizing all natural skin care, I was simply blown away by the wonderful natural aromas, luxurious feel and loads of pleasure I got. Using just a few products that actually worked and were not harmful for my insides nor outsides was a blissful relief and it made my skin care regimen enjoyable vs dreadful. I highly encourage you to give that gift to yourself and to your loved ones and allow you and them to discover bliss, one natural ingredient at a time. 

         

        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 10 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!!

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