Saturday

I went to bed last night with a barely noticeable headache. I figured I was just tired and it would be gone by morning. When I woke up this morning, it was throbbing so bad it made me nauseas. This was the worst headache I’ve had since I resolved to not take painkillers, and I really didn’t know if I’d make it through this one without having to take something. With all the work I’ve done toward detox and building my immune system in my gut, knowing medications like Advil/Tylenol are detrimental to that process is a big deterrent, but it HURT! I had to do something.

So I guzzled 16 oz of water. Then 32 oz of coconut water. Then took an Epsom salt bath with baking soda and essential oils (wintergreen, clove, helichrysum). I was feeling mildly better after the bath. No longer nauseas, but still in a lot of pain and very tired. My two-year old snuggled up on the couch with me and watched tv while I napped. Again, felt marginally better when I woke up. But not great. At this point the headache was sort of coming and going. If I was very still or laying down, I couldn’t feel it. But if I stood up or tried to do anything (particularly if it involved bending over) the pain came shooting back.

I ate these.

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And drank more water. And slathered helichrysum oil over my neck and shoulders. By 1pm, my headache was completely gone, my energy was back, and I felt fantastic. 100 %. Good thing, too, because I was going to have a lot of nursing to do in the evening…

But first, lunch. Soy-free vegenaise, basil, yellow tomato, and roasted red pepper on homemade gf/egg free farmhouse seed bread. With black bean hummus and carrot sticks

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And a smoothie. Kale, strawberries, 3 dates for sweetness, almond milk, sexy chocolate mix (cacao, carob, maca), 5 brazil nuts, and vanilla extract.

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So, my husband came home early this evening from a work trip because he wasn’t feeling well and my daughter has had a very mild cough with slight congestion all week. And they both decided to have their sicknesses peak this evening.

As soon as I found out my husband was on his way home with a sore throat and feeling achy (aka fever), I started this soup. A whole organic chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, celery, splashes of white wine and apple cider vinegar, herbs from the garden (rosemary, thyme, sage, and basil), and 8 cups of water.

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I’m pretty sure this soup is one of the top 5 most delicious things I’ve ever made. It was amazing.

But on to tonight’s nursing duties. As soon as my husband walked in the door, I made him get in an Epsom salt/baking soda bath with oils geared toward fighting infection and relieving pain (myrrh, eucalyptus, lemongrass, wintergreen, and clove) and made him use eucalyptus castile soap for washing. I gave him a mug of mullein tea and a spoonful of honey with a drop of thieves essential oil to soothe his throat and fight the infection at the source. Then gave him a foot, hand, and back massage attempting to follow the raindrop technique championed by Young Living Oils. The technique calls for the following oils: Valor (a blend), oregano, thyme, basil, wintergreen, marjoram, Aroma Siez (another blend, which I do not own, so I substituted helichrysum), and peppermint. I also put rosemary and helichrysum on his feet, and peppermint on his scalp and forehead to help with the fever.

When I was almost done with his massage, our daughter woke up from her nap. She was generally fussy (which is nothing new this week), but then started complaining about her right ear. She’s almost 3, and has never had an ear infection before. But it was very clear that her sinus funk had morphed into an ear infection. GREAT!

I rubbed her down with myrrh, eucalyptus, and helichrysum oils diluted in a carrier of grapeseed oil. And put thieves directly on the soles of her feet.

They both ate their soup.

And she drank two baby bottles of mullein tea before falling asleep.

I felt my headache coming back as soon as everybody else was asleep, so I forced myself to drink 32 oz of water before going to sleep myself. Problem solved! Oh- I also put 2 drops of therapeutic grade frankincense oil under my tongue to protect myself from whatever nastiness has invaded our family. And sprayed the whole house down with a thieves disinfectant concoction: clove, cinnamon, lemon, and rosemary oils with a bit of witch hazel and lots of filtered water in a spray bottle. It smells like Christmas around here.

Of course, after all those liquids baby girl consumed, her diaper couldn’t handle her overnight output, so we were up changing sheets at 4am, but it was obvious that she was feeling much better at this point. She was happy and not complaining about her ear at all. I put a few drops of apple cider vinegar in her ear anyway, to help fight the infection at the source. Gave her a bottle of almond milk laced with probiotics and put her back to sleep.

The husband woke up, too, and was obviously much improved. Was even talking about going back to work. Considering how sick and out of it he was a few hours ago, that’s just crazy talk. He needs to take at least one full day to rest.

But let me just say that I am utterly impressed with the power of essential oils, natural remedies, and food as medicine. The more I experiment with these things, the more I trust their efficacy. And I’m so happy to be able to do something for my sick family that supports their healing systems rather than being toxic to their bodies like conventional medicine. And I’m so grateful that I was physically well enough to care for them during this time. After 3 years of being the sick one, it’s nice to care for others for a change.

Saturday

I’m on a roll- feeling great 3 days in a row! Have another busy day today. Breakfast is a bowl of brown rice, diced roasted carrots and parsnips, an egg, avocado, and raw sauerkraut.

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Had a picnic for lunch. Sorry no photo (forgot). It was pecan crusted chicken strips drizzled with honey (local, raw) mustard and wrapped in romaine leaves. Plus apples, grapes, and gf sweet potato oatmeal cookies. And pirate’s veggie booty.

Drank lots of this today. May not be the best brand, since it does have added citric acid. But it’s the only one my local store had in stock. There’s another brand (coco one? I think) that is just pure coconut water. That’s a better option if it’s available.

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Snacked on the last of the healthy brownie bites, 2 pieces of dark chocolate (with chili pepper!), and a glass of unsweetened almond milk with stevia and pie spices.

Side note about almond milk: the Almond Breeze brand contains carrageenan. Silk does not. You do NOT want to be consuming carrageenan. Here’s why.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-18/health/ct-met-carrageenan-0318-20130318_1_carrageenan-fda-scientists-food-additive-safety

Considering that nearly all chronic illnesses are a result of inflammation, and often originate in gut inflammation, whether it causes recognizable digestive issues or not, the available science seems pretty clear that this stuff should be avoided. I’m appalled that they put it in infant formula. So glad my girl was mostly breast fed.

Dinner was leftover Alfredo lasagna (almost vegan) and grilled chicken.

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Quick note on the headache I had last night and a miraculous performance by an essential oil blend. I was having a hard time falling asleep and the headache was getting worse. I drank 16 ounces of water with a tincture of milk thistle and rubbed Young Living’s PanAway essential oil blend where it hurt- my neck, shoulders, temples, and forehead. If I could’ve rubbed it behind my eyeballs, I would have. The pain started to subside almost immediately. Within half an hour, it was completely, COMPLETELY gone. I’ve never had serious migraines, but my headaches are no joke. I learned in high school that if I didn’t quickly take something for the pain, I’d end up wanting to cut my head off. So this practice of avoiding pills in favor of natural remedies has been a little nerve-wracking. I’m always scared it won’t work and I’ll regret not taking a pill sooner, before the pain sunk its claws in. But, so far, so good. I love being able to do something to relieve my pain that isn’t toxic to my body. When it comes to essential oils (and possibly some other kooky home remedies) I have to say I am becoming a believer. That was just crazy how fast my headache went away. Crazy!