Staying Cool in the Heat: The Green Way

Weather you are without air conditioning or simply trying to be green and conservative  and use a limited amount of electricity and resources to stay cool, this list will help you out!


Simple Ways to stay cool during the summer heat wave?  Please share!


  1. Drink lots of water!  Avoid too much caffeine which can dehydrate you and caus the body to overheat
  2. Limit cooking:  Choose cool options.  Grill when you can.  Avoid using the oven and if you have to, turn it on in the early morning or late evening.  Consider a small toaster oven which won’t heat the house as much and although I don’t like microwaves, if it is really hot for a long period of time and you need to heat something up they might be warranted.
    1. Breakfast –  nutritious smoothies (add ingredients such as coconut milk, green leafy vegetables, or ground flax or egg yokes to make them filling and nutrient dense), slice of sour dough or sprouted wheat bread with butter, cream cheese, homemade jam or local honey with a glass of milk and fruit.  Yogurt or kefir with oats, ground flax seed and fruit.  Avoid processed cereals though
    2. Lunch – tuna, hummus with veggies, cheese, fresh fruit, dried fruit, all kinds of salads (you can really get creative here, greens, add nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies, avocado, different dressings, mozzarella capries salad and so much more !)
    3. Dinner – Grill, Grill, Grill!  You can grill meat, fish and veggies many different ways. Salads make a nice addition to a meal.  Try spaghetti with spaghetti squash instead of boiling noodles.
    4. Snacks and Other – try frozen fruit such as grapes, cherries, and other berries.  Make sun tea instead of boiling water.  Use a french press instead of a coffee pot.  Make homemade popsicles!  Puree fruit in your blender, sneak in greens, coconut water, juice some veggies if you have a juicer to add to the fruit puree, let your imagination go and make your own healthy popsicle creation!  Try “Raw Food” deserts or other meals.  Walnuts with a touch of honey or maple syrup make a nice snack too!
  3. Close your blinds or shades when the sun is up
  4. Do your errands or shopping during the heat of the day if you need to get cooled off indoors outside of your house
  5. Hit up your local splash pad, there are several that you can go to for free around columbus.  They can be found in Dublin, Hilliard, and Powell, plus Easton and Polaris  malls
  6. Indoor activities to get out of the heat such as the play areas at local mall’s or Firefly Play Cafe in Columbus
  7. Pull out your kiddy pool and put it in a shaded area of your yard.  Then in the evening fill your watering can with the pool water to water your garden!
  8. Fan’s can help, try an energy efficient model.
  9. Hang your laundry on the line rather than running your dryer which can heat up the house.
  10. If possible, store your spare freezer or fridge (if you have one) in your basement instead of the garage where it will need more energy to run on hot days


What other things do you do to stay cool during the summer?


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Greg’s Version of Walt’s Birth

As promised, Daddy’s version of Walt’s Birth.  I am a little behind in posting it.  Life has been a bit crazy since Walt’s birth 3 months ago.  We have been looking to buy our first home, without much luck so far and have moved into a temporary renal home.  Our previous rental house and Walt’s birth place is being bulldozed down any day now for “green space”.  Hopefully we’ll find our new home soon!  Enjoy Daddy’s Story Below and some new born photos!

Jack wasn't thrilled to have his picture taken

“So, Heather asked me to write my perspective of Walt’s birth.  I’m honored she is allowing me to post on her blog.  So here is how things went from my side of things.

Jack woke up around his normal time of 6:30 yelling “Daaaaaaaddddddyyyyyy!” just like every other morning.  He went to the potty and I changed him.  Then just like always he ran around the house and watched TV while I made him oatmeal.  After breakfast he played downstairs with his trains.  At 7:45 Heather woke up and was having some fairly strong contractions (3 min. apart) so I went in and rubbed her back to help her relax.  I asked her if she thought I should fill the birthing tub.  She said she thought the contractions would stop so I should wait.  Jack and I hung out and played while Heather had a few more contractions in bed.  When she seemed really uncomfortable I ran to the bedroom to rub her back and then went back to Jack.  This would become a pattern throughout the birth.  At 8:27, Heather called our midwife, Abby, to get her opinion on what to do.  Abby told her to rest in the bath and time her contractions, so she went to the bathroom while Jack and I continued to hang out.  Of course as long as she was in the bath I couldn’t use the hot water to fill the birthing tub.  While in the tub, Heather’s contractions kept getting stronger.  Also, she continued to tell me that these contractions would probably stop, so wait on filling the tub.  At 8:44 I texted my sister, Allison, to see if she was around in case Heather’s parents, who were coming from Dayton to watch Jack during the birth were unable to get here in time.  I called Heather’s parents at 8:48 and said we didn’t think this was labor, but they should come just in case and if Heather’s contractions stopped we could all go to the zoo together because the weather was going to be nice that day.  Jack and I went back to playing downstairs like any other day.  Jack was looking all over for one of his train cars, the one that carries logs, so we searched all over the basement and found it behind one of the legs of his train table.  He was very happy to have it back, so I was able to get away to see how Heather was doing upstairs.  Allison texted back at 9:12 that she was working, but Colin, her husband was around.  Since I was with Jack I didn’t get that message until 9:30, so at 9:31 I texted back that I needed Colin’s number.  After Heather’s bath she went to bed and when I got upstairs she asked me to call her parents to tell them things were moving a little faster than we thought and this probably was labor.  So I called them at 9:27.  Heather had texted our office manager, Sara, at 9:20 to see if she was able to watch Jack at our office until Heather’s parents arrived.  At this point we still believed I would be able to leave the house to bring Jack to the office.  Allison called me from work at 9:44 to tell me Colin was not home after all and we quickly ended that conversation because Heather was having another strong contraction.  At 9:46 Sara texted back and Heather asked her to come to the office with another text at 9:48. I also called Abby at 9:46 to tell her the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and were getting stronger.  Heather said she didn’t think the midwives needed to come yet because she still thought this would take a long time.  We decided, with Heather’s input that the midwives should come in an hour to and hour and a half.  While all this was going on I was periodically going downstairs to check on Jack.   Shortly after Heather’s bath she informed me that I could fill the birthing tub, so I put as much hot water in the tub as I could, which wasn’t much since she had just taken a hot bath.  I also turned up the hot water heater in an attempt to speed up the birthing tub filling process.  After I had put 3 small “loads” the tub was about 1/3 full and Heather moved into the tub to continue labor.  At this point I called Sara to ask her to come to the house to pick up Jack because it was clear I could not leave the house at this point.  At around 10:00, just after Heather finished another contraction, immediately after which she said “I can’t do this” and I quickly told her she was amazing and she could do it.  I knew this was transition and a better “coach” would have reminded her that it was transition and it would be over soon, but I had other issues to deal with at the time, so I went downstairs to check on Jack and get him ready to leave with Sara and discovered that he had pooped his pants.  Exactly what I needed at that moment.  I brought Jack upstairs to change him and clean him up.  That was when the plan, which even though things were moving fast to this point was still somewhat intact, completely fell apart.  While I was taking Jack’s dirty pants off I heard an unmistakable noise coming from the bedroom.  Heather was obviously pushing.  This was a serious “holy crap” moment for me.  I told Jack to sit on the potty and “don’t move” and I ran down the hall to check on Heather, arriving just in time to see the end of the push.  I asked Heather if she was okay and listened to a very concerned Jack yell “Mommy are you okay?” from the bathroom.  Heather yelled back that she was okay and told me I could go take care of Jack.  So I ran back to the bathroom and finished cleaning Jack.  Thankfully, Jack did an amazing job of listening throughout this whole ordeal.  While I was dressing Jack I heard another push from the bedroom.  Also, while running from the bathroom to the bedroom I heard Sara knocking on the front door, this was sometime between 10:00 and 10:05.  I went into the bedroom to rub Heather’s back until the contraction was over, then ran back to finish dressing Jack and invite Sara in.  I left Jack with Sara in the living room while another contraction came and went with a very concerned Heather worried that Sara could hear her from the other room.  After that contraction I went outside to put the car seat in Sara’s car, which I did in record time and with a lot of swearing and sweating.  The little clips that hold the seat in the car were to short and got stuck while I was trying to lengthen them.  I did get it in her car, but it was a little more loose than I would normally tolerate.  Under the circumstances, and considering that they only had to drive 1 mile I let it slide.  Anyway, I ran back inside and said goodbye to Jack and he and Sara left.  I ran back to the bedroom and another contraction came and went.  This time (around 10:10) Heather said something that seriously freaked me out.  Her exact words were “I think my intestines are coming out of me!”  In a major panic I looked and saw what would turn out to be Walter’s head.  Thankfully he had a full head of hair, so I could not mistake his head for intestines.  I was in complete disbelief at this point, so I actually touched the top of his head for some  weird reason I guess to confirm that it was really there.  I told Heather I could see his head and she told me to call our midwife, Abby, again to tell her what was going on.  I did not have Abby’s number in my phone so I had to ask Heather where her phone was.  I knew at that moment how stupid it was for me to not have the number in my phone.  Heather told me where her phone was and was obviously annoyed with me for my lack of preparation and rightly so.  I found the phone clicked on “Abby” and kept hitting send until it started dialing.  I’m not very BlackBerry proficient, even though I have one exactly like Heather’s.  When I have multiple numbers for the same person I enter the numbers as different people, i.e. if I had Abby’s home number and cell number they would be entered as “Abby Home” and “Abby Cell”, so I select the one I want from the contacts list.  Heather uses her phone the way it’s intended to be used and enters the person’s full name and then selects the type of number she is entering from the pre-made list in her BlackBerry.  So, when I clicked on “Abby” I then should have selected “Mobile” rather than blindly hitting “send” until it started dialing.  So after all of that explanation you now know why I ended up calling Abby’s house number, which someone answered.  When I asked for Abby they said she wasn’t there at the exact same time as another contraction started.  I said “sorry, I have the wrong number” and rudely hung up on them.  The contraction came and went and Walter’s head came down to the point that I could see his squished up face, another “holy crap” moment and I’m embarrassed to admit that I took a while to realize it was his face.  I still had in my head that Heather’s intestines were coming out and I was initially sure what I was looking at was her intestines.  Heather asked if I could see anything and I hesitated, not wanting to tell her I saw the head (the hair was still visible) and her intestines.  She asked again and at that moment I figured out that it wasn’t intestines, it was Walter’s face, so I told her and she said I needed to call Abby and had to explain how to use her phone properly to call her cell, which I did.  I spoke to Abby and she told me she was 2 miles away and would be there soon.  Then another contraction started and I hung up on Abby to go back with Heather.  She pushed again and one of Walter’s shoulders came out along with his entire head.  I held his head out of the water because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  Then in the middle of the chaos our other midwife, Kelly, came running down the hall and took over.  I basically got out of the way and in 1 or two pushes Walter had arrived at 10:27AM on April 10, 2011.  His cord was a little short, but just long enough for us to get him to Heather, still in the 1/3 full tub and on all fours as she had been throughout the delivery.  During this handoff from Kelly to me to Heather I noticed that Walter was a boy and informed Heather who was surprised he was a boy and shaking as she held Walter, just as she had been 3 years before when she first held Jack.  Abby came in just as Heather took ahold of Walter and she and Kelly took over all of the important stuff and checked Heather to make sure she was okay.  They helped Heather transition out of the tub, which was no small task with a shorter than normal cord and the placenta still attached.  I went out of the room for a moment to get some sterile blankets and towels and came back to see Heather sitting in the rocking chair with our new baby.  Soon after she pushed out the placenta and I cut the cord.  Around 10:50 I called Steve and Patti to see if they had made it to the office to pick up Jack from Sara yet.  The informed me they were on Interstate 670 near downtown Columbus, about 20 minutes away and I gave them the good news and said I would call once everything calmed down a little more.  I called them back about 30 minutes later and we decided that they would take Jack to lunch and the playground while I cleaned up and then they would bring Jack over to meet his little brother around 2:00.  Abby and Kelly stayed for an hour or two to monitor Heather and Walter.  Heather took a shower as they did all the necessary tests on Walter.  Abby and Kelly cleaned up everything except the birthing tub and left the three of us to bond.  I cleaned up the birthing tub and am deliberately leaving out the details of that and finished cleaning everything around 1:30.  Steve and Patti arrived and thankfully brought me some lunch from The Rusty Bucket.  I got the video camera ready and Steve taped Jack meeting Walter for the first time a little after 2:00.”

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The Home Birth of Walter James Prenger: Mom’s Story


Greg and I had a lot of plans going into this labor.  After having a few challenges with Jack’s labor (3 stages totaled 39 hrs) we tried to prepare more for those challenges incase they came up again this time.  I read a wider variety of books on labor relaxation techniques and birth stories.  Greg focused on the Bradley, Husband-Coached child birth book.  We even highlighted some of our favorite relaxation techniques and reminders to flip to during labor.  I dug up 2 books where I wrote down my favorite inspirational quotes to have handy for labor.  I planned to drink more water early in labor and throughout.  We bought some healthy birth snacks and juices in advance and planned that once labor started Greg would run to the store to add to our stash a fresh fruit plate for me and a cheese and meat plate for him (you will see how funny this idea was as you read on).  When labor started we also planed Greg and I would finish up any last min. dishes, straighten the house and vacuum – I figured some gravity in early labor would help things move along faster this time (again, you will find these plans comical by the end of our story).

We decided it would be best to have Jack out of the house for the labor.  We didn’t want the distraction of a 3 year old wanting our attention for playing, potential potty accidents,   etc.  Also I didn’t want him to see or hear me in discomfort.  So the plan was to have my parents drive 1.5 hours from Dayton to pick him up and let him spend a day or 2 with grandma and grandpa.  In a pinch, we arranged for our Office Manager, Sara to come to the office to watch Jack or Greg’s sister, Allison to pick him up if my parents couldn’t leave right away.  We figured Jack’s labor was 39 hours, this one hopefully would be less but should still have plenty of time for all our our plans.  We later learned you have to be prepared for anything, ready for the unexpected and possibility of throwing your plans out the window too!

Labor and Birth

Jack’s was a marathon which I wasn’t really ready for, but made it through… this time I expected at least a half marathon but ended up with a sprint!

This pregnancy I had more nausea, felt like my belly was growing much more quickly, more trouble sleeping and more discomfort and fatigue and due to that I was sure this baby would come early.  I was really hoping anyway.  When our due date (April 2) came and went I was really getting antsy, and frustrated.  I had many days with an hour or 2 of contractions and they just got my hopes up.  Each morning I woke up I couldn’t believe I was still pregnant!  I had been having braxton hicks contractions in increasing frequency since week 36.  On April 8th, friday evening, I had contractions for 11 hours, averaging 7-8min. apart.  I was really hoping to see some sign that it was the start of labor but they stopped by morning.    Saturday, April 9th I had random contractions on and off throughout the day, nothing consistent and that evening I had 2 hours of contractions 5 min. apart.  I had another uncomfortable restless night Saturday night and early Sunday morning, around 5am had a mini emotional breakdown.  I was crying and frustrated, and told Greg I just couldn’t go another day pregnant, uncomfortable and unable to sleep (I thought this every day in the last month but I finally just broke down).  I prayed that this pregnancy would be over and we’d meet our baby asap then tried to fall back asleep.

Two hours and 45 min. later, Sunday April 10th at 7:45 I woke up with contractions 3 min. apart.  Again, I was hoping this would be the real thing but was doubtful because every previous time the contractions just went away after a few hours.  Plus I had not had the bloody show/mucus plug yet which I had with Jack’s labor about 18 hours before his birth.  I really thought I’d have this sign again at the beginning of this labor.  However after 30 min. of this I felt they were somewhat strong and I decided to call our midwife Abby.  She suggested getting in the bath and see if they get any stronger or closer.  She said she expected real labor for us might start with contractions about 8-10 min. apart and get closer and stronger from there.

So I drank some water and got in the bath (used most of our hot water) and the contractions continued.  I thought they were getting a little stronger and a few were closer but I just wasn’t sure and still had no mucus plug or bloody show.  I figured I should have time to feel it out and decide if this was real labor or not.  In the mean time, just in case it was true labor, Greg first contacted his sister, Allison who lives in Worthington to see if she was off work.  We didn’t want to have my parents drive all the way if it wasn’t labor.  She was working so Greg went ahead and called my parents and told them labor might be starting, we weren’t sure and asked if they would come just in case this was real labor.  If it wasn’t they could enjoy a Sunday afternoon with Jack anyway.  We were really thrown for a loop because these contractions started at 3 min. apart so we didn’t know if we should wait and see or prepare for a fast moving labor.   There isn’t far to go from 3 minutes but also, it seemed unlikely after Jack’s very gradual and slow moving labor that it would really start this fast.

I got out of the bath and contractions were getting stronger.  Greg asked if he should start the dishwasher and I said you better start filling the birthing tub instead (we have a really small hot water heater).  I told Greg he better call my parents and make sure they left and I text Sara (9:20am) to come to the office.  Things were picking up quickly and now I wasn’t sure if my parents would make it in time and I could really use Greg’s support through the contractions.  Greg followed up with Sara, as I was starting to need to focus on getting through each contraction and he also took care of Jack, all while filling the tub too.  So much was happening all at once and by now we knew it was real labor.

Basically Greg was running around like a crazy person trying to take care of EVERYTHING and in the mean time I was trying to relax through these quickly increasingly uncomfortable contractions.  I felt the most relief to sit on the toilet or lean on the bed during the contractions, while waiting for the birthing tub to fill.  It was maybe 9:30 or 9:45 at this time.  I soon went to the bathroom and lost the mucus plug.  Greg called Abby to tell her and to let her know things appeared to be moving very fast.  She called Kelley and both were on their way.  He also called Sara to let her know to come straight to our house, he wouldn’t be able to leave to take Jack to the office.  Contractions were fast and really uncomfortable so I got in the birth tub even though it was only about 1/4 full, but I really needed some relief.  I was thinking, what did I get myself into again!  I forgot how intensely uncomfortable this was.  I was thinking I really hope I can get through this but wow this is hard!  I wasn’t really timing the contractions at this time but they were close and very strong.  I was very surprised that I could already feel the head maybe only an inch or 2 high and told Greg that too.  Greg could hear I was having some trouble.  After one contraction he saw me go through he said to me “Are you pushing already?”.  I then realized my body was already pushing without me consciously trying or wanting to (since the midwives weren’t there yet).  At this point with Jack still here, Greg  did his best running in to scratch my back then running out to take care of Jack who had an accident in his pants.  It really did help me though.  That back and forth continued for a little while until Sara arrived just after 10am and left around 10:15.  A million thanks to Sara!  I had no idea how soon our baby would be born!  I was so glad she made it and I could get Greg’s undivided attention.  I really needed it at that time.  I was questioning if I could do it and was struggling a bit with the contractions.  I was getting through them but just barely.  I was trying hard to relax during my breaks and also dreading the next contraction to come.

I was struggling and thinking I can not take this much longer at all, I don’t know if I can make it. Then I realized, is this transition already, labor just started 2:30 hours ago!  Greg said that I told him that I couldn’t do it out loud but I don’t remember verbalizing my thought, thought it was just in my head!  I thought well if this is transition then it can’t last more than 30 min. or so (This is around 10:15/10:20).  Maybe 5 min or less later I felt my water break and the intensity immediately increased further.  I didn’t think it could get any more intense at that point!  I thought I could feel the hair and that the head was coming down quickly.  I asked Greg to look and got on my knees in the tub so he could see.  He confirmed it was the head and called Abby again and updated her and she said she was 5 min. away and for me to try not to push too hard.  Well the head was coming and my body was pushing without me trying at all.  Maybe 2-3 contractions after my water broke the head was half way out and I felt like I needed to push it all the way out.  Then, we heard Kelley walk in the door and Greg was so relieved!  She was very surprised the head was out and helped deliver the rest of his body (10:27am).  Yep, it was a boy!  I was just in disbelief (and relief) at the whole thing.  Abby arrived just after Walter and her and Kelley took over checking Walt and I.  He came out quiet but healthy and eventually tested out his vocals.  He was calm and cuddly for our first hour of bonding after the birth.  We left the cord/placenta attached for the first hour this time.  I then enjoyed a warm shower and spent the rest of the day resting with baby Walt!

I had a small 1st degree tear but wouldn’t have know if they didn’t tell me.  I also never would have guessed his size at 10lb 8 oz.  Fortunately there were no problems getting him out and the size didn’t seem to make a difference for me.    I think we were all shocked at the drastic difference my 2 labors.  We are happy everything turned out well.  Recovery so far has been easier and faster this time around.

After a fast, chaotic, but successful 3hr 18 min (3 stages) labor, with just 29 min. of pushing and maybe just 3-4 conscious, intentional pushes, Walter (Walt) James Prenger was born April 10, 2011 at 10:27am, 10lb, 8oz and 21 inches.  


 After Thoughts

Well as you read, there wasn’t enough time during Walt’s labor for all of our “plans”.  Trip to the store, ha!  Time and need for all the ice chips we made, all the relaxation techniques we practiced, nope!  Despite the rushing and craziness, I felt more in control this time and more comfortable with everything happening with my body.  I had been there before and while it was very uncomfortable and painful at times, I knew what was coming, I knew it wouldn’t last forever and I knew our baby would come soon (well didn’t know that soon!).  While I did have thoughts of questioning if I could make it, I knew I could and I did truly believe that this time.  Even though Walt’s head was coming and the midwives weren’t there yet I didn’t feel panicked or frightened or worried, it all felt natural and my body was just doing it’s thing.  I also did say on top of drinking water even during the craziness.  For any future births the main thing I would do different would be fill the birthing tub in advance.  I would still probably make plans for the long haul, just in case but will be ready for a sprint.  Apparently I can have labors very different from one another so I will be ready to go with the flow and prepared for anything!

Stay tuned for “Daddy’s Story” of Walter’s Birth…

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Fun, Family News for Christmas

First of all, Merry Christmas to everyone.  I just love the holiday season!  We have been listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas shows, cut down a Christmas Tree, put up Christmas lights, made a gingerbread house (cake house as Jack calls it), and of course Christmas cookies!  I hope you have been enjoying the season as much as our family!  Some of you may already know, as I am a little behind in posting our exciting news, but the Prenger Family is expecting our second baby in early April.  I’m about 6 months now.  We are anticipating with excitement our new arrival!  You also may have noticed I took a several month break from blogging.  The hiatus was in part due to me working extra hours for 8 weeks, filling in for a local chiropractor who had 2 surgeries this summer.  Also contributing was the fact that the early months of this pregnancy I was really sick and nauseous 24/7, much more so than my pregnancy with Jack.

A comparison of my pregnancy’s so far: I made a nifty chart on my mac and it would not transfer to wordpress without wacky format (frustration!) so here’s the info anyway.

Pregnancy 1: Strong smells were noticed, a little nauseous between meals, didn’t mind cooking, diaper/potty changing – N/A, no cravings, food aversion was garlic, no weird habits, fatigue for 1 week very early, nausea lasted week 7-20.

Pregnancy 2: Strong smells = sick, between meals = sick, changing diaper/potty = sick, cooking = sick, cravings are random, I see or hear something then have to have it.  Lately it has been cereal (which I never buy) and oranges.  Aversions were random and changing early, none as of lately, fatigue was extreme for first trimester, extreme sickness lasted week 5-14, mild for a few weeks after that and rare now.  Oh, and my weird habit, spitting (see below for details).

On the spitting topic, yes, so weird and annoying!  Early in the pregnancy I felt like I was making a ton of saliva and swallowing it made me sick (of course).  I did read that I’m not alone and it is something many pregnant women experience.  I had to carry around what Greg called my “spitter”, a bottle or cup.  I had one in my purse, car, every room in the house!  Yes it is comical (and a bit embarrassing when in public but I had to do it, HAD TO!) and Greg throughly enjoyed teasing about my new habit.  Well, not really a habit but a necessity.   Fortunately the spitting has passed.  I was not very good at managing the sickness.  I did try not to eat large meals, but didn’t do a good job of bringing snacks with me at work and when I was out.  Partly due to extreme fatigue and chaotic work schedule, needing to get Jack and the house ready for family members who watched him, taking him to relatives houses ect. while I was working extra shifts.  And partly because not many foods sounded appealing to me.  When I did bring a snack it seemed to help but I also felt like I was eating non-stop and I just couldn’t eat that often, comfortably, even if it was small snacks/meals.  I did make some pregnancy tea which seemed to help a bit.  I’m not crazy about the flavor but I forced it down to help muffle the sickness.

Pregnancy Tea from CHOICE

Red Raspberry Leaf

Nettle Leaf

Passion Flower



Add a handful to hot water in a mason jar.  Let sit (longer the stronger and more beneficial).  I usually let it sit overnight.  Then strain and either re-heat or chill (my choice) and enjoy (or force down).  It isn’t all that bad, I’m just not a big tea person unless it’s really fruity or mild,  I am trying to be though

What do you do for nausea during pregnancy?  Was it challenging for you as well?  Any tips?  Anything you swear by?  Please leave a comment!

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100% USA-Made Green Toys for Christmas

If you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift, consider trying a toy by Green Toys!  An innovative company, their toys are constructed primarily of recycled milk jugs.  If you would like specifics, the material used is called high-density polyethylene (or HDPE), considered one of the safest, cleanest plastics around.

Toy’s made in the USA are few and far between in today’s world.  However, you’re in luck, all Green Toys are made in our own California.  They are packaged in boxes from recycled material.  Green Toys makes a variety of products appealing to both boys and girls.  They make a dump truck, recycle truck, fire truck, tea set, dish set, tug boat, sand play set, blocks, and more!

Jack has a lot of fun playing with his dish set and sand play set.  It is refreshing to know if he puts the dishes or sand shovel in his mouth (and he has!), he is not subjecting his body to harmful chemicals.  Jack recently had an opportunity to try out a Green Toy Recycle Truck, donated by Green Toys.  The truck has a movable bed and a back door that opens and closes.  Jack enjoyed putting things in his truck bed and driving it around.  This toy is great for indoor and outdoor play.  Jack likes to play with the truck in his sand box in the summer.  I love that this toy does not require batteries and instead encourages pretend play and creativity.  Some times Jack pretends he is driving different places, picking up recyclables and other times he just drives it around with his other trucks.  He enjoyed this toy at the age of 2 and I’m sure it has many years left of play and creativity.  Also, a plus, Green Toys, including this truck come with an affordable price tag, around $7-$25.

Have you tried a Green Toy?  If so, how did your child like it?  What is your favorite product by this company?

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Nothing Beats Farm Fresh

This summer I have started my mission to get as

Visiting the Cows

much food as possible from local farms, farmers markets, and our own garden, and as little as possible from grocery stores.  I am so frustrated with the way our country’s food industry works.  Like everything else, its all about the money.  Cheap, unhealthy ingredients, and a lot of them is what you will find in most processed convenience foods.  My grandma recently tried to buy a package of frozen fish at the store and put it back on the shelf when she saw it came from china!  My mother-in-law recently saw on the news that there are 30% fewer nutrients in our foods now than when she was growing up.  Large industrial farms are more concerned with the look and size of their food than the quality.   Food on grocery shelves with few ingredients and healthy, natural ones are few and far between!  Its so sad to see.  Its no wonder I see young people come into our chiropractic office unhealthy, overweight, and on multiple medications.  They are a product of our society today and the food most readily available and affordable.  I imagine my generation and those to come will not live as long as my grandparents generation.  There is just too much intervention ruining our food, and most in the name of money.  Now that I have ranted for a while, and I could go on for pages, I’ll move on to the good stuff.

Jack checking out the Pigs

In my mission to obtain farm fresh foods and without breaking the bank, I have decided to start with meat and dairy (which we don’t eat a lot of), the foods highest  on the food chain and most likely to be contaminated.  I was so happy when I received an email from friend and fellow mom, Kate of Modern Alternative Mama, inviting me to join a group of local families ordering meat and raw milk from an Ohio farm.  The farm is Luginbill Family Farm.   For any family’s in Northwest Ohio, Columbus, or Dayton, I highly recommend Luginbill.   We have had a wonderful experience so far and have enjoyed quality meats and eggs at affordable prices from a family farm.  We have tried eggs, chicken, turkey, and beef.  The eggs are huge, and a challenge to crack open and obviously from a healthier chicken.  My husband wonders if the grocery store eggs could even capable of hatching a chicken.   Last month we tried a whole chicken and enjoyed 2 meals of white meat and then froze the remaining chicken pieces for later and boiled everything else to make 8 cups of stock!  I am planning on trying their raw milk soon too!  In addition they have lamb, and many cuts of beef and pork.  Kate toured the farm and interviewed the farmer before organizing the ordering group, but recently we made our first trip to the farm to do a pick-up!  We enjoyed a tour of the farm.  Jack had a great time watching the animals!   If you are local and interested in joining our ordering group let me know.  The prices are on the farm’s website.  If we get enough people in our group, the farm will deliver to Columbus.

Free Range Chicken's

Chasing the Turkey's

Dr. Heather’s Recommendation on choosing a farm

    1. Visit the farm – personally meet the farmer and take a tour of their farm.  You will be able to see first hand how they care for their animals and quality of food and have an opportunity to ask them any questions you have.
    2. Look for a farm that is either certified organic, in the process of getting certified, or who follow organic practices.  Some smaller farms may not have the resources to get certified but are as organic as any other certified farm and often have more affordable prices and offer more of a personal experience.
    3. Ask if they will be able to keep up with your needs, and do they have a variety of offerings to suit your family’s menu.
    4. How local are they and are they willing to deliver?  The closer the farm, the more “green”!  If the farmer is delivering from a far distance, you and the environment may be paying for the fuel costs.

Friendly Farmer's

Have you tried a local farm?  Have you noticed a difference in the quality of food?

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Refreshing Raw Summer Soup

I love making soups for lunches in the winter.  Its a great way to warm our bodies and house and there is so much room for creativity and nutrients!  In the summer, cold soups can be just as enjoyable!  Try this refreshingly healthy and light creamy tomato soup from Alive in 5 by Angela Elliott.

Combine the following in a blender:

3 Large tomatoes (I used 5 medium)

1 Cup Almond milk (preferably homemade)

1 Ripe Avocado

1/2 C fresh basil (I used a medium handful)

1/4 C fresh oregano (I used a small handful)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used a little extra)

1 tsp curry powder (I forgot this one and it still tasted great.

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp black pepper

If it’s too many flavors for your child or you can’t get the texture smooth enough, try without the fresh herbs.  That is what I did with Jack.  He was hungry and didn’t want to wait on me to go out to the garden and he loved it – ate 2 bowls!  I added the herbs for my husband and I.  The book says it makes 3 servings but mine made a little more.  I will definitely make this one again!

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