Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Hippy Home One Simple Change Challenge

Whether it's your first time or you are jumping aboard for a second round, come check out the One Simple Change Challenge  on Facebook and improve your health along the way. I will be presenting five weeks of challenges that encourage you to make simple changes for a healthier lifestyle. We begin this week making sure you are drinking enough water daily.  Check into the group as often as you can for support, healthy information, and sharing. Don't forget to post your progress.

The first challenge was a big success, with participants losing weight and feeling healthier by the end of the five weeks. It was so successful, they asked me to do it again! Click on the link below and join us today. We would love to have you.

One Simple Change Challenge

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How to Make Fresh Oregano Tea for Asthma and Allergy Relief

It seems the only thing I can get to flourish in my garden is oregano. It has taken over half of it and threatens overtaking my thyme. I gave bunches of it away, I need to dry some for later use, but I have mainly been drinking it in a tea.

While people tend to think of oregano strictly as a culinary herb, it's medicinal qualities shouldn't be overlooked. Oregano contains carvacrol, which is antibacterial. It is also full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Oregano is nutrient dense. It contains the vitamins A,C, E, K, and B6. It also contains folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

What got me interested in drinking oregano tea was its use to help ease asthma and allergy symptoms.  I suspect I have stress induced asthma. When I run my lungs seem to close down and I start wheezing. It's frustrating, especially since I have been doing Crosstraining. I don't feel like I have been drinking oregano tea long enough to assess how much it has helped me, but I do know I managed to run my first mile about an hour after drinking a batch. That's a big deal for me. I'm going to drink a batch before I go run a 5k this weekend. I'll let you know how I do.

Oregano Tea 

Making a cup couldn't be simpler. Take about three sprigs of fresh oregano, preferably organic, and place in your mug. Pour boiling water over the herb to fill the mug. Cover and steep about 5-8 minutes. Remove oregano sprigs and sweeten with local honey, if desired. Drink two to three cups daily.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Natural Sleep Aids for a Good Night's Sleep

Everyone has had those nights where, for what ever reason, you find yourself wide awake even though you are exhausted. It's an awful feeling, especially knowing that the alarm is going to go off in a short few hours right after you finally slip into a good sleep. Over the counter and prescription sleep aids may help you sleep, but, as with any drug, can leave you with nasty side effects. There are some great natural remedies you can use that are gentler on the body.

 Your sleep environment can play a big part in getting a good night's sleep. Your bedroom should be a peaceful place, free of clutter and electronics. Avoid hopping on your computer or smart phone while you are in bed. Studies have shown that the light from these devices will throw off your body's natural cues to sleep.

Cherries and Bananas 

Cherries are a natural source of melatonin and bananas contain tryptophan, which is converted to melatonin. Bananas also contain magnesium, which aids in relaxing your muscles. While tart Montmorency cherry juice contains the highest melatonin levels, as its name suggests, it can be unpleasant to drink straight. Another alternative is to combine the power of bananas and cherries into a yummy calming smoothie. Combine a half cup almond milk, one banana, a half cup cherries (fresh or frozen), a teaspoon honey, one tablespoon almond butter, and two teaspoons ground flax seeds in a blender and enjoy about an hour before bedtime.

Essential Oils 

Several essential oils are known for their relaxing properties. Lavender oil is at the top of the list. Other oils to use for a good nights sleep include vetiver, bergamot, Roman chamomile, cedar wood, ylang ylang, and sandalwood. I like to put a couple drops of lavender oil in my diffuser at bedtime. You can also dilute the oils with sweet almond oil and apply on your temples, back of your neck, and wrists. Try a mix of oils like lavender and bergamot. The oils can also be added to a warm bath.


When we are under a lot of stress we can lose sleep from an overactive, worried mind. Most of us have experienced nights of restless tossing and turning as we play out different scenarios in our heads. We can't shut off long enough to relax into sleep. We may even give up on sleep altogether. Getting in the habit of meditating can train your brain to quiet down even in times of high stress. You can find many guides on meditation online and at your local library or bookstore.


This important mineral is plays a big part in the proper functioning of the central nervous system. It's needed to keep the GABA neurotransmitters in proper order. GABA receptors calm the nervous system, leading the way to sleep.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile has long been used as a home remedy to help you sleep. While chamomile tea bags are available, I recommend using fresh organic chamomile flowers, or buying the dried flowers in bulk. Use about 1/4 cup fresh flowers or 2 tablespoons dried and steep in hot water for for five minutes. Add a little honey and milk to taste. The milk will also help you sleep.

If you are allergic to chamomile, or are looking for another herbal tea to help you sleep, both St. John's Wort and Valarian Root teas are also great for helping you fall asleep.