Japanese Ginger Dressing (a la Benihana / Shogun)

I don't often post recipes, but when I do.......they're amazing.

{just like the deliciousness at Shogun / Benihana / Sushi...I could eat this stuff by the spoonful}



3 carrots
½  a small onion
¼ cup fresh ginger (I used about a 3-inch hunk - I like ginger)
2 tbsp miso paste
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp raw honey or sugar
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup water
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper


Throw everything in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  Serve with your favorite greens or cucumber.

Hope you enjoy as much as we did (with salmon, rice and seaweed)!

Do you have a favorite salad dressing recipe to share? Would love to hear!

Love + light ~


Croup - Natural Remedies: Homeopathy and Silver Shield

{ Tis the season for my most popular post ever! }

Son got croup for the first time right before he turned 3, and right after we moved to a new (to us) home. 

 I still wonder if something in the house triggered it - we checked for mold and have new carpet, but I still wonder.

I'll never mistake the strange barking sound...I think every parent of a croupy child has a mild heart attack every time they're awakened by that sound. 

 I'd never heard it before, and in my sleepy midnight stupor just thought my son was making noises in his sleep. I finally got up to check on him and heard his hoarse barking voice calling out for me, his breathing super raspy and shallow. My heart leaped into my throat. Fireman was at the station that night, so I called my mom who lived nearby and had her zoom us off to the 24-hour urgent care. I held my son the whole way - I was so worried about him I didn't want to put him in his carseat for fear he'd stop breathing...to hell with the law!

It was super foggy that night, perfect for croup, so we kept the windows down as I called Fireman, trying to disguise the fear in my voice for Son's sake. When he met us at the urgent care, Son's breathing had improved and he was not coughing. The doctor confirmed it was croup, and said there was really nothing he could do, and that we just needed to do steamy showers, a humidifier in his room, and cool night air.

It's so, so disappointing to not have a magic solution for your children...home we went.

 The next day I went to our local health food store and looked up Croup in the Hyland's Homeopathic Remedies booklet they have on the counter next to the Remedies. Spongia Tosta looked like the best option for croup, and the worker there confirmed it was, so I bought it in 30X strength. I followed the bottle's directions, and gave Son 2 tablets, 4 times / day for the next couple of days. All homeopathic remedies come in yummy little sugar pellets that kids love to suck on, so they luckily always want to take their medicine! It's hard to say if it really did much, since Son had pretty much been back to normal, but he didn't wake with a croupy cough again during that episode!

Fast forward almost a year...I should've seen the warning signs looking back now, but didn't yet know what to look for.

 The 3 of us were supposed to go to my mom's for a special dinner honoring my Grandmother who had passed away one year prior, but Son was mildly feverish and whiny and tired...we just figured he was working on a mild illness. Fireman said he'd stay home with Son while I went to the dinner, and when I returned around 9pm, I found Son asleep on Daddy's chest in our bed. I listened to him breathe, and my stomach churned with butterflies. I could already hear the raspiness in his breathing, and knew what was coming. I got the humidifier set up in his room before waking hubby to carry Son into his room...I was 7 months pregnant at the time, and not looking forward to the night ahead.

Son wasn't in his bed for more than 30 minutes when the cough started. He wanted Mommy, of course, so I did my best to hold him outside on the porch on my lap with my huge belly in the way, gazillions of blankets wrapped around us both. After 20 minutes, there wasn't much improvement, so the hubby slowly drove us around the block with the windows down while I continued to hold him. Still no improvement, and I was getting a bit worried. We took him to his room to directly breathe in the misty air coming from the humidifier...no improvement, and actually getting worse. He was really fighting to breathe by now, and I told hubby we needed to go to urgent care, trying to disguise the fear in my voice once again.

Again, I held him tight the whole way. I was anxious when I saw the full waiting room, but tried to be patient. My poor little guy just clung to me, head on my chest, fighting for each breath. Another mom and her teenage daughter smiled sympathetically and the mom told me how each of her 4 children got croupy in those early years, and of the countless nights she spent holding them outside on the porch. Her comments made me feel a bit better, put me a little bit at ease, but Son's breathing worsened and worsened and I began to get really nervous. I told my husband I was going to carry him outside and that I wanted him to bug the front desk and tell them our little boy was fighting to breathe and that we needed to be seen NOW!

Not 2 minutes later, the door opened, we were ushered into a room, and 4 people began rapidly working on Son - one began trying to get his pulse, one was asking me questions, one was typing on the computer and one was listening to him breathe. I held him as he began to cry, trying to keep him calm so his breathing wouldn't worsen. They wanted him to breathe through a nebulizer, and I had to somehow peel him from me and hand him to Daddy as I couldn't breathe in the medicine being pregnant. Then, the doctor came in, took one look at Son, and said "He's not getting any air, we're calling 911."

OH. MY. GOD. Seriously? Urgent Care's call 911? 

I thought Urgent Care's were just LIKE calling 911, except a cheaper bill at the end!?!?  That's when I really began to freak out, although I couldn't let it show. My husband and I looked at eachother like, WTF? Being a firefighter and EMT, although not a medic, my husband knew quite a bit about what the staff was doing, but he hadn't thought it was so serious as to be out of the Urgent Care's hands.

Before we knew it, 4 firefighters entered the already-crowded room, asking questions and prodding my poor little boy. 

I glanced in the hallway, and saw a stretcher...there was no way my little boy was going to be ok on there. I asked if I could lay on the stretcher with him so he wouldn't have to be strapped down by himself. They said no, but that we could strap his carseat to the stretcher, and I could hold his hand. So, by the time we got him in his carseat, his favorite blue "B" (blanket) and Bunny Bear on his lap, and rolled him outside to the awaiting ambulance, he was surprisingly calmer and breathing a bit easier, although holding onto my hand with a deathgrip. I tried my best to stay calm, cool and collected for him, remarking at the bright fire engine and ambulance lights, telling him this is just what Daddy does at work, and telling him how lucky he was to get to ride in a REAL ambulance! My husband followed the ambulance in our car, and I held the nebulizer up to his face and chatted with the medic, who told me this was the fifth croupy-child transport he'd done that week ALONE! It wasn't much, but it did make me feel a TEENY bit better knowing we weren't the only ones going through this.

So, as most ER visits go, it was a looooooong night of waiting, watching and hand-holding.

Fireman and I took turns laying on the bed with Son as he was given dose after dose of nebulized medicine. His breathing was, of course, back to normal within minutes, but we had to stay for many, many hours so they could monitor him and be sure they'd done their job. I couldn't sleep, so when they finally discharged us at 4:30am, I had to wake my sleeping husband with sleeping son on his chest.

The next day, or I should say that same day, when we all woke up, I began giving Son the Spongia Tosta 30X again, and frantically searched on the web for ANY other suggestion or remedy others had had success with.

I had asked the ER doctor if there was anything we could do to prevent another ER visit in the future if cool night air and a humidifier weren't working, and he said no, there really wasn't! Wow. It really made me wonder how many other poor families went through the same thing with each croup episode...there had to be SOMETHING we could do to prevent this!?!? 

 My mom was helping me research on the web, and she called me very excited - she had read some very positive reviews on Native Remedies' CroupEx Sprinkles, and had ordered it to be overnighted for a nice sum of money, since it was only available online. I called a few semi-local stores that were listed as retailers for it, but none had it in stock...I would have to wait until the next day's delivery.

Meanwhile, I had made an appointment with our amazing cranio-sacral chiropractor. We consider him our family doctor and pediatrician all rolled into one. At our appointment, he said Son had no fluid in his lungs, and only needed a couple of structural adjustments.

He then said there was something we could do to both prevent AND treat croup - my ears perked right up!

He told us that he uses Silver Shield in a nebulizer on his own croupy kids, and recommends it for any respiratory issues, even the elderly who are prone to bouts of pneumonia. 

 I can't even tell you the relief I felt listening to this...I tried to hide the tears welling up in my eyes - just knowing there might be SOMETHING that could help prevent and/or treat croup was music to my ears.

I had heard about the benefits of colloidal silver and had taken it orally before, but Dr. Chiro went on to explain that there was a newer, completely non-toxic (no Blue Man syndrome) silver available online that is much better formulated than the one you'd find at your local health store:

( If you spend $40 or more on the site, sign up to become a member - it's FREE!  Just enter my member #2867957 as your Sponsor and you'll get the big discounts.*)

Seriously, this stuff is insane...it can kill bacteria, virus, fungus, MRSA, staph., strep., E. Coli, purify water, the list goes on.

I even read somewhere (will have to find the link!) it's being investigated for its use in killing cancer cells. There's a ton of great info out there on this stuff - I've included some links below to some of it to save you time researching, especially if you're a frantic mommy looking for help:

*Nature's Sunshine's Silver Shield brochure states that "Silver Shield disables the specific enzyme that many unwanted microorganisms need to metabolize oxygen (breathe). When this enzyme becomes disabled, the microorganisms cannot thrive. NSP Silver Shield with Aqua Sol Technology has been effective against unwanted microorganisms when tested in vitro. Silver Shield is processed by the kidneys and may not affect populations of beneficial bacteria in the colon. NSP advantage: NSP Silver Shield is safe and effective. It is manufactured using a patented process (U.S. Patent No. 7,135,195) with strict quality control to verify atomic adsorption. The result is fine, particle-sized colloids with 99% bioavailability. Other products tested ranged between 15–65% bioavailability. NSP holds exclusive rights on this patented Aqua Sol technology for silver solutions ranging from 16 ppm to 19.9 ppm."

Dr. Gordon Pedersen (Ph.D. in toxicology with a Master’s degree in wellness) on Silver Shield  has AMAZING info, stats, dosing and more for Silver Shield - such as soaking a tampon in the stuff for yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis!!! It can go in ANY bodily orifice!

So, you're probably wondering, how did it work for my son, right?

Back to the story...we left the chiropractor's, looked up and called a local medical supply store (thank you, smart-phone-inventors), and had our very own nebulizer that afternoon. I also ordered the Silver Shield to be overnighted to us, so we had to wait until the next day to try it. That night, we had his humidifier going in his room and he coughed that croupy cough all night, but luckily his breathing was never compromised. I could not WAIT for the next day!

The Silver Shield was delivered first...

Dr. Chiro had recommended giving him nebulized Silver Shield twice a day for 3-5 minutes each time, so that's what we did.

3 ml of the Silver in the nebulizer lasted about 5 minutes. Son was a trooper letting us hold it up to his face and breathing some deep breaths, and even putting his mouth over the mouthpiece to get some really good inhales. We did it around noon, and again before bedtime.

Guess what? 2 coughs the whole night...no joke! 

I actually got some sleep. It was like night and day, and I was over the moon with relief at having something to give my poor child. Oh, and we gave Son a teaspoon of it orally twice a day, too...tastes just like water, so we told him it was his special Magic Water. Fireman and I took it, too, (fine for pregnancy!) since it was becoming cold and flu season.

As for the CroupEx Sprinkles? It didn't arrive until the following day, so I can't really say how much good it did since the Silver seemed to do it all.

In the months that followed, I would become a "Silver Shield Addict." 

Or, as my doula, who's an addict too, says, "Use the stuff like water." I put some in a spray bottle and sprayed the cut on my husband's hand. I put a teaspoon in the dog's water bowl after he was exposed to chemicals (yes, it's safe for pets!). I dabbed some in my itchy inner ear. I smeared some on my sons cut knee. I put some on the canker sore on my lip. Oh, and I ordered the Silver Shield Gel for us all to use like you'd use a hand sanitizer - very important for Fireman to have on hand when he comes in contact with all sorts of nastiness out there! You get the idea. It's like magic...

*I may receive a small commission via affiliate programs, however your cost remains the same...gratitude for supporting my blogging efforts.

Update 2012

Dr. Schulze is helping Son stay croup-free so far this winter (knock on wood!) Read about it here!

Update February 2013

Just when I thought we had pretty much made it through the winter, I was awakened by the dreaded sound again the other night at 11:30 pm. Luckily it was a very short, mild cough, and Son went right back to sleep in bed with me. But I was worried all night, and stressed going back and forth between him and nursing baby...Fireman was on duty, surprise, surprise.

The slightly croupy cough rears its ugly head in the mornings a bit, when he's congested after laying down all night, but otherwise it's just a super mild cold. I'm pumping him full of a dropperful each of Lung Formula and Super Tonic in a shot of juice 3x/day now, along with the CroupEx Sprinkles every hour, and lots of tea with honey and other fluids. I've even gotten him to take bites of my Sweet Pickled Garlic and Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut and Pickles, whose good bacteria will help illness. Oh, and of course, 5 minutes of nebulized Silver Shield 2x/day, and hot, steamy showers. 

I like to think that my proactive remedies throughout the winter, and immune-boosting foods have contributed to keeping this episode super mild, so I'll continue what I'm doing.

Update March 2014

Well my children have had one mild cold all fall and winter, knock on wood, in early February.  I'm impressed and grateful, especially with Son having started the petri dish of germs public school Kindergarten.

Both their cold's had only one symptom:  a cough.  No sneezing, runny nose, nothing.  Cole's was ever so slightly croupy on one morning, but that was IT!  And no interrupted sleep - the cough's were tamed in the night!  I started him on the nebulized Silver immediately (tried to get 2 year old Daughter to do it, too, but that didn't work so well - she played with it so much it all just dumped out), and did it twice a day, as well as nightly steamy showers and lots of homeopathy, tea, honey, and cooking with onion and garlic.  I put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in some almond oil and rubbed it on their chests and soles of feet after they were asleep.  I also made a point to grab some Majestic Garlic dip, which we hadn't had in awhile, and both kids went to town on that with veggies and pita chips.  That makes me so happy.  Son even likes to chomp on my Sweet Pickled Garlic now and then, much to my delight.

I do believe Son's growing older has strengthened his bronchial tubes, and I also attribute my kids' health to our traditional eating (grass-fed meats, butters, raw milk, fermented cod liver oil...) and our daily regimen of herbs, probiotics and various supplements.  And of course keeping the sugar under control.  Many people forget how sugar bombs the immune system...so you might be taking lots of good stuff, but all the sugar you're also ingesting is doing more damage.  

Update December 2014

Son got his first cold of the season that started with a cough, and lo and behold he sounded croupy in the morning after waking - ugh!!!  The nebulizer was dusted off once again, and this year I added my Young Living BREATHE and Frankincense essential oils to the routine, sometimes smearing a drop of it with coconut oil on the kiddos' feet and chests once asleep and nightly adding it to the vaporizer in the room.  Daughter got the cold, too, and even coughed ONE little croupy cough one night, much to my horror.  I had hoped her bronchial tubes would be miraculously different somehow :)  I also rubbed GOOT on their feet and chests each night, which seemed to be an incredible miracle...the minute I touched it to them it seemed to clear their coughs immediately.   

Does your child get croup? What are your remedies? I'd love to hear!

Love and light ~

Meaningful, Lucrative Work From Home

Danielle Laporte. The Desire Map.

Ring a bell?

If it does, then you can skip to the point <right here>.

If not, then I'll share with you that

a)  I've had a massive chick-crush on her for 2 years now,
secondly) she's on my list of the Top 5 people I'd most like to go to happy hour with and
3) she's changed MY world, and IS changing others' worlds, one heartfelt conversation at a time, by giving people tools with which to change their world.

All via DESIRE.


(soulful) workshop-in-a-box

(-danielle laporte)

If you're a natural gatherer, leader, speaker, teacher, conversationalist, or simply magnificent woman who desires to feel more and help others do the same, then Laporte's Desiremap Licensing Program just may be for you.  

As Danielle explains on her site,

The Desire Map is a tool for holistic living. It puts your core desired feelings at the heart of your goal setting and life planning.

Danielle's program can be facilitated any way you choose:  a gathering of your 5 closest friends, a yoga studio full of 30 people, a Skype conference, in an existing coaching business...the sky is not even the limit.

Make money doing meaningful work.  -Danielle Laporte

It just might be the answer to your desire (and right!) to get paid for doing meaningful work in this world.

If you'd like to start by first transforming your own life, there are a number of ways to bring DESIRE into your life:

The Desire Map Book
The Desire Map eBook

The 2015 Desire Map Day Planner
The Desire Map:  Audio Book (MP3)

Have you read/done The Desire Map?  I'd love to hear how it changed your life!

Love + light~


What's Your Natural Toothpaste Personality?

I was reading this post from one of my favorite local Naturopathic Doctors, Dr. Mark Stengler, about the risks of Fluoride and its prevalence in our daily lives.

Here's an excerpt from his post:

Have you ever wondered why there is a warning on the la­bels of toothpastes? It tells us­ers to keep the product away from children and to seek medical atten­tion if more than the recommended amount for brushing is swallowed. Reason: Toothpaste contains fluoride.
For years, this chemical has been added to our water to reduce the occurrence of dental cavities—but unbelievably, the newest evidence shows that fluoridated water does not protect against cavities. In fact, it turns out that we don’t need fluo­ride to protect our teeth at all.
Dentists advise that children use toothpaste that contains fluoride—and yet we keep all kinds of other medications and dangerous prod­ucts away from children. But is toothpaste as dangerous? Yes. The average tube of toothpaste contains enough fluoride to kill a child. And how safe is a glass of fluoridated tap water?

He goes on to explain that fluoride is a naturally occurring element, but that the man-made version in our modern lives is far from its natural form. He says "The FDA maintains that fluoride is a drug. It’s also known to be a highly toxic substance, even more toxic than lead." It has apparently been used as a rat poison, as well as a population-control method by the Nazis.


If you have an activist streak like me, contact your local City Water Management and give them an earful in the hopes of eradicating, or at least lowering the levels of, fluoride from our lives!  Every voice adds up, no matter how small.


What's your natural toothpaste personality?

Squeezable Homemade Remineralizing Toothpate
DIY Dolly
Make Wellness Mama's DIY Squeezable Homemade Toothpaste - my kids didn't dig it but it did the job.

Holistic Holly
This Herbal Tooth & Gum Powder has been used historically to strengthen and heal infected or bleeding gums.  My homemade version was pretty bitter.

Old School Olivia
Get some old school ToothSoap Peppermint Shreds - chomp on one little shred and enjoy the cleansing froth...funky AND fun!

Organic Opal
Get some ToothSoap Spear Whip - it's deliciously flavored, feels uber-refreshing - my family gave it 8 thumbs up! (ToothSoap's products contain no glycerin, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners which have shown to be harmful to teeth.)

Natural Nellie
 Nature's Gate Toothpaste is a great product, although there's some evidence that glycerin may be harmful to teeth.

Tell me below...which one are you?  What's your favorite natural tooth cleanser?

And if your household has some cavities (whose doesn't!?), Ramiel Nagel's Cure Tooth Decay is a wealth of information.

It was both this book and the work of Weston A. Price  that led me to giving my family Fermented Cod Liver Oil...here's the one we take, and here's why.

Here's to health being our greatest wealth!

Love + light ~


GOOT (garlic+olive oil+coconut oil) For Colds/Coughs/Croup

Weird name, amazing results...still trying to figure out what the T is for...can't be for Tonic.  Not Tincture, either.  

Anyway,  I'm not sure which website I learned about it from, unfortunately, since I'd like to give credit where credit is due, but the recipe is so simple I read it once and closed my browser!

The kids just got their first colds of the season, with the dreaded croupy coughing being the main symptom...our Chestal Homeopathic Cough Syrup didn't do much (and is not popular with my kids), our essential oils both topically and vaporized didn't seem to do much.  (If you have croup in your house, you'll definitely want to read about what else helped our croupy son.)

So when I happened upon GOOT, I thought I'd give it a try...HOLY COW!  It worked amazingly!  It seriously seemed to work instantaneously - child would be coughing, i'd apply some GOOT to feet or chest, coughing stopped.  No joke.  Every time.  Only one night did I have to reapply during the night, otherwise the kids slept with no coughing!

3 tbsp Coconut Oil (preferably organic, virgin)

3 tbsp Olive Oil 

3 tbsp fresh chopped garlic (preferably organic)

              Chop garlic by hand or in food processor/blender.  Warm coconut oil under hot water or in small pot just until melted, then pour into food processor/blender and add the olive oil too.  Blend at high speed for 2 minutes.  Strain out any garlic chunks (don't toss them!  smear that deliciousness on some buttery toasted bread or toss in a pan and saute with some onion!) , then pour mixture into glass container (I used a shot glass).  Put in fridge to harden up, and then rub that salve on anyone and anything that needs some health-boosting (safe for ANY age)!  Stays good in fridge for 2 weeks.

               ~ on bottom of feet to fight cold/flu/infection
               ~ on chests for coughs/colds/croup/pneumonia/bronchitis
               ~ in nostrils for sinus infections
               ~ in ears for ear infections
               ~ in mouths for sores
               ~ on athlete's feet or jock itch area or yeast infections/rashes

We all know garlic is nature's antibiotic, and applied directly to the skin it goes straight into the blood stream.  No beatin' around the bush with this stuff...it's potent!  I waited until my kids were asleep to smear it on their feet and chests, and they never mentioned smelling funny when they woke...probably because they're used to garlic in this house, though :)  

Super easy, effective and delicious...

Have you heard of/tried GOOT before?  Hope this helps your family this season!

Love + light ~


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