Not All Free Range Eggs Are Created Equal!

I would have never guessed that Free Range eggs have the power to make a Facebook post go viral!

But it sure did…….

For many years I only bought Home Brand eggs as they are so cheap compared to Free Range eggs and being budget conscious this will often rule my shopping decisions.

Guilt got the better of me a while ago and I decided chickens living in horrid cages was not acceptable, so I changed to buying Free Range.

Choice magazine did some snooping into the world of Free Range egg production and released a chart that made me sad.

Big business was once again controlling egg production in a not so nice way!

I very rarely share anything negative on my Facebook page, as my blog and page is for inspiring not bashing.

BUT I was upset that my Free Range eggs that I have been buying are not coming from happy chooks, grazing on acres of land having the time of their lives.

One week after the original post was placed on my page the stats are as follows:-

242,944 people reached, 638 post likes, 288 comments and almost 100 new followers!

Keeping in mind my page only had 1600+ followers.

People are totally peeved at this eggy mess.

This is the chart I shared..

Free range eggs are not all they are cracked up to be

This chart clearly shows that all the big players in the supermarket game are not exactly sourcing their eggs from happy chickens. All three have a stock density of approximately 10,000 per hectare.

They might not live in cages, but they sure are not living the high life either.

The true parameter for Free Range eggs should not exceed 1500 per hectare. Something is terribly wrong here, but as usual they get away with it.

I was so glad to see that Sunny Queen is doing the right thing as they are so readily available in just about every supermarket.

I will not be buying Woolworths Free Range Eggs ever again.

It would be great if their was a farmers market close to me that I could visit every weekend and stock up on goodness, but time is an issue so I rely on supermarkets for my groceries.

I could also become a vegan (which one of the comments suggested), but I like eggs and like baking with them too.

Sometimes it cannot be about the money, but doing the right thing for animals on this planet who’s sole purpose is to provide food on our tables.

AND don’t get me started on farmers that have to bleach their eggs to get them on supermarket shelves or the de-beaking that goes on at some farms.

One lovely reader popped this pic on my page.

happy chickens

Maybe I should just get a pet chook or two and have my own Free Range eggs.

What eggs do you buy?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

Green Tea – More Than Just A Healthy Drink!

Give your health and beauty a boost, by getting your Green Tea on!

Green Tea is a popular drink with many health benefits as it is packed with powerful anti-oxidents and anti-inflamatory properites. Drinking green tea everyday can help with weight loss, blood sugar stability, relaxation, liver function and more.

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Green Tea can also be a valuable tool in the beauty department. The following treatments are easy to make, are incredibly cost effective and powerfully effective.

AFTER SUN TREATMENT –  Green Tea is very helpful in taking the sting out of sunburnt skin. Place two green tea bags in a large bowl and add about 1 litre of boiling water. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Place a handtowel into the bowl and all it too soak up the water. Gently wring out the excess and apply to the sunburnt area for 10 minutes.

SMELLY FEET – Green Tea is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, so a strong brew of green tea in a bucket makes an excellent treat for smelly feet. Two bags steeped in a bucket for 10 minutes, and then a 10 minute soak will leave feet odour free.

OILY/ACNE SKIN TONER – This toner is one of the best problem skin treatments I have ever made! In a small glass jar (I use a recycled jam jar) add 1 green tea bag and 3/4 fill the jar with boiling water. Allow to steep until cool. Remove the teabag and add 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, 5 drops of Lavender pure essential oil and then fill to the top with filtered water. Put the lid on and shake gently. You can transfer this mix to a spray bottle if you have one for quick application to the skin. Use this toner twice a day after cleansing. Make a fresh batch every 7 days.

BRIGHT EYES – Used green tea bags applied to the eyes for 15 minutes is great for reducing puffiness and dark circles.

Next time you are at the supermarket, add some Green Tea bags in to the trolley, great for your health and beauty.

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace

Childhood Vaccination – Facts, Figures and Feelings!

One of the quickest ways to kill a dinner conversation or totally heat one up, is too venture into the vaccination discussion, especially if you have people from both persuasions at the table. Much like sex and politics, it is better not to enter into the war that has both sides so passionate about why they chose to vaccination or not!

I have just finished reading about vaccinations, arguements for and against, and have had tears flowing from some of the cruel deaths children had to endure from not being vaccinated and also a very sad story of young boy who died and even though he had a genetic condition, his parents are convinced that the vaccination triggered Alexander’s Disease.

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Picture Credit

Australia is a large island, protected from many world health issues, by vast amounts of water and a strict quarantine protocol, and many people will never be directly exposed to some of diseases that we vaccinate for. Should we choose to travel, the whole game changes, as so many of the popular holiday spots we love to visit do not enjoy the hygene levels we are used to and these diseases are still causing illness and death. I have been fully vaccinated with more than the normal protocol as we left Australia when I was 9 to live in Papua New Guinea. As a corporate travel consultant I spent years galivanting around the world to some places that were awesome and some that would make you shudder, but I never had to worry about contacting a long list of nasties. People who travel often re-introduce these diseases into our country and we have no way of screening every person who arrives on our shores.

Our vaccination rate is high, with an average of 91% of our children aged 5 and under have had the full vaccination schedule. There is a slowly increasing number of parents who are choosing not to vaccinate, and they are convinced that the potential risks outweigh the diseases they are designed to prevent. There is a number of sources available on-line who are anti-vaccination, and many parents could be convinced that the risks are too high. Many doctors are concerned that if this number keeps increasing, a possible vicious outbreak of a disease such as measles could occur.

Smallpox killed an estimated 300 million people in the 20th century and has now be eradicated, surely there must be value in the effectiveness of vaccination. UNICEF credits vaccines have saved over 20 million lives over the last 20 years, but 140,000 people still die from measles each year.

The whooping cough outbreak 2 years ago, saw 38,000 people infected. One in 200 babies that contract whooping cough and die because it often happens before they are old enough to have their first round of vaccinations.

All medicines have risks, and vaccines are no exception, and they can have side effects. Localised swelling and itching and possibly fever are the most common. 1 in 10,000 children will have febrile seiures after being given the MMR vacine, while 100 in 10,000 children will have them if they contract measles. One in 4 million children will experience anaphylaxis  after receiving the MMR vacine, very long odds in anyones language.

One of the most powerful threats to vaccination is the threat of autism and other learning problems, that was sparked by a study compiled by a doctor Andrew Wakefield. This study was withdrawn and his medical license revoked after it was proven that the study only included 12 children carefully selected by lawyers for financial gain. Hundreds of studies have since looked for a possible link, but none has yet been found. Regardless, the anti-vaccination use this as an arguement against vaccine, and as a parent, you have to raise the question in your mind, am I prepared to risk my perfectly healthy child becoming ill.

As a Natural Therapist, I am one of those parents that will go straight for pure essential oils, homeopathic drops, and herbal remedies to help my family deal with health related issues. I certainly did a lot of investigating before I took my now 17 year old for her first shots, but I did do it, and both of my girls have had the full schedule and very fortunately are no worse for it. For me the possible risks, where outweighed by the dangers of the diseases they are designed to protect us from.

A dose of panadol before each visit to the doctor, and a lovely lavender essential oil bath after their vaccinations, saw us sail through the shots with nothing more than a little grizzle.

As parents, all we want is happy and healthy children, and we have to make decisions that sometimes carry risks. Many years before having children, I was sitting in the doctors surgery to get a new prescription for the pill (just a little ironic), and I overheard a very distraught parent yelling at a GP “there must be something you can do, how in this modern day with all the fancy medicines available, can you just let a child die”, this little boy was sent away in an ambulance at great speed. I later learned that this little boy passed away from whooping cough. I think my choice was signed and sealed that day.

This post is my feelings towards vaccination, and I have no intention of bagging or bashing any parent who has chosen not to vaccinate. Good friends of ours have made that choice, and thankfully their children are fine, and I certainly hope it stays that way. There are so many things that can happen, I am simply happy that there are a few less options on the table for my gorgeous girls.

If you chose not to vaccinate, I would love to know the main reasons you made that choice?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess

Aroma-Therapy Thursday – Wonderful Winter Blends!

Welcome to Aroma-Therapy Thursday, a new regular feature here!

Fifteen years ago, a little venture into the world of Essential Oils, grew into a passion for natures pharmacy. I was simply trying to find suitable ways to help my young girls get over the illnesses that so often plague children such as sore throats and ear infections. I hated running to the doctors whenever they were unwell, so I set out to discover alternatives. By far aromatherapy has been the most successful in helping us get through many a bug invasion without the need for anti-biotics all the time.

I use essential oils for health, beauty, cleaning, washing, even Miss Tiger the resident fluff ball does not escape my blending, and I have decided that it is time to share what I have learned.

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Winter is only a few days away, but already the temperatures have plummeted!

Cold and Flu season is well and truly alive, so many around me are already struggling with the sniffles, so it is time to to get some essential oils into action, to help you cope with the symptoms or help boost your immunity so that you don’t catch a cold.

WINTER RESCUE BLEND

This blend is my winter survival blend and packs a powerful punch to increase immunity, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and relieves congestion.

EUCALYPTUS / PEPPERMINT / TEA TREE

HOW TO USE THESE ESSENTIAL OILS

Burner:- In any candle powered burner, fill the bowl with water, add 2 drops of each essential oil, light and candle and place in the cradle. After a only a few minutes this beautiful blend will start wafting through your home, killing air-borne germs.

Bath:- Fill your bath with warm water until almost full. Add 3 drops of each essential oil into the running water just before you get in.

Massage:- In a small bowl, add 30ml of pure oil (Sweet Almond or Fractionated Coconut are my favourites) and add 1 drop of each essential oil. Gently swish around with your finger to combine. Massage directly onto the soles of your feet or onto your chest if you already have a cold. Seal remaining oil with cling wrap and will be usable for 2 – 3 days.

Tissue:- Fold a tissue or handkerchief in half and then half again. Apply 1 drop of each essential oil and hold directly under your nose. Inhale deeply. Keep doing this through out the day to clear and relax the nasal passage and chest.

Shower:- Apply 1 drop of each essential oil on to a facewasher and place on the base of your shower, the warm water running on to the cloth will release the vapours whilst you shower.

REFRESHING ROOM SPRAY

One of my pet peeves about winter is you have to close all the windows and doors to stay warm, and after cooking, the house smells like dinner, until the next day when I open the windows to flush out the smell. I have a bottle of this blend in my kitchen cupboard and use it each night to help counteract the smells. These oils are not only antiseptic, the citrus family is uplifting which is an added benefit of using these after a long hard day.

LEMON / MANDARIN

Using a glass or stainless steel spray bottle, fill with 500ml of distilled water and 5 drops of each essential oil. (Adjust the amount of drops you use if you have a smaller spray bottle).

Spray liberally around your kitchen and home to freshen the air. This is also a great blend to use in the toilet instead of commercial air fresheners!

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IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT USING ESSENTIAL OILS!

* Do not apply these essential oils directly to your skin if you are pregnant.

* For children’s baths only use 1 drop of each essential oil.

* Only use pure essential oils, fragrant oils available from discount stores are made from manufactured fragrance, they have no healing powers and that is why they are so cheap.

* Before applying directly to the skin (massage), do a drop test on the inside of your wrist and ensure that you do not have any type of reaction. Wait for 30 minutes and if no redness or irritation occurs you are safe to procede to a large area of skin.

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BUYING ESSENTIAL OILS AND SUPPLIES

Quality essential oils are not cheap, but these little bottles go a long way, when you see how few drops you need to use.

Whilst I love Young Living and doTerra essential oils, their prices are prohibitive for many as they are heavily loaded to ensure that their distributors can make money. Thanks to a friend and a little googling, I have found a supplier in Australia that stocks a huge range of very good quality pure essential oils, massage blends and other goodies at absolutely fabulous prices, making it possible for anyone to enjoy the health and wellness benefits of aromatherapy.

N-Essentials will deliver to your home and you can order products in varying sizes depending on how quickly you use things.

(These links include my affiliate ID, and I will receive a small commission from your purchases that will help restock my supplies and create more amazing ‘recipies’ to share)

What is your favourite winter survival tip?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace

10 Top Tips To Help Stop Children From Becoming Overweight!

Are your children overweight or heading in that direction?

I get everything there is to get about being overweight. I have had a few rather large periods in my life that are embarrassing, uncomfortable and downright tough, when none of your clothes fit or are so tight the muffin top is ready to explode. I don’t think I have ever had a skinny day in my life!

Both of my girls were incredibly skinny at toddlers, but as they grew up it was evident that nature was not going to keep them skinny, and it took a lot of effort on my behalf to show them better ways to live that would let them keep their weight under control. Well into their teens, things are under control with both of them growing up and not out! I am hoping that the valuable lessons I have learned will carry them through to a happy and healthy adulthood.

Around one in five Australian kids are overweight and are therefore probably going to be overweight adults. The scary part of this epidemic is the health related issues they are going to have to deal with such as heart disease, diabetes, and mental health problems. Being overweight makes them prime candidates for bullying!

When children are small, we have complete control over what they eat, but as they grow older and influence from others takes hold, so many bad habits are becoming normal behaviour. Just this week, the newsletter from my youngest daughters High School, made mention of the incredibly high number of children on the school grounds with energy drinks and soft drinks, and how this was not appropriate behaviour. Many of these kids are hooked on these drinks are daily consumption is normal practice.

healthy heart

Good habits start at home, and I am not a complete food nazi, my girls do have take away and treats, but not as an everyday thing.

TEN WONDERFUL WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD AVOID OBESITY

1. FOCUS ON HEALTHY AND POSITIVE LIFE CHOICES, NOT ON DIETING AND WEIGHT LOSS – Help,  guidance and positive role models will help to send your kids the right messages about food and being a healthy weight. Try to avoid critical comments about anyone’s weight and avoid comparisons with unrealistic bodies such as models or athletes.

2. NEVER USE SWEET TREATS AS A REWARD – A common practice is to give a child lollies or similar for good behaviour, but this sends the wrong message and can help create unhealthy eating behaviours. Let the whole family enjoy treats together occassionally, but not as a reward, simply for the enjoyment.

3. BREAKFAST IS ESSENTIAL – Kick start the day correctly with a healthy breakfast, go for eggs, wholegrains, dairy or fruit. Breakfast provides fuel for the brain and kickstarts the metabolism.

4. LIMIT THEIR TV AND COMPUTER TIME – With just about every child having access to a computer and if they had their way would simply while away hours on social networks or playing games, it is so important to get them up and moving as much as possible. Make it a family priority to enjoy active time together. Use computer time as a reward for getting moving.

5. RECOGNISE HUNGER VS. BOREDOM – Children will often raid the pantry out of boredom not actual hunger. Three meals a day plus 2 snacks should be it. No other random eating should be permitted. Snacking will often stop them from being hungry at meal time and getting the nutrition they need.

6. EAT MEALS AT THE TABLE NOT IN FRONT OF THE TV – Eating together around the table used to be common place, but more often than not this valuable practice seems to be a things of the past. Use this time to have family discussions, make plans, talk about issues and catch up on gossip.

7. STOCK YOUR FRIDGE AND PANTRY WITH HEALTHY FOOD – If the kitchen is full of healthy food, that is what your family will consume. The chips, lollies and other treats will usually be the first food of choice by a raiding child.

8. DOUBLE UP AND FREEZE – A couple of nights a week, cook a double batch of a healthy dinner and store the left-overs in the freezer for those nights when you are running late or simply cannot find the energy to cook. This will stop you from turning to take-away on those days. Left overs can also make healthy lunches for the next day.

9. COMPLIMENT AND ENCOURAGE – Where ever possible, compliment healthy and positive choices that your child makes. Go out of your way to find even the smallest accomplishment and help to build their self-esteem and positive self belief, and throw in a kiss and cuddle for extra good vibes. We often put so much energy into telling our kids off when they are doing things wrong and forget to recognise the good things when they happen.

10. MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR – A healthy family needs to be a team effort. Plan a outing or excursion as a reward for healthy choices. A rewards chart where everyone earns points for good choices can add a little ‘healthy’ competition to the effort put in by everyone.

Good health is one of the best gifts you can have to travel through life with. Every effort made now will reap rewards for the future and we all deserve that!

If you like taking a natural and positive approach to raising happy and healthy kids, you will enjoy e-book – How To Unlock Your Child’s Super Powers, A powerful guide to help your child be the best they can be and create and extraordinary life! It is packed full of tips and tricks for both you can your child. To discover whats inside and to download your copy, click HERE

What is your best tip for keeping families healthy?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess

 

Apple Cider Vinegar, so much more than just a salad dressing

How many of you have a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar lurking in the cupboard, that you only pull out when you need to dress a salad quickly? Most of you probably do, and if you don’t, go and put it on your shopping list right NOW!

Not only is Apple Cider Vinegar great for salad dressing, it can keep the doctor at bay in so many ways, you will never look at it again in the same way.

For centuries Apple Cider Vinegar has been a folk remedy for just about everything, and it remains a safe aid for a long list of ailments, it is truly a cheap medicine with over 90 identified useful compounds. Grab your bottle and lets put it too great use….

Sore Throats/Laryngitis – Mix 1 Tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar with 1 Tablespoon of Honey, combine in a glass and microwave for 20 seconds. Sip slowly until you have finished the glass. This is truly the most effective treatment for throat ailments I have ever used.

Weight Loss Helper – Apple cider vinegar is a superb digestive tonic, it boosts bile production, beats bloating, breaks down fats and improves the body’s ability to burn kilojoules. On top of all of that it helps reduce appetite and is a great boost for your metabolism full stop. One very neat package that the French have taken onboard, and how many overweight French women do you see? Can also ease the symptons of irritable bowel syndrome, Chrohn’s disease and an attack of diarrhoea.

Arthritis and Gout – A build up of uric acid crystals causes the pain associated with Arthritis and Gout, Apple cider vinegar helps to dissolve the crystals so they can be flushed from the body. Simply mix 15ml of Apple cider vinegar in luke warm water and drink each morning.

Sports Stiffness – After a good dose of exercise, especially if you are not used to really moving, lactic acid build up can cause aches and pains the next day, add 15ml to your morning routine to help ease this. Run a nice warm bath, add a cup of Epsom Salts and 200ml of apple cider vinegar for a relaxing and soothing soak.

Detoxing – Apple cider vinegar is a very natural cleanser and can help your body flush out toxic build up. Your liver will thank you for this little daily treat and can help soften gallstones and help with their removal. Taking 15ml before each meal can help digestion and elimination.

Bonus for Bones – Apple cider vinegar is a powerhouse of minerals that so many of us are lacking in our daily diet. On the list of goodies included are calcium, manganese, magnesium, silicon and phosphorus. Help to keep your bones strong by adding it too your daily diet.

Banish the Bugs – From simple things like treating scratches, stings, bites or simple sores to even the more heavy duty annoyances like fungal infections, Apple cider vinegar can stop bugs in their tracks, try it and see. Many people who suffer with hayfever and sinusitis can see improvements in their symptoms with regular use.

So don’t hide the bottle in the back of the cupboard, keep it on the kitchen bench and get everyone in the house in to the habit of having their daily dose, the benefits are just huge, and yes don’t forget to use it on your favourite salad, it’s another dose of goodness for you.

A Multi-Vitamin a day, a win-win for you and a child in need

 I am a big believer in adding supplements to my diet.

For most of us, with everything we have to do each day, it is no easy task to ensure that we get all the vitamins and minerals we need to function at the best possible level. Processed and package foods, take-away and frozen convenience selections, help us to get meals on the table as quickly as possible, but rob us of good nutrition.

In a perfect world, we would head down to the back yard everyday to pick fresh produce for dinner that night, or would venture to the organic farmers market that is just at the end of your street (I wish) to make selections of super yumminess for every meal, but that is not how it works for most.

A trip to the supermarket does not guarantee that the produce we buy is chock full of all the nutrients we need, as so much of it is grown in soils that have been over farmed, that they just don’t contain the goodness they would have had only a generation ago.

Stress, lack of sleep, chemicals in our homes and pollution also have such a draining effect on our bodies.

Fortunately we can aid the fantastic bodies we have been given, by using supplements to top up the essential vitamins and minerals that our diet just does not supply. Everyone should at least invest in a good daily multi-vitamin and take it each day.

Now, how about another massive benefit of taking a multi-vitamin tablet each day, you are not only doing yourself a big favour, but you can also be helping to reduce the mortality rate of a child in need. When you purchase a NATURES OWN multi-vitamin, a donation is made to VITAMIN ANGELS, a non for profit organisation that has helped over 22 million children receive vitamin supplements that can help them have a healthier life. This truly is a win-win situation.

To learn more about how you can make a difference go to www.naturesown.com.au and start taking your daily dose.