What's the big deal about Magnesium?

The short answer is: without magnesium, our bodies would not function!

IMG_3148.JPG

Then longer version: Magnesium is a vital element that affects the muscular-skeletal system and plays a major role in many, many chemical reactions in your body (over 300!). Magnesium is an enzyme co-factor and also plays a vital role in ATP generation, the body's major source of energy. Without magnesium, our muscles would be in a constant state of contraction. A complete summary of what magnesium does in the human body and how it affects daily functions can be found here.

Depleted soil conditions lead to decreased magnesium levels in plants and in animals that eat the plants. Stress and caffeine intake further deplete the body of magnesium. Sugar and processed foods, along with many pharmaceuticals do the rest. In short, most of us fall into this spectrum, making us a prime candidate for many acute and chronic disease. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition states:

“Patients with diagnoses of depression, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, tremor, Parkinsonism, arrhythmias, circulatory disturbances (stroke, cardiac infarc- tion, arteriosclerosis), hypertension, migraine, cluster head- ache, cramps, neuro-vegetative disorders, abdominal pain, os- teoporosis, asthma, stress dependent disorders, tinnitus, ataxia, confusion, preeclampsia, weakness, might also be consequences of the magnesium deficiency syndrome.”

Replenishing magnesium can be done in several ways: orally (through a good supplement and wholesome nutrition) and topically, since the skin, as the body's largest organ, wonderfully absorbs magnesium and transports it to needed areas of the body. Fact: the skin absorbs a higher percentage of magnesium than the gut, making topical administration the preferred application route. 

I don't want to regurgitate well-written information, so let me refer you to an excellent article at wellnessmama. In this link you will find a recipe and the resources to make your own magnesium lotion or spray. If you are not keen on DIY, head on over to our apothecary and order it there! Another option is taking a foot bath with magnesium oxide flakes.

10 Signs that you might be magnesium deficient:

1) muscle spasms and cramps

2) anxiety and depression

3) calcification of arteries

4) high blood pressure

5) hormone problems

6) pregnancy issues

7) sleep disturbances

8) bone health

9) low energy

10) other mineral deficiencies

Each one of my family members has a jar of magnesium lotion sitting on their bedside table. Get yours today- Replenish today!

To your wellness, 

~Yvonne

(As always: ***this page is not intended as medical advice or to substitute your doctor. It is not to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injury. If you suffer from any medical condition, please seek advice from a qualified health care professional.)

January DIY

Tinted Make-up Lotion and Tinted Powder

In my quest to cutting out toxins from my daily routine, I am working on finding some options for make up. I have found a recipe on one of my favorite natural DIY blogs, scratchmommy.com that I like fairly well and that I have tweaked just a little to fit my skin. One day, we hope to figure out how to bring this to you pre- packaged at Finnyfarm.com but until then you may be stuck DIY-ing yourself just like me. But fret not, you can contact me for ingredients. I buy everything in bulk, so if you are interested in trying these recipes, send me a quick email and we can work out the details of getting supplies to you!

Here it goes:

1) Tinted Make-up:

ingredients- 

21 g Sweet Almond Oil

14 g organic, unrefined Shea Butter

7 g organic, unrefined Cocoa Butter

1 g Vitamin E oil

7 g non-Nano Zinc Oxide

3/4 T Cacao powder

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

melt almond oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and vitamin e oil in a double boiler. Let cool slightly. Whisk in zinc oxide slowly using a hand blender. Add Cacao powder and cinnamon according to complexion. try out on back of your hand for closest match. 

This makes a 2 oz jar. Option: add a few drops of carrot seed essential oil for additional SPF 

2) Tinted Face Powder;

ingredients:

1 T Arrowroot powder

1/2 tsp non-Nano Zinc Oxide

1/8-1/4 tsp Cacao Powder (don't confuse this with cocoa powder)

1/16-1/8 tsp of Cinnamon (based on your skin tone)

gently mix in a small bowl with a clean whisk. 

Place in an empty powder jar. 

 

Happy DIY-ing, folks. Let me know how it goes!

~Yvonne

A New Year's Detox

A New Year brings resolutions, to pray more, to read more, to lose weight, to eat healthier, to exercise more, ... you name it, I've probably had it on my list at one time or another. 

After Christmas, I felt sluggish and like a nasty blob. Truthfully, I hadn't been eating "right" in quite a while, I can't just blame the holidays. I was tired, exhausted, felt like I couldn't get enough sleep, was craving sugar, drank too much coffee and not enough water, and ate too many carbs. I needed a hard reset. A couple of ladies at work started talking about a juice fast, and I myself had done the Standard Process Detox Program about a year and a half ago and began contemplating options. I didn't want to spend another $220 for the shakes and supplements, and the juice cleanse appeared to consist of basically fresh squeezed grapefruit, orange, and lemon juice- I figured I could do that myself. Then I remembered....

Years ago, well, ok, over a decade ago, I purchased a very thorough book on fasting. It covers areas such as benefits of fasting, weight loss in fasting, limitations to fasting, fasting and meditation, fasting and resting/sleep, and adjunct therapy to fasting. So I revisited that book! I'd share it here, but unfortunately it's in German, so I will try to recap some of the highlights. 

5 Day Fast

Prep Day-

Yes, you have to prepare yourself for fasting. You shouldn't just quit eating one day and call it day one of your fast. Here are a couple of reasons: 

1) A prep day gets you mentally prepared

2) The prep day gets your body prepared by eating less

What to eat on prep day: either 3 lbs of fresh fruit, divided over 3 meals, or a rice day (3x50g of cooked brown rice, divided over 3 meals, or a veggie day (including a spring salad, but only lemon juice and spices for dressing) 

Here's what I did: I had a fruit shake for breakfast, an apple mid morning, a salad for lunch (this salad DID NOT have chicken, eggs, or any other protein, just veggies), and a veggie soup for dinner. 

Day One-

Whatever you do- stay close to home and allow yourself a LOT OF REST. Day 1 and 2 are the most difficult and I was tired, a lot!

This day starts with some unpleasant business- bowel prep! That is, get your gut empty. This is important because it will help you not feel as hungry, and old waste won't get stuck in there for 5 days (remember, you won't be eating, so no movement in the bowels...)

Bowel Prep:Juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 TBS of Epsom Salt, dissolved in hot water, fill up with warm or cooler water to at least 16 oz (if you want to down it faster and use a smaller amt of water, make sure you drink at least a total of 16 oz with or after this. Epsom Salt is a saline laxative and will pull water into your bowel and leave you dehydrated if you don't replenish). 

Drink plenty of water or herbal tea all day. For lunch you get 12 oz of veggie broth or 12 oz of a high quality, organic, 100% juice veggie juice. 

Dinner is 12 oz of 100% juice, high quality, organic fruit juice. I actually squeezed a grapefruit, an orange, and half a lemon every night and filled the rest of the 12 oz glass up with a fruit juice of choice. 

Day Two-Five-

Morning: herbal or green tea

Lunch: 12 oz veggie juice or veggie broth

Dinner: 12 oz fruit juice

Plenty of water throughout. 

Day Six and Seven-

Phasing food back in! Go shopping on day 5. It will make you excited about eating again the next day! 

In the morning, have your usual herbal tea. Throughout the morning, have a nicely, ripe apple, or some organic, unsweetened applesauce. 

lunch: veggie soup with carrot

dinner: tomato or asparagus soup, a plain yogurt with fresh fruit, or a few rice cakes. Basically, keep it small, whole grains, sugar free, and make it small portions. after 5 days of fasting, your eyes might be much bigger than your stomach!

Day Seven you can start with some plain oatmeal and some dried fruit, or fresh fruit, for lunch a salad and a plain yogurt for lunch, maybe a potato (steamed- no butter or cheese or all that stuff yet) and for dinner fresh veggies, veggie soup, or a protein shake made with almond milk. 

Some thoughts:

1) you need A LOT OF REST, especially on day 1 & 2. 

2) brush your teeth often, suck on a slice of lemon, etc. All your skin, including your oral mucosa will begin shedding toxins and bringing them to the surface. This can leave your tongue grey and nasty. 

3) don't start a new exercise program while on the fast and don't plan to do anything too strenuous. You may feel more energized by days 3, 4, or 5, but if you don't, then just go for long walks, or do some yoga at home, soak in a tub of epsom salt, take a nap...

4) drink lots and lots of water. 

5) caffeine detox: If you are a coffee-holic like myself, this may be the most difficult part of the fast (I know it was for me). green tea is allowed, but may not be enough. I made myself a cup of mild black tea every morning. It helped, but it was still pretty hard. The headaches that are associated with caffeine withdrawal are no joke! If you have the time, or are planning on a detox week down the road, do yourself the favor and wean down from caffeine before you start. It will make your fast week better. 

6) Allow yourself to relax from life's stresses. Obviously, I have 3 boys at home and I did not go away to some lonely mountain cabin, although that sounds fabulous! We had a quiet day at home on day 1, where only one of them was here. We tried to have fun, playing games, all without stressing mom out with the schedule, etc. (A side note: I couldn't have done this if I hadn't had 6 days off from work and if I hadn't been on a school break- the mental fog was pretty cloudy for me.)

7) It may not feel good- it really didn't for me. I'd say only Day 3 was great. Overall, I would judge that my toxic load was probably pretty hefty and I'm glad I did it. But it was rough. (I actually quit after Day 4 because of a terrible, terrible migraine- unrelated, but my lovely better half begged and urged me to eat and it did make it a little better.)

8) would I do it again? probably. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's over- although I truly am enjoying that the sugar cravings are gone, and my body has had the healthy reset I was hoping for. I have, however, learned a few things I'd do differently- the biggest being the coffee-deal! But: I've reset my body, I've shed a few pounds, I've fought cravings, and most of all I've learned that I can say No to food, particularly at a party. Realizing how hard this was makes me think twice before I put certain foods in my mouth now. I just really want to have to detox like that again!

Here is to a healthier, happy New Year!

~ Yvonne

Introducing: Lotion Paws

"Keep your paws hydrated!"

ingredients include organic, unrefined coconut oil, organic unrefined shea butter, bee's wax, and 100% therapeutic grade essential oils. 

ingredients include organic, unrefined coconut oil, organic unrefined shea butter, bee's wax, and 100% therapeutic grade essential oils. 

...with Finny Farm NEW lotion bars in a cute little paw shape! 

Currently available in 4 different scents (and completely preservative free!):

- Patchouli & Cedarwood

- Cocoa & Peppermint

- Lemon & Rosemary

- Lavender

2 purchase options: 

1) buy in a tin

2) purchase a replacement paw , save a few $, and reuse your tin!

I have been "sitting" on these for a few weeks now and am so very excited to finally launch them!

I have been "sitting" on these for a few weeks now and am so very excited to finally launch them!

Here's to a happy, healthy, blessed New Year!

~Yvonne and Bobby

A stinky matter...

Do you know what’s in your deodorant?

 

There has been quite a bit of talk and news about deodorant in the past several years. Is Aluminum in your deodorant toxic to you? Does it cause cancer? What about perfume additives? Preservatives?

 

Should we just make our own concoction? I have boys. Busy, active, athletic, stinky boys. One of them a teen. Enough said.

 

My point is, I’ve been looking into several different options and types, have spent countless dollars on different products, and have experimented with a few “home remedies” -from straight up baking soda, to essential oils, deodorant crystals, aluminum-free deodorants, unscented ones…you name it. Here is a (incomplete) summary of my “research”:

 

1)      Aluminum Crystal

I have to admit, this type works the best for me:

…but it’s straight up aluminum crystal. Yep, the stuff that causes such controversy about cancer and Alzheimer. I have NOT done extensive research on this and don’t have an opinion on safety either way. It has worked, quite well, actually. The benefits? No perfumes, scents, irritants and it keeps sweat in check and I honestly DON’T SMELL when I use it.

 

2)      Baking Soda-based unscented deodorant:

This one is free from Aluminum, the major active ingredient is baking soda, and it does not have any scent to it. Result? It appears to be working fine for regular day-to-day activities and doesn’t really have a smell to it. But is fails the “Teenager-test”!!! Sadly, this does not hold up to the busy, active, athletic teenage boy smell. It just doesn’t. Plain and simple.

 

3)      Straight up Baking Soda:

This is messy, people! The other downside is , that many people can be sensitive to too much baking soda straight on their skin.  You basically keep a box of baking soda on your counter and after your shower you dip your fingers into the powder and apply it to your damp pits. I can’t even honestly tell you, how well this did or didn’t work, as I hated the application process and didn’t even stick with it long enough to give you a proper review.

 

4)      Natural, toxin-free deodorant brand:

The ingredient list is somewhat impressive. I feel good about using this product on my skin and also purchased one for my 10-year-old, as it does not contain aluminum. The lavender scent is also very nice. The price was decent- a little more than other store brands, and difficult to find a coupon, but still within “reasonable.” But… after considerable time (more than 6 months) I have to conclude that it just does not do the job! It’s too bad, really, because this was an easy option for me…

 

5)      Home-made options:

I’ve been experimenting some with different ingredients, such as coconut oil and essential oils, but again am still hung up on the consistency. I’ve added bentonite clay, baking soda, bees wax, and other fun ingredients to play with consistency and effectiveness. I am not super crazy about applying the deodorant with my hands. I prefer a stick. I found a recipe that works great, and have finally figured out how to make it firm enough to hold up as a stick.  This is the one you will find in our shop. It’s not that difficult to make, but it is messy and the essential oils make it pricey. But, alas, I am happy to have found an option that works very well.

 

Here are some links to some recipes if you want to give it a shot yourself. If you want an option that works, head on over to our shop!

~Yvonne

 

 

Oxybenzone

I realized today that this post never went active, because it was incomplete. Ironically, in the last couple of weeks, I have had several people approach me and say "hey- have you heard about the coral reefs and Oxybenzone?- so glad you offer sun screen that doesn't have that in it!" Corral Reefs? Oxybenzone? What??? 

It does not matter, what topic you decide to research. Inadvertently, you will (almost) always find supporting "proof" for both sides of the argument. Unbiased research is difficult to find and variables are extremely difficult to control. One of these controversial topics is about the hazards of Oxybenzone.

Oxybenzone is a compound found in many commercial sun screen products. It is used for its efficacy in protection against both UVA and UVB rays. There has been much debate (some heated) about the safety of Oxybenzone. The EWG has posted a nice article about some of the controversial hazards at https://goo.gl/lJ4nua . While this ingredient continues to be deemed relatively "safe" by higher agencies, and hence continues to be allowed in body care products, research also suggests that we should take some care in how liberal we are with it. 

Recent articles have been published on the effects of Oxybenzone on the coral reefs. It appears, that the compound has been found in the larvae and it inhibits a certain replication process, hence interrupting the regeneration of healthy coral. Scientists equate the level of toxicity to being "1 drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool." Think about how much water is in that size pool, and 1 drop makes it toxic for corral... hmmm.... (reference: http://goo.gl/zIXN71  and  http://goo.gl/HPgTnB).

In contrast, other studies warn of not wearing sun screen, due to the harmful UVA and UVB rays and that Oxybenzone has more benefits than risks. The fact of the matter is, however, that there are other options. Both zinc oxide and titanium oxide offer safe alternatives to more harmful ingredients, and are typically lower allergens. 

As always, use caution and common sense. Research your ingredients. Decide for yourself, which risks are worth taking, and which toxins to avoid. Isn't it great that our creator gave us brains and opinions AND decision making skills? Please use caution in the sun- don't get burned!!! 

As always, stay healthy and informed!

~Yvonne

 

New delicious products added!

I've been experimenting with different lotions and body butters for a while. Some leave my skin very greasy, others are not stable outside of the refrigerator, others I didn't care for the smell...

Recently, I stumbled upon a recipe that sounded like it might work. Manchild and I had a fun time cooking up this new concoction and to our joy it turned out well. I also played with the scents a little, and landed on a combination of Lemongrass and Bergamot, since both are said to have positive effect on aging, sagging skin. ...And they both smell really nice, which helps!

Without further ado...

Without further ado...

But in good old typical fashion, I did not stop there. My son's sweet girl friend urged me on to add a hand creme and foot creme as well. So we tweaked the recipe and made a rich, tingly foot lotion and a healing hand creme. They've been added to the shop- so why wait? Head on over there and check it out!

More Finny Farm News:

We will have a booth at a local sale this weekend. Sharpsburg Baptist Church is raising funds for their children's ministries and many, many vendors will be there. We are excited to get our faces out there! If you have time, common over and check it out!

Lemon Eucalyptus and the CDC

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), products that contain "the following active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection"

- Deet

-Picaridin

-Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus

-IR3535

Great news! Our bug repellent is made with OLE as well as Citronella and Lavender, which mosquitos and other bugs hate as well. However, the CDC also has the disclaimer that this only refers to the "synthesized" version of OLE, not the naturally occuring essential oil found in the plant itself... 

So, I will place a disclaimer right here on our website and blog: Essential oils are NOT regulated and their efficacy has not been proven. Further, it is important to purchase a qualitative oil, meaning one that is of therapeutic grade, and not an oil that has been diluted and so on (I will post more on this topic later). 

While I CANNOT claim that our product is as effective as products containing DEET (simply because I have not conducted enough research, and certainly not a randomized control trial), I WILL tell you, that it has ABSOLUTELY worked for us, and I will PROMISE to not sell you anything that I have not personally tried, used, and loved myself. 

I also know that we are taking extra precautions around here this year, especially in light of daily news regarding the ZIKA virus. So spray on my friends! 

- Yvonne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(www.nc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods)