You may not believe that these 7 tips work for increasing energy

As a small business owner and mother of 4, I often do not get enough sleep. I know, I know, I should go to sleep earlier and manage my time more efficiently. There are many times however, that it just doesn’t happen. I know many of you can relate to this. Here are some of the ways I get through those days, when really I would simply love to crawl back into bed but just have too much to do.

 

1 I drink brightened water throughout the day. Water brightened with things like a squeeze of fresh lemon,  a spoonful (or teabag) of hibiscus with ginger, or a few leaves of fresh mint, help keep me hydrated and happy.

 

2 I stretch the back of my legs and my back. Forward bends, lunges stretching the back of the calves and so on,  help release muscle tension that can cause fatigue. Spending as little as 3-5 minutes, two times per day can bring a significant release within a day or two of taking on this little habit.  That small ache that you weren’t even aware of can cause significant fatigue. Anything you do to help release it, can really bring an increase in energy throughout the day.

 

3  I try to remember to tell someone I love them. The heart is a major source of energy in the body, consciously tapping into it brings me strength and vibrance. 🙂

 

4 I try to avoid eating large quantities of grain, they use a lot of energy to digest and tend to make me feel weighed down and tired. Eating small amounts of grain, like 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time combined with protein sources and lots of non starchy veggies (ie leafy greens) and fruit helps me keep going when I am tired. Also I can munch on red bell peppers and apples or green beans all day long just to stay awake while working at the computer and I am not going to get into trouble with weight gain.

 

5 I try to remember that today could be my last. I got this advice from a Navy Seal veteran, and I see it as a deep wisdom. Choosing to be grateful for today, is energizing, strengthening and brings me courage and patience when I need it.

 

6 I sometimes stop in the middle of working and just do as many push ups as I can. This kind of little physical sprint gets the adrenals going and can buy me an hour or two of productivity when I feel like I am toast.

 

7 Sometimes I just give in to sweet surrender. In other words, sometimes I can find a way to close my eyes for 15 minutes for a power nap or even an hour in the middle of it all. Although I may wake up groggy, I am much more able to handle the rest of the day than if I had not had that sleep.

 

8 Of course, this list would not be complete without an uplifting Minty Cocoa lip balm application recommendation or some Citrus Grove Ultra Healing Body Butter shmeared on the hands and deeply inhaled.

 

Ok, so that’s my list. Anyone else have other tricks for keeping going when sleep is not plentiful in your life? Let us know!

Thanks and be well,

Ora

Ora’s Amazing Herbal, because herbs are amazing

Oraʼs Amazing Herbal Lifestyle Ideas

Donʼt be the stinky person in the room!

6 Tips for keeping laundry fresh naturally.dryer ball

Around here, we do ALOT of laundry. We are pretty crunchy and try not to use paper towels in the kitchen, we use rags instead, and we use cloth napkins as much as we can. We also have six people in the house. Soooo, lots and lots of laundry. Avoiding the use of endocrine disrupting and cancer causing synthetics is important to us, so we have learned a thing or two over the years about how to keep the laundry situation naturally fresh.

1. If you are a non-cigarette smoker, you can smell when a smoker walks into the room, right? The smoker canʼt smell it but to those who do not smoke, you make the whole room smell like an ashtray almost instantly, yuck. Same thing with Febreze, Tide, and Downy for example. The smell hits us no-synthetic fragrance people like a cloud of toxic smoke. It even makes some people ill with migraines, nausea and vomiting, and that is not to mention the endocrine disruption and cancer they are known to cause. Letʼs all avoid these unnecessary chemicals, ok friends?

2. We recommend using one of the laundry detergents that the EWG rates with an A or B at the least. You can find their list here http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/ top_products. (No we are not affiliated with them, we just trust their information as a good source.) Or, if you canʼt do that, commit to using “free and clear” unscented detergents.

3. Donʼt leave wet laundry sitting in the machine or anywhere else for more than a few hours. We used to start a load in the morning, and then come home at the end of the day and switch it to the dryer. Here in NJ where mold and humidity prevails, when you donʼt use strong chemicals, you have to wash and then dry. So for us that means only doing laundry when we will be home to switch it pretty soon after the load is done. This is a little inconvenient, but really helps us avoid the need for stronger laundry chemicals.Oras Essential Oil

4. Leave the washer open when not in use. This helps keep microbes and spores from festering in you wash.

5. In lieu of fabric softener we recommend using one of the wool dryer balls that are available for sale such as these Dryer Balls or these Woolzies Dryer Balls 6 pack.

6. Sometimes you just want stuff to smell extra nice. We also feel that way sometimes, so to freshen things up, we drop a few drops of essential oil on a wood dryer ball or a rag (the oil may stain the direct spot where you put it), before putting it into the dryer. You can use whatever essential oil you are into, and you can always change it up as your inclinations change. So there you have it, fresh laundry that everyone can live with. Hope it helps!  – Ora

Ora’s Amazing Herbal Hops Lip Balm

Hops Gardeners, herbalists and of course, brew masters have long since fell in love with Humulus lupus a member of the canabinacea family of plants. The hops bud is intricately woven layers that stack to form a tight bud that is sticky to the touch and so fragrant. The properties of hops have been used historically to flavor beer and as herbal medicine.hactions: bitter, galactogogue and nervine Hops has a secretory action in the body; helping to move fluids through glands and lymph. An example of this is how hops enhances breast milk production and could aid in prevention of mastitis for example. One of the most useful aspects of hops is its bitter action to enhance digestion. Bitter is a component lacking in most Standard American Diets. Cultivating optimal digestion begins in the mouth with the taste of bitter. Ora’s Amazing Herbals Hops Lip Balm would be a nutritive and digestively healing component of one’s daily self-care routine. We should always remember hops as a nervine, meaning an herbal medicine with the action of helping us to calm our nervous system. When the calm portion of our nervous system; our parasympathetic nervous system, is engaged, we can correctly work on body functions such as digestion, mindfulness and comprehension, memory and rest. Hops is fantastic for helping all ages to return to the inner body’s wisdom and restore calm.

I love you Ora! You ARE absolutely amazing.
— Healthful love, Michele Sayball, ND

Dr Michele Sayball graduated from Bastyr University as an Herbalist and Licensed Naturopathic Physician. She practices Naturopathic Pediatrics, Midwifery and Family Medicine. After 4 years of a busy practice in Vermont, she is moving to Waikoloa, HI and will be seeing patients at Aloha Natural Health. She is a mother of 3 boys and greatly enjoys yoga, circus arts and growing organic vegetables.

Photo Credit:
© Alan64 | Dreamstime.comHops Photo

Refreshing electrolyte drink for summer that kids love – recipe by Ora

What to do, we don’t have soda in the house, and straight juice doesn’t happen either, but sometimes friends come over who aren’t accustomed to drinking water. I have discovered that being a house with good snacks and drinks is an important thing. Apparently carrot sticks, hummus and water don’t make you the house to visit. This little bevy recipe seems to meet some needs. It’s not as sweet as what they are used to, but it is very quenching, and so it is fun to watch them drink it all up when you can see that they are not sure why they want it. Hey we have to get our kicks somehow.h

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice (fresh or bottle)
  • Juice of one lemon or lime
  • 3 cups good clean water (or carbonated water to make it extra fun)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon good quality salt (like celtic or pink himalayan)

Mix, refrigerate, serve on a hot summer day. You may want to double the batch.

How to Make Green Eggs That Your Kids Will Love

Last week my childrenʼs school celebrated Dr. Seussʼs birthday. In the kindergarten class they made green eggs by mixing spinach with eggs. My 5 year old who had been refusing eggs for months came home asking for green eggs. I wasnʼt there when they made it at school so I winged it.

I filled the container with fresh spinach and then added 3 eggs. I use organic extra large. I then sczoozced them together.

photo 1 (7) photo 2 (6)

photo 2 (5)photo 1 (6)

I heated my trusty cast iron frying pan, added a pat of good quality butter, spread it around the pan and added the green mixture and cooked it just like regular scrambled eggs.

I called it “green eggs in a pan” … get it? Green Eggs and Ham… green eggs in a pan…? My 5 year old didnʼt get it either, she said “No! Itʼs just called green eggs!” Ok, we can call it whatever you want.

Served it with tomato salsa and a size of frozen cherries.

Why frozen cherries? She wanted frozen cherries, what can I say.

This was a super easy way to get some protein, iron, B vitamins, and fiber into my kid with a bout 5 minutes of cooking time. My kind of instant gratification.

photo 3 (2) Green Eggs

Do NOT Put THAT On Your Skin!

Shea Butter

It seems intuitive that using natural and pure skincare and clean eating are the same thing. Everything that goes on your skin gets absorbed through your skin to your underlying adipose (fat) cells, to your blood, and from there to your whole body.

When I cook food, I do not add Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, or Propylparaben. When I shop at the store I read ingredients, and when I see things like yellow #5, which are known to accumulate over time in the body, I do not purchase those products.

For me, the same goes with skincare. So when formulating my new Ultra Healing Body Butter, it was a no-brainer to select ingredients that I want absorbed into my body.

Shea Butter
Shea butter is an all-natural ingredient made from the nuts of karite nut trees (Butyrospermum parkii or “butter seed”) that grow wild in the savannah regions of West and East Africa. I particularly love the addition of shea butter in this formula, for a few reasons. Obviously the way it feels and how well it works are the first reason. The next is its high nutrient density, vitamins A and E and essential fatty acids, to be specific. Shea butter can be used on babies and pets without any concerns, and feels delicious from the minute it goes on until hours later. It is often used for eczema, stretch mark preventions and minimizing, razor bumps, and plain ol’ dry skin and hair. Organic unrefined shea butter has a buttery texture and nutty scent, as well as an approximate SPF of 6.

Complementing organic shea butter with apricot kernel, castor, and my herbal infused base oil, gives me all the elements I could imagine wanting in a body butter.

I love to take a long hot shower or bath, scrub down, and then after drying off and body powdering, use my face serum and body butter. My skin is fed, I am a whole new me.

My skin is truly clean and happy. And so am I.

My Kid Went Camping Without Me

“I am your Ima (mother), and it is my job to keep you safe.” This is what I tell my kids  when they aren’t listening to me. Like if they aren’t staying close enough when we are in a crowded place or something like that. I know this to be true when they are little, but  what about when they get bigger? What is my job now?

I watched my 12 year old go out the door yesterday to a 4 day overnight nature adventure with his school class. I was surprised to feel tears stinging my eyes, and a knot twisting in my stomach. Iʼm not a helicopter mom, I trust my kid. I want him to go out into the world and share his smile and compassion. But then I want him to come right back home to me so I can make sure he is well hydrated, ate some leafy greens today, and that no one was cruel to him. Because if they are I will kick some middle school ass. Joking, um, sort of.

It was so cute, when he was packing, he asked for an herbal All Purpose Salve for his bag, in case someone gets a bug bite or a little scrape or burn, and then asked for an extra one to give a friend. He has such sweet and generous soul. Please world, honor it.

Please.

When he first was born, and I met him and really felt his open heart, I remember hearing myself say the words “Oh Gd, what have I done?”. I cried and grieved for the loss of peace and connectedness he was experiencing of going from the blissful state of oneness to the separate physical existence I had brought him to in this life.I watched him learn to function, I watch him struggle to find the balance between being insulated enough to survive and being courageous enough to feel this life. I watch him lead with his heart open and I am so proud.

And I wait here on the ready. I too am courageous.

I know he has good camping sense because we have been camping his whole life, I know he has warm socks because I watched him pack them. I even made his toss in an extra pair. I know he is in good hands because I trust his devoted teachers. Um, I think. And still I found myself waking up with a start, in the middle of the night, wanting to go put an extra blanket on him. I always do that when we are camping.

I am at the age where I have some friends who are starting to have kids leave the nest. Some of them are ready to party, and some are sad. What now? We give our everything, and then they take it with them, and they go. Do we want them to stay? Maybe just a little longer.

Oy! It’s Eczema And Allergy Season Again?

Herbal Skin Care - Ora's Amazing Herbal

A Time To Itch And Wheeze, A Time To Shmear And Breathe

In our house, the eczema comes and goes, just like the weather. Come to think of it, it comes and goes with the weather. When the flowers bloom and the temperature goes up, the sneezes and scratches are likely to follow. Here is what we do for the kids in our house that are prone to allergies, asthma, and eczema.

Try to avoid dairy and sugar. I know, it’s a bummer during ice cream season, but dairy is the #1 food sensitivity associated with both asthma and eczema. Sugar is a known irritant in addition to suppressing the immune system. The main real danger of eczema is infection, so we want to keep our immune systems strong.

Eat lots of veggies, the darker and more colorful the better. I don’t want to explain this one again any more than you want to read about it, so let’s move on, shall we?

Hydrate. Drink lots of water. Wet is the opposite of dry. In order to keep skin from getting dry it helps to keep the whole body hydrated.

Fragrance free everything. Even the green laundry detergent that we use that only has essential oils in it, can irritate our reactive ones when their systems are agitated. We switch to the unscented version for this season.

Essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants. There are a million ways to supplement these nutrients, but the most important thing we have found is that consistency is the most important. We do a yummy real foods based chewable that the kids always come asking for that is very high in vitamin C and flavonoids. We also do a lemon flavored liquid cod liver oil. With 4 kids, we simply can’t keep any of the fancy chewable fish oil pills in stock! Just keep the bottle in the fridge and act like it’s the best treat in the world. Take some with them every time too to make it look good. We do this anti-inflammatory regimen year round but I really try to be more mindful to do it daily during this time.

Nettles (Urtica dioica) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) seem to be the two most important herbs in our house for this season. I buy them in bulk and keep a pitcher of iced tea sweetened with raw honey in the fridge and bring it out at meal time. I put about 2 cups of dried nettles (don’t touch with your bare hands, it stings) and 1/4 cup licorice in a 1/2 gallon mason jar of hot water. Steep covered for a few hours then strain, add a little raw honey or maple syrup and fresh lemon and chill. If it tastes too strong for you, you can always add water. Delicious and quenching.

Shmear them down. Doing a daily or twice daily shmear of all the areas prone to dry and irritated skin, really makes a huge difference. My bigger kids have their own jar of herbal infused salve, and I just make sure to remind them to shmear. My little one still gets the mommy spa treatment. Applying an herbal salve regularly gives the herbs a chance to work their magic so waiting for kids to complain doesn’t do anyone any favors. Just like you wouldn’t brush your teeth every three days and expect a good dentist visit, you have to be diligent with the shmear. Keeping both internal and external inflammation down requires maintenance. Make sure that whatever you use is free of those toxic parabens and/or petroleum based products.

So there you have it. Nothing ground breaking here, just a couple of good reminders on how to keep touchy skin happy during the weather change. Have a happy spring!

Ora Assayag loves creating simple and pure but effective concoctions for the skin, tummy, and soul. Ora’s Amazing Herbal, natural skincare for the whole family.

– Ora Assayag, Ora’sAmazingHerbal.com

Our little one loves her Touchy Skin Salve

Our little one loves her Touchy Skin Salve

Why It Is Taking Me So Long To Come Out With These Washes

Herbal Skin Care - Our Work Desk - Ora's Amazing Herbal

I remember in smell, don’t you? My mothers kitchen when I was a kid. I smell mac n cheese when I smell my mothers kitchen in my memory, but then it drifts to chicken soup. My dog. That dog was such a lunatic dog. She used to jump the fence and go for a run and then just come on back whenever she pleased. We tried everything but she just was gonna go for a run. My babies, their sweet sweet heads, their stinky, funky folds.

Someone told me today that my house is a good smell when you walk in. I almost cried. What a wonderful thing to say to a person. So important.

I suppose though that there is a reason those smells are so precious to me. It is not just the smells themselves.

I have to think it through. This precious work.

If I were to come out with a hand and body wash, and a mother used it in her bathroom or by the magic of the family kitchen sink, and it was made with the purest ingredients and scented with thoughtfulness and essential oils only, it could only be good, right?

But then what if she had a guest in her kitchen, and they used the soap, and the smell was horrible to them, like old gym shoes.

Wouldn’t that say something about me?

When I first started learning how to cook, I could not serve my food. I was living in a house with friends and we would often have dinner guests. Usually, it was a table with 20 or so people all squished cozy together, some lounging on pillows. I think the table was actually a door laid out over cinderblocks on the old stone floor. Everyone would contribute something to the meal, either food or wine, and music. I would sometimes make some food to go on the table. I could never be the one to bring out my food though. I could bring out someone else’s food, but never my own creation.

My friend Anna, who was born a wise woman, sent me out of the kitchen one night.
She just smiled at me and said, here take this out.
What a beautiful friend.