Day 2 of The 12 Days of Christmas!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Brrr! It's mighty cold here! Last night my husband and I took the kids to visit a friend in the hospital and then went to see the Southern Lights. This is an extensive Christmas light display that you see as you drive through the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park, which hosted this year's World Equestrian Games! In addition to the lights, there is also a petting zoo, camel rides, model train exhibits, and even some little mini train rides around the park (that we did while our teeth chattered!). Although it was cold, there were no lines for anything, which made it worth it! :)

This sale price will be in effect through today, and into Friday until whatever time I get around to switching it off and turning on a different deal! (don't you love the small business dynamics?!) You are welcome to use this special offer to stock up, although it is possible that we will have a huge response and I may have to get more product in before I can fill your order. I'll let you know if that happens. :)

12 Days of Christmas: Day 1

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Are you getting into the Christmas spirit? We sure are! The falling snow today certainly helps. :)

I decided to offer a 12 Days of Christmas promotion. Each day from Dec. 1-12 I'll have something fun to offer for my customers, in addition to the already GREAT prices that are going on for our end-of-year sale.

**Don't miss our great prices on the Mashoonga Sabers and the Funline Slackline. These are perfect Christmas gifts that your family will love!

Here's what I've been up to while pulling an all-nighter....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weird things happen when you're up til 3:30am.
(which I am)
I've been meaning to get the store sale up and running for a week now, and tonite I decided to pull a super late night and get it done.
Sometimes when you stay up super late your judgment gets a little goofy. I set several sale prices, and then decided to throw caution to the wind and lower them even more! I think you will like that and hope that I set up sales in the middle of the night more often. :)
Here's a list of just some of the good deals I've got for you:
There are even more sale items, and you can see them all here. We have new toothpaste at a great price, and most Miessence products are on sale.
Just a few additional pieces of information for you:
Quantities are limited, and it is possible that I will not be getting any more of these products in stock until January. I have to take inventory at the end of the year and get taxed based on what is sitting on the shelves, so rather than pay money to the government for what didn't sell, I'm passing on great savings to you and giving you the benefit of stocking up. :) Ideally, my shelves should be as close to bare as possible on Dec. 31. Go ahead and order what you'd like to get, and if I am unable to fill it, I'll let you know ASAP.
Some of these items are not going to be replaced. I have a limited amount of space for inventory, and I like to use it for products that sell fast. Everything I offer in the store is a product I think is great, but sometimes, for whatever reason, they are slow to sell. When that happens, I sell out and don't look back. All of that to say, if you want something on this list, get it now, because I may not have it available later. (Stevia products are staying around, and the vitamins are safe, but many of the rest of the items are being considered for discontinuation.)
Last day to place an order before Christmas is December 15. Priority Mail should still come through for your deliveries in time for Christmas at that point. I will be taking some time off to spend Christmas with my family, and I may or may not have one last hurrah sale before the end of the year.
Don't miss the great gift-giving goodies like handmade soap and all-natural lip balms!
We still have almonds available, and a small amount of walnuts. After that, we're probably gonna call it quits on the nut orders for this year.
My eyes are blurry and my brain is moosh. 4:15am. Let the savings begin!
I could use a long winter's nap,
Erica Johns
Supermom's Health and Wellness

Supermom News: More Nuts, and some new products!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hey friends!

I am so pleased and how quickly our first raw almond order was filled. The second order should be here next week! Because of how quickly the orders are turning around, I am going to go ahead and continue to offer almonds for at least another week or two. So, if you were thinking about getting almonds, you still have time!

Even better, I have also been able to get some raw cashew pieces and raw walnut pieces! I will have the initial order here next week, and will be able to order more after that if there is enough interest. For the cashews and walnuts you can order as little as 5 pounds!

I know that many of you are just as cautious about fluoride as I am. My family has really enjoyed using the Miessence brand toothpastes, and I appreciate the organic ingredients. However, I know that for most of us, we like a good bargain price, don't we? Well, I have now got some new toothpaste in stock with a price you will love! This peppermint toothpaste is free of sugars, has no fluoride, no propylene glycol, and no sulfates that are in virtually every commercial toothpaste. The Oral Select toothpaste tastes good and is sweetened with cavity-preventing xylitol. It is a whitening, plaque-preventing, tartar-control formula. Best of all, it is on an introductory special right now at less than $3 per tube! I have a limited quantity of this, and depending on how it sells this month, I may or may not be able to get more. So, if you want some, this is your chance. Clickety-click!

I am really pleased to be able to offer you a new product: Vitex with Dong Quai. Whether you're having trouble getting pregnant, suffer from PMS, or are entering menopause, Vitex can make life easier for you. Also called chaste berry, Vitex is known for its ability to nourish and support the female endocrine system as it regulates estrogen and progesterone levels.
I decided to try Vitex because I was experiencing overwhelming PMS symptoms and extra heavy menstruation. I was amazed at how much relief I had in the very first month of using it! Highly recommended.

Are you already shopping for Christmas? I've got a great early-bird deal that is pretty awesome! When you buy a Funline Slackline I'll send you a set of Mashoonga! Sabers for FREE! (*very limited quantities*)
The slackline has been my family's greatest discover for this year. We have had hours of fun and entertainment using it outdoors. We even got my husband's parents to try it! (His 71 year old Dad did pretty well!) It has been really cool to see how each of us has improved on it, especially since it seemed so difficult when we first started.

The Mashoonga! Sabers are used on a daily basis around our house. They were also a big hit at one of our birthday parties here in the summer. Kids and adults seem to be drawn to the whacking power of the Mashoonga! :) Loads of fun, so keep these in mind for Christmas gifts for kids of all ages.


I hope you have enjoyed getting up to speed on what's new at Supermom's. I am busily planning some fun things to share with all of you in the coming months. If you have not already joined us on Facebook, you should! :)

Enjoy what's left of fall! Winter's on the way! :)

Christmas Sales and Specials

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

For any of you that have been receiving my newsletters or have been doing business with me, you know that I don't do the hard sell. The Christmas buying season is no different. It holds no appeal to me to bombard you with one pushy sales letter after another, offering bigger and better discounts each week, making you feel upset that you missed out on a better deal by buying early. As a customer and consumer, I really hate stuff like that, and as a business owner, it's just not how I do things, even if I could possibly make more money by being obnoxious. No thanks. Not worth it. :) I value my relationship with all of you too much to act like that.

What I do want to do for the rest of this year is offer you good deals as I am able to, to provide fast and friendly service, and to be fair and treat each of you as I would want to be treated.

There isn't a huge profit margin with most of what we sell, so our sales may not be as flashy as some, but they are honest and we can offer them while also being able to stay in business. :)

If there is a product you wish you could buy from Supermom's Health and Wellness, or an item that you are hoping to see on sale, please share your ideas in the comments section. I'll see what I can do to make your Christmas wishes come true. :)

Chocolate Almonds

2 cups raw almonds
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
1 Tbsp. raw chocolate powder (or nonalkalized unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Soak your raw almonds in water overnight, then drain and allow them to air dry (an hour or two). Make sure coconut oil (warm it in hot water if necessary) is liquid, and mix all remaining ingredients well. Stir in nuts. Spread evenly on dehydrator tray and dry until no longer wet/sticky, about 14-18 hours, below 116 degrees. Enjoy!

I use and recommend the Excalibur dehydrator:

Teriyaki Almonds

This is my family's favorite raw almond snack. It is surprisingly delicious and addictive! Last year my mom didn't order any raw almonds because she didn't think she would use them. Then she came to my house for Christmas and got hooked on Teriyaki Almonds! This year.....she's buying 30 pounds of almonds! (Yes, this recipe is *that* good!)

10 cups raw almonds, soaked and dehydrated at 105 degrees (or less) approx. 12 hours
½ cup chopped dates, soaked and drained
½ cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/2 cup nama shoyu (or if you don't have this, just use Bragg's instead)
2 Tbsp. raw agave nectar (or honey, if you prefer)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne or red pepper flakes

Blend all ingredients except almonds in your food processor, blender, vita-mix, BlendTec, or whatever you've got, on high until smooth. Pour into a very large bowl, add almonds and stir well. Let mixture sit for an hour to allow nuts to absorb liquid, and then stir again. Spread nuts on teflex sheets in dehydrator. Dry at 105 degrees for about 16 hours. Place nuts on mesh sheets and dry again until crunchy (about 10 hours).

Yes, it takes a few days in the planning and process, but it is extremely easy and worth it!

I recommend the Excalibur dehydrator. I love mine!

Special thanks to Green Smoothie girl who gave me this recipe.

Candied Raw Almonds

6 cups raw almonds, soaked and dehydrated at 105 degrees (or less) approx. 12 hours
2/3 cup chopped dates, soaked and drained
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt
optional: ½ tsp. butter or rum flavoring
Blend all ingredients except almonds in your food processor, vita-mix, or blender until smooth. Pour in bowl, and stir nuts in, stirring to coat. Let nuts sit for 20 mins. to absorb liquid, and stir again. Spread nuts on teflex sheets in dehydrator. Dry at 105 degrees for about 16 hours. Place nuts on mesh sheets and dry again until crunchy (about 10 hours).

Variations: You could also use soaked pecans or other nuts or combinations of nuts!

I use the Excalibur dehydrator. It is the best!

Special thanks to Green Smoothie Girl for this recipe!

Raw Almond Information and FAQs

Last year was the first time I got to buy truly raw almonds. Boy were they goooood! Most people do not realize how important it is to get raw almonds. When nuts are raw they contain powerful enzymes and nutrients that benefit your body and your health! Unfortunately, any almonds you find in a store will have been pasteurized (heated) to the extent that the enzymes and nutrients have been damaged or destroyed. Thankfully there is an allowance in the pasteurization law so that we can purchased truly raw almonds direct from a farmer in limited quantities. (up to 100 pounds per person per day) This is how we are legally obtaining these fabulous almonds again this year!

Are the almonds in their shell?
No way! Wouldn't that be a nightmare?! (sitting around the kitchen table shelling and shelling and shelling til 2011.....) These almonds are out of the shell and ready to eat when you get them.

Do raw almonds look or taste different from regular almonds?
Raw almonds look just like other untoasted, unsalted almonds you could find in a store. Since these are fresh, they taste better than the nuts sitting on the shelves at the store. :)

How do I use raw almonds?
They are great just like any almonds you would ever use. For those of us that like to keep our almonds raw, for the greatest health benefit, it is ideal to soak them in pure water overnight, and then dehydrate at a low temp (90-100 degrees) until dry. I typically soak most of our almonds before eating them, because the soaking releases more of the plant enzymes within the almond. (you know how sometimes when gardening there will be seeds that need to soak overnight before planting? This is the same idea! You get the germination process going, and that's extra good for your body, plus makes nuts easier to digest.)

Some people like to make their own almond milk. (recipe coming soon) Others turn them into crunchy snack mixes and delicious treats. There are a lot of possibilities, and with the high amount of protein and low amount of fat, almonds are a nut worth getting comfortable with!

I will be posting some of my favorite raw almond recipes soon. They are all very yummy, even for people that are not typically into healthy food. :)

So how many almonds is it if I order 10 pounds?
I have found that 5 pounds of almonds generally fills a gallon zip-loc bag. So, two big bags of almonds equals ten pounds. Yum!

Can I order less than 10 pounds?
Sorry, not from me. I try to keep things simple, and working with 10-pound increments is what seems will work best for this year. See if you can find a friend to split a 10-pound order with you. :)

How long do I have to order?
I'm placing an initial order during the first week of November. It is possible that I may place another order later in the month. The sooner you get your order in, the better.

How do I order?
Clickety click right here! You can pay with credit or debit card or paypal.

How much is shipping?
Shipping is $6.95 within the USA, for any amount of almonds you order!

How soon will I get my almonds?
You should have them within a month of placing your order, but hopefully even sooner than that.

How do you ship the almonds?
I'll be shipping them through the US Postal Service. I will line the box with a plastic bag and the almonds will be inside. This method allows us to fit ten pounds of almonds inside flat rate boxes, which make it much more economical to mail.

Do you have any other questions about raw almonds? Leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer quickly!

Off the wagon

Friday, October 01, 2010

It's only fair, since I told you about losing weight and not eating sugar last year, to admit when things are not going so ideally.

In 2009 I lost 30 pounds, thanks to cutting sugar out of my diet, regular exercise, and eating a lot more raw foods. I got through the holiday season without eating sugar, but somewhere after that I made an exception for myself. I can't remember what or why. But after that, there were more exceptions. And a few more. And now here I am. My jeans are getting a little tight. (they had been getting a little loose) I can see that the pounds are creeping back in.

(real life moment: the battery in the scale died, and we have yet to replace it. I hate to think how many of those 30 pounds I may have gotten back.....)

Honestly, I am struggling with the exercise aspect as well, because my life is so busy, it is hard to take or find the time to do it.

Getting up early to go walking seemed like a good solution, except that I was so stinkin' tired every day, plus every night when I had stuff I wanted to do I had it hanging over my head that I was going to have to get up extra early.

With homeschooling in full swing, I don't really have time during the day.

My walking partner and I fell off of that wagon maybe two months ago. :(

I have a part time job caring for a handicapped gal, so that takes a significant amount of my time as well.

And then there is the fact that exercise has never felt like my friend. Yes, I was doing it. And yes, I was losing weight. many articles promise that exercise will make you have More Energy! and a Better State of Mind! Yeah, well, not me. Exercise makes me tired. And hungry. and sapped.

Is it worth it to be closer to your ideal weight if you are also more tired?

I guess the answer is no. and yes.

Recently I did some reading in relation to adrenal fatigue (which I have struggled with for ages), and it pointed out that strenuous exercise and cardio can just make adrenal fatigue worse. Which makes perfect sense to me. No wonder I always felt like junk even though I was exercising 3-5 times a week.

The article recommended gentler forms of exercise, like pilates or yoga. I don't know how to do either, don't have any classes near me, and our TV died and we haven't replaced it yet, so DVDs won't help much at this point. (well, I guess I could set up a DVD on a computer....)

So, today I'm uncomfortable in my jeans. I've had some nagging health issues that I'm sure eating a less-healthy diet isn't helping. Something's got to give. I'm not sure how I'm going to approach this yet. I may just suck it up and be more tired and at least start reversing the encroaching fat. Maybe I will rig up a way to learn pilates in front of my laptop....

I will say that one saving grace (in addition to having an ever-supportive and loving husband) is that my baby step habits for living healthy truly do help in cases like this. Yes, I'm falling short of my personal wishes for how to eat and for being closer to where I'd like my weight to be, but there is still a lot in place that helps hold some of the lines. Smoothies are still happening. There are no sugary snacks in the house. Healthy meals are still happening.

The Challenge: Increase raw foods. Re-eliminate sugar. Find exercise that works for me, and find time to make it happen.

We fall down. We get back up. This is not about perfection. This is about keeping on and moving forward even though we are imperfect.

How do you handle it when you fall of the wagon?


Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm offering Free Shipping this weekend on all orders of at least $65! Enjoy!

Cauliflower Curry

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I don't mind telling you that I'm not an adventurous eater. I am not a person who wants to travel the world to taste food everywhere. I have never lived anywhere that had Indian, Cuban, or any other authentic ethnic cuisine. I grew up on all-American food, with Americanized Italian food on the side. :)

So, all of that to say I have little-to-no experience with curry. Normally, if I had seen this recipe in a book I would not have even considered making it. If I had looked at the ingredients, double that. But thankfully, my mom made this while we visited her last week and Oh-me-oh-my! this is Soooooo Gooood! My husband and some of the kids loved it too. And I have been dreaming of making it here at home ever since.

Today's the day!

I love crock pot recipes that don't ask me to do much beyond throw everything in the pot. If I have to pre-cook stuff, to me it kinda loses the point. Well, this is one of those easy-peasy recipes, so, give it a try! (ok, you will have to chop some stuff....can you handle it? :) )

Throw into the crock pot:

4 cups cauliflowerets (fresh or frozen)

3 medium tomatoes seeded and chopped (2+ cups) or the equivalent of canned diced tomatoes (get cans without BPA please!)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 14-ounce can coconut milk (not cream of coconut) (I'm not really sure how healthy this is, so report back to me if you have anything to say about it. There is no sugar in it, but there were some preservatives. I found mine by Chinese food at the grocery store.)

1 Tablespoon soy sauce, or you could substitute Bragg's liquid aminos

1.5 teaspoon (not 15!) curry powder

half a teaspoon sea salt

half a teaspoon dried crushed basil

Cook on low 4-6 hours.
Shortly before you want to eat, stir in 6 ounces fresh organic spinach. Cover and continue to heat on low for 10-15 minutes or so.

The perfect accompaniment to this is organic brown rice. If you have a rice cooker and will not be home while this is cooking, use it!

Experiments I look forward to trying with this:
-throwing already-cooked rice into the pot for the last hour of the cook time
-you could add cut up bits of cooked chicken to this as well
-the recipe book I saw this in suggested topping this with chopped peanuts, raisins, and/or shredded coconut. I would not have thought of any of those, but now it sounds really yummy.

This is very warm, soothing, comfort food. Perfect for fall and winter! Be brave and give it a try. Let me know how you like this. :)

Make Yogurt In Your Crock Pot!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I am a person that does not like to have a lot of appliances. I like to just have a few that are versatile and use them for a lot of things. I thought about making homemade yogurt for awhile and looked at various yogurt making appliances but was hesitant to spend the money and then give up the counter space for something else. Then I found out how to make yogurt in my crock pot, and life was beautiful! :)

It is SO easy that I cannot imagine going back to store bought ever again. I control the quality and fat content, there are no chemical additives, and it is a great money savings. Check it out:

Put 8 cups of milk into your crock pot (cover) on low for 2.5 hours.

After that time, turn the crock pot off. (don't take the top off) and leave it alone for 3 hours.

After the 3 hours, add in a half cup of plain yogurt (yes, you're going to have to buy some plain yogurt to start with, and once you make your own, save a little of it to "feed" the next batch) (use a whisk to mix it in--be kinda quick about it), put the top back on, and wrap the whole crock pot up in a thick bath towel.

Come back in 8 hours or more and your yogurt is done. Easy!

If I get around to starting the yogurt before 8am and I'm going to be home most of the day, I can finish the batch before I go to bed at night. Alternately, this works well to start at around 4pm, and you wake up to yogurt in the morning, which is perfect for adding to your morning smoothie!

It is not all that important that the yogurt be put away directly after the 8 hours of incubation. it could stay in there for longer. Obviously don't leave it out on the counter for days, but it is fine if you just get around to putting it away after 10 or 12 hours or whatever. It'll be alright.

I use glass canning jars to store my yogurt in the refrigerator. Very easy!

You can use anything from skim to whole milk. At my Kroger they mark down organic milk pretty often, so when I see that I try to buy extra and make yogurt then. Even if I pay full price for the organic, though, it is cheaper than buying organic yogurt.

And did you know that pets benefit from yogurt too? You can add a little to your dog or cat's food and let them have some good probiotics as well!

I love and so will you!

Friday, July 30, 2010 is a fabulous place for you to bypass a whole lot of your grocery shopping, without paying more! In fact, Alice's prices are comparable to Walmart prices, they add in coupons, and they ship all of your stuff to you for FREE! And it's fast. Like, within a day or two, depending on where you live. has toilet paper, feminine products, cleaning products, snacks and cereal, toiletries, pet food, office supplies, stamps, and just a ton of other stuff that you are buying every time you walk through your regular store. (not weird off-brands, either. The real brands you already buy!) The difference: less stuff to shlepp through the checkout, into your car, and into the house with the kids in tow!

For our healthy lifestyle they have the Kashi Organics cereals that we like, lots of non-toxic all-natural cleaning supplies, some healthy snacks, etc. Some of these items we can't even find in our local store, so this is a great help to us!

I have been using Alice since fall of 2009 and I love love LOVE it. I recommend it to everybody! Right now you can get $10 off your first purchase of at least $50 when you clickety-click above to sign up. How cool is that?

Back to School Sale!

Monday, July 19, 2010

In my part of the country school will soon be back in session, and for you northerners that still have more than a month to go, it'll be here before you know it!

Today I decided to put together a special collection of goodies for my fellow homeschool moms that will enrich them in body, mind, and spirit. It is chock-full of wonderful stuff that has a retail value of well over $100, but is available to you for a super-low price. You can read all about it here.

Today is also the start of our new No-Cooties School Year sale! For a limited time you can get TWO bottles of my Supermom's No-Lice Hair and Body Spray for the price of one, OR you can choose to donate the extra bottle to a family in need. Read all about it here.

That's it for today. Enjoy what's left of your summer! (personally, I'm looking forward to fall!)

Family Fitness and Fun

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's always interesting to me to meet other families and find out what's working for them as far as healthy living, and where their challenges are. It is easy to get used to the way things are in my own family and not realize where others struggle.

My children are very active in their play, running around outside, swimming, gardening, chasing each other, playing sword games, running with the dog, etc. but I have been realizing lately that many families do not get outside or enjoy active play so much. Oftentimes children are so used to indoor activities that they are not inspired to get outside and do something else.

I'm so excited about the new category of products at the store! Family Fitness and Fun is where we will be bringing you some of our favorite active games, toys, and fitness products; items that I hope will bring lots of fun, active play, and family enjoyment to your home!

The first two products we're sharing are very exciting:

I've got 6 guys from ages 7 to 40 around here, and every one of them got super excited when they saw the Mashoonga Sabers in action. (frankly, my daughter and I could see good reason to get Mashoongas for ourselves!)

More than just your average sword play, Mashoonga!® is a new competitive and high energy contact game played with Mashoonga! Sabers™. Using speed, coordination, tactical skills, and more, your whole family will get a kick out of this fast and fun game!

The foam tube of the Mashoonga! Saber™ is soft, flame resistant polyethylene, with an additive for strength, durability and UV protection. The foam is covered with washable nylon sleeves to protect and prolong the life of the foam. The strong polycarbonate core tube is light weight and flexible. The soft yet durable hand grip is made of durable silicone compounds.

Each set includes complete game instruction and rules, plus two 35-inch Mashoonga! Sabers, one blue and one red. Click here to buy.

Slacklines are a fun new form of exercise and sport that is great for kids of all ages! My entire family was inspired by the videos showing all of the tricks and fun things you can do on a slackline, and it really appealed to me as a fun core workout.

The Funline Slackline is fast and easy to set up and take down, so it is very transportable. Can you imagine how fun it will be to take your Funline with you to a friend's house or on a road trip to set up for some active fun for the kids at a rest area picnic area?

A great way to get the whole family outside and improving balance, focus, coordination, and to strengthen all of your core muscles!

The Funline is the ideal slackline for children and beginners, thanks to less flexibility in the line and a rubberized grip surface that makes staying on the line easier. A super fun activity for a birthday party, too!

Bouncing (even gently) is a very healthy activity, activating the lymphatic system, which in turn activates the immune system. Wonderful for brain development, too!

Slacklines are also the hottest new accessory for skaters and snowboarders because the you can use it as a portable rail! Click here to buy.

Both Mashoonga Sabers and Funlines should be in stock and ready to ship by June 26. You can pre-order now. (credit cards will not be charged until your order is ready to ship)

Safe Sunscreen

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Environmental Working Group evaluated 500 sunscreen products in 2010, and ours was one of only 39 that were evaluated to be safe and effective.

Check out the Hall of Shame to learn some of what's wrong with the sunscreen industry. It is dismaying to see how many products are labeled specifically for babies and young children that are extremely dangerous.

My own sister was diagnosed with skin cancer (melanoma) several years ago (thankfully she is ok today), so sun protection is very important in our family. I'm always looking for safe products that truly protect from the sun's rays as well as being free of carcinogenic ingredients.

Floatie Swim Suit Safety Alert

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I wrote this post several years ago, and now dig it out every year and re-post to share with people each summer.

We have an Easy Set pool at our house. It's a pretty big one, and we have floatation swim suits for our three youngest boys to wear, although we keep the pool shallow enough that all of them can walk around in it and still have their heads above water. Last year when I bought the suits the baby was one and the better quality suits did not come in his size, so I got a cheaper one, which he had continued to wear this year.
The other day the kids were playing in the pool while my husband and I sat on the deck watching them and chatting. Our youngest, who is now 2, lost his footing in the pool and very quickly was floating face down in the water. Fortunately my husband saw it right away and got to him within just a few seconds, so everything turned out ok.


The problem is that this suit was not designed to flip a child over onto their back if they needed to rely on the floatation! Our baby was helpless, face down in the water. He would have actually been safer with no suit on at all, since he would have been able to stand to his feet after losing his footing.

It only takes a very few moments for a little one to drown. I am so thankful we were right there with our eyes on the pool happenings.

We tossed out that suit and today I went and bought him one of the better ones, that are designed to keep a kid floating on their backs. Here is the difference between the two suits:

The kind that flips a child onto their back has a float in the front of the suit that is longer than the one in the back.

The kind of suit that put my baby into the pool face first is a kind that is designed for children who need a floatie while learning to swim. The floats are all around the suit and are the same size all the way around.

Just thought someone else might appreciate the reminder. Go check and see if your little one's floatie suits will flip them to their backs in their moment of need.

How Do You Afford Healthier Food?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

This question was asked of me today, and I thought I would share with you all the ideas I had on the subject:

I think that affording healthy food is a concern that most people have. For us, I guess it has been gradual both in finding resources and ways to make it less expensive, and also getting used to what we do spend.

For instance, years ago I found a co-op locally and I was able to get bulk amounts of organic brown rice, beans, etc. and it actually ended up being comparable or even cheaper than non-organics. Yes, I have to buy 20 pounds or so at a time, but we got used to it. After a few months of buying 1-3 items, I was stocked for a long time.

I try to follow the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 guidelines to decide what's most important to buy organic and what I can more safely buy non-organic. There are still things that I do not feel are affordable yet for us to switch to organic, so I just carry on with my philosophy of "do what you can, when you can."

Kroger has a good selection of natural and organic foods that gets marked down regularly. I commonly get organic spinach and salad mixes that are marked down, reasonably priced organic apples, organic milk marked down to less than what regular milk is selling for (I make yogurt every week), for the last several weeks the Kashi Organic Promise cereals were on sale for $2.99 per box, but there were $1 coupons on the boxes, so they were $1.99/box. I stocked up bigtime on those. Kroger brand pasta and crackers are often available in whole wheat and is inexpensive. We don't love the whole wheat pasta plain, but when adding it to a soup or casserole, we don't notice any difference at all.

I have gradually gone to making more things from scratch. This makes healthy food cheaper and of course you can control the ingredients. Even if you want to make cookies, you can use whole wheat flour or oatmeal, make sure there is no lard or high fructose corn syrup, etc. It may not be "perfect" but it's a whole lot better than 30 chemical ingredients added to the cookies at the store bakery.

Gradually learning more homemade cooking skills pays off in the end. I make yogurt every week in my crock pot. It is extremely easy, no fuss, very cheap, and far better than what I could buy in the store. So, I get a better product for far less money. My mom is a very busy person and she has one afternoon a week where she does food prep for the entire week ahead. A few hours invested allows her to save money, save time, and have the ability to eat healthfully. You can hear the interview that I did with her last year and get some great ideas from her here.
(We were having some technical issues during the first minute, so hang in there as you're listening, until you get into the interview.)

As I have learned more things about food and health, there are some things I just don't consider food and would not consider buying to eat, no matter how cheap it is. When you remove a lot of junk items, snack foods, etc. there is money for other items.

I know we're sometimes "guilty" of this, but a lot of times people feel like their grocery budget can't budge, but they manage to go out to eat pretty often. If people put the cost of one meal at a restaurant into the grocery budget, right there is a pretty good chunk of money to eat healthier with! Depending on how many times a family eats out or chooses to put that money elsewhere, choosing to spend differently can make a huge difference for grocery money.

Some families spend a lot of money for their TV service, but maybe that is an area where they could cut back for something more important to them. We have no TV service in our home at all. (and we have survived this way for most of the nearly 19 years we have been married) We do have a TV and do watch videos, and we can watch many shows online. I cannot imagine spending $40-90+ a month on dish, satellite, or cable TV like many people do. I enjoy having less noise clutter, fewer distractions for everybody, and no TV in the living room or most other areas of the house. I think our children are better off without TV, and I know I am. (TV is a constant temptation for me, so it is better for me to just not have it at all)

I will give you a real-life scenario I have been thinking about: I use frozen strawberries and blueberries in my smoothies most days. Both are on the Dirty Dozen list, so ideally I should be buying organic. Initially I wasn't because I did not have convenient access to organic berries. Now they are available at my store, though they are 2-3 times more expensive than what I buy now. I did not jump in right away and decide to do it, because for probably 25 days of smoothies per month, that is a significant amount of money in berries if I switch to organic. I have been watching what I do buy, and have noticed where I could afford to buy less of some things that are not really beneficial to our health (nor filling), and put that money toward the organic berries. I could choose to buy some of our berries organic and some conventional and just let it be an improvement. I could also choose to drink (and serve) smaller smoothies. I'm not exactly sure where we will be on this in a month. Our grocery budget seems to have increased greatly as our littler boys have started growing fast and eating even faster. My youngest boy is always asking for a snack (and he likes healthy ones, too) and he will grin and say, "Well you always tell me I'm a bottomless pit!" :) He sure is! But his snacks and meals are healthy, he gets lots of exercise and fresh air, and he is in no way overweight. He just needs a lot of food these days.

Then multiply that by 4, to include the other little boys. :)
We're spending more than ever on groceries, and I don't see an end in sight. It's normal to have limits, and to do what you can within those limits. Do what you can, when you can, and try not to "sweat" the difference. (but you are allowed to strategize about how to get to the next goal)

What do you think? How do you afford healthier food?

I Take My Job Seriously

Friday, April 23, 2010

This morning I spent some time looking at a health supplement product line that I have heard wonderful things about. It's a little pricier than most of what I normally offer, but if it was as good as "they" say, I would consider offering it in the store.

One of the standard things I do when researching new products is to look at the ingredients. Over the years I have been really disappointed to see how many supposed "health and wellness" companies are clearly misinformed about true health, or just don't seem to really care. One company I knew about awhile back sold food products with aluminum in their stuff. Yuck!

Well, the company I looked at today had one product that looks great. But then I started checking on the ingredients for their other stuff. I found skin care products that I would not be willing to use because of carcinogenic ingredients, "health supplements" that contained various forms of MSG, and weight loss products that have forms of MSG. :( In short, I was extremely disappointed, and this company will not be getting my business, nor will I be recommending them to you.

Unfortunately, it seems that companies that are truly health-conscious are hard to come by. Miessence Organics is one that I have thus far been very pleased with. Their ingredients are consistently excellent, the products work very well, and every other aspect of the business that I know of has been consistent in representing their earth-friendly, health-conscious philosophy.

I take it seriously that my shop is recommending products to you and your family. Certainly I do not know everything health-wise, but I am always learning and always keeping my radar up in order to not only provide products that I can recommend to you, but ones that I'm willing to give to my own family.

If you ever notice ingredients in any product that you are concerned about, please email me at supermom (at) and let me know about your concerns. I take my job seriously and want to continue to provide only the safest, most effective, and affordable products I can find.

Non-GMO Shopping Guide

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I found out about this wonderful resource and wanted to share it with you. A handy guide to help you avoid purchasing genetically modified items. Get your copy here!

Aspartame now being marketed as AminoSweet

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Watch out for aspartame now being marketed under a new name: Amino Sweet. Bad stuff, people! Here is a link to an article about this, and follow this link, click on "What is the E number for Amino Sweet?" to see that it is indeed aspartame.