Category Archives: Health & Healing

Refresh, Hydrate, Energise

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     Rummaging through the drawers, Zaedyn pulled out a can of coconut water which he held out and was asking for it to be open. I am really impressed with the way he communicates, both verbally and nonverbally. Although I am not always certain what he says, I am getting pretty good at interpreting. Anyways, I decided that Zaedyn could have some, but I didn’t want him to drink out of the can. His other drink bottles were being cleaned so I managed to find another one. I filled it with coconut water, and he went to his favourite spot: the bean bag. I did not expect him to drink as much as he did. He usually enjoys coconut water, but he was guzzling this down. He loved it! We found these a few months ago at Huckleberry Farms. Although we prefer to drink fresh coconuts, there are now many more available and convenient options of coconut water when fresh coconuts are not available.

A few of the many benefits to drinking coconut water, nature’s original isotonic drink:

~essential electrolytes

~hydration

~essential nutrients

~antibacterial & antifungal properties

~refreshing

*Coconut water can have huge benefits throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. It should definitely be an essential as part of your labour bag.

Where can you find coconut water?

Fresh Young Coconuts off the tree in Rarotonga

Next best option: Young coconuts from the fruit shop, also known as drinking coconuts

Coconut Water Freeze Dried Powder, especially convenient & beneficial for air travel

Ceres Organic Coconut Water

H2COCO Pure Coconut Water

Mature Coconut contains less water & more coconut “meat” which is hard

Like Cures Like

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     Alternative or complementary medicine? Like cures like. Homeopathy is a safe and natural approach to health that is truly effective. There can be a lot to learn, but there are some remedies that can become very familiar and have a useful place as part of your first aid kit. The most common remedy that people will either use or have heard of is Arnica. This remedy is also very versatile through shock and injury to jet lag. I have actually used them for both reasons. I was given Arnica by my midwife to take after Zaedyn’s birth. If you read a little bit about the aftermath of Zaedyn’s birth in Urtica Dioica: Nettle, my hospital visit ended in a prescription to be filled. Not knowing any better, David was a fantastic husband and went to the Chemist to pay for these prescriptions that remained sitting on the desk in the birthing centre. We both had not completely realised what they were for, but we both decided how unnecessary they were. A lot of it was basic pain relief. Why? In my daily life, I do not carry around or store pain relief for headaches, cramps, or other uses. This is only a quick unnatural temporary fix in my opinion. Even though there is a strong belief in not taking prescriptions during pregnancy, the concern of medication being passed through breastfeeding is somehow forgotten. Therefore, I had made a decision not to be taking these and was given Arnica if necessary. Thinking about it now, Arnica was actually sprayed onto Zaedyn’s head to reduce any swelling as well as given to me in the ambulance on the way up to the hospital. In a completely different situation, I made sure to take Arnica with me on the plane as it can help with jet lag. Two different situations, but Arnica was very effective throughout both.

     A good start to begin to use homeopathy would be to buy a basic book or research to gain knowledge and understanding about the basis of homeopathy. For those of you in New Zealand, you can visit or contact the New Zealand Homeopathic Society Bookroom which is open on Wednesdays in Mt Eden, Auckland. Not living in Auckland, another convenient option which I have actually done is searched on their website, talked with a homeopath from the Bookroom, and ordered books which were sent to me. A quick and easy guide can be a useful tool in getting started and being able to practice through trial. It becomes easier over time as you get to know remedies as well as what works for those and others around you. What might work for one person, will not necessarily be the same for another. Homeopathy can be an ongoing journey. Also, it can sometimes be a bit more difficult when diagnosing those who cannot communicate or express how they are feeling. When trying to find a remedy for Zaedyn, I take everything into consideration and use interpretation to try and work out a remedy that might suit him.

     I also recommend finding a qualified homeopath near you. For those of you living in the Waikato region, Amanda J McBeth is a very helpful and supportive qualified homeopath. Clients will also receive her monthly newsletters which provide some very useful information. I learned about Amanda during my pregnancy where I briefly spoke to her about support through labour. Sometime after Zaedyn’s birth, I spoke with her again as I looked to her as our primary health care. Since then, we have had a consultation, but nothing major has come up since where we have needed further support. However, if something does, I will be quick to ring. Through her, I found out about Simillimum which is a Homeopathic Pharmacy in New Zealand that stocks many remedies and natural health products. One thing to remember when considering remedies is that not all of them are vegan. Many brands such as New Era contain lactose as well as many pillules. Luckily there are alternatives such as lactose free cell salts from a different brand and remedies that can be found in other forms such as liquid.

     Our bodies are very powerful in healing. I think it is really important that homeopathy treats each person as an individual based on unique needs and that it focuses on treating a person rather than the disease. This genuine type of healing is a way that can support long-term healing rather than quickly treat a symptom only to have it return again later. Due to its natural form, many remedies can be used safely through pregnancy and with newborns and animals. The amount of remedies available for a range of conditions is remarkable. From sunstroke to teething to head injury to Measles. There are remedies for so many reasons on very different levels.

     Hopefully I have provided you with a bit of an insight into the wonderful world of homeopathy and natural alternative to your health. Feel free to ask any questions as I may be able to provide information or point you in the right direction :). I am not qualified, however, I am taking an Introductory course in Homeopathy as well as Childhood Disease and their Homeopathic Treatment through Bay of Plenty College of Homeopathy which I have yet to complete. My interest in homeopathy began when I was enrolled in an Eastern Concepts of Health and Healing Course as an elective in my University studies. I do not leave home without remedies packed in my bag. One of my most used remedies has to be Chamomilla which has been used for Zaedyn Tai and his teething. My final tip tonight is to use homeopathy alongside other factors that contribute to your overall health, or holistic health. By this I mean the fact that Zaedyn also wears a Baltic Amber necklace to soothe teething pain, and other practices we follow such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, relaxation, drinking herbal teas, and so much more. I will continue to post about homeopathy and natural health and healing in future posts.

Nutritional Discovery

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Organic Raw Spirulina Powder ~

Considered the greatest and most important nutritional discovery in history because…

~It has 26 times the calcium of milk

~Contains essential vitamin B12 and folic acid

~Excellent protein source

~Slimming

~Stress/PMT Relief as it is the richest source of antioxidants and GLA (the active ingredient in Evening Primrose Oil)

~Traditionally used for fatigue and to build the body up after illness as it is rich in vitamin E and biochelated iron (for enriched blood/cellular oxygenation)

~Used as a sports energy booster especially when endurance is required

~High chlorophyll source makes this an excellent breath freshener

~Safely used in pregnancy

~Blue green algae traditionally used in China for a multitude of health issues

~Cholesterol reduction

~Antibiotic, Anti-Fungal Effects

~Wound healing in creams, ointments, and taken orally

~Widely recommended nutrient in cancer support programs as well as HIV/AIDS

+ it makes smoothies a lovely green colour (unless you add lots of berries) and is super yummy! Scroll to the bottom of my Fresh Raw Almond Milk post to see what it looks like.

Need any more reasons? …

Thanks for the information from my favourite day spa natural detox centre using their own Kiwikitz products and my favourite health site Pure Wellbeing where the spirulina above can be purchased. Click on the Pure Wellbeing link to view a table of the full analysis of spirulina.

Zaedyn enjoying his Mango, Passionfruit, Coconut Butter, & Spirulina Smoothie at 11 months.

Urtica Dioica: Nettle

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2 Handfuls of Nettle

Cover with boiling water and infuse overnight or at least 4 hours. Strain & drink 1-3 cups per day.

Urtica Dioica: Nettle

Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Copper, Silica, Potassium, Sulphur, Calcium, B3, B6, B complex, Vitamins C, D, & K

Also known as stinging nettle, this is a powerful herb rich in iron as well as so many vitamins and minerals for a variety of medicinal benefits and as a general health tonic. Considered a nuisance weed to some, others would be happy to find nettle growing as it can be picked from the wild with caution and then infused. I avoided the risk of getting stung and chose to buy mine from the Herbal Shop and Clinic. In all fairness, I only started drinking the tea within a couple days from giving birth to Zaedyn so I did not exactly have the time or energy to be out searching for nettle.

Why is stinging nettle so powerful for me?

     Sitting in the birthing centre with our newborn baby Zaedyn Tai and family all around, I received the phone call that I had been waiting for and was left with mixed emotions and confusion. Why? Well, after what seemed like a perfect natural childbirth with Zaedyn, things began to change quickly afterward. My placenta would not come away, and I began to fear being sent up to the one place that I wished to avoid: the hospital. I was filled with relief once Zaedyn was born into this world naturally, and never had I thought that I could possibly have a C-section or be put under just to get my placenta out. Anyways, we tried everything, but the contractions were just not there. Too much time had passed, homeopathy didn’t work at this point, and I was left to be injected as a final option before going up to the hospital. My midwife pulled on my placenta and was convinced that it was pretty stuck and wouldn’t come away. Having given it a good go, she asked for the ambulance to be rung while meanwhile I sat there concentrating and visualizing on what needed to happen. My placenta finally came away naturally, ambulance was called off, and my fear was gone only to come back again shortly. PPH, Postpartum hemorrhage. 1 Liter of blood lost, and off we went to the hospital leaving my husband, son, and family behind.

     I won’t go into detail now about my trip to the hospital as I have nothing positive to say except the fact that after a lot of convincing they finally let me transfer to the birthing centre on one condition: I needed a blood test by my midwife the following day as my iron levels were low through pregnancy and became extremely low having lost a lot of blood for a low BMI. When I received the phone call about my results, I was faced with a challenge. My hemoglobin was low, and the hospital was wanting me to have a blood transfusion. Besides not wanting to return to the hospital, I was not impressed about the idea of having a blood transfusion. In tears and surrounded by a mix of thoughts from others and myself and wanting to make sure that I could still manage breastfeeding and being a Mum, I further discussed my options with my midwife resulting in my decision not to have the transfusion. This is how I became to love nettle because I managed to get through this obstacle naturally with this powerful herb and high iron foods. I have my family to thank for being so supportive and helping me get through as well. Making me yummy wraps full of spinach and lentil sprouts & helping in every way possible. Now at 16 months, Zaedyn is still breastfed and keeping me very busy.

So why would I be infusing nettle tonight?

     Nettle is a great health tonic to help boost my iron as well as provide multiple essential vitamins and minerals for every day life. This is a herb that most people should have either growing, as a dried herb, or even in individual tea bags. Tea bags are an easy alternative if you forget to make more, or you just don’t have the time. I have a box of Claridges Botanicals Certified Organic Unbleached Nettle that can be found at Huckleberry Farms and possibly at many other health shops. Off to bed now with my tea still infusing in the kitchen, and I will be back in the morning to strain and transfer some in my cup and the rest in the fridge.

The Herbal Dispensary

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Black sand, long left breaks, sunshine = happiness. To add to that, we continually come across something new to explore such as Bridal Veil Falls, camping in a teepee at Solscape, laying in a hammock, wandering aimlessly down the Main St., having a picnic harbourside, talking to cows, frolicking along different bays, collecting natural resources, playing with driftwood, and just making our own fun. Our find this arvo: The Herbal Dispensary Raglan.

Haere Mai ki Whaingaroa, Welcome to Raglan. Our happy place…

     My Dandelion Chai is all gone, and I was searching online to find more when I came across The Herbal Dispensary Raglan. Another reason to go to Raglan, of course! As many times as we visit Raglan, we have never been inside the Herbal Dispensary. You have to cross the road at the end of town near the harbour to get to it, possibly why we never seem to make it that way. Fortunately for our bank account, Zaedyn had thought sleep was overrated on the drive over so I was rushed to shop as he was knackered and ready for a moe.

     The first thing I noticed was sprouts and kale. I have been wanting to grow my own kale! Everywhere I looked, I saw familiar products that I love and can not easily be found in shops near us. As Zaedyn and David know, I can spend a lot of time in health food shops. I stood there looking at almost every item and contemplating in my head what exactly I wanted to buy. What was I looking for again? That’s right, dandelion chai. Somehow on my way to find it, I seemed to have collected cacao & raspberry raw organic little bird macaroons, alfalfa sprouts, kale seeds, an organic kale plant, vanilla pods, passionflower tea, and star anise. The amount of herbal teas seemed endless. Although there was plenty more that I wanted to buy, I am pretty happy with what I found, especially the macaroons that seem to be disappearing. Plus, I filled up half a loyalty card to get $10 off within 6 months if the rest of my card is stamped. I am pretty sure I can manage that!

    Where to next? Zaedyn could not decide between sleep and play. Although he was so tired, there were far too many things to explore. A quick stop at the Raglan Roast for a soy flat white, and off we went toward Whale Bay. Coffee has come and gone in my life from owning my own espresso machine and making myself lattes to giving it up completely. I splurge in California as I love my iced soy latte from Starbucks even though the espresso there is a bit strong for me now. At the moment, I am happy to enjoy an occasional soy flat white. Raglan Roast is a must stop as it seems to be my favourite cafe in New Zealand. Besides dandelion chai, Golden Fields also makes caffeine free coffee substitutes which I have yet to try as I mistakenly thought they contained gluten. Although they contain malt and barley extract which I immediately read, they are gluten free.

     Not a lot of swell at Whale or Manu Bay, but the sun was shining and there were still waves rolling in. Here is a collage to share of our afternoon at Manu Bay with a cheeky little boy who did not fall asleep until our drive home. He thought that he was pretty clever making his way up stairs. He also enjoyed splashing in the tidepools before slipping in to completely soak his jeans. Oh well. Might as well start early on your tan, Zaedyn. He stood there in his Honey Child nappy pointing to his puku and laughing at his Dad. Finally, the rocks were a lovely place to breastfeed before wandering back to the car.

What a fantastic day at Raglan, and a great new find in our favourite beach town. …~ Holistic approach to health and healing ~… Almonds are currently being soaked in filtered water. I will be making fresh raw almond milk in the morning to add to my favourite spirulina smoothie. Yum! Off to bed now. Ka kite apōpo.