Author Archives: Nerdyhomemaker

Stress

For me personally stress is a huge deal that I struggle with daily!! If my stress is not managed properly I tend to get overwhelmed really easily and freak out. How many times in our culture have we heard from doctors about how bad stress is? But do many people actually heed the warnings and try to lessen their stress? I can’t actually answer that question for society as a whole. I can only answer it for myself. For a long time I didn’t lessen the stress. It just kept building and building until one day the dam broke. I was left with essentially a nervous breakdown. I had to leave college and go stay with my Aunt for a few months. I am so thankful for the time I had there and for my family and friends who helped me through that very difficult time. To be honest, nothing has ever been the same since then, I have never returned to that person I was. I don’t take on as much stuff at a time, which is a blessing. I had to learn my limits. And thankfully I very much learned during that time in my life that failure is okay and is a natural part of life. A big thank you to my aunt for helping me to see that and encouraging me to try again. But this isn’t a post about failure, its about stress that can lead to failure.

Stress can not only lead to failure if you have to much, but it can also cause physical illness that can become quite serious. Some of these illnesses include heart disease, asthma, diabetes, GERD, IBS, PCOS, depression, sleep issues, and many many more illnesses. I personally have suffered with many of these for quite some time and others in my family suffer from others. The main one that I have been working on dealing with is PCOS.

PCOS plays a factor in stress levels. It’s almost a viscous cycle stress begets PCOS which begets more stress. Many people believe that extra cortisol produced from stress brings on Insulin Resistance, which is believed to be a key factor in PCOS. This is because all of the hormones are connected and when one is out of balance the others obviously cannot be in balance. Having higher levels of cortisol in the body causes more testosterone to be made due to a basic flight or fight response by the body. The higher testosterone in females leads to PCOS and Insulin resistance. Due to this it is important for me to take care of myself and have some good natural ways to take care of stress. Below is a list of items that naturally help with over stressing.

Ways to naturally deal with stress:

Peppermint Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

Serenity Essential Oil Blend

Meditate/ Pray

Go for a walk with my dog barefoot

Hug someone

Distract yourself

Take a bath

Read a good book

Perspective- is it really THAT bad/big of a deal, can you change what you are stressing about right this minute? If you have ideas about ways to fix your problem, write them down.

Trust- trust that the situation will work out.

Don’t just make a to do list, scratch things off that list so you feel more accomplished.

Yoga/exercise

There are many others that can be a great help, this is just a short list. The important take away from this is to find something that helps alleviate your stress, it may be a different thing for each person and it may take time. But with the potential illnesses that can be caused by stress isn’t finding a natural, healthy way to combat it worth it?

Homemade Laundry Detergent

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We have recently started making our own laundry detergent. I did some research and learned of the potential dangers of commercially produced detergents. I also learned its sooooo much cheaper to make it ourselves!! To me, the scariest part of commercially made detergents is that they are not required to disclose the ingredients (no cleaning products are) because the formula is considered proprietary information. There are several articles that discuss the potential damage they can do to your health. Risks range from being carcinogenic to having hormone disruptors in them, not to mention respiratory issues and cancer. The news the other night talked about how the CDC has been getting at least three times more calls about children being poisoned after using the pods, this is up from the usual 10% of calls they receive about cleaning products poisoning. I don’t know about you but I am not real keen on wearing clothes that are essentially soaked in the stuff. If you don’t want to make your own, the Environmental Working Group has a great website that you can input the name of any product you use to see where it rates on toxicity. They not only have it for cleaning supplies but makeup and food too! They have really good articles to read to about different products and how to make your home safer.

We choose to make our own. It really is a lot cheaper for us. One batch usually lasts us two months and only costs about $6.50 to make two gallons of detergent. I can find all the ingredients in my local HEB (grocery store) but they can also be bought on Amazon and Vitacost. The ingredients used last for several batches, the only one I have had to stock up on in the last 8 months is castile soap! This soap won’t suds up like the regular detergent but it works fantastic regardless! Hope you enjoy our recipe!

Ingredients:

1 c Washing soda

1 c borax

2-4 c HOT water

2 to 3 c liquid Dr. Bronner’s Soap or any liquid castile soap (I use unscented but if you would like to use scented go for it)

20 to 30 drops Essential Oil (I use Lavender because I LOVE that smell, but my sister uses the citrus flavors and loves them and lemon is a great disinfectant)

2 gallon bucket

2 gallon container to keep it in

Directions:

Add the washing soda and borax to the dry two gallon bucket, stir together. Put 2 to 4 cups of HOT (almost boiling) water into the bucket. Stir until the dry ingredients are COMPLETELY dissolved. This is very important!! If you don’t let it dissolve completely, it binds to the Castile soap and solidifies. After the dry ingredients are completely dissolved, the water should be murky. Now add the two to three cups of castile soap. I usually add three because my husband works in the oil and gas industry and it takes a little more to get his clothes completely clean plus we have really hard water. Mix it all together and fill the bucket up the rest of the way (so that it makes two gallons) with water. Stir to combine and put it in the container you will store it in. After it is in the “home” container is when I mix in the essential oils. I do this so I don’t leave any of the good smelling stuff in the two gallon bucket. Then you just put a lid on it and use it as you would the commercially bought detergent. I usually put in 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup depending on what I am washing! You will need to stir this every so often because it will separate, but no biggie!

Nerdyhomemaker

Paleo Sloppy Joes

In our family, we try to eat as little gluten as possible and as much real food as possible. I make my husband lunch everyday. When we first started down this path, it was hard to figure out what to make him, other than sandwiches and leftovers (only so many leftover days until your bored). We ate A LOT of eggs and tuna at first, but then I started getting creative. I went online and started looking for inspiration. The first recipe I tried to make on my own after adapting to this lifestyle was this sloppy joe recipe. Even with the lettuce, which my husband was hesitant to use at first, he LOVED it! Success! Just make sure to get the romaine lettuce leaves that already kind of look like a boat, none of the others stand up to this recipe, I tried! 🙂 Without further adieu, here is my from scratch sloppy joe recipe, it takes takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make!
Pictures will come tomorrow sorry!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee

1 green and 1 red bell pepper

1.5 lbs ground beef ( you can use ground turkey if you prefer)

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 to 2 tbsp. tomato paste ( I “feel” this one out, you just want to make sure all of your meat shares in the paste’s glory)

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

½ cup ketchup (homemade or sugar free)

½ tsp. molasses

3 garlic cloves

1 onion

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cumin

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Add olive oil to a pan. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers and sauté for 5-6 minutes or until onions are translucent and peppers are softer.

Once the vegetables are sautéed, add the meat and season with turmeric, paprika, cumin, and extra garlic powder (if you want, we love garlic!). Cook until browned.

Next add the tomato paste and stir until well combined. At this point it should be smelling gooood!

Add tomato sauce, ketchup, molasses, vinegar, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook for an additional 7-8 minutes to let the sauce come together.

Place on lettuce leaves (or buns for the non-paleo) and enjoy!

Apple Cider Vinegar

cup of apple cider vinegar

Recently there has been a lot of people coming out and touting the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. Benefits range from weight loss to heart burn relief and everything in between. By no means is this home remedy new, it has been used for centuries and resurfaced in the 1950’s , but it seems to be making a come back with the younger generation these days. Some believe apple cider vinegar cures everything and some doubt its benefits. There have been medical studies that confirm it helps with diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure, weight loss, cancer, and even heart health. If it can help what I consider to be significant issues, I think it can also help with smaller issues such as warts or acne. If you want to read more on the studies you can visit these websites: WebMD , Reader’s Digest, Alternative Medicine, Home Remedies Web, or you could always check out the book Apple Cider Vinegar by Paul C. Bragg and Patricia Bragg.

Now on to why I am interested in it! For those of you who do not know me, I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 11! I proceeded to take birth control for the next 11 years of my life. After I got married in 2011, my husband and I decided we wanted to have kids SOMEDAY so it would be beneficial for me to come off of birth control to figure out how my body works. One of the consequences of this is my weight spiraled out of control and my blood sugar is all sorts of crazy most days. There were many more consequences that I am slowly finding solutions for but that’s for another post another day! So in order to help lose weight and try to gain a balance on my blood sugar my husband and I came up with the following drink. I think its great and can sip on it until its gone, he thinks anything with apple cider vinegar is gross and shoots it. I think it may be a little in his head and a little he doesn’t like the vinegary burn. 😉 But I digress! My husband and I are going to do a month long challenge! I will post the results as we go, if you would like you can join us and post your results of ANY health benefits on this post!

Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

ingredients

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ( I would like to point out that Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother such as Braggs , it is the best to use for this, as it is the most pure form!)

6 ounces of hot water

1/4 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg or allspice or pumpkin pie spice

I prefer to make this drink in a mug rather than in a large batch as I have a water dispenser that gives me boiling water anytime I want it. I add the honey and hot water to the cup to begin with and stir to dissolve the honey. I then add the apple cider vinegar and stir again to combine. I end by adding the spices, if you aren’t sure you want to add the spices adding a cinnamon stick is an easy way to add flavor and you can just stir with the cinnamon stick. You can drink it hot or cold!

Have you ever thought of drinking apple cider vinegar everyday? If you have what were your results?

**I have no affiliation with the makers of the Apple Cider Vinegar or Braggs, my research has just shown that they are the best!**

Who is Nerdyhomemaker?

Howdy! Welcome to our site! I am a current college student in a graduate program and when I am not doing that I am always trying to find new healthy ways to improve our lives! I am married to an awesome guy! He brings out the nerdyness in me that I now embrace :). We have a dog named Sue who thinks she is a human and a cat named Bear who thinks he is a dog, they supply me with endless hours of entertainment! I was diagnosed with PCOS at age 11 and subsequently put on birth control from age 11 to 22! After I got married I decided I wanted to see how my body worked without birth control so we could eventually have children when the time was right. I have then spent the last year trying to find a natural way to deal with my PCOS! I hope to share with you my trials and errors! Welcome to my path!