The Benefits of Reading to Children

Stack of Children's BooksZoey’s Bedtime Story is a nighttime ritual I started last year, and this year, the adventure continues! I made a New Year’s resolution to read to Zoey every night this year and we have yet to miss a day!

Reading has always been very special to me. I remember my mom reading to me as a child and I believe it had a profound impact on my love for reading and books, not to mention my performance in school. I want to continue that tradition with Zoey. I want her to hear my voice, hear the diction and the pronunciation, see the beautiful images and eventually enjoy the stories. I imagine her sitting in my lap or lying cozy in her bed while I sit next to her and read, her eyes on the book with rapt attention. In reality, she sits on my lap for about five to ten seconds then tootles all over the room while I keep reading and trying to pull her attention back. I keep going because I know tat the more we read, the more she’ll settle in and pay attention.

There are many benefits of reading to children, no matter their age!

  • Increased attention span
  • Bonding between parent/guardian and child
  • Cognitive and language development
  • Creativity
  • Expanded vocabulary
  • Life lessons
  • Listening skills
  • Social and emotional development

So if you haven’t started reading to your little one(s) it’s not too late to start today! And if you’ve started reading to your little one(s) and their attention is anywhere but on you and the book don’t give up! Consistency is the key!

Please come follow along on my Instagram where I post which book we’re reading each night in my story, and every book I’ve read to her has been saved to the highlights on my profile.

I’ve started a Pinterest Board of all the books I would like to read to Zoey or share with her someday. Check it out to get inspired and please let me know if there are any children books you would recommend; we love sharing stories!

Let’s try Intermittent Fasting!

I am now a fledgling intermittent faster. Do you want to try it with me?

If you’re not familiar with intermittent fasting, it is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat (although healthier foods yield better results), but rather when you should eat them.

I’ve chosen the 16/8 schedule, which means that I am restricting my eating to an 8 hour timeframe and fasting the remaining 16 hours of the day. This is what is working for me, but there are several other schedules out there if you’re looking for something different.

  • 20/4: Restrict eating to 4 hours of the day and fast the remaining 20.
  • 5/2: Eat regularly for 5 days of the week, on days 6 and 7 only consume about 500 calories per day.
  • 24 hour: Fast for 24 hours straight, once or twice a week.
  • 36 hour: Fast for 36 hours straight once a week.

Why am I doing such a thing you ask? Odd as it may sound, I wanted to conserve food during the pandemic. After breaking my fast, I usually don’t feel hungry again until right before the 8 hours are up. Everything is simpler, there are fewer meals to prepare, cook or clean up after!

In addition to conserving food, I would love to reach my pre-pregnancy weight or lower. As I mentioned above this eating pattern has me eating fewer meals and consuming less calories a day. I’ve also read that intermittent fasting can boost metabolism and that’s encouraging!

There are several other potential benefits, but the best thing I can do is tell you about my personal experience. I will practice intermittent fasting for the next three months at least and report back with my findings. How about you?

Coconut Oil for Health

CoconutOilThe more I research and use coconut oil, the more I am convinced it is one of those rare ingredients (much like apple cider vinegar) that can be used for all kinds of good in your life. Some of these remedies will take more than one application to work, so don’t lose hope if you apply once and your acne doesn’t immediately vanish!

  • Acid Reflux – Take a small spoonful of coconut oil with meals to help prevent acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Acne – Coconut oil gently fights the bacteria that cause acne. Dab it directly on the offending pimples and watch them shrink.
  • After Shave – Coconut oil soothes sensitive skin and promotes healing
  • Age Spots – Coconut oil has beneficial effects on any skin blemish. Use it to help fade age spots with powerful antioxidants.
  • Athletes Foot – The powerful antifungal properties of coconut oil make it perfect for any fungal infection. Add a few drops of oregano or tea tree oil for more antifungal power.
  • Bones – Coconut oil aids the body in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Both minerals are important for strong bones and teeth.
  • Bruises – Rub coconut oil into bruised skin to speed healing and watch the bruises fade fast.
  • Canker Sores – Dab coconut oil on canker sores to kill infection and speed up healing.
  • Chicken Pox  – Ease the itch and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil.
  • Cleanser – Coconut oil makes an effective and gentle cleanser to remove the grime of the day.
  • Cold Sore  – Coconut oil has antiviral properties that will help the body get rid of the virus that causes cold sores. Rub it on when needed and add a drop of oregano oil to speed healing.
  • Conditioner – Coconut oil conditions, strengthens, and repairs hair. Massage it in and rinse it out after ten minutes. A small amount can be rubbed in to dry hair to tame frizz.
  • Cooking – Coconut oil doesn’t transform into harmful by-products when heated like most other oils and animal fats. Use it to replace butter, cup for cup in recipes. Sauté, cook, bake, broil, braise, and more using coconut oil as a healthier alternative.
  • Cradle Cap – Coconut oil is gentle and safe for infants and helps ease the itching, pain, redness, and flaking associated with cradle cap.
  • Curb Appetite – Take a spoonful before meals to curb appetite so you don’t overeat.
  • Dandruff – Massage coconut oil into the scalp to ease symptoms of dandruff, both itching and flaking.
  • Deodorant – Mix coconut oil with cornstarch, baking soda, and your favorite essential oils for a natural deodorant that smells fantastic.
  • Diaper Rash – Coconut oil can help heal mild diaper rash gently and effectively.
  • Earaches – Earaches, swimmer’s ear, and ear infections clear up fast with a few drops of coconut oil mixed with garlic oil.
  • Energy – Coconut oil and its medium chain triglycerides make it an excellent energy source to improve stamina, endurance, or just to give you a boost through the day.
  • Eye Cream – Reduce puffiness and dark circles with a few dabs of coconut oil.
  • Fitness – Coconut oil boosts energy, increases metabolism, improves thyroid function, and aids healthy weight loss.
  • Furniture Polish – Coconut oil gives a protective shine to wood furniture. Test on a small area first.
  • Gum Removal – Coconut oil gets the sticky stuff out of hair, carpet, and anywhere else it doesn’t belong.
  • Hemorrhoids – Coconut oil eases the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids and encourages natural healing both internally and externally.
  • Lice – Coconut oil kills and removes this pesky problem.
  • Lip Balm – Coconut oil hydrates and protects lips and offers some protection from the sun (spf 4).
  • Lubricant – Coconut makes an all-natural personal lubricant for intimate moments without chemicals.
  • Makeup Remover – Coconut oil removes oil-based makeup easily, like mascara. It cleans, hydrates, and makes skin glow.
  • Massage Oil – Coconut oil soothes tired and sore muscles. Add a few drops of essential oils for more effect.
  • Moisturizer – Coconut oil is an excellent way to soften and hydrate dry, rough, or damaged skin.
  • Nose Bleeds – Rub a bit of coconut oil in nostrils to fight the dry cracking that can lead to nose bleeds.
  • Nursing – Coconut oil works great to repair dry, cracked skin, including sore nipples from nursing.
  • Pet Health – Coconut oil can do a multitude of things for pets, both topically and internally. It improves breath, makes for a shiny coat, eases joint problems, cleans ears, gets rid of fleas, and much more.
  • Ring Worm – Rub coconut oil onto affected area to kill the fungus that causes ringworm. Add tea tree oil to clear the infection even faster.
  • Shaving Cream – Coconut oil keeps the razor gliding smoothly while leaving skin smooth and soft.
  • Skin Condition – Coconut oil reduces the itchiness, pain, flakiness, and dryness of eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
  • Skin Irritations  – Ease the itch of poison ivy, poison oak, mosquito bites and other insect stings or bites, and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil.
  • Sore Throat – Dissolve a spoonful in your mouth and let it slowly roll down the throat. This will coat and protect the throat, boost the health of mucus membranes, and fight any infection.
  • Stretch Marks – Prevent and soften stretch marks with coconut oil for soft and supple skin.
  • Stys/Pink Eye – Rub a small amount of coconut oil on the sty or around the eyes to get rid of these infections.
  • Sunburn – Coconut oil can help prevent sunburn for short exposures. When you are sunburned, applying coconut oil will speed healing and take some of the sting away. Wait 24 to 72 hours after the burn to allow the heat to dissipate rather than seal it in.
  • Toothaches – Coconut oil strengthens teeth and helps soothe painful toothaches. Adding a drop of clove oil can almost instantly relieve the pain.
  • Toothpaste – Mix one part coconut oil with one part baking soda and add a couple drops of peppermint oil. This makes a refreshing, natural toothpaste that whitens and cleans without added preservatives, fluoride, sweeteners, or other chemicals.
  • Urinary Tract – Treat urinary tract infections with a spoonful of coconut oil.
  • Warts and Moles – Rub oil into area and cover with a bandage. Rub in fresh oil and place a new bandage each day.
  • Wrinkles – Rub into lines, creases, and wrinkles to rehydrate skin and soften those wrinkles away.
  • Yeast Infections – Coconut oil fights these fungal infections internally and externally.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Health

AppleCiderVinegar copyThe more I use apple cider vinegar, the more i’m convinced it is one of those rare tinctures that can be used for all kinds of good in your life. I have known people who are able to drink or gargle with straight apple cider vinegar and I tip my hat to them, it is strong! I personally tried gargling with it undiluted for a sore throat and it stings! After the stinging went away my sore throat was gone, but I highly recommend diluting it with water and in some cases honey.

  • Acne – Wash your face morning and night with one part apple cider vinegar to two or three parts water to clear acne.
  • Bad Breath – Gargling or drinking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water will kill the odor-causing bacteria found within your mouth.
  • Dandruff – Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week for best results.
  • Diarrhea – Mix one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into water and drink to soothe intestinal spasm.
  • Cholesterol – Drink half an ounce of apple cider vinegar (diluted in water if you prefer) on daily basis to lower cholesterol.
  • Headache – Mix ten grams of apple cider vinegar, ten grams of honey and dash of chamomile extract to create soothing balm for tension headaches.
  • Hiccups – Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and it’s sour taste will stop hiccups immediately.
  • High Blood Pressure – Drink two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted into one average glass of water 1 to 3 times a day to lower blood pressure.
  • Indigestion – Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey into warm water and drink it 30 minutes before eating to relieve indigestion.
  • Leg cramps – Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey into a glass of warm water and drink to boost your potassium levels and relieve leg cramps.
  • Sinus Congestion/Pain – Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink to help sinus drainage.
  • Sore Throat – Gargle ¼ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted with ¼ cup of warm water once every hour or so to remove germs.
  • Weight Loss – Start your day with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted into two glasses of water to suppress your appetite, reduce water retention and increase your metabolism.
  • Whiten Teeth – Gargling with diluted apple cider vinegar once a day can help remove stains, whiten teeth and kill harmful bacteria in your mouth and gums. Brush afterwards.

The Benefits of Meditation

MeditationBenefits_small

For positive reinforcement I’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of the benefits of meditation. Please share with us if you’ve had personal experience with any of these benefits or experienced any other benefits.

EMOTIONAL

  • Boosts positivity
  • Decreases feelings of loneliness
  • Helps with depression
  • Reduces stress

HEALTH

  • Boosts your immune system
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Lowers your oxygen consumption
  • Minimizes pain
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces your cortisol levels

PRODUCTIVITY

  • Boosts your creativity
  • Improves multitasking
  • Improves your memory
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Lengthens your attention span
  • Makes you more attentive

SOCIAL

  • Builds on your compassion for others
  • Helps regulate your emotions
  • Increases social connection
  • Lowers anxiety

The Key Benefits of Yoga

YogaBenefits

In case you needed all the reasons why practicing yoga is beneficial to you inside and out, I’ve rounded up a comprehensive list. Please share with us if you’ve had personal experience with any of these benefits!

BODY CHEMISTRY

  • Balances hormones
  • Boosts lymphatic system
  • Boosts Vitamin C
  • Increases red blood cell count
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Reduces sodium
  • Reduces triglycerides

EMOTIONAL

  • Builds a mind-body connection
  • Improves attention span
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves memory
  • Improves mood
  • Improves self-acceptance
  • Improves self-control
  • Improves social skills
  • Increases positivity
  • Promotes calmness
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces depression
  • Reduces hostility
  • Reduces stress

EXTERNAL

  • Boosts anti-aging
  • Boosts energy
  • Builds core strength
  • Builds endurance
  • Builds strength
  • Improves balance
  • Improves dexterity
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Improves posture
  • Improves sexuality
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Increases bodily awareness
  • Lowers the risk of injury
  • Promotes weight loss

INTERNAL

  • Boosts immunity
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Builds cardiovascular endurance
  • Builds pain tolerance
  • Improves depth perception
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves gastrointestinal function
  • Improves organ function and health
  • Improves reaction time
  • Improves respiratory function
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers pulse rate
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Strengthens bones

SYMPTOM REDUCTION OR ALLEVIATION

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Cancer
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Constipation
  • Epilepsy
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Menopause
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis