Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dealing with Allergy Related Congestion

I've been treating my allergies naturally for the past couple of years and I like it enough to continue.  I'm not sure there is one herbal or homeopathic medicine that works for everyone, just as no prescription drug works great for everyone.

What I've learned from treating my allergies naturally is that I have to treat each symptom on its own.  For instance, if I have an itchy throat/nose/face, I reach for Marshmallow root and Astragalus root capsules.  When my eyes are watery and itching, I use homeopathic eye drops. And for my absolute least favorite sypmtom, congestion, I use my least favorite treatment:  the nasal rinse.

Well, actually, it's a love hate relationship with nasal rinse.  I love that it works.  I hate doing it.  It took me some time to learn to realize the benefits of using a nasal rinse.  First time I did it, I expected immediate results with no more congestion.  Although it did relieve some of the sinus pressure I felt, it didn't completely relieve the congestion, so I figured it wasn't for me.  I was wrong.  When congestion comes on, it is smart to treat it with a nasal rinse and then do so a couple of times a day and then daily until congestion is no longer an issue.  Since I've stayed on top of my congestion with the nasal rinse, It's been much more tolerable.  It means a better night's rest and that is worth the discomfort from giving myself the rinse.

So exactaly how does one administer a nasal rinse?  There is something that just doesn't seem right about shooting liquid up your nose.  It's not an intuitive art, so WebMD has a really nice slideshow about it.  I thank the model for doing it.  I don't think I would have wanted to be that model for that.

Make Your Nasal Rinse

1/2 cup of  warm water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
a pinch of baking soda

In a cup, combine ingredients and stir until salt is dissolved.  Use a bulb syringe or other dosing syringe to administer.

Swallow your pride and shoot your nose with some nasal rinse per WebMD's instrucions.  Be sure to have some nice soft tissues on hand.  You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Almost Perfect Lunchbox for Us

Much better than what we used before
4out of 5
Pros: Quality Materials, No leaking, Great size for kids, Easy To Use
Best Uses: Kids lunch
I really, really like these lunch boxes. I bought two; one for my son, one for my daughter. Both are in grade school. I've been packing their lunches for a couple of years and really hated all the different containers, the leaking drink bottles, and hard to open leak-proof containers. This lunch box addresses most of my problems and nearly fixes them.

First, my kids love these lunch boxes... it actually seems to make eating their lunches more fun for them. The divided container is my favorite because it forces variety. The divided container is also where my only complaint is. The different compartments are not leak-proof from the inside. So, you can only use dry food in them. I'm currently experimenting with Press 'n' Seal to see if I can get keep watery things (like applesauce) to stay put in their compartment. I think it's working.
The other food container isn't divided. I use it for a sandwich. I cut the sandwiches in half or fourths to fit them in. No biggie, since I always cut sandwiches anyway.

I love how easy these containers are to open. Most leak-proof containers are hard for my kids to open and close. These containers solve the problem... and I must stay they are fun to open and close. :)

I like the size of the drink bottle. At one and half cups, it's perfect. (It's really hard to find water bottles that aren't less than 2 cups.) It washes easily since there aren't any sippy spouts or anything. It's simple and I love it. I guess if you child has a hard time drinking from a water bottle, this might not be a good choice for them, but it works great for us.

All three containers fit nicely in the lunch box and in my kids' backpacks. Other lunchboxes they have had have been so bulky.

This set does come with neat chopsticks, but since my kids don't use those, I just pack a spoon or fork and a napkin in the inner pocket on the lunchbox's lid.

This lunchbox works much better than anything else we've used so far.