What to do when you have a sore throat?

Last week I found myslef lying in bed, not even able to go to the bathroom. I was sick. It wacked me out of a sudden, without any warning whatsoever, no prior signal. It was Friday. My husband had to take the kids to school since I was afraid I might just fall on the ground and not be able to get up. My children were petryfied, they have never seen their mother so incapable.

I had a fever 104 F and a sore throat. Not a good feeling at all. Shivering fully clothed under the covers in my bed I could not even sleep. When Robert got back I asked for aspirin, just to get a break from the fever for a while so that I could take a nap. I slept most of that day. Later on I decided not to fight the fever anymore. Fever is actually a good thing, the high temeperature helps your body fight off all the microbes. So I continued to rest in my bed with a wet towel on my head.

The next day I officially won the battle, the fever was gone but……my throat was milion times worse!!!!I could not eat, drink, swallow, talk….even breathing hurts.

So I made myself salty water to gargle my throat with. My mother tought me that trick long time ago, when I was a kid. She knew it from her mother of course:-) I mixed 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of salt and gargled my throat 3 times that day. I swear, it must be as salty as the water at the bottom of the saltiest ocean. Who cares, right, I am not swallowing it and I would do anything to feel better:-) I also took oregano oil just in case the infection was moving down from my throat.

The next day it was considerably better. I could feel my energy coming back.

Salt gargle works because it sucks moisture out and promotes osmosis. This is why salting eggplant or tomatoes makes them give up their liquid so they’re easier to cook with. In your throat, it draws moisture out of any bacteria who have „just moved in”, and it draws moisture out of your own swollen tissues, relieving inflammation.

Salt also cleanses out post-nasal drip and other bacterial material, a salty environment prevents bacteria from growing. That is how the meat was kept from going rancid in the medival ages, salt is a bacteria-fighter.

Next time when you are coming down with a cold try it and there is high probability that you will feel better afterward. For some, it might be too ancient but for me it is worth trying especially in today’s antibiotic resistant world.

Girls Best Friends… Weights

Agnieszka, our fitness expert shares a few insights about lifting weights. Ladies only:-)

Diamonds are too but they do not have any proven health benefits:-)

Today’s post is going to be about lifting weights. And I am taking serious weights, not some 1lbs pink dumbbells. There are many benefits, but I am going to list just a few main ones, that made me swap my cardio routine couple of times a week for some serious lifting:

  1. Increased metabolic rate – what it means is that your muscles are like engines burning more fat much longer after your workout is already over. While cardio is a great way to increase your metabolic rate only weight training can permanently do it. With every 1 lb of lean muscle you simply burn 35-50 cal a day, so with 10 lbs it is between 350-500 cal a day. How much cardio do you have to do to burn 500 cal ?
  2. Improves and restores bone density – regularly putting weight on your bones improves their spinal bone mineral density, add an adequate amount of calcium and you have a formula fighting osteoporosis.
  3. Increased strength – it is a great feeling to find out how strong you really are, not to mention all the request from your husband to open a jar:-)
  4. Injury prevention – you body is getting stronger, so there is less possibility for injury.  It becomes even more important as we grow older so take care of yourself… now!
  5. Looking better – it is no secret, that we all want to look our best and why shouldn’t we? It does not take long to see results, only few months of regular training and your self esteem arrow is gonna go up:-)
The above is what the science has to say now the following is my personal experience and observations.
Having 2  almost 9 lbs kids via C section and then nursing them for over a year each left my body far from perfect. I was thin but my boobs looked like deflated baloons, my butt was flat and my tummy …och well I got a lot of “Are you pregnant again?” questions. Everything was hanging:-(I shortly convinced myself that a tummy tuck and a boob job is going to be the only way. The problem was justifying the cost to my cheap husband who said he loves me no matter what:-) I did cardio but only when I switched to training with weights I was able to reshape my body. All I needed was commitment and hard work. My body is not perfect and it will never be because there is no such thing. That was not the goal. I just wanted to feel good in my own body again and I acomplished my mission. I like the way I look but I LOVE the way I feel. It was not only a physical change it was mental, far more important. And the fact that I did it MYSELF makes me feel even better.

The one complaint I hear over and over is „ I do not want to bulk up and look like a man”. It ‘s simply not possible because women do not have enough testosterone to develop such big muscles. Most of the women bodybuilders get testosterone injections and workout 6 hours a day so unless that is what you are planning to do there is nothing to worry about.

I have been on the road for 9 months now and could not take my weights with me for obvious reasons so i made my own:-)

I use plastic beverage bottles and milk jugs instead of dumbbells.

I also use my own body weight doing push-ups and pull-ups on a regular basis. You do not need gym memberships and fancy equipment to workout, you just need to be creative. Be sure to check out older posts: “Playground fitness routine” and “Fitness on the Go” to get more ideas.

Here it is Ladies, lift havy to be healthy, strong and lean.


Chocolate and Cinnamon Mousse

A recipe for an uncommon, nutritious and very tasty dessert!

What comes to your mind when you think of dessert? I bet it is ice cream, cake, pies, probably cookies etc.,  but not… avocados, right? Wrong! What I am about to show you is going to be a big surprise for many as it was for me the first time I ate it. This dessert is not only delicious, but nutrition packed and healthy so you can enjoy it without any guilt.


  • medium, ripe avocado
  • tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cacao
  • tablespoon of raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • coconut flakes for garnish

Place first five ingredients into the food processor and mix well until you get an even, creamy consistence. Put into a nice glass or a bowl and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Enjoy and let me know how did you like it!

Avocado…the Fattest Fruit of All

There are so many misconceptions regarding this fruit, Agnieszka decided to clear them up.

A recent conversation prompted me to write about one of the best, nutrient dense and fattest fruits of all- Avocado. With 31 grams of fat per medium avocado, they are an exception among the fruit family. How can this be good for me, you ask? That is exactly what prompted me to write this post.

I felt in love with avocados many years ago when I came to live in America. In Poland avocados back then were almost unknown, now they are in every major supermarket.

The taste of a ripe avocado is a fiesta for your taste buds. Like nothing you had before, incomparable deliciousness.

Avocados are a “superfood” that EVERYONE should include in their diet. Most people do not realize the benefits of them nor have any idea how to eat them. Some also got brainwashed thinking that fat is your enemy, so they exclude avocados on purpose, „to maintain healthy weight”. I can not even begin to tell you how many times someone said” You eat avocados on a daily basis?!!?What about all the fat content?!?!!?”

Well, there needs to be a better education in regards to nutrition because an average person does not realize, that we actually need fat to absorb all the necessary nutrients and vitamins such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein. Without fat our body and all the processes are out of balance! And let me assure you, most people actually are seriously deficient in healthful fats. Avocados are a prime example of an excellent source of healthy, raw fat and provide many essential health-boosting nutrients including fiber, potassium , vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.

Please do not worry about your weight, you are not going to gain any eating avocados. They in fact are proven to help loose weight especially in the abdomen area.

Here in Mexico they are a staple. They have been eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner for ages and people never had problems with obesity and diabetes, until soda and junk food were promoted.

My family have been eating them for many years now and „unfortunately” we are all addicted:-) Both my children have been eating avocados since they were 7 months old, in fact it was their first solid food shortly followed by banana. We eat it as guacamole, cubed in a soup, spread on bread with sardines, in a salad, mixed in a smoothie or simply by a spoonful with a squeeze of lime juice.

Avocados tend to be expensive so as a tip I can tell you that you do not need to buy it organic. Their thick skin protects them from pesticide buildup, you only eat the meat anyways. In Mexico the vendors always ask „Para hoy o para manana”, which means „for today or for tomorrow”. The difference is the ripeness of the fruit. „Para hoy” means that it is very soft to the touch and needs to be used as quickly as possible. Avocado „Para manana”is firm and can be used within few days. They ripen very well in room temperature so be sure to leave them out of the fridge.

Within the next few days I will be posting recipes using avocados ranging from deserts to drinks so please be sure to check them out………often:-)

Chocolate and Nut Trufles

Fast and easy receipe for nutricion packed dessert. Your Family will love it!

A recent visit at a local natural foods store prompted me to develop this recipe. They had samples of their dark chocolate trufles that basicly tasted like haven. Yes, delicious and healthy at the same time made my brain produce endorfines and let me feel overwelmingly happy. We all know that feeling , right? That is why we keep eating chocolate untill the last square:-)

They are not only easy to make but also nutrient dense so you do not have to feel guilty when you eat them. The reason for making nuts the main ingredient is that my son is not a big protein eater so I need to smuggle them in whenever I can.

  • 1 cup of almondes
  • 1 cup of pecans
  • 2 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted)
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinamon
  • 3 tablespoons of raw cacao
  • Shreded coconut

Put first five ingredients and half of the cacao into the food processor and let combine well untill it forms a sticky paste. Roll into small ball and dust with cocoa or coconut. If you like things sweet just add more honey. Keep them in the fridge or even freezer like I do. They just taste better when chilled and thaw within minutes. Delicioso!!!!Enjoy.


The Atrocities of Mexican Cuisine

Caution: This article is only for people with nerves of steel and serious appetites! Agnieszka shares the intimate details of Mexican cuisine specialties.

With this article I am probably going to gross everyone out and I will have to forget all the kisses and hugs that I used to get from people.

Many times, I’ve said that I will try everything once. This also pertains to food. Mexico, with its varied cuisine has really a lot to offer. There are still parts of the country, where nothing is wasted: skin, brains, organs… they eat it all with salsa and a great big smile on their faces… 🙂

I have eaten organ meats before, I am used to it… not a big deal. Livers, harts, lungs, kidneys, tongues were on my menu since I was a kid. I will not lie, if I say that I actually love it! Every time I go back to Poland, my main dish request to my mom is turkey heart goulash. What can I say, my mom is the best cook in the world and I am going to take her heart goulash over a 5 star restaurant meal any time. Delicious!!!

So here they are, the most unusuall foods that I have never eaten before I came here…to Mexico:


I love saying that word, It makes me smile every time. It simply is pigs skin fried to perfection, so that it becomes a very krisp chip. They eat it with salsa or guacamole and it is delicious. We had it the first week in Mexico, everyone loved it but when the kids found out what it was, they stoped eating it 🙂 Especially Nadia…

Medula Soup

One of the best things I ate in my entire life. This soup is a tradition in some parts of this country. Medula means bone marrow, so it simply is a bone marrow soup. They use the leg bones to make it because it has a lot of marrow. You can buy them at every butcher, add some veggies, tomatoes and simmer on a low flame. It is haven in your mouth.

Tacos de Sesos

Tacos de Sesos
Tacos de Sesos

That is not my favourite but I tried it only once so maybe it was just poory prepared. These tacos are filled with pigs brain and fried afterwards. None of my family mambers was brave enough to try…I wonder why? Anyway, I will have to give it another try.

Mole de Pollo

Mole in Mexico is like a burger in the USA, pizza in Italy and croissant in France. I can not even begin to tell you how great it tastes. There are so many types because the ingredients list is long, that it would probably take me a lifetime to try them all. It is a meticoulous mix of dried chili (poblanos, ancho, passija), spices (corriander, anise, sesame seeds, cinamon etc), dried fruits (raisins) and of course the queen Chocolate. The perfect combination. Then you put in shreded chicken and voila… Fiesta is ready!!! It is also very versatile, because you can eat it with tortillas, rice, potatoes or just by itself. 🙂

Tacos de Tripitas

This dish has taken us by a complete surprise. One sunny afternoon me and the kids went to a pool party where these delicious tacos were served. We ate everything with great appetite to later find out that the tacos were filled with tripe. I guess the guts of a pig, cow, sheep, or goats taste pretty good when fried and served with salsa. 🙂

Paletas de Frutas con Chile

Ice Cream with Chili Powder
Alex working on his ice cream with chili powder

Let me tell you that it was quite overwhelming at first to find out that the Mexicans eat everything with chili and lime juice… even deserts. Yes, and as crazy as it sounds, it tastes awesome! There are many palleterias around town, where you can buy frozen bars on a stick made entirely of pure fruit and natural juice sprinkled generously with chili. My favorite is mango and apples. It never even crossed my mind to spice up my fruit before but it is genius! Robert and Nadia are on the fence but me and Alex are sold. My son even asked me to buy him chili powder, so that he can put it on all his food. Now I am just waiting to see if he puts it on cakes too… 🙂 Our Mexican friends call his “Niño Mexicano con pelos blancos” (i.e. Mexican boy with blond hair).

The Mexican cuisine continues to surprise me every day. It is so rich and delicious, that I recently told someone curious, that I do not miss Polish food at all. It spoils me with its flavors, versatility, ingredients that are fresh and unusual. If you still did not get it reading between the lines, I am in love with Mexican cuisine!!! But the best thing above all is that in this country, the poor men’s diet still consists of fresh, unprocessed, hand made from scratch, traditional foods.

Buen provecho everyone, I hope I did not spoil your apetite!!!

Communism is Good… for Your Eyes

Our Sabbatical would have been much more complicated if I was still blind as a bat. Fortunately, the marvels of today’s medicine liberated me from prescription eye glasses, and allowed my son to climb my head any time of the day!

Recently, a friend of mine asked to share my opinion on the subject of LASIK surgery. He was the one who convinced me to do it, now he’s persuading yet another friend to follow path. Instead of responding directly, I though I would share my experiences in this blog, hoping that it might be of help and interest also to other people. I had my surgery done couple of years ago. That’s recent enough to remember most of it’s details and far enough to be able to judge it’s outcome. Since everyone’s situation is different, I think it’s worth explaining my particular case.

I wasn’t Always Blind as a Bat.

In fact, for the first twenty years of my life I enjoyed a very good eyesight. Actually so excellent,  I frequently hit the bulls eye at our school’s shooting range. Yes, you read it right. Our high school, just as about any other in Poland under the communist regime, had a shooting range and all students were trained to handle a sports rifle. For no particular reason, of course…

Growing up in the 80’s, I didn’t have many opportunities to screw up my vision. Neither had my friends. With just one or two public TV channels,  transmitting mostly yet another communist party congress or some agricultural training materials, we didn’t have many incentives to stay in front of the tube. Reading was a decent alternative, but since the books available in bookstores and libraries were carefully selected by the almighty censors, there were only so many exciting titles worth reading by flashlight under bed covers. Therefore, for lack of better alternatives…

We Played Outside.

There weren’t that many cars around, so we turned almost every parking lot into football (soccer) fields. At the time, most residential areas had carpet beaters (not sure if that’s the right word for “trzepak”), which made excellent goals. Since playgrounds were rare, they also doubled as jungle gyms and regular hang-out spots for the youth in our neighborhood. Since all the media were equally not trustworthy, our parents weren’t that scared of the world and let us play outside all days long. Completely unsupervised. Or at least so we thought… Playing ball, riding bikes and running around, the streets were full of kids and always busy. Even though the steel plants in our city were polluting at intense rate, we still got plenty of vitamin “D”, growing up reasonably healthy and ignorantly happy.

Then Came the Changes.

In the mid 80’s, the first TV gaming systems started popping-up. Remember the two lines on each side of the screen and a dot traveling across? The “tennis” games didn’t really take off, but some of our more fortunate friends, with relatives in West Germany got their first ZX Spectrum and Atari 800XL computers. Bootleggers stared making fortunes, the streets deserted, Russian “color” (predominantly red) TVs found their purpose and we were all staring at their bleak displays for hours.

My first computer was a Commodore C16, with a whooping 16kb RAM and a very limited supply of games. It’s ROM based operating system had a build in interpreter of of the powerful programming language called… Basic.

This is When I Became a Geek.

Since I heaven’t had too many games, I spent hours developing simple code to draw circles or other figures on the tiny screen of a  Russian black and white TV set. Within a year or so, the C16 got replaced with a C64 and the small black&white TV got replaced with a small color TV. Then came another upgrade, then another. By the end of the 80’s I was the happiest owner of an Amiga computer attached to… a small color TV set.

It wasn’t until mid 90’s that I got my first proper monitor. And even that was a small, 14 inch CRT. At that time, I also started noticing that my eyesight is becoming weaker and weaker. At some point I had to admit that…

I Became a Road Hazard.

Not seeing clearly, I started to have difficulties. It didn’t matter in most daily life situations, but being young and reckless I liked to drive rather dynamically. Not seeing clearly the road in front of me started to be scary. Especially for my passengers. In 1998 it was time to finally admit that my “geekiness” ruined my vision. It was time to…

Put on the Eye Glasses

My shortsightedness has been confirmed with a -1.5 dioptres prescription. Suddenly, with a pair of thin rim glasses my emanated IQ increased by some 20%, but my life quality decreased by significantly more.

It took a lot of time, until I learned how to handle such delicate instruments. The glasses were always scratched and dirty, the rims crooked, the case misplaced, etc… Frankly, I’m not sure, I ever got used to them. The aesthetics weren’t really the biggest problem. Not being a sports freak, but averagely active young person nonetheless, I mostly suffered from…

Significantly Limited Range of Activities

Wearing corrective eye glasses, it’s difficult to play sports, swim or even run. In the winters, I remember walking into bars or on a hot summer day leaving air conditioned building  and completely loosing vision for few minutes, waiting for the glasses to de-fog. Many times I felt asleep with my glasses on, only to wake up to a knocked out eyepiece and mangled up rims. I could only ride my motorcycle in a full face helmet or using special, prescription goggles. Not to mention that…

Eyeglasses Costed a Fortune

Until I found the websites that sell decent quality Designer Eyeware for Less!, I used to spend several hundred dollars every year. My eyesight was worsening, so I needed upgrades. I mishandled my glasses, so I needed repairs. I kept loosing those damn things and I needed replacements. As much as the eye glasses were uncomfortable…

I Never Got to Use Corrective Lenses

Somehow, the idea of putting foreign objects into my eyes, didn’t feel very appealing. Plus, the cost of prescription lenses also seemed prohibitive. Yes, I’m cheap- just ask my wife…

Finally, few years ago, I heard about LASIK, commonly known as laser eye surgery. It is a procedure that aims to reshape corneas to sharpen vision. I won’t go over the details of the surgery, for I’m really not qualified to do so. Let me just say that it took me few years before I decided to get my eyes resharpened. As most people, I was mostly concerned with the…

Risks of LASIK eye surgery

Not that I heard about many problems, but the sole idea of aiming a laser beam at one of  your most precious organs and burning a hole in it, wasn’t that attractive. Only after I spoke to a few friends of mine, who had the procedure done, I started contemplating it for real. It was November 2009 and instead of eating fat turkey celebrating Thanksgiving, we took off for couple of weeks in Jamaica. I spent the time educating myself about the risks and benefits of LASIK surgery and upon return to the US, I finally contacted the suggested eye clinic in Rochester. I won’t mention it’s name, as I believe there is already enough ads on this blog. If you’re interested, please contact me, and I’ll send the contact info.

Laser Eye Surgery Financing

The initial examination took place early in December 2009. If it wasn’t for the doctor’s  busy schedule, I think, I would have been done within 4 or 6 weeks. It’s the time needed to prepare eyes using all kinds of eye drops for the LASIK surgery. Instead, I had to wait until later part of January of 2010. That gave me bit of time to work out the finances.

Even though the prices of LASIK eye surgeries dropped significantly in the last 10 years, I think they are still quite expensive. Especially when you see what’s involved. I decided to do the surgery in the US, but some of my colleagues at work took trips to Canada where the same procedure was just half the price. I know, you can also do it in south of the border, but many people won’t even consider to travel to Mexico. Even if that exact same LASIK procedure is considerably cheaper there.

In the US, the insurance won’t cover the eye surgery. Most doctor’s offices will however offer some kind of financing. Couple that with your medical FSA and you can work a pretty sweet deal for you. If you schedule the LASIK procedure at the beginning of the year, your FSA give you a de-facto 12 month, interest free financing.

Oh, an one more thing. If you plan on parting your ways with your current employer, do it in January and you will get a free LASIK surgery! How to do it? Declare appropriate FSA contributions the previous year, use FSA to pay for the surgery and quit your job right after the laser eye procedure. Most employers will have to cover the difference… Obviously that’s one of the things they don’t wont you to know. Not to mention, that it’s only suitable for people with more relaxed moral values…

The LASIK procedure

The laser eye surgery is actually a very short one. In my case it only took 45 minutes, of which 30 were waiting and preparation (i.e. tons of eye drops and Valium to keep you steady). Each eye takes about 5 minutes of gluing, adjusting and reinforcing and only about 10 seconds of actual eye surgery. It may sound a bit scary, and it feels a bit weird, but in fact there is nothing to worry about. If the tests are positive and you’re a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery, a very detailed computer model of your eyes will be developed through a series of examinations. That program will guide the laser beam to open the flap in your outer cornea and reshape it’s inner surface according to the model, then to close it back. I’m over simplifying and not being very exact here, but if you’re interested in the details, you can always investigate the subject for yourself.

In my case, it took longer to drive to and back from the clinic, then the LASIK laser eye procedure itself. Obviously I couldn’t drive back myself, so be sure to have a drive at hand to take you home. I got a pair of nice goggles to wear for the next 24 hours and a nice t-shirt with a teasing “Guess what I’m not wearing?” in front and the clinics logo on the back. Pretty damn steep for the $2,600 I paid…

I spent the next few hours in bed, stuffed with yet another dose of Valium. Obviously I didn’t complain – good night (or even afternoon) sleep is always welcome. The next morning I was back to work, except… no glasses!

Feedback After the Laser Eye Surgery

My vision improved almost immediately. Already leaving the clinic, I knew the procedure was successful. Even though blurry and foggy at first, I could already see objects that were off limits before. Within the first 12 hours after surgery, my vision was completely restored. The only side effect, which continued for several weeks was an extreme dryness of my eyes, forcing me to apply eye drops every couple of hours during the day. After few weeks even that went away and I could enjoy a perfect 20/15 vision ever since.

The Official Patient's Sourcebook on LASIK SurgeryIn fact, I wish, I educated myself and decided on the procedure much earlier. The results are amazing. My eye sight has not deteriorated after the surgery. What’s most important though, I can now enjoy all the activities that were previously either off limits or too complicated to perform with eye glasses.

I hope this personal account of a healed patient will be of value to anyone who considers a LASIK surgery. The results are definitely worth the effort. Obviously this post does not cover even a small fraction of the information required by anyone who’s serious about taking this step. Recently, I stumbled upon a book titled The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on LASIK Surgery, which promises the following:

This book has been created for patients who have decided to make education and research an integral part of the treatment process. Although it also gives information useful to doctors, caregivers and other health professionals, it tells patients where and how to look for information covering virtually all topics related to lasik surgery (also Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis; LASIK eye surgery), from the essentials to the most advanced areas of research. The title of this book includes the word official. This reflects the fact that the sourcebook draws from public, academic, government, and peer-reviewed research. Selected readings from various agencies are reproduced to give you some of the latest official information available to date on lasik surgery. Given patients’ increasing sophistication in using the Internet, abundant references to reliable Internet-based resources are provided throughout this sourcebook. Where possible, guidance is provided on how to obtain free-of-charge, primary research results as well as more detailed information via the Internet. E-book and electronic versions of this sourcebook are fully interactive with each of the Internet sites mentioned (clicking on a hyperlink automatically opens your browser to the site indicated). Hard-copy users of this sourcebook can type cited Web addresses directly into their browsers to obtain access to the corresponding sites. In addition to extensive references accessible via the Internet, chapters include glossaries of technical or uncommon terms.

Even though it might seem a little off topic, without my eyes being fixed, the whole Sabbatical road trip would be much less enjoyable and life more complicated. By the way, here’s a link to a blog post about the LASIK eye surgery I wrote the day after the procedure. It’s a fresh, first hand relation,  but it’s only in Polish… Sorry!

Coffee Grounds Body Scrub

Agnieszka shares her beauty secrets and explains how to save hundreds of dollars, while treating yourself to a SPA-like experience.

What can you do with used coffee grounds besides using them in your garden as a fertilizer? You can also use it as a scrub for your body. Here is what you need:

  • used coffee grounds
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil or coconut oil
  • a bowl

Combine all the ingredients and massage your body under the shower after you washed yourself with soap. Finish your shower with cold water. This will additionally tighten your skin leaving it smooth and plump. Then dry your skin with a towel and moisturize. Repeat every week and you will notice the results very quickly. It is a bit messy but well worth it. It is also very cheap, in fact it is free. Caffeine is widely used in cosmetology due to its positive effects on skin. Coffee grounds scrub has been used for ages in Indonesia then introduced in western countries where you have to pay big bucks for it at SPA’s.

I have been doing it for years back at home but now on the road it came in even more handy since the space in our van is very limited:-)

The Benefits of Oregano Oil

Agnieszka unravels the secrets of an ancient old natural antibiotic that helps us stay healthy in the most difficult situations.

I have already mentioned oregano oil in previous post but my recent experience prompted me to dedicate it a separate one.

I recently advised my friend to take some oregano oil for her cold. She was really upset because her and her husband were coming down with a cold, while in the process of scheduling a surgary for their son. Difficult situation since if they got him sick, the surgery would have to be called off …again. She took my advice and bought probably a year worth of supply:-) They took it religiously and got better pretty quickly.

Oregano oil is very powerful natural antibiotic that can be used internally and externally. The best thing about is that it is natural and you can not develop immunity to it. It has to be diluted because it is very strong!!!!! I use a teaspoon of olive oil and two drops of oregano oil for me and only one drop for my kids. Make sure you have a piece of fruit ready to eat right after you drink the oils because the taste is nasty and very strong.

So try it! It might be worth it!

Stay Healthy on the Road

We’ve been traveling for almost 7 months now. In that time we had only one case of a mild fever and two ticks. Agnieszka explains what we do to stay healthy on the road.

Since we’ve made the decision to wander around the world for a while, my biggest concern has been our health and well being. How were we going to deal with sickness on the road? Where were we going to find a good doctor in a new place? What if we had an emergency… Where are we to go? All these questions were spinning through my head until I got dizzy.

There was not much left to do, but to get ready. I got on my favorite websites, visited my naturopath, doctor Evelyn Asher and realized that prevention is the best way to go. I knew that most common diseases start in your gut, so healthy intestines are key in fighting off all kinds of bacteria and viruses. Evelyn assured me that maintaining a healthy, whole, real, made from scratch foods diet was crucial.

At home, it was easy to get all the unprocessed, raw, locally grown, mostly organic foods. But on the road, it was a whole new ball game. Many times we walked out of a store with empty hands, because everything was processed, chemically altered, genetically modified and out of a box. However, thanks to Robert’s love of back roads, we were able to find products at small food stands in the country. It was mostly produce, but also locally grown meats, honey, and raw dairy products.

Along the way, we have been on a constant lookout for “edible” foods, feeling like modern day hunters in the overly processed and plastic world. When we found a good store, I would buy more to keep us going for the next day or so, but not more, since all we had was a portable cooler.

In addition, all of us went on probiotics and fish oil supplements. Not just any. There are a lot of expensive and worthless products, but there are a few good and inexpensive ones too (we use Primal Defense and Nordic Naturals). I put it in smoothies for my children and they never know the difference.

We also packed some essential oils, like oregano and eucalyptus. The first one is a natural antibiotic that you can not develop resistance to, and the second is a great natural and DEET free bug repellent.

You may say, that it is expensive, too much hustle, time consuming… Yes, it is all of those things, but the rewards are tangible. If it was not for the ticks that bit Nadia or a recent 2 day fever for Alex, my kids would have made a year without any kind of health issue. How is that for a saving on copay’s at the doctors offices! Yes a year… That is a great result for a travelling child, sleeping in different places, eating new foods, being exposed to all kinds of germs and regularly going to school in Mexico.

Writing this post, I have probably jinks-ted myself and now we are all going to get sick, 😉 but here it is, I’ve said it. To me it is worth every penny and every minute, it is my long term commitment to let food be my medicine so cheers and let’s raise our glasses… Mine is filled with jugo verde! 🙂