How to Naturally Get Rid of Ants With Peppermint Oil

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Over the last three or four months, unfortunately, I’ve noticed a few ants scurrying around the floor in our kitchen area. (We try to be clean people, but sometimes there’s only so much you can do when you have an 18-month old kid.)

Obviously, I wasn’t particularly pleased about this, but wanted to do my best to get rid of the ants without having to use any harsh chemicals, particularly because of my son. So, after doing a bunch of internet research, I came across a pretty good solution: peppermint oil.

I had purchased some a while back when I was giving aromatherapy a shot, so, thankfully, I already had some on hand. After giving it a whirl (see the video below), I have to say, the ants have pretty much disappeared, hopefully for good!

Do any of you use essential oils? If so, what for? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.

Organic / Natural Homemade Weed Spray

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Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a lot of weeds growing in the cracks in my driveway. I wanted to do something about it, but I’m very much against using industrial weed sprays which tend to be loaded with lots of toxic chemicals.

I finally reached a breaking point, did some research on the internet, and came up with the recipe included in the video below:

In case you don’t really want to watch the video, the ingredients are:

  • 1/2 gallon of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • 1/8 cup Dawn dish soap

All you have to do is mix the ingredients in a regular weed sprayer and then thoroughly soak the weeds you’re trying to get rid of.  If you do it in the morning, you should see pretty good results by the following morning or afternoon.  Again, just make sure you’re soaking the weed.

Just be aware – this stuff kills more than weeds.  So, if you don’t want to kill your grass, plants, your vegetable garden, etc., make sure you’re taking careful aim with your weed sprayer!

Do you create your own natural, less toxic cleaning and lawn products? If so, what? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community!

Here’s a follow up video showing that this concoction works as advertised!

Our Food System Looks Like It Came From The Movie Saw

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I’ll be right up front about this clip: it’s disturbing and it’s hard to watch. And, unfortunately, by many accounts, it’s an accurate representation of what our mass produced food system is really like. That being said — I’ll get more into this after you’ve had a chance to watch the video — it doesn’t have to be this way!

Source: Vimeo

Pretty scary, right?

I know a lot of people will likely use a video like this and point to why we shouldn’t be eating meat. I get that and I can’t fault anyone who thinks that way. But, for me, I use this as continued validation and justification of continuing to pay a little more for meat sourced from local farmers who treat their animals humanely, both during their lives and as they are taking to slaughter. (I know this because I’ve taken the time to talk to them about their practices. It’s amazing what people will tell you if you simply ask the questions.)

What are your thoughts on this video? Is our food system broken? How can it be fixed? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community!

Interview with Leslie Klenke – Author of Paleo Girl

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Leslie KlenkeA few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Leslie Klenke, author of the recently released book Paleo Girl.  (My wife loved the book, and I’m trying to get her to write a review on it, so stay tuned!)  Don’t let the title fool you though, it’s a great resource for everyone going Paleo, not just the fairer gender.

In any event, below is our interview, which gives a ton of information on the origin of the book, why carbs really aren’t the devil, and why Paleo Girl is a good read for men, too!

Would you mind giving a little background on yourself and how Paleo Girl came to be?

The birth of Paleo Girl started just over a year ago. I met with Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint and mastermind behind He runs a publishing company called Primal Blueprint Publishing and I had the opportunity to pitch my idea for a Primal children’s book to him. I believe in helping kids develop healthy habits early on that will stick with them throughout their life, and felt this would be a great concept for young readers to learn the basic Primal principles. The meeting went great and he loved the kid’s book, however as we were talking, the conversation switched gears. I casually said, “How powerful would it be if there was a book that was targeted towards the teen demographic that fall between this children’s book and The Primal Blueprint?” Mark perked up, “I’d like to see a pitch for that book!”

That day I went home and immediately started brainstorming. I put together a basic outline of the topics I wanted to cover—the topics I wish I understood when I myself was a teen: nutrition, fitness, sun, sleep, play, puberty, peer pressure, bullies, eating disorders, motivation, happiness, recipes, and some real world success stories. I knew it was a lot of information for just one book, but I really wanted to develop an entire lifestyle guide to help teens through a potentially tricky stage in life.

Mark loved my message and my passion for this project was more than apparent. I received my book deal in June of 2013, and the rest is history!

That’s quite a story and I can definitely see the need given that so much focus is put on children and adults, with not much focus on the very important “in between” years! Why do you think this group has been so neglected from a health literature standpoint?

That’s a great question! Honestly, I’m not sure why—but I saw the void and did my best to fill it.

Your book is focused not just on eating Primal/Paleo, but living Primal/Paleo.  What are your best tips for living this lifestyle aside from changing your diet.

To me, the goal of a paleo lifestyle is to go back to the basics. Don’t make it complex! Exercise when you feel like it, and do this by moving regularly throughout the week, lifting heavy things when you can, and sprint every once in a while. Make an effort to get good quality sleep (eliminate stress and cut out alcohol and caffeine as much as you can), get adequate sun, and play! Life is meant to be fun, so stop stressing about diets, weight loss, and obsessing over vanity. Learn to be happy and appreciate the body you have, then everything else will follow.

Paleo GirlI couldn’t agree more about keeping it simple. I always think it’s funny when people say it’s hard to go Paleo because it’s so time consuming and because you have to make elaborate meals. Totally not true! What are some tips you have to remind people to keep it simple?

I can understand the confusion. I mean, there are thousands of Paleo foodies out there whipping up extravagant recipes and sharing them online—myself included! To someone unfamiliar with the lifestyle, they may see these meals and think that’s what we eat everyday. That’s definitely not the case. For example, I may crank out stacks of delicious Paleo pancakes, perfectly fried meats, and fancy kombucha drinks on the weekend when I have time, but more often than not my breakfasts consist of just eggs and bacon. Good food in its basic form, with no need to make it complex. My advice when in doubt is to remember the basics: stick with meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts/seeds, and healthy fats and eat them in whatever manner is the easiest and tastes the best. Steak and kale? Awesome! Eggs and bacon? Perfect! Apple and almond butter? Yes please!

Lately, carbs have demonized by some people in the Paleo community.  You don’t buy it.  Why is that?

Carbs aren’t the problem. If you were to cut all carbs from your diet you would essentially be excluding a lot of yummy vegetables and fruits that are full of vitamins and minerals. The problem is in foods like legumes, grains and starches, and processed foods. Too often people generalize these foods simply as “carbs,” but it’s not that easy. What you really need to pay attention to is how the food you eat effects your production of insulin—aka a food’s glycemic index. When you eat food that increases your blood sugar level (for example, bread has a high glycemic index), your body responds by secreting insulin to bring your blood sugar back down. Excess insulin ultimately turns into fat. When you consume paleo friendly foods, you minimize insulin release and prevent this process.

On somewhat of a tangent: what’s your take on quinoa? Good? Bad? Indifferent? What do you recommend for people who are looking for rice/grain substitutues?

Quinoa has its pros and cons. I used to eat a lot of it when I was vegetarian, but excluded it entirely after going Primal mostly because of its glycemic index. However, I do suggest the consumption of quinoa in Paleo Girl to those who are vegetarian as a protein source. I prefer “cauliflower rice” as a substitution and use it most with curries.

Between diet, exercise, sleep, and limiting environmental toxins, which do you think is the most important to overall health?  What should we be focusing on first?

I would have to say it’s a tie between getting your diet cleaned up and being in the right state of mind. It’s easier to want to eat healthy when you’re in a positive mindset and have the right goals. (For example, wanting to obtain true health and not just the smallest number on the scale.) However, it’s difficult to feel happy and motivated when you’re bogged down by mental fog that can come from poor eating habits, or when you just don’t care about health. Be kind to yourself and set small, realistic goals in the beginning to get you going. Too often we come at lifestyle changes at 110 percent, feel like a failure when we only meet our goals by 80 percent, then go back to our old ways. You could start as simple as eliminating processed food from your diet and incorporating one activity that brings true joy to your life. Try this approach for three weeks and see how you feel. Odds are you’ll start to lose weight, sleep better, think more clearly, and genuinely feel happy and refreshed. From there, you can further improve your diet, and eventually incorporate exercise. I tend to think exercise should come after a person feels comfortable and adapted to his or her new and improved eating habits—but of course everyone is different. Listen to your body and motivation levels and do what feels right.

What do you think and men can take away from Paleo Girl?

The basic Primal principles in Paleo Girl can apply to any and everyone. Aside from that, Paleo Girl is an excellent parenting tool. While mothers can likely remember what it was like to be a teenage girl, this is an experience fathers clearly lack. I’ve had many dads say that this book has served as a bit of an insider’s view into his daughter’s lives and helped them connect on a whole new level. You can’t beat that!

Have you read Paleo Girl?  Leave your comments below and share your thoughts with the community!


This Might Change Your Thoughts on Supplements

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As part of the Paleo diet, the “expectation” is that you generally should get all of the nutrients your body needs through food. That being said, some of the biggest and smartest names in the community — Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser, and Mark Sission, just to name a few — recommend SMART supplementing to round things out, particularly as your body is recovering from the Standard American Diet way of eating and because large agro has left our soil depleted of many minerals our body needs (e.g. magnesium).

The key word here, in case you didn’t pick up on it, is “smart.”  Their advice, in my opinion, isn’t a get out of jail free card to risk your health on the latest pills/powder/drink claiming to be the magic cure-all we’ve all been waiting for.

And this is probably why I enjoyed this commentary so much.  It’s a long watch, but you’ll enjoy it.

Source: YouTube

(For the record, I take Prescript Assist Probiotic, Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil, and Magnesium.  That’s it.)

What are your thoughts on supplements?  Do you take them?  What do you take?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community!