Sometimes I get in trouble for buying lots of supplements. And cookbooks. And nutrition books. And text books. And random crap from Target. It’s true. I’m not proud of it.

I guess you would say that I subscribe to the ideology, “More is More”. This phrase was coined by our dear friend Adam, in response to his frustration with my husband’s minimalist tendencies. So I consider myself a “Maximalist”, I think. You can get a glimpse of this on my Instagram feed. Most nutritionists have a stripped down color palette of dainty Mint Greens and Rose Golds and Whisper Grays. I kind of love Hot Magentas and Carribbean Blues and Kale Greens. I can’t help myself. I don’t have a LBD. I have 8 black dresses of assorted lengths and styles. They are all from Target or Ebay, don’t worry. One really nice dress would cost me the same amount of money that all 8 of my cheap dresses cost. 

So sometimes I try real hard to scale it back, and work with things I already have. Scraps from my sewing closet. Cans of food from 2013.  Veggies buried at the bottom of the deep freeze. 

Sometimes, the things you need are already right in front of you. 

Shall we go on a treasure hunt? You may find a few things around the house that can bolster your health. And you won’t have to spend any money.  As my husband is fond of saying, “When do I get to spend all of this money you are saving me?

God designed His created world to be nourishing and healing. While Adam and Eve screwed that up in the Fall, and we perpetuate the cycle today, there are still some lovely parts of nature here on Planet Earth that contribute to vibrant, healthy bodies. 

Here are a few of my favorites. 

1.  Fennel Seeds

In India, restaurants keep small bowls of fennel on the tables for patrons to use as an after-dinner digestive aid.  Fennel seeds smell faintly of licorice. But the reason I think I like fennel so much is because the fennel plant is related to the carrot plant. And I love me some carrots.

Fennel contains volatile oils that act on the digestive and reproductive system. Traditionally, fennel seeds and fennel teas are used to help calm heartburn and indigestion and also relieve gas and bloating after meals.  You can buy fennel tea commercially, but I prefer just grabbing a small handful and chewing them slowly after a meal.  Try finding an adorable tiny bowl to fill with fennel seeds and leave on your dining table. 

If you prefer to make your own tea, here is the recipe:

2.  Boxwood Hedge

Here in the beautiful San Joaquin Valley, we get the distinct privilege of breathing not only our own disgusting air, but also the disgusting air from Silicon Valley.  I also live in a house with four boys. We are a stinky family. I yearn for the wild and free clean air of Green Gables, or some other place that may or may not exist. 

In the meantime, I like to fill my house with as many green things as possible. As we exhale carbon dioxide, plants pick up that poisonous substance and give us back precious oxygen. You learned this in grade school, but I remind you because it is nothing short of miraculous!

Instead of buying fresh flowers every week, I like to keep plenty of boxwood hedge growing around my yard. I cut new clippings each week and place them all around my house to sop up the yuckies. What lovely potential cuttings do you have in your yard? Walk around with a cup of fennel tea and peruse the possibilities.

3.  Lemons

If anyone is ever giving lemons away, I jump at the offer. Free lemons are one of my weaknesses. And homemade caramel. And Herman Story Grenache. 

Back to lemons. I love them.  They are an inexpensive (or free!) source of Many Good Things.  Every time I make myself a cup of herbal tea, I squeeze at least a quarter of a lemon in the mug. My Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (oooh, please let me run this test on you!) shows that I am a slow oxidizer, and thus prone to a sluggish liver. Lemon alkalinizes the body and detoxifies the liver. Lemons help break down dietary fats.  You can rub a lemon on your face as a natural skin brightener and exfoliant. Squeeze lemon juice over your broiled vegetables or stuff one in the cavity of your roast chicken. Throw a bunch of them in a beautiful bowl on your kitchen table. 

4. Coffee

Ok, stick with me here. I am going to talk to you about saving your leftover coffee for a coffee enema (emoji with monkey covering his face). If you have perfect health, skip to #5.  But if you have chronic health conditions that are not resolved through eating well, supplementing well, being on doctor-mandated prescription medication, and exercising intelligently, you may be a candidate for regular coffee enemas. 

Bile is the substance that is made by your liver and stored by your gallbladder. I can’t even tell you the number of women I see with gallbladder issues. It hurts to see, every time. Your liver and gallbladder are organs of detoxification and your body needs them to work properly.  If bile can’t flow freely from liver to gallbladder to large intestine to toilet, then you, my dear, are not excreting toxins properly. Estrogens, copper, aluminum, lipopolysaccharides, and more can be building up in your body, getting constantly recirculated in the blood stream as a result of ineffective or clogged bile. 

And ya get sick. And stay sick.  

Coffee enemas work to clear a pathway for proper bile formation and utilization. They are controversial, so take this with a grain of salt. For those that are really sick, coffee enemas are recommended daily, or more. But other sources say that coffee enemas are unsafe and unnecessary. 

My training as a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist includes use of coffee enemas for clients who simply are not getting better, despite working on diet, rest, exercise, stress relief, and supplementation.  But just like Maximalism, coffee enemas are not for everyone. You only need 2 TBSP of coffee per 12 oz water, so keep that in mind. Please, for the love, make sure the coffee and water are at room temperature. 

5. Honey

Do you remember the scene from The Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh where Pooh Bear is so hungry that he can only think of honey?

This goes through my head when I think of honey sometimes. Ugh, I miss my kids being tiny. 

Honey is powerful stuff, you guys.  Raw honey can act like an allergy shot, a tablespoon a day. Honey is also excellent for burns and wounds. Dr. Axe says raw honey will react with the body’s fluids and create a compound that is chemically similar to hydrogen peroxide.  And hydrogen peroxide is highly antibacterial.  Come to think of it, if there were a #6, hydrogen peroxide would be #6.  

Honey also tastes delicious. Beau uses a tsp of manuka honey every day, along with his black seed oil, to boost his immune system.  The honey cuts down on the bitter, unctuous taste of the black seed oil.  I recommend this concoction to people with persistent allergies (whose stomachs and systems can handle it). 

In conclusion

Look at you, you health detective! You found random stuff around your house that contributes to your quality of life, for free. Don’t say I never gave you anything for free. 

What other things do you have lying around your house that you use for their health-promoting benefits? Chime in on Facebook.

To your health,