Mom Knows Best Happy & Healthy Home Tips

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Mom Knows Best Happy & Healthy Home Tips
by: Rachel Harris,

Since Mother's Day is this Sunday, I have dedicated my segment to my mother who has taught me some really cool healthy tips for a happy, clean and almost all natural home.  I am not as good as she is when it comes to making everything from scratch, including her own natural cleaners, amazing healthy and tasty foods and more.  With our fast paced on the go schedule, I do what I can to follow her example.  So here are a few of her quick and easy tips that are truly terrific.  Take a look to see if you can use some of these tried and true tips for your home....

Mom Tip #1 -- Fresh Squeezed Citrus Trick -- To get the absolute maximum amount of juice from your citrus, Mom says to simply microwave the fruit for 10 to 20 seconds and the warmed juices inside soften right up so that every last drop is easily squeezed out.  Mom says to also keep your lemon and lime in the fridge to maximize freshness.

Mom Tip #2 -- Healthy & Quick Power Toast Recipe -- Mom made tasty toast for my picky 16-year-old son and me.  We found that it satisfied both our sweet tooth craving and our endless desire for bread.  She first toasted Ezekiel Sprouted grain cinnamon and raisin bread.  Ezekiel bread is a sprouted grain bread that is flourless and organic.  This bread is different from typical bread brands because Ezekiel is made from freshly sprouted live grains that release vital nutrients that are stored in the whole grains that are good for us.  Ezekiel is sold at Sprouts Farmers Market and at Whole Foods stores. I even see it at Safeway now, I'm happy to report.

Then she spreads each slice with Ghee, which is a clarified butter.  Ghee is rich in Vitamins A, D, E, and K which are critical to bone, brain, heart, and immune system function.  I buy my Ghee at Sprouts Farmers Market. 

Next she adds almond butter, which is an excellent protein, and then sprinkles a little raw wheat germ on top with a smudge of organic raw honey to top it off.  The wheat germ is tasteless and is packed with important B vitamins, such as foliate, vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B6. B vitamins are heart healthy, contribute good mood chemicals to the brain and are critical for cardiovascular health.  Raw organic honey in the unprocessed organic form is an adequate source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Dr. Oz just did a show about the amazing health benefits of raw and organic honey last week.  So this what I call Mom's power toast and it is tasty, too!

Mom Tip #3 -- Healthy Oils Cooking & Beauty Tips -- Before my mother mentioned this to me, I had just had several other friends, who are wellness experts, tell me something similar that when it comes to oils for nutrition, be selective.  Here are Mom's favorite oils...

*Olive Oil - Go for the extra-virgin olive oil that is rich in antioxidants and is good for heart health. Olive oil is best used as a drizzle on steamed vegetables, to make salad dressing or to sauté vegetables.  Mom mixes part olive oil and part Ghee with salt and pepper to season her veggies and it is very tasty.  She also adds a squeeze of lemon. For beauty, she dabs a little on her lips to soothe chapped lips and on her nails for dry cuticle relief.

*Coconut Oil - I read on Dr. Oz's show website that studies show that coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness.  My mom had also told me this, so I started using it in my pancakes and other recipe.  To my pleasant surprise, my family didn't seem to notice much of a difference.  Coconut oil works great for baked recipes like banana bread and it also works well with vegetables.  Coconut oil can also withstand the heat, which makes this oil a good one for cooking.  To soften this oil for measuring, Mom puts the jar in a pan of hot water.  For beauty, rub coconut oil on your skin to relieve dry skin conditions.

Mom Tip #4 -- Peppermint Oil for Insect Control -- Mom puts peppermint oil on cotton balls and then places them among shelves, floor corners and other areas in her home to naturally repel insects of all kinds.  My mother greatly dislikes using chemicals inside and she says this works very well.

Mom Tip #5 -- Preserving Your Cutting Board -- Mother says that if your wood cutting board is drying out, try this trick once a month.  First, wash the surface with mild soap and water and then immediately rinse and dry.  Next oil the surface with mineral oil.  The oil penetrates the wood and protects against drying and cracking.  Never use vegetable oil. It will turn rancid, so only use mineral oil, wash with baking soda after use and never put in dishwasher.  Your cutting board will last forever if you follow these few tips.  Thanks Mom!

Mom Tip #6 -- How To Quickly Peel Garlic -- My mother tells me that you don't need to buy a special kitchen tool to peel a garlic clove.  Simply cut the end off  of the clove and the skin quickly falls away.  If you don't want sticky garlic fingers, Mom also recommends boiling water and then pouring the hot water over the garlic.  Then let the garlic sit in the hot water for a few minutes.  Remove from the water and the skin comes right off with this trick.  Also garlic is healthy, so Mother says to try to eat a little raw garlic daily to strengthen your immune system.

Mom Tip #7 -- Go Green With This Easy Trick -- Stop buying plastic baggies and instead save the rubber band that comes off your daily newspaper.  Use the rubber band to secure opened bags of food, etc. instead of storing in the not-so-earth friendly plastic baggies.  This is so simple and it works well.  I like doing what I can to be earth friendly.

Mom Tip #8 -- Let Nature Recycle Poodle Dog  Hair -- This is one I would have never thought of!  Mom says that when she trims and brushes her poodle's hair, she saves all the cottony excess hair in a little dish.  Then in the warmer weather months, she takes it outside and lets the wind take it away.  She happily noticed that the birds swoop down and take it in their beaks for building an extra soft nest for the baby birds.  Her dog's trimmed hair never goes into the trash and instead becomes part of the twigs and other stuff the birds gather up for their nests.  This is so clever!

What happy and healthy Mom tips has your mother shared with you that work well?  Share here in the comments section and be sure to check my blog at for more healthy home tips.  Happy Mother's Day this weekend!