When I turned 27 I had an epiphany.
In March of 2013 I developed a vocal cord issue that led to me barely being able to speak for an entire day. I’m a middle school music teacher who also had lunch duty; lunch duty= death to one’s voice. The daily shouting plus singing in my classroom, choir practices, and musical rehearsals put tremendous strain on my poor cords. A combination of a doctor’s visit, no singing, limited speaking, and vocal rest did not help. Fast-forward a few months and I knew that during the summer I would need to do whatever it took to improve, since I would have more time off to try new methods and remedies. I was desperate and was running out of ideas.
Then one day I was at Wegmans (yes I know, I’m lucky enough to live near one!) in the organic section looking for stevia. I’d seen a recipe that required the liquid form, and at home I only had the powdery granules. The conventional baking aisle did not have it, so I figured I’d try the organic. Sure enough, there were plenty of liquid stevia choices, lined up in glass bottles. As I read each one, I came to a stevia throat spray. Throat spray, I thought. I hadn’t considered a spray- being a vocal music teacher, I knew that sprays wouldn’t ever touch the vocal cords in the trachea, they would just go down the esophagus and be digested. But as previously mentioned, I was desperate. I picked up a bottle, saw the price, at $15.99 for less than two ounces and wondered if I could do better. I wandered to the herbal section and saw a variety of throat sprays. After comparing a few options, I chose one for $5.89 and figured I had nothing to lose.
After a few uses, I, for the first time in months, felt a difference in my voice. I began to research more herbs and herbal remedies, hoping to figure out which of the ingredients were the ones that were working. Within just a few weeks, I’d used the first bottle and couldn’t believe how quickly I’d done so. I purchased another, but did some quick math and realized how much I would be spending on throat spray if I kept this up. It was going to be nearly $160 for the year, which seemed ridiculous to me. The next time I was at the store, I read the ingredients on the bottle, purchased many of those ingredients separately, and decided to make my own spray at home. I spent $9.99 each on three different liquid herbs, $5.00 for powdered ginger, 99 cents on a gallon of distilled water. I went home to play scientist in my kitchen, mixing the herbs, ginger, distilled water, and some honey in amounts I thought would work. Sure enough, the spray was just as effective and would save me a ton of money.
Needless to say, I learned a lot about natural remedies during my research. In fact, it completely changed my outlook on what we put into our bodies as consumers. As a result, I’ve completely changed my eating habits and beauty products. The articles I read would lead me to another site, or another link filled with valuable information about what has been happening to the American food supply. I immediately decided to swap everything I’d been eating for organic.

So here I am, months and months later, thrilled with my decision to change my eating and grooming habits. You can do it too! Check out this blog on a regular basis for tips on how to eat organically while saving money, information on natural remedies and products, how to make natural alternatives, and where to find supplies, even if you live in the middle of nowhere!


Here’s to healthy living with extra cash in your pocket!






52 thoughts on “About

  1. I love the concept of your blog. I live in California now, but I lived in Kansas during college and it was nearly impossible to eat organic on a budget. There I would have to rely on Wholefoods because unfortunately the cooperatives are too expensive and organic is not a big think in chain stores. If I ever moved back, I think I would grow my own!

    What I did love about the cooperative though were the herbs!

    If you don’t mind me asking, where do you live?

    • For some reason, it is not letting me directly reply to your farmer’s market question, so I am doing it here! I am blessed enough to live smack dab in the middle of NJ where we have access to pretty much anything. There are dozens of markets within a half hour’s drive. They range quite a bit, but I’ve found some really great produce and other products. My husband runs a winery and I’ve worked the wine table at a few of the markets, so I get to check around and explore everything the Garden State has to offer! What about California? My family lives in San Diego.

    • Thank you! I’m still recovering, but am improving every day. I will say though that after changing my eating style and beauty products I haven’t been sick (other than catching a cold from someone on a plane- YUCK). As a teacher, I’ve usually been sick at least twice by January- not this year!

      • That’s terrific. Have you heard of Thieves oil? A co-worker who is really into holistic medicine, and was formerly a school teacher, said that it’s extremely effective in warding off sickness due to anti-bacterial properties.

    • Thank you so much! I’m recovering more and more each day, it’s now been 11 months and I can make it through an entire day without my voice dying and I can even sing a little bit- it’s been a struggle, but I can’t help but think the change in lifestyle has had an impact.

  2. Wow, what a remarkable story! My epiphany was when my kids were little. My twin baby girls were getting regular ear infections. All those visits to the doctor’s office did not help at all. Just more antibiotics..To make a long story short, I found the book Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing at a Health Food Store and began implementing the recommended natural remedies. They worked! I was scared to go on a limb at the time ( I wasn’t a licensed nurse at the time), but I was desperate. They have never gotten an ear infection since, and may have ended up with tubes had i continued with the conventional approach. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I’m so glad you visited by blog today, as it gave me the opportunity to discover yours. I can already tell I’m going to enjoy it. Looking forward to reading your posts~ Abby 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I agree, I’m so glad to have found yours too! I was an ear infection kid, I had them so often that I did have the tubes- your kids are lucky to have you! I’m so glad the infections stopped, it’s amazing that we keep going through the same routine, medicine, medicine, medicine. I just got sick for the first time since changing my lifestyle (normally as a teacher I would have been sick at least twice by February first). I caught something from someone on a plane, everyone seemed to be coughing and in that small a space, you just have no shot. Needless to say, this was my first sickness that I fought off on my own, no antibiotics, no medicines that weren’t homeopathic. It took a few days, but I did it! If it’s truly serious that’s different, but I knew this was just a run of the mill infection and decided to not medicate for the first time- it is possible! Glad to hear others are doing the same 🙂

  3. Hello, Jennifer! I am glad you found my blog or I would have never discovered yours. I am glad to meet you. Thank you for following annascuisine.wordpress.com. Looking forward to exploring your blog. Have a great day! 🙂

    • Thanks so much and you’re welcome! It looks like you lead a fascinating life- I love South America, I’ve only been to Brazil but plan on going to more countries in the future. The Spanish language is one of the love of my life!

  4. Great blog! Amazing story. I “recovered” from MS through organic living and getting rid of toxins so I also know it works. I enjoyed reading about others that got better from using the same methods : ) Looking forward to reading more!

  5. I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog. You have shared an inspiring story here. I’m a believer of homeopathic and natural remedies too. Have been working off mild colds and coughs in my kids with Zicam and Chestal. I’m so glad that these are available OTC. Will follow your blog and get more ideas for healthy living. Do check out mine when you get the time.

    • Thank you so much!!! I have been so busy with the play at school for the past two weeks, and I have two days before the musical starts up so I will definitely take a look when I can!!

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  7. What an inspirational story, I have recently made the change to totally organic produce and feel so much better again for doing so. Your blog is lovely and I love, love, love the name but most importantly the concept and content. Thank you!

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