Four Quick-to-Make Healthy Snacks

Energy Bites

There is a plethora of ways to make yummy ‘energy bites’. Soft Medjool Dates make a great base in many recipes. It is possible to soak the dates beforehand, but excess water can be a nuisance. Finding Medjool Dates when they are soft and squishy is the best. Pitting and then chopping the dates into as-fine-as-possible pieces makes them easier to integrate into your mix. We carry some Medjools in our bulk section.  Try our Cacao Walnut Energy Bites or Super Simple Coconut Date Balls. While almost all the recipes you find for energy bites instruct to make balls of your mix, if you’re looking for a quick snack just eat the mash! No shame.

For further inspiration and options, here are 12 different energy bite recipes.

Quick Home Made Hummus

Making hummus can be quite a chore if one starts with dry beans. Consider prepping a quick hummus with pre-cooked chickpeas aka garbanzos. There are a few tips and tricks in making the best hummus possible with pre-cooked garbanzos. In this wonderful blog recipe, Cooking + Kate says to boil the beans with baking soda before using them and to use ice cold water in the recipe. The quality of ingredients here will also make all the difference in the taste of quick hummus. A good hummus also includes Tahini – which is also featured in the Cacao Walnut Energy Bites recipe above!

We carry some high quality chick peas and tahinis in our stores.

From Cooking+Kate

Avocado, Cheese, Kimchi & Crackers

So tasty, so simple. Throw the items into a bag with a butter knife or pocket knife and you have a portable picnic snack that will leave you feeling satisfied and well-nourished.

Here’s a fancy Avocado Toast variant.

Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil Salad

A classic. Have you ever thrown some mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper together in a bowl and devoured it? My goodness… heavenly.

From SeriousEats.com

Here’s a recipe with marinated Mozzarella.

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Launch Pad for Children’s Herbal Immune Support


When considering bolstering and supporting a child’s immune system with herbs the most prevalent concerns seem to be safety, efficacy (will the herbs even work for intended use?), and effectiveness (will the herbs work at all?). As a lot of readers know, many folk medicine and herbalist remedies have been used for a long time but are not necessarily supported with scientific documentation. The purpose of the piece is to cover some herbs with immune action that are found to be generally safe and offer a few guidelines on determining doses for children.

Many herbalists recommend children under 6 months should not be given herbs as their digestive systems are sensitive and immature.  Instead, mothers could take a full dose of an herb in hopes of passing the medicine through her breastmilk. In some cases, very weak teas have been given but one should consult with an appropriate physician. If there are ever any signs of discomfort or reaction, herbs should be discontinued immediately.

Some Age-Old Immune System Herbs

Sources for herb information:  Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Buhner, The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs by Ron Teegaurden, and Ayurveda by Scott Gerson. 

These herbs have been used in traditional herbalism and found to be safe over many years. As with all herbs, one should take care to determine the variety and quality of herb one is procuring. Adverse reactions and ineffectiveness could be the result of improper use and usage of the wrong herb.

Ashwaganda

Recently gaining popularity in the West, Ashwaganda has been found to reduce stress levels. As we know, stress disturbs good health. It can be used for stress or disease induced insomnia, fatigue, and inflammation among other things. It is considered an immune tonic. In Ayurveda, Ashwaganda is among herbs used to restore Ojas. Ojas is the ultimate vital energy, the life energy. Scott Gerson writes that ojas can be loosely compared to the fundamental energy of our immune systems. Ashwagandha could cause drowsiness. When taken in large doses diarrhea and vomiting have been reported.

Astragalus

Astragalus is an adaptogen, meaning it helps one to adapt. It is antibacterial, antiviral, and tonic. A tonic is a substance known to enhance overall functioning. Astragalus is known to strengthen, modulate, stimulate, and restore the immune system. It has been used historically in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Ron Teegaurden writes that Astragalus could be a tonic better suited for younger people than ginseng. It has no demonstrated toxicity from regular, daily use or large doses.  It can cause flatulence for those sensitive to legumes since it is in the legume family.

Echinacea

You were probably expecting Echinacea to appear. There has been some recent dispute on its efficacy and effectiveness. Stephen Buhner advises that Echinacea purpurea, which is everywhere, in not very effective and instead suggests E. angustifolia. Buhner reports that echinacea is relatively useless in preventing colds but can be helpful at the onset of a cold or flu if used in large doses every half hour or hour[LW2] . It is good for raising immune function in active infections if taken internally in the right dosage. Germans consider the herb to be supportive. Buhner has found it to be more useful for younger people than for those middle aged. Echinacea is analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and an immune modulator and stimulant (not a tonic!). One should not take large doses for a long time or use for repeated illness; in which case one should repair and recuperate the body.

Eleuthero aka Siberian Ginseng

Eleuthoro actions include adaptogen, adrenal tonic, antidepressant, antifatigue, antistressor, immune tonic, normalizer, and mental clarity stimulant. It is an extremely safe herb. There are reports of Russians using extremely large doses for 20 years with no ill side effects. Extreme overuse could case tension and insomnia. Those with very high blood pressure should take caution. Eleuthero is used in Traditional Chinese medicine to tonify vital energy (Qi and Jing). TeeGaurden writes that Siberian Ginseng has been shown to help build resistance to infectious disease, decrease likelihood of autoimmune reactions, increase work capacity, and reduce occurrences of influenza in groups who consume it regularly.

Reishi aka Ganoderma

Reishi, or ‘the mushroom of immortality’, has been found to be liver regenerative and protective, analgesic, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antistressor, antitumor, immunomodulant – among other things.  In China and Japan it has been used for at least 4000 years.  It is traditionally used as an antiaging herb and has a wide range of health benefits. People taking Reishi notice a sense of peacefulness and the effects appear to be cumulative. There are few cases of adverse reactions reported. Adverse reactions are known to stop once one stops using the herb. Those allergic to mushrooms should be careful.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola is used to treat brain fog, chronic fatigue syndrome, low immune function, nervous exhaustion and recurrent infections. It is an adaptogen, adrenal protecting, anticancer, antidepressant, antifatigue, antioxidant, antistressor; an endocrine tonic, immune tonic, and nervous system tonic. Rhodiolas have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine.  It appears to increase the body’s ability to respond to a any outside stressor including diseases. Some people experience some inability to relax with the herb, in which case one should not take the herb at night.

Dosages and Preparation

Alcohol can be evaporated from tinctures before giving herbs to children. Herbalist Linda Bates gives the following instructions.

  • Put the herbal tincture in a glass container
  • Put the glass container into a pan of cold water on the stove
  • Bring the water to a boil and then turn off immediately
  • Leave the herbal mix in hot water without a lid to let the alcohol evaporate.

One can repeat the process if necessary or there is 550ml or more of the original herbal tincture. Bates suggests dissolving high quality honey is clean water and adding it to the medicine for better taste and health. Store this new concoction in the fridge. One can use the same dosage instructions.

There are some proposed general guidelines for calculating pediatric medicine dosages that have been used to determine appropriate doses of herbs for young people. Some herb practitioners have already posted comparative dose charts online.

The most popular rules often given for determining what percentage of an adult dose to give to a child are Clark’s and Young’s Rules, with Clark’s Rule being more favored than determining doses by age.

Clark’s Rule: Weight of Child in lbs divided by 150 lbs or Weight of Child in kg divided by 70kg.

So, a child weighing 40 lbs would receive 40/150 = .26 or 26% of the adult dose.

Young’s Rule: Child’s Age divided by (12 + child’s age)

So, an eight-year-old child would be given 8/20 = .4 or 40% of the adult dose.

Salisbury’s Rule:
Less than 30 kg: weight x 2
More than 30 kg: weight +30

Lack and Stuart-Taylor determined the Salisbury rule to be easiest to calculate while still being accurate. In ten-year investigations no evidence of improper dosing was found using the Salisbury technique. Elias, Antoniali and Mariano found that the Clark’s and Salisbury’s rules are within acceptable range of dosage being both above effective dosage recommended and below the maximum dosage allowed.

The safest method may be to titrate doses. To titrate, begin with a very small dose and slowly increase until desired results are achieved, or you reach an already accepted dose.

There are several books available on herbalism for children including Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Remedies for Children’s Health. Stephen Buhner’s books on herbalism have HUGE bibliographies so you can look at the original literature for all the information he presents. To begin an herbal journey, look for physicians that include herbs in their practice, find research in existing books, look to community and families already practicing herbalism and turn first to herbs that have been found to be safe over thousands of years. Cheers to strong immune systems and wonderful herbs!


Calculation of drug dosage and body surface area of children by J. A. LACK AND M. E. STUART-TAYLOR

Comparative study of rules employed for calculation of pediatric drug dosage by Gracieli Elias, Cristina Antoniali, Ronaldo Mariano

Mother’s Day Rejuvenating Gift Ideas

Word on the web is the number one thing mothers reportedly want for Mother’s Day is rest! They want a break, some sleep, some relief, and perhaps some pampering without added logistics or planning. We have a few ideas for gift items that could help to promote rejuvenation and relaxation. 

  1. Diffuser and essential oils.

  2. Dry Brush

  3. Natural Health and Beauty care products

  4. Salt Lamp

  5. Gift Certificate


Diffuser and Essential Oils

An essential oil diffuser is basically a mini-humidifier made to spread an essential oil smell. It is very efficient as each use only requires a couple drops of an essential oil. They come in a lot of shapes and sizes. To use simply fill with water, make sure the cover pieces are secure, and turn it on!

One can use lavender or rose for sleep and relaxation, Rosemary or Frankincense oil could be good for headaches – there are many great aromatherapy applications.
If you are unsure of where to start with smells here are some basic suggestions: lavender, geranium rose for more floral scents, lemon or peppermint for invigorating smells and frankincense, cedar, pine, fir for more earthy, grounding scents. Brands like Aura Cacia also make great blends of essential oils for specific purposes such as these pictured below.


Dry Brush

There’s an age-old self massaged technique called ‘dry brushing’ recommended in Ayurveda as part of one’s self cafe routine. Dry brushing has many potential benefits, from smoother skin to helping with lymphatic drainage.

For directions on how to do it here’s a  WellnessMama Blog Post on Dry Brushing and how to do it. If you wish to learn directions and contraindications from a traditional standpoint check out Ayurvedic Dry Massage by Banyan Botanicals.


Natural health and beauty products

Lotions, serums, deodorants and other health and beauty products made with the highest quality ingredients with no fillers just feel great. Mothers should pamper and treat themselves some times.

Serums are very nice oils used in small amounts that can be applied to the face and neck after cleansing. Along with a toner, like Thayers Witch Hazel, or herbal mist… it’s quite heavenly.

Nubian Heritage’s line includes lotions, deodorants, creams, soaps and more. Their ingredients are simple and garden inspired. Theses high quality products are great smelling and effective.


Salt Lamp

Salt Lamps reportedly help clean the air, give off negative ions that in turn promote good health, and in combination with the negative ions the color is supposed to relieve anxiety and promote sleep. In the least these trendy lamps give off a pleasant glow and add natural décor to a space. Read more on Salt Lamps by Dr. Axe


Gift Certificate

We sell Health Hutt gift certificates and they are a sure way to give a health-minded gift while giving options to the gift receiver. Mom can pick from an array of delicious chocolates, teas, coffees, healthful groceries, health and beauty products, housewares, or grab a bite at the Deli!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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3 Eco-Groovy Companies

As we know, the pet-word sustainability and the ‘green’ movement have both become trendy. When looking into companies and businesses, it’s important to find out exactly what they are doing even if they claim to be eco-friendly or natural. Have you ever encounter peanuts labeled ‘peanuts with sea salt’ to read the label and find MSG among the ingredients? It happens! There are some wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing on the shelves. As buyers we have to stay on our toes if we are looking to purchase products from companies that are not pretending to be eco-friendly and natural. After all the big idea behind buying eco-friendly, fair trade or otherwise ‘mindfully’ produced goods is to hopefully support practices that are better for farmers, communities, and the earth… in addition to making healthier decisions for oneself!

Recently people have started promoting regenerative practices. The difference between sustainable and regenerative is the idea of improving existing conditions and not only keeping things from getting worse. Regenerative generally means that the organization is going above and beyond the generic requirements of organic, natural, fair trade and other labels and certifications.
So what does being eco-friendly look like in practice? Here are three examples of companies with products we carry that have found a way to be ecologically savvy and groovy…’Eco-Groovy’?


Barnana ‘upcycles’ bananas that aren’t without blemish. This company finds a funky fresh way to have fun while doing some good. They focus on putting reject bananas to use.

From their website: “Farmers lose up to 20% of their bananas because their bananas are not perfect”…

“We are on a mission to eliminate food waste on organic banana farms. When fresh bananas have scuffs, are a little too ripe, or aren’t the perfect size – they are rejected for export outside of the country. “

“According to the world resources institute, about 56% of all food wasted in latin america happens before ever reaching distribution.  In a region where over 70% of the food that is produced is exported, this leaves a massive amount of bananas left behind to rot.” 

Turning trash into treasure and doing their own small part in helping to end food waste, the Barnana snacks are nothing to scoff at… and they’re delicious! Those bruised and battered bananas still have some worth after all.


In our own Michigan backyard, Higher Grounds based out of Traverse City is another business making efforts to not only walk lighter on the earth but actively try to make change.

Higher Grounds’ partner non-profit On the Ground has tackled projects such as creating access to potable water, building schools, and supporting agricultural diversification.

They also have an importing partner, Cooperative Coffees, that ensures coffee is fair trade and organic and helps producers financially.

Higher Grounds also tackles sustainability in a fun way by delivering coffee by bicycle, using donated, goodwill style mugs instead of to-go cups and composting spent coffee grounds among other things.


Alter Eco has been a front runner in fair trade and non-gmo for years. Their mission is to pioneer a full circle approach to eating, farming, and doing business – and to inspire others to do the same. They promote a full circle sustainability: choose clean ingredients, invest in farmers, regenerate the earth and eliminate waste.

All of their product ingredients are sourced directly from small-scale farmers and are fair trade certified. Their partners get more than the Fair Trade premium so that more money goes directly to the communities from which Alter Eco sources their products.

Working with others, they launched the world’s first compostable, non-gmo, non-toxic candy wrapper and compostable stand up pouches.

Alter Eco has integrated sustainability and regenerative practices into their brand. They truly go above and beyond just serving some delicious chocolate and snacks.

Muskegon Area Earth Week

Muskegon area doesn’t only host an Earth Day, it hosts an Earth Week. This year Earth Week is April 20-28. There are community volunteer cleanup events happening in Muskegon County including an Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup on M-120 April 13, Muskegon Lake Spring Cleanup rescheduled for May 5 and a Trash Bash in Whitehall April 28. Other Earth Week events include a free book event at Embrace Books April 13th, Muskegon Area Sustainability Champion Awards held April 23rd a Five Lakes nature sanctuary walk April 25 and an Earth Fair Expo April 27. If you would like more details about any of these family friendly events please visit www.facebook.com/MuskegonAreaEarthWeek/events.

Earth day was founded when millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development on April 22, 1970. It could be seen as a turning point of a push to incorporate more ecological awareness into modern production. Earth Day is now a global event with yearly themes. This year’s theme is ‘Protect Our Species’. Earth Day events around the world often include community cleanups and parades! Visit the Earth Day Website if you would like to learn more.

Guide to Trying Out CBD oil.

At the Health Hutt we carry a variety of the new CBD oil products being released. It is certainly a trend and for good reason. It has been found to promote decreased pain, enhanced sense of well-being, increased calm, improved sleep, and reduced stress. For a quick overview on what CBD is, check out our blog post What’s the Hype About CBD? If you are thinking about taking CBD for the first time, please read on!

One of the main concerns people have about CBD is whether or not it will make them fail a drug test. Other frequently asked questions pertain to usage including type of product, dose and frequency. We hope to provide you clear answers here.

The main product is CBD oil, which is primarily an edible oil such as sunflower, hemp or olive oil with a concentrated solvent extract derived from cannabis flowers or leaves dissolved in it. Here is a page by Queen City Hemp on how CBD oil is made. To ensure the best quality, the type of solvent used and the type and quality of cannabis plant used is important. In the solvent extraction process other components of the cannabis plant material are inevitably extracted. Other components can actually be beneficial but could include THC. It is important to get CBD products made from hemp plants, which contain 0.3% or less THC, if you are worried about THC entering your system.

So CBD alone will not cause you to fail a drug test but you have to make sure you purchase a product that does not have THC co-extracted. In order for products to be on our shelves at the Health Hutt, they must be derived from hemp and so have 0.3% or less THC. Two brands now releasing 0% THC guaranteed products are Garden of Life and MedTerra.

What one should not do is get CBD oil from unregulated or unknown sources. Products from uncontrolled sources can contain contaminants and inconsistent levels of CBD and THC. CBD oil is relatively new – scientific studies and regulations are continually being developed as our medicinal and recreational cannabis laws change. (For instance, the classification of hemp as cannabis with less than 3/10ths a percent THC concentration is in the United States and differs internationally). An example of new regulation is the US Hemp Authority – Charlotte’s Web is one of their certified companies. More regulation ensures the hemp company is selling products sourced from legal hemp, manufacturers are following standardized good manufacturing processes, growers are taking steps to follow Good Agricultural Practices, and company keeps records of production of hemp (sourcing of seeds, date of planting/harvesting, growth substrates/materials, destinations of manufacturing and sales).

It is important to get CBD oil from a reputable, trusted source that utilizes professional labs, and analytical testing. We ensure the brands we carry meet these requirements and many of the companies we carry provide their testing results on their website.

CBD products come in a variety of strengths and types. High doses of CBD have been tested to be safe and well-tolerated. For instance, a daily dose of 1500mg has been used without any reported negative effects. Even according to WebMD a daily dose of 300mg has been used safely for 6 months. However, high doses of CBD have not always proved to be more effective than small therapeutic doses such as 2.5mg daily. This is just to illustrate that any harm due to high does of CBD is unlikely.

Everyone’s body is different – 1mg may work well for one person while another might be taking what would be considered extreme amount of 2000mg daily. Project CBD in this great article on CBD dosing advises that you start with a low dose and adjust it slowly if needed. So if you are wondering where to start – try starting with a 1mg daily and increase from there to gauge how it makes you feel. If you feel you may need more, continually adjust your dosage by increasing 1mg each day. Overall, any negative side effects (reportedly include dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness, and drowsiness) are not experienced until one cumulatively intakes over 20-30 mg in a day or more than 10mg in a single dose (Project CBD).

In the chart provided are examples of products we carry at the Health Hutt with CBD servings size options. Many of these companies also offer topical CBD products like lotions, creams, balms, and bath bombs. If you are worried about ingesting CBD perhaps you could try a topical product first. Or you might combine topical treatments with ingestible CBD products for conditions like chronic pain or arthritis.


Rawls, Bill. “The Science Behind: CBD Everything You Need to Know.” RawlsMD, January 30, 2019, http://www.rawlsmd.com/health-articles/science-behind-cbd-everything-want-know#overdose.

Lee, Martin A. “CBD and Cannabis Dosing” Project CBD, May 16, 2018, http://www.rawlsmd.com/health-articles/science-behind-cbd-everything-want-know#overdose.

Nic. “How is CBD Oil Made” Charlotte’s Web Blog, July 13, 2017,https://queencityhemp.com/2017/07/13/how-is-cbd-oil-made/.

“Cannabidiol: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning” WebMD, accessed March 19, 2019, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1439/cannabidiol.

“Failed a Drug Test After Taking CBD Oil? [Here’s Why…]” Marijuana Break, March 13, 2019, https://www.marijuanabreak.com/failed-drug-test-after-taking-cbd-oil.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

New Years ‘Get Healthy’ Pressure: Why not Water?

Every New Years there is at least a teensy bit of pressure to set some resolutions to become a better you in the coming year. Sometimes we set goals that can put stress on us. It could be that in setting goals we might ask too much of ourselves, perhaps the goals don’t even make real sense, or aren’t realistically achievable given our current level of busy-ness. Some of us might not bother with the resolution thing at all.

Here’s an idea for a simple healthy habits New Years resolution. It’s something we do every day anyways. Drink better water. Now, bear with this blog post. We all know it’s important. How important though? In what ways can drinking better water effect our lives? How magical can our water drinking experiences be? Okay… getting a little carried away. But as you already know – we ARE water. Grandmother’s and the summer camp counselor’s solution to every problem is “drink water” for good reason.

Maybe you could resolve to learn more about the water you’re drinking. Or you could resolve to improve the quality of your drinking water. Maybe even go the extra mile and add some pizazz to your water. Sometimes a simple resolution can turn into a big project, especially if it involves home maintenance. We urge you to be generous to yourself – if necessary make it a two or three year resolution. Here are some ideas that might help you drink better water:

Consider the Source

Where does your water come from? A drilled well, Municipality, a local artesian well? What is the quality of the water? How does your Municipality treat the water? How are your pipes doing?

Get cleaner water.

In-store water station. You can find Filtered and Reverse Osmosis (RO) refill stations at some local grocery stores. If you get a couple 5 gallon jugs for drinking water you can refill them every once in a while.

At home filtration. There are a lot of styles: filter pitcher, dispensers, faucet mounts, countertop, under the sink. Some are also RO systems. The faucet mounts are nice in-between because you don’t have to refill pitchers and they are more affordable. It is easy to switch between the filter and running the water normally so that you don’t exhaust your filter faster than necessary. Here’s a blog on various filters.

Check your plumbing and clean your pipes. Here is a guide on flushing your house’s plumbing. Many Plumbing businesses also provide services to flush out your pipes – particularly if you have a stubborn blockage. If your pipes are old you might consider replacing the pipes that affect your kitchen drinking water.

Find a local artesian well or spring. If you think wild water might be for you. Inquire with locals in your area or try findaspring.com. If you’re incredibly ambitious maybe you can even tap your own spring.

Add extra umph! to the water you drink.

Trace Minerals. There are many who think drinking RO or distilled water all the time isn’t the best for you because they are devoid of any mineral content. Some research shows that purified water can actually pull minerals out of your body because it doesn’t contain minerals itself. Many prefer RO over distilled water because it could be that many harmful contaminants are not separated in the distillation process. Trace minerals are important for a healthy body and so we can add minerals back into our purified water. Trace Minerals Research makes some wonderful products to enhance your water.

For the month of January Health Hutt Love My Health Card members receive an additional discount on Trace Minerals Research products.


Simple solution: sea salt and lemon. Adding just a touch of good quality salt to your water along with some lemon can help you to rehydrate more effectively! Table salt is just sodium chloride and doesn’t have the minerals we’re looking for. Something like Redmond’s Real Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt, French Gray Sea Salt, or Celtic Sea Salt is a better choice. These salts still have trace minerals. The lemon contains calcium and potassium and is alkalizing. Overall drinking salt and lemon water can help maintain cellular functioning and balance your body’s pH.

Cell Power is quite an interesting product. It pushes the boundaries of what is possible with human innovation and nutrition. Below is an informational excerpt on the product. They also make a Super Silica product.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Unique, Earthy Gifts and Stocking Stuffers

What could be found in a stocking? Why not some organic, fair trade chocolate or a nutritious protein bar? It can be fun, quirky and rewarding to have healthy goodies in the stocking. It is an opportunity for natural lifestyle experimentation in the form of small gifts. Fruit leather anyone? Would you care to try Xylitol sweetened sugar-free gum? Brain Octane Rocket Fuel for Christmas? Maybe it won’t be their cup of tea or maybe the gift receiver will find that they love it!


For those who like to dabble with room decoration, feng shui, freshening the air, and home drink creation there are some trending items that can be found at your local health food store.

 A salt lamp is a big hunk of Himilayan pink salt with a light bulb in it. It gives off a nice glow when it is on.  Heat from the bulb might release some negative ions from the salt block that in turn could provide health benefits. It’s a very interesting concept!

For making cold brew coffee at home a ‘coffee sock’ has been invented. One simply selects a coffee of their choice, put a few tablespoons into the coffee sock, put the sock into a jar, pour water over the grounds and into the jar, put the lid on with the coffee sock still in the jar, and put it in the fridge for tomorrow’s cold brew!

Another product that has been developed is a misting essential oil diffuser, which dispenses which ever scent you choose into a room.

They are often used for aromatherapy. For instance, before bed one could put water and a few drops of essential oils that may aid sleep such as lavender, geranium rose, clary sage, chamomile, vetiver or any combination thereof. 

A few other interesting gifts you could find at the Health Hutt are mesh or metal tea balls for a reusable loose leaf tea maker, colorful hand woven baskets, at home sprout kits, henna tattoo materials among other do-it-yourself healthy lifestyle products. Happy holiday shopping from the Health Hutt!

Naturally Sweet Holiday Treats

During the Holidays many of us want ALL the treats. And there are so many tasty things! Overall, is sugar just sugar? We like to think that looking for whole food, organically grown, natural sweeteners is worth the effort. 

While a lot of people argue that the amounts of additional nutrients found in a less processed cane sugar is negligible, there may be others that argue the more homeopathic approach to nutrition. The trace amounts of amino acids, minerals and vitamins are still there and measurable. However, the amounts of nutrients are very small and this truly is no excuse to eat gobs of sugar. If we are talking about caloric intake and how excess sugar can upset balance in the body’s systems – sugar indeed is just sugar. It is good to be mindful of our sugar intake.

Does a smaller amount of processing required to achieve a finished sugar product mean that the environmental impact of consuming that sugar is less overall? In this sense, sun-dried raw cane juice may be the most environment-friendly way to appease our sweets cravings. Of course, going with Organically grown sugar is one way we can try to lessen the amount of unfriendly pesticides and herbicides applied to the soil and water systems. 

Is it worth it to think about all this? As a basic argument in favor of considering the outcomes, “sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) remains to be the world’s largest cash crop with estimates of 23.8 million hectares in more than 90 countries, and with a worldwide harvest of approximately 1.69 billion tons by the year 2010.” (PDF) Environmental impacts of sugarcane production, processing and management: A chemist’s perspective. Available from: LINK [accessed Dec 16 2018]. People are going to be eating sugar into the future and growing cane sugar does require large swaths of land.  

If we can begin to support sustainable, regenerative farming of Cane Sugar one purchase at a time, it may be worth the effort to seek out alternatives to refined white sugar or brown sugar.  And who knows, maybe there are hidden benefits of consuming a more natural, whole food form of sugar over intake of refined white or brown sugar over a lifetime. One last thing to consider… once you get used to eating all natural, whole foods – the taste of high quality, gourmet chef style ingredients is arguably WAAAY yummier.

If you decide you would like to opt for more natural, organic treats this Holiday season, we have some very tasty things at each of our Muskegon centric locations!

Website and Blog Revivification

The Health Hutt has long since updated the website or written any blog posts… and we are currently working to change that!  We are interested in developing more of a community-minded presence online.  A few of the things we are looking to do are:

  • update the website so that basic information regarding the Health Hutt stores is available and accessible
  • begin writing regular blog posts
  • improve our Facebook presence
  • and offer a monthly newsletter sign up for those who wish to get local natural living health updates.

Updates will be done on an on-going basis. We appreciate any patience this may require.

If you have any comments or suggestions on website content – what you would like to see on the website or blog – there is now a contact submission form on the website’s ‘Contact Us’ page.  We’ll do our best to hear everyone. Facebook is also a continual resource for staying connected.

Thank you for your interest in Natural, Healthful Living.

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