How can you get your kids to want to eat healthy?

How can you get your kids to want to eat healthy?

Have you ever felt totally defeated and found yourself thinking, “How can I do better for my kids?” or “How do I teach them healthier habits?” ..you are not alone.

I hope to give you some ideas/ways that this can be accomplished. Take away what works for you, and leave what doesn’t. Most importantly, just know on any given day that you are doing your best, and that is all that you can do. <3

I have a couple of solid rules when it comes to what type of food I bring into the home; they are my “food rules”. Perhaps you have food rules too and have not even thought twice about it. Here are a few of mine that I will cover in more detail:

-Avoid GMO’s
-Organic fruits and vegetables
-Limit sugar
-Meat and dairy always come from organic 100% grass fed animals
-Limit processed food
-Plenty of clean water
-Limit grains
-No BPA
-No plastic

 

Avoid GMO’s

 

I am a firm believer in knowing not only what is in my food, but also where it comes from. I do not want myself, or my children to be a science experiment for Monsanto, therefore I do not support the GM food movement that is in full swing in the US. This can be overwhelming for some if you do not know what to look for. I know it was for me at first, so I hope I can help you to be able to identify them too!

What exactly are GMO’s? GMOs (or “genetically modified organisms”) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. More than 60 countries have significantly limited or completely banned the production and sales of GM food. Many states here in the US have fought for the minimum of GMO labeling, so at least consumers can choose what they want to spend their grocery dollar on, but this has proven to be a big uphill battle.

You may be surprised to know that over 80% of processed foods have been modified! Here are the main crops:

-Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
-Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
-Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
-Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
-Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
-Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
-Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
-Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

Source: NON-GMO Project

So to put this in perspective, you might want to take a walk through the grocery store and perform a little experiment. Look at labels on processed foods. See how many of them have sugar, corn, and soy in some form. It is going to be in just about everything you pick up. My first trip to the store to investigate was a huge eye opener.

So what can you do to avoid it? Buy 100% organic, or a company that proudly states on the box that they are part of the NON-GMO project, carrying this seal.

Non-GMO-project-logo

Here are some companies that proudly support the Non-GMO project.

Studies covering the safety of these foods long term is unknown, as they have never been done. We do not know what would happen in 10 or 20 years. This is a HUGE concern. If science manipulated it, don’t eat it.

 

Organic Fruit and Vegetables

 

This can sound overwhelming, and it can be. If you are new to buying organic, a good place to start is to make sure you buy organic when the item is on the dirty dozen list. What is the dirty dozen you ask?

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) puts out a shopping list every year for consumers containing the dirty dozen (produce with the highest pesticide residue). These items should be bought organic. There is also a clean fifteen (the cleanest of the bunch) that can safely be purchased by conventionally grown methods. I always pay attention to the difference in price between organic and conventionally grown on the clean fifteen, because if the difference in cost is not significant, I prefer to support my organic and/or local farmer.

The list for 2017 has not been published as of the time of this article, but here are the lists for 2018:

 

Dirty Dozen

 

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

 

Clean Fifteen

 

  1. Sweet corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen Sweet Peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

Source: Environmental Working Group

No need to buy organic from the clean fifteen, unless it is on sale of course. 😉

Here is a link to learn where your favorite fruit or vegetable lands on the list.

 

Limit Sugar

 

Sugar is very harmful to the body, and it is not just the empty calories completely void of nutrition. Sugar provides no nutritional benefit at all, but what it does do is contribute to insulin resistance. The rise in obesity and diabetes is alarming. In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes (Source).

I have found in my home that the times my kids get sick are times when we have faltered and consumed a little bit more sugar than usual. Now that my boys are 9 and 11, they actually notice it too. What a blessing that is! Sometimes they have to learn for themselves. Very recently I asked my 9-year-old to create a Google presentation for me about sugar. Where can we find it, what does it do to the body, and whatever else he could come up with. I found kid-friendly sites, fun YouTube videos and more. He is much more interested to learn about it when mom is not lecturing him, maybe this trick will work for you too?

Do my kids have an occasional soda at a restaurant? Yes! Do we sometimes go out for frozen yogurt on a beautiful warm summer day? You bet! I do not totally deprive my kids of what they see as normalcy based on their surroundings outside the home. It is a delicate balance. If I teach my kids exactly what healthy means, and they know that when they occasionally waver from that to have a treat that it is ok, I am doing a good job.

How far do I take this? You might be surprised. I have never taken my kids to McDonald’s, Burger King, or Taco Bell, or eaten a popular sugary cereal that so cleverly targets kids through their brilliant marketing….ever. They have never asked either. They have never eaten hot lunch at school. I have asked if they want to on a day where the option may be the best for the week, but they declined. So far I must be doing something right.

Never eat anything that has a commercial on television…

 

Avoiding sugar is not just avoiding candy, chocolate, and donuts. You may be surprised to know where excess sugar is hiding. Sugar is added to all processed foods, why? Well to make you want to eat more of it. By “you” I do not mean you consciously make that decision; I say that because sugar is so freakishly addicting. Here are some resources for you to learn more about the sugar epidemic, and ways to help you cut its hold on you:

Top 10 Big Ideas: How to Detox from Sugar 

Refined Sugar: The Sweetest Poison of All

That Sugar Film

Source for Meat and Dairy

 

Grass-fed meat and dairy is far superior to grain fed.  Grass fed beef is actually considered a healthy food due to high amounts of Omega 3’s, and is rich in healthy fats  (MUFA, PUFA , and SFA). You can be sure if you are purchasing 100% grass fed organic meat and dairy, that you are not consuming any growth hormones, pesticides, or antibiotics either. Purchase the leanest variety you can find.

Here is a great article that covers this topic in greater detail.

Get plenty of healthy fats in your diet…fat does not make you fat!

 

Drink Plenty of Clean Water

 

Short and sweet. I do not bring soda into the home. Juice is likewise seriously restricted to a small glass of organic OJ in the morning. I like to make fruit infused water, and when my boys are not well I make my own hydration drinks. I also purchase flavored water when in a pinch. Now that my boys are a bit older they each have 2 water bottles. One is stainless steel, the other glass with a silicone sleeve. I have removed as much plastic from the home as possible for safety reasons, as well as environmental ones.

Now I do not want to give you the idea that everything is always great in the house in this area. I struggle with my 11-year-old to stay hydrated.  So he always has some level of dehydration, and I have spent a lot of time lecturing him. So he recently wrote a report about the importance of hydration when my younger son wrote on sugar. What an eye opener for him as he learned firsthand what hydration is all about. He also discovered how much he should be drinking based on his body weight. He still falters and I remind him to open his presentation. I get some serious eye rolls and mooooommmmmmmmm….I try!

 

No BPA

 

I mentioned above that we avoid plastic in the home for safety reasons, and BPA is one of them. Bisphenol-A (BPA) has been found to mimic estrogen in the body. What does this mean? BPA had been shown to disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking the bodies hormones (Source). The glands of your endocrine system are: hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, adrenal, and pancreas. BPA releases its influence on all of the glands, which have a direct influence on every cell, organ, and function of your body.

Look for canned food labeled BPA free. It has become relatively easy to find. BPA is found in many plastics, but you will also find many bottles that are labeled BPA free as well. Some say that you can safely use plastic as long as 1-it is never heated and 2-never scratched while cleaning. I just prefer to avoid it altogether now that my children are a little bit older and can responsibly handle a silicone sleeved glass.

 

Limit Grains

 

We limit grains in our home. I am the only one that leans toward a Paleo lifestyle, for health reasons. As far as my boys, I aim for whole grains, and definitely organic. I lean towards brown rice, quinoa, and sprouted breads. Remember that white bread, potato, and rice are very high in starch (GI index) and essentially turn to sugar in the body very fast (Source). The body needs whole grains to help balance the blood sugar all day long. Some scientists and physicians say two slices of whole wheat bread will likely raise your blood sugar levels as high as if you were eating a popular candy bar (Source). Keep this in mind if you or someone you love is struggling with balancing sugar.

 

This covers my basic food rules, but how do I get my family on board with them as well? Get everyone involved!

 

I make huge efforts to involve my children in making choices. One day I asked my boys, then approximately 5 and 7 to make a list of foods that they liked, and ones they did not like. That was the beginning of the “team” aspect of eating in our house. Of course kids pallets are forever changing and evolving, so we make lists often so that I can try to accommodate their likes the best I can. My boys know that even “cheat” type foods can be eaten in moderation as long as their diet is overall healthy, so those types of items never even make their list. Even after these lists are made, my boys understand that eating is somewhat of a compromise. I always try to incorporate their current favorite vegetables for example, but they know that there are going to be some meals that are not going to be their favorite.  One day I make their absolute favorite meal of tacos, and the next we have salmon and salad. This works well for our family (most days).

Sometimes there are complaints, but I gently remind them that one of their favorite meals will be on its way. I try to remind them the importance of healthy food for the body, like gas for a car…and try to stay lighthearted. If there is one thing I am being constantly reminded of, it is that lecturing is not the answer. The older they get, the more effective it is for them to learn these things on their own..sometimes with a gentle nudge in the right direction.

Once I am armed with knowing what they have chosen as like foods, I can prepare. I always take time to make meal plans. I always include 1 or 2 favorites that I know the kids will swoon over. With that list in hand I go shopping. This eliminates buying things we do not need, and makes for less waste at the end of the week. (save your lists for easier future list making)

You can include your kids in the kitchen too. Age will determine what they can do safely, but mine can gather ingredients, cut up vegetables, set the table while I cook, and taste things along the way.

I try to keep some freezer fruits and vegetables on hand at all times. This comes in handy for fruit infused water, smoothies, a quick bowl of peas, or frozen kale for vegetable soup. Frozen is just as nutritious as the fresh counterpart…and it is quick and easy when you are in a hurry.

I let my boys voice what they would like to have in their school lunch and snack, it helps to ensure they will eat what I give them.

Gardening is a family project. Everyone helps pull weeds, plant seeds and plants, water, and harvest. Everyone loves to see his or her hard work on the plate. Everything is eaten; nothing goes to waste.

 

In conclusion

 

Always try to lead by example. Your kids are always watching what you do, not necessarily what you say. Things will not always go smoothly. At the end of the day be proud of yourself for doing your best and smile for what worked, do not beat yourself up for what didn’t. Eat together and play together. Get plenty of exercise. Get plenty of rest. You are well on your way to “your” best version of “your” health and happiness, and that is what matters.

 

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digestive Sense: Defining How Our Emotions and the Food We Eat Affects Our Gut Health

Digestive Sense: Defining How Our Emotions and the Food We Eat Affects Our Gut Health

A big factor in determining our overall health involves an organ system that many of us ignore and disrespect. This system does so much for us but does not get the respect it deserves; that system is our gut. However, once our gut is in a state of distress, we are not likely to ignore it any longer. There are many things that can disrupt the function of our gut, which has also been dubbed our second brain. There is a strong relationship between the food that we eat as well as our levels of stress in regards to how our gut functions, and our overall health.

Have you heard that term your second brain before? Contrary to what most know to be our one and only brain located in our head, our gut actually holds what is called the “second brain”. Dr. Alejandro Junger explains that “your first brain serves as your intellectual hardware and your second brain-the gut-is your spiritual and emotional GPS” (1). Each of us has a digestive brain, or ENS (enteric nervous system), that contains millions of neurons which, have the power to influence not only our digestion capabilities but our psychological state as well (2). So as Dr. Junger states, your second brain, or your gut, is where you’re spiritual and emotional center is. Perhaps this is why we say to trust out gut, our deep seated intuition? That “it”, not our head, never fails us? Another interesting fact is that 90% of our serotonin levels are produced there, with the remaining 10% being produced in the brain in your head (3). Therefore, if your digestive system is out of whack, your feel good hormones will also be disturbed.

Stress, tension, never ending work, no vacations, and the standard American diet (SAD) exhaust the body and the mind and cause the systems of the body to become compromised—beginning with our digestive system. Do you show symptoms of stomach upset when you are under high levels of stress? How about when you make a less than healthy meal choice? Both of these things can result in the exact same symptoms. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Stomach upset
  • Constipation or diarrhea, gas, bloating
  • Cramping (IBS)
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Excess mucous
  • Sinus pressure
  • Skin eruptions
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation of any kind

If you have many of these symptoms your digestive system is likely struggling. Gut issues have also been linked to seemingly unrelated conditions like: obesity, arthritis, cancer, vaginitis, and even mental conditions including depression, attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder (4). Hippocrates stated that all disease begins in the gut. I think he was on to something.

health_brain-gut

Even if you do not have some of the many symptoms mentioned above you may find yourself in another situation, that of developed food allergies or sensitivities.  I have had to learn, and troubleshoot health issues in the past this way. I did not have any of the classic digestive symptoms, but in the past have been under extremely high levels of stress. Even though my diet was cleaner than most, organic, vegetarian, no GMO’s, etc…I had endured the loss of a parent, a severe car accident resulting in years of chronic relenting pain, two emergency surgeries within two weeks of eachother, and the common life challenges that a mom of two young boys and being a full time student brings. My health issues started in the gut, but did not show it until I was way beyond a simple fix. You see, once the digestive system is under constant assault with stress, and then add to that bad food choices, etc., the gastrointestinal (gut) microbiota is negatively affected, and this is the cause of the various possible health issues listed above.

It is important to sit and observe your gut, as it is trying to speak to you. Once symptoms arise such as painful bloating, cramps, and diarrhea, your gut is beyond talking and is now yelling. Observe your gut signals when there is no pain, both on an empty stomach and after meals. Is there rumbling, dull aches, throbbing, emptiness, or minor bloating? Listening to your gut can help to identify foods that are irritating, as well as our guts overall state of health during any given moment of the day.

It is equally important to observe your stresses. Everyone is stressed, and there are many ways to cope. Many are surprised when they learn that the amount of stress they are under directly correlates to the health of their gut. Stress is a normal part of life, but it is important to recognize and observe it, as well as to do things to find relief. When you are under undue stress, pay attention to how your feel. Is your stomach tight and in knots? Do you have more indigestion? Constipation? General stomach aches?

Meditation

Try to sit in silence and see what your gut is telling you when you are in a stressful situation. Maybe you have never paid attention before. You may find the sensations are very strong. This is the gut-brain connection at work.

Have you ever heard the phrase over 70% of your immune system lies in your gut? (5) This is our gut microbiota, or gut bugs. For the most part we live in harmony with the bacteria, viruses, and fungal organisms that typically inhabit the gut (called the gastrointestinal microbiota), and these have played a vital role in maintaining human health. Gershon stated that “the rigors of the modern lifestyle, overuse of antibiotics, and the SAD diet have done much to restructure the once symbiotic relationship, resulting in significantly disrupted gut environment” (6).

Some indicators of a happy and healthy gastrointestinal tract include 2-4 bowels movements per day, feeling good and energized not only after eating but all day long, sleeping well, and having no extreme mood swings or food cravings. These indicators are pretty rare; do you have all of them? What can we do to help to restore the gut microbiota of our gastrointestinal tract as well as our health? A good first step is to avoid processed foods; eat less from a box, bag, or can.  The main culprits of food sensitivity include but are not limited to: wheat, gluten, yeast, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, nuts, and coffee. Taking a high quality probiotic is critical to keep the balance of your microbiota healthy. Digestive enzymes are naturally produced in the body but are on the decline as we age. It is important to eat plenty of raw uncooked fruits and vegetables to get enzymes naturally; cooking kills the enzymes in our food. If you are having digestion issues, taking an enzyme may prove to be very helpful. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fiber. Equally crucial to overall health is reducing stress. Do something every day that makes you calm, happy, and brings you back to what is really important in life.

Some simple ideas on how you can improve digestion when eating a meal:

  • Eat in a relaxed state (happy is best with smiles and laughter)
  • Take time in between bites
  • Make sure to chew your food thoroughly
  • Do not drink a lot of liquid just before or during your meal
  • Bless your food before eating if this resonates with you

Another great recommendation is to keep a food journal. Recognizing what you have eaten before you became bloated, gassy, and irritable will be very helpful to finding out what is not working for you.

I hope that this short explanation of how our digestive system “works” has led to a better understanding of why it is vitally important to provide your body with the good food and good attitude it needs; and what can happen if you don’t. Remember, your digestive system is very complex, and is there to protect you; but it needs your constant care so be sure to pay attention to it. 

Lifeholistically.com

References:

(1) Junger, A., M.D (2013). Clean Gut-The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health. New York: HarperCollins Publishing Inc.

(2) Matveikova, I., M.D (2014). Digestive Intelligence. Scotland, UK: Findhorn Press

(3) (6) Gershon, M. (1999) The Second Brain: A Groundbreaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestines. New York, New York. HarperCollins Publishers

(4) Wallace, TC., Guarner, F., Madsen, K., Cabana, MD., Gibson, G., Hentges, E., Sanders, ME., (2011) Human gut microbiota and its relationship to health and disease. Nutr rev. Jul;69 (7); 392-403

(5) Allergy and the Gastrointestinal System. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions. 

 

 

Carrier Oils-What are they and why should you use them?

Carrier Oils-What are they and why should you use them?

Do you have dry skin? Do you like massages? Do you use essential oils? Then you should familiarize yourself with the many carrier oils at your disposal. Carrier oils are fixed oils. They are pressed from the fatty portions of a plant (seeds, nuts, kernels) and unlike essential oils can go rancid over time. They nourish the skin as they have many nutrients and fatty acids, and they are essential to use when using essential oils for topical application.

Some carrier oils are odorless, light and penetrate the skin quickly while others can be overwhelming in an aromatherapy blend and leave an oily residue on the skin.

It is important to know the shelf life of your carrier oil and remember to always store in a dark cool spot.

Carrier Oils

 

Part II

Carrier Oils Part 2

Most everyone has a favorite carrier oil. Which one to use will depend on what you are trying to accomplish. I could not possibly pick just one, or even three favorites. I have at least 50% of these carrier oils at my disposal, and the more you use them the easier it will be to instinctively know which one to grab when making a product.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me. I am happy to help!

If you are interested in purchasing a carrier oil to try, Mountain Rose Herbs has a large variety of carrier oils, as well as essential oils, herbs and more. (Carrier oils are under ingredients) Click here to be redirected.

**Please note this is a affiliate link. I have chosen only Mountain Rose Herbs to be an affiliate as I stand behind their phenomenal products. For those unfamiliar…rest assured you will not pay any more for your product by using this link.

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions. 

Additional Resources/Recommendations

The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide by: Danielle Sade

Power of the Seed by: Susan Parker

 

Liquid Sunshine by: Jan Kusmirek

 

 

 

The Most Common Cause Of Fatigue That Is Missed By Doctors

The Most Common Cause Of Fatigue That Is Missed By Doctors

Your adrenal glands are each no bigger than a walnut and weigh less than a grape, yet are responsible for one of the most important functions in your body; managing stress.

Illu_adrenal_gland

So what happens to you body when you are under constant stress for a long period of time? Your adrenal glands can no longer keep up and well…they simply get tired. What does that mean for you? Adrenal fatigue arises when your adrenal glands cannot meet the demands of stress, chronic unrelenting stress. Whether you have an emotional crisis such as the death of a loved one, a physical crisis such as major surgery or accident, or any type of severe repeated or constant stress in your life, your adrenals have to respond to the stress and maintain homeostasis. If their response is inadequate, you enter into what is termed adrenal fatigue, in it’s various stages.

It’s estimated that up to 80% of adults experience adrenal fatigue during their lifetimes, yet it remains one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the United States.

As part of your endocrine system, your adrenal glands secrete more than 50 hormones, many of which are essential for life and include:

  • Glucocorticoids. These hormones, which include cortisol, help your body convert food into energy, normalize blood sugar, respond to stress and maintain your immune system’s inflammatory response.
  • Mineralocorticoids. These hormones, which include aldosterone, help keep your blood pressure and blood volume normal by maintaining a proper balance of sodium, potassium and water in your body.
  • Adrenaline. This hormone increases your heart rate and controls blood flow to your muscles and brain, along with helping with the conversion of glycogen to glucose in your liver. (Endocrine Web)

 

 

These hormones in these tiny little glands work together to perform many functions including:

 

  • Maintaining metabolic processes, such as managing blood sugar levels and regulating inflammation
  • Regulating your body’s balance of salt and water
  • Controlling your “fight or flight” response to stress
  • Maintaining pregnancy
  • Initiating and controlling sexual maturation during childhood and puberty
  • Producing sex steroids such as estrogen and testosterone

 

When we are under constant stress of face a major life event our flight or fight is constantly turned on. Our body no longer recognizes how to turn it off and as a result cortisol floods our body at high rates all day long.  (Stage 1) This can only go on for so long before the glands totally poop out and cortisol plummets (Stage 2/3)

 

So what are some signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency or adrenal fatigue? (You may exhibit some but not all of the following):

 

  • Tendency to gain weight around the middle, difficult to lose
  • High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases and these symptoms tend to last longer than usual
  • Tendency to tremble when under pressure and feel shaky inside
  • Loss of libido
  • Lightheaded when rising from a horizontal position or standing up to quickly from seated position
  • Unable to remember things/brain fog
  • Lack of energy in the mornings and in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
  • May temporarily feel better after a meal
  • Need coffee/caffeine to get going in the morning.
  • Cravings for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.
  • Strong PMS symptoms (AF symptoms also increase during PMS)
  • Feels better when stress is relieved, such as on a vacation.
  • Muscle pain, weakness, and fatigue
  • Decreased ability to handle any amount of stress
  • Depression
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Low body temperature
  • Gut issues
  • Nervousness

(Find information like this and more at Stopthethyroidmadness.com)

This can all be very overwhelming. If some of these symptoms sounds like what you might be dealing with, I recommend contacting an ND, integrative, or functional medicine doctor. It is difficult to list out what you can to to heal because every stage of adrenal fatigue benefits from different supplements.

There are a two things that I can share….sleep, A LOT……and reduce stress.

Sleep

 

We need sleep to heal, to restore and help our adrenals rest and rejuvenate. 8 hours or more is optimal when you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.

Our ability to handle stress, physical or emotional, is a cornerstone to human survival. Therefore, the one thing that is consistent to healing  is stress reduction. Changing your thought process and taking care of #1…you.

A few other tips:

  • Eat healthy
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Add a small pinch of sea salt to your water
  • Eat food plentiful in vitamin C
  • Magnesium before bed can help get you a good night sleep.>>This is the one I use
  • Include probiotics in your daily diet as well as digestive enzymes
  • Anti-Inflammatory herbs such as turmeric and ginger help with chronic inflammation

Here are a couple of links to other blogs that I have written in regards to stress reduction, relaxation and techniques to help get through rough situations. (see a theme here?)

Tips for relaxation

 Stressed Out?

EFT-Emotional Freedom Technique

Here are a couple of great books that I have read and recommend to you:

 Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome

Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome-Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs

References

http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-adrenal-glands

http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions. 

 

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What Is Your Liver Telling You?

What Is Your Liver Telling You?

The liver is THE hard-working organ in the human body and the second largest; the first being our skin. It performs many functions that are vital to life. The liver is responsible for hundreds of processes in the body; yes you read that right! By far the most important function is that of detoxification.

The liver is one of the most important organs in the body when it comes to detoxifying toxins, but not the only one. The liver converts fat soluble toxins into water soluble substances that can be excreted in the urine or the bile. Many of the toxic chemicals that we encounter in our environment, food, beauty products, etc. are fat-soluble, which means they dissolve only in fatty or oily solutions and not in water. This makes them difficult for the body to excrete. What happens if they are not excreted in a timely manner from the body? They are stored…sometimes for YEARS only to be released during times of intense exercise, extreme stress or juice/water fasting. During the release of these toxins, several symptoms such as: headaches, poor memory, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and palpitations can occur.

In addition to the role of detoxifier; the liver also plays an important role in:

  • Cleansing your blood and returning it to the heart
  • The liver stores glucose when it is in excess after you eat and releases that glucose in the blood when needed. This is an important function which when impaired during liver disease, results in hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
  • Liver plays important role in hormonal modification and inactivation. Liver stagnation may cause hormonal imbalances, particularly excess estrogen.
  • Most drugs are metabolized by the liver.

IF the liver is overloaded with toxins and unable to function at optimal levels, “liver stagnation” can result in:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Menstrual disorders
  • PMS disorders
  • Stress disorders
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Sensitivity to chemicals

So what can you do?

The first step is to remove or reduce exposure to toxic food and drink:

  • Alcohol
  • Preservatives
  • Dyes
  • Pesticides and Fertilizers
  • Heavy metal in large fish – stick to wild caught salmon
  • Contaminated water – invest in a filtration unit
  • Chlorinated and brominated products (found in almost all commercially produced breads and bread products)
  • Switch to non-toxic and plant-based, cleaning and personal care products such as vinegar, lemon juice and essential oils
  • Your skin is the largest organ of your body so do not put anything on your body that you would not put in your body

Liver
The second step is to pay attention to what you do eat:

  • Eliminate processed foods, simple carbohydrates and sugar. A good motto is “Do not eat from a box.”
  • Focus on eating more organic produce.
  • Eliminate toxic, poor quality fats like canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil.
  • AVOID GMO’s. Do not eat animal products from animals fed genetically modified feed such as soy, corn, and wheat.
  • Eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Aim for a minimum of 60% of your daily intake of food to be raw.

Let’s talk some specifics….

Lemon juice

The juice of half a lemon in hot water first thing in the morning is a perfect way to start the day; and is an excellent wake up call for the liver. The sourness of lemons triggers nerve and hormone activation to the liver and digestive system. Hot lemon water is also very helpful for those who suffer from sluggish bowel.

Beets

Beets are amazing for liver detox. They have the ability to help thin your bile, which allows the body to detox more efficiently.  A common problem is sluggish/stagnant bile flow. Regular beet consumption (and a wealthy diet) can help strengthen natural detox!

Turmeric

Turmeric is superb for inflammation of all kinds in the body; liver included. Cooking with it is helpful, but not enough in this circumstance and a quality supplement is recommended.

Dandelion Root Tea

Dandelion root is excellent for liver health. It works by promoting the flow of bile and purifying out blood. It is a great alternative to coffee.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle (silymarin) is a flowering herb related to the daisy and ragweed family. (Those allergic to ragweed should avoid) Milk thistle helps to purify the liver. Some reports suggest milk thistle may offer a possible benefit for people whose liver is damaged by industrial toxins, such as toluene and xylene. (WebMD)

Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are high in sulfur, which helps to remove toxins from the blood. Eating a serving or two of brussel sprouts daily will help sponge out toxins – whether they’re environmental or dietary. These little sprouts also boost glucosinolate, an antioxidant that forces the liver to release enzymes that block damage.

Glutathione rich foods

Carrots, tomato, grapefruit, walnuts, cooked spinach, and avocados are rich in glutathione; a protein that helps to detoxify the liver. Glutathione sticks to the toxins and sweeps them out of the body very efficiently.

As you can see, if you are showing signs of liver stagnation, there are plenty of things that you can do to help rectify the situation. Our body has amazing healing powers when we support it properly.

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/milk-thistle-benefits-and-side-effects

 

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions. 

 

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Candida Infection-What You Need To Know

Candida Infection-What You Need To Know

Candida Albicans is a yeast microorganism that commonly lives in the intestinal tract of every human being. It shares space in your bowel with a variety of other microorganisms, mostly helpful bacteria, called probiotics. The bacteria to yeast ration in a healthy person is about 10:1, so in a normal bowel everything lives in a nice ecological balance. (National Candida Center) This balance called ‘gut flora’ is a crucial part of your immune system and digestive health. The problem comes when your gut flora gets off balance. Once this gut flora is disturbed, yeast (Candida Albicans) has a chance to proliferate. An overgrowth of Candida Albicans also called a yeast infection often begins in the digestive system and gradually spreads to other parts of the body. For example, by the time someone has a vaginal yeast infection or thrush which is a white coating on the tongue; the yeast has already taken up residence internally .

The first thing that happens internally with Candida is inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract which can lead to: painful bloating, diarrhea, constipation, IBS, fatigue, reduced absorption of nutrients, muscle aches, poor memory and a whole host of other symptoms. As these symptoms can also belong to other ailments one typically does not realize they have an issue with yeast until it presents itself as a vaginal yeast infection or oral thrush as mentioned above.

candida-005

Candida Albicans is more common than you may think. What causes this overgrowth of yeast to flourish in the body in the first place? There are quite a few things that can knock our gut balance out of whack. Here is a list of the most common culprits:

  • Lowered immunity (which can in itself be caused by many things)
  • Weakened or overworked adrenal glands due to high stress
  • An overall unhealthy lifestyle. Eating processed foods, red meat and dairy. Most of all consuming a lot of white sugar and white flour. Drinking alcohol and smoking. Leading a sedentary lifestyle. Not getting enough fresh air. These are just a few examples.
  • Taking a prolonged course of antibiotics, birth control pills, steroids, etc.
  • The use of chlorine and fluorine in our water.
  • Overuse of additives, preservatives, and colorings in food.
  • Lastly food sensitivities /allergies. Many people are sensitive to commonly eaten foods. This weakens the adrenal glands, and causes symptoms all over the body.

Candida is a stubborn hardy fungus so once it is flourishing in your body it can be tough to restore balance.

  1. The first thing to consider is what you are putting into your body. Every meal is either feeding the yeast or fighting it. Remove all yeasted food from the diet including: bread, yeast extracts, food yeast, wine, beer, and cider. It is also important to remove all sugar from the diet even those occurring naturally in fruit.
  2. Be sure to eat plenty of yogurt and fermented food with probiotics. The beneficial bacteria contained in probiotics secrete small quantities of lactic acid and acetic acid. These help to maintain the correct levels of acidity in your gut. Probiotics fill your gut with ‘good’ bacteria to crowd out the Candida yeast. Think of it like this: when antibiotics kill the good bacteria, they leave your intestine open for the faster-growing Candida yeast to take over. So conversely, if you use probiotics to fill your gut with beneficial bacteria, this leaves less spaces and resources for the Candida to grow.
  3. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a great home remedy that naturally restores the pH of the body and helps to eliminate yeast overgrowth.
  4. Along with a low-sugar diet and probiotics, antifungals are an important element of a successful Candida treatment plan. Antifungals work by breaking down the cell walls of the Candida yeast, and are an important part of your diet. Popular antifungal treatments include caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract, garlic and oil of oregano.
  5. If a vaginal yeast infection is present douching can help to restore balance of the vaginal flora. Options for douching are probiotics, goldenseal tincture, or propolis tincture.

Strategies like a low-sugar diet, antifungals and probiotics can all be helpful, but to be most effective they need to be used together. Candida may be hard to get rid of, but it is not impossible.

Click here to take a free questionnaire to see if candida might be a problem for you.

If you feel that you may have a yeast issue, here are a few resources for you:

TheCandidaDiet
NationalCandidaCenter
Mercola

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions. 

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