What is Biochemical Individuality?

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biochemical individuality

Biochemical Individuality

There is no denying that as humans, we are all connected in some way. At the same time though, we are all unique individuals! The old saying “what is good for the goose is good for the gander” is NOT true when it comes to healing illnesses. While we might all have similar deficiencies and and imbalances, there are so many other factors to consider while healing.

Biochemical individuality is essentially a concept that the nutritional and chemical makeup of a person is unique. Because of this, nutritional needs will vary from person to person. Dr. Roger Williams was the biochemist that pioneered this concept in the 1950s, when people were just starting to feel the damage done by poor nutritional advice, depleted soils, and pharmaceutical medications.

This issue is just getting worse as time goes on!

This issue has just become even more complicated as time has gone on- now we are dealing with an epigentics epidemic! The environment and the state of our food is in an even more terrifying state these days, and the need for individualized nutrition is even more dire.  People are in varying stages of the same illness (like adrenal fatigue for instance: one person can be dealing with overactive adrenals and another can be dealing with underactive). 10 people with the same exact diagnosis can be dealing with completely different symptoms, and they will all have different healing journeys.

So if someone is trying to tell you that we ALL need the same supplements in the same exact amounts at the same exact time- please reconsider this! This is NOT how people heal. This is another way of allopathic thinking, a one-size-fits-all approach.  Becoming your own best health advocate is the BEST way for you to heal. Instinct and intuition are invaluable as well, because you need to learn to listen to your body’s signs when you are trying to heal from illness.

Things that influence our health and individuality:

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • How we react to stress
  • Genetics
  • Job
  • Hobbies (because of exposure to chemicals or climates)
  • Environment (toxins, climate, stress, etc)
  • Past traumas
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Tobacco or alcohol use
  • Drug use (whether illicit or pharmaceutical)
  • Attitude
  • Sleep habits
  • Detoxification ability
  • Metablism
  • Temperament
  • Digestive status
  • And the list goes on!

I hope this post is helpful! I am seeing wayyyyy too many people getting injured from one-size-fits-all recommendations, especially since people are being told just to “push through the pain”!What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa. This is why there are SO many aspects and modalities for healing: nature has given us a wide array of choices!

There are dozens of generalized protocols out there that are all supposedly designed to be for the good of everyone, no matter what stage of health they are at. This is just not true. If you aren’t sure about what a doctor or practitioner is recommending you, please question them! We should all be aiming to help people heal on their own terms.

More Reading:

TEI labs on Individuality

Biochemical Individuality by Dr. Roger Williams, the original expert on this topic. Written in 1956!

Whole Food Nutrition: The Missing Link in Vitamin Therapy: The Difference Between Nutrients WITHIN Foods vs. Isolated Vitamins & how they affect your health by Dr. Vic Shayne

The Ultimate Colon Health Guide

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colon health

When you hear the word “detox” you tend to just think of the liver. In reality, most major organs of the body deal with detox in some way or another. The colon is no exception, and it plays one of the most important roles in keeping the body healthy.  If our colons aren’t working effectively, we cannot be healthy. Dr. Bernard Jensen was the one that said, “it is the bowel that invariably has to be cared for first before any effective healing can take place.” (source)

If you’ve been one of the millions of people that grew up eating a Standard American Diet, your colon is likely not in a happy state. Most processed foods are not able to be properly digested (let alone utilized in any way), and sometimes this can lead to a build up in the colon. Processed foods take a LOT more stomach acid and bile to break down, and after years on this terrible diet we can pretty much run out of both of these things. So even when we start eating cleaner, it can be hard for the body to digest and utilize the new, incoming foods. Especially if the colon is still filled with gunk!

The Purpose of the Colon

The whole digestive tract plays a big role in detoxification. The colon’s specific jobs include collecting and eliminating toxins from the body. However, if it the colon becomes even slightly sluggish it cannot perform its job properly. There are so many things that can mess with the function of the colon: poor diet, stress, overuse of laxatives, drugs,  lack of exercise. The less you “go” normally, the worse the colon gets.

When illness begins, we start to accumulate waste and even undigested food in the colon. This starts to harden and it becomes a breeding ground for pathogens, and a hoarding place for heavy metals.  Because of this, any nutrients that are supposed to be absorbed in the colon are unable to do so. Instead, toxins that can’t make their way completely out of the bowel are reabsorbed and recirculated through the body. This leads to an incredible amount of symptoms: chronic pain, headaches, sore throats, swelling, fatigue, brain fog, bad breath, strong body odor, a coating on the tongue, acne, and so much more.

The “Ideal Poo”

How do we know if our colons are healthy? Ideally, we should be going at least 2-3 times a day (usually with one awesome one right when we wake up as we detox a lot overnight). Stool should be formed, smooth, a medium brown color, and should take very little effort to eliminate.  There should be very little smell and no undigested food visible. You can see a chart on this site here that  shows what the ideal poo should look like.

Healing the Colon

So let’s start talking about healing the colon! We’ll talk about common issues, as well as common remedies to help heal the colon or just support general colon health.

Constipation

In 2016, people spent over ONE BILLION DOLLARS on laxatives. (source) This is such a huge issue! People are not only becoming dependent on these things, they are NOT addressing the root causes of this issue.

Constipation is one of the biggest signs that your colon needs some heavy help. Constipation can occur for so many reasons: lack of bile flow (and thus a lack of stomach acid), eating a poor diet, dehydration, and more. The main signs of constipation include: feeling sluggish, having acne, anxiety (because toxins are recirculating), a feeling that you still have to “go” even after you’ve gone, and dealing with what essentially are rabbit poops.

Some of the BEST ways to heal constipation include:
  • Aloe vera
  • Magnesium/sodium/potassium (usually there is an imbalance between these 3 minerals)
  • Use something like a Squatty Potty
  • Dandelion root tea
  • Use HTMA to fix mineral imbalances and heal your metabolism.
  • Castor oil packs over the colon area
  • Read more here!

Loose stools/Diarrhea

Many people tend to alternate between constipation and diarrhea, but dealing with chronic loose stools can be extremely frustrating.

Main causes of chronic diarrhea :
  • Lymph congestion ( body tries to flush things out as quickly as possible)
  • Not enough bile to buffer stomach acid creates irritation in the intestines. This can increase intestinal mucus in an effort to protect the lining of the intestines. This increase of mucus alone can increase loose stools. This also effects how you absorb certain nutrients and can mess with the process of toxin removal
  • Pathogen infestation
  • The body is overloaded with toxins and trying to get them out as quickly as possible
Solving this issue:
  • Homeopathy can be one option for healing this symptoms quickly
  • Start healing the gut! Eliminate process foods, try an elimination diet to see what your main triggers are)
  • If you are using supplements, consider stopping them for a time and reintroducing one by one to find the culprit
  • If you are any medications, check the side effects
  • Try to test for pathogens to see exactly what you are dealing with
  • Figure out if you are focusing too much on stomach acid and not enough on bile. Take a break on things like ACV, HCl, and lemon and try a digestive bitters supplement or try some dandelion tea.
  • Make use of activated charcoal or bentonite clay to stop the loose stools.
  • Assess your fiber intake. Are you getting too much or too little?
  • Start focusing on your lymph system more to take the strain off of it

The Role of Minerals in Colon Health

Magnesium, potassium and sodium are huge players in keeping you regular. Getting an HTMA to determine an imbalance in these 3 minerals can help determine what minerals you need to focus specifically on.  Slow oxidizers tend to be more on the constipated side, while fast oxidizers might be more prone to loose stools. (source)

Fiber

Fiber is a well-known but overlooked nutrient needed for proper colon functioning. Most people know that fiber helps to keep us regular, but in the natural health world we know a bit more. Fiber helps balance blood sugar, aids in weight loss, and it helps to lower high cholesterol levels. It also might reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. Apparently our ancestors ate close to 100 grams a day of fiber, whereas the standard American *maybe* gets about 15-20 grams. (source).

Fiber and Bile are basically a tag-team when it comes to detoxification. They both help with binding or flushing out a lot of the gunk that our bodies are trying to eliminate. Focusing on more fiber and increasing bile flow can truly help with healing your colon and making it more efficient as they both work to clean off the old gunk that can build up.

How to Get More Fiber:

*Medium Apple with skin- 5 grams
*Medium Banana- 4 grams
*2 medium dried figs- 3.7 grams
*1 cup of raspberries- 6.4 grams
*Oatmeal, 1 cup- 12 grams
*1 cup of black beans- 14 grams
*1 cup garbanzo beans- 6 grams
*1/4 cup pumpkin seeds- 4 grams
*1 avocado- 12 grams
*A cup of cooked carrots- 5 grams
*1 medium sweet potato- 5 grams
*Or use a supplement like psyllium husk. Food is always better, but psyllium can be a huge helper as well. There are 2 main colon cleanses that involve psyllium: one uses bentonite clay and the other blackstrap molasses. They are BOTH very effective, but you have to see what works best for your body.

My new favorite way to use psyllium for effective colon cleansing includes this recipe, taken once or twice a day: 4-6 ounces of plain, organic kefir, 1 Tablespoon of psyllium husks, and 1-2 Teaspoons of blackstrap molasses. This mix can be very helpful for getting things moving!

Bile

Stool is supposed to be brown because of the pigment of bile. If your stool is not brown, then you are likely having a pretty big bile flow issue. Most of my readers already know about my love of bile boosting, but you can read more here if you aren’t aware yet!

Causes of poor bile flow: hiatal hernia, slow oxidation, overload of toxins (starts to use up the bile more), lack of good fats in the diet (because they stimulate bile flow), eating too many processed foods at any point in your life

Best Bile Builders:
  • Dandelion root
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Digestive Bitters
  • Beets
  • Taurine
  • Read more here!

Replenishing Good Bacteria

Gut bacteria is crucial for many reasons: creating certain vitamins, keeping harmful pathogens under control, and plays a role in keeping many illnesses at bay, especially colon cancer.  We’re supposed to be able to synthesize vitamin K and some B vitamins from our good bacteria as well! We have about 100 trillion bacteria cells in the body, which is more than our human cells! Bacteria are truly crucial for our survival and well-being.

Probiotics are usually a first choice for people to go to, but fermented foods are honestly more effective (as well as cheaper!). Some people cannot tolerate many ferments at first, so starting on low doses of probiotics might be the best way to start replenishing good bacteria. You can check out my top probiotics recommendations here, and my post on easy fermented foods to start out with here!

Pathogens

in a perfect world where our minerals were balanced, we would NOT be able to harbor these gross pests like parasites, yeast, bacteria, and viruses.  Bioavailable copper is the MOST critical nutrient for keeping these nasty things at bay.  Keeping the colon happy is also key for preventing the making of a perfect habitat for these creatures.

Ideally, we want to focus on getting bile flow going to start flushing pathogens out (and fiber as well can help with this as they are a tag team, like I mentioned above). You should make sure that you are eliminating efficiently before attempting and parasite detox herbs or supplements otherwise you will be dealing with terrible die-off symptoms. Many pathogens make toxins as they are dying off that can get recirculated if you aren’t keeping your colon moving.

You can read my massive parasite post here to learn symptoms of parasites (most people have them!), what kind of parasites humans deal with, and a full list of ideas on how to treat this issue.

Top Tips for Pathogen Removal:
  • Balancing copper
  • Boost bile flow
  • Focus on fiber
  • BioRay products! I’m in love with BioRay Liver Life, and they have a few choices for getting rid of parasites too: Artesemia and Clove, and Microbe Slayer
  • Bentonite clay
  • Castor oil packs

Hydration

I think at this point most of us know that staying hydrated is a HUGE part of being healthy. If you were like me at any point in your life, you likely NEVER drank water for the most part. I used to drink nothing but coffee and soda for a few years- my poor body! Once I got into natural health, I started drinking massive amounts of water but I soon realized that even this isn’t the ideal for staying hydrated. Most water lacks minerals, and depending on what kind of water you use, you might even be leaching minerals from your body.

So we need to stay hydrated but plain water isn’t the best answer- what do we do then? Go for herbal infusions, coconut water, adding a pinch of unrefined salt to each glass of water that you do drink, or even concoctions like  cranberry water (1/4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice to a quart of water). These will all help to hydrate you as well as provide nutrients! It’s a win-win. On a typical day, I have 2-3 quarts of various liquids, but I never drink plain water: I have my cran-water, an herbal infusion, a quart of dandelion decoctions, and/or coconut water.

Clean water is absolutely essential to have too, especially since we need it to make our herbal infusions or decoctions. My top water filter choices are Tap Master Jr. or Berkey! You can also find local spring water to buy. Check out my other options here in my post on how to get clean water.

Colonics/Enemas

This topic can be a bit controversial, but I still will mention it. I know plenty of people that benefit from enemas or colonics, but I can completely understand how many people draw the line at things like this. I myself have considered colonics, and I have done enemas before but to me they seem somewhat invasive and something in my gut just tells me there has to be better ways to heal. So while these 2 things can be helpful (especially for those that are very toxic), I do not think they are absolutely essential for healing. I find that both methods can be a bit harsh on mineral balance, especially if one is unaware of the possibility of that issue.

*You can read this massive post on enemas from Dr. Wilson, but the essentials are these: enemas clean pretty much only 6-8 inches of the colon and rectum, you hold a certain amount of liquid for about 20 minutes and then expel it. Coffee enemas are the most popular for detox as they can help stimulate glutathione production in the liver. Some people do several of these a day or a few a week, depending on how they feel. Like I mentioned, one can become easily depleted of minerals this way so listening to your body is essential.

*Colonics (or colon hydrotherapy) are a bit more effective at cleaning the colon out as it reaches further. There are a few different varieties of colon hydrotherapy, but a friend who has been doing them for years says that the Gravity Method is the best (and after some reading I would definitely agree!). You can read a bit more on colonic hydrotherapy here.

Herbs and Supplements for Colon Health

Amalaki: AKA Indian gooseberry. This helps a lot with restoring the health of the intestinal skin and can help reverse chronic loose stools. Amalaki also helps with mucus membranes in the body, collagen and elastin production, and artery health. You’ll find amalaki in the formula Triphala which is an amazing Ayuverdic remedy for colon health.

Aloe Vera is one of my top choices for those dealing with gut inflammation. It helps with healing and sealing the gut lining, soothing inflammation internally, aiding in bile flow, and supporting proper detoxification. Look for aloe with NO preservatives, like George’s Aloe. (not recommend while pregnant or nursing!)

Activated Charcoal is amazing for mopping up toxins in the GI tract.  This is especially helpful during yeast or parasite die-off as it can quickly trap toxins and bring them to the colon for removal. I’ve personally felt this quickness! Charcoal is a must-have in your natural medicine cabinet for detox reactions, food poisoning, and stomach bugs. It is also great for whitening teeth, and for mold detox.

Activated charcoal is best taken away from food, prescriptions, and supplements as it can interfere with their absorption. Make sure you stay hydrated while using it as well so you can ensure to flush out those toxins that you’ve trapped! Powder is the best as it will be the fastest to be absorbed, but capsules are great to keep around for travel or eating out.

Other great herbs: Slippery elm, marshmallow root, and licorice root (usually used together for maximum effectiveness).

Want to read more about colon health:

Here is a 131 page PDF by Dr Bernard Jensen

This book is more about general digestive healing, as well as the link between lymph and digestion but I highly recommend it: Eat Wheat by Dr. John Douillard

 



 

Ghee: The BEST fat for Fat Burning!

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Ghee: The Best Fat for Fat Burning!

What in the world is GHEE?

Admittedly when I first heard of ghee, I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t understand why it was so different from regular butter, and at first I wasn’t really crazy about the taste. But the more I learned, the more I realized how amazing this food is!

Ghee is clarified butter, which is made with a process that slowly uses heat to remove moisture, milk solids, lactose, casein and milk solids and all impurities from butter.  Apparently in India, ghee has always been viewed as a sacred, nourishing, and healing food.

Ghee also is one of the best oils for high temperature cooking as its flash point is 485ºF! It’s also shelf stable and doesn’t require refrigeration.  Ghee is free of lactose, whey, casein, gluten, salt, trans fatty acids, GMOs, and bovine hormones (when coming from a good source!).

According to Ancient Organics:

“Ghee is comprised of full spectrum short, medium and long chain fatty acids, both unsaturated and saturated. Ghee contains Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids along with vitamins A, D, E and K. Ghee made from organic butter of pastured cows is one of the highest natural sources of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). 9 phenolic anti-oxidants, as well as numerous other minerals are present in ghee.

Ghee is known as a substance that gives longevity, its elemental qualities balance the aging characteristics by enriching the living body.

Ghee has been used for centuries as a digestive and elimination aid, for energy, sexual vitality, skin and eye health, as a lubricant for the joints and for alkalizing the blood.

The Best Benefits of Ghee:

  • Heals the gut
  • Soothes internal inflammation
  • Helps Weight Loss
  • Helps reduce oxidative stress in the body
  • Boosts energy and vitality
  • One of the highest natural sources of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
  • Promotes skin and eye health and supports alkalizing blood
  • Provides vitamins A, D, E and K2, as well as Omega 3s and 9s
  • Provides butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that helps with detoxification, insulin levels, and especially colon health (it helps convert fiber into more butyric acid which helps with further detoxification- something that many of us need a lot of assistance with!)

 

What you can use Ghee for:
  • Cooking veggies or eggs in a skillet
  • Bulletproof coffee or tea (instead of Butter- I do this, and wow what a boost of energy I get!)
  • Put on homemade popcorn
  • Add some to your smoothies
  • Plop some on your steamed veggies or chickpeas with it before eating
  • Use it in Pumpkin Bread, how delicious would that be?!
  • Check out these other recipe ideas!

Where to Find Ghee:

  • Most health food stores tend to carry ghee at this point. I’ve even found the Organic Valley brand at Target!
  • Perfect Supplements now has Ancient Organics ghee in 3 different sizes. This is one of the BEST ghees out there! Use my code SASSY for 10% your total order on Perfect’s site too!
  • Make your own! Dr. Axe has a recipe here.

 

Sources:

Perfect Supplements

Ancient Organics

Dr. Axe

 

My Favorite Probiotics

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probiotics

Probiotics for Replenishing Gut Bacteria

Gut bacteria is crucial for many reasons: creating certain vitamins, keeping harmful pathogens under control, and plays a role in keeping many illnesses at bay, especially colon cancer.  We have about 100 trillion bacteria cells in the body, which is more than our human cells! Bacteria are truly crucial for our survival and well-being.

This is why probiotics are essential to overall healing. One dose of antibiotics can alter your gut flora forever, and many of us have been put on antibiotics nearly every year of our childhood.

When it comes to getting more bang for your buck, fermenting is the way to go! You can read a bit more about fermenting here, and some easy starter recipes. But many people cannot tolerate ferments when they first start their journey to gut healing, and some are working on making baby steps to make their owns foods (which is great! It makes the transition to natural healing much easier). So for those that don’t want to go the fermented food route at first have the choice to pick among some amazing probiotics.

My Favorite Probiotics

It’s best to switch your probiotics around every few months so you are exposed to the different sorts of bacteria strains that they offer. These brands are some of my favorites because I’ve either tried them myself, or I’ve had clients do well with them.

Garden of Life: Overall, Garden of Life has pretty good options for supplements. Their probiotics are among the best I’ve used, especially this one that is 100 Billion CFU. Vitamin Shoppe and Amazon are pretty comparable with prices for Garden of Life, but I’ve found that some specialty stores can charge $20 more! So just watch out for the prices. They also have many kids options like this powder that can be used for kids as young as 3 months old.

Prescript Assist: This one is a soil-based probiotic that has amazing reviews for most of the people that use it. They are pretty strong and effective, and they’ve even had clinical studies done on them.

Renew Life: Renew Life is one of the most common probiotics you’ll find. I’ve seen them at Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods, and even Target. They have many different CFU levels, and even specific formulas for kids, women’s urinary health, adults 50+, and those that need extra colon care. Check them out here!

BioRay Belly Mend: This is a tincture from BioRay that was formulated to help the gut/brain connection as well as heal some of the most common digestive issues that people face. It is gluten, soy and dairy free as well as vegan and non-gmo.

Other favorites of mine include Catie’s Whole Food Flora, Just Thrive, and GHC’s Latero-Flora. You can read a bit more about these here, and if you order from Perfect Supplements you can use the code SASSY at checkout for 10% off!

There are lots of great probiotics out there, but these are the main ones that I’ve tried or researched. What is your favorite probiotic?

Herbal Bitters: An Essential tool for Gut Healing!

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Bitter herbs are an incredibly powerful tool for fixing digestion. Digestion starts in the mouth, and herbal bitters help kick start this process. The “bitter” taste hits our taste buds and starts to stimulate the production of gastric juices.

Herbal bitters help to:

  • Regulate stomach acid
  • Balance blood sugar levels
  • Boost bile flow for fat absorption and detoxification (bile is a basically a natural laxative- and poor bile is a huge cause of constipation)
  • Aid liver function
  • Boost the immune system
  • Increase nutrient assimilation
  • And they can even help with stress and anxiety
  • Encourage digestive enzyme production (which is why I recommend them over most regular enzyme supplements)
  • Calm down heartburn, gas, and bloating

My Favorite Bitter Herbs

Dandelion Root

Most people already know how much I love dandelion root. One of the reasons why it is so helpful is because of its role as a bitter herb. Dandelion helps stimulate bile flow in the liver, which is an important factor for people trying to regain their health and detox effectively. One source that it actually quadruples bile flow!

My favorite ways to use dandelion include tea or a decoction. You can get the recipes here, or check out these photos so you can Pin them for later!

Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters

Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters are great! This blend includes Anise Seed, Cardamom, Fennel, Gentian, Ginger Root, Milk Thistle, Turmeric, and more. You just put 60 drops in a little bit of liquid about 15 minutes before each meal to help with digestion. So easy! I usually recommend to start with just a few drops at first just to work up to the full dose because increasing bile flow can start to initiate some detox.

Herb Pharm Better Bitters

Herb Pharm is another one of my favorite herbal companies. They offer several herbal bitter options: liquids(like the Gaia herbs formula above) or they even have sprays. The sprays are even easier (and great for on-the-go use!) as all you do is spray it 4 times in your mouth about 10 minutes before a meal. The sprays are STRONG tasting but it is kind of the point when it comes to bitters. We want to taste the bitter flavor as much as we can to help stimulate the gut.

The Herb Pharm bitters have a few flavors to choose from. I went with the Classic and Bittersweet sprays, and honestly there is not much of a difference in taste. They are both pretty strong tasting, but both effective!

My current assortment of bitters!

Note for Nursing Mamas: Most of these bitters aren’t good while nursing (which stinks because we need that bile support postpartum!). I have found 3 options that are OK while nursing.  This lactation formula has bitters in it, so it can help with milk supply as well.   And this one is good while pregnant so I would think it is OK while nursing.

Dandelion tea is also ok while pregnant and nursing, I just wouldn’t overdo it. Maybe 1 cup a day would be good just for a bit of support. Obviously eating or drinking things like beets, artichokes, Apple cider vinegar, lemon water,  and healthy fats help with bile as well as those are definitely safe during these times where we need lots of nourishment.


Natural Anxiety Relief

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Anxiety SUCKS. Truly. There is no way around that fact!

I dealt with anxiety on a low scale for most of my life, but boy did it get so much worse after I had my son. The experience that I had with postpartum anxiety was what finally landed me in the world of mineral balancing. This is how I found out about how a copper imbalance could have been my root cause of anxiety!

I have since healed from this issue, but it can take time for a root cause of an illness to balance out 100%. There are lots of ways to aid in anxiety though as you are healing from that root issue.

First of all, let’s go over what anxiety truly is and what the symptoms are.

I’m sure most people have had times of anxiety in their lives.  Whether it is just for a short time period, or if you deal with it 24/7, anxiety is an extremely uncomfortable feeling.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling nervous or powerless
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or racing mind

The remedies for anxiety are going to differ based on what your cause is. For most people, copper dysregulation is at the core because excess, unbound copper can truly overstimulate the brain. Please read my whole post on copper to get an idea on how prevalent this issue truly is! If you have ever been on birth control, been a vegetarian/vegan, had copper pipes in your house, or have had children, then copper dysregulation could be your root cause!

Top Natural Anxiety Busters for Fast Relief

Dandelion tea:

A lot of anxiety has to do with a mix of unbound copper that is floating around because we lack the bile flow to excrete it. Couple that with constipation, and you’re just going to be in a cycle of never ending anxiety. This dandelion tea can help with giving a boost of bile to help clear out whatever toxins might be causing your anxiety:

Magnesium:

Mag is a calming mineral. A majority of people are dealing with deficiency of magnesium, especially if they grew up eating the Standard American Diet, which is low in most critical nutrients like mag. Read my whole magnesium post here.

My top pick for quick magnesium is a bath or foot bath. Work up to 2 ounces mag oil (1 cup of flakes), 1 cup of baking soda and you can add ½ cup of pink salt if desired.  Epsom salts are also helpful for relaxation, although the mag oil/flakes tend to be better for raising mag levels. Either are a good choice to help with anxiety. You can even get some magnesium lotions like this awesome one with lavender to help relax quickly.

Herbs for Anxiety Relief:

There are so many herbs out there that can help with anxiety, so we’re just going to go over the best ones that I’ve come across.

Oatstraw: I LOVE herbal infusions, and oatsraw is one of the best ones there is for dealing with anxiety. Oatstraw infusions are super high in magnesium, calcium, and B vitamins which are all helpful for the nervous system.

Infusions are super easy to make. Steep one ounce (about one cup) of dried herb in a quart of hot water for at least 4 hours- leaving it overnight is perfect. Strain the herbs and store the liquid in the fridge. Some reuse the herbs to make another quart or 2. Mason jars are perfect for making these infusions.  Infusions will generally last about 2-4 days in the fridge after making them. If you find yours has gone a little bad, you can use it for any plants you might have or even a hair rinse after you wash your hair. Find oatstraw here!

Rhodiola: This is a potent adaptogen! Rhodiola helps a lot with chronic exhaustion, stress and anxiety.

Lavender: Whether it is in a tea or essential oil, lavender is one of the most common herbs used for anxiety and depression. Many studies have proven its benefit for helping stress. Diffuse the oil, get a toxin-free candle made with lavender EO, or just open the bottle and take a whiff 🙂

Stress Manager Formula from Herb Pharm– This formula has all of the best adaptogens in it! Eleuthero Root, Reishi Mushroom, Holy Basil Leaf, Rhodiola Root, and Schisandra Berry.

Gut Healers:

The gut is our second brain. When we are dealing with leaky gut, it is common to experience symptoms like anxiety and depression, so healing your gut is a must. Some quick helpers for experiencing relief include apple cider vinegar, grass-fed collagen, and probiotics. These are things you will have to continue for a time to experience continual healing but I have heard from many people that find fast relief with these 3 things.

For Apple cider vinegar: put 1 tsp-1 tbsp in a glass of water and drink this 1-3 times a day, preferably with meals.

For Collagen: Perfect Supplements is my favorite brand because they are one of the best qualities that I have found. Use 1-2 scoops a day to help get a great source of protein, as well as a boost of amino acids that are essential for gut and brain health.

For Probiotics: My top picks include Garden of Life 100 Billion CFU, Prescript Assist, and Catie’s Whole Food Flora. You can find more ideas here. Also, fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies can help replenish gut bacteria.

For more info on complete gut healing, check out my post on Leaky gut. Also, How Diet Can Effect Mental Health

Stress Busters

My top activities for helping calm anxiety include:

  1. Yoga- everyone knows about yoga, but not everyone likes doing it.  Yoga has been one of the most popular ways to help de-stress for a long time.  Even finding a few yoga positions that help you can help immensely. I like legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose, cat-and-cow, and corpse pose. Legs-on-the-wall is my absolute favorite, and I have heard from  many people that this instantly calms them down when dealing with anxiety!
  2. EFT (aka Tapping)- Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.
  3. Buteyko breathing- A friend introduced me to this method this year, and I will forever be grateful.  It truly is a great way to calm yourself down before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night, or even in the middle of a panic attack. It actually helps the healing of a lot of different ailments as well!
  4. Do something that makes you happy! Watch silly videos, read, color, go for a walk in nature, etc. Do something that helps take your mind off of what is going on.

So there you have it: my top natural anxiety relief tips. There are a LOT of things to try. Anxiety is just a (horrible) symptom, but you can heal from it once you find your root cause. As you heal though, you should be able to find relief with some of the ideas above. And remember: I HAVE BEEN THERE! I have HEALED! It is completely possible to heal from chronic illnesses. Stay strong, keep fighting, and don’t give up until you find your root cause.

Happy healing!

My Top 10 Tips on Sustainable Weight Loss

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Two of the most common resolutions you’ll hear from people in the New Year are to lose weight and eat better. Most people stick to their strict diets and go to the gym regularly for a few weeks but it never tends to last. I think that this is the year that we STOP with this craziness. For decades the typical advice for weight loss has been, “Eat low fat, low calorie, exercise at least an hour a day, drink a gallon of water, and only then will you lose weight”. But this is not right!

Cutting calories just cuts nutrients and energy. Calories are units of energy! When you cut calories, eat low fat, and exercise yourself to exhaustion you are just creating an extremely stressful situation for your body.

So what are my main tips for sustainable weight loss?

  1. Sleep:Sleep is one of the most important things that helps with weight loss. Wait, what?! How is complete inactivity going to help me lose weight? Most people view sleep as something that we just have to do to survive. A lot of people either choose to avoid sleep or they have issues with insomnia because of underlying issues. This is a bad idea! We need sleep in order to probably recover from the days activities. During sleep, our livers and lymph system are working hard to detoxify and clear the body of excess toxins as well as regenerate damaged tissue. Toxins get stored in fat- if we can’t detox, then we can pack on the pounds pretty quickly!There have been studies done on insomniacs and they have determined that those that get poor sleep have imbalances with the hormones leptin and ghrelin, both of which are important to help manage appetite. People who can’t or won’t sleep tend to overeat during the day because of this issue with these hormones.How can we get better sleep? Check out my posts on Sleep Crutches and Insomnia.
  2. Liver Health:The Liver is one of the most important yet overlooked aspects to weight. The The liver has over 500 functions! We can function with as little as 1/6th of our livers- this is why it can take years, even decades, before we even notice any apparent liver dysfunction. Part of the liver’s job is to filter out toxins and convert them into less toxic substances so they can be excreted. However, when the liver gets bombarded by toxins, and coupled with a poor diet, it cannot do its job correctly.  This seems to be the reason for this obesity epidemic, especially when coupled with a SAD lifestyle.  Toxins get stored in fat when the liver cannot handle the constant influx of toxins. All of these things factor into illness!My favorite remedies include: Bone broth, gelatin, Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, ginger, apples, Milk thistle, dandelion root decoctions or tea, garlic, turmeric, coffee enemas and Castor oil packs (read about castor oil packs here!).  Or you can even try the amazing BioRay Liver life tincture! Whey protein is also an amazing helper for the liver since it helps the body create more glutathione.
  3. Get your bile Flowing!
    Bile is one of the MOST crucial things to focus on to help optimize weight loss. Bile is key for utilizing fat soluble nutrients, helping to assimilate fats and proteins, and it is essential for detoxing since it helps to excrete some heavy metals, parasites, yeast, and other toxins. You can read my whole post on bile flow here. My favorite bile boosters are: dandelion root decoctions or tea, Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters ., Sunflower Lecithin, and Castor oil packs. If you do not have your gallbladder anymore, it is even more crucial to focus on bile boosting as you can no longer store bile.
  4. Heal your Gut:
    Focusing on Gut Health  is an absolute must to lose weight, and to heal from any chronic illness. we need sufficient stomach acid and bile to digest a lot of our nutrients and to take care of nasty things like bacteria and parasites. Our gut is our second brain too so when it is imbalanced, we cannot achieve perfect health.
  5. Balance your Minerals
    Use hair tissue mineral analysis to determine metabolism, mineral status, and possible heavy metal toxicity. We need to be in balance in order to detox properly!
  6. Embrace Fat!
    We need fat to be healthy. Stop fearing it! The key to getting the most benefit out of fats is to love your liver and boost bile flow (which I talk about above). Fat is essentail for brain health, reproductive health, adrenals and thyroid health, immune system health, and also for eyes, skin and nails. Read my post on fats so you know what good fats to go for!
  7. Maximize your protein metabolism:
    Most people are slow oxidizers, which means that their metabolism is slow. Making sure that you are getting enough protein (and that you are digesting it properly) can help so much with getting the metabolism back into balance. Many people are also suffering with protein deficiencies because they lack the stomach acid to digest and utilize protein properly. Perfect Supplements Collagen is one of my favorite protein boosters because it has high bio-availability, it is a great quality, and it is so easy to add to anything.
  8. Don’t forget your lymph system too!
    Dry skin brushing, rebounding, yoga, walks, and even castor oil packs can be helpful to keep the lymph moving. Regular massages and staying hydrated are huge helps too.
  9. Focus on a whole foods, nutrient dense diet:
    Fruits, vegetables; full fat foods like butter, ghee, and coconut oil; organic/grass-fed whole milk dairy products; fermented foods; eggs; grass-fed meat; beef liver every so often if you can handle it! Check out Pinterest for great ideas on meals and snacks or my post on the “Ideal Diet”. Make sure you are getting enough fiber too, as it is another essential (yet overlooked) weight loss helper.
  10. And finally, exercise:
    We know that movement is important for our health, but there has to be a balance. Over-exercising can be detrimental to our health because of its ability to chronically raise cortisol levels, which leads to weight GAIN!  You can read about that in my post about exercising when you have no energy.So shoot for easy and fun workouts:
  • Rebounding
  • Walking in nature
  • Swimming
  • Yoga or light stretching
  • Any sport that you enjoy playing
  • Zumba or just plain dancing

*Remember that it is possible to gain weight while starting out on a nutritional balancing program. As you start to fix deficiencies and heal your liver, the weight will come back off- this time for good! Just make sure that you are supporting your liver, and especially doing things to help with bile flow.

What do you swear by for long-lasting weight loss? Let’s talk in the comments!

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My Favorite Pinterest Boards

I recently updated my Pinterest Boards and I’m so excited to share some of my favorites with you! Pinterest has so much great information, especially with health and nutrition.

You can pin my blog posts from this board:

 

I’ve been collecting a lot of great recipes for fermented foods. Lots of great ideas in here for beginners!

Ideas for Detox Support:

And of course, a whole board for mineral balancing:

Stumped on “crunchy” Christmas ideas?

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If you’re like me, you never want to give your friends and family the typical things that they would ask for during the holidays. I won’t pay money for products laced with carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, or artificial ingredients. If I wouldn’t buy it for myself, why would I want a loved one to have it?! But knowing what to get someone who isn’t exactly crunchy can be a dilemma!

Here are some ideas that may help!

Himalayan Salt Lamp

Salt lamps are amazing! They can help purify the air, relax your mind, help anxiety, and they are really gorgeous. There are all different shapes and sizes these days too, plus they even have candle holders or nightlights! Whole Foods and Bed, Bath and Beyond also have a good selection of salt lamps. This is definitely a hot gift this year because Amazon is out of stock on almost everything! It looks like this nightlight is the only thing that has a chance of arriving before Christmas.

Better Beauty Products

Check Bed, Bath and Beyond, Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, or even Target! Usually I would say look at Poofy Organics but it is a bit too late to order-keep it in mind for Valentine’s Day or birthdays though! Target has so many awesome new products like Zum Body spray (made with essential oils, vegetable glycerin, and water- that is it!). Whole Foods has great makeup, lotions, body washes, and more.

Healthier Candles

If you don’t know already, most of the popular candle brands use toxic ingredients that can be carcinogenic. Most candles are made of paraffin, which is a petroleum waste product- when it burns, it lets off the same chemicals as diesel gas! On top of that, they add synthetic fragrances that are also terrible for our health. So candles might seem innocent, but they are just another thing that is in our environment that can cause us health issues. If you want to read all about this, check out Wellness Mama’s article on it!

The best thing to look for is a company that uses 100% pure beeswax and natural essential oils. When I first researched this issue, I found Root Candles. They have both beeswax and soy blends for their candles, they use essential oils for their fragrances, they have cotton wicks, and some of their candles have an 80 hour burn time. I’ve used about 5 or so of their candles, and I love them! Root has interesting scents like Tiramisu or traditional scents like English Lavender. (And these are on Prime, so you’d get them in time for the weekend!)

Make a relaxing gift basket!

What is better than pampering your loved ones? Make up a nice basket with bath and beauty goodies: a bag of Epsom salts or magnesium chloride flakes, lavender essential oil, a brush for dry skin brushing, a new book, and a candle! If they are a really health conscious person and love new ways to help their health, maybe add supplies to make castor oil packs.

Make a Dessert!

What person doesn’t enjoy a nice treat every so often? Here is a list of my favorite recipes to give you some ideas:

Gluten Free Chocolate Beet Cake (like a REAL red velvet cake!)

Creme Brule Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Who says pumpkin has to be saved just for fall? These bars could easily be made gluten free- just look for GF graham crackers

Coconut oil chocolate bark This is absolutely divine. It is easy to make, full of good fats, and you can use maple syrup or honey for the sweetener.

Or maybe staring a project like kombucha, kefir or any other fermented foods. I have tons of ideas on my Fermented Goodness Pinterest Board:

 

Have any other last minute gift ideas? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Do you know what is in your deodorant? (Hint: It’s likely not something good!)

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps to keep this site running. Thanks for your support!

I am a big proponent for reducing the environmental toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Making baby steps is great, and usually the first step people take is to switch out their person care products. Deodorant is definitely a big one to change as it gets applied right onto our lymph nodes and there are so many known toxins in most conventional deodorants. Let’s go over the main things you need to avoid, and what our options are!

Toxins to Avoid in Deodorant

  1. Aluminum:Aluminum toxicity is most commonly related to Alzheimer’s disease, but it is also involved in ALS, Parkinson’s, kidney and liver dysfunction, dental cavities, anemia, and peptic ulcers. Aluminum can also be passed from the mother to their unborn baby in the womb.
  2. Parabens:One of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetics. You may actually be seeing now that some products claim to be “paraben free!” on their labels. Parabens are easily absorbed into your skin and they are known to mimic estrogen! There is a strong link between parabens and breast cancer because of the effects it has on humans. (source)
  3. Propylene Glycol: This is part of a group called PEGs, which are known carcinogens. You’ll see propylene glycol in anti-freeze, to cake, to beauty products. Yes you read that right: an ingredient used in anti-freeze is also found in food!
  4. Triclosan: A common anti-bacterial used in many products, but it has been proven to not only be ineffective but unsafe. Triclosan can actually make some bacteria resistant to antibiotics. (source)

So What Deodorants can we switch to?

  • I went on a wild goose chase for years to find the best deodorant. Nearly every deodorant that we tried either didn’t work well or it gave us a bad reaction, or we realized that it still had questionable ingredients. We use Poofy Organics now, and we’re never going back! Poofy has many scents to choose from, plus they have a sensitive DEO, as well as some powders or sprays!
  • Some do fine with magnesium oil or even milk of magnesia. I don’t recommend this for those that are trying to limit magnesium due to adrenal exhaustion though.
  • Make your own! Most recipes will involve baking soda, coconut oil, and some essential oils.
  • The other major brand I’ve heard great things about is Primal Pit Paste, which you can find in most health food stores at this point.
  • Take a look on the Skin Deep Guide on the Environmental Working Group’s website to see how your current deodorant ranks and find other options. They have about 60,000 total products listed!