Liver Healing vs. Liver Detox: Why there is a HUGE difference!

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liver healing

Liver Healing vs. Liver Detox

Most of my followers know that I am a huge Liver Lover! I can never stress the importance of the liver enough. It has about 500 functions in the body, and it takes a beating in our toxic world.  You can read more about liver health here, but we’re going to go over some important points in this post: what the liver is for and why we need to love and support it- not flush and force it to “cleanse”.

The liver plays a role in:

  • hormonal balancing
  • blood sugar regulation
  • heart health
  • weight management
  • cholesterol regulation
  • detoxification (of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, pathogens, etc)
  • digestion (of fats and protein)
  • utilization of fat soluble nutrients like vitamins A and D
  • keeping copper and iron balanced
  • thyroid and adrenal health
  • immune health

Why we need Liver Loving, not Flushing or Cleansing

The Liver itself doesn’t get dirty- it doesn’t need to be flushed or cleansed. It can get sluggish and it can start getting an extra storage of fat, iron, and copper but it doesn’t store toxins.  When the liver gets sluggish, it stores toxins in FAT which is why there is such a huge link between being overweight and having liver issues.

This is one of the main reasons why I am not a huge fan of liver flushes, cleanses, or anything that will stress the liver out and force it to detox. Our goal should be to provide supporting herbs, foods, and practices to help gently stimulate the liver to heal.  Obviously we all have to make our own choices, but I am not a fan of things like liver/gallbladder flushes, chelation, or fasting- these methods can be very harsh on the body, especially if you are dealing with adrenal dysfunction.  Forcing the body to heal when it doesn’t have the strength is counter-productive.  Gently nourishing the whole body is the key for sustainable healing.

How to Properly Love your Liver

One of the main liver lovers that I recommend to nearly all of my clients is BioRay Liver Life. I have seen miraculous results with this particular herbal blend. The herbs that are used help with the liver, kidneys, lymph, adrenals, and immune system so you get a huge whole-body healing effect from this one supplement. You can read my full post about Liver Life here. Or you can check it out on BioRay’s site, where you can also see many of their other awesome products that I often recommend (and now you can get 15% off your order with the code SASSY at checkout!).

liver healing
BioRay Liver Life is the best choice for liver loving!

According to this source, the tests done with Liver Life “reveal improvements in high liver enzymes, food sensitivities, fatty acid metabolism, pH balance, nutrient absorption and microbial imbalances.”  Not only that, but liver function can improve liver function by 50% in only 15 days. Liver Life supports both phases of liver detox, can improve histamine intolerance, and can help heal food sensitivities over time.

The Liver Life itself can be used for kids as the dose is based on weight, but BioRay has a specific formula just for kids called CALM. You can read more about the kids’ line here.

Other Liver Loving Ideas

  • Herbal infusions like nettles, oatstraw and red raspberry leaf. Infusions are extremely nourishing to the body, and most of them help with liver, lymph, kidneys, and the adrenals.
  • Sunflower Lecithin: This form of lecithin is rich in phosphatidyl choline, which is a B complex vitamin that has extremely important roles in fat metabolism and liver health. It helps with stimulating bile flow and can help flush fat out of the liver, and it is also extremely important for brain health.
  • Castor oil packs (read about castor oil packs here!)
  • Dandelion root decoctions or tea
  • garlic, turmeric, ginger, cayenne
  • Bitter herbs

 

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

 

liver healing

Bile and Fiber: Major Buddies for Efficient Detox

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!

bile and fiber

Bile and Fiber: Why They are crucial for our health!

These days, you can’t look anywhere on a natural health site without seeing something about detox. However, a majority of these sites are promoting dangerous or completely useless cleanses, or the thought that there is something majorly wrong with our genes, which is why our detoxification is off. They usually fail to point out the importance of diet, lifestyle, and the environment! (You can read why I don’t focus on genes here.) In reality, there are MANY factors involved in detoxification, and we’re going to go over 2 main factors here.

**Two of the biggest factors in impaired detox are lack of fiber and lack of bile flow. **

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. Both reduce the severity of die-off from yeast, parasites, and other nasty stuff because they can bind with many toxins to ensure they are evacuated efficiently.

When we are lacking bile and fiber it is common to deal with an inability to digest and utilize fats correctly (which can result in hormonal imbalances and an unstable nervous system), constipation, inability to lose weight, fatigue, and more.

The Process of Enterohepatic Recirculation

Without enough fiber, our bile can become thick and almost like sludge. If this continues, the possibility of developing gallstones becomes higher because the bile will solidify in the gallbladder and runs the risk of getting stuck .  Fiber essentially is the key to “cleaning” our bile as bile is technically recycled. Because of our imbalances and toxicities, it is common for the body to recycle the same bile over and over again (up to 17 times! {1})

Bile is excreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. When we eat fat (or when the body is detoxing), this bile is released. On its way to the intestinal tract, it attaches itself to toxins, parasites, excess hormones, and even bad bacteria ( I love how Dr. John Douillard phrases it: Bile is essentially like Pac-man in our bodies with its amazing ability to gobble up everything in its track. {1}) Once bile gets to the intestinal tract, it binds with fiber in the gut and gets taken out of the body. The big catch is here is that we need BOTH of these things to achieve this amazing cycle.

You can read the whole breakdown on Enterohepatic recirculation here on Karen Hurd’s website.

When this process between bile and fiber becomes sluggish, this can negatively affect stomach acid production as well. This in turn begins to mess with the way people digest many common foods (which leads to them eliminating many food groups after a time as they become more and more intolerant to things). No bile/fiber=lack of stomach acid= intolerances to gluten, dairy, meat, and/or fats. All of these things will lead to chronic constipation as well.  Constipation leads to us storing up our toxins in fat and continuous re-circulation of some toxins (especially excess, unbound copper!) until we get our gut sorted out.  Common side effects of this are: anxiety (toxins recircuating), rashes (toxins trying to come out through the skin), headaches, fatigue (80% of our energy goes to detox so when that is sluggish it will steal from our overall vitality), and weight issues (whether unable to gain or lose weight).

Why are we so deficient in these 2 things?

The biggest reason why we are dealing with these deficiencies is because of the Standard American diet.  This diet is filled with refined foods that are not only low in fiber, but they require even more stomach acid and bile for us to attempt to digest (and whatever isn’t digested starts to build up in the colon, creating a breeding ground for pathogens and toxins!). Throw in heavy metal toxicity, pathogens, and other nutritional deficiencies and the call for bile and fiber becomes even more dire to help flush these things out. Instead of the body eliminating toxins, it starts to store it up in the body until one starts introducing the correct nutrients for removal of these toxins.

Eating a whole foods, clean, and organic-as-possible diet is the best way to achieve better health. There is no *one* perfect diet for everyone on this planet, but those are my main guidelines! You can read my take on the “ideal diet” here.

What is Fiber?

There are 2 kinds of fiber, insoluble and soluble. Soluble fiber tends to dissolve in water and forms a sort of sponge which helps to bind with toxins. Insoluble fiber helps the gut wall move more efficiently, as well as ferments in the gut to act as a food source to your good bacteria. They have different functions, but the most important thing to focus on is to just GET MORE FIBER! (source)

The main functions of fiber include keeping us regular, helping us to detox harmful substances, balancing cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, controlling weight, and helping to balance our hormones.

Apparently our ancestors ate close to 100 grams of fiber a day. Most people get maybe a tenth of that on a Standard American Diet. Ideal daily fiber intake should be at least 30-40 grams. It’s best to spread this out through the day in smaller amounts.

From this source, “When we don’t eat fiber, the toxins that we should be eliminating through our bowels get reabsorbed into the bloodstream — and that can cause many problems,” Junger says. “Unfortunately, Western medicine is toxic-blind”.

High Fiber Foods:

*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
*Psyllium fiber supplements can be helpful too, especially if you are dealing with food intolerances and have to limit high fiber foods like grains and beans. 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!
*When I’m tired of psyllium, I switch over to this liquid fiber from Alive! for a time. I honestly see about the same benefit from it as I do from psyllium!

The only caveat to fiber is for those that might have SIBO. Fiber might end up feeding the bacteria too much. In my experience though, SIBO is very common in those suffering with low bile flow, so that is something to focus on first before attempting to get more fiber in the diet.

What is Bile?

Bile is a clear yellow (or orange or green) liquid that is created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. A healthy liver will create 1 quart of bile per day- that is quite a bit of bile! Most of us have not been very loving to our livers though, and when we are healing we need a LOT of focus on liver health and bile flow.

In a healthy person, bile is made in the liver with no issue.  But for those that are deficient in crucial nutrients or overloaded with toxins, it is hard for the liver to keep up with the demand to produce bile. Why exactly is bile so crucial?

Bile helps us:

  • digest and assimilate fats and protein
  • it helps alkalize the intestines
  • Excrete excess copper
  • Excrete pathogens and yeast
  • Plays a role in excreting heavy metals and excess iron
  • helps us absorb fat soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E.
  • balance stomach acid and acts as a buffer for it

My Top Bile Boosters:

SO! What is our biggest takeaway here? That there is no *one* magic thing that will help us heal, especially when it comes to detox. Our bodies are extremely complex and there are a ton of functions that require many steps. Our gut, liver, lymph, kidneys, skin, and colon are all important for overall detoxification.  Learning how they all work in tandem is fascinating!

Resources:

{1} Eat Wheat by Dr. John Douilliard

Karen Hurd on Enterohepatic Recirculation

Fiber: Why it Matters more than you think!

Bile and Fiber

My New Hand-Picked Packages at Perfect Supplements!

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!

Most of my followers know that I love Perfect Supplements, and I order many thing from them myself. Well, it just occurred to me recently to see if they would set up some of the most common packages that people buy. This makes things sooo much easier for everyone (myself included!) so that when I need to reorder my collagen, dessicated beef liver, etc I can just click ONE button now instead of searching for everything individually. I find that I often forget something when I do that too. So now it is super easy! PLUS when you use my code SASSY at checkout, you still get 10% off of everything 🙂

You can see my whole storefront on Perfect here, and the new packages are at the top.

Sassy Holistics – Adult Healing Essentials #1

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Liver Life – 4 oz liquid
  • Garden of Life – Vitamin Code – Raw Vitamin C, 120 capsules
Sassy Holistics – Adult Healing Essentials #2

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Liver Life – 4 oz liquid
  • Garden of Life – Vitamin Code – Raw Vitamin C, 120 capsules
  • NutraPro Virgin Cod Liver Oil – All Flavors -8 oz
Sassy Holistics – Gut Healing Essentials

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Gaia Herbs Sweetish Bitter Elixir – 4oz
  • Prescript-Assist Probiotic – 60 Capsules
  • Bioray Liver Life – 2 oz Liquid
  • Bioray Belly Mend – 2 oz Liquid

Sassy Holistics – Kids Healing Essentials

  • NutraPro Virgin Cod Liver Oil – All Flavors – 8 oz
  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Kids NDF Calm-Mood and Brain Boosting Herbal Drops (Vanilla cream flavor) 4oz liquid

Sassy Holistics – Detox Package

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Artemisa & Clove – 2oz Liquid
  • Sonne’s #7 Bentonite Clay Detoxificant 32 oz
  • Bioray Liver Life – 2 oz Liquid
  • This one I would recommend for those wanting to do pathogen cleansing. (Note: I usually have people rebuild their minerals a bit first before moving onto pathogens!)

My Experience with Homeopathy

homeopathy

I LOVE HOMEOPATHY

Once you really delve into natural health, you can’t help but explore different modalities of natural health. One of the modalities that has really called to me is homeopathy.  I have found that is an extremely misunderstood branch of medicine, and I’m currently taking classes to learn more about it so I can practice it myself.

I touched a tiny bit on homeopathy before when I wrote about cell salts, an incredible part of homeopathy that helps the body utilize certain minerals much better.  I’ve recently added cell salts (BioPlasma) into my daily routine and I love them. They have many different uses and they’re super easy to use!

History of Homeopathy

Homeopathy has been documented since 400BC, but became more popular in the 1800s when Samuel Hahnemann became the main founder of it and added a lot more research to it.  This form of natural health is safe, gentle, and truly holistic. Kids, pregnant women, pets, and anyone else can safely benefit from homeopathy, whether it is an acute or chronic issue. Homeopathy is all about “Like cures like”: something that causes symptoms in one person can cure another. No one will end up with the same remedies even if they have the same symptoms- it is truly individualized and holistic. In the early 1900s, 20% of US docs were homeopaths. 500 million people worldwide practice homeopathy! So for those that think homeopathy is not effective or relevant can learn a bit from the rest of the world.

My Personal Experience with Homeopathy

My first experience with homeopathy was several years ago when I tried to dabble in in myself. I recently decided to give it another go for a few main reasons: 1) If I want to study it and be a homeopath myself, I must try it out with a real homeopath first and  2) I had been reading about how homeopathy can help with healing the body from trauma. I had a lot of abuse as a child, and I never was really able to fully heal from everything that had happened. I had looked into several modalities of emotional healing, but none of them really seemed quite right to me. So I reached out to my dear friend and homeopath, Khush Mark, and she told me a bit about how homeopathy can heal trauma. We cannot heal the physical without healing the emotional! And even health practitioners need other practitioners of their own at times 🙂

So I had my consult with Khush about a month ago. The call itself was over an hour and extremely interesting because homeopathy is *truly* in-depth! It’s all about finding out how you react to certain issues and symptoms, and how your personality plays a role in your health. Once the call was done, Khush sent me my remedies and my plan, and I diligently followed it.

At first I didn’t notice much, but after a week or 2, I really started feeling a shift. My mood was lighter, I started sleeping better, my brain was calmer, and when I think of my childhood, I finally feel nothing! It isn’t a stressor anymore- it feels like I emptied a bucket that I had been carrying around for nearly 20 years.  I was absolutely amazed. During this time, I finally had found the emotional strength to do something that I had been wanting to do for a long time- write out a letter to my abusers. And write I did! I poured out nearly 4000 words into a “letter” that I will never send. But I was able to finally get it out without initiating a stress response. I truly believe homeopathy gave me the strength to handle this burden that I had been carrying for more than 2/3 of my life.

I’m finally moving on!

I have a follow up with Khush soon, and I am so excited about it. In my first call with her, I kept mentioning how I felt “stuck” in life. I can honestly say I no longer feel stuck. HTMA and mineral balancing has given me the tools I need to physically heal, but homeopathy has helped immensely with the emotional aspect. The main reason why I want to marry these two modalities (just like Khush does!) is because homeopathy can heal symptoms pretty quickly and get you back to a baseline with your health, and HTMA can set you up with the lifestyle changes needed to prevent any further health issues in the future.  They are truly an amazing tag-team.

So if you feel like you are “stuck” or you know that you still need to heal old trauma, feel free to reach out to Khush! She offers a free 15 minute Skype session for those that want to really see if this is the path for them.  It’s been proven that childhood abuse can contribute to health issues in adults (in HTMA, it is very common with persistent low Sodium/potassium imbalances), and we cannot process or heal many of these issues as children. Many people really need a bit of  budge to stimulate the body to start truly healing. I hope that anyone reading this that has a history of trauma starts to heal as I have been able to heal <3

homeopathy

Flash Sale on Perfect Supplements’ Collagen Packets! Perfect for summer travel!

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!

collagen

For the next 96 hours use Coupon Code GOSUMMER to save at LEAST 20% on Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen Packets.

Combine GOSUMMER with these Volume Discounts and check out the savings…

Buy 1-2 Boxes Of Collagen – Save 20%
Buy 3-5 Boxes Of Collagen – Save 45%
Buy 6-11 Boxes Of Collagen – Save 55%
Buy 12 Boxes or More Of Collagen – Save 60%

These packets are perfect to stock up on for the summer for vacations and any other travel you might have planned.

Why I love collagen: It can help with-

  • Hair and Nail health
  • Healing and sealing the gut lining
  • Provides highly digestible protein, which is great for those with low stomach acid and adrenal fatigue
  • Helps provide amino acids for muscle health
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Great for joint health
  • Helps sleep
  • Heals a sluggish metabolism
  • Promotes Healthy Brain Function
  • Can help reduce or eliminate wrinkles and cellulite!

Amazing Resources on the Importance of Minerals

importance of minerals

I love HTMA and Mineral Balancing!

I was asked yesterday for some awesome resources that would help explain mineral balancing and HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) to those that are either skeptical about the importance of nutrients or those that are just getting into holistic nutrition. I realized that while I have hundreds of links saved on my bookmarks bar, I haven’t ever put the best links into a post yet. I am a HUGE advocate for everyone to constantly learn more about health! I think that we all need to be our own best advocates and the only way to do that is to learn, research, and read, read, read!

So here are my FAVORITE links on HTMA, mineral balancing, and nutrition in general. Some are studies, some are articles, and some a big hard to decipher if you aren’t used to the jargon. But the more you read, the more you learn and that is the most important part.

Directly from the 2 main HTMA Labs (ARL and TEI)

From TEI labs: A list of all of the studies that proof the reliability of HTMA

From TEI labs: All of their published articles on specific minerals (and vitamin A)

From TEI Labs: “Blood analysis for minerals is a good indicator of the transport of minerals to and from the storage areas of the body (extracellular).
Hair tissue mineral analysis is a good indicator of the metabolic processes occurring within the cells (intracellular).” (source)

From TEI Labs: All of their published newsletters on specific conditions and how they relate to HTMA (from 1985-present)

From ARL Labs: A breakdown on what HTMA is exactly.

From ARL Labs: Specific information on each mineral and heavy metal

From ARL labs: Their Newsletters and Published articles.

Studies and Articles about Minerals

Magnesium and Zinc involvement in Tobacco Addiction

Copper Dysregulation: Basics, Pyroluria, Bipolar, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, Thyroid health, hormonal balancing,

Amazing Articles from Dr. Malter

Zinc: Responsible for about 300 enzymes

Magnesium: physiology and pharmacology, diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, info on mag and about 30 other illnesses,   Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment

Copper: Metals and the Mind | Weston A Price , Copper-Zinc Imbalance: Unrecognized Consequence of Plant-Based Diets and a Contributor to Chronic Fatigue | Weston A Price , Copper deficiency symptoms, Type IX Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Menkes syndrome: the decrease in lysyl oxidase activity is associated with a corresponding deficiency in the enzyme protein.

More on Copper: Role in neurological disorders, The role it plays in lipid metabolism (fats and cholesterol, it is SUPER important!), health benefits of copper, All about Ceruloplasmin (the copper binding protein-this report is 119 pages long and incredibly in-depth)

Iron: How to really balance iron, the higher the iron the higher the risk of heart issues, the role of ceruloplasmin in iron balancing,

The Great Iodine Debate | Weston A Price

Breakdown of major minerals and their uses.

Studies and Articles about Vitamins

Vitamin A: Vitamin A: The Key to A Tolerant Immune System? | Clinical Education

The Daily Lipid: Vitamin A Plays an Essential Role in Setting the Circadian Rhythm and Allowing Good Sleep

Infants, Vitamin D WAPF

Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C

The Importance and Uses of Vitamins

 

 

How to Balance Hormones the truly natural way

balance hormones

Healing your Hormones the Sassy Holistics Way!

Hormonal imbalances are so incredibly common these days- so much so that even young kids are dealing with them! A majority of doctors or natural practitioners out there approach hormonal imbalances with actual hormones. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty about that, but I’m going to share the way that I believe we should be approaching this issue. I don’t agree with the hormonal balancing approaches typically, and you’ll understand why in this post!

What is the ROOT CAUSE of hormonal imbalances?

If your hormones are out of balance, adding in all of the separate hormones you are deficient in makes zero sense to me. Besides the fact that this is not how we’re meant to keep our hormones balanced, this can be extremely hard on the body, especially the liver and adrenals. Hormonal imbalances have 3 main root causes: a sluggish liver, stressed adrenals, and a copper imbalance (and these 3 are all connected too!).

Why is the Liver is important in hormonal health?

Our livers have about 500 different functions in the body. One of the main functions is to keep our hormones balanced, both by creating hormones as needed and filtering out excess hormones that we either make or are exposed to. Our livers also make a majority of our cholesterol but can only do so if it is happy and functioning properly. ALL OF OUR HORMONES ARE MADE FROM CHOLESTEROL. That is the fact that drives me nuts about using individual hormones.

ALL of the hormones that run the adrenals need cholesterol to be made. The lie that cholesterol is bad for us is a primary reason why we are all so deficient in hormones. We need cholesterol to create pregnenolone, which in turn can be used to make the rest of the hormones like estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, and aldosterone. But we need healthy livers to regulate cholesterol. If you want to see a chart that explains the hormone/cholesterol relationship, check it out here.

We have a completely obvious root cause here to address, but most docs/practitioners will go straight to the individual hormones (again, “natural pharmacology” or “allopathic natural health“: treat the symptoms, not the cause).  If you are dealing with estrogen dominance, it is more likely that your liver is having trouble clearing the excess estrogen- if you add progesterone to antagonize/balance estrogen, where is the estrogen going to go if the liver is still angry? The problem in the first place was that the body couldn’t get rid of the excess estrogen in the first place. Heal your liver, fix your hormones.

How is a copper imbalance related to hormonal health?

In the mineral balancing world, we know that estrogen and copper go hand in hand, just like zinc goes along with testosterone and progesterone. Women are copper dominant and men are zinc dominant. When the liver and adrenals are stressed, they have a VERY hard time keeping copper and zinc balanced.

I mentioned above how adding progesterone to “fix” and estrogen dominance issue makes no sense if the liver can get rid of the excess copper in the first place: It is EXACTLY the same issue with copper/zinc. Zinc can mobilize stored copper but it doesn’t excrete it! (bile is the key for that, which I talk about below) Messing with the individual hormones or nutrients doesn’t solve the root issue, which is that the liver is angry and the minerals aren’t able to balance.

Balancing copper is one of the main things I focus on for most of my clients. I RARELY see someone with balanced copper. That is how common this issue is. Keeping copper balanced involved happy adrenals and livers, as well as true vitamin A (from cod liver oil, beef liver, eggs, and butter- all things that many people didn’t eat growing up as there has been fear mongering on each of these foods!). Those that have been vegetarian/vegan, been on birth control of any sort, had copper pipes in their house, or women that just recently had a child are the most common people to be effected by a copper imbalance.

When we are dealing with a sluggish liver and stressed adrenals, it is hard for the body to utilize vitamin A, which is one of the keys needed for making ceruloplasmin, the copper binding protein. When ceruloplasmin cannot be made, copper can build up in the body (as excess, unbound copper rises, estrogen tends to rise as well). This creates a huge issue in the body: the excess copper can become antagonistic to zinc and other nutrients and it creates it own host of symptoms as it basically irritates the body, but you can also deal with copper deficiency symptoms since you cannot use this excess copper. You can read the giant lists of copper excess and copper deficiency signs here, as well as the whole story about copper dysregulation.

How are the adrenals related to hormonal health?

When people start to feel fatigued or just not as well as they used to, most people will automatically tell them to go test their thyroid. In reality, the adrenals play an even bigger role in overall health as they are higher up on the totem pole in the endocrine system (AKA the HPA Axis!). The adrenals play a big role in metabolism, hormonal balance, and overall vitality.

The adrenal glands are two little pea-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex, secretes the corticosteroid hormones including cortisol that monitor the body’s metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure. The adrenal medulla is the inner part which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that respond to stressors. When the adrenal medulla fires, it increases the heart rate, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and creates a surge of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. This mechanism evolved so we could draw from a quick burst of energy in a fight-or-flight situation. The adrenals are extremely vital to our health and well-being!

This fight-or-flight response can becoming chronic for many people, and eventually the adrenals can get into burnout. You can read a bit more on how we can use HTMA to determine the health of the adrenals and how we can support their function better.

How to truly fix a hormonal balance

1) Heal your Liver and get that bile flowing! Many of my ladies need a LOT of liver loving/bile support. It seems that when we start healing, the body goes a bit into overdrive and tries to do all the things at once. We need bile to flush out the toxins: the excess copper, the estrogen, the heavy metals, parasites, yeast, etc. But we also need bile for fat utilization and cholesterol balancing. From what I’m seeing, most bodies choose to detox FIRST. The more bile support we add, the easier the process gets. You can read my whole post on bile support here, but my favorites include dandelion root, sunflower lecithin, Gaia Herbs or Herb Pharm Bitter herbs supplements, castor oil packs, and staying hydrated. Bile is one of the main keys for healing constipation too- keeping your colon happy is key in healing from any illness. Also, anything you do to support your overall liver function will help your bile flow!

2) Heal your Adrenals. A general course of action for adrenal fatigue will include good fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats (fat and cholesterol are needed for hormone production), Whole food vitamin C (NOT ascorbic acid), high quality proteins like collagen or whey, animal based vitamin A that you would find in Cod Liver Oil, butter and beef liver, and the most important things are rest, sleep, more rest, and more sleep! It depends on the person’s Na/Mg ratio on the HTMA whether they will need magnesium or a good quality salt like Pink Himalayan, Celtic, Redmond’s Real Salt. Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).

3) Balance your minerals. As mentioned above, the main mineral imbalance that is involved in hormonal issues is the copper/zinc balance. Get an HTMA and a blood panel for copper, zinc, and ceruloplasmin to determine your full status on these minerals. HTMA also can give us insight on how well your adrenals, thyroid, and liver are working which also plays a big role in hormonal health.

4) Reducing environmental toxins is also an essential step to healing your liver and hormones.  Many of the chemicals used in beauty products are carcinogenic and are known hormone disruptors, and they mostly mess with estrogen. There are about 82,000 chemicals used in personal care products and most of them are not tested for safety, or how they react to other chemicals. What you use on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream- reducing the amount of toxins you are exposed to helps take strain off of your liver so it can do its job better.

5) SLEEP!!!! Sleep is perhaps the number 1 most critical thing needed to heal from every illness. And yet it is one of the first things that suffers when health starts to suffer.This is the most underestimated healer out there.  We just need sleep! It’s not just because it keeps us happy- it helps us regenerate and heal, as well as helping us to eliminate toxins because our LIVERS work the hardest at night.

If we are always on the go during the day and we aren’t sleeping enough at night, we simply cannot function well.  The first part of ANY healing plan should be to evaluate your sleep.  If you aren’t getting enough because of your schedule, then it is time to cut down on things to take care of yourself no matter how hard this might be.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”  If you are healing from any illness, you have to focus on yourself as much as you can in order to truly heal.  This may be hard for a lot of people but it is crucial!If you having any trouble sleeping, there are a variety of reasons why this could be happening. Read my post on how to bust insomnia here.  You can also check out this article from ARL about the importance of sleep.

More reading:

This awesome article by Dr. Lam was sent to me yesterday which prompted me to finally write about my approach to balancing hormones. He goes over the negative effects of improper progesterone supplementing.

Why We Need to be our own Best Advocate!

best advocate

Becoming your own best advocate for health is important!

One of the major lessons that I have learned on my own health journey is that as an individual, we have to be the ones that are in charge of ourselves. Growing up, most of us were taught to go to the doctor when we were sick and we were supposed to just do as they said because they were the “experts”. That mentality is something that I find dangerous, even when we are switching over to natural doctors and practitioners. We should never blindly trust anyone!

This is why when I write my posts and talk to my clients, I am constantly explaining things, sending links for them to read more, or just telling them where they can find more info. I never want someone to feel like it’s “my way or the highway”.  I want people to feel empowered to learn more, whether it is to help others in the future or just to help themselves heal at this point in time. I have been on the end of being a client and not having questions answered because the doctor/practitioner didn’t like being questioned. That did nothing but make me feel frustrated and set my healing back a bit because I didn’t understand the “why” behind a lot of things I was told I should be doing.

At the end of the day, we all know ourselves best. And it is important to remember that! Only you can explain the symptoms you are feeling, how you react to certain foods and supplements, and what you feel is the main area of health that you need to focus on. You are responsible for yourself: your health, your attitude, your actions, your choices, etc. You can find people to guide you and help you though! But ultimately, you are the best advocate for yourself.

How to be your own best advocate:

Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. There are a million and one people out there trying to make a quick buck, but there are still many people out there with great information. Find those that are truly offering the best solutions, and not gimmicks. True healing takes time! Learning to sift through the good and bad can take a little time, but it is worth it. Try not to become obsessed though, as that can happen a lot on this journey to better health.

Look for people treating others as individuals. While most people are dealing with the same deficiencies and imbalances, not everyone will be able to tolerate the same treatments. I’ve touched on this in my Biochemical Individuality post and my Individualized Nutrition post before if you want to read more. But basically, anyone that is trying to tell you that we all need exactly the same treatments is someone to question. Everyone is on a different level of health and cannot tolerate the same exact things.

Listen to your instinct. Instinct is real! If your gut/heart/brain is screaming at you that something you are doing isn’t or is right, listen to it. Our bodies are smart- we just have to learn how to listen and respect them.

Look out for quick fixes. It takes decades (and generations in some cases) for health issues to form. While many symptoms can start resolving quickly on a plan, true healing can take a long time. We all have years of damage to undo. Stay clear of things that claim you will be healed in a week (usually these are weight loss gimmicks, but I see them with general health posts every so often).

Have faith that you will heal. Don’t get discouraged. Believe in yourself! Find a good team of docs/practitioners that are all willing to help you heal. One person doesn’t always hold all of the answers (no matter how much a person might wish that were true!). Depending on what YOU are going through, you might need a few people to aid you on your journey.

It’s ok if the above doesn’t speak to you too. If you feel better trusting your practitioner/doctor or team, that is ok too! Some people don’t have the time or energy to learn more. They just want answers and healing. I just want more people to realize that it is ok to be a part of your own healing: you can make decisions, you can ask questions, and you can have doubts. I believe that there should be a team mentality when it comes to practitioners and clients though. Our end goal should be to help people heal!

The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Healing

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natural healing

If you are new to natural health, it can be very overwhelming to know where to begin your journey. I’m going to put together my top tips on where to start!

Heal Your Gut

Healing your gut is usually the best first step to take on this healing journey. Many people are dealing with leaky gut, impaired digestion, and many nutritional imbalances. The best things to look into to heal the gut are grass-fed collagen, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, probiotics, and bitter herbs.

Eat Clean!

Part of healing your gut will include eliminating processed foods, and learning to incorporate more whole foods. Staying away from MSG, artificial sweeteners, food coloring, corn syrup, and canola oil is essential. Luckily, it is easy to avoid these things if you are eating organically! You can learn more about my take on the Ideal diet here, or just check out the “food-like” items we should all be avoiding. I also have some tips here on Eating Clean on a budget! Also, drinking clean is just as important as the eating clean part! Cutting out soda, non-organic coffee and teas, and excessive fruit juice is essential. Read my tips on properly staying hydrated here.

Love your liver

Our livers have over 500 functions!  We can function with only 1/6th of our livers so they can truly take a beating until we determine that something is actually wrong. If you are dealing with any sort of illness, it is a given that your liver needs some love. My favorite liver lover to start with is BioRay Liver Life. My next favorites are bitter herbs, dandelion root tea, beets, sunflower lecithin, and castor oil packs.

Move your lymph

Our lymph systems play a big role in detoxification. The lymph system does not have its own pump so we have to help support it. Easy ways to support the lymph are dry skin brushing, rebounding, castor oil packs, light exercise like yoga (especially the legs on the wall pose!) and walking, massage, and herbs like red root (which is in the Liver Life supplement mentioned above).

Reduce environmental toxins

The average American woman uses about 515 chemicals on her body daily with the use of popular personal care products. While not all of these chemicals are harmful, many of them have proven to be carcinogenic, disruptive of hormones, or just plain irritating to the skin. When our livers are overloaded, it is very hard for our bodies to process these chemicals so it is just best to reduce the toxic load wherever we can.

There are about 82,000 known chemicals used in everyday household items, and most of them have never been tested for safety. I recommend taking baby steps with this one and just start replacing the items in your house with better products. This includes dish soap, all-purpose cleaners, shampoo, deodorant, make-up, and perfumes. We use Poofy Organics for most of our personal care and household products. They have about 500 products at this point, and they are one of the few companies I completely trust. I’m very picky with what I use and promote at this point!

Improve Sleep

Without sleep, we cannot properly heal. Sleep is considered to be a silent healer: it seems unimportant to many people, but we heal and detox a LOT when we get proper rest. You can read my top tips for getting better sleep here. My favorites are tart cherry juice, castor oil packs, dandelion root tea, limiting screen time for about 1-2 hours before bed, reading a physical book (not an ebook!), making sure you get some light exercise through the day (even the legs on the wall yoga pose can help), and making sure you are loving your livers as mentioned above.

Figure out your personal nutritional deficiencies so you aren’t blindly supplementing.

Most of my followers know by now that I love hair tissue mineral analysis. It can truly take a lot of the guesswork out of healing, and it can save you the frustration of trying supplement after supplement in the hopes that something will work for you. Copper dysregulation is a big focus for most of my clients, and HTMA is a great way to figure out the best way to fix this issue. You can learn all about HTMA here!

Nutrient Dense Foods

Once we cut the junk out, we need to focus on the good stuff. My favorite nutrient dense foods are ghee, grass-fed butter, pumpkin seeds, herbal infusions (especially nettles and oatstraw), desiccated beef liver, grass-fed collagen, bone broth, good fats, and good proteins.

Stress Management

Western society is obsessed with being busy. The busier you are, the more successful you seem apparently. However, this lifestyle is not sustainable and it is playing a very big role in our health. Learning how to reduce (or in some cases eliminate) stress is a crucial part to healing. This might be finding a job that is less stressful, cutting toxic people out of your life, making yourself realize that you don’t have to push yourself to exhaustion each day just to accomplish things, and cutting down on stimulants/addictions like caffeine and cigarettes.

Sometimes we can’t change our situations, but we can change how we reach to things to an extent. There are MANY ways to help yourself cope with stress. If you are dealing with adrenal exhaustion, a good adaptogenic herb can help depending on the state of your adrenals as well as your symptoms. But doing things like finding a hobby to do each day can help so much. Experiencing pure happiness everyday, even for a short amount of time can truly change your attitude.

So read a book, start a blog, go for a walk, talk to friends, look into EFT/Tapping, Buteyko breathing, yoga, meditate, practice gratitude, whatever helps you disconnect from your stress for a few minutes!

And that is it!

I hope this helps those that are just getting on this path! It might seem overwhelming at first, but once you get used to living a healthier lifestyle it becomes much easier. And completely worth it! Changing our lifestyles is so imperative, especially because we need to start thinking about the future generations.

Need more ideas? Check out my massive post on my absolute favorite remedies for specific health conditions!

 

Why do we CRAVE Sugar?

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crave sugar

For decades, fat was demonized as being unhealthy and something to avoid for better health. Now we know better about fat and how it is actually essential for our health, but now the “enemy” has been replaced with SUGAR.

Come on, guys. Instead of looking for one specific scapegoat for our health issues, can’t we realize what the real enemy is- processed foods in all forms and over-consumption. Natural sugars have always been in existence, but our ancestors used to eat MUCH less than we do, plus they didn’t have all of these horrible variations of sugar that we have today: high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, genetically modified sugars, etc.

Why do we crave sugar so much though?

A craving for sugar is almost always a craving for ENERGY! Remember when you were a kid and you would eat a piece of candy, which would make you bounce around the house for a time?  That was because the sugar was a quick energy source. When our bodies are fatigued they want to make us continually give them the fastest energy source they can, which unfortunately is sugar.

Does this mean we should eat massive amounts of sugar? NO! This craving means several things: your adrenals are exhausted, your digestion is likely off, and you are not giving your body the proper amounts of good fats and proteins to sustain energy through the day.  Protein and fat are both essential for balancing blood sugar, and most people are not getting enough of them. Plus, most people are dealing with low stomach acid and bile flow to help digest and utilize them properly.

How to Curb Sugar Cravings

  • Balance your metabolism:  Many people are in a state of slow oxidation, which means that metabolism is sluggish. The body just cannot keep up with energy levels to help us get through the day. Using HTMA is very helpful to determine your metabolism, and if your minerals are playing a role in your inability to handle sugar properly. You can read all about HTMA and metabolism here.
  • Focus on good Protein sources: Protein is especially needed for those with sluggish metabolisms as protein helps to support a healthier metabolic rate. The best sources include grass-fed collagen, Whey protein (undenatured and grass-fed is best), pastured eggs, grass-fed beef, organic chicken and turkey, and of course beans, nuts, seeds, etc if tolerated.
  • Focus on better Fat sources: Fast oxidizers tend to do better with more fats than anything, but most people these days are dealing with a sort of fat deficiency. The adrenals LOVE fat, but if digestion is sluggish it can be hard to utilize fats well (see next point on how to fix this). Good fats include: ghee and MCT oil (the best fats for slow oxidizers), grass-fed butter, coconut oil, grass-fed dairy (cream cheese, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, heavy cream), avocado, fish, nuts, chocolate, meats, eggs, and olives. Fat bombs are very helpful to add quality fats through the day!
  • Heal your Gut: We need adequate stomach acid to digest and utilize protein, and we need sufficient bile flow to utilize fats. Apple cider vinegar and bitter herbs are my top choices for these 2 issues, but you can see all of my gut healing tips here.
  • Heal your liver (which is responsible for reducing blood sugar swings by about 50%!): The liver helps us balance blood sugar, digest and utilize fats, and it has several hundred other functions. Bitter herbs are the most helpful tool for digesting fats and proteins better. BioRay Liver Life is my top choice for healing the liver over a long term basis. See all of my liver healing tips here.
  • Use better sweeteners. At the end of the day, sugar is not the enemy. It’s all about balance, how well our bodies are working, and knowing what sweeteners are actually good for us. Raw honey, blackstrap molasses, organic maple syrup, fresh fruits, and coconut sugar are all great sources.

If you find that you feel worse with any particular sugar, then of course cutting it out until you heal is a good idea. But I know many people that have cut out sugar for years with no apparent benefit to their health because so many diets claim that sugar is the devil and we should avoid it. If you have a yeast issue and are on a sugar-free diet, please read my post here about what is the true root cause of this issue! A lot of the issue comes down to leaky gut, sluggish liver, and exhausted adrenals.

 

More reading:
Why Sugar is your friend, by Empowered Sustenance.