Balancing 3 of the Main Minerals: Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium

Balancing Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium

Hair tissue mineral analysis is an amazing tool to use to determine how your body is handling stress, how well your adrenals are working, and where your mineral levels are. Minerals are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, inhibitors or even as the enzyme themselves. Enzymes are what keeps our bodies running. When we are low on minerals or if they are imbalanced, our bodies cannot physically function correctly. We look at the whole picture with HTMA- levels, ratios, and the person’s individual symptoms.

In this post though, we are going to go over 3 of the main minerals in HTMA which include: Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium.  Our goal with HTMA is to BALANCE these minerals. These 3 have a very delicate balance, but they are all incredibly important.  (and Calcium makes up the 4th main mineral- but it doesn’t seem to be as hard to balance as the other 3 for most people).

Balancing Mg/Na/K: A Delicate Mineral Dance!

In the mineral balancing world, magnesium lowers sodium, which in turn can mess with the sodium/potassium ratio. From ARL Labs: “Sodium and magnesium tend to be antagonistic. As one goes up the other goes down. The ratio of the two minerals often gives a better picture of adrenal activity than the sodium level alone. “

If both sodium and potassium are low and one takes their dose of mag (whether it be the RDA of 400mg or their body-weight dose of about 800+), one can experience both low sodium and low potassium signs. Also, while potassium might not directly be affected by mag, it is very closely related to cortisol on its own and magnesium can lower cortisol. So a very low potassium reading on the HTMA can indicate low cortisol output (roughly), which would indicate an issue with tolerating magnesium.

With HTMA, there are clear indications if someone truly can handle mag or not. About 80% of people in general are slow oxidizers, which means that adrenals are sluggish. Magnesium *decreases* adrenal function, while sodium supports it. Mag *lowers* sodium and further decreases adrenal activity. For some, it can take months and other it takes years to see the negative effect. HTMA is about balancing in the long run, not taking massive doses of any one nutrient.

I am seeing that *so many people* are reacting poorly to magnesium.

Adrenal crashes, severe insomnia, anxiety, low blood pressure, dizziness- these are all of the side effects of too much mag and not enough sodium and potassium. I know it can be frustrating, as there are oodles of articles out there coming out about how magnesium can be a cure-all mineral for so many illnesses. Magnesium is crucial but when we have low sodium and potassium, it can be hard to tolerate any amount of magnesium. This is why the HTMA is important so we can determine your sodium and potassium, as well as the state of your adrenals. The whole point is to get a personalized plan. Healing happens in stages: we cannot fix everything all at once!

You can read my whole post on the sodium/magnesium ratio here and how it relates to adrenal health. In short: Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).  Usually with over-active adrenals, one will have high cortisol and high sodium levels- taking magnesium can help balance this. Those with under-active adrenals are more complicated, as they tend to have mixed cortisol and very low sodium- so magnesium *might* help someone if they deal with high nighttime cortisol, but overall they need to focus more on sodium through the day to support the adrenals.

So how much Mag, Potassium, and Sodium do we need?

Looking at the minerals separately: Magnesium recommended daily amount is about 400mg. Potassium RDA is about 4700mg. Sodium RDA is about 2300mg. (These obviously approximates as the RDA doesn’t always cut it when it comes to info- just using these as a reference). That is a pretty big difference here: 400-4700-2300. So if you are using more than that amount of mag, imagine how much more sodium and potassium you would need to properly balance it. Many are doing 800+mg of magnesium, and doing maybe 2-3 adrenal cocktails (which have about 500g of potassium and about 500mg of sodium).

Needs for each mineral will vary person to person depending on HTMA results and symptoms, as well as what a person tolerates. A majority of people are not getting nearly enough potassium in their diet. Unless you are focusing on potassium intake, it is extremely hard to get to that almost 5000mg amount!  Usually I suggest going for about 3000 a day just to get used to getting more potassium and that way we slowly introduce it instead of flooding the body with it (especially as potassium can cause copper dumping!). Read my post on potassium here for more info and my giant list of favorite potassium rich foods.

Sodium intake seems to vary person to person. Many people with adrenal fatigue crave salt like crazy. We have the potential to waste up to 30,000mg of sodium a day when adrenals are stressed (and I cannot find the source I had for this as I read it several years ago now- but it is an alarming amount, and mineral balancing agrees at least that sodium is the first mineral that we start burning through like crazy in adrenal fatigue.) I usually have people listen to their body on this: if it tastes good to you, go for it! Eventually your body shouldn’t crave it as much as levels are replenished. Adrenal cocktails, salt water sole, doing sea salt baths, making your own salt capsules, and obviously just salting food are all helpful.

When sodium, potassium, and magnesium are all low it is VERY hard for someone to raise all 3 at once. They all have to be in balance because too much of one can bump another around. It can be easy to determine which one is the lowest when looking at an HTMA though, and that is usually the main one that people need to focus on. I try to tell people to take note of their symptoms: low sodium signs include dizziness, low blood pressure, muscle weakness or a very rapid heartbeat. Low potassium signs include a hard, thumping heartbeat; thirst; insomnia; or muscle cramps. Low magnesium signs include muscle pain/stiffness, headaches, and skipped heartbeats.

My favorite way to use magnesium is topically. It seems to have less of a chance to mess with sodium this way, and I’m seeing people raise levels well with it. There was a study that showed that in only 12 weeks of use, most of the people rose their magnesium levels by almost 60%! Compare that to oral supplementation which can take 9-24 months to raise mag levels. (Source)

You can try mag oil baths or foot baths: try 1-2 ounces mag oil (or ½ cup to 1 cup of flakes), 1 cup of baking soda (for increased mag absorption and to neutralize chlorine in the water); add ½ cup of pink salt if desired so you can get the balance between sodium and magnesium. Soak for 20-40 minutes at least twice a week.

Or you can use magnesium lotion! I love Swift Natural’s magnesium lotion, but you can also see this recipe to make your own.

Common questions I get:

“But don’t we burn through magnesium like crazy under stress?” Yes we do. We can also burn through sodium, potassium, zinc, and even copper (technically, stored copper can get pushed out under stress, along with other toxins). Magnesium is not the *only* mineral that has to do with stress!

“Our soils are so depleted of mag, don’t we need high doses?” Yes, our soils are depleted. A Standard American diet is also very devoid of most nutrients. Switching to a whole foods diet can help increase nutrients in your diet (plus healing your gut– we need stomach acid to utilize many nutrients). If you look in nature, you will *never* find any food right now with the whole RDA of magnesium in it. The most you will find is about 150mg in a cup of cooked spinach or an ounce of pumpkin/squash seeds- plus you will be getting SO much more from the food: enzymes, co-factors, more minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, protein, etc.  You can check a list of high magnesium foods here. Also, nettle and oatstraw infusions are very magnesium rich. More is not always better. We need to look at nutrients in a complex, not in isolation, especially when you are trying to heal your body and not just treat symptoms.

“I NEED magnesium for xyz reason. I can’t live without it.” Yes, I believe that. Magnesium supplementation acts like a crutch (sort of like any other isolated nutrient). I’m coming across many people that supplement with mag or any other nutrient in isolation for years and their symptoms are managed, but their levels never rise much, or they even drop. Isolated oral magnesium is not the kind that your body utilizes so while you might find symptom relief, it isn’t solving the actual deficiency. As soon as one stops supplementation for a day or 2, their symptoms come right back.

Conclusion

I preach caution with high doses of anything in general, but magnesium is the most common one right now that is creating so many issues for people. In our quest for better health, we see to believe the “more is better” lie. We became ill because our diet was imbalanced to begin with- flooding your body with the full RDA of each nutrient (or more) is not the way to get yourself back in balance. There is a huge difference between treating an illness and healing your body. The more that time goes on, the more I am an advocate for whole food nutrition, nutrient dense foods, and focusing on the body as a whole.

If you want more of an idea on how I do approach healing, you can check out my posts: The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Healing and my ultimate collection of favorite remedies for specific conditions.

Need more reading?

Adrenaladvice.com: “If you are unfortunate enough to get to the exhaustion stage ……too much magnesium can cause you to crash since it lowers sodium.”

ARL Labs: Sodium and the Adrenals

ARL other mineral articles

Nutrient interactions: what happens when you take one nutrient on its own and the other nutrients it can lower/raise

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.

Natural Dental Care

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natural dental health

Natural Dental Care

The state of our teeth can be a pretty good representation of our health. Many people deal with cracking teeth, cavities, sensitivity of the teeth and gums, and more. Most of us have been taught about the external care of teeth which just includes brushing and flossing- but there is SO much more to healthy teeth than that!

My Top Tips for Improving Dental Health

There are many things you can do to improve the health of your teeth. Luckily, most of these will sound familiar to many of my readers!

Balance minerals

Minerals play a VERY big role in dental health. Our enamel is the most mineralized substance of the body: 96% of the enamel is pure mineral! (source). Using HTMA can help determine where your mineral imbalances are so we can see what we need to focus on first.

Use cell salts

Cell salts are homeopathic remedies made from minerals. They help your body utilize minerals better, unlike supplements that just add a huge amount.  Cell salts are gentle, safe, and very effective. The calcium cells salts are best for bone and dental health: Calc fluor, calc phos, and calc sulph. You can try the cell salts individually or go for a blend of them like this Bioplasma.

Ditch the fluoride

Most people know fluoride as the stuff put in toothpaste to give us strong teeth. It’s also put in our water supply because it is supposedly so amazing at preventing cavities. There is a huge difference between naturally occurring fluoride and the sodium fluoride that is thrown in our water. For one, the former is natural and in small amounts in food and water and the latter is a synthetic form that is toxic waste. Harvard University declared a few years ago that sodium fluoride was actually a neurotoxin, meaning that it destructive to nerve tissue. The study from Harvard focused mostly on the effect that fluoride has on children.

The worst offenders for this added, toxic fluoride are water and toothpaste. Look for water filters that get the fluoride out (like Berkey or Tapmaster) or look here for other ways to make sure you get clean water. The toothpaste we will talk about below!

Use a better toothpaste

As mentioned above, most toothpaste is going to have that toxic form of fluoride in it, and it is usually filled with other nasty ingredients. Sticking to a natural form of toothpaste is best for our dental health. You can make your own with coconut oil and baking soda, or you can go with other awesome options like Poofy Organics. We use the Toddler toothpaste for our son, and the tooth powder for ourselves (which is amazing! Tooth powder might sound weird, but I promise that you will see the difference in your teeth with this.). They also have an awesome mouth rinse that helps combat plaque and bad breath: see all of these here!

Use Cod liver oil

Fat soluble vitamins are a crucial part to our overall health. There has been so much misinformation about Vitamin over the last several decades, but now people are going crazy over vitamin D supplements. In truth, we need BOTH of these vitamins. But they need to be in a proper balance! Cod liver oil gives us this perfect balance of vitamins A and D. I do not advocate for fermented cod liver oil- if you use it and it works for you, great. But I never could get myself to actually try it as my gut was telling me something was “off” about it- and once this report came out a year or so ago about how it is rancid and not as nutrient dense as it is claimed.

My favorite cod liver oils are NutraPro and Rosita’s. NutraPro has the best value of any other natural cod liver oil I’ve found (and I’ve done a lot of digging just to find the cod liver oils that don’t add synthetic nutrients- it is horrible but MANY of the brands of CLO out there add synthetic A and D!). You can read my full breakdown on the benefits of CLO here, and my comparison of NutraPro and Rosita’s. Or you can find them both on Perfect Supplements’ site, where you can save 10% with my code SASSY at checkout! They also have ghee and high vitamin butter oil which can provide K2 for added absorption of A and D.

We also need healthy livers to utilize both A and D. This is why liver support is so crucial for healing! We need these fat soluble vitamins, but we cannot use them properly with sluggish livers.

Drink Bone Broth and herbal infusions

Bone broth is one of the most powerful healing tools in the natural healing world. Broth provides highly bio-available nutrients, helps to heal and seal the gut lining, and can be a great source of energy. Beef bone broth tends to be the more nutrient dense option but chicken bone broth can be easier and just as helpful. You can find some ideas for recipes here on my friend Renee’s site, Raising Generation Nourished!

Herbal infusions are also powerful for healing. They are extremely nutrient dense, and since they are also liquid they supply extremely bio-available minerals to the body. Nettles and oatstraw tend to be my top choices for the most nutrient-dense infusions. You can read about how to make infusions, where to find the herbs, and what they are all used for here.

Use powdered eggshells

I know what you are thinking, what in the world would we use with powdered eggshells?? Eggshells are extremely mineral rich, especially with calcium. You can crush or grind the shell of your eggs after you boil them and let them dry. You can add this powder to your toothpaste to give it a boost of minerals!

Oil pulling

Oil pulling is something many people have been raving about over the last few years. It is an Ayurvedic practice that helps to detox your mouth of any bad bacteria that could be lingering in there. You basically just swish an oil (coconut, sesame, or even olive) in your mouth for about 10 minutes each day, and then spit the oil out once you are done (preferably in the garbage and not down a drain). You can read a bit more on this here. I’ve also heard of people swishing with wheat grass juice too to help remineralize the teeth even further.

And finally, try to find a holistic dentist.

There are a lot of dentists out there that are either realizing the harm that mercury amalgams and fluoride have caused, or they already have known this for years. Many of them will be able to fully assess your dental issues and come up with more ideas to help you heal. You can find a holistic dentist near you with Holistic Dental’s website.

 

This book is a favorite of many that are dealing with dental issues: Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition

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.

What Diet is Right for YOU?

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What diet is right for you_(1)

The best thing to keep in mind with these particular diets is that we are all different. What works like a miracle for one person could make the next person ill. Let’s go over the pros and cons of some of the popular diets out there.

Paleo

The Paleo diet is one of the most commonly talked about diets these days. All in all, it is a great starting point for someone moving over from the standard American diet. The Paleo diet generallyconsists of grass-fed meats, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, free range eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils. It omits all processed foods, dairy, grains, legumes, and even salt. It’s definitely one of the more balanced trendy diets I’ve seen, but the lack of carbs and salt could pose an issue to some with adrenal issues.

Ketogenic Diet

Keto diets seems to take paleo one step further, and they drastically reduce the amount of carbs you consume. A typical Keto diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and only about 5% carbs per day. There are many studies and anecdotes done on the keto diet and it can be very beneficial for people that are dealing with diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer and seizures. Basically, replacing carbs with fat can help the body start to use the fat as energy instead of the carbs. The biggest issues I’ve seen with keto are that those with very sluggish livers might have a hard time adjusting their bodies to utilizing the fat, especially if they’ve eaten fairly low fat their whole lives, and it is very hard to get a decent amount of potassium on this diet, which is a very common deficiency (and I have in fact seen a person go from perfect potassium to the lowest level based on an HTMA test after trying keto for a few months).

AIP (Autoimmune Paleo)

This diet is great for reducing inflammation in the intestines, and gives a person an easy way to heal their gut. It is more geared towards people dealing with autoimmune issues as it can be a great way to reset the digestive system. Most people do it for a short period of time, and slowly start introducing other foods back in. The biggest difference between AIP and paleo is that nuts and seeds are not allowed on AIP, and coconut seems to be a big part of AIP for those that tolerate it. A lot of gut healing foods are also encouraged: bone broth and non-dairy fermented foods especially.

Whole 30

Whole 30 is another short-term, awesome way to transition into a healthier lifestyle. It is basically a program to reset your gut and metabolism so you can shake off sugar addictions, stubborn weight gain, and bad habits. It is mostly Paleo in its nature, although it does allow the use of ghee (but not butter). They also encourage people to NOT even step on a scale during this time to measure weight loss because they want to help people realize that weight is not an accurate measurement of health! The benefits of giving up junk food will last much longer than if you were to just drop the weight quickly and go back to your old habits. This is just a 30 day program, but it can help people get back on a much better track, especially if they switched over from a standard American diet.

Vegetarian/Vegan

These 2 diets are highly popular and always thought of by most as the “healthiest” diets. I’ve written a bit more in-depth on why I don’t recommend these sort of diets here. There are a few variations of vegetarianism: some people still eat dairy and/or eggs even though they are considered “animal products”. Vegans tend to avoid anything that comes from an animal, even things that you would wear (like leather). Most people that advocate for these types of diets say that it is healthier for ourselves as well as the environment, but there is much debate about this. As mentioned, my full outline on this is linked above.

My take on the above diets

I am ALL about balance. I know that for some, they need more structure than just a “balanced whole foods diet” but in reality that is the best approach. I am seeing a scary trend lately- people are becoming TERRIFIED of food! And it is all because of diets like the above. Grains are bad, meat is bad, dairy is bad, gluten is bad, fiber is bad, fat is bad, every.single.food.group. is considered bad by one person or another. This makes some people even go a step further: let’s eliminate oxalates, salicylates, histamine, etc. It is getting pretty crazy out there! While many people might have a true issue with many of these things, eliminating them is not going to be the final answer.

What most people fail to mention is the QUALITY of the foods that most people are eating. Yes, conventional food products (dairy, wheat, meats,etc) are of terrible quality. They are using genetically modified foods, pesticides, herbicides, artificial colors and sweeteners, corn syrup, etc. These are not the same foods our ancestors ate.

When it comes to choosing a diet, I don’t believe in eliminating things unless you are certain that you are having an issue with them. A common chain of reactions is this: a person goes gluten free, starts to feel better for a time, and then symptoms come back. So they cut dairy, they feel better for a time, and then once again symptoms come back. This starts to happen with several other foods until they realize they are limited to such a small amount of food to actually eat.

And the biggest thing that is overlooked:

The FOOD is not always the problem. When we switch to a healthier diet (especially if we’ve been eating the SAD way most of our lives) we HAVE to heal the gut from the damage that has been done. Otherwise, we’re just going to go down a rabbit hole of eliminating foods and stressing about what else we can try to eliminate to see what “helps”.  And this stress is NOT going to help you heal either. It is a huge hindrance in the healing process, when we should be eliminating the majority of our stress.

HEALING YOUR GUT AND LIVER

The basics of healing the gut and liver involve increasing stomach acid and bile flow, healing the gut lining, healing the colon, and repopulating gut flora.  Eliminating triggers until you heal can help immensely but it is important to get to the root cause of why these imbalances happened. For many common triggers include gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, sulfur rich foods, and sugar. Many people are focusing on diets that exclude these foods but not focusing on rebuilding the gut. Eliminating the foods will help for a time but eventually more food intolerances can pop up until the gut lining is healed. Focusing on whole foods is paramount to healing all illness. Staying away from processed or fast foods is extremely important, especially because they barely contain food. They have no nutritional value and they are severely irritating to the gut.

Healing the gut fully can take time. It took decades for many people to get to this point of ill health. Luckily it won’t take decades to heal, but it will take most people at least a year or 2 to heal the majority of the damage.

Stomach Acid: Many doctors have things backwards when it comes to heartburn- millions of people are told that they have excess stomach acid so they pop antacids. In reality, it is estimated that 90% people in America are LACKING stomach acid. Low stomach acid leads to imbalanced gut flora, deficiencies of nutrients, amino acid deficiency, and it leads to GERD, heartburn and acid reflux. If you do not have sufficient stomach acid, food sits and rots in your stomach. This is what we feel when we get acid reflux- it is not excess stomach acid, it is rotting food that cannot digest properly!

What to do: Apple cider vinegar is always my first choice (unless someone has a severe histamine intolerance). I find that ACV works MUCH better than any HCl pill. HCl is what I tend to recommend as a last method *if* ACV is not tolerated. A deficiency in sodium is common with low stomach acid. We can use a good unrefined sea salt liberally (especially if your HTMA shows that you need it). Salt water sole is a popular choice for increasing stomach acid. Fermented foods, bitter herbs and bone broth are also helpful for balancing stomach acid.

Also: Check yourself for a hiatal hernia! This can be a hidden cause of many digestive symptoms, especially low stomach acid.

Bile Flow: We need bile flow for digesting fats and proteins, detoxing pathogens and heavy metals, and for the utilization of fat soluble nutrients. Bile and stomach acid tend to both be on the low side for most people dealing with food intolerances and gut symptoms.

What to do: The best and easiest thing I have found for aiding bile flow is a bitter herb supplement. This one from Herb Pharm is super easy: just doing 4 sprays before each meal can help stimulate digestion. Bitter herbs technically help with bile, stomach acid, and digestive enzymes (and I see so many people taking 3 separate supplements for this purpose!). Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters are also 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. And finally, dandelion root is my other favorite as it can nearly quadruple bile flow.

Soothing/Healing and Sealing the Gut Lining: Leaky gut is when the walls of the intestine become inflamed and porous, allowing undigested food, bacteria, toxins, and other antigens into the bloodstream and lymph system. This creates inflammation (body and brain), food intolerances, and depression, as well as bloating, gas, IBS, constipation, or any digestive complaint. Some people don’t even have gut complaints when they have leaky gut. Their symptoms could just include eczema or psoriasis, maybe joint pain or headaches.

What to do: My top choices for this are George’s Aloe Vera, bone broth, and collagen or gelatin. Chamomile tea, slippery elm, and marshmallow root are also popular choices.

Colon Health: If you are not eliminating toxins properly, this can create a breeding ground in your colon for parasites, yeast, and other nasty things. These bugs can prevent you from properly absorbing nutrients too! Making sure your colon is happy is an important but overlooked part of gut healing.

What to do: My top colon healers are George’s Aloe Vera, bitter herbs (because bile deficiency is a huge cause of chronic constipation), plenty of fiber, get a Squatty Potty, and staying hydrated. Read my whole mega colon health post here for more idea.

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.

Probiotics and fermented foods are both helpful for this purpose. 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. Or you can read about my top probiotic picks here!

Heal the Liver: The liver itself has about 500 functions, but it does play a role in digestion. It is another overlooked organ needed for full healing.

What to do: 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 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. And my favorite liver healer is BioRay Liver Life.

In Conclusion

So before you eliminate another food group, PLEASE look at gut and liver healing. See what you are not doing already, or switch things up if you have already been gut healing. Eliminate the worst triggers that you have as you heal- but remember that you WILL heal! We cannot stress about

You can also read my take on the Ideal Diet here. This gets into more detail on what “foods” we should all be avoiding, as well as more info on gut and liver healing.

What diet is right for you_

The Truth about your so-called Healthy Diet

The Truth about the typical _healthy_ diet

I have seen so many posts before on what a typical healthy diet consists of, and what changes to make to eat better. 95% of the time these people are telling you to eat low fat, switch your butter for margarine or canola oil, and switch to diet soda instead of regular soda. Please know that these are NOT healthy changes.

A Typical “Healthy” Diet for Most Americans:

Breakfast: A big bowl of that “cholesterol lowering” cereal with skim milk, some white toast with margarine, orange juice.

On the way to work: The biggest latte that you can order at your local coffee shop (because no one can live without their caffeine, right? This is usually a person’s “cheat” food for the day )

Lunch: Salad with chicken breast, low fat dressing, and some water or diet soda

Snack: Fat free yogurt or reduced fat cottage cheese with some fruit

Dinner: Another piece of lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, etc) with a nice size serving of veggies.

Dessert: Maybe a banana and a scoop of peanut butter

What is so wrong with the above?

Other than the fact that it is incredibly boring, it is lacking REAL NUTRITION. If you’re still in the mindset that fat is bad, you have to reduce calories to lose weight, and that deprivation = incredible health, then do I have a wake-up call for you!

 

COUNTING CALORIES IS NOT EFFECTIVE FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Cutting out calories will unfortunately also cut out nutrition and energy. Calories are literally units of energy. Cutting them down will reduce your overall energy output, especially if you are also exercising long periods of time as well. This is the quickest way to put yourself into burnout unfortunately.  Depriving yourself of adequate amounts of food might help you shed some pounds at first, but it will become harder and harder as time goes on the more depleted your body becomes. Read my tips for sustainable weight loss here.

IF YOU HAVE TO SURVIVE OFF OF COFFEE, YOU NEED TO CHECK YOUR ADRENALS

If you are relying on a giant cup of coffee to get through the day (or even worse, a whole pot) then that is a sign that your adrenals are screaming for help, especially if you are eating a diet like the one outlined above. Adrenal fatigue is a bit of a broad term, but it essentially means that your body has been pushed to its limit and needs massive replenishment of major nutrients like unrefined sea salt, quality fats and proteins, vitamin C (in whole food form, not isolated ascorbic acid), and more.

Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Low energy through the day and trouble getting out of bed
  • low thyroid function (hypothyroid)
  • inability to lose weight
  • low or no libido
  • low blood pressure
  • dizzy when standing up
  • cravings for salt and sugar

Read all about adrenal fatigue here!

And the big kicker:

FAT IS NOT FATTENING

Fat is needed for many different reasons. It is needed for brain health, reproductive health, adrenals and thyroid health, immune system health, and also for eyes, skin and nails. Saturated fats are especially good for heart health- even though for decades “experts” were saying the opposite!  Fats help balance your blood sugar, especially when you cut out all of the refined and processed foods from your diet.

However, there are GOOD fats and BAD fats.

GOOD fats include: grass-fed butter, coconut oil, grass-fed dairy (cream cheese, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, heavy cream), ghee, avocado, fish, nuts, chocolate, meats, eggs, and olives.

BAD fats include: oils from soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, canola, and peanut.

One great way to introduce more fats into your life is to include fat bombs. Fat bombs are amazing little snacks that are made with good fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, MCT oil, and other awesome fats plus healthy sweeteners like raw honey or maple syrup. Check out some of these recipes here:

 

So, if you’re still swapping the butter for margarine or you’re struggling to get through the day, it’s time to learn a bit more about real nutrition. Our ancestors didn’t avoid fat nor did they trust food made in a lab instead of what nature gave us. They didn’t have microwaves, or boxes of cereal, or fast food restaurants on every corner. Their food wasn’t filled with artificial colors and sweeteners, preservatives to make it last for months on a shelf, or nasty additives like MSG or high fructose corn syrup.

Want to learn more about what an ideal diet consists of? Read about that here!

Earth Day is coming! Celebrate Earth for the whole month of April with Perfect Supplements!

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sale.jpg

It’s that time again: SALE TIME!

Perfect Supplements’ sales are my favorite. They are the BEST way to stock up on your favorite whole food supplements (like grass-fed collagen and gelatin, desiccated beef liver, whole food vitamin C, and more). Making these bigger orders every few months also helps the planet a bit since we are helping to reduce our carbon footprint- instead of ordering one thing here and there, we can get almost everything we need for a few months in one shipment. This reduces packaging, travel costs, and of course this means less automobile emissions!

So what is the sale this time?

Well, not only is there a great discount but with every single order made, Perfect Supplements will plant a tree! What a great way to celebrate the Earth.

  • When you purchase 3 Perfect brand supplements, you automatically will save 30%
  • When you purchase 6 Perfect brand supplements, you save 35%
  • BUT, you also can still use my code SASSY at checkout to add an EXTRA 10% of your whole order! So you can save up to 40-45% off.
  • You can mix and match Perfect supplements too!
  • And don’t forget: free Shipping on any order over $99

This sale is 4/6 to 4/13 so get ready for it!

My Favorite Perfect Supplements products:

  • Desiccated Liver Capsules
  • 100% Grass-Fed, Hormone/Pesticide free Hydrolyzed Collagen
  • Organic, extra-virgin Coconut oil (in capsules too!)
  • Rhodiola Rosea, which is freeze dried to maintain the nutrients!
  • 3 Grass Blend: Barley Grass, Wheatgrass and Oat Grass
  • Perfect Liver Detox Support – Organic Turmeric, Organic Milk Thistle, & Other Detoxifying Organic Herbs
  • And of course, the organic Lip balm!

Here are all of the Perfect Supplements brand products!

Proper Hydration for Better Health

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proper hydration

A dear friend of mine shared this article with me a few months ago and it really made me realize how much I agree with it, but it isn’t something that I’ve ever really addressed to my followers before. Basically, the idea that we need massive amounts of plain water a day isn’t entirely true.  When we are dealing with mineral deficiencies, too much plain water can actually be detrimental to our health because we can further lower our electrolyte levels.

Staying Hydrated is definitely key for health though!

I tend to recommend a lot of liquids in my plans for people, so much so that they often comment about it. And usually I will think to mention how it’s better to be drinking so many concoctions that actually have minerals and other nutrients in them instead of plain water, which can be dehydrating.  Also, when we are trying to replenish nutrient levels, we aren’t just limited to food items for this purpose: there are many ways to drink our nutrients.  Those dealing with leaky gut and low stomach acid tend to find the best benefit from this approach.

My Favorite Drinks

I love to mix it up when it comes to these drinks, and I think that instinct plays a big role in what I pick on a daily basis. Some days I really want some dandelion, and others I really can’t stand it. I think variety is very important when it comes to healing too- if we get stuck doing the same ole thing every single day, we’re going to get bored and fall out of the habit of doing things.

Cranberry Lemon Limeade

Cranberry juice is amazing for the lymph system, the urinary tract system, cardiovascular system, and it can help with cancer prevention. Cranberry is also helpful for those dealing with H.Pylori infections.

Lemons and limes are both amazing for the gut, liver, lymph, and contain a lot of vitamin C.  Warm lemon water in the morning is a popular way to start the day and get digestion kick-started, but I am not very fond of this personally (and I find that the lemon makes my teeth hurt! I’ve tried straws but I really just prefer this recipe that I’m going to talk about.)

You could totally use any of these fruits in isolation, but for getting the maximum benefit as well as making a drink that is very enjoyable, I have come up with this recipe:

  • I usually make 2 quarts at a time so I have enough for a few days.
  • I use 1/4-1/2 cup of cranberry juice per quart (unsweetened, either bought or homemade and organic when possible)
  • I juice 2 lemons and limes and split this liquid between the 2 quarts. I use this awesome juicer that attaches to my stand mixer, makes things so super easy!
  • I’ve been adding about a tablespoon of raw honey to each quart now too, and this makes this concoction taste SO good.  I usually mix it with the cranberry and lemon/lime juices, and then I add enough water to the quart jars to fill them up.
  • And that’s it! I usually make this twice a week now. On the days I feel like my lymph and liver are a bit sluggish, I drink more of this than anything else.

Herbal Infusions

Most people already know my love for herbal infusions. These amazing beverages are a perfect way to help replenish mineral levels, which support many of the body’s organs.

Nettle infusions are my top favorite as they are the most nutrient dense and have the widest range of benefits. They help with adrenal health, kidney and liver detox, blood sugar regulation, hormonal health, they help increase milk supply for nursing mothers, they help prevent and treat anemia, and they are a natural anti-histamine. Nettles actually help to release uric acid from the joints, making it a great remedy for arthritis as well.  Nettles treat neurological disorders, congestion, joints/muscle pain, allergies, celiac’s disease, skin complaints, UTIs, and all women’s issues.  They are also used for enlarged prostate glands, parasites, regulating blood pressure, goiter, Lupus, and they help to purify the blood. You can get stinging nettles here.

The other main infusions that I recommend depending on symptoms and what a person’s HTMA says are oatstraw and red raspberry leaf.

Oatstraw is full of magnesium and most of the B vitamins and is the richest food source of silica, a mineral that is VERY important for detoxification as well as hair, skin and nail health. Oatstraw is great for restoring the nervous system, keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, stabilizing emotions (great for anxiety and depression), and it is a well-known aphrodisiac. It also can help with energy, detoxification, immune health, overcoming addictions, and brain fog. Oatstraw especially benefits the liver and pancreas.

Red Raspberry Leaf is an amazing remedy for PMS, endometriosis, and it helps to balance hormones. This herb is especially helpful for women trying to conceive as it is a very popular remedy for infertility. Red raspberry leaf works great with nettles during pregnancy and while breastfeeding since they both provide amazing nutrition as well as helping to balance hormones. It helps to strengthen the uterus and pelvic muscles which helps to make labor shorter and easier.

How to make herbal infusions:

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!

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is one of my favorite gut healing tools. This helps with digesting food, assimilating nutrients, and gentle detox.

Usually the best way to take ACV is to use 1-2 tablespoons (diluted in water), about 10-15 minutes before at least 2 meals a day. We need to dilute the vinegar because of how strong it is, but if you can limit the amount of water used to about 4-6 ounces this is best so we don’t have too much liquid in the stomach when you are about to eat. But the extra acidity that the ACV provides is usually worth it!

ACV isn’t the most delicious thing to drink, but it can be VERY helpful for those dealing with low stomach acid. If the above recipe isn’t palatable, then look into making something like Switchel, which uses ACV and other gut healers, but tastes MUCH better!

Adrenal Cocktails

Adrenal Cocktails are amazing additions for people needing extra adrenal support. They can help with energy boosting, soothing anxiety, sleep, and more. Potassium, sodium and vitamin C are 3 of the most important nutrients that the adrenals need when they are under stress. Most do the cocktails at least twice daily, usually mid morning and mid afternoon to help with preventing energy slumps that tend to happen at those times. Some use 1/4 teaspoon of unrefined salt or they use an amount of salt water sole that works best for them. I tend to like sole since it is much easier to add to these liquids- you don’t have to take extra time to dissolve the salt that way!

Some people also add grass-fed collagen (or even their adaptogen blends) to their adrenal cocktails.

Recipe Ideas:

  • The original: 8 ounce OJ with ¼ tsp cream of tartar and ¼ tsp of unrefined salt
  • My favorite: 8 ounces coconut water, ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt , and vitamin C powder.
  • Food based: Baked sweet potato with some grass-fed butter, unrefined sea salt, and blackstrap molasses
  • Other ideas: 1T of black strap molasses, 1 whole organic lemon, 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt, with just enough water to blend it all
  • 1/2 cup coconut water, 1-2 tsps of sole water, 1/2 tsp of pure radiance vitamin c and squeezed 1/2 lime

Dandelion root tea or decoctions

Dandelion root is one of my favorite herbs for liver health (helps bile flow), helps fat metabolism, high in potassium, helps digestion, and good coffee substitute.   Recipe ideas and where to find dandelion in here!

Other ideas:

  • Adding salt water sole to the water that you do drink
  • Coconut water (and you can add sole to this as well)
  • Watermelon water
  • Drinks like “Daily Greens”: they have a lemonade type drink that has nearly 3000mg of potassium in a bottle!