Summer is coming! Are you stocked up on toxin-free sunscreen yet?

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toxin-free sunscreen

Ahhh, summer. Sometimes there is nothing better than being out in the bright, warm sun on a summer day. Especially after many months of the cold!

But here comes the controversial arguments: what sunscreen do you use? Do you even use sunscreen? Are you afraid of the sun (like we’ve been conditioned to for decades)?

Well, here is my take on this topic!

 We need sunlight for our health!

The sun helps us create vitamin D, can combat depression, helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, actually protects us against certain cancers, kills bad bacteria (and can help with eradicating internal pathogens!), lowers cholesterol (because it allows us to use it for hormone creation), lowers blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, and more. (source) What a list of benefits! No wonder why we’ve been taught to fear the sun- it is such a natural healer of many things! And you know how “health care” is truly all about keeping us sick.

Have you been told you have a vitamin D deficiency and are being told to take oral vitamin D? PLEASE read this article of mine about how to really raise vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a hormone, not something we are meant to consume orally. We CANNOT bottle sunshine!

So what is Smart Sun exposure?

The sun is NOT our enemy. But we have to be smart about sun exposure. If you are going to be outside for 10 minutes, you’ll likely be OK to just soak in the rays for a bit. In fact, most people only really need about 10-15 minutes of direct exposure to make enough vitamin D for the day. You only need enough exposure to make your skin a little pink.  Your skin can only absorb so much at once, which is why people burn- that means you have gone over your limit! Some say the best time to get sun is between 10AM and 2PM. This is when UVB rays are more powerful so you wouldn’t need to sit out as long to get your appropriate shade of pink.

If you’re going to be out for HOURS at the beach, then you will definitely need some protection. There are so many options out there now for staying safe in the sun: clothes with SPF protection, hats, sunglasses, and of course, toxin free sunscreen.

My TOP choice for sunscreen is THE Sunscreen from Poofy Organics.  They offer a typical lotion type or even a stick for easy face application. Both have an SPF of 30.  Poofy also has tanning oil, after sun spray, hand sanitizer, and bug spray as well, which you can check out here!

Poofy’s sunscreen is free of: Para amino benzoic acid… Octyl salicyclate… Avobenzone… Oxybenzone… Cinoxate… Padimate O… Dioxybenzone… Phenylbenzimidazole… Homosalate… Sulisobenzone… Menthyl anthranilate… Trolamine salicyclate… Octocrylene.

Their ingredients include: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Unrefined Shea Butter, Organic Beeswax, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Camellia Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, NON-NANO, NON-Micronized Zinc Oxide, Organic Rosemary Extract.

The Environmental Working Group puts out a list each year that shows the best and worst sunscreens (it’s not out for this year yet, but both of Poofy’s sunscreen options have a nice low score of 1 on their chart!). You can sign up through their site to get an email once the 2017 list is up if you want to learn the rest of the best sunscreens to choose!

 

What is Biochemical Individuality?

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biochemical individuality

Biochemical Individuality

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

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

This issue is just getting worse as time goes on!

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

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

Things that influence our health and individuality:

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

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

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

More Reading:

TEI labs on Individuality

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

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

The Ultimate Colon Health Guide

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colon health

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

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

The Purpose of the Colon

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

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

The “Ideal Poo”

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

Healing the Colon

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

Constipation

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

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

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

Loose stools/Diarrhea

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

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

The Role of Minerals in Colon Health

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

Fiber

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

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

How to Get More Fiber:

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

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

Bile

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

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

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

Replenishing Good Bacteria

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

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

Pathogens

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

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

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

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

Hydration

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

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

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

Colonics/Enemas

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

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

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

Herbs and Supplements for Colon Health

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

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

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

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

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

Want to read more about colon health:

Here is a 131 page PDF by Dr Bernard Jensen

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

 



 

How to Find the Best Breastfeeding support

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Breastfeeding support

I am Passionate about Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding is a hot topic in the parenting world, and with good reason. It is a very important topic! However, with the ridiculousness of the “mommy wars”, it is almost offensive for some people to be very pro-breastfeeding. I just wish we could get past this nonsense and realize that breastfeeding is not really about parents and our differences. It is just doing the best for our children!

For several generations now, breastfeeding has fallen out of favor. Formula feeding used to only be used for emergency purposes, but once some people realized how profitable formula sales could be it seems that profits once again won out over the health of our children. Thus began the choice between breast and formula. Because of this, there is such a huge gap in education and support about breastfeeding.

As well as breastfeeding falling out of favor, and other huge issue is that women are being shamed because of breastfeeding in public! People think they are being attention seekers or even indecent because of how much we have sexualized breasts in our society. Feeding a child is the primary purpose for breasts, and we really need to start teaching people this.

Thankfully, “Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.” (source) Please read this link to learn the laws of your state so you know that you are protected- but don’t ever feel obligated to educate someone that is being rude and ignorant to you!

Because of all of this drama and chaos, I just wanted to make a post that explores the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child, as well as where to look for support if you need it should you encounter issues while breastfeeding.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics  recommends breastfeeding for at least 12 months but the World Health Organization recommends nursing for up to 2 years or more, depending on the preference of the mother and baby. (source)

Benefits of breastfeeding for baby:
  • Lowers risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Helps baby sleep better
  • Reduces risk of both types of diabetes
  • Lowers the risk of sickness and infections (plus if they do catch something, breastmilk will change depending on their needs)
  • Can help prevent obesity (which we know is a huge issue these days)
  • Lowers risk of childhood leukemia
  • Lowers stress levels in the “fourth trimester” period as baby adjusts to the outside world
Benefits of breastfeeding for mothers:
  • Can help with balancing hormones and weight more quickly after birth
  • Reduces risk of type II diabetes
  • Helps reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers (source)
  • Can lower the risk of heart attack and strokes (source)
  • Can help lower stress levels and prevent PPD (source)
  • Speeds healing in the immediate postpartum period because breastfeeding stimulates uterine contractions, which helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage (source)
  • Also, “the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) is a well-documented contraceptive method, with 98 to 99 percent prevention of pregnancy in the first six months. The natural child-spacing achieved through LAM ensures the optimal survival of each child, and the physical recovery of the mother between pregnancies. In contrast, the bottle-feeding mother needs to start contraception within six weeks of the birth (Kennedy 1989)” (source) (also, I’m not saying to not use birth control methods in the postpartum period {hopefully NOT hormonal birth control though!}, but this is a natural thing that usually happens to help prevent pregnancies being too close together. Definitely interesting to read about.)
Benefits of breastfeeding for society (source):
  • Better for the environment because there is less waste from bottles and formula cans
  • Helps save lives: Even just 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding can save the lives of about 1000 infants
  • Saves money: The USA alone could save about $2.2 BILLION a year in medical expenses because breastfed infants need less sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospital visits. Families can save several thousand dollars a year by choosing to breastfeed as well.
  • Working moms tend to miss less work if they breastfeed because their children require less sick days

 

Common Breastfeeding Issues and How to Resolve Them

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world- but it doesn’t mean it is easy! I personally had no one in my life that I knew that breastfed, so there was a lot of trial and error involved. But because I was determined, I figured it all out. What helps the most is knowing that there are people out there willing to help you! There are also so many resources that can help you though the most common issues. I found this website to be the most comprehensive!

Low Milk Supply

More often than not, there really is not a problem with low milk supply. It is hard to gauge how much milk you are making, and pumping is NOT an accurate measurement to know how much milk you are making unfortunately. Because it is hard to tell how much you are truly making, it is easy to think that you are not making enough. But there are many ways to fix this issue, depending on the cause.

What Helps to Fix a Low Milk Supply:

  • Fix your latch- make sure baby is latching correctly. Try different positions if needed. Depending on your breast size and comfort level, there may be a better hold for you. For example, the football hold can be very helpful for women with larger breasts, and it can be easier for baby to nurse more efficiently.
  • Check for tongue or lip ties!
  • Go for a lactation tea or tincture, or nettle infusions.
  • Make sure you are eating enough and staying hydrated. Check out my post for easy snack ideas that you can make in a pinch when you are lacking time or energy. Fat bombs are always easy to make ahead of time. Coconut water and herbal infusions help immensely with hydration.
  • Check out the top galactagogues here!
  • It’s all about supply and demand- the more you nurse, the more milk you’ll make. So go with cluster feeding if your baby wants it!
Mastitis:

Mastisis is a breast infection that is usually caused by too much pressure on the milk ducts (like with a bra or sleeping on your breast, which is what I ended up doing on accident which led to mastitis! Learn from my mistake- don’t let that happen!), not draining your breasts well enough (which could be from poor latch or oversupply), or even an open wound on your nipple.

Typical signs of mastitis include: sore breast, red breast (sometimes it will even get hot), nipple discharge (usually looks like pus), enlarged lymph nodes, and eventually it will lead to a fever or flu-like symptoms if not treated quickly.

Mastitis remedies:

  • Keep nursing! Try to drain your breasts as well as you can (and yes, this is still safe for baby! Your baby is going to be better at clearing this than a pump anyway.) Also, try “dangle feeding”, which will use gravity to help unclog the duct.
  • Avoid hot showers as the hot water can stimulate more milk production (but warm water is ok)
  • Use a booby tube! Yes, silly name, I know. But I bought a pair of these as a part of my preparation for breastfeeding and they were invaluable the first few months. You can either freeze them or heat them up, whatever helps you the most.
  • Massage the breast that is infected. I used a drop of lavender essential oil mixed with coconut oil when I had mastitis. This helped so much with the swelling and pain. I just cleaned it off before my next nursing session.
  • Use anti-inflammatory foods like garlic, ginger, pineapple or pineapple juice,  or you can even make a comfrey/calendula compress (read more here!)
Thrush:

Thrush is extremely common these days among women and nursing babies, especially since it can get passed back and forth very easily. Mostly thrush tends to happen when both mom and baby are dealing with imbalanced gut flora, and they have an excess of yeast. This is also extremely linked with copper dysregulation, as copper imbalances are very common during pregnancy and the postpartum period plus copper is essential for controlling pathogens.

In the meantime, the most helpful remedies for helping oral thrush include coconut oil (both topically on mama’s nipples and in baby’s mouth, and mom can ingest a few tablespoons a day) and gentian violet.

Read more about thrush here.

My top tips for successful breastfeeding:

  • Nourish yourself! Breastfeeding takes more calories than pregnancy does. You can read my top tips for nourishing yourself while pregnany and nursing here. The basics involve lots of whole foods, herbal infusions like nettles and red raspberry leaf, lots of rest, and learning stress management techniques.
  • Make sure you get rest whenever you can!
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
  • Skip the bras. Go with camis if you need some sort of support. Bras clog up the lymph system, and can put pressure on milk ducts which can lead to clogged ducts. Let those girls breath!
  • Breathe! You got this, mama.
  • SAVE THIS LINK! They truly have SO many ideas on there for dozens of issues that may arise while breastfeeding.  They talk about tandem nursing, nursing while pregnant, helpful nursing positions
  • Also, Check out Dr. Jack Newman! He is a breastfeeding expert and has great information.

Where to Find Support if needed:

  • The absolute best resource is to find a qualified IBCLC (note: this is different than a LC). IBCLC’s are going to be the best bet at getting to the bottom of latch issues, including diagnosing a tongue tie, or even trickier a posterior tongue tie which can often only be felt and not seen, and are usually brushed off by doctors.
  • Ask friends and family for help or advice, even if they have not breastfed before. Likely they will be very willing to help you out if you are in need!
  • Reach out to your local La Leche League. This is where I ended up asking for help when I needed it, and they were prompt, kind, and extremely helpful.
  • Sometimes your OB/GYN or child’s pediatrician will be able to offer some advice, or at least point you in the right direction
  • Be willing or prepared to seek out second, or third, or fourth opinions because it’s impossible for any one person to be an expert on everything.  If one person’s suggestions aren’t working or they don’t resonate with you, just move on to the next person.

And finally..if you absolutely can’t breastfeed:

  • Donor milk can be a great alternative to formula if a woman is truly struggling with low supply! There are a couple main groups on Facebook called Human Milk for Human Babies and Eats on Feet to help find more info.
  • Sammy’s Milk is a toddler formula that is made from free range goat milk (the closest thing to human milk out there). This formula uses fish oil, molasses, methylated B vitamins, and is non-gmo. This is best for those looking to transition their toddler from breastfeeding to a bottle.
  • Make your own formula: You can look into buying kits for this, or you can use recipes like this one or this one so you can pick and choose the quality of food items that you wish to use.
  • How to find the best organic commercial formula

 

More Reading and Sources:

Why baby formula has no place in a sustainable future

We’re Not breastfeeding long enough and it is costing us

 

Note: I am not a doctor or an IBCLC, so I encourage you to find the best support from a qualified professional you can if you encounter breastfeeding issues. Find as much information you can (hopefully before your baby is born) and make decisions that work best for you and your family! Finding a pediatrician that is open to discussing your parenting decisions (instead of giving you a “my way or the highway” mentality) can be priceless as well so you have someone to depend on.


Gut Healing for Kids

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gut healing for kids

Gut Healing for Kids

Leaky gut is becoming extremely common, even in children these days. The last few generations have been building up many deficiencies, toxicities, and imbalances which can be passed on to children unfortunately. So, many kids need just as much help with healing the gut as adults do. For the most part, they can do most of what adults can. But let’s outline the basics of gut healing for kids. You can check out my post on healing leaky gut for adults here!

Stomach Acid Support

Stomach acid is absolutely crucial for digesting food and utilizing nutrients. Common symptoms of low stomach acid include belching after eating, constipation, undigested food in stools, and food allergies.  Since obviously most kids would run away if you tried to give them a glass of diluted apple cider vinegar, there are a few other ways to help with balancing stomach acid that are a bit more palatable.

*Switchel is my top choice for kids as there are so many ways to make it so you can find what your child likes best. I always reference this article from Wellness Mama for those that are very new to Switchel because she outlines all of the main variations on the recipe.

*Cranberry “Pink Lemonade” is my other favorite choice for kids to help out a bit with stomach acid support and well as some lymph and liver support.

I usually make a quart at a time: ¼ cup of cranberry juice (unsweetened) and the juice of 1-2 lemons (depending on their size) and fill up with water, and add a sweetener of your choice to taste (organic maple syrup or raw honey both work well).

The amount per day for both the Switchel and Pink lemonade will depend on the age and size of your child, but usually a cup a day is fine.

Healing the Gut Lining

Leaky gut tends to include issues like inflammation in the gut lining. Some need to address this first before adding in stomach acid support, but most kids do well with focusing on both at once.

Collagen and Gelatin: Collagen is super easy to add to smoothies, drinks, or even things like applesauce and rice to help your child some gut healing amino acids. Gelatin is great for making delicious gummy treats, which obviously most kids enjoy!

Aloe Vera: George’s Aloe has a recommendation for kids 1+ on their label. Aloe is very soothing to the digestive tract, and helps immensely with soothing internal inflammation.

Bone Broth: This might be a bit hard to get kids to have just as a drink like most of us would but using it in soups and stews helps just as much.

Replenishing 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.

This is why probiotics are essential to overall healing. One dose of antibiotics can alter your gut flora forever, and many of us have been put on antibiotics nearly every year of our childhood. Unfortunately, this is an issue we can pass along to our children so it is imperative to address this issue at a young age.

You can go with supplements or fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, or pickles. For most people, supplements are the easier option but fermented foods offer a lot more effectiveness and they are much cheaper. Some are very sensitive to fermented foods at first as their gut gets replenished too so probiotic supplements might be a bit milder.

My favorite choices for probiotics for kids include Garden of life and Renew Life. BioRay also has their FOCUS and SHINE tinctures (which I talk about below) that help with replenishing gut bacteria.

Check out my post on easy fermented food ideas here!

Healing the Liver

The liver also plays a role in digestion: we need healthy livers to utilize fats correctly and to absorb many nutrients, especially the fat soluble ones like A, D, and E. My favorite liver support for kids include the BioRay tictures. They is a whole line of BioRay kids products, which you can read all about here.

The best BioRay tinctures for liver and gut healing are CALM, SHINE and FOCUS. Kids can even use the BioRay Liver Life, just in smaller doses (as instructed on the bottle!). The kids formulas are just flavored, which helps a bit more with compliance from picky kids.

Now you can find their AMAZING BioRay Kids line on Perfect Supplements, and save 10% with my code SASSY at checkout.

 

In addition to the tips above, mineral balancing is also crucial for gut healing. Many minerals are essential for creating stomach acid, controlling pathogens, and creating digestive enzymes. Our biggest goal is aid in gut healing and start introducing nutrient dense foods to help the body utilize nutrients better.

Why I LOVE Elderberry Syrup(Plus my recipe!)

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!

elderberries

Elderberries are one of the best immune boosters out there.  There is a lot of evidence that elderberry syrup is so strong that it is an effective treatment for the flu!  Elderberries are high in vitamin C, which we know is a crucial nutrient for immune health.  Elderberries are anti-inflammatory but they have a laxative, diuretic, and expectorant properties.

Elderberries can also be beneficial to those with EBV, herpes simplex, and even HIV. It can help lower the risk of heart disease as well! (Source)

The most common way to use elderberries is in a syrup.  You can buy your own or you can make it yourself!  It is much more cost effective you make it yourself.  A whole pound of elderberries is the same price as a small portion of pre-made syrup.  Learn how to make your own syrup from Wellness Mama. I use her recipe when I make elderberry syrup, but I do make a few modifications.

Elderberry Syrup
Print Recipe
One of the BEST immune system boosters out there!
Elderberry Syrup
Print Recipe
One of the BEST immune system boosters out there!
Instructions
  1. Add water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (if using) to a pot. Don’t add the honey though!
  2. Once the mixture boils, then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45-60 minutes. The liquid should reduce by almost half in this time.
  3. Let the mixture cool for a good 10-15 minutes. Pour this mixture through a mesh strainer into another bowl, and you can mash the berries with a spoon to help get some more of the juices out. Either throw the used berries out, or compost them if you are able to.
  4. Let the liquid cool a bit longer before adding the raw honey ( heat can kill the enzymes, so we don’t want to add the honey to a very hot liquid).
  5. You can store this in the fridge once complete (a Mason jar is perfect). It seems to vary how long it keeps, but with 3 of us using it regularly, it doesn’t have time to go bad.
Recipe Notes

*I like the recommendation for taking as preventative at least 5 times a week.   Typical dosing is 1-2 tsp for children and 1-2 tbsp for adults. If you do end up catching a cold or the flu, you can easily double the dose until you feel better. If I end up catching something I do 1 tablespoon 3 times a day until I feel better. *

Elderberry syrup might not be a good idea for those with certain auto-immune illnesses.  Just like anything, you have to look into it yourself and see if it is something you can tolerate.  Every body is different.

Share this Recipe
 



Why Prevention is Key when it comes to Health

why-prevention-is-key-when-it-comes-to-health

One of the biggest things that I am passionate about is getting people to realize the importance of preventing illness. I was one of the many people that just kept on with my destructive habits because I didn’t know any better, up until the day that I could no longer eat without pain. Read that again:It took something as severe as not being able to eat without crying for me to finally WAKE UP. That is why one of my main goals is to help people to never get to that point that I was at. Unfortunately, most people do not understand anything like this until it happens to them.

It can take years, decades, and even generations for severe illnesses to really develop because some people can be just marginally deficient in nutrients until they are triggered to worsen (could be from stress, pregnancy, or just a slow decline because of a poor diet). Our country’s soil has been depleted since *at least* the 1930s so deficiencies of crucial nutrients have been passed down for the last few generations. With the amount of auto-immune disorders in even young people these days, it is hard to ignore the fact that something is WRONG with the Standard American Diet/Lifestyle.

So many things that are “normal” in our society contribute to a slow decline in health. In order to start preventing illness and helping our future generations get out of this cycle, there are so many things that we need to re-evaluate and start to change.

Things that are “Normal” in our society, but truly shouldn’t be:

Our terrible Diet: Not only is our food deficient in nutrients, there is a vast amount of “food-like” products that have taken the place of nutrient-dense foods. Fast food, soda, corn syrup, MSG, food coloring, artificial sweeteners, and other similar items are staples in the Standard American Diet. To make things worse, most people are not drinking ANY water, nor eating any fresh fruit or vegetables on a daily basis.  Access to junk food is incredibly easy, and even most school lunches are full of junk. We’ve been living with horrible nutrition advice over the last few decades: eat low fat, margarine is better than butter, cholesterol causes heart disease, only calories matter (not the quality of the food), vitamin A is toxic, etc. All of these things have been proven to be wrong in recent years. It’s time to get back to basics and common sense!

Bashing Organic Foods: Once upon a time, all food was organic. Wanting to eat clean is not a TREND but so many people think it is pretentious to want to have real, nutrient dense foods available for ourselves and our families. It is just common sense. It is also essential if we want to start preventing illnesses. Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a scientist from MIT, made a warning a few years ago about how 1 in 2 children will be autistic by 2025 because of glyphosate use if we don’t take the steps to prevent this now. (source)

Stress from infancy: Kids usually start out in life getting put into daycare with dozens of other children at an early age because both parents are required to work to manage a household. (Here is a great source that goes over the issues with non-parental care from early on in life. I know most people will get angry at me for that one, but it needs to be said! With so many opportunities to work at home these days, it’s something to think about to have at least a part time work at home parent. Again, this is just one of those “normal” things that no one ever thinks about.) Once they reach grade school, they are forced to sit still for hours each day even though kids are meant to be active and play. Once a person graduates from high school, they start out college which is highly stressful to begin with, but it also comes with cheap food, lots of alcohol, very little sleep, and leads to burnout by the time they end up graduating from college.  Then they start their careers already in burnout (and usually in massive debt with a side of stress) and they eventually have a family of their own which starts the cycle over again. Something has to change here. Kids are being born in adrenal burnout! Our hectic, stress filled lifestyles coupled with our terrible diets are a recipe for disaster.

Acute Health Issues:Heartburn, headaches, frequent colds, and most of the common acute issues people deal with are usually “solved” with an OTC med and then quickly forgotten about. Most people start to notice an increase in frequency with certain health issues and eventually their OTC pill no longer works. We need to start allowing the body to heal from things, and start treating the body as a whole in order to stop chronic symptoms from forming. When we catch a cold and we douse ourselves in popular cold medicine, we are just suppressing the body’s ability to truly handle the issue. This can lead to chronic illness! We need to learn how to truly nourish ourselves and to take our health into our own hands to get back to perfect health. True health and healing will never come from a pill.

Smoking and other bad habits: We all know how bad smoking is, as well as excessive drinking. I don’t think we need to go over this too much here. But smoking doesn’t just affect the person doing it- 2nd and 3rd hand smoke is real, and it can seriously harm kids. You can read my whole post on smoking here. Also, dependence on things like coffee and energy drinks fall into the category of severe bad habits. If you cannot get through the day without caffeine, you really need to address your adrenal glands!

The biggest complaints I hear from people that are resistant to changing their habits are:

  • It’s too hard!
  • I like cookies and cake too much.
  • It’s my body. I’ll do what I want.
  • Salad is gross.
  • I don’t believe in natural health
  • Cooking is too time consuming.
  • Eating healthy is too expensive.

My rebuttals to these excuses:

  • Maybe at first, but once you see the benefits you’ll want to stick with it. After time it gets easier.
  • You can still eat delicious food and eat clean. Just make it yourself with REAL ingredients.
  • You likely have family that loves you and wants you to stick around for a long time. If you have kids and grandkids, you should also be thinking about their future. They need good role models!
  • Eating healthy isn’t all about just eating salad. Trust me! You can still have most of your favorite foods. Just better quality versions.
  • More people are flocking to natural healing because conventional methods are failing miserably. We have the ability to do studies and trials on herbs and natural remedies now too to have the science to back things up.
  • Again, maybe at first. But once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad. And plus, real food tastes so much better than drive through or something frozen from a box.
  • Have you priced health insurance lately? What about cancer? Please don’t WAIT for a diagnosis of something for you to change your eating habits. So many stores are offering affordable organic and all-natural foods now (check out my post on that here for tips!)

So PLEASE! If you are just getting into natural health, or you really are a skeptic, please take a step back and realize the importance. If not for yourself, but for our future generations, who officially have shorter life spans than us. Read my post on “Saving our Future Generations” here to learn more about how our kids are suffering and why we need to be the ones to initiate change.

Why Homeschooling is becoming Mainstream

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For many years, homeschooling has been looked at as “weird”, “alternative”, and that it creates sheltered kids that cannot function in the real world. However, these views are quickly changing (thank goodness) and there are many reasons why parents are choosing home education over public schools.

Some interesting general facts about homeschooling (source):

  1. It is the fastest growing form of education in the US right now
  2. Homeschooling saves taxpayers about $27 Billion a year because these kids are not in public schools
  3. About 2.3 million American children are home-educated
  4. Home-educated children generally do better on standardized tests than public schooled children.
  5. Homeschool students are being actively recruited by colleges now
  6. Parents do not have to be certified teachers to educated their own children
  7. Homeschooling allows kids to really learn more about themselves and what they want to do in life because they get more one-on-one interactions
  8. Also, depending on your state’s requirements, most homeschoolers don’t even need any specific curriculum. You may have to cover a few basic subjects like math, writing, and science but you are free to chose what you want to teach your child (which is how it should be!)

Main Reasons why more Parents are Homeschooling

  • More individualized attention: Teachers are overworked and underpaid these days, and many are being run into adrenal burnout because of it. They have to deal with dozens of kids for hours each day, all of which have their own needs and methods of learning. Homeschooling allows kids to get more time to be taught the way that they learn best
  • Freedom to learn at their own pace. Every kid is different. Just because a child is a certain age, it doesn’t mean that they will all be mentally at the same level of learning.
  • Freedom to learn what they want to learn: You may have to focus on a few main subjects but kids have more of an opportunity to learn more on their own. They can read, learn instruments, do science experiments, and more.
  • Common Core: Common core has been in schools for a few years and it has been terrible for teachers, parents and students that are made to deal with it. The way that things are taught with Common Core make absolutely NO sense, and it is a one-size-fits-all approach to education. Read 10 reasons to oppose common core here.
  • Less chaos: With homeschooling, there is no rushing around every day trying to get multiple kids to their specific schools. This means less stress for kids and parents!
  • Better food options. Many schools are still serving food laden with GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and artificial ingredients. Some classrooms even use candy on a daily basis to keep kids easier to handle, so they are hopped up on sugar all day long which can lead to chronic illnesses.
  • Less illnesses: Let’s face it, kids get sick easily especially in big groups. Thanks to poor diet, lack of movement, and generations of passing along deficiencies most kids lack strong immune systems these days. They tend to pick up nearly everything they are exposed to, which means more sick days and more doctors visits.
  • No threat of violence, sexual assault, drugs, bullying, etc
  • Not being forced to sit still when physically unable to. This is a big one! Kids are not capable of sitting still for long periods of time, nor should they have to. But because many schools are cutting down on recess times and they are made to sit at a desk for hours at a time so many children are falsely being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and subsequently being given DRUGS to calm them down. Kids are not allowed to be kids anymore in a school environment.
  • No threat of medical procedures being done without parental consent: The fact that in some places things like vaccines and IUDs are being given to children without parental consent is immoral and ridiculous. It was reported a few years ago that girls as young as the 6th grade could obtain IUDs without parental consent. There have also been reports of the CDC funding vaccine clinics in schools, and there are many reports of children receiving vaccines and other medical treatment at school despite forms on file signed by parents that the school is not authorized to do anything without the parent’s consent.
  • No standardized tests: Doing well on tests does not make a person intelligent, and doing poorly on tests doesn’t mean that the person is not intelligent. I am not sure if some states require the standardized testing for homeschoolers but the ones I have read about so far do not require them.
  • Learn real life skills and not just from a general curriculum. How many of you actually learned how to cook in school? Or how to change a tire? Or how to grow food? What about how to take care of a pet or sibling? Or maybe how to do well on a job interview? How to run your own business? I could go on and on here. The things that we learn in public schools are not always things that are even applicable in the real world. I was one that went to public school, had parents that worked full time, and once I was an adult in the real world I had to basically learn everything I needed to know on my own. Public school prepares you for life as a docile citizen. In fact, public school was first created to “make sure that the children of poor immigrants get “civilized” and learn obedience and restraint, so they make good workers and don’t contribute to social upheaval.” (source) However, not much has changed since then- the school structure is still basically the same as it was at its inception about 150 years ago, even with all of our technological advances. (Source)
  • Many parents are working from home these days which makes it much easier to accommodate homeschooling.

The Socialization “Issue”

This “issue” is brought up so many times than some homeschoolers call socialization the “s” word.

How many of you went to school and got to talk all day, every day with your peers? I sure as heck didn’t! You would get a few minutes in the hallway between periods and at lunch/recess, and the rest of the time you were expected to be quiet, sit still, and listen to the teacher. You didn’t speak unless spoken to, and if you tried to talk to your classmates without permission you would get detention. The *only* time that you were able to speak to others for extended periods of time in class would be for group projects. Hanging out was for after school, during sports, and on the weekends.

The argument for “how will kids learn how to socialize when homeschooled” is just moot. It’s been proven that kids learn how to socialize from birth from their parents, not from being in large groups of kids at a young age. Socialization in the real world is different than public school anyway. Shoving dozens of kids in one room and forcing interaction when needed is not exactly a natural way one learns how to socialize.

So how do homeschool kids get socialized? At the park, at stores, at the home’s of friends and family, and at activities like sports, Boy/Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs, etc. This is also another thing that is individual! Every person is different and some kids just take longer to feel comfortable with other people. You just have to keep trying until your child is ready. This method can be much better than just throwing them in school and hoping for the best.
So! There is my input on homeschooling. As you might have guessed, that is the goal I have for my family once we are ready. If it is feasible for your family it really makes so much sense to homeschool. Your kids will learn more, learn at their own pace, and gain more skills that are useful in the real world. The argument of socialization is a silly one as there are plenty of people that go to public school that still can’t socialize correctly in the real world. At the end of the day, public school is NOT there to raise our children and I think that is a big myth that many people seem to believe.
So you homeschool/unschool? Let’s talk in the comments!

Detoxification: Why we do need extra support!

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Oh boy! For the most part, I have learned my lesson when it comes to arguing with those that cannot/will not see the truth about detoxification but when I come across articles like this one that completely deny the fact that we are bombarded on a daily basis with thousands of environmental toxins, well then my Sassy side starts to come out! 🙂

rusticwedding

Conventional medicine tends to make us believe that we are either 100% or horribly ill- there is no in-between! They claim that we are always detoxing, there is nothing we need to do to facilitate the process, and that we don’t store toxins in our bodies. Oh and the best one I’ve heard is that if you have a liver, you’re healthy. That’s it: just have a liver! HA! In a perfect world, sure! A few hundred years ago this might have been the case because there were far less toxins in our world and the food was a lot more nutritious. So we have to do our best to limit toxin exposure, replenish nutrients, and gently support the body to detox more effectively.

Don’t get me wrong though, there are plenty of people out there giving bad and even dangerous advice when it comes to detox. True detox isn’t going to happen with a 1-month cleanse, intense fasting,  or even from a little box labeled “whole body cleanse” from the vitamin store. We’ll get more into this below on how to truly support detox.

Where are these toxins coming from?

In a recent post, I found that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute; and the National Institute of Environment published a 46 page booklet to talk about the environmental causes of cancer. The booklet says that a LARGE number of cancers are in fact preventable, and *at least* two-thirds of all cancers and other illnesses can be linked to environmental issues. These things BUILD UP in the body and slowly start to mess with things. Illness doesn’t usually happen with a one time exposure; these toxins get stored until the body can handle getting rid of them. How can they claim that we don’t need to detox when we have proof like this?!

A majority of the toxins that we come into contact with on a daily basis are products that we use ourselves: deodorant, makeup, perfume, hair dye, shampoo, dish soap, shaving cream, and more.  The average woman puts on about 515 different synthetic chemicals daily – and most of that is just in the morning! These include GMOs, parabens, propylene glycol, ethoxylated compounds,aluminum, SLS, fragrance, artificial colors, micas, oxides, and more. There are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens.

These chemicals are cancer causing, hormone disrupting (especially causing infertility), and skin irritants. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and using these harsh products on our skin daily is truly wreaking havoc for our health.

Other common ways we become overloaded with toxins:

  • Nutritional Deficiencies (especially copper, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and the B vitamins.)
  • Common beauty products (makeup, shampoo, deodorant; again, there are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens)
  • Household cleaners (bleach, windex, etc)
  • Pollution
  • BPA (and other plastics)
  • Asbestos
  • Furniture! Most furniture companies still use toxic chemicals as a flame retardant. The furniture off-gasses, and it gets worse the older it gets. Mattresses tend to be the worst!
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (mostly because of the increase in use of Round-Up.)
  • Parasites which are easily picked up on unwashed produce, pets,
  • Our water supply: Fluoride, heavy metals, parasites, and even traces of pharmaceutical drugs can be found in tap water. Learn how to get clean water here.
  • Inactivity/lack of exercise
  • Tobacco and its second hand smoke
  • Alcohol
  • UV Radiation (no tanning beds!!)
  • Viral infections (Think EBV and other herpes viruses that can stay dormant in the body and be aquired in utero. If you’ve had mono or strep throat, you likely have EBV lurking! Read more about EBV here.)
  • Bacterial infections (think h. pylori and Lyme and Co.)
  • Radiation (especially Radon, which is extremely common in the US. Testing your home for Radon is essential if you are in a high radon area. Check your state’s environmental site for info.)
  • PESTICIDES: Likely one of the most common causes since we are exposed to these daily. Think food, grass, pest control, etc. This is why organic food is so important! It might not be perfect, but it helps to lessen the amount of toxins we are exposed to.
  • Herbicides: Another huge cause because of GLYPHOSATE use in the US (which has been declared a probable carcinogen by the WHO). While some countries have banned glyphosate because of its toxic effects, the US just rose the acceptable limits of it.
  • Medical drugs
  • Solvents that are used mostly in paint.
  • Heavy metals like cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury and more

That is an AWFUL lot of junk that we are exposed to through our lives. So if you went into reading this as a skeptic, do you see now the “why” behind detox support?! We are bombarded! Period! We all have a threshold for dealing with these toxins. Those of us that have already met that threshold know the truth behind all of this, and we try to help others realize it. However, most people never change their habits until they already get a diagnosis of some sort. And unfortunately this is harming children even more these days because we are passing along these toxins to them during pregnancy!

How to really support detoxification:

I am a huge believer in food based nutrition. Nutrient dense foods, herbal infusions, and smart use of herbs and spices can help the body rebuild the nutrients it needs to aid in detoxification. Strengthen, nourish and rebuild the body- don’t aim to detox, cleanse, or rip metals/toxins out!

  1. Nutrient Dense Foods- Fruits, vegetables; full fat foods like butter, ghee, and coconut oil; organic/grass-fed whole milk dairy products; fermented foods; eggs; grass-fed meat; beef liver every so often if you can handle it!
  2. Herbal Infusions–  Nettle infusions are full of vitamin K, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium, and they help the kidneys, liver, and adrenals. Oatstraw infusions help quite a bit as well with liver and overall detox support.
  3. Focus on Gut Health– we need sufficient stomach acid and bile to digest a lot of our nutrients and to take care of nasty things like bacteria and parasites. Using either a probiotic or eating fermented foods is essential as well.
  4. Stay Hydrated! Try to drink as much filtered or spring water as you want, as well as herbal infusions. Depending on your personal needs you may be able to use Salt water Sole and coconut water as well, to help sodium and potassium balance.
  5. Love your Livers!! The liver has over 500 functions! We can function with as little as 1/6th of our livers- this is why it can take years, even decades, before we even notice any apparent liver dysfunction. Part of the liver’s job is to filter out toxins and convert them into less toxic substances so they can be excreted. However, when the liver gets bombarded by toxins, and coupled with a poor diet, it cannot do its job correctly.  This seems to be the reason for this obesity epidemic, as well as a SAD lifestyle.  Toxins get stored in fat when the liver cannot handle the constant influx of toxins. All of these things factor into illness! My favorite remedies include Bone broth, gelatin, Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, ginger, apples, Milk thistle, dandelion root decoctions or tea, garlic, turmeric, coffee enemas and Castor oil packs (read about castor oil packs here!).  Or you can even try the amazing BioRay Liver life tincture! Whey protein is also an amazing helper for the liver since it helps the body create more glutathione.
  6. Don’t forget your lymph system too! Dry skin brushing, rebounding, yoga, walks, and even castor oil packs can be helpful to keep the lymph moving.
  7. Use hair tissue mineral analysis to determine metabolism, mineral status, and possible heavy metal toxicity. We need to be in balance in order to detox properly!
  8. New to all of this about reducing environmental toxins and not sure where to start? Environmental Working Group has a ton of good information on their website about what chemicals to avoid. They even have a database that rates beauty products according to their safety! There are plenty of good companies out there dedicated to selling quality products but it is important to become a good label reader.This is the main reason why I love and use Poofy Organics. I am extremely picky in the products I use, and Poofy is one of the *very* few companies I trust.

Whew! Well I wasn’t expecting to make such a huge post about this, but like I mentioned at first, posts that spread misinformation make me sassy (and angry!). We need to start PREVENTING illnesses instead of waiting for a diagnosis and then managing them. There are many things in our environment that we can’t control, but there are even more than we can control. I’ve been saying this often and it is so true: it is our responsibility to change now so we can ensure a healthier future for our children and grandchildren.

Childhood Cancer: It is incredibly common, and it is time for us to change!

cancer

Childhood cancer is a phrase that shouldn’t exist. It is not something that children or even their parents should have to go through. It is not spoken about often, but that needs to change. Cancer is the leading cause of death in children under 15. Every year, about 16,000 kids will be diagnosed with cancer, and this number has not changed in the last 20 years! 1 out of 8 children will not survive cancer and its treatments. (source)

The most common form of childhood cancer is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (accounts for 25% of all children’s cancers). Leukemia is cancer of the blood that starts in the bone marrow. Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph and immune systems. Liver cancer, eye cancer (retinoblastoma), brain tumors, and thyroid cancer are among the other common diagnoses that children see.

Nearly every major cancer foundation’s website seems to sing the same tune about the causes of cancer. “We don’t know what causes cancer, and research isn’t giving us answers. Oh, and it can’t be prevented.” While this may be true in some cases, it is an outright lie for the majority of cases. It is time for us as a society to wake up and realize that we have been lied to about cancer.

**ONLY 4% of the cancer research budget goes into childhood cancer research! This is terrible! How can they say they don’t know what causes cancer or that it can’t be prevented if they aren’t even looking into it?!**

Known Causes of Cancer

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute; and the National Institute of Environment published a 46 page booklet to talk about the environmental causes of cancer. The booklet says that a LARGE number of cancers are in fact preventable, and *at least* two-thirds of all cancers can be linked to environmental issues. Whatever toxins we are exposed to in our lives have the potential to be passed on to our children too. Our goal should be to do as much as we can to limit our exposure to toxins.

Common causes of cancer from this booklet (in general, not just for kids) include:

  • Inactivity/lack of exercise
  • Tobacco and its second hand smoke
  • Alcohol
  • UV Radiation (no tanning beds!!)
  • Viral infections (Think EBV and other herpes viruses, which are link to lymphoma)
  • Bacterial infections (think h. pylori, linked to stomach cancer)
  • Radiation (especially Radon, which is extremely common in the US. Testing your home for Radon is essential if you are in a high radon area. Check your state’s environmental site for info.)
  • PESTICIDES: Likely one of the most common causes since we are exposed to these daily. Think food, grass, pest control, etc. This is why organic food is so important! It might not be perfect, but it helps to lessen the amount of toxins we are exposed to.
  • Herbicides: Another huge cause because of GLYPHOSATE use in the US (which has been declared a probable carcinogen by the WHO). While some countries have banned glyphosate because of its toxic effects, the US just rose the acceptable limits of it.
  • Medical drugs
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Solvents that are used mostly in paint.
  • Heavy metals like cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury and more

Cancer causes not listed in the booklet:

  • EMFs
  • Nutritional Deficiencies (especially copper and vitamin A, and iodine with breast cancer)
  • Iron overload (tumors LOVE iron!)
  • Common beauty products (makeup, shampoo, deodorant; there are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens)
  • Household cleaners (bleach, windex, etc)
  • Pollution
  • BPA (and other plastics)
  • Asbestos
  • Furniture! Most furniture companies still use toxic chemicals as a flame retardant. The furniture off-gasses, and it gets worse the older it gets. Mattresses tend to be the worst!
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (mostly because of the increase in use of Round-Up.)
  • Parasites!
  • Our water supply: Fluoride, heavy metals, parasites, and even traces of pharmaceutical drugs can be found in tap water. Learn how to get clean water here.

So what can we do to prevent and treat cancers?

First of all: if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, please get as many doctors on board as you can. Firstly, you want to make sure it is really cancer and secondly, no *one* doctor will have all of the answers. Hopefully you can find doctors that are more naturally minded when it comes to treatment, or at least that they will be willing to work with you on combining treatments.

Secondly: Start implementing ways to eliminate the amount of toxins in your life, especially those mentioned above that are known cancer causes. Eliminate processed foods (especially sugar), get a great water filter for your home, check for heavy metals and nutritional imbalances, test for parasites, and do a whole overhaul on the products you use in your home. Eat as clean and organically as you can as well, especially avoiding GMOs.

And lastly, check out this site for awesome information on where to get started:

Kick Cancer Movement has a ton of great information on their website and FaceBook page. They use real food nutrition and many natural treatments (including essential oils) to support kids’ bodies during and after cancer treatments. You can apply for a free Kick Start kit on their site too as an idea of what products and foods are good ideas for this purpose. They also have a blog for many other ideas. Like most health organizations, they started Kick Cancer after a young family member was diagnosed with cancer so they have been through the process and have a ton of invaluable information.

Cancer is a devastating illness, and no one ever wants to hear that word when it comes to a family member, especially a child. There are many ways for us to clean up our environment for our children, and it is absolutely imperative that we do so now. If over 2/3 of cancers are environmental and preventable don’t you think we have a responsibility to change that? We need to clean this world up now for our future generations.