Achieving Health and Wellness with Sassy Holistics

Achieving Health and Wellness with Sassy Holistics

The natural health world can be complicated at times. There are many different products and programs that promise quick-fixes that may or may not even have benefit for you. In reality, there are no quick fixes when we want to heal. I went through this all myself, and found that way too many people hyper-focus on one organ, one specific illness, one diet, or one nutrient.

True holistic health focuses on the body as a whole. We don’t work on just the thyroid, or try to get you to drop 20 pounds in 10 days. We don’t take 20+ supplements a day, nor do we starve ourselves or do strict diets.  My programs are designed with biochemical individuality in mind: we are all different and we all need different plans to heal.  We also try to make things simple!

What we do to help you heal:

  1. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis: HTMA is the best first step in figuring your your personal biochemistry.  Minerals are at the base of our health: they influence our hormones, can impact our neurotransmitters, play a huge role in our genetic expressions, and more. HTMA gives us insight on how your body reacts to stress as well as what minerals you are deficient or toxic in.  My plans with HTMAs include the following as well:
  2. Gut healing: Leaky gut is rampant these days. HTMA gives us a lot of insight on how well you are utilizing certain nutrients so we can see if you are dealing with low stomach acid, poor bile flow, or having issues with protein metabolism. In order to heal, we HAVE to heal your gut!
  3. Detoxification Support: We live in a toxic world. When our bodies are overloaded with toxins, we become tired, grumpy, and sick.  My plans include gentle support in healing the liver, the lymph, the kidneys, and the whole detoxification system. As we work on balancing minerals, the body works up more strength to get rid of toxins (heavy metals, parasites, etc), so we add in extra support to make healing easier.
  4. Individualized nutrition: Since HTMA gives us a good view on what nutritional imbalances you have, we can make some changes to make sure we get more of what you need.  We all have to eat: why not make the most of your diet with nutrient dense foods?
  5. Focus on your main symptoms: We try to work on the worst of what is bothering you right now. Having issues with sleep? Or bloating? Anxiety? Based on your symptoms and HTMA, we will find a way to help you start healing your biggest concerns first if we can so healing is more comfortable for you.  Deep healing takes time, but we can absolutely make huge leaps in progress when we start introducing the nutrients we need.
  6. Weight Loss: Often, dealing with weight issues is a sign of a sluggish liver. As we heal, weight is something that the body starts to fix. Many of the things I use on my plans are intended to really get weight moving- but it is NOT a priority for the body. Some people lose weight quickly when we start healing, and for many others it is one of the last things to resolve. Part of my goal with HTMA and my healing protocols is to get people to stop looking at weight as a measurement of health.  Part of this healing journey is learning how to really take care of yourself and accepting yourself as a whole (struggles included!). I’ve recently been investigating more ways to help with healthy weight loss as we heal, and if they are applicable to your needs, then I add them to our whole protocol.

Read more here!

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

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liver healing

Liver Healing vs. Liver Detox

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

The liver plays a role in:

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

Why we need Liver Loving, not Flushing or Cleansing

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

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

How to Properly Love your Liver

One of the main liver lovers that I recommend to nearly all of my clients is BioRay Liver Life. I have seen miraculous results with this particular herbal blend. The herbs that are used help with the liver, kidneys, lymph, adrenals, and immune system so you get a huge whole-body healing effect from this one supplement. You can read my full post about Liver Life here. Or you can check it out on BioRay’s site, where you can also see many of their other awesome products that I often recommend (and now you can get 15% off your order with the code SASSY at checkout!). You can also read about 10 of the most common detox myths here!

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

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

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

Other Liver Loving Ideas

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

 

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

 

liver healing

My New Hand-Picked Packages at Perfect Supplements!

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

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

Sassy Holistics – Adult Healing Essentials #1

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

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

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

Sassy Holistics – Kids Healing Essentials

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

Sassy Holistics – Detox Package

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

Adrenal Fatigue and Kids

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adrenal fatigue and kids

Healing Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

You probably read that headline and thought it was a typo, right? Unfortunately it is a horrible reality that our kids are dealing with these days. One of the saddest parts about helping others heal is seeing how much kids suffer these days with health issues.  Many are born already with adrenal issues- mostly because if we are dealing with any form of adrenal fatigue while pregnant, our kids can be predisposed to adrenal issues themselves. (Source)

Need a bit more info on what adrenal fatigue (or more accurately, adrenal dysfunction) actually is?  Read all about it here.

How to Test for Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

Since the 90s, mineral balancing science has shown that even toddlers can deal with adrenal dysfunction (source). Think about that: more than 20 years ago it was well known in the HTMA world that kids are suffering so much. It took this long for more and more people to wake up. We’re at the point that we have to start reversing illnesses, when we had so much time to prevent these issues.

But this information has never been mainstream nor accepted by the medical field unfortunately. When it comes to health, doctors seem to be taught that people are either fully healthy or extremely ill; there is no in-between, and no levels of illness (for example, there are several stages of adrenal dysfunction, so even if a few dozen people were dealing with “Adrenal fatigue” their symptoms could vary greatly).

The best way to test adrenal function is the hair tissue mineral analysis. You can read all about that here, but I will give a quick run down on why this is so helpful. HTMA gives us a huge view on overall health: it can show us adrenal strength, how the body handles stress, and it can give us a view on how well digestion is (which is key for assimilating many nutrients). The minerals that are most important for adrenal health are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Knowing these mineral levels as well as the ratios between them can tell us if kids are dealing with overactive or sluggish adrenals. This is crucial for picking the best treatment plan.

Symptoms that are closely associated to adrenal issues that are common in kids: food allergies/intolerance, fatigue, sleeping issues, reflux as an infant, picky eating habits, constipation, anxiety, skin issues, and more. Any chronic symptom that your child deals with is worth looking into further with HTMA, especially as this test can be used just as much for preventing future issues as it is used for healing current ones.

Treating Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

Even in adults, there is never *just* adrenal fatigue. The root cause of any illness is going to include nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. Knowing this, we need to focus on a few key points depending on ones test results, symptoms, and history. These key points are gut health, liver health, lymph health, and diet/lifestyle.

Gut and Liver Healing

Healing the gut is often one of the first steps to take for better health. I include the liver in this as well as a healthy liver plays a big role in the absorption of many nutrients (like fats, protein, and fat soluble vitamins like A and D). I have a full post here on healing the gut for kids that you can check out.

The basics include healing the gut lining (with foods like bone broth, collagen or gelatin powders, and aloe vera), replenishing good gut bacteria (with fermented foods or probiotics like Garden of life and Renew Life), helping stomach acid production (like with Switchel or my Cranberry Lemon-Limeade, recipes in the full post linked above), and healing the liver (which most of the above help with liver healing, but I see kids do particularly well with the BioRay Kids’ line products, which you can read more about here. These BioRay products all have different main purposes, but they generally offer liver, adrenal, and gut support).

Lymph Health

The lymph system plays a huge role in our overall health. There is a big link between the gut and the lymph- in fact, when we are dealing with leaky gut, the food particles and toxins that leak through the gut lining end up in the lymph system, which starts to make it sluggish. Chronic, underlying infections are common with a sluggish lymph: this includes Epstein-Barr virus, parasites, yeast, etc. The lymph system doesn’t have its own pump, so we have to do it ourselves. Luckily, kids tend to love the main lymph mover: jumping on a trampoline! Rebounding one of the easiest and most effective ways to stimulate the lymph system.

Exercise in general helps to move the lymph. Dry skin brushing can be good for older kids that understand it.  Even castor oil packs or rubbing castor oil over the liver area can help with moving the lymph a bit. Read more about the lymph here.

Diet/Lifestyle

This is perhaps ones of the hardest things to adjust for kids, especially if you have been making the switch over from a Standard American Diet. But it is absolutely one of the most important changes. The SAD is full of dead foods with no nutritional value: processed foods, genetically modified foods, massive amounts of sugar, artificial flavors and sweeteners, food dye, high fructose corn syrup, etc. All of these things have links with illnesses like obesity, cancer, diabetes, ADD/ADHD, and more. Eliminating these “foods” can make a HUGE difference in a short period of time for some kids.

Switching to a nutrient dense, whole foods diet is the ideal for sure, but I know how rough this can be. Schools still tend to over terrible food choices and I have even heard of teachers that use candy and other sweets in the classroom to keep kids’ attention (or for certain activities like math). This is where the phrase “Do your best!” comes into play. We all cannot be 100% perfect, and we cannot control everything. Do your best to control what you can in cases like this. Learn how to pick your battles when it comes to this topic.

One of the best approaches for this issue is to slowly start incorporating nutrient dense foods into your child’s diet. This can be anything from pumpkin seeds (which are *amazing* in this coconut oil chocolate recipe!), fat bombs (snacks that can act almost like desserts, but they pack a punch of healthy fats which are essential for children’s health and development- don’t believe the BS about fat and cholesterol being bad! They are extra essential for children’s health.), collagen powder, herbal infusions, cod liver oil, and desiccated beef liver.  You can read my full breakdown on these foods here, as well as the typical smoothie I make for my own child.

For a full breakdown on what I consider to be the Ideal Diet, my ebook on this issue can be found here.

 

So…

When it comes to kids and their health, I am a HUGE advocate for changing the current way that we live. Between the terrible diets, stress (both for kids and parents alike), technology and how too much screen time messes with us, environmental toxins,  and just the fact that these nutrient deficiencies have been effecting each generation in a worse way as time goes on, thing just need to change. We really need to focus on preventing illness instead of just waiting for a diagnosis, and this is even more imperative now since our current generation of kids have shorter life spans than us. As we heal and change, so do our kids. And they deserve a better future!

More reading:

Nutritional Balancing and Kids

Burnout in Children

Children’s Growth and Development

adrenal fatigue and kids

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 so 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!

 

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_

Coping with the Stress of Healing a Chronic Illness

chronic illness

Healing can be Hard!

While healing form a chronic illness is possible, it is not always easy. It takes time, patience, commitment and support. You need to be completely dedicated to regaining your health back (which is usually the case with most people!). Adrenal fatigue is a huge sign that our body gives us to just slow down, take a step back, and reevaluate your lifestyle.

But there are lots of stressors that can impede healing:

  • The need to work full time
  • Having young children
  • Family and friends that are not supportive of your health journey
  • Environmental issues like severe weather, heavy metals in the environment, mold in the home
  • Financial difficulties

How to deal with the stress of healing:

Find a support system

If you are trying to heal naturally from anything, you can meet a lot of resistance from friends and family that just don’t understand natural health. Many people just do not understand things unless they go through something like adrenal fatigue themselves. So find your own tribe! Whether it is just a handful of friends that you have in your life, or your spouse/partner (who is hopefully supportive of you!) or a Facebook group (like Mineral Mavens!), or even an old friend that you can call on the phone every so often- it is crucial to be able to reach out to someone and just talk.

Learn how to manage stress

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!

Cut out toxic people from your life

This can be a very hard one, especially if the toxic people in your life are family members. I have had to do this myself, and it definitely wasn’t easy but it was a HUGE relief to not have to deal with energy vampires. There are so many people out there that can mess with your good energy and make healing harder on you. These are the people that ONLY complain about things when you speak to them, or they are always criticizing you for various reasons, or they are constantly asking for favors but never actually want to spend time with you.

So many people that end up in adrenal fatigue are givers because they allow others to take, take, take until they just have nothing left! This is a cycle that needs to stop. Obviously it is good to help others out when they need it, but there is a difference between that and selfish, greedy people that are taking advantage of you. So whether you need to completely cut out off all contact with someone or just reduce the amount of time you see them until you heal, take into consideration that doing this is NOT selfish on your side of things.

Remind yourself that this is temporary!

This is an especially important one to remember. It takes years, decades, or generations to build up these chronic illnesses. Throw in years of the SAD lifestyle, chronic stress, heavy metals, birth control pills, vaccines, etc and it is no wonder why so many people are dealing with adrenal exhaustion these days. It will take time for you to fully heal! The general rule of thumb is one month of healing for every year you have been sick. Just stay strong! You can allow yourself some time to experience the frustration, anger, and sadness but remember to pick yourself back up and keep on pushing!

What helps you cope with the stress of healing? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

chronic illness