Learn all about Gut Healing with Sassy Holistics

gut healing

Gut healing the Sassy Holistics Way

So you’ve heard about leaky gut and you know that you want to start addressing this- but you’re not sure where to start.  I put together this course to cover ALL of the factors in gut health that I focus on for my own clients.

Without a healthy gut, we cannot heal from anything- period. It is the FIRST thing to look at with any chronic illness, and even kids these days are needing quite a bit of focus on the gut.

Until the end of August, you can get this course for only $75 with the coupon code GUTHEALTH at checkout.  You will get almost 2 hours of video content as well my notes on each topic for further research and reading.

If you really want to learn how to heal your gut the truly natural way, check it out! Learn at your own pace too! You can check out the curriculum info right on this page here, or you can check out my other course- learning HTMA with Sassy Holistics.

Happy gut healing!

Gut Bacteria Balancing- How being a Non-Secretor Can Impact your Health

How being a “Non-Secretor” Can Impact your Health

The truth about the microbiome and how it influences our overall health is a very huge topic these days.  There are SO many new products out there that claim to heal leaky gut and help with digestive health, but there can be a lot more to this issue than just taking a supplement. The gut/brain connection is HUGE as well- our gut speaks 9 times more to our brain than the brain speaks to the gut. That is a MASSIVE thing to keep in mind when we say that gut-brain connection is critical.

One of the biggest roadblocks is if if you are something called a “non-secretor”. In very basic terms, this means that if you have this gene you can potentially lack the ability to make a prebiotic called 2’FL which is needed to feed the good bacteria in our guts.

You can find out if you are a non-secretor with tests like 23&Me or Ancestry.com (although at this point, there is a lot of controversy about this type of testing since 23&me recently teamed up with pharma company Glaxo to use DNA to create new drugs. You can read about this here. At the end of the day, everyone just needs to make their own choices when it comes to stuff like this!).  These tests both show many different genes, and they show whether you have these genes or not.  The gene for the “non-secretor” is called FUT2.

From this site which has a lot of awesome info on this issue: “Research shows that 20% of the population is +/+ or homozygous for the FUT2 “non-secretor” gene.

 

****Remember though- just because we HAVE this, it does not mean that we are definitely dealing with the issues or that it has to be a lifelong problem.  Our environment is what triggers these genes to turn on and off-our genes are NOT our destiny and we should not be treating our genes Most people likely have issues with holding onto good bacteria whether or not they have the FUT2 gene, especially because of the overuse of antibiotics over the last several decades. *************

With that in mind, these days I am trying to do more for helping the good bacteria stick better instead of just adding them in.  I think probiotics have their place when needed, but in reality they can be more of a crutch as most of them do not really help the good stuff to stick better.   I try to do things that help heal the body more in the long term so that we don’t get dependent on taking supplements forever.

Fixing this Issue

1) Clean up your diet– this is the first step hands down.  Eat as clean as you can and avoiding glyphosate should be the most important aspect.  There is not *one* perfect diet for everyone, but I do have general diet recommendations for everyone.  Also, not everything needs to be organic, but I have tips on the things I would really recommend trying to buy organic here.

2) Heal your gut in entirety– This means not just focusing on the bacteria side of things- we need to work on stomach acid, bile flow, gut lining, and more. The colon itself will be very important– if you have a lot of old gunk built up, then there is no way for the good bacteria to truly proliferate. Get that whole GI tract in order. Check out my main gut healing post here for ideas.

3) Work on the bacteria- I use supplements like Restore and the gut healers from Bioray (Cytoflora (strongest), Belly Mend (for sensitive adults and teens), and Belly Balance{for kids}).  Fermented foods are best if tolerated- small amounts is all that is needed too:  Only 1-2 Tablespoons of sauerkraut or other veggies, one serving of kefir or kombucha, etc. We don’t need excessive amounts.  If fermented foods aren’t tolerated, then probiotics might be the best option until tolerance is up.  Prescript Assist, Just Thrive, and Garden of Life are among the most popular among my clients.

The biggest takeaway is that fixing this issue isn’t much different then what we all should be doing anyway: eating clean, healing our gut, and working on the good gut bacteria.   But it can be something that explains why regular gut healing plans might not be working for you. 

 

Resources and more reading:

FUT Genes and Leaky Gut

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0020113

 

Christmas in August with Perfect Supplements! Save up to 40% off!

 

Another amazing Perfect Supplements’ Sale!!!

August 7th-9th- Only 3 days to save! My readers will actually get an early go at the sale starting at 5PM Eastern time on 8/6 so get ready!

All Perfect brand supplements are 30% off, but you can tack on our SASSY code for ANOTHER 10% off. So that is 40% off total on all Perfect brand products! They also have their usual free shipping on orders over $99. Time to stock up!

 

What does Perfect Supplements offer?

My absolute favorite Perfect Supplements’ products include:

Desiccated Beef Liver

An amazing source of nutrients! You get vitamin A, copper, iron, and B vitamins. Beef liver is one of the more nutrient dense foods in the world. Perfect offers this in capsule or powder form.

Grass-Fed Collagen

Perfect’s collagen is one of the best qualities out there, as well as the best price! We use collagen for gut healing, hair/skin/nail health, brain function, liver detox, and more!

MCT Oil

The newest addition to the Perfect line is this amazinggggg MCT oil. 100% organic and sustainable coconut oil MCT- it is incredibly hard to find MCT oil this pure. MCT oil is one of the easiest fats to absorb and utilize. It can help with energy levels, brain function, and weight loss.

 

They also have:

  • Organic, extra-virgin Coconut oil (in capsules too!)
  • Rhodiola Rosea, which is freeze dried to maintain the nutrients!
  • 3 Grass Blend: Barley Grass, Wheatgrass and Oat Grass
  • And of course, the organic Lip balm!

Here are all of the Perfect Supplements brand products! You can also see my personal store with my hand-picked favorites here.

Buying a New House? Three Tests You NEED to Do First By Denise Brusveen, MS

buying a new home

Buying a New House? Three Tests You NEED to Do First: Guest Post By Denise Brusveen, MS

Buying a new house can be so exciting! Maybe you’re getting that little slice of heaven in the country or a bigger house that you can spread out in or you’re moving to a more convenient location or moving for a job change. No matter what the reason, sometimes it can be easy to get swept up in the excitement once you think you’ve found your dream home, and you just HAVE to have it at all costs. Don’t let that excitement cloud your judgement though, or you could be paying for it in big ways down the road – with your health.

When buying a house, almost all lenders require an inspection, and that’s a good thing! Even if yours doesn’t, GET AN INSPECTION ANYWAY. Those inspectors can find the tiniest faults that you might laugh at for how miniscule they are. But they can also find big flaws too, which can allow you to back out of the deal or require the seller to pay to fix in order to move forward. You don’t want to figure out these problems down the road when they’ve caused your health to suffer and the entire cost to fix them falls squarely on you.

These are the tests you NEED to do before purchasing your home. Your inspector may offer a package where they’re included. But if not, get them on your own:

Radon

I see so many clients with high uranium on their HTMA. This is a sign that there is radon exposure. The top two sources of exposure are in the home through cracks in the foundation, up through the sump pump, etc. or through the drinking water. You can get radon test kits like this one for pretty cheap. If it comes back high, you’ll want to have that fixed. Typically this involves sealing all cracks in the foundation, covering the sump pump if there is one, and installing a PVC pipe either from the sump pump or a hole cut into the foundation that vents out the side or the roof of the house.

Doesn’t sound cheap does it? It’s not. In my area, the cost is around $750. So being able to require the seller to install that before moving in is ideal.

Water (if on a private well)

The water has the potential to contain heavy metals, bacteria, pesticides,and more. If anything comes back at a concerning level, then you’ll be able to ask the sellers to install an acceptable water filtration system or credit you some money so that you can put it toward installing one of your own. You’d want a whole house filter because I have worked with clients who know that they have high levels of certain heavy metals in their water and have a filter on their kitchen faucet. That’s not always enough though because you bathe and shower in that same water source. And with your skin being your body’s largest organ, you can imagine how much of that nasty stuff your skin can absorb.

If you’ve got children under two years old or are pregnant, some states offer free water testing. Even if you have to pay for it though, it’s still going to be cheaper in the long run to be proactive rather than dealing with the negative consequences to your health down the road plus paying for the cost of the filter at that time.

Mold

This is something many people assume you can see or that only affects older homes, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are MANY different types of mold and they couldn’t care less about the age of your home! Some thrive in damp environments while other types are found in perfectly dry air. Not only that, but mold can lurk in places that would be impossible to see by walking through the house. A home builder local to me recently explained that most homes are built in such a way that allows rain to seep behind the plastic wrap that is put on houses, which causes mold to grow underneath windows, between the drywall and outside of the house. One of the most common places IN the actual house is behind and/or under showers or bathtubs. There is no way to see this without ripping those things out.

So what’s the big deal if it’s not out in the open? Well, it doesn’t really matter if it’s out in the open. It can still be in your air. And about 25% of the population is genetically susceptible to mold illness. Even people who aren’t genetically susceptible can suffer health consequences. This can not only be devastating on their health, but depending on where the mold is in the house, it could be devastating financially as well if it’s in a place that’s impossible or very difficult to remediate. Some people are forced to leave their moldy home behind even. A test called an ERMI test prior to purchasing could save you not only your health but a lot of money and headaches down the road if you detect mold and can back out before it’s too late. This is one example of a great company for testing.

Putting these contingencies in your offer is a smart move to protect your wallet and your health. Spending that $500-1000 now could save you tens of thousands of dollars and your health down the road. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? You’ll be out $1000, and they don’t find anything wrong? The many clients I work with who have moved or are in the process of remediating their homes now due to these issues would agree that this would have been a far smaller price to pay up front.

Don’t let the excitement of the prospect of that new house get the best of you. Don’t skip these tests.

Brain Fog Helpers- Give me my brain back!

Where did my brain go?! Why Brain Fog is so common these days so what we can do about it?

Brain fog! Ugh. I hate it. (Yes I know we shouldn’t say “hate” but if I had to pick the worst symptom I’ve ever dealt with, brain fog is definitely at the top of the list). There are sooo many reasons why we deal with brain fog so I’m just going to go over the most common reasons, especially according to what I’ve observed in my own clientele through the last few years.

Adrenal Exhaustion

“Adrenal fatigue” is a trendy term these days. In reality, the adrenals are a part of the HPA axis so we should be saying “HPA axis dysfunction”. You can read my entire post on this here for the full story. Basically, this really IS something that many people are dealing with these days.  It’s much more complex than just taking a supplement though- it involves many nutrients and many systems of the body to heal. This is why we have a whole body approach here at Sassy Holistics– nothing is ever in isolation in the body! When it comes to brain fog, it can be a symptom of adrenal issues because the body is so stressed just trying to function and we lose a lot of physical and mental energy overall.

Infections

Chronic infections are on the rise.  People are starting to realize that their decades of chronic illness have been caused by infections such as Lyme, EBV, or even parasites.  During the last Lyme Summit that was done, one of the speakers mentioned that having a chronic infection has the same effect on the body as constantly running a marathon- there is NO rest until you can start working on calming things down.  So this takes a toll on the body itself and can cause an increase in brain fog.  Also, the toxins that these infections can emit (especially when dying off) can make this issue so much worse.

Gut Issues

It’s often said that the gut is the second brain.  Our gut is usually the biggest thing to put a focus on when you are starting on your healing journey. Most people are dealing with low stomach acid, poor nutrient utilization, a leaky gut lining, sometimes even gut inflammation, and an imbalance in gut bacteria.  There are many aspects to gut healing and they are all crucial to keep in mind.

Sluggish Detoxification

When we think “detox” we really need to stop thinking of those 3 day cleanses at the health food store. We are always in a constant state of detox, and a lot of energy goes into proper detoxification.  If we are overloaded with toxins, we cannot get them out, period!  They can recirculated in the body and the brain is often a victim when this is going on. Work on liver, lymph, kidneys, gut, colon, and skin as a whole detox focus- they are ALL important.

Sleeping Issues

I feel like this one is a no-brainer (haha, pun intended! Not funny? OK sorry 😉 ). No sleep= no overall energy.  Sleep can be messed up because of any of the above issues. Healing these issues can help to get sleep back on the right track. Here is my main post on fixing circadian rhythm, and my post on 25+ sleep crutches.

How to heal brain fog naturally

We are huge proponents for biochemical individuality. Everyone is different so there is not “one” supplement that will help with one specific symptom, even if they are advertised for that symptom/health issue. These are some of the main things we have seen that has helped with people to get their brain function back though!

  • Belly Mend (or Cytoflora)- this is one of our favorite gut healers, but it does have a pretty amazing effect on healing that gut/brain connection.
  • MCT Oil– We all know about how amazing coconut oil is, but MCT oil tends to be easier to utilize and can have a pretty quick effect on physcial and mental energy levels. I LOVE Perfect Supplements’ MCT oil– 100% organic (and sustainable) coconut MCT oil (they let us use the SASSY code for 10% off your whole order too!!). Fats are essential for brain health, and MCT oil is one the best ways to get some easy to utilize fats.
  • Gut Healing–what more can I say on this one? We need our gut to be working in order to heal from anything, so this is often the best first step to consider.
  • Working on Infections- this is definitely a complex statement because there is no one approach to these infections.  It depends on the pathogen, the strength of your whole body, your budget, etc. Lots of variables. This is my main post on how I would approach an infection (and it is what I am currently doing to address the underlying infections I have found).  Binders can be a huge helper too, especially if you are throwing something like mold exposure into the mix. Activated charcoal, Cellcore’s Bioxtoxin Binder, and this Takesumi are among the most helpful binders out there.
  • HTMA– We try to tailor our plans to your personal needs as much as we can. As the whole body heals, all symptoms can start to heal. Brain fog tends to get better as adrenal strength improves and as detoxification ability is restored.

 

 

brain fog

New from Bioray: Good to Go and Get Sleepy!

new bioray tinctures

New BIORAY products!?!?

Most of you know how much I love Bioray, so I’m always excited when they do something new. They recently dropped 2 new products that I just wanted to mention! Good to Go and Get Sleepy!

For those that aren’t familiar with Bioray, here is a little background:

BioRay is one of my absolute favorite herbal companies. BioRay has been around for about 25 years. They use a mixture of ancient Chinese medicine and modern science to formulate their products. They make their products in small batches and use only organic ingredients.

I’ve been using and recommending Bioray products for about 3 years now,  and I did have the chance to become an affiliate a year ago when they started their program. I see such huge changes with Bioray products for my clients and with my own family- I truly believe in them and I appreciate a company that can supply the science behind their products.  They work well in tandem with our HTMA protocols as well.

So what are these new products?

We’re got Good to Go, which is basically the stronger version of the NDF Pooper that already exists for kids. Get Sleepy is the stronger version of the NDF Sleepy.

Good to Go and Get Sleepy are for adults and teens- they are part of the “Daily Line” which are basically double the strength of the kids’ version.

Both of these are recommended more for an “as needed” basis.  If these are needed for more than 7-10 days, then it is recommended to look into the liver support tinctures offered (Calm, Liver Lover, or Liver Life). Chronic constipation and sleep issues can both be linked to a dysfunctional liver.  Liver healing can take quite a while so as it heals we sometimes need extra support for symptoms like constipation or insomnia.

These specific issues are definitely common during the healing process, and even more so when we detox.  When detox is struggling, the last thing we need is a colon that is backed up!  I do have some general ideas here for making sure that your colon is moving effectively, but I’m glad to have another nice and easy option (and effective! I’ve actually tried it myself already!).

Sleep is often one of the hardest things to fix too so we often need sleep crutches as our minerals rebalance so that we can start getting the rest we need to really heal.

So there you have it! A breakdown on the new Bioray tinctures- and don’t forget that you can use the code SASSY at checkout for 10% off! : )

Other Bioray products I love:

Belly Mend, Liver Life, CALM, Belly Balance, Mind Zeal, and more. You can read about these here!

Healing Chronic Underlying Infections- Why You can’t just ATTACK!

healing from chronic underlying infections

Healing Chronic Underlying Infections

Infections are a hot topic these days.  And for good reason- they ARE incredibly common. Nearly every one of my clients has something going on underlying- Lyme, EBV, parasites, and yeast overgrowth are among the most common.  Once we realize that these problems can be playing a huge role in our health issues, it is only natural to want to “fight” them and start working on the offensive to get rid of them. However, this is NOT always the best idea.

How we get these infections

So why exactly are these chronic forms of infections so common?  There are so many reasons! The most obvious ones are that we grow up in a toxic environment with a really crappy diet, lots of stress, and we have been taught such a backwards way to look at health thanks to conventional medicine.  We can also inherit these issues while in the womb which is probably the most troubling of all!

Candida:  Overuse of antibiotics, birth control use, and imbalanced diets can all be causes of Candida overgrowth.  The most common culprit that is blamed is excessive sugar intake with CAN be a contributor- but this doesn’t meant that going sugar free will heal you from Candida.  I’ve known many people that stayed on sugar-free diets for YEARS just to keep symptoms at bay- and that is literally all it does. It keeps symptoms at bay without solving any of the underlying issues.

Candida is especially related to a copper imbalance, just like a majority of the things we’re talking about in this post. You can read more about Candida specifically here.

EBV: Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most common chronic infections we come across.  A large majority of the population has been exposed to it and for generally healthy people it can stay dormant in the body.  But for many, EBV can be reactivated for various reasons- relentless stress going on in life, a major traumatic event, pregnancy, etc.  If you have had strep throat or mono in your life, then that would be the biggest indication that you are a carrier of EBV but many people with EBV didn’t have these specific occurrences. EBV can also be passed on in the womb like the other infections we’re talking about in this post. You can read my full post on EBV here.

Lyme and Co: Lyme tends to have many components to it as its rarely alone.  Lyme is mostly known for its association with tick bites but in reality you can contract Lyme from ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, fleas, and any other biting insect. I know- it’s a bit overwhelming to think that Lyme or its common co-infections can come from anywhere.  I have my whole Lyme post here for those that want to read more.

Parasites:  Parasites are a lot more common than you would think.  Most people are told that they are very rare in first world countries, but in reality we have become the perfect host for things like this thanks to our terrible lifestyles.  Parasites also tend to be just one part of the picture- they are rarely alone in the body so they are very common to find with any of the above infections as well. You can read all about parasites here.

Parasites, viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals all love to stay together in the body- this is one of the biggest reasons why I believe we need to work on healing the HOST first, not so much the individual issues!

Where to Start your Healing

If you have any or all of the above infections, please keep this important information in mind: healing the terrain is MORE important than directly attacking the infection, especially at first. We have to work on getting strength up in the body before it can physically handle detoxing pathogens of any kind.  I have seen some practitioners say they won’t even touch detox until at least a year of basic healing- and I am apt to agree with them.  Even if we’re starting to feel better and then decide to go on the “attack” it might not be time yet and you can bring yourself right back to square one.  I have seen countless times that once the body is ready to start working on heavy stuff it will just start without any massive prodding.

This means basic foundational care:

  • Clean up your diet– Get rid of the junk! Processed foods, soda, coffee (at least switch over to organic, low-mold brands if you don’t want to give it up completely), and refined carbs.  Not everything has to be organic, but I really encourage everyone to just do their best.  Meats, dairy, and any grains that are consumed are best organic.  This post outlines a bit of what I think is most important to get organic and why.
  • Assess your Minerals– The most common pattern I am seeing lately with a chronic infection is a higher calcium level with a potassium level that just will not budge (or tanks often). Minerals are at the absolutely base of our foundation- without them, we cannot function. As you get your minerals balanced, it will be easier for your body to handle the pathogens as well.  A copper imbalance is one of the MOST important aspects to address when there is any kind of infection. Bioavailable copper helps with keeping viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites under control. When it goes rogue then we can really have a giant issue with these infections!
  • Heal your gut– Without sufficient stomach acid and bile flow, we cannot utilize our nutrients.  Our gut is also an incredibly important part of the immune system. In fact, when we have “leaky gut”, the toxins that are going through that gut lining actually make their way into the lymph system! This is just another huge reason why we need to respect our bodies as wholes- everything is connected.
  • Work on your detox pathways– Liver, Lymph, Colon, Kidneys, Skin- we try to assess the most important things to start with once we see a person’s HTMA. Sometimes we need more adrenal healing before even thinking about detox support.
  • Start supporting your adrenals– Again, I love HTMA as it can tell us the exact state of your adrenals.  This is one of the most important parts of foundational care.  If your adrenals are stressed out or completely exhausted then there should be more of a focus on healing them first before even thinking about detoxing anything.
  • Clean up your environment– This can be a rough one because there is only so much that we can control.  Just do your best in your home!  Deodorant, makeup, shampoo, toothpaste, dish soap, etc are just some examples of things that tend to be big offenders for toxins that can mess with our liver function, and they can have very negative impacts on our endocrine function. Learn more here!
  • Work on emotional trauma- This is something I have had to learn the hard way myself.  Emotional trauma from past abuse is something that can stick with us until we’re ready to deal with it.  This can become a constant stress on the body which can suppress the immune system.  If the immune system is suppressed, it will be impossible to heal from any chronic infection, period.  Things like homeopathy, acupuncture, EMDR, Reiki, and EFT are among the most popular methods to use to start healing from emotional trauma. My big list of ideas is here.

 

So as you can see, there is a LOT that should be set up in place before attacking infections.

I can’t even believe the amount of “natural” docs and practitioners that actually advise their clients to start on a major detox protocol right off the bat.  This might work for some people, but many people will CRASH with this method.  When we give the body the tools it needs, it can start to work on things in its own time.  I have seen this countless times with my own clients. Start with the foundation, and regain your strength first.  Work with someone that makes sense to you as well- if you don’t feel good with an attack protocol, then listen to your body and find a different method!

Other Modalities of Healing that can aid in your healing

modalities of healing

Other Modalities of Healing that are Amazing!

I am such a huge lover of HTMA and true holistic mineral balancing, but over the years I have learned about so many other awesome modalities to heal.  HTMA is a great base- at the end of the day, your minerals HAVE to be balanced in order for the body to heal.  We need a solid nutrition base in order to fix any health issues, period.  So it works pretty well in tandem with a lot of other forms of natural healing.

I wanted to make a good list of other modalities because I have noticed that everyone can be so different with what forms work for them.  Since we are ALL different, it is important to realize that not everything will work the same for all of us.  For example, I know plenty of people that love EFT (tapping) but it never really helped me (whether I was on my own or with a practitioner).  I do very well with acupuncture, but I’ve heard from many that did it for months and it didn’t help them.  You have to learn about a few methods and go with what seems best to you.

I think that there is merit in picking a few modalities in your healing journey.  Depending on what you are dealing with, you will NEED more than one thing to help you through this crazy path of healing!  Read and research some of these methods and go with your gut on what sounds best to you.  It is our responsibility to be our own best health advocate- there will not be one doctor or health care practitioner that can know or do it all so it’s best to keep looking for other options!

So here are some of the best natural modalities out there (I covered some of these in my post about emotional healing as well if you want to check that out for other ideas on healing emotional trauma specifically!):

HTMA

HTMA stands for hair tissue mineral analysis.  This is a simple, non-invasive test that looks at the mineral balance in about a heaping teaspoon of hair.  We look at the ratios between these minerals to determine things like adrenal strength, poor nutrient absorption, how the body is responding to stress, and more.

When people first learn about HTMA, they usually think about the old school methods- lots of synthetic supplements (some recommend about 30 pills or more a day).  This is NOT what we do here at Sassy Holistics. We try to take a true holistic method with our HTMA protocols- whole foods, food-based supplements when needed, stress management, herbs, and more.  We work on healing the gut and liver for a majority of people because if these functions aren’t up to par then the entire body can suffer. We work on healing the ROOTS of our health issues.  Nutrition is everything- we have to eat too so why not get it tailored to your specific needs?

Chiropractic

According to the ACA: “Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.”

Chiropractic care can help the whole body as well- there is a lot of evidence that different vertebrae correlate with different parts of the body.  Here is a cool chart that outlines this! (I experienced this first hand when my little bubba was only a few months old- he was a gassy little monkey and his first adjustment allowed his little body to release all of that stuck gas. It was rather funny- my chiro adjusted him, we put him back in his car seat, he farted louder than he had in his whole life, and then went right to sleep! LOL)

Chiropractic care was one of the first natural healing modalities I ever used- I actually depended on it quite a bit for about a year or 2.  It helped me SO much with my chronic pain issues- I was dealing with fibromyalgia, costochondritis, and countless other health issues at the time.   I had only wished that I knew about mineral balancing back then because as I started balancing my minerals I needed the chiro less and less- it would have saved a lot of pain and money if I was instructed in nutrition back then! This is why multiple modalities can be so helpful- it seems like even in the natural health world, doctors and practitioners chose one “specialty” and neglect other systems.  A copper imbalance is a huge reason why people have issues with holding chiropractic adjustments as well!  For me, as I balanced my copper, I no longer had joint issues like I used to.

Homeopathy

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

Working with a great homeopath is best- don’t go it alone for chronic conditions!  I highly recommend Khush Mark– she is who I worked with and I found great healing with her recommendations. I was still keeping up with my HTMA protocol for myself as well- and it was huge proof that these 2 modalities can work very well together.

Massage

I’m pretty sure there is no need to explain what massage is- everyone knows it and most people love it.  There are many forms of massage out there, but the best thing to look for is a legitimate massage therapist that knows what they are doing.  Massage is quite trendy so there are a lot of people that just do it as an add-on service at salons or at the mall.  Just do your research and find the best for you.  Deep tissue, lymphatic drainage, relaxation- no matter what your purpose is, massage can help! Massage helps to increase circulation, can help to remove toxins from the body, stimulates the lymph system, reduces pain, and it also can help with releasing deep emotional trauma that is stored in tissues.

I recently invested in this home massager that I’m loving- it’s helping my lymph a lot and it’s been an invaluable tool during my recent healing of EBV.  This massager specifically has almost 3000 reviews on Amazon and has a 4.5 rating- pretty amazing! It has several attachments for different spots of the body.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is another one of my favorite methods of healing.  It basically just helps your body do what it is trying to do. It makes the healing process easier as it opens up the energy blockages.  Acupuncture can pretty much help with any health issue- depression, infertility, chronic pain, obesity, digestive issues, and so much more.  Length of treatment will depend on the severity of your issues- the most common recommendation I have seen is about 10 weeks of weekly appointments.  Just like with anything else, make sure the acupuncturist you are seeing is properly trained.  Even better if you can find someone that you found by a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone that had success with that particular acupuncturist.

Most people get a little scared of the needle aspect of acupuncture but they really are very small!  There are many studies backing up the effectiveness of acupuncture as well- you can read a bit more about this here. For most people, acupuncture can create an almost immediate increase in energy and a boost in mood.  For those that are actively trying to heal, it can take several sessions before you feel a huge difference. Healing reactions are absolutely possible with acupuncture (and any other modality out there). My first few sessions made me absolutely exhausted for a day or 2 but then I started to feel so amazing after each session.

EMDR

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  This is a “psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. ” (source)

I’ve known many people that have had success with EMDR and absolutely love it. It has sparked my interest as well as it seems to be another method that is supposed to help you heal with the minimum amount of discomfort.

EFT

Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.  Many people swear by this method.  My suggestion for this is to find a good practitioner that knows all about EFT and how to properly do it because it seems to be much more powerful this way. Doing EFT on your own can help too, but some only notice the benefit if they speak with a practitioner. YouTube has plenty of how-to videos too!

No matter what healing therapy you choose, just remember that healing can take time. We don’t get sick overnight so it will take awhile before we regain our health completely.  Don’t give up! Have patience, faith, and determination.  Consistency is key as well!

modalities of healing

What needs to be organic

what needs to be organic

What Needs to be Organic- according to Sassy Holistics

When I first dove into the world of natural health, it was absolutely overwhelming.  At times it is still overwhelming!  Possibly even more so when years past and you realize that not enough people are even aware of the “why” behind jumping into the natural health bandwagon.  Everywhere you look you can see that people are NOT healthy, and you’d think they’d wonder why we’re all so sick these days.

Anyway- I wanted to put together a (hopefully easy) guide on the things I would *try* to find organic when it comes to food, household products, etc.  There are definitely non-negotiable for me- if I can’t find these specifically then I don’t bother getting it.

Foods- Either these foods are on the dirty dozen or there are GMO versions of these foods that have been released

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Papaya
  • Beef (grass-fed), chicken, and eggs (free range is best)
  • Dairy products (grass-fed is best, raw is the absolute best but can be expensive/hard to find/illegal in some states, ugh)
  • Grains- oatmeal, wheat, etc (yes, we eat these in our house! We just look for the best quality that we can)
  • kale and spinach
  • peaches
  • You can read the full Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 here, but the above is pretty much the worst of the worst and I do my best to always buy organic!

Tea and Coffee

Look for organic, but also look for unbleached or untreated tea bags. Traditional Medicinals is one of the best brands out there for tea and they offer a LOT of different types of teas.  Alvita is another brand I’ve found to be clean.  Buying herbs in bulk is also an option- Frontier and Mountain Rose Herbs are among the top brands out there.

Coffee is a tricky one because we’re now aware that many coffees actually are at risk for mold and mycotoxin contamination.  I would recommend researching the brands you currently use and look for info about mold testing.  Some brands that are definitely clean are Kicking Horse (Kick-ass is my favorite blend and one of the extra safe ones!), Bulletproof (can be pricey though), and… well right now those are the only 2 I know of but if I find more, I’ll update it here 🙂

Herbs and Supplements

Not all herbal products and supplements are created equally.   Many have nasty fillers or are just poor quality in general.  The main companies I trust for herbal products are BioRay, Herb Pharm, Frontier, Mountain Rose Herbs, Herbalist & Alchemist,  The best brands for supplements are Perfect Supplements, Pure Radiance, Grown by Nature, and the rest of my list is here (as well as the reasons why I don’t recommend a few of the most popular brands out there)

Household products

The average woman puts on about 515 different synthetic chemicals daily – and most of that is just in the morning! There are about 82,000 known chemicals used in everyday household items, and most of them have never been tested for safety.  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.

The most important things to switch out first would be (and why to switch them):

Take a look on the Skin Deep Guide on the Environmental Working Group’s website to see how your favorite products rank. They have about 60,000 products listed!

Changing our relationship with Food

changing our relationship with food

Changing our relationship with Food

I’m about to get VERY real with you all about something I’ve dealt with in my life. I hope that my story can help others (as I know a lot of my other health struggles have- I swear that I’m able to say that everything I have dealt with has been for a reason. I’ve been able to help others with similar issues to heal!).

I was recently recommend this book to read called Intuitive Eating because I’ve been always had my own struggles with weight and body image.  The question that I was asked when I was speaking about my health was this: “Are you even eating enough calories?” And the answer was an emphatic “No”! This was a few months ago and it’s really made me think more about this, but I think I’ve been blocking out a lot when it comes to this issue.  Now I see that this is something that needs a lot more attention than I’ve been giving it. As we heal, we literally have to peel back the layers of pain and trauma, and I think right now this is what I’m needing to address.

You see, I was one of those girls in middle and high school that basically starved herself to stay even remotely thin.  Most days I would eat maybe 1 full meal, usually dinner. I’d go to school skipping breakfast and usually at lunch I wouldn’t bother with anything unless a friend offered me an extra snack. Why did I do this? Well because for one, we all know how the media has always been saying that you only matter if you’re thin. But I personally had a step mother at the time that was constantly telling me I was overweight. She’d call me fat, tell me I have huge thighs, and she’d make fun of me quite often. I dealt with this for about 6-7 years of my childhood!

Sometimes I think “oh boo hoo I had it so hard, get over it” but in reality, this was really something that set up me up for failure in life with food, dieting, weight, and body image.  I never have really considered myself to have an actual eating disorder, but I definitely have never had a comfortable relationship with food.  What happened is that these 6-7 years of being told I was fat and then realizing that I could only stay thin when I was not eating enough made me think that I didn’t deserve to eat because it would make me fat.

And when you tell yourself this long enough, you start to believe it and it becomes ingrained in your subconscious, even when you can logically tell yourself otherwise.

 

I cannot even begin to tell you all how many people have similar stories to mine. I’ve had quite a few clients at this point tell me that they’ve dealt with parents trying to control their diets as kids or they always struggled with weight issues from a young age. It’s quite disgusting honestly! How can these adult figures in our lives be so cruel? How can they degrade us as children, make us feel useless and gross instead of actually HELPING us?! Clearly I had a terrible metabolism already by the age of 7- but that was not MY fault. But instead of being helped, I was made to think that it was all my fault, as if I could control the way my body worked.

So what is my point with all of this?

DIETING does not work. Period. Think about it: How many people do you know that go on a diet, lose a lot of weight, then go back to eating normally, and then gain all of the weight back? Basically EVERYONE that diets! And then they take it out on themselves- they weren’t strict enough, they had too many cheat days, they had too many carbs or too many grams of fat, they didn’t exercise enough, and the list goes on.   So many people these days that are dealing with chronic illness and adrenal issues have been a part of this group of chronic dieters too! We’ve all deprived ourselves of so many nutrients for so long, and our bodies are screaming out for nutrition.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

It’s time to take back our health and change our relationship with food. I highly recommend the book I mentioned above, Intuitive Eating, if you want a good start. I only got into the first few chapters and before I had my ah-ha moment. And I knew I had to share my story in the hopes that it gets more people on the right path.

I’ve written a LOT about weight loss on my blog before. It’s almost always the main concern that people want to address when they start out on a healing path. But I almost always have to mention that our bodies are not concerned with weight loss right off the bat- they are concerned with HEALING. As we heal, we lose weight. And many of my clients do lose weight easily once they start healing. But there are many reasons why weight loss will not happen quickly, and I do believe one of them is that we’ve really lost touch with how to actually eat to nourish ourselves.

I have to admit- even just writing this article has been a bit therapeutic!

Here are all of my other main resources on weight loss: