Heavy Metal Detox

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heavy metal detox

My Take on Heavy Metal Detox

Many of you already know my stance on detox: we should be HEALING the body to help it get rid of toxins in its own time and when it has the strength to. We should not always have to force the toxins out- this can lead to overloading the body with too many toxins at once which can cause an adrenal crash PLUS it is also likely that these toxins will recirculate and redeposit until the body can actually get rid of everything.  Toxin exposure has increased to an incredibly scary level over the last 50 years or so. At this point, it is impossible to avoid every toxic chemical or heavy metal out there. We just have to work on improving the way that our bodies tolerate and excrete these things, as well as reduce our exposure as much as we can.

When we have heavy metals, we are usually also dealing with parasites, bacteria, yeast, viruses, and other toxins. Once we start trying to eliminate one of these things, the others follow suit. For someone in adrenal exhaustion with a severe sluggish liver and colon, this can crash a person pretty quickly.  This is why I have such a super cautious approach to detoxing, and why it drives me crazy at times that others are like, “No we HAVE to rip everything out and kill all the pathogens with a ridiculous amount of fire power FIRST!!”

I do understand the need to heal our sluggish and stressed out detoxification systems- which is why I follow a few key steps for my clients to heal (And I highly encourage you to work with someone knowledgeable that can work on healing your minerals and overall detoxification system as well!). The body is always a whole and we should be looking at it that way- you cannot initiate massive detox without taking into account the rest of the body. Luckily, I’ve been learning quite a bit more from BioRay (aka The Natural Detox Company) and I have found some more super safe ways to eliminate heavy metals, which I’ll get into below.

“80% of all chronic health
concerns are associated with
heavy metal toxicity.”
– WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, 1974

Main Steps for Heavy Metal Detox:

1) Get your colon moving!

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

When we are trying to improve detox ability, you HAVE to get that colon moving. There is no ifs, ands, or butts about it (haha, I had to go there!). If toxins are not able to get out, they will recirculate- period.

Tips for keeping your colon moving:

  • Use BioRay Belly Mend to help heal your gut and bowel
  • Use helpful digestive aids like apple cider vinegar and lemon juice either during meals, or whenever you feel like your bowels are very sluggish (these also help the liver and kidneys)
  • Use something like a Squatty Potty to help make things easier
  • Aloe vera can be helpful to keep things moving (just do not use while pregnant as it can be a uterine stimulant)
  • Fermented foods (I find grass-fed kefir to be very helpful!)
  • Fiber and Bile boosting are huge as well- read all about this here.
  • You can read my whole colon health guide here.

2) Heal Your Liver!

The liver itself has over 500 roles in the body, but most just know it as the main detox organ.  The liver helps to make bile (which we need for elimination of toxins), filters out toxins like ammonia, and plays a huge role in overall health.  A sluggish liver is usually the main root cause of toxin build up in the body- it just cannot keep up with the heavy load that we deal with these days.

How to heal your liver:

  • Do your best to cut down on toxin exposure, especially in the home
  • Eat as clean as you can.
  • BioRay’s Liver Life is amazing for liver healing and regeneration
  • Castor oil packs
  • 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.
  • More on liver healing here.

3) Other methods of supporting detox

  • Dry skin brushing skin is our biggest organ and we can eliminate toxins through our skin (this is why things like acne, eczema, and cherry angiomas are so common- the body is trying to put toxins out through the skin). Before showering, use a natural bristle brush (like this one) to brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to the torso and  then from the fingers to the chest. You will want to work in the same direction as your lymph flows which is towards the heart. Be careful over sensitive areas like the breast.  The more you brush, the less sensitive your skin will become.  After you are done brushing, hop in the shower to wash off the dead skin cells that you’ve brushed off! This is such an easy, quick thing to add to your daily routine.
  • Rebounding on a mini trampoline or even bouncing on a yoga ball
  • Kidney Support: nettles, ACV, lemon juice, etc are all great for kidney loving.
  • Sauna (if tolerated)
  • Gentle exercise like yoga or walks

4) Balance your minerals!

With hair tissue mineral analysis, we aim to restore the body’s biochemistry.  As we balance minerals, the metabolism can heal and the body starts to detox better. This is a MAJOR player in being able to properly eliminate heavy metals. If you are severely depleted of minerals, your body cannot have the strength to detox properly.  Many heavy metals will take the place of minerals as well! As we replenish the nutrients, the body can start to push the metals out to replace with the minerals (which is one main reason why I do not advocate for chelation: you cannot rip those metals out FIRST and then try to replace it with synthetic “nutrients”. This is not the way that HTMA was intended to be used).

With HTMA, we can start to heal the adrenals as well, and they are usually the main thing that takes the brunt of the damage if we try to rush into detoxing. We HAVE to have strong, healthy adrenals to deal with the stress of heavy metal detoxing. We tend to burn through minerals like sodium and potassium like crazy when we are detoxing so getting on a good plan to heal is imperative if you want to safely remove the heavy metals.

5) SAFE Heavy Metal Detox

For the last few years, I have not done anything specific when it comes to detoxing heavy metals as a majority of the clients I get are in adrenal burnout and simply cannot work on this part yet. Recently, I started learning more about the amazing tinctures from BioRay and I’m happy to be able to share what I have found regarding SAFE heavy metal detoxing.

BioRay recommends basically everything that I mentioned above as well in order to detoxing safely and effectively.  We have to support the colon, the liver, the kidneys, and the adrenals (because again, the body is a whole!). Bioray offers the best line of detoxification support out there for everyone. They have 3 main lines: therapeutic, the Daily line, and the kids line.  The therapeutic line is the strongest; the daily line is about half the strength of the therapeutic; and the kids line is about 25% the strength of the therapeutic line. Where to start depends on where you are in your healing journey.

The Ideal order for the BioRay products are: Loving Energy (for adrenals), Liver Life (to heal and prepare the liver), Cytoflora (to support good gut balance), NDF Plus (for gentle toxin removal), and then Artemesia and Clove (for unwanted organisms). Low and slow is always best, and all of these have specific instructions for use.

The main heavy metal detoxer they offer is the NDF Plus. It’s specific functions are:

  • Removes toxic metals including lead, mercury, arsenic, uranium, thallium, cadmium, antimony and aluminum.
  • Removes chemicals and pesticides including Lindane, dioxin, BPA, phthalates and chlorine.
  • Binds to endotoxins and exotoxins.
  • Balances essential nutrients as it contains naturally occurring amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
  • Provides natural occurring fulvic acid, antioxidant and free-radical scavenger, serving to balance cell life
  • (read more here, and you can read the results of the case and lab studies done on NDF plus here).

You can see all of the kids’ line here as well as further description of the kid-specific line.

BioRay also has a lot of amazing tips for those that need to use antibiotics, get vaccines, are exposed to chlorine, or need to get their mercury dental fillings removed. Check out their main articles on this here. Here is their chart outlining what products can help with specific issues.

 

So there you have it: the truth about what goes into detox! You cannot just take 1 supplement and detox your entire body. There is a lot involved in proper and safe detox!

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!

Flash Sale on Perfect Supplements’ Beef Liver Powder- only 72 hours!

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Have you seen that Perfect’s beef liver now comes in a powder?!

Flash sale on Beef Liver Powder!

I was so excited when they announced this! I was one of the people asking for them to do this as I am not a capsule taker- I was just opening up the capsules and putting them in my smoothies. For those that use the beef liver this way, we can now just use a little scoop- no more messing with opening up the capsules! (PS, this way is cheaper in the long run too!)

This flash sale is the best way to stock up on this amazing super-food in a supplement.  I’ve already been using the beef liver powder and I can honestly say it is great!

Details for the Flash Sale – 15% Off – The Perfect Desiccated Liver Powder for the next 72 hours – just enter coupon code LIVER15

 

Why Beef Liver?

  1. As far as livers go, beef has the most bang for its buck.
  2. It has vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folate, and minerals such as zinc, copper and iron.
  3. Beef liver has the most bio-available form of copper. If you think about that, it makes sense why so many people are suffering from copper dysregulation these days: because who grew up eating liver regularly??
  4. It’s an excellent source of CoQ10
  5. It has an unidentified anti-fatigue factor (pretty sure it has to do with its nutrient content!)
  6. Helps your immune system stay strong
  7. Eating liver helps our livers work better as well
  8. Helps to speed up the metabolism (which is great for slow oxidizers!)
  9. It is amazing for female hormonal balance- helps those in menopause, those with PMS, and even those with irregular cycles

Emotional Healing Techniques- We cannot Heal Physically without Healing Emotionally

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Emotional healing Techniques: We cannot Heal Physically without Healing Emotionally

Many of us go through life experiencing a whole host of traumatic things.  When we are young, there is an especially hard time dealing with any sort of trauma, whether it be abuse, the death of a loved one, constant bullying, or anything else that can impact our life.  Childhood trauma itself is linked to so many chronic illnesses (source), but in our society this never really gets addressed. Either the child goes through general therapy sessions that really don’t help the situation or they outright get ignored and told to just move on with their life.

I’ve often read as well that children lack the ability to even emotionally heal from the traumas they deal with as kids. I really believe this because I have personally gone through many traumas as a child, and I remember never truly understanding why things were happening to me or what to do about them. We are just not mature enough to process the emotions that we go through. Because of this, our health can suffer because most will start to repress these emotions. And we can actually STORE these emotions in the body!

But when it comes to health, we are all individuals. Because of this biochemical individuality, not everyone will do well with the same form of healing. Since everyone is so different, there is not one specific method I would recommend for everyone (other than the mineral balancing as that will help to strengthen the body to handle emotions better, both as you are healing your trauma and when you deal with possible future traumas).  So here is a big list of idea- do what speaks to YOU!

Some great ways to help HEAL trauma

Mineral Balancing

It wasn’t until I learned about minerals that I started learning about how events in our childhood could influence our health. In HTMA and mineral balancing science, it is well known that traumatic situations (especially long term and unresolved) can wreak havoc on the body.  We start to get into that cycle of fight-or-flight that we cannot break out of and we burn through sodium, potassium, and many other minerals like crazy.  Eventually, these minerals start to tank and we are left in physical burnout that can lead to illnesses such as fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune illnesses, and more. The trauma creates a stressful situation in the body and uses up our nutrients, which leads to a state of illness. This can be something that happens directly after an incident or something that takes decades to build up. (source).  Also, many of these minerals that we can become deficient in can lead us to addictions as well, which further messes with our health and mineral balance.

Addressing your mineral imbalances can help to physically strengthen the body, which in turn will help you when you are ready to heal emotional trauma. Many people with severe adrenal exhaustion have reported to me that they attempted emotional healing techniques when they were still very physically weak and it ended up making them crash further. Depending on where you are in your health journey, you could be one that needs to work on building up psychical strength first or you might need to start addressing the emotional before the physical side will even budge.  In my experience, most people need to start building up their physical strength first (this was true for myself as well!). Then when you start to deal with the emotionally aspect, your body will be strong enough to handle the healing.

There are many HTMA patterns that are common with those with prolonged trauma.  The most common thing we see is a calcium shell, where calcium can start to build up to extremely high levels (usually as it approaches 200 and above- normal levels are between 40-50). This can create a sort of defense mechanism, so the person dealing with chronic stress will be in an almost numb, apathetic state to help protect them from feeling all of the things they should be feeling during this stress.  Those with calcium shells eventually feel this shell crack when they begin to heal, and they might have bouts of time where they experience the emotions that they used to hold in (again, something I have been through myself, long before I knew what HTMA was!). Read more here on the calcium shell.

Homeopathy

As I mentioned above, I had a lot of trauma as a child and never had the chance to heal it (although I never really knew I needed to address it until a few years ago).  I ended up choosing homeopathy, and you can read about my experience with that here.  I highly recommend homeopathy for those that need a gentle approach for healing.  Working with a truly knowledgeable practitioner is key because many homeopaths are not changing their methods despite how toxic we are these days.

Homeopathy is energy medicine and works deep to heal the whole body at once.  This means physical AND emotional issues can get healed.  I am a huge believer in the strength and effectiveness of homeopathy after my own experiences with it.

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 several 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!

Retraining your mindset

For some people, it really is “mind over matter”.  Creating a healing mantra can help immensely. Something easy you can remember and repeat to yourself several times a day or just when things are getting rough is good.  Mine used to be, “I am happy, healthy, and whole.”  When we are constantly thinking about our pain or stress, it really can KEEP us in that physical state of illness.  In order to heal, we have to start thinking positive about everything: our situations, our bodies, the people in our life, and how we think (even if we don’t share our thoughts).  Sometimes we are the ones responsible for breaking the chain of negative thinking!

Other Ideas:

  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Regular talk therapy can help some people
  • Just making friends can be a helper, especially if you have become a bit withdrawn because of chronic illness
  • Dr. Caroline Leaf’s Brain Detox
  • Breathing methods like Buteyko
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Write a letter to your abusers, even if you never send it. Some even write something up and then destroy it!
  • Flower Essences
  • Reiki
  • Acupuncture
  • Books like “Your Body Speaks your Mind“, “The Healing Codes

Just know that you are not alone in your healing.  There are plenty of people in your life that will help if you give them the chance (hopefully!).

Whatever method you choose to heal, I hope that you all find your peace <3

Other awesome sources about this topic:

From my friend Christina over at Uncaged Health

Dr. Rick Malter’s site that has info about freeing the inner child and deflating the “Judge” personality.

 

emotional healing

How to have a Happy, Healthy Period

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holistic period

Periods Don’t have to be Painful!

I am sure many people read my headline and rolled their eyes a bit.  A “happy period”? There is no such thing, right? WRONG!  Even though periods are not exactly fun, they aren’t supposed to be devastating, painful, or terrible.  If you deal with PMS, acne, breast tenderness/pain, cramps, anger, mood swings, heavy flow, migraines, or any other common symptoms associated with menstruation, please know that this is not a normal part of our hormonal health! If you deal with these symptoms, it is a very big sign that your liver is angry, your lymph is sluggish, your minerals are out of balance, and your adrenals are likely stressed.

What if I told you that periods can be pain-free and barely even a nuisance? It is true, whether you want to believe it or not. I used to be one that had severe periods.  The first day I’d pretty much be bedridden or popping pain killers every few hours to keep the pain manageable if I had to go to work. I had a few times where I fainted from the pain, many times where I’d have migraines with aura, and used to make me act like the Hulk at times with how angry I’d get. These days? I don’t deal with any of that. No cramps, no annoying PMS symptoms, nada.

How is this possible, you ask? Holistic healing! Working on healing the body as a whole is key to getting rid of these terrible periods.  Balancing minerals, healing your liver, supporting your lymph, eating clean, and managing the environmental toxins that you are exposed to is crucial.

My top tips for a Healthy Period

Nutrients that play a role in hormonal health

The number one thing to look into if you are having painful or irregular periods is copper dysregulation. You can read all about this here, but in a nutshell: Copper is a crucial mineral for estrogen balance and zinc is crucial for progesterone/testosterone balance. When zinc and copper are out of balance, these hormones can go haywire. We tend to have an issue where copper builds up and becomes unusable to the body- so we have a double issue where we are copper deficient and have an excess copper buildup. With this, we can have symptoms of both copper deficiency and excess copper!

What creates this imbalance? A sluggish liver, a vitamin A deficiency, birth control, overuse of antibiotics, not enough zinc in the diet (which can be caused by leaky gut as we need stomach acid to utilize zinc correctly), and diets like veganism/vegetarianism and the Standard American Diet.

To fix this: use HTMA and supporting blood tests to heal this imbalance. Healing the liver is crucial (which we’ll go over next), as is introducing vitamin A rich foods like cod liver oil, eggs, grass-fed butter or ghee, and beef liver (which is one of the biggest helpers for fixing the copper bio-unavailability side of things). Heal the gut to help with zinc utilization as well.

This is the LONG TERM healing plan for all hormonal issues, including estrogen dominance. Read about that here.

Detoxification support

Menstruation itself is a time for heightened detox. Heavy, painful periods that come with a handful of symptoms (especially headaches/migraines, breast pain, mood swings, and acne) are a huge sign that your liver and lymph are overloaded with toxins.

Basic liver healing tips: Bioray Liver Life, Castor oil packs, dandelion root tea, fix your sleep, eat clean (no GMOs, no corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners, organic meat and dairy, etc)

Basic Lymph healing tips: Rebounding, castor oil packs, nettle infusions, red root, massage, legs on the wall yoga pose, gentle walks

Herbal Support

One of the *best* herbs for hormonal health for women is red raspberry leaf.  This herb is nothing short of miraculous for PMS, copper balancing, and overall hormonal healing.  It is even amazing during pregnancy and breastfeeding!

Red raspberry leaf is packed with nutrients: magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin C, b-vitamins and potassium.

For infusions: I put 1 cup RRL in a quart of hot water and let it steep for at least 4 hours. I strain the liquid and drink this through the day. (you can reuse the herbs for another weaker quart). Store the liquid in the fridge when done and consume 1-2 cups daily, or more when pregnant or about to start your period!I usually recommend using this the week leading up to your period to help prevent any menstrual issues. This can be helpful for those that get symptoms at ovulation as well.

Other herbs that can help with hormonal balancing: Nettle leaf infusions, nettle root (capsules or tincture- especially helpful for heavy periods), red clover, ashwagandha, chaste tree berry, and dandelion root.

Cleaner Personal Care Products

Did you know that most popular brands of tampons and pads have glyphosate in them, the cancer causing chemical (source)? Yikes!  Using organic pads or tampons are MUCH better these days to avoid coming into contact with nasty chemicals like this.  Things like mama cloth (or reusable pads, like these that you can find on etsy!) are popular these days too and are much more Eco-friendly.  Many people are raving about menstrual cups as well, but I’m not convinced of their long term safety- knowing that silicone can indeed leach into the lymph system makes me weary of these things. We all have to do what works though- just stay away from the popular brands for things like pads and tampons!

Personal care products comes down to things like make-up, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. Many of these conventional products contain carcinogens, hormonal disruptors, and other toxins that negatively effect health. Read more about this here if you’re new to this topic and want to start greening up your home!

Birth Control?

The Pill, the IUDs, the patches, the shots- I would stay FAR away from these things. They all have severe side effects that can either hit you right away or build up and hit you several decades later.  Birth control doesn’t solve anything. If it seemingly helps you with hormonal issues, then it is a band-aid solution. Using the above tips will help you get to the root of the issue in the long term.  The possibility of cancer, blood clots, and other serious illnesses is not worth the “benefit” of preventing pregnancy.

I could go on about this for hours, but read my main issues with birth control here, as well as what other good options there are for contraception.

 

Circadian Rhythm Imbalance

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Circadian Rhythm

Circadian Rhythm Imbalance: My Top Tips for Better Sleep!

What exactly is “circadian rhythm”?  Here is the main definition for it: “A daily cycle of biological activity based on a 24-hour period and influenced by regular variations in the environment, such as the alternation of night and day.” (source)

Circadian rhythm is technically a process that our bodies have that help us to be awake during the day, and asleep at night. However in our current world, it is incredibly easy for us to mess up this cycle! An imbalance in circadian rhythm has the potential to lead to blood pressure issues, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, and more.

What causes this imbalance? Nutrient deficiencies or imbalances, stress, poor diet, and even something as simple as white light exposure at night (which is one of the biggest causes of a cortisol/melatonin imbalance). Let’s learn about these causes!

Fixing the Cortisol/Melatonin Imbalance

In a perfect world, cortisol would be higher in the morning and slowly start to decline as the day goes on, and be pretty low at night. Melatonin should be the opposite: we want melatonin lower in the morning and higher at night. This is because cortisol plays a role in overall energy through the day, while melatonin helps us sleep at night. When we are dealing with adrenal issues (aka HPA axis dysfunction), it is so common to have these hormones flipped.

The main helpers that I have found for fixing this imbalance (other than the tips that are listed further below) are:

  • Tart Cherry Juice: This has a natural source of melatonin which helps to regulate sleep patterns. Look for organic if possible. There are pure juices and then concentrates, so be sure to read instructions if you try this method out. You can even make tart cherry gummies!
  • Limiting screen time at night: the light that we are exposed to from TVs, computers, cell phones, etc are all considered to be “white light” which is known for stimulating cortisol production. We do not want this at night! Limit screen time at night and try to cut it off completely about an hour or 2 before bed; or get blue-light apps (f.lux for Android, or Night Shift on iPhones 5s and above, which comes automatically with the phone now).
  • Blue Light Blocking Glasses: These are one of the easiest helpers for regulating cortisol/melatonin. Ideally, we should use these as the sun goes down, but at least 2 hours before bed seems to help most people. These glasses help the body to stimulate melatonin on its own ( I just got a pair myself a few months ago and highly recommend them!)
  • Getting sun in the morning: This helps to stimulate cortisol production in the morning, which helps to keep levels stable through the day, especially when used in conjunction with the above 3 tips.  If sun is not an option in the morning for whatever reason, you can use something like this lamp.
  • I do NOT recommend supplementing with melatonin. This is a hormone. When we consume hormones we can create many other imbalances, and we can even confuse our body to a point where it stops its own production of melatonin

Nutrients that play a role in better sleep

Vitamin A

No matter where you go these days, everyone seems to be talking about vitamin D. However, we really should be putting more of a focus on vitamin A! It is every more crucial for overall health. You can read the whole awesome breakdown on how vitamin A influences circadian rhythm here. Seriously, it is a great article! One main quote from this article, ” Thus, without vitamin A, our brains cannot know when it is daytime and cannot set our circadian rhythm. If this system fails, we are less likely to feel alert in the daytime, less likely to feel relaxed in the night time, and less likely to get adequate, regular, restful sleep.”

Vitamin A deficiency is extremely common these days. Why, you ask? Great question! Mostly it is because we have been lied to about what vitamin A really is. You see, foods like carrots and sweet potatoes don’t actually contain vitamin A. They contain beta carotene, which has the potential to be CONVERTED to vitamin A. Only 50 of the 600 or so carotenoids can even be converted to actual A.

We also need happy livers to utilize vitamin A correctly (we also need happy livers for SLEEP too!), which is another factor in why many people are deficient- most are dealing with some level of liver dysfunction. So things like herbal bitters and overall help with bile flow is necessary for proper use of vitamin A. The best sources of vitamin A are cod liver oil, liver (beef, chicken, etc), eggs, grass-fed butter, ghee, and even grass-fed dairy. (Notice how ALL of these foods have been demonized in the past or present- most people have not grown up eating beef liver or cod liver oil like our grandparents and great-grandparents did!).

Read more about vitamin A here!

Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium

These 3 minerals play huge roles in overall health. It is important to use a tool like HTMA to determine where your personal imbalances are before trying to increase or avoid any particular mineral. Magnesium is usually important for those with high cortisol and over-active adrenals, where potassium and sodium are the most important for those with overall low cortisol output and under-active adrenals. These 3 minerals have a delicate balance, but potassium itself is a common deficiency related to burnout. When potassium is under a 4 on the HTMA, it is a huge cause of insomnia and adrenal dysfunction. You can read a bit more on these 3 minerals here.

Copper Dysregulation

Copper plays a role in insomnia when it becomes out of balance. Excess, unbound copper can be irritating to the nerves and is a common cause of racing mind, anxiety, and inability to fall or stay asleep. You can read more about copper dysregulation here.

Diet and Gut Health

Diet plays such a huge role in overall health and well-being. If you are eating junk, you will feel like junk- period.  Common offenders in our diets that can impact our sleep are artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, MSG, caffeine, GMO sugar, and even intolerances to gluten or conventional dairy can play a role. Everyone is so different when it comes to diet though, and there is not just *one* main thing for everyone to focus on. It takes trial and error to figure out what might be harming you.

In truth, a huge part of why we have intolerances is because of leaky gut. So healing the gut is a crucial step in healing from any health issue, including sleep problems.

Stress

Almost everyone is under some sort of stress.  Whether it is chronic or acute, this can have a huge impact on our sleep.  Stress can negatively impact our gut, our adrenals, and it can deplete us of crucial nutrients like magnesium and zinc.  Here are a few ways that you can help lower your stress levels so you can get quality sleep:

  1. Yoga- everyone knows about yoga, but not everyone likes doing it.  Yoga has been one of the most popular ways to help de-stress for a long time.  Even finding a few yoga positions that help you can help immensely. I like legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose, cat-and-cow, and corpse pose
  2. EFT (aka Tapping)- 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
  3. Buteyko breathing- A friend introduced me to this method , and I will forever be grateful.  It truly is a great way to calm yourself down before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night. It actually helps the healing of a lot of different ailments as well!
  4. Find a hobby- this is probably the simplest method to help stress, but it is the most overlooked.  Find something that you love to do and try to do it daily.  Reading, writing, drawing, painting, walking, bike riding, photography, anything you can think of that will get you away from the TV and off of the couch.

 

 

More reading

From Uncaged Health about Circadian Rhythm

My post on 25+ Sleep Tips

My Experience with Homeopathy, which has help me heal my long term sleep issues.

From Jack Kruse

Whole Food Nutrition: Making the most out of your diet!

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whole food nutrition

Whole Food Nutrition: How to HEAL with Food!

I am a huge advocate for whole food nutrition. Because of this, one of the MAIN questions I am asked almost daily is, “How in the world would we even get enough nutrition from food if our soils are so depleted?”

The answer is complicated. Yes, it is impossible to get 100% of the nutrients we need on a daily basis. But why does this automatically mean that we should be taking 20+ supplements a day to “make up” this deficit? More is not always better. Taking a multivitamin is a false reassurance that you are still “filling in the gaps”, especially when you realize that most vitamin/mineral supplements are made with synthetics that the body doesn’t even really recognize or utilize.

My approach is this:

Heal your gut to help your body utilize nutrients better. Heal your liver so we can not only process nutrients better, but we can properly eliminate toxins that would antagonize our nutrients. Heal your adrenals/thyroid/HPA axis to help your body react better to stress so you don’t waste or burn through nutrients as quickly. And be SMART about supplementing and eating: pick nutrient dense foods and whole food supplements that are tailored to YOUR particular needs.  Plus, you can rotate your food choices around to get the most out of your diet.

This list is a representation of what I typically recommend to my clients- exact supplements and amounts depend on the person. But this is my “proof” that you CAN get your nutrition from food!

Whole Food Nutrition is AMAZING

Cod Liver Oil:

My favorite Cod liver oil NutraPro packs a whopping 2500IU of vitamin A (about 80% of your daily value) and 250IU of vitamin D (about 60% of your daily value). You also get Omega 3’s 600mg,DHA 250mg, and EPA 350mg

Nettle Infusions:

If you want a real multivitamin, then look no further than nettle infusions. You can get a HUGE amount of nutrition just from this amazing green liquid.

From this source:

  • calcium (1000 mg per quart of infusion)
  • magnesium (300 mg per quart of infusion)
  • potassium (600 mg per quart of infusion)
  • zinc (1.5 mg per quart of infusion)
  • selenium (.7 mg per quart of infusion)
  • iron (1.5 mg per quart of infusion)
  • manganese (2.6 mg per quart of infusion)
  • plus chromium, cobalt, phosphorus, copper, sulphur, silicon, and tin.
  • Nettle is super-charged with vitamins:
  • Vitamin A from {beta carotene}(5000 IU per quart of infusion)
  • Vitamin B complex, especially thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate
  • Plus Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K ”
  • From my research, each quart of nettle infusions have about 3mg of BORON as well.

Oatstraw Infusions

Just like nettles, oatstraw is a highly nutrient dense herbal infusion.

*Calcium 476mg
*Magnesium 400-600mg
*Potassium 90mg
*Selenium 40mcg (RDA is about 55mcg)
*Chromium 140mcg (RDA is between 35-45 depending on stage of life)

You can see the nutrition for several other herbs like red raspberry leaf, comfrey leaf, and chickweed here. And you can read more here on making infusions and what they are good for.

Adrenal Cocktails

These are best for sodium, potassium, and vitamin C. I have a list of recipe ideas here, but generally each cocktail recipe gets you around 500-800mg of potassium (RDA is about 4700mg), 500mg of sodium (RDA is about 2500mg), and a nice boost of vitamin C. Most people do 2+ of these mixtures a day.

Beef Liver:

This is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. It’s also something that people no longer have grown up eating, so we are pretty deficient in nutrients like vitamin A, bio-available copper, and B vitamins. Beef liver itself has vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folate, and minerals such as zinc, copper and iron.  With this desiccated beef liver supplement, you will get about 1000IU of vitamin A, 5.5mcg of B12, around 1 mg of copper, and 2.8mg of iron. Eating it would give you even more of a boost for these nutrients.

Blackstrap Molasses

This is probably one of the most nutrient-packed sweeteners you’ll ever find. 1 tablespoon of Black-strap molasses has: about 300-500mg of potassium, 100mg of calcium, 30mg of magnesium, 2mg of iron, .36mg of manganese, as well as copper, selenium, B6, and more. I typically add this to dandelion root tea, another nutrient dense herb.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are another insanely nutrient dense food. One quarter cup has: .43mg of copper, 2.5mg of zinc, 1.47mg of manganese (nearly the whole RDA!), 190mg of magnesium, 9 grams of protein, and about 400mg of phosphorus. Look for raw, organic, and hulless pumpkin seeds. Check Costco if you can- they recently just started selling a big bag in my local store.

Other Nutrient dense foods:

  • Collagen, gelatin, and bone broth for protein and amino acids
  • Bee pollen, raw honey, and royal jelly for most of the BEE vitamins
  • Coconut water, mostly for the potassium content
  • Sea veggies for iodine and trace minerals: I love Maine Coast Sea Veggies, which is an easy brand to find in most health food stores. This particular one is the easiest to add to food for an extra boost! This brand is mostly offering organic products and they test their products for contaminants. Their dulse is the most nutrient dense sea veggie ever!

 

So with the above we’re able to get most or all of our Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, iron, chromium, silica, selenium, zinc, mangansese, and more. The key is to SWITCH IT UP! Don’t eat the same things every day. And keep working on that gut to increase absorption.

Food has so much more than vitamins and minerals, components that you won’t likely ever find in supplements. You can read more about that here.

I would say the hardest nutrient to get enough of is potassium. The RDA is typically about 4700mg. Even with a healthy diet, this is hard to obtain. But we all can just do our best. Below is my favorite potassium rich food list, and this website has about 2 dozen other ideas.

I’ve had some people basically say that food doesn’t matter, and that supplements are the only way to heal. If that were true, then why bother eating anything at all, right? Or better yet- let’s just eat junk food all day. As long as we pop our multivitamin we should stay healthy, right? 😉

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!)

My Experience with Homeopathy

homeopathy

I LOVE HOMEOPATHY

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

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

History of Homeopathy

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

My Personal Experience with Homeopathy

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

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

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

I’m finally moving on!

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

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

homeopathy