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!

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

My Favorite BioRay Products!

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Have you heard of BioRay yet?

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 touched upon some of my absolute favorite BioRay products before, but I wanted to put them all on one page to make things easier for those that want to try more of their amazing supplements.

A few months ago, BioRay started up an affiliate program, which I was so excited about. I had already been using and recommending their products for over a year, so I was excited to be able to join them. They even have given me a coupon code for you all to use, and this goes for the main site and the kids site: use SASSY at checkout for 15% off!

My Favorite BioRay Formulas

Liver Life (and Liver Lover)

BioRay Liver Life is the best choice for liver loving and regeneration!

 

Liver Life is my absolute favorite. My husband and myself have used this one on and off over the last year or so and it helps SO much with detoxification support. 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. I have seen people have nearly miraculous results with just this product. The liver itself has over 500 functions- if you are dealing with ANY health issue, you will need some liver loving.  Read more about why we need to love our livers here.

They also have Liver Lover that is close to Liver Life, but it is alcohol free. (tinctures are traditionally made with alcohol because that is the best way to draw out the properties of the plants used.). Liver Lover is a good alternative if you absolutely cannot tolerate alcohol based tinctures, but Liver Life is always my first choice. According to BioRay, Liver Lover is only about half as potent as Liver Life.

Kids Line

All of the tinctures in the kids line are Alcohol, Gluten, Dairy and Soy free, as well as Non-GMO. Most of these formulas are for children over 1 year of age, and they all have different doses based on weight. The biggest differences between the adult line (which most can be used for kids) and the kid’s line are that the kid’s products are all alcohol free and they are flavored, so even the pickiest kids might handle them well!

You can see all of the kids’ line here as well as further description of them.

    • CALM: For adrenals, mood support, sleep, and liver detox support
    • FOCUS: For gut healing, allergies, speech, adrenals, and detox support
    • SHINE: For gut and immune system health
    • HAPPY: This is mainly for parasite removal
    • SLEEPY: For sleep help
    • POOPER: For constipation support

 

Loving Energy

Loving Energy is the best herbal blend for adrenal support. If you are going through an extremely stressful time in life, or just dealing with chronic exhaustion, then Loving Energy can help!

Belly Mend

Belly Mend can be an amazing helper for those dealing with leaky gut, brain fog, and histamine intolerance.  This formula has a blend of herbs for both gut and liver support, as well as liquid probiotics.

Astemisia and Clove

This formula is the best for removing unwanted pathogens. I have used this one myself and can attest to its strength!

Mind Zeal

Mind Zeal is the *best* formula for those dealing with brain fog and cognitive issues. This especially works on safely removing heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic as well as many common toxic chemicals.

**I would really make sure that your colon and liver are ready for something like the last 2 that I mentioned!**

Kits

You can read BioRay’s amazing article about dispelling common detox myths here. If you are concerned about the chlorella used in some of these products, I totally understand your worry! I used to be skeptical about it too. However, the chlorellas used by BioRay is not just any chlorella you can go buy in a capsule. They use a special process called micronization , which actually breaks down the cell wall and allows for better usage of the chlorella. I recently tried the Belly Mend which has this form of chlorella in it and I can definitely vouch that is great! I would never recommend anything I have not tried myself. There is a lot of bad info out there on chlorella, and I hope to help stop the fear-mongering!   (read more about micronization here!).

favorite bioray products

* 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.*

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

Amazing Resources on the Importance of Minerals

importance of minerals

I love HTMA and Mineral Balancing!

I was asked yesterday for some awesome resources that would help explain mineral balancing and HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) to those that are either skeptical about the importance of nutrients or those that are just getting into holistic nutrition. I realized that while I have hundreds of links saved on my bookmarks bar, I haven’t ever put the best links into a post yet. I am a HUGE advocate for everyone to constantly learn more about health! I think that we all need to be our own best advocates and the only way to do that is to learn, research, and read, read, read!

So here are my FAVORITE links on HTMA, mineral balancing, and nutrition in general. Some are studies, some are articles, and some a big hard to decipher if you aren’t used to the jargon. But the more you read, the more you learn and that is the most important part.

Directly from the 2 main HTMA Labs (ARL and TEI)

From TEI labs: A list of all of the studies that proof the reliability of HTMA

From TEI labs: All of their published articles on specific minerals (and vitamin A)

From TEI Labs: “Blood analysis for minerals is a good indicator of the transport of minerals to and from the storage areas of the body (extracellular).
Hair tissue mineral analysis is a good indicator of the metabolic processes occurring within the cells (intracellular).” (source)

From TEI Labs: All of their published newsletters on specific conditions and how they relate to HTMA (from 1985-present)

From ARL Labs: A breakdown on what HTMA is exactly.

From ARL Labs: Specific information on each mineral and heavy metal

From ARL labs: Their Newsletters and Published articles.

Studies and Articles about Minerals

Magnesium and Zinc involvement in Tobacco Addiction

Copper Dysregulation: Basics, Pyroluria, Bipolar, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, Thyroid health, hormonal balancing,

Amazing Articles from Dr. Malter

Zinc: Responsible for about 300 enzymes

Magnesium: physiology and pharmacology, diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, info on mag and about 30 other illnesses,   Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment

Copper: Metals and the Mind | Weston A Price , Copper-Zinc Imbalance: Unrecognized Consequence of Plant-Based Diets and a Contributor to Chronic Fatigue | Weston A Price , Copper deficiency symptoms, Type IX Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Menkes syndrome: the decrease in lysyl oxidase activity is associated with a corresponding deficiency in the enzyme protein.

More on Copper: Role in neurological disorders, The role it plays in lipid metabolism (fats and cholesterol, it is SUPER important!), health benefits of copper, All about Ceruloplasmin (the copper binding protein-this report is 119 pages long and incredibly in-depth)

Iron: How to really balance iron, the higher the iron the higher the risk of heart issues, the role of ceruloplasmin in iron balancing,

The Great Iodine Debate | Weston A Price

Breakdown of major minerals and their uses.

Studies and Articles about Vitamins

Vitamin A: Vitamin A: The Key to A Tolerant Immune System? | Clinical Education

The Daily Lipid: Vitamin A Plays an Essential Role in Setting the Circadian Rhythm and Allowing Good Sleep

Infants, Vitamin D WAPF

Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C

The Importance and Uses of Vitamins

 

 

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

Balancing Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or you can use magnesium lotion! I love this mag lotion for adults (250mg per tsp), and this one for kids(150mg per tsp), but you can also see this recipe to make your own.

Common questions I get:

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Need more reading?

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

ARL Labs: Sodium and the Adrenals

ARL other mineral articles

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

How to Balance Hormones the truly natural way

balance hormones

Healing your Hormones the Sassy Holistics Way!

Hormonal imbalances are so incredibly common these days- so much so that even young kids are dealing with them! A majority of doctors or natural practitioners out there approach hormonal imbalances with actual hormones. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty about that, but I’m going to share the way that I believe we should be approaching this issue. I don’t agree with the hormonal balancing approaches typically, and you’ll understand why in this post!

What is the ROOT CAUSE of hormonal imbalances?

If your hormones are out of balance, adding in all of the separate hormones you are deficient in makes zero sense to me. Besides the fact that this is not how we’re meant to keep our hormones balanced, this can be extremely hard on the body, especially the liver and adrenals. Hormonal imbalances have 3 main root causes: a sluggish liver, stressed adrenals, and a copper imbalance (and these 3 are all connected too!).

Why is the Liver so important in hormonal health?

Our livers have about 500 different functions in the body. One of the main functions is to keep our hormones balanced, both by creating hormones as needed and filtering out excess hormones that we either make or are exposed to. Our livers also make a majority of our cholesterol but can only do so if it is happy and functioning properly. ALL OF OUR HORMONES ARE MADE FROM CHOLESTEROL. That is the fact that drives me nuts about using individual hormones.

ALL of the hormones that run the adrenals need cholesterol to be made. The lie that cholesterol is bad for us is a primary reason why we are all so deficient in hormones. We need cholesterol to create pregnenolone, which in turn can be used to make the rest of the hormones like estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, and aldosterone. But we need healthy livers to regulate cholesterol. If you want to see a chart that explains the hormone/cholesterol relationship, check it out here.

We have a completely obvious root cause here to address, but most docs/practitioners will go straight to the individual hormones (again, “natural pharmacology” or “allopathic natural health“: treat the symptoms, not the cause).  If you are dealing with estrogen dominance, it is more likely that your liver is having trouble clearing the excess estrogen- if you add progesterone to antagonize/balance estrogen, where is the estrogen going to go if the liver is still angry? The problem in the first place was that the body couldn’t get rid of the excess estrogen in the first place. Heal your liver, fix your hormones.

How is a copper imbalance related to hormonal health?

In the mineral balancing world, we know that estrogen and copper go hand in hand, just like zinc goes along with testosterone and progesterone. Women are copper dominant and men are zinc dominant. When the liver and adrenals are stressed, they have a VERY hard time keeping copper and zinc balanced.

I mentioned above how adding progesterone to “fix” and estrogen dominance issue makes no sense if the liver can get rid of the excess copper in the first place: It is EXACTLY the same issue with copper/zinc. Zinc can mobilize stored copper but it doesn’t excrete it! (bile is the key for that, which I talk about below) Messing with the individual hormones or nutrients doesn’t solve the root issue, which is that the liver is angry and the minerals aren’t able to balance.

Balancing copper is one of the main things I focus on for most of my clients. I RARELY see someone with balanced copper. That is how common this issue is. Keeping copper balanced involved happy adrenals and livers, as well as true vitamin A (from cod liver oil, beef liver, eggs, and butter- all things that many people didn’t eat growing up as there has been fear mongering on each of these foods!). Those that have been vegetarian/vegan, been on birth control of any sort, had copper pipes in their house, or women that just recently had a child are the most common people to be effected by a copper imbalance.

When we are dealing with a sluggish liver and stressed adrenals, it is hard for the body to utilize vitamin A, which is one of the keys needed for making ceruloplasmin, the copper binding protein. When ceruloplasmin cannot be made, copper can build up in the body (as excess, unbound copper rises, estrogen tends to rise as well). This creates a huge issue in the body: the excess copper can become antagonistic to zinc and other nutrients and it creates it own host of symptoms as it basically irritates the body, but you can also deal with copper deficiency symptoms since you cannot use this excess copper. You can read the giant lists of copper excess and copper deficiency signs here, as well as the whole story about copper dysregulation.

How are the adrenals related to hormonal health?

When people start to feel fatigued or just not as well as they used to, most people will automatically tell them to go test their thyroid. In reality, the adrenals play an even bigger role in overall health as they are higher up on the totem pole in the endocrine system (AKA the HPA Axis!). The adrenals play a big role in metabolism, hormonal balance, and overall vitality.

The adrenal glands are two little pea-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex, secretes the corticosteroid hormones including cortisol that monitor the body’s metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure. The adrenal medulla is the inner part which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline, hormones that respond to stressors. When the adrenal medulla fires, it increases the heart rate, boosts blood flow to the muscles, and creates a surge of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. This mechanism evolved so we could draw from a quick burst of energy in a fight-or-flight situation. The adrenals are extremely vital to our health and well-being!

This fight-or-flight response can becoming chronic for many people, and eventually the adrenals can get into burnout. You can read a bit more on how we can use HTMA to determine the health of the adrenals and how we can support their function better.

How to truly fix a hormonal balance

1) Heal your Liver and get that bile flowing! Many of my ladies need a LOT of liver loving/bile support. It seems that when we start healing, the body goes a bit into overdrive and tries to do all the things at once. We need bile to flush out the toxins: the excess copper, the estrogen, the heavy metals, parasites, yeast, etc. But we also need bile for fat utilization and cholesterol balancing. From what I’m seeing, most bodies choose to detox FIRST. The more bile support we add, the easier the process gets. You can read my whole post on bile support here, but my favorites include dandelion root, sunflower lecithin, Gaia Herbs or Herb Pharm Bitter herbs supplements, castor oil packs, and staying hydrated. Bile is one of the main keys for healing constipation too- keeping your colon happy is key in healing from any illness. Also, anything you do to support your overall liver function will help your bile flow!

2) Heal your Adrenals. A general course of action for adrenal fatigue will include good fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats (fat and cholesterol are needed for hormone production), Whole food vitamin C (NOT ascorbic acid), high quality proteins like collagen or whey, animal based vitamin A that you would find in Cod Liver Oil, butter and beef liver, and the most important things are rest, sleep, more rest, and more sleep! It depends on the person’s Na/Mg ratio on the HTMA whether they will need magnesium or a good quality salt like Pink Himalayan, Celtic, Redmond’s Real Salt. Those with OVER-active adrenals need more magnesium, and those with UNDER-active need more sodium (and often cannot tolerate any magnesium!).

3) Balance your minerals. As mentioned above, the main mineral imbalance that is involved in hormonal issues is the copper/zinc balance. Get an HTMA and a blood panel for copper, zinc, and ceruloplasmin to determine your full status on these minerals. HTMA also can give us insight on how well your adrenals, thyroid, and liver are working which also plays a big role in hormonal health.

4) Reducing environmental toxins is also an essential step to healing your liver and hormones.  Many of the chemicals used in beauty products are carcinogenic and are known hormone disruptors, and they mostly mess with estrogen. There are about 82,000 chemicals used in personal care products and most of them are not tested for safety, or how they react to other chemicals. What you use on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream- reducing the amount of toxins you are exposed to helps take strain off of your liver so it can do its job better.

5) SLEEP!!!! Sleep is perhaps the number 1 most critical thing needed to heal from every illness. And yet it is one of the first things that suffers when health starts to suffer.This is the most underestimated healer out there.  We just need sleep! It’s not just because it keeps us happy- it helps us regenerate and heal, as well as helping us to eliminate toxins because our LIVERS work the hardest at night.

If we are always on the go during the day and we aren’t sleeping enough at night, we simply cannot function well.  The first part of ANY healing plan should be to evaluate your sleep.  If you aren’t getting enough because of your schedule, then it is time to cut down on things to take care of yourself no matter how hard this might be.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”  If you are healing from any illness, you have to focus on yourself as much as you can in order to truly heal.  This may be hard for a lot of people but it is crucial!If you having any trouble sleeping, there are a variety of reasons why this could be happening. Read my post on how to bust insomnia here.  You can also check out this article from ARL about the importance of sleep.

More reading:

This awesome article by Dr. Lam was sent to me yesterday which prompted me to finally write about my approach to balancing hormones. He goes over the negative effects of improper progesterone supplementing.

Natural Dental Care

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natural dental health

Natural Dental Care

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

My Top Tips for Improving Dental Health

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

Balance minerals

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

Use cell salts

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

Ditch the fluoride

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

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

Use a better toothpaste

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

Use Cod liver oil

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

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

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

Drink Bone Broth and herbal infusions

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

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

Use powdered eggshells

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

Oil pulling

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

And finally, try to find a holistic dentist.

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

 

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

Why We Need to be our own Best Advocate!

best advocate

Becoming your own best advocate for health is important!

One of the major lessons that I have learned on my own health journey is that as an individual, we have to be the ones that are in charge of ourselves. Growing up, most of us were taught to go to the doctor when we were sick and we were supposed to just do as they said because they were the “experts”. That mentality is something that I find dangerous, even when we are switching over to natural doctors and practitioners. We should never blindly trust anyone!

This is why when I write my posts and talk to my clients, I am constantly explaining things, sending links for them to read more, or just telling them where they can find more info. I never want someone to feel like it’s “my way or the highway”.  I want people to feel empowered to learn more, whether it is to help others in the future or just to help themselves heal at this point in time. I have been on the end of being a client and not having questions answered because the doctor/practitioner didn’t like being questioned. That did nothing but make me feel frustrated and set my healing back a bit because I didn’t understand the “why” behind a lot of things I was told I should be doing.

At the end of the day, we all know ourselves best. And it is important to remember that! Only you can explain the symptoms you are feeling, how you react to certain foods and supplements, and what you feel is the main area of health that you need to focus on. You are responsible for yourself: your health, your attitude, your actions, your choices, etc. You can find people to guide you and help you though! But ultimately, you are the best advocate for yourself.

How to be your own best advocate:

Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. There are a million and one people out there trying to make a quick buck, but there are still many people out there with great information. Find those that are truly offering the best solutions, and not gimmicks. True healing takes time! Learning to sift through the good and bad can take a little time, but it is worth it. Try not to become obsessed though, as that can happen a lot on this journey to better health.

Look for people treating others as individuals. While most people are dealing with the same deficiencies and imbalances, not everyone will be able to tolerate the same treatments. I’ve touched on this in my Biochemical Individuality post and my Individualized Nutrition post before if you want to read more. But basically, anyone that is trying to tell you that we all need exactly the same treatments is someone to question. Everyone is on a different level of health and cannot tolerate the same exact things.

Listen to your instinct. Instinct is real! If your gut/heart/brain is screaming at you that something you are doing isn’t or is right, listen to it. Our bodies are smart- we just have to learn how to listen and respect them.

Look out for quick fixes. It takes decades (and generations in some cases) for health issues to form. While many symptoms can start resolving quickly on a plan, true healing can take a long time. We all have years of damage to undo. Stay clear of things that claim you will be healed in a week (usually these are weight loss gimmicks, but I see them with general health posts every so often).

Have faith that you will heal. Don’t get discouraged. Believe in yourself! Find a good team of docs/practitioners that are all willing to help you heal. One person doesn’t always hold all of the answers (no matter how much a person might wish that were true!). Depending on what YOU are going through, you might need a few people to aid you on your journey.

It’s ok if the above doesn’t speak to you too. If you feel better trusting your practitioner/doctor or team, that is ok too! Some people don’t have the time or energy to learn more. They just want answers and healing. I just want more people to realize that it is ok to be a part of your own healing: you can make decisions, you can ask questions, and you can have doubts. I believe that there should be a team mentality when it comes to practitioners and clients though. Our end goal should be to help people heal!