Brain Fog Helpers- Give me my brain back!

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

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

Adrenal Exhaustion

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

Infections

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

Gut Issues

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

Sluggish Detoxification

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

Sleeping Issues

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

How to heal brain fog naturally

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

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

 

 

brain fog

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

healing from chronic underlying infections

Healing Chronic Underlying Infections

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

How we get these infections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where to Start your Healing

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

This means basic foundational care:

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

 

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

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

Why Healing From a Chronic Illness Can Take So Long- And why you shouldn’t give up!

 

Healing can take a long time- but you shouldn’t give up!

I know the healing journey can be long and sometimes frustrating. I also know that I see so many people looking for that “one thing” that is going to fix them. There is no one thing, I’m sorry to say. Our bodies are so multi-faceted and we really need to look at the whole picture. There really is no need to complicate things though- going back to the basics (especially when you are feeling stuck) can make a big difference, especially at the beginning of your journey.
 
I see it time and time again that people look in nooks and crannies for obscure answers when in reality they are overlooking the basics like healing the gut, getting rid of processed foods, eliminating toxins in the home, looking for underlying infections, or even something like living in a very toxic situation where people are constantly using you or creating negativity.

Why can healing take so long?

1) We didn’t get sick overnight

Many of us are trying to heal from years, decades, or even generations of poor health.  Deficiencies and toxicities can be inherited from our parents, and then most of us continue to live that lifestyle that gave them these issues in the first place. It seems like each generation is getting worse and worse earlier in life too.  So many kids are dealing with autism, seizures, cancer, and more- they’re getting the brunt of the damage thanks to what continues to get passed on through each generation.
You can read my entire post on why we’re all so sick these days right here– it’s a good one to share, especially with those that just don’t believe in WHY so many people are jumping onto the natural healing bandwagon.

2) The Body is a Whole

Healing is NOT easy. It’s not meant to be easy because our bodies are so complex.  If you have one issue going on (like hypothyroidism) there is always going to be other systems out of balance (like the gut or liver).  When we heal, we have to take into consideration all of these parts of the whole- gut, liver, lymph, adrenals, etc as well as the emotional healing side of things.  You can’t neglect the emotional side while trying to heal the physical and I often see people think that there is no need to even heal past traumas.

It’s going to take time, commitment, faith, and a lot of patience to heal.  Even though there are lot of things that are bundled into healing, we don’t need to make things complicated.  If we look at healing in stages instead of trying to work on fixing ALL THE THINGS at once, it gets overwhelming and we’re bound to give up easily.

3) Healing is not Linear

Most of us grew up with the mentality of “take this and be cured”. That is an absolute lie that is perpetuated by conventional medicine.  These days, most people are dealing with many nutritional imbalances, toxicities, and even chronic underlying infections.  Healing happens in stages and in layers- you will feel better for a time, and then feel a bit worse as the body gets through the next layer. Healing reactions, healing crisis, die-off, no matter what you call it, it can happen.  When we suppress symptoms for so long (with conventional medicine), we eventually have to deal with these things as they pop up.

Our bodies heal the way that THEY want to heal us, working from the most important layer to the least.  Often, the last things to resolve are the things we want fixed the fastest- energy, weight loss, brain clarity, etc.  Our bodies are meant to heal and they WILL if we give them time and the right tools.  There will be ups and downs though- you will have good days and bad days, but as time goes on the good will start to outweigh the bad.  A good rule of thumb that I learned when I first started my own healing journey- count on at least 1 month of healing for every year you’ve been sick.

4) Sometimes we just approach things incorrectly at first

There has been so much more info lately about about chronic infections (like Lyme and EBV), heavy metals, and parasites.  More often then not, when we learn about these bad things we just jump right into trying to trying to eradicate, kill off, or detox these things.  So many people overlook the basic foundational care that is needed before even attempting to work on these issues.  You *have* to heal the gut, work on the detox system, clean up your environment,  get overall strength in the body up, and more before working on these issues.  If you dive right into detoxing, you are likely to crash and set yourself back months or even years- I say this not to scare people but just because it is what I have seen so many times.

With our HTMA package, we do try to look at the whole picture and we try to work on the most critical pieces of the puzzle right from the start-which usually involves general foundational care first to start getting the body stronger before getting into these infections and other toxins.  

Healing can be hard, but you can’t give up!

Overall, we really need to start looking at health in a different light- there are no quick fixes, there will be ups and downs, and there will be times you want to give up.  But holding onto the GOOD things that are changing can make the biggest difference (sometimes we forget how much worse we used to be as we start healing- we forget the progress we’ve already made and we keep focusing on the symptoms that are still there).

Stay on your path, learn as much as you can, and have faith that your body is doing what it needs to be doing. You will get there!

Healing on a Budget

healing on a budget

Healing can be hard- but it doesn’t have to be expensive! Here are my tips for Healing on a Budget

When you see the abundance of people out there that are suffering from chronic illness, it can really make you mad! Why are so many people suffering?!  One main reason seems to be that crap food is so super cheap, so people tend more towards cheap, fake foods as their go-to meals instead of real, organic, wholesome foods. And I get it, trust me! By no means does my family eat 100% organic- but we do our best and budget for the absolutely essential foods and supplements we need to stay on our healing journey. I do have some tips on where to shop to save money on real food here as well.

Since I have been thinking of this, I really wanted to put together a good post for those that really want to start healing, but might not have the money to go all out. And honestly, this is the best way to go when you are first starting out on this healing journey! Make baby steps and small changes as time goes on and that will ensure that easiest, most comfortable transition into a natural lifestyle.  Of course, I always will recommend trying to aim for an HTMA first with one of our practitioners because this can eliminate a lot of the guessing when it comes to picking specific supplements and foods that you might need to really get on the best path to health. But there are a lot of things you can start with before you get to that point.

Gut and liver healing

Gut and liver healing are absolutely essential for everyone- period. If you are dealing with any kind of health issue, you will need to do some sort of gut and liver healing. Luckily, a lot of what I tend to recommend for both gut and liver health are affordable and help BOTH gut and liver. To learn more about the remedy listed, just follow the links!

  • Apple cider Vinegar is one of the MOST affordable helpers to help out with gut healing. You can usually find a big ole bottle for $5 and it should last about a month or 2.
  • Aloe Vera is amazing for healing and dealing the gut lining, soothing internal inflammation, and for healing both the liver and colon. George’s brand is my favorite as it is tasteless and 100% pure aloe (most of the aloe supplements out there will have a ton of nasty preservatives as well as a rough taste). **
  • Castor oil Packs help immensely with liver healing and soothing, boosting bile flow, and they are incredibly anti-inflammatory. Many of my clients report amazing results with the packs especially with sleeping, detox support, and with decreasing histamine issues. **
  • Dandelion root tea runs you about $4-5 for 16 tea bags (Traditional Medicinals brand is great!). Dandelion helps with liver healing, bile flow (essential for detoxing, fat/protein utilization, and proper absorption of fat soluble vitamins)
  • Bitter herbs– Dandelion root itself is a bitter, but the blends like Herb Pharm’s Better Bitters are relatively affordable and very effective at stimulating production of stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and bile flow. **
  • Fermented foods are 100 times cheaper than probiotic supplements and I honestly think they are much more effective in the long term. You can spend less than $20 a month on produce to ferment some veggies, where many of the popular and actually effective probiotic supplements will run you at least $40-60 a month. Not everyone can tolerate fermented foods at first, especially if there are histamine issues going on, but it’s still an important part of gut healing.
  • Bone broth or collagen. Bone broth is relatively affodable to make, especially if your family has access to organic whole chickens. Just cook the chicken in the crockpot and save the bones for the broth! Read here for an easy recipe. Good, high quality collagen powder can be pricey, but always stay tuned for sales from Perfect Supplements- you can snatch up a few tubs of collagen for 30-45% off at these sales.

**Not to be used while pregnant or nursing! Please click the links on the remedy to learn more about specific reasons**

Nutrient Dense Food Options and Nutritional Support

When it comes to nutrition, I’m all about getting more bang for your buck. Gut and liver healing play a role in this as well- the better your digestion, the more you are going to absorb from your food! There are a lot of awesome, nutrient dense foods that won’t break the bank too.

  • Herbal Infusions- These are the BEST alternatives for multivitamins. Nettles and chickweed are the best for general use for many different health issues, but oatstraw, red raspberry, and red clover are other popular ones. You can read all about herbal infusions here! A 1 pound bag of any of these herbs will run between $15-20 and a bag will last about a month depending on how frequent you do the infusions.
  • Dead Sea Salt Baths or Foot Baths- you can find a good dead sea salt bath mix that is relatively affordable on Amazon. Doing these baths can be a easy, cheap, and effective way to get in some awesome bioavailable minerals, especially when you are working on gut healing.
  • 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.
  • Bone broth (see info in the gut section!)
  • Keep an eye out for sales on Perfect Supplements and BioRay as well! They both tend to offer sales a few times a year. They both offer truly amazing, high quality supplements. I tend to announce sales through my newsletter, so be sure to sign up if you haven’t already!

I’ll likely add more to this as time goes on, but this is quite a big list of ideas to start with! I hope it helps to know that healing doesn’t have to be hard or majorly expensive.

healing on a budget

Long Term Healing

long term healing

Long Term Healing

When I first got into natural health, I fell into the trap of using lots of isolated supplements and I was always matching my ill to a pill. As time went on, I realized how absolutely NOT holistic or natural this was! We are not just symptoms- we are a whole person. Allopathic natural health is REAL and it needs to stop.  It wasn’t until I found HTMA that I finally felt like I had a solid path to figure out what we all need as individuals.  It really reinforced my thoughts about why “popping and praying” isn’t the answer.

All of the research done for HTMA and mineral balancing includes a lot of information about co-factors and antagonists of all of the main minerals.  I have an outline on the major interactions here that you can check out.  Hopefully when you read it you will be able to see how absolutely insane it is to promote usage of isolated “nutrients”, especially for long term use. One nutrient can mess up the balance of many others in the body! How does that make sense?  What really throws me off is that even with all of this awesome research, many people that use HTMA and mineral balancing are STILL using these methods of 20+ isolated nutrients in their plans.

Call me crazy, but that is just against all common sense. Especially when we KNOW that one nutrient taken on its own can throw many others out of balance.

 

This is why I am all about LONG TERM HEALING. What exactly does that mean to me? It means NOT creating further imbalances as we heal. It means looking at the body as a whole, not in fragmented parts. It means creating plans for sustainable healing where you will not become dependent on 10+ pills a day just to maintain your nutrient levels. It means healing at a deeper level so you will actually HEAL, not just cover up symptoms forever.

Long Term Healing is mostly about not getting dependent on supplements for life

When we use as much food/herbs/natural methods to heal, we are looking at things in the long term. I have seen so many people that start protocols that require 10,20, 30+ capsules a day and they might feel better for a time. But then they try to get off of their supplements, and lo and behold- their symptoms come back! When we make dietary changes as well as work to fully heal the gut and liver (which are the biggest keys here!!), we are making LONG TERM changes so you do not become dependent on supplements forever.

There are SO many other components to food that you will never find in synthetic supplements: phytochemicals, fiber, fat, protein, carbs, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, plant pigments, amino acids, fatty acids, isothicyanates. indoles, coumarins, antioxidants, enzymes, and more! Some of these components (like bioflavoinoids) used to be considered vitamins all on their own because of their importance to our health.

Sure, crutches can be helpful as we’re healing to help with symptom management. But I am always thinking of the long term. Taking certain supplements in isolation long term can create further imbalances in the body. This method will make you constantly chase the next imbalance to work on! The whole food/whole body approach takes time but it is the deepest, more complete way to heal.

Negative impact of isolated supplementation

One of the biggest reasons why I am so adamant about this is because I have SEEN the negative side effects of isolated supplementation. I have seen people take 15-150mg of zinc at once at the suggestion of a doctor or practitioner, and I have heard from them about how they felt severe symptoms like paranoia, extreme OCD type symptoms, or they dealt with severe panic attacks because of how quickly copper can get antagonized.

I have seen HUNDREDS of people that have crashed from isolated magnesium supplementation at this point (because magnesium LOWERS adrenal function and LOWERS sodium, and it can especially be detrimental in slow oxidizers, which 80% of people are!).  I have heard from people that developed yeast infections, tinnitus, and more from even moderate doses of ascorbic acid.

Another main reason why I am adamant on this stance is because I have seen the impact that isolated nutrients have on the HTMAs over the last few years. LEVELS RARELY CHANGE! I have known people that have been on certain isolated nutrients for years, and their HTMA levels NEVER budge. When I tell them how these supplements are not very bio-available to the body and never really resolve things, they usually admit that if they stop the supplement their symptoms come back in a few days!

That is not solving anything- I want to try and prevent people from falling into this false sense of security that more is better and that these “nutrients” are actually used by the body. In comparison, many of my clients that were on massive doses of isolated nutrients for years and then switched to my whole food method were not only seeing changes in their tests, but their symptoms no longer returned, even when taking breaks on the foods/herbs that we had them doing. When we use food, you are getting the natural co-factors of the nutrients PLUS so much more.

It WILL take time to heal

There is no getting around the fact that it takes time to fully heal. Many of us are dealing with years, decades, or even generations of poor health (because nutritional deficiencies and toxicities can be passed on from mother to child).  All of the main issues with health started in the WWII era due to the introduction of the high estrogen birth control pill, supermarkets with processed foods, the increase of toxic chemical use in our everyday products, and more. We are ALL sick these days– and it will take time to undo all of this damage. My goal is to do this in the easiest, most effective way possible with our nutritional plans. Many people are dealing with dozens of nutrient imbalances and toxicities these days.  It is a much more complex issue than just popping a handful of supplements a few times a day unfortunately.

Mineral balancing research (and in my experience) says that it commonly takes about 18 months to 2 years to full heal the body.  These days it can take longer as we are dealing with more complex issues: Lyme, Mold illness, vaccine damage, antibiotic damage, heavy metals, EMF exposure, etc. When the body starts getting what it needs, healing can start rapidly though and many people start noticing changes in a few weeks- a few months. FULL healing will take longer.

BUT PEOPLE DO HEAL. And that is the main thing to focus on. My purpose of this post is to explain why we at  Sassy Holistics have such a different approach than most health coaches out there. We are not looking to mask symptoms- we are looking to truly help you find better health and wellness. We know how frustrating it can be to be on the healing journey, trust me! We have been there, and we have healed.

Use this new year to get back on track with true long term healing with HTMA!

 

long term healing

Preparing for a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy

happy, healthy pregnancy

Preparing for a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy- naturally!

We really need to start working on our health YEARS before even thinking about conception. There are a few main reasons why:

  1. So many women are dealing with postpartum depression (or other postpartum issues) these days.
  2. Kids are dealing with extreme health issues these days, and now they have shorter life spans than we do. (more on this here!)
  3. We need to break this cycle of depleted, toxic, and burnt out people having children that start life out with these same issues. Cases of children with adrenal burnout have been reported since the 90s (source)! It’s time for change!

It can take a few years to fully undo the damage of a Standard American diet coupled with a fast-paced, stress-filled lifestyle. Most of us don’t even think about taking care of our health until a few months before we want to get pregnant (or worse- we don’t make changes UNTIL we are pregnant!). If we want to have happy, healthy pregnancies that lead to happy, healthy babies we need to start making changes sooner. Let’s go over the main changes to make and what we can do to really have a great pregnancy!

Nutrition

The absolute first step on the road to better health is to get an HTMA. This is the best way to determine your personal mineral imbalances, your adrenal strength, and your metabolic rate to figure out what YOU need as an individual.  With an HTMA protocol, you will get the ultimate start on healing your body and preparing for pregnancy.  Plus, HTMA is something great to keep up with during pregnancy and in the postpartum period to make sure your body is running as well as it can.

What are the basics of fixing our nutrition though?

  1. Nutrient Dense Foods- Fruits, vegetables; full fat foods like butter, ghee, and coconut oil; organic/grass-fed whole milk dairy products; fermented foods; eggs; grass-fed meat; beef liver every so often if you can handle it! You can see my whole post on general diet recommendations here, including what to avoid.
  2. Herbal Infusions– Nettles and Red Raspberry leaf are the 2 best herbs for pregnancy and nursing. Nettle infusions are full of vitamin K, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium, and they help the kidneys, liver, and adrenals.  Red Raspberry leaf is a well-known uterine tonic and helps to keep hormones balanced, especially after birth. Both of these are great to use pre-conception to heal hormones and replenish nutrient levels.  Nettles are best for everyday use, while RRL is best for use around your menstrual cycle. (If you are dealing with menstrual cycle issues, check this post out here).
  3. Focus on Gut Health– we need sufficient stomach acid and bile to digest a lot of our nutrients and to take care of nasty things like bacteria and parasites. Using either a probiotic or eating fermented foods is essential as well.
  4. Heal your liver! What does the liver have to do with pregnancy?! Quite a bit! We need happy livers to keep copper balanced (which is something that can get extremely imbalanced during pregnancy as copper tends to triple!). We also need happy livers to utilize fats and fat soluble nutrients, and to keep our detoxification system working properly. My favorite liver lovers are Liver Life from BioRay, dandelion root tea, nettle infusions, ACV, lemon, beets, sunflower lecithin, and castor oil packs.
  5. I recently spoke to someone at BioRay about what is best for use while pregnant or preparing for pregnancy. They recommend the Total Body Detox as the best solution if possible. If not, then go for Detox Quartet, followed by Lady Passion for women and Red Rooster for men until you are pregnant. . Loving Energy, Liver Life, and Belly Mend are ok to use with guidance during pregnancy as well. Check out the chart with more info here! Plus, you can use the code SASSY at checkout for a discount!

Clean up your home!

No, I’m not talking about spraying the whole house with disinfectant. I am talking about switching out all of your current household products for CLEANER versions. This includes soap, shampoo, deodorant, candles, laundry detergent, and even furniture if possible!

Why, you ask?

There has been at least one study done on US infants about how babies are born with about 200 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood (source). This was done in 2004, so imagine how much worse it is these days, especially knowing that there are 82,000 known chemicals used in everyday household items, and most of them have never been tested for safety. These chemicals are cancer causing, hormone disrupting (especially causing infertility), and skin irritants. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and using these harsh products on our skin daily is truly wreaking havoc for our health. Not only do WE absorb these- these can be passed on in utero to our babies!

Here is my entire list of things to switch out in the home, and what I use personally!

There you have it- my top tips for preparing for a happy, healthy pregnancy! As you can see, it can take a lot of time, effort, and commitment to prepare for this, which is why we need to start taking care of our health from an earlier age. But, baby steps are fine! Start with one thing at a time to ease into the changes. The sooner we do this, the sooner we can create a healthier generation that has a brighter future with less chronic illness.

Achieving Health and Wellness with Sassy Holistics

Achieving Health and Wellness with Sassy Holistics

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

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

What we do to help you heal:

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

Read more here!

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

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!

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

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

Sassy Holistics – Adult Healing Essentials #1

  • Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen- 660 grams, 60 Servings
  • Perfect Desiccated Liver – 120 Capsules
  • Bioray Liver Life – 4 oz liquid
  • Garden of Life – Vitamin Code – Raw Vitamin C, 120 capsules

Sassy Holistics – Adult Healing Essentials #2

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

Sassy Holistics – Gut Healing Essentials

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

Sassy Holistics – Kids Healing Essentials

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

Sassy Holistics – Detox Package

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

Adrenal Fatigue and Kids

adrenal fatigue and kids

Healing Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

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

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

How to Test for Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

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

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

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

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

Treating Adrenal Fatigue in Kids

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

Gut and Liver Healing

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

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

Lymph Health

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

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

Diet/Lifestyle

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

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

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

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

 

So…

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

More reading:

Nutritional Balancing and Kids

Burnout in Children

Children’s Growth and Development

adrenal fatigue and kids