Posts filed under nutrition

How to Love a Bum Knee {Practical Tips for Joint Care}

I'm pressing on with my commitment to wellness and healing this year; honoring the gift of my body as the primary tool of service in my vocation; recognizing the stumbling blocks of getting... um... older. A little nuts and bolts for body maintenance today...


When I was 15 years old, I blew out my knee in a freak hurdling accident. Complete tear of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), cartilage damage, blah, blah, blah. It required reconstructive surgery and extensive physical therapy. I went on to fully participate in life and sports but my knee has never really been the same. 

I'll never forget the words my doctor told me after surgery: "You'll have to keep those supporting muscles strong for the rest of your life. Good preventative care will save you much struggle"

Uh huh. Said the teenager. 

So here I am a couple decades older, wiser, and creakier, wishing I had heeded his advice. I have learned about body maintenance the hard way but here are a few ways I keep the swelling and pain down and increase my overall knee health...

NUTRITION

Okay... nutrition will always be number one for me no matter the topic. But that's because it does matter. My surgery knee is a classic example...

For 20 years, the swelling in my knee was a 24-hour given. In all that time, I was never able to sit back on my heels. Never had that kind of mobility even though I was fit enough. Then I started a radical elimination diet for other reasons. Ready for my miracle?

Within 3 days (THREE!), I was able to sit back on my heels like I was a toddler again. After TWENTY years. I had no idea that my joints were in a constant state of swelling from my poor diet. All the years of all-over body pain and so many injuries... it all started to make sense. 

Fix the diet... feed the knees.

STRENGTH

The doctor was right. Don't stop moving. Keep oiling the machine. Strengthen the muscles. Those joints need it even when they hurt! As we age, it is even more important to add some strength training. Your knees need you to help them bear the load. 

POSTURE

I've recommended this book before for helping with proper body alignment and posture and I do it again. Your knees have the necessary disadvantage of being attached to every other part of your body. If you are off a bit somewhere above or below, the knee is going to take a beating.

SQUAT PROPERLY

When exercising, stick the bootie out to do squats. No knees over the toes. Pretend you're sitting in a chair and put your weight on your heels. 

WEIGHT

I have noticed over the years that my knee pain is much more controllable if I fall within 5 pounds of what I know to be my ideal weight. It's a small margin but it does make a difference... and science backs up my experience. Researchers say that each one pound of weight lost reduces knee pressure by 48,000 pounds per mile! Fortunately, my clean diet is self-regulating. I generally don't have to scale watch. Pregnancy is an obvious exception and I am more careful.

DECREASE INFLAMMATION

I don't use commercial creams and only rarely use OTC medications, but I am loving this simple recipe for knee pain and swelling. The affect for me is quick and relieving. This is particularly helpful in pregnancy when my weight surpasses the weight load ideal for my knees. I use it prior to a workouts to help reduce swelling (and consequently prevent injury), and after workouts to relieve any soreness and stiffness. 

Every person's body is different, but this natural blend provides me with noticeable swelling relief directly after application. The natural plant compounds provide anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits. It often makes the difference between being able to fully straighten my knee or not. 

Directions {including affiliate links}...

I generally fill my roller ball bottles at a 1:10 ratio which breaks down to about 20 drops per 10 mL bottles. That dilutes enough to be safe but effective for all in the house. 

1) Add 20 drops of the following essential oils to a 10mL roller bottle:

  • 10 drops Soothing Blend (Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysum, and Osmanthus) This is a proprietary blend that I LOVE from the company I purchase oils from. (You can purchase directly HERE. or contact me to learn more about essential oils and how to get 25% off.)
  • 5 drops Juniper Berry
  • 5 drops Frankincense

2) Fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil. I use fractionated coconut oil.

3) Put the roller and cap on, give a gentle shake, and label. ALWAYS label. 

4) Roll on as needed.


As old-ish as I feel sometimes, I know that these knees have probably only carried me for half of my life journey. I have a lot of living left to do... lots of little ones to carry... and big ones to keep up with. I'm not ready to decline yet! 

Thanks be to God for the gift of this body. I intend to do my best to take care of it. 

Do you have any tips for knee health? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments.

Posted on February 29, 2016 and filed under DIY, fitness, nutrition, wellness.

Environment: The Forgotten Pillar of Health

This is the final post in my Rising to Joy wellness series... but I find it's subject the most difficult to share... And certainly the most neglected. After the first two pillars of wellness (Nutrition and Movement), the subject of environment almost seems excessive. Or nutty. Or maybe just overwhelming.

Stay with me for a couple minutes while I make my case. I'll tell you why I must prioritize it... and why it is making a difference in my journey to health and joy.

A couple things before I dive in...

  • I'm not a doctor. Please don't use my opinions to replace those of your physician.
  • This is not a journey of perfection but of wellness. Small forward steps are still victories. 
  • Our bodies are different... our journeys are not going to look the same.
  • There are affiliate links in these posts which means I earn pennies if you click and buy. But I don't link unless I love and use the product and would recommend it to you over a cup of coffee. Exceptions will be noted.
  • Above all, remember to submit everything to Christ... so that any perceived failures, sufferings, or victories will all be for His glory and your sanctification.  

ONWARD!


ENVIRONMENT

It has become so commonplace to hear about the toxins in our food, air, water, shampoos, etc. that most of us either ignore it or give a brief nod to our concerns by occasionally buying "green." We are desensitized, tired and busy. 

We all get it. We want to do better. We wince when we recognize known (or probable carcinogens) in our personal care or cleaning products . So we buy a "natural" product, don't love it or can't afford it, and decide the greater of two evils is the present difficulty and not the remote possibility of fatal disease. We care but...

We're surrounded by toxic chemicals anyway. Really... how much control can we have?

I'm going to tell you my story as a way of answering that question. And then I'm going to tell you my plan for taking my health journey another easy step forward...


MY BODY SAID "ENOUGH"

Many of you have already read about the decades of chronic pain and illness that drove me to undertake a dramatic dietary overhaul. It changed my life. Brought me back to life. But in addition to the major systemic symptoms that I experienced for most of my life, I also have sensitivities to other environmental factors as well.

Among those challenges are migraines, asthma, allergies, and contact reactions. Annoying and disruptive. Even before I ever thought about changing my diet, I was already changing my environment just to survive my reactive days. 

For the past 10 years, I have only been able to wear handmade make-up that I purchased on Etsy. I have been unable to use any commercial lotions, moisturizers, or perfumes. I avoid Bath and Body Works like the Bubonic Plague and once, in high school, I spent an hour in the bathroom hiding and crying after applying a friend's Victoria Secret moisturizer to my dry face. (Picture a sun burn covered in bee stings and you've got it right.) As an adult, I still have a mini panic attack when I have to sit next to a highly synthetically scented person in a public waiting area. My frequent plea: Please God, get me through this without wheezing , hives, or unsightly grimaces.

I never thought this made me a health freak. It was pure survival. When your face breaks out into painful hives after applying a commercial "natural" product, you learn pretty quickly what ingredients to avoid. For me, it was pretty much everything synthetic. But I never thought about it as a "health" issue... only vanity and annoyance. 

When I changed my nutrition habits and became a food label reader, the connection between environment and systemic health began to make sense to me for the first time. Here I was scouring labels like the food detective that I needed to be... just like I had been a product label reader for a decade. And the toxic chemical connection began to click...

My body hates this stuff. All of it. Beyond that, much of it is known to harm the body... so what I am I doing? If I won't eat it, why I am smearing it all over my skin where it leaches into my blood stream? Why am I using toxic products that are known to cause cancer AND cross the placenta? I recently read that tests done on newborn cord blood revealed the presence of over 200 chemicals.

Okay then...

I began to make some of my own products...

  • Laundry detergent is one of the most toxic household respiratory dangers in the house? And the number one health related disease in those who work at home is respiratory? Call me a chemist... I'm mixing up my own soap.
  • Face cleansers burn and cause me hives? Okay then... I'll use the oil cleansing method.
  • Lip balm causes my lips to peel? Heat up the double boiler... we're making our own.

My response was primarily reactionary. But now I'm transitioning to the intentional. Does it matter if I can't see or feel the results? Shouldn't I still pay attention? There are so many things about our environment that we can't control. But if I can clean some of it up, why don't I? 

This pregnancy has dealt my body a very hard blow and as I focus on rebuilding my shattered immune system, I know that I have to make lifestyle changes across the board. There was one recent lesson that really hit home...

To save time and energy after running out of my homemade laundry soap, I used the back up bottle of commercial (dye free, scent free) detergent that I had sworn off. The result ended in a painful and terrible two days for my daughter who, like me, has a body that quickly says ENOUGH. And so I said it, too... ENOUGH! And I started over...


SOLUTIONS

I'm going to stop my story there and move on to solutions since that really is the big question. Who doesn't want to be toxin free? No one wants cancer or endocrine disease. Most of us do care but...

1) Don't realize the cumulative negative affect toxic chemicals have on our body's ability to thrive. and
2) Find the cost or time of pursuing a better environment prohibitive. 

I know that some of you are going to say: "Look. We live in a toxic world. We can't escape it. I've got things to do... priorities. I don't have the time or money to be a control freak about this stuff."

I hear you. I hear you. In a culture where corporate marketing drives our consumer habits, living simply with healthy ingredients has become a privilege for the wealthy. Bizarre.

We also live in a culture that is plagued with disease because of our dietary choices, sedentary lifestyle, and fixation on pleasure, convenience, and gluttony. Sometimes, we need to just say... I don't want to buy in. God made me for more. 

I can't pretend that this topic and it's solution don't involve STUFF... because they do. This is about what we use on a daily basis through choice or necessity. But it is pretty much about stuff. We wear make-up, wash our hair, clean our floors, lotion our legs, apply deodorant, wear perfume, burn candles, spray air freshener.... we shop and consume. A lot. 

The sad truth is that just because a bottle in the store says "natural" or "green" and has a leaf on it, doesn't mean that it isn't toxic. FDA regulations only cover so much. We have to be smart consumers. 

So what I'm going to do here is share my absolute favorite resources for purchase for those of you who are in a position to buy (or who, like me, are forced to prioritize spending for health reasons). There are other resources but these are ones that I spend money on and use daily so I have zero qualms about recommending. I will also share resources for those who can afford the time to make your own (or who, like me, have a secret dream of being a soap maker when I grow up).

Enjoy... and please feel free to contact me with any questions.


MY HANDS-DOWN FAVORITE 'CLEAN AND HEALTHY' PRODUCTS


ESSENTIAL OILS

I know... It's a fad. But when undertaken with care, it's a pretty amazing fad. Give me your ear for an hour or two and I'll tell you how these little brown bottles have improved my (and my family's) days, weeks, and life. Magic? No. But REALLY good. 

There are two primary ways that I use essential oils to improve my environment...

1) I diffuse to improve air quality and to derive essential benefits aromatically, and
2) I use them topically and in my homemade products (bath and body, cleaning, immune support) to real benefits and a gorgeous scent (that doesn't set off my asthma).

I can go on all day but I'll just share a link here where you can find out more about why I love them, which ones I use, and where to get your own. Yes, I am a representative for my favorite company. And if you know me, you know that means I'm willing to stake my reputation on them. READ MORE HERE about my approach (and how to buy)...

Any Blossoming Joy readers who end up purchasing with me will receive a free "RISE" bracelet from my shop, free bottle of orange essential oil, roller bottles, and education support package. We're in this together and I want you to know how much it means to me. (Make sure to drop me a note so I know you're a reader!)

(And please don't buy oils from Walmart just because they're cheap. The market is saturated with oils that say "pure" but neglect to inform you of the synthetic fillers. Pure essential oils are very costly to distill and... Synthetics are cheap. So that's why some oils are cheap. Bad for the body. I would feel terrible if you went and did that and I hadn't warned you!)


BUY FROM GOOD COMPANIES

Sometimes I don't have the time or inclination to play chemist. I have tried to DIY my make-up and... I didn't excel. I have done my fair share of cleaning DIY... but the results are not always as safe as I would like or as effective. My make-up supplier is temporarily closed (huge bummer) so I will share that as soon as I'm able in another post. But here is my recommendation for basic cleaning when I don't have the time or inclination to make my own...

DR. BRONNER'S  

There's not a whole lot you can't use this soap for. It's basic, it's versatile, it's safe. I like to buy the larger sizes and use small amounts to fill scrubbing buckets, all-purpose sprayers, and various other needs like laundry or hand soap. These are the two varieties I buy:

Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade and Organic Liquid Castille Soap

My favorites to use are the almond scent and the unscented soap. A little goes a long way! The unscented allows me to add essential oils for any extra benefits or scents that I like. Gentle but effective. Friends of mine even use this soap for teeth brushing! For more ideas...  18 Uses for Dr. Bronner's Soaps

Dr. Bronners's Sals Suds (Cleaning Soap)

This soap is still mild but with more cleaning power than the liquid castille. It has a light pine scent that is nice on it's own but faint enough to add your own essential oil to without issue. Use diluted as a laundry pretreatment or add a teaspoon to a quart of water for most surfaces. Available in 16 oz, 32 ounce or Gallon sizes. A little goes a long way!


DO IT YOURSELF {It's not that hard}

If you do nothing else in the way of homemade loveliness, please do make your own lip balm. It's almost fool proof and you will have enough for a year in under an hour (if that). Use your favorite gorgeous essential oils (mine are orange, grapefruit, and peppermint) and have the satisfaction of just knowing you did it. Aside from that, I'm going to step aside and just give you a few amazing links that will keep you occupied with recipes for as long as you like. If you want me to let your husband know that you'll be busy for a while, just give me his email... I'll handle it.

  • Pinterest - Welcome to my ever growing board of "Handmade clean and healthy"... and my newer "Essential Oil DIY." Tons and tons of resources and easy, beautiful recipes. You could spend your entire earthly life following gorgeous links on Pinterest... ask me how I know. ;)
  • Mommypotamus - Tons of DIY recipes and information
  • WellnessMama - Many beautiful options for homemade goodness.
  • HumbleBee and Me - For those who want to dive a little deeper, this gal has an archive to drool over. Her ingredient lists are often longer and more complex but not always. I often find great ideas here and look for simpler solutions elsewhere based on what she is making.

Questions? Suggestions? Comments? Please share here or send me a note. We're all on the same journey and I'm eager to learn from you!

 

 

Posted on January 25, 2016 and filed under wellness, nutrition, fitness, Beauty.

Nutrition: The Key to Wellness

In my introductory post for my new Wellness Journey, I mentioned the three pillars of wellness (in addition to the foundational spiritual element) that hold up the structure of health: 

1) Nutrition
2) Movement
3) Environment

I'm going to jump right in with Nutrition today and share the basics that have transformed my life. I have left two decades of chronic pain and illness behind me... and I have no intention of going back. 

Before I get into the guidelines that I use for my personal plan, I have a few very important points to go over...

  • I am not a doctor or a professional wellness expert. Please do not use my words or recommendations to replace sound medical advice. Blog posts are necessarily broad and cannot replace personal care by a wellness professional.
  • This is a journey of wellness NOT perfection. Progress is not measured by the end of the journey but by the small victories... the private healthy choices... the one decision you made in a day that honored your goals. 
  • It's not a race. I have been on this journey for 4 years and I am still struggling and still falling and rising. This is not a one-time diet that I can "fail" at but a lifetime of little choices. Until my final hour, there will always be another moment to choose to be a little healthier and a little holier. I'm not better than you are... I'm walking with you.
  • Every journey is different. God designed our bodies to function according to certain physical laws but we all have different strengths, weaknesses, sensitivities, and preferences. My goal here is not to make you exactly like me... but to help you be a better you. If what I write doesn't resonate or fit with your life... you have no obligation to read or follow.
  • Every good choice is a victory. If you have been sick for a long time, are overwhelmed by your life circumstances, or are pregnant or postpartum... please go gently. This is not a competition.  We will not be counting failures.
  • Remember your purpose. Resolutions fail because the purpose is less compelling than the comfort of staying where we're at. Find your purpose... find your strength. My purpose is HERE.
  • There will be some affiliate links in these posts... but I will not link to any product that I have not personally used and find worthy of a recommendation. If I have not used it but have a good reason to link, I will indicate that in the post. 

Now... let's get healthy!


NUTRITION

I put this first because it must be first. Nutrition is the fuel that runs our bodies... our brains... our hormones... everything. If you exercise every day but stuff your body full of garbage, you are setting yourself up for current or future struggles. If you exercise daily, eliminate garbage, but do not meet your body's fundamental nutritional needs, you are still setting yourself up for future problems, particularly if you have had multiple pregnancies or illnesses. I know this intellectually but also through experience... I am living it. Nine pregnancies and two decades battling chronic illness. A gal gets depleted. 

Our bodies are incredible.... AMAZING... beautiful... and we were designed to function optimally with nutritious food, but the typical American diet does not take those needs seriously. Consequently, we live in a first world country that is plagued with disease... much of which is avoidable It is common knowledge that much disease (and symptoms of unavoidable disease) can be eliminated by eating a nutrient-dense, garbage-free diet and living a healthy lifestyle. Modern medicine is marvelous... but no doctor or surgery or medication can replace God's plan for normal, healing nutrition and movement. 

The following information contains the basic skeleton of my personal nutrition plan. The blog format necessitates the exclusion of many details but this is a basic overview.... 


TRANSFORMING MY HEALTH THROUGH NUTRITION 

{Current habit and goals with friendly suggestions for my readers}

  1. CUT OUT GARBAGE
  2. INCREASE REAL NUTRITION
  3. SHOP THE PERIMETER
  4. THE FEWER INGREDIENTS, THE BETTER
  5. EAT NUTRITIONALLY DENSE FOODS
  6. EMBRACE THE FAT
  7. CAREFUL SUPPLEMENTING
  8. NEVER STOP LEARNING {FIND A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM}

1. CUT OUT GARBAGE

The human body is incredible. The balance of hormones and systems is finely tuned and designed to function with seasonal, real food. It is extremely resilient and can survive and thrive for a long time on inferior nutrition or periods of fasting.... through days, seasons, and even decades. But if we use garbage "food" to fuel the body on a regular basis, we will eventually damage the beautiful machine and we'll certainly experience ill effects before then. 

The good news is that the body also has a remarkable ability to heal. If you're like me and have abused your own body nutritionally for most of your life, then it might take a longer period of hard work... but every small step is worth it! I'm on my fourth year (and second pregnancy) of gluten-free, clean eating... and I'm not even tempted to go back. I cannot overstate the positive affect that those changes have made on my life.

Once upon a time, I told my husband I thought that I would die if I had another baby and I truly believed it. But in between that pregnancy and the next, I changed my diet and consequently, my life. And I didn't die. Not even close.
When I was 35, I told him that I would surely be in a wheelchair by the time I was 40. I am now 39... and thriving. 

LET'S BE HONEST... The trial of going without chemically enhanced lattes and Oreo cookies is a first world problem. You don't have to have them. And the obligations of your vocation may be calling you to let them go. If you eat junk regularly and also complain about IBS, fatigue, diabetes, joint pain, headaches, etc... then it may be time to start thinking about the stress you've been putting on your body all these years and the investment you want to make for the future.

The good news is that now is a GREAT time to begin to make changes regardless of the challenges you face in life. There is always a small change you can make toward health.


Things to consider eliminating immediately...

  • CORN SYRUP
    Should not even be used in moderation. Read more "5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You"
  • WHEAT/GLUTEN
    Wheat is not inherently evil... but the way that the majority of flour is produced in the last 50 years renders it a nutritionally empty source of calories, and increasing numbers of people are developing sensitivities. Why? Good question. Read more HERE. If you do not have an intolerance, you will still benefit nutritionally from replacing most or all of your bread and pasta with vegetables and nutritionally dense carbs. You will also eliminate a huge source of extra pounds! The elimination of gluten changed my life
  • PACKAGED FOODS
    There are exceptions to the this but by and large, if a food is packaged, it generally needs non-food chemicals to keep it from rotting, breaking, separating, or to enhance its denatured flavor.
  • PACKAGED FOODS LABELED 'GLUTEN FREE'
    Make no mistake... The majority is junk food. Nutritionally empty. Just eat real food instead. Have you ever heard anyone say "I gained weight on a gluten-free diet"? Yep, me too... lots of times. Well, it makes sense if they are simply replacing their empty carbs with more empty carbs. 
  • ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
    Most simply are not healthy to consume. Use natural sweeteners instead.
  • SUGAR
    I know... I know... All things in moderation, right? But the American idea of "moderation" and the body's idea of moderation seem to be at odds. Modern science recognizes that sugar is a source of inflammation in the body... and that inflammation is a common cause of preventable disease. So... consider less damaging alternatives (honey, real maple syrup, coconut sugar) and also making even those splurges rare since they tend to increase more sweet cravings. read more here
  • ALL SODA  
    This is a no-brainer. We know this. Regular is terrible for you. Diet is just as bad for you.

2. INCREASE REAL NUTRITION

After first cutting out garbage, it can initially seem difficult to find nutritious replacements. We are used to eating from boxes and bags and have been desensitized to the long list of ingredients on labels. The following tips will help you navigate... 

3. SHOP THE PERIMETER

Most real foods will be found in the produce and refrigerated sections of a grocery store. Avoiding processed, nutrient-deficient foods generally means eliminating many of the middle aisles. Shop fresh.

4. THE FEWER INGREDIENTS, THE BETTER

One-ingredient foods are the best option. If you're buying chicken, you want chicken... not chicken with a list of hard to spell chemicals listed after. If you're buying broccoli, you want broccoli... not broccoli, colorants, and preservatives. When buying from a can or a box, go for the one that has the fewest and most recognizable ingredients. For example, a simple can of kidney beans usually contains some form of sugar. Put back the ones that list corn syrup and chemicals... and keep looking until you find the healthiest, fewest ingredients added to your beans.

5. EAT NUTRITIONALLY DENSE FOODS

Long term health does not count calories but weighs nutrition. The best path to weight loss is a body that has the proper fuel when it needs it. If you overeat regularly, calories will add up, but I've got to tell you... it's a lot harder to gain extra weight when you're doubling up on real food than if you're doubling up on the pasta. Make the calories count and your appetite will more likely regulate itself. You will remember what it's like to be truly hungry. There won't be bloating to confuse or guilt you. You can just eat.

Also, not all whole foods are created equal. If you are short on nutrients (almost all of us are), then you might want to make your pile of dark leafy greens significantly larger than your pile of rice. 

6. EMBRACE THE FAT

It is time to leave the diet fads and pseudo-science of the 1980's behind. Dump the margarine... Embrace the full-fat grass-fed butter. Why? Because margarine is chemically-laden garbage food and your brain and body NEED healthy fats to stay healthy. Every cell in your body is made up of fats... you have a fundamental biologic need for fat. 

I have noticed in my own diet that when I eat more healthy fats, my cravings are reduced, I have more energy, less brain fog, and have no trouble with weight gain. When I skimp on the fats, I end up eating more of everything else and struggling with energy. 

WHAT FATTY OILS TO GET RID OF COMPLETELY....

vegetable oil
canola oil
cottonseed oil
transfats
soybean oil
hydrogenated oil

WHAT OILS TO INCREASE ...

coconut oil
cold olive oil
grapeseed oil
organic butter
ghee (clarified butter)

Here is a great overview of what fats you should and shouldn't be eating and how you should or shouldn't be using them. FATS & OILS

MY FAVORITE WAYS TO GET MORE FAT IN MY DIET...

avocados
nuts
full fat coconut milk
organic full fat butter
organic bacon... because... bacon.

7. CONSIDER CAREFUL SUPPLEMENTING

Before saying another word about supplements, I must reiterate:

A NOURISHING DIET IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY SUPPLEMENT.  PILLS WILL NOT SAVE YOU FROM BAD FOOD CHOICES. Supplements only become a need when our diet is inadequate. Having said that...

I am a supplement convert. I never "believed" in the idea and thought that I could just get what I needed through food. I was wrong. Countless years of nutrient deprivation from poor eating, malabsorption, and ignorance left me seriously depleted of nutrients. And unfortunately (due to chronic issues and perhaps age), it isn't just correcting itself by eating a steak and a hearty salad periodically. My age and body abuse have left me struggling and for the first time, I'm leaning on good supplements to get through my days.

It is VERY important to note that the vitamin and supplement industry is basically unregulated. That means that your Walmart multi-vitamins could very well contain Chinese sawdust... and mold. When testing has been done on OTC supplements, supplements have regularly been found to falsely advertise content and quantities. What to do? 

Do your research. Pay more money for supplements that you can source. Don't pop a pill just because it's cheap. You'll pay out the nose for medications to treat disease... why would you skimp on your preventative care?

MY MOST VALUABLE SUPPLEMENTS ...

PROBIOTICS
After many years of indiscriminate antibiotic use and chronic digestive illness, my gut flora balance is toast. The absolute BEST way to get probiotics into a body is to eat fermented foods. I'm working on that but I fall way short. So good probiotic supplements are my lifeline and this brand is the most effective for me. I get no kickbacks for saying that. I pay full price for these because they are that important to my routine. LIVE PROBIOTICS (scroll down the linked page for a good video on why to take probiotics)

IRON
I struggle with anemia. The kind where you are tired beyond any description of tired that you have felt before. It goes to your very bones and makes you ask "WHAT is so wrong with me that I can't even walk across the house??" And I know that anemia to varying degrees is quite common in moms, especially with regular pregnancies.

Regular OTC iron supplements were making me nauseas and causing typical side affects. After doing a bunch of research, I found a great resource that I have been using for 2 years now. Gluten and soy free. No side affects. They are small tablets instead of horse pills. I have to take multiple a day but it's worth it. And absolutely worth the extra that I pay. FLORADIX Iron Supplements.

CHLOROPHYLL
During pregnancy, my regular iron supplements and good eating are not quite enough. I started asking pregnancy professionals and researching online and came up with these CHLOROPHYLL supplements which have made a significant difference for me.

FISH OIL
Another product that is worth every penny for me. I discovered these supplements when my teeth started to deteriorate from the fallout of malabsorbtion/malnutrition. My body began to draw its mineral needs from my teeth during my last pregnancy and the impact was rapid and alarming. These supplements dramatically reduced swelling, bleeding, and pain within days of starting. All symptoms would resume within 2 days of neglecting to take them. After a month of research, I was so grateful to hit on a solution the first time: BUTTER OIL/FERMENTED COD LIVER OIL

ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
I am often trying new things as I find good sources and have recently discovered that this company provides many nice nutrition supplements that help meet my needs and energy. I haven't tried all that they offer but have come to appreciate several items. More info HERE. Feel free to contact me with questions or if you'd like to chat about options. (Yes, I am a rep... because I rely on the products, love to share them, and the wholesale discount makes a whole lot of sense in my life right now!)

8. NEVER STOP LEARNING {FIND GOOD SUPPORT}

I anticipate many questions from this post since so many details simply won't fit! I will do my best to get to those as I am able. In the meantime, I will leave you will some of my favorite resources for recipes and wellness. Wondering how to cook a meal with real food? These recipe resources are a great place to start and have helped me out more times than I can count. These links should also lead you to more excellent information on overall wellness...

Against All Grain
Wellness Mama
Dr. Axe

And don't forget...

Listen to your body. This is a journey of wellness NOT perfection. Every good choice is a victory. Remember your purpose... Thanks be to God!

COMING SOON...

MOVEMENT: THE SECOND PILLAR OF WELLNESS



Posted on January 11, 2016 and filed under fitness, motherhood, nutrition, wellness, Womanhood.