It could be a sign, that you need to take a closer look under the hood.
That was me, before I received my diagnosis of Hashimoto’s in 2018. It started after I had my son in 2011, and I just chalked it up to being postpartum. But when it continued for over a year after, I did talk to my doctor. She ran the standard lab tests, but everything came back normal, so to her everything was fine. Well, clearly everything was not fine, because by the time I received my diagnosis seven years later, I had gained much of the weight that I gained while pregnant with my son, a good bit of my hair had fallen out, the fatigue was so bad that getting out of bed was painful and even my joints hurt! I couldn’t even get through the day without caffeine (thus the start of my three cappuccino a day habit) and my inability to concentrate, made me think that perhaps I had ADHD.
How many of you can relate?
Although common, it is definitely not normal. You were made to feel good and to thrive! No matter where you are on your healing journey you can see improvements. Remember, healing occurs in stages and rarely in a straight line.
If you’re ready for your upgrade, both physically and emotionally, then allow me the honor of showing you a better way.
Wow! Just three short years ago, I said yes to feeling better. I said yes, to being able to sleep through the night, I said yes to better digestive health and debilitating fatigue.
I didn’t know then what that yes, would blossom into, but I just knew that I wanted to feel better because I wasn’t living, I was merely surviving and that wasn’t good enough.
Since that time, my health is on track, I am building a legacy business. I am in school working towards my functional nutrition certification and best of all I am available for the most important people in my life, my children.
I want to encourage you to do the same, if you’re struggling with your health, your finances, your relationships, I invite you to be a part of tribe of women (and men), who are doing all the things without the hustle or sacrifice. Just surviving is not where it’s at. Living abundantly is!
As, I continue to grow and learn in my functional nutrition certification program, I realize how important it is to give people options in their healing. We are all different and one size does not fit all. With that in mind, I am open to non-food interventions as well, which is what led me to red light therapy.
At this point you’re probably wondering, what is red light therapy and why you should want it.
Red light therapy is photobiomodulation. Say what? Basically, it is the exposure of your skin to low levels of red light that can penetrate the skin a few millimeters to create a healing response on a cellular level. It doesn’t generate any heat, so it is not painful or damaging to the skin. In fact, quite the contrary.
These are few of the benefits associated with red light therapy:
1. It increases energy by stimulating the production of ATP by the mitochondria
2. Stimulates DNA/RNA synthesis
3. Activates the lymph system which carries waste out of the body
4. Increases blood flow/circulation
5. Repairs and restores connective tissues
And so much more. There are over 3000 research papers that speak to the benefits of this type of therapy!
After digging a little more, I decided to take the leap by purchasing one for myself. I selected the MitoRedLight Mini (https://mitoredlight.com) and here is why. It was recommended to me by a friend whom I trust on such matters. Two, it was on sale and comes with a 60 day money back guarantee. Three, I have a scar on my leg that could use a little TLC and four, I thought that it might be great for my son’s cellular detoxification process. Anything that can help with detoxification in a gentle yet effective way, is worth giving a chance in my opinion.
My device arrived on Saturday and I’ve used it for three minutes daily. If you’re new to light therapy the recommendation is to start slow and work your way up to ten minutes per session. It’s that powerful.
What have I noticed so far? First, the light is very bright, so it is important to wear the protective goggles included with the device. I notice that every time I use it on my old scar, it feels energized, like something is happening on a cellular level.
I expect that as I increase my level of usage, I will see more substantial changes.
While still early yet, if this is something you can fit into your budget, it might be worth it to add as a complementary therapy for pain, hair growth or any myriad of health issues that may benefit from the addition of this treatment. Check out this page for more red light therapy benefits. https://wellnessmama.com/269510/red-light-therapy/
I truly enjoy cooking! Not to the level of opening a restaurant or a cafe, but to the level that I want to cook the best food that I can for those that I love. Fortunately, it’s something that I get to do everyday for my most favorite people on this planet, my children. Today was no different.
Much like many other areas in the country at the moment, we experienced a bit of unusually cold weather, for northwest Georgia. The low this morning was about 27 degrees Fahrenheit with a few snow flurries. It was so cold that my sliding doors on my minivan would not open until it was sufficiently warmed up. I believe the high was a sunny but cold 33 or 34 degrees. Yikes!
With the temperature hovering so low, it only made sense that our dinner would be some type of soup. Let me just say that soup, is my love language. I could absolutely eat soup year round! But what I love around this time of the year is the memories of my childhood that come flooding back when I am in the kitchen. I reminisce on how good it felt to eat at my grandmothers’ tables. I can almost smell all the smells and the joy I felt to when I was in their kitchens.
Both of my grandmothers were wonderful cooks. My dad’s mother, was more of an Iron Chef type cook. That woman could make the most amazing meals and so to us it was always a treat to eat at her home because you knew, no matter what it was, it would be delicious!! My Nana (my mother’s mother) on the other hand was a bit more straight forward with her cooking, her one signature dish was fried chicken. But her hugs and conversation was what drew you in. It saddens me that my children, have never experienced those moments. Perhaps one day, when I become a grandmother, I’ll be able to create in my grandchildren’s lives abundant and colorful memories of love.
Tonight, in honor of serving and all things winter, I decided to make my version of a minestrone soup minus the pasta and beans. What emerged was a flavorful burst of summer squash, chicken sausage, chopped tomatoes and a mixture of herbs that not only make the soup taste delicious, but are also good for you as well. Think, any boost I can give to my immune system, I am in!
The one drawback here is that I am not good about writing things down, because I never really know what is going to come together when I start, but today was an exception. Here is what I used:
One pound of mild chicken sausage (gluten free) with casing removed. One medium yellow onion, five cloves of garlic (fresh), three sticks of celery, and three carrots peeled and chopped. I sautéed that mixture together in my Instant Pot and once cooked through, I started layering in the spices.
Two teaspoons dried oregano, one teaspoon of thyme, one teaspoon of garlic powder, one half teaspoon of dried rosemary, one teaspoon of dried basil and one teaspoon of dried parsley. I then added in a box of chopped tomatoes, a bag of frozen yellow squash and two fresh peeled and chopped zucchini followed by two boxes of chicken broth. Salt and pepper to taste! I then put on the lid and let it cook at pressure for about 20 minutes. It was a hit! And we still have plenty for lunch tomorrow.
If you find cooking challenging, start with soup. It’s probably the one meal that you can make that will turn out well, even when you don’t know what you’re doing. But more than that, you will create some lasting memories for the ones you love when you take the lid off that (instant) pot!
Whatever you hold onto in your mind, that is not beneficial, is the beginning of disease in your body. If you’re wondering how I could make such a bold statement, let me explain. In our society today, we hear quite regularly about mindset and how important it is to accomplishing anything. For example, I have a nascent network marketing business and in our field, mindset is everything. We stress all the time that the belief in one’s self is the key to creating growth and interest. We pay hundreds maybe thousands of dollars to learn from the experts on how to grow our businesses, how to attract customers, how to serve, influence, etc. The list goes on. But it doesn’t stop with this industry, we talk mindset in sports, on the job, or pretty much anything that you can think of, but I rarely hear anything about mindset when it comes to our physical health. I wonder if looking beyond what we can measure, quantify or see will move us in the direction of optimal health versus the allopathic model of declining is health inevitable.
Now, that I am enrolled in a Functional Nutrition program, with the goal of becoming a certified Nutritional Counselor, I have had the opportunity to contemplate what true or optimal health actually is. This is important because when I begin taking clients it will be necessary for me to see them and not just what is presented on a piece of paper or lab report. Although important, that information is only part of the whole. Just recently, I began reading a book called ” Molecules of Emotion” written by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D, and it made me think that perhaps dis-ease is not necessarily rooted in the physiology or anatomy, but is instead rooted much more deeply, perhaps in spiritual and emotional trauma that may later manifest itself in the form of a physical or psychological ailment that leads to specific, signs, symptoms or diagnoses.
This is fascinating for several reasons. Years ago, my now almost twelve year daughter was diagnosed with eczema and allergies. After seeing her eczema worsen after each allergy shot, I thought to myself, this can’t be the right approach so that led to my first step into the world of “alternative” medicine. I took her to see a Naturopath and after several months, probably a year, her eczema and allergies resolved. Because of my daughter’s success I sought the help of that same naturopath for my son, who by that time, age three, had been diagnosed with iatrogenic autism, in other words he wasn’t born with it. We tried a number of remedies that he responded to, but they just weren’t quite enough for him to lose his diagnosis, but it never prevented me from forging ahead because my mind was rooted in the physical. I could only process what I could measure, quantify and see.
After several sessions, my Naturopath said something to me that I had never heard before that actually made me pay attention, actually it made me cry. She said that “you and your son are more connected than you realize; when you heal yourself, you will heal him.” What? Her words made no sense to me. I was physically fine, there was nothing wrong with me. I wanted her to help me to fix him. I didn’t need to hear anything about myself. My son needed her help, not some motivational speech. I’d like to say that I stopped and truly heeded her guidance, but alas I did not. I actually relocated my family to another state for what I thought would be the answer, it wasn’t. I did however, finally get diagnosed with my own autoimmune condition, I got divorced and faced the reality that what I had been doing was not the entire answer at all. There was a missing piece.
Which brings me to the point of this post, yes, our bodies do have physical disorders that need to be addressed, but perhaps addressing what is rooted in the mind, will allow the seeds of optimal healing to germinate and move us beyond our perceived reality to what is possible when we marry our beliefs with the tools that bring nurture and healing to our bodies.
One of my most favorite passages of scripture is the story of the woman who had an issue with blood for many years, Mark 5:25-34. This woman had suffered under the care of physicians and spent countless dollars for twelve years, when she decided that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be made well. Yes, I know you’re going to say that she touched Jesus and that is true, but I think the root of her healing began before she touched him. Her mindset changed and she then knew who her healing would come from. Unfortunately, we no longer believe. Our faith is so shallow now that, if the a doctor says it can’t be done, it can’t be done. We question nothing and we close ourselves off from joy.
Let me make this a little more personal, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2004. Obviously, that news was devastating to our entire family. Me in particular because I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically on clinical trials, (the period before the drug is approved for commercial use) so I knew that her diagnosis was a death sentence. I even called her oncologist and spoke with him about her prognosis. His professional opinion was that my mother would be dead in six months. I drove home that weekend hearbroken, with the idea that I would be saying good-bye to my best friend in a few short months. You see how easily I believed words of that doctor? I let his dispassion override my own beliefs. Confident in my own experience and abilities, I tried to discuss my mother’s options, but being the faithful woman that she was, she hugged me and she said that she was going to see her grandchildren grow up, and she would see me get married. Say what? Once again, my belief was not there. I thought that I was being the adult and responsible in the direction that I tried to give. I was in that moment, still the child in need of direction from my mother, I was the one who was unwell, even though it was her body that held the cancer.
She did get to see me get married on the Island of St. Lucia and she had more time with her already born grandchildren. And it was my mother who told me I was pregnant before I took the home pregnancy test and it was my mother that told me in my swollen belly was a girl that would carry her name, Emily. That was in August of 2008. My mother did not pass from this life until October 5, 2008, her namesake was delivered healthy that following February. My mother’s faith and her belief that she could be well gave her four more years when the doctors said it would only be six months at best.
What if what we believe is truly the key that unlocks the door to optimal healing?
You have probably determined by now that I am huge fan of all things, health! Sure, I believe that allopathic medication has it’s place, but the system we refer to as healthcare, really is far from it. But that is another conversation for another day. These short segments are all about encouraging you to take responsibility for your health and wellness everyday. With a little bit of intention and knowledge, I believe most of us can achieve optimal health at any age.
When you hear the word, sauna it is very likely you envision those hot and steamy rooms that you sit in after an intense workout at the gym. Or perhaps you think of the saunas made popular by the Scandanavian countries of Europe. But what if I told you that saunas, particularly infrared saunas. have numerous health producing benefits. So much so, you’ll probably wonder why they are not more common across the United States. Finland is a country of 5.3 million people, yet they have 3.3 million saunas in use at any given time. That is almost one sauna per household! Let’s explore, why you should consider adding sauna to your routine.
First, sauna is known for helping the body to detox. Because our bodies are overwhelmed by more toxins than ever, sitting in a sauna for 30 minutes or more per day or weekly, can assist the body in the detoxification process.
Sitting in the sauna is an amazing stress reducer. In fact, it can be very helpful in switching your body from fight or flight to rest and digest.
Did you know that sauna, can help balance hormones? Time in the sauna can lower, cortisol levels, which in turn balances other hormones, such as insulin, testosterone, thyroid and estrogen that may become imbalanced because cortisol is elevated.
It may be beneficial in assisting with weight loss. Saunas can increase heart rate, much in the way the heart rate increases during a vigorous workout, while simultaneously lowering blood pressure and increasing metabolic rate!
These are just a few of the many benefits associated with this healthful practice.
If you’re wondering how to incorporate sauna in your daily or weekly routine, let me suggest a few options. There are quite a number of sauna companies on the market, but these are a couple of companies that I would highly recommend because they source clean materials to limit toxin exposure: http://www.sunlighten.com and http://www.heavenlyheatsaunas.com. Both companies will work with you to help you select the unit that is right for you based on your space and budget. Or if you’re like me and space and cost are an issue, then there is an alternative, infrared sauna blanket. I actually purchased an infrared sauna blanket, with the idea that it would help my son with detox. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a fan, so it has now become my almost nightly ritual to spend 30-40 minutes in this blanket before I shower and go to bed. I’d say the results are pretty comparable, to a full size sauna at a fraction of the price, don’t quote me on that. This is the one that I purchased, http://www.sweatandglowsauna.com, but there are more jazzy versions on the market, if this one just isn’t your speed.
If sauna is not already a part of your routine, I hope that you’ll find a way to incorporate it into your healthy life!!
“You need to take a good probiotic!” “ Research indicates, that gut health is key to overall health.” Everyday there is literally a new headline touting the importance of gut health and good probiotics. Let’s take a quick peek into why they are now suddenly all the rage and how you might weed through the noise to find what might work best for you.
At birth, the newborns’ gut is seeded with the microbes present in the mother’s birth canal. For children born cesarean section, their guts are seeded with what is on the skin. The type of microbes received at birth are key to the building of the immune system as well as the establishment of neurotransmitters, that are important to optimal neurological function. This can be problematic for C-section births. Their guts are not seeded properly, because the microbes on the skin, have a different purpose. All is not lost, however, breast feeding can make a huge difference in establishing what is necessary for optimal health and growth.
Keep in mind that overtime the microbes in the gut can change, due to stress, hormones, antibiotics and other external insults. When this happens the delicate balance that exists between the good microbes and the more opportunistic microbes can change, which leads to gut dysbiosis, also known as an imbalance in the gut. The ideal ratio by most accounts is 85% good to 15% opportunistic. Just the slightest shift could set off a cascade of issues that on the surface may seem unrelated to the gut.
If you’re wondering by now what can be done about it, let me share a few quick tips that may overtime restore the balance.
1. Clean up your diet. Limit your exposure to processed foods. Those foods have a tendency to favor the opportunistic microbes over the beneficial ones.
2. Exercise. Daily movement is also beneficial to your gut. There is something about blood flow and moving lymph that can get things stirred up in a good way.
3. Add live or cultured foods to your diet. Sauerkraut and fermented foods are a great side dish to show some love to your microbes.
4. Limit medications. We don’t often think that medications can disrupt our microbiome, but they can. In fact, antibiotics are non specific so they wipe out the good and the bad and can take several months, or up to a year in some cases to be restored.
5. Use a good system. This is my favorite, not only because it has a great probiotic in it, but because the three products together work to weed (remove the bad stuff from the digestive tract), seed (replace the beneficial microbes) and finally feed (prebiotics to feed those good microbes) the probiotics so they can flourish and restore balance. https://shop.plexusworldwide.com/believeandhope/product/plexus-triplex
Remember, those microbes are involved in so many processes that make you, you! They are involved in the production of neurotransmitters that impact mood and learning, they have involvement in our immune function and so much more.
Don’t you think it’s time, to show your gut some love? Message me if you would like to learn more.
I could spend hours writing about food and nutrition, if given the chance, but that is not the purpose of this post.
This post is about being intentional with the food you eat. Keep in mind that the food you consume does matter. You are either contributing to health or disease by what you consume.
The process of digestion begins in the brain, which instructs the release of certain enzymes needed to breakdown the food once it is ingested.
But what if, we took a bit more time to be intentional about our meals? For example, setting aside time to eat with the family instead of eating on the go or in shifts.
Incorporating these small steps into your routine, may make meals much more enjoyable and nutritious for the entire family.
1. Set aside a specific time for every meal. This gives the family a time to look forward to and anticipate.
2. Show gratitude for you are about to receive. In my home, we give thanks to God for each meal. Regardless of your religious persuasion, giving thanks for the food before you sets an intention of appreciation that is beneficial too in the digestive process.
3. Consider mealtime as an opportunity to reconnect with family in a meaningful way. Actually discuss the day, laugh and savor the time you are spending together as a family.
4. Clean away the dishes as a family to continue the conversations. Slowing down and being appreciative allows your body to better utilize the nutrition provided.
5. Finally, just be still. Your body is much more efficient in a calm relaxed state.