Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I do not claim to cure any disease. Young Living Essential oils, while they may help certain individuals, also do not claim to cure any disease.
I'm about to get real transparent on myself here. I'm going to start by saying ANXIETY SUCKS A BIG TOE.
Like, seriously. I have struggled with anxiety since a teen. I'm not talking a little worry. I'm talking life altering, couldn't see a movie in a theatre, drive on a freeway for years, stopped eating for a while type of anxiety.
A big toe. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. As a recording artist I was terrified when overseas tours came up. It meant long flights. Being in random countries alone. I was scared of what my future husband would have to "deal with". I was afraid of how I'd carry a child. Birth that child. And then raise that child. It consumed so much of me. It was ugly.
Hold tight with me, as there is a light to this story. Because that up there was pretty grim. As I've grown and altered my lifestyle I am happy to report that through God's healing and grace and the tools he's led me to, I am mostly anxiety free. It's amazing how He can bring us through some of the ugliest things in our life when we throw our hands up in surrender, drop to our knees and say "Ok, God, I LITERALLY cannot breathe without you. Take this. Take me and save me." I put my trust in the Lord, used the natural tools HE led me too and I was able to have an anxiety free pregnancy (crazy to me too! He's incredible haha), I birthed my son all natural - that crazy story is here, I drove my family and I almost all the way to Disneyland (when I could barely drive to Scottsdale a year ago) and many more stories that just prove His good good goodness.
I tried meds as a teen (made me sicker/worse) and I have had to use Xanax in the past to fly, but these past few years since praying faithfully, altering my diet and finding prayer/meditation, attending CBT therapy sessions and finding Young Living oils, I can say I am functioning so much more "normal" and joyful day in and day out.
This took me YEARS to be able to talk about. For many reasons, but I feel like if I never talk about it, what was it all for right? What good can come of it?
So, as stated above, the biggest components for me are staying connected through prayer, making sure I'm putting HEALTHY, whole food fuel in my body, staying hydrated and my oils. I started using oils for cleaning my home and immunity. It wasn't until I started diffusing some of the combos below where I'd realize DAYS would go by where I'd feel super patient, chill with my toddler and just calm to lay down at night. If it wasn't that out of the norm for me to feel that way on a consistent basis (hello anxiety and hormone issues) I wouldn't have believed that they could work this well, but it has changed my life in yet another amazing way, so I'm here to share my favorite oils and blends.
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Here's a question I get asked MANY times.
What can I eat when I feel under the weather now that I am... (gluten free, paleo, vegan, dairy free, etc.)
The "what can I eat now that..." questions are my most popular as a nutritionist and food blogger so I finally decided to sit down and start a product round up series. Since I believe I've tried nearly every gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan food made today (ok not all, but it feels like most) I thought it was time I put some little guides together to help you and give you a bookmark for when you're searching.
Below I've put together a gallery of products that are my personal go to's when I'm feeling crummy. They are a mix of healthy, easy to prepare and are ALL gluten and dairy free. Not all below are Paleo, but most are. I remember the first time I got a cold after changing my lifestyle and thinking, "Great! Now I can't have ginger ale or crackers or hearty soups that are easy to prepare." Over time I found my way back to comfort items that I could microwave if need be if I was home alone and needed to tend to me or the baby without much energy.
And this should go without saying, but making your diet primarily fresh fruits, vegetables, bone broths and lean meats should be your first line of defense in both fighting off and fighting during a sickness. The items below are just healthier substitutes for those "comfort foods" of your childhood, or foods that help curb nausea.
You may click on any product below to quickly purchase on Amazon.
Do you have any favorites that you'd add to this list? I'd love to hear them!
This post is part of a sponsorship with the American Dental Association. The routine and tips below are my own.
As a nutritionist, and new mama, one of the biggest routines I try to implement with my clients and in my home is an overall wellness plan that is easy to stick with day in and day out with a busy schedule.
And that begins in the kitchen.
How we structure our diet, how we plan our meals, and our choices for snacking both at home and on the go, it all plays a role in our oral health.
I’m going to share with you my daily routine when it comes to helping my teeth stay in tip top shape.
Upon waking I make sure to drink a room temperature 4 oz. glass of filtered water with a small squeeze of lemon to get my digestion going, as digestion also begins in the mouth. For breakfast I focus on protein to help fuel me with energy for work and mom life. This is usually a couple of eggs, fresh fruit for fiber (juice isn’t the best choice for your teeth or your sugar levels) and a gluten-free whole grain with a healthy fat, such as coconut butter or avocado oil. Well rounded and healthy are your goals for breakfast.
After breakfast I head to the powder room to complete my morning beauty routine which includes washing my face, moisturizing, flossing and brushing my teeth. I always look for the ADA seal when choosing my toothbrush and a natural fluoridated toothpaste.
As the day goes on, and energy levels dip, remember to limit your sugar intake. This applies to both snacks and beverages. It can be tempting to grab a soda or coffee, or a sugary snack to boost productivity but that can just lead to unwanted sugar crashes, weight gain over time and dental problems.
When I feel my energy waning, opting for a sparkling, ice cold water with natural fruit helps to wake me up, as does a brisk walk, a mug of green tea or, if time permits, a short cat nap.
For my lunch and snacks I turn to fresh veggies, grain bowls or nut and seed based options for protein and additional fiber to keep me satiated until dinner. And when dinner rolls around, it's a balance throughout my week. A mix of protein, vegetables, grains and the occasional splurge such as vegan pizza or homemade tacos find their way to our plates. I also believe in treats in moderation when it comes to not banning dessert from our culinary vocabulary.
Because I believe in this balance, it's important for me to have a nightly routine as well. This includes washing my makeup off from the day, taking a little time to read and wind down and making sure I clean between my teeth and brush well before turning out the lights. The ADA recommends cleaning between your teeth daily and brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily. This is easy to accomplish when it becomes part of your routine.
In addition, I also schedule out our families dental cleanings at the beginning of the year, so that we don't forget or let too much time pass in between visits. It's also helpful to check in with your dentist regularly if you have questions or need help creating a routine of finding the right dental products for you and your lifestyle, because every mouth is different and everyone has different needs.
Like with anything that's important to your health, implementing new routines can seem daunting. Taking it one day at a time and staying focused on the big picture (good dental health and overall body wellness), can help keep you motivated.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the American Dental Association.
As mentioned in my post on Spring Immunity, one of my top go to's for giving us a health boost are my Young Living oils (why I choose YL over any other brand here). I use this roller on our feet when we are going to any big family event, crowded locale, a party, when we travel or when we start to feel under the weather. So basically, anytime we leave the confines of our home, haha.
These rollers are super easy to make. I order my roller bottles from Amazon and always have some on hand so I can gift my girls when these babies when they travel too.
To make yourself an Immunity Roller, blend up the following:
2 Drops Frankincense
4 Drops Thieves
3 Drops Lemon
2 Drops Oregano
Fill the rest of the bottle with carrier oil
... and place on your roller top. Voila!
Need help getting started with oils? Visit my Oils page to read more about it.
Ready to sign up and make your roller? Join here!
Last night we threw a dinner party for some dear friends of ours. My friend Emma is a total sweetheart and fellow "crunchy" mama like myself and she brought me a batch of homemade elderberry syrup as a hostess gift.
Could someone know me any better than that? Haha.
I buy Elderberry (which is not cheap no matter where you get it, I usually get it at Sprouts or on Amazon or Thrive), regularly to keep mine and the baby's immunity up, so a whole batch for the house was scoring huge. Thanks friend.
I was lacking some creative ideas for the blog this week, #MomTired #MomBrain, and her thoughtful gift got me thinking about Spring immunity. The baby and I have both been dealing with some Spring allergy sniffles and the tail end of cold and flu season still looms throughout the U.S. so its always good to have strong go-to's to keep us well and breathing well.
I wanted to share today some of what we are currently doing naturally to keep us well today and through the Spring and Summer season.
And if you're wondering how to make Elderberry Syrup at home, Emma uses Wellness Mama's recipe, which you can find here.
As a natural mama, I want to do everything I can to support Grey's body, and ours, with ways that are natural and created by God. Elderberry, with its anti viral and anti inflammatory properties, it's high in Vitamin A, B, C, antioxidants and quercetin and enhances the immune system. I could write a whole post on Elderberry, and I may sometime soon, but it is the powerhouse player of our immune boost regimen and we take it everyday. I usually take an Elderberry gummy that also contains zinc and vitamin C as well.
Speaking of Vitamin C, I take a buffered Vitamin C powder from Seeking Health when I'm starting to feel run down, when I'm fighting allergies or when I'm sick to give me a boost. I use a buffered C as it's gentler on my stomach and bladder, which I've had issues with in my past. It's also the reason why I don't take it everyday and get my daily C from the elderberry gummy or through fruit and vegetables.
My biggest go to to keep my home purified and healthy are my oils. In addition to cleaning with and diffusing Young Living Oil's Thieves Blend, I also make a custom Immunity Roller for our feet (Grey's included!). Thieves oil is a powerhouse immunity booster and has played a vital role in shortening our past illnesses (comparing our average colds to post-oil life vs. before we used them), curbing illness when we start to feel something coming on and for general everyday support.
A daily probiotic has also been vital. We began taking them to boost our immune systems, but learned how they can support our immune systems so it became a win/win to make sure we take it with our dairy-free yogurt or smoothie in the morning.
In addition to these steps, we also drink a ton of water, eat a hearty helping of fruit and vegetables every day and get optimal rest.
How do you boost your families health naturally? Always love to chat with fellow healthy ladies on keeping their families well.
As someone who's personally been using essential oils for nearly two years, I felt it was time to move from simply using oils, to sharing what they've done for me and my family.
Authenticity means everything to me, which is why it's taken so long for me to move into the space of sharing and selling oils. As I really, whole heartedly began to believe in them and fall in love with this non-toxic lifestyle we are leading with our homes, health and bodies, I began speaking more of them and sharing them with those around me and with my clients and readers.
Many have asked how they can get started, I have all that info on my oils page.
This post, however, serves to inform on how you can best utilize the oils that come in the Premium Starter Kit. It's how I got started, it contains some of my very favorite oils that are versatile for your everyday life and it is how many of my friends and clients are starting their oily journeys as well.
Below I've outlined what's included in the Premium Starter Kit, and how each oil is best used. If you have any questions, would like to try an oil or are interested in getting started, contact me. I'd be happy to chat!
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Natalie Hodson, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #abscorepelvicfloor http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
I've never been one to shy away from hard topics when it comes to women's health and I'm excited that, today, I finally get to dig deeper into one of my very favorite topics that most women don't talk about.
The health of our core and pelvic floor post-baby.
I've personally suffered from Pelvic Floor Disorder and pelvic inflammation for years, even before Grey was born, and after a 29 hour natural labor, four hours of pushing and a traumatic birth, my pelvic issues have continued since his arrival and I stay diligent to do all I can to support the health of my abs, core and pelvis. Not only for my health throughout life, but for when and if I'm blessed to carry and birth another little baby.
In addition to pelvic floor therapy and massage, I have been following Natalie Hodson's Abs, Core and Pelvic Floor program to work on my pelvic floor and core health daily. Therapy and massage can be pricey, and with a one year old, hard to get in for appointments as often as I'd like. Natalie's program allows me to stay on top of my body's performance and health every day, even with a baby in the room.
Along with Dr. Monique Middlekauf, a specialist in pelvic floor dysfunction, this program is well-rounded, touching not only on exercises that can help your overall pelvic floor and core health, but it also includes nutrition help, supplement advice and encouraging self-talk affirmations.
To be honest, I actually cried a few tears of joy when I found out about this book and program. I've been searching for ways to minimize pain and improve function in between doctor visits and this has been such a blessing to me, and by extension to my family, because when I feel better and have an outlet to exercise in a safe, effective way that supports the post-partum issues we as mamas can deal with, I am a happier person overall.
The program is an easy 30-day program that can be done right in your own living room. It addresses issues such as pelvic floor dysfunction (raises hand), Diastasis Recti (a problem that plagues many of my mama friends and clients) as well as helping with overall fitness and turning our mom-bods into leaner, healthier bods we can feel good in. Natalie and Dr. Middlekauf are extremely knowledgeable and the program is written well and is easy to understand and follow along.
Women are able to start the program as early as 6 weeks post-partum (or as advised by your doctor) and on. It's never to late to start taking care of your core and pelvic floor, and even women who haven't gone through childbirth but who suffer from pelvic or abdominal muscle conditions, can benefit from this program. Issues ranging from incontinence to chronic tightness (my personal ailment) to painful intercourse and urinary problems (also mine), can be improved by putting effort into supporting such an important part of our bodies.
As mamas who are looking to get back in shape, I know a lot of us jump right back into our old routine - crunches, planks, vigorous workouts - when in reality, as a personal sufferer of pelvic floor disorder, and with fellow moms struggling with Diastastis Recti, these are big no-no's in getting yourself back on track and they can actually increase your pain and underlying issues.
Abs, Core & Pelvic Floor addresses all of these key points and gives us women alternative, beneficial exercises that can not only help us get back into shape, but that support our issues, helping to heal, restore and strengthen.
The entire program is available in a printable PDF, as well as a series of videos, to further assist in understanding how to do each exercise, how to engage your muscles and how to use the right form to prevent injury. There's also bonus information on nutrition, which, as a nutritionist, I found exciting to see included because it is such an important piece of the health puzzle.
Taking steps to improve my pelvic health, is HONESTLY, one of the BEST decisions I ever made for myself. It personally changed MY life, which is why I am SO passionate about it, and why I don't shy away from the topic when other women want me to share my story or ask for advice.
Personally, from one mama friend to another, I would suggest you speak to your doctor or a pelvic floor therapist in your area to assess and diagnose your specific issues.
To learn more about this amazing 30-day program, read more on Abs, Core & Pelvic Floor on Natalie's website!
And when you do start the program, reach out! I'd love to cheer you on and do it along with you! Find more on the program and follow along my journey on Instagram as well with the #AbsCorePelvicFloor hashtag.
Although it's a 30-day program, I plan to integrate their exercises, stretches and tips in to my day to day workouts. Take the step, you won't regret. I feel so much stronger, healthier and so many issues have improved since I've implemented my game plan to better pelvic health. There is so much valuable information to gain from this program, in addition to what I was already doing, that I can use for life and am so thankful for it, and for them.
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Hyperbiotics, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #HealthiestDaysAhead http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
As a nutritionist, and as your friend, I seriously love your guts.
I want them to be healthy and thriving, full of beneficial bacteria and healthy, good food that is kind to your body.
More than that, I want you to love them as well.
So many clients, friends and family members come to me asking how to do that. They know I've personally made changes and improvements, and they've heard me toss around the phrases "gut health", "inflammation", "probiotic", and "prebiotic", and most people need direction or are stuck in the pattern of "what they know".
So, I decided to put together a list of what I do, to ensure my gut is in tip top shape. Doing so, allows me room to enjoy decadent treats now and again, because I know my foundation, from which my immune health and mental clarity, is solid.
You'll find my full list below, but I really want to focus on the star player on my Get Gut Healthy team, and that's the Probiotic. I've been taking a daily probiotic since 2011 and it's helped my health immensely. And now, with Grey here, I make sure my husbands gut gets love too, as well as the baby's.
So many things in our world today break down the delicate intestinal environment. From antibiotics, pesticides in our food and the tap water we consume, to chemicals we breathe in the air, the overuse of sugar, stress and not enough sleep - it takes quite a beating and its our job to build it back up and strengthen what is weakened over time.
Think of your gut as the command center from which major acts derive from. From regularity (goodbye constipation!) to mental clarity (goodbye brain fog and fatigue!), immunity boosting (are you a chronic cold/flu sufferer?) and yeast balancing (infections? candida?) - getting your gut back in action is critical.
One of my FAVORITE formulas, for both me and the fam, is the new Hyperbiotics line, found at Target. (As if we needed another reason to shop and love this store, am I right mamas?)
As someone who struggled with getting her folate and B Vitamin levels up when I was trying to conceive Grey, their Pro-Moms blend packs natural folate and helps produce essential B vitamins.
And if you know me and my need for all things Non-GMO, their formulas are vegetarian, non-GMO, and free from gluten, lactose and sugar! You also won't find any additional nasties such as soy, iron, nuts, artificial flavors, artificial colors, or preservatives.
As a nursing mom, the Pro-Moms blend is what I am on right now, though the Pro-Women, Pro Kids (for my nieces and nephews) and Pro-15 blend are in the family cabinet as well. It's great for those of us who are nursing or pregnant, due to the fact that it encourages full nutrient absorption which is key when we are growing and sustaining lives.
The Pro-Women blend also contains cranberry extract to give our urinary system a little love as well.
Now, let's talk about my top Gut Friendly must-haves in your kitchen.