As an ambassador for Seeking Health, this post may contain affiliate links. I adore this company, take their products daily and stand behind their quality 100%.
As an avid fan of Seeking Health, their mission and the quality of their products, most of what you will find in my home when it comes to supplements and caring for our bodies outside of food will be the Seeking Health brand.
In this season my focus is on lowering inflammation, detoxing heavy metals, mold exposure and possible candida, repairing gut health, and boosting immunity. As many of my readers and clients are in need of the same support (as are most people), I've listed my current favorite lineup below (not all pictured above).
Already an affordably priced supplement line (which is a beautiful thing for allergen-free, non-gmo products that use no artificial colors or flavorings), I also have a coupon code for my readers and clients for their first order - just use NOSHNURTURE10 upon checkout for 10% off.
Without further adieu, here are my daily go-to's.
Also, again, I am not a doctor. I can not diagnose, treat or cure any disease. I am just passionate about natural health and supplementing our bodies with what we need. I am under the care of a naturopathic physician who helps guide me on what my body needs and I order accordingly.
Seeking Health Favorites - Summer 2019
One of my very favorite oils, I diffuse this nightly to promote relaxing, sound sleep for the hubs, baby and me. I also keep one with me to diffuse when we travel to promote relaxation and cut down on travel stress. It's also the perfect addition to a bath soak.
This oil alone makes the Starter Kit worth it. This premium oil has been sought after since ancient times and has a complex, earthy aroma. Best used when engaging in prayer, it can help you to feel centered and focused. It's also popular in skin care as it helps maintain radiant skin. And acts as a great healing oil for many ailments.
A must-have for any mamas with teething toddlers, this works great to reduce inflammation/swelling in the gums. It also works well for post - workout inflammation as a massage oil when blended with a carrier oil. You can add it to your daily moisturizer for healthier, younger looking skin.
Because, life. Stress Away is also a top on my list, not only for it's relaxation properties but I ADORE the lime and vanilla blend that's in this scent. It makes for a pleasant perfume when applied to wrists and as a bonus can help you combat daily stressors.
Peppermint can work wonders for digestive upset, and diffusing this while pregnant helped with morning sickness. I used this during labor and delivery as well to energize me. Blend with Eucalyptus for a spa-like bath experience.
MUST HAVE for cold and flu season, or anytime you or the family have the sniffles. A power blend of three Eucalyptus oils, as well as Spruce and Cypress with help alleviate congestion. Also a great energizing scent to diffuse or apply topically to enhance focus.
This is one of my favorites for cleaning and for keeping my home smelling fresh. Use it to make household cleaners, diffuse it for an uplifting scent, or use it in your conditioner for extra shine.
Aside from diffusing lavender nightly, I probably use this one the most. I've made household sprays to freshen laundry, furniture and heavy traffic areas, as it purifies and cleanses the air naturally, without chemicals. It's also a great one to use in the USB diffuser for neutralizing unpleasant car odors.
I call this one the King of Clean. Used to make household cleaners, beauty products and more, it's a must have for the winter season as diffusing it also helps to boost immunity to fight colds and flus.
My favorite gym bag companion, Panaway offers a nice, natural cool down for sore, tired muscles. When mixed with a carrier oil, its the perfect cooling massage oil or create a soothing bath when mixed with Epsom salt.
This spicy, rich blend is the perfect oil to diffuse at the end of a long day. The blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli oils helps the whole family to feel calm after a busy day. A good after dinner blend to diffuse before the bedtime routine begins.
4. Keep A Journal. By keeping a journal, I am able to share food ideas as well as my specific struggles along the way. I can reference back to how it went the last time each time I embark on a new cleanse, and it gives me hope to read about the days I felt lighter, lost weight or felt super energized!
5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Remember that you are doing this for YOU. For you to feel GOOD. To feel LIGHT and HEALTHY. If you mess up, it’s OK. Be kind with you
t’s that time of year again. When we all set out to refresh. Wipe the slate clean. Become A “New” Person, whatever that last one means. This intention is masked with words like “resolutions”, “goal setting” and “complete turnaround”, and while the effort we make is commendable, sometimes we are setting ourselves up for disappointment if our January 1st To-Do list isn’t completed by the next time the ball drops.
Today I wanted to focus on healthier goal setting, specifically one of the most popular trends on every social media feed and that is “Completing a Sugar Detox” or a “Sugar Cleanse”. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a basic whole food diet that eliminates starches, breads, pastas, starchy vegetables and sugar in any form. As someone who has personally done a sugar detox in the past, and as someone who doesn’t consume dairy, my diet looked a little something like this.
– Grass-Fed and Free-Range Organic Meats
– Organic Vegetables and Some Organic Fruits
– Nuts and/or Seeds
– Healthy Fats (Avocado, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil)
Diets rich in these foods with help to cleanse and reset your system from all the holidays treats that it had to endure over the last few months and it will help you realize what you crave, what you’re sensitive too and what you can most likely live without.
As someone who has been through this, I am here to paint the honest picture of the roller coaster that you might, er, will endure, and how to fight off your sugar dragon like a superhero.
Surviving Your Cleanse
Day One – You’re going to feel great. Powerful. Determined. You’ve spent your paycheck on the cleanest of clean foods and you’re ready to take on the world with a version of yourself that’s fitter, more energetic and healthier. Hold on to her. Hold on to this feeling and vision, because I am about to tell you that she will disappear or turn on you, but that there’s hope and she DOES come back.
Days Two – Four. Or Ten. Not going to sugar coat it, mmmm sugar coating, this is the hardest stretch and this is how your mind will start to work. Everything you look at will resemble a donut. Your energy levels will drop drastically and you may experience an onslaught of detox symptoms. One may wonder, why would I continue on with such a wretched lifestyle? Because you’re worth it. Your health is worth it and it gets… So. Much. Better.
Days 10-14 – Your energy will surprisingly pop up sometime this week. You will actually want to work out instead of dragging yourself out of bed from your nap, and you will wonder how you still have energy to clean the house or walk the dog. You will start to see fat melting off and definition setting in, (more so if you’ve been working out along the way.) It’s a good time. Enjoy this time.Skip along joyfully with your bag of washed carrots in hand and easily turn away the offers of sugar and starch filled foods at the office or your kiddo’s play date.
Days 14-20 – Halfway there! This is where I really got into the groove of making recipes, experimenting and eating more variety of approved foods. I started to get more confident of my time in the kitchen and I had cooking and packing my husband’s lunch down to a science.
Days 21-29 – The sugar dragon strikes again! Around day 21, I almost gave up. The dragon kept saying, “You’ve done well enough.” “A three week detox is just as good as a four week detox.” “Coooooookies.” Don’t give in. Don’t listen to it. You made a commitment to go 30 days on your new healthy plan. Stick it out. Remember on Day 8 when you didn’t want to get out of bed, your head was throbbing and all you wanted was a gallon of hot coffee? Ok, maybe that was just me, we all have our own story, but the point is, don’t let it win.
Day 30 – You did it! Most of the stories you see on the detox plans is simply “I felt great. I got healthier. I was more energized!” And while truth be told, that is the gold at the end of the rainbow, getting there is a journey in itself. Like anything worth having it takes hard work, dedication and a good support system if you can rally one together. When I finished I went to a light grain, low sugar diet and I plan to start another sugar detox, this time my goal is to be strictly Paleo upon completion.
I would love to hear your experiences in taming your own dragon, and what worked for you. I will end with my top five tips for a successful detox.
Morning Drink: Each morning I start with a warm mug of water with either a lemon slice or 1 TBSP. of Apple Cider Vinegar. Lemon helps cleanse your system, while Apple Cider Vinegar can help with flushing bacteria or yeast out of the system. This week I'm doing ACV all the way.
Garlic & Onion Everything: While everyone's cooking pumpkin into everything this year, I am adding heaps of garlic and onion into all of our dishes when I can. Just today my poor hubs said "I didn't take my lunch to work, because we have to eat in a meeting and I can't be smelly". Garlic and onion are stars at combating viruses, reduce inflammation and are very cleansing.
Herbivore: I'm also adding spices such as oregano and thyme. Oregano cleanses the respiratory and urinary systems and cleanses out candida. Thyme aids in urine volume output which helps to detox, and is good for the respiratory system.
Get Moving: I will admit and be 100% real with you. Fatigue likes to be my best friend sometimes. Especially when my body isn't detoxing (Thanks, MTHFR) (I'm not swearing it's a condition I have...) and working out is not my favorite thing. If I could just eat healthy and be super fit, that would be aces. But alas, food is 80% of it, while 20% of it is moving. Working out also helps detoxing, it eliminates stress in the body, keeps all of our systems moving and healthy. So, I joined a new gym this past weekend and I walk, use the elliptical, light weights and do Holy Yoga.
Oil Pulling: I have a full post on oil pulling and how it's benefited me, but its so great for detoxing our bodies and keeping up our oral health.
Massage & Therapy: I get regular massages. Bi-weekly I get a variation of Swedish for the relaxing properties and deep tissue to help get out any tension I'm carrying. I also go to a Pelvic Floor Therapist which has been a life saver.
Reflexology: When I am feeling irregular (welcome to my life of TMI, haha) reflexology on my feet along my ":Intestinal" points works like a gem! Staying regular is CRUCIAL for detoxing. And while we're already on this topic, get a Squatty Potty. Enough said.
Shower Time: I start my showers with dry brushing and while in the shower I alternate hot and cold water as it cleanses the lymphatic system.
Clean Air: Make sure to get outdoors regularly and use a good air filter in your home. We have a great one in the bedroom, along with organic mattress and pillow covers.
Drink All The Water: Drinking 8 glasses of clean, filtered water is one of the most important things you can do EVERYDAY.
MIND & SOUL
When I Rise: I start every day with devotions. I read a daily devotional to set my intentions with God's word, and I read bible verses and pray with breakfast.
Holy Yoga: Yoga is extremely detoxifying. Both mentally and physically. I however, wanted to be connecting to Jesus when I went through my workout so I found a local Holy Yoga class and its been amazing.
Crack A Book: Reading calms me and learning new things invigorates and re-inspires my passions. Reading in a quiet, well lit area brings contentment.
Our Inner Child: I did a whole post on the importance of play, and its crucial to our health. Adult coloring, traveling, playing in the yard, hosting game nights. The activity doesn't matter, just have FUN.
CBT: Last year I regularly saw a therapist to work through anxiety and the loss of our little. I still check in with her for maitenence appts to keep my mind clear. She's also Christian and we pray and read God's word together.
Quality Time: Spending quality time with loved ones is a great way to detox your whole body. Endorphins are magical & wondrous.
Meditation & Breathing: Deep breathing is everything in detoxing. We often breathe so shallow, taking time to be mindful a few minutes a day to breathe in fully, connect with God and clear our mind of the day is as important as the food, herbs and water we consume.
Next On The Detox Plan:
Always looking for ways to aid my body in detoxing, I've asked Santa for a rebounder (translation: adult trampoline) which aids which also gets the lymph system moving.
The gym I joined has a dry sauna which is king in ways to detox. I plan to start slow and steady under the care of my doctor and increase my time in the sauna.
I also have more tests scheduled on my detox pathways. Always growing, learning, but most importantly praying for healing.
You may have noticed detox baths (usually a mix of warm water, Epsom salt and essential oils) are missing from my list. I found each time I did one I got sick. My doctor told me they are probably to intense for me right now (which is why everyone is different) and that a foot soak is probably a better way for me to go right now.
Anything missing that you swear by to detox this time of year? Or do you have a favorite from the list? Also, for those of you that have experience rebounding or hitting the sauna, what's been your experience?
There's a specific CD that I use that I love, It's a meditation CD that my CB Therapist gave me that is all led by God's word. Meditating to scripture helps connect me to what's important and let's me rest and relax for twenty minutes at the beginning or end of my day.
For a quick recharge, try this calming 2 minute video below by my friend Rachel Zeskind.
While paradise is probably at the top of all of our lists for the perfect place to relax and recharge, all you need is a quiet space to sit or lay, where you can be cool, calm and comfortable. Even an office breakroom, airplane seat or heck, a bathroom if you're a busy mom looking to grab two minutes of calm, will work for this short, but effective, video.
Share on social media with the hashtag #FitnessFriday to connect and share with others.
And then I grew up, stopped touring, got a full time job in journalism that put me at a desk all day and my health took a turn that for some reason makes cardio leads to me getting sick sometimes.
But I've realized that I can excuse it away all day long, but when it comes down to it I've learned that I am good when it comes to eating healthy, I'm just not so good at working out on a regular basis.
And that's ok. The important thing is that I learn what I can work with. On days, like yesterday for example, when my energy is soaring (and I'll say I was on day 11 of the Whole 30 meal plan), that I get in a good workout. That I try to lift weights, do cardio or power yoga.
And then, on the days when I have no energy, when I'm not feeling well, when I'm experiencing my pelvic pain, or I've put in 10 hours of writing and leaving the house is the last thing I want to do, I will improvise and dedicate to doing something good for my body.
And that can be a number of things, for you as well. You all know your bodies better than anyone. The beauty about this journey is that I've learned to tune in to know when I'm just being lazy or when I know my body really does just need to rest or sleep.
I've put together a list of low-impact, easy exercises to do when your exhausted or just need to decompress or you need a good stretch session.
- Restorative or Relaxation Yoga. This is my favorite. It relaxes me and it helps me to really stretch. After the half hour or hour I put in I am refreshed, feel like I got a gentle workout and am relaxed enough that I can do it at night and not be too energized to go to sleep. Tamal Dodge is my favorite instructor on DVD, or you can find a local yoga studio that offers these classes.
- Walking. Simple as that. Getting out in fresh air, getting my blood moving and taking time to pray and connect to God changes my whole day. When I make the time to go out and take a walk I feel so much better. And one of my best girlfriends and I have started making this a way we hang out in the morning. We usually do 2 miles and walk while we catch up.
- Specified Stretches. Sometimes when I don't do a yoga class or video, I will do a specific 15-30 minute set of stretches from my physical therapist or pelvic pain book. If you have a specific pain issue or you just generally feel tight in a certain body part, shoulders, legs, etc. locate easy and effective stretches either with a book or online videos that will help you regularly stretch out. It's a fact that we hold a lot of emotions in our psoas area (the muscle that runs from under your ribs, down to your inner thigh, deep inside) and when mine is tight I feel much more anxious and irritable.
- Low Impact Cardio Machines. I adore the elliptical machine. It's low impact and you can use as much energy, or not, that you are feeling on a particular day. I used to employ the rule that if I wanted to watch FRIENDS (my favorite show of ALL time, if you know me at all) or read my latest issue of SHAPE, I had to be on an elliptical or treadmill to watch it. (I told you, I was hard core back in the day). I have decided to start using the reward system for myself again, as I know this works really well for me, only now I use new issues of Gluten Free Living or Natural Health as my sweet reward.
I'd love to know what you do when you're not feeling to hot or want to hide under the covers? Fitness first! :)
This month I would like to introduce you to Bikram Yoga.
Bikram yoga is a series of 26 asanas (postures) precisely strung together so that each asana prepares the body for the next, and systematically works every inch of the body from the inside out, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes.
It is, in my opinion, THE BEST exercise you can give yourself.
So what is so amazing about Bikram? The list is endless…
Promotes true healing through postures that activate the body’s natural healing abilities and detoxification system
Promotes mental clarity by reducing stress & anxiety levels and building concentration levels
Promotes healthy metabolism
Expands lung capacity and strengthens the heart
Improves the spine’s flexibility and health
Lubricates the joints
Strengthens bones, and stretches and tones the muscles
Supplies oxygen and nutrients to parts of the body that have been blocked or stagnant
Builds energy and stamina
And much, much more!Yoga is traditionally considered a discipline, used to focus the mind through physical movements that quiet the body and nervous system. Bikram takes discipline to a whole new level. First of all, you’re basically in a sauna; 105 degrees, 40 percent humidity. Bikram himself refers to his studio as the ‘torture chamber’; I think you can understand why. But there is a method to the madness- the heat warms your muscles, making them more malleable, allowing for greater ease of stretching. It does the ‘warm-up’ part for you and allows for more focus on the postures. Along with the humidity, the heat also promotes the body to sweat (profusely; I mean you will be drenched by the end of class), aiding in the detoxification process.
Second, Bikram tests your willpower. Standard Bikram dialogue tells students to push themselves: go farther, stretch harder, focus deeper. Each Bikram posture forces you to focus 110% on your body; lock the knee, suck the stomach in, stretch and stretch and STRETCH! Oh, and don’t forget to breathe!
Bikram purposely designed his series to challenge the student; it is all about pushing past the limits your mind has made up, and building your confidence and inner strength. Every posture is a fight against yourself because the ego cannot stand the thought of accepting defeat. Like the little train chugging up the hill- I think I can, I think I can- you must break the boundaries fabricated between your mind and body and persevere. Regular practice builds one’s focus by quieting the mind and channeling the attention into the moment, into each breath and movement. It is not about just going through the motions, but putting intention into each movement in order to gain the greatest benefit from each posture. This is true discipline.
I fell in love with Bikram yoga my first class in September of 2011. I LOVE the challenge; I practically feed off of it. You’re basically working against yourself; I get extreme satisfaction from pushing past my boundaries and testing myself. I often smile in class because that is when I break past boundaries and take a posture to a whole new level. It makes me feel like a child- “Look what I can do!” The personal gratification Bikram practice brings helps to build your confidence and ground your energy, or make you more connected with your inner self. I have learned more about myself through practicing Bikram than I ever have through a therapy session; it makes me feel like a better person. Other things I have noticed change throughout my practice are my eating habits, my energy level, and my anxiety level. My eating habits become cleaner; my cravings for junk food subside considerably and I naturally crave healthier, more fulfilling foods. I am more able to sustain my energy throughout the day, as well. Exercise in general is a great stress buster, but Bikram really does the trick for me. I am less anxious and more able to deal with stressors and let things go. My practice also provides incredible emotional maintenance. Each posture works not only on a physical level but on an emotional level, too, releasing built up energy. If you are holding onto things (emotionally) be sure they will come up during practice. Don’t be wary though, it is just as important to cleanse the physical self as it is the mental self. Physically, I feel and look healthier and more vibrant. My skin becomes clearer, my posture is normal, and I am more able to enjoy other physical activities, such as hiking. I believe in Bikram so deeply because I have experienced the healing powers it can provide and know others that have experienced it too. It is a truly amazing practice!
Bikram clears the mind, renews the spirit, and rejuvenates the body. A complete package! There is a type of yoga that suits each individual, but I strongly encourage you to try Bikram. I promise it will be worth it!
You can find out more about Bikram yoga, the postures, and find a studio near you at this website: http://www.bikramyoga.com/
Check back next month for my article about Traditional Chinese Medicine!