health, natural living, sponsored, Uncategorized

Breaking Down Gut Health

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I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

There is no better time to start taking probiotics! So much of our overall health lies in our gut health. So often, our digestive systems are overrun with too much of the bad bacteria, which results in bloating, stomach pain, and illness. Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics are so great at balancing out our gut health. As soon as I started taking this probiotic, I noticed a huge difference. I have taken probiotics in the past, but honestly have never noticed a difference and ultimately stopped taking them. That is not the case with Dr. Ohhira’s brand.

I’m going to just go for it. My stomach is often messed up. I experience bloating, discomfort, and yes– constipation. Listen, it makes me nauseous just thinking about sharing this with the world. But, it’s miserable, so if I can help you feel better then I’m going to share. As soon as I started taking this probiotic, all of those symptoms were gone. Regularity, something that I never thought I’d have, is now part of my life. My skin looks and feels healthier. You can even CHEW this small tab for immediate relief from upset stomach or indigestion. I haven’t personally had to do that yet, but just letting you know that it is an option!

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Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics come in unique blister packs. You take one in the morning and one in the evening. If you are traveling, you can break off how many days you need so that you are aren’t traveling with the whole box. They don’t have to be refrigerated, which is a HUGE plus when you are limited on fridge space. I used to think that the only good probiotics had to be stored in the fridge. I was so wrong.

Back to School Time and Fall Immunity

It is not just germs that cause kids (and grown ups!) to get sick. A significant factor is the strength of their immune response. That starts in the digestive tract where over 70% of immune system cells reside. You guys, SEVENTY PERCENT of your immune system is in your digestive tract. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, help support the production and function of these immune cells. These beneficial bacteria can be an ally when it comes to fighting off back-to-school bugs. Because Dr. Ohhira’s is such a small capsule containing the naturally fermented paste a child can easily swallow it in a spoonful of applesauce or yogurt.

Research and Facts: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold, with the average child contracting 6.5 colds a year. What many parents don’t know, science has proven that some probiotics can be one of the parent’s most useful tools for keeping kids healthy. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that kids who were supplemented with probiotics were three times less likely to experience fever, coughs, and runny noses than their classmates who did not receive the probiotics.

Halloween Sugar: The Ghastly Ghoul That Will Scare Your Guts And Petrify Your Probiotics!

How Sugar Affects the Gut: Friendly bacteria aid the metabolism of nutrients and help certain compounds get into the bloodstream. A diverse population of health-promoting flora protects the gut from the less helpful strains. In contrast, an outsize number of less-beneficial flora—which proliferate with a diet high in sugar, fat, and processed food—can cause gas, discomfort, bloating, and inflammation. How many of you live in this state? The flora can also emit chemicals that compromise the intestinal lining according to The Human Microbiome Project at the National Institutes of Health. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states probiotics work with your good gut bacteria to reduce sugar cravings and help keep your blood glucose in the healthy range if you do eat sweets.

The Holidays: The Eating Season

Many conventionally prepared Thanksgiving and Holiday menus, albeit delicious, are hard on your stomach. Greasy ham, fried turkey, mashed potatoes loaded with milk and butter, yams with sugary marshmallows, decadent desserts, not to mention the increased alcohol intake for some people. Even if you eat healthy the rest of the year, sometimes your digestive system just isn’t prepared for the onslaught of rich fare. Bloating, indigestion, and a sour stomach are not only triggered by how much you eat, but also by eating certain foods that are difficult to digest. These undigested substances then pass into your colon producing the gas bubbles that make your stomach swell up and create uncomfortable gas. Probiotics, when taken consistently, repopulate the gut with health-promoting bacteria for better digestion, increased absorption of nutrients, and less gas and bloating. Basically, adding a probiotic to your routine may help you avoid or lessen the complete misery that you feel after eating your delicious holiday meals.

What makes Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics different from any other probiotic?

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are not cultured or grown in a laboratory like most other probiotic products. Natural crops and spring water are fermented* for three years with 12 distinctive probiotic strains that encourage your body’s innate ability to grow its own friendly bacteria. This rich culture medium (PRE-BIOTICS) is then encapsulated along with the beneficial lactic acid bacteria (PRO-BIOTICS) that have grown together over the three-year period and the resulting nutrients from this fermentation* process (POST-BIOTICS.) All three of these working together help to result in the ultimate gut health.

*Fermentation maximizes the natural health-promoting properties of each ingredient. The final result is an organic, living fusion that merges and encourages the evolution of your own exclusive internal bacteria. This, in turn, supports a healthy immune system and digestion of crucial micronutrients that your body needs to thrive and flourish. Hand-made in Japan with a sincere respect for nature and reverence for science, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics will transform your health with the assurance you are in harmony with the environment.

 

All of this to say, your gut health is SO important. Investing in a good probiotic makes such a difference in your overall health and wellness. The miserable flu season is coming up, and now is the perfect time to start taking care of your health. Cut out or reduce your intake of sugars. Add a great probiotic to the mix with your daily multivitamins. You can purchase Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics here. While you are there, pick up some of this moisturizer. It’s so good!

 

Please let me know if you give it a try and what you think. You can also head over to MomsMeet.com and check out what other people are saying about Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics.

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AIP, health, recipes, Uncategorized

Paleo Gravy

Probably the most difficult thing about switching to a healthier lifestyle is missing your favorite comfort foods. For me, gravy is life. But, most gravy made from scratch is not clean and contains refined flour. Over the weekend, I decided to play around and find a recipe that works and was thrilled when it worked out! Creating my own recipes is always a bit terrifying, but always worth it. (I say creating my own recipes understanding that someone somewhere has probably created a similar one. If so, I didn’t find it.)

paleo gravy

 

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Ghee
1/3 cup cassava flour
3 cups of bone broth
salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Melt the ghee in a medium sauce pan. Slowly whisk in the cassava flour until combined and smooth.
2. Slowly pour in bone broth while you are still whisking. You want to be sure you keep whisking so that your gravy does not become lumpy.
3. Continue cooking until your gravy is bubbly and thickened.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

**You could make this AIP by omitting the pepper and being certain that you didn’t add any off-limits spices to your bone broth.**

 

Making gravy from scratch is so simple. I think people often get intimidated by it because of the fear of lumpy gravy with a funky texture. Give it a try! If I do end up with lumpy gravy made from broth or pan drippings, I use my immersion blender to smooth it out.

health, natural living, recommendations, sponsored, Uncategorized

My New Favorite Shampoo and Conditioner

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I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

I have been on the hunt for a good, clean shampoo and conditioner for quite some time. Two years ago, I dyed my hair platinum blonde and it got destroyed. My hair had never been so unhealthy, and it’s been a long process of restoring the health and stopping the breakage. When Moms Meet contacted me about trying Desert Essence anti-breakage shampoo and conditioner, I jumped at the opportunity!

Honestly, I always get a little afraid. What if I hate the product and have to write that?! I won’t ever be dishonest or deceitful in what I share with you.Thankfully, that was not the case. I have been using Desert Essence Shampoo and Conditioner for several weeks and LOVE it!! I’ll have a special discount for you later so you can give it a try for less!

Here are some facts about Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner:

– It is infused with an exclusive blend  that helps reduce breakage by up to 61%. There is biotin right in the product, which is what you get when you buy any vitamins for your hair!
– It is rich in nourishing jojoba and coconut oils, aloe, and saw palmetto, which smooth and fortify hair cuticles and revitalize hair strands to minimize breakage.
– The botanical oils and radish seed extract provide shine!
– The aloe and moisturizing shea butter in the Anti-Breakage Conditioner help de-tangle and condition hair.

Another fun fact- Desert Essence was the first company to bring Jojoba oil into the marketplace! So cool!

 

The shampoo lathers up really nicely and leaves my hair feeling clean. The conditioner is thick and creamy. I love that when I am done washing and conditioning my hair, I don’t feel any build-up. Do you know what I mean? Some conditioners leave behind a lot of build-up that feels so gross and weighs down your hair.  My hair just feels fresh and clean. It feels smooth and much less frizzy than it had been. After having such badly damaged hair, it is so nice for it to feel healthy again.

I am sure that you are wondering about the scent. I always want my hair to smell nice. There is not a fruity or spicy scent– it’s just clean and fresh. Are you noticing a theme? I really love the way my hair smells after I wash it.

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Earlier, I said that I had been on the hunt for good, CLEAN shampoo and conditioner. I don’t want a bunch of hormone disruptive and unnecessary ingredients in my bath products. Every Desert Essence product is rated incredibly well on the Think Dirty app. While the anti-breakage shampoo and conditioner and not specifically rated YET, I feel really good about using a brand that’s worst score is a 4; most of the time just for fragrances that may trigger allergy or asthma problems.

If you are unfamiliar with the score system, ten is the worst. Each product gets a score and a green, yellow, or red color for how harmful the ingredients are. Most of the Desert Essence products are a ZERO! How awesome is that! Desert Essence really cares about the ingredients that are put into their products. Each one serves a purpose. The Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner is also gluten-free.

Now, I know that many people roll their eyes at this. “It goes on your skin. Who cares what’s in it?” Did you know that EVERYTHING that you put on your skin (including your scalp) can be found in your bloodstream after a certain amount of time; some as early as 26 seconds after application? THAT is why you should care. That is why I am passionate about products like this. We put tons of chemicals onto our skin that get in our blood stream, and then wonder why everyone is so sick and infertility is so common. At some point, we have to say enough is enough. Speak with your dollars, and only spend your money on the products that aren’t harming us and our children.

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You can find Desert Essence at Natural Grocers, Lucky’s Market, MOM’s Organic Market, and many other local natural food stores. If you want to find it in your area, visit desertessence.com/store-locator. My readers can take 20% off Anti-Breakage and Smoothing Hair Care Products on dessertessence.com with the promo code DELovesMomsMeet

Please let me know if you have any other questions about Desert Essence Anti-Breakage shampoo and conditioner. Let me know if you give it a try! I’d love to hear what you think!

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health, natural living, Uncategorized

A little Light Reading

We are here again. Seeking a diagnosis. Seeking feeling well.

I just want to feel like a normal 29 year old that has the energy to play with her kids. If I don’t have Hashimoto’s, I really don’t know what else could be wrong. That scares me a bit. Hashimoto’s scares me, too. I see a new doctor next Tuesday. I am going to push to have a biopsy done. Maybe he will check my antibody levels also. From what I have read, it is possible for autoimmune diseases to go dormant for a period of time, so my negative test could have been false a couple of years ago.

If you don’t know, I have an enlarged thyroid and some chronic “mystery” thyroid disease. The last two ultrasounds that I have had done have shown that it has a heterogeneous echogenicity texture. Basically, there is a texture on all of my thyroid that shows them that chronic disease is present (how my first doctor explained it). This specific texture is almost always caused by autoimmune disease, which was NOT explained to me before.

My doctor wanted to kill my thyroid, which according to blood work was functioning just fine, before it kills itself. That didn’t sit well with me, so I resisted. I had no idea what an autoimmune disease was. Maybe if I had been given more information, I wouldn’t have hesitated as much? Instead, I did the Autoimmune Protocol and overhauled the way I ate. I started avoiding all endocrine disrupters that I am aware of.  Unfortunately, I had to stop doing AIP when I ended up in the ER with all of the symptoms of a heart attack. After a lot of tests, it was determined that my body was starving. I was doing AIP and breastfeeding at the same time. I ate ALL DAY, and made sure to add in plenty of calories, but it just wasn’t enough. I had to quit, and eventually gave up on finding answers.  I don’t regret not going along with the doctors original plan. She seemed so unsure of it herself and kept saying that it was not guaranteed to make me feel better or work. If the doctor isn’t confident, why would I be?

If my new doctor doesn’t find any answers, I plan to start the Autoimmune Protocol again and work toward wellness on my own.  I want to walk into my appointment prepared with all questions and ready to face any solution that my doctor suggests. Last time, I was blindsided and not given a lot of information. This time, I want to be informed. I know people act like your thyroid is useless. It’s not. It controls every system in your body. It could be why I ended up having epilepsy. It could possibly be the cause of my miscarriage 5 years ago. I don’t know that for sure, but it is possible. What I do know is that I have all of the symptoms, and I am tired of it. Literally, so exhausted.

These are the books I have checked out from the library that have helped me learn a lot:

Why do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?   This is a great book that is full of medical information. It has great explanations for why your blood work may be normal while you still have miserable symptoms of disease.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding the Root Cause  This is another great book written by someone with a lot of knowledge on Hashimoto’s. She was diagnosed at 27 years old with it, and went on a quest to find what her “root cause” was. Medicine doesn’t help most people feel completely better, and diet always has to be altered. She found what she needed to eliminate in order to fully get rid of her symptoms.

Hashimoto’s Protocol  I haven’t opened this one yet, but will update when I have read it.

The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook This is a great book to pick up if you have, or suspect you have, an autoimmune disease. This covers all aspects of your health that can help you heal. There are many different eating plans if the AIP diet is too overwhelming. This is a book I would really like to buy and have on my shelf all the time.

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook This is one that I actually did end up purchasing. It is FULL of recipes for salad dressings, sauces, main dishes, sides, snacks, and desserts. If you have done AIP before, you know that it is SO overwhelming. There are two different four week meal plans already written out for you WITH shopping lists. They give you lists of items that you will want to have on hand in your pantry to make the protocol easier. Even when not doing AIP, it is full of really delicious and healthy recipes. You can’t lose.

 

I wanted to share this so that others in similar situations won’t feel so alone. When I found out what I may be up against, I was terrified and overwhelmed. I found a friend who had gone through something similar; though her situation was far worse than mine. I asked her what I could do. How can I take control of this? Is that even possible? She set me up with a lot of information and checked in with me often. She prayed for me. Her husband dropped to his knees in prayer when I was at the hospital. Her whole family encouraged me. I am forever grateful to her.

I will continue to write updates as we go along again. I would appreciate your prayers that answers can be found. My thyroid has been in question since I was pregnant with Addison, and I would love to have answers.

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