Let me introduce you to, Valor.

Valor is one of my current favorite essential oil blends. I have recently been using it to sleep and it has even helped some insomnia in the last few days. It is a blend of Rosewood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, Spruce and Almond Oil. It was formulated to balance energy and work with the emotions of the body. It also encourages the body to self correct and is great after a chiropractor adjustment or massage. Rosewood is anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antispasmodic. Blue Tansy helps cleanse the liver and lymphatic system it is also anti-inflammatory, analgesic/anesthetic, relaxant, Frankincense worth more than gold in Bible Times stimulates the limbic part of the brain which control all of our regulatory functions, like, sleeping, hormones, breathing, etc. It is used in Europe to help battle depression. Spruce is an immune stimulant, antiparasitic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, brings feelings of grounding and balance. Almond Oil is used in this blend as carrier oil. It offers Vitamin E and is considered a nutrient to the brain.

     Valor-Info-Sheet

To use: Diffuse, inhale, or add to bath water. Apply to wrists, neck, chest, bottom of feet, or along the spine. Add to a carrier oil if needed.

The statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not for diagnosing, treating, or curing an ailment of disease.

Advertisements

11 Days Till Spring and Homemade DIY All Purpose Spray

It’s hard to believe we could be talking about spring…when currently we are surrounded by snow. Thank goodness it’s melting this week!  February was the snowiest month on record for Colorado and we sure are feeling it. We are a little cooped up- but I know we need the moisture. So for now, I’ll just dream of spring.

Everyone knows that spring cleaning means it’s time to open up those windows, air out the curtains, and clean under your mattress (I just realized I’ve never done that- gasp!) I personally love spring cleaning, actually I love cleaning. It’s sort of therapeutic for me. I know I’m weird, and now that I have a kid I don’t do it as often- truth. So I’ve shared before about toxins and crud that is in everything in our home. Did you know that household cleaners, dish washing liquids, detergents, have some of the highest toxic content in our home. It shouldn’t surprise you since bleach can practically kill everything- including you.

As many of you know, I absolutely love my oils! I started my journey this last year and they are pretty much in every area of our life. We love having something to go to that is a safer alternative than over the counter medications, prescriptions, or just being plain old miserable during cold/flu season. While I absolutely believe that God is our great Physician- we can and should do things to help keep our families healthy at all times. That is why I have chosen oils. Therefore I am going to share with you a few DIY cleaning concoctions that I use in our home weekly. Spring cleaning is a great time to make up a batch of this stuff and then you have it all year long! Today I’m sharing my favorite all purpose spray.

DIY All Purpose Spray-

This is a must. You can use it for everything. Counters, bathrooms, kitchen table, glass, everything. You have two options- first young living has an awesome Thieves household cleaner that is already blended, you just place in a jar add water and go. Easy, convenient, awesome. Second- what I do- you can make your own.

1 cup of water

15 drops of oils- thieves (for antibacterial, anti fungal, antiviral components) lemon for scent and immune boosting

1/2 Tbs of castille soap

Glass spray bottle

Make a batch and spray everything! Easy, simple, great!

Happy Cleaning!

Easy Lemon Bars with Lemon Essential Oil

Today I’m sharing a delicious treat I whipped up with some friends the other day. I love lemon bars. We used a reciepe from a marvelous cookbook called the Maker’s Diet Cookbook. I’ll share it here.

6 pastured eggs

1 cup of grass-fed butter (we used coconut oil- I’m sure either is fine)

1/3 cup raw, unheated honey

7 drops of lemon essential oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup coconut flour (Costco has a huge bag- awesome!)

1 tsp. baking powder

Bake for 20-3 min. at 325 degrees and let cool. Easy. Delicious. Yet another way you can use those oils!

Enjoy!

 photo


Is Fish Oil Just for Fishes?

Today I want to finish up my series on supplements and vitamins. If you missed it, we’ve been talking about the essentials supplements and vitamins that I believe everyone should be taking. We’ve covered a few and there are definitely more. But, sometimes I think it’s better to start small. Small change = lifestyle change. That’s the goal.


Omega 3

So we will wrap up with fish oil. Fish oil is well known as being high in Omega-3; but what the heck are omega-3s and why do I need to take them. Omega-3 is  an essential fatty acid that our bodies need to maintain health. However, it is not something our bodies make, that is why it is necessary to get it from food or supplements. There are two types of omega-3. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Both of these forms come from animal sources (salmon, krill, etc.) while another form ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) come from plant sources such as chia, hemp, and flaxseed to name a few. Omega-3 plays a key role in brain function as well as growth and development.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published three studies looking at the effect of DHA and EPA in the elderly population. They summarized that a decreased amount of omega-3 significantly increased risk of death from all causes, as well as an increased memory and cognitive decline. Research shows that omega-3 reduce inflammation and can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.  Omega-3 is so involved in brain development and function that infants who do not get enough are at risk for vision and nerve problems in the future. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include, “fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.” (Uni. of Maryland). It is also important to have a healthy ration of omega-6 to omega-3. Omega 6, unlike Omega-3 promote inflammation instead of reducing it. According to the University most Americans have 14-25 times as many omega-6 as 3; far too high in their opinion. Omega-6 can be found in corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. The ratio is ideally 1:1.  Americans are “toxic” with inflammation. The rudimentary understanding is that all disease goes back to inflammation. Therefore, if all we are eating is omega-6s we will be chronically inflamed, and therefore diseased.

The benefits of Omega-3 continue as Dr. Mercola cites an Italian study of 11,324 heart attack survivors who were taking fish oil markedly reduced their risk of another event. American Researchers report that men who took fish oil at least once a week had a 50% lowered risk of dying from a cardiac event compared with men who eat fish less than once a month. Omega-3 also normalizes and regulates cholesterol triglyceride levels. Many people with heart disease and high cholesterol take a statin. What they don’t know is that a lot of the times diet could be enough to stay off of the statin. Fish and Krill Oil have been shown to be more efficient than statins at lowering cholesterol levels. Yet another reason why going back to the diet is so important! Studies have also shown them to be anti-arrhythmic (abnormal heart rhythms), anti-thrombotic (blood clots which can result in stroke or heart injury) and anti-atherosclerotic (preventing plaque build up within your arteries, leading to blockages and heart attacks.)

So now we’ve talked about a lot of the ways it affects your health- what about your kids.

Truth. Your kids need fish oil as much or more than you. Their brains are developing at a rapid rate- if they aren’t getting enough omega-3 in their diet it could be detrimental to their growth and development in the future. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013 said that children who took an omega-3 supplement as infants scored higher on rule learning, vocabulary, and intelligent testing at ages 3 to 5. Studies are also showing that kids diagnosed with ADHD and learning disorders have a lower omega-3 level in the blood. Not only do kiddos need supplementation; if you are pregnant or nursing your baby is dependent on their omega-3 sources from your diet and nutrition.

So where should you be getting your Omega-3? Ideally you should ALWAYS be getting your nutrition from real food. The problem is- food is not the way it was designed to be in the first place. Many types of fish are high in Omega-3 but they are also loaded with toxins, mercury, radioactive content, etc. The safest exception is wild-caught salmon. Do not be fooled, farmed salmon contains half the amount of omega-3 that wild caught does. Not to mention farmed salmon is full of toxins, harmful chemicals, fed GMO based corn and soy products that our bodies are then responsible for breaking down. Farmed= bad news. Wild Caught= awesome. Fish Oil is one of the main ways that people in America get the necessary amounts of omega-3 since we can’t eat Salmon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Krill Oil is also highly recommended because it can be 48 times more potent when it comes to anti-oxidants.

There are so many important nutrients for our health and wellness and this one is at the top of the list. Please take charge of your health- take the steps to a healthier life and give your kids the start they deserve. A few brands I have used in the past and have been happy with are: Barlean’s Fish Oil (it doesn’t taste like fish oil to me and I am able to take it daily without a problem). Melaleuca also has an AMAZING fish oil that tastes like key lime pie- I’m not even kidding- it’s amazing. It tastes like desert. If you need a contact for Melaleuca products I know just the person. Either way, capsule, liquid, smoothie- just take it. It’s important.

It’s Friday!

Remember yesterday when I shared that I was able to sit in on an awesome talk about healthy living on Wednesday morning. Well the speaker, my friend Joy as agreed to sharing her notes from the talk with all of you! Please enjoy her knowledge.

Healthy Living

Joy Pinder

Certified AFAA, Health Coach, Physical Education

Bachelors Degree in Health and Exercise Science

-Proverbs 3:7-8, Proverbs 17:22

 

The Bible as the Guide

The Apostle John wrote: “Dear friend I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 2)

“Would God have inspired John to pray that we would enjoy good health-physically, mentally or spiritually without giving us the required information? “ Dr. Rex Russell

Guess what- the Bible is the number 1 best health book. As well as the best history book, economic book, and of course spiritual book in all of time.

So what are your Beliefs and values on health?  How were you raised? You can base your belief  on scientific research, or what works for you. You can base it off of trend workouts, diet plans and self help books that you see on Facebook or in book stores.So here is my belief and values regarding Health. It is based off of scripture…the living word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.”

For example, based on Scripture, I agree with Dr. Rex Russell

“The way I like to envision our sin nature is to consider how we just naturally like to do things our own way. I believe we are born with this trait as can be evidenced in a small baby who wants things done strictly according to his or her selfish impulses.”

I believe we want things selfishly based off of our sin nature. So we have a big problem when someone tells us how we should eat or live our life. I know I do. Our problem is we want good health and to be able to do whatever we like, eat whatever, do whatever. So maybe we should think of this more of a dare to be healthy God’s way.

Just like with anything, God warns us and has our best interest in mind. But, are we missing out on the health God promises his people by not following his Laws? In Hosea 4: 6 “My people are destroyed from lack of Knowledge.”

Old Testament or New?

So what does the Old Testament and New Testament say on Health? Thanks to Adam and Eve, there was a perfect nutritional plan. But, then the fall of man happened and thus entered disease. Genesis says,  “ even the ground was cursed.”

God later had Moses write the law to His chosen people;  what was clean and unclean. Clean meant to be separated for God (representing purity and holiness)

Unclean meant separated from God.  Paul (new testament writer) taught that the Old Testament categories of clean and unclean no longer have spiritual significance. While  it was possible to disagree on subjects such as Sabbath practices and circumcision and still be true to the essential gospel message. He goal was not to make what you ate and didn’t eat the focus of salvation. So now the Church does not negate the Old Testament law but fulfills the Old Testament Law in its entirety by faith in Christ through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament law was put to set apart God’s people. Now Christ sets us apart. We now look at these laws for the purpose of glorifying God thru acknowledging His desire and design for our Health. Not to obtain spiritual salvation in how we eat. We don’t have to try to fulfill the Law, Christ did it for us when he died.

No food is spiritually unclean in itself; however, I believe that eating unclean can result in health problems, and even deadly diseases-Scientific studies agree with the Bible. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 talk about not allowing the knowledge of God’s grace to persuade you to take temptation lightly. You won’t know total victory until you get serious about resisting that temptation.

It’s more about the posture of the heart-in obedience to God’s health plan for us.

 

Three Principles to live by:

1. Eat foods God created for you

 

The clean foods he lists. Avoid what is not designed for food, The modern fast, processed diet has brought life expectancy down. Lets look at God’s nutrition plan and get more excited about that than over any trend diet.

2. Don’t Alter God’s Design

Eat the whole food as much as possible: Before they are changed or converted into something humans think might be better. In our pleasure seeking culture, we often concoct additives, chemicals and processed foods that take us away from our creators excellent design for our nutrition. Take bread for example. The bakery industry has removed 20 different vitamins and minerals from wheat to increase the storage life. Those lost nutrients and enzymes are the God-given balance to the kernel, that allows us to digest it properly. Avoid any product label that says enriched, degerminated or denatured-this means that the product probably retains little of its original nutritional value. Organic is the term used to describe any nutrient that is present in living things. Organic compounds include the essentials of life that is amino acids fatty acids and carbohydrates

3. Avoid  Food Addictions

Don’t let food consume your attention-a place God reserves for himself. Don’t let any food or drink become your God. Don’t worship a carrot or apple, just thank God for them. Don’t depend on a diet soda, sugar or coffee to get you through each day.

Eat to live don’t live to Eat

 

What does the Bible say about Nutrition?

 

  • Seeds were fashioned to bring forth life
  • Grains (nuts) are the same family as grains- Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
  • Meat -Romans 14:6- “Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.”  Jesus was not a vegetarian but if you don’t eat meat still give thanks to God. Lev. 11: 3, 13-20 “ You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews on the cud. All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you.

 

  • Pork-Isa 65:3-4 a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick; who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold brother of impure meat. The Bible looked down upon pork.
  • Fish-Lev 11:9-10 Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean.

 

  • Vegetables and fruits- Genesis 1:29 and the story of  Daniel prove to the King that his diet of water and vegetables was better than the rich kings food.

 

  • Wine-Prov. 23;29-32 Lots of scripture on warning about being drunk with wine (not to have confusion with leaders  when concerning the gospel) lots of health benefits to wine and Jesus did drink wine. Modern wine can be filled with sugar and sulfates.
  • Sweetner ( Honey) mentioned 56 times .Proverbs 24:13 My son eat thou honey because it is good and the honeycomb which is sweet to thy taste.

Lets not be a person whose reaction to truth is, as OVID the Roman poet wrote I see the better, and approve and –choose the worse”

THE 5 ELEMENTS OF FITNESS- STRIVING TO LIVE A FIT LIFE

God’s intention for our bodies is to move and labor

Fitness tips for kids and family:

 

  1. Body composition- is what your body is made of and how you are fueling it?
  • With Kids, if they see you are stressed about this they “feed off of that” or if you have a negative attitude to vegetables they will follow, it’s easy to do.
  • Do not make a big deal about what they eat by forcing. Reactions speak. Positive and Negative.
  • They are a part of the family so they eat what you cook.
  • Do not feel guilty about their taste buds not liking something healthy, do what is right for them and keep introducing. You are their teacher and guidance. You only have a small window to teach good habits and then they make their own choices. They will eat when they are hungry. Try not to make a different meal for them; they eat what the family is having.
  • Try to not mention anything about weight to your kids. Don’t talk about your weight or theirs.  Talk more about making their bones and strong muscles.
  • Play you are what you eat with them, and have them take pride in their protein and vegetables. Let them help pick out the vegetable for dinner or help cook eggs.
  • Stop putting so much emphasis on sugary treats with rewards- teach them about proper fuel for body, what can give you lasting energy.
  • Read a book or fun flash cards on learning foods and vegetables.  The more positivity on the subject the more success.

 

2.Muscular endurance-

  • Have your child stand on one leg and time him or her. How long can you hold your arms out? Have them bring their muscles against gravity.
  • Adults its about Less weight and more reps.

 

3.Muscular strength-

  • Have them use cans of food to lift
  • Let them help with carrying groceries; and then say “wow look how strong you are”.
  • Adults its about More weight, less reps.

 

4.Flexibility-

  • Encourage your kid to stretch each muscle group
  • Get them in toddler yoga
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Make a game of stretching, put a song to it,” heads shoulder knees and toes”
  • Have them sit on the floor and do homework in a stretch.
  • Adults whenever you are sitting you should be stretching and practicing posture.

5.Cardio- you are exercising the heart muscle.

  • Let them just run, run, run in an open field- (run with them)
  • Hike with your kids
  • Swimming is excellent, and less stress on joints
  • Its National Heart month and you can celebrate each month, make a calendar and have them cross off each day they did something good for their hear
  • The challenge is to not just be busy but be intentional about taking time to teach your kids about health. March is national nutrition month

 

In closing, Always be grateful for the health you have and show the Lord your gratitude by taking care of His temple.

 

Proverbs 3

7.Do not be wise in your own eyes;

Fear the Lord and depart from evil.

It will be health to your flesh, [a] and strength [b] to your bones.

 

Proverbs 7:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

If you’d like to do some further research and reading here’s a few recommendationsFullSizeRender (1)

Today’s About to Get Real

 photo (16)

   The title says it all…today’s about to get real. Fair warning. Ok, now you’ve been warned. We are continuing on in our series on supplements, vitamins, and minerals. Yesterday at my mom’s group a dear friend shared an amazing talk about what the Bible says about healthy living. This girl knows her stuff, and guess what..she’s agreed to guest blog and share with you all! Can’t wait! But…today we are talking about…working out….I said it.

Who cares what supplements, and vitamins we put in our body if we aren’t forcing our body to work for us in the best way possible- which unfortunately does not happen passively.  It seems like as soon as I say the words, “do you work out?” everyone freezes. This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip or another pep talk.But if we’re going to talk about healthy living, which ironically is the title of this blog- we have to talk about exercise, another healthy choice we must make everyday.

I will be the first to admit, as a mom, a wife, a maid, a cook, a chauffeur; this is hard. How in the world, admist all the other things we as moms have to do, do you make time to take a shower, let alone work out. I will encourage you- just keep trying until something works for you. I have tried many different things since E was born and I just kept getting frustrated because it was either I work out, or he gets a nap- then I don’t get nap time. Talk about frustrating. I kept trying different scenarios until I finally found one that works for me. While I am a gym girl-I need the competition to push me; it’s just not in the cards for me right now. Financially we’ve decided to cut back, and as far as time; by the time I’ve loaded up the kid in the car I could have finished my work out right here at home. I will recommend a program a friend told me about called Daily Burn. You can try it free for 30 days and it streams right to your computer or tv and has a different work out program everyday. There are a million options- just find one that works for you. I am now able to get a work out in, shower, and maybe do the dishes while little one naps. It works for us now. Maybe one day, I’ll get to head back to the gym- but for now it works. Don’t loose heart, you can and should make time for you!

Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about the why. Everyone knows why we should work out..right?  It’s good for our health, strengthens our muscles, someone said we should..wah wah wah wah wah……But seriously. Why?

Let’s start with a few of the big hitters. Heart health. February is heart health month- so let’s start there.

  • Heart health-I worked on a cardiovascular step down unit for a bit and I can’t even tell you have many people came in with heart problems due to lifestyle choices. Our hearts are muscles. When we don’t push them or make them work harder, in essence, they get lazy. When you work out- strength training, weights, cardio- you are pushing your heart to pump more blood at a faster rate, as well as increasing the oxygen level in your whole body. These two things alone, boost your metabolism, provide life to your limbs, muscles, and other organs, lower your blood pressure, and increase your mood at the same time.
  • Core strength is another big one. When we are talking about healthy living- we can’t be healthy if your skeleton (aka bones) aren’t strong enough to hold up our frame. Think of the muscles on your body as the rubber bands which hold the bones in place. When these muscles aren’t strong the bones suffer. Back problems, hip, shoulder, joint, etc. are almost always as result of too much stress placed on the bones because the muscles aren’t strong enough to support them.
  • Metabolism Boost- who doesn’t want a shot of metabolism booster- you know the thing that helps you burn fat and digest your food more efficiently. Two words: work out.
  • Mood/Affect- Studies show that exercise can cause the same effect of those taking anti-depressants. Not only has it shown short term effects- you know the time where you really really really didn’t want to work out, and you did and then you felt better than you had all day. It’s also been shown to have long term effect on mood, depressive disorders, and anxiety. (APA.org)
  • Brain function- recently studies are showing that increased level of brain-derived neutrophic factor increase in voluntary exercise and increase cognitive function later on in life. In layman’s terms- working out keeps your brain growing and active as you age.

The benefits are clear- most people already know most of this information. But this if just a friendly reminder, for me and for you. Get off the couch, move your body, and you will see results. Personally, when I dedicate time to improving my body physically, I see growth and change. I am a better mom, wife, friend. I have more energy, willingness, and stamina. It’s not always easy, there is grace for those days when you just can’t. But getting up is the first step. You can do it!

 

Rest…Relax…and Take a Bath

Today we are taking a break from our supplement series and going to do a little DIY fun! Love bath time?? We love it at our house and while there are many bubble baths and soaps I do love, it is so easy to make your own, why not??

So here it goes, what you’ll need.

1 cup of oil (almond, jojoba, etc) You can use coconut- but you’ll have to make it liquid first

1/2 cup of honey

1/2 cup of castille soap ( I love Dr. Bronners)

1 T. of vanilla (if you want a vanilla flavor- optional if not)

5-6 drops of your favorite essential oils ( I love lavendar)

Simple. Easy. Wonderful.

Enjoy!

_DSC0907

Vitamin D

“The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 50 percent of children aged one to five years old, and 70 percent of children between the ages of six to 11, are deficient or insufficient in vitamin D.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/22/dr-holick-vitamin-d-benefits.aspx

We are continuing our series on top supplements/vitamins that I believe everyone should be taking. We’ve covered multi-vitamins and probiotics so far. Today we are talking about Vitamin D. Everyone knows that Vitamin D is from the sun; but why in the world do we need it as a supplement. New research is being done on children particularly, looking at the link between chronic disease and Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is also an important substance in regulating immunity- as it influences the cells that fight bacteria and viruses. Between the years 2001-2006 CDC found that 1/3 of the population over 1 year old was at risk for Vitamin D deficiency.http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db59.pdf What does that mean? For us? For our kids? For our health?

The level of recommended Vit. D has increased over the last few years. Dr. Mercola says the optimal range is anywhere from 50-70 ng/ml. The recommendation goes back to the fact that only within the last few generations have we become an indoor society. Farmers, explorers, pioneers, construction workers, etc. spent most of the day outside. And when studied the amount of 25 Hydroxy D (the substance that is studied when you get your blood drawn at the doctor looking for your Vitamin D levels) was about 50 ng/ml.

Sunshine is the absolute best source of Vitamin D. We have become a society of skin protectants, sunscreen, hats, shade, etc. due to our fear of cancer. This is not a bad thing; but these things make it so that we aren’t able to get the necessary Vitamin D that our bodies need to function. Certain physicians recommend not always covering up babies/kiddos (within a reasonable time frame) to allow their bodies to get the Vitamin D it needs. If this is a possibility for you- you may be one who actually does not need a Vitamin D supplement. Studies have also shown that if you live above Atlanta, GA between November and March you basically can’t make any Vitamin D in your skin anyways. However, skin is the best method because Vitamin D made in the skin lasts 2-3 times longer in the body.

The most accurate way of knowing how much Vitamin D you actually need on a daily basis is to get your blood level tested. If this isn’t a possibility the Society of Clinical practice recommends these guidelines. Neonates: 400-1,000 IUs per day, children >1 yr. 600-1000 IUs per day, Adults 1.500-2000 IUs per day. Vitamin D is also extremely important in development in utero and breastfeed infants. Studies have showed a 400% increased risk of C-section if momma is deficient in Vit. D at birth, as well a poor muscle growth for infants at the time.

Vitamin D is also showing increasing results in cancer prevention, bone development, cold and flu prevention, and many other health benefits as well. There isn’t a clear cut and dry answer whether or not you need Vitamin D supplement; but you do need Vitamin D. So get out, get some sun; and if you can’t, then take a daily supplement.

Probiotics…what’s the big deal?

Did you know you have about 10 trillion cells in your gut? That’s 10x the number of cells found in your whole body. The gut…it is an often forgotten about organ that actually should be the number one on our list. Everything starts and ends with the gut. The gut has “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. The recommended amount of good is about 85%, while 15% is bad. I distinctly remember a conversation with a patient where I asked about his eating habits…he looked at me and in a very harsh tone said, what does that have to do with anything? Unfortunately, in America, that’s the problem. People think that they can stop at McDonald’s, feed their kid a cookie and Coke and then wonder why their kids are getting sick all the time??? The key to a healthy body, is a healthy gut.

There are multiple reasons the gut plays such an important role in immune function but the largest is that it is the first line defense for most bacteria that we ingest. Think about it- if your body had the highest functioning, best shape bacteria in the gut, it could stop the bad bacteria before it ever got any further. Eating sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other synthetic compounds decrease the guts ability to fight these infections. A neurologist even suggested that a child’s likelihood of vaccine injury or reactions is increased if their gut is in bad condition.

So what can we do?

First off- eating right is the beginning. I will say it over, and over, and over, again. You can’t complain if you are making the right choices. No one is perfect, no one needs to be perfect. But a healthy lifestyle starts and ends with what we eat. Eating high quality, organic fruits and veggies; grass feed protiens, and quality complex carbs is the beginning. Sugar, high glycemic index foods like white potato and rice, high fructose corn syrup, food dyes all of these should be on the occasional, not everyday list of foods.

Second- take a quality probiotic. Today even King Soopers and Safeway have an isle of supplements and herbs. I would recommend heading to somewhere with a department that can walk you through what is a good place to start. I am loving the liquid form I found a few weeks ago at sprouts. It has 50 billion cultures and was $10 for 30 days. Great price! Best part about it- my husband will take it! If you know him; it has to taste like dessert, so that’s a win-win for everyone! I also like Jarro Dophilus- they have a baby/kid powder that I just add to E’s food or breast milk and an adult capsule that I take everyday. On a side note: you’ll see that each probiotic has anywhere from 1 billion to 100 billion cultures in each capsule- all that means is the level of strains and different kinds of good bacteria it provides. Generally the higher the number the better.

Thirdly- this goes back to our overuse of antibiotics. If I want to be famous for something- it’s for advocating against antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. I recently saw a news clip about a new “super-bug” that has already killed 2 people in California. This is the problem- we overuse antibiotics and then we can’t treat disease when it really is needed. One of the awful side effects to antibiotics is that is kills the natural good bacteria and flora in the gut making you more susceptible to virus, bacteria and disease. For someone with something like IBS or celiacs who already has a compromised gut this can mean a whole slew of new sickness and disease. Please please please evaluate whether or not the antibiotic is really necessary. If it is- use it. If not- wait it out and try some other homeopathic and natural remedies. It’s ok to be sick- it’s our bodies natural way of developing immunity for life. If you do take an antibiotic make sure that you are taking a quality probiotic to help your gut restore it’s natural good bacteria and keep you from getting something else.

photo (13)

Probiotics- what’s the big deal

Probiotics are a wonderful supplement that can help keep us and our families in tip top shape to fit germs in our environment. I would recommend everyone from infant through adult be taking them everyday.

Minerals, Vitamins, Supplements…Where Oh Where Do I Start?

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time away as a family, and now it’s time to move on; do laundry, dishes, sleep train, etc. We had an amazing vacation, I just wish we could have brought the maid back with us! I am excited to start exploring and look further into Vitamins and supplements that I think everyone should be taking. A lot of times you walk through the vitamin/supplement section at a store and it is so overwhelming, you don’t even know where to start.

First off..why do we need them? What’s the big deal? Well years and years ago when God made food, He made it with all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs to survive. Overtime, things like pasteurization, freezing, processing, etc. have all stripped, changed, diminished the content of the food we eat. Therefore, our bodies need a little help. We’ve talked before about the importance of eating a whole food diet, organic, and full of protein, good carbs, vitamins, and minerals; but even if we logged every single ingredient in our food; most likely someone, somewhere would be deficient of something.

Why is that bad? Well our cells are like little powerhouse machines….they use different forms of vitamins, minerals, and body energy to run. Depending on what the function of the cell is it runs different mechanisms- energy creation, fat burning, digesting, fighting off infection, etc. Therefore, when we are lacking in one of these micro-nutrients that are so necessary to our innate body function- the whole body suffers. This is one of the reasons I believe everyone should be taking a multi-vitamin every day.

Another important factor to consider when looking at all the options available on the market today; choosing a whole food supplement. One that is literally coming from food; these are the nutrients our body knows how to handle since they are coming from the food we eat everyday. There are so many great brands on the market but if you are looking for somewhere to start; Garden of Life offers an organic whole food multi-vitamin supplement that is great; as well as Mega Food offers a Once Daily pill- however, I am not sure if the food sources are organic or not.

One other note: for those of you pregnant or breastfeeding; of course consult your doctor first. However, whatever you take in your baby gets direct access to their nutrients through your nutrition. So if you aren’t eating an organic diet, choosing high quality food, taking a prenatal or multi-vitamin supplement, in turn your baby is not getting those nutrients needed for growth and development. They rely on you to offer them the best start nutritionally! For those with older children it is equally as important to not only be feeding them a healthy organic diet but making sure they take their multi-vitamin as well. I do not recommend something like the Flintstones chewable as you are mostly feeding them a sugar pill. Garden of Life makes a great kids chewable as well. Talk with your local health food store, I’m sure you’ll find many options that work for you and your family.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, I feel it is a great place to start- invest in your health now; otherwise you’ll be paying someone else for it later!