Curable the App

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Hi friends, when I come across something that is working, I’ve gotta share it! I’ve just started using this app called CURABLE, and it makes a lot of sense to me, especially since I’ve been reading Switch On Your Brain, by Caroline Leaf.


Dr. Leaf explains that our DNA and our cells actually respond to our thoughts. We can recreate new pathways, new ruts, new grooves in our brain through our thoughts: either toxic, or awesome. CURABLE is basically the practical application of that information. It walks you through meditation, writing, brain training, and education. It is primarily helpful for pain, migraines, and anxiety - especially the chronic type.


I first discovered CURABLE when Liz (part of our Start Feeling Awesome team) sent me a link to an interesting article. If you want to discover why I decided to check it out, this was the article that peaked my interest: —> Curing The Incurable <—


When someone gets results like a reduction in migraines from 23/month to 3/month…I’m at least curious what happened! That is exactly what happened with the guy writing the above article. His wife was having chronic, almost daily, debilitating migraines. Within 2-3 months of using the CURABLE app and working through the various elements, she is now living with far less migraine pain. Yay!!


I have long thought my “chronic” abdominal and back pain has felt like bowling alley ruts. Any time I experience stress, just the normal daily stuff, I start to feel pain in my gut and back. It also happens when I eat - no matter what I eat. It’s almost like my pain pathways have PTSD associated with food. Weird right? Not really. In light of the new neuroscience discoveries, it actually makes sense. My brain has deep ruts routing my stress right into those pain pathways. My brain has quite frankly associated ANY food with pain. Time to retrain my brain!


(Photo: from their website to help promote their app.)

(Photo: from their website to help promote their app.)

The best way to get out of this kind of chronic pain (when there is no known cause or definite issue like a tumor, for instance) is to RETRAIN THE BRAIN.


That’s right - retrain the brain. Dr. Leaf calls it brain surgery. We can literally do brain surgery on ourselves through retraining our thoughts and thinking pathways.


So what will you do with this information? Do you want to get well? Do you want to get out of pain, or at least reduce it? Are you willing to take responsibility for the part of your pain that you can control and change?



It’s a process. I’m just beginning the journey. I am looking forward to creating new pathways that flip the switch off to my chronic pain. (By the way, I have word-swapped the word pain. I now call my pain, “Rascal.” This is one of the tricks Curable taught me. Instead of describing how horrible the pain is, I say things like, “This rascal is making me less comfortable than I want to be.”) Just an easy trick. But it actually changes the physiology of my brain when I reframe the situation and word.

(Curable App User Testimonial)

(Curable App User Testimonial)

Isn’t it amazing how God created our brains with neuroplasticity? That means our thoughts indeed change our brains in a physical way. You have the power to change how your brain works. This is great news. We have more power than we think we have. It means we can do something about it! And that’s awesome!

It really is great wisdom to follow what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:8,

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” (NIV)

NOTE: the Caroline Leaf book is an affiliate link. The Curable App is not. We receive no benefit for promoting the app. It is simply a resource Liz and I are finding helpful. Also, you may want to check out the Curable app from your mobile phone rather than your laptop. That’s the simplest way to get going with it. Be blessed!

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

Are your personal care products contributing to your pain?

If you’ve been dealing with chronic illness for a while and doing your own research, it is probably not new information that what we allow our skin to come in contact with ends up infiltrating our body’s systems, impacting their health and function. For example, many common ingredients in every day personal care products directly affect the endocrine system (think hormones, sleep, mood, metabolism, and more), as well as contribute to things like chronic inflammation, neurological disorders, cancer, and more.

 

Did you know that the European Union has banned more than 1,400 ingredients from use in skin care and cosmetics? This is due to the fact that these ingredients have been proven to be carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors, or have other negative effects on the body. 

 

In comparison, the US has banned 30 ingredients.

 

Did you catch that? Europe has banned 1,400 ingredients with proven negative effects on our bodies, and of those 1,400 ingredients, the US has banned 30. THIRTY!!

 

Face it friends, our government is not concerned about our health. All the more reason for us to be our own advocates!

 

I’ve dabbled in natural skin care and makeup products off and on for the past 10 years. I have always gone back to my favorite products from Sephora because I could never find natural or non-toxic products that worked to my satisfaction. Colors were not pigmented well, mascara ended up under my eyes, and moisturizers and foundations were greasy, goopy, or the textures were not stable (they separated, or changed color/smell).

 

So frustrating!! I started wearing makeup a lot less to try to lessen the load of unsafe ingredients, but that didn’t eliminate them. 

 

Then I was introduced to BeautyCounter. 

 

BeautyCounter is a US company whose main goal is activism for safer products, and oh yeah, they have also created a line of fabulously performing, safe beauty products!! When I heard that one of their product developers is a makeup artist to the stars (think Hollywood, etc.) I was willing to test it out. 

 

I took with me all my baggage -- memories of shampoos that didn’t clean my greasy hair, moisturizers that left my skin smelling sour, and makeup that clumped, or disappeared. I told the consultant why I didn’t believe that “natural” products were good enough. She understood my hesitation and shared that she had felt the same way. She then provided me with some products to try for a week. 

 

Ladies (and fellas, if you’re reading this), let me tell you. These products are LEGIT! Interestingly enough, my eyes don’t burn after putting on mascara anymore. Well, as long as I don’t poke the wand in my eye, which I have DEFINITELY been known to do! 

 

But beyond makeup - hear me on this. What we put on our skin matters! Skin is the largest organ in our body and it absorbs what it comes in contact with. This means that every time we use cleaning products, you know, the ones that say “call poison control if swallowed” we are welcoming them into our bodies. Even if you use gloves you are breathing in the toxins.

 

Lotions, sunscreen, all these things are disrupting the systems that run our bodies, no wonder we are chronically ill! Acne, eczema, hives, all these things (and more) are ways our skin talks to us, begging us to consider what we feed it. But of course, it goes much deeper than our skin. If you start looking up the ingredients in your products and how they affect your body, it’s quite alarming. Believe it or not, many common brands have different versions of their personal care products for different countries. If you compare them side by side, the ingredients change based on where the product will be sold.

 

When I first started looking into the ingredients in my personal care products I was incredibly overwhelmed. I wanted to give up, but mostly I was angry that our government allows money to make decisions and cover up truth. Truth that affects the health and quality of life for its citizens!

 

But I realized that I can take a stand. WE can take a stand. We can make our voices heard, we can vote with our purchases, and we can do what is best for ourselves and our families.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about BeautyCounter’s mission and available products, check us out using this link: beautycounter.com/lizchamberlain. Use the comment feature on this blog post if you’d like to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

 

Here’s to better health - AND better beauty!

 

-Liz

[Note: All Photos by BeautyCounter. Thumbnail photo by Svyatoslav Romanov on Unsplash]

Monolaurin. What is it? Why would I take it?

Have you ever heard of Monolaurin? I hadn't until an alternative MD recommended it when my immune system was overwhelmed with Lyme Disease and other viruses. At the time, I was taking acyclovir, and I had been on that for about two years. There's a time and place for prescription drugs. My previous Lyme disease doctor saw better results with her patients when she addressed their viral load first, then attacked the Lyme bacterial infections. So off I went taking acyclovir. I do believe it helped quite a bit. 

 

There is a time, however, to transition off of the heavy hitters and lean into a more natural, herbal approach to reclaiming health.

 

Enter: Monolaurin. 

 

Monolaurin is a powerful antiviral and antimicrobial derived from coconut. Ever gotten a yeast infection after taking a round of antibiotics? It's no fun. One of the beautiful things about naturally derived antibiotics is they don't kill off the good bacteria in your gut that keeps your body in balance. Your gut microbiome doesn't get jilted when you use herbs or more natural substances.

 

Monolaurin has been in my arsenal of supplements for quite a while now. I am usually one to get side effects, but I can honestly say I haven't noticed any side effects with this particular supplement. My sense is it helps boost my own immune system's ability to knock out viruses, fungus, yeast, and bacteria. I am a fan of Monolaurin. (NOTE: If you have a coconut allergy, this is not the supplement for you.)

 

There aren't a lot of studies out there on this. So you may not find the hard, factual data if you're looking for it. I will leave a couple articles and links on the bottom of this post if you decide to look further into the studies. I have found that word of mouth, and experience of an actual supplement is far more valuable to me than a 10-year controlled clinical trial. There is nothing wrong with those, but sometimes they aren't necessary to find out if something is going to work.

 

We are all wired a little differently. Your body chemistry is not exactly like mine. It's unique to you. Would trying Monolaurin be beneficial to you? It might. You never know. 

 

(Photo by  Drew Hays &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash)

I have noticed I don't get most common colds and I haven't had a flu virus in ages. And I don't get the flu shot. I can't fully say that Monolaurin is the reason, but it sure doesn't hurt!

One study noted that Monolaurin actually kills bacteria-resistant staph infections.

 

Isn't that wild? Why isn't anyone doing more research on this powerful substance? 

 

That's a whole other topic. 

 

Anyway, if you want to give it a try, here is our affiliate link to the Monolaurin brand I use.

 

BUY HERE.

 

Let us know if you notice a difference. What questions do you have about Monolaurin? For the record, I learned about Monolaurin from two different medical doctors over the years. Both physicians lean on the side of holistic, natural remedies over heavy-hitting prescription antibiotics. And I appreciate them for it. 

 

Have a great week.

 

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

 

ARTICLES:

NOVEL ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF MONOLAURIN

MONOLAURIN WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

What the Hemp? The Who, What, Where, Why, and How of Hemp!

  • Are you in pain?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping?
  • Are you struggling with brain fog or anxiety?
  • Does your immune system feel out of sorts?

 

Today Rachel explains the benefits of hemp oil, provides a testimony, and helps you understand why Prime My Body is the premier option for pain-relieving hemp oil. (This is about 13 minutes in length, so be sure to set the speed faster in YouTube if you want to get the information a little quicker and save time.) Watch this video for tons of great information!

 

Links mentioned in the video:

 

If you decide you love this oil and it reduces your symptoms significantly, be sure to consider becoming an affiliate. This allows you to get the oil for a lower price. You don't have to sell it to others (though you can), but it gets you the best price for this great product. If that's you, click on any of the above links and click on "ENROLL" to get started. It's really simple! If you have any questions with it, be sure to shoot us an email on the "Contact" tab.

 

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

Green Means Go!

(Photo by  Dan Gold &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash)

Let's get real for a moment. If you have digestion issues or struggle with constipation, here's a general rule of thumb: green means go! 

 

This means two things.

 

First, green things like kale, broccoli, spinach, etc. are full of fiber and help alleviate constipation. So when you're trying to get your bowels on board and lose that belly bloat, greens are a great go-to. Not everybody can handle greens perfectly, especially raw. If you are that type, you are not alone. Try steaming or cooking your greens a bit before consuming. This makes them easier to digest because the fibrous tissues are slightly broken down before they hit your mouth. Cooked veggies essentially require less work from your digestive tract. Also, work your way up to more greens incrementally. (Don't eat eight cups on day one.)

 

Second, greens are packed with nutrients. Greens are some of the most nutrient-dense calories food can offer. Leafy greens especially have a ton of B vitamins. In fact, Dr. Terry Wahls put her MS into remission using massive amounts of greens like kale and swiss chard. She was in a wheel chair, and within a matter of months turned her health around. Ninety percent of the changes she made was eating massive amounts of healthy greens.

(Photo by  Lacey Williams &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Lacey Williams on Unsplash)

 

The only time greens might be contraindicated is if you suffer from, or you are prone to, kidney stones. Greens are high in oxalates, and this sometimes causes some people to develop kidney stones. For most people though, greens are awesome; they promote healthy bowel movements, and they're a great snack or meal because of their nutritional superpowers.

 

Recipe Hack

Maybe you're like me and kale doesn't quite do it for you. That is understandable. However, if you saute your greens in avocado oil, fresh squeezed lemon, garlic power (or fresh garlic), and himalayan pink salt, you just might become a green-eating machine! And if you like a little kick, sprinkle on some cayenne or quality/organic Sriracha sauce to promote heat and flavor. I often saute greens and mushrooms in the morning with a scrambled egg. Yum! It's a power-packed breakfast that will nourish you for hours. There's nothing like eating something that makes you feel good, reduces inflammation, and well...helps you "go." 

 

So, my advice? Up the greens. Chuck the sugar. You'll be on your way to better overall health because... GREEN MEANS GO!

 

PS - Okra (also green) is surprisingly good for the bowels. The "slime" in the okra is magical for constipation.

 

May the Greens Be With You,

Rachel

Homemade Kombucha...it's not rocket science!

(Photo by  Bill Jelen &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Bill Jelen on Unsplash)

Like I said last week, I've been making Kombucha for several years now. Here is one of my favorite recipes adapted from GetKombucha.com.

Don't worry...it's not rocket science. 

 

What you will need: 

  • SCOBY (Kombucha culture) looks like a large booger.
  • 1 cup sugar /per gallon of water
  • 1 TBS of ORGANIC black, green tea per/gallon of water (bags of tea, or loose tea in a tea ball) 
  • A gallon of water ( size based on brewing Vessel) 
  • Breathable cover, handkerchief, cloth napkin, paper towel
  • Rubber band to hold the cover in place on brewing vessel
  • Stainless steel pot for boiling water
  • Brewing Vessel (Stainless steel, glass, porcelain brewer certified lead free)
  • Tea ball (optional: good if using loose tea)

 

Instructions:

1.    Bring water, tea, and sugar to boil in a stainless steel pot. Boil for 10 minutes with the lid on.  Let cool to room temperature.  (I boil mine in the evening and let it cool overnight.) 

(Photo by  Micheile Henderson &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

2.    Remove tea bags/tea ball. 

3.    Add room temperature tea to the brewer with SCOBY.

4.    Optional: add 1 cup of original Kombucha.

5.    Cover brewer with breathable cover, secure with rubber band. 

6.    Place or keep brewer at room temperature, slightly warm, dark and ventilated place (countertop in the kitchen or open closet).

7.    Wait 3-5 days. Begin to taste your Kombucha. If it is too sweet, allow to brew a few more days and taste again. If it is sour, you will need to reduce your brewing time next cycle. 

8.    Continue to brew and taste until you find the taste that is right for you.  

9.    Enjoy.

 

Tips:

  • Never put anything in your brewer with your SCOBY except room temperature sweetened tea. Anything added can contaminate it. 
  • I buy loose tea from Frontier Wholesale Co-op, since it is much cheaper. Use Organic China Black or China Green tea. Make sure your tea is safe for making Kombucha, as some kinds of tea should not be used when making Kombucha. (Do not use Earl Grey, teas containing oils, flavored teas, or teas with added fruit, spices, or herbs. They have the potential to contaminate the Scoby.) I make a blend of Black, Green & White peony (a type of green tea). 
  • Sugar: buy the cheap white stuff. 
  • Water: I use reverse osmosis water, as impurities can contaminate your SCOBY. You do not have to use RO water, but I would recommend filtered water at a minimum.
  • For a brewing vessel, you can use those large glass jars for lemonade that you would find at Walmart or Target. The tap at the bottom is helpful when pouring out the finished Kombucha. GetKombucha.com sells brewing kits. I bought mine from them, and it was well worth the money. 
  • Finding the right taste will be trial and error. A couple factors to consider:
    • Weather: the warmer the season, the faster the tea will ferment.
    • The size of your SCOBY: if it is large, your tea will ferment faster.  
  • I try to keep my SCOBY the thickness of a large pancake and the width of my brewing container. My tea ferments anywhere from 3-5 days. In the summer three days is typical. In the winter 5-7 days.
  • To flavor your Kombucha, always add flavors in a second ferment, not the original.

 

(Photo by  Cecilia Par &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Cecilia Par on Unsplash)

To Second ferment:

You need your fermented Kombucha. (I use it on the slightly sweet side)

Flavorings: grape juice, pineapple, raspberries, cherries. Use your imagination. 

Jars for bottling (I use quart size canning jars)- always sterilize, run through the dishwasher. 

I will add fruit or juice to the jars about ¼ cups to flavor and fill the jar to just below where lid screws on. I place the lid on and seal tight. I leave it on the counter for 1-3 days. When the cap puffs up, the Kombucha is ready to drink!

 

Hints:

•    When bottling with the second ferment, you want it on the slightly sweet side because the sugar is what produces the carbonation.  

•    What you use to flavor makes a difference in the result.  Fruit that contains higher amounts of sugar will produce more carbonation. (Grape juice, pineapple)

•    My best jars are ones that I have put away in my pantry and forgotten about for a few weeks. They are fizzy and very close to what I purchased in the store.

 

Final Comments:

  • Because your drink is carbonated, any jars or bottles with cracks will cause the jar to break. It is rare, but it does happen. 
  • Kombucha is a living drink; this means that even after it is bottled, it is still active and will continue to ferment. If left long enough will proceed to taste like vinegar. It is safe to drink or use in salad dressings as vinegar. 
  • Living things reproduce living things. In your bottled drink a mini SCOBY will form. It looks like a clear blob or jellyfish. You can grow them out, drink it or use it for other purposes. 

 

-Barb D.

Kombu Kombu Kombucha! Drink to your health!

(Photo: GTSLivingFoods.com)

(Photo: GTSLivingFoods.com)

Trillions of good, necessary bacteria live in our bodies, and most live in our digestive tract. The ones that live in our gut have the most significant impact on our health and well-being. One of the best ways to stabilize the good gut bacteria is to consume lacto-fermented beverages like Kombucha. If you google it, you’ll find that opinions on Kombucha run the gamut from miracle tea to harmful hoax! This article will help break it down for you.

 

What is Kombucha?

It is a raw drink made from sweetened black tea and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). The SCOBY feeds on the caffeine and sugar in the brewed tea, and the result is a fizzy drink rich with nutrients. Although the tea contains acetic, gluconic, and lactic acids, it is alkalizing to the body. I first read about this powerful drink in The Makers Diet by Jordan Rubin. 

 

What are the benefits?

Kombucha contains probiotics, live enzymes, minerals, lactic acid, and healthy bacteria and yeast to support the gut. Many people experience increased energy, relief from constipation, decreased PMS symptoms, and reduced inflammation. Kombucha also aids in detoxification and boosts the immune system. 

 

You can find out more about Kombucha from credible sources like Dr. Mercola, Dr. Axe, and Dave at GetKombucha.com. Dave is the founder of GTS Kombucha, and he is considered the "King of Kombucha." He has a plethora of information on his site along with other uses for Kombucha and recipes if you want to try your own.

 

My Story with Kombucha

(Photo by  Jez Timms &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash)

A few years ago, I was looking to reclaim gut health, especially in the area of Candida overgrowth. At the time, the only brand available was GTS. I loved it!! The taste, the fizziness, and how it made me feel. I just plain felt better overall! I followed the instructions on starting slow, drinking a ½ cup with dinner, and then gradually increased as time went on. Eventually I started making it myself, and I’ve been making it for over 10 years now! 

 

A few of the health benefits I have experienced first-hand are:

  • Better digestion when eating a more substantial meal.  

 

  • Immune support. On those days when I feel like I'm coming down with a cold or virus, I am able to avoid getting sick. 

 

  • Liver support and healthy digestive tract. When I found out I was mercury toxic, the doctor tested the areas of my body where the metals settled, and amazingly, my liver and GI tract were metal free! I give credit to Kombucha (although I cannot medically back that up.)

 

  • Allergy Detoxification. When I'm exposed to an allergen, Kombucha aids in removing the toxin from my body.

 

  • A reduction in inflammation.

 

  • Excellent substitute for soda!

 

If you decide you would like to try some Kombucha, buy a bottle and begin to drink it slowly. Start small (1/4 cup) and drink with your most substantial meal of the day. See how you feel. Do it for three days and if it’s okay, increase it to a 1/2 cup. Then continue to increase up to one bottle a day. Once your body is used to it, you can drink it any time.

 

NOTE: Kombucha contains caffeine so you may want to be aware of what time you drink it, and limit your intake if it affects your sleep! Also, because it is a fermented beverage, it contains small amounts of alcohol. 

 

What brand? What flavor? Where do I get it?

I typically buy the GTS brand. There are others, but I find that that brand works for me. 

 

There are many flavors, but I recommend “Trilogy” for the first time you are trying it. On average you can buy a bottle for about $3.50. You can buy Kombucha in health food stores, like Whole Foods or Sprouts. You may decide you want to brew your own Kombucha because it is much cheaper to make than to buy. 

 

Like any food or drink, there are risks of allergies or adverse reactions.  According to WebMD, improperly prepared Kombucha can grow harmful bacteria and mold. I have been brewing Kombucha for over 10 years and have never had mold or any harmful growth in my brewer. I sterilize all my equipment and wash my hands consistently when making Kombucha. You may want to do some research to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks. 

 

-Barb D.

PS - RECIPE for homemade Kombucha coming next week!!


References:  

Axe, Josh. “This 'Immortal Health Elixir' Protects Your Gut & Fights Food Poisoning Pathogens (and More!).” Dr. Axe, Dr. Axe, 9 May 2018, draxe.com/7-reasons-drink-kombucha-everyday/.

Fallon, Sally & Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., “Nourishing Traditions,” Kombucha, New Trends Publishing, Inc, 1999, pp. 587, 596, 598

 “Kombucha Benefits | Kombucha Health Benefits with NO Side Effects.” GetKombucha, www.getkombucha.com/pages/kombucha-benefits.

“Kombucha.” Cultures for Health Lactofermented Hummus Comments, www.culturesfor health.com/learn/category/Kombucha/.

“Kombucha Dr. Mercola - Information about Kombucha Tea.” Kombucha America, www.kombuchaamerica.com/make-kombucha/cgi-bin/scoby.pl/kombucha-dr-mercola.html.

Rubin, Jordan, “The Makers Diet,” Fermented Beverages, Siloam, 2004, pp. 154

“The Truth About Kombucha.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/the-truth-about-kombucha.

 “Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS.” Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS, traditionalcookingschool.com/. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-benefits-of-kombucha-tea

 “What Your Gut Bacteria Say About You.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-your-gut-bacteria-say-your-health.

 

Take It Easy

(Photo by  Aaron Burden &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash)

“Take It easy, take it easy,
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.”
~Jackson Browne, Glenn Fry

 

Although these well-known words are indeed intended to be toward the arenas of relationships, they keep running through my head as our family’s summer schedule is in full swing. 

 

Summertime is always a little crazy around here - the kids are out of school, we’re spending time with friends and swimming at the YMCA and getting out of the heat by bowling and taking a vacation and going to the library and working in the garden, and, and…

 

On top of all that, I still have to make meals, grocery shop, do laundry, keep the house moderately clean, all while making sure the kids brains aren’t turning to mush.

 

And I’m tired.

Friends, I need a break.

And my bet is, some of you do too.

 

(Photo by  Kat Love &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Kat Love on Unsplash)

As I sat down to write another post about healthy eating, I kept hearing that Eagles song on repeat in my head. And it occurred to me that many of you may need a breather too. I’m not suggesting that we all throw the baby out with the bathwater. But maybe it’s time to streamline.

 

Pick 1 or 2 things you’re doing right now that are extras, that are only a box to check off, and set them aside for a time.

 

See what I did there? …for a time…

 

I’m not suggesting that you NEVER meal plan again. Or that you forego ALL your accumulated food knowledge and settle for take-out dinners from now on. Or that you QUIT your yoga class for good. 

 

But I do think that you need to go easy on yourself.

 

A dear friend of mine used to say,

"the pendulum of life swings hard between the horrible and beautiful, and most of life happens in the middle." 
 

When those intense swings happen, take it easy. Don’t add to the noise and chaos by heaping loads of unnecessary responsibilities on top of your already-sagging shoulders.

 

Here are a few things that are helping our family this summer…

 

  • When I cook, I cook double.

(Photo by  Jennifer Pallian &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash)

No need to spend two nights cooking, when I can spend one simply reheating! This is a great time for cooking double/triple and freezing portions.

 

  • I do a little bit of laundry every day.

Instead of letting it pile up so that I’m inundated with ALL THE SUMMER LAUNDRY, I gather things every day and do smaller loads. It’s a great time to let things line-dry too … love the smell of clothes dried outside!

 

  • I clean the kitchen before I go to bed.

Nothing sets me in a foul mood more than waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes. No matter how tired I am, I try to make sure the sink is empty, the dishwasher is loaded & run, and the coffee is set to come on in the morning before I go to bed. Then, when I wake up (before the kids, ‘cause that’s how mama does best!), I come down to a clean kitchen and a hot pot of coffee.

 

  • Spend time with people you love.

We’ve spent so much time playing with friends this summer, my love-tank is brimming! My boys have had fun swimming, bowling, bike-riding, zoo-ing … often with friends that we ALL like. Mama’s I can’t encourage you enough to make sure that you enjoy the parents of the kids your children spend time with. 

 

This summer, I’m trying my best to remember that summer is a season. I may not be accomplishing as much as I’d like. I may not be reading/writing/studying as much as I’d like. I may not be quite as organized as I’d like with meal-planning and shopping.

 

(Photo by  Aaron Burden &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash)

But, in a few short weeks, I will be able to do all those things again.

 

And so today, as I sat to write this blog, I invited a friend of my boys’ over to play, put in my daily load of laundry, poured a cup of coffee and I took it easy. On myself. And hopefully on you too.

 

 

How’s your summer going? What is part of your summer routine that makes your life easier?

 

-Karin S.

Are Lyme Tests Worth It? What If You Have Fibromyalgia?

Rachel discusses when to get Lyme testing and when to skip it. What's the best use of your money? Lyme tests are expensive. What if you've only been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia? Rachel walks you through some of the decision-making process.

Links:

RawlsMD.com

 

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

Is Sickness Your Identity?

More and more I'm coming to realize how much our mindset affects our bodies. If we think of ourselves as victims, we carry victimhood like a bag of bricks, and we give sickness permission to stay as a welcomed guest in our body. However, when we circulate healthy thoughts, mindsets, and attitudes - our body listens and responds accordingly. 

 

We must choose daily to make sickness uncomfortable with us. Create such a powerfully positive environment in your heart, mind, and soul that sickness simply can't stay. It's an odd way to think of it, but this idea has been significant in my own health breakthroughs. I want you to grab ahold of your healing. Healing our mindset is often the very first, and most important, step in the healing process.

 

Enjoy the video! 

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

 

6 Tips On Chiropractic Care

Like most things in life, there's a time and season for just about everything. Chiropractic therapy is no exception. It hasn't been a cure-all for me, but it sure has brought relief on many occasions. And for that reason, I recommend it to most people. Some of the symptoms I have experienced help with include:

  • Migraines.
  • Tension headaches.
  • Back and neck muscle pain.
  • TMJ and teeth-grinding.
  • Numbness in my fingers.

 

However, not all chiropractors are created equal. Just like every professional, some do their job well, and others don't. Here are a few of my personal tips for chiropractic care.

 

1. Find a good DC (Doctor of Chiropractic). Ask your friends who they love, and what kind of results they have experienced.

(Photo by  rawpixel &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

It does not matter how nice the doctor is if they don't provide any actual relief.

Some DC's have poor technique and cause more harm than good. For me personally, any chiropractor that adjusts too slowly, or turns my head out of neutral position for too long before they make the actual adjustment to my neck will give me a headache. Like, a REALLY BAD (I vomit) kind of headache. Now that I know that, I don't let them adjust me that way. If that's the only way they can make the neck adjustment, I move on to a different chiropractor immediately. Adjustments have to be quick for me, and they have to be somewhat of a "surprise" or else I tense up. Many people are this way. The docs with better technique know this and can handle it beautifully.

 

2. Find one that doesn't over-rotate you. If you are a smaller-framed female, the tendency is to over-rotate your hips and lumbar section when they do that twist move. I've actually felt my ribs stabbing my organs. I don't let chiro's do my lower back in the traditional twisty way anymore. It's not helpful. 

 

What other options are there? For lower backs, doctors can make adjustments using a special chiropractic table. They notch up the table in a certain area...then push your back or hip or whatever they're adjusting into the table, and as the table moves, the bones get realigned. I think this is a much safer way to have your lower back adjusted. It doesn't usually give you that satisfying "pop" sound, but you also won't break a rib. It's much more gentle. 

 

3. If you have arthritis or severe joint pain, or you are older...I recommend finding a chiropractor that is proficient and trained in "Activator Technique."

 

To see that in action, you can check out: THIS VIDEO.

 

I just recommended the Activator type of chiropractic to my mom because it is so gentle, but it still gets the body and bones aligned. If you are in physical therapy for something and you aren't getting the relief and breakthrough you're looking for, often adding chiropractic treatments to the mix will make your PT exponentially more beneficial. 

 

By the way, anybody using the Activator method should be checking in with your alignment and muscles each time they adjust and click. It should not be random and haphazard. That is again, someone who THINKS they know what they're doing, but in fact, is covering their incompetence.

 

(Photo by  Toa Heftiba &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash)

4. Look for a chiropractor who loves to learn. A learning doctor is always a better doctor than a stagnant one. I am always amazed at how few continue to grow their craft as a healer. When I find one that geeks out on learning things, new tips, and new ways of promoting healing - I've found GOLD!

 

5. BEWARE: of the Chiropractor or Chiropractic office that demands you set up 12 sessions right off the bat. Probably my worst experience in a chiropractic office was when the doc talked my ear off for an hour about insurance and how I had to pre-pay for 12 sessions...all while I was sitting there with a raging migraine. And for the above reasons, I do not sign up for more than 1 session with anybody. I know what kind of adjustments my body needs, and some docs simply don't have the skills. DO NOT throw away your money or insurance benefits on a DC that you haven't tried. If they try to force you or guilt you into signing up for many sessions...here's what you do: WALK OUT. You don't even have to be polite or feel remorse. "No thank you." Then drive off.

 

Now, you may need 12 visits. That's fine. You may need a regime of several sessions or weeks to get you back on track. That is OFTEN the case, especially if you've been in a car accident, or if you've never been adjusted before. It takes a while for the body to re-learn the new, corrected normal. But don't pre-pay or pre-schedule with a chiropractor you have not personally experienced an actual adjustment with. Get one adjustment. Pay for that one. Then make a decision. Any DC that does it the other way around is either being greedy, or they're so bad people don't want to come back. Either way - you deserve better! 

 

6. You will probably be sore. Good adjustments cause your body to experience soreness. It's all part of the process, but it is worth it to feel much better after a couple days. Ice packs work wonders after an adjustment to reduce inflammation and numb it out. And heat packs work great before an adjustment to loosen up your muscles in preparation for the adjustments.

 

If you live in the Franklin/Nashville TN area, I highly recommend SUSAN at KEES CHIROPRACTIC. She goes above and beyond. She checks and adjusts my cranial bones (yes, the ones in my head) and jaw bones and even my toes. She puts on a rubber glove, puts her hand in my mouth, and stretches my masseter muscles (the muscles that cause TMJ). Gosh, dang it hurts. But my headaches and teeth-grinding vanish. It's crazy! If there was such a thing as a Chiropractic Ninja, she'd be it. 

 

Q: What are your tips for chiropractic? What have you found helpful? If you have a great DC in your area, leave their website and name in the comments!

 

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

Copaiba the Magic Pain-Relieving Oil

Many of you have told me how much you struggle with ongoing, persistent pain. I get that. I've been dealing with pain issues for many years now. Whenever I come across something that really works, I simply must tell people about it! 

 

Let's talk about Copaiba oil. In my experience, it is not a magic bullet. But it does reduce my pain, and it helps my other pain relief modalities work better. So, it has a synergistic quality about it, and it boosts other pain-relieving substances (like peppermint oil). 

 

So what is Copaiba oil?

 

It is an oil distilled from the sap of a South American tree called Copaifera. According to one source, it is said to be "one of the most anti-inflammatory substances on earth..." That sounds good, doesn't it?

(Photo by  Thought Catalog )

(Photo by Thought Catalog)

Why not give it a try? It's not as expensive as some pain-relieving items out there. And it's certainly cheaper than going to doctor after doctor. (I'm not saying you shouldn't go see your doctor.) If you do mention this oil to your physician, the likely response is that they've never heard of it. I'm always amazed at how little homework some physicians do. I don't really want a "just do the bare minimum" doctor, do you? To their credit, there is a lot coming out in modern medicine, and it is quite a feat to keep up with it all. No one can keep up with everything consistently. But if your doctor is teachable, you might mention this oil to them. I just recently told my pain management doctor about Copaiba and she thanked me. Score 1 for Western Medicine!

 

Moving on...

 

(Photo by  Christin Hume )

(Photo by Christin Hume)

If you'd like more information on Copaiba Essential Oil, I'd recommend this article here. This will give you more of the nitty gritty on what exactly it is and how it works. The biggest question for you is..."Could it actually work for me? Will it reduce my pain?" Great questions. The only way to find out how your body will respond to it is to try it out. 

 

You can get your hands on quality Copaiba oil here at my doTerra site. I place an emphasis on quality because many other oil brands don't check for toxins and pesticides. DoTerra has super high standards and practices for all their oils. I can't say enough good things about this company. They have integrity. Period. And that matters to me.

 

I have found this oil to reduce my pain. I don't get complete pain relief from it, but it does turn down the volume on my pain signals.

 

How do you use it?

 

I rub it directly on my abdomen and kidney area because that's where most of my pain resides. I also take one to two drops a couple times a day under my tongue for an extra boost. I would try it first on your skin. If you're going to have an allergic reaction to it, you don't want that to happen internally. Always try the least invasive method first. Rub it on your pain area, the bottoms of your feet, or the base of your skull. Then if that goes without any issues, try taking it under your tongue. Another great thing about Copaiba oil is that it won't give you that "heady" high feeling. It just doesn't work like that. So you get pain relief without feeling loopy or sleepy.

 

By the way, I find a bottle of DoTerra Copaiba oil lasts me about 4-6 weeks. Not bad for $46. (Or $35 if you decide to become a wholesale customer. Membership (like joining Costco) is $35 to sign up and $25 annually after that. The difference between retail and wholesale is huge. So you earn that $35 back pretty dang quickly...even if all you're using is Copaiba oil.) Let me just say, I hate memberships and MLM's. So I'm never gonna try to scam you here. I simply mention this option because it's a way to keep more money in your pocket. You don't have to sell DoTerra products to get wholesale prices. And you don't have to become that pushy friend who tries to sell stuff on Facebook. Lol. We all have those friends, don't we? <wink>

 

What do you think? Have you tried it? What helps you alleviate pain? 

 

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

GET MORE DOTERRA OILS HERE.

(Please note: this blog contains affiliate links.)

 

PS - if you haven't used DoTerra oils, and you would like to sign up for wholesale prices, I would love to sign you up with me. I'm happy to walk you through it if you feel lost. Send me an email at RachBarrentine@gmail.com and I'll get you comfortable and set up. No pressure. No hassle. No worries. Thanks!

More things we don’t like to talk about

(Photo by  Form )

(Photo by Form)

If you’re like me, the word “exercise” is a double edged sword. Theoretically it’s a great idea. I mean, who doesn’t want to be like the women in those Athleta/Nike/Calia ads, am I right? All fit and toned, enjoying a beautiful sunrise all alone, sweating glamorously, perfectly in sync with themselves and nature. No pain, no stiffness, just beautiful strength.

 

Yeah, right. When I exercise I am a sweaty, uncoordinated MESS!!!

 

(Photo by  Alexander Redl )

(Photo by Alexander Redl)

Runners are my favorite.

“Don’t you just LOOOOVE running?!? I run 5 miles a day, 10-15 on the weekends!!”
 

Ummmm, NO.

 

When I run I get about ten yards from my front porch and have to stop to vomit, wheezing like I’ve just run a marathon. Running makes my head pound and my back ache. It makes me see stars!

 

I do not find running to be freeing. I do not find it to be energizing. I do not find it enjoyable in the least!! Not even a teeny, tiny bit.

 

(Photo by  Massimo Sartirana )

At this point you’re probably saying to yourself, then why do it?

 

Guess what. I don’t.

 

Run, that is. However, I have learned that exercise is a vital part of overcoming the pain I endure on a daily basis. Even better, regular exercise greatly improves my mental/emotional state. But you don’t have to try to love running to incorporate exercise into your routine.

 

And hey, if you love running? Wonderful! I don’t, but I’m thrilled for you! You go, girl!! (or guy)

 

For the past 20 years I have dealt with chronic pain, which of course leads into (or makes worse) depression and anxiety. It’s hard to exercise when everything hurts. Pain is exhausting. Depression is exhausting. Just doing the bare minimum is enough to wear me out on a GOOD day, much less a bad day. Anxiety makes me worry about what other people will think of me in a gym setting. What if I look like a wimp? What if I get dizzy and pass out? (This has actually happened to me) What if I am in so much pain I have to leave after 10 minutes? People will think I'm ridiculous!!

 

Ah, yes, the beauty of how our minds "help" us.

 

About 8 years ago a couple of my doctors started to really get on me about exercise in spite of my pain. They told me it would help. They told me I NEEDED to exercise because my body needed the enhanced blood flow to help it be able to overcome the pain. They told me I needed to exercise because my brain needed the endorphins to help overcome my depression and anxiety. When I protested, strongly, one of them suggested trying yoga, or another low-impact option. Around that time one of my close friends was also encouraging me to join her at her favorite yoga studio.

 

Of course I said no. Yoga terrified me! How did people bend themselves into those ridiculous poses?! Just LOOKING at them made my neck hurt. Seeing as my neck was a major source of my pain, I wanted to stay far away from anything that would set it off. Plus, there was all that new-agey breathing and meditation stuff, how weird!!! (I know, I know, I am SO open-minded!!!)

 

Eventually I was desperate enough to try. I purchased a few private lessons from my friend’s instructor and, in our first session, proceeded to tell her all the reasons why I thought yoga was not going to be right for me. In excellent instructor fashion, she heard me, empathized, and said, “I understand. Let’s just start with learning to breathe. That won’t hurt your neck at all.”

 

Since I was paying $60 for the hour-long session I decided to humor her and not inform her that I'd been breathing my whole life and did NOT need to "learn how."

 

A few months later I had finished my private lessons and completed multiple classes (I went every week!). I was amazed at the difference in my body. In case you didn’t catch that, I was AMAZED at the difference in my body!! Now, I’m not talking toned and hot, I’m not even saying I could get into those ridiculous poses! What I AM saying is this:

 

  • Learning to control my breath, and breathe deeply, was transformational. When I am in pain I breathe very shallowly, and it does NOT help my body.

 

  • Stretching and strengthening my body was incredible. It helped relieve pain in my joints, loosen muscles that were (I thought) permanently spasmed. It built my confidence and made me feel capable and beautiful. Even the names of the poses are empowering! Warrior. Sphinx. Tree.

 

  • But most of all, I was blown away by the difference in my mind. Learning to pay attention to - and control - my breathing helped me get through cycles of pain. It also helped relieve anxiety better than some of my meds. It helped me learn to quiet my mind and truly rest which, of course, allows the body to better heal and refresh.

 

Suffice it to say, I was wrong in my prior impressions of yoga, and I am so thankful to have learned what it really is!!

 

Recently I have also been incorporating Barre Fitness into my routine. Let me tell you this, that workout kicks my butt! It’s amazing. I can’t believe how gentle it is on my joints, neck, and back, while giving me such incredible core strength and toning ALL muscle groups. Even the ones I never knew I had! (Ouch!)

 

But most of all, I am amazed at how much better my body can recover from a pain cycle when I’ve strengthened it. In fact, going to class can help me recover from a pain cycle!

 

A few things to note:

 

  • Do not exercise if you are feeling lightheaded, or have recently taken narcotic pain meds. You’ll probably pass out. This is very embarrassing. (I tested this so you don't have to. You're welcome.)

  • Drink lots of water.

  • LISTEN to your body. If the particular exercise you're trying hurts, stop. Remember, there’s good hurt (hurts so good!! You want this one) and bad hurt (this means STOP). Be careful.

  • Work with an instructor to make sure you have proper form and avoid hurting yourself.

  • Drink LOTS of water. (Did I say that yet?)

  • Talk with your doctor about which type of exercise would be beneficial for your condition, and not exacerbate it.

 

(Photo by  Charity Beth Long )

Trust me, I know this is unpleasant. I cancelled one of my barre classes this week because I’d been up since 2am with a ridiculous headache coupled with neck & back pain, and I’m still not over it 2 days later. I should go to class today but I know that if I do it’ll make the pain come back. I signed up for one tomorrow morning. Praying I can make it, as that will be a sign that this pain cycle is easing, yay!!

 

The most important thing is to LISTEN to your body. But, kind of like you would a child when they say, “but I don’t WANNA go to sleep!!!” Sometimes we need the thing we don’t want. It is vital to learn the difference between “don’t want to” and “shouldn’t do it.”

 

Oh, one more thing. Drink lots of water ;-)

 

-Liz

Gut Pain? Where to start...

Hi friend! If you are struggling with IBS, IBD, weight gain, bloat, constipation...or any other abdominal malady, I've made this quick video for you! There's a wealth of information out there that can be completely OVERWHELMING. Are you with me?

 

I have struggled for a long time with undiagnosable abdominal pain. It stinks! I'm on a journey, and I have found this particular resource in this video really helpful. It's a great starting place if you are beginning your journey to better gut health and nutrition. 

 

After watching the video, let us know what questions you have. What has helped your gut and digestive issues? What has not worked at all? Let's share resources and see if we can't grow healthier together! 

 

See you on the other side of the video.

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

 

A Journey to Healthier Eating

  • We need food to survive. 
  • We cannot stop eating when we want to lose weight.
  • We cannot stop eating while focusing on healing.
  • We cannot stop eating because we are in pain.

 

We cannot stop eating.

 

We need food, nourishment, energy. And yet for many people, food is the source of physical pain, mental anguish and soul-crushing anxiety. 

(Photo by  Travis Yewell )

(Photo by Travis Yewell)

 

We were created with nutritional needs - namely, we need food and water to survive. Jesus even recognized this physical need when He gave us the bread and the wine to nourish us spiritually. We can’t escape the need.

 

There is much debate on the topic of nutrition. 

 

Some think we need to eat as close to what the cavemen ate (meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds); others believe we need to lump different food groups together (fats with fats; energy with energy); some believe we need to consume only non-animal products (ie, vegetarian & vegan diets), yet others people believe we need solely to restrict our fat intake, or our sugar intake, or our salt intake, or our caloric intake…

 

In reality, none of these things is inherently wrong. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made. Each person has the capability to feel strong and healthy depending on the food they eat.

 

Remember, I am not a registered dietician, clinician or medical professional. If you are in pain, seek medical attention. If you have specific medical conditions, please don’t drastically shift your diet without consulting your doctor.

 

There are a few significant dietary changes that you may want to consider on your journey to healthier eating.

 

1. Reduce Sugar Consumption

As Americans, we consume too much sugar. Period.  Did you know that most jarred pasta sauces include sugar? Peanut butter too. Also, bacon. WHY DO THESE THINGS NEED SUGAR???

 

Sugar is addictive. When we eat it, we want more. Several studies have pointed to the idea that the same parts of our brain are stimulated with sugar as with illicit drugs.*1 

 

Sugar is also responsible for the sharp rise in diseases like diabetes and the obesity epidemic we have in the US. If you are interested in reading more about this, articles such as http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/37/4/950 are very insightful.

 

2. Reduce Wheat/Grain Consumption

There are two main reasons to consider eliminating or reducing your wheat/grain consumption.

 

A. You have Celiac Disease. If you have Celiac, your body cannot process gluten which is in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, triticale and oats. (Oats on their own do not contain gluten but are frequently processed along side gluten-containing grains) 

 

Symptoms of Celiac Disease include diarrhea, bloating, gas, fatigue, low blood count (anemia), and osteoporosis. If you think you may have Celiac, please see your doctor. There are tests that can be run to confirm this diagnosis.

 

B. Grains, especially refined grains, are too often consumed in larger quantities than our body needs. They are empty carbohydrates that offer little in the way of long-term satiety and may actually increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and raised cholesterol levels.

 

Whole grains, when properly prepared, can be an important to a well-balanced diet, in moderation.

 

3. Increase Water Consumption

(Photo by  Melissa Walker Horn )

Most people know they need to drink more water. But do you know why? A human body is approximately 60% water. Our bodies use water to help deliver oxygen through out our bodies, lubricate our joints, regulate our body temperature, and is needed by the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters … just to name a few things.*2 

 

An adult woman should be drinking about 2.5 liters (or 10 cups) of water each day and an adult man should be drinking about 3 liters (or 12 cups) of water each day. That’s a lot of water!! To nail down exact amounts for you, most experts say to drink half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 180 lbs., you should be drinking about 90 ounces of hydrating liquids a day.

 

The good news is that all hydrating fluids count toward your daily intake, not just water. Things like milk, tea and juice all contribute to your total. It is wise to consider drinking things like fruit-infused water, unsweetened tea and sparkling water to avoid unnecessary calories and sugar. 

 

4. Increase Vegetable/Fruit Consumption

We’ve all heard the childhood saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The World Health Organization recognizes this: Current evidence indicates that fruits and vegetables consumed as part of the daily diet can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.*3

 

Fruits and vegetables contain water, fiber, which our body needs for digestion and elimination, potassium, which we need to help regulate our blood pressure, along with many other phytochemicals such as antioxidants that help our bodies in countless ways.

 

Adding more vegetables to your meals is a great way to save money too! Vegetables and fruits are more inexpensive than meats. Try implementing “Meatless Mondays” to your weekly meal rotation.

 

Corn & Tomato Pie 100 Days.png

If you’re looking for a great meatless summer recipe, this Corn and Tomato Pie made with a whole wheat crust is just the ticket!

 

CORN AND TOMATO PIE RECIPE

 

I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of these ideas. What works for you? What doesn’t?

 

Have an awesome week,

Karin S.

 

SOURCES:

What's Barb's Most Impactful Health Resource? Find Out Here!

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 11.59.01 PM.png

If you were to ask me what the most significant health resource has been in my life, it would be The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin. Why? Well, let me explain my health journey up to that point.  

 

Back in the 80’s, at the age of 19, I was diagnosed with many allergies and yeast issues. Leaky Gut was not a term of that day, at least not that I was aware of. I began omitting the foods in my diet that I was allergic to and looked for replacements, which were extremely limited. From time to time I would order foods via co-op or direct mail. Over time, more options became available, and I eventually moved from NY to NC. Wellspring Grocery (the original name for Whole Foods) opened locally, which brought more options.  I was seeing a nutritional chiropractor who helped get me started on probiotics which made a huge difference in my health.  I mostly ate within my limits, but cheated at times. Let’s face it, some food is worth eating and suffering the consequences at least once in a while, right?  

 

Fast forward to the early 2000’s… My sister told me about The Maker’s Diet. Both my husband and I read the book and decided to implement what it taught. Bottom line, it teaches how to eat Biblically. I’m not talking religious rules or anything like that.  God gave Moses instructions on how and what to eat after the flood. He explained the how’s and why’s. The biggest impact for us was the introduction to lacto-fermented drinks and foods. By eating lacto-fermented foods you feed your gut beneficial organisms, living organisms that aid in digestion and keep things in balance.  

 

Another important fact I learned was that soaking nuts and grains burns off the phytates. This makes them easier to digest and allows your body to receive the nutrients. Rubin also brings up the topic of fasting and how to implement it in a safe, doable manner. 

(Photo by  Cecilia Par )

(Photo by Cecilia Par)

The Maker's Diet will always have a place on my cookbook shelf. I refer to it from time to time. The greatest benefit that I have received from practicing its principals is that I don’t suffer the magnified yeast problems I once did.  

 

Along with this book, I would recommend Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions. Rubin refers to some of her recipes in his book, and her book is loaded with lacto-fermented food and drink recipes.    

 

One note: some of the supplements and resources are no longer available, nor are they needed because many have been updated. There is mention of HSO’s (Homeostatic Organisms), which are a specific type of probiotic organism much like dirt. (Don’t you love the description?) If you read the book, you will see what I mean.  HSO’s are available in Garden of Life products.  

 

If you check out any of these resources let us know what you love and what's working for you! I want you to Start Feeling Awesome.

All the Best,

Barbara D.

RESOURCES:

 

*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks! -SFA Team

Lyme Disease Part 3: 4 treatment ideas

This week we get personal. Let's be honest...Lyme disease is personal. It not only affects your personal life, it affects each person in a unique and individual way. It shakes out in a variety of ways based on the tick that bit you, your genetics, body chemistry, stress level, and immune system resiliance.

 

In this video, Rachel shares 4 strategies that were pivotal in her treatment for late-stage or (chronic) Lyme Disease. These may or may not be the direction you should go in your own treatment, but sometimes it's helpful to hear someone's story in a real-life kind of way. Here goes! (Show notes below.)

Video Notes:

  • 45 seconds: Treatment #1 - Doxycycline
  • 2:50 Side effects of Doxycycline
  • 3:40 Other antibiotics used
  • 4 min Treatment #2 - Antivirals
  • 5:55 Treatment #3 - UVB therapy
  • 8 min Treatment #4 - Prayer
  • 10:30 - when you should change physicians

 

QUESTIONS:

  • Do you have Lyme? What has been your best treatment option so far?
  • What hasn't worked for you in your Lyme journey?
  • What treatments would you recommend to others with Lyme disease?

 

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

Lyme Disease Part 2: Symptoms, Testing, and Finding a Doctor

Hi there! Welcome back to part 2 of the Lyme Disease series. This might be one of the most valuable videos we've ever done. Please note the show notes under the video if you'd like to skip to anything specific. 

 

Let us know what questions you have about Lyme disease and treatment. It's pretty complex, so unfortunately the treatment isn't a one size fits all. We hope you find this video and series awesome and helpful!

 

VIDEO NOTES:

  • 20 Seconds - Symptoms
  • 1:45 - About fibromyalgia
  • 2:35 - Western Testing for Lyme diagnosis.
  • 3:30 - Two Recommended tests for Lyme diagnosis (more accurate).
  • 5:40 Resources if you have Lyme (Herbal protocol)
  • 7:25 How to find a doctor

 

SYMPTOMS can include: 

  • Fatigue and brain fog
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Joint Pain
  • Body Ache
  • Twitching
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Insomnia and sleep issues
  • Neuropathy (Nerve pain)
  • Cold and /or Heat intolerance
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Digestive Issues, Abdominal Pain
  • Elevated Liver Enzymes
  • Fever
  • Raynaud's Syndrome
  • Food sensitivities and allergies
  • Itching

 

Tests:

Igenex

DNA Connexions

 

Resources:

RAWLSMD.com

Lyme Disease Association

Find A Doctor

 

If you are having a difficult time navigating Lyme, you are not alone. It is an overwhelming scenario. Rachel is available for 1-hr coaching and consultation calls. Email her at RachBarrentine@gmail.com to find out more and get pricing.

Joyfully,

Rachel B.

 

Lyme Disease Part 1: Prevention, General Info, and Your Pets!

(Photo by  Andreas P. )

(Photo by Andreas P.)

 

VIDEO NOTES:

  • 27 sec. Story about my dog and a tick.
  • 1:05 How to pull out a tick
  • 1:20 Ticks, shapes and sizes (what they look like)
  • 2min Thistle Farms bug spray - great for ticks
  • 2:50 Main ingredient for tick repellent
  • 3:10 About Thistle Farms and why we like them
  • 4:25 Where to send the tick for testing
  • 5:20 Erlichia co-infection
  • 6 min. Standard Doxycycline protocol
  • 6:40 Why Lyme takes longer than 2 weeks to treat
  • 8:15 Summary
tick

 

Don't leave home without tick protection. If you love to camp, be outdoors, take a hike, or anything like that - AWESOME! Just go out and enjoy nature PROTECTED. Please do this. Don't assume that ticks are harmless. I heard one Lyme doctor say that up to 80% of squirrels in the Bay Area in California were carriers of Lyme bacteria. Why is this important? Because ticks feast on all the critters...squirrels, deer, bunnies, etc. Whatever the critters have, the ticks then pick up and pass on to YOU if you get bitten.

 

Prevention is WAY CHEAPER financially then dealing with Lyme Disease once it's going. Treatment in late stage Lyme is extremely expensive, and the protocols are unclear. Spend the $15 now to prevent infection!

 

RESOURCES:

THISTLE FARMS LINK - for natural, DEET-free bug/tick repellent (essential oil based). It really works! PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT SPRAY YOUR PET. We recommend a flea and tick collar like Soresto for dogs. Or you can spray your hand once and wipe down your pet. This particular spray makes my dog sneeze, so you may want to spray yourself outdoors so that your pet does not inhale the mist and have any respiratory distress. 

 

Soresto (from Amazon) easy affiliate links for you here:

Small Dog - Soresto

Large Dog - Soresto

For out door Cats - Soresto

Or you can click on our THRIVE AFFILIATE LINK for their Rose Geranium Oil.

To get your tick tested, go to TICKNOLOGY.ORG

 

QUESTIONS:

  • What have you learned about Lyme?
  • Have you ever caught a tick on you?
  • What questions do you have about Lyme disease?

Comment below!

 

Joyfully,

Rachel B. (Lyme Disease Survivor!)

PS - Joey, my dog, did eat his dinner tonight! I think he got a little pooped out from our morning walk in the Nashville heat. I'll keep an eye on him though for symptoms in the next few days and weeks.

PSS - Joey's tick test came back negative for all infections. Yay! Clean tick. Who knew there was such a thing?!

 

To Organic or not to organic...that is the question! Healthy Eating Habits Part 3

Contrary to what you might believe, it isn’t all or nothing. You DON’T have to buy all organic! But there are some foods that it’s best to purchase organically, when available. 

 

Affectionately dubbed “The Dirty Dozen”, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list of foods that rely heavily on pesticides through commercial growth. In fact, when the USDA tested them, they found 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on thousands of produce samples analyzed.

 

The 2018 Dirty Dozen List (purchase these organically when available)

(Photo by  Kai Pilger &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash)

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

The EWG also releases a list of produce that is least likely to be contaminated by pesticides. 

 

The 2018 Clean Fifteen List (no need to purchase these organically, unless you want to)

(Photo by  Thought Catalog &nbsp;on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash)

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn*
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen Sweet Peas
  7. Papayas*
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mango
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli

*Some sweet corn and papayas sold in the United States are GMOs, so choose organic if you wish to avoid GMO versions of these crops. 

 

It’s not always easy, or affordable, to purchase organic produce. Just because it’s too expensive at your neighborhood grocery store, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a better deal on it elsewhere.

 

 

1. Local CSA’s

Becoming a part of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) has been a HUGE money saver for our family. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

 

It’s a wonderful way to eat seasonally, support your local farmer AND get a good deal on your fresh produce. 

 

When given the opportunity in January to receive an **Early Bird Discount** on our beloved veggie CSA, we jumped at it. Beginning in May and for 28 weeks, we’ll get an over-flowing box of farm fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables (about a half bushel) for just $19/week! It’s a fantastic deal!

 

Find a CSA in your area by checking out Local Harvest:  

 

2. Farmer’s Markets

If you’re buying produce seasonally, your best prices will be found when that item is in season and buying it in bulk! Go to your local farmer’s market in late May, you’ll find loads of carrots, broccoli, strawberries and lettuce. In August, you’ll see bushels full of summer squashes, peppers and cucumbers, plus blueberries and all kinds of melons. And in the Fall, you’ll be able to buy apples, cabbage, sweet potatoes and onions. That’s just a SAMPLING of what you’ll be able to get.

 

And the prices will be good because the produce is plentiful!

 

Why not buy a bushel of cucumbers and can some pickles for the winter! Get a load of strawberries and make some jam … or the yummy Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette at the end of this post. It freezes well!

 

3. Big Box Stores

Big Box Stores, like Costco or Sam’s Club, are getting on the organic bandwagon because they’re recognizing the demand. Although these places don’t locally source their fruit and produce, you can still know that anything labeled “organic” will be grown without all the yucky pesticides we’re trying to avoid.

 

The Big Box Stores are also offering more organic options in their packaged foods - items like olive oil, coconut oil, coffee, multi-grain chips, hummus, honey, mac ’n cheese, canned beans, canned tomatoes, bread, butter, milk & eggs … just to name a few!! 

 

There are usually annual membership fees for these stores but if you’re buying in larger quantities, it will pay for itself over the year!

 

What about you? Do you have any tricks you’d like to share on how you source organic foods affordably?

With strawberry season right around the corner, I’d love to share this fantastic Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe with you. It’s perfect for those berries you’ll pick at your local berry farm and it’s fantastic on a salad of organic spinach, toasted pecans and blue cheese crumbles!

 

Have an awesome week,

Karin S.

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Sources from this post:

EWG Dirty Dozen