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It’s been a busy past few months — to put it lightly. I’ve been taking some pretty amazing continuing ed classes and certifications and now I have a few new letters to put behind my name. Read on to find out what I’ve been up to!

Certified GAPS Practitioner (CGP)

So… you’re probably wondering what is GAPS and if you can get a good pair of jeans there? GAPS is short for Gut and Psychology Syndrome or Gut and Physiology Syndrome… depending on your presentation. It is an absolutely beautiful healing diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and focuses on sealing and healing the gut in order for the body to heal itself of its ailments. We’ve been successfully using it in our house for a year to help heal myself and my husband and I just fell in love with it! It’s effective for autoimmunity, fertility, autism, ADD, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, IBS, bipolar disorder — the list goes on and on! GAPS is not for the faint of heart and really takes some doing but the final result is amazing!

Restorative Wellness Solutions (RWP)

I’m sure you’ve never heard of this one. So don’t feel bad. It’s specific to Nutritional Therapists. In this class, I learned how to use the DUTCH Adrenal test, various saliva cortisol tests, the MRT, and a stool test in order to better assess HPA (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, and Adrenal) Axis health, colon health, and food sensitivities. I also have the power to legally order these tests. The MRT tests for mediated response. Basically, when we get allergy tested, they’re looking for antibodies. The problem is that antibodies are only about 25% of an immune response. The rest of that immune response is mediated. This test checks for that and lets you know which foods and chemicals are causing hidden inflammation. It has completely changed my outlook and I am enjoying using this tests alongside GAPS for wonderfully effective healing!

And there’s no rest for the weary! In January, I’ll be starting a class on interpreting Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and the second class in the Restorative Wellness Solutions offerings – which will cover hormone testing for both men and women. I’m excited!

If you’re interested in learning how these tests can help you achieve your health goals or are interested in learning more about how the GAPS diet might work for you, request your free 30-minute consultation below.

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Planning for 2018

“One minute to midnight
One minute to go
One minute to say good-bye
Before we say hello”

If you can name the musical that song is from, we’re practically best friends. Forever.

I remember how excited I was when I was little to list out my goals for the new year. I wanted to camp every weekend and go to Disneyland and learn how to horseback ride and travel to Australia and… you get the drift. My goals were bigger than what could be done. Sound familiar? Even to this day, my goals are bigger than the days are long. How many of us set out in the new year with lofty ideas of grandeur? Maybe this year will be the year you go to the gym… everyday… at 5am… without fail… come rain or snow. The only caveat? You’ve never stepped foot into a gym. So this would be a HUGE life adjustment. While I’m a fan of fitness (something I slacked off this past year and is in my list of things to get back at in 2018), considering your goals can help you figure out something attainable.

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Why Use Safer Skincare?

So if you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why a nutritional therapy practitioner is carrying Beautycounter in their business.

Good question.

Because the man may be the head of the household but the woman is the neck. And she controls which way the head will go. Okay. Okay. Aside from the cheesy My Big Fat Greek Wedding quote, there is some truth to that. A whole lot of truth, to be honest.

As the Chief Buyer of All Things and Spender of All the Money (a title I work hard to live up to), it’s my job to figure out what is safe for my family and what is potentially toxic. And to bring those items into my home for my loved ones to use. As someone that cares deeply about my clients’ well-being, it’s also my job to figure out and help source products that will not introduce more toxins to their bodies.

All of us, myself included, have a false sense of security when it comes to our skincare. Surely, companies wouldn’t use ingredients that are harmful to our health?

If only the answer were as innocent as the question.

Truth is, the skincare and cosmetics industry has absolutely NO oversight in the United States. What does that mean? It means that companies in the United States can use whatever toxic ingredients they want to use – ingredients that cause cancer and disrupt hormones… and they don’t have to disclose a single thing to the consumers.

As a nutritional therapy practitioner who helps women balance hormones and who has suffered from hormone dysregulation for most of my post-menarche life, this terrifies me.

So… what are the facts?

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Dealing with painful, cystic acne

How many of us (be honest) have had painful, cystic acne at some point in their life? How many of us still suffer from some kind of breakout? Even if it’s infrequently? After years of SO many medications, antibiotics, topical ointments, you name it. I finally have a handle on my acne.

I’m super super pumped to share six things that have helped clear up my acne to maybe a little blemish around my period if I was a bit lackadaisical with the sugar. How did I do it? Through diet, lifestyle, and a few choice beauty care products.

To start things off, here’s a few simple steps you can take if you’re already eating a paleo/whole foods diet yet still suffering from cystic and painful acne or other skin problems.

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Supporting A Fever

How is it already back to school season? I have absolutely loved seeing my friends kids in their first day of school outfits on Facebook – their smiles are so big with excitement for the new year. There is one downfall to the new school year that most parents loathe – the dreaded cold season.

A combination of air-conditioning (which depresses the immune system), being crammed into a classroom, and not enough fresh air, healthy food, or water, all play a role in a child coming down with a cold. That being said, a good cold – like a really, really good cold and one that develops a fever once or twice a year is a good thing to keep the immune system active, strong, and dialed in. To go years without a cold or, on the opposite end, to spend all of winter perpetually sick isn’t good, it’s a sign that the immune system does not know how to properly respond to pathogens.

What can you do if your child DOES come down with a fever? I know that when I was growing up, Children’s Tylenol was my parent’s go-to. The doctor even suggested it! Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and other name and generic brands, has been implicated in liver damage, liver failure, and death, when used incorrectly (and depending on your medical presentation, there is no determining amount it seems). Families with MTHFR genetic mutations should use caution – those with MTHFR already have impaired detoxification. Acetaminophen has also been linked to reduced testosterone in in-utero baby boys and a link between its use and autism when given after the MMR vaccine.

So, what can you do to support your child? As a nutritionist, I’m a fan of a well-balanced diet with lots of green leafy veggies (don’t blame the messenger), bone broth, organ meats (you can mix one pound of grass-fed ground beef in with 1/4 pound of pureed organic chicken livers), limited sugar, NO processed food, and healthy fats. I know, I know. “But my kid will flip out if I try to get them to eat that way, it’s just not reasonable.” My only advice – remember, you’re the parent, stick to your guns. Our children deserve the right to be healthy and grow up into thriving adults.

Before I list my favorite ways to monitor a fever, fevers are actually healthy! For years, I was unable to develop a fever – a sign that my body’s immune system was challenged in coming online when I needed it. I remember a few years back, I had a strong wintertime bug. And I had a fever. I probably checked my temp every 5 minutes. And cried tears of joy. Why? Because it was a sign that my body was healing. A fever means that your body can elicit a strong immune response against an invading pathogen. So, riding a fever out can actually be a good thing (again, monitoring it so it doesn’t get dangerously high). 

Here’s a little nice tip: These remedies are GREAT for adults, too!

 Note: The information in this post is not to be confused with medical information, as given to you by your doctor. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor or medical professional. You are the parent, you know if your child’s condition is not improving and if medical help is needed. If your child’s fever is not managing well and is at a dangerously high temperature, please seek immediate medical attention.

 

My Favorite Methods to Support a Fever:

  • Cold Sock Therapy
    I love this method. It’s simply miserable but it works well. Get a pair of 100% cotton socks wet and throw them in the freezer until they’re good and cold. Peel two cloves of garlic. Once the socks are good and cold (not frozen… but very, very cold), place a clove of garlic in the foot and put the socks on. Over those cold, wet cotton socks, place a pair of thick wool socks. Do this nightly, starting with the first signs of a cold, for three nights in a row.
  • Sleep
    This one is a given. Let your child rest when they need to rest. Take away the blue screens – they signal the brain to stay awake. I know. Being sick is no fun.
  • Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Selenium
    Vitamin A is depleted in the urine during acute infections. Cod liver oil is a a wonderful balance of Vitamins A and D and is in a usable form. Most supplements out on the market for Vitamin A are synthetic. I’ll do a post on the dangers of synthetic form of Vitamin A later on but for now, take my word for it. Vitamin A and D need each other. Like Bert and Ernie. So, taking it in the form of cod liver oil (I like Nordic Naturals for children), is a good way to go. Vitamin C – it’s an antioxidant. We’ve all heard about the wonders of it. A bit of organic rose hips, steeped in hot water for about 10 minutes. Add some local raw honey to the tea prior to giving it to them and make sure it is a luke-warm temperature. Selenium is very important in fever moderation. A study from 2015 found an association between hemorrhagic fever and its occurrence in selenium-deficient populations. Sardines and Brazil Nuts are particularly high in selenium. Making a sardine salad (much like you would make a tuna fish salad) is a great way to hide those little fishes. (I prefer Wild Planet Sardines.) Supplementation can also be used. An aqueous selenium can be easily administered to a small child, who cannot swallow small pills.
  • Lots of fluids
    Yea, yea, yea. We’ve heard this one before. But, how many of us have given fluids that are actually diuretic? Giving a child hydrating fluids is very important. Filtered water, bone broth, a bit of filtered water with a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt for minerals, and 4 oz of lemon water with 1 tbsp of lemon juice (can further dilute if needed) are all going to help nourish their little body. Soda, ginger ale, Sprite, 7-Up, Gatorade, Powerade, juice, Pedialyte, etc., further deplete the body of necessary nutrients to help them bounce back.
  • Fire Cider
    Mix 1/2 tbsp (for small children) and 1 tbsp (for larger children) with a bit of local, raw honey to taste and filtered water. This stuff will literally kill anything on site… or so I am convinced. Find my recipe here. 
  • Yarrow Tincture
    If you’ve never seen yarrow, it’s the cover photo of this article. Yarrow tincture is a wonderful supplement to keep on hand at all times. You can harvest yarrow from the mountains, where you know there has been no spraying or, you may order it from a reputable herb shop.To make the tincture, put the flower heads in a mason jar. Cover with 80 (or 100) proof alcohol — I use a lower-shelf vodka. Seal with a lid. Allow to steep for 4 weeks in a cool, dark area, shaking the jar daily. Strain with a fine mesh strainer. Preserve the now yellow liquid in a dark colored glass jar in a cool, dry place, away from light.During a fever, mix warm filtered water with 1 teaspoon in 1/2 a glass of water (small children should use 1/2 teaspoon) and drink up to 3 times a day. The warm water will help to increase the flushing action of the herb.  This tricks your body into acting as if the fever has broken and speeds your immune system to finish the healing.

And, above all – make sure to smother your child with love and affection and attention. Nothing beats the nurturing a loving parent can provide.

 

 

On Being Grateful

Some of you might read this and wonder how a post on gratefulness really ties in with health and nutrition. Well, trust me. It does.

Exhibiting gratefulness isn’t something that has come naturally to me. It wasn’t that I was ungrateful – quite the contrary! But, showing someone my appreciation for their generosity, no matter how small, isn’t a natural-born quality. For years I had post-it notes around my house with phrases like “Attitude of Gratitude” and “Be Grateful for Today in All Things.” (Yes, that included being stuck in traffic.) They were on my door, on my dresser, on my vanity mirror in the bathroom, above the sink in the kitchen, in my car visor – the list went on and on! I knew this was a handicap to life and that it needed to change.

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