As I sit here on a rainy, windy day I thought I would take a few minutes to write a new post. My journey into nutrition has taken many twists and turns and I have found myself growing each year both in "book" knowledge and, most importantly, in "life" knowledge. Holistic nutrition is so much more than eating healthy. Instead, it concentrates on the individual with all of their weaknesses and flaws. I have learned that while each person has strengths in their constitution, there are also weaknesses in each and every client that I have come across. This weakness, or weaknesses in some people, can alter one's health and can affect other areas in the body. This weakness cannot always be "cured" but can often be helped.
After I became accredited as a GAPS Practitioner I found my practice growing by leaps and bounds. Many of my clients are children with autism and all of these children with autism are boys. Boys..... this leads me to other theories but I won't get into those here (maybe a future blog!). Through this I have realized a few things: the parents of autistic children are AMAZING. Truly AMAZING. The love that they pour out and what they will do to help their child is simply mind blowing. I often think of these parents, especially the moms (and many of them are single moms), and just think WOW. The things they go through, their dedication and the work they will do for their precious child is such a GIFT.
My true passion and love is working with these beautiful people: autistic children, children with learning disabilities, children with ADHD/ADD and with both children and adults suffering with mental illness of any sort. Because of this, I have made the decision to dedicate my practice to working with these individuals only. While I love working with all of my clients, I feel that the areas I mentioned are the ones that I would like to concentrate on for all future clients. This is my love!
Please contact me with any questions or if you would like more information! Have a blessed and wonderful day!
I found a great little homemade recipe that I've been using on my oldest son. Now that he's been in his teenage years for a while now, the dreaded acne appears every so often. So he's been my guinea pig. I don't think he minds being my tester for this as this recipe works quite well and it doesn't involve a lot of effort on his part (smile).
Teenagers get acne. Not every teenager experiences this but many do and various factors come into play regarding why they get it. Hormones are the biggest one but also diet, environmental factors and gut flora can play roles. Now when adults experience acne this is another story: hormones can still play a key role but gut flora and liver imbalances are the biggest culprits. This is all one continuous cycle because what we eat, our lifestyle choices and stressors all affect our gut flora and liver and this in turn affects our hormones.
Changing your diet to include good quality fats (REAL butter, pastured eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, fatty fish like salmon), probiotic foods (yogurt, fermented vegetables, kombucha, beet kvass, kefir, fermented cod liver oil), water, lots of fruits and veggies (fruits and veggies are detoxifying) and taking out sugars, processed foods and vegetable oils can go a long way to making your skin healthy and acne free.
So as you change your diet you can also use this easy to make recipe for any blemishes that do appear. You actually may notice an INCREASE in acne and other blemishes when you begin to make changes to your health - these are normal reactions and can be a positive sign that your body is beginning to recognize these changes. In time this should improve.
In the meantime....
Tea Tree and Lavender Acne Remover
1 ounce jojoba oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
3 drops lemon essential oil
Fill a small bottle (1 oz. works well) with the jojoba oil
Add essential oils, cover and shake well
Apply as needed to acne (be very careful around the eye area; like any essential oil, you don't want to get this in the eyes).
There are various manufacturers and distributors for essential oils. Make sure you're getting them from a good quality source. I love Mountain Rose Herbs (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com). They have wonderful products and also sell the amber glass bottles with reducers that are great for dispensing essential oils. Young Living Oils are also another great source of good quality oils. Because I have included the carrier oil, jojoba oil, in the recipe this makes the mixture a bit thicker. So keep that in mind as the oil is a bit slower when dispensing. Enjoy!!
Take a look at your deodorant and see if any of these are listed: aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates or triclosan. Chances are at least one of these is in there as they are all common ingredients in today's deodorants and antiperspirants. Aluminum is a metal and is often used in antiperspirants to help block the sweat from escaping pores. It has also been linked to breast cancer in women. I don't want to scare you but ANYTHING that we put on our skin (our body's largest organ) WILL be absorbed by our body. Parabens scare me - not only are they contained in an alarming amount of our body care products and makeup but the absorption of them can and will disrupt our delicate hormonal balance. This can lead to things like early puberty in children and an increased risk of hormonal cancers among other things. Propylene glycol is a little bit tamer; however, I feel that over time even this ingredient can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and heart. Phthalates have also been linked to a variety of health issues and they may even disrupt hormone receptors as well as increase the likelihood of cell mutation (birth defects). Triclosan has anti-bacterial properties and is actually classified as a pesticide by the FDA. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as a probably carcinogen. Some companies are working to remove triclosan from their products, a positive step in the right direction.
So, what does this all mean and what can you do? First off, the very places on our bodies where we put deodorant are right where our axillary lymph nodes are. So what we put in that spot will be absorbed into our lymph nodes (and of course our body). The axillary lymph node area filters the lymph fluid draining away from the breast area. Since the job of the lymph nodes is to filter out "bad guys" like cancer cells, this can be an area that is susceptible to cancer and the spread of cancer. Not good. Lymph nodes also filter out and trap bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted substances and wastes from our bodies and make sure that they are safely eliminated from the body.
You want to keep your lymph nodes working well and without any unneeded chemicals from deodorants that will be absorbed!!
After trying out various natural deodorants I've found an easy recipe that you can make at home. Although not necessarily GAPS legal, if you are on GAPS and in need of a deodorant I feel that this one has better ingredients versus purchasing one. Here it is:
5 Tablespoons coconut oil
4 Tablespoons baking soda
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
5 drops tea tree oil (or other essential oil; I like lavender oil)
Mix together well with a spoon and put in a container. Will last a long time and you can halve the recipe if you like.
Ever hear of the elderberry plant? This berry often grows wild and is cultivated for it's health properties. The Latin name is Sambucas Nigra and syrup made from these berries (as well as the berries themselves) is a highly effective and preventative tool for colds and flu. This syrup is loaded with antioxidants, immune supporting minerals, flavonoids and Vitamin C!
In a scientific study, elderberry extract was proven to inhibit several strains of influenza and reduced symptoms in general. In another study researchers observed that, "Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo".
So during the height of cold and flu season I thought I would pass on my very favorite elderberry syrup recipe. You can buy more expensive versions of this at your local pharmacy or even purchase homemade versions at farmer's markets and other natural health stores; however, making elderberry syrup is affordable and very easy!
Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey yet).
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced a bit. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl. I usually take the back of a spoon and press the berries so that most of the liquid has been strained.
Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. Then add 1 cup of raw honey and stir well.
When honey has been well mixed then pour the syrup into a glass container (a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle works well).
Store in the refrigerator and take daily through cold and flu season for its immune boosting properties. Standard dose is 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. for children and 1/2 Tbsp. to 1 Tbsp. for adults. If the flu or a cold do strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours until symptoms disappear.
This will usually last for 3-4 months stored in the refrigerator. Enjoy! (*Note: I like Frontier Organics whole organic European elderberries).