Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

The Sauerkraut Challenge

As many of you may know --- my 9-year-old daughter has been extremely ill for the last 4 weeks.  It is so painful to watch your child suffer from illness and not be able to do anything to fix Read more

Healing the Gut with Bone Broth

What is bone broth? What the @&*$ is bone broth and why is everyone talking about it and its medicinal benefits.  First, bone broth is simply stock!  Chicken or beef bones are usually used although you can use venison/lamb/pig etc.  Read more

Breastfeeding Tips

  Here's a different topic for today regarding breastfeeding!  We all know how important the gut microbiome is and breastfeeding is a natural, inexpensive way to help your baby's gut get all those good bacteria!  Natalie Michele the author of Read more

Avoid these banned foods

Are you eating food that's already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your Read more

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

It seems I am getting more and more testimonials from patients on how great they feel when they go gluten free.  I thought I would re-post this great story by one of my friend's experiences.  Comment down below with Read more

Oil Pulling--What the Heck????

I stumbled upon a great pinterest find on making your own coconut oil pulling squares infused with essential oils.  So  a quick stop to Michaels to get a silicone candy mold and some grabbing my coconut oil and my Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin– the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both share a real passion for nutrition and natural remedies, I wanted to introduce you to her wealth of knowledge about essential oils.  I am using them and really loving all the benefits — so here is a little about ERIN!

How a Pharmacist Got Started With Essential Oils

Well, hello!  Allow me to introduce myself.  I am a classically trained, Western medicine pharmacist AND a natural wellness enthusiast.  “How can this be?” you may ask.  Aren’t Western medicine practitioners and natural wellness practitioners supposed to be diametrically opposed to each other?  I used to think that too.  I admit, I am a “natural” skeptic {pun intended}.  My training has taught me that if there is not a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to back up a claim, it is merely unsubstantiated mumbo-jumbo.  So what changed my mind?  Perhaps it was the subtle (and not so subtle) ways my body started telling me I’m not as young as I used to be.  Or, perhaps, it was the desire to keep my family healthy without the use of synthetic chemicals.  Becoming a parent certainly increased my desire to find the best and most natural ways to do things.  Whatever the reason, I developed a desire to find a better way to achieve and maintain health and wellness.  So, I went back to my old standbys: research and experience.

 

Western vs. Natural Medicine Approaches

Over the years, what I have learned, both through research and personal experience, is that while Western medicine is great at using a variety of medical and surgical interventions to keep you alive, it is not so great at keeping you from needing those interventions in the first place.  Western medicine shines in treatment more so than in prevention.  If you think of your wellness like a horizontal line, with health and vitality above the line and sickness and disease below the line, in Western medicine we wait until you have fallen way below the wellness line before we do anything.  By that point you are in trouble.  You have a disease, so we prescribe a medication or surgical intervention that helps to manage that disease.  The problem is most medications that are prescribed for chronic conditions do not provide a cure, but are used to mitigating the symptoms.  They do not get to the underlying cause, and they do not bring you back above the wellness line.  Not to mention, most medications come with a variety of toxic and adverse effects that then also have to be managed.  Does that mean that I think we should never use Western medicine approaches?  Absolutely not!  Western medicine has its place, and offers us many tools in our wellness tool belt to utilize.  However, I think we can all agree, it would be ideal if we could utilize these tools less.

 

What if there were tools to help us stay above the wellness line?  This is where natural medicine shines.  By supporting your body to do what it was made to do in the first place, natural medicine approaches prevent much of the need for Western interventions.  Our bodies are amazing creations that were made to be healthy.  Given the right environment and the right building blocks, most of the time our bodies will be healthy.  The problem is that in today’s world we are surrounded by things that tear down our bodies instead of support them.  We eat junk, we breathe in junk, we apply junk to our skin, we don’t get enough sleep or exercise, and we are constantly STRESSED OUT!  It’s no wonder all sorts of disease rates are climbing.

 

A Better Way

What if there was a better way?  What if we gave our bodies an environment in which they could thrive and the building blocks with which to heal?  What would that look like?

  • We would put nourishing foods into our body. Not overly processed, chemical laden junk, but REAL food.  Hippocrates knew what he was talking about when he said “let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”.
  • We would stop breathing in toxins. True, you cannot always help the air quality where you live, but you can stop making it worse.  Quit smoking and get rid of the toxins in your air.  Did you know formaldehyde is just one of a number of chemicals commonly used in scented candles and air fresheners?!?  So stop “freshening” your air with toxins.
  • We would clean up our skin care products. Check out your product labels.  Do some research into the dangers of ingredients like parabens, phthalates, triclosan, artificial dyes, and many others.  Don’t be fooled, anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body!
  • We would start moving more, resting well, and stressing less!

 

I know that seems like a pretty tall order, and no one is going to be perfect 100% of the time, but every step you take in the right direction is a step toward wellness, and that is a worthy goal!

 

Essential Oils as a Tool for Wellness

So where do essential oils come in?  For me, adding in essential oils was another step in my path toward natural wellness.  When I was first presented with the idea of using essential oils for wellness, guess what, I was skeptical of that too.  My pharmacist brain kicked into gear and wanted to dismiss the idea.  After months of pondering, I finally gave in and got my Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  And then it sat on my counter…for weeks.  Finally, my old friends, research and experience won.  I opened up those little bottles and started using them.  The more I used them, the better I felt, so I would research more, and then use them more, and then feel better, and then research, and then use them, and then…well, you get the idea.  My biggest “Ah Ha!” moment in using essential oils was when I finally realized essential oils are NOT like medicine, they are like FOOD!  The properties and constituents in essential oils that make them so amazing do their job by supporting your body to do what it was intended to do.  Just like food, they give your body the building blocks to heal and stay above the wellness line.  Just like I would not go a day without eating or drinking, there is now not a single day that goes by when I am not using my essential oils.  Yes, there are specific oils that work better for specific purposes, but so long as you have high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils, such as those provided by Young Living, just use them!  Once you understand a few common sense safety issues (like don’t put them in your eyes or ears- duh!), unlike medications that can cause serious problems if used at the wrong time in the wrong way, using Young Living Essential oils is always going to support your body in a positive way.

 

How do I Use My Young Living Essential Oils

We have been using our Young Living Essential Oils EVERY DAY for well over 2 years now!  They can be inhaled, applied topically, and most can even be ingested.  Here are just a few examples…

  • Peace and Calming, Lavender, or Cedarwood for a restful night’s sleep
  • DiGize or peppermint for digestion
  • Thieves to support our immune systems
  • Peppermint, Copaiba, or PanAway for muscles, joints, and ligaments
  • Stress Away when life gets too crazy (or just because it smells AMAZING!)
  • Lavender and Frankincense in our skin care
  • Progessence Plus, Clary Sage, or Idaho Blue Spruce for hormone balance
  • Grapefruit to support metabolism
  • Purification and Lemon in our household cleaning

If you go down our previous list about what a “better way” would look like for improving your health, literally every item on that list has been touched by Young Living Essential Oils in our home.

 

Why I Love Young Living Essential Oils

I could write another post about why, after much research, I chose Young Living for my family and why it is the only brand I recommend if you are looking for actual wellness benefits and not just pretty smells from essential oils.  I will save those many details for another post.  For now, please believe me when I say there is a HUGE difference between Young Living’s therapeutic grade essential oils and almost any other oil on the market, so, Buyer Beware!  If you would like to do a little of your own research, you can start by learning more about Young Living’s commitment to purity and quality through their unique Seed to Seal® process.  For more information and videos describing this process check it out at www.seedtoseal.com.

 

Ready to Stay Above the Wellness Line?

If any of this peaks your interest, I would love to tell you more.  Come check out more information or message me through www.facebook.com/EssentiallyErin or email me directly at erinruth@sbcglobal.net.  I’ll be waiting for you!

To get your own Premium Starter Kit, go to http://tinyurl.com/ErinArkins1.  The Premium Start Kit is by far the best deal to get you started on your oily journey, and by signing up through my link you will have access to member only essential oil education and FREE reference material as a gift from me.  Getting my kit was the best decision I made for my family’s health and wellness!  I am excited to help you on your journey as well!

 

Blessings and wellness to you and yours,

Erin

Posted on by Angela in Body, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Supplements 1 Comment

The Sauerkraut Challenge

As many of you may know — my 9-year-old daughter has been extremely ill for the last 4 weeks.  It is so painful to watch your child suffer from illness and not be able to do anything to fix it.  All the mamas out there know that when our kids hurt– we hurt too and just want to make things better.

I have to express the gratitude that I have that my kids aren’t sick often and that they (Praise God) don’t have any debilitating or chronic diseases.  It took one viral syndrome that lingered to get me thinking about how unfathomable it would be to keep strength having a chronically ill child.  I have so much respect and admiration for those parents that endure this journey in life.  I can’t imagine—

Although Stanley steamer made quite a profit this past two weeks, (Emma’s room looked like a crime scene after an unfortunate projectile incident involving red Gatorade) — The rest of us have tried to stay healthy and avoid this nasty bug.

I have been eating sauerkraut for the healthy probiotic benefits daily ( about 6 forkfuls daily ) along with my Garden of Life probiotic.  I even added some Young Living Oil of Oregano that I put in gelatin capsules and take daily.  So far so good.

Another major tip is activated charcoal –you can buy that over the counter — (I get mine at Fresh Thyme)– it absorbs toxins in your body before they can harm you.  They actually use it for food poisoning and alcohol overdose in the Emergency Room.  Ancient Egyptians used it on wounds and Hindus used it to purify water.  It is said that it was used in the past to treat anthrax and epilepsy.  Common dosing says to take 2 capsules every few hours– but keep in mind that it will absorb some of the good nutrients in your body — so don’t take it at the same time as some of your other supplements .

Posted on by Angela in Body, disease, Nutrition Leave a comment

Healing the Gut with Bone Broth

bowl-of-broth

What is bone broth?

What the @&*$ is bone broth and why is everyone talking about it and its medicinal benefits.  First, bone broth is simply stock!  Chicken or beef bones are usually used although you can use venison/lamb/pig etc.  They are simmered for over 24 hours or more along with vegetables/herbs etc.  The more gelatinous the broth, the more nourishing it is.  Simmering the broth breaks down the bones and bone marrow releasing calcium, phosphorus, collagen, cartilage, glucosamine, silicon, chondroitin, and essential acids including proline, glycine and glutamine.

The benefits of bone broth include:

Reduction in joint pain and inflammation– because of the chondroitin and glucosamine

Inhibits infection—“Jewish penicillin”–it apparently activates macrophages/natural killer cells/ B- lymphocytes etc that are important in the immune response to colds/viruses.

Fights inflammation–with the essential amino acids.  glycine, proline and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects.

Promotes strong bones –because of the calcium and magnesium –collagen provides the lattice-work for mineral deposition to build strong and flexible bones

Promotes healthy hair and nail growth– this is from all the gelatin in the broth–there is even some thought that it can eliminate cellulite

There is an excellent interview here by Kaayla Daniel, PhD, CCN whom has studied “broth” for over 20 years.

Now—the quality of the soup is only equivalent to the components that you put in it–are the vegetables organic?  Are you using bones from pastured animals etc. So if you are making it yourself (the cheapest way) it is very important that you use quality, organic, non-processed ingredients.

I am now drinking bone broth for its primary benefit of healing leaky gut!  I have made my own bone broth which isn’t difficult but it is time-consuming for busy working families.

I recently ordered some bone broth from Lance Roll “The Flavor Chef” that I really love.

Buy your own bone broth HERE! —The Brothery.com

If you are interested in making your own bone broth—let me know in the comments below and I will post some good recipes!  It is much cheaper and as you know “chicken soup is good for the soul!”

I just found a new place to buy bone broth!  KETTLE AND FIRE

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Whole Food 10 Comments

Breastfeeding Tips

 

Here’s a different topic for today regarding breastfeeding!  We all know how important the gut microbiome is and breastfeeding is a natural, inexpensive way to help your baby’s gut get all those good bacteria!  Natalie Michele the author of maternityathome.com was gracious enough to share this with us.

Preparation for Breastfeeding – What You Need to Do
Expecting mothers are known to prep and prepare for the months leading up to birth. From painting and decorating the nursery to cleaning late into the night, women feel the natural instinct to prepare for the birth of their next child. One area that some women forget to prepare is breastfeeding.
Years ago, women were told to toughen up their nipples before birth. Some of the methods can send chills through your spine. Thankfully, there is no reason to attempt to make your nipples tougher. Any attempt won’t give you the results you hoped. There are some things you do want to do to prepare for breastfeeding.
1. Specify on Your Birth Plan: If you took the time to write a birth plan, you need to specify that you desire no artificial nipples be given to your baby. The plan should mention no pacifiers, sugar water or formula unless medically indicated or approved by you. Make sure to note that any artificial feeding is given through an oral syringe. Keeping all of these items away from your baby will reduce the chance of nipple confusion.

2. Read and Get Support: Breastfeeding may be natural, but it can be complicated at times. In an age when breastfeeding isn’t the norm in some areas, lack of information and support is one of the top reasons mothers end up not breastfeeding their child. Attend a local LLL group. Reach out to other moms in your area. Pick up a few breastfeeding books to get to know the basics. Also, find a great lactation consultant in your area who will make a hospital visit and a home visit after birth.

3. Get All Needed Items: Before your baby comes, you need to stock up on needed items. You should have at least two or three supportive nursing bras. A nursing bra for sleep is also a great purchase. You will need nursing pads, either disposable or reusable. Lanolin or nipple cream is required for sore nipples.

You may want to look into some easy, button up pajamas for easy breastfeeding those first few weeks. Many mothers like breastfeeding tank tops to make breastfeeding in public easier and discreet. You may want a nursing cover as well.

Mothers can purchase several other items for breastfeeding. A breast pump is essential if you plan to go back to work or leave your baby for any extended period. Using a breast pump means you will need breast milk storage bags and bottles. A nursing pillow can make those long nursing sessions easier on the arms and back. Also, a sling and rocking chair are some beneficial, but not needed, items.

4. Find a Supportive Pediatrician: Not all pediatricians are knowledgeable about breastfeeding. To ensure you have a successful breastfeeding relationship, it is essential for you to have a pediatrician who follows the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for breastfeeding. Ideally, they will have an extensive knowledge on breastfeeding as well.
5. Take a Breastfeeding Class: If you are feeling nervous about breastfeeding, you may want to check out a local breastfeeding class. Your local WIC office, hospital or La Leche League may offer them. This is a great place to meet other breastfeeding or pregnant mothers in the area. You can feel safe here asking all of those questions that are nagging you every day.
6. Know Your Baby’s Nourishment Needs: The first week of life is one of the hardest for breastfeeding mothers. There is no way to know just how much breast milk your infant is drinking. It is easy to doubt your ability to breastfeed successfully.

It can take up to five days before your milk fully comes in. Waiting can cause anxiety and doubt; mothers believe they are starving their new baby. Remember, your breast makes colostrum at the beginning, which is essential for a healthy breastfeeding relationship.

Colostrum is full of nourishment for your child. In the beginning, your child’s stomach is the size of a marble. Over the next few days, they will gradually need more. The best way to know if they are getting enough milk is to check their wet and dirty diapers. Bring your baby to breast as frequently as possible to bring in your milk.

7. Expect Discomfort: Not every mother is going to experience the excruciating pain cited by some mothers, but every mother is going to have some discomfort while breastfeeding. Your nipples are in for a significant change. Use nipple cream diligently after each feeding. Give them air as needed.

The most important way to keep your nipples from cracking is to check your baby’s latch each feeding to make sure it is correct. A bad latch can cause cracking and bleeding, which is a terrible way to start your breastfeeding relationship.
Once you have your new baby, leave all of those formula samples at home. During the late night feedings, you don’t want to have them in your house. You will be tempted to give up and use formula instead. So remember, as a new mother you are more than capable of breastfeeding your baby as long as you prepare ahead of time.

Check out more info all tailored to mom’s and addressing concerns regarding pregnancy all the way thru infancy

— Check out Natalie’s site——http://maternityathome.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Guest Blog, Nutrition Leave a comment

Avoid these banned foods

10 Banned Foods to Avoid

Are you eating food that’s already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/banned-foods-infographic.jpg" alt="10 Banned Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Are you eating <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/10-banned-foods.htm"><strong>"food that's already banned"</strong></a> in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet Leave a comment

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made it for his family a few weeks ago and it looked amazing.   I have done cauliflower fried rice and mashed potatoes before but I’ve never been much of a baker. This seemed a little intimidating!  But, I’m always up for an adventure and challenge.

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So here are the ingredients that I used:

1 medium-sized head of cauliflower

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 small shake of crushed red pepper

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

1 egg

1 tablespoon coconut flour (optional but I used)

So you start by placing your pizza stone in the oven (I used a baking sheet) and pre heated it to 450 degrees

Then place a piece of parchment paper on a cutting board and spray with nonstick cooking spray (I used coconut oil spray)

Wash and dry the cauliflower/ cut off the florets and then pulse in the food processor ( my NINJA worked great)

Place it in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 4 minutes

When cooled — dump the cooked cauliflower into a towel and wring all the water out of it.  HINT — don’t use paper towels like I did — (A big shout out to my fab patients Gene and Cheryl that suggested using the towel)  I didn’t get my cauliflower dried out enough which made my dough a little too wet –I was able to add coconut flour to dry it out some.

NEXT –make the dough

Dump the cauliflower in a bowl with the 1/4 cup parmesan, 1/4 cup mozzarella, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp garlic powder (not salt) and a dash of red pepper

Then add the egg and mix away.   I ended up adding 1 Tbsp of coconut flour (you could also use almond) to thicken the dough up since I hadn’t dried the cauliflower well enough.

Then form the dough into a crust and pat it down on the parchment paper (not too thick or too thin)

Slide the parchment paper onto your stone or baking sheet and cook 8-11 min until golden brown

Then remove from the oven and add your toppings and cook for another 5-7 minutes until cheese is bubbly

Then let it cool for a minute or two before cutting (this is crucial)

I added some homemade sauce (see instructions below), some shaved parmesan, fresh-cut mozzarella, tomato, and fresh-cut basil from my garden.

For the Sauce–

I took about 10 Roma tomatoes and cut an X on the skin with a knife.

Then drop them in boiling water for about 45 sec and pull them out.  You can easily remove the skin from the cut areas.

Add those back in the pot with whatever other ingredients you prefer.  I added a red onion, 3 cloves garlic, fresh oregano, basil, and chives from the garden and some roasted red pepper with a dash of sea salt and pepper.

I let this simmer for about 3 hours on low heat.

 

So here are my takeaways:

It’s ok to splurge every now and again and try a new adventure in cooking!

The pizza was definitely palatable and I will try it again.  I didn’t get the texture just right and had to eat it with a fork (it was less chewy/more crumbly).  I think it would work better with a pizza stone rather than a baking sheet.  But that’s just my opinion.

Leave me some comments below on new healthy cooking adventures or mistakes you have made!  We are all in this together!

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Whole Food 2 Comments
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