Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a 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 Read more

The Sauerkraut Challenge

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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

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Avoid these banned foods

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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Body

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 3 Comments

Sunscreen Madness

It’s that time of year again!!!  This weekend the heat wave should begin so it’s time to pull out the SUNSCREEN for all those outdoor activities.  I know I’ll be at the softball fields trying to hydrate as my daughter (8) rounds out her season in the big tournament !!  Go Wildcats! 

I highly suggest visiting the Environmental Working Group’s website to check your sunscreen’s rating for toxicity —-SKINDEEP

I also found a new free app for my smart phone called THINK DIRTY

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— it rates all your bathroom products on a scale of 1-10 (10=dirty) based on the toxic additives in them.  This is a great app because you can scan the products at the store before you even buy them and get a good read on how “clean” they are.  Remember your skin is your largest organ so what we put on it is just as important as what we eat!

 

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First of all,  why do we need sunscreen?  We all know that the UV rays from the sun can be harmful but why?  Free radicals –these are generated as a byproduct of UV exposure and different environmental toxins.  OK OK –what does that mean?

Let me explain a Free Radical (an unpaired electron) in terms that might actually make sense.  In a nutshell, let’s say you and your spouse decide to go to a dinner party with several other couples.  Because you are empathetic and loving, you decide to bring recently divorced cousin Joe to cheer him up.  Unfortunately, cousin Joe is slightly depressed, drinks a few too many Sun King’s, and hits on everyone’s wife!  EEK! CHAOS ensues and healthy paired couples are broken up!  Cousin Joe is a free radical!  He is a toxic cell that breaks apart healthy paired cells and reproduces with them chaotically to cause disease.

So the free radicals caused by UV light and environmental things like pollution will break down collagen and elastin in healthy skin which provide structural support –this triggers premature aging and even skin cancer.

So sunscreen blocks about half of the free radicals in the skin that can be generated from the sun.  However many of them contain chemicals that can cause other issues and actually do nothing to protect us from other environmental toxins.

Not only do many of the sunscreens on the market contain chemicals like Oxybenzone (EEK) but many of their advertised SPF levels have been debunked —Most SPF levels max out at about 50.

So what is bad about oxybenzone?

 

Oxybenzone— is from a class of ketones called benzophenones.  It is used to absorb UV light in plastics, nail polishes, cosmetics and hairsprays.  This is how it protects from UVA and UVB in sunscreen.

Here is the real problem with oxybenzone—it is an endocrine disruptor!  Remember that nasty BPA that you find in plastic bottles and on receipts:  that is one of those bad guys too.  It acts like estrogen in the body.  And you know how important hormonal control is for overall health –you need all those hormones just at the right levels.  I don’t know about you, but I already wig out when I have PMS–I really don’t need anything else jacking with my hormones.

Retinol Palmitate — is a form of vitamin A.  It is used in many products to slow signs of aging.  However, when it is exposed to sunlight, it can cause harmful effects (liver damage, thinning of the bones etc).

The EWG (environmental working group) has a great website called SKIN DEEP —you can search for a product on there and actually get a rating on how toxic it is.

Unfortunately, many of the top brands are on their NOOOOOO list including:  Coppertone, Banana Boat and even Neutrogena!

There are a few brands that come out on top—you can find a full list on their site but here are some names that I recognize:

Arbonne, Bull Frog, Burt’s Bees, Earth’s Best, Jan Marini, MD Skincare, The Honest Company

 

 

What else can I do to protect my skin?

Well, can you guess it involves eating some healthy food!

Certain antioxidants in some foods not only offer a level of natural sunscreen, they also have the ability to grab up those free radicals and protect the cells from oxidative damage which can lead to cancer.

The following foods will help protect your skin from sun damage

Green and White Tea—these have polyphenols that can slow inflammation

Blueberries— one cup contains tens of thousands of antioxidants

Black Plums –almost 5k antioxidants in these

Dark Veggies —- radishes, tomatoes, kale, parsley, yellow peppers, squash, yams, purple cabbage

Walnuts –are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation

 

Comment below on your experiences with sunscreen or other skin care products — we would love to hear since we are all in this together!!!!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Organic, Supplements 2 Comments

Mama had a baby and it’s head popped off!

Benefits of Dandelion Root

 

I have recently been doing more research on herbal supplements. Dandelion is one of the top healing foods to boost antioxidants and cleanse the liver.

It’s benefits include diuretic action (which in common terms means you eliminate extra water retention).  It is high in potassium, calcium and vitamin K.   It can also help with constipation.

It helps detox the liver by supporting fat digestion and also helps balance blood sugar naturally which in turn can help with overall weight loss.

I found a dandelion root tea that I like to drink twice a day. The roots of the herb used to make coffees and tea. The flow flowers over the herb can make a delicious wine. The leaves are vitamin rich but slightly bitter and are often used in cooking.

Who knew that “Momma had a baby and it’s head popped off” was such a powerful supplement for our bodies?

dandelion

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

What Supplements Should I Take?

Many of you have been in for your annual physical this last year and have been instructed to start the following supplements.  You also got a boatload of homework assignments and reading material about healthy eating.  (Sorry about that–I treat insomnia too!) After some trial and error, a lot of research, and some penny-pinching–these are the supplements in my medicine cabinet right now.  Please leave comments on this post on any of these you have tried and any others you would recommend.  We are all in this together!!

Blue Ice Royal

Butter oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend (add omega 3 fatty acids)

Ortho Molecular Products

Vitamin K2 with D3  (for hormonal and bone health)

For more info on Vitamin K2 –check HERE

Magnesium Glycinate (stabilize the calcium in your body)

For more info on Magnesium check HERE

Probiotics (Re-colonize your gut with good bacteria)

VSL #3

OR

For more info on probiotics check HERE

 

There you go;  I practice what I preach and take these every day.  They are expensive and when I think I can’t afford them;  I try and remember that cancer can’t be cheap!

Detox_SidebarBanner_300x300_SaveMySeat

We live in a TOXIC WORLD. How do you stay healthy? Attend The Detox Summit, a worldwide online (and free) event from August 4-11, 2014. HERE

30 reasons why our toxic world doesn’t have to dictate your health! Find out more at the Detox Summit, free and online from August 4-11. Save your seat today! YOUR SEAT HERE

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Supplements 3 Comments

How to Beat that Sugar Addiction!

Here is a simple way to tell if you are addicted to sugar.  If you are still hungry and craving dessert, bread or soda after eating a low carb meal including a lean meat, veggies and fruit——Bah Bahm!– you are addicted to sugar.  Your brain is craving the glucose even though you completely nourished your body and cells with nutrient dense foods.  Our buddy Sean Croxton from Underground Wellness has a great explanation of sugar addiction along with a few tricks on how to curb it!!!   Happy Hump Day everyone!!!

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Supplements, Whole Food 1 Comment

Benefits of Gelatin

Gelatin- a virtual wonder drug!  Remember, the days when your grandmother boiled the chicken soup for close to 24 hours and you got all the warm healing properties from the bone broth?  That’s precisely where the amazing nutritional benefit came from—the collagen and gelatin that comes from the marrow of the bones.  Gelatin is a purified protein, derived from the hydrolysis of collagen.  Collagen is the organic component of the bones and skins of mammals.  Here are just a few quick reasons why gelatin is such a nutrient.

1.  Gelatin binds to H2o in the gut–this helps to improve digestion and essentially slicks up the GI tract for easy movement.

2.  Gelatin can help to reduce food intolerance by forming a protective barrier across the gut mucosa.

3.  The amino acids in gelatin help to strengthen bones and joint tissues.

4.  Gelatin helps detoxify the liver –the major detox organ of the body.0f1d1d7d25706b8d6c17a6529dae91d6

5.  Keratin found in gelatin is an essential building block for the teeth, hair and nails.

6.  Concentrated collagen found in gelatin helps give the skin a natural boost and prevents wrinkles.

7.  Last but not least, it improves sleep quality.

 

Here is an excellent tutorial on how to make a killer bone broth at home.

 For those a little less motivated —-Great Lakes has a great gelatin

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Nutrition, Supplements, Whole Food Leave a comment

The Infamous Fish Oil/Prostate Cancer Study?

“Too Much Fish Oil Might Increase Cancer Risk”

Wait?  Isn’t Fish Oil Supposed to be Good for Me???

 

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute recently reported data from the selenium and vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) that supported evidence that fish oil supplementation may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Before we freak out here let’s look a little further into the data.

First, the primary goal of the SELECT study was to determine if vitamin E could be used to prevent prostate cancer.  The data concluded that patient’s taking  400 IU of Vitamin E had a 17% increased risk of prostate cancer.  The study was not designed to evaluate the role of fish oil supplementation in prostate risk.

The fish oil data was gathered because they measured plasma fatty acids (plasma phospholipids) –ironically, these levels tend to fluctuate after a meal is consumed.  A better study would measure the red blood cell concentration of fatty acids which is a better indicator of actual omega 3 consumption over the past 4-6 weeks.

The difference in data in the two groups was 0.2% which is virtually nothing.

The study did conclude that the that the patients with the highest concentration of EPA/DPA and DHA-3 fatty acids had a 71% increased risk of prostate cancer.

However, the study contained no documentation of any patient taking fish oil or even eating fish in their diet.

So how does that extrapolate out?

My suggestion is to continue to do your research, and hopefully this will stimulate more studies researching actual fish oil supplementation and diet  in correlation to disease.  My bet is that Fish Oil and Omega 3 supplementation will prove beneficial like all of the other studies.

For more science details for you nerdy types like me –please visit the following:

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/how-selected-bad-study-became-big-news

So don’t trash your fish oil yet!!!  REMEMBER–if you get the “Fish Burps”–put those babies in the freezer!  And if you want a really good brand—I recommend the green pasture.com FERMENTED COD LIVER OIL (no financial investment–it’s just what I take)

Posted on by Angela in cancer, Diet, disease, Nutrition, Supplements, Whole Food Leave a comment