OUR NOURISHING LIFE + THE GAPS DIET

nourishing-journey-post

I am on a quest to enjoy a nourishing life on so many levels. The past ten years of my life have been a quest to attain a healthy physical, emotional and spiritual state. Can any of you relate? Ever since the birth of my son, it has been a struggle to “bounce back” and reach my pre-baby weight and just feel “healthy”. This road has been frustrating, discouraging, exhausting, challenging and well the list could go on.

However, through these challenges, I have also learned so much about my health, how food and even environment affect our health. If it weren’t for my issues, I may have never learned how to live a holistic lifestyle. I’m trying to focus on the glass being half full 🙂 I would not be aware of all of the things that help a child with special needs. I believe that God aligned my health challenges to help prepare me for my future, to care for my son, and to help educate others. I love how God turns beauty from ashes. How He uses our trials to help others and glorify His name.

Well it’s a new year so it’s a new adventure for our family. In spite of my trepidation, I have finally braved the journey to put our family on a GAPS diet. Why would I chose to take on such a task of cooking so many things? Our health. Do I feel like taking on new ways of cooking that will consume much of my time? Not really. However, with my suspected autoimmune issues, my struggle to attain a healthy physical state, my son’s special needs and my husband and I in our mid to late 40s, I want to be proactive and not reactive to our family’s healthcare needs. And I am not depending on modern medicine or our healthcare system to be the advocate for our well being. And the GAPS diet was highly recommended by my son’s therapist Kay Ness. So that was the final decision maker for me.

The GAPS diet is used to naturally heal chronic inflammation in the digestive tract and helps with neurological and autoimmune issues. Through a protocol of stages of certain foods, it will give your body the opportunity to naturally heal and seal any damaged gut lining. Your immune system is linked to the gut. If you have an unhealthy gut, this can affect so many other aspects of your health. Picture your gut as the very core of your body’s functions.

I noticed a change in my immune system when I started having chronic eczema. The doctor prescribed me a steroid cream and sent me on my way. After much research and inquiries, I learned how the gut affects your skin, thyroid, immune system, mood, energy levels and so much more. I also discovered how certain foods “triggered” my eczema. It was crazy how quickly my skin reacted to foods.

So fast-forward three years later and here we are. I must confess, this diet is intimidating. There are so many preparation steps in planning a successful GAPS journey. Planning menus, shopping, budgeting, prepping bone broths, yogurt, and fermented foods. I feel that I will be living in my tiny kitchen! I have to be diligent in my planning and forgiving in my mistakes or failures. (I’ve already flopped on making my first batch of yogurt but figured it out on the second run.) It’s going to be a learning curve but I am looking forward to the new healing foods I will be preparing for my family.

I have already created several nourishing and savory recipes, so I will be posting them soon! I am spending so much time in the kitchen, I am not having time to post my recipes. I am using an amazing cookbook called Heal Your Gut Cookbook. It is very user-friendly and the recipes are great! As I learn along this journey, I will share my recipes, tips and even struggles with you. Have you every tried the GAPS diet? If so, I would appreciate any tips or great recipes that work for you and your family!

I am looking forward in sharing this journey with you!

READY FOR ANYTHING – A HEALTHY MOM’S TIPS FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

hurricane-preparedness

Preparing for a hurricane can actually be affordable and healthy. When a hurricane is coming your way, what do you think of? Batteries, water, canned foods and candles!! I always cringe when I see the foods available to consume, in the mass chaos of preparing for a hurricane. Chef Boyardee, Campbell’s soup, cheese and crackers in a package, and a myriad of other processed foods. I confess, I was freaking out (a little) yesterday when Hurricane Matthew seemed to veer a little more westward as he progressed further north. So what does a concerned momma do? Take a food and water inventory. Here are some great emergency foods your family can eat without compromising quality and still not break the bank!

  • Nut butters! You don’t have to refrigerate and they are loaded with protein.
  • Coconut manna (for me since I am on a Candida detox 🙂
  • Popcorn! Pop it in advance and put in large ziplock bags. Flavor with your own spices.
  • Carton plant-based milk – doesn’t have to be refrigerated until you use.
  • Protein shake mix!!! Why didn’t I think of this before! No refrigeration or blender necessary!
  • Canned tuna by Wild Planet and Wild Alaskan Salmon (I get both from Costco!)
  • Organic apples or any other fruit you don’t need to refrigerate.
  • Nuts, Lara bars or any other clean eating bars.
  • Coconut water – Most people reach for water, however coconut water is more hydrating with the electrolytes.
  • Don’t forget paper plates, paper towels, utensils and trash bags!

And last but definitely not least, my doTERRA essential oils! I could not feel more empowered in an emergency, than having my family wellness kit!! We are ready for anything from digestive issues, stress/fear of the storm, skin irritations, better sleep to muscle discomfort. Even our dog is covered!

We are praying for everyone’s safety, especially Haiti and the other islands. Please share any great tips you may have preparing for the storm!

7 WAYS TO COMBAT SEASONAL THREATS

Little Muscle Man

Well seasonal threats are in full swing these days!!! Everyone is commenting on how hard they are being hit. Friends and family have been contacting me, asking me about natural solutions and good preventative steps to support their immune system. So, I thought I would share what works well for our family.

Sterilize or change out your toothbrush. The verdict is still out on whether this really shortens your exposure to seasonal threats, however, it can’t hurt to keep a clean toothbrush! Dentists recommend that you change out your toothbrush or replace the head on an electric toothbrush, every three months. They also recommend to clean your toothbrush at least every week. I submerge mine in diluted vinegar water or an immune support blend of essential oils, diluted with water. I don’t leave my brush in too long, so the oils won’t damage it.

Change your linens everyday. Did you ever realize how many germs you are transferring to these articles throughout the day? You come in contact daily, with your hand towels, wash cloths, towels, and bed sheets. Washing your linens daily, while you are feeling under the weather, helps reduce those germs. And spray the clean sheets with lavender essential oil to help promote better sleep.

Get good sleep! At least eight hours of sleep and no later than 10 PM. if you have a respiratory irritation, elevate your pillow about 45 degrees to help any postnasal drip drain properly. You can also diffuse either eucalyptus, a respiratory blend of essential oils or an immune support blend of oils while sleeping.

Stay hydrated. Sometimes, when our immune system is suppressed, we can lose more water than normal. Some of the losses are due to higher temps in our bodies, fluid loss through sweating, and even more trips to the bathroom. Drinking lots of water also helps break up any mucus, helping to reduce further irritation. And if you are eating less, you are probably drinking less. Try my homemade Gatorade elixir!

Eat whole foods!!! A healthful diet is key in being proactive in protecting your body from seasonal threats. Steer clear of sugar and dairy when your immune system is compromised. These foods only suppress your immune system. Green juices, smoothies, chicken bone broth soups and lots of warm veggie soups are key. They digest easily, soothe your tummy and nourish your body.

Support your gut! Your digestive system is the foundation of your health! A healthy gut gives your body a strong defense against illness and even chronic disease. A good probiotic and digestive enzymes are a nourishing way to support your digestive system. Fermented foods are also a great way to support your tummy. I love kombucha, kimchi and kefir. You can get all of these at your local Whole Foods or health food store.

Natural Solutions. My go-to essential oil combos to support my family’s immune system are these:

Eucalyptus and a respiratory blend to help soothe and support any respiratory discomfort.

Immune blend to support against any seasonal threats.

Digestive blend to help soothe any tummy discomfort.

Basil and lavender to help soothe any ear discomfort and promote a better night’s sleep.

(If you would like to learn more about the brand of essential oils I use and how I apply them, please feel free to contact me!)

I hope you find these tips helpful for your family! If you have any great natural solutions that work for your family, I would love to hear about them. Please share them below in the comments!