*Please Note, there are links in the blog. I don't earn much but every little bit counts, if you feel like purchasing by my referral I truly appreciate it! If not, that's ok too! Just enjoy the products and feel free to share if you loved them too!*
I just love sharing products and items that have really helped me, and being a new mom now I feel compelled to share with you the things that have really helped us in the first month of our daughter's life! Our little one was born December 20th, 2017, and just turned one month old recently. It has been quite a month! If you are going to have your first child (or second I'm sure!), be prepared for a whirlwind of a month! Here are the 10 things that I believe you need for the first month with a baby:
1) Nose Frida & Saline (I preferred the Otrivin baby care Natural Seawater saline, purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart). You will probably see the Nose Frida on a lot a "must have" postings, and I completely agree! Our experience was, a few days after birth our little one was super sniffly after nursing to a point where it looked like she was having a hard time getting air in (switching to her mouth often). It was very concerning for a new parent! I learned from the midwives that babies are often sniffly after nursing, the milk flows up and down, to their stomach but also into their nose a bit, but this wasn't the same. My sister ended up looking into her nose (duh I should have done that..) and saw some green obstruction, likely from the birthing process. Saline, then Frida to the rescue, and she was completely fine. I had to run out to get the saline, so I would suggest be prepared if you can and have both on hand already!
2) Gro Egg. When I first saw this item I thought it was unnecessary and pricy. I figured I would just use the thermometer on the monitor to know the temperature. But we ended up buying a monitor that didn't have a temperature feature. And I realized we wouldn't be using the monitor for the first bit. So I bought this, and it has been super helpful. It is easy to move to whichever room you are using for the baby (your bedroom, the nursery, living room), and it is so easy to tell if the temperature is good, as it changes colour to show the safe temperature zones. Our nursery is often a bit cooler or warmer than the rest of the house so this has been an excellent and simple way to know what exactly is going on.
3) Moby Temperature Whale. Ok type A parents, this one is for you! If you don't have a baby bath with the temperature built in, this is a great way to know that the water is actually warm enough to keep baby happy. They like it warm, and we tend to make it too cool for fear of hurting them. The whale goes red on the screen when too hot, and green when good, so I fill the tub to be just at the red level and by the time we are putting her in the bath it has cooled to green and she is literally super content in the bath (no crying!).
4) Coconut Oil. You can buy a large one of these at Costco of course! Yep it really is the miracle food. Here is how we use it: a) As a diaper cream or lotion (no other creams on a regular basis) b) For baby massages, generally after a bath c) To moisturize baby's dry skin areas d) As a nipple cream for mom e) As a moisturizer and healing oil for the perineum (for mom) post labour and f) As a treat for the dog when being friendly and calm around the baby!
5) Milkies Milk Saver. Full disclosure: I watch lifestyle Vloggers on YouTube :P And one of them mentioned this product, so I went directly to Amazon to order! The way it works is you put it on the opposite side when nursing and it collects the opposite letdown. You can get a bottle worth in a day sometimes!
6) Zippy jamz. Also, sleeper pj's that look like a dress (with an open bottom). Seriously, newborn outfits, as cute as they are, are so SILLY! I mean, on a regular basis, it makes no sense. When I was at Baby's World while pregnant I saw these Zippy jamz and I didn't even know what I was happening upon. I bought the newborn one and once we could use it I realized they are brilliant! There are two zippers, one for putting the outfit on, and one for diaper changes. DUH so much easier that those million billion snaps while baby cries or kicks her legs uncontrollably! The dress sleeper pj's are also excellent through the night, so much easier to change while dark and sleepy. Trust me!!
7) Dr. Jack Newman Nipple Cream. (For breastfeeding moms) This one you need a prescription for, every midwife knows what it is and can write it up for you. I will bet most OB's know too. I used it immediately, brought it in my hospital bag. I still had a hard time with breastfeeding (it doesn't make it easier!), and I still had some cracking. But this cream helps with the pain, helps prevent infections, and helps with healing. My good friend who is a holistic nutritionist highly recommended this and I cannot thank her enough. After that first few weeks you can switch to something more natural, but to get started this is worth it (to me!).
8) Zoli Buzz B Nail Trimmer. Ok, saw this from another Vlogger (at least I don't watch reality TV right?! ) but it really is one of my favourite things, if you have a baby shower that I am invited to, chances are you are getting this item! I tried the baby nail clippers but they are so squirmy, and then you accidentally cut their fingers a little (dah) and they are still sharp edges that scratch especially when nursing. I also tried bitting them off, but it's just as hard to get those squiggly hands in your mouth, and not exactly hygienic.. So when I saw this electric baby nail file in a vlog, I again made my way over to Amazon immediately and ordered it. It works perfectly, softening the nail edges and doesn't hurt baby fingers. And it works for children too so it's got a potential long life to it's usage (my excuse for spending this much on a nail trimmer ha!).
9) Bravado & Bamboobies. This looks like two doesn't it. It is. But they go together so nicely! These are again for the breastfeeding Momma. The Bravado brand nursing bras are truly some of the best. I bought one on Amazon, and one at Snugglebugz. I also saw them at Babies R Us. So comfy. The Bamboobies are reusable liners and sooo much softer than the disposable ones. They don't absorb as well as the Lansinoh disposables and do have to be laundered but I really like switching to them whenever possible.
10) Prenatals & Probiotics. You know me, obsessed with potency, purity, and guaranteed quality when it comes to vitamins and supplements. The USANA Health Sciences brand has not let me down in almost 8 years now, and I have truly and honestly never felt healthier since being on a good program with their products. Yes I am an affiliate, this is because I believe so strongly in the product and want to see you benefit as well. The prenatals are awesome, and contain iron in them to help even after having the babe with that tiredness. I always suggest probiotics also but I highly suggest them if you have to go through antibiotics in labour like I did (I was GBS positive). I took a bunch of other things to help prenatally and postnatally but theses are key! As always just contact me for your personalized program to health!
BONUS! I want to share with you these amazing affirmation cards created by two fabulous mamas Anna & Lindy called Love Powered Littles Co. I am starting them with babe now while she is still so young and will use them as she grows up! I just love them!!
Hope this helps, I read so many of these while pregnant I thought I would create one to share also! Let me know your thoughts and feedback, and if another list comes to me for the next phase of mommy hood I will certainly share!
Lots of Love
So, I've been MIA for awhile! I guess that is what life is all about. I have been transitioning out of my old life and settling into my new life! I retired from my practice (I'll blog on that more later!) and am now making my way as a "do-a-bunch-of-things" entrepreneur. Anyways, over the last almost 7 years now, hubby Steve and I have moved ourselves 4 times and each time renovated the space we have moved into. I have lived in a super small war time house (under 900sqft), a larger two story century home, and two 1960's/70's bungalows, and each time I have had the chance to renovate, design, and decorate within our budget. So here is the 10 things that I have learned from these flips that I have lived in (and our current home which is a longer term investment.. we think!).
1. Less Is More- Yes, having less stuff is better when moving a lot. AND conversely, moving a lot will help you to have less stuff! Each item that gets picked up and put down, packed up and wrapped up, or sorted and stored, takes time and energy. This may be why I have really been inspired with the minimalist movement, and have been working on my own capsule wardrobe!
2. Health Can Be A Challenge- I know, it's s an excuse. But it's a good one isn't it? :D This past summer we would literally invite people over for dinner, when they arrived we would remind them we don't have a kitchen, then walk on over to MJ's for some delicious fries. I actually got sick of fries (which I thought was impossible)(and I'm not sick of them now after a winter "off"). But not having a proper kitchen certainly makes it challenging, I didn't have a sink, or even a legit drain (should I explain?? ok ours drained to the road.. briefly..), I didn't have a counter (most times this comes up), and sometimes I didn't have power. Think about how much easier it is to order (gluten free!) pizza or thai, than to make something on the BBQ in the pouring rain.... I know, an excuse. But there it is.
3. You Learn Patience- Patience with your husband for sure (you know what they say!) (incase you don't, they say if you can survive a renovation you can survive anything). The saving point for us is that we both have chosen this so it's not like it's HIS fault or MY fault or even worth getting mad about generally, usually it is OUR fault and so we just go with it. Patience with your subcontractors, mmmhmm believe it or not they don't show up sometimes! Or take month to bring you an item you need, or stop working mid-way, or show up just to raise the price and leave, or don't take your calls or texts (and it says "read"), and so on and so on. But. I have learned we are all people, just doing our thing. And the better I treat them, the better they treat me generally. And patience with the whole process. Buying and selling takes time, moving takes time, packing and unpacking takes time, renovating takes a LONG time, it is all part of it.
4. The Essential Necessities- So if you're embarking on a live in home renovation here are some things I highly recommend
a) Plastic storage containers to pack things and label them and prevent them from getting dusty
b) Easy to eat healthy snacks (by now you must know I love USANA bars and shakes)
c) A BBQ and paper plates for most cooking
d) Beers in the fridge, so that friends will come over and help and at least you can give them a beer (ha!)
e) Some crappier furniture, towels, socks, so that your good stuff doesn't get wrecked!
5. Organization Is Hard!- Even with the labelled plastic bins, it's not easy to know where everything is. I just found some bathing suits from a couple years ago recently! On the plus side, when you find your lost items it's like they are new again!
6. Gratitude For Everyday Things- Honestly things like a shower, doors and walls to the bathroom, a kitchen sink(!!), lights/electricity, all of these things are at times not available during a move and renovation. You really learn to be thankful for the conveniences we have.
7. Most Seasons Suck For Renovations- Summer sucks because it's nice out and you want to relax, winter sucks because it's dark and cold and you want to watch netflix on a couch, Spring sucks because its always rainy which is tough for moving things into and out of the house, so fall is about the only time it's not so bad. Good luck with that.
8. Having A Dog Makes You Cleaner- How is that possible you ask? Because, at least for us, we didnt want our little Coconut to hurt herself on nails and other debris, or get her paws all covered in house demo dirt and then lick them, so we actually kept this most recent renovation much cleaner than usual thanks to our doggie. This fact may not be true once the reno is done :)
9. IT GETS EXPENSIVE- As soon as you start taking things a part, more things come up, and more opportunities to "just start over" come up. And then when shopping, those little upgrades are so easy to do, and oh yeah you need fancy taps and a waterfall countertop of course! ;)
10. Your New Home Does Not Make A New You- This one may be the most important point I wanted to share. Each house, each move, each adventure, I envision my new life as the new me in my new space. In THIS house I will be healthy, I will make juices every morning, bath with lavender oils every night, I will wake up joyful and drink coffee staring into the beautiful new room that I live in. Reality check- when your house is mid way, you feel worse than you did before it started so you really start to feel awful (because rememebr it takes a long time), and then when it is done, yes your home IS beautifu and that does bring some joy, but, you are still the same YOU. You don't change, your anxieties, your bad habits, your personality, doesn't change because of your house. You don't actually need a renovation or a move to BE the person you want to be. Having stuff only fills a small void. It is more important to learn to love yourself as you are, and all of the beautiful accents that come with it can be enjoyed fully.
Thanks so much for reading! What is your top tip for living through moving and renovating?
I just love that we have cells. It’s like a secret magical world, but when looking under a microscope all of a sudden it comes to life! There is fluidity, and motion, and things chasing things, and eating things, and becoming new entities all together!
Do you think about your cells? It is kind of hard to be connected to them given we cant see them and we barely know what they are doing. It’s when something isn’t right that we start to then examine ourselves at the cellular level.
Amazingly, the cells aren’t the smallest part of our bodies- each cell has components to it, and those components break down into smaller components. As we examine the smaller levels we see anatomic molecules made of the elements from the periodic table.
And to expand your mind even more, those atoms that make up each component of the cells, have been looked at under very powerful microscopes to try to see what they are made of. Protons, neutrons, quirks, quarks, and more, but the more we look- the less we see! Truly, at the very smallest level visible, there is nothing to see. There is an extremely fast moving energy cloud swirling around and taking up space.
I tell you this to help open your mind to energy medicine, to cellular nutrition, and to emotional well-being.
Today I want to share with you how taking care of your cellular environment makes you a more effective entrepreneur. I want to explain to you HOW you can do this, and WHAT you can do to optimize this environment.
Your cells are made of proteins and fats, and have very complex working systems. They monitor what goes in and what comes out, and what levels they are at. They need many many micronutrients daily, they are always working at top productivity! Can you imagine no holidays?!
What I find truly amazing is that all of this goes on without our even knowing it. For example, if we don’t take in enough calcium, our bodies will sacrifice our bones to ensure our cells have the calcium they need to move you around, and we don’t even get a clue of that until it is so much that it can show up on imaging as osteoporosis.
Each cell has an environment. Your cells are a community; think of it like a town. There are similar cells, like the houses in a block, that create something bigger- maybe a kidney, likewise the homes make a neighbourhood. There is the store down the road that has some supplies; there is the playground where magic happens for the children. The cells have storage facilities, they have the working crew that clean up, and build more. Homes have amazing security systems on each house to ensure there are no intruders and that the dogs can’t get out, cells have a similar security system made out of proteins that regulate what is allowed in and what is allowed out.
But the intention of this conversation is to tell you about the cellular environment, which is what surrounds each cell, and is within each cell. And I certainly don’t want to get too crazy here. There are some pretty easy to understand and easy to apply facts about your cellular environment that will make you much more productive and effective. Let’s break it down into 2 categories:
What you ingest & what you create
What you ingest:
The easy way to look at this is “food” (and beverage).
But it is much more complex than that. Food is in general MACROnutrients- proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. We need those, to build new cells and new cell signaling systems. But they are not the magical part. The interesting part is the MICROnutrients. The tiny antioxidants and minerals found within food. Your food should be full of life, and a huge component of this is the natural micronutrients. Your cells need so many micronutrients every single minute, that to be optimal and effective you must replenish these daily. This means eating well, with fresh whole foods, and in my opinion supplementing.
I suggest supplementing because it is so very difficult to take in the harmony of micronutrients we need from natural food, since we are not only living in a place where a lot of our food is shipped in, much of it is processed and packaged too. Your cells will thank you I promise.
But then what happens? One example is nerve firing. Did you know that your brain is a complex weave of nerves? To fire these quickly, aka think fast, you need fats to insulate your nerves and make them super efficient. You also need antioxidants to protect your arteries that supply the blood lifeline to your nerves. Did you know that eating a diet high in sugars aka high glycemic, causes the same effect on your arteries as when you barbeque a steak and the browning occurs. You NEED antioxidants to stop this, and repair this when it happens. And as you can imagine, faster thinking, and more efficient nerves, means you can literally move faster, and also you are mentally faster. That certainly helps when you’re an entrepreneur!
But let’s talk now about what you create:
You can definitely create molecules all on your own. Many are made with non-essential components- things we don’t need to ingest. Many more are made with essential components- think of the vitamins and minerals we know of- those are all essential. So we need the energy and the parts to create the things our bodies need. The energy component is huge, and plenty of it comes from really simple things like sleep, water, some quiet time, nature, and healthy foods.
But another thing we can create is our thoughts. And guess what- our thoughts really do create outcomes that can affect your life as an entrepreneur. Here is an example.
Close your eyes, and imagine you are standing in a beautiful field of wild flowers. The wind is blowing and the sun is warm on your skin. You can hear the birds. All is well.
Now change the scenery- all of a sudden you’re standing on the edge of a skyscraper in NYC, teetering, and feeling that same wind blow in the night sky. You can hear taxis honking and people below. Notice a change in your heart rate, prickles on your skin, and maybe even a sweat forming? A thought creates a physiological output. Convert this to starting your day with a stressful alarm clock, and then a rush of to-do’s and opening your email and your social media. The entrepreneur that begins this way is setting themselves up for a stress response from minute 1!
Your thoughts are actually speaking to your cells, causing them to do different things. They can create stress hormones, or amp up nerve flow to pump your heart more, or they can create healing molecules, and restorative nerve flow. Your thoughts actually cause your DNA to change what is exposed. You have a very limited DNA profile exposed, and proteins actually bind to the different areas. These proteins bind and unbind based on what your cells tell them to do, based on what YOU tell them to do. This changed DNA can cause a multitude of diseases to be expressed OR advantages. For example, there is an argument to suggest that you can turn on the DNA section that allows a disease to occur that is in your family just because you believe you will get that disease!
Your thoughts also create a tendency to notice something, it becomes on the forefront of your mind. If you really want a Range Rover in black with leather seats and a sunroof, then you tend to see a lot of these. Then you make decisions based on wanting this. Then all of a sudden, you have one! Your thoughts become things!
I really could go on all day but to keep it actionable, let us summarize what you can do, starting today to use your cells as your friend and let them help you be your best version ever:
Taking each of these points into account will really help you to have that advantage over the others who are not optimizing their cells, and their mind!
Thank you so much for your time, feel free to connect with me with any questions or feedback!
Anxiety is such a common ailment in this busy world. There is a huge relationship between people experiencing anxiety and the feeling of being an imperfect human. The subliminal messages that we see and hear each day make us believe we need to BE something special, produce, create, show up, shine, be happy, get it all done! But when we don't understand our true self, our mind goes into a state of worry and fear, showing up as anxiety. Sometime this is a pressure placed on us by others (which we are allowing them to place on us!), sometimes it is a pressure we place on ourselves.
You are perfect just as you are. Because you are here on earth, you are worthy, and highly valuable.
Never forget this.
One way to get started to understand your anxiety better is to make a journal, and see if there are any particular triggers that bother you. You can learn more about yourself this way, and find strategies to reduce the severity when you know something will trigger you.
Here are my top 10 tips to reduce your anxiety in a holistic way:
1. Daily Affirmations: "I am valuable" "I am worthy" or "I am strong" are some great one! As soon as you wake up I highly recommend listing to Louise Hay, this youtube link I LOVE to get my day started with some wonderful positive affirmations. Click here for the link: Louise Hay Affirmations
2. Essential Oils: Lavender is my favourite, you can diffuse it, place it directly on your skin, or wear it as as a part of your jewellery. Another great one for anxiety is Bergamot, I like to use this one at night. Clary Sage is also very calming for your mind and for your skin. You can ask me for some referrals to essential oil distributors if you don't have one already!
3. Deep Breathing: 3 Long and full breaths, in a moment of anxiety, will take your nervous system from the "fight or flight" alarm system, down to the "rest and digest" relaxation system. Close your eyes and breathe. You choosing to breathe that way forces your body into that rest state. This is a great clip to watch to learn to breathe deeply: Deep Breathing
4. Make sure your cells have their micronutrients daily! If you're missing out on essential micronutrients, then your cells and therefore your body and mind, are constantly searching for something they really need. This causes that feeling of buzzing, cravings, and sometimes a jittery feeling. You can be sure you have all of your micronutrients by taking a daily multi-vitamin & multi-mineral combo. This one is my fav: MultiVitamin & MultiMinerals
5. Practice being present in the moment. I love the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. You can also listen to Oprah interview Eckhart Tolle about his book A New Earth, I found this to be fantastically grounding. Often anxiety comes from worrying about the past (which we can't change), and the future (which is not now), and we are not truly in the present moment. Take note of the smells you smell, the sights you see, and the sounds you hear. Feel the fabrics on your body, and really notice the moment where you are right now. This is hugely calming.
6. Make sure you are eating a clean diet. This should be something customized for you, but low in processed foods, sugar, wheat, and dairy. If you're ready to make a change, I promise you it will benefit not only your physical health but your mental health as well. One program I have done and seen others do with great success is called JERiFic, the foundation of it being to Just Eat Real Food. Check it out here: JERiFic
7. Balance your gut bacteria! This is huge, our gut system has MORE nerves in it than the brain! It is becoming more and more recognized that our belly health is so closely related to our mental health, there is actually a nerve (the Vagus Nerve) that is connected directly from your gut to your brain! This means cutting out a lot of processed foods which hurt your gut bacteria, refrain from taking antibiotics (of course unless absolutely necessary), and building up your bacterial environment with probiotics. You can get these from a supplement, from kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and even from organic veggies that have been rinsed.
8. Acupuncture. It has long been known that acupuncture works, but the method of how it works has been disputed. Some say an allowance of Qi or energy flow, some say activation of the "rest and digest" nervous system, but either way that you look at it, it creates a calm and serene feeling once you are still and letting the needles do their work. Finding someone you trust and who likes to treat anxiety is essential.
9. Pay attention to who you are spending your time with. They say, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most of your time with. Are the people around you anxious? Or judgemental? Do they stress you out, or do they lift you up and make you feel whole? It is so important to choose who you are around most of you time. Often the way others interact with us, causes us to feel a certain way, and if it's not a good feeling- you don't have to stay there!
10. Find time each day to do something that you enjoy doing. If you are just "getting by" or thinking you can wait to enjoy your life on the weekends or on holidays, likely your anxiety will increase due to not feeling the dopamine rush of joy daily from doing something you love. Sometimes this is getting outside, meditating, exercising, playing with animals, time with children, reading, doing a craft, or so many other things! You can even make a list of things you enjoy doing, and when the anxiety starts you can go to this list and pick something from it to do.
I hope these have helped, there are many things you can do naturally to help with anxiety, if you have a method that works well for you please feel free to share it below to help others too!
Have a great one.
I am so grateful to be a guest blogger on Jennifer Wallace's GWEn Conference website. Check out the post here: Creating Freedom By Design by Erica Mattia or read it here!
What is freedom to you? This is such an important question in determining how you really want your future to look. It took me a long time to actually decide to look at my life and to realize that I can actually create my own reality. Have you taken time to truly think about your most beautiful, abundant, happy life? This is what freedom by design is. I created that hashtag
because I’m such a freedom junkie at heart, yet also a little “type A”. Freedom that has been designed speaks to me, something that I plan out a little, even if I just plan to not plan. Do you have a creative outlet? Something that makes you happy? I love designing spaces, creating a feeling for a room or a home, always starting from a clean slate and focusing on a specific theme or emotion. I also really love helping people to design their freedom life. An easy way to get started in designing your dream life is to write it out. Create yourself a vision. I started doing this 4 years ago and my life has changed drastically based on finally starting to clarify what I truly wanted. You can write a vision for 1 year from now if you have never done this type of exercise before, as that will help you to think as logically as you may need to. But a vision for 5 years or 10 years from now will really help you think big and dream a little! Open your heart to allow it to truly feel what you would want to feel, how does your day begin? Do you feel restored and rested? Do you have a coffee on the porch, or head to the gym? How is the rest of your day? Imagine your work being something you truly love, something that you cannot believe you are paid to do. What does that feel like? The more you can design what an ideal life looks like for you, the more the universe will conspire to help you make it happen. What you focus your energy on will come to be. The next step is to create a vision board, something to look at that shows images of what you want to have in your life. It should include colours you love, items you want, and portray a feeling that you are looking for. Display it proudly and in a place you often look. This will help your subconscious mind really focus on the things you truly want. These two steps are so vital in designing your freedom, and this is what I love to see- you living in your perfect freedom. Just remember that the process is part of the journey, you will never “get there” so enjoy life as you design that amazing future. Truly the only moment we have is right now. So dream and plan, cherish the moment, and enjoy your own #FreedomByDesign! <3
What is freedom to you?
This week's blog post is brought to you by the most amazing woman in my life, and my inspiration for health and wellness and staying on top of the changing world of health. You will learn about sleep and melatonin production, and how to boost your body's own natural processes. A big thank you to Jacqueline for such a great article! You can learn more about her here at her website: http://www.jacquelineoscvirk.com and if you would like to try some pharmaceutical grade melatonin you can grab some at jacqueline's brand partner site here: https://jacquelineoscvirk.usana.com/
We've all heard of it, and most often been told it’s something you can take if you have trouble falling asleep but did you know that this is a hormone much more powerful than a simple sleeping aid?
Melatonin is one of our oldest, ancestral hormones that is found even in protozoa and is secreted deep in the brain near the pineal gland. From our days long, long before electricity and computers and 24 hour grocery stores, our brains developed to respond to the circadian rhythm of night and day and used melatonin as one of its natural methods to tell us when it was time to start to prepare to sleep (amoung many other things!). Long ago we naturally would be exposed to bright day light during the daytime hours and as the sun began to set and light began to diminish, our melatonin levels began to rise, preparing us for a good night’s rest. In fact, back then man only had the natural, soft, orange glow of a fire for light or the soft glow of the stars and moon and it is only these spectrums of light that have been shown to not disrupt the production of melatonin in your body. Once you flip on a bathroom light, or your cell phone at 2 a.m. or glance out at the street light …. your melatonin production shuts off for the night and will not begin again until the next evening around 9 p.m. Its highest production peaks between 12 and 2 a.m.
Besides helping you sleep, melatonin also has been shown to be one of your very, very best friends to reduce inflammation as well as to be one of your ultimate BFF’s for its anti-cancer properties. Melatonin has a way of combating various cancer cells and triggering them to die, especially cancer cells that target the reproductive organs. We have long, long underestimated the power of this hormone and the way “modern electrical life” has disrupted its production. Melatonin is involved in the hormones of your thyroid and also with the onset of puberty. Some research is even showing that higher, natural melatonin production has anti-aging affects and can help older adults prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke with a maximized melatonin level. And, to top it off there are also indications that digestive problems, mineral absorption, recovery from radiation exposure, sleep problems in autistic children, migraine headaches and anxiety disorders improve when melatonin levels are maximized. It’s actually pretty incredible how powerful this hormone is and when you think of how much light pollution we are exposed to after sunset, it’s no wonder that we suffer more and more with the aforementioned ailments…. we aren’t maximizing our melatonin anymore!! Edison had no idea this would be a side effect.
So now you ask what can I do to increase my production of melatonin now that I know how darn important it is???
Firstly, begin to shut down the lights in your home around sunset. Don’t run to the nearest light switch panel to illuminate things as if it were daytime. Allow the natural progression of light levels to fall and soften. Use yellow, orange and red lights to see by, so that your production of melatonin begins to climb as the evening progresses. You can buy yellow or red bulbs and you can use flameless candles. Think back to the olden days and go to bed at sunset and rise at sunrise.
Do not use the television or your computer, unless you have a filter on them that blocks the blue waves from coming through. You can find these filters online, or like me you can buy blue light filtering glasses and wear them after sunset in the house. (Geek, I know.) (Blue light signals 'daytime' to the brain.) The number one and best solution is to not even have televisions or computers on after sunset, but if that’s not going to happen, get the filter or the glasses. Google “blue light blocking glasses"
Keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Black out. No alarm clock lights, no televisions, avoid any EMF’s from cell phones and wi-fi in your bedroom as they disturb the pineal gland and thus the production of melatonin. Your bedroom should be so dark that you can't see your hand. If you need a little light, get a natural salt lamp with a low wattage bulb inside and keep it in a corner of your room allowing only the lowest possible intensity of light to shine. If you live way, way out in the middle of nowhere with no ‘electric’ light coming in through the windows at night …. moon light will work and is safe.
Keep your bedroom cool. Below 70F or 21C.
During the early morning and daytime be sure to get at least 30 - 60 minutes of BRIGHT daylight into your eyes. No sunglasses. Allow the natural light of day to reset your pineal gland and signal to your brain that it’s ‘wake’ time. As you get older, this is even more important to do as melatonin decreases by half at age 60 than that what we made in our 20’s. Get up and welcome that sunshine and daylight into your eyes!!
Should you take Melatonin supplements?
First, you need to try all of the above methods before taking any supplement. You are far, far better off trying to reset and produce your own melatonin. Your body will co-operate if you diligently do the above and restrict ‘fake light’ after sunset. But, if you do need a little help, less is better. Start with a small dose 0.5-1 mg and increase only if you find it’s not working. This is not something you want to get into the habit of taking every night either. Allow your body to produce its own if you can and take breaks from taking the supplement if you find it’s not helping anymore. Melatonin is also a useful tool if you are travelling and have jet lag. Again, start with a small dose taken about 30 minutes before you hit the sack. Melatonin supplements can be very helpful if you work shift work or late nights as well. Keep in mind that some people find if they take too much they get vivid dreams, night mares or even agitated.
Be aware that taking certain prescriptions (and coffee) can also reduce your natural ability to produce melatonin, as well as certain prescriptions can increase the effects of the melatonin you take.
Melatonin has a sedating effect, which may be magnified by the use of benzodiazepines or other sedating drugs such as antihistamines or antidepressants. Similarly, the use of melatonin with valerian, 5-hydroxytryptophan, or alcohol may increase sedation.
The bioavailability of melatonin is increased when taken with the antidepressant drug fluvoxamine (Luvox®) Beta blockers, as well as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may decrease melatonin production in the body. So if you are on medications, check to see how melatonin may be affected either inhibiting your natural production or increasing its affects when you take a supplement.
I think it’s safe to say that we need to do all we can to allow our bodies to follow their natural, circadian rhythms and respect Mother Nature’s wisdom in the cycles of day and night and that by following those natural rhythms, we can be healthier, live happier and sleep way better!
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If you would have asked me about energy medicine 5 years ago, I would have probably said that there is no hard evidence or RCT's to show it works therefore it isn't real and shouldn't really be factored into therapy. I can't believe I was so closed minded, I didn't want to be seen as following "woo woo" medicine and being un-scientific. But WOW my opinions have changed DRASTICALLY!
I think it began a couple years ago with my first experience with Reiki. I was working at a multi-disciplinary clinic with a Reiki Master and in order to speak authentically about it with others I wanted to try it for myself. I was treated, and really found it to feel amazing. The treatment was a very gentle touch, and very meditative. I was warned that the next day I may feel sad or off as some things were being released but actually I felt truly amazing. A friend did a couple more treatments on me, and the most interesting thing was some of the "visions" or feelings that I had- she could tell me she saw these things before I even told her. I was pretty shocked. I have since opened my mind to some pretty cool stuff- I will share more in future posts! My next treatments were reflexology, thai yoga massage, and acupuncture by a Chinese medicine practitioner. Each of these created a new depth in my personal growth and in my health.
I have to mention my most recent experience, which was with a great practitioner found in Niagara, Agnes Apps, for her Black Pearl treatment. I felt like it lifted a shadow!! Here is how she describes it:
The Black Pearl reboots your system, mentally, physically and spiritually. This energy treatment utilizes a gentle approach and massage-like techniques to release stress, trauma and emotional blocks from the body. Often referred to as "A Massage for the Soul", it promotes blood flow, restores balance of body and mind and brings you to a place of deep relaxation. You will experience a profound state of calmness, clarity and focus after treatment.
This a great modality for anyone who is experiencing stress, anxiety or trauma or anyone who is looking to just completely let go! (And she is discounting the cost for May & June!). Check her website out at ReHolistically Speaking. I am still learning how these treatments work but I am realizing the HOW is not all that important. We are all made entirely of energy, we just need to learn how to harness that and amazing things can happen. If you want your mind to truly be blown away, watch this to learn how much we are really just energy beings: The Biology of Belief.
What are your experiences with energy medicine? Have you had good experience?
Thanks for being here!
I'm a bit late to share this with you, Day 1 has already begun! But I truly enjoyed watching the interviews and have learned so much already! The Glowing Skin Summit is FREE and running from April 27th- May 4th, bringing secrets from 35 of the top wellness, nutrition, hormone and skin experts. They will teach you the best natural (and least invasive) treatments for glowing skin and vibrant health.
Our skin is so important, it is the largest organ of our body! And it really shows outwardly what is going on the inside. I love that, because it is a great warning system. Being fully honest- this is something I have been working on for years now! My skin was fine, maybe a bit dry but clear all through my 20s and teens. I was also taking the BCP. I stopped that about 5 years ago (got totally sick of using hormones to trick my body), and ever since then my skin has been my biggest challenge. So I am so excited to listen to this summit over and over again as I learn something new each time!
10 of my favourite daily skincare routines:
1) Take care of my gut health (you will learn why when listening to the summit!)- Probiotics, Prebiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Sauerkraut (naturally fermented), Kombucha, and organic fruits and veggies
2) Wash my face with a naturally anti-bacterial facecloth (Norwex) and warm water
3) Cleanse and tone my face with my favourite "liquid vitamins" Sensé Beautiful Science Skincare
4) Moisturize with Coconut Oil blended with Lavender essential oils (LOVE so many oils!)
5) Daily antioxidants and minerals, double dose of Omega 3s and a boost of vitamin C and grape seed extract (Proflavanol C!) <3 <3
6) Lemon water, lots of greens, fresh juices and wild salmon
7) Reduce sugars! This has been the most difficult for me. But it is always a work in progress- striving for progress every day. Here is a great blog post on how to reduce sugars : https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/5196
8) Meditation, acceptance, self love. Reduce stress. Yoga. SLEEP!
9) Following my true path, being authentic to myself! Creating my Freedom Design program (which I cannot wait to share with you soon!)
10) Wash my sheets and clothing with Eco-balls, and Norwex laundry soap.
11) Bonus step! Get to the summit to learn more!! Register here!
There are so many more awesome tips you will learn about on the Summit!! I cannot wait to learn more and get my GLOW on! Join me!
What an adventure having a dog is! If you haven't yet seen a picture of our newest addition, this is Coconut our little French Bulldog! She is 4 months old, and has been a ton of fun! (Oh yes a lot of work too- you bet!). She even gave us the scare of a lifetime the other day when she swallowed a raw rib bone and was choking. Off to emerg, 48 hours of monitoring, and lots of coconut oil, snacks, and love, and happy to report she is fine :D
Last week I decided to make her some homemade treats. I am not a fan of all of the strange ingredients in dog treats (especially gluten), and I question why they are so heavily carb based, so I figured I would make my own! I wanted something healthy and natural but that will hopefully be tasty for the pooch. So I found a recipe online and modified it.
5. Spread out the mix on a pan, I used parchment paper as it is easer to avoid sticking. At this point you could use a cookie cutter or hand create different shapes if you want! I did not, as my baking supplies are packed somewhere.. but that would be a fun idea. Of course we do know the shapes are just for our enjoyment.. the dogs don't care!
6. Bake for 15 minutes, let cool for another couple minutes, and then cut them into pieces if you haven't used cookie cutters or shaped them in advance. Make sure they are fully cooled before letting your fur baby sample them! These treats, although a strange combination of flavours, are perfectly healthy for humans too (so don't worry if your child tries one!), and are fine for cats if they like them! Straya (my fatcat) did not :(
The coconut oil or other fat used, and coconut flour is super healthy for their shiny coat of fur and strong nails, and healthy cells in general! The flax has omegas and fibre, the turmeric will help with any inflammation, and the sea salt provides micronutrients. If you use bone broth that will also provide tons of vitamins and minerals as well as collagen for healthy joints.
Preventative medicine is not just for humans. Anything we can do to help our pets live longer healthier lives makes sense to me!
Home Made High Fat Grain Free Puppy Treats!
- ½ cup beef, chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ cup of oil of choice (bacon fat, coconut oil, olive oil)
- 1 ⅓ cup tapioca flour (from cassava!)
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. In a small pot over medium heat bring the broth and fat to a boil
3. While that is boiling, mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl
4. After the broth has come to a boil, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix them well
5. On parchment paper on a pan, press the dough into a rectangle, approximately ¼ inch thick. You can then cut them into shapes or use a cookie cutter, or leave whole
6. Bake for 15 minutes, when the timer goes off shut the oven off, open the oven door a crack, and leave open to cool
7. After about 5 minutes remove from oven to cut into pieces if needing to still
8. Once cooled, serve!
I know! There is a lot of controversy about detoxing and cleansing. But I believe YOU need a detox, a safe gentle detox. Why?
I am totally in love with making drastic changes. Are you an all or nothing kind of person too? If I am ready to make a lifestyle change I like to completely cut out my room for failure. Not everyone works like this, and maybe if you are not able to make big changes, a detox isn't actually for you. But consider this- every day we take in plenty of toxins- no matter what! The air we breath has off gasses, smoke, fumes, the water we drink is often contaminated with residual hormones, viruses, mold, the food we eat has pesticides, synthetic vitamins, new strains of bacteria, and the world we are in has wifi, electricity, radiation. Ahhhh! This is not to scare you, this is to show you that EVEN THOUGH you eat organic, and live amongst nature, and exercise daily, and drink clean water, there is STILL pollution and toxins our bodies are working on to eliminate daily.
So a yearly or biannual detox can help give your body a break. Let your liver do its job. Let your adrenals have a rest. Allow the chronic inflammation to reduce.
Often you will release weight. Often you will find your skin to clear, your hair to feel softer, your bloating to disappear, your sleep to be restorative, and your energy to be increased.
The side effects of a detox are fantastic. Yes you go through a short period of FEELING like you are detoxing. That is because the toxins truly are being released, meaning your detox systems are working overtime to get them out of your body. For example, your fat cells store toxins to keep them segregated and away from your body systems. But when you release fat cells, the toxins are released too. The best thing you can do while this is happening is to take in awesome foods and supplements that help optimize your liver, kidneys, GI system, and adrenals.
YOU need a detox because your body needs a break. You need to feel better. You need to see how it feels to FEEL BETTER than you do now!
It is possible. Think of how much you can accomplish, how you can be a better husband, wife, mother, or friend, if you had more energy, and felt amazing in your skin.
Doing a detox is NOT eating very little, starving, or eliminating practically everything. It IS eating healthy, highly nutritious, lots of healthy foods and supplements, and fulfilling. I believe a detox should also include more than just food changes. You mind needs to detox, your life needs to detox and cleanse. We can take it in steps.
So I hope that helps clarify WHY you should do a detox. Enjoy the process and feel amazing!!
*I am coaching a group though the 30 Day Whole Body Detox starting April 13th with a FREE webinar April 7th! (Click to register) Contact me for more info on the detox, and check out my post from last year how I did on the program myself!
*If 30 days seems too long I LOVE the 5 Day RESET and it is incredibly popular!! Contact me for your free coaching with purchase!
I love to share health information, wealth building tips, entrepreneurial ideas, and travel experiences! Talk about a range! But doing what I love has truly paid off and I hope to help inspire you to do the same!
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