HealingForReal

Category Archives: Supplements

GIVEAWAY! Reluctant Healthwife is Now ‘Healing For Real’

h4rgiveaway
The Reluctant Healthwife Blog was started shortly after I committed to replacing my SAD diet and long list of medications with real food nutrition and natural supplements. It was a way to document my progress and – I admit it – convince myself that it would really work. That I would really feel better and get my life without pain and sickness back. My husband has been convinced for over 10 years.

I was skeptical and unwilling to give up my vices, namely processed foods and prescriptions to treat my symptoms. I dragged my feet until I couldn’t handle taking a fistful of immune suppressants and pain medications every day and giving myself a shot every week. I got tired of getting every cold that my little guy brought home and I got tired of being tired. I would sleep half the day away and still want to sleep more. And the worst thing was that even with all the meds, I was still in pain.

Pain is a great motivator. So, I committed. I stopped the fast food, cheap processed snacks, factory farmed meats and dairy and started eating nutrient dense food including FATS and SUGARS. Just way better versions of them. I also STOPPED the meds! (I went to an integrated medicine doctor to slowly transition off of medications and on to natural supplements. PLEASE do not discontinue any medication without checking with your doctor first!)

Six months later, I can say that this is working. It’s working well. I am not ‘healed’ by any means, but I am in the process. I rarely need a nap these days. Instead of my joint stiffness staying with me for half an hour in the morning, it subsides in about 5 minutes with a little movement. I get fewer migraine headaches. I am losing weight (albeit, slowly). My digestion has never been better. I am convinced. So, I’m going to keep at it. My plan instead of just treating symptoms is…HEALING FOR REAL and sharing it with you.

As an introduction to my new not-so-reluctant ways, I am giving away a little package of my favorite real food essentials.

h4rgiveawaylogo
REAL FOOD by Nina Planck.
A great book on the basics of eliminating processed foods and eating real foods.

Redmond Real Salt.
Natural sea salt with more than 60 naturally occurring trace minerals.

Cultures for Health San Francisco Sourdough Starter.
An easy way to introduce some fermented foods into your diet.

AND a cute little reminder on a MUG (designed by ME!).


eatrealfoodmug

Enter to win and come back and visit often!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep the Chlorine OUT of the Kiddie Pool!

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A while back I wrote a post about neutralizing chlorine in your bath water. Now that it’s summer, we’re filling up the kiddie pools, most likely with the same water we use to fill our bathtubs. The kids are splashing around having a great time…and absorbing chlorine through their skin.

[stextbox id=”bl”]WHY is that a problem?
As I wrote in my previous post, “Chlorine is a chemical that kills living organisms. Unfortunately, it is not selective, so along with killing pathogens in our water, it kills beneficial bacteria and cells and tissues within the body. Inhaling chlorine byproducts in the steam from chlorinated showers and absorbing chlorine through the skin can trigger the body to produce free radicals, which cause damage to cells. Chlorine byproducts have also been shown to cause cancer and are a factor in heart disease .” (Read more about why we avoid chlorine in my previous post.)[/stextbox]

The good news is that the same way you can clean up your bathwater, the chlorine can be wiped out of that kiddie pool in seconds VERY INEXPENSIVELY. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has been proven to neutralize chlorine in water. Just one teaspoon can neutralize the chlorine in 200 gallons. Sprinkle it in the little pool, swish it around and you’re done! The water should be drained often to prevent bacteria build-up. (GET VITAMIN C POWDER HERE). OR…you could wait 24-48 hours for the chlorine to evaporate on its own, but who wants to wait to play???

Unfortunately, you can’t go around neutralizing the neighbors’ pools or the public pool. Luckily, vitamin C will also neutralize chlorine on the skin after swimming. There’s a great topical spray for hair and body that uses the same method of neutralization (get it here).

Keep the chlorine out of the kiddie pool this summer with safe and natural Vitamin C!

Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts

chlorineh4r

I love a nice, long, relaxing bath. I’ve been taking more baths lately with epsom salts to get a little bit more magnesium and to soak away some stress. Recently, I reordered the chlorine filter for our shower head and realized that the water in my baths was NOT being filtered. I was soaking for half an hour or more in chlorinated water when we had been trying to avoid it as much as possible by filtering our shower and our drinking water.

WHY? Chlorine is a chemical that kills living organisms. Unfortunately, it is not selective, so along with killing pathogens in our water, it kills beneficial bacteria and cells and tissues within the body. Inhaling chlorine byproducts in the steam from chlorinated showers and absorbing chlorine through the skin can trigger the body to produce free radicals, which cause damage to cells. Chlorine byproducts have also been shown to cause cancer and are a factor in heart disease .

[stextbox id=”info”]”Breast cancer, which now affects one in every eight women in North America, has recently been linked to the accumulation of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue.” (source).[/stextbox]

My plan to eliminate as many toxins as possible, definitely includes chlorine. For a more detailed article on the adverse effects of chlorine, click here.

I thought about how I might filter my bath water and found a few commercial products and contraptions that would do the trick.  When I looked into how they worked and what was used to filter the chlorine, I was surprised to find it was mostly ascorbic acid. What is ascorbic acid? Nothing more than VITAMIN C.

[AdsWithin]

Vitamin C as ascorbic acid has long been known to neutralize chloramine and chlorine in water. The reaction is quick and just one gram of ascorbic acid will neutralize 100 gallons of tap water(source).

OK, GREAT! Vitamin C. I had some in my cupboard and wondered if I should just crush a tablet or dissolve it in the water or what? I guess I could have done that, but a quick search lead me to find PURE VITAMIN C POWDER, ready to neutralize! The cost per bath is about SIX CENTS! I added it to the rest of the fun stuff I put in my bath and had myself a nice de-chlorinated soak in the tub. The difference in the smell of the bathwater was distinctly noticeable! It had a slightly sweet, metallic smell. Not at all unpleasant, just different. Different is GOOD in this case. No more chlorine smell! No more yuck.

So, here’s my ‘recipe’ for Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts!

[stextbox id=”stb_style_197640″]

Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts

Relaxation Version (enough for 1 bath)

1/2 cup Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp VITAMIN C POWDER
3 drops Lavender (or other favorite) Essential Oil

Detox Version (enough for 1 bath)

2 cups Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp VITAMIN C POWDER
1/2 cup Bentonite Clay
1/2 cup Sea Salt
1/2 cup Baking Soda
3 drops Peppermint (or other detoxing) essential oil
3 drops Rosemary (or other detoxing) essential oil
(Other oils good for detox might be grapefruit, lime, lemon, rose, cypress, etc.)

[/stextbox]

If you already have a favorite recipe, just add about 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin c powder (or 1 gram if you want to get technical and weigh it) for EACH ‘serving’ of bath salt. (Example – If you use 1 cup of your bath salt recipe per bath and you make a 4 cup batch, you would add 1/2 tsp per cup which would be 2 tsp. total – MIX WELL!).

If you’re NOT filtering your drinking water and shower water, read the articles linked above and below and maybe reconsider and get a good filter! We use THIS ONE and LOVE it. And it’s not ugly, so it sits nicely on the counter.

“…Chlorine represents a very real and serious threat to our health and should be removed in our homes, at the point of use, both from the water we drink and the water we shower in.”
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

Note: I’ve had a few skeptics wonder if this can really be true. For more information and and some chemistry lessons, here are a few links!
http://h2oblogged.wordpress.com/water-treatment-systems/chloramine-removal/vitamin-c-for-chlorine-removal/

http://www.inspiredliving.com/chloramine-filters/vitamin-c-removes-chloramines.htm

SFPUC determined
that 1000 mg of Vitamin C (tablets purchased in a grocery store, crushed and mixed in with the
bath water) remove chloramine completely in a medium size bathtub without significantly
depressing pH.

You can google more or buy a test kit like this one and try it out yourself.

This post is shared at, Butter BelieverHomegrown & Healthy Food ForagerThank Your BodyIntoxicatedonLifeSmall Footprint FamilyGnowfglinsHolistic SquidMy Cultured Palate

Natural Alternatives for Molluscum Contagiosum

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Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus that causes a pox-like skin disease. According to the CDC it affects the outer layers of the skin but doesn’t spread through the body. It can be spread to other people by sharing towels or clothes or by touching the infected area.

I had never heard of Molluscum until about a year ago when my 5 year old son erupted in raised wart-looking spots on his shoulders and back. I asked his doctor, a friend who lives across the street, to take a look. She checked out the spots and asked if there was one spot or a few that had come before the others. There were, in fact, a couple on his hip that had been there for a while that I thought were bites of some kind. She confirmed that it was Mulloscum Contagiosum and said that it was common and required no treatment and would go way on its own within 6-18 MONTHS!! That seemed like a long time for my little guy to itch and scratch. In that time, he could also spread it to other people and to other areas on his own body.

While it REQUIRED no treatment, I wasn’t satisfied with waiting so I turned to natural websites to find another option. I found several sites with forums that had some personal experiences. Some people had used Tea Tree oil, some used Clove and others used Oil of Oregano all with varied success. I decided to blend them all. (Please note that I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice. I am sharing a home remedy that worked for me. Please use caution with essential oils and always use a carrier oil to dilute them for topical use.)

This is what I used:
Essential Oil Blend for Molluscum
10 drops of Oil of Oregano
10 drops of Clove Bud oil
5 drops of Tea Tree oil
5 drops of Lemongrass oil
1/4 cup of Coconut oil

It had a strong smell – kind of like a pizza – so I also added a little peppermint oil to cover it but it is not necessary. My son was happy to have this oil blend massaged into his skin a couple of times a day. Within a week, the cores were visibly dying. Another 10 days and all the spots on his back were gone. The larger original spots on his hip took another 2 weeks to fade and go away completely. He had scratched the largest so much that he still has a small scar from that one. You can see the progression in these photos (click to enlarge image). (I took them just to watch the progress myself so they are not “pro” shots, by any means, but you can see the difference in each shot.)

molluscumprogressbackwm

molluscumprogresshipwm

If you are not familiar with blending essential oils or would rather not do it yourself, there are other natural options for treatment. I suggested the oil mixture to one mom who ultimately decided to use a product called Zymaderm which has Tea tree oil, Lemon Myrtle oil, and Iodine as its main ingredients. She reported that Zymaderm worked very well to clear up the Molluscum spots on her daughters.

I have had other parents tell me they had their child’s Molluscum spots burned or frozen off by a doctor. While this might be considered a non pharmaceutical option, it may leave scars and can be painful. It has not been found to be effective in treating the skin condition.

Although Molluscum Contagiosum will typically resolve itself, it’s great to know that you don’t have to wait months or years for the bumps to go away and you don’t have to subject yourself or your child to painful procedures or pharmaceuticals. I gave some of the same mixture to a friend whose daughter had several Molluscum spots on her neck and they also faded in a couple of weeks. Massage at home with a slightly smelly oil beats having bumps burned or frozen off at the doctor’s office. I keep a small jar of the oil blend handy just in case, although, I usually end up passing it on to other moms.

This post also shared at HOLISTIC SQUID, Thank Your Body

How Real Foods Made My Plantar Fasciitis Worse

plantarThose darn real foods! Raw milk, bone broths and sprouted grains have taken a toll on my poor feet. How is this even possible, you ask? It’s been about 4 weeks since I committed to eating at least 80% real food instead of my usual of less than 50% (depending on the day and my cravings for processed treats and sweets). The first noticeable change – increased energy. I sit down to rest between tasks as I have for the past few years dealing with autoimmune issues and the side effects of the drugs that come along with them, but I don’t stay there to recover for an hour or so anymore. Within a few minutes I think of something else that needs to be done, most likely cutting grids into my settling cheese or feeding the sourdough starter, and I pop up and go do it. My poor feet aren’t used to all the standing and running around completing long-neglected tasks. They scream at me when I head up the…STAIRS! By the end of the night, they kind of hate real food. I, however, will not back down.

After just a short time eating mostly real foods and NOT eating processed foods, I have successfully replaced a couple of my pharmaceuticals with natural supplements(NP doctor approved). My joint pain is no worse, and if I think about how I felt a month ago, I’d even say it’s a little better. I am optimistic for the first time in years. My energy level is almost incomparable. My husband says he’s surprised at all of the things I’m getting done lately. I am surprised. My feet are surprised.

What have I changed? A lot.

  • I am eating a lot of raw whole milk products I make myself. Kefir, sour cream, mozzarella cheese, ice cream, whey.
  • I am eating organic local pastured meats and eggs, making broth from the bones and using it in my cooking.
  • I am eating fresh (or lacto fermented) whole organic fruits and vegetables, especially fatty ones like olives and avocados (and no – I’m not gaining weight from eating more fat, I’ve lost 5 lbs, although that’s not my main focus right now).
  • I am drinking lots of filtered water and using lots of good quality sea salt.
  • If I have sugar it is in the form of raw local honey, succanat or grade b maple syrup.
  • If I have grains, they are whole, organic and usually sprouted or soaked.
  • I am taking fermented cod liver oil (seriously!) and a couple other supplements to help me digest and heal quicker.
  • I am replacing chemical versions of my household cleaners and beauty products with natural non-toxic formulas.
  • I am expending energy in enjoyable and stress-free ways.
  • I am attempting to get more sleep.
  • I am FEEDING my body the nutrients it needs to heal instead of putting emphasis on restricting entire food groups.

I expect to progress more and more as I heal and change my lifestyle, but if the changes I’ve seen so far were the only ones to ever happen, I would still be thrilled. I’ll take sore feet over days in bed anytime. Besides, thanks to my awesome friend Catherine, and her recommendation of the book Every Woman’s Guide to Healing Foot Pain, I can work with sore feet as I keep on changing for the better.

This post is also shared on Holistic Squid, My Cultured Palate, Thank Your Body, Food Renegade, Our Heritage of Health, Mamaandbabylove,Butter Believer