Happy Tuesday, everyone! Sharing some of my recent Instagram posts to inspire you today. Sending lots of good vibes your way.
Thanks for cruising through those posts & checking out this post: To Inspire You Today.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! Sharing some of my recent Instagram posts to inspire you today. Sending lots of good vibes your way.
Thanks for cruising through those posts & checking out this post: To Inspire You Today.
Whew, alright! This post will be a doozy. But, it’s all the best, most current information I’ve got that’s been helpful for combatting menstrual cramps, naturally. This month (mid-month, February 2021), I SUCCESSFULLY had my period without taking any pharmaceutical pain relievers to get rid of the pain. This is a big win for me! Thank you for checking out this post: Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps.
My cramps have not completely gone away (I didn’t expect them to, as I haven’t healed my gut issues yet), but they were manageable! I just slowed down for day 1 of my period, rested; and besides some general fatigue, I was pretty much back to normal on Day 2. What?! Still kind of in disbelief. And encouraged that all of these pieces are coming together for me.
I will do my best to update this piece with new information as I have it, as I have found that my approach has morphed a bit up until this point. Keep in mind, everyone is different and this is not medical advice; it is simply me sharing my experience.
If you are a female struggling with menstrual cramps and haven’t found anything to help reduce the pain, I hope this post will be very helpful for you. It will hopefully provide you with some things for you to try and implement, if it feels good to you.
Without going too deep down this rabbit hole (it’s totally rabbit-holeable), I wanted to point out that gut imbalances can contribute to the aches, pains and inflammation you are experiencing in your body. While this is not always the case for individuals, it’s something to consider if you have symptoms that you are unsuccessfully tacking.
Sometimes, those unresolved symptoms are still lingering because of an underlying gut infection. SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) and Candida are pretty common, from my understanding. Also, a lot of my symptoms lined up with those associate with SIBO & Candida. It intuitively felt like a worthwhile pursuit to address my gut health first, even though my end goal was to lessen the burden of my menstrual cramps. Thus, a lot of my approach is centered around helping my body get rid of SIBO, Candida and nourish my gut.
Another update on this front: SIBO and Candida can be a result of underlying viral infections like Epstein Barr virus. I’m still learning more about this, but have found this article helpful, along with the bits mentioned about this in the Heal Documentary. Essentially, it has been helpful for me to consider that me not being well is the result of a systemic inflammation causes by these underlying viruses. Food is not the enemy–but if you are healing from a viral infection, certain foods can feed or starve the virus. Learn more about those foods here.
As always, I would (above all else) encourage you to be your own advocate. Be open to information, but keep the awareness alive that you are in charge of your healing. If something doesn’t work for you, feel free to adapt it to a better way that truly suits you. This is all just meant to be tool offerings; things that you can take or leave and add to your wellness toolbox, or not. Zero guilt or shame attached, either way.
You’ve probably heard before that all wellness and illness begins in the gut. I have found this to be true for me. It seems like when I am experiencing minimal bloating, the rest of my health feels like it’s in a good spot, too.
I’m not implying that solving the gut health puzzle is EASY, but it’s definitely a good focus, regardless of your current health state.
Aside from menstrual cramps (I’ve had bad ones almost every single month since age 12), I have been experiencing alot of food reactions (tingling, diarhea, bloating) after eating most meals–even the “super healthy” ones. I’ve intuitively senses that healing my gut would have implications for the rest of the body.
Healing the gut means less inflammation. Less inflammation means lessened menstrual cramps; amongst a multitude of other feel-good perks. When you are less inflamed, you sleep better, your thoughts are clearer, your energy levels are higher, and your hormones are delivering messages throughout the body more efficiently.
Consider, also–that your gut health is influenced by other things happening in your body. Underlying viral causes can be the source. I’d encourage you to find a trusted, recommended Naturopath, Functional or Integrative Medicine practitioner close to you if you want guidance addressing these root causes.
This might be the next step you take if your efforts don’t results in a better–feeling you. If you are close to Kansas City, I highly recommend Dr. Jill Strom, her practice is Cura Integrative in Leawood, KS.
Keep in mind, I’ve done all of this thru personal experimentation (though I’ve gone to an integrative medicine practitioner in the past). This time around, I have wanted to figure it out by doing things intuitively, adapting and endlessly trying again when things didn’t work or feel good.
-Pay attention to how you feel after you eat. It was helpful for me to look at it through this lens (it was short term). Limiting high histamine foods, with the exception of pure Apple Cider Vinegar; this can be a helpful aid for some. I’ve been using Bragg’s & the Find Your Glow formula by Leaf People.
-Possible approaches that can help: Limiting high oxylate foods. Everyone is different, but this can be another category of foods for those with gut issues like SIBO and Candida. I haven’t completely cut these out, but they are something I stay aware of for the time being. Also, limiting high fodmap foods can help your gut heal during this time.
-Keep in mind, the problem is not necessary the food itself. Meaning, the food is not necessarily, inherently bad. It’s that your body is not flowing and processing as it should. So, you take the foods out until your symptoms improve and then you can try them again. After I did a few gallbladder flushes, I did not have the same issues! It seems like it was a stagnant gallbladder that may have evoked the gut imbalances.
-Lots of beef gelatin and collagen. I make a “jello” with the gelatin and I add approx. a tablespoon of collagen to my coffee. I have been avoiding bone broth for the time being. Even though it can be a gut health superstar, it’s high in histamine–so I’ve been staying away from it for now. I trust that I will be able to consume these foods again as my gut heals.
-I cut out nuts and seeds completely. Though they are healthy for some people, they contain polyunsaturated fats, which are a source of Omega-6s. Omega-6s can increase the prostaglandin levels in some women–which triggers cramping.
-Drink red raspberry leaf tea daily. I bought a few big bags of bulk tea to keep around so that I don’t run out.
-Eating food before coffee in the morning (and also eating every 2-3 hours, staying away from fasting). This was a last-minute addition to this whole routine, but it has really been helping me maintain energy levels, as I think adrenal burnout has been a part of the problem for me. I tend to go-go-go, and because of that–my hormones have gone wonky.
-Making an adrenal cocktail with orange juice + pink himalayan sea salt.
-Doing a weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) gallbladder flush, as I am learning how poor gallbladder duct motility can cause SIBO. This flush includes epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), tart cherry juice, ACV, and olive oil. You can find a recipe here. She recommends grapefruit juice, but I opted for tart cherry juice right now, as grapefruit juice is high histamine; which I’m avoiding right now. This flush will cause you to go to the bathroom with some urgency 🙂
-EAT ENOUGH FOOD. Don’t try to starve yourself into healing. Your body needs the fuel (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) to help facilitate the recablibration and rejuvenation. Also, when you don’t eat enough food and you exercise often, you’re increasing the likelihood that you will reach adrenal burnout. Fasting during this time did not feel like it aligned with my body–my body felt like it needed fuel. I know that intermittent fasting is the thing right now, but consider that your body may need something different if you do not feel like you’re healing with that approach.
-It’s worth mentioning that I already eat a paleo diet in which I do not regularly consume gluten, grains and dairy. I was eating them maybe once every 2 months. I have cut most of them out during this period, with the exception of drinking a Brown rice & or Pea Protein Vegan protein powder a few times a week.
You may be thinking: well what the heck can you eat?!
I made myself a list to keep this easy for when I walk into the kitchen. Even though this list is short, it helps me to stay focused on what to eat the most of. Also, this list ishelpful when I grocery shop and feel confident that my meals will help me feel good:
That said, I would suggest leaving room for things to change for you. What feels good one day might change the next day. That happened to me a few times. Just remember that you are your own healer. Be your own advocate and leave room in your “diet” to make choices that align for you, with you.
The limited diet I mentioned above only lasted a few weeks until my symptoms went away. Not too bad! The gallbladder cleanse was the thing that really seemed to push the needle on that.
Even though my goal here has been to alleviate menstrual cramps, a lot of these supplements are addressing gut issues, and going after the underlying issues that have caused this systemic inflammation for me. As I mentioned above, it’s all connected. I look at my wellness as a whole, from a holistic standpoint. When one part is unwell, it’s typically indicative of an entire-body imbalance.
I learned with my visits early on with Dr. Jill Strom at Cura Integrative (my Integrative Medicine Practitioner) that unwellness is typically caused by one or more these: heavy metals, parasites, viral & fungal infections, environmental pollutants and/or mold.
-Anti-fungal, Anti-Viral, Liver Supporting (alcohol-free) tinctures to combat the SIBO & Candida & help my body purge them: Oregano Oil, Olive Leaf Extract, Barberry Extract, Neem, Nettle, Black Walnut, Wormwood, Lemon Balm, Licorice, Cat’s Claw. I rotate these daily so that their efficacy stays high.
–Quercetin (+ bromelain) – helps support body’s immune response
–Super Enzymes – aids digestibility of your meals.
–Seeking Health Ox Bile – this helps support fat metabolism so that the motility of your gallbladder does not become stagnant.
–Life Seasons: Premense-T – an herbal formula that I took the 2 weeks leading up to my period starting, helps support healthy hormones levels. Code jesica for 20% off
–Sovereign Labs: Curcumin – one of the active compounds in turmeric that fights inflammation, aids gut health and improves brain function. Code feelmoregooder10 for 10% off
–Sovereign Labs: Vitamin C – supports the immune system. Code feelmoregooder10 for 10% off
–Now Foods Magnesium Glycinate: I take this with my cup of coffee to help combat magnesium depletion (which is a mineral that promotes relaxation). Code JES for 20% off. I got this magnesium tip from my friend and wellness biz coach Abbi Miller!
–Seeking Health: Optimal Multivitamin, which contains methylated b-vitamins. this makes them more usable in your body
–Seeking Health: Probiotia HistaminX, contains probiotic strains that help combat SIBO. Some strains can actually make it worse. This one is formulated specifically for bacteria overgrowth and those that can’t handle histamine.
–Seeking Health: Histamine Block, provides the DAO enzyme which helps break down histamine
–Sovereign Silver: Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol – supports the body in fighting Epstein Barr virus
–Ancestral Supplements – Gallbladder, Intestines, Beef Organs, Thymus, Kidney. These formulations feel like they have already been really big for revitalizing my system; and it’s only been a few weeks.
–Dr. Recommends: Homeotherapeutic tinctures for detoxing on a deep level. I had to wait to start taking these until I had my histamine under control. Alcohol is high histamine, thus it can trigger those icky-excess-histamine symptoms for some. Luckily, after I did a few gallbladder flushes and taking the Ancestral Supplements mentioned above (especially the DAO in the Kidney product, which breaks down histamine). DAO is the enzyme that is sometimes lacking in those with histamine intolerance.
-Wishgarden: Liver Strengthener, Monthly Rescue & Wombkind have been the three formulas I’ve been utilizing. These herbal tinctures help support the body to produce the hormones necessary for optimium fertility and women’s health. I take Wombkind the 2 weeks before my period, Monthly Rescue the week leading up to my period, and Liver Strengthener most days of the month. I sometimes even two extra doses towards the end of my period, to help support the detoxification of hormones during this part of my cycle. Like the Dr. Recommends products I mentioned above, I didn’t take these until my histamine-related reactions calmed down. After those symptoms went away (and my DAO became regulated), I started taking these with no problem.
–White Willow Bark: I start taking this tincture at the onset of my cramps. The while willow tree is the original source of the active compound in Aspirin.
–Biofit 360: CBD Relief Cream – topical pain relief that I used on my belly when my (lessened) cramps started. Code feelmoregooder for 15% off
–Biofit 360: CBD Oil – natural relaxation and anti-inflammatory effects. I took the Citrus, 1000mg. Code feelmoregooder for 15% off
–Acupuncture. I’ve also been seeing Dr. Jill several times in the last year for acupuncture.
-Eat enough (don’t starve yourself)
I want to leave you with this: keep believing in your body’s ability to heal. Even when it feels frustrating, never stop exploring what can help your body. You may have to do quite a bit of unlearning and halting of old habits that you “thought” were helping you. Be willing to be a beginner and continue to learn, every single day. Rooting for you!
You can read more about my experiences with detoxing from heavy metals, mold, environmental toxins and parasites here.
I’m always looking to improve my health. The next big step I’m taking is to do the Quicksilver Scientific Black Box II to improve the function of my body even further.
WAT-ER you doing today? Let’s dive right in. All the puns.
Water is more than what we popularly understand it to be. It’s not simply an insignificant liquid (that none of us drink enough of). Water is closely connected to an individual’s or a group’s consciousness. It is also extremely sensitive to other vibrations and information—like music or words.
I have recently put together a deeper understanding of water and how to take care of my drinking water in a way that takes its true nature into consideration. The brand Blue Bottle Love came onto my radar after watching this Rich Roll podcast episode with Darin Olien. I’m so happy to have discovered them and have been enamored with them as a brand, their mission, the craftsmanship and the thoughtfulness behind their bottles–ever since.
The deep cobalt blue color catalyses a peaceful, rejuvenating experience for humans. The same is true for the consciousness and structure of water. This color brings water back to Zero Point, where it is healed of any and all discordant frequencies it may have accumulated on its way into your bottle. By clearing the energy, you are providing the opportunity for your water to then truly hold the frequency and blueprint of your chosen intentions. (info credit: Blue Bottle Love)
On my unique, meandering healing journey–water has been a focal point (far reaching in many ways). Water that comes thru the pipes into your home is commonly rife with contaminants, pharmaceuticals (yup), chlorine and the list goes on and on. All of those things impede your body’s ability to heal. Good thing we have some rad peeps like the ones at Berkey Filters, who make it easier to consume clean water.
The significance of the Dolphins on this bottle, for me–is unique. I spent the first 12ish years of my life close to the Atlantic coast in Jupiter, Florida and these dolphins remind me to come back to myself. They remind me that I am supported, that nature is beautiful (and to notice it) and that reducing stress can happen quickly when I refocus on my life force. Your life force (in my own mind) is this pulsing energy that we can feel in our bodies when we slow down. I like to do simple things like following my breath in and out and finding my pulse.
Merkaba translates to: light, spirit, body. The Merkaba Symbol is a shape made of 2 intersecting tetrahedrons that spin in opposite directions, creating a three-dimensional energy field. (Credit: Soul Flower.) You can see this symbol on the bottle, behind the dolphins. In terms of a more universal understanding/meaning of the dolphin and what dolphins symbolize, here’s what I’ve gathered:
“As a spirit animal, the dolphin reminds us to live in the moment. Intuitively they connect, not only to each other but to all of their surroundings. They listen to those little nudges of excitement and even danger and act upon them. Their intellect tells them whether it’s time to form a plan or if it’s okay to go on playing. It’s because they are so sensitive, that they are also able to live in the moment, and so ready to switch gears immediately if need be.
Dolphins serve as a reminder to us not to focus on the little things that seem big and overwhelming—the things we can’t control. Yes, danger may strike at any minute. However, dolphins don’t waste time worrying about danger because they like to have fun. That’s something we humans have to keep learning over and over again.”
Credit: California Psychics.
The artist and creator of this beautiful piece is Dolphin Dave (Dave Jimenez), and you can find him here on his website, and also on his Instagram page. He is creating so much beautiful artwork on his home Island of Maui, I am in awe.
Blue Bottle Love has several other incredible designs that are sandblasted onto their bottles. The Yes Love Aloha bottle is also designed by Dolphin Dave. You may also find others that feel aligned with you.
-Merkaba Dolphins Symbol Blue Bottle – Medium, 25oz by Blue Bottle Love
–The Big Berkey System Water Filters (4 carbon filters, 4 fluoride/arsenic filters)
-2 Travel Berkey Water Bottles for remote water filtering
I encourage you to experiment and see what helps you feel good:
-Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to stimulate digestive stomach acids before meals
-Pinch of baking soda to water to increase alkalinity
-Sprinkle of pink Himalayan sea salt into your drinking water for electrolytes, better hydration remineralization and alkalinity. I also like Laird Superfood Hydrate Powder for electrolyte replenishment.
-Few tsps of Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) or activated charcoal to water as a detoxifying flush (might want to be around your home bathroom when you do this)
-Add hydrogen tabs to water or improved gut vitality
-Start drinking out of more glass, less plastic—& reuse! ♻️
Thanks for stopping by this blog post: Prenatal Multivitamins that Contain Methylated B-Vitamins. I know first-hand how tough it can be to find a high-quality multivitamin that contains methylated b-vitamins.
For many women, methylated B-vitamins are the most optimal form for supplementation. Lesser forms, such as folic acid (instead of methyl-folate) require many extra steps/processes in the body to be usable. And–in some cases, your body simply does not have the tools to utilize this form.
These extra steps refer to a process called methylation in the body. From my understanding, this is a crucial aspect of your body’s detox pathways. Some individuals have the MTHFR gene mutation. This gene mutation means that you do not methylate efficiently. You can learn more about why methylation is important in this article.
I decided that it’s worth it to me to take the b-vitamin form that has a higher likelihood of being utilized and absorbed; even though I haven’t been tested.
Here are two excellent brands for methylated vitamins. Seeking Health & Needed are both great options. Hopefully, this will be helpful for those on the hunt for a high quality multivitamin. These brands designed 2 of these specifically for women (and both of them formulated as a prenatal). Taking a prenatal can be beneficial for women’s health, even when they are not trying to conceive.
Key Benefits + Actions:
Optimal Multivitamin by Seeking Health is a complete daily multivitamin and mineral supplement containing more than 50 nutritional ingredients, all in a special base of green superfoods plus a fruits and vegetable blend. There are no gimmicks, no shortcuts, only researched nutrients that help provide the body with what it needs to support optimal function and overall health.*
Each ingredient in this optimized multivitamin formula is chosen with its absorption, competitive relationship with other nutrients, allergenic potential, and long-term safety taken into account.
If the body is unable to absorb the nutrients in a multivitamin, they cannot be utilized for optimal health. Certain nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and a well-rounded B vitamin complex are included in high-potency amounts because of the vital roles they play in supporting the body’s antioxidant defenses, energy production, maintenance of healthy blood cells, nervous system health, healthy endocrine function, and more. Minerals and trace elements are provided in the well-tolerated and bioavailable forms, and the whole formula is encapsulated in easy-to-digest vegetarian capsules that are easier to break down than compressed tablets.*
Optimal Prenatal Capsules by Seeking Health provide a comprehensive prenatal formula with a unique blend of amino acids, chelated minerals, and vitamins designed to meet the high nutritional needs of women who are pregnant or preparing for pregnancy. While this nutrient blend is specifically formulated to support healthy fetal development and prenatal nutrition, Optimal Prenatal Capsules may also be taken whenever the supplemental need for a potent and pure multivitamin exists.*
This complex formula is made with careful consideration for not only the increased demand for certain nutrients, but also for digestive sensitivity that can occur during pregnancy. This product contains L-5-MTHF, the most biologically available form of folate, which is essential to support healthy cognitive development.
Optimal Prenatal also provides folinic acid, a non-methylated form of folate that can be easily converted to coenzyme forms within the body. This optimal blend of folates may work in conjunction with amino acids, chelated minerals, and other B vitamins to support normal cell growth and cardiovascular, neurologic and immune health.*
Optimal Prenatal Capsules also contain two active coenzyme forms of vitamin B12: methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, which may help support healthy fetal development, energy metabolism and methylation. The well-balanced vitamin B complex is complete with active forms of riboflavin and B6, plus additional biotin to support healthy growth and development. Biotin may also help support healthy skin, hair and nails. Both vitamin B6 and ginger extract are special features of this formula, supporting digestive comfort.*
Vitamin A is included in two forms: beta-carotene and retinyl palmitate, to help support those who have trouble converting “provitamin A” compounds (such as beta-carotene) into the active retinyl/retinol forms. Vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 provide antioxidant support, supporting a healthy immune system and cellular integrity. Red raspberry leaf has historically been used as a tonic for pregnant women to help support circulation, uterine comfort and digestion.
Trace minerals are included in their chelated forms, as amino acid-chelated minerals are typically well-absorbed and may be more easily tolerated than alternative supplemental forms. Betaine HCl is also added to support healthy digestion and optimize absorption of nutrients.*
Optimal Prenatal does NOT include iron as some women do not process iron well or do not need iron supplementation.
Easy-to-take vanilla powder even nauseous mamas love. Pairs best with a smoothie or latte alongside a meal. Comes in a convenient 30-day supply.
We formulated our Prenatal Multi by testing thousands of mamas’ nutrient levels to know what’s truly needed to thrive, not just survive. Our Prenatal Multi includes 24 optimal vitamins and minerals that mamas and babies need.
Take it before, during, after pregnancy— and even beyond
* We left out Iron because mamas’ needs vary. Add it on if you need it.
Contains all the vitamins, minerals, and botanicals needed for complete, comprehensive nourishment — many of the best nutrients are bulky and can’t fit into your 1- or 2-a-day prenatal capsules.
Needed includes 200mcg of active B12 (most prenatals dose at 3% of optimal levels), a full 550mg of Choline (they’re the only prenatal that does), 4,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 (2-4x what others include), 900mcg DFE of methyl form of Folate, and minerals bound to Glycine for best absorption and digestive comfort.
What’s not in their Prenatal Multi is as important as what is. You won’t find: unnecessary fillers, poor nutrient forms like Folic Acid, unsustainably-sourced ingredients (like Vegan D3), high heavy metal loads, and nutrients better taken separately including Omega-3 and Iron.
Mix one scoop into a smoothie or latte alongside a full meal. The powder pairs best in a smoothie with nut butters, oats, unsweetened nut milks with no fillers, frozen fruit like raspberries and mango, and flavors like cacao and cinnamon. Try using frozen cauliflower rice instead of banana for a fruitless, less-sweet smoothie.
Since many of the nutrients are quite energizing, avoid consuming within five hours of bedtime. When transitioning from a less complete multi, start with 1/4 dose, working your way up to a full scoop/day. Do not take the powder with plain water or nut milk. A more substantial meal is recommended.
Let’s get jacked up on caffeine and make some bad decisions! Jk! Sorta! Yes to the first part! Here are some of my preferred pieces of gear for home coffee brewing.
I wanted to offer up the tools/gear we use at home to make coffee. These are ways to give your home brewing a fresh feel! Don’t worry, there’s no precise measuring required (that doesn’t happen in our kitchen. Like, ever.)
Start with good beans. “Good” is a spectrum with a lot of variables. The most important thing is to make sure it’s an organic bean (or a crop grown away from herbicides and pesticides). You don’t want to be drinking a hot cup of chemicals you know what I mean?
We like Laird Superfood Whole Bean Medium + Dark Roast beans when we are not roasting.
A burr grinder is what you’re looking for. The grounds will come out in a more uniform size. The one we have is by Mr. Coffee.
Try a bunch and see what you like. Yep, it totally influences the flavor of the final cup. These get used in rotation: Percolator by Presto, 32oz Double-Filtered French Press by Espro, Bloom Pour Over by Espro, Cold Brew Toddy by Pampered Chef
SUPER important to drink out of a mug that makes you feel good. Check out this range (a few of dozens).
You can drink your cup black (rad). Equally rad is to make it how you like it! It’s YOUR cup of coffee! I don’t play those games where baristas (I used to be one) shame peeps for wanting a vanilla latte. Make what you like, live your life!
That said, pick your desired add ins. Laird Superfood original unsweetened creamer is a daily habit, also in the mix is Vital Proteins for gut lining integrity, Maca and turmeric powders for hormonal health and combatting inflammation.
Dig coffee that’s already ready to rock? I’d recommend Rise Brewing Co. as they use nitrogen to preserve freshness. Chameleon Coffee Vanilla unsweetened cold brew concentrate is another fave for on-the-go.