Whole New Mom https://wholenewmom.com Healthy Living for Real People in Today's Changing World Sun, 28 May 2017 23:10:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 https://wholenewmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/cropped-favicon-1-32x32.png Whole New Mom https://wholenewmom.com 32 32 64148957 Healthy Memorial Day Recipes https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/healthy-memorial-day-recipes/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/healthy-memorial-day-recipes/#respond Sat, 27 May 2017 20:21:38 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=45316 Holiday weekends can be tough for those who are trying to eat a healthy diet and for those on a special diet. To make your Memorial Day a bit simpler, I've pulled together some healthy Memorial Day Recipes for you all. Memorial Day Thoughts Of course remembering the reason for the Memorial Day holiday is crucial. In the US we are celebrating those who died serving in our armed forces. Recently, we've been chatting about war and freedom a lot in our home. Talking about what we think is a just and unjust war, what a right response is to […]

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Loads of Healthy Memorial Day Recipes that aren't just good for you -- they're delicious too! All gluten-free with dairy-free and vegan options and most are either low-carb or are easily adaptable!

Holiday weekends can be tough for those who are trying to eat a healthy diet and for those on a special diet. To make your Memorial Day a bit simpler, I've pulled together some healthy Memorial Day Recipes for you all.

Memorial Day Thoughts

Of course remembering the reason for the Memorial Day holiday is crucial. In the US we are celebrating those who died serving in our armed forces.

Recently, we've been chatting about war and freedom a lot in our home. Talking about what we think is a just and unjust war, what a right response is to wrongs we perceive, and what the right roles of the U.S. Government should be.

One thing is sure– we may not agree with all of the wars and why they were fought, but we can remember and honor those who gave their lives doing what they thought was best.

My father in law served in Korea. He died fairly recently, but our memories of his war stories live on. My youngest was just going through his military awards the other day, particularly thrilled that his Grandpa had received one of the most prestigious awards (at least that's what his military book said), the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Grandpa used to tell us the story of how he awoke from sleeping to the sight of a North Korean soldier with a bayonet at his neck. He startled and screamed and the soldier ran away!

Unbelievable.

It's so wonderful for my son to know the legacy of those who went before him.  I remember once, just after my father in law died, my youngest was looking at some other awards that he had won. He said, with a smile on his face, “I never knew that I was related to someone so important!”

We also have a former neighbor whom we hope to visit. She's a veteran of WWII (there aren't many of them left). She lives alone with no family around and we try to get over to see her whenever possible. She didn't lose her husband in the war, but instead met him there. But we know it's a special day for her.

Healthy Memorial Day Recipes

On Monday, we hope to have some students from my husband's college and their siblings over to have some healthy memorial day recipes and some fun, but we will remember, honor, and celebrate those who gave the supreme sacrifice as well.

Here are some of the things I'm thinking about making–thought you might want to add some of them to your Memorial Day Menu Plan as well :).

Loads of Healthy Memorial Day Recipes that aren't just good for you -- they're delicious too! All gluten-free with dairy-free and vegan options and most are either low-carb or are easily adaptable!

Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets

These are a BIG fave in our home! Make extra and freeze for the future!

Need a delicious, quick and healthy meal? Try this Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe. They taste like you spent a TON of time in the kitchen, but they come together in a flash. Grain & Egg Free and they freeze well too! No more pink sludge nuggets from the fast food companies for sure!

Egg Roll in a Bowl

This is a super-simple recipe to pull together and it's very easy on the budget, too. We love it warm or cold! And you can make it without the meat for a great vegetarian side dish.

This Egg Roll in a Bowl has all of the great flavor of Egg Rolls, but it's an Easy One Pan Meal without the grain wrapper!

Spaghetti Squash Salad

A great side dish with an unexpected tang!

Looking for an easy side dish? This Spaghetti Squash Salad is super tasty and is an easy recipe you can throw together in a flash (as quick as under ten minutes!). Plus it's paleo and low carb and has AIP options. It's kid-friendly too -- my boys LOVE it!

Dips for Your Veggies!

Here are 4 that we love!

Zingy Avocado Dressing / Dip

Meant to be a dressing, but doubles as a fabulous dip!

If you love avocados, you'll love this Creamy Avocado Dressing Recipe - it's dairy-free, low carb, and AIP too, and has none of the toxic ingredients found in store bought dressings.
Dairy-Free Ranch Dip

I literally have this in my fridge all the time!

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe - dairy-free

AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) Guacamole (no nightshades or seeds)

Whether you are on the AIP diet or not, this guacamole tastes great!

Going on AIP to heal our bodies meant having to redo a lot of favorite recipes – but this autoimmune paleo guacamole is even better than my original! Paired with some autoimmune protocol chips, and you've got the perfect snack. It's also low-carb, THM S, paleo, dairy-free, and nightshade-free.

Dairy-Free, Vegan Mayo / Vegetable Dip

This recipe serves well as either a great Mayo or a Veggie Dip.
It's one of the most interesting allergy-free recipes that I have ever made.

This Allergy-Free Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe is also a great Homemade Vegetable Dip. Vegan, soy, and nut-free!

Healthy Condiments…

Easy Homemade Ketchup

While I LOVE the flavor of a great slow-cooked ketchup recipe, this one tastes great and is ready in a flash!

A Homemade Ketchup Recipe you can make in a flash. Find out how to make ketchup--simple, sugar-free and delicious!

The “Best” Homemade Salsa

This salsa was served at a baptism lunch and was sooo popular that the woman who brought it sent out the recipe to everyone who attended!

Homemade Salsa

Sides and Snacks…

Dorito® Popcorn

The taste of this popcorn reminds us of that great Dorito® taste without the odd additives!

Love DORITOS® but you don't like all of the chemical nasties? Get "Dorito®" Flavor without the chemicals with this "Dorito®" Popcorn! It's a great dairy free seasoning that tastes great on veggies, salads, kale chips, pasta, rice, and more!

Savory Sesame-Free Hummus

This sesame-free hummus is loaded with the flavor of great spices and is perfect for those who can't eat sesame.

Hummus with a Twist--This Sesame-free Hummus is one of our all-time favorite recipes. Loaded with healthy ingredients and savory spices you're sure to love!

Dairy-Free and Sesame-Free Pizza Hummus

Another great sesame-free hummus recipe that tastes like pizza, but it's also dairy free!

“Everyone Wants the Recipe” Popcorn

We get asked “what's on this popcorn?” literally every time we take this somewhere. Make it yourself and find out why!

Popcorn Topping

 Green Bean Chips

One of our favorite healthy snacks!

Dehydrated Green Bean Chips

Caramelized Coconut Chips

Skip the overpriced version in the store and make these yourself. They have “just right” sweetness and fill you up so you're not tempted to overeat!

This Homemade Toasted Coconut Chips Recipe is one of the most helpful snack recipes I have ever come up with. Why? These little morsels of crunchiness and sweetness are just perfect – and they're a frugal version of the store bought ones. They're also special diet friendly – low carb, paleo, autoimmune protocol/AIP, GAPS and more!

Berry Cobbler

The perfect red, white, and blue dessert for Memorial Day!

5-Minute Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Balls

These are just great and you can whip them up in a flash!

These low-carb snickerdoodle cookie dough balls are so simple to whip up for an sweet easy snack! They're paleo, grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, low carb, AIP, and THM friendly!

3-Ingredient Shortbread Crisp

Another super-simple recipe. Make with cherries or berries for a more patriotic treat.

Superfood Popsicles

Refreshing and full of phytonutrients and patriotic colors!

These Superfood Berry Popsicles are just the thing for a healthy summer treat. They're low carb and dairy-free with options for AIP/autoimmune protocol. Made with an amazing Organic Vegan Superfood Berry Blend that's loaded with healthful ingredients and antioxidants.

3-Ingredient Strawberry Sage Popsicles

A fun combination that's super refreshing!

3 Ingredient Vegan Strawberry Sage Popsicles - a Super Quick and Healthy Snack that's great for summer and all year round.

Easy Fruit Dip

Make this instead of the HFCS-laden fruit dips on the market.

This dairy and sugar-free fruit dip can also be used as a glaze. Much healthier than the packaged versions in the store...and yummier too!

Sugar-Free Marshmallows for S'Mores

We love making these as a family. Fun to eat on their own or to use for low-carb recipes.

Homemade Marshmallows? Yes, please! Fun to make -- Sugar free and low carb to boot!

Homemade Sugar-Free Gummies

These are also a lot of fun to make–and eat! Make into star shapes to make them extra special for Memorial Day!

Need a healthy snack that's easy to take on the go? This Super Healthy Gummy Candy is loaded with tons of nutrition so you can feel good about serving to your kids anytime! We make several batches of these every time we make them because they are gone in a flash. They're sugar free and high in protein.

and finally…

Sugar-Free Lemonade

Super refreshing and full of phytonutrients. The perfect drink for any day!

Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe. Super Easy. Super Refreshing. This Homemade Lemonade is a great way to keep the heat and the munchies away :). I tend to pour some at night when I am tempted to nibble.

So there you have it. Loads of Healthy Memorial Day Recipes for your celebration.

Of course, they're great recipes for any day too!

What are your plans for Memorial Day?
What will you be serving?

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4 Ways to Freeze Avocados https://wholenewmom.com/kitchen-tips/freezing-avocados/ https://wholenewmom.com/kitchen-tips/freezing-avocados/#comments Thu, 11 May 2017 20:06:30 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=45117 Today we're talking about freezing avocados. My family has a problem. An avocado problem. And it's real. I mean real. If there was an Avocados Anonymous we'd all be full-fledged members. And we might even be the heads of our local chapter. In fact, I'm sure that we would be. You can see evidence of our avocado problem here: WE. Love. Avocados. But I have another problem. My name is Adrienne and I'm a Frugalaholic. When something is on sale, I feel the need to get as much of it as I can. I've done this for a long time. […]

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Did you know that freezing avocados really works? Here are 4 Ways to Freeze Avocados so you can grab a bunch when they're on sale!

Today we're talking about freezing avocados.

My family has a problem.

An avocado problem.

And it's real. I mean real.

If there was an Avocados Anonymous we'd all be full-fledged members. And we might even be the heads of our local chapter. In fact, I'm sure that we would be.

You can see evidence of our avocado problem here:

Instagram Photo

WE. Love. Avocados.

But I have another problem.

My name is Adrienne and I'm a Frugalaholic.

When something is on sale, I feel the need to get as much of it as I can.

I've done this for a long time. My husband and I were the types who loaded all of the loss leaders into our cart and got funny stares from people in the checkout line.

Well, when you buy in bulk and make a lot of homemade healthy food, you need to figure out how to store bulk purchases so that they don't spoil (or invade your living space). I've shared some of my storage tips in these posts:

How to Store Nuts and Seeds
How to Freeze and Store Berries
The Easiest Way to Store Tomatoes
How to Store Prepared Beans
The Best Way to Preserve Herbs
How to Store Leafy Greens

But today, the question today is–can you freeze avocados.

Did you know that freezing avocados seriously works? Here are 4 Ways to Freeze Avocados so you can save loads of money when they're on sale!

How I Learned about Freezing Avocados

You see, whenever there is a serious sale on avocados, I just can't help myself. I mean, WE just can't help ourselves. I feel the need to buy A LOT. And I don't mean 10 or 15 avocados. I mean a LOT of avocados.

‘Cause there have been some serious sales around here, like 3 for $1. That's serious. I haven't seen it in awhile, but hoping it comes back real soon.

When I saw this sale, I went to work wondering how I could store avocados to keep them long term, so we could feed our avocado habit on the cheap.

I mean, avocados are great, but they have a problem and it's a big one. You buy them and they're rock hard one day.

Then you go to get one out about 5 minutes later, and they are MUSH! (Well, maybe not 5 minutes, but you get my point.)

I wondered, “Can you freeze avocados?” and then went to work searching the internet. 

What I found is that yes, freezing avocados is something that seriously works.

So I went to the store.

And bought them. A LOT of them.

And we ate a lot of them. I mean, we ate them plain, with salt, we dipped carrots into them (with a little salt on top), we made this Zingy Avocado Dressing, these Chocolate Avocado Truffles (serious yum), these Chocolate Mint Grasshopper Bars, and this AIP Guacamole.

But you can't eat LOADS of avocados fast enough to keep them from spoiling once they all start turning.

So we followed the tips about how to freeze avocados and froze the rest.

Problem is, I did it the wrong way. A blogger out there said that you could freeze them plain, and well, you can, but the result is kind of icky. Brown Guacamole icky.

Let's just say that my kids weren't that happy with the results.

So you can now benefit from my Freezing Avocado Fail.

I went back to figure out what went wrong, and am now here I am to tell you some great methods for freezing avocados so you won't have your family grimacing at you about the weird color of your guacamole :).

And to make things even more handy dandy for you, I've rounded up not only information about freezing avocados, but 4 different ways to freeze avocados, depending on the time you have and how you are going to use them. So now you can have them at the ready for however you would like to use them.

Please note, that frozen avocados will not lend themselves well to eating on their own or sliced on a sandwich. The texture will be more suitable to things like dressings, dips, etc. (or Chocolate Truffles!).

{Please note – there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on one and make a purchase I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated to keep this free resource up and running.}

Freezing Avocados – the How To's

Did you know that freezing avocados really works? Here are 4 Ways to Freeze Avocados so you can grab a bunch when they're on sale!

In Halves

This is the easiest way. Simply cut your avocados in half lengthwise, put them on a plate or tray, spritz each half with some lemon (or lime) juice. You don’t need to douse the avocados, but you do want to make sure that you are pretty much coating them.

A good rule of thumb would be about 2 tsp lemon or lime juice per each large avocado, or 1 tsp for each small one. You can of course use fresh squeezed lemon juice, but I LOVE this Organic Lemon Juice. I get mine in a HUGE double pack at Costco (see, I told you that I'm all about bulk everything!)

Place the avocado halves in a plastic storage bag and press as much of the air as possible. If you really want to get all of the air out, you can use a food saver system. I've had my eye on these and would love to know if you all find them to be a great addition to a frugal kitchen, or just one more gadget that doesn't get used much.

Diced

If you'd rather go an extra step to protect your avocados from browning due to air exposure, you can dice your avocados and toss them with lemon juice. Then place the dices in a Ziploc Bag or use a food saver system to get as much of the air out as possible.

You can then use the dices in any recipes calling for avocados.

I recommend bagging up 2-4 diced avocados at a time and noting how many avocados are in each bag by writing something on a label on the bag, so that you can easily grab some from the freezer and use them in recipes.

Puree

Since you're likely going to be mashing up your frozen avocados, this is another great way to freeze them. If you freeze halves or dices, your final recipe will be chunkier than if you puree them, but pureeing works great for making dressings, sauces, guacamole, truffles :), or putting avocado into smoothies.

Simply toss your avocado into  a food processor or blender, squeeze in some lemon juice, and process to desired texture. Then scoop the puree into a plastic storage bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze.

Alternatively, you can store the pureed avocados in ice cube trays. Fill each cavity with some of your lovely and smooth avocado puree, and freeze.

Place the trays in the freezer until the puree is frozen. Then simply pop the cubes out and place in a plastic storage bag.

Guacamole

If you would like to have guac on the fly (and on the cheap), this is a great way to go.

You can of course use your favorite guacamole recipe, but we LOVE this AIP (autoimmune paleo) Guacamole.  It has no nightshades so those who either are on the Autoimmune Paleo Diet or those who are avoiding nightshades can enjoy guacamole without side effects.

Any guacamole recipe will work. I will say, however, that the texture of your guacamole will be better after freezing if you avoid the tomatoes. Even though my Easiest Way to Store Tomatoes is a great option, the results aren't optimal and I think you might not be happy with less than optimal results guac.

You can either freeze the guacamole in a plastic storage bag, or try the ice cube tray method again.  This would be particularly handy if you are making Taco Salads (or any kind of salad or meal) in a Jar ahead of time.

Oh, and if you're going to make a Taco Salad in a Jar, you will for sure want to use this Easy Delish Homemade Taco Seasoning for it!

Simply toss a cube or two of your frozen guacamole onto the salad the night before. It will be thawed and ready to eat by lunch the next day.

Post Updated 5/26/17.

Now that you know how to freeze avocados,
if avocados were on sale 3/$1 where you live, how many would YOU buy?

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10 Causes of Fatigue–The Tests You Need & How to Heal! https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/causes-of-fatigue/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/causes-of-fatigue/#comments Fri, 05 May 2017 20:27:48 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=45042 {Fatigue can really be a problem for so many people. It was for me. I still have some issues with it but thanks to so much work on my health, it's a much smaller problem now.   Today, Izabella Wentz is here to talk about some causes of fatigue and how to find out if these are problems for you. I met Izabella several years ago and immediately sensed her passion and knowledge. Her book was one of the biggest helps for me as I got on the road to recovery from chronic fatigue, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and more. I hope you find […]

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Tired all the time? Here are 10 Causes of Fatigue, the blood tests you need, and how to heal--from a pharmacist who's beaten fatigue herself.

{Fatigue can really be a problem for so many people. It was for me. I still have some issues with it but thanks to so much work on my health, it's a much smaller problem now.  

Today, Izabella Wentz is here to talk about some causes of fatigue and how to find out if these are problems for you. I met Izabella several years ago and immediately sensed her passion and knowledge. Her book was one of the biggest helps for me as I got on the road to recovery from chronic fatigue, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and more. I hope you find help and healing in this post.}

Fatigue vs. Tiredness

If you’ve experienced fatigue, you know there’s a difference between it and just being tired. Tiredness is what you feel when you think you need a nap. Fatigue digs in deeper–dragging on your motivation and emotional and physical energy.

Reasons for fatigue aren’t as obvious as those for tiredness. Simple tiredness might be explained by a late night of TV watching, an after-dinner espresso, or one or more kid-fueled interruptions during the wee hours.

Fatigue is more likely to settle in inexplicably.

Fatigue also doesn’t seem to be remedied by simply getting some extra rest and relaxation.

I experienced extreme fatigue for several years during my twenties. During that time, I needed to sleep at least 12 hours a night to be semi-functional, and I relied on near constant caffeine intake to keep me going.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis at 27—and started to treat it with thyroid medications—that I began to experience some relief. Although even then, I was still frustratingly low on energy most of the time.

As a practicing pharmacist, I began to research emerging information on Hashimoto’s and possible underlying and/or concurrent conditions. What I discovered is that there are specific thyroid markers and several other factors that can perpetuate feelings of fatigue.

Addressing these causes of fatigue is what finally brought me the energy and motivation I had been lacking for so many years. I hope these strategies might help you, too!

{Please note – there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on one and make a purchase I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated to keep this free resource up and running.}

Tired all the time? Here are 10 Causes of Fatigue, the blood tests you need, and how to heal--from a pharmacist who's beaten fatigue herself.

10 Causes of Fatigue: The Factors That Matter Most

1. Out of Range TSH

Thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, is the hormone that triggers your thyroid to make triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Your TSH level will typically be tested to determine if you have a thyroid disorder and to give your doctor the information needed to dose thyroid medications, if needed.

The problem with testing for TSH starts with the test itself. When the “normal” reference range was first established, it was done so based on a group that included elderly patents and others with compromised immune function. Because of this, what’s normal according to most labs isn’t really what’s normal for a healthy individual.

The American College of Clinical Endocrinologists has established a new normal reference range with TSH falling between 0.3-3.0 mIU/mL. In my work, I’ve discovered that most people will feel their best with a TSH between 0.5-2 mIU/mL. The problem is that many labs still define normal as falling between 0.2-8.0 mIU/mL.

If you’ve had your TSH tested and received “normal” results and you’re still struggling with fatigue, I recommend revisiting your lab report. If your results fall outside of the new normal reference range, I encourage you to discuss this further with your doctor.

2. Low T3 / High Reverse T3

T3 is a trigger for your cells to produce more energy. If you are low in T3, it’s likely that you will be low in energy, too.

You can be low in T3 even if you are currently on thyroid medication. The most commonly prescribed thyroid medication, Levothyroxine, provides only T4, which is then converted within the body to T3. This conversion can be disrupted, however, by nutrient deficiencies, stress, and other factors. In this case, you will continue to feel drained despite a normal T4 level.

Another disruption of energy production can occur if you have elevated levels of a molecule called reverse T3. This molecule will cause your cells to slow down energy production.

If you are taking thyroid medication and still feel fatigued, it’s definitely worth reevaluating your Rx. A test of your T3 level and your reverse T3, if necessary, could reveal a need for a different pharmaceutical approach. One strategy is to try a T4/T3 combination. This can be accomplished by adding Cytomel to Levothyroxine, getting a compounded T4/T3, or trying Armour or Nature-Throid.

3. Low Vitamin D

Do you find that you feel generally better in the summer (when there’s more sun) and worse in the winter? You could have low Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is vitally important to energy and immune balance, and it’s even shown to help prevent autoimmunity. Direct sunshine, supplements, and certain foods are all sources of Vitamin D.

When you get your levels checked, you’ll want to see a number that falls between 60-80 ng/dl. Having an optimal vitamin D level is especially important if you’ve had mono because Vitamin D powers the cells that fight the virus.

4. Subtle or Undiagnosed Anemia

Fatigue, weakness, and cold hands and feet are a few symptoms of anemia. If you report these symptoms to your doctor, you will probably be advised to get a blood test to check your red blood cell (hemoglobin) levels.

In advanced cases, a diagnosis of anemia can be made based on the results of this test. Low Ferritin (a protein in your blood that stores iron), B12, and folate can all precede anemia. However, these issues won’t show up on a hemoglobin test.

The best step in this case is to have your ferritin, B12, and folic acid levels checked. As with TSH, there is some debate over optimal levels. For B12, a lab will typically identify “normal” as falling between 200-900 pg/mL, but I’ve found that anyone with a level below 800 pg/mL might benefit from supplementation.

When choosing a B12 supplement, be sure to get the methylcobalamin type, which absorbs better than the alternative.

A typical range for normal ferritin levels for women is between 12-150 ng/mL. For thyroid health, however, some experts consider the optimal range to be 90-110 ng/ml.

Folate can become deficient when we have the MTHFR gene mutation (see below) that prevents proper absorption of folic acid from processed foods and common supplements. In the case you have this gene mutation, you'll likely benefit from a more absorbable form of folate, such as methylfolate.

You should of course discuss any lab results with your doctor. However, I encourage you to also get a copy of the results for yourself and compare to the levels noted here.

5. Blood Sugar Imbalances

If you’re constantly feeling low in energy or you regularly experience severe dips in energy, it’s worth paying attention to your blood sugar. One way to test if blood sugar imbalances are behind your fatigue is to lower your carbohydrate intake and opt instead for some quality protein and fat and see how you feel.

Of course getting your fasting glucose level tested is another traditional way to check for blood sugar concerns.

6. Inefficient Digestion

Even perfectly functioning digestion demands a lot of energy. The process can be even more draining if you have an autoimmune condition, such as Hashimoto’s, and/or a gut infection or imbalanced gut.

Any efforts you make to improve your digestion are likely to reward you with an increase in energy. My personal favorite strategies for improving digestion include green smoothies (check out https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/how-a-green-smoothie-can-help-your-thyroid/ for my base recipe) and the digestive enzyme betaine with pepsin.

Betaine with pepsin can improve digestion and increase absorption of important nutrients such as B12, iron, and calcium.

Taking the CBC and CMP blood test can give clues that one is suffering from a lack of stomach acid.

7. Food Sensitivities

I’ve found that people with Hashimoto’s–including myself–often present food sensitivities. And the same is true in many autoimmune conditions. The most common sensitivities are to gluten, soy, dairy, egg, corn, and nuts.

A sensitivity can be revealed by completing an elimination diet or, in some cases, getting a blood test. Removing a food that you are sensitive to will not only help restore your energy, but might also eliminate other symptoms.

8. The MTHFR Gene

No, this isn’t a gene for cursing, but the methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase gene. We all have it, but only some of us (up to 50%) have a variation of it that can interfere with folic acid conversion.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 in many supplements while folate is the natural form in foods. Folate is mportant to emotional and mental health and plays a role in producing energy.

People with the MTHFR gene variation could benefit from taking methylfolate, the activated form of folic acid, and getting more green veggies into their diets.

9. Congested Liver

 To put it mildly, we’re exposed to a lot of toxins each day. These come from the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the products we apply to our skin and those we use in our homes…and more.

And your liver is responsible for filtering out these harmful toxins and preventing a buildup of them within the body. This leads to one tired and congested liver, which can drain your energy.

To help support the liver, I like to recommend a supplement called N-Acetyl-Cysteine. I’ve found liver support to be so important in helping my clients recover from Hashimoto’s that I’ve dedicated an entire protocol to it in my new book, Hashimoto’s Protocol. If you find that taking N-Acetyl-Cysteine improves how you feel, you could benefit from following the full liver support protocol.

Of course, reducing your exposure to toxins is crucial for overall health.

You can test many liver functions with proper blood work.  Your liver might be congested even with normal lab results, but it's something to check nonetheless.

10. Adrenal Fatigue

In addition to liver support, focused attention on the adrenal glands can make a profound difference in energy levels. The adrenals produce several hormones important to wakefulness, stress tolerance, memory, anti-aging, and sex drive. When they stop producing enough of these hormones, which include cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone, adrenal dysfunction or fatigue develops.

When your adrenals are dragging, the first thing you want to do is reach for caffeine…and more caffeine…and then more, until it seems that reliable jolt just simply stops working. A possible explanation for this unresolvable exhaustion, among other symptoms such as frequent feelings of dehydration, cravings for salty foods, menstrual irregularities, and more, is adrenal fatigue.

Full recovery of adrenal function is possible, but it requires a strategic approach that includes rest, de-stressing, balancing blood sugar, reducing inflammation, and replenishing nutrients and adaptogens. All of these are incorporated into my Adrenal Recovery Protocol, which I’ve shared publicly for the first time (earlier versions have been used in my workshops) in Hashimoto's Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back

You can test for adrenal fatigue with a saliva test (blood tests can check hormone levels to also give clues). But you don’t have to wait for a diagnosis to start implementing one of the most important strategies in adrenal recovery–minimizing stress. Do this by starting to include more things that make you feel better each day and less that make you feel worse.

Maybe create more time with loved ones or give yourself the gift of a little extra sleep. My clients have also reported that being in nature, walking, or getting a massage can create feelings of calm.

In the worse column, it’s common to see examples such as being around toxic people, lack of sunshine or sleep, or fighting with love ones.

Conclusion

I know what it’s like to feel drained of all your energy and motivation.

I hope addressing these causes of fatigue will help you as much as it’s helped me and many of my clients. Let me know what works and what doesn’t–I look forward to hearing from you!

Do you struggle with fatigue?
Or have you dealt with it successfully? What has helped?

 

Izabella Wentz, the Thyroid PharmacistAbout Dr. Izabella Wentz

Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP is an internationally acclaimed thyroid specialist and licensed pharmacist. She dedicated her career to addressing the root causes of autoimmune thyroid disease after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in 2009.

Dr. Wentz is the author of the New York Times best-selling patient guide Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause and the new protocol-based #1 New York Times bestseller Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back.

As a patient advocate, researcher, clinician and educator, Dr. Wentz is committed to raising awareness on how to overcome autoimmune thyroid disease through The Thyroid Secret Documentary Series, the Hashimoto’s Institute Practitioner Training, and her international consulting and speaking services offered to both patients and healthcare professionals. www.thyroidpharmacist.com 

 

The post 10 Causes of Fatigue–The Tests You Need & How to Heal! appeared first on Whole New Mom.

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Eating Your Placenta. Why? How? Ummm–Seriously?!?! https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/eating-placenta/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/eating-placenta/#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:01:57 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=44957 {Please note – there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on one and make a purchase I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated to keep this free resource up and running.} My friend Genevieve Howland, aka Mama Natural, is sharing 2 amazing things with you all today.  First is the idea of Eating Placenta. Ummmm—really?  Well, yes.  Really. Eating your Placenta is something that was not on my radar when I had my babies, but since then I have read about it and the potential benefits of it numerous times.  And I've wondered–if I were going […]

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Have you heard Crunchy Mamas talk about Eating Placenta? It sounds gross, but it's TRUE! Here's Why You Might Want to and How to do it!

{Please note – there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on one and make a purchase I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated to keep this free resource up and running.}
Mama Natural's Pregnancy & Childbirth Book is such a fabulous resource for all moms wanting to have a more natural way of life!

My friend Genevieve Howland, aka Mama Natural, is sharing 2 amazing things with you all today.  First is the idea of Eating Placenta.

Ummmm—really?  Well, yes.  Really.

Eating your Placenta is something that was not on my radar when I had my babies, but since then I have read about it and the potential benefits of it numerous times.  And I've wondered–if I were going to have another baby….

Would I?  Could I?

Whether you're thinking this is “way out there” and “totally disgusting”, I encourage you to have an open mind and read what Genevieve has to say about it. 

Genevieve has also just come out with this amazing book that is poised to change the face of pregnancy and childbirth–for the better. The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth.

She was kind enough to share an excerpt from the book below–regarding Eating Placenta. What do you think??  


“Please tell me you're joking”, my husband said, staring at me in disbelief.

“We’re the only mammals who don’t eat it . . .” I replied in the most convincing tone I could muster.

“Right,” he sighed. “But we’re also the only mammals who drive cars and leave tips at restaurants.”

Oh, my poor husband. Papa Natural had come so far after the birth of our son. From wearing our newborn in a baby carrier to scraping poop off cloth diapers, he’d embraced just about every crunchy practice I’d brought into our home.

But now I was pregnant with Baby #2 and eating my placenta, I guess, was just too much for him.

I couldn’t blame him.

To be honest, the idea of eating my placenta was a little too much for me during my first pregnancy.

I mean, sure, I’d heard that placentophagy was supposedly an ancient practice—dried human placenta has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. And humans really are some of the only mammals that don’t consume the placenta immediately after birth. (Granted, some experts believe it’s only eaten to hide traces of birth from predators in the wild—admittedly not something I’d have to worry about at the birth center.)

I also knew that popping “placenta pills” had become all the rage in pop culture. Stars, including January Jones and Kim Kardashian, raved about surges of energy and increased breast milk production, sparking a major, worldwide trend.

All of a sudden, placenta recipes were flooding the internet. New mamas could even flip through one of several placenta-themed cookbooks!

But is the placenta really a postpartum miracle drug, or is eating it just . . . gross?

This time around, I had to find out.

Placenta and Umbilical Cord Illustration - Mama Natural's Pregnancy and Childbirth Book

Why would any woman eat her placenta?

During pregnancy, baby will pull all the nutrients he needs from his mother—whether she has enough to spare or not. This is, of course, why adequate nutrition is so vitally important for mamas-to-be (growing a baby is really tough work).

Unfortunately, our depleted soils yield produce that’s less healthy than it once was. Feedlot cattle, chickens, turkeys, and pigs, meanwhile, are less nutrient-dense than pasture-raised animals. Add in the prevalence of processed, fried, and refined foods, and it’s no wonder many women have some level of nutritional deficiency even before they get pregnant. And once they do give birth, the demands on their bodies are nowhere near over. (Breastfeeding alone, for example, burns up to 500 calories a day!)

Even the World Health Organization recommends spacing pregnancies between two and five years apart, so that mama has adequate time to rebuild her energy stores.

For these reasons and more, some people swear by human placentophagy.

Have you heard Crunchy Mamas talk about Eating Placenta? It sounds gross, but it's TRUE! Here's Why You Might Want to and How to do it!

Benefits of Eating Placenta

It’s thought that eating the placenta after childbirth can provide:

A Hormonal Boost

During pregnancy your body is chock-a-block full of surging hormones, but almost immediately after birth, those hormones plummet.

Progesterone and estrogen, in particular, remain low until the return of your menstrual period—and that could take months or even years, as some women don’t begin menstruating again until they’ve stopped breastfeeding.

These hormonal highs and lows are the reason some new mamas feel tired, sluggish, weepy, emotional, or just plain bummed out after birth; they also may be a contributing factor in the eventual onset of postpartum depression.

The placenta, however, is full of hormones, including estrogen and progesterone (which are produced by the placenta), as well as oxytocin (which crosses the placenta during labor). It’s thought that ingesting the organ, then, may alleviate some of that hormonal whiplash.

The placenta also contains prolactin, the hormone that triggers breast milk production, which is likely why mamas who eat it often experience a surge of milk and faster letdown.

A Nutrient Boost

In addition to hormones, the placenta contains vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, as well as amino acids and essential fats, which makes perfect sense when you think about it, since one of the main functions of the placenta is to deliver nutrients to the baby while in utero.

It’s thought that ingesting the placenta, therefore, might replenish some of the nutrients that were depleted during pregnancy and childbirth.

A Healing Boost

Preserving or “banking” the blood from a newborn’s umbilical cord has become a routine part of childbirth for a growing number of parents. But cord blood isn’t the only source of life-giving stem cells.

The placenta is loaded with these biological building blocks, too, which is one reason why the practice of placentophagy may speed up healing of the uterus after childbirth, as well as decrease postpartum bleeding.

Mama Natural's Pregnancy & Childbirth Book is such a fabulous resource for all moms wanting to have a more natural way of life! (group of moms illustration)

What other mamas say about eating their placentas…

Here are some comments by real mamas who's eaten their placentas–and lived to tell about it :).

Kimberly: I’ve had my placenta encapsulated after each of three pregnancies, and I would definitely recommend it. The first time around it really seemed to help with mood swings and depression. As time went on, however, I did have to stop taking the pills because the hormones made me a bit dizzy.

Felicity: I had my placenta encapsulated after the birth of my first (and only) baby. True, I have nothing to compare it to, but my energy, mood, milk supply, and recovery were all amazing—I attribute lots of that to taking my placenta.

Clair: I had to cut back on the number of pills I was taking because I started to become engorged, but once I made the adjustment, I felt great! Leslie: I was in the hospital for five days postpartum because my son was in the NICU, so I didn’t get my pills until day 5—and honestly, I didn’t notice much of a difference. However, I do take the pills from time to time when I need a boost of energy or know that my day is going to be stressful, and they really help!

Thoughts from a placenta encapsulator

My friend Maura Winkler is a registered nurse and placenta encapsulator; here's what she has to say:

True, there’s very little research to confirm the supposed benefits (or, conversely, the potential risks) of placentophagy, but one small report published in Ecology of Food and Nutrition in 2013 has always stood out: in a survey of 189 women who consumed their placentas after birth, 95 percent rated their experience as either “positive” or “very positive,” and a whopping 98 percent intended to repeat the experience after subsequent births. I have to say, I’m not that surprised. The placenta is beautifully complex even though it’s only a temporary organ, meant to sustain just a single pregnancy.

The precision and care your body takes to grow the placenta is just as awe-inspiring as the work that goes into growing a baby. And, sure, I’m a little biased. The placenta, which is said to resemble a “tree of life,” is my favorite organ, and I’m a professional encapsulator.

But I can tell you that not one of my clients has ever regretted having ingested her placenta.

Are the benefits of eating your placenta real or just placebo effect?

It wasn’t until I’d heard from so many other natural mamas—women who had struggled with postpartum depression or low milk supply or low energy or insomnia, who raved about the miracles of placentophagy—that I opened my mind (and eventually my stomach) to the idea.

Could such claims really be true?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to know for sure, because the evidence we have to support such claims is almost entirely anecdotal. There is virtually no scientific or clinical evidence that women who consume the placenta will reap a hormonal or nutritional benefit, and the practice has plenty of detractors.

What are the “cons” of eating your placenta?

Consuming toxins?

Since the placenta is a filtration organ, for example, responsible for removing waste and preventing toxins from reaching baby while in utero, it’s possible that it may retain toxins, just as it retains vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. (Though you could argue the opposite, too, since it’s the placenta’s job to send waste to the kidneys and bowel for removal.)

Lack of regulation

Certainly, there’s no regulation of placentophagy by the FDA. Some doctors and other experts have raised concerns about possible contamination by bacteria or viruses if the placenta is not handled and stored properly (as would be necessary with any raw protein).

But the flip side of that coin?

There’s no evidence that consuming the placenta is bad for you, either.

Weird reactions

Not every mom reacts positively to eating her placenta. In fact, my own experience with my encapsulated placenta wasn't 100% great, so I stopped taking the pills after a few days. I do know plenty of women who swear by eating their placentas though.

“Okay, I want to give placentophagy a try. What’s my first step?”

Whether you’re planning to whip up some placenta smoothies or ingest the placenta in capsule form, you'll want to start by:

Researching Your Hospital or Birth Center’s Placenta Policy

As placentophagy becomes increasingly popular, more and more hospitals across the country have begun to facilitate safe transport of the organ. Laws have been passed allowing mamas to take possession of their placentas after birth (albeit in only three states). Some alternative birth centers may even package up your placenta for you.

But don’t just show up on D-Day and expect that there will be no issues.

Your hospital may out- right refuse to let you take it, may require you to sign a liability waiver first, or may only allow you to take the organ after having secured a court order.

The point is, you need to know before you go.

Find an Encapsulator

Make sure you’re hiring a professional who’s received formal training. (Believe it or not, there are some rogue encapsulators out there who learned the technique via YouTube.)

An easy way to separate the pros from the amateurs? Ask your prospective encapsulator about her experience working with blood-borne pathogens, and see if she’ll give you a quick rundown of the process she uses to clean her equipment.

Bonus points if the service she provides comes with several options:

  • Is she proficient in both raw and traditional preparations?
  • Does she offer add-ons, such as tinctures?
  • Will she prepare the placenta in your home?

More and more birth doulas are becoming trained in placenta encapsulation through a slew of national agencies. Ask your doula if she’s received training, or visit PlacentaBenefits.info or ProDoula.com to find a specialist near you.

Here's a video and post on placenta encapsulation from start to finish where you can see the process.

Add “Save My Placenta” to Your Birth Plan

Hospitals and birth centers dispose of the placenta as they would any other bio-hazardous medical waste, so you’ll want to make sure everyone involved knows not to toss yours in the trash!

Need a good, clear plan that nurses will actually read? Grab a customizable copy of our free visual birth plan!

Arrange for Safe Storage

The placenta can breed bacteria if it’s not handled properly.

As quickly as possible after birth, it should be sealed in an airtight plastic bag, placed inside a food-grade plastic storage container, and refrigerated or put on ice (which means you might need to bring a mini cooler with you to the hospital or birth center).

The placenta should be transferred to the encapsulator within two to three days (you can wait a bit longer if it’s been frozen).

Want to help change the birth culture in our country?

I've just published the first week-by-week pregnancy guide from a natural perspective. Featuring insights from a certified nurse midwife (who happened to deliver both of my children), as well as a registered nurse and doula, the book is packed with helpful info on:

  • Natural remedies for common pregnancy symptomsMama Natural's Pregnancy & Childbirth Book is such a fabulous resource for all moms wanting to have a more natural way of life!
  • When to get an ultrasound (and when not to)
  • Sex during pregnancy
  • The truth about epidurals
  • How to naturalize a surgical birth
  • Natural pain relief during labor
  • What to do during every stage of labor
  • How to recover naturally
  • And so much more

This book is evidence-based, empowering and entertaining. ? (No boring text books over here!) If pregnancy is in your future, or if you know anyone who's pregnant, please consider picking up a copy.

Even if you aren't pregnant…

Consider purchasing the book and…

  • Donating to your local library or church
  • Giving to your OB-GYN at your next wellness visit
  • Passing along at a La Leche meeting or baby carrying group
  • Sharing with a pre-med student
  • Keeping in your home library to loan out as needed
  • Request at your local public or college library

Together, we can help change the face of birth in the U.S.

Thank you for your support!

Did you eat your placenta?  (if not — would you?)
How was your experience?
Share with us in the comments below!

Genevieve Howland - Mama NaturalGenevieve has been rocking the natural world with her free pregnancy week-by-week series from a natural perspective. Plus she's got an awesome online birth class.  With humor and hard work, Genevieve is helping change the culture around pregnancy and birth in our country.Now Genevieve is taking her mission to the next level with a beautiful new book that is out this week, The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth.

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Intermittent Fasting – What It Is & Why You Should Do It https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/intermittent-fasting/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/intermittent-fasting/#comments Mon, 17 Apr 2017 20:24:55 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=44896 Have you heard of intermittent fasting?  It's a practice that is growing in popularity, with articles popping up here and there. Maybe you know someone who has tried intermittent fasting, or you have even tried some aspect of fasting yourself. Before you push it aside as another “fad”, let's look at what intermittent fasting is, what the benefits of intermittent fasting are, fasting safety, and more. What is Intermittent Fasting? Intermittent fasting is an ancient practice, in all major religions, that involved abstaining from food for set periods of time for the purpose of health and spiritual focus. My emphasis here is on the health […]

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The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting - What it is & why you should do it | Whole New Mom

Have you heard of intermittent fasting?  It's a practice that is growing in popularity, with articles popping up here and there. Maybe you know someone who has tried intermittent fasting, or you have even tried some aspect of fasting yourself. Before you push it aside as another “fad”, let's look at what intermittent fasting is, what the benefits of intermittent fasting are, fasting safety, and more.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an ancient practice, in all major religions, that involved abstaining from food for set periods of time for the purpose of health and spiritual focus. My emphasis here is on the health aspect, but I also believe the spiritual focus is a worthy reason to pursue intervals of fasting on a regular basis.

I have been practicing intermittent fasting for about 8 months now.  The time frames for me have been to fast from supper to supper 1 day/week (so about 24 hours) and then fasting supper to lunch 2 other days (so more like 18 hours). The beauty of intermittent fasting is that you can pick any time frame (most of us fast 12 hours or more naturally from evening until we eat our “break fast”).

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting - What it is & why you should do it | Whole New Mom

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Weight Loss

One of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting is weight loss. Over the 8 month time period during which I have practiced fasting, I lost 40 lbs.

This was in conjunction with a low-carb, high fat diet.

Simplicity

I have found that fasting is more simple to implement than any diet.  It is free and simple to fast, because you simply don’t eat.  Most special diets have some complications that require time and money to figure out. Intermittent fasting does not require time or money, which greatly simplifies life.

Insulin Resistance, Blood Sugar, and Metabolism

Another key area of health that is impacted by intermittent fasting is insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.  When someone is insulin resistant, the cells are no longer sensitive to insulin, (which normally works to move glucose  into the cells for energy), and so the body has to produce more and more insulin just for basic metabolism, in turn, it does not burn fat for energy.

Fasting lowers insulin levels and stabilizes metabolism, which then allows the body to burn fat for energy and get rid of some of the extra fat reserves. I have read many stories of situations where fasting combined with a low-carb, high fat diet has resulted in the reversal of type 2 diabetes and often the person getting off medication. I know it has broken insulin resistance that I have dealt with for some years now and was not aware that I even had.

Slows the Aging Process

One last thing I want to mention here is that intermittent fasting can benefit your brain and help your body stay young longer.  Memory improves with calorie reduction and lower insulin levels.

Our bodies are constantly replacing cells that have reached a certain age. Increased levels of sugar, insulin, and protein can also interfere with the process of this cell replacement.  Fasting can help the body to clear out the old and damaged cells and then restore with new cells.

Who Should Not Fast?

Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are two groups of people who should not fast.  You have a baby to care for, unborn or newly born.  Either way you need your calories to feed and care for your baby.  Of course those should be nutrient dense calories of real food, so that mother and baby will be nourished.

Children Under 18

Children under age 18 are still growing and should not fast. They don’t have to be pushed to eat if they aren't hungry, but they should not be fasting as a practice. Again, healthy food is necessary to feed children's growing bodies.

Malnourished & Those with Eating Disorders

Those who are malnourished or underweight should not be fasting. This also includes those with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, as it can encourage those kinds of eating issues. If you're not sure if you fall into that category, ask a friend or family member if you are underweight or malnourished–sometimes it's hard for to be objective about your own body.

Who Should Fast?

Overweight

Those who want to lose weight may find their weight loss goals finally stop eluding them. Weight gain and loss is not a calories in, calories model as we have been taught for years. It is primarily a hormonal issue with the hormone insulin being one of the primary factors in weight gain or loss. Fasting means periods of not eating and skipping at least 1 meal in a given day. Not eating lowers insulin levels and encourages the body to burn its fat reserves.

Insulin Resistance

Those with signs of insulin resistance could do well to fast. Insulin resistance is when your cells are no longer sensitive to insulin and the body produces more insulin to force the cells to use glucose in the bloodstream. This starts with high levels of insulin, which then leads to higher levels of insulin and the cycle continues to grow. If you don’t eat, your blood sugar levels decrease, and if your blood sugar levels decrease, then your insulin levels will also decrease.

This category and that of those who need to lose weight will most likely overlap. However, there are some who are insulin resistant and do not have any significant weight to lose. The only way to really check this if you are not overweight at all is to check your glucose and insulin levels via blood work.

There are several different categories of people who should be cautious about fasting and consult with a physician prior to fasting.  This includes those with gout, those taking medications, those with diabetes (type 1 or 2) especially if taking medications for those, and those with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Such people should consult with their doctor and should fast only with close supervision.

Metabolism Concerns & Intermittent Fasting

People can get concerned about you when you fast, that you are starving yourself and putting your metabolism in danger. The problem with slowed metabolism is not for those who fast, but for those who count and cut calories daily.

For example, the person who cuts calories 1000 calories daily to lose weight may see a change in metabolism. Initially they will lose weight, and then once their body realizes that this is the new normal, the weight loss will stabilize, because the body realizes that the amount of calories coming in is not enough for normal energy expenditures. Because we cannot live at a deficit long term, the body compensates and will decrease the energy expended as well.

Our bodies do not shut down or slow down with short term fasting. Actually our metabolism increases, rather than decreases.

Our bodies will burn the energy we have available and then switch over to burning body fat. Various studies have been done which demonstrate this and show that fasting actually increases the basal metabolic rate.

During fasting there are also changes in hormones which contribute to metabolism. Adrenaline and growth hormones will increase to maintain energy levels and keep muscle mass from decreasing. (So you won't lose the muscle you have if you fast, because the body works to maintain that.)

Adrenal Fatigue and Fasting

So if adrenaline and growth hormones increase when fasting, is this a danger to those with adrenal fatigue?

There is conflicting information about what is safe for those with adrenal fatigue, and this includes the area of intermittent fasting.  After researching this, my conclusion is that  if you have symptoms of adrenal insufficiency or fatigue, you should proceed with fasting cautiously.

My advice is to deal with the fatigue first and go very carefully and slowly on the fasting end. If fasting makes you feel worse and increases the symptoms of your fatigue, then stop for now. Work on healing your adrenals with good diet and supplements and adequate rest. When you see improvement, possibly move forward on fasting.

Supplements that I've found to be of great value with adrenal fatigue are Vitamin C, adrenal support herbs (turmeric, ashwagandha, etc.), and magnesium. I take magnesium malate, which isn't hard on my GI system and works well. {Adrienne uses Magnesium Glycinate which does not cause digestive upset and is apparently well absorbed.}

Please note that there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, a commission might be made. This doesn't change your price but helps keep this blog up and running – thanks!

Free 30 Day Fasting Challenge

If you would like to try intermittent fasting, I offer a free 30 day fasting challenge several times each year. We'll be fasting together as a group for 30 days, but you can choose when and how long you fast. I send out emails twice weekly with information and tips on how to focus your fasting, how to deal with problems like hunger, suggestions on eating when you are not fasting, and more on metabolism and insulin resistance. Join me at Purposeful Nutrition to sign up.

I also have a guide to intermittent fasting for sale if you would prefer to get all the information in one shot and do this on your own. This is also available at Purposeful Nutrition here. I am offering a discount to those who read this blog for a limited time. If you use the coupon code {whole new mom} on the sales page you'll save $3 off the regular price.

Intermittent Fasting Book

{From Adrienne – Miessence is a company that I have been associated with for years.  Interestingly, they have just come out with a product called FAST.  I've heard so many fabulous testimonials about it that I knew I should include it in this post.  The company is the utmost in integrity and care for ingredients and the environment.  I mentioned them previously in this post on Probiotics and this post on Fermented Foods.

Here's the FAST Superfood that might be a good supplement to your Intermittent Fasting regimen, giving you heavy duty nutritional support with superfoods.

Miessence FAST Superfood

What do you think of all these benefits of intermittent fasting?
Are you going to try it?

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16051710
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25540982
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23582559
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3670843/

Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2186256
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8172872


Jennifer Dages of Purposeful NutritionJennifer is a happily married homeschooling mother of 4 who lives in a small town in Pennsylvania. She blogs at The Entwife’s Journal and at Purposeful Nutrition.  She's also an RN who's working to build a health business through blogging, speaking, and health coaching.

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How to REALLY Know if Your Essential Oils Are Pure https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/how-to-know-if-your-essential-oils-are-pure/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/how-to-know-if-your-essential-oils-are-pure/#comments Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:18:54 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=42521 Since I wrote my series on finding the best essential oils for my family, the question that I get asked most frequently is “What do you think about XYZ essential oils company?” or “Is ABC essential oils company selling essential oils that are pure?” When I first started using essential oils, I thought that essential oils were a scam.  But after my thinking changed on that, I found that essential oils work and discovered a lot of life-changing ways to use essential oils in our home. However, things quickly got to be very confusing.  Quality claims of all kinds were all over the place […]

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With so many Essential Oil Companies on the market, how can you be sure that you are REALLY buying Pure Essential Oils? Get the facts here.

Since I wrote my series on finding the best essential oils for my family, the question that I get asked most frequently is “What do you think about XYZ essential oils company?” or “Is ABC essential oils company selling essential oils that are pure?”

When I first started using essential oils, I thought that essential oils were a scam.  But after my thinking changed on that, I found that essential oils work and discovered a lot of life-changing ways to use essential oils in our home.

However, things quickly got to be very confusing.  Quality claims of all kinds were all over the place and I didn't know how to sort through them.

And it's only become more and more confusing as time has gone on and the marketplace has become completely glutted.  Seriously–have you noticed that everyone and their brother (and sister) are selling essential oils these days?  It's a mess out there.  Daily I get emails and comments from readers asking me about essential oils.  Typically they are responding to the information in my series on finding the best essential oils for my family, and they want to know what I think about ABC or XYZ company–whether they are quality oils or not.

Every company out there makes claims about their oils being great.

“Our oils are the best that there is!”
“100% Pure Essential Oils”
“Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils”
and it goes on and on.

In this post on Essential Oil Myths about Purity, I talked about many of the untruths that are circulating around regarding how to know if your essential oils are pure. And there are a lot of them.

Today, I'm going to share with you the truth.

No nonsense. No hype. Just pure scientific fact.

With so many Essential Oil Companies on the market, how can you be sure that you are REALLY buying Pure Essential Oils? Get the facts here.

How to Find Pure Essential Oils

So if the claims that I laid out in the Essential Oils Myths about Purity post aren't how you can know if you have pure essential oils or not, then how do you know?  When you walk into a store or shop online, how can you know that you really are buying pure essential oils and not cheaper oils masquerading as the real thing?

First and foremost, you need to know that the oils have been tested.

And by testing, I don't mean putting them on a piece of paper or coffee filter, smelling them, or putting them in your freezer to see if they freeze or not. Unfortunately, you need to have the oils tested using something called GC/MS testing (short for Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry). I bet you don't have the capability to do this in your home.  Well, you could buy a GC/MS machine for yourself to have in your home, but it will set you back a pretty penny or two.

And even if you did decide to buy the necessary equipment, you would have to know how to interpret the resulting information from the tests. So we have a problem.

So you have to have the testing done elsewhere, by someone whom you can trust.

Luckily, many companies are having this testing done now since the marketplace is demanding it. However, there is a lot more to it than just buying from a company that states on its website that it does GC/MS testing.

Here's what else you need to look for.

1. Batch GC/MS Testing

A company should first test a sample of the oil that they wish to purchase.  Then, upon receiving that oil in bulk, they should test the bulk batch to make sure that the oils that they sampled matches the oil that they purchased.

GC/MS testing is known as the gold standard test for essential oils.

The reason why batch testing is important is that it would be very easy for a seller to send a sample to a buyer. Then the buyer tests the sample and verifies that it is pure.  The seller then, instead of the original sample, could send an adulterated large batch of essential oils to the buyer.  If the buyer doesn't test the large batch, who's to say that the batch is exactly the same as the sample?

And if a company simply “trusts” their suppliers, how do they know that a seller won't get misled or decide to do something shady at some point?  I have heard from companies that have had this very problem.  They bought from “trusted” suppliers only to later test oils and found that some were tainted.  And I had been using some of these oils in my home :(. You might have them there too.

2. 3rd Party Testing

Ideally you want to go with a company that has a 3rd party testing their oils.  In house testing might be accurate but there is a conflict of interest when a company tests its own essential oils, so 3rd party validation is important.

Think about it.  If a company does the GC/MS testing in house, then it would be quite tempting to simply alter a test to make it state whatever you want it to say.  Better to have a 3rd party's name on the test to insure unbiased results.

3. Organoleptic  Testing

The term “organoleptic” means “acting on or involving the use of organs.”  When talking about essential oils, the term means to examine the essential oil using sight, smell, taste, and touch.

An experienced aromatherapist should examine the essential oil and see if there is anything odd regarding the oil's smell, consistency, or color.

It is important to note, however, that just because an essential oils smells different than it did before, or different than another brand of essential oils, does not mean that one of them is not pure.  Essential oils can smell different from batch to batch based on growing conditions, and other factors.  Plus, trusting your nose just isn't smart.  It's not trained and it could be wrong.

4. Chemist's Signature on GC/MS Report

Every GC/MS test that you see should have a chemist's signature on it. This guarantees the authenticity of the test plus it gives a contact name that you can use should you have concerns about the test results.

Test results of all kind can be manipulated.  I have heard stories about how companies are doing this frequently and it's enough to make you crazy.  Ideally, you want a copy of the original GC/MS test with the signature on it to prevent this kind of fraud.

There are some labs that have a chemist's name on it, rather than a signature. However, most chemists, due to their being liable for the results, would prefer that their signature be on the report as an added measure of security.

6. Refractive Index Test

The Refractive Index (RI) measures the speed at which light passes through an essential oil.  The RI is a unique number that shows how the oil responds to and bends light.  Basically it shows how the speed of light is changed as it passes through an essential oil.

After measuring the RI of a batch of an essential oil, that number can be compared to the RI of a reliable sample. When an essential oil has been adulterated, the RI of that oil will differ from that of the reliable sample.

6. Nitrogen Barrier

The nitrogen barrier is a possible additional step to take to ensure stability of essential oils.

When an essential oil bottle is opened, air enters the bottle.  When oxygen mixes with essential oils, the oil begins to oxidize. So when an essential oils company gets a large batch of an essential oil and they pour some off to bottle it up into smaller bottles, the remaining oil will start oxidizing.

One way to prevent this from happening is to put nitrogen into the bottle to take up the space that the oxygen would otherwise maintain.  This is referred to as having a nitrogen barrier.

Conclusion

So there you have it.  It's a lot of information but it's real information.  Not the nonsense that you see in other places.

Again, you simply can't know that a company is selling pure essential oils by reading a label or putting your essential oils on a a piece of paper, or sticking them in the freezer.  And your nose doesn't “know.” You need hard and fast testing.  And you need to have access to the results of that testing.

Plain and simple.

If you are interested in finding out where I buy my essential oils from, you can go to read this series that I wrote when I went on a hunt for The Best Essential Oils.  Or you can skip the end to read my choice for where I choose to buy my essential oils.

With so many Essential Oil Companies on the market, how can you be sure that you are REALLY buying Pure Essential Oils? Get the facts here.

Free Essential Oils Report & VIP Newsletter Access

Also, if you go and grab my Free Report on 10 Things to Know About Essential Oils Before You Buy, you will not only get more myth-busting essential oils information, but you'll get access to my VIP newsletter as well–complete with updates, great healthy living offers, of course new posts on essential oils, and more.

Whenever there's a great deal on essential oils (or other healthy living deals) I let my readers know about it–believe me, you won't want to miss out!

Wondering about essential oils? I sure was. Get this guide to buying the best essential oils from a mom blogger who dug deep into the industry to find out what's really going on. Fascinating information including some real debunking that saved me a ton of time and money.

I'm still studying and learning and will be sharing more down the road so stay tuned for more essential oils post.  And if you like healthy recipes and other healthy information, I'll be sharing that too :)!


What brand of essential oils do you buy?
Do you think they are pure now that you know all of this?

The post How to REALLY Know if Your Essential Oils Are Pure appeared first on Whole New Mom.

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7 Amazing Proven Stinging Nettle Benefits https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/benefits-of-stinging-nettle/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/benefits-of-stinging-nettle/#comments Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:55:14 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=38156 Have you been outside picking weeds, grabbed a plant that looked like no problem–only to end up with stinging and rashes that were a nightmare? Chances are that you encountered the Stinging Nettle. The Stinging Nettle is a the gloveless gardener's and curious plant lover's nightmare.  It doesn't have thorns or prickers that are obvious to the eye, but instead it has fine hairs that look innocent enough, but they aren't. However, once you get past its almost invisible prickers, there is a powerhouse of healing in that plant. The Benefits of Stinging Nettle are many. Just the other day, […]

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Nettle isn't typically a plant that gardeners or homeowners want around, but there are so many proven benefits of stinging nettle for health, you're sure to change your mind about it!

Have you been outside picking weeds, grabbed a plant that looked like no problem–only to end up with stinging and rashes that were a nightmare?

Chances are that you encountered the Stinging Nettle.

The Stinging Nettle is a the gloveless gardener's and curious plant lover's nightmare.  It doesn't have thorns or prickers that are obvious to the eye, but instead it has fine hairs that look innocent enough, but they aren't. However, once you get past its almost invisible prickers, there is a powerhouse of healing in that plant. The Benefits of Stinging Nettle are many.

Just the other day, I was bringing out our dried nettle for yet another ailment, and my youngest said, “ANOTHER thing that nettle is good for?!  Wow!”

and so I knew I needed to share.

Since we started on our natural-living quest years ago, I've made so many changes to our lives. We've gone to a completely gluten-free diet, we eat lower carb due to candida issues, have removed artificial colors, etc., out of our diets, eat as much organic as possible, and use natural healing remedies as often as possible.  And we've cleaned up our personal care products and home care products.

One of the most interesting and fascinating things about this journey, however, has been learning about the world of herbs, spices, berries and more.

Plants have so much power in them.  For centuries, herbs and other natural remedies were most of what people had for medicinal care. And in case you didn't know it, many pharmaceuticals are made from plants so it's not as if the medical community isn't aware of these benefits–they just choose to change them to make more money off of them.  There's not as much money in dried herbs, you see.

I've written about adaptogens, turmeric, elderberries, superfoods, and this adrenal tonic is just loaded with natural spices to give your body support.

Today, we're turning our attention to the Stinging Nettle.

What is Stinging Nettle?

Stinging Nettle's botanical name is Urtica dioica.

Stinging nettle is often called common nettle, stinging nettle or nettle leaf and it is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae.

Why does Stinging Nettle Sting?

If you've ever picked a stinging nettle plant by mistake, you know how that feels.  Ouch!

The Stinging Nettle plant has lots of fine hairs (trichomes) on the leaves and stems that contain irritating chemicals. These chemicals are released when the plant comes in contact with the skin.

When you brush up against them, you break off the fragile silica tip and the hair then acts like a needle, piercing the skin and causing the chemical on the nettle to be injected into the skin.

What is curious, however, is that when these stinging hairs, or spines, of the stinging nettle plant come into contact with and area of the body that is experiencing pain, they can actually decrease the original pain. Scientists think nettle does this by reducing levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body, and interfering with the way the body transmits pain signals.

Stinging Nettle Venom

What is in stinging nettle that makes it sting?

There are actually a bunch of substances in the Stinging Nettle plant that cause the problems:

histamine
acetylcholine
serotonin
formic acid
tartaric acid
oxalic acid

From what I have read, the acetylcholine and serotonin cause the stinging and the acids cause it to last longer. The tartaric and oxalic acids aren't in all species of Stinging Nettle, but when they are present this is their function.

Serotonin is an odd one on this list. It's typically thought of as something that makes you feel good, but it doesn't feel good injected into your skin :).

What's interesting as well, is that scientists think that any one of these ingredients alone isn't enough to cause as much discomfort as one typically gets from the Stinging Nettle plant, but that in combination, the effects might be enhanced.

This is something to consider when you hear people say “well, this synthetic chemical hasn't been shown to cause any damage”–because synthetics typically haven't been studied in combination with others.  Now of course, we're talking about natural substances here and not synthetic chemicals–I'm just sharing something to be considered.

Nettle isn't typically a plant that gardeners or homeowners want around, but there are so many proven benefits of stinging nettle for health, you're sure to change your mind about it!

Benefits of Stinging Nettle

Despite all of the irritation that the Stinging Nettle plant can cause, it's a nutritional powerhouse to be reckoned with.  It's loaded with protein, fiber, fat, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, tannin, and anti-oxidants. (source)

There is even a Tibetan Buddhist figure named Milarepa who is said to have subsisted only on nettles for years–he apparently even turned green in the process. Hmmmm…

Now, I'm for sure not suggesting that as a dietary regimen, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Stinging Nettle has a long medicinal history. In medieval times, it was used as a diuretic and to treat joint pain.

It has been said to have the following benefits:

Cardiovascular

Nettle has been shows to have beneficial effect on high blood pressure which backs up it being widely used in Morocco for hypertension (source).

This study states that Stinging Nettle use in the treatment of prevention of cardiac disease is warranted.

Prostate health and Urinary Issues

Stinging Nettle has been shown to stop or slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.  It has also been shown to be beneficial in treating BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – enlarged prostrate gland).

The assumption is that there is some natural steroidal component in the Stinging Nettle roots that suppressed the prostate cell metabolism and growth. (source, source)

Nettle has also shown some promise against prostate cancer (sourcesource)

Hayfever

Stinging Nettle is a well-known natural remedy for allergies.  Well, if you feel better during allergy season after using nettle, it's not all in your head.  It has been shown that there are bioactives in Stinging Nettle that inhibit the pro-inflammatory pathways related to allergic rhinitis.

Now above, I mentioned that histamine is one of the components of the Stinging Nettle that makes it sting.  It would seem counterintuitive that something with histamine could actually help treat allergies, but there is research showing that to be the case. (source)

I suffered horribly from hayfever in my teens and twenties.  You'd better believe that I have nettle in my pantry all the time! (source)

Joint Pain, Osteoarthritis & Other Inflammatory Conditions

Stinging nettle leaf extracts are actually registered in Germany for therapy of rheumatic diseases. It's an adjuvant therapy meaning that it is used alongside other mechanisms to make them work better.

In this report, it's speculated that Stinging Nettle might inhibit the inflammatory cascade of diseased like rheumatoid arthritis. (source, source)

Bleeding

Nettle has been used for internal bleeding, including uterine, nose bleeding and bowel bleeding. As it turns out, this might be a valid use.

Although it is only one of the components, nettle is part of the Ankaferd Blood Stopper, an herbal blend that has been proven to be effective in stopping bleeding. (source)

Burn Wounds

Burns are a horrible trauma to the body.  Several things need to occur for the body to heal itself after a burn occurs and there are many concerns, one of them being infection.  The main goal of burn healing is to accelerate skin healing and prevent infection. To that end, often silver sulfadiazine and vaseline are employed.

However, in this study, Stinging Nettle was shown to be more effective than traditional burn treatments using silver sulfadiazine and vaseline. (source)  Just amazing!

Insulin Resistance & Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a disease that often leads to devastating damage to the body including inflammation that can lead to cardiac issues.  IL-6 (interleuken-6) is a big factor in this disease and is secreted by fat tissue.  (source)

Believe it or not, Stinging Nettle has also been shown to be effective in modulating these key players in Type 2 Diabetes (source).

Other Benefits of Nettle:

Over many many years, the Stinging Nettle has been used for many other health issues.  Benefits have been reported, but these do need further study:

promote hair growth
boosting immune system
treat anemia
supporting adrenal health
promoting lactation
treat kidney disorders (source)
preventing and treating diarrhea
decrease menstrual flow
provide asthma relief
treat hemorrhoids
stimulate contractions in pregnancy
treat insect bites
relieve tendonitis
promoting skin and nail health
treating acne
healing eczema
supporting thyroid health

Nettle isn't typically a plant that gardeners or homeowners want around, but there are so many proven benefits of stinging nettle for health, you're sure to change your mind about it!

Ways to Use Nettle

There are many ways to use Nettle.  I will be writing more about these, but here is a quick list of ways to use nettle.

You can buy or make the following:

Tea

Tincture

Infusion

Capsule

Eaten as Vegetable

Juiced

Clothing (yes, it's true)

I likely will not be telling you how to make your own clothing out of nettle, but we will talk about all of the rest of these in the near future.

Where Can You Buy Nettle?

You can find a great source or two for nettle in the herb section of my Resources Page.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty overwhelmed by all that this plant can do.

So the next time you are tempted to curse the existence of that plant, put on some gloves instead and be thankful for its presence!

Have you used nettle?
What have you used it for?

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Sun-Dried Tomato & Sweet Potato Frittata ~ dairy free https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/sweet-potato-frittata/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/sweet-potato-frittata/#comments Mon, 13 Mar 2017 20:00:00 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=41556 If you're a busy mom like me (and who isn't these days?) anything that can save you time in the kitchen is a big plus. Now, the recipe that I'm sharing today is a Sweet Potato Frittata Recipe.  That title might sound a little fancy schmancy, but the truth is, it's super simple and it's made even easier by doing a lot of the prep ahead of time. Isn't that the big problem?  All of a sudden it's mealtime and once you start getting things together and prepping, all of a sudden dinner (or lunch) is now hours later than […]

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This Sweet Potato Frittata has comes together super fast since you can prepare some ingredients ahead of time. The perfect easy meal.

If you're a busy mom like me (and who isn't these days?) anything that can save you time in the kitchen is a big plus.

Now, the recipe that I'm sharing today is a Sweet Potato Frittata Recipe.  That title might sound a little fancy schmancy, but the truth is, it's super simple and it's made even easier by doing a lot of the prep ahead of time.

Isn't that the big problem?  All of a sudden it's mealtime and once you start getting things together and prepping, all of a sudden dinner (or lunch) is now hours later than you'd planned?  Or maybe you didn't even get started when you realized what a daunting task it was and ended up ordering take out.

With all of our food allergies and special dietary needs, we don't do that pretty much ever, but we have been known to have some pretty unconventional throw together meals when I'm dinner challenged.  You know, like our famous popcorn recipe, veggies, and some Homemade Dairy-free Chocolate Ice Cream.

Hmmmm…now I'm hungry….

Anyhow, I'm all about easy recipes. ‘Cause this momma ain't got much time for lots of time in the kitchen.

Some of our favorite easy recipes are Gluten-free Chili Mac, Gluten-free Hamburger Helper, Egg Roll in a Bowl, and for snacks and desserts, we love these Caramelized Coconut Chips, Green Bean Chips, and Almond Joy Bars.

Today's recipe might strike some of you as a little odd, since it's egg-based.  I don't have any other egg dishes on my site, since my oldest has a life-threatening allergy to eggs and my husband refuses to eat egg dishes.  If a food has egg in it (like a baked good), then that's fine, but if you can tell there is egg in it–fugeddaboutit.

Don't ask.

I once made my Focaccia Flax Bread with eggs and didn't get the eggs mixed it well enough and well, let's just say that it didn't end well.

Back to the egg conundrum.

As for me, I LOVE eggs.

But they don't love me.

Well, they used to love me, but when I started having thyroid issues, one of the things that helped me most was removing certain foods out of my diet.  I was already not eating gluten and was fairly low carb, but I removed gluten, dairy, corn, soy–and eggs.

And I soon found out that eggs were a huge problem for me.

Even just a small amount of egg once caused a pretty severe reaction.

I have, however, eaten a little bit of eggs recently and have been fine, so–there's hope in Egg Land for me.

So to celebrate the hope that I will be able to start having more eggs in my diet, and therefore egg recipes on my site, today's recipe is a lovely Sweet Potato Frittata.

I give you this Sweet Potato and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata.

This Sweet Potato Frittata has comes together super fast since you can prepare some ingredients ahead of time. The perfect easy meal.

Sweet Potato Frittata – The Perfect Easy Meal

Frittatas are a great prep ahead meal. They are so easy to prepare and are pretty hard to mess up.

Use either homemade sundried tomatoes or purchase tomatoes that have no added ingredients. This post shows how you can make your own Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes easily–plus it's soooo much more frugal than buying them in the store.

To make prep a little easier, chopped and roasted the onion and sweet potato the night before as well as reconstituted the tomatoes ahead of time. You can even make the sweet potatoes and onions up to 2 days before and store in the fridge, if you like.   For fun, you could use 2 different colors of sweet potatoes as well.

Then, when you are ready to assemble and cook the frittata, just quickly heat the onion and potato in the skillet, add the tomatoes and egg mixture, and pop the whole thing in the oven.

The assembly takes only about 10 minutes, which is pretty quick if you are needing an easy brunch or even dinner. This is so perfect for a light, easy dinner.

My youngest LOVES this dish. He eats eggs pretty frequently, but since he makes them the same way almost every time, they get a bit tiresome after awhile.   So this new preparation and added flavors were the perfect thing to rekindled his love of eggs.

This recipe is dairy free and can probably be made with any non-dairy milk variety (I have tried it with almond as well as coconut milk). However, you can even make it without any milk at all.  The result will be a bit heavier but still delicious!

If you like, you could of course add some cheese of any desired variety for extra flavor.

Plus, this frittata saves well for leftovers and tastes great the next day!

Recipe Variations

There are so many ways to change this recipe up.

You could:

add cheese or a dairy-free cheese
add in ground or shredded meat
stir in some Chili Powder or Homemade Taco Seasoning
add in other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, red or green peppers, etc.

To make this recipe low-carb, simply sub in a non-starchy veggie for the sweet potato.  If you're on the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan, this is a crossover.  If you sub the sweet potato out as recommended, it's an S.

This Sweet Potato Frittata has comes together super fast since you can prepare some ingredients ahead of time. The perfect easy meal.

This page contains affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated.
Sun-Dried Tomato & Sweet Potato Frittata ~ dairy free
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Low-carb, Paleo, Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Serves: 4 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Sweet Potato Frittata (dairy-free)
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Roast onions and sweet potato by drizzling lightly with olive oil and salt, and placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 475° F oven. Roast until tender and slightly browned (15-20 minutes).
  2. Soak tomatoes in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and chop finely.
  3. Whisk eggs, milk and salt together until well combined.
  4. In an oven-safe skillet (this 10" skillet is similar to mine) heat a small amount of oil over medium heat.
  5. Place the sweet potato, onion and sun-dried tomato in the skillet and heat for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook on stovetop for about five minutes.
  7. Transfer skillet to a 400°F oven.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until knife inserted into the middle of the frittata comes out clean.
This Sweet Potato Frittata has comes together super fast since you can prepare some ingredients ahead of time. The perfect easy meal.

So there you have it.

An easy and nutritious meal that you can make ahead and pull together quickly at almost a moment's notice.

Enjoy.

What is your favorite easy meal
or way to enjoy eggs?

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9 Essential Oil Myths about Purity – DEBUNKED! https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/essential-oil-purity-myths/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/essential-oil-purity-myths/#comments Mon, 06 Mar 2017 21:12:17 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=44136 Essential oils are all the rage right now. But with all of the information out there, it's hard to know what to believe. One of the most pressing questions out there is, how do you know if you are really buying pure essential oils, and not some bottle of “who knows what” diluted or adulterated with something else? I think you know what I mean. It seems that everyone and his brother (or sister) is using essential oils–and even more confusing is that pretty much every day there is a new essential oils company in the marketplace.  And each of […]

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Some of the most popular essential oil purity myths DEBUNKED! So you can navigate the marketplace with real knowledge!

Essential oils are all the rage right now.

But with all of the information out there, it's hard to know what to believe.

One of the most pressing questions out there is, how do you know if you are really buying pure essential oils, and not some bottle of “who knows what” diluted or adulterated with something else?

I think you know what I mean.

It seems that everyone and his brother (or sister) is using essential oils–and even more confusing is that pretty much every day there is a new essential oils company in the marketplace.  And each of those companies is telling you that they are THE BEST!  THE PUREST!  The ONLY quality oil out here.

It's gotten very much out of hand.  In fact, it's a veritable essential oils jungle out there.

In case you haven't noticed, essential oils claims of purity and efficacy are everywhere.

Many of them, however are just not true.

There are essential oil purity myths–many of them. People and companies are telling you how you can know if what you have is REALLY a pure essential oil.

Well, a lot of them are false.

It's confusing enough trying to figure out how to use essential oils and of course you need to keep in mind essential oils safety issues like do essential oils expire and whether or not essential oils are a scam, but one thing is for sure.  If you are going to use essential oils, you want them to be pure.  No thanks to toxic synthetics and cheap fillers in my oils.

So today we're going to bust the essential oils purity myths.  I hope this helps set the record straight.

Essential Oil Purity Claims

Here are some things that companies claim about the purity of their essential oils…..

“Our oils are therapeutic grade.”

“We have the ONLY pure oils anywhere.”

“We looked at all of the essential oils on the market and found that there weren't any quality oils ANYWHERE so we decided to start our own company.”

“Our oils are clinical grade.”

“We have only pure grade essential oils.”

“We have oils that are XYZPDQ certified (you know what I mean).”

“There are NO other pure retail oils on the market.”

and on and on it goes.

Frankly, I'm beyond sick of this.

And beyond that, there are representatives from essential oils companies sharing more faulty information about how you can test an oil to see if it's pure.

So now you can be your own little EO expert at home.

Yeah.

I'm here to tell you the truth so hopefully you can sort through all of the nonsense in the essential oil marketplace and make a truly educated decision about what essential oils to buy–and what essential oils to leave on the shelf.

There are so many essential oil purity myths out there it's hard to know what to believe! Learn the truth so you can navigate the marketplace with real knowledge!

There are so many essential oil purity myths out there it's hard to know what to believe! Learn the truth so you can navigate the marketplace with real knowledge!
Some of the most popular essential oil purity myths DEBUNKED! So you can navigate the marketplace with real knowledge!

Essential Oil Purity Myths

Pretty much every day I see some claim about essential oils that infuriates me.

I get them in my inbox, in the comments section of my blog, or I see them online–either on a website or on Facebook.

There are companies making claims and representatives from essential oils companies making claims about how their oils are the best.  The purest ones.

On and on and on it goes.   Readers regularly write and ask me, “What do you think about this company?  They say they are pure!” and “Where does XYZ company measure up?”

I get it.  It's totally confusing.  My head starts spinning too when I see all of these companies popping up with essential oils claiming to be pure and the best.

Common sense says that they can't all be the purest and the best.

Someone has to be selling bad stuff out there, right?

Yes, it's true.

There are shenanigans going on in the essential oil industry and it's time to set the record straight.

Let's first talk about why some of these claims are wrong and then later I will share what you really need to look for if you want to buy only pure essential oils.

THE LABEL TEST

The ingredient list should have one item, and one item only: 100% pure oil.  Well, first of all, if we're talking about single oils, that can be true, but an oil blend will have a number of oils in there.  I know that's not the point that this company was making, but it is true.

Also, some companies sell essential oils that are diluted with carrier oils.  Doing such does not mean that you are getting an adulterated oil as long as that dilution is disclosed on the label.

Besides, so many companies list only 1 ingredient on the label and that does not mean that they are selling only pure oils.  They put in synthetic fillers or other adulterants and of course they aren't going to list those on their label.

Can you imagine a label for a Lavender Essential Oil that claims to be quality that says: “Lavender Essential Oil and Synthetic Lavender added” on the label?  Well, if you see that–don't buy it :).

A company can write whatever they want on a label.  That doesn't make the oil inside pure.

CERTIFIED ORGANIC = PURE

If the essential oils are certified organic, are they necessarily pure?

Nope.

It's not even crucial that you buy organic essential oils to avoid pesticides. I will go into this at a more at a future date, but you do not have to get Certified Organic Essential Oils in order to have pure essential oils.  It's just not true.

There are some advantages to buying organic essential oils in some cases, but purity is not necessarily one of them.  There are companies that have tested organic essential oils and found them not to be pure.  And I have verification of that in my inbox.

GMO-FREE = PURE

This is a good point in one sense.

You do not want to buy essential oils from GMO plants.  That being said, when is the last time that you heard of GMO Melaleuca :)?

Basically there aren't really any GMO plants that are made into essential oils, so no worries here.

And just because an essential oil is marked as being GMO-free doesn't mean at all that it is for sure a pure essential oil.

CERTIFIED THERAPEUTIC (AND OTHER) GRADES

There is no industry-wide certification of essential oils.

So when a company states that they are therapeutic grade, or clinical grade, or whatever certification acronym they decide to put on their essential oils bottle, that certification is just that.  Their own designation. Nothing more and nothing less.

I could just as easily set up an essential oils company and put some purity designation together like “CBPEO” for “Certified Best Pure Essential Oil” and start selling my stuff.

But unless I have some sound science behind that name it means nothing.

Unless a company has something to back up essential oils claims of purity, those claims are not necessarily true.

THE WHITE PAPER TEST

Something else that is all over the internet is that you can easily test your essential oils at home by putting a drop of the oil on a plain piece of white paper, letting the essential oil sit for several hours and observing.  The story goes that if it disappears slowly and doesn't leave a ring, then the oil is likely pure.

Malarky.

First of all, some oils are heavier and will leave residue.  Furthermore, adulteration isn't typically done by adding carrier oils any longer — these companies are getting smart.  They are adding things that wouldn't be picked up by such a simple test.

So save your paper.

THE FREEZER TEST

Another essential oil purity myth that is being tossed around is that pure essential oils don't freeze.  So simply place your essential oils in the freezer and if they freeze? Well, you have impure oils.

Again, not true.

Yes, some oils will not freeze in a typical household freezer, but all liquids will freeze at some temperature.  There are some oils that will freeze in a household freezer, some will freeze in the refrigerator, and some are solid even at room temperature.  The issue is the components of the essential oils which will crystalize at different temperatures depending on the amount of that component in the essential oil.

Here is an explanation of the freezing of peppermint oil by Robert Pappas:

The menthol in peppermint can range from 30-50%. Mint oil that has menthol content in the upper 40s (getting close to 50%) can crystalize in a household freezer, while cheap 33% menthol Indian peppermint, like the one that the MLM reps are saying is the good peppermint, can't crystalize because its so inferior in its menthol content that it would take a much lower temperature to solidify.

 

THE NOSE TESTS

This test encompasses many of the so-called essential oil purity tests that I have seen out there.

Tests like:

Does your essential oil smell rancid?  It must be laced with a carrier oil.

Does your essential oil smell like alcohol? It's probably been adulterated with alcohol.

Do the oils smell different than other oils of the same type that you've used? It must be fake.

Got a headache (or other reaction) from your essential oil?  It must have toxins in there!

If you smell an oil and it doesn't smell like other essential oils that you've used before, or if it smells “off” to you, or gives you a headache, does that mean that the oil isn't pure?

Nope.

First of all, oil smells should vary by batch. The aroma of an essential oil should vary somewhat depending on the time of year, water, soil, etc. In fact, consistent smell could be an indication of impure essential oils as some companies add substances to their essential oils to make the scent consistent across batches.

Furthermore, a physical reaction to, or distaste for, a particular essential oil could be the result of a physical problem, allergy, or some other issue, and could have nothing to do with a purity concern.

Now, this doesn't mean that your nose isn't important.  It is.

In fact, in my next post on How to Buy Pure Essential Oils, I will talk about the role that smell does play in determining essential oil purity.

But just be aware — your nose doesn't always know :).

THE GREASY HAND TEST

You  know the feeling. Greasy hands.

You have some oil on your hands and you just have.to.wash.it.off.

If your essential oils are pure, the saying goes, you will not have that feeling on your fingers or skin.

Well, for the most part this is true.  However, there are some oils that are exceptions to this. Those exceptions are heavy and richly colored oils like sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli and German Chamomile.  So this is partially true, but not always.

THE DISSOLVE IN WATER TEST

This “myth” states that true essential oils will not dissolve in water.  This argument states that when companies adulterate oils they add emulsifiers and surfactants to stretch out the oils.

Well, newsflash–neither do vegetable or other carrier oils that might be added to an essential oil to extend its volume.  That being said, most adulteration isn't done with carrier oils any longer.  The alteration is more sophisticated now. These adulterated oils will not dissolve either.

Save your essential oils and don't put them in water to test them.

Conclusion

So there.

Tons of myths about essential oil purity that are just not true.

Stick around to find out the truth about how to really know if you have pure essential oils.

And if you'd like to know the company that I trust to supply my family with quality essential oils (and no hype) you can go here to read about my search for the “best” essential oils.  Or you can skip to the end here.

To make sure that you don't miss the upcoming updates (I've got a few really interesting posts in the works), and to get access to oh so many other good things, the following might strike your fancy:

Free Essential Oils Report and Newsletter Access

Also, if you go and grab my Free Report on 10 Things to Know About Essential Oils Before You Buy, you will not only get more myth-busting essential oils information, but you'll get access to my VIP newsletter as well–complete with updates, great healthy living offers, of course new posts on essential oils, and more.Wondering about essential oils? I sure was. Get this guide to buying the best essential oils from a mom blogger who dug deep into the industry to find out what's really going on. Fascinating information including some real debunking that saved me a ton of time and money.

I hope this is a help to all of you as you wade through the myths in the marketplace.

Maybe I should call this series Essential Oils Truth-finders. No lies allowed :).

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Oh, and please do share this with others.  Enough of the lies.

Let's get the truth out there!

What do you think?
Did you believe any of these myths before reading this post?

The post 9 Essential Oil Myths about Purity – DEBUNKED! appeared first on Whole New Mom.

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Healing Adrenal Cocktail ~ My Version of the “Singing Canary” https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/singing-canary/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/singing-canary/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:29:35 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=43862 Have you heard of the Singing Canary? No?  Well, it's not a bird–you'll see what I mean. Many of you know that I have battled adrenal fatigue for many years. And with our stressed-out and hurried lifestyles, the adrenals of many are on the fritz. I'm doing worlds better now than years ago, but I still want to do more and continue to support my body using different means.  I will be sharing more what I am doing in the future, but today I want to share something that has been a blessing to me — an Adrenal Cocktail, which is my version […]

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This adrenal cocktail, modeled after the "Singing Canary" drink, is loaded with ingredients to support your adrenals and overall health.

Have you heard of the Singing Canary?

No?  Well, it's not a bird–you'll see what I mean.

Many of you know that I have battled adrenal fatigue for many years. And with our stressed-out and hurried lifestyles, the adrenals of many are on the fritz.

I'm doing worlds better now than years ago, but I still want to do more and continue to support my body using different means.  I will be sharing more what I am doing in the future, but today I want to share something that has been a blessing to me — an Adrenal Cocktail, which is my version of Trim Healthy Mama's Singing Canary; great for battling adrenal fatigue.

I heard about this drink a long time ago, but never tried it.  Finally, when I did try it, I felt that it was exacerbating or causing insomnia. I tried it again and thought that it happened again.

I don't give up easily, however :).  So I ended up reintroducing it into my diet and the insomnia didn't recur.  So something else must have been going on.

I love having this adrenal cocktail as an alternative to water, and really am happy knowing about all of the healthful ingredients that I am putting into my diet whenever I drink it.

This week, in particular, I've had extra stress that you can read about on Instagram.  Let's just say I'm a little “laid up”.  Not fun :(.

The “Singing Canary”

The original recipe comes from the gals behind Trim Healthy Mama. It's an eating plan that's taking the world by storm.  I don't adhere to all aspects of it, but there is some really sound science behind it and the results of this plan are typically phenomenal in the way of weight loss and an overall improvement of health.  If we could all eat healthier, just think of the impact on so many things…our health, our families, our nation….our world.

The original Singing Canary was good, but I felt that it needed some more “something” to counter the turmeric taste for me–call me a wimp, that's OK by me :). So I monkeyed around with some spices and found a combination that works well and adds some extra health benefits to boot.

Plus, the original recipe called for the addition of lemon essential oil as an optional add-on. I'm not comfortable with internal use of essential oils without consulting with a practitioner or aromatherapist.

However, if you really do wish to add the lemon essential oil to your drink, and have consulted with someone appropriately, you may. (If you are curious about the essential oils that I have chosen to use, you can go here to read my series on The “Best” Essential Oils or go here to the end of the series.)

I consulted with an aromatherapist about this situation and she recommended only using 1-2 drops of essential oils a drink of this size with the coconut oil amount in the drink. The coconut oil acts as essential oil emulsifier but you still do need to be cautious with the amount that you use.

I call this drink an Adrenal Cocktail, but there are so many good things in it for everyone.

Adrenal Fatigue

A quick note about adrenal fatigue.  Some people say it's a real condition and others say it isn't.  You can take this Adrenal Fatigue Test to see if you might have this condition.

Regardless of what you think about the condition, it's a fact that we are over-worked and over-stressed.  We are pushing ourselves to the limit and our bodies are taxed with too many toxins.

Bottom Line–our bodies need help.

So whether you think you have a diagnosable condition or not, do yourself a favor and support your body with this adrenal cocktail.

This adrenal cocktail, modeled after the "Singing Canary" drink, is loaded with ingredients to support your adrenals and overall health.

Benefits of Ingredients in the “Singing Canary” Adrenal Cocktail

Water

This is, of course a basic thing we should be drinking anyhow, but it's important.  Just please make sure that your water is purified.  I have used loads of water filtration systems over the years.  You can see the information in this post on water filtration and see what I am using now.

Lemons

Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, fiber.  They also have potassium–more than apples or grapes.  Potassium is known to be beneficial for your heart.

Lemons also help your body stay more alkaline. Read about lemons and adrenal health in this post on foods for adrenal fatigue.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the main vitamins hosted by the adrenals.  It's a huge support for these glands.

Note that I reference sodium ascorbate in my recipe. The reason for that is that there have been reported concerns regarding the ingestion of ascorbic acid.  Additionally, sodium ascorbate is not acidic so you will not be endangering your tooth enamel with this portion of the drink.  See my DIY Swim Spray for more information on the difference.

Turmeric

Turmeric has so many health benefits that it's hard to know where to start. One important way that turmeric helps with adrenal health, however, is by helping the body detox.  Toxins are a stress on the body and any time that you can remove stressors from the body, you help your adrenals.

Turmeric reduces histamine levels which then reduces stress on the body. (source)

Salt

A real unprocessed salt contains minerals which are known to be depleted in those with adrenal issues.  Salt is also mentioned in this post on foods for adrenal fatigue.

Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory effects that, as mentioned above, will assist the adrenals by reducing the stress load on the body.  (source)

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is known for its ability to boost the immune system, detox the body, and more. (source)

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a well-known anti-inflammatory.  (source)  There have been numerous studies on it showing it's affects on the body such as to reverse stressors and regulating hormones. (source)

Cloves

Cloves have also been shown to be beneficial in mitigating stress on the body. (source)  If you like, feel free to add more to this recipe based on this information :)!

Vanilla

Vanilla, though it is mostly known for the lovely flavor that it adds to baked goods, has health benefits of its own, including anti-inflammatory properties. (source)

Protein Powder

Protein is crucial for adrenal health.  In this post on foods for adrenal fatigue, animal protein is mentioned due to the B vitamins that it includes. However, protein is important no matter where it comes from.  If you can tolerate it, you can use whey or egg protein powder in this adrenal cocktail.

I personally love Miessence's vegan protein powder since it's allergen-free and the amino acids are perfectly balanced in it to mimic the amino acid profile of animal protein.  Just one 25 gram serving provides almost 2/3 of the daily Essential Amino Acid requirement for a typical adult.  It's pricey but I find this product to be superior to anything on the market and anyone can get discounts just by being a customer.

If using another vegan protein powder, I highly recommend using an organically sourced powder. The reason is that many of the ingredients in vegan protein powders are crops that many pesticides are used on.

Coconut Oil

Fats are crucial for adrenal health.

Many people (like me) have avoided fats in the hope of losing weight. However, your body needs fats for your endocrine system to work well.  So adding even just a small amount of fat to this drink is a plus.

You don't want to drink this drink all at once (not that you could) because your body can only absorb so much vitamin C at once.

Make this “Singing Canary” adrenal cocktail in the morning and sip on it all day long.

This adrenal fatigue tonic, modeled after the "Singing Canary" drink, is loaded with ingredients to support your adrenals and overall health.

This adrenal cocktail, modeled after the "Singing Canary" drink, is loaded with ingredients to support your adrenals and overall health.

4.3 from 4 reviews
Adrenal Cocktail ~ My Version of "Singing Canary" Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage, DIY Food
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Low-Carb, Vegan, Paleo
Serves: 1 large serving
Prep time:
Total time:
 
This adrenal fatigue cocktail, modeled after the "Singing Canary" drink, is loaded with ingredients to support your adrenals and overall health.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel the rind off the lemon(s) using a sharp knife. Leave as much of the white pith as possible as it has loads of nutritional benefits. I used the whole lemon, minus the seeds, if using organic lemons.
  2. Slice each lemon into quarters. Remove the seeds, and place the lemon pieces into your blender. Add water and all of the remaining ingredients besides the ice cubes. Blend well.
  3. Place the blended mixture into a quart jar. Add ice cubes and more water to fill the jar to the top. Put a tight lid on the jar and shake before drinking.
Notes
You might find that the drink is still a little too "bitter" due to the turmeric. I recommend starting with ½ tsp of turmeric and increasing from there if desired. After making the drink, if you find it to be too bitter, you can add more stevia and/or vanilla to taste.

Enjoy the drink and all the health benefits it affords.

 

Do you have adrenal fatigue?
What have you found that helps?

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Is Your Probiotic Making You Sick? https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/low-histamine-probiotics/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/low-histamine-probiotics/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:41:49 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=42389 Today we'll be touching on a fairly uncommon topic–low histamine probiotics.  So what does that mean? Probiotics are something that's commonly accepted as being something that is good for everyone. Gut health is crucial for overall health and probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help to recolonize the gut to restore balance.  So one would think that taking probiotics would always be a good thing.  Right? Wrong. For some people, taking probiotics could be a completely bad idea. That is, if they are taking the wrong kind of probiotic. Histamine intolerance is something that we've talked about on the blog before. […]

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Could your probiotics really be making you sick? Learn crucial information about Low Histamine Probiotics before you buy.

Today we'll be touching on a fairly uncommon topic–low histamine probiotics.  So what does that mean?

Probiotics are something that's commonly accepted as being something that is good for everyone. Gut health is crucial for overall health and probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help to recolonize the gut to restore balance.  So one would think that taking probiotics would always be a good thing.  Right?

Wrong.

For some people, taking probiotics could be a completely bad idea.

That is, if they are taking the wrong kind of probiotic.

Histamine intolerance is something that we've talked about on the blog before.  In this post we talked about what histamine intolerance is and in this post we talked about how to deal with a histamine intolerance, or histamine allergy.

One thing that wasn't mentioned, however, is the role that probiotics play in histamine intolerance treatment.

My Search for Low Histamine Probiotics

Around Christmas of this past year, I kind of “fell into” a detox.   Just in case you were wondering, detox isn't the best idea during the Holiday Season and led to basically a bunch of things that almost stole Christmas, but the whole thing led to some very interesting information which I will now pass on to you.

It all started with my taking a heavy duty liquid fermented superfood probiotic.  I had taken it years ago and it had clearly done some heavy duty work on my gut.  This time I felt that I needed to get out of my current probiotic rut and wanted to give it another go.  It went well for awhile, but then the reactions got a little intense.  They subsided, but then came back in another area, and I was pretty scared.  Scared that I was histamine intolerant.

So I plunged into researching histamine intolerance online and was determined to figure out what I could do about it.

One of the recommendations that I found was to get on a low histamine probiotic so as to recolonize the gut without inflaming the already problematic condition.

Could your probiotics really be making you sick? Learn crucial information about Low Histamine Probiotics before you buy.

What Is Histamine?

We covered quite a bit about histamine in this post, but here's a quick review.

Histamine is a chemical produced by your body that is involved in your immune system, proper digestion, and central nervous system during immune responses.  It sends messages from your body to your brain, and is a component of stomach acid (which helps you digest your food — I've talked about stomach acid and rosacea before).  But the role of histamine that is central to our discussion today is how histamine is involved with the immune system.

You mostly like are familiar with the word “histamine” as it being a part of the word “anti-histamine” — those substances that one takes when allergies are being a bother. Histamines are alerting your body of a real (or mistaken) offender and cause an inflammatory response.  And it causes this all over the body.

If your body can't break down the histamine well enough or fast enough, you end up with histamine intolerance.

That leads to the problems outlined in this post on histamine intolerance, but basically you can have all kinds of symptoms including things that one would typically associate with allergies.

itching
sneezing
rashes
nasal congestion
sinus pressure
headaches
fatigue
and more.

Histamine and Probiotics

Basically, if you have a histamine intolerance issue, the last thing that you want is to be taking probiotics that make more histamine.  If you do that, instead of getting healthier, you could be exacerbating an underlying health issue and well–your probiotics could be making you sick.

And if you are making your own Water Kefir, Homemade Sauerkraut, and more, that may or may not be a good idea depending on your issues with histamine.

Additionally, there are some probiotic strains that have been shown to be helpful in reducing the histamine response.

According to the research that I have done, the following are various probiotic strains and the effect that they have on histamine levels.  Of course that research could change in the future.

Histamine Raising Probiotic Strains:

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • S. thermophilus
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii

Histamine Lowering Strains:

  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Lactobacillus gasseri
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Lactobacillus salivarius
  • Lactobacillus reuteri.

    The final strain in this list, Lactobacillus reuteri, is kind of in a class by itself.  Many place it in the “histamine producing” category, but interestingly enough, it doesn't belong there. Lactobacillus reuteri does, in fact, cause histidine to convert to histamine, but this histamine raises cAMP which actually reduces the inflammatory response.  Fascinating!  I therefore put it in the “histamine reducing” class due to this aspect. (3)

  Lactobacillus plantarum does not appear to have an effect on histamine, but lowers/inhibits tyramine and putrescine.

Histamine Neutral Strains

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus Lactis
  • Lactococcus Lactis

 

Possible Histamine Aid:

  • Saccharomyces-Boulardii

    There are a number of studies on its effectiveness in treating gastroenteritis (source).  Some researchers have linked this condition to high histamine/mast cell issue (source 1 & source 2).  So possibly this strain could be a good support.

Low Histamine Probiotics

Does this all make you feel like your head is going to burst?

I get it.

Basically, if you are looking to avoid probiotic strains that might make histamine issues (and inflammation) worse, you want to avoid the Histamine Raising Strains and get probiotics that have the Histamine Lowering Strains in them and if they have the Histamine Neutral Strains in them that's fine too.

Make sense?

So—In order to work on mine and my son's possible histamine issues, I went a hunt to find probiotics that had the strains that we wanted, but didn't have the problematic strains.

It was quite a job, trying to figure out what to buy with all of those “lacto this” and “bifido that” words popping out at me. I thought I would go a little cross-eyed trying to sort it all out, but I did find some products that were just perfect for what I was looking for.

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

My Low Histamine Probiotic Blends

Following are some blends of various strains that should not exacerbate histamine intolerance and might even help heal it.

These are the blends that I purchased after researching this topic and I am continuing to use them.

Kyodophilus 9

Metagenics Ultra-Flora Immune Booster

Metagenics Ultra-Flora Balance

Low Histamine Probiotic Singles

The following are individual strains of bacteria that should be helpful for histamine intolerance.

Klaire Labs Ther-biotic Factor has only Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Custom Probiotics L. plantarum probiotic powder or

Jarrow Formula’s Ideal Bowel Support for Lactobacillus plantarum.

Most natural practitioners who recommend rotating between different kinds of probiotics so as to populate the gut with different strains.  So purchasing several or all of the above varieties and rotating between them would achieve that goal.

I buy my supplements in several places.  One of my favorite places to shop is Iherb.  They have fast service and very very good prices.  Another great option is Pure Formulas.

Some of the above brands, like Metagenics, claim that their product is fine when not refrigerated during shipping, etc.  If you are concerned about that please

 

What probiotics do you use?

Sources:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18544899

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042653/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22384111

4.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3316997/

 

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Low-Carb Almond Crescent Cookies – dairy-free option https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/low-carb-almond-crescent-cookies/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/low-carb-almond-crescent-cookies/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2017 20:42:55 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=42601 Today I have the sincere pleasure of sharing with you one of my favorite recipes of all time — Low-Carb Almond Crescent Cookies. This is a recipe that I have been working on for a long time, and it's finally perfected. Yes, sharing great recipes is something that brings me a lot of joy.  Isn't it fun to share something that you love whether it be a recipe, a movie, a place to go, a blog, or a good book?  Sharing makes everything better. Anyhow, there's just something special about baking cookies with your family. When I was little, I […]

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This low-carb Almond Crescent Cookie Recipe is my recreation of one of my childhood favorites--now grain-free with a dairy-free option.

Today I have the sincere pleasure of sharing with you one of my favorite recipes of all time — Low-Carb Almond Crescent Cookies. This is a recipe that I have been working on for a long time, and it's finally perfected.

Yes, sharing great recipes is something that brings me a lot of joy.  Isn't it fun to share something that you love whether it be a recipe, a movie, a place to go, a blog, or a good book?  Sharing makes everything better.

Anyhow, there's just something special about baking cookies with your family.

When I was little, I loved baking cookies.  Any kind of cookie.

So Christmastime was particularly fun for me.  I would bake all kinds of cookies–some for my family and some for gifting.

I would always have Chocolate Chip Cookies in the mix, and often there were Meltaways and Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies, and Biscotti (when I got old and was into more “complicated” cookies).  My favorites were always the Peanut Butter Blossoms and the Almond Crescent Cookies.

Just. so. good.

And there's something about the shape — little crescent moons adorned with either powdered sugar or almond slices.

They make me happy.

Maybe that's because when you turn them so that they curve upwards, they look like a smile :).

Whatever the case, I love these cookies.

The almond flavor of these cookies is complimented perfectly by the light texture and the buttery flavor makes it all just heavenly. Mmmmmmm…..

Why low carb?

Anyhow, I was such a sugar addict when I was younger, but that had to change. Due to candida and other issues in our family like autism, thyroid disease, and adrenal fatigue, we had to change things up with out diet several times.

We've tried many diets, but going sugar-free and moving more in the low-carb direction has been a great help for us in many ways.

I am not an advocate for eating low carb all the time. In fact, adding some carbs into my diet is one thing that I think was crucial in the healing of my thyroid disease. However, most of us eat way too many carbs and it's wreaking all kinds of havoc on our bodies and on our society.

Back to the cookies.

I tried making these Almond Crescents several times, and while it was fun experimenting, it was hard to get the sweetness just right while not having the cookies expand like crazy when baking.

You can see my “Low-Carb Almond Crescent Cookie” fail here:

Instagram Photo

Ugh. That version might work flattened out as a cookie base for a tart or something, but cookies they for sure weren't.  Sigh.

So I had to go back to the drawing board. Several times.

I tried a bunch of different versions, but adding a bit of coconut flour to the dough seemed to do the trick.

The crescent cookies turned out perfect–perfect in taste and not flat as a pancake.

As noted in the recipe, you can roll them in almond slices, or sprinkle them with powdered sweetener, or do both. I think dipping these in melted chocolate or my melted Homemade Chocolate Chips or Homemade White Chocolate Chips (mmmmmmmm…white chocolate and almonds–yum!) would be a great option too.

These cookies are perfect for dunking into coffee or Hot Chocolate (like this Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate) or milk, or of course dairy-free milk (like this Easiest Coconut Milk or Easiest Almond Milk if you eat dairy free like we do). And of course you can also simply eat them on their own.

This low-carb Almond Crescent Cookie Recipe is my recreation of one of my childhood favorites--now grain-free with a dairy-free option.

Believe me, you will have a hard time not eating every single one of these.

Ours were gone in a flash–even the ugly flat ones :).

Please pay attention to the important note on the baking time: The cookies will seem very soft when you remove them from the oven, but they will cool to be just the right texture.

I know. It's hard.  You want to eat all of the cookies.  Now.  We did that.  Ate a whole bunch and they were too soft.

I really thought that I had botched another recipe.  But after they had cooled we realized that we missed out on the wonderful perfect texture of these cookies because we just couldn't wait!  So wait.  Let them cool. You can do it!

This low-carb Almond Crescent Cookie Recipe is my recreation of one of my childhood favorites-- now you can have low-carb crescent cookies--grain-free with a dairy-free option.

I know, I said that before, but you really need to remember this to avoid full blown soft cookie disappointment.

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.
This low-carb Almond Crescent Cookie Recipe is my recreation of one of my childhood favorites--now grain-free with a dairy-free option.
 This low-carb Almond Crescent Cookie Recipe is my recreation of one of my childhood favorites--now grain-free with a dairy-free option.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Low-carb Almond Crescent Cookies - vegan option
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: low-carb, paleo, vegan
Cook time:
Total time:
 
This Low-Carb Almond Crescent Cookie Recipe is my recreation of one of my childhood favorites--now grain free with a dairy-free option.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Soften the butter completely.
  3. Beat butter, salt, and sweetener together until well blended.
  4. Add the extracts and beat well.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
  6. Form into small logs.
  7. Place the sliced almonds into a bowl.
  8. Roll the logs in sliced almonds.
  9. Shape into crescents.
  10. Sprinkle with powdered sweetener if using.
  11. Bake at 350 for 10 - 15 min or until lightly browned.
  12. Let the cookies cool completely before eating or transferring to a container for storage.
Notes
At first, the cookies will seem to be too soft but will harden up when cooled to room temperature.

I know - I said that before, but I just know it. You are going to be so tempted to eat these right after they come out of the oven and you will miss out on the just-right crispy soft texture that melts in your mouth!

I would LOVE to hear what you think about these cookies after you make them (because I know you will).  I mean, you've got your potholders and cookie trays ready and waiting already, right? Oven pre-heated?  Yup.

If you do make them, let me know on Facebook or tag me on Instagram @wholenewmom.  So much fun to hear from you–and it really warms my heart to know that others appreciate the recipes that I love.

Us low-carb cookies lovers need to stick together :).

What is your favorite cookie recipe?

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Egg Roll in a Bowl – low carb, paleo, AIP https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/egg-roll-in-a-bowl/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/egg-roll-in-a-bowl/#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2017 20:46:43 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=42348 Sooooo excited to share a recipe today that has become a fast favorite in our home.  It's my Egg Roll in a Bowl Recipe. “Egg Roll in a Bowl?” you say. “What's that?” To which I respond, “One of the best easy meals you will ever have.” Seriously.  You take all of the goodness of egg rolls and remove the outer wrapper and you've got a huge bowl of goodness. Plus you can make it all in just one pan. Easy meal clean up.  You're welcome. I've always loved foods from other countries. You can see some evidence of this […]

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Sooooo excited to share a recipe today that has become a fast favorite in our home.  It's my Egg Roll in a Bowl Recipe.

“Egg Roll in a Bowl?” you say. “What's that?”

To which I respond, “One of the best easy meals you will ever have.”

Seriously.  You take all of the goodness of egg rolls and remove the outer wrapper and you've got a huge bowl of goodness.

Plus you can make it all in just one pan.

Easy meal clean up.  You're welcome.

I've always loved foods from other countries. You can see some evidence of this on my site in these recipes:

Pakistani Kima (Ground Beef Curry)
Mild Curry Powder
Chaat Masala (Indian Spice)
Taco Seasoning
Thai Chicken Soup

And by adding this Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe to the mix the international repertoire of my site gets filled out a bit.

The Origin of Egg Roll in a Bowl

I found the inspiration for this recipe about a year or so ago.  Someone had shared a recipe for Egg Roll in a Bowl in a Facebook group and I was intrigued.  I'd always loved egg rolls but hadn't had one in a long time due to our going gluten-free and even leaning grain-free.

Too many carbs in those wrappers, you know?

I made the recipe and enjoyed it a lot, but it needed something.  So I poked around the internet and found more recipes, plus I looked at other Egg Roll recipes to see what might be good additions to the dish.

So I worked on it, tweaking it with different seasonings and such, and ended up with a recipe that's a real winner in our home.

This recipe is great not only because of it's great taste, but also because it works for so many special diets.

It's paleo done with coconut aminos instead of soy, with the same modification it also works for the Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP). Plus it's naturally low carb and grain free, due to the absence of the wrapper.

Of course, you could serve it with any kind of wrap you like or over rice, if you like, or on top of cauliflower rice for a huge serving of healthy veggies.

Nutritional Benefits

This recipe is rich with loads of healthy ingredients including:

Cabbage: cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable. The whole family of cruciferous veggies have loads of health benefits including being rich in vitamins and folic acid and minerals such as iron, potassium, and selenium.  
Note – some say that cruciferous vegetables might be problematic for the thyroid.

Carrots: full of beta carotene and vitamins. You can read more about the health benefits of carrots including an apparent reduced risk of cardio vascular disease.

Onions: loaded with polyphenols, flavanoids including quercetin (note that more are in the outer parts of the onion – see more about this in my Baked Onion post)

Garlic: contains lots of selenium, which is important for many things included thyroid health. Might help regulate fat cells, improve iron metabolism as well as having cardiac benefits. (Source)

Another One Pot Meal for Busy Families

If you're like me, you're busy.  You often find yourself at 4:00 or 4:30 wondering “What's for Dinner?!”

I already have some recipes on my site that are perfect for getting dinner on the table in a flash including Super Fast Lentils, Homemade Hamburger Helper, Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets, Gluten-Free Chili Mac (and more easy recipes), and more.

But I could always use more easy meals as I'm sure you could too.

This Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe is fast and the leftovers are delicious.  I even like eating it cold.

You can even serve it as a side dish by omitting the meat.  A very yummy way to get more veggies into everyone in the family.

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

This Egg Roll in a Bowl has all of the great flavor of Egg Rolls, but it's an Easy One Pan Meal without the grain wrapper!

4.8 from 5 reviews
Egg Roll in a Bowl - low carb, gluten-free, AIP option
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Low-Carb, Vegan, Paleo, AIP
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 9 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1½ c shredded carrot
  • 2 med onions, finely chopped / minced
  • 1½ T sesame oil. Use another oil for AIP
  • 1½ t ginger (powdered)
  • ½ t black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tsp garlic granules (or 4 cloves garlic) (see how to make Homemade Garlic Powder)
  • 1½ t salt (I use Real Salt)
  • 1/16 tsp stevia extract (or 4 T other sweetener)
  • ½ T crushed red pepper (optional. Omit for AIP.)
  • 2 T white wine (omit or substitute more broth for AIP.)
  • ⅓ cup beef broth (see Homemade Broth Tips)
  • 4 tsp tamari, liquid aminos, soy sauce, or coconut aminos or to taste
  • 1½ lb ground beef (or ground or finely chopped chicken). Pork can be used as well. Omit for vegan or for a vegetable side.
  • Green onion for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place meat in large pan and cook until browned.
  2. On medium high heat, add the onions and sesame oil. Cook until lightly browned.
  3. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add spices, sweetener, red pepper, wine, and broth to the pan and stir well.
  5. Add the cabbage and stir to coat.
  6. Cook, stirring frequently until the cabbage slightly wilts.
  7. Add carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.
  8. Add tamari to taste and adjust flavorings as desired.
  9. Serve plain or over rice or cauliflower rice.
  10. Garnish with green onions if desired.

Notes: If you are on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this is an S, E, or FP.  It's an S with beef or pork, and E or FP with lean chicken or turkey.  Serve with rice, if you like for an E.  In my opinion, it tastes best as an S.

I'm sure this will be a dish that you will want to add to your family's menu often.

Can't wait to hear what you all think about it!

What's your favorite one pan meal?

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Nutrition and Child Development – What You Need to Know https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/nutrition-and-child-development/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/nutrition-and-child-development/#comments Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:51:47 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=42350 How does nutrition affect child development? We all come across various parenting goals on various websites. There are goals about achieving athletic goals, reaching academic achievements, and many more thing. But in reality, many parenting goals revolve around children and their eating habits.  And most of the real goals that we have for our kids involved proper development in one way or another. While some parents deal with picky eaters, others have to stop their kids from stuffing themselves with junk, and some struggle with children who simply seem to have been born with no appetite. Either way, children’s nutrition plays […]

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Nutrition Affects Child Development in Many Ways. Find out what you need to know so that your child can grow up as healthy as possible.

How does nutrition affect child development?

We all come across various parenting goals on various websites. There are goals about achieving athletic goals, reaching academic achievements, and many more thing.

But in reality, many parenting goals revolve around children and their eating habits.  And most of the real goals that we have for our kids involved proper development in one way or another.

While some parents deal with picky eaters, others have to stop their kids from stuffing themselves with junk, and some struggle with children who simply seem to have been born with no appetite.

Either way, children’s nutrition plays a pivotal role in how kids grow up, which is why parents are most concerned about what their children eat, and how much of it they eat.

Balanced nutrition is the key to healthy development in children. However, a lack of balanced nutrition doesn’t just happen because the child is undernourished. Over-feeding is another reason why child development is affected.

There are several reasons why a child might not get balanced nutrition.

Why Children Might Not Get a Balanced Diet

Financial Issues

If the family is very poor and can’t afford food then they might be at the mercy of whatever free food products are available.
Furthermore, if the family can’t afford nutritious food, they might settle for cheaper options, however such options being cheaper might be an illusion, particularly if these choices lead to health issues down the road.

Children are picky eaters

When children fuss about many foods that are put before them, it's much easier for parents to give in and provide whatever is easiest.

You know how this goes.  The kid won't eat what everyone else is eating so the parent resorts to pulling out frozen chicken nuggets or quickly making some other kid-friendly meal.

First of all, it's crucial to get kids to try many different kinds of foods. But if you are going to lean on chicken nuggets every so often, make sure they are a health version like this recipe for Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets.

Junk Food Addiction

If children are addicted to junk food, it can be a constant battle to get them to eat real food.

Junk food is specially crafted to be addictive–to keep the person eating it coming back for more.  Manufacturers use synthetic ingredients in addition to refining processes to do this–and it works!

Lack of Knowledge

If the parents don't know enough about proper nutrition, then they won't know how to provide adequately nutritious meals in the home.

If you don't know how to prepare produce or soak and cook beans, or do anything in the kitchen besides heat up meals in a microwave, then you will be at a handicap to feed your family well.

Food Allergies

While food allergies alone typically won't make it impossible to get good nutrition, it can make it more difficult.

Whatever the case might be, lack of nutrition or too much of it plays a significant role. In fact, here are some of the ways that child development is affected by the way a child eats.

Nutrition Affects Child Development in Many Ways. Find out what you need to know so that your child can grow up as healthy as possible.

How Nutrition Affects Child Development

Intellectual Development

It’s true that a lot of the child’s intellect will be connected to the kind of nutrition he or she gets. As per a study conducted in 2010 published in The Journal of Nutrition, two- year-olds, who were undernourished had 16 percent more chances of failing or would break into school later, compared to children who had balanced nutrition.

Emotional Development

It isn’t just intellect, even emotional development depends on nutrition. How?

Minerals such as calcium are critical in helping a child develop an emotional system. In fact, undernourished children have more chances of having autism, anxiety, depression, or even schizophrenia.

Behavioral Development

How children behave also stems from what they eat. It might be hard to believe.

In fact, for the first two years, if the child doesn’t get adequate nutrition, they could show signs of becoming withdrawn, could be very less active and generally stay away from helping.

The Importance of Nutrition and Child Development

Food and behavior are also related as shown in this post.   But the effects of nutrition on child development need to be looked at as well.

The numbers are staggering. Most three-year- olds in America are not as healthy as they seem to be.

In fact, 90% of these children have poor to fair health and 31% of them are have regular hospital visits. So, it’s essential for parents to understand that just feeding children is not enough, feeding them a balanced diet is important.

There are parents who are constantly worried about their children’s growth. They often panic that their children are not growing the way they should. For such parents, this guide for food requirements for children would be very handy.

Instead of fretting over why the child’s growth isn’t as lightning fast as the other children around, keep track of these kinds of charts.

While we are talking about nutrition and growth, we also need to understand what the essential nutrition is that your children should be getting, and how a lack could derail their potential growth.

Nutrition in the Womb and Beyond

Nutrition starts even before the child is born. Mothers’ nutrition during pregnancy impacts the brain development of the unborn child. Therefore, if the mother is under-nourished during pregnancy, the unborn baby’s brain functions might not develop fully.

The process of providing the right kind of nutrition continues and the most important form of nutrition a child should get is breast milk. There are many benefits of breastfeeding, but one such benefit is that breastfed children are less likely to develop severe bouts of diarrhea, ear infections, or even rashes like eczema.

Iron and Iodine

Once the child grows up and starts consuming solid food, there are a few elements that need to be present in the food. For example, iron deficiency in children leads to slower nerve impulses, as iron is an important component of brain tissues. In fact, it is all the more important in the first two years of a child’s life. If a child has iron deficiency during this period, it could lead to behavioral changes, and slower psychomotor development.

In fact, even iodine plays an important role in a child’s overall development. A lack of iodine in a child’s diet could lead to reduced cognitive development. Some good sources of iodine include seaweed and other sea vegetables, fish (please eat those that are least likely to be contaminated by mercury and radiation), cranberries (that's surprising, isn't it?), organic yogurt, strawberries, navy beans, raw organic cheese and organic potatoes.

The Need for Breakfast

Skipping breakfast, which is quite common in children, isn’t healthy either. This might lead to lower concentration powers, leading them to underperform in tests or on other tasks.

Here are some of Adrienne's favorite easy breakfasts that are kid-friendly:

Chia Puddings including this Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding and Berry Mousse
Homemade Protein Bars
Chocolate Mint Grasshopper Bars
Buckwheat Granola

Finally, child nutrition isn't just about keeping your kids’s tummies full.

It’s about planning a balanced meal that is as nutritious as possible for them, because what they eat goes a long way in determining how they grow, behave, and perform.

What is the biggest challenge you've had in feeding your kids well?

Sources:

http://www.urbanchildinstitute.org/articles/updates/nutrition-and-early-brain-development
http://www.livestrong.com/article/465374-how-poor-nutrition-affects-child-development/

7 Foods Rich in Iodine


Aradhana PandeyAradhana is a writer from India. Her areas of knowledge include parenting, children with special needs, health and lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and her hobbies include cycling and hiking. Aradhana has a special interest in children with special needs and parenting and shares her experiences through her other passion, writing. She writes to share her knowledge so that it may help others. Her posts on these subjects have been published on more than 250+ various reputed sites like the Huffington post, SheKnows, Mom Junction and many more. Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.

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3 Things that Almost Stole Christmas – Part 2 https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/steal-christmas/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/steal-christmas/#comments Tue, 10 Jan 2017 21:23:24 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=42283   In Part 1 of “3  Things that Almost Stole Christmas“, I talked about the unfortunate timing of my Detox and the sad demise of our Christmas Tree–2 of the 3 things that threatened to steal Christmas this past year. So while you're reading the continuation of the story, keep in mind that I still wasn't feeling fabulous and that we had left our home 2 days before Christmas to get a tree.  And of course the remaining vestiges of the practically decapitated tree needed to be removed from our home as well. It's not very festive having parts of […]

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In the spirit of the Grinch that Stole Christmas, a bunch of not so great things threatened to steal Christmas from us. But did they succeed?

 

In Part 1 of “3  Things that Almost Stole Christmas“, I talked about the unfortunate timing of my Detox and the sad demise of our Christmas Tree–2 of the 3 things that threatened to steal Christmas this past year.

So while you're reading the continuation of the story, keep in mind that I still wasn't feeling fabulous and that we had left our home 2 days before Christmas to get a tree.  And of course the remaining vestiges of the practically decapitated tree needed to be removed from our home as well.

It's not very festive having parts of the offending tree strewn all over the living room while you're trying to set up another tree or open presents.  Or even just sit on the sofa.

Next, however, saga of how our Christmas went wrong continues today with “Mrs. M and the Christmas Dinner the Wasn't”.

#3 – Mrs. M & The Christmas Dinner that Wasn't

So then, with Tree #3 in place, Christmas Day had gone along somewhat uneventfully, considering the detox and all.  Mom still wasn't feeling fabulous, but at least it was a lot better than “totally Ick!”

We had already agreed that we weren't going to have a traditional Christmas Dinner. Instead, my husband opted for my Pakistani Kima (which is a real favorite around here) and my boys even anything for dinner was OK with them so long as we had my Dairy-Free and Egg-Free Pumpkin Pie (recipe to come soon!) complete with this lovely Easiest Pie Crust.

Suddenly, however, to everyone's surprise, we noticed that somehow it had become 5:00 pm.

What?  But it was really just 11 am a few minute ago, wasn't it?

Not sure how that had happened, but you know–with a number of creative-types who are also research and information junkies in the house, time quickly slips away.

Realizing that the opportunity to have some semblance of a celebratory dinner was quickly slipping away, we talked about starting to make dinner, when my oldest said, “But what about Mrs. M?”

Major. Fork. In. The. Road.

Mrs. M, you see, is our former kitty-corner-across-the-street-neighbor.  She is in her mid-90s and served as a nurse in World War II.  She was widowed years ago, and we used to see her pretty regularly. My boys would take her garbage and recycling to the curb for her, and she'd occasionally hand them a dollar for their efforts.

Mrs. M had a special place in our life.  She was the sole reason we would go Trick or Treating some years.  The treats were too much of a temptation, and I really am not a fan of Halloween, but the joy on her face seeing my boys dressed up was worth it. Every year.

We watched out for her–checking in if we saw a fire truck there or if there was severe weather, called if we saw a car in her driveway that we didn't recognize–that kind of thing.

Anyhow, years ago, Mrs. M ended up moving to a retirement home.  She has no family around, so we do our best (or sometimes not our best) to visit her regularly.  My boys' orthodontist's office is right by her new home, so we would stop by after almost every visit to see her.

Unwanted Visitors?

We did wonder, however, how much she really wanted us to visit.

Typically, we'd go to see her, and she'd seem happy enough, but about 5 minutes after we'd arrived, she'd say something like “Well, nice of you to come,” and we'd know that that was our clue that she was ready to move on to being alone.

Anyhow, back to Christmas.

The boys were upset about the Mrs. M revelation and really didn't want to go and interrupt Christmas to be told “nice of you to come” after 5 minutes, but my husband said that it would be much nicer to see her on Christmas rather than the day after.

So–we got some chocolates from Costco together that we'd bought just for her (Mrs. M LOVES chocolate), put ribbons on the bag, signed a card, and loaded ourselves into the van after calling to make sure she was in good form for visitors.

What we got when we arrived was the final twist to our “Christmas Gone Wrong.”

We arrived around 6:30.  Typically Mrs. M goes to bed around 7 pm, so we expected to see her in her room, but she wasn't there.

Puzzled, we went down the hallway and an employee told us that she was in the dining room.  Odd.  So we went in to find her sitting alone in an almost emptied out dining hall.

She looked thrilled to see us and then asked if we wanted to show my husband her room.  She had forgotten that he'd seen it quite a few times before, but no matter.  We went.

While we were still in the dining room, however, I asked one of the workers if it would be OK to bring a movie by to watch with her later that week, to which she responded with an enthusiastic “YES!”

So off to Mrs. M's room we went.

What–No Movie?

When we got to her room, Mrs. M proceeded to ask us if we could figure out how to work the DVD player.

Shocking.  Just shocking.  This woman, whose hearing was quite terrible, had picked up the bit about the movie, and thought we were going to watch one now.

My heart sank.  We hadn't come prepared to watch a movie….so we tried to figure out what to do.

My youngest tried to figure out the DVD player so we could determine what to do for the next visit, while I figured out what to do in order to not dash her expectations.  Well, we couldn't figure out the DVD player (despite my son's technical acumen), so that took care of itself.

What happened next was the best part.

The TV was set to CNN and they were showing Finding Jesus, a documentary-style program on the life of Jesus, and Mrs. M seemed to really enjoy it.  So we all sat down to watch.

The program was very well done and though not totally theologically correct (not that I would expect that from CNN), it was fascinating to see the Bible brought to life.

We all sat and watched for awhile.

At one point I asked Mrs. M about her bedtime, to which she responded, “Oh, it doesn't matter.

She wanted us to stay.

So we did.

The program continued, even after the credits rolled, so I checked the internet on my cell phone and found that it was a docu- series that started at 3 pm and went 'til 4 am!  Craziness!

No way were we staying 'til 4 am!

Around 8 or so, she said “Well, I really need to go around 8:30,” so I guess though she was having a good time, she knew her limits :).

I informed her about the 4 am ending point of the program and we all chuckled about it.

When 8:30 came, we all reluctantly parted ways.

In the spirit of the Grinch that Stole Christmas, a bunch of not so great things threatened to steal Christmas from us. But did they succeed?

Please note that there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Did These Things Steal Christmas?

In retrospect, it would be easy for me to feel like it was a real bummer of a Christmas.

And in the midst of the whole thing, well I really felt like I wasn't really experiencing Christmas.

But here's the Truth.

I'm Healthier

and so is my family.

Or at least we're moving in the right direction.

I can tell I'm still detoxing, and there's oh so much more that I am going to be sharing with you all about this. It's just been fascinating to me.

In fact, I've started my whole family (and our cat!) on Diatomaceous Earth to deal with their toxicity in addition to mine.

It's a toxic world and even if you've done a lot to clean up your environment, there's no escaping it.  And our bodies need help.

New Tree, a New Friend & New Memories

My husband is sooooo ecstatic about the new tree.

But more than that, the memories of that night and how it all came together, just warms my heart.

Plus we have a new friend (Mr. Retired Christmas Store Owner).

 

Buying a Christmas Tree - Many things threatened to steal Christmas this year, but they couldn't. For the post "3 Things that Almost Stole Christmas"

The Family in the Makeshift “Christmas Shoppe” buying trees and lights galore and amazing bargain prices!

 

And I might, just might, keep the smaller tree up year round.  It's so pretty in the room where it is–and the memories come flooding back every time I look at it.

The lights in the boys' room and on the sun room cause the fond memories to pour back in as well.

People Over Food

As we left the retirement home, my oldest said, “You know, you're right.  Doing this on Christmas made it so much more special–doing something for someone else instead of just doing something for ourselves.”

He got it.

We can have dinner another night.  We can open presents or make cookies any day.

But we couldn't have visited Mrs. M “on Christmas” the next day.  It wouldn't have been the same for her.  Or for us.  There was something special about leaving our plans for her. Giving when it wasn't convenient.

Plus Finding Jesus wouldn't have been on, which is what it's all about anyhow.  Finding Him in the every day, even when our hopes are dashed.

Mrs. M saying “It doesn't matter.” about her bedtime–Priceless. I'll never forget it.

So those 3 Things Almost Stole Christmas — or Tried to Steal Christmas.

But they didn't.

Of course, they couldn't.  I know that. Christmas isn't going anywhere, but you know what I mean.

It's easy, when things don't go as planned, to feel depressed about how picture perfect things weren't, and to sulk.  Instead, let's work to see the good in the trials and steal Christmas (and the rest of life) back.

One Final Thought

I want to add something for those for whom this Christmas was a time of deep loss–much deeper than anything that we went through.  Actually, there is more to our story than what I wrote as we continue to deal with physical issues and others, but no one in our family got a horrible diagnosis and we didn't lose a loved one or our home to fire, or anything like that.

I am so sorry if any of those things happened to you (I'm sure that there are some of you out there) and I hope that you are able to find either true physical healing or at least to get the support that you need, hopefully from a local source, but if not, from wherever you can.  I don't at all mean to minimize that kind of suffering with this post.  Life is hard and it's tough to get through it sometimes.  But you don't have to do it alone.

Please reach out to others if you need help–our world is getting messier and we need each other.  And God.

Pumpkin Pie, Presents, Parties, the Christmas Tree and all of that—they're just things.

People and the real meaning of Christmas is what it's all about.

And I have to say–this is most definitely the most memorable Christmas that I have ever had.

Have you ever had a disappointing Christmas?
Or something that looked like one that turned out to be a blessing?

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3 Things that Almost Stole Christmas – Pt 1 https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/3-things-stole-christmas/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/3-things-stole-christmas/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2017 21:14:00 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=42208 Christmas. It came and went like a flash. We typically Do Christmas Slow around here, but well, this Christmas was more than slow. It kind of didn't happen. Basically, our Christmas didn't go as planned.  In many ways. Instead of Visions of Sugarplums, Parties, and Ho Ho Ho, our Christmas was: Detox, a Broken Tree, and the Dinner that Wasn't. I could say that ours was the Christmas Gone Wrong, and give you some tips about what to do so that you don't end up in the same situation that we did, but…..well, you'll get the idea as you read on. […]

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In the spirit of the Grinch that Stole Christmas, a bunch of not so great things threatened to steal Christmas from us. But did they succeed?

Christmas.

It came and went like a flash.

We typically Do Christmas Slow around here, but well, this Christmas was more than slow.

It kind of didn't happen.

Basically, our Christmas didn't go as planned.  In many ways.

Instead of Visions of Sugarplums, Parties, and Ho Ho Ho, our Christmas was:

Detox, a Broken Tree, and the Dinner that Wasn't.

I could say that ours was the Christmas Gone Wrong, and give you some tips about what to do so that you don't end up in the same situation that we did, but…..well, you'll get the idea as you read on.

Every year, Christmas is a bit of a hard time for me for the following reasons:

We live far away from any remaining extended family.
My husband is a professor, so he always has loads of end-of-the-semester grading to do.
We reside in a city where almost everyone (besides us) has relatives (meaning they all have plans).
My birthday is 11/23 and our anniversary is 12/30, so between my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary, and New Year's, there's just a little too much going on.

However, this year was particularly hard for us.  For one thing, we are in the middle of choosing a church, so we feel pretty disjointed and weren't sure where we would go on Christmas for church services, but there were even more things that really threatened to “steal Christmas,” a la The Grinch.

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Here's what happened.

In the spirit of the Grinch that Stole Christmas, a bunch of not so great things threatened to steal Christmas from us. But did they succeed?

#1 – The Detox

It all started about a month before Christmas.

I had ordered some of Miessence's heavy duty Fermented Superfood Probiotic thinking that it was time to change up my probiotic routine.  I remembered how it had really worked well for me before and figured I'd give it another go.

So I took it.  For the whole month. And things started happening.

At the same time, I had also backed off of taking Betaine HCl with every meal. I was basically thinking that I had done a lot of healing and that I could handle taking less most likely.

Anyhow, when the fermented food probiotic was done, I moved to Miessence's Powdered Superfood Probiotic and things really started happening.

Hmmmm.

I started having a resurgence of some mild rosacea and then well, my lips started drying out. Badly.

We're not talking dry lips.  We're talking Sahara Lips.  Like No Amount Of Lip Balm Is Gonna Do Nothin' Lips.

I'd had this before and was sure I knew what it was.

Candida.

Very often, when I have some kind of candida die off, my lips will get incredibly, nothing-you-can-do-to-help-them dry. And that's where we were at.

I used this DIY Lip Scrub a few times and that helped minimally, but the severe chapping came right back.

So I was really stirring things up.

I decided to push it harder.

Call me crazy.

I mean, it's the Holiday Season, and here I am forcing myself to do deep healing or detox or whatever?

Yup – not really smart.

But I was determined.

If something needed to die, I was going to kill it.

My lips got worse and then they got better, but I started to have a slight reaction on my eye.  That made me nervous.  Even if I wanted something to die, I wasn't sure I wanted the evidence on my eye, ya' know?

So I backed off the ferments and decided to try some Diatomaceous Earth, which is known for its detox capabilities.

I started off with a very very small dose (only 1/2 tsp), since I hadn't felt well at all on 1 Tbsp a day.

And then very quickly I was seriously having Herxheimer Reactions.

I won't go into all of the details, but let's say that I felt like I had a mild version of the flu and it all was a recipe for being somewhat of a Grinch.

Meh.

I pretty much didn't want to do anything but feel better.

I'll share more about the Diatomaceous Earth later, but eventually I started feeling better and was glad that I had pushed through.  For now, though, if you're interested in reading more, the testimonials on this site are a very interesting read.

Clearly, there is more work to be done on the health front.  But then again, I think that we all have that going on, right?

#2 – The Tree

Enter–the Christmas Tree.

Actually, now that I think about it, every tree that we have had has a funny story attached to it….so I'll start out by sharing a little about Tree #1 and its sad fate.

Tree #1

Tree #1 came to us in a funny way.

I am allergic to pine (I take after my mother in this way) and so we always had an artificial tree.  I've dreamt of going out and cutting down a tree, but it just doesn't happen in our family.

Soon after getting married, my husband and I moved to Oklahoma where he got his first professorial job.  The salary was exceedingly low (we qualified for public aid) and well, things were tight.

But I wanted a tree.

One thing that really bothered us was that we lived in Campus Housing and it was mandated that we purchase and pay for cable TV, even on my husband's meager salary.  But there were 2 bright spots to that. One was that when tornados hit, we could see the trajectory of the storm's devastating path.

The second was this guy.

Seriously, Bargain Barn was our friend.

We would sit and watch this guy auction off all kinds of things from baby goods to home decor to feminine products.  (There was something unbelievably riotous about hearing this guy auction off pad with “wings” in his Okie accent!)

When you're broke and your idea of a date night is sharing a McDonald's ice cream cone (this was in my pre-healthy eating days), then you settle, ya' know? 🙂

It is from Bargain Barn Guy that we bought the tree.  Cheap.

Plus loads of fabulous Gold Ribbon, much of which still remains to this day.  If you ever get a gift from me with gold ribbon on it, you'll have Mr. Bargain Barn to thank for it.

Sadly, this is the only last vestige remaining of this hilarious show.

 

Years ago, we had a very unfortunate thing happen to Tree #1.  We loaned it to a church for their Christmas display and somehow our tree stand got lost in the process.  They insisted that they never got it, but our tree stand was gone.  Not in the house and not at the church.

Gone.

My husband, knowing nothing about tree stands (and how easy it is to replace them), figured that the tree was a goner and decided he didn't want to go and pick the tree up, so it got donated.

So my boys and I started on “The Great Christmas Tree Hunt,” which took hours and hours and miles and miles on the car as we drove from one store to another, trying to find a tree that was affordable and didn't look completely unattractive.

It wasn't an easy job.

Tree after tree, store after store, and still–no tree.

Finally–we found it, at a Second Hand Store, south of where we lived.

Tree #2

The tree was lovely and looked quite real and was just what I had hoped for.

And it was pre-lit. 🙂

We went home, decided on the tree, called the store owner and committed to it after asking the Store Owner if it was easy to set up and take down, to which she responded, “Yes.” So we proceeded to drive down and get it.

When we arrived, she had the tree perfectly boxed up to go.

That was the end of the perfection and ease, however.

Since that fateful day, every Christmas, my husband has regretted that purchase.  And that's putting it mildly.

The tree was the “hooked” kind, so each branch had to be put in individually, but here's the kicker—it was pre lit.  So the lights were all connected.  Not good.

When you tried to put the tree together or take it apart, the lights would get all tangled up in the branches and took numerous hours and tremendous frustration to erect; basically, it was a great way to start off the Christmas season on the wrong foot.

(Moral of this story–it's easier to replace a tree stand than to live with a high-maintenance Christmas tree!)

Tree #3

So…….this year, 2 days before Christmas (yes, I have very good timing), we still didn't have the decorations on Tree #2.

I wasn't sure I liked where the tree was and so I decided, instead of lugging the tree around the living room, to lay the tree down on its side.  Why?  I don't know.  But I did it.

When I picked the tree back up, the top was CROOKED.

Very Crooked.

I figured I just had to straighten it out, the way you would “fluff” out any artificial tree.

But fluff, it would not.

The Tree. Was. Broken.  Broken to the point that I would have to weld it and it still might not work.

I was mortified.  But when I told my husband, he was thrilled.

“Praise God!!!” he said.  “Let's buy a new one!”

(Side note – Oh how I WISH I had a photo of the broken tree top.  I don't know what came over me that I didn't take one. I suppose I was just devastated about what I had done and then my husband was adamant that we get that tree out of our house asap…..so it slipped my mind until after it was gone :(.)

Of course I was not in the best of moods, thinking I'd wrecked Christmas.  Here it was, 2 days before, and we had no tree.

I remembered that just prior to our putting the tree up, however, that I had been on Craigslist and there was someone clearing out his Christmas decor business and that there was a 7.5 foot tree reduced from $480-ish to $140-ish.  So I hopped back on Craigslist and hoped for the best.

But the tree. was. gone.

Heart in stomach.

Something made me check pages 2 and 3 of my Craigslist search, and there it was. A tree.  And this one was reduced down to–get this–$39!

Phone. Please!

I called the number and the man said he had a few trees left and we could even come over that night if we wanted to.

So, we did. We all hopped in the van, and though the weather was quite bad, we went.

And in the makeshift display area off the rear of the seller's house, was…..our new tree.

It looked quite like Tree #2, but well, it wasn't broken (ha), and it wasn't pre-lit.  AND it was cheap!

We ended up having a long (very long) talk with the retired man and got along famously with him.  Plus, there was another smaller tree that I fell in love with.

That one too was reduced to only $39, and I was pretty sure that I knew exactly where I would put it.

Here it is, nestled in the corner of one of our rooms.

Silver Pine Christmas Tree - for the post "3 Things that Almost Stole Christmas"

I also bought a wreath and some ornaments, and our youngest really wanted some lights so we “splurged” on green, red, and blue lights for him.

He ended up decorating our Sun Porch and the boys' room with them.

Green Christmas Lights for the post "3 Things that Almost Stole Christmas"

These lights now make me sooooo happy!

And well, that “Easy to Assemble” Tree that threatened to ruin our marriage every Christmas (just kidding) is now GONE :).

Oh, and there's more to the story of that night.

Saved by Technology

As we left the makeshift Christmas Tree Outlet, my husband said “Oh no! We're almost out of gas!”

We literally had only 7 miles worth of gas left and it was bad bad weather.

Not sure what to do, our youngest remembered that you could check on your cell phone to see where the nearest gas station is–so we did. And thankfully, we were able to find a station before we were stranded.

Yes, finding these trees was a blessing, but I didn't want to be stranded with them in the middle of a very cold winter in the Midwest.

Stay Tuned

The saga continues.  I'll be back hopefully tomorrow with the rest of the story as you read how our family fought to save Christmas from the many foes that strove to destroy it.

Onward……

How was your Christmas?
Did things go as planned?

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Sweet & Savory Balsamic Baked Red Onions – low carb & AIP https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/balsamic-baked-red-onions/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/balsamic-baked-red-onions/#comments Thu, 29 Dec 2016 20:56:53 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=41956 Today I have a fun new recipe for you all–Balsamic Baked Red Onions. I actually have never made baked onions before (in fact I have never done much at all with red onions), but well, here's how this recipe came to be. I'm all about saving money, and that means that whenever possible I try to buy everything in bulk. And I do mean just about everything. I sometimes make mistakes and overbuy something (some things do go to waste), but overall I think I do a pretty good job of taking advantage of low prices and using up pretty […]

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A balance between sweet and savory, these Balsamic Baked Red Onions are an easy side dish that dresses up every day meals and is perfect for special occasions too.

Today I have a fun new recipe for you all–Balsamic Baked Red Onions. I actually have never made baked onions before (in fact I have never done much at all with red onions), but well, here's how this recipe came to be.

I'm all about saving money, and that means that whenever possible I try to buy everything in bulk.

And I do mean just about everything.

I sometimes make mistakes and overbuy something (some things do go to waste), but overall I think I do a pretty good job of taking advantage of low prices and using up pretty much all that we purchase before it goes bad.

Having a few deep freezers has really helped us take advantage of savings like these.

Here are some examples of things that I buy in bulk.

Beans
Rice
All grains (we don't buy as many grains these days since we're eating more low carb, but I do still buy some)
Spices (I tend to purchase spices in at least 1/4 pound sizes, if not 1 pound sizes)
Salt (I buy huge bags of Real Salt)
Coconut
Magnesium Flakes
Chicory and Dandelion Root for my DIY Coffee Substitute
Fruits and Vegetables (either from a store sale or at the end of the day at the Farmer's Market)
Meat – whenever I get deals on Free Range Leg of Lamb, Free Deer Meat and more.

I even bought Bulk Organic Cocoa this past month — might have overdone it, but we do love it around here!

The Bulk Red Onions Purchase

Anyhow, I just participating in a food group buy a few months ago with Azure Standard. If you haven't worked with Azure before, you really should check them out. They have great deals and fabulous customer service.

So this past month, they had an amazing deal on Organic Red Onions.

I really hadn't ever done much with red onions before, but when there's a huge deal on something, I try to figure out what I can do to take advantage of the deal.

So I asked friends what I could do with all of these onions (it was a LOT — 50 pounds!) and most of them said that I would have to freeze or dehydrate them, and that if you dehydrate them your house can easily reek for weeks.

Now, I am kind of OK with that because I have my trusty DIY Purify Essential Oils Blend that is great for all kinds of unwanted scents, but I really wanted to figure something else out.

So I turned to the internet.

The Baked Red Onions Recipe

We've been trying to mix it up by changing up our vegetable dishes recently. We get in a rut having the same thing over and over again (think salads, broccoli and cauliflower rice) so I was really excited to try something new.

Baked Red Onions was the recipe that most intrigued me, though there are a few more that I thought I might try.

So I bought them….all 50 pounds of them.

Much to my “totally don't love cooked onions” oldest son's chagrin.

I tried a few recipes that I found online, but they all weren't quite right, so I upped the seasonings and added in a few things, and well, the resulting Balsamic Baked Red Onions recipe was a real hit with everyone. Except for my oldest.  Sigh. I guess there's no way around that no matter how lovely the onions are :).

Red Onions are sweeter than yellow or white onions, so they typically are used in recipes where fresh onions are called for, like this AIP Guacamole.  AIP stands for either Autoimmune Paleo or Autoimmune Protocol.  The diet restricts certain food groups that are considered to cause inflammation.  I will be writing more about it in the future.

But they have a lovely flavor when cooked and they really shine with the seasonings in this dish, plus they have lots of nutritional benefits to them.

A balance between sweet and savory, these Balsamic Baked Red Onions are an easy side dish that dresses up every day meals and is perfect for special occasions too.

Benefits of Red Onions

You'll notice from the photos that I left the peels on for baking.

There are several reasons for this.

One – they are pretty. I like the way that they look baked with the peels on :).  And pretty is good for your health.

Two – they are easier to eat this way. My son commented on this — if you bake these without the peels, they can turn to mush and be kind of hard to eat, but this way they have a nice little “container” that holds the onion halves for you on your plate.

Three – so much of the nutritional benefits of red onions lurks near the peel.  In fact “a red onion can lose about 20% of its quercetin and almost 75% of its anthocyanins if it is ‘overpeeled.'” (source)

By baking the onions in their peels, you will be more likely to eat all of the onion, rather than tossing the nutritious part just below the peel.

There is a lot of attention on greens in the nutritional world, but the humble onion is a nutritional powerhouse on its own.

Just look at some of the nutritional benefits of red onions. One serving has:

1.5 grams of fiber
Vitamins and minerals including folate, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese and vitamins C, K and B-6
Flavonoids, the most important of which is quercetin, a substance which has been linked to the reduction of stroke and heart diease (source)

Red onions are also one of the best sources of chromium. (source)

So on with the recipe.

I made a double batch of these Baked Red Onions, and we gobbled them up.

Since then, we've made them numerous times, and they keep disappearing.

They are great on their own, plus they make a fabulous topping for your favorite dishes. Just this week we've baked the onions, and then chopped them and added them on top of our current favorite chili recipe (recipe coming soon).

A balance between sweet and savory, these Balsamic Baked Red Onions are an easy side dish that dresses up every day meals and is perfect for special occasions too.

 

Balsamic Baked Red Onions - low carb & AIP
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Low-Carb, Vegan, Paleo, AIP
 
A cross between sweet and savory, these Balsamic Baked Red Onions are a gorgeous colorful side dish--perfect for every day or entertaining.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash onions.
  2. Cut onions in half.
  3. Mix other ingredients and pour over onions.
  4. Toss to coat.
  5. Bake in 450 oven for 30-40 min (40 makes them softer and easier to digest). Alternatively, bake at 350 for 1 hour or more to desired doneness.
  6. Serve with the skins on and the extra balsamic liquid either drizzled on top or offered on the side.
Notes
Cutting the onions in half so that the stem is in the center of the cut half makes for a better presentation.
Oil choice: I recommend choosing an oil based on its smoke point. Please choose your oil based on the oven temperature that you will be using.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's great for an every day side dish and pretty enough for a Holiday Table as well.

What is your favorite recipe that uses red onions?

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Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies – low carb options https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/gluten-free-christmas-cookies/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/gluten-free-christmas-cookies/#comments Fri, 23 Dec 2016 19:33:54 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=41840 What's better than Christmas Cookies?  Healthy Christmas cookies, that's what – and in our house, that means gluten-free Christmas Cookies.  In fact, most of the cookies in this post are grain free Christmas Cookies so if you're off of grains, or limiting them, you are in luck. And since we're watching carbs, I'm giving low carb options for as many of the cookies as possible and AIP options where possible. Why Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies When I was little, we always made cookies at Christmastime.  I really got into it, making all kinds of flavors some years.  My favorites went from traditional […]

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This assortment of Gluten-free Christmas Cookies is perfect for all of your Holiday Baking! From Gingerbread to Peanut Butter Blossoms, there are loads of Healthy Christmas Cookies for everyone!

What's better than Christmas Cookies?  Healthy Christmas cookies, that's what – and in our house, that means gluten-free Christmas Cookies.  In fact, most of the cookies in this post are grain free Christmas Cookies so if you're off of grains, or limiting them, you are in luck.

And since we're watching carbs, I'm giving low carb options for as many of the cookies as possible and AIP options where possible.

Why Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies

When I was little, we always made cookies at Christmastime.  I really got into it, making all kinds of flavors some years.  My favorites went from traditional chocolate chippers to Almond Crescents, to Meltaways and even Biscotti. But my favorites were Peanut Butter Blossoms.

There's something about those Peanut Butter Blossoms – the combination of Chocolate and Peanut Butter (highlighted in my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Chia Pudding) is always a winner, and when the cookies are still warm, those Hershey Kisses just melt into the cookie (and into your mouth) just right.

When I grew up, however, I found that gluten and I didn't get along so well, and we felt the need to take the rest of the family off of gluten for various health reasons.  And then we found out that my oldest was deathly allergic to dairy and egg, and so there went many of our favorites.

Time to find new recipes.

Our dietary needs have changed a lot over the years, to the point where we've experimented with paleo, GAPS, and AIP, but right now we pretty much eat as healthy as possible while limiting carbs and having basically no junk at all.

I've gotten a few healthy cookie recipes together, which really help, but I reached out to some blogger friends of mine to expand my recipe box.

And boy did I get some good ones.

My mouth was watering as I put this post together.

And yes–it even has my favorites, Peanut Butter Blossoms, in the mix.

Of course, whether it's Christmas or not, you can enjoy these delicious Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies all year round!

Oh, and if you are looking for even MORE cookies, this post, Healthy Christmas Cookies, is the place to go.

This is for sure one amazing assortment of healthy gluten free Christmas Cookies.  Not sure which I will make first, and really, I might just have to make all of them!

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies – Meghan Birt

For AIP, omit the non AIP spices (nutmeg is debatable) and use a gelatin egg and cassava or tiger nut flour.

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Back to the Book Nutrition

For low carb, use low carb chocolate chips and a low carb sweetener.
For AIP, use carob and carob chips, cassava or tiger nut flour, and a gelatin egg or other AIP egg substitute and alcohol-free vanilla, and omit the nuts or sub in coconut shreds.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Walnut Cardamom Snowballs – All Day I Dream of Food

Walnut Cardamom Snowballs

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles – New Grain-Free Option! – me

Looking for Healthy Cookie Recipes or Allergy Free Cookies? These Pumpkin Snickerdoodles are Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free and Sugar-free. My boys LOVE them. In fact, whenever I talk about making cookies they ask for these! If you love snickerdoodles, you'll love these.

Grain-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Back to the Book Nutrition

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener and use low-carb chocolate chips or my Homemade Chocolate Chips.

Grain-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Paleo Sugar Cookies – A Girl Worth Saving

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener, and if you're really strict low carb, omit the tapioca.

Paleo Sugar Cookies

Sugar-Free Paleo Pecan Snowball Cookies – Sugar-Free Mom

Sugar-Free Paleo Pecan Snowball Cookies

Grain-Free Chocolate Crinkles – Recipes to Nourish

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener and use almond flour instead of cassava flour.

Grain-Free Chocolate Crinkles

Coconut Zucchini Cookies – Grounded and Surrounded

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener, use almond flour, replace the applesauce with a healthy fat, and use low-carb chocolate chips or my Homemade Chocolate Chips.

Coconut Zucchini Cookies

No-Bake Coconut Delights – me

These No Bake Coconut Cookies come together super fast and they are Low Carb! Like a Low Carb version of those pricey Cocoroons in the health food store!

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies – Recipes to Nourish

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener and almond flour.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

4-Ingredient Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies – Wholesome Yum

4-Ingredient Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

Flourless Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies – Savory Lotus

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener and use low-carb chocolate chips or my Homemade Chocolate Chips.

Flourless Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Pie Snowball Cookies – Beauty and the Foodie

Pumpkin Pie Snowball Cookies

“Almond Joy” Bars – me

Got a sweet tooth but trying to eat healthier? These No Bake Dessert Low Carb "Almond Joy" Bars are soooo good - even non healthy eaters love them. Every time I make them they are gone lickety split and they're full of healthful ingredients like coconut oil, nut or seed butters, and more. These bars are sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, dairy-free, autoimmune protocol/AIP friendly, and more!

Paleo Ranger Cookies – Pure & Simple Nourishment

for low carb, use a low-carb sweetener.

Paleo Ranger Cookies

Paleo Vegan Gingerbread Cookies – Healy Eats Real

for low carb, use a low-carb sweetener, and if you're strict low carb, omit the arrowroot.

Paleo Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies – Raising Generation Nourished

for low carb, use a low-carb sweetener instead of the dates and almond flour for the tapioca, although they will not be as light with almond flour.

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

Grain-Free Ginger Cookies – Savory Lotus

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener.

Grain-Free Ginger Cookies

Cranberry Molasses Spice Cookies – Gutsy By Nature

use low carb sweetener and almond flour for low carb.  The molasses should be OK in these.

Cranberry Molasses Spice Cookies

Kid-Approved Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies – Happy Mothering

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener and almond flour.

Kid-Approved Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies

Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms – Real Food with Dana

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener and use low-carb chocolate chips or my Homemade Chocolate Chips.

Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms

Grapefruit Linzer Cookies with Blueberry Preserves – Grass-Fed Salsa

for low carb, substitute a low-carb sweetener, use almond flour instead of arrowroot, substitute a healthy fat for the applesauce, and use low-carb preserves.

Grapefruit Linzer Cookies with Blueberry Preserves

Double Chocolate Coconut Butter Cookies – Eat Beautiful

for low carb, use a low-carb sweetener.

Double Chocolate Coconut Butter Cookies

Paleo Matcha and Pine Nut Cookies – I Heart Umami

for low carb, use a low-carb sweetener, and if you're very strict low carb, omit the arrowroot.

Paleo Matcha Green Tea Thumbprint Cookies

Which of these Gluten-free Christmas Cookies is your favorite?

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Chia Pudding ~ low carb & dairy free https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-chia-pudding/ https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-chia-pudding/#comments Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:13:19 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=41826 I'm so excited to share this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding with you today. Because–Chocolate and Peanut Butter. There's nothing like it. Since I'm all about healthifying things, how about turning this all time favorite flavor combo into a healthy treat – Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding? You better believe it. I have a real weakness for Reese's Cups. Sigh. A really big one. We never buy candy, but if we're at a party or gathering and there are mini PB Cups to be had, I'm a sucker for them. And at Halloween, if my kids go to […]

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This Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding is an easy dairy-free dessert that's super healthy too -- loaded with the benefits of chia seeds.

I'm so excited to share this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding with you today.

Because–Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

There's nothing like it.

Since I'm all about healthifying things, how about turning this all time favorite flavor combo into a healthy treat – Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding?

You better believe it.

I have a real weakness for Reese's Cups.

Sigh.

A really big one.

We never buy candy, but if we're at a party or gathering and there are mini PB Cups to be had, I'm a sucker for them.

And at Halloween, if my kids go to an event or go door to door, those PB Cups are something I'm totally coveting and bartering for.  It's bad.

Thankfully this doesn't happen often since I'm not a fan of the ingredients.  Yup, they are a little better than those candies that are basically just artificially colored sugar mushed together, but……

But oh – the taste.  Sigh, Reese's.  You really did it.

The History of Reese's

Yes, I had to find out.  I just had to.

Because this person deserves some kind of reward.

My Henry Reese was the father of 16 kids.  The short version of the story is that Mr. Reese got a job on the Hershey Dairy Farm (of Hershey Chocolate fame).  He started working in the chocolate factory and was encouraged to make his own chocolates. In 1920, his business was doing quite well and it led to him selling “Penny Cups” (they cost only a penny then), which were later to become Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  You can read all of the fascinating story here, including how the Hershey Company bought the H.B. Reese Candy Company for $23.5 M in 1963.

Now, I am not going to be able to get any $23.5M windfall from this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding, but I think it will get me a few Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover “thank you”s from you all, in addition to it seriously coming to the rescue of my never-ending love of Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

Benefits of Chia

Chia seeds are full of protein, and they are full of fiber too so they fill you up and help you manage your waistline.

They are loaded with calcium too (a 1 ounce serving has 18% of the RDA) so those on dairy-free diets can feel especially good about adding this nutritional powerhouse to their diets.

Here is some of the data on the nutritional content of chia seeds:

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Calcium: 18% of RDA
  • Manganese: 30% of RDA
  • Magnesium: 30% of RDA
  • Phosphorus: 27% of RDA (sources: 1, 2)

And that's just the beginning.

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding is an easy dairy-free dessert that's super healthy -- loaded with the benefits of chia seeds!

About Chia Pudding

I love chia puddings.

They are super easy to make, are super filling, and they are loaded with the healthfulness of chia.

One thing about chia, though, is most of the chia puddings on the web are soaked overnight.  The chia expands from the liquid in the pudding to make a tapioca-like pudding.

I personally am really turned off by tapioca – and those little soaked chia seeds look even more like fish eyes to me than their tapioca “cousins.”

So I opt for blended smooth chia pudding everytime.

Anyhow, in case you haven't tried them yet, I already have some other lovely chia pudding recipes on my site including Chocolate Chia PuddingBerry Mousse, and Pumpkin Chia Pudding.

Plus I'm already working on a few other versions…..so hang on to your chia-loving hats :).

But this one is a real winner.

Like a Reese's Cup in a jar – but without the TBHQ, refined sugar, soy, and other things I don't like putting into my body…..

And yes, if you have a peanut allergy, another seed or nut butter will do just fine.  We tried it out with sunflower seed butter and almond butter and it was super tasty either way.  Of course, peanut butter is something special, but not if you have an allergy to it like my son does.

We used my Homemade Nut Butter / Seed Butter in this recipe. Making your own nut and seed butters is a fabulous way to save money and have total control over your ingredients.  You can see more about how to make your own Homemade Nut Butters and Homemade Seed Butters here.

This Chia Pudding is so healthy and easy to whip up.  You can blend it up the night before, put it in small dessert cups or mason jars, and enjoy it for a quick and easy breakfast.

Do You Need to Soak Chia Seeds?

I've written about How and Why to Soak Nuts and Seeds. And I've seen loads of soaked chia pudding recipes all over the internet. So I've wondered about whether my blended up, super smooth chia puddings were a health concern.

Well, they are not.

The good news is that chia seeds do not have the enzyme inhibitors that other nuts and seeds have, so you don't need to soak them.

You can:

eat 'em raw

try 'em blended

eat 'em soaked

eat 'em like tapioca (not my preference, but if you like them this way….)

But just eat 'em and no worries about the soaking.

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding has a super dark chocolate pudding blended with a yummy peanut butter filling.  So if you're a Reese's lover like me, it's guaranteed to satisfy!

You can really have fun with the toppings on this as well — from bananas to whipped cream to chocolate sauce, Homemade  Chocolate Chips, to this Whipped Coconut Pudding — the possibilities are deliciously endless.

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Seed Pudding is an easy dairy-free dessert that's super healthy too -- loaded with the benefits of chia seeds.

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding is an easy dairy-free dessert that's super healthy too -- loaded with the benefits of chia seeds.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Chia Pudding ~ low carb and dairy-free options
 
Author:
Recipe type: Pudding
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Low-Carb, Vegan, Paleo
Serves: 4 servings
Prep time:
Total time:
 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding - like a Reese's Cup in pudding form. Loaded with healthy ingredients and oh so delicious!
Ingredients
Chocolate Pudding
PB part
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients for Peanut Butter Pudding in the blender, adding chia last to prevent it from swelling and making blending more difficult.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Remove from blender and set aside.
  4. Place ingredients for Chocolate Pudding in blender.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Layer the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Puddings alternating as desired.
  7. I recommend adding the chia last so that it doesn't swell and make blending more difficult.
  8. Finally, top with Whipped Coconut Cream, Bananas, Chopped Nuts, Homemade Granola, Cookie Crumbs, etc.
Notes
The Peanut Butter filling is a little thick -- feel free to add more coconut milk to thin it out as desired.

Dietary Notes - you can of course use regular milk and whatever sweetener you like.

I recommending making the Peanut Butter (or other nut butter) Pudding layer first so that you don't have to clean out the blender prior to making the Chocolate Pudding Layer, in which case the dark color of the chocolate would affect the light color of the Peanut Butter Pudding.

There you have it. I so hope that you try it and that you enjoy it as much as we do.

Do you like your chia puddings blended or not?
Please share with your other Chocolate Peanut Butter loving friends…

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20 Gut Health Tips for Kids with ADHD https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/probiotics-and-adhd/ https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/probiotics-and-adhd/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 21:47:54 +0000 https://wholenewmom.com/?p=41774 ADHD is prevalent these days, wreaking havoc on personal lives, families, and kids in school. There are drugs on the market to deal with it, and lots of different natural remedies for ADHD, but what if there was a way to deal with it from the root — from the inside out—by considering gut health and ADHD — or even probiotics and ADHD? Energy, excitement, and bursts of activity are surely normal (and entertaining!) aspects of being a kid that any parent is happy to see. But in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), these traits can show up more intensely: […]

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There are loads of meds and natural remedies for ADHD, but how about getting to the root of it all by looking at gut health and ADHD or probiotics and ADHD?

ADHD is prevalent these days, wreaking havoc on personal lives, families, and kids in school. There are drugs on the market to deal with it, and lots of different natural remedies for ADHD, but what if there was a way to deal with it from the root — from the inside out—by considering gut health and ADHD — or even probiotics and ADHD?

Energy, excitement, and bursts of activity are surely normal (and entertaining!) aspects of being a kid that any parent is happy to see. But in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), these traits can show up more intensely:

ADHD Symptoms

out-of- control hyperactivity
constant disruption of those around them
impulsivity
having trouble focusing
difficulty shifting between tasks

and more

Unlike typical bouts of wandering attention, ADHD is a medical disorder that researchers believe is the result of a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. It can affect many aspects of a person’s life, including learning, connecting with others, organizational skills, and time management.

As a parent, this can be disheartening when you begin to peel back the layers to discover that a medical disorder may be at the root of your child’s focus and behavior troubles. But if you feel your child might have ADHD—or if they have already been diagnosed—don’t worry. You are not alone (LOTS of parents struggle with this), and you have more options than you might think.

Obviously, as parents we will do whatever is possible to set our kiddos up for independent, healthy, and fulfilling lives.  So the question becomes: what’s the best option for achieving this when approaching ADHD?

If you’re like most parents, psychiatric medications like Ritalin might seem an obvious choice to improve your child’s school and family life (because let’s face it: an ADHD diagnosis can impact everyone involved).

After all, these drugs help ADHD children by increasing neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in the central nervous system.

But guess what else also does that?

Gut bacteria!

Yes, the same neurotransmitters that are given a boost by ADHD drugs are actually naturally created in our guts by trillions of microorganisms that live there (a.k.a. our microbiome) and then delivered to the brain.

This all literally all begins in the gut, and this is important to understand when looking at ADHD.

The Gut-Brain Relationship

Our little ones’ brain health and the gut are more connected than most parents realize.

In fact, making sure the gut microbiome is healthy and teeming with a diversity of friendly flora may have a big impact on the chemical balance in children’s brains, along with their overall health and development.

You see, those bacteria in the gut can communicate with the brain directly. They do this by sending messages via the vagus nerve, which runs from our brainstem all the way to our abdomen.

Gut microbes are crucial for the creation and regulation of neurotransmitters needed by the brain to produce healthy signals throughout the body—the same neurotransmitters that drugs like Ritalin are designed to increase in ADHD children.

But most of that serotonin isn’t being made in the brain—about 80-90% of it is made in the GI tract!

This is why we need that healthy balance of bacteria in our little one’s belly: to promote a healthy balance of chemicals in the brain.

Gut Health and ADHD Symptoms

Gut bacteria support nearly every facet of health and are part of the inner ecosystem of microbes that develop in each of us, beginning in the womb.

That’s why healthy gut flora are important for so many functions in the body, including optimal mental and emotional function (the creation of neurotransmitters and proper chemical balance in the brain), which is crucial for children with ADHD.

For the gut microbiome to be healthy, it requires an abundance of the good bacteria, also known as probiotics. About 85% of gut microbes should be a variety of probiotics in order to optimize important functions in the body and brain.

This is easier said than done, since so many things work against us (and our children) when it comes to the good flora we need to keep us healthy and thriving.

Here’s a quick list of things that can wipe out the good guys…

There are loads of meds and natural remedies for ADHD, but how about getting to the root of it all by looking at gut health and ADHD or probiotics and ADHD?

10 Things that Damage Good Gut Health

1. Processed and Sugary foods

Processed foods are often full of GMO oils that can destroy the gut. Plus these foods are full of refined carbs and sugars that lead to gut issues including candida and leaky gut.

2. Preservatives, Pesticides, Emulsifiers, Dyes, Artificial Fragrances

There is so much wrong with all of these. Just avoid them as much as possible.

3. Prolonged Stress

Stress has many bad effects on the body and the brain, with impaired gut health being one of them.

4. Certain medications

Besides antibiotics, other meds also affect the gut–birth control pills being one offender.

5. Widespread Presence of and Overuse of Antibiotics

Antibiotics kill life.  That is what their name means. They destroy not only the “bad guys”, but also the “good guys” in the gut.  That's why you often have gut issues after taking an antibiotic and need to restore the balance.

6. Toxins in the Environment and Home

Besides those listed above, there are other pollutants to consider like flame retardants, chemicals in cleaning compounds, air pollution that comes in from the outdoors or from appliances.

7. Limited time outdoors (limited exposure to soil and animals)

Exposure to animals and soil is a good thing as it exposes us to small amounts of soil based organisms that can be beneficial to the gut.

8. Over-sanitizing (ex. antibacterial soaps)

Antibacterial soaps have been linked to the destruction of good bacteria (Source).

9. Cesarean birth vs. vaginal birth

When babies are born via C-section, they miss out on the benefits of mom's gut flora that lines the vaginal cavity.

10. Not being breastfed

Breastmilk contains beneficial bacteria along with so many other things that benefit baby's well being.

Probiotics and ADHD — How to Restore Your Child's Gut Health

Ideally, we should expose our children to healthy bacteria as early as possible (even prenatally through maternal probiotic supplementation) and avoid practices that damage our friendly flora. This will give kids healthy connections between gut and proper brain chemical balance.

But since many factors in our modern environment can negatively affect the microbiome, one of the best ways to ensure our kids are continually exposed to strong probiotic colonies is through high-quality probiotic supplements.

In one promising study, probiotics combined with other nutritional supplements were shown to be just as effective at improving symptoms of ADHD as Ritalin (1).  This makes sense because as we’ve already discussed, the neurotransmitters needed for healthy brain balance are produced in the gut!

In another fascinating trial, researchers gave 75 infants either probiotics or placebo for the first six months of life, and then followed them for thirteen years. At the end of the study, none of the kids in the probiotic group had developed ADHD, compared to 17% of kids in the placebo group (2).

10 Steps to Balance the Gut and Improve Mental Function

If we’re not actively stocking our guts with good gut bacteria, the scales will likely tip and the bad guys will soon outnumber the good guys. Thankfully, you can help your children fortify and improve their gut health.

First, Replenish Your Child’s Gut and Encourage Focus

1. Take a high-quality multi-strain probiotic formula to balance gut bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The best probiotics can withstand stomach acids and enable the bacteria reach the gut alive to perform their health-enhancing duties. Otherwise, the stomach's acidic environment might make the probiotic totally useless, which is a huge waste of money.

We've tried a bunch of probiotics over the years, but my youngest loves this probiotic, and I love the care that has gone into their products. I've corresponded with the company's owner and am highly impressed with her knowledge base and attention to detail.

2Eat probiotic-rich foods such as non-dairy yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, and kombucha tea.

3. Consume prebiotic foods to ensure the friendly flora in your gut stay alive and thrive! Prebiotics are a type of nondigestible fiber that feeds the probiotics in your gut. Some popular prebiotics include oats, bananas, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, and onions. You can also purchase a prebiotic like this one that we use.

4. Encouraging free playtime to help alleviate stress almost instantaneously while encouraging a more balanced microbiome.

For more microbiome-boosting, get kids outside to play and get extra dirty. This exposes them to healthy microbes that help to keep their digestive tract and immune system strong year long.

5.  Revamp the family diet.

Focus primarily on whole, plant-based foods, preferably those that are organic, hormone, pesticide and antibiotic free. Include fresh vegetables with every meal to nourish the body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

6. Avoid or reduce exposure to products that interfere with our body’s natural hormones (endocrine disruptors).

These can include items that contain BPA (plastics and aluminum cans); dioxins (animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy); atrazine (non-organic corn and unfiltered drinking water); phthalates (plastic containers and plastic wrap); arsenic (unfiltered drinking water); perfluorinated chemicals (non- stick pans or stain and water-resistant coatings) and pesticides (non-organic produce). Please, please, make sure that you have a good water filter  in your home.

7. Remove or reduce exposure to possible triggers, such as added stressors and video games. These flood the brain with the important neurotransmitter called dopamine, leaving very little dopamine leftover for motivation, focus, and attention.

8. Consume an abundance of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and phospholipids.

Foods such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, avocados, whole grains, olive oil, and almonds are all fairly easy foods to sneak into your child’s lunchbox or mix in with their meals. Try my Chocolate Chia Pudding, Dairy-free Ranch Dressing, AIP Guacamole, Moroccan Vinaigrette, and Almond Joy Bars to see how easily and deliciously you can add these to your child's diet.

9. Watch the carbs.  Excess carbs and refined sugars can lead to gut dysbiosis which can cause all kinds of health and behavioral issues.

10. Consider Liver Support – The liver filters out all kinds of toxins so give it some support.  Supplements are one way to do that, and these castor oil packs have been a huge help in our family.

Conclusion

As anyone with a child with ADHD knows, anything you can do to help make things more smooth is a big help.

There are loads of natural remedies for ADHD that you can pursue, but why not get to the root of things?  Look at the relationship between gut health and ADHD or probiotics and ADHD to see if these might be the right approach for you and your family!  And besides, when you improve gut health, all kinds of other good things can follow.

Because a happy gut leads to a happy, healthy, and balanced brain. And a healthy brain means a joyful, productive, and motivated child!

 

Do you give your kids probiotics?
What has helped for ADHD for you or your kids?

References:

1. Harding, K. L., Judah, R. D., &  Gant, C. (2003). “Outcome-based comparison of Ritalin versus food-supplement treated children with AD/HD.”  Alternative Medicine Review : A Journal of Clinical Therapeutic 8 (3): 319–30.

2. Pärtty, A., Kalliomäki, M., Wacklin, P., Salminen, S., & Isolauri, E. (2015). “A possible link between early probiotic intervention and the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders later in childhood: A randomized trial.”  Pediatric Research 77 (6): 823-28.

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