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Wellness

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Happy Wellness Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by to check out this post! I’ve been on my wellness journey for a very long time now, well over a decade. As many of you know, I’ve had autoimmune disease, chronic Lyme disease, and many other chronic issues. I still struggle daily with fatigue and pain caused from having these illnesses for so long. But, I do my best to manage them through holistic means. Here’s a quick look at some things I do for self care everyday!

START THE DAY OFF WITH POSITIVE VIBES: For a long time I used to wake up and immediately check my IG, Facebook, and email. While I can’t exactly ignore these things, I’ve been changing what I see first thing in the morning by incorporating new habits. I’ve been reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s books and I really love them! They’re so inspiring, uplifting, and give you great guidance. She has an app called Spirit Junkie. Everyday there is a new positive affirmation to read in the app. It has a reminder to check it. Instead of checking my social media right off the bat, I’ve been checking that app, reading the affirmation, and thinking on it for a few minutes as soon as I wake up. It’s just a great way to start the day on the right foot!

MINERALS DO A BODY GOOD: After I read my affirmation, I always take some minerals! Minerals help to keep your body’s energy up! I can always tell when I’m low on minerals because my joints get stiff, I feel anxious, and I get fatigued. Sometimes I even get body pains. But, when I take the minerals with plenty of water, I feel much better! I’ve been using Trace Minerals for over a year now and I really love them. They don’t have any extra added fillers or nasty ingredients in them like so many supplements do. They’re very pure and give you a great dose of Magnesium! Magnesium is critical for many processes in the body. It helps to regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also facilitates the production of protein, bone, and DNA. It’s crucial for those of us who are doing protocols where you are detoxing. When we detox through sweat or other methods, we lose minerals. For a long time I didn’t realize this and was detoxing heavily without replenishing. I felt HORRIBLE. Now I know that taking minerals is super important to the process. I also take potassium and calcium.

BEMER MAT TIME: A couple years ago I was having horrific bladder pain. I thought it was a UTI, but it ended up being Interstitial Cystitis, aka Painful Bladder Syndrome. If you have this condition, my heart goes out to you! It is as miserable as having full blow Lyme disease. The pain feels like a jagged knife stabbing you in the bladder 24/7 with so much urgency and frequency to pee! I am so fortunate to have found natural ways to heal from this. I know so many women and men live it with it for their whole lives and it’s utterly torturous. But, back to the point… when I first had this, we were scrambling for ideas of how to help. A chiropractor I was seeing at the time had one of these mats and we started to learn more about it. It is a mat that’s full of coils and they give out customized electric frequencies that help get blood flow into your capillaries. This is where detoxification and healing begins. It is a fantastic tool for detoxing and pain management! My husband was so kind to buy this for me. It’s very expensive, but sometimes you can find one used on Ebay or from a practitioner. A lot of chiropractors and holistic wellness centers use them as well, so you can make an appointment to go and use one if buying one isn’t an option. They come highly recommended for any chronic disease, cancer, and pain. Tom Brady uses it, so you know it’s gotta be good! πŸ™‚

MEDITATION: This is a newer one for me and to be totally honest, it’s hard as well! I am not one who sits quietly very well. I have a lot of anxiety and my mind is always running at full speed. So, that tells me I need to meditate even more! I’ve gotten a lot better at it recently and have even found it enjoyable. I realized that I don’t have to put so much pressure on myself to do it perfectly. It’s okay if your mind wanders. Just take note, and re-focus! You don’t even have to do it for very long to reap the benefits! It’s wonderful for reducing stress, anxiety, pain, muscle relaxation, boosting your immune system and mood, and even helps to decrease blood pressure! I know that when I take the time to do this my day is always better. I’ve been using Gabrielle Bernstein’s meditations that you can download from her site or the Headspace app. They are guided meditations and if you’re just beginning, it’s a great place to start! It really helps to clear my head and help me to focus, be present, and have a more positive outlook and attitude for the rest of the day. I kill two birds with one stone and do this while I lay on my Bemer mat!

FRESH AIR AND EXERCISE: I feel so grateful to be able to walk my dog again! For years just walking to the mailbox caused me a lot of fatigue and pain. I couldn’t do any kind of slight incline without flaring up terribly. Now, I’m walking Barkley for a mile and sometimes more! I don’t do a lot of hills yet, but that’s ok! Baby steps. But, getting outside to get fresh air, be among the trees (hello oxygen!! So necessary for healing!) and nature, and moving your body for 30 minutes a day is known to reduce disease and help digestion, joints, cardiovascular health, muscle endurace, sleep, and mood to name a few! I always feel less anxious and more focused when I get a good walk in. Plus it makes Barkley happy and it feels good to do something nice for someone else even if it’s just your pup πŸ™‚

FOLLOW A WHOLE FOODS DIET: I strictly follow the Paleo diet, but not everyone needs to be grain and legume free. So, I’m not here to preach about being Paleo, but I love the lifestyle it has created for me because my body functions at a higher level and I have less pain and indigestion. The Paleo diet excludes grains, gluten, dairy, sugar, legumes, and any processed foods or oils. So, it really strips it down to whole foods that come straight from a farm, not a box. This is the healthiest way to get your nutrition. It is an anti-inflammatory diet. It’s great for everyone, but especially those that have chronic illness and inflammatory diseases. It brought my autoimmune disease into remission five years ago and I’ve remained in remission ever since I made the switch!

There are some Paleo approved snacks and products that I also use on occasion, but I try my best to always eat real food that you can buy in the produce section. I don’t love eating meat, but because grains and legumes cause me a lot of inflammation, I have to get protein somewhere, so I always buy organic, grass-fed meat, poultry, and wild-caught fish. I do make a point to have at least one plant-based meal a day, though if not more. It’s good for your body and for the environment!

So, even if you aren’t Paleo, eating whole foods (i.e. apples, squash, salmon, nuts, seeds) instead of foods pre-packaged, prepared, and processed, will make a HUGE difference in your health. If you’re looking for ways to get started, check out my post on the Paleo Diet here and here.

CBD FOR ANXIETY: At the end of a busy day, I tend to feel pretty stressed out and need to caaalllmmm down. This is when I reach for my CBD oil! I take a few droppers full along with some other herbs for relaxation and try my best to put my phone down, have dinner with my hubs, watch some TV, and relax. It’s important to have this time for yourself and your family. It’s healthy for your body and your relationships! CBD helps me relax so much. I would be lost without it! I also take Calm A.S.A.P. by Gaia, Rock Rose, and a homeopathic for anxiety. I love the Nano CBD by Hemple. You can use code KELLY10 for $10 off of your purchase.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT OR SPIRITUAL BOOKS: I end my day by reading a book that inspires me to be a better me! Lately, I’ve been loving books by Gabrielle Bernstein! I just finished “The Universe Has Your Back” and I totally loved it! It is so full of great info, meditations, and guidance for how to love more and fear less. It’s helped me to gain a lot of perspective about life and circumstances we all find ourselves in. It helps to make the difficult times a little more bearable, knowing that you are always being guided. It’s a fresh perspective on spirituality. But, it is all encompassing. Anyone of any religion can read it and find value in it. It’s not a religious specific book. I think it’s amazing! So, I just got her new book “Super Attractor” and I’m loving it just as much! I downloaded the meditations and use them daily, too. I also loved Oprah’s “The Wisdom of Sundays” and “The Path Made Clear”, as well as Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”. If you’re looking to elevate yourself and raise your vibration, check all of these out!

Those are my Top 8 Wellness Tips for Everyday! I do a lot more than just these things, but if I have to choose, these are my most important and effective ones. What are your every day wellness practices? Please share some in the comments below! πŸ™‚

Happy October, friends! I can’t believe it’s already October. I’m trying to stay in the moment and enjoy it without fearing the coming winter, haha. I love fall and all of the warm colors, tastes, and smells! Making seasonal recipes that are healthy is one of my favorite things to do. In the spirit of the season, I’m sharing this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with you today!

I love this smoothie because it is made of REAL food ingredients. It is also free of sugar, dairy, gluten, grains, and artificial sweeteners. It’s a perfect way to start your day, or end it as dessert. I always like to have protein, fat, and carbohydrates in the morning to steady my blood sugar levels throughout the day. This recipe sets you off on the right foot!

This smoothie is Paleo and Vegan (option of not being vegan, depending upon what you have and your chosen diet). But, don’t be fooled, it’s very flavorful! It’s also packed with so much nutrition! Pumpkin has lots of antioxidants and is rich in Vitamin A and C. If you add your spinach in, you’ll get iron, too. Just because it’s delicious, doesn’t mean it’s not nutritious! πŸ™‚ Here is what you need to make it:

PUMPKIN PIE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Organic Full Fat Coconut Milk (can sub almond milk, but coconut will be creamier)
  • 2 tsp of Organic Maple Syrup (Or honey – not vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp of Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 tsp of Organic Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of Organic Vanilla
  • 1 Cup of Ice
  • Handful of Organic Spinach (optional)
  • Note: I listed all ingredients as organic because we don’t always realize how many pesticides and toxins can be in things like spices! I used to think it was not a big deal, but I did a lot of research and have found that spices are full of them! So, it’s good to start to replace them with higher quality, organic ones as you go.

Then, put all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth! Pour, and enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from The Real Food Dietitians. They are awesome, and you can find their recipe and website here.

I hope you enjoy this autumn treat! Happy Fall everyone! Let me know if you make it in the comments below πŸ™‚ If you haven’t yet, check out my Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe!

Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Hope you’re doing well and feeling great! If you paid attention to my Instagram stories this week, you know that I did a liver and gallbladder cleanse! I’ve been having some discomfort in that area for a long time, and I know my liver has been sluggish because I get headaches a lot and when I do treatments to kill pathogens I have a really hard time detoxing. So, I talked with one of my practitioners and he recommended doing the Liver/Gallbladder Flush from Hulda Clark! (If you haven’t read her book “The Cure for All Diseases” I highly recommend it!) He told me that he had passed around 2,000 small stones in 3 total cleanses (I saw the pictures)!!

Having gallstones can cause pain in the upper abdomen, bursitis, allergies, indigestion, and a sluggish liver to name a few. I have all of the above, so I knew I needed to do this cleanse. I just finished it yesterday, and I passed probably around 1,000 little stones. The cleanse itself isn’t that bad. You just need to give yourself two days where you can be at home. Or, at least one and half. It’s not painful, and it’s not harmful to your body. The stones are actually pretty soft and they come out of the back-end, not like kidney stones that exit through urine. I didn’t feel them at all. The best part about this cleanse is that it is really easy, and really CHEAP to do!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Cups of Clean Water
  • 4 Tablespoons of Epsom Salt
  • 2 Large Grapefruit (can substitute lemons if you like – at least 1/2 cup full of freshly squeezed juice, not from a bottle)
  • 1/2 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Black Walnut Extract
  • L-Ornithine or other sleeping aid

To get started, the night before, eat a fat-free, no protein meal. This helps to build up bile and pressure in the liver. The more pressure, the more stones you release! So, for dinner, I ate a sweet potato with some steamed spinach and fat free organic salsa.

The next day, you also eat a fat free and protein free breakfast and lunch. I had some oatmeal cooked in water and some fruit. You cannot eat or drink anything after 2PM! You’ll probably be hungry around 6:00PM, but you’ll be starting the cleanse then and don’t worry, you won’t be hungry for the next 24 hours once you start. Even after the time I was allowed to eat, all I wanted was water. You will want to take food slowly afterwards.

Here are the instructions:

  • 2:00 PM: Stop eating and drinking. Mix your 3 cups of water in a jar with the 4 tablespoons of Epsom salt, shake well, and place it in the refrigerator. Pour the 1/2 cup of olive oil into a jar, and set on your counter. Go relax for the next four hours and try not to think about food or water, LOL!
  • 6:00 PM: Take out your jar of water and Epsom salt and pour 3/4 of a cup into a glass. Drink it up quickly! You can rinse your mouth with water and spit it out, or take a small sip of water. After you do this, you will need to use the bathroom relatively soon. The Epsom salt and water mixture is a laxative to flush out your colon so that when you pass the stones they can exit your body completely and not get stuck. So, be prepared to be in your bathroom a lot at this point!
  • 8:00 PM: Pour another 3/4 cup of the Epsom salt and water mixture into a glass and drink immediately. Take the grapefruit out of the fridge to warm up. Then, get yourself ready for bed, because the next step at 10:00 PM will be your last for the day, and you must lay down and go to sleep immediately after drinking it. This is crucial to success!
  • 9:40PM: Go to the restroom for the last time. Then, go and slice your grapefruit in half and squeeze it into a measuring cup. Do this with both grapefruit. Take a fork and lift out all of the pulp that has snuck into the cup. You should have at least 1/2 cup. Now, pour this into the jar with the olive oil. Then, add 3 droppers full of Black Walnut tincture. Shake vigorously until it becomes watery. It’s easiest to get down with a straw if you have one. Take this drink up to your bed. Don’t worry about cleaning the kitchen, you can do that tomorrow. It is imperative that you lay down immediately after drinking this mixture.
  • 10:00 PM: When you get to your bedside, take out your L-Ornithine or other sleeping aid. Take a few sips of the grapefruit and olive oil mixture, and then take your sleep aid and wash it down with the rest of the mixture. Lay on your bed on your back and do your best to fall asleep! You need to sleep to be able to pass the stones. If you absolutely have to get up to go to the bathroom, wait at least an hour and a half before doing so. But, don’t keep going to the bathroom, go back to bed and get to sleep! Rest up, because tomorrow is another big day!
  • 6:00 AM or AFTER: You must not do this step before 6AM. Take your Epsom salt and water mixture out of the fridge and pour another 3/4 cup into a glass and drink it quickly. You will need to use the restroom at this point, if you haven’t already. If you want to take your stones out of the toilet, have a small strainer with a handle ready and a plastic bowl to put them in. If you don’t care about showing off your prized stones, feel free to flush them, LOL! You can go back to bed afterwards.
  • 8:00 AM (or two hours after the previous dose of Epsom salt and water): Take your last dose of the Epsom salt and water mixture. This assures that the stones are going to be flushed out.
  • 10:00 AM (or two hours after your last dose of water and epsom salt mixture): You may now drink water. You can also start with some fruit juice. You want to go gently with food, so start with the juice first, then two hours later, have some fruit. By the evening, you should be feeling better and be able to have a light dinner.

I was passing stones until about two hours after my last dose of the water and epsom salt mixture. You will probably continue to need to use the restroom throughout the day even after you are done passing them, so don’t be surprised by that. This is why it’s recommended to do on your days off!

I followed these instructions exactly and had great success with this cleanse! It is suggested that you repeat it until you have passed approximately 2,000 stones. But, you need to wait at least 2 weeks in between cleanses. I’ll be doing another one soon to make sure that I’ve passed all of the stones.

My practitioner recommends that I also do 3 water enemas in a row of 1 cup of water each time, the following day after you finish the cleanse. This is to make sure that you don’t have any stones stuck in the intestinal tract. This is not mentioned by Hulda Clark to my knowledge, but I don’t disagree that it’s a good idea. The stones are toxic and you do not want them lingering in your body! If you have never done an enema before, I recommend looking it up on YouTube. It’s absolutely not my favorite thing to do, but they have helped me to detox in difficult times and can be very beneficial. Not something to do very often, but if you are doing a cleanse like this, or detoxing from Lyme Disease, or other pathogens, they can definitely help you to feel better.

My practitioner also recommends to take two doses of a teaspoon of Colloidal Silver, a few drops of Iodine, and a dropper full of Venus Fly Trap the day that you finish the cleanse. This will help to kill off any bacteria and viruses that may have been released from the stones while traveling through your system.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me, message on social media, or leave a comment below! As always, this is not medical advice. Please seek professional help from a qualified practitioner if you are having serious problems. Many people do this cleanse at home safely, but I am not a doctor, so please seek help from a practitioner if you need to.

If you are sick, please do talk to a holistic practitioner before doing it because there were definitely times where I was too sensitive and weak to do this cleanse. It’s the day after and I am experiencing some of a flare-up of symptoms. I almost always do from a detox. But, just be on the safe side and talk to your holistic doctor first.

I would love to hear if you decide to do the cleanse and how your results were! Have a great rest of your week! πŸ™‚

Hey, guys! Hope you’re having a great week! I wanted to share this awesome new CBD oil I’ve been using and how much it’s been helping me!

I recently discovered the company Hemple, and all of their amazing CBD products! I was lucky enough to get to try their Nano-CBD Oil and it seriously blew me away! It’s so fast acting, and over the last few weeks of using it, my inflammation has decreased SO MUCH! I was having so much debilitating joint and muscle pain, and (knock on wood) I don’t feel any pain at all in my back lately! I’m seriously amazed!

I like this particular brand of CBD because it gets to work so quickly. Most CBD oils are slower to act. They usually take an hour or two for onset. However, Hemple has made the CBD particles so small that they are absorbed much faster into your blood stream – hence the name Nano-CBD! I notice the quick delivery because I have pretty bad anxiety in the late afternoon and evenings and this helps calm my nerves a lot.

It’s grown 100% organically, every batch is lab tested, and it is a full spectrum CBD oil. This means that it contains all of the cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant, not just CBD. I have always found full spectrum products to be more beneficial and this one is no exception.

I take it twice a day. The recommended dose is 2.5 droppers, but I usually take 3-4 droppers full. You can’t overdose on it, so you don’t need to worry about that. I just feel like my anxiety and inflammation are more on the severe side, so taking a little extra is helpful for me. But, you can start with the recommended dose and increase as you see fit. It does have a very herbaceous flavor, so if you are sensitive to tastes like this, it is recommended to put it into water or tea to diminish that. I just take it right under my tongue and chase it down with some water. It doesn’t bother me.

I take my first dose in the later afternoon and again in the evening. It definitely helps me to wind down and fall asleep, too. It’s a nice warm, calm feeling. I like to take it with my other anxiety supplements or tea, like Kava and Chamomile for an added relaxation factor πŸ™‚

This is Kombucha in my glass, not wine πŸ™‚

If you have been wanting to try CBD oil or haven’t had great experiences with other products, I would highly recommend trying this one! Remember to give it a little time. Once it is in your system for a couple weeks consistently, you will start to see and feel more benefits. Try to keep up with taking it daily.

I know that CBD oil can be expensive. You can save more with Hemple by buying more at a time. And, you can also use my code: KELLY10 to save $10 off of your $50 purchase on their site! I personally find that it is worth the expense. There aren’t that many things that help me significantly, but this is one of the things that definitely does, so I make sure to budget it into my supplement costs.

As always, this is not medical advice. I am not a doctor. If you need medical advice, please seek it from your naturopath, functional medicine doctor, or physician. The statements above are only my experience and not meant to be used as anything otherwise. That being said, I do trust, use, and love this product! I do not make any commission from the sales of this product. In full disclosure, my Instagram posts were sponsored by the company, but as I’ve said before and I promise you, I do not recommend anything to you that I do not use and find value in myself. πŸ™‚

I hope that you guys find this product of value to you, too! I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on it! Have a fabulous day! <3

Hey, guys! Hope you’re having a great week! It’s Wellness Wednesday, so I gotta share a nugget of my health journey knowledge with you. This one is a great one! I’ve struggled with bloating and indigestion for so many years. I would feel full after only eating a little bit, especially when it came to protein. It’s so common. I don’t know many people that DON’T have this problem at least at some point in their lives.

One of the reasons that we have bloating, indigestion, stomach infections, and poor nutrient absorption is because our stomach acid is low. This can happen for a number of reasons. As we get older, our body produces less, and things like antibiotic use and medication for heartburn and acid reflux can decrease the amount of acid in our stomachs. Infections, stress, and zinc deficiency, as well as stomach surgeries also can contribute to low levels of stomach acid. So, when we eat, our food doesn’t get broken down, and can lead to bacterial buildups, bloating, and gas. This can make us feel sluggish and fatigued, too. Nobody’s got time for that!

Other symptoms can include:

  • Hair Loss
  • Burping
  • Diarrhea
  • Infections in the gut
  • Brittle Nails
  • Sickly feeling after taking vitamins/supplements
  • Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Visible food in the stool

Low levels of stomach acid have also been linked with certain conditions like autoimmune disease, anemia, acne, allergies, psoriasis, and asthma.

While stomach acid might sound like a bad thing to have, we need a certain amount of it to break down proteins, kill off bad bacteria and other pathogens that we ingest, and to absorb nutrients like Iron and Vitamin B12.

So, when I told my chiropractor (shoutout to Dr. Amanda at Family Chiropractic in Cranberry, PA!) about my issues with extreme bloating, she suggested I start taking a hydrochloric acid supplement to help my body break down proteins. She told me that this would even help my energy levels because my body wouldn’t be working overtime trying to digest this food, and it would absorb more nutrients (hello, Vitamin B12 and Iron – super important for energy)!

So, I started on this supplement pictured here called Zypan. It’s by Standard Process, one of the oldest and most trusted supplement brands by so many health practitioners. Do take caution to read the labels on these supplements, because they are not always gluten and dairy free. So, if you are very allergic, just make sure you check first. Most of them are gluten dairy and dairy free. This product was reformulated and no longer has dairy in it, so you should be safe with this unless you got your hands on an older bottle.

I take 4-6 tablets about 15 minutes or so before I eat. She told me to make sure that I taste the supplement before swallowing it. I’ve heard this from several of my doctors. This helps the brain communicate with the stomach, so it knows how to process what is coming and better use it. The bottle says that you can take it with a meal, so if you forget to take it prior to, at least just take it with your meal. If you are just eating a piece of fruit, or a salad, you probably won’t need this. But, if you are eating a heavier meal with proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, it will definitely aid you in digesting!

Another brand that I like for digestive enzymes that also includes hydrochloric acid is Designs For Health, Digestzymes. This was given to me by another practitioner (shoutout to Dr. Turack of Turack Chiropractic in Wexford, PA!) and it has multiple other enzymes in it to aid with digestion. It is also gluten and dairy free.

I notice a big difference when I take the Zypan. I feel less full and have much less bloating. I can tell I have more energy as well. I don’t have that heavy feeling after eating and I can actually eat more which is always great, haha!

As always, this is not medical advice, it’s just based upon my own experience. So, please run it past your healthcare practitioner if you are unsure if this is something that might be beneficial to you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to check with your natural health food store or practitioner to see if they have any of these products on hand. You might get better pricing from them than Amazon sometimes.

Hope that you found this blog post helpful! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Have an awesome rest of your week! πŸ™‚

References: Leonard, Jane (2018, July 17). What is Hypochlorhydria?. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322491.php

Total Body Turmeric Pain Reliever Drink

Hey, guys! Hope you’re having a great “Wellness Wednesday” so far πŸ™‚ I’ve been having a flare-up of a lot of symptoms lately, including pain and fatigue. It’s so hard with chronic illness because you’ll have a good week or two and feel like you’re finally getting somewhere! You get so full of hope and then a new week comes and smacks you upside the head and you feel like you went into a downward spiral back to where you started. You just have to keep digging yourself back out of the hole, hoping that at some point, the hole will get more shallow and you’ll gain some ground. I do think I have gained ground in the last year. It’s hard to see at times, but it takes less time for me to recover from bad flares than it used to. And by recover, I mean, back to being able to function at a better level. I still don’t live the way I want to live. Mornings and evenings are difficult for me and I’m generally exhausted. But, I keep trying new things, researching, talking to other people in similar situations, and just trying to learn as much as I can while still trying to find joy in the small things. Sometimes I feel like I am always in my head, in another world, and never totally present because I’m always thinking about the pain I’m in or how much I want to get better. I think people think I’m a bit spacey or disconnected sometimes. We do the best we can, right? I try to keep this in mind before I jump to conclusions about other people. Getting lost in a flare is easy to do. I’ve had some where it seems never-ending and I start to feel defeated. The truth is, things always eventually get better, but sometimes you have to fight even harder than you feel like you can. I wanted to share this recipe with you in hopes of helping you through a painful flare if you’re going through one, too.

I have a hard time finding things that help with the pain. I find something and it helps for a while and then it seems like it loses its potency and doesn’t work for me anymore. That’s not to say that a lot of the things I have done and tried aren’t helpful at all, they are. It’s just that they’re not long term solutions. But, something that I always go back to is this creamy turmeric drink that a fellow Lyme Warrior shared with me a couple years ago when I was in the thick of chronic Lyme Disease. I’ve been having really bad back and hip pain lately, so I pulled this recipe out and tried it again. Sure enough, it is the number one thing that is helping my pain right now!! I’ve done A LOT, so it’s kind of a miracle that this simple, inexpensive drink is what’s hitting the spot right now, but I’ll take it! Glady. πŸ™‚

We all probably know by now that Turmeric is great for decreasing inflammation! Turmeric contains curcumin. Curcumin is a biotactive substance that fights inflammation. It can be just as powerful as over the counter anti-inflammatories, but it doesn’t have the negative side effects that they do! NSAIDS, which are your standard drug store anti-inflammatories, like Tylenol and Ibuprofen, can cause damage to your stomach lining, liver, and serious problems like ulcers and bleeding if used too often. But, if you use turmeric in high doses, you can avoid all of that! You want to aim for around 1 gram of turmeric to get the full benefit.

This drink combines everything that helps turmeric do it’s antioxidant work for your body. It has healthy fats in the coconut oil which help your body to absorb the curcumin which is fat-soluble. It also contains black pepper, which has piperine in it. Piperine is a naturally occuring substance that helps your body to absorb the curcumin better as well!

I like to double this recipe when my pain is really bad. By the end of the drink, I feel a total body relaxation. It feels like my whole body gets warm and I can feel the pain slowly dissipate. You don’t need to worry about overdosing on turmeric. It’s a natural food. You do want to get yourself a good organic brand though, because spices like turmeric are known to carry lead. You can get quality sourced turmeric by doing your research. I like this brand.

This recipe is a little complicated because you have to make a paste first. But, it’s totally worth the time, and you’ll have paste leftover in your fridge for your next drinks once you make it! I usually combine this with almond milk, but coconut milk is really delicious with it, too!

This recipe was recommended to me by my fellow Lyme advocate, Aimee Miller. You can find her website here. These turmeric drink recipes are originally from Darin Olien’s plant based meal plan “The Superlife 10-Day Nutrition Program”. Thank you, Aimee for recommending this drink to me! It’s been so helpful <3

Total Body Turmeric Pain Reliever Drink

Turmeric Paste:
Makes about 1 cup (16 – 1 tablespoon servings)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

Steps:

  • Mix pepper, ginger, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a small sauce pan on low heat mix together turmeric and coconut milk. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring to gentle simmer and continue to stir.
  • Add mixed spices and continue to simmer for 3 minutes or until a thick and smooth paste.
  • Add coconut oil and raw honey, turning off the heat. Continue to stir until completely smooth.
  • Allow mixture to cool a few minutes and transfer to a clean Mason jar. Mixture thickens as it cools so don’t wait to long to transfer.
  • Place lid on jar once it’s cooled completely. Store in refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks (mine last less than a week since using daily).

Now that you have made your paste, you can put it into some milk with the following ingredients and start de-flaming, LOL! πŸ™‚

Creamy Turmeric Drink

Prep time: 5-6 minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp turmeric paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (find a good brand without added ingredients. Just pure vanilla extract!)
  • 8-10 drops of stevia (or 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk or other plant based milk

Steps:

  • Add all ingredients in a sauce pan and warm.
  • Use a blender or whisk until foamy
  • Pour into a mug and relax πŸ™‚

Please let me know if you try this and how it works for you! I hope that it gives you some relief. I’ve been thinking of things that have helped my Lyme symptoms for those of you who are struggling with Lyme (and other chronic pain diseases). If you haven’t yet, check out my post on the essential oils that help my joint pain! As always, this is not medical advice, just my own experience in things that have brought me some relief. Sending you lots of love and healing vibrations!! πŸ™‚

Kelly

Happy Wellness Wednesday!! This week I wanted to open it up to you guys to ask some questions that you have for me! I love hearing from you all and want to be as helpful to you as I can. So, anytime you have any questions for me, I’m more than happy to answer!

To be totally honest, I had a major pain episode last night that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. So, I didn’t have as much time last night or this morning to finish these questions. But, I got to some of them, and I will gladly finish the rest at a later date! So, here’s what I have for you so far! πŸ™‚

What diet are you currently on? So, you may have seen my diet change on my Instagram profile several times since I started this blog, LOL. I am always a work in progress and going with what I believe is the best, most healthy diet I can feed myself. But, sometimes my desires don’t always align with what my body currently needs. So, I was doing a plant-based and vegan diet. I really loved it. I would prefer to not to eat meat. However, I had some testing done, and I have a lot of inflammation in my gut still. So much so that they think I might have Chron’s (working on figuring this out). So, my doctors said that I need to return to more of the AIP style of diet. The AIP diet takes out all gluten, grains, dairy, sugar, nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshades, soy and any processed foods or oils. I never eat gluten, dairy or sugar. But, while I was on the plant-based, vegan diet, I was eating a lot of nuts and seeds, some grains, and soy. I can’t really survive on a plant-based diet without these things, so I had to add animal protein back in. I feel badly about it, but, I think I have to try and heal before I can go back to a vegan diet. I do eat some organic soy, though, to try to cut down on my meat consumption (when I say meat, I mean all animal protein) and still get protein.

I’m also currently on a protocol to fight mold toxicity. I was exposed at some point earlier in my life (and mold is everywhere! On food that goes bad and just in the air – we breathe the spores in or the toxins from mold in and BOOM – you have mold toxicity if you are susceptible to it. Some people have stronger immune capabilities against mold. I am not one of them! :/ ). So, I am trying to get rid of the mold that’s in my body. It can make you VERY sick – like it has me. So, I’m not supposed to have things like starchy vegetables and fruits, vinegar, anything fermented, mushrooms, etc. So my restrictions list is long. But, I find ways to enjoy foods anyway. I like to put guacamole on pretty much everything! LOL.

Where do you find your recipes?

I find most of my recipes on Pinterest! I have created quite the list of Pinterest Boards for all of my various diets over the years! If you haven’t, come follow me! My name on there is Kelly Bonner-Bibza. I also have one for the blog that is just Kelly Bibza. But, the first has more recipe boards if you are looking for some good recipes. However, I’ve found that Pinterest is starting to get over-saturated lately. It’s harder to find exactly what you’re looking for. So, I do get some cookbooks on Amazon. Some of my favorites are “Paleo Cooking with Your Instant Pot” and all of the Against All Grain series by Danielle Walker! I also google and find some ones on different blogs sometimes. I have specific restrictions I talked about above, so it’s hard to find exactly what I’m looking for. I have to make substitutions for things a lot, so I end up kind of creating my own recipes. That’s okay, though! It’s fun to experiment, and it’s helped me to learn more about how to cook with different things.

How do you “fight the fatigue”? Any tips for someone who constantly has to get stuff done but can’t seem to find the energy?

Ugh. This is a tough one. I don’t have it figured out. But, I do a few things that help. First, I always take an adrenal support supplement. I’m currently taking Drenatrophin by Standard Process. I have been on this for a long time. Probably too long to be honest, but I’m not functioning well without it. But, an adrenal supplement can really help with fatigue! When we are over-worked and over-stressed, our adrenals go into over-drive and get run down. You probably feel it by the middle or end of your day. You kind of feel like you want to pull your hair out and you can’t handle doing one more thing or you’re going to flip out on someone? That’s most likely your adrenals screaming at you. So, I take the supplements to help with this. I also like Adrenamax by Nutritional Frontiers. It’s an herbal option.

I try to make sure I get at least 9 hours of sleep. If I can, I get more! But, when I feel like I’m getting run down, I have to stop and rest. You have to listen to your body. The rest can wait, you can’t overdo it. You’ll end up crashing, and then you seriously can’t get anything at all done for weeks!

I try to schedule out my appointments and social events so that I always have time in between to rest. I also have learned to set boundaries. I can’t tell everyone yes. My health comes first. So, if it means having to say no to a party or a work event, I do it. I always am thankful for it in the long run. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing you can just rest! I get so excited when I realize I am done for the day! Haha! I mean, I’m never done. But, at least I don’t have to go anywhere.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Every day is different! But, I always wake up in the morning and take my thyroid supplements and other things that need to be taken on an empty stomach. To be totally honest, when I wake up in the morning, I feel pretty terribly no matter how much sleep I get. I just feel so heavy and exhausted. It feels like having mono all of the time. It’s so hard to get out of bed and push through the fatigue and fogginess in my brain. But, I manage to do it. Showering and just getting moving helps. Then I get my pup up and we eat breakfast together. I take some more supplements and I do some blog work for the day for a couple or few hours, and then I get ready to go and do whatever I have planned outside of the house for the day. Most of my week days are filled with appointments. I do sing in a women’s group that rehearses on Mondays, which is fun! But, throughout the week I’m usually headed to physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractor appointments, doctor appointments, or blog related things like different collaborations I have with local businesses. I keep up with my hair and skin, too! Gotta take care of yourself πŸ™‚

I also have a full time job of managing my protocols, diet, making sure I’m eating healthy and exercising – Barkley needs exercise, too! Blogging comes second to all of this – most of the time. I do photoshoots about once every ten days. So, I’m usually busy putting looks together, finding new items to include in the photoshoots, curating topics to write about, writing and putting together the blog posts, finding and linking all the items, managing my website, responding to emails that come through from brands, managing social media, going through and choosing photos from each shoot, etc, etc. It’s a lot more work than it probably looks like!

I usually come home from appointments and either get dinner ready, take Barkley for a walk if he hasn’t already been, and do some more blog work for a few more hours. Then, Ryan and I try to always spend time together at the end of the day. We almost always eat dinner together and watch an hour or so of TV. Then, I do my evening skincare routine, get things laid out for the next day, and always read before I fall asleep! My current favorite book is “The Universe Has Your Back”! I’m also looking forward to finishing “A New Earth” and Oprah’s new book, “The Path Made Clear”. I find these books so thought provoking and helpful. They make me feel calm and hopeful and that’s just what I need before falling asleep πŸ™‚

How did you start your blog?

I didn’t know much about blogging at all when I started! I literally just took a huge leap and jumped right in! I had some of my favorite outfits at the time, I put out a post on Facebook for a local photographer (who is now a dear friend!), and I scheduled a photoshoot with her. Then, I whipped up my website in about 48 hours! That was HARD. I was up for about 2 days straight, just so determined to get it off the ground. I learned how to build a website in a couple of days! I used MailChimp to start a Newsletter. I bought my domain on GoDaddy previously, and I hosted my website through Bluehost. If I had to do that over again, I would just have bought the domain through Bluehost so it was all in one place. But, I learned how to point my domain to Bluehost and it’s been honestly pretty easy since. It showed me that I was capable of accomplishing whatever I put my mind to πŸ™‚ I used WordPress tutorials on Youtube to learn the ropes of how to build the site and write and publish posts, and WALLAH! Here I am!

Thank you all for you questions, I hope this has helped answer them!

I’ve linked the books I’ve mentioned above here for you in case you are interested, as well as the Adrenal supplement I take πŸ™‚ Have a great day everyone!

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone! I hope you’re having a great week. I wanted to take some time today to talk about common myths about Lyme Disease, being that it is Lyme Disease Awareness Month!

When I first found out I had Lyme Disease, I was pretty upset because I had had chronic illness for a while and I knew several people who struggled so much with chronic Lyme. I also knew that I was past the point of the antibiotic being effective (after 3 weeks of exposure the antibiotics cannot kill the infection because the bacteria has formed a biofilm to protect itself – this is when the disease becomes chronic). Once the infection becomes chronic, it is EXTREMELY difficult to kill. People spend their lives and their savings fighting this disease. I knew it was going to be a difficult road to get better. I was sicker than I could ever even imagine one could be. It was really terrifying and it’s uncomfortable to write or talk about because I know that looking at me, you would never know and you might be inclined to think I’m exaggerating. But, ask any chronic Lyme Disease sufferer, and I guarantee you they will tell you the same exact thing. I quickly learned that there are so many myths surrounding Lyme Disease, how it is contracted, detected, and treated.

MYTH #1: You don’t have Lyme Disease unless you get a Bull’s Eye Rash. This is wildly untrue. Less than 50% of Lyme cases present a Bull’s Eye Rash – myself included. I think you’re actually very lucky if you get a rash! If not, a lot of doctors won’t know what to test you for. They often do not test for Lyme and will misdiagnose you. So, if you see that Bull’s Eye Rash, get to a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLMD) or a Naturopath who specializes in Lyme Disease, right away!

MYTH #2: Ticks are only found in the woods. Ticks unfortunately are everywhere that animals are. Not just deer either! Ticks are on birds, mice, dogs, raccoons, ducks, you name it! We live in a neighborhood that has a ton of houses in it and cleared out lots with few trees. Only once in a while do we see deer near our neighborhood, but we have found ticks on Barkley and our neighbors complain about it, too. You can get a tick just walking to your mailbox. You can get one in the city. Think about how many birds hang out on the streets of the city. They’re everywhere now and you have to be diligent about checking your skin.

MYTH #3: Ticks are only found in the Northern States of the U.S. Ticks have been found and confirmed in all 50 states. There are some states that are more heavily populated than others, such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Virginia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Maryland. Currently, Pennsylvania ranks as the state with the most cases of Lyme Disease (why do I live here still!?!). But, they have been found all over the United States and other countries have Lyme epidemics, too!

MYTH #4: You can only get Lyme Disease from a Deer Tick. Many insects now carry Lyme Disease. Mosquitoes, flies, fleas, mites and spiders have also been found to carry Lyme Disease. My doctor actually contracted it from a spider! I always use a deet-free repellent when I go out on a walk, or spend time outdoors!

MYTH #5: You cannot contract Lyme Disease in the winter. Ticks can live for two years and survive very cold temperatures. It has to get below 10 degrees Fahrenheit for quite some time for ticks to die off. With climate change, temps during the winter haven’t been falling this low. Although the number of reported cases drop, there are still many reported. This is likely because people spend less time outdoors as well.

MYTH #6: The test came back negative, so I don’t have Lyme Disease. If only this were true… Unfortunately, our testing for Lyme Disease is pretty much useless. I don’t mean to sound like a Debbie Downer, and I’m really not one, but this is a fact. There is no definitive test that can tell you that you do not have Lyme Disease. The standard test that your doctor will run on you called the ELISA test is less than 50% accurate! No joke. The Western Blot that is used by medical practitioners is slightly more in depth, but still not accurate. If your test comes back positive, you definitely have Lyme Disease. If part of your Western Blot comes back positive, in my opinion and the opinion of doctors I trust, you most likely have Lyme Disease. In some cases one of the 5 markers on the Western Blot can interact with the EBV virus, which most people with Chronic Lyme tend to have anyway. So, it may be the mono virus is activated in your system, but if you are presenting clear Lyme Disease Symptoms, it is probably Lyme. You should always get your testing done by a Lyme Literate Doctor or a Naturopath who specializes in Lyme Disease. I cannot stress that enough! Do not just go to to your general practitioner. They are not educated in Lyme Disease and are often misinformed. They will probably tell you the test is fine, and so are you. They might prescribe you a short dose of antibiotiocs. You always need 6 weeks of Doxycycline if you have caught it early. If not, I would recommend seeking the help of a naturopath who specializes in Lyme, because at this point, you are past the effectiveness of the antibiotic anyway. Continuous use of antibiotics can really do a number on your gut and immune system and you will end up damaging your body even further by going this route. There is a lot of research to back this up. If you’re considering your treatment options, be sure to do your research first.

On a separate note on this… if you have the tick (when you remove it, remove it very carefully with tweezers by the head. Do not bend or twist it, you could leave parts of the mouth in the skin, and that’s not good) you can send it out to be tested. But, you want to make sure that you get a full Lyme panel that includes co-infections, not just Lyme Borrelia. This testing is much more accurate than human testing.

The reason why Lyme Disease is so often misdiagnosed is in part because the testing is so horrible. I can’t tell you the number of people I know and have spoken to that have had misdiagnoses, including myself. It can often be misdiagnosed as Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Autoimmune Diseases of all kinds, athritis, Alzheimers (and early onset), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Bells Palsy, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and more. If you receive one of these diagnoses, I would highly recommend you go see a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLMD) or Naturopath who specializes in Lyme to rule out Lyme FIRST! It can definitely be lurking and causing all of these issues for you. You gotta find the root cause behind your symptoms and problems! As you can imagine, there are so many people living with Lyme that don’t even know it. It really is a huge epidemic and it’s extremely upsetting that there is very little awareness or action on officials’ parts who are well aware of it. The CDC knows. There are so many lawsuits against them and so many activists trying to change things, but there is corruption and money involved, and the people are suffering for it. If you are interested in learning more about this, Google Lyme Cryme and/or Lyme Disease Dearborn Scandal.

MYTH #7: Antibiotics cure Lyme Disease. I hate busting these myths. I want to have faith and trust in our medical system more than anyone. I want to believe that they have my back when I get sick. But, when it comes to chronic Lyme Disease (and other chronic illness in my experience and the experience of so many others) it’s just not true. If you catch Lyme Disease right away and take a 6 week dose of Doxycycline – and you are relatively healthy person otherwise – you very well may be just fine after those antibiotics. However, more than 20% of patients continue to have Lyme Disease symptoms and often times worsening symptoms, after receiving the CDC’s standard 28-day course of antibiotics. They will often tell you, it’s not possible that you have Lyme after these antibiotics. They will probably tell you it is something else you have and send you off to another doctor. You might even test positive still! But, you’re not crazy. The antibiotics do not always work. If this happens to you, find yourself a naturopath who specializes in Lyme Disease. (No, I’m not going to stop repeating myself! LOL!)

I’ve had years of treatments and I’m still not able to exercise more than what my grandmother did in her 80s. I still have a lot of pain, digestive problems, organ and tissue problems and damage, chronic fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, brain fog, neurological symptoms and more. So, if a friend tells you “I have Lyme Disease” please don’t respond with “Oh, that’s good! At least it’s not cancer! Lyme Disease is curable!” (This has happened to me more times than I can count, as I felt like I was literally going to die any day!) As much as we desperately want to be cured, it just isn’t that easy. And putting us on the spot like that to have to be the bearer of bad news, is an awful feeling. It makes us seem like we want to be sick and we want to complain about how awful this disease is. It might even make you think that we are seeking sympathy and attention. That’s not the case. We are just scared and we know that this is much bigger than what the rest of the world believes it to be. It can be a very lonely place to live when the people around you don’t understand and can’t relate – even worse when they don’t believe you. We look fine on the outside, but inside it feels like our bodies are a torture chamber. So, if you are in a supportive role of a Lyme Disease sufferer, just know that they are facing an incredibly difficult battle if they did not catch it soon enough. If I had to describe what chronic Lyme Disease is like, I would say that the entire experience is just inhumane.

MYTH #8: The tick must be attached for 48 hours in order to contract Lyme Disease. My Lyme doctor who I’m so thankful to have crossed paths with, and knows more about Lyme than anyone I’ve ever come across (and we are talking about A LOT of people), says that the tick does not have to be attached for long AT ALL for the diseases to be transmitted. He says if there is any attachment at all, you are at risk. There is other research that claims the same. I always err on the side of caution with this. Lyme Disease is a deadly, debilitating (not to mention extremely expensive because nothing beyond your first course of antibiotics is covered by health insurance) disease and not something you want to take chances on.

Myth #9: You only contract Lyme Disease from a tick. Ticks carry many different kinds of pathogens. It is very common for them to carry other strands of bacteria or viruses called “co-infections”. Co-infections are infections seen commonly along with Lyme that are tickborne. These include Bartonella, Babesia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Erlichia, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia, Brucella, and many more. I myself had 9 co-infections. Mycoplasma is one that is often overlooked but can cause SO MUCH damage. It’s the smallest of bacteria and it is really dangerous. Be sure to ask to be checked for co-infections if you have been bit. You may not have contracted Lyme, but might have contracted co-infections.

MYTH #10: Lyme Disease can not be transmitted from mother to baby. Research has shown that Lyme Disease can pass from mother to child while the child is the womb. The child may not show signs of the disease for many years. Often times, the disease rears it’s ugly head when the child’s immune system is weak and the infection begins to spread. They may experience strange pains and sickness that puzzle their pediatricians.

BONUS: It’s pronounced Lyme Disease, not “Lyme’s”. No “s” on the end of Lyme πŸ™‚

I am sorry if if this post was hard for some of you to read. I think hearing news like this can be shocking. You might have mixed emotions about it and feel like this can’t possibly all be true. She’s got to be over-exaggerating a bit! I wish I were, friends. I honestly feel like we are all walking around with an enormous predator waiting to attack us just outside our doorstep. We flirt with the devil everyday. I do it, too! We have to keep living our lives. But, it’s best to live with the knowledge of this so that we can do our best to prevent it.

With all of this being said about chronic Lyme not being curable with antibiotics, I’d like to take a moment to talk about that. I 100% do believe in full healing from Lyme Disease. There are new treatments and technologies that are out and being experimented with right now that are really exciting! There are laser treatments, rife treatments, stem cell treatments, and more being done by alternative medicine that I think have real potential to help people. There are also powerful herbal protocols that have helped so many people! I know that that some of these (for me the laser, rife, and radionics treatments) have really helped me. A couple years ago I felt like I was likely going to die from this long before I would ever want to leave this Earth. But, I was so blessed to have people come into my life when I raised up my red flag for help, and I’m in such a better place than I was years ago. I was mostly bed ridden and in excruciating pain day in and day out for years. It does a number on you. I’ve had to learn how to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and I’m always in a state of learning to heal. I believe in all of our abilities to make a comeback and to heal from the inside out. I like to think of it as a long walk. There doesn’t have to be a destination of perfection at the end. There just needs to be bits of uncovering things that will lead to more and more healing. Like layers of an onion – you peel one at a time. Take time to explore your emotional and spiritual healing. Read books that help you stay in the best possible mindset you can be in. (If you are looking for suggestions, please reach out, I have some that I really like! ) Hopefully you can find ways to stay as comfortable as possible while reaching a better place. It is so hard to be in so much pain everyday with no end in sight. But, I can tell you from my experience that it can and does get better eventually. Not perfect, but improved, and with time things continue to improve. Stay the course. All the while, the things we learn along the way will shape and form us to be even better than we were before.

Sending you all so much love and healing today. Especially to my Lyme Warriors and to the ones who love and support them. <3


Hey, friends! Happy Wellness Wednesday! I hope you are having a great week so far! I am relieved that spring is finally here and the warmer weather and sunshine really have a positive effect on me! I hope it does for you, too.

I know I shared with you a couple of weeks ago that I got some not so great news from my doctor recently. As I’ve shared on my blog before, I have had troubles with gut problems. For many months I have really struggled, especially when I travel or eat out at a restaurant. My immune system is very weak despite all of my efforts, and I get gut infections often. Even if I eat the same thing as everyone else, I end up with some kind of bug. So, when I brought this up to one of my functional medicine doctors at Advanced Integrative Medical 360 in Pittsburgh, they suggested I do a stool test. The results came back and showed that I have really high markers for inflammatory bowel disease. He said he’s positive I have Chron’s or Ulcerative Colitis. I need to have a colonoscopy done to completely determine this, so I’ll be doing that in the coming months. For now, I am trying everything I can to bring down the inflammation in my gut and treat the infections. I’ll keep you all posted, and hopefully have some good news sooner than later. If anyone reading this has experience with Chron’s or Colitis and has any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear from you!

One of the things I have been finding really helpful for me in reducing inflammation has been CBD oil. For years I tried so many different brands, and I honestly could not feel any difference. I was so frustrated because so many people rave about how CBD oil has helped them! So, when I started asking around in my online wellness groups for the various chronic illnesses I associate with, I got some good recommendations for the best CBD oils out there. After trying them all, I have to say that Charlotte’s Web is my favorite!

If you are new to this whole CBD, hemp oil business, you will want to note that hemp oil and CBD oil are NOT the same. This is probably why I was not experiencing much relief by using hemp oil. Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. It is high in anti-oxidants and omegas 3 & 6, but it does not contain any CBD. It is more of a carrier oil like jojoba or grapeseed oil. CBD is cannabidoil which comes directly from the cannabis plant. It is derived from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the plants rather than the seeds. It has a higher ratio of CBD to THC than hemp oil. It is more beneficial for inflammation. So, when you are looking at labels, you want to choose one that says CBD in the name. Sometimes it will say Hemp CBD oil, which can be confusing, but that generally means it does have cannabidoil in it.

CBD oil is legal and is sold online and in stores. There are very small traces of THC in it, but you won’t feel particularly “high” from it. I use it a lot for anxiety. Sometimes my illness gets the best of me and I get fearful and anxious. I’ve found the CBD oil to help bring me a sense of calmness. I can definitely feel it. I also notice that my pain decreases when I use it. I have joint and back pain, headaches, abdominal pain, menstrual cramps, and muscle pain, and it helps take the edge off. I usually use a little bit more than the recommended dosage because my pain levels are often pretty high. I typically will use 2 droppers full of the Charlotte’s Web Extra Strength CBD oil per serving. I usually use it 1-2 times a day, more often in the evening.

Through the end of today, Charlotte’s Web CBD oil is on sale for 25% off at Thrive Market! I do not get any commission or free products for telling you guys about this. This is all my own experience and personal recommendation. (I will never recommend a product to you if I don’t personally like and use it, no matter if I get paid or free product or not!) If you’re interested in trying CBD oil, I would definitely take advantage of this sale on Charlotte’s Web. They do not go on sale often. If you have never tried Thrive Market before, I’d also highly recommend it! They have so many amazing specialty products for less than what you can find them on Amazon or other stores. You can find foods for every diet! I’m talking cookies and even chocolate for every diet! LOL! They even have non-toxic cleaning supplies and personal items. The shipping is fast, too which I love!

Use this link by clicking here to get 25% off of your first order any day on anything on their site! If you are looking for the CBD oil, just go on and search for Charlotte’s Web, and all of their products will populate. I use the Extra Strength CBD oil. Their oils are gluten free and vegan. I buy the regular flavor, but you can get it in Chocolate Mint, too! There are two different strengths. One is Full Strength and the other is Extra Strength. I have never tried the Full Strength, so I can’t tell you exactly how I feel about it. It is cheaper, but that is because it has less CBD in it. If I were you, I’d take advantage of the sale and get the Extra Strength. They also have balms, capsules, and even oil for your dogs! I just ordered some for Barkley because he is a very anxious little guy, too, so I’ll let you know how it works for him!

Have you tried CBD oil before? What has been your experience? Do you have a favorite brand? I’d love to know! Have a great day πŸ™‚

Happy Wellness Wednesday, everyone! Hope your week has been great thus far!

I wanted to share with you a little bit about fermented foods today! I have recently been trying to strengthen my immune system, as I have written about in previous wellness posts you may have seen. A major part of doing this is paying attention to your GUT HEALTH! I’m sure I’m not the first person you have ever heard this from, but I definitely agree that it is crucial to our overall health and well-being.

What Are Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods are foods that are steeped and left to sit for long enough periods of time for the sugars in them to break down and begin to grow bacteria or yeast. Some of your favorite things in life might be fermented, like WINE! πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, wine isn’t quite what I’m suggesting you intake for gut health, though πŸ™ Our ancestors began fermenting foods so they could enjoy them during times when they weren’t able to harvest them freshly. Now, we eat them for pleasure, or for their many health benefits!

Some wonderful fermented foods are: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, miso, tempeh, kombucha, raw cheese, and pickles! These foods provide beneficial bacteria for gut health. Most fermented foods in large stores go through pasteurization which will kill off bacteria. So, if you’re eating them for more than the taste and are wanting the benefits of the good bacteria, buying them at your average grocery store wouldn’t be the best idea. There are some brands at specialty food stores, like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes, or local health foods stores that are pretty good, though. Some of my favorites are Bubbie’s and Health Ade. They don’t go through quite as heavy pasteurization that conventional brands do. But, it’s best to make them yourself, or to buy them homemade. I was so thrilled to find a small local business, Prescription Foods, that makes them and delivers them to local stores.

Fermented Foods help balance your good gut flora by replenishing it. This can help conditions like autoimmune disease, irritable bowel disease, cancer, arthritis, Lyme disease, liver disease, and really any form infection, chronic infection, chronic illness or disease. It also helps to strengthen our immune system, and keep a healthy weight.

Why Is Gut Health So Important?

We have 100 trillion or more types of bacteria and microorganisms that exist in our digestive tract! We need these bacteria to balance out the bad bacteria. When the gut microbiome is disrupted and becomes unbalanced with more bad bacteria, viruses, fungus, parasites, etc, we become sick. This can lead to a load of health problems, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Remember, serotonin is found in the gut and is a mood stabilizing chemical! So, it’s not just physical problems that can manifest from imbalance gut flora. It can also cause depression and anxiety as well lead to poor sleep. Needless to say, incorporating good bacterias into your diet is a great way to get and stay healthy.

You might notice that after you take an antibiotic you seem bloated and may have trouble digesting. This is because antibiotics kill off good bacteria as well as bad, disrupting the balance of your microbiome. In some cases, they can completely annihilate entire species of good bacteria. This is very dangerous because certain strains cannot be found in probiotics and fermented foods, and we have no way of getting them back into our system currently. (Although, fecal transplants are becoming a thing – no joke) The overuse of antibiotics causes our gut flora to be so imbalanced, which weakens our immune system, and leaves us susceptible to more illness. So, you want to be careful when taking antibiotics. I personally don’t do it. I use natural forms of killing off pathogens without killing off all of the good bacteria. Of course we can all make our own decisions about when we feel it’s appropriate to use antibiotics. But, I would warn against using them for small or questionable purposes, or using them for extended periods of time.

What About Probiotics?

A lot of you may already take a probiotic. That’s great, I am pro-probiotics! However, some probiotics do not have high enough levels of good bacteria. Studies have shown that you need between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria per serving for it to be effective. Lots of probiotics do not contain this amount. There is also the fact that they can start to die off while sitting on the shelf. The actual counts of bacteria may only be what they were when the product was produced, not when it hits your mouth. Also, there is so much that we don’t know about probiotics yet. Probiotics typically contain the species of bacteria that certain researchers and companies believe to be the best ones. But, are they?

So Why Could Fermented Foods Be Better?

Fermented foods have so many more species than just the ones selected for a probiotic. Fermented foods also have more than the 1 billion good bacteria count per serving. They also contain non-digestable carbohydrates that act as “prebiotics”. Prebiotics help to feed the good bacteria in your gut. So, you’re not only supplying your gut with good bacteria from fermented foods, but you’re also giving them the nutrition they need to thrive!

I hope this has helped you learn a bit more about fermented foods and why they would be great to add into your diet! You can find lots of recipes to easily make some at home on Pinterest! If you’re in the Pittsburgh area and would rather buy some, you can visit Prescription Foods’ website here and find the various locations where you can find them. They have many varieties like this “Cogurt” (coconut yogurt), kimchi, garlic beets, sauerkraut, and more! If you’re not local to Pittsburgh, try googling for businesses near you that make them, too!

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