Holistic Healthcare

Tip's for a Better Night's Sleep

Sleep. It’s one of our most basic functions as humans. Sleep is essential for our bodies. We And yet, many of us have difficulties in falling asleep or staying asleep for the entire night.

We, like all other animals, need to sleep to survive. Sleep helps us reset mentally but it also helps our bodies physically. During sleep, our cells open to detoxify and our bodies work hard to repair, build, and balance all of the systems inside our body.

If sleep doesn’t come easily to you, changing your bedtime habits can make a difference. You might also find that removing EMFs from around your bedroom helps as well.

Read on for more tips for a better night’s sleep.

Tips for Healthy Sleep Habits

If you have healthy sleep habits, restful sleep will come more easily.

First, wear loose fitting clothing to bed. Wearing tight clothing will restrict your body while you sleep. This restriction will cause your body to tense up and this can impede the amount of relaxation you are able to achieve. Wearing loose fitting clothing is important for all your layers; including the very bottom ones.

Help your body relax by taking a detox bath. Detox baths are a nice way to relax because the warm water soothes our bodies and helps to relax our muscles. This puts us into a meditative state that can help us relax before going to bed. A detox bath is more than simply sitting in warm water. Detox baths are achieved by adding some sort of natural agent to the water which will trigger the detox response inside your body. Possible additions to a bath to turn it into a detox bath are raw apple cider vinegar, baking soda, or epsom salts. To learn more about why we take detox baths and how to take a detox bath, check out my article on detoxing your body with a detox bath.

If you find yourself extremely hungry when you wake up or if your stomach is growling before you try to go to sleep, it’s ok to eat before you go to sleep! A small, light snack will satisfy you just enough for a restful night’s sleep without making you too full to relax. When choosing your pre-bedtime snack, pick some kind of animal fat and something else light. For example, some kind of animal fat and a few apple slices or a few dates with some sour cream.

Electronics and Sleep

For healthy sleep, being mindful of when and where you use electronic devices is important. We are bombarded with electronic devices; nearly everything in our homes can be a smart device. Turn off your electronic devices at least an hour before bed to fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep. Electronic devices like laptops, computers, tablets, phones, and e-readers emit light that is in a blue wave length. This is thought to trick your brain into thinking it is daytime, instead of allowing it to naturally wind down for the night. Turning off these devices an hour before you go to bed will help your brain to start to prepare for sleep.

Electro-magnetic waves can also interfere with a solid night’s sleep. Interference from EMFs can be really damaging to our health but especially during sleep. During sleep, our cells open to detoxify from the day. This can leave them vulnerable, especially to EMF interference. Reduce the EMF exposure in your bedroom to help get a restful night’s sleep.

An electronic device is anything that is plugged in electronically, including tvs, alarm clocks and devices like your cell phone or laptop. These devices should not be plugged in near or under our bed. Ideally, plug them in in another room, or at least on the other side of the room, Make sure there are no cords going under your bed.

Wi-fi can also impact your sleep. Make sure that any wi-fi devices, like your tablet, phone, or laptop are turned off, in airplane mode or in another room. You can also consider turning the wi-fi off in your entire house for the night. You can get a timer that will turn off the wi-fi automatically every night so you don’t even have to think about it.

What has been the most helpful for you to get a great night’s sleep? Share in the comments below!

All About Fruits and Vegetables

Sweet fruits! Is there anything better than a juicy peach on a summer’s day or a bright red strawberry, straight from the garden and bursting with tart flavor? And vegetables! Their cooling crunch, the endless ways to season them up and add them to everything.

Plants like fruits and vegetables cleanse our bodies. They help our bodies to process and remove the toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis from the environment around us, even if we do our best to avoid toxins. We mostly benefit from the fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, and other detoxifying substances.

Drinking fresh juices made up of both fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the rich nutritional benefits of produce. Adding fruit into juices will especially help children in getting all the benefits that juicing can offer.

Fruits, nuts, and other treats should be limited, even on Full GAPS. So treat yourself to an occasional piece of fruit but don’t overdo it! To see a full list of fruits and vegetables that are acceptable on the GAPS Diet, click here.

Good Fruits and Vegetables: The Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen

If you’re on a strict food budget or looking for a small change that can have a large impact, try purchasing “The Clean 15.” A non-profit group called the Environmental Working Group conducts ongoing research about pesticides that are in (and on) our food and creates a guide to produce pesticides, which they update every year. They rank 48 popular fruits and vegetables, with the “Clean 15” being the top fifteen fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticides.

For fruits in 2019, the “Clean 15” which you can purchase the non-organic versions are:

  • Avocados

  • Pineapples

  • Papayas

  • Kiwi

  • Cantaloupe

  • Honeydew Melons

For vegetables in 2019, the "Clean 15" which you can purchase the non-organic versions are:

  • Sweet Corn

  • Sweet Peas

  • Onions

  • Eggplants

  • Asparagus

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Broccoli

  • Mushrooms

A note on Genetically Engineered seeds: The Environmental Working Group has said that a small amount of papaya, sweet corn, and summer squash sold in the U.S. is produced from Genetically Engineered seeds. To avoid Genetically Engineered produce, buy papayas organic.

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Conversely, the “Dirty Dozen” are fruits that you really want to purchase organically. These are the top twelve fruits and vegetables that contain pesticides so to keep yourself toxin free, it’s important to purchase organic.

For fruits in 2019, the “Dirty Dozen” that should be purchased organically are:

  • Strawberries

  • Nectarines

  • Apples

  • Grapes

  • Peaches

  • Cherries

  • Pears

For vegetables in 2019, the "Dirty Dozen" that should be purchased organically are:

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Tomatoes

  • Celery

  • Potatoes

  • Hot Peppers

Better Fruits and Vegetables: Purchasing High Quality Organic Always

Organic means produce is grown without synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms.  Purchasing all of your fruits and vegetables organically is beneficial for you and beneficial for the plant! If you’re looking for the better choice in produce, try purchasing high quality organic fruits and vegetables.

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Best Fruits and Vegetables: Eating Local and in Season

The best choice when it comes to choosing fruits and vegetables is to eat local and in season fruit. Eating in season means your food is fresher and better tasting! Eating local is also better for the environment because your food travels less miles to be on your table.

To buy local, in season fruits and vegetables, you can check for local farming co-ops or farmer’s markets. Buying local also means you’re supporting a small business. It’s a win-win-win all around! Or consider growing your own fruits and vegetables if you have the space!

To find in-season fruits and vegetables no matter where you are, try the Seasonal Food Guide website.

Why You Should Dilute Essential Oils

If you are an essential oil user, you may have heard that diluting hot oils, like oregano, that you want to use topically or diluting the oils you put on your child’s skin is recommended. However, I've recently learned that diluting all essential oils is beneficial. I only recommend using therapeutic oils, especially if you are putting them in or on your body. If you want to apply oils to your skin, I recommend using a carrier oil to dilute them and increase their effectiveness.

Watch the short video below on how to dilute essential oils, or read on for more in depth help diluting your essential oils.

Does diluting essential oils reduce their effectiveness?

It may seem that if you dilute the essential oils you are using, you may also be reducing their effectiveness. However, diluting oils may actually increase their effectiveness.

First, diluting the essential oils you apply topically will decrease the amount that evaporates into the air. This means that more of the beneficial oil will stay on your skin and be able to bring support to your body.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It's made of several layers that help to protect your internal body. The outermost layer of your skin is called the epidermis. This is the part of your skin that provides a waterproof barrier and is tough for solutions, like essential oils, to permeate. Diluting your essential oils before you apply them to your skin actually drives the oil solution into your epidermis layer, easier and deeper. This means the oil reaches your internal body quicker and you are able to see the benefits faster.

If you have sensitive skin issues, diluting your essential oils before applying them is additionally beneficial. Diluting will help lower the risk of you experiencing skin irritation.

These emotion oils are part of the Touch Line from doTerra. All of the oils in this doTerra line are prediluted to the correct ratios for quick application.  You can order the Touch Line for yourself here.

These emotion oils are part of the Touch Line from doTerra. All of the oils in this doTerra line are prediluted to the correct ratios for quick application. You can order the Touch Line for yourself here.

How do I dilute an essential oil?

To dilute an essential oil before you apply it to your skin, you use what are called carrier oils. Carrier oils include avocado oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil (especially fractionated coconut oil.) In selecting the ideal carrier oil for you, you want to always make sure that it is 100 percent pure. Each oil has a different scent and even texture so selecting your carrier oil could be researched or just be a personal preference.

The following ratios of dilution come from doTerra, my preferred brand of essential oils.

For one teaspoon of carrier oil add:

  • 1 drop essential oil for a 1% ratio

  • 2 drops for 2%

  • 5 drops for 5%

One tablespoon of carrier oil:

  • 3 drops essential oil for 1%

  • 6 drops for 2%

  • 15 drops for 5%

One fluid ounce of carrier oil:

  • 6 drops essential oil for 1%

  • 12 drops for 2%

  • 30 drops for 5%

What do you think? Will you try diluting your essential oils next time?

If you want more information on essential oils, I share more here!

10 Ways to Consume Meat Stock

Meat stock is one of the pillars of a healthy gut diet. While bone broth is getting a lot of press lately, I don’t recommend it for most people. (Learn more about why I recommend meat stock over bone broth here.) Meat stock really gets a gold medal as a great nutrient dense food that can boost your immunity, help with healing allergies, and is easy to digest, especially for those with a leaky gut. Even better, meat stock is meant to be a meal all on it’s own! You can make meat stock with any meat, though I think chicken meat stock is the easiest beginner stock.

Consuming meat stock is a habit I encourage my clients to do throughout the day because of it’s great health benefits. There are many ways to consume meat stock and some creative ways so that you don’t get bored with consuming meat stock frequently. Here’s a few of my favorites!

Vary Your Meat Stock Recipe

Try adding different spices and herbs to your meat stock recipe when you cook it. This will change the taste to keep it interesting. You can also vary the vegetables and aromatics that you add - or add no aromatics like onions and your dogs can consume your meat stock as well!

Consuming meat stock is an important part of the GAPS Diet but having it the same over and over can grow tiring. Here are ten unique and creative ways to consume meat stock whether you're on the GAPS Diet or not. Northern Colorado Holistic healthcare provided by certified GAPS Practitioner Amy Mihaly.

Have It Warm

Heated stock is a great warming beverage, especially on cool winter mornings. Keeping heated stock in a mug next to you will allow you to drink it alongside your morning meal.

If you’re on the go, keep your heated stock in a thermos so it stays warm throughout the day. Then you can sip on it just like a tea or coffee.

Eat It Cold

Drinking cold stock is very refreshing on a hot summer day!

If your stock gets a good gel at the top, you can simply pop the gel off the top of your stock and eat it cold like a meat jelly.

Use Meat Stock as a Base

Meat stock makes an excellent base for different soups and other recipes. I’ve been partial to this chicken tortilla soup recipe recently but you can make it into any variety of soup that sounds delicious.

Add an Egg (or Two)

You can poach eggs in warm stock for a delicious breakfast. Use the stock as a replacement for the water that you would normally poach eggs in.

Or, break and stir a few egg yolks only into warm stock. This will create a cheesy tasting drink that is delicious.

Consume Meat Stock on the Go

Traveling can bring up a whole host of stressors and traveling on the GAPS Diet means paying closer attention to your food. Since meat stock is one of the pillars of the GAPS Diet, it’s important to factor it into your travel plans. There’s a few different ways to consume meat stock on the go, from dehydrating it to making it when you get there.

What are your favorite ways to consume meat stock? If you have other ideas, share them in the comments below!

Gentle Detoxing Round Up

There are many methods we use to gently detox our bodies from toxins—a holistic way to aid healing. This series explored each of them.

Why do we detox?

Detoxing helps take the load off our liver. Our liver does many things, one of which is to process toxins out of our bodies. In the simplest terms, toxins are anything that are not helpful to the body at that time. Gentle detoxing methods, including detox baths, can have a positive effect on symptoms triggered by inflammation: like allergic reactions, headaches, aches and pains, negative emotions, brain fog and fatigue.

Oil pulling is a great way to help your body gently detox from toxins, which is key when you're on the GAPS Diet. It couldn't be easier to use coconut or olive oil.

Gentle Detoxing with Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is swishing a small amount of the oil of your choice inside your mouth for a set period of time. You don’t swallow the oil, but spit it out in a trash can when you’re done.

Learn more about how to oil pull and the best practices for oil pulling here.

Taking a detox bath is a great way to help your body gently rid itself of toxins. A detox bath is just like a regular bath except you add baking soda, epsom salts, or raw apple cider vinegar to aid in detoxing. Holistic health services provided by Amy Mihaly, the Be Well Clinic.

Gentle Detoxing with Detox Baths

Baths are a great way to relax! The warm water soothes us and helps put us into a meditative state. A detox bath is just like any other bath except that you add something to the bath water to help get rid of toxins through the skin. There are a variety of agents you can add to your bath to trigger a detox response. These natural materials will help your body detox gently.

Learn more about taking a detox bath here.

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Gentle Detoxing with Sunbathing

Sunbathing is simply the process of safely sitting in the sun and soaking up some rays. Sunbathing gives us Vitamin D in much larger quantities than we could consume from food. Vitamin D is a detoxifying vitamin that our bodies need and sunbathing is the best way for us to stock up.

Learn more about sunbathing here.

Staying warm is an important part of doing an enema at home. Enemas are very helpful as forms of detoxing. In this article, we show you how to safely do an enema at home.

Gentle Detoxing with Enemas

Enemas can be helpful to relieve constipation and decrease the  amount of toxins in the colon, which often cause detox symptoms.

Some people find that  enemas quickly remove their detox symptoms, and perform them when they feel they need it  for their detoxification, rather than for constipation.

Learn more about the best ways to do an enema here.

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Gentle Detoxing with Juicing

Juices provide many nutrients in concentrated amounts, helping to remove nutritional deficiencies.

Only organic fruit and vegetables should be used, as non-organic contain pesticides and other agricultural chemicals; by juicing non-organic produce you will get a glass of concentrated amounts of those chemicals.

Juices are best taken on an empty stomach 20-25 minutes before food and 2-21/2 hours after a meal.

Learn more about how to juice properly here.

Grounding or earthing is simply spending time barefoot with the earth. It's a great way to detox safely! Learn more about detoxing via grounding in this blog. Holistic healthcare provider Amy Mihaly of Be Well Clinic.

Gentle Detoxing with Grounding

Grounding is putting your body in direct contact with the earth and having skin to skin contact with dirt, soil, or water. Have you noticed that we just don’t seem to spend a lot of time in contact with the earth anymore? We spend a lot of time indoors or, when we are outside, we’re wearing shoes!

As we go about our lives, our bodies start to build up a positive charge. The earth has a negative charge. Putting our positive bodies in direct contact with the negative earth brings us back to a neutral zone.

Learn more about detoxing your body with grounding here.

Gentle Detoxing with Juicing

There are many methods we use to gently detox our bodies from toxins—a holistic way to aid healing. This series explores each of them. We’ve covered oil pullingdetox bathssunbathing,enemas, and grounding. Today, we’re covering juicing.

Why do we detox?

Detoxing helps take the load off our liver. Our liver does many things, one of which is to process toxins out of our bodies. In the simplest terms, toxins are anything that are not helpful to the body at that time. Gentle detoxing methods, including detox baths, can have a positive effect on symptoms triggered by inflammation: like allergic reactions, headaches, aches and pains, negative emotions, brain fog and fatigue.

Juicing is a great way to detox your body and get the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables in a way that’s easy to consume and digest. It’s great if you’re on the GAPS Diet or not! How to detox with juices written by holistic healthcare practitioner and certified GAPS practitioner Amy Mihaly.

What is juicing?

Juices provide many nutrients in concentrated amounts, helping to remove nutritional deficiencies.

People all over the world have freed themselves from the most deadly diseases with juicing. Some very big names in natural medicine strongly advocate juicing and use it actively in the treatment of their patients, like Dr Gerson and Dr Norman Walker.

Hundreds of scientific studies have been published on the health benefits of fresh raw fruit and vegetables. Juices provide all the goodness from these fruit and vegetables in a concentrated form and in large amounts. For example, to make just a glass of carrot juice you need a pound of carrots. Nobody can eat a pound of carrots at once, but you can get all the nutrition from them by drinking the juice.

Juicing removes the fibre, which impairs absorption of many nutrients in fruit and vegetables and aggravates the condition in the already sensitive digestive system of a GAPS patient. The digestive system has virtually no work to do in digesting juices, they get absorbed in 20-25 minutes, providing the body with a concentrated amount of nutrients.

What juices should I consume?

A combination of pineapple, carrot and a little bit of beetroot in the morning will prepare the digestive system for the coming meals, stimulate stomach acid production and pancreatic enzymes production.

A mixture of carrot, apple, celery and beetroot has a wonderful liver-cleansing ability.

Green juices from leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce, parsley, dill, carrot and beet tops) with some tomato and lemon are a great source of magnesium and iron and good chelators of heavy metals.

Cabbage, apple and celery juice stimulates digestive enzyme production and is a great kidney cleanser.

There is an endless number of healthy and tasty variations you can make from whatever fruit and vegetables you have available at home.

How should I juice?

Only organic fruit and vegetables should be used, as non-organic contain pesticides and other agricultural chemicals; by juicing non-organic produce you will get a glass of concentrated amounts of those chemicals.

Juices are best taken on an empty stomach 20-25 minutes before food and 2-21/2 hours after a meal.

Juicing is a great way to detox your body and get the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables in a way that’s easy to consume and digest. It’s great if you’re on the GAPS Diet or not! How to detox with juices written by holistic healthcare practitioner and certified GAPS practitioner Amy Mihaly.

Can I buy juice from a store?

Juices that can be bought in a store have been processed and pasteurised, which destroys all the enzymes and most vitamins and phytonutrients. They are a source of processed sugar, which will feed abnormal bacteria and fungi in the gut. In freshly extracted juice the natural sugars are balanced with enzymes, minerals, and other nutrients which turn them into energy for the body.

When you make your juice at home you know what you put into it, you know that it is fresh without any contamination and oxidation, and you can have great fun by mixing different fruit and vegetables together, making different tasty combinations. There are a large number of books on juicing with wonderful recipes for every health problem and every occasion.

The GAPS Milkshake

One of my favorite juicing recipes in the GAPS Diet was the GAPS Milkshake. It balances the sugars in the juice with protein and fat, and it is so delicious. It helps to remove bile stones from the liver and improves fat digestion over time.

See my recipe for the GAPS Milkshake here!

Gentle Detoxing with Grounding

There are many methods we use to gently detox our bodies from toxins—a holistic way to aid healing. This series explores each of them. We’ve covered oil pulling, detox baths, sunbathing, and enemas. Today, we're covering grounding, also called earthing.

Why do we detox?

Detoxing helps take the load off our liver. Our liver does many things, one of which is to process toxins out of our bodies. In the simplest terms, toxins are anything that are not helpful to the body at that time. Gentle detoxing methods, including detox baths, can have a positive effect on symptoms triggered by inflammation: like allergic reactions, headaches, aches and pains, negative emotions, brain fog and fatigue.

What is grounding?

Grounding is putting your body in direct contact with the earth and having skin to skin contact with dirt, soil, or water. Have you noticed that we just don't seem to spend a lot of time in contact with the earth anymore? We spend a lot of time indoors or, when we are outside, we're wearing shoes!

As we go about our lives, our bodies start to build up a positive charge. The earth has a negative charge. Putting our positive bodies in direct contact with the negative earth brings us back to a neutral zone.

Grounding or earthing is simply spending time barefoot with the earth. It's a great way to detox safely! Learn more about detoxing via grounding in this blog. Holistic healthcare provider Amy Mihaly of Be Well Clinic.

How does grounding detox our bodies?

Grounding is a detox because it allows your body to get rid of the high electro magnetic fields that we're exposed to on a regular basis. Our bodies are electrical machines. Grounding and getting rid of the electro magnetic fields allows our bodies to function better.

Grounding is also thought to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is pain so decreasing inflammation overall will decrease pain.

Other benefits from spending time grounding are thought to be lowering stress, improving sleep, and providing an increase in energy.

How do I ground?

Grounding is very simple and you already have everything you need! There's no fancy equipment to buy - all you need is yourself and some earth. Simply take off your socks and shoes and walk outside barefoot! All you need to ground well is to keep your body in direct contact with the earth. Spending just a few minutes a day grounding is very beneficial but you can spend as long as feels right to you.

Grounding is a detox! To maximize your benefits from any detox, find the one that you enjoy the most and that brings you the most benefit. As with all detoxing methods and caring for your body, emphasize grounding in your schedule.

Grounding or earthing is simply spending time barefoot with the earth. It's a great way to detox safely! Learn more about detoxing via grounding in this blog. Holistic healthcare provider Amy Mihaly of Be Well Clinic.

More Grounding Resources:

If you're looking for more information about grounding and it's benefits, check out this article from Wellness Mama or this article from Dr. Jockers. The video below is also a great resource!

Gentle Detoxing with Enemas

There’s many methods that we use to gently detox our bodies from toxins. This series explores each of them. We’ve explored oil pulling, the taking of detox baths and responsible sunbathing. Today, we'll discuss gentle detox methods with enemas.

Why do we detox?

Detoxing helps our liver, lungs and other detox organs. These are part of system that helps process toxins out of our bodies. In the simplest terms, toxins are anything that are not helpful to the body at that time. Gentle detoxing can have an effect on symptoms which are triggered by inflammation, like allergic reactions, headaches, negative emotions, and exhaustion.

What is an enema?

Although we in the developed Western world seem have developed an aversion to enemas, it is a normal household  practice in most cultures. Enemas can be helpful to relieve constipation and decrease the amount of toxins hanging around in the colon, which often cause toxic symptoms.

What are Toxic Symptoms?

There are many "toxic symptoms," including anxiety, brain fog, restlessness, racing mind, vivid dreaming, restless leg syndrome, tinnitus, itching, dry skin patches, depression, headaches, nausea, and more. These symptoms are simply a result of inflammation and irritations caused by toxins attacking the body and its tissues.

Some people find that enemas quickly remove their toxic symptoms, especially ones related to emotions and mood, as there are as many (if not more) receptor sites for various neurotransmitters in the abdomen as there are in the brain. The toxins can irritate these receptor sites and cause increasingly worsening symptoms. The severity of these symptoms can be monitored, and an enema performed when they feel the need to detox. Using enemas like this is very useful, showing that enemas can be used for more than just stubborn cases of constipation.

How do I prepare water for an enema?

First, you can use warm to hot water (103 degrees or less, as comfortable.) If your water is too hot it will be difficult to hold your bolus in. If you water is too cold you can shock your intestines and get painful cramps. Make sure you use filtered and dechlorinated water to fill the bag or bucket. Add a pinch of sea salt and baking soda to balance your electrolytes, especially if you are doing frequent enemas. I also recommended stirring in some type of probiotic into the water. You can empty a probiotic capsule directly into the water or add a tablespoon of raw cultured dairy product.

How do I do an enema at home?

First, it is important to be warm, comfortable and relaxed. You can perform your enemas in a bathtub lined with towels or on the floor with a few towels underneath. The main thing is that you are not worried about any leakage so that it doesn't hinder your relaxation and benefit.

Bring everything you need with you, including some form of entertainment if you get impatient (although this is a great time to breathe, relax quietly and meditate. It's not necessary to be fully undressed; you can wear a shirt and socks to help you stay warm and comfortable. You can also bring a towel or blanket to cover any exposed skin to keep warm.

Fill your enema bucket or bag. If you're following your cleansing enema with a coffee enema, make sure you bring the coffee already prepared into the room with you.

Before inserting the tube, make sure you open the stopcock to remove the air from the tubing. For a natural lubricant on the nozzle tip, use coconut oil or sour cream. During the enema, you can lie on your side or in child's pose. Some people find that leaving the stopcock open during the procedure can be helpful, it allows the gas to escape and they are able to hold the bolus for longer. This only works, however, if you have used all the water in the bag.

For your initial bolus, you might find that the amount of water you can insert is smaller due to the amount of stool in your rectum initially. Hold each bolus for 5-20 minutes, or as long as you can (the first time may be shorter). Empty your bowels into the toilet, then reinsert the tube and insert another bolus. You should be able to insert more fluid and hold it in longer the second and third times. After the bolus is in, change positions as needed to maintain comfort and allow for higher cleaning of your colon. Your cleansing enema is done when the water released into the toilet is basically clear, or after 4 boluses maximum.

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What do I do after an enema?

After completing your enema, you should do whatever your body wants. Sometimes this might be laying down and resting. Or you might want to eat, or drink water or tea. The most important thing is to keep your abdomen and yourself warm during and after the procedure. Finally, as with every detox method, it's best to do an enema at a time you are able to rest for a while afterwards.

And as in everything, it is important to learn and listen to your body.

Can children do enemas?

Yes, enemas are safe for children, with the exception of coffee enemas. The amount of enema bolus inserted for children is less than for an adult, and is determined by  the size of the child, likely be between  50-500 milliliters per bolus.

Discuss with your practitioner before attempting an enema on a child. Pay attention to your child as you insert the liquid, and do not push past their discomfort. You will quickly learn the appropriate amount for your child.

If you  have a small child, it is recommended to use an enema bulb rather than a bucket, to better  control the amount of fluid that is inserted.

Children need to feel safe and secure during the enema, and many parents swaddle their  children, which also prevents quick movements that could cause damage. Putting on a video for them also helps them have a pleasant experience during the enema. As long as they are not taught to fear it, and it does not hurt, children usually do not mind enemas. And if they are suffering from toxic symptoms, they may even look forward to them because of the relief they bring.

More Resources for Enema Help

There are many resources that give information about enemas, including this great website.

I can also provide you with more resources about enemas. You can schedule an appointment or see my services here.

Gentle Detoxing with Sunbathing

There’s many methods that we use to gently detox our bodies from toxins. This series explores each of them. We've explored oil pulling and taking a detox baths. Next, let's discuss sunbathing.

Why do we detox?

Detoxing helps our liver. Our liver does many things, one of which is to process toxins out of our bodies. In the simplest terms, toxins are anything that are not helpful to the body at that time. Gentle detoxing can have an effect on symptoms which are triggered by inflammation, like allergic reactions, headaches, negative emotions, and exhaustion.

What is sunbathing?

Channel your inner feline and find the sun! Sunbathing is simply the process of safely sitting in the sun and soaking up some rays.

Sunbathing gives us Vitamin D in much larger quantities than we could consume from food. Vitamin D is a detoxifying vitamin that our bodies need, and when the weather is good, sunbathing is the best way for us to stock up.

To sunbathe, go outside and expose as much skin as you can. Depending on the weather, it might be just your face. If it's warm enough, try exposing your arms and taking off your shoes and socks. You can sunbathe anytime, although it's best to avoid sunbathing in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. Find a cozy spot in the sun's rays and just soak in the sun! Try for just two minutes at first and work your way up to thirty minutes, or even better, one hour a day.

Sunbathing responsibly is a great way to help your body detox from toxins. Eating enough fat will ensure that you do not sunburn. Holistic healthcare from Amy Mihaly in Loveland, Colorado and beyond.

Do I need sunscreen when I'm sunbathing?

What you eat has more affect on if you sunburn. I recommend not using commercially available sunscreens. First, they'll actually put more toxins into your body that you're already trying to get rid of. Second, sunscreens block your skin's cells from doing the very processes you are trying to accomplish. You may need to use a natural (I prefer homemade) sunscreen for a long day in the mountains or on a beach, but when you are sunbathing to detox do not use anything on your skin (even coconut oil). Anything with an SPF will block the detox process and prevent the creation of vitamin D.

Eating enough healthy fats, like cod liver oil, will keep you from burning. If you're going to be in the sun for a very long period of time, wear light layers and a hat to keep from getting a sunburn and to help keep yourself cool.

Sunbathing responsibly is a great way to help your body detox from toxins. Consider taking a walk or an easy hike to get some Vitamin D. Holistic healthcare from Amy Mihaly in Loveland, Colorado and beyond.

Take a Walk

Spending time in nature while you are sunbathing has additional benefits! Not only will you get great detoxing benefits but you'll also help reduce stress, bring your body back into electrical balance, increase your happy neurotransmitters, improve your immune function and increase your creativity. Being in nature gives us perspective on our healing journeys.

Take a walk while you sunbathe to power up the process. It's even better if you can spend time near natural waters!

What do you think? How will you sunbathe today?

Gentle Detoxing with Detox Baths

There are many methods we use to gently detox our bodies from toxins—a holistic way to aid healing. This series explores each of them. We've covered oil pulling already; next we'll cover detox baths.

Why do we detox?

Detoxing helps take the load off our liver. Our liver does many things, one of which is to process toxins out of our bodies. In the simplest terms, toxins are anything that are not helpful to the body at that time. Gentle detoxing methods, including detox baths, can have a positive effect on symptoms triggered by inflammation: like allergic reactions, headaches, aches and pains, negative emotions, brain fog and fatigue.

Taking a detox bath is a great way to help your body gently rid itself of toxins. A detox bath is just like a regular bath except you add baking soda, epsom salts, or raw apple cider vinegar to aid in detoxing. Holistic health services provided by Amy Mihaly, the Be Well Clinic.

What is a detox bath?

Baths are a great way to relax! The warm water soothes us and helps put us into a meditative state. A detox bath is just like any other bath except that you add something to the bath water to help get rid of toxins through the skin.

We all have toxins that are floating through our blood stream. The material (agent) in a gentle detox bath allows your body the space to get rid of the toxins circulating in your bloodstream. As your pores open, the detox agent will draw toxins out through the skin and into the bath water.

What to Use in Your Detox Bath

There are a variety of agents you can add to your bath to trigger a detox response. These natural materials will help your body detox gently.

You can use baking soda or raw apple cider vinegar (with the live mother). Another common agent is Epsom salt. This is what my body has been liking most lately. Add between 1/2-1 cup of your desired detox agent to your bath. It's good to rotate these agents (only add one type per bath), and you can practice your "expert detective" skills by seeing if you can figure out which one your body is wanting each time.

Taking a detox bath is a great way to help your body gently rid itself of toxins. A detox bath is just like a regular bath except you add baking soda, epsom salts, or raw apple cider vinegar to aid in detoxing. Holistic health services provided by Amy Mihaly, the Be Well Clinic.

What is the ideal temperature for a detox bath?

Keep your water temperature warm but not scorching hot for your detox bath. If your bath is too hot, you might initiate a detox in your body that's not gentle. The cells will say "Oo, a relaxing bath! Let's get rid of these toxins!" and dump additional toxins into your blood stream.

If the water temperature is too hot for your detox bath, you may experience an increase in your heart rate, become nauseous, get flushed, irritable or have a headache while you're in the bath. These symptoms can also happen if you put too much of your detox material into the bath or if you stay for too long in the bath.

If you experience any of these symptoms while you're in the detox bath, get out right away. Drink a lot of water and the symptoms usually pass fairly quickly.

Detox Baths When You're Fighting a Cold

Detox baths are a great option when you are sick. They help aid your body in getting rid of the collateral damage that happens when you're sick. Plus, they're a great way to warm up and relax an aching body.

I recommend adding 1/2 cup to 1 full cup of Epsom salts or raw apple cider vinegar, with the mother, to your bath. It's important to take a detox bath at least once a day while you're sick. And don't be afraid to take more than one!

Make sure the temperature of your detox bath water isn't too hot; you don't want to add to your illness symptoms with a new headache or nausea.

How do you like to detox bath? Let us know in the comments below.

Gentle Detoxing with Oil Pulling

How to Oil Pull for Gentle Detoxing on the GAPS Diet

There's many methods that we use to gently detox our bodies from toxins. This series explores each of them. First up, oil pulling.

Why do we detox?

Detoxing helps our liver. Our liver does many things, one of which is to process toxins out of our bodies. In the simplest terms, toxins are anything that are not helpful to the body at that time. When we detox gently, it has an effect on symptoms which are triggered by inflammation, like allergic reactions, headaches, negative emotions, and exhaustion.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is swishing a small amount of the oil of your choice inside your mouth for a set period of time. You don't swallow the oil, but spit it out in a trash can when you're done.

Oil pulling has been done for many centuries. Traditionally, it was done with sesame seed oil. Today, we use milder oils but still see the benefits.

Oil pulling provides many benefits to your mouth and liver and is simple! You can oil pull using high quality olive or coconut oil. I prefer coconut oil's flavor.

Why do we oil pull to detox?

Swishing just a small amount of oil every day will pull toxins directly from your mouth. Pulling these toxins out will help reduce bad breath, sore gums, and the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth. This will ultimately help your food taste better! Even better, research has found no negative side effects.

Here's tips to help your body detox using oil pulling.

How to Choose the Best Oil for Oil Pulling

To oil pull, you can either use a good quality organic olive oil or an organic coconut oil, which is what I prefer.

Start Small with Oil Quantity

Use half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of the oil. Work your way up as you get comfortable holding the oil in your mouth and not swallowing it.

Place the oil in your mouth. Then, let it warm in your mouth so it's totally liquid. Swish it between your teeth. Don't gargle! After 5 minutes (or even better 20) spit the oil out into the trash can to save your drain. Then, brush your teeth using the oil that's left in your mouth.

After you oil pull, brush your teeth with the oil that remains! It's an all natural toothpaste that has no side effects. Learn more about oil pulling with coconut oil and helping your body gently detox from toxins here.

Best Practices For Oil Pulling Success

Do this practice daily as part of your routine. Ideally, you should oil pull on an empty stomach.

I oil pull when I wake up in the morning after drinking a glass of water.

What do you think? Can you add oil pulling to your routine to help your body gently detox?

Sick? When to Contact Me!

Oh no! You’re sick!
Here's when you should call in a
holistic healthcare professional, like me!

One of my goals in life is to empower you to be able to take care of yourself and your loved ones when faced with a health concern: whether that be an cold, or a new surfacing of allergies.

But each one of us has different life experiences, a different knowledge base, and different comfort measures.

When you feel that you are “coming down with something,” or even feeling run down, take that opportunity to focus in on rest, good food, and maybe some extra boosts like essential oils or herbs. If you take a day off to rest when you are just starting to feel poorly, you will most likely be able to return to everyday life quicker than if you keep going until you are too sick to function anymore. This will not always work, but it often does.

Early is the perfect time to call me! Most of the time, my recommendations for natural remedies are all the support your body needs to recover—no pharmaceuticals needed. But in the few times that prescription medications have been needed for patients. Most of those were cases when the person didn’t call me until they were very sick and had been so for several days. Natural remedies work best when they are administered early and when there is time to find the right remedy (we'll talk more about this in another post).

That being said, I hope that you won’t need me every time you get sick! One of my desires is to bring back the lost knowledge of nursing your body back to health (hopefully without medical intervention). I want you to have enough knowledge and resources so you can help yourself or a loved one through an illness in strength, and with relative ease. One way to learn more is by working with me through a cold or two. Most illness support is the same, no matter what the specifics of the illness are. After you successfully walk though one or two illnesses, your knowledge and confidence will grow!

Whether you are new at natural support for illness, or if you are fairly comfortable with supporting the body through illness, the time to call me is as soon as you are feeling out of your depth. I am here for you as soon as you feel at a loss of what to do, or would just like a second pair of eyes on it.

No matter what you know, when you or one of your children is sick, sometimes you just need someone else to remind you what to do. Even I ask for help and reminders from friends and other practitioners when I am sick. It’s always better to be in community!

You have the tools to help your family through most experiences of illness. And I want to be one of the resources in your toolbox.

So when you are sick, call me! I'm happy to help.

Onward!

Self Care: A Summary

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"] Self-Care is defined simply as care for oneself. Most people think of this in the strictest sense of the word—an ability to take care of yourself (meaning eat, plan, brush your teeth by yourself, etc.). But in more recent years we have started using the phrase self-care to mean paying attention to and giving your mind, body and spirit what it needs. I believe that this newer idea of self-care has come about largely because of our always-on-the-go, keep up with the Joneses mentality. We have over-emphasized productivity, and have forgotten that a large part of what it means to be human is to do things like rest, play and eat. We have sped up our lives so much that we feel guilty when we take time to sleep more than 5 or 6 hours a night, and we have been sold the idea the fast, convenient foods are better—so much so that we feel guilty when we take time to cook, or become defensive when it’s suggested that we do so.Our movie and social media culture has idolized people who can survive on little sleep, idealized fast food and protein bars, and often made the workaholic out to be the misunderstood hero. I believe this cultural soup we swim in has influenced us greatly… likely more than we actually realized.Why do I think this?Because I have also felt the influence!In fact, self-care is a fairly new concept to me. Early into my health journey I was learning about relational needs, and how we have them. The book I was reading stated that just like we have physical needs like eating, drinking, breathing and sleep, we also have basic human relational needs. There was one problem for me… I realized when I read this line that I believed that needing to eat and sleep were weaknesses that I despised myself for needing. I tried to operate on as little sleep as possible, and felt insecure about my newly discovered food intolerances. A major boost in my health journey was coming to an acceptance that as a human, there are things I needed to do to take care of myself—basic human requirements. This includes physical, emotional, mental and relational care. We were created with bodies that need. Like it or not, this is true. We can cheat our bodies for a time (some people longer than others), but eventually our needs will win out and at these times our body actually forces us to rest: maybe a headache or migraine, major or minor illness, sleeping half the day and missing work, or whatever happens in a mid-life crisis. For me it was often a weekly migraine that would slow me down and force me to sleep more than the 5 or 6 hours of sleep that I usually got. Does this resonate with you? Maybe, maybe not. I have known some people who are great at giving their bodies what they need regularly. This they usually learn from their families. But I know many more people who feel guilty at the thought of taking enough time to be well-rested, well-nourished, and “wasting” productive time on themselves. Self-care techniques can be learned. But first you have to believe that they are important, otherwise you will just exhaust yourself fighting your own guilt about taking a little time to care for yourself. So before you start implementing self-care techniques like the few I am listing below, I want you to take some time and work through your reaction to the thought of taking care of yourself. Ask yourself what it would feel like to be _______________ (well rested, well fed, filled up relationally or emotionally), then ask yourself why you aren’t __________________ (well rested, etc.). Be honest! Sometimes our schedules are too busy and full to allow for ________________, but often times we make them that way because we believe in the virtue of being productive and busy. Discuss this with your spouse or partner, especially if you have children. Likely they will be willing and eager to help plan time for self-care to happen. It is important for everyone, including the primary caregiver to take some time to care for themselves, because then they will better be able to care for others!Once you have checked in with your views on self-care, then try out these four ways to begin practicing emotional self-care regularly. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="2_5"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

Be spontaneous!

We can get so drained from living our day-to-day life. Planning (or not) a day or even just an afternoon to do something fun or relaxing or exciting, preferably in nature, is a great way to get filled back up again. Not only do we need rest, we also need to play and have fun! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_5"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.14" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pexels-photo-58457-1.jpeg" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="3_5"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.14" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/littlemoments.jpg" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_5"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

Take two-minute breaks.

We often feel we need big moments of rest, but frequent little moments are just as good. Try spending two minutes with your eyes closed listening to your breathing, taking a short walk outside, or enjoying a guilt-free treat. Be present in the moment and recognize these times as important moments of self-care. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="2_5"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

Add self-care into your routine.

Start seeing taking care of yourself as something that you need to do. Things we need to do get scheduled and completed. Start adding things into your daily routine that you know fill you back up. Then keep your daily self-care appointments. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_5"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.14" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/09202018_2.jpg" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="3_5"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.14" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pexels-photo-1319795.jpeg" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_5"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

Find a balance.

It can be easy to become imbalanced, being too self-centered or too self-sacrificing. In the beginning it may be helpful to have a friend or partner who cares for you be an outside voice as you find this balance. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"] Although self-care is a popular movement, I assert that choosing a balanced life of self-care and loving others will continue to feel countercultural for a long time. And it will probably take a lot of practice for you settle into a good, non-guilty balance in your own life. But keep reaching for it! Because ultimately, taking care of yourself (and teaching self-care to your children) will lead to a longer, healthier and (dare I say it), more productive life. And in all of this keep in mind love and grace for yourself. As we journey,

Onward!

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Causes and Types of Headaches

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] People who suffer from headaches are near and dear to my heart. Because I am one of those “headache people.” I have suffered from headaches since I can remember… starting with sinus headaches around age 10 (maybe earlier), and culminating to migraines at least twice a week in high school and college. In my experience, headache pain has different connotations than any other type of pain in the body. To be honest, this is a difficult post for me to write. Not because I don’t have enough experience in this area, but because I have too much. I have experienced countless hours of pain from this virtually invisible malady. And it’s not something I want to relive. But the very reasons I want to avoid this subject are the same reasons I want to speak about it. Because I know what it means to live in fear of headaches, and the sinking feeling that comes when yet another one appears. I know what it feels like to feel helpless, panicked even, when the pain medications you took do nothing to help. I know what it feels like to miss out on things because you have a headache, or avoid making plans because you are worried one might come while you’re out. And I know what it feels like to pretend you are enjoying an event when all you want to do is cry from pain. To stay as long as you can, trying to leave others with the best memories possible, even though your pain will likely make it impossible for you to look back with fondness. And I know what it is to finally leave the event, breathing and talking yourself all the way home with sunglasses on, trying not to throw up because your headache has turned into a migraine. Then making it home and trying for some relief, because it doesn’t just come for the asking. That. I don’t miss that. My headaches and migraines are ultimately the reason I started down this natural health journey. That, and memory loss—my poor brain! And a relief from headache symptoms was one of the first things I experienced that convinced me that I was on the right path! Before I go on, I want to be clear. I still experience headaches sometimes. But they come only a couple times a month, and usually I know why. Migraines I will get occasionally as well, but these are much more rare… less than once a month, and often less severe than they used to be. When I get a headache or migraine, it’s easy for me to feel like all the choices I have made for my health were in vain. When I have a headache it’s hard to think about anything else, and really hard to have hope that things can be better. But my headaches do pass. They are less frequent. And there is hope! The choices I am making are bringing improvements to my health. From my experiences, experimentation, and through studying I have learned quite a lot about headaches. There are different types, stemming from different root causes. Some are easier to identify or treat than others. And sometimes you can’t figure it out at all (yet). Today I’m going to share with you from my experience with headaches. And if you want to learn more, a great resource for identifying headaches is a pamphlet called “Headaches by Type” sold by Selene River Press. I have experienced many, if not all of the headache types listed in that book at some time or another, and if you also experience frequent headaches, I recommend you purchase a copy for yourself to help you figure out what is going on. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/281-pai002737-ae-nam-id-391798-jpeg.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.17.2"]

Sinus headaches (allergic headaches):

For me these headaches consist of a low-level, constant pain. They are relieved with warm, moist heat (showers, warm washcloths on the face, steam tents), and warm teas. They are triggered usually by something environmental or a food, or when I get any kind of “head cold” illness. When I am having these symptoms I focus on avoiding anything I know can trigger me, and do good things like taking a detox bath, putting on essential oils, hydrating (including electrolytes), oil pulling (very helpful!), and if all else fails, I make it through the day by taking showers every few hours. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.17.2"]

Low blood sugar headaches:

The cause of this is self-explanatory… low blood sugar from delayed eating or poor blood sugar control. For me it was poor blood sugar control because I ate a lot of carbs, which caused a spike in my blood sugar leading to a drop shortly after. These headaches used to be the most common cause of migraines for me, and I would panic if I realized I left the house without a snack. My health journey began with the Paleo diet, and when I removed sugar and refined carbs, my blood sugar became stable. I now rarely get these headaches, even when I haven’t eaten in 5 or more hours (instead of eating every 2 hours). This type of headache must be addressed by focusing on blood sugar regulation. By removing refined carbs and sugars, and adding more protein and animal fat, you will regulate your blood sugar. When I started GAPS, I ate a mixture of coconut oil and a tiny bit of honey in between meals to teach my body how to regulate blood sugar again. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/job12-265-chim-00661-id-427208-jpeg.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.17.2"]

“Heart Weakness” headaches:

The main identifying factor in these headaches is tiring quickly after wakening, or getting headaches that start after exercise or exertion. Sometimes these headaches are also accompanied by chest pain. This makes sense because the root cause of these headaches is a deficiency in the nutrients that the heart needs to pump strongly. I started getting these headaches/migraines in high school. Because of these headaches I had an MRI of my brain to rule out an aneurism. The brain MRI was negative, which makes sense because the trouble wasn’t in my brain, it was in my heart! Treating this headache type means making sure the heart has what it needs. What the heart likes best is vitamin B (especially B3 or niacin, and B4 or adenine). It also needs minerals (including calcium) to function properly. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin B. You can get vitamin B from food: beets and liver are very high in it. This is not a headache to mess around with. If this is something you are experiencing, a supplement from a true whole-food, only-food source is probably a good idea to help you replenish your body’s vitamin B deficiency more quickly. I found a whole-food supplement I trust, and when I get this type of headache, sometimes taking a few of these can cause my symptoms to reduce or disappear sometimes [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Ovarian headaches:

Many of you women know what I am talking about with these headaches. These are headaches that happen around ovulation and/or menstruation. In my experience, it feels like your body just doesn’t do a very good job adjusting to the hormone shifts that happen a couple times a month. If I get any headaches or migraines anymore, this is usually the type I get. Balancing hormones is key for this type of headache. If you want to be balanced, the first step is to get off of any external hormones you may be on (including all IUDs, creams and pills). Next, there are herbs and specific glandular supports that assist (rather than force) your body to come into balance hormonally. For me it’s also seemed helpful to take what’s called in Chinese medicine “blood-nourishing herbs.” I theorize that beet kvass may also have a similar effect. Female hormones are commonly assaulted by many things, including: beauty and cleaning products, food we eat, chemicals in plastic and pesticides, and more. Because of this, balancing female hormones can seem like an uphill battle. But keep persevering! When you find the right thing, it will get better! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Well, I hope your brain isn’t exploding! In some ways headaches are complicated. But when you can identify what type(s) you have, you can begin addressing the root cause and start seeing relief. I’m here to help! Please contact me if you want to schedule an appointment to identify and address your headaches. Let’s do this part of your health journey together. As we go,

Onward!

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The Inflammatory System

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Inflammation is a hot topic right now, but only one aspect of this complex phenomenon—chronic inflammation—is usually discussed. Today I want to share a little more about inflammation, and hopefully give you a better understand of the amazing thing that inflammation is.That’s right, I said amazing! Although chronic inflammation is getting all the press right now, without inflammation in our bodies, we would be sick, injured and maybe even dead!

Inflammation is the body’s way to protect us from invasion, and heal damage that occurs in our bodies. This damage happens constantly… it’s not just something that happens when we twist our ankle or get stung by a bee.

Inflammation is the body’s response to anything that damages our bodies, inside or out. Some of the triggers for inflammation are infection, mechanical damage (injury), oxygen deprivation, nutrient deprivation, genetic or immune defects, inflammatory foods such as sugar and grains, chemical agents, temperature extremes, and ionizing radiation (including free radical damage). These types of damages happen on a very regular basis, some of them even as byproducts of healthy metabolism.After damage happens, inflammation is what cleans up the mess. There are various responses and branches of the inflammatory system, and each of these serve a purpose. You can watch more about this in the video below. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_code _builder_version="3.0.85"]<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zL9eRt6R_WA" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/et_pb_code][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] As you can see, inflammation is good—if it’s the right kind! It cleans up messes, heals damage, fights off infection, and keeps our body in repair. The problem comes when inflammation becomes chronic.

There are a few main reasons why inflammation changes from something helpful, to something that causes problems.

First, an unhealthy or overwhelmed immune system can initiate or continue the inflammatory process when it’s not actually needed. To fix this we need to provide support and direction to the immune system by eating the right nutrients, and providing an environment for good gut flora (which communicate with our immune system) to flourish.Second, if the stimulus (damage) is constant, then the need to activate the inflammatory system will be constant. To correct this we need to find the source of the inflammatory stimulus and stop it! This may mean doing things like cutting out sugar, gently detox your body, or increasing the nutrition you eat in your diet. Thirdly, inflammation can become chronic if the process is stopped too early. If we intervene with non-natural ways (such as antihistamines or steroids) that force a certain effect on the body, we may be inhibiting the very thing that turns inflammation back off when it’s not longer needed to repair or protect.  This can be seen if we look at histamine receptors. When histamine is produced, it goes to different cells and binds to histamine receptors. The type of receptor determines the effect. H1 receptors are generally pro-inflammatory, meaning their effect is what turns on the inflammation. H2 receptors are generally anti-inflammatory, and are what tell inflammation to turn back off. If we block histamine from being released, we may be blocking the signal for the inflammation to stop!That being said, I am thankful that we have medications at certain times. If someone is not able to function in his or her life, or if they are in danger from an allergic reaction, it is appropriate and necessary to take medications. But if you want to have a healthy body, medications are never a long-term solution. You have to address the root!What do you think? The inflammatory system is pretty amazing, isn’t it! Take a minute to reflect on the amazing and complex system that is inside you, working full time to keep your body repaired and safe.We only scratched the surface of this amazing process today. Do you have questions about it? Leave a comment below.

Onward!
Citation: McCance, K., Huether, S. (2006). Pathophysiology: The Biological Basis for Disease in Adult and Children (5th ed.) (pp. 177-193). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

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GAPS Legal Caramel Recipe

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Several years ago I discovered that the mythical candy known as caramel was actually fairly simple to make. It merely involved heating a mixture of water and some type of sugar substance to a certain temperature to change the properties and create soft caramel syrup, chewy caramel candies, and even hard candy. This discovery has lead to many delicious treats and snacks! And over the years I have become more and more comfortable with the caramel-making process. You can also make caramel more complicated by adding milk, coconut milk, or other ingredients. But I like the simplicity of honey, water and vanilla. And in this combination, it is full GAPS legal! Leave the vanilla out and it can be had in very small amounts starting on Intro Stage 4. I would like to again point out that I do not like to heat honey on a regular basis. Ayurvedic tradition holds that heating honey over 104°F is unhealthy. The chemical changes that can be seen in heated honey* indicated that the honey becomes less healthy when it is heated over 140°F. For this reason I do not bake with honey. In fact, caramel and marshmallows are the only time I ever eat heated honey. But when caramel is needed, I'm sure that the homemade caramel I make with honey is much better than the commercially-made, sugar or corn-syrup based caramel alternative. Even so I recommend that if you do choose to eat heated honey, you do it in very small amounts, for special treats. And as soon as I discover another way to make caramel, I will let you know!

*It's also important to note that most honey commercially available has been heated to pasteurize it. For this reason it is very important to know your honey source, and make sure you are getting a raw honey.

Ok, back to caramel. You can easily look up the temperature ranges for your desired caramel range, from syrup to toffee. And depending on your purpose for the caramel, you should choose your temperature. The ingredients and procedure is exactly the same, only the end-point temperature varies. Don't have a candy thermometer? No problem. You can check the stage of the candy by dripping a little caramel into a glass of clean, cold water. I prefer this way, and have learned at what "stage" I like by how the caramel behaves in the water. Have fun with this! And don't be afraid to "mess up." The worst you can get (unless you let it burn) is a sugary treat in a different stage than you were hoping. My final tip: Stir constantly and don't turn up the heat too high. Clean-up is a breeze. Just add hot water and the honey will clean itself off. But if you burn the sugar, you may never get it off the pan! Now it's your turn!   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

GAPS Legal Caramel

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Directions:

In a saucepan, add water and honey. Stir constantly on medium to high heat for 7-12 minutes. As the mixture begins to form into a caramel sauce, slowly drip a few drops of the sauce into a cup of cool water to check for the beginnings of the 'softball stage' of candy making. Alternatively, use a candy thermometer. You're looking for temperatures between 116° & 120°. Once sauce reaches this temperature, remove from heat. Optional: add in vanilla.

Option 1: Caramel Candies

Prepare a glass dish with parchment paper. Pour hot caramel sauce into the prepared pan. Cool overnight. Once cool, remove the parchment paper and caramel. Cut the caramel into small square pieces. Twirl or press the square pieces into candy shapes.

Option 2: Dipping Sauce

Simply serve the sauce warm once it reaches 116 - 120. Dip in your favorite fruits! Enjoy! [/et_pb_text][et_pb_code _builder_version="3.0.85"]<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthebewellclinic%2Fvideos%2F1890604424344134%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>[/et_pb_code][et_pb_divider _builder_version="3.14" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.14"]

GAPS Legal Caramel

caramel_3-150x150.png
  • 1/2 cup Water

  • 1 cup Honey

  • 1/2-1 tsp Vanilla ((Optional))

  1. In a saucepan, add water and honey.

  2. Stir constantly on medium to high heat for 7-12 minutes.

  3. As the mixture begins to form into a caramel sauce, slowly drip a few drops of the sauce into a cup of cool water to check for the beginnings of the ‘softball stage’ of candy making. Alternatively, use a candy thermometer. You’re looking for temperatures between 116° & 120°.

  4. Once sauce reaches this temperature, remove from heat.

  5. Optional: add in vanilla.

Option 1: Caramel Candies

  1. Prepare a glass dish with parchment paper.

  2. Pour hot caramel sauce into the prepared pan.

  3. Cool overnight.

  4. Once cool, remove the parchment paper and caramel. Cut the caramel into small square pieces.

  5. Twirl or press the square pieces

Option 2: Dipping Sauce

  1. Simply serve the sauce warm once it reaches 116 – 120. Dip in your favorite fruits!

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Is Fat a Better Prescription for Mental Illness?

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Shootings, bombings and gun control are often in the news these days. There are many different opinions and views on this, but one thing that I do not think is getting enough attention is the mental stability of the perpetrator. It makes sense that mental illness is involved, but many people have a diagnosis of mental illness and don't carry out violent crimes. What's the difference? I think we need to look closer to try to find out what causes a person to carry out a violent crime?  

Here is my hypothesis for testing:

What connection do diet and the use of anti-psychotic drugs have to do with these unprovoked acts of violence?

  Could it be that we are prescribing the wrong treatment for mental illness?   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

What diet has to do with the brain:

  The gray matter of the brain is made up of an estimated 50% fatty acids. Our hormones and neurotransmitters are partially composed of lipids, and lipids are needed for several different cellular functions, including neuron growth and signaling, cell movement, and lymphocyte activation (2). If lipids and cholesterol are involved in so many aspects of brain function, doesn’t it make sense that a low-fat diet would cause brain function problems? If it is fat deficiency that is causing the disease, then we would expect the results of a treatment that addresses down-line symptom (chemical imbalance) rather than the root cause (fat deficiency) would have limited effectiveness.

Isn’t that what we are observing?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Only a percentage of people who take medications for anxiety or depression see improvement. When Consumer Reports asked 1,386 people who took medications for anxiety, depression, or both (SSRIs, SNRIs, Bupropion), they found that 48-53% people said it helped a lot, and 35-38% said it helped somewhat, and in each grouping 13-15% of people said it helped less than somewhat (or none) (1).

If depression and anxiety were caused by a simple chemical imbalance, shouldn’t we see a much higher response rate to treatment?

Not only are these medications largely ineffective, but they also come with a high risk of side effects. When the same group (above) were surveyed, 12-31% of those people experienced one or more side effect: loss of sexual interest or ability, weight gain, dry mouth, or sleep problems (1). That means up to 1/3 of the people on these medications experience side effects! And they may not even see any benefit from them! Other side effects listed for these medications are nervousness, agitation or restlessness, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, dry mouth, digestive system problems (4, 5). Bupropion is listed to have the additional potential side effects include: trouble concentrating, hyperventilation, irregular heartbeats, irritability, paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, fainting, anger, assaulting others, being aggressive or impulsive, actions that are out of control, inability to sit still, or talking, feeling or acting with excitement (3). That’s a scary list! And don’t some of them sound familiar in light of the shootings? [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Avoiding the side effects:

  Finally, talk alone may be as (if not more) effective than medications. A survey of 1,544 people showed that talk therapy alone was as much, if not more successful than a medication treatment (1). So... maybe medications aren’t the answer? Then what is? What if we correct the underlying imbalance? What if we prescribe a diet high in the building blocks needed for the brain? This includes omega-3 and -6, but also cholesterol and saturated fats from animals, which are necessary for our cell membranes and other parts of our brain and nervous system.

Put simply, we need fat because fat:
  • Balances hormones
  • Helps make “happy” neurotransmitters
  • Is necessary for mentation (thinking)
  • Is a needed part of the myelin sheath (fast nerve impulses)
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Help in brain damage repair
  • Detoxifies the body and brain
  • Feeds and supports the immune system
  • Is used in every cell of the body
  • And more!

  When we look at a tragedy like a shooting, there are many factors at play. But how many of those factors are related to the balance and health of the shooter’s body? If, as an old advertisement stated “They’re happy because they eat butter!” then perhaps a lack of saturated fat in the diet is a large contributor to the unimaginable mental state of people who treat human life so carelessly. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Eat more fat!

This is why the first and most important thing I recommend is to eat more fat! Animal fat, specifically. If you have prescribed to the low-fat diet for a while, or had your gallbladder removed, you need to increase your fat consumption gradually, and perhaps look at supplementing with something like ox bile during your transition. Work up until you are eating at least ½ cup of added animal fat a day. This includes children—they have fast-growing bodies and brains!

Common sources of animal fat are:
  • Butter and ghee
  • Sour cream (crème fraische)
  • Lard (rendered pig fat)
  • Tallow (rendered beef, buffalo, elk, deer fat)
  • Chicken, duck, goose, etc fat
  • Bacon (not turkey bacon!)

  You can eat much more than ½ cup a day! Just listen to what your body is asking for. And to learn more about why we should eat fat alongside every food group, check my The One About Fat post.

What do you think?

  References:

  1. Consumer Reports. (July 2010). Best Antidepressant for Anxiety According to Our Readers: Readers Revealed the Therapists and Drugs that Helped. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/01/depression-and-anxiety/index.htm
  2. Ding, Z. and Zajac, J.-M.. (2016). Cholesterol-rich lipid rafts are involved in neuropeptide FF anti-nociceptin/orphanin FQ effect. J. Neurochem., 136:778-790. Doi:10.1111/jnc.13450

  Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your trust is important to me. I only recommend products I trust. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

New Year's Resolutions: Six Habits I Recommend on a Regular Basis

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Happy New Year everyone!

In the last post, I shared about mindsets to have (or not) that will help with successful habit change. This week I want to share about some of the habits I think are most important to consider integrating into your family. This is not an exhaustive list! These habits are simple and sound. They are not flashy or trendy (necessarily), and they have stood the test of time. And remember, I am not suggesting you start ALL of these habits at once, or that these are the highest priority for your family. I am merely suggesting ones I think are important. For your consideration. Here they are:  

Six Habits I Recommend on a Regular Basis:

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Eat More Animal Fat

This is my number one recommendation, and it is something you can incorporate into your food right now! Everyone should be eating more animal fat! Here's a post about why you should add more animal fat to your diet. Animal fats are butter, lard, tallow, ghee, chicken, duck and goose fat, bacon, and sour cream. This is where the money is! But what about avocados, coconut oil, and all the "healthy fats"? Those fats are fine and healthy (if they are good quality), but they cannot replace the amazing benefits that animal fats bring to your body. Those fats are fine to eat, but focus on increasing the animal fats. I recommend people work up to eating a minimum of 1/2 cup added animal fat per person per day. This includes children (they need fat for their developing brain!) This can be accomplished by adding fat to everything! Fry everything in butter, lard or bacon grease. Butter your steak! Eat butter cubes and dried fruit for a snack. Eat a tub of sour cream with a spoon! These are just some ideas to get you started. And if you are worried about fat and heart disease or obesity, I recommend you check out the book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride called Put Your Heart in Your Mouth, which explains the real reason for these epidemic diseases.

Drink Meat Stock Daily

Meat stock (not necessarily bone broth) is a liquid gold that I think every person can benefit from. To learn how to make it, view my post about it. I recommend that every person (children included) consume at least 1 mug of meat stock every day. With every meal is even better. This doesn't have to be in the form of soup—it can be a mug of the strained stock. And this is great place to add in extra fat (see previous point). And yes, there is a difference between store-bought and homemade—you can make something of infinitely higher quality than anything you can buy. And please, even if you use a microwave for other things, warm up your meat stock on the stove!

Eat a Fermented Food

Until the age of refrigeration, we naturally had some time of fermented food at least once a day. Either foods were fermented on purpose to preserve them longer (like sauerkraut), or during the course of a few days stored at room temperature, they grew some amount of mold, yeast, or bacteria on them. Today, food in this state goes instantly into the trash (often container included), but for most of history food was rarely wasted due to a little mold! Now, I am not saying you should eat food that is molded or rotten, but our bodies function in a more healthy state if we regularly eat microbes. After all, a large part of our bodies are microbes! Here is a fun little video about how microbes work in your body. To help your body get or stay healthy, it's good to get these healthy microbes in us! You can do this by taking a probiotic, or eating fermented foods. There are different reasons why one is better than the other, and sometimes both are needed, but eating a ferment (or fermented food) is a great way to start out! You can buy your ferment (like live, refrigerated sauerkraut), or make it yourself. In addition to sauerkraut, beet kvass and vegetable medley are two of my favorites. When you start with any probiotic or fermented food, go slowly! Too much too fast can cause what's known as a die-off or Herx reaction. This is not fun, but can be avoided by increasing the amount you eat slowly! Start with one bite of sauerkraut, or 1 ounce of beet kvass. See how you feel for the next 24 hours, then use that as a guide to let you know how fast you can increase (or if you need to decrease).   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="detox changes" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] The last three habits are related to detoxing and cleansing your body.

Filter Your Water

This is a fairly simple change to make, yet it can reap large benefits. City water, most bottled water, and some well water contains chlorine in one or more forms. It is put there to keep species of bacteria, fungus and other microbes from multiplying to unhealthy levels. However, when we drink this same water the chlorine negatively affects the flora living inside us as well. And when we bathe and shower in it, not only do the chemicals dry out our skin and the fumes irritate our lungs, the protective barrier of our skin (maintained by skin flora) is damaged. You can largely prevent all of these things by filtering the chlorine (and some other things) out of your water. There are many levels of filters, and depending on how sick you are and what's in your water supply, a stronger filter may be necessary. But most people see benefit with simple filters for their drinking, cooking and bathing water. I use this filter or this filter for my drinking and cooking water, this filter for my baths, and this filter for my shower. You could get them all, or start with one and build from there.

Take a Detox Bath

A detox bath is an excellent way to help your body get rid of toxins that have accumulated there. There are three factors in a detox bath: water temperature, time, and amount of detox material. You can adjust all three of these to find your perfect bath! Common detoxing materials are Epsom salt, baking soda, and raw apple cider vinegar with the mother. And as we just discussed, dechlorinated water is preferred. The goal of a detox bath is to make you feel lighter, clearer and better. If you go too high on any of the three detox bath factors, you may get nauseated, a headache, increased heart rate, brain fog, muscle cramps, irritability or other like symptoms. If this happens during your bath, no worries! Just get out of the bath right away, drink plenty of water, and your symptoms will usually disappear in a few minutes. If they don't, lie down for a little while to let your body rest and recover.

  • Water temperature: you want a warm bath, but if it gets really hot, your body can jump to that other level of detoxing that will give you all the undesirable symptoms. This temperature will be determined by you, and may vary slightly day by day.
  • Time in the bath: to detox, most people need to stay in the bath about 20 minutes. You can stay in longer. But sometimes staying in more time can cause you to start having symptoms. If that happens, bath time is over! It's time to get out! Shorten your bath time by a few minutes the next time.
  • Amount of detoxing materials: for each bath, you want to use one of the detox materials listed above. Amounts vary between 1/4-1 cup. Test and see what works for you. It's good to rotate the material, using all three at different times, for a more comprehensive detoxing.

Enjoy your bath!

Walk Outside in the Sun

This is actually a two-for-one! Sunbathing (with nothing on your skin) is a great way to detox AND increase your levels of vitamin D. Of course, different seasons will have a different influence on vitamin D levels, but talking a walk in the sunshine has undeniable benefits (and probably ones we don't even understand yet!) The full light spectrum can help fight daytime fatigue, which in turn helps our hormones to balance. And you are getting gentle movement exercise on top of it! This will stimulate blood flow and increase your body's ability to remove toxins, as well as stimulate lymph movement, which does the same. It's important to expose your skin to the sun without any barrier, including light barriers such as coconut oil. Commercial sunscreens should be avoided altogether as they contain many known carcinogens. If your skin is not ready for the amount of sun exposure it's going to get, it's best to cover up with clothing, and/or gradually work up the time in the sun. As a side benefit, the more animal fat you eat the less likely you are to sunburn! So use this winter wisely! By the time spring and summer come, you should be able to increase your sun time gradually without problems! And yes, this includes you blondes, redheads, and fair-skinned people! So there you have it! The top six changes I recommend on a regular basis. Let me know which one you tried out first, and how it went!

Onward!

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New Year's Resolutions: How to Make Successful Habit Changes

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] As I'm writing this, we are almost half way through December. This time of year is about getting ready for the holidays AND the new year.   As we are looking forward to the new year, most of us are thinking about new habits we want to start (or renew). But this can be tricky. You only have so much time and energy to spend on habit change, and some health trends are not actually helpful to you. I want to help you plan for this upcoming year. Let's talk about how decide what habits are right for you!   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

#1 Make changes that make sense

  Starting habits you can't keep doing is so common we write comic strips about it! This can happen for several reasons: we try to change too much at once, we don't put forth enough effort, or we are trying to make a change we are not ready for.   No matter what you decide to change, all change requires energy and effort. And sometimes we fail to make a change because we take on too much or are lazy. But most of us do want to change. We have every intention of making changes and sticking with them.

So what's the problem?

Often, we try to make changes based on what we think we should change, instead of what makes sense, in our life, to change.

For example: You read a health trend article on social media about doing interval training five days a week. There are so many benefits! So you decide to start doing thirty minutes a day. But you had an old knee injury that is easily aggravated, and by the third day you are in so much pain you have to take medication. You make it to the fifth day, glad for the break. After two rest days you are still walking with a limp, and decide not to continue the interval training until you can walk without pain again. It takes three weeks to feel fully recovered, but you never start up your interval training again.

  What do you think this shows? Too many changes? No, let say that this was the only thing you decided to change at this time. Laziness? Many people (my old self included) would say that this you were lazy, or a wimp. But you did show dedication. You pushed through the pain to see if it would get better. But it didn't. In fact, it took your body almost a month to recover. You body let you know that you weren't ready for that change in that way.  

There was a time that if I had been living the above scenario, I would have felt like a failure, and called myself all kinds of names.

  But now I look at that scenario and see it as a victory. You stoped because you were listening to your body! It told you this was too much for it right now, and you listened. That's not a failure, that's a win! To seal the victory, you need to try something else. Exercise can be challenging. Just because it is doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Find something that is a slight challenge for you... maybe it's a five or ten minute walk. Maybe it's a bike ride, or yoga. Maybe it's a martial arts class. Find something, listen to your body, and don't give up without a reason ("it's too hard" is not a reason, although "it hurts too much" is a clue to try something else).   When we make changes that make sense, we are working with our body instead of fighting against it. This creates a two-against-one scenario, and you are more likely to succeed!   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

#2 Don't make too many changes at once

  The beginning of the new year is a great time to make changes. And I'm not saying you shouldn't take advantage of the timing, the motivation, and even the cultural shift to choose healthy over unhealthy. But making too many changes at one time doesn't set you up for success. Most experts agree that we can only successfully make 1-3 changes at a time. Maybe with the new year energy you can make three. (Especially if they are opposites, like cut out soda and drink more water.)   There are very few people that can successfully create many new habits at one time. Let's assume you are not one of these people!   Did I just cut your resolutions list in half? Or more? You probably have some great habit changes on that list. How can you eliminate some? First, cross off any habit changes that you only put on there because you saw it on social media and feel guilty for not doing it. Maybe that habit change is a good idea, but making a change solely because of guilt is not likely to end well. Second, out of the remaining habits, circle the ones that seem simpler to complete and the ones that make the most sense related to what is going on in your life right now (physically and circumstantially). Third, pick (at most) three habits to begin with. These may be the simplest (avoid chlorinated water: buy a shower and sink filter), or the most pressing (make meat stock every day to calm constant joint pain). When you pick the habits that are most important or simple for you to change right now, you are more likely to succeed in those habits. This will create momentum (not to mention make you feel better, which leads to increased energy), which you can use to make the next set of important habit changes. (Which you can start making when the first set are well established, or about three weeks.)   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

#3 It's a marathon!

  Habit change is not a sprint—it's a marathon. When you are training for a marathon, you don't run 26.2 miles every day. You run more some days, and less on others. Some days you don't run at all! Don't think of your habit change as a sprint... all or nothing and if you have one little mess up, you are out of the race. Our lives are not like that. We have built-in room for error (our race is approximately 80-90 years long). Everything we do either builds our body up (anabolic) or tears and wears it down (catabolic). We are never stable, we are always moving and changing. Being perfect is not the goal—making forward progress and positive change is. As I wrote last week, get off the bandwagon bandwagon! There is no bandwagon to fall off of! The bandwagon is a myth! If you don't do a habit one day or another, you haven't lost your chances of success. Each choice that you make simply adds to the anabolic or catabolic side of the scale. But one (or even several) negative choices don't have to cause a downward spiral. They don't have that kind of power unless you give it to them.   There you go. Three ways to choose the habits that are best for you right now (which are also the ones in which you are most likely to succeed)! Now you know how to choose habits. Next time I will give you a list of some of my top habit suggestions for you to consider... one's that give you a lot of bang for you buck (or should I say results for you time)!   Until next time,

Onward!

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