March 2016 - Now Wellness
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Monthly Archives

March 2016

Kombucha

Kombucha- The why’s and how to

By | Nutrition | No Comments

Kombucha, the probiotic king

Some of you may have already heard a little bit about kombucha, or heard the name, but have no Idea what the heck it is. Well, you have come to the right place, I will share with you the why’s and the how to’s of kombucha.

So what is kombucha? Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea, normally a black tea, however, you can use green, while, or rooibos teas. There is a yeast culture that will live in the batch of sweet tea and live off the sugars in the water, this is called a SCOBY. Your SCOBY will grow each and every batch, this is what makes the tea have the probiotic properties.

What can probiotics help with?

  • Digestive Health
  • Urinary Health
  • Allergies
  • Women’s Health
  • Immunity
  • Obesity

We have a lot of bacteria that live in our guts to keep everything going smoothly. As I tell people that our gut is our second brain and that when something is wrong it most likely is stemming from our guts. An unhealthy gut can cause issues such as IBS, bloating, cramps, constipation and diarrhoea to name a few from our digestive health. When our good bacteria are low in out guts it can also cause UTI, or yeast infections, as a child I seemed to be prone to them, so this would be a great way for both an adult and a child to up their probiotics in their diet.

How to make Kombucha

It is very simple actually.

  1. You will need your Scoby and some of the original kombucha that it was living in. The best way to obtain a SCOBY is through a friend who is already growing some, a local health food store or you are able to purchase a dried one online.
  2. After you get your starter SCOBY you will need to make your first batch. You will boil 4 cups of water and 1 cup of white granulated sugar, boil until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Once boiled you will add approximately 5 tea bags (you may use loose leaf tea) let steep until very strong.
  4. Once the tea is steeped strong you will then add 12 more cups of cool/cold water to the mix.
  5. You will then add your SCOBY and the original Kombucha.
  6. Put all into a large glass jar/jug, and cover with a cloth secured with an elastic band. (Cheesecloth is not recommended.)

Depending on the size of SCOBY and the temperature of your house it may take up to 14 days to ferment. You may taste test after 4 days, you will want the mixture to be tart with a little sweetness. After it is to your desired taste you will want to pour into other Glass containers. You may add fruit or fruit juice to flavor it. You will want to put the Kombucha directly into the fridge at this point. You also may do a second fermentation to obtain carbonization. You will need a glass jar with a pressure sealed lid. (Recommend using a pressure tested jar.) Let sit out for 3 more days then chill.

7 Kombucha Health Benefits:²

  1. Detoxification
  2. Digestion
  3. Energy
  4. Immune Health
  5. Joint Care
  6. Cancer Prevention
  7.  Weight Loss

I include kombucha in my everyday routine. I noticed a huge difference in my overall health once it was included in my diet. If you wish to learn more information on how I incorporate it into my life or how I found it has changed my life, please contact me.

Source¹

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self-care

Self-care, how toxic is your life?

By | Essential Oils, Mental Health | One Comment

Self-care, remove your toxins and take back control

Self-care is something that I have truly struggled with. My entire life I have always had my focus on everyone else, either desperately fighting for attention to be noticed, or having pity on others and trying to make their situation better, rather than focusing on my own situation. Since I started counselling I have really been able to put my life into perspective, it’s all making a lot more sense and the dots are starting to be connected. I still to this day struggle with this, I am always concerned I am going to hurt someone, even though they continuously hurt me. It’s like rewarding a dog for bad behaviour.

We can do self-care until we are blue in the face, but let’s be honest, it’s not going to do an oz of good if we are still around people who are toxic. Eventually, our relationships, our children, and our life start to suffer. Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s the same as being in a domestic violence relationship, it’s familiar and it is what we know. Our minds are scared of the unknown, this is the reason why so many people are scared of death.

People who are negative and toxic are all about control. They try to control the way you feel, think and act. This is often where people start to develop rage, so much anger is built up that you lash our and scream and do and say hurtful things. Do they listen? No. Why? They don’t see what they are doing, and or they don’t care. Most of the time these toxic people will never listen and never see what they are doing to you. This leads to people thinking you’re the crazy one. They will continue to try to get people to understand their views, potentially brainwashing everyone around them.

Often, more times than not these toxic people are family. People have this pre-conceived notion, that since they are family we have to keep them close, and “put up” with the crap, but guess what, you don’t. If you are not happy and you get anxiety just thinking about them, why keep doing this to yourself.

“The facts are that family members are just people and not always healthy people, and if these people weren’t family, we would never choose them to be a part of our lives due to their poor treatment of us,”-Campbell¹

For those of us who have children, I like to think to myself “why would I want to subject my children to the situations in which hurt me”. My children have made the struggle real for me; they have made me force myself into self-care, not only for myself but for them too. A very wise phrase as you may of hear growing up is “it’s about quality not quantity” and this applies to every aspect of your life.

I’m writing this for everyone who has ever been in a toxic relationship, whether it was domestic, family, or friends. I want everyone to feel empowered to make their own change. Take back the control of your life, and your feelings. Why take medication for anxiety when you can remove the reason for your anxiety out of your life.

You can attend an event, and be treated badly by people that are saying hurtful things to you or about you or, you don’t attend the event and people still say hurtful about you, what is the difference? The difference is you are not putting up with the anxiety. You didn’t give in and reward them for their bad behaviours. If you have anxiety just thinking about the event why subject yourself to more abuse.

I read an amazing book once, and I highly recommend it to everyone, to at least read this book sometime in their life. “How full is your bucket- by Tom Rath” This book gave me a lot of insight about my life as a person and as a parent. It goes with the saying you can’t pour from an empty cup, so how are you expected to attend these mentally draining occasions, then come home to your spouse and/or children and then continue to give to them? How can you give when there is nothing left to give.

You can’t pour from an empty cup²

Self-care tips:

  • Remove toxic people
  • Think of a safe place a happy place
  • Do something for yourself
  • Create a new tradition, a new normal
  • Break the cycle.
  • Essential oils
  • Counselling

If this sounds like your life and you are looking to start making a change, I always recommend counselling, it helps put everything in perspective. I always highly suggest using essential oils for mood management. If your depression is taking over your life, you can speak with your Naturopath or MD.

Source¹

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anxiety

Anxiety and depression with essential oils

By | Essential Oils, Mental Health | No Comments

Managing your anxiety and depression with essential oils

If you don’t know already, I suffer from pretty severe depression and anxiety, and possible PTSD. It has been a long few years that I have been dealing with it, with many trips to the hospital, and Dr’s office to help me work through the pain that I was having. I would wake up in the middle of the night with throbbing head pain that felt like someone attempted to bash my skull in, this was causing my stomach be in knots and often cause me to throw up. These panic attacks were causing havoc on my new marriage and just made me want to run away from everything I knew. It would make me so angry, and my chest would feel like someone was sitting on top of me, and I couldn’t escape from the pain.

It all started in 2012 when I was having the stress of being a new mom, starting a new job, moving, planning a wedding and on top of it all, I was starting a kinship through the Children’s Aid Society. It was to much on my plate but I have always been a person who needed to help as many people as I could. The next few months were trying, to say the least, but awarding at the same time; until it all came to a catastrophic end. The kinship was ended, and our lives were on the way back to the way they were, until a month later when I got a horrific phone call. The child that I had considered as my own was sexually assaulted, my world was destroyed.

60% of sexual abuse/assault victims are under the age of 17¹

I can’t even begin to explain the emotions that ran through my body, but most of them were guilt. Guilt that I did not protect this child, and anger, a lot of anger; I didn’t really know how to deal with my emotions. I had so many issues from my childhood were drudged up, again I didn’t know how to handle or deal with these feelings.

I was finally diagnosed with depression and was put on the proper medication, and finally, I had somewhat of a relief. I was still fully not myself, I wasn’t happy, and cheerful, but I was able to somewhat get through the day. I started to see counsellors, which didn’t start off great. First, I saw a horrible counsellor, who I stopped seeing after the first session. I then started to see another lady who was great, she was able to help me realize what was truly important in my life and gave me some strategies to help me get through life. I was doing ok at that point.

Less then a year later I realized I didn’t deal with the true issues that I had in my life, and they were destroying me slowly, and medication wasn’t working. I was then introduced into essential oils for mood management, and my world changed. I often wondered how such a small, natural thing could be so powerful over my emotions, but it was.  Just from a deep inhalation of certain essential oils, the symptoms of my panic attacks would start to subside. It helped with the attacks, tightness in my chest and the overall anxiety that I had with my life. I was able to get up out of bed and live more, however, it also made me realize a more pressing issue from my past that I needed to deal with, that I had not ever spoke about in my entire life. It helped me through my fears of counselling and speaking to people about my depression.

It takes 22 seconds for essential oils to reach the brain through inhalation

I reached out to the local mental health clinic for free counselling who was able to refer me to a therapist would be better suited for my needs. I feel like I am finally saved, and that I wouldn’t have ever made it here without the essential oils helping me through my anxiety. I still to this day need essential oils to help support my mood and anxiety, both throughout the day and while I am sleeping. I have struggled for many years getting a good rest at night, with awful nightmares causing me to have panic attacks as well as grinding my teeth. I have woke up many times with horrible migraines, and it was brought to my attention that people actually try to relieve their stress while sleeping by grinding their teeth, which will end up causing migraines and jaw problems. I have also struggled with immobilization and the essential oils help me tremendously, with uplifting my mood and motivation.

Sexual Assult Statistic in Canada¹

  • Of every 100 incidents of sexual assault, only 6 are reported to the police
  • 1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
  • 80% of sexual assault incidents occur in the home
  • 17% of girls under 16 have experienced some form of incest
  • 80% of assailants are friends and family of the victim

My story and my journey are just beginning. I want people to know that it is ok to reach out for support, someone will be there to catch you. I will be here to help catch you and guide you down your own healing journey. Life isn’t predetermined, you can choose your story and how your life is going to go, let all choose a happy, healthy, natural living, healing approach.

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acid reflux

Acid reflux- too much or not enough?

By | Busy Moms, Nutrition | No Comments

Acid reflux? Do you have too much or not enough stomach acid?

Having not enough stomach acid will actually cause the same side effects of having too much, so how would you really know? Here a test for you to try, when you are currently experiencing the symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, or acid reflux take 1-2 tablespoons full of fresh lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar. If this starts to alleviate the pain and the symptoms, then that means you do not have enough stomach acid. If it makes the problems worse then you have too much stomach acid.

I hardly ever get heartburn, however, the past week our house got hit with this nasty virus, and I was taken down by this nasty stomach bug and wasn’t able to keep water down. After the bug was over I was starving, however, any time I wanted to eat no matter what is was that I ate it caused severe indigestion. Knowing that I just spend a couple days woofing my cookies, I thought to myself that I more than likely have very low stomach acid. So I took my fresh lemon and squeezed out all of the juice and drank it up, within minutes the pain was gone and I was able to eat food again. I continued for the rest of the day to drink luke warm strong lemon water to help build the acid back up.

9 out of 10 times people do not have enough stomach acid

I feel that acid reflux is the leading diagnoses given out by our medical field today. Almost everyone I know is getting diagnosed with some form of acid reflux and is given medication for the rest of their lives, or for many years at least. My husband, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles have all recently been given medication for acid reflux. If you are on acid reflux medication, I highly suggest you read the little pamphlet that comes with the medication. It clearly states that the medication should not be used over a 2-3 week time frame, yet our Dr’s are prescribing this medication for months even years.

There is a ton of over the counter medication out there for everyone who suffers from indigestion, but there are so many other practical natural ways to help alleviate the symptoms of indigestion such as essential oils, or even just changing your diet. A lot of our health concerns can be totally reversed by proper nutrition. Our gut is our second brain, and it ifs not happy then the rest of your body is not happy either, such as causing bad indigestion.

Successful treatment is based on restoring adequate stomach acid production and eliminating bacterial overgrowth.¹

  1. Reduce factors that promote bacterial overgrowth and low stomach acid.
  2. Replace stomach acid, enzymes and nutrients that aid digestion and are necessary for health.
  3. Restore beneficial bacteria and a healthy mucosal lining in the gut.

There are many reasons why you should know what you are suffering from, because if you already have low stomach acid and you take an antacid it will neutralize the remaining stomach acid that you have left. This makes it very hard to properly digest your food, making the food get digested in your intestines, causing bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhoea. Every morning before I do anything I drink a warm glass of water filled with the juice from half of a freshly squeezed lemon, to help wake up my digestion system and help with my stomach acid.

If you are suffering from consistent indigestion, acid reflux, or heartburn, I would recommend doing the lemon juice test. If you find that it helps alleviate the symptoms, I suggest speaking with your Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Naturopath, or MD.

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dairy

Dairy, and how it affects my kids

By | Nutrition | No Comments

Dairy, where does it rank in your house?

Dairy can have many adverse affects on people who have an allergy. As most of you have probably already see, it is such a controversial topic on the internet now a days. I’m not going to really get into the information about the antibiotics, or how they are raised. I’m going to talk about me, my kids and our allergies.

In my last post, I spoke about my allergies and how they have had a huge impact on my life; my kids also fall into this subject as well. No I didn’t go out and pay a couple of hundreds of dollars to find out what foods they are allergic to, and what their bodies can’t digest. However it most definitely doesn’t take rocket science to figure it out. Like me, my sons can’t not process dairy, from what aspect of dairy I am not sure. I am allergic to casein which is a protein found in cows milk, and I am just allergic to dairy in general.

It was when my son turned one that we switched him over to 3% homogenized milk, as per recommended by doctors. It was then that my son was always sick. He developed eczema, had a constant runny nose and bad congestion, stomach cramp, gas and most of all he had a constant ear infection. This made it very difficult to attend work because my husband and I were either at the Dr. office or in the hospital with the little guy. He was put on puffers, and all these different creams, just so we could keep these things under control.

I took it upon myself to start looking into why this was happening to my son. It was devastating, not only to watch my little guy in pain but not to get answers as to why he was always sick, and had an ear infection once a month. My answer was good old fashion “Google”. I found so many articles relating to all of my son symptoms and dairy. I had made up my mind and took him off dairy and put him on soy milk, later to find out that its really not the best substitute. So I switched him to almond milk. My husband who is a sceptic by heart, was leery on the idea and didn’t think that milk could have this kind of effects on our son.

Approximately 2.5 percent of children younger than three years of age are allergic to milk.¹

Just one short week had pasted and no calls from daycare saying he was running a fever of 101, and there was no screaming from stomach cramps, and for the first time in his life his stools were starting to actually form. (Sorry TMI.) I was amazing and my husband was starting to believe me and took it upon himself to start researching the information as well, and found the same information I had previously found. A couple months had past and our son congestion had not come back, he hadn’t had another ear infection, and his skin was smooth. Hallelujah! Luckily we now live in a world that have so many alternatives for milk, such as coconut cream, coconut milk, and soya. Check out your health food section in your local grocery store.

In holistic nutrition they like to point out to people that skin irritations and break outs are usually a good sign from your gut saying, “Hey, I don’t like what you are putting in me.” Luckily my son skin was clearing up once we cut out the dairy from his diet. However to this day, we can defiantly see the signs when he has had dairy in his system, he becomes super gassy, and complains his belly hurts and within the day his back and shoulders will be completely broke out in eczema.

“People don’t really know how good they are suppose to feel in their own bodies”

Someone once told me me that quote, and I believe that 100% especially if you are getting these types of symptoms at such a young age. Most would just assume that was just natural; how many of us live with these types of conditions and think that its a normal way of life.Listen to your body, so you too know how good it feels to live in your own body. Trust me, once you know what how good it feels, you will not want to go back. Have any of you had to remove dairy from their diet? If so comment below and tell us why and how you removed it.

Things you should look for if you feel you or your children are allergic to dairy would be: constant congestion/ runny nose, bad stomach pains and gas, diarreha, bloating and continuous flare ups of eczema.

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