Spring is in Full Swing – My Face is Streaming! 😱

You feel me? It’s beautiful sunshine outside, blossom flourishing everywhere, garden is brimming with green and you just want to get out and enjoy the change in season!

However… Your eyes are puffy and itchy, your nose is streaming and you want to rip your own face off 😬

For many a spring and then also into summer too I endured epic seasonal allergy symptoms. Before I started my natural journey I used to use antihistamines, but because of the severity and duration of my symptoms I would be on them for months on end!

I am pretty sure this extended use of prescription drugs was one of the many things that destroyed my gut health and added to my toxic load. And I’m also pretty sure my general state of health and bad diet were making my seasonal allergy symptoms worse! As you’ll know if you follow my blog, I’ve cleaned up my diet a lot and cut most of what was adding to my toxic load out. I do still suffer with symptoms though as we head into the spring/summer season, but I have found some really good natural remedies that help.

Read on as I share them!

1. Neti Pot & Saline

This is a really simple and effective idea. Pollen, dust, other particles hold onto the insides of our nose and the saline washes them away! It takes a while to get used to the sensation, but it is relatively effective!

2. Probiotics

Lactobacillus GG and L. gasseri are believed to be two of the best probiotics for allergies, along with L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis! Look for these in the ingredients of the probiotic you choose. I use the doTERRA PB Assist. Click here for more details.

3. Local honey

When a person eats local honey, they are thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms.

I’ve got to say, I’m not sure if my love of local honey has helped my allergies or not. I just love local honey!

4. DNA Testing

Now this is a key one. And pretty advanced thinking too. One of the many things our genes show is whether we are prone to inflammation! If we are we can eat in a way that prevents inflammation, which should also help curb our allergy sysymptoms. The DNA test I took provides a detailed summary of how to eat and how to exercise and as our DNA never changes, it is information I can refer to for years to come when making decisions about my health. The test I used also sequences with life-sensing technology to keep the DNA information relevant to the present day because genes are predetermined and particular gene variants can affect the body in real-time. Learn more here

5. Allergy Testing

You know you are sneezing and it’s spring, but is that the full picture?

Many foods or drinks that we consume, especially on a daily basis, can affect our health and wellbeing and are linked to many unwanted effects including fatigue, headaches, skin problems, breathing problems as well as affecting our immune, nervous and digestive systems.

 

Www.allergytest.co.nz are the most helpful, most straightforward and most convenient allergy test service I have found. You can test from the comfort of your own home and choose the level of testing you have according to your budget. You an really get a full picture of the foods and environmental substances that are affecting you. Click here to learn more!

6. Essential Oils

There are 3 essential oils I have used to ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies: peppermint, lemon and lavender.

Lavender is so soothing and has natural antihistamine properties. Peppermint is known to reduce inflammation and clear respiratory passages. And lemon is also a natural antihistamine and naturally cleansing and gives you that lift when the drag of seasonal symptoms brings you down!

Using these 3 oils together is a great idea because they work better synergistically, but I have to be honest in that they have only been able to take the edge off for me when using them topically and aromatically. I raised this with another doTERRA Wellness Advocate and she suggested trying Triease, which is a capsule to take them internally. She suggested that the dose is more targeted and the body’s response to the oils quicker. I know there is some controversy over ingesting essential oils, so read more about that if you are concerned, here.

Learn more about Triease here.

If you want to purchase any of the doTERRA products, visit my web store here! And read why I chose to be an Advocate for this phenominal wellness company here!

Next we’ll tackle Mosquitoes! 😯

Much Love,

Essential Mum x x

 

 

 

Antioxidant support from Essential Oils

I have been wanting to write a blog about DDR Prime Softgels for ages, but I just haven’t felt like I understand the product deeply enough.  doTERRA created DDR Prime to help promote repair to damaged DNA.  Research and studies have shown over and over again that essential oils work on a cellular level, meaning they can penetrate the cell walls and work within the cells, and one of the most fascinating abilities of essential oils is that they can differentiate between a healthy cell and a bad cell.

DDR Prime is meant to reduce oxidative stress, an imbalance between the production of free radicals and our body’s ability to counteract them. It’s a  natural process, but it can greatly influence our overall well-being.

When I first started taking DDR Prime I had never heard of oxidative stress.  I read that DDR Prime was full of antioxidants and I’d heard of those! (Antioxidants are molecules that are present in cells. These molecules donate electrons to unbalanced free radicals in order to balance them and stop the cycle of cellular degradation.) While antioxidants are found in abundance in many whole foods, it is often difficult to get the amount and specific types of antioxidants our body needs for peak cellular health.  I also knew my chronic anxiety had taken a toll on my health physically as well as mentally, and this was enough for me to give them a shot.

The proprietary blend of essential oils in DDR Prime includes CloveThymeWild OrangeFrankincenseLemongrass, Summer Savory, and Niaouli, because they offer antioxidant support for protection against oxidative stress.

Frankincense, Thyme and Lemongrass are chosen to prevent against DNA damage because of their preventative processes.  Lemongrass, Clove and Niaouli (a form of Melaleuca) are chosen for their ability to destroy unhealthy and irreparable cells. Lastly, doTERRA looked at oils to guard against oxidative stress. These included clove, wild orange and summer savory. Clove essential oil is particularly powerful because it has the highest level of antioxidant properties ever known in a substance, making it a powerful support to anyone’s daily health routine.
DDR Prime Softgels make it easy to get your daily serving of free radical fighting essential oils for optimum well-being.

If you’d like to learn more from doTERRA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hill, watch the following:

From the doTERRA Blog:
“What Makes DDR Prime Softgels Unique?
The power of DDR Prime Softgels is in the proprietary blend of essential oils. Alone, all of the individual oils have been shown to provide support of cellular integrity, but the synergistic effects they provide when combined together is even more powerful.* FrankincenseWild Orange, and Clove oil have all been shown to promote a healthy response to free radicals.* Thyme and Niaouli essential oils support cellular immunity and overall cellular health.* Summer Savory has been shown to support our body’s natural mechanisms to deal with oxidative stress.* Lastly, Lemongrass oil can protect against environmental threats.* Combined, this exclusive combination of essential oils offers unparalleled support of the body’s natural free-radical defense systems.*
DDR Prime Softgels Uses and Benefits

  1. As mentioned, the support of healthy cellular integrity is important for overall well-being. DDR Prime Softgels help support cellular immunity and cellular health.* The proprietary combination of essential oils in DDR Prime Softgels promotes healthy responses to oxidative stress for optimal well-being.*
  2. DDR Prime Softgels are also known to promote a healthy response to free-radicals.* The disruption of free radicals can cause a myriad of negative health effects. The essential oil blend contained within DDR Prime Softgels supports the body’s own defense mechanisms against free radicals.*
  3. DDR Prime Softgels provide a simple, no-mess, convenient way to get the benefits of DDR Prime Cellular Complex, anytime anywhere. Simply place a bottle in your purse, travel bag, or on your desk at work and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of DDR Prime Cellular Complex when you are crunched for time, away from home, or in a hurry.”

So here began my journey with oxidative stress! I have since become a self-proclaimed mitochondriac. It’s like most of today’s common complaints can be brought back to the health of.our cells. All cells need three primary things in order to stay healthy: energy, primarily metabolic energy, protection from outside and internal threats, and resiliency.

In today’s world our diets do not provide the nutrition we need to provide the energy our cells need. Our cells are under attack from electromagnetic waves and toxins. Providing our cells with daily protection, while we reduce the toxins and threats in our environment, is a great way to enhance our body’s natural defense. The third way we can help our cells and maintain great health is to support the resiliency of our cells, so that whenever they are under attack,  they can bounce back to where they should be. DDR Prime is a great place to start!

Talk to me today about how to get DDR Prime at a discount or buy now from my doTERRA store. This is not a blend you can go another day without! To learn more about oxidative stress and it’s impact on your body, click here

Much love x x x

Gestational Diabetes – Understanding Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Eden, I was handed the diagnosis of “borderline gestational diabetes” after I did the ‘sugar test’ and was told to watch my diet.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, Jade, right from the very outset I was told to “watch my diet”.  My midwife helpfully talked about the Glyceamic Index and proteins and reducing processed foods because these are bad to our general health and thus bad for our pregnancies.  This nutritional counselling gave me a whole different outlook on my pregnancy.  Much in contrast to the stereotype of sit back and eat all the foods that you like because your body craves it, and give up exercise because you can, my body became my temple and when it came round to the gestational diabetes test, firstly I was told I had the choice whether I wanted to take it or or not, and secondly reassured that should I get the diagnosis, it didn’t really matter because I should be eating the kind of foods that were low on the Glyceamic Index anyway because high GI foods lead to higher levels of glucose in the blood and these can be passed onto baby.

Recently I came across a wristband that is soon going to be reading sugar trends in our blood.  It already reads blood pressure, which has been incredibly helpful to me because I’ve always had quite low blood pressure and suffer for it.  I realised this would be a very useful tool in pregnancy, both for blood pressure and blood sugar and could even rule out the sugar test completely, because right from the get go of your pregnancy you would be able to see how the foods you are eating are affecting your sugar level trends.

I checked in with my beautiful Midwife, Glenis Paulette, to guest blog on Gestational Diabetes from her perspective and the nutrition that can prevent it, so you can make your own minds up as to the best way for you to manage your levels of glucose in the blood.  Ultimately, the levels of glucose in your blood are what is passed on to baby.

Read on for Glenis’ Guest Blog to understand more, it was very eye opening to me.  You can read her bio and see her contact details at the bottom of the page.  She is also a great Homeopath and Acupuncturist, who has been of great support to me and my girls up to this day!

If you’re interested in learning more about the wristband to read sugar trends in the blood (non-invasively I might add!), please contact me.  You might also be interested to read my Homebirth Story with Jade and Glenis and/or learn more about Essential Mum!  If you have any questions for me or Glenis, do not hesitate to drop them in the comments below.

Much Love x x

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis in Pregnancy

The test for Gestational Diabetes (GD) in pregnancy is often considered routine and offered to women without counselling, explanation or consent. Many women are not even aware that they can refuse it. The diagnosis of GD is made by evaluating the level of a blood result taken from the woman after she has fasted for 8 hours and then given a sugary drink. Her blood is tested one and two hours after she has been given the drink to see how well she has been able to metabolise the sugar. If the woman fails the test she is then labelled with GD and her pregnancy is treated as high risk. The levels above which the woman is considered diabetic are arbitrarily defined by different health bodies and there is little consensus throughout the world what this level should be.

Studies show that the tests are unreliable and often give significantly different readings when repeated a week apart. Women who already have a good diet with minimal sugar in it also probably have difficulty metabolising such a sugar hit when it vastly exceeds what they are used to consuming. Also the same sugar load is given to all women irrespective of her weight, meaning it is much more of a load for a 60kg woman than one who is 85+kg.

There is also little evidence to show that this classification and the resulting treatment actually prevent the supposed risks of harm or mortality to the baby. Babies of GD mothers are at risk of being larger and at slightly increased risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition where a baby’s shoulders become stuck at birth preventing their body from being born. These babies can also suffer from low blood sugar levels after birth and be more at risk of being overweight and suffering from diabetes later in life. However, if they are medically managed by a hospital diabetes team they are more likely to be induced and subjected to the resulting cascade of interventions, more often resulting in a caesarean section. The resultant stress on the mother of having a ‘high risk’ classification also impacts negatively both on her and the baby. Obesity and excessive weight gain in pregnancy are more likely to lead to adverse effects for the mother and baby than a diagnosis of GD, although the two can go hand-in-hand.

GD is in fact a mild condition, without symptoms, that develops in the last few months of pregnancy. It is not the development of a serious disease. The level of glucose in the blood may remain higher for longer in pregnant women so that the developing fetus has an adequate and stable supply of nutrients to optimize their growth and well-being.

Managing this increased demand by the fetus can be optimised by giving the same practical advice to women diagnosed with GD as to all pregnant women.

Nutritional counselling should focus on the quality of carbohydrates they consume rather than the quantity. The most useful way to rank carbohydrates is according to their glycaemic index (GI). Pregnant women would do well to avoid or reduce those foods high on the GI as their metabolism leads to higher levels of glucose in the blood. These foods include simple sugars and honey, soft drinks, many processed breakfast cereals, white rice and white bread. Chemical sweeteners are also not good for the body. Many processed foods include excessive sugar, low quality carbohydrates and oils. A healthy diet is one containing fresh whole foods and complex carbohydrates because they are digested more slowly by the body and provide a steady source of energy and also more fibre. Examples include wholemeal breads and pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and breakfast cereals based on oats, barley, nuts and seeds. Adequate oils and protein are also important.

Regular exercise is also advised as this helps the body burn up glucose and increases the effectiveness of insulin.

The best thing to prevent low blood sugars in the newborn is to ensure that they are breastfed early and regularly.

glenis bio.PNG

 

“Every time I start exercising I get a cold”

I see this so much, and experience it myself when I crank up my exercise intensity. It’s important to understand why this happens, so we can prevent it and enjoy our journey towards our #Fitmama goals!
Increasing exercise stresses our body and thus weakens our immune system. So, as we increase our exercise levels we need to increase the vitamins and minerals that are going to keep our immune system strong; like vitamin c and zinc.
The preferable way to do this is through your diet, but unfortunately nowadays our soils are very depleted of the vitamins and minerals we need and so we can end up deficient and needing to supplement them.
I am a very good example of this. I eat really well. Really clean with lots of fruit and colourful veg, but when I got a blood test I found I was lacking in a few things, especially zinc, so I started on the doTERRA long-life vitality supplements and have never looked back since!  If you want to read more about this supplement system, click here.  They are only available to doTERRA Wellness Advocates, but you can read about becoming one of those here.  If you choose to buy a multivitamin over the counter, just take a look at the label carefully to check whether it contains synthetic vitamins that won’t be helpful.
We also need to get enough rest to properly recuperate between exercise sessions.  Regular moderate exercise actually boosts the immune system. So it’s a fine balance, but maybe increasing frequency rather than intensity might help.
Gyms are also germ-laden and you’re exposed to a large variety of bacteria in spite of the gym’s good cleaning and hygiene efforts. I found this out when I got a staph infection in my thumb!  I make a Cleansing Spray now for any  mats & equipment I am using. It’s really easy! Just grab a 2–4 ounce spray bottle, 5 drops of doTERRA On Guard blend, Witch hazel (¼ of spray bottle) and some Filtered water.  Combine all the ingredients together in the glass bottle. Mix well, spray, and wipe!
Finally, don’t rule out the effects of stress that is external to your new exercise regime that could be making you more susceptible to getting ill!

How I kicked bladder infections and UTIs naturally!

Since I was a teen up until quite recently, I suffered with constant bladder infections and UTIs.  To the point that I had to have investigative surgery (a cystoscopy under general anesthesia) to shed light on why they were so frequent.  They found I had interstitial cystitis where the inside walls of my bladder had become so red and inflamed from constant infections that I was suffering stabbing pain, serious discomfort while urinating, and sexual intercourse ignited pain that lasted for several days.

I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant called nortriptyline to treat the interstitial cystitis, but the bladder infections and UTIs still continued.  I also suffered some serious health complications from the medication, like black outs.  I finally came off the tablets in preference of some marked changes in my diet and life and natural tools to rebalance the bacteria in my gut and bladder.

How did I get to that point?

I learnt through my experience with Eden that we live in symbiosis with the bacteria that inhabit the Gastro-Intestinal tracts in our bodies.  There are more of these bacteria than cells in our body.  It is an extremely fine balance of friendly bacteria and unfriendly bacteria/fungi/yeast/parasites. If we allow the latter to overgrow we activate the immune system and impair barrier function, which can lead to chronic diseases.

The problems we suffered with Eden and moreover, how nobody seemed to know how to help us or what was wrong for a good while, made me go away do significant research and learned a lot.  For Eden her intestinal permeability led to many symptoms outside of her GI tract, like thrush and other skin rashes, headaches, congestion, abdominal pain, extreme bloating, constipation and diarrhea, that all led to disruption of her sleep and restlessness,  and ultimately…. a bladder infection.  This got me thinking!  I was already suspicious that my gut was out of balance, based on other problems I had suffered in the past. I had many predisposing factors that would prevent my body from working optimally and create an imbalance – early and frequent exposure to antibiotics as a child and teen, chronic use of chemical birth control, which dries out mucosal tissue from tip to tail, creating a breeding ground for bad bacteria; A LOT of stress, disordered eating (a diagnosed eating disorder as a teen). Then, because of how Eden was born with such an imbalance of her own I considered, if I recreated my own gut bacteria balance by removing the undesirable organisms and restoring the desirable bacteria, while I worked through this process with Eden would my bladder problems reduce?

The result was YES!

The first thing I did was identify all the things in our lives that were increasing our toxic load, (heavy metals such as chemicals, mercury, pesticides, and herbicides) and attempt to reduce them, in order to restore immune function (our bacteria are an integral part of our immune system, helping it to distinguish between ‘friend and foe’).

I hadn’t realised until I started reading labels how many toxic ingredients there are in the things that we use every day – soap, toothpaste, creams, lotions, washing detergents, air fresheners, candles.  Not to mention in the food we eat!  I began to opt for organic food and began to cut chemical products out one by one and replace them with things I made myself, using essential oils.

Then I attacked the food intolerances I suspected Eden had head on!  Eden and I did a full elimination diet to identify problem foods and then we removed them.

I also made other dietary changes.  I began eating some fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut to help re-colonize my bodywith helpful bacteria. We cut out refined sugar completely because it feeds the bad bacteria and we cut down on grains that are high in carbohydrates, so break down into sugar and also feed yeast and bad bacteria growth.

As I realised the bacterial imbalance was not only in my gut, but in my bladder, I started taking D-mannose (500mg 4x daily) to prevent bacterial buildup in my bladder directly.

I used a course of Oregano Essential Oil (5 drops 3x daily in 250ml water for 3 days) because it is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

I then started on quality Probiotics.  I visited Nicola John’s Pharmacy in Glen Innes, Auckland, upon the advice of my awesome midwife with Jade and talked to her about how I could increase the good bacteria in my bladder and gut and reduce the growth of the infection-causing bacteria.

And I took Cranberry tablets (400-500mg 2x daily) to prevent bacteria from sticking to my bladder walls.

Vitamin C (1,000mg 3x daily) was also introduced to make my wee more acidic, so that the growth of E.coli was inhibited, my immune function enhanced.  Eden’s bladder infection was identified as caused by E.coli, so this was important for both of us.

In making these changes I have changed my life.  And I thank Eden for that, for leading me to a better way.  Although what we went through with her was awful and horrific for everyone it has opened my eyes to so many different things that were impacting my own health and as a family we are now so much healthier!

If you are suffering with frequent bladder infections and UTIs I obviously advise seeing a doctor as I am not one of those!  However, investigate some of the things that helped me and if you think they might be able to help you, give them a try because living with the pain and discomfort of frequent infections is awful and as I found can be seriously damaging to your bladder.

To get hold of quality Oregano Essential Oil that you can take internally, visit my doTERRA retail store and feel free to contact me with any questions!

Much Love x x

 

Yummy, fudgy, sticky pumpkin protein choc brownies

If you are looking for a brownie that has a hit of veggie AND protein, is refined sugar free, full of energy and tastes GOOD, this is the recipe!

I would describe these dollops of delights as fudgy, sticky, satisfying and rich.  Have a go at making them yourself:

  • Just over cup cooked pumpkin
  • 11 dates
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • Just over 2 cups of almond meal
  • 1 cup choc protein powder
  • 1/4 cup coco oil, melted with 3 tbsp cacao mixed in

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180c / 350f / gas 4 and line a 21cm x 21cm (8.5inch x 8.5inch) baking tin
  2. In a blender / food processor blitz the pumpkin and dates together to form a puree. Add the peanut butter and spices and mix until combined
  3. Add the almond meal, protein powder and coco oil/cacao mix into a large mixing bowl then add the puree and combine
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and flatten
  5. Bake for 20-25 mins

Enjoy!

Much love x x

Warming Winter Wellness Recipes!

My daughter has woken up with a hacking cough this morning and that coupled with the darker skies of today and yesterday is an urgent reminder that winter is on its way!

Did you know that you can use your essential oils for their health benefits in food?

doTERRA’s essential oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which means they have undergone rigorous in-house and third-party testing to ensure they are free of fillers, synthetic ingredients and harmful contaminants and can be therefore ingested, if stated on the product label. Examples are ginger, oregano and rosemary and coincidentally, these are great oils for body-strengthening as we come into Fall and then Winter and are also useful when it comes to healing from common winter illnesses.

Make sure that you print out these 3 warming, nourishing and health-boosting soups and add them to your winter recipe book!  You can stock up on the essential oils that you need here

Borsch picBorsch ingredients

Borsch instructions

Moroccan beef tagine

costa rican black bean soup

Enjoy!

Much Love x x