5 Simple Things you can do to Improve Air Quality inside your Home

I watched the most incredible video the other day…

It talked about how we have become the “Indoor Generation”.

We have filled our homes with everything we need and more, so we don’t need to go outside anymore…

Apparently we spend 90% of our time indoors and have left nature behind…

We have replaced daylight with artificial light and boxed ourselves in with walls, so nothing can escape.  The activities that we do in our homes – showers, play, exercise, cooking, cleaning, using our technology – they all leave a trail of pollutants, chemicals and moisture that can’t get out.  They are trapped between our 4 walls and so are absorbed by our bodies and trapped in the dust that we breathe on a daily basis….

Am I over-reacting?  Over-exaggerating?  It’s not like we fill our homes with cigarette smoke like we did before we realised that was harmful, is it?

You’re right.  It seems obvious now that smoking is bad for you.  However, back in the first half of the last century, things were very different. Medical textbooks were largely empty on the subject, and smoking was often seen as part of growing up.  The Royal College of Physicians made their recommendations on tobacco in 1962, 10 years after research started to show harm.  Only then did things start to change.  And it took 50 years to take them off display in shops.

Does that remind you of anything?

Just a couple of years ago, in a landmark alliance known as Project TENDR, leaders of various disciplines came together in a consensus statement to say that many of the chemicals found in everyday products can result in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and attention-deficit disorders.

Co-chairwoman of the Project, Irva Hertz-Picciotto said, “Ten years ago, this consensus wouldn’t have been possible, but the research is now abundantly clear…

Frederica Perera, (a signatory on the statement) Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University said at the time “At some point, we say we know enough to take preventative action.”

What clues does this pattern give us about what is to come?

To me, the answer is clear.  We may not be able to fully explain the toxic burden of tour everyday necessities (or moreover, get clear guidance from Governments), but we can clearly see from emerging science that much of the plastic, furniture, baby products, cosmetics, personal care products and TECHNOLOGY we use day to day may be carcinogenic, and at the very least are wreaking havoc with our natural systems.

Wait a minute Clare… TECHNOLOGY?

In March this year (2018), an external expert panel reviewed the draft Technical Reports of a $25 million study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP).  They studied rats and mice to help clarify the potential health hazards, including cancer risk, from exposure to cell phone radiofrequency (RF) radiation.  New-generation mobile telephones are part of an increasing number of technologies, like WiFi, that are increasing the radiofrequency exposure of the general population.

RF exposure caused by our modern need to be constantly connected is another issue that we, as the general public are little informed about, despite the facts that:

  • Human exposure is widespread
  • Current exposure guidelines are based largely on protection from acute injury from thermal effects and haven’t been reviewed for 20 years
  • Currently available human studies have found evidence of an increased risk of cancer from cell phone use
  • Belgium, France, India and other technologically sophisticated governments are now passing laws and/or issuing warnings about children’s use of wireless devices

Here in New Zealand we are generally, blissfully, unawares of the impact our technology is having on the developing brains of our children.

We know that brain development is the most complete and most rapid during the first nine months, prenatally, and during that time, neural connections and pathways are being developed.  Any interference by a physical stress like a toxic chemical or other stressor like electromagnetic frequencies can disrupt this natural progression that is so very delicate and complex.  The fetus is particularly vulnerable to microwave radiation. It can result in degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds brain neurons.  After birth our children continue to absorb more radiation from technology than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller. The World Health Organisation has declared radiation from wireless devices a possible human carcinogen and children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen.  And the consequences of exposure are anything but immediate.  Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood.

So, what can we do to stay healthy and protect our children?

The answer for me is also clear.  Take back our control and take preventative action.

2016, the year of the release of NTPs Study, is exactly 20 years since the EMF Project started.  This is the biggest and most acknowledged study so far, but other smaller, peer-reviewed studies (over 300 of them from 40-something countries) have preceded it, linking the increase in things like asthma, insomnia, autism, and even depression to our exposure to microwave radiation.

It is my belief that like with chemicals and tobacco before it, we will soon become very aware of the impact our technology is having on our health, but by then the harm will already have been done.  And worse, the majority of harm will have been done to our children…

Toys that emit RFs are being sold for use by young infants and toddlers. Kids spend hours on tablets and play with our mobile phones.  Having a mobile phone of their own is a rite of passage.  A standard part of growing up (like tobacco was?)  Stay at home mums and dad sit and work on the laptop while the kids play in close proximity on the floor.  Our WiFi routers run constantly.  We use cordless telephones and baby monitors that sit inches from our babies’ brains.  Digital dementia is being reported in school age children.  A study has shown when cellphones are placed in teenage girls’ bras multiple primary breast cancer develop beneath where the phones are placed.  Ipads and tablets were never tested in the laps of little children and yet they are being expected to take them to school and learn on them.  All manufacturers of smartphones have warnings which describe the minimum distance at which phone must be kept away from users in order to not exceed the present legal limits for exposure to RF and that exposure limit for laptops, computers and tablets is set when devices are tested 20 cm away from the body.

My list could go on and on…  I have been researching this issue for over a year now and I made a decision not to let my children be part of a mass experiment.

I am taking a stand for my own family’s wellness. I am on a MISSION to help other mamas too…

If you follow my blog or Facebook Page, you will have followed my journey replacing chemicals with essential oils and you will have seen the benefits we have experienced in our health, so hopefully you trust that when I say I know my shit, I know my shit… 😉

So, if you haven’t started the non-toxic journey yourself yet, this is a great place to start.

And whether you have or whether you haven’t, here are 5 tips with things you should start TODAY, if you aren’t doing them already, to reduce your toxic exposure!

  1.  When you get up in the morning, open windows, whatever the temperature outside
  2. Use a HEPA filter in your vacuum and use it every day
  3. Let as much natural light as you can into your home and avoid using artificial light as a substitute to increase positive mood and energy
  4. Review how much time you spend outside (this EXCLUDES an urban setting, which doesn’t count) and increase it
  5. Start using EMF Protection

If you have any questions or need any help with anything, please feel free to reach out to me

Much Love x x x

From Barely Surviving to Thriving, & Discovering Me

Learn how to connect with who you really are and align to what matters in your life.

If you enjoyed this audio and would like to subscribe to the series of 5 powerful steps to discover your true and authentic self and align your life to it, fill in the form below!

5 Ways to Replace Harmful ‘Fragrance’ with Essential Oils

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks!
 
The chemicals in our laundry detergent, multi-surface cleaner, even DUST can cause irritation of our eyes, nose, and throat, fatigue and nausea, or even longer-term more serious effects like respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.

Most of us are aware of outdoor pollutants, such as fuel exhaust and smoke. But

indoor air may be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air!  And we are much less vigilant about it, so I thought I’d help you out by sharing 5 ways to swap out one of the BIG chemical emissions in your home…  FRAGRANCE (also listed as “parfum)!!
Have you seen this harmless word on the ingredients list of your favourite detergent or beauty products?
From Dr. Axe:
“A National Academy of Sciences points out some vital facts: About 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). They include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), aldehydes, toluene and many other known toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. (1) Unfortunately, 30 years later, toxic ingredients continue turn up in products we use and breathe in on a daily basis. Some of the worst toxic ingredients used in lotions, shampoos, laundry detergents, cleaning products and so much more include synthetic scents, often listed as on labels as the elusive “fragrance.” And many on the list are known or suspected endocrine disruptors, compounds that tinker with hormonal health that can trigger weight gain and even set you up for diseases decades down the line.”
If you are ready to start making a positive change TODAY, here is my top 5 ways to get started!
1.  Make your own deoderant
Just fill a glass spray bottle with 120ml magnesium oil and add 15 drops of doTERRA Lemon.  Or if you prefer not to make your own, or like a solid deoderant, one is available at my Online Apothecary
2. Make your own multi-purpose cleaner
Grab, preferably, a glass spray bottle (these ones are great!)  Add in a 1:3 ratio of white vinegar to water and 30 drops doTERRA On Guard Essential Oil.  On Guard contains a proven mix of certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils that when together work effectively to kill bacteria and viruses.  I have used On Guard to clear an antibiotic resistant staph infection and a clinical study found it effective against the H1N1 flu virus.  The science is emerging on this incredible blend, but I’d recommend it for everything!  Read more here.
To buy essential oils, click here
3.  Ditch the perfume!!!!!
Please, I know it is hard to give up your favourite scent, but the chemicals and the harm they can cause in perfume will surprise you.  And our littlies breathe these chemicals too!  With essential oils you can get a nice smell and a therapeutic effect.  There will be lots of recipes to try on pinterest if you do a search, or visit my board for inspiration!
Pick Me Up and Calm Me Down also have a beautiful perfume as well as HUGE emotional benefits.  Take a look here!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

4. Go no poo!

To be honest, the synthetic fragrance in your shampoo is probably the least of your worries!  The harsh chemical mix in shampoos and conditioners strips your hair of its natural oils, ultimately making it more greasy and less healthy, and the myriad of chemicals are absorbed into our bodies and do significant damage (some are reportedly linked to cancer).

Instead you can easily make your own shampoo that leaves your hair feeling gorgeous!  You can make using ingredients you have in your pantry, plus essential oils!

 

  • Honey (preferably raw and unfiltered) and/or coconut milk
  • Distilled water
  • An essential oil
  • A simple container or pump of some sort
  • A spoon. This is to mix all of the ingredients together.

 

I choose a mix of lavender and Rosemary from my shampoo because I find the lavender soothing and rosemary oil is wonderful for promoting hair growth, soothing dry scalps, and adding volume to your locks.

5. Replace your air freshener/wax melt/any synthetic frangrance with a diffuser

For all of the reasons above, synthetic scents to freshen the air in your home have to go.  Did you know indoor air may be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air??  This is because of all of those chemicals emitted from the products we use every day and also the electrosmog emitted from our mobile devices.
I’m really passionate about helping people to move away from synthetic scents and other chemicals because they can cause a myriad of problems, including migraines, skin problems and asthma attacks, and our babies just deserve better.  They emerge from the safe, controlled environment of our wombs into a world that is fraught with risks.  Chemical scents are one we can protect them from, and according to the Breast Cancer Fund, when it comes to the prevention of cancer, avoiding synthetic fragrance is one of the main ways to help yourself and them!  (See article here.)
According to Dr. Axe, there at least 3,000 ingredients that could possibly be used to form a product’s scent and they don’t necessarily have to be listed on a product’s label. So with an essential oil you are just getting one, pure, natural oil that comes directly from the bark, stem, flower mother nature created for us.  I encourage you to take a look at the following list, derived from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, to see just how many fragrance chemicals you can start replacing today, and as always, I am here to help!
Much Love,
Clare

Essential Mum | Non-Toxic Mama

Life after laundry detergent and fabric softener

Nobody can deny how utterly scrumptious a laundry smells when you walk past and your favourite fragrance wafts up your nose. I actually connect laundry smells to different memories – of friends I had in the past, of university rooms, of loved ones who I have held close. It came as a shock to read that the laundry is one of the most carcinogenic places in a house!

In 2008, scientists reported on the toxic chemicals in laundry detergents and other laundry products and it wasn’t good news. A single fragrance can contain multiple toxic chemicals that have been linked to asthma, dermatitis and even cancer.

Researchers from the University of Washington studied top-selling laundry and air-freshening products and found that they emitted dozens of different chemicals. All of them gave off at least one identified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws in America. What’s worse is that because of current labelling laws, none of these chemicals were listed on the label.

Among the products tested were a dryer sheet, a fabric softener, and a laundry detergent, as well as spray and plug-in air fresheners. Results showed nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the six products, and none were on the label. “Five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic ‘hazardous air pollutants,’ which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level,” said study author Anne Steinemann.

A later 2011 study by the same researchers found that air vented from machines using top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets contained hazardous chemicals, including two classified as carcinogens.

For the study, researchers ran a load of laundry once with no products, once with a leading brand of scented liquid laundry detergent, and once with both the detergent and a dryer sheet. They captured the exhaust from the dryer vent with a canister.

An analysis of the captured air showed more than 25 VOCs, including seven hazardous air pollutants. The two carcinogens were acetaldehyde and benzene.

“These products can affect not only personal health,” said Steinemann, “but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies.”

You can Google for more information on the toxic chemicals in laundry products. Look for Fragrance (this is where multiple chemicals are used to make the desired smell), surfactants, stabilizers, bleach, 1,4-dioxane, brighteners, phosphates & EDTA. It’s scary stuff. Check to see if these are included in the laundry products you use too.

Thankfully, there are alternatives!

  • You can make your own laundry detergent. Wellness Mama has a great recipe, and you can find others online as well. You can add your favourite doTERRA essential oil for Fragrance
  • You can buy doTERRA’s On Guard laundry detergent, which I absolutely love! Read about it here.
  • Then you can skip the fabric softener completely and use woollen dryer balls or, if you’re going to dry outside, half-cup of vinegar added in the rinse cycle will produce the same results without the toxic chemicals.
  • Please do dump the dryer sheets! They a toxic shitstorm, if you’ll excuse my French! Dryer alls will also reduce static cling. I love my dryer balls, hence the title of this blog! (I literally did curse when I realised my favourite scents were so harmful and BALLS literally were my solution!)  Again, I got mine from doTERRA and I add geranium essential oil every few times I use my dryer. Geranium is such a beautiful scent for laundry.  It’s sweet, but not sickly, and it’s really calming.  Great for your bed sheets!  You can make your own using ( see DIYnatural) or if you don’t use a dryer you can even make a spray with 1 cup white vinegar to 3 cups of water and 30 drops of essential oils to spray on the washing when it is on the line ready to dry in the sun.

If you’d like to go chemical free in your laundry TODAY, and would like to have a look at the doTERRA products available and different essential oils you can use for scent, click here to be redirected to my webstore. Any questions, give me a shout!

Much Love x x x

Sources:

University of Washington, “Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners,” Science Daily, July 24, 2008, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723134438.htm.

Anne C. Steinemann, Lisa G. Gallagher, Amy L. Davis, Ian C. MacGregor, “Chemical emissions from residential dryer vents during use of fragranced laundry products,” Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 2011; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-011-0156-1.

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

Mindful [fill the blank]

I am sat here, well, sick as a dog actually. I’m aching for a nap, or at the very least just to kick back and do absolutely nothing, but my mind is being pulled towards the work I have to do, the fact I should be doing anything more soul nourishing than this with my two year old and now I’m typing this blog on my phone.

On Saturday I took part in the Auckland Mama Markets up in Milford and had a wonderful conversation with Trish Martin Baby Coach.

She was looking at the Biozen and we were discussing the risks of EMF to children and babies and she mentioned how she had never seen as much technology as we use today, often inches away from a babies head. She also mentioned how she often sees mothers breastfeeding with their focus on the phone and this really resonated with me because that is exactly what I used to do too.

I decided to dig into this phenomenon because it is truly unhealthy. Why can’t we breastfeed and focus on breastfeeding alone? Or be present playing with our children? Or be present in anything? Why do we feel compelled to check social media or chat to a friend when our beautiful creations are lay in our arms. Why is the washing more important than play? Aren’t our children the most beautiful things we have ever seen? Don’t we want to treasure each moment like it were our last? Why is what is happening on Facebook grabbing our attention?

If I dig into my own experience it was the feeling that something needs to be done that pulled me out of most moments. And the feeling was that it needed to be done now because my to do list was never ending. I had way too much on my plate. I recognize right now that my plate is overloaded again. We are moving house, my business is booming and clearly my immune system and mind has taken a hit. What are you feeling as your attention moves from baby to your phone (or whatever)? Identify that feeling because its roots have control over your mindfulness and you can take the control back. I like to think of it like becoming the boss of your own thoughts and I’d like to teach you how to do it in simple steps because doing it myself has changed my life.

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.

Buddha

Of course, I still have my bad days like today, and it’s important on those days that I look at what has changed. My lack of mindfulness is my mind’s way of telling me to take stock. So the first thing I can do is listen and respond. If I keep ignoring the signals my body is giving me I will end up in a worse place (I have done that too.)

So if we go back to the example of the mother breastfeeding and on her phone, what is the need being filled here? It could be something as simple as boredom, or it could be something deeper like a need for connection. I can help you discover those needs if you get stuck. My need was for order in my life. I thought constantly “doing” would bring that when in fact I needed to declutter my life.

The next thing to identify is what is keeping your mind from being at peace? What emotions are at play? In my experience it was stress and anxiety caused by the lack of order in my life. For you it might be sadness, or worry. Start to observe your emotions in the moment that your mindfulness slips, just as you are observing your body’s signals to take stock. From here you can begin to retrain your mind and rewire your brain.

 “We are what we repeatedly do.”

We are also what we repeatedly think. Over long periods, our patterns of thinking become etched into the billions of neurons in our brains, connecting them together in unique, entrenched patterns. When certain brain pathways – connections between different components or ideas – are frequently repeated, the neurons begin to “fire” or transmit information together in a rapid, interconnected sequence. Once the first thought starts, the whole sequence gets activated.

We can change that sequence. We can literally take control of what we think.  We can replace negative beliefs with positive affirmations, we can change our environment so we are surrounded with positivity to support positive thoughts and we can give up habits that negatively influence us, like excessive amounts on Facebook at all. Over time, we can begin to change the wiring of our brain so our prefrontal cortex (the executive center, responsible for setting goals, planning and executing them), is more able to influence and shut off our rapidly firing, fear-based amygdala (emotion control center). And, this is exactly what brain imaging studies on effects of mindfulness therapy have shown.

Loving ourselves deeply and nurturing our needs is a big part of the puzzle.

My schedule was out of control because I was knee deep in the emotional suffocation of not paying myself enough attention – period.

It took me a long time to understand self love, my limiting beliefs holding me back from it and what it actually means in terms of tangible actions I can take every day, but when I figured everything out I found this unbounded space in my head that allowed me to be present in a way I had never experienced before.

I also rediscovered my true authentic self, became physically healthier and emotionally stronger and found my purpose outside of #beingmum.

If self love is something you need a little help with I run a programme over 16 days, which costs just nz$16 and it will help you take a big step forward from where you are now. That’s just a $1/day and it’s all done online through email or Facebook messenger, whichever you prefer. To get started, click below:

 

16 Days of Self Love

NZ$16.00

If you’re having trouble being mindful you might also enjoy this blog by Spiritual Alchemist, Debbie, with a 1 minute meditation you can do anywhere at any time.

Much love x x

Why I can’t wait to have another baby

You live and you learn, right?

Both my pregnancies have given me big insights into my health. What we went through with Eden taught me that my gut health was screwed. There was no other real reason her gut would have been in such a state, apart from the fact I had heavy antibiotic use and a history of symptoms that pointed to compromised gut health. I’ve talked in a previous blog about how I used to get recurrent, debilitating UTIs and found after having Eden and healing my gut that they cleared.

After having Jade I felt tired and flat all the time. I’d had periods of feeling like this all the way back to my time at school. My compromised gut health was definitely something to do with it, but I was tired of feeling tired. I paid for a special hair test to have my micronutrients checked and there was a big clue as to why I was feeling so tired in the results! I was depleted in many ways and the naturopath talked me through why this would be making a big impact on my health. (There’s an image at the end of this blog from Dr. Jockers website that is a good summary of our micronutrients’ role in health [it’s big!])

There would have been many reasons why I had gotten depleted. Chronic stress depletes key nutrients and leads to micronutrient deficiencies; I had suffered my fair share of that! Bad git health means nutrients aren’t absorbed and our soils are also depleted of nutrients. Add onto that I had been breastfeeding for 2 years, which would have had an impact as well.

I decided to give doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality range of supplements a try, mainly because I could get them at a 55% discount with my wholesale account and I’d tried many supplements previously that quite clearly hadn’t worked, according to my results! (Read about what’s in doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality here and why need them). I also started their probiotics and I started using Pure Oxygen, as it can help with the absorption of vitamins and minerals and can boost our cells’ function as well. The results have been transformational for me. I feel better and more energized than I have ever been. They even supported my recovery from anxiety as well!

And now I have my new best friend, my Helo 😍, which tracks my blood pressure and my mood and will soon track my blood sugar as well. I feel like I have the trifecta of health ammunition to finally give me a pregnancy that doesn’t make me want to curl up and die! You see I have had crippling hyperemesis gravidarum in both my previous pregnancies. It was horrible and it definitely prevented me from just enjoying my growing baby inside. Moreover, when I think forward in my life I see our big family. Siblings hanging out together, friendships and diverse personalities, challenges, but also enough love to sink a battleship, or maybe in our case to keep us afloat. So I would love to finally have an uncomplicated pregnancy and enjoy the journey to meeting our last sprog, and I believe I may finally be in the perfect state of health to do it.

I believe adding Helo into my pregnancy will be a gamechanger. I’ve already written about how I see the upcoming blood sugar trend monitoring as a great way to both identify, but more importantly prevent gestational diabetes.  I also believe the peace of mind Helo provides is second to none. Blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, breath rate, mood and energy are all tracked by Helo and you can set your midwife up to remotely monitor your data, and be alerted if any of your bioparametres go out of their ranges of normal! Low blood pressure was another thing that was a drag on my previous pregnancies. I also read that balancing blood sugar can prevent morning sickness and the great thing about knowing our mood, energy levels and sleep is that you can change anything in an instant and change them. Knowledge is power and pregnancy is scary. It feels sometimes like there is all this crazy stuff going on in your body that you have no control over. Helo gives you insight and the power to control your health.

So there you have it. I am broody as £#!& for our third child (that was the sound of my husband’s heels as he legged it down the street 😉)…

I think I knew straight after Jade was born that I wasn’t “done”, but it has taken me some time to decide whether another baby is right for us. What about you? Did you know you were done after your last baby? How many children do you have? What has been your experience with pregnancies? Have you been well or have you suffered like I did? Have you had the same experience across all pregnancies or did you have one that surprised you in some way? Do you think I’m into anything with the health-morning sickness link? Would love to read your comments!

Much love as always x x

Protect your growing baby from harmful radiation.png

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

 

Safe Sleep for Baby

Baby sleep has always been a hot topic for me.  Baby sleeping at all eluded me with my first baby, Eden, because of her gut troubles.  In fact, she is 4.5 years now and she still isn’t sleeping through the night.  My second daughter, Jade, sleeps really well, but she is currently sleeping in the bed with me. Whoever I talk to there are always questions about baby sleep and risks too that keep us mothers up at night. I remember being perched on the end of my bed watching Eden breathe when we first brought her home from hospital after all the terrifying things I had read about SIDs.

Recently, I became aware of a big risk posed to our children and it was something I had never considered before.  I was shocked because I thought I had covered off all my bases – no sleeping on the tummy, good ventilation in the room, essential oils to help baby relax in a diffuser with a timer, room not too hot not too cold… but the danger isn’t something you can see and it is everywhere.

How many of us fall asleep with our mobile phone on the bedside table?  Who has a baby monitor running so that they can hear when baby wakes?  How many small children use night lights?  Technology is in its golden age.  We use electronic devices, gadgets, and appliances for everything and we have become so attached to our mobile phones that they’re always with us, even when we sleep. I remember when both my babies were small scrolling Facebook would be the only thing that got me through the long nights breastfeeding.

However, these devices are releasing an EMF (electromagnetic frequency) that is negatively impacting our health and it may even be the reason you haven’t thought of yet as to why baby just won’t sleep through the night. Many studies are now linking EMFs with problems sleeping, depression and cancer, and the World Health Organization is in the process of reviewing its classification of electromagnetic radiation in the midst of a growing body of evidence that shows that cell phone and wireless radiation—at even very low levels—could harm our health in a number of different ways.

How do EMFs affect us?

EMF radiation is such a massive issue. I could write so much, but I’m just going to focus on a few facts that have impacted me, which I hope will help you to decide whether you want to limit your exposure or not. Please note that the key areas below are not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of how EMF exposures may affect your baby’s health and I encourage you to do your own research.

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress produces proliferation of free radical activity in our bodies and an environment positive for cancer and other health issues.  EMFs cause this stress in our bodies through cell proliferation of malignant cells and disruption of cell-signaling systems, which determine how a cell responds to its environment.

Brain Cancer

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, classified microwave radiation from communication devices as a “possible carcinogen.” This is in the same category as lead, engine exhaust, DDT, and jet fuel.

The brain does not complete development until the early- to mid- twenties. This means children have an increased risk of the effects of EMF exposure and deserve an additional level of precaution. Small influences on the developing brain can result in large impacts later in life.

Studies in Europe show that people who used cell phones heavily for over ten years have a doubled risk of brain cancer, and those who begin using cell phones as teenagers have between four to five times more brain tumors by their late twenties.

Digital dementia

Scientists in Korea have reported increasing prevalence of digital dementia in children. They reported that children who are heavy technology users have brains that are underdeveloped on the right side. This has been characterized by memory loss, attention disorders, lack of eye contact, lack of empathy, and difficulty feeling or showing emotions.  As a result, the Korean government is instituting programs to reduce uses and exposures, especially to young children.

Baby’s Sleep

EMFs from manmade devices have a higher rate of oscillation (vibrate at a higher number of cycles) than the natural electromagnetic fields of our body at rest. The electrical current in your home is generally between 50-60 Hz. In contrast, the ideal frequency in your brain in sleep drops to as low as 2 Hz.1

This discrepancy can prevent you from falling asleep and pull you out of deep sleep, if you do manage to get there. This is because your brain tends to entrain itself to the frequency in the electricity and keeps oscillating at the higher rate of the electricity, which prevents sleep.

Wireless devices are even more powerful in their ability to affect our sleep. They emit a microwave radiation—that oscillates at a much higher frequency. And this can really keep you awake.  The thing about WiFi is that it is on all the time and is the main contributor to the electromagnetic radiation in our homes.

EMFs also suppress the production of melatonin. Melatonin, a hormone produced by our pineal gland, regulates our circadian rhythm and helps us sleep. It is also responsible for killing free radicals and for supporting the immune system.

Researchers have found that EMFs hinder the production of melatonin as well as prevent the absorption of the melatonin that is produced because of cell disruption.

Continual cell phone use can also decrease the pineal gland’s production of melatonin.

I am still learning about this area of concern for our babies and children. I have started using a device called Biozen that alters the electromagnetic waves emitted from electromagnetic devices so that oxidative stress and mutagenic effects where the strands of our DNA break and are unable to repair does not happen. Effectively the altered waves work on a biological level to do the opposite of EMFs, helping to repair the DNA as the natural process of our cells would do in an optimum environment.

I still feel it’s important to turn electronic devices off and keep them away from babies while they sleep.  This includes unplugging all electronics and appliances in baby’s bedroom and making sure we limit the use of phones and other screen time before bedtime.

Alarm clocks, electric blankets, baby monitors, lights, ipads and laptops are also among the many gadgets and appliances in our bedrooms that can cause serious health effects and sleep loss. Baby Monitors is an extremely tough one.  We use them to protect our babies and support us to know if something is wrong.  Biozen is a great alternative if you don’t want to stop using your baby monitor.  So far we have Biozen on our phones, laptop, tablet and the WiFi router!  Biozen is the only medically certified and scientifically proven to work (with the testing also certified.)

I hope this blog has been helpful in understanding what EMFs are and their effects, so you can keep baby’s bedroom (and yours!) radiation-free.  Experiment with removing devices from baby’s room or using the Biozen to see if it helps with baby’s sleeping.  I’d love to hear your feedback!  I have become fully committed to helping people understand the seriousness of the situation we are in with EMF radiation and collectively detoxifying our environment of dangerous electrosmog.  If you feel passionate too, or would like to learn more, please join me in my group on Facebook, Safe Wave Warriors!