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Foundations of good health giveaway!

The Essential Foundations of Good Health

There are so many opinions these days when it comes to what is and isn’t healthy. In this post I’m breaking down my essential foundations of good health, layer by layer.Foundations of good health

I struggled with digestive dysfunction, an overactive bladder, and anxiety from the time I was very young. I can still remember at five years old being scared to get in the car because I knew I’d have to use the bathroom as soon as we got on the road. Even if it was just a short drive to church or the store. And my dad hated to stop.

That anxiety around basic bodily functions that were out of my control gradually grew over time. In junior high there were days I was in pain and could barely sit up in class. I would just watch the clock until it was time to go home so I could lay down and get relief.

High school ushered in disordered eating to try to feel some sense of control in my life and to manage my symptoms.

But as I journeyed into my twenties my anxiety reached a head, turning into panic attacks and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My digestive issues came right along with it!

But I had no clue how to get out of the vicious cycle. I feared I would have to suffer this way for the rest of my life.

Being a natural problem-solver, I couldn’t accept that answer. So even though no doctors could tell me what was wrong, I kept on searching for answers.

Is There a Way Out of Poor Health?

Over the course of the next fifteen years I gradually found most of the avenues I needed for healing. But it took a lot of trial and error. It took a lot longer than it needed to.

Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels on a healing journey?

Maybe it’s your own health that is suffering. You have…

  • no energy
  • joint pain
  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • brain dysfunction
  • poor digestion
  • life just seems sort of blah.

Or maybe it’s for your kids. They…

  • only want to eat sweets
  • can’t focus in school
  • have extreme mood swings
  • struggle with skin reactions
  • have daily stomach aches
  • can’t sleep well.

Nobody wants to live this way. It’s hard to really call it living. It’s more like surviving.

Is there really a way out? And where do you even begin?

What is your first step in order to get your life and health back on track?Foundations of good health

How to Begin the Healing Process

Let’s start with the symptoms of poor health. They truly are that – just symptoms. Just like picky eating is a symptom of much deeper issues, most bothersome symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg. It is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong at a deeper level.

But the solution is not found in treating symptoms. Sadly, that is exactly what allopathic medicine does. And it keeps you chasing symptoms while remaining sick.

Before you can start the healing work, you must get to the root of the problem first.

How to Improve Health and Wellness

When it comes to helping the body function better, I have discovered four essential foundations. These are the layers that you must work through to support the whole body. Not just physically, but spiritually and mentally as well.

Healing is sort of like peeling an onion. You go through it layer-by-layer.Foundations of good health

There are four layers in my essential foundations to good health.

  1. Spiritual life
  2. Diet and lifestyle
  3. Emotional and mental health
  4. Supportive and maintenance modalities

Each layer impacts the others. And you will go back and forth between them on your journey to better health. Let’s dig a little deeper into each foundation.

How Does Faith Impact Your Daily Life?

I believe the most important foundation in your life is spiritual health. This is central to everything else. Without a sense of purpose and hope, it is hard to want to make change.

For me spiritual health means faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Everything else I do in life stems from my faith.

Having a central focus – a solid foundation – is essential.

What you believe in is a very personal decision. But it is the first step towards a healthy life. And I encourage you to start with this foundation, no matter what physical and emotional symptoms you’re dealing with.Foundations of good health

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

The next step on your journey towards wellness is getting your lifestyle in check. This includes:

  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Stress-management
  • Movement
  • Sun exposure

All five of these components are important.

Nutrient-Dense Diet

A healthy diet includes nutrient-dense, whole foods that your body tolerates. It does not have to include overly-restrictive eating or cutting out whole food groups. Simply eat Real Food that meets your bioindividual needs.

If you’re not sure how to tailor a diet to your body, Nutritional Therapy can help!

Sleep

Sleep is just as important as what you eat. You can’t out-eat lack of sleep! Trust me, I’ve tried.

How much sleep is essential is different for every person. An Intuitive Eater tends to need extra sleep, while an Active Eater may be able to thrive with less.

Sleep is very restorative to the body. While you sleep your body works through emotional stress. This is also when your body does a lot of its healing work since it does not need to put energy into all of the functions that are needed during the day.

Stress Management

Stress affects the body both mentally and physically. While you can’t always eliminate the stress in your life, you can learn to be stress resiliant. Foundations of good health

Movement

It is essential to move your body every day. This does not mean you have to become a marathon runner. In fact, it’s healthier to be active and incorporate movement into your daily life than it is to sit all day and then do an hour of intense exercise.

Find ways to walk more, move your body in unique ways, and stand instead of sit. Having meaningful work at home helps as well. This can include landscaping, gardening, house repairs, raising animals, painting, cleaning, lawn mowing, and organizing. Keeping your body moving throughout the day is the key.

Sun Exposure

Finally, sun exposure and getting outside are foundational to your health. There is a lot of talk about Vitamin D supplements these days. While I’m not a fan of Hormone D supplementation in most cases, I do think everyone should get outside daily. Even if it’s just for a short time. Fresh air and sunshine are so healing to the body.

If you need help with any of these healthy lifestyle habits I’d love to connect! Nutritional Therapy addresses diet (tailored specifically to you!), sleep, stress management, movement, and sun exposure. Hop on a clarity call today to see if it’s the right fit for you and your kids!

Book a clarity call!

Emotional Vs Mental Health

The next foundational layer of good health includes your mental and emotional well-being. These are two distinct things. But I am going to put them together since they influence each other so much.

  • Mental health influences your thoughts and actions. It includes your psychological, social, and emotional well-being.
  • Emotional health includes your awareness of and expression of your feelings.

This is where many people get stuck in their healing journey, myself included.Foundations of good health

After you anchor your life on a spiritual foundation and adjust your diet and lifestyle, sometimes there is deeper work that needs to be done. This is because your brain and your body hold on to trauma and express it in a physical manner. You can’t talk or logic your way out of it. You can’t eat your way out of it either. Again, trust me, I’ve tried.

This is where some alternative therapies come into play. And you have to research and figure out which one or which combination will work best for you. My favorites include:

  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • Reiki
  • Tapping (EFT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Accupuncture

In all of these it’s about going really deep, past the logical brain and getting at the stuck thought patterns of the reptillian brain.

So if you feel like you’ve put in the work with diet and lifestyle but there are some symptoms that just never budge, it’s time to go deeper.

Here are some great resources to get you started!

How Does Diet Affect Mental Health

I mentioned earlier that these layers will overlap a bit, and you’ll go back and forth between them. The connection between diet and mental health is a great example.

Many mental health symptoms are caused by a nutrient imbalance or deficiency.

For example, lacking some of the B Vitamins can lead to depression and mood swings.

Low magnesium levels can be at the root of anxiety.

An imbalance between zinc and copper can cause mood swings, headaches, and hormonal imbalance…which definitely impacts your mental health!Foundations of good health

I prefer to adjust diet before trying to tackle the deeper emotional work because it can releave some of the symptoms. But each person is unique. Sometimes you may not have the ability to handle even small lifestyle changes if the mental health problems are severe enough.

This is where Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) comes into play. This non-invasive test gives great insight into your mineral levels, mineral ratios, and toxic load. I will be offering HTMA to my clients soon!
Foundations of good health

Natural Supportive Care

Finally, we get to the outer layer – the supportive care. These are modalities of wellness that many people think of as “natural treatments” or “natural remedies.” Some of my favorite forms of natural supportive care include:

  • essential oils
  • chiropractic care
  • homeopathy
  • supplements
  • flower essences
  • cell salts
  • herbs

These can be very helpful in many cases. But remember that they are supportive therapies. You can not rely on them alone.

For example, you may find relief from joint pain by using an essential oil topically. But it is not treating the source of your pain. You still have to get to the root of the inflammation and address that.

Natural supportive care often helps allieviate symptoms, but does not often address the root problem. Using these supportive modalities in conjunction with the other foundations of good health can make the healing process easier and faster.Foundations of good health

My Journey to Wellness

Over the past 15 years I’ve tried so many ways to get healthier. I waffled back and forth between the physical and mental aspects of my health.

I spent ten years doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a psychologist. It helped. But it wasn’t until I changed my diet and lifestyle that I really made progress. I removed the nutritional barriers to healing, which allowed me to be able to process the mental aspects.

Now, fifteen years in, I’m moving into some much deeper emotional healing. It all started as a child with digestive and kidney dysfunction, that turned into something traumatic. I’ve carried this trauma with me my entire life, and I’m ready to let it go and eliminate the symptoms that nothing else can change. I can’t wait to share more of my journey as I’m able.

I am also utilizing HTMA to get my minerals back in balance and toxins out after years of processed food, fertility treatments, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and restricted diets. Even though some of those ended many years ago (like the toxic food and pharmaceuticals) the damage is still there. It took a long time to get sick. It takes a long time to recover.

But I fully believe healing is possible as I continue to get to the deeply rooted emotional source of my physical symptoms.

I have already put in the diet and lifestyle foundational work. It’s time to move to the next layer.

How to Begin Your Health Journey

I fully believe better health is possible for you and your family as well! And I want to help you get started.

As we enter this New Year with uncertainty and a heightened awareness of health, I want to give you a feeling of hope. There is always something you can do to feel better and make positive changes.Foundations of good health giveaway!

So I am giving away some of my services to help you! There are four prizes you could win.

  1. Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters (my nourishing drink book)
  2. Why Won’t My Child Eat?! (my guide to getting any child to eat)
  3. Eating Styles Membership (remove the daily feeding battles by understanding how your child eats)
  4. Nutritional Therapy session

Be sure to enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where are You?

So where are you on the journey towards better health? Are you tired and overwhelmed on a daily basis? Are your kids struggling to simply feel like kids?Foundations of good health

If you are new to a natural lifestyle, start today by making one simple change.

  • Add vegetables to your lunch.
  • Put away the screens.
  • Get outside for a walk.
  • Get your hands in the dirt.
  • Take a nap.
  • Read a book.
  • Drink an extra glass of water.

If you’re ready to go deeper and start getting to the root of your symptoms, it’s time to look into Nutritional Therapy.

Stay tuned as I’ll be going into more detail about what Nutritional Therapy is in my next post.

But if you’re ready to get started now, join me on a clarity call to see how Nutritional Therapy can help!

Book a clarity call!

Better Health for Kids

I love working with fellow moms to get their health back on track. If you are not caring for yourself, it’s hard to care for your children effectively.

Foundations of good health

But my expertise is nourishing kids.

These foundations of good health apply to children as well as moms. And it’s never too late to get off the Standard American Diet train and give your kids the gift of clearer thinking, better focus, more energy, and overall wellness.

As you can see from my own story, intervention when I was young could have prevented years of struggles. Had my parents helped me get to the root of my physical symptoms right away, my life would be very different.

Don’t waste another day hoping your kids will “grow out of” their picky eating, lack of focus, or stomach aches.

Give  your kids the gift of better health NOW!

Be sure to enter the giveaway above. Then take one step today towards nourishing your kids. Scheduling a clarity call to figure out if Nutritional Therapy is right for you and your family is a great first step!

Book a clarity call!

Why we stopped the VAD Diet

Why We Stopped the Vitamin A Detox Diet…and Why Healing Diets Fail

Ever heard of the Vitamin A Detox Diet? Wondering if it is the cure you’ve been searching for or just the next dietary fad? This is our family’s journey on the VAD Diet and why we stopped it after a year.

Why we stopped the VAD Diet

I hope this is the last one.

The last post I ever write saying why yet another diet failed.

The last time I go to an extreme in the search for healing.

The last prescribed diet I ever attempt.

Though I can’t make any guarantees. I’m a tactile learner. I have to try things before I can assess them.

But I’ve done it before. I’ve done all sorts of experimenting with high this, low that, add this, remove that. Then I went on the GAPS Diet in 2010 and got my health way off track. After recovering from it, I told myself I’d never do it again.

Well, never say never. I did it again.

What is the Vitamin A Detox Diet

In November of 2018 I embarked on the Vitamin A Detox Diet, spear-headed by Grant Generux and Dr. Garrett Smith.

The theory is that Vitamin A is not actually a vitamin, instead it is a toxin. I wrote about it in detail in my post answering the question “Is Vitamin A Really a Vitamin?” It was my first post on Vitamin A – published exactly one year ago today!

I thought it was the answer I was looking for. I did a lot of reading and research. My infant was struggling with breastfeeding issues that nothing seemed to help. So I dove in.

The basic idea is to eat a very low Vitamin A diet in order to drain the body of stored Vitamin A. This in turn should resolve most health problems.

Good theory. Not so good practical application. And not sufficient evidence to support it aside from extreme examples.Why we stopped the VAD Diet

Why We Stopped the VAD Diet

Our journey started out great. I cut out high Vitamin A foods. I did HTMA to assess my body’s needs. I faithfully took my supplements. Even when the recommendations seemed to change on a daily basis. Add this. Wait, no, that will make you worse. Try this. Oh, wait, that’s not good at all (if only I could have all of the money back that I wasted on strange supplements that either didn’t work or made things worse!).

This food is on the ok list. Now it’s horrible. Oh, now it’s ok again. I knew it was a new theory and we were all learning. But the wishy-washy recommendations were a red flag.

The original time-frame of the diet was anywhere from one to six months. That seemed doable. But as time went on it kept extending – one year, two years, five years. Hmmm…

We did see some progress at first.

Then we got to the 6-7 month mark. And things changed.

I went from feeling good to my digestive system basically shutting down overnight. And six months later it still is not very functional. It’s been a hard setback to accept as I had worked so hard for years to get where I was.

My oldest went back to struggling with focus.

My eight-year-old’s eczema and food reactions started coming back.

My five-year-old’s leg pains and poor appetite returned.

My nursling started to sleep poorly and react to foods again.

Basically it all came crashing down.

I know how it goes. Detox is a crazy process. Sometimes you go two steps forward and one step back. So we stuck with it. I thought maybe it was just a bump in the road to full healing. But that bump turned into one month, then two, then three,…

It wasn’t detox at all. It was deficiency.

Does a Low Vitamin A Diet Cause Deficiencies?

I intentionally worked with a naturopathic doctor when embarking on the VAD Diet to avoid problems. As I mentioned, I was breastfeeding and of course run down from lack of sleep. I didn’t want to make things worse.

But even with multiple HTMAs, my increasing deficiencies were not addressed. I had to figure that out on my own.

The biggest deficiencies from the VAD Diet that I experienced were:

  • magnesium
  • all of the B vitamins, especially B1
  • an imbalance of macrominerals
  • zinc
  • possibly Vitamin E
  • and likely Vitamin A!

As time went on some of my symptoms got worse and worse. These included:

  • tinitus (ringing ears – multiple times daily)
  • tingling hands and feet/extremities going numb
  • low energy
  • low milk supply
  • inability to focus/think clearly
  • slow digestion
  • food intolerances
  • gallbladder pain
  • eye twitching
  • excessive thirst/inability to hydrate
  • candida/yeast/rashes/itching
  • edema
  • hypothyroid

I hit my breaking point. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Well, I was going insane. I had to change directions. And I did.

At first I was going to go gradually. But then my body started to crave so many nourishing foods. I just let go of rules and ate what sounded good. It was wonderful!

I have still had to use supplements to get back in balance. My body is so depleted from pregnancy, breastfeeding, and restriction. It is going to take a while to get where I need to be. I look forward to the day when I don’t have a pile of supplements to take every morning!Vitamin A and thyroid health

Does Vitamin A Impact Thyroid Health?

I briefly want to address thyroid health. I was diagnosed with hypothyriodism in 2006. I’ve been on medication to control it ever since.

Ultimately my goal is to heal enough to get off of medication and control things with diet and lifestyle. But so far I’m not there. And I suspect I won’t get there until I am done breastfeeding and have some time to focus on just my health. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for the past twelve years!

So for now I need medication. While on the VAD Diet I started lowering my dose. I thought I was getting better. I heard others talking about improving thyroid health. So I took a risk and reduced my medication. But I think it was a big mistake.

I started to feel all of the same symptoms I had after my miscarriage in 2013. Weight creeping up no matter how little I eat or how much I exercise. Feeling puffy all the time. Lowered body temperature. Extra tired. Sluggish digestion. All of my hypothyroid symptoms returned.

In June of 2018 my thyroid labs were great! Then I started lowering my meds on the VAD Diet. In February of 2019 my levels were getting worse. But I ignored the numbers. I felt ok for a little while. Then not so much.

I just had a new round of bloodwork (January 2020). Sure enough, it shows things have gotten worse. Actually a lot worse. I need to really bump up my medication dose. Back to where I started. I know it’s temporary, but still disheartening. My Free T3 has not been this low in years. In June of 2018 it was at the top of the range (ideal). Now it is at the bottom. My Free T4 is on the low end as well. It should be mid-range.

Now I know why I’ve been feeling some of my old symptoms return. I’m in a serious hypothyroid state right now.

So does Vitamin A impact thyroid health? I think so. There are many factors. But a low Vitamin A diet is not a diet I would recommend for improving thyroid health. It definitely made my thyroid issues worse. Do kids need Vitamin A?

Is Vitamin A Essential for Kids?

So far I’ve mostly talked about my own health. But I do want to address my kids as well. They were all on the diet. Though I never had my oldest three on full restriction. And in hindsight I’m so glad! They were able to transition off the diet pretty easily and have been making strides ever since.

Thankfully they still ate some eggs and pork to help minimize deficiencies.

What I really want to focus on is my toddler. He was on the full diet with me from day one. We ate the same foods.

On the whole he seemed to do well for a while. He was growing well and nursing well.

But there was one major red flag that I should have picked up on sooner. His speech.

All of my kids have been early talkers. My oldest knew all of her letters and could count to twenty before she was two! So when my youngest wasn’t saying anything by his first birthday I was concerned.

Just as we were starting the diet (7/8 months old) he was starting to talk. He was saying “mama” and “chick” (when he saw our chickens) and “out” (when he wanted to go outside).

And then that all stopped. No more words. Just “eh” every time he wanted to say something. He was frustrated. We were all frustrated.

I could tell he’s very smart. He loves to read and will sit through book after book and you can tell he remembered every picture and knew what everything was. But he couldn’t say anything. There was a disconnect.

I have heard others complain of this symptom as well – they can’t find the right words or finish sentences. There is some type of miscommunication between the brain and the mouth. And it impacted my son big time.

Until we stopped the diet. It was crazy. Within a couple weeks he started saying more. And now he basically repeats every word he hears. He says all of his siblings names. He names every animal and picture in the books we read. It’s so fun to see him be able to communicate effectively.

Just the other day my husband commented, “His speech has exploded in the last two months!” It truly has. My Father-in-law also commented on my son’s speech when he visited for Christmas. He couldn’t believe the difference. His poor little body was deficient as well. I’m so glad we are getting him back to full health! It gives me such joy.

Whether it is Vitamin A or the other deficiencies that had the biggest impact I can’t say. I’ll probably never know. But I do know that the VAD Diet negatively impacted his development.

I also wanted to mention his size. While his speech was delayed, his growth was off the charts! That might sound like a good thing, but I’m not sure. At his last checkup he was in the 97th percentile for height. If you’ve ever seen my family, you know that we aren’t even remotely close to anything called tall.

Most people think my eleven-year-old is seven or eight because she is so short. I’m only 5’3″. My husband isn’t very tall either. So having our youngest several inches taller than his siblings were at this age seems strange.

It could just be a different mix of genes. We have extended relatives that are tall. But it could also be the diet. I have heard some claim they are getting taller on the VAD Diet. I also heard the other day that one of the best predictors of longevity is height, specifically the shorter you are, the longer you’ll live. If those statements are both true, then it would seem that the VAD Diet is shortening life span. Just an observation. But I’ll be curious to see if his growth continues at this pace or if it slows down now that we are off the diet.

Interestingly, a few days before publishing this post a reader that had been on the VAD Diet contacted me and expressed concern over her young son’s growth – how tall he was! So there may be something to it.

Salt for health

Why Salt is Important for Health

When starting the VAD Diet and working with my ND, I was told to stop eating unrefined sea salt – that it contained toxins. So I switched the family to basic salt – sodium chloride.

At first I also added potassium chloride to it to get a balance of minerals. But the potassium gave me horrible anxiety. So I quit that.

Back to just plain salt.

But it never felt right. I could hardly taste it. I had to put so much on my food. Not a big deal I thought.

But it started to be a big deal when I could never get hydrated. I would guzzle glass after glass of water without quenching my thirst. I even added extra salt to my liquids, but it didn’t help.

Then my legs started swelling on a daily basis.

My electrolytes were so out of balance. My sodium intake was too high compared with my other macrominerals.

As we were coming off the VAD Diet I switched back to Real Salt. It was wonderful!

I could taste my food again. I could feel things absorbing. My insatiable thirst went away, and my swelling went down.

Why Healing Diets Fail

Last year I tried a new diet that made big promises. And it failed us. In quite a few ways as you can see. But it’s not the only one. Ultimately most healing diets fail.

That may sound extreme. I mean, they all have some merit and of course success stories. But they also have potential problems.

All healing diets have their own spin on what food/nutrient/component is toxic/inflammatory/etc. They all have their own spin on what is healing and restorative.

But at the end of the day they are all restricted diets. And any restricted diet done long term is going to cause problems – not only deficiencies and imbalances, but also anxiety, mental struggles and orthorexia for some.

You can find some healing with pretty much any major dietary change. It doesn’t have to be a diet with a label. Any time we shake things up, it will help our bodies do some detox and healing. Within about two weeks of starting the VAD Diet I had a noticeable detox. I wish I would have stopped there.

This is why most people see progress on any healing diet for up to six months. But as they go longer they see problems arise. Their bodies get out of balance. Deficiencies are created. They have lost their ability to eat intuitively and based on their needs day in and day out.

So if you want some healing – a little detox to propel your health forward -just make a change. If you eat a lot of nuts, cut them out for a month. If you eat an apple every day, switch to grapes for a few weeks.

Any time you eat the same foods over and over you could be creating some inflammation.

Don’t jump right to a restricted diet as the solution. Just make a change. After a few weeks your body will naturally do a little detox and rebalancing and you’ll probably feel better.

It’s good for your microbiome to make changes and feed different bacteria. That doesn’t require a long-term restrictive diet.

Life After the VAD Diet

So, now what? How are we eating and how are we feeling? That is what most people ask me.

First, I don’t have any rules about how we eat. Just real, whole foods that sound good and that we tolerate. That’s it.

My girls drink raw milk. My boys don’t tolerate it. The oldest three eat eggs. My youngest doesn’t tolerate them. We all eat homemade sourdough. But other than that we are gluten-free.

I’m always playing around with foods and finding out what balance and ratios work best for us. It varies day-to-day. But it is highly individual.

As I study to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner I am reminded of the importance of bio-individuality. We each have a unique set of genes, stresses, circumstances, health issues, environments, and more. Even the weather and the seasons play a role. So how we live and eat on a daily basis is so individual. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

That is how I will approach my practice, my one-on-one work with clients. Every person has different needs and by looking at both the big picture and the details we can help figure out what works best for them.

A few areas of progress since going off the diet (mostly my own) have been:

  • ear ringing is rare
  • eye twitch is gone
  • gallbladder pain is gone
  • tingling in hands is gone
  • excessive thirst is gone
  • swelling is mostly gone
  • skin is clear and healthy and soft – no more cysts!
  • hair regrowth like crazy
  • more energy and the desire to move! I’ve even done a little jogging (instead of slow walking) and have increased the intensity on my stationary bike.
  • milk supply is good
  • able to think and focus much better
  • toddler’s speech

Some things that we’re still working on:

  • digestion
  • liver health
  • candida/yeast
  • hypothyroid
  • daughter’s leg pains (we use magnesium lotion for them)
  • food intolerances for everyone

How diet impacts emotionsThe Emotional Component of Healing Diets

I also wanted to mention the emotional, mental and social impact of a highly restrictive diet. We are used to having food restrictions. We’ve been dealing with food allergies for six years. And before I even had kids I was playing around with diet.

But limiting our food choices to such an extreme takes a toll on the family. My husband was frustrated that our menu was so limited and that we couldn’t eat anywhere besides home. We even had a garden full of food that only he was eating.

It puts a strain on relationships. And it’s hard to feel so different. Not only are you going against the grain with the way most people eat (Standard American Diet). But you are also going against your group of real food friends. It’s very isolating.

Is Vitamin A Toxicity Real?

That’s a tough question to answer. I do think that you can become toxic from just about anything in large enough amounts. And there are numerous case studies of patients with hypervitaminosis A. So I do think it’s a real condition (my opinion).

But is Vitamin A a toxin in and of itself? I don’t think so (again, my opinion). I’ll leave it at that. Do your own research to come to a conclusion.

Is the Vitamin A Detox Diet Healthy?

This is another tough question since there are so many unknowns. And again, it’s very individual.

At this point in time I can’t recommend the VAD Diet to anyone. Even after writing a whole book on how to do the diet with kids, I can’t support it.

I took my book down. Even though I spent a lot of time and energy creating it. Even though it was one of my few income sources at the moment. I don’t do things just for money.

There is no real way of knowing if the progress we made at the start of the diet was from the reduced Vitamin A or if it was simply from making a big diet change and adding supplements. What I do know is that done long-term it caused serious deficiencies.

To me a detox diet is meant to be both healing and short-term. You get a toxin out and then get back to being able to eat a wide variety of food. If the toxin is in most of the food, it’s not really a detox diet. It’s a permanent lifestyle of restriction. And if that lifestyle is only sustainable with supplements because it’s causing deficiencies, it’s not a good one. Just like I don’t think a vegan diet is healthy.

If I want to detox aluminum from my body, I follow a protocol. Then once it’s out, my body is functional and I can eat a variety of food, still trying to minimize exposure to aluminum. If the toxin is in the food, then a return to “normal” is not possible. Or if you do return to what was your normal diet, then it’s hard to say you believe Vitamin A it a toxin. Else you wouldn’t consume it.

And if it is a toxin, why is it in so many foods? There are still too many questions that just don’t have good answers.

A better long-term solution is to work on the health and function of your digestive system, liver, and gallbladder. If they are healthy, your detox pathway is healthy, and you can deal with toxins effectively.Moving on after the VAD Diet

The End of the VAD Diet

As I wrap up this post, I am putting an end to my involvement with the VAD Diet for the time being. Or maybe for good. I’ll watch from a distance. It is an interesting theory. And I’m curious to see how others fare on the diet.

But I will not be writing or talking about it any more.

I am disabling the comments on this post. I have given my reasons for why we stopped and talked about our journey. This is where it ends for us. If you have an earnest question you are always welcome to email.

I am heading into 2020 with renewed energy and focus. I am getting back to my passion – to give parents hope that they can overcome any feeding challenge.

I am focusing on my schooling to become an NTP and be certified to do HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis). I am focusing on opening my practice to work one-on-one with moms and kids.

And I’m excited to continue expanding my Eating Styles Membership.

Lest anyone think I regret the past year, I don’t. Sure there are things I would have done differently had I known then what I know now. But that is how I learn. And boy have I learned a LOT this past year.

Not only about my own health and my family’s health, but health in general. I have learned what I believe and how I want to move forward.

I have also learned to be careful who I work with and associate with. Character means a lot to me. I’ve had numerous amazing partnerships this year, but also a couple that do not align with my beliefs. In the future I will be a bit more cautious before I work with individuals and brands.

I’m learning about the work of Ancel Keys right now in the book The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. I thought this quote about him was very profound and holds true for so many trying to do groundbreaking work in health and nutrition.

Keys wanted his hypothesis to be presumed right until proven wrong. Yet – and this is an important point – science is not like the justice system. Whereas Americans are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, scientific knowledge is just the opposite: a hypothesis must not be presumed right until a pile of significant evidence grows up behind it, and even then, you can never be entirely sure. All that one can ever really say is that the preponderance of the evidence tends to support one idea over another. Keys’s unwavering belief in his own hypothesis, even in its formative stages and even in the face of conflicting evidence, however, suggests he was willing to stray from these scientific principles to defend it.

The fame and the desire to be right overpowers the desire to actually practice good science.

I loved this quote as well:

Resisting these ‘idols of the mind,’ as the great seventeenth-century theorist Francis Bacon dubbed them, is exactly what the scientific method tries to do. A scientist must always try to disprove his or her own hypothesis. Or, as one of the great science philosophers of the twentieth century, Karl Popper, described, ‘The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.’

If someone makes a health claim and only tries to show you support of it, question them. A good scientist will try to DISPROVE his or her hypothesis. If there is no way to disprove it, then it might be valid. But if there are numerous cases/studies that don’t support it – that is a red flag. To me, that is what is happening with the Vitamin A Detox Diet. Proponents are trying to prove it, but not allowing any talk of cases where it is disproved.

As Pete Ahrens stated in 1957:

When unproved hypotheses are enthusiastically proclaimed as facts,  it is timely to reflect on the possibility that other explanations can be given for the phenomena observed.

In other words, there is far too much we don’t know yet to so boldly claim that Vitamin A is a toxin and has no purpose for the human body. This being a very small-scale epidemiological study does not prove anything. Maybe cutting some of the high Vitamin A foods simply changes one’s fatty acid balance, giving more anti-inflammatory fatty acids to balance the pro-inflammatory ones? There are many ways to look at it.

Lastly, I did want to say that today’s post was about the main reasons we stopped the VAD Diet. There is definitely more to the story on both a personal and professional level. But I choose to keep that private. So if what I wrote seems a bit incomplete, it is. But it will have to do.

Just today in my devotions I read this:

Fulfilling God’s purpose is better than popularity. Loving God’s people is better than pleasure. Having God’s peace is better than possessions. – Pastor Rick Warren

That pretty much sums up my mindset heading into 2020.

What is a healthy diet

Does a Healthy Diet Exist?

Absolutely healthy diets exist! But you won’t read about them in a best-seller or an eCourse. What is healthy is up to you. Your body knows what it needs.

I have not tried AIP, keto, carnivore, or even a candida or parasite cleanse. I don’t really intend to either. In the end they generally lead to the same destination. Not listening to your body’s needs and nutrient deficiencies.

A healing protocol should be temporary. Supplementation should be temporary. Any deviation from a balanced diet should be temporary and just a stepping stone to get back to variety and good health.

What that looks like is different for every individual. The time-frame is individual. Circumstances are individual.

I know we live in a world where everyone is looking for a magic pill or cure or that one thing that will turn everything around. Even in the realm of real food where grains are the root of all health problems and liver is a life-source. We all just want to feel good.

But feeling good will not come from one supplement or one dietary change. Feeling good takes work every single day. It takes moving your body, getting enough sleep, minimizing toxin exposure, taking time to relax, chewing well, and more. Health is a lifestyle, not a detox diet or vilifying a single food or nutrient.

Thank you for going on this journey with me. I hope you have learned right along with me, and I hope you are ready to pursue a healthy lifestyle as we enter the New Year.

With that I’m saying goodbye to the Vitamin A Detox Diet. Time to move on.

Magnesium for kids - why they need it!

Why Kids Need Magnesium – And How to Get It!

In our world of degraded soil, processed foods, and toxic pesticides, almost every child is magnesium deficient. Today I’m going to tell you why that matters – why kids need magnesium and the best ways for them to get it.Magnesium for kids - why they need it!

Call my kids weird, but they were so excited to get their own jars of magnesium lotion as stocking-stuffers for Christmas. It might seem like an odd thing for a five-year-old to smile about. But she knows just how amazing magnesium is for her health.

I’m not even exaggerating that she put it on about ten times the first day she had it! And she wouldn’t let anyone else touch it. Around here, magnesium lotion is a prized possession.

Let’s find out why magnesium is so magnificent!

What Does Magnesium Do?

A better question might be, “What Doesn’t Magnesium Do?” Magnesium is an essential macromineral that is involved in several hundred enzymatic reactions in the body.

Considered the “anti-stress” mineral, magnesium is a natural tranquilizer. This can help with relaxing muscles, including both skeletal muscles and smooth muscles as in blood vessels and the digestive tract. Which is why sufficient magnesium intake helps with slow digestion.

Magnesium also plays a significant role in heart health, again relaxing muscles and preventing coronary artery spasms. It can also lower blood pressure and is sometimes used to treat pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.

If you struggle with recurring kidney stones, it is likely due to a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium helps prevent the calcification of tissues and blood vessels (including kidney stones, atherosclerosis, and even cavities!).

Magnesium plays a role in energy levels as well. Because it helps nutrients pass back and forth across cell membranes, magnesium helps in the release of energy. This may also lead to aiding with nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and muscle cramps.

Magnesium has been shown to impact blood sugar regulation, type 2 diabetes, ADHD, migraines, and Alzheimer’s too.

These are just a few of the many roles of magnesium in the body. As you can see, it is a very important mineral!Magnesium for kids - why they need it

What are the Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?

So how do you know if you or your kids are magnesium deficient? These days if you don’t supplement you are likely deficient. It’s sad, but true. Here are some of the common symptoms of magnesium deficiency:

  • fatigue
  • anorexia
  • irritability (tendency towards blood sugar dysregulation and acting “hangry”)
  • insomnia (anybody have kids that struggle with sleep?)
  • muscle twitching and cramping (restless legs and growing pains)
  • decreased learning ability and lack of focus (ADD, ADHD)
  • confusion
  • poor memory
  • rapid heartbeat
  • numbness and tingling of hands and feet
  • recurring kidney stones
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • constipation

Low levels of magnesium can impact all parts of the body. So if you are struggling with any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it might be time to change your diet or add a magnesium supplement.

Why are Kids Magnesium Deficient?

There are many factors that contribute magnesium deficiency. These include:

  • a diet low in magnesium (see the food list below)
  • soft water
  • produce grown in magnesium-deficient soil (most magnesium comes from plants)
  • processed foods in the diet (with lack of magnesium but an abundance of synthetic counteractive nutrients)
  • poor liver function
  • malabsorption (digestive dysfunction)
  • excess sugar intake (depletes magnesium)
  • high stress levels (depletes magnesium)
  • too much Vitamin D, phosphorus, and calcium in the diet (no, Vitamin D supplements are NOT a good idea) that cause an imbalance

It seems like this should only pertain to adults. But sadly, kids are born into a magnesium-deficient world. Moms are magnesium deficient while pregnant. So baby starts off without sufficient levels. Then kids are fed processed foods with high amounts of synthetic vitamins and minerals but lacking in magnesium. Vegetables are grown in nutrient-depleted soil, so even if you eat your greens you’re not getting the amount of nutrients you need.

Plus so many kids struggle with digestive problems and even autoimmune conditions that inhibit them from absorbing the magnesium they do ingest.

Kids have to deal with a lot more stress these days – from more intense school work to less time outside to EMFs to technology to pharmaceuticals to toxins to lack of sleep to poor posture…it all adds up. And stress rapidly depletes magnesium stores.

Then there is the big push for Vitamin D supplements. I’ve talked about it before –  it’s just not a good idea. It will lead to imbalances in the body, including lowered magnesium levels.

As you can see, it is very easy for kids to be magnesium deficient these days. In fact, it’s probably rare to have kids that aren’t deficient. Thankfully there are solutions!Magnesium for kids - why they need it

Best Sources of Magnesium for Kids

It is essential to get sufficient magnesium in your diet – whether from food or supplements. Some of the best food sources of magnesium include:

  • dark, leafy greens
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • beans
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • buckwheat
  • cocoa
  • molasses
  • whole grains
  • fish

Although I am a huge fan of a food-first approach, it’s not always possible to eat enough magnesium-rich food. Especially these days when most “healing diets” exclude almost everything on that list! A lot of the magnesium-rich foods are hard to digest and include problematic components like oxalates, allergens, and gluten. If your diet is lacking magnesium, you can also supplement. Some good supplement options include:

  • magnesium lotion
  • magnesium oil spray
  • epsom salt bath or foot soak
  • magnesium malate
  • magnesium lysinate, glycinate, chelate (I use THIS brand)

Topical magnesium is more easily absorbed and utilized by the body. So if you don’t need the laxative effect of a magnesium supplement, opt for lotion, spray, or bath.

Also note that magnesium is an alkaline mineral. Which means it can reduce stomach acid. So if you are going to supplement, it’s best to do it away from meals, before bed, or in combination with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Can you Get Too Much Magnesium?

Although very rare, it is possible to have magnesium toxicity. Most excess magnesium is eliminated in the urine or feces.

If calcium intake is very low and magnesium intake is high (via supplementation), you can have an imbalance.

Symptoms of magnesium toxicity include:

  • muscle weakness
  • fatigue
  • sleepiness
  • hyper-excitability

Unless you are supplementing with doses of 1,000 mg or more a day, this is likely not an issue. But always strive for balance, no extremes.Magnesium for Kids - why they need it

Does Magnesium Help Kids Sleep?

As mentioned earlier, magnesium has a tranquilizing and calming effect. It helps you relax. It helps your muscles relax.

This is so important for kids. In my mind, kids should be running around all day, getting exhausted, and crashing hard when they hit the pillow at bedtime.

But that is not the reality for most kids. Even my own kids struggle with sleep sometimes. Especially my oldest. Some nights she lays in bed awake for hours. It pains me because I know it makes her worry. Then the lack of sleep on top of that worry is more stress.

A dark room and a calm bedtime routine are both helpful. But our go-to solution is magnesium lotion. My daughter can actually feel the difference. She rubs it on her legs and belly before bed and usually falls right to sleep. It’s like magic.Magnesium for Kids - why they need it

Magnesium Lotion for Growing Pains

My youngest daughter is a good sleeper…unless she has leg pains. Some nights she wakes up just sobbing in pain. We’ve taken her to the doctor and done x-rays. No physical problems.

It’s what doctors call “growing pains.” It’s sort of a bogus term because it really just means they don’t know what causes it. I say it’s magnesium deficiency!

If we are faithful about using magnesium lotion every night, my daughter is pain free. But if we start to slack, it comes back. She calls it her magic lotion. I do too. I hate seeing her in pain. The other night it was so bad I had to resort to OTC pain medicine. None of my natural remedies would help. That was my wake-up call. We need to be diligent about using magnesium lotion every single day.

In adults these same pains are often termed restless legs. It’s a big red flag for magnesium deficiency. If you or a loved one suffers from restless legs, work on magnesium levels. Sufficient magnesium will reduce or eliminate muscle cramps and spasms. Topical magnesium lotion right on the legs is great for this!

How to Make Magnesium Lotion

After reading all of that you want an easy solution, right? Well, I’ve got one. Sort of.

The first step in treating magnesium deficiency is always to work on diet. Increase food sources of magnesium when possible.

After that my favorite solution is magnesium lotion. Oils are good, but they are sticky and itchy (not great for kids). Epsom baths can work, but you don’t always have time for it. Plus it’s not an ideal solution for young kids as you can’t really regulate the magnesium levels.

That’s why I love magnesium lotion. I did a whole tutorial on how to make DIY magnesium lotion with just TWO ingredients. You can read that HERE.

For stocking stuffers I also went a step further and made a really nice lotion for my girls. I used this magnesium lotion recipe and then added some essential oils to fit their personality and needs. It was a bit more work, but totally doable. And the end product is awesome. My girls are raving about how soft it is.
Blog Photo 5

The Best Magnesium Lotion for Kids

But let’s be honest – how often do we have time to make lotion? And who has shea butter and bees wax sitting around all the time?

The easiest way to get quality magnesium lotion is to buy it. There are quite a few brands of magnesium lotion. I’ll be honest – I don’t trust most of them. They have questionable ingredients. And frankly they smell strange and still make you itch.

Except for one. The only magnesium lotion that I trust and buy is from The Magnesium Lotion Shop.

This lotion is made with only four pure ingredients. It goes on easily and smells nice. Plus I always love to support small, family-owned businesses versus big corporations. Check it out HERE.

All of our products are made by hand in small batches. Our primary goal is quality, and we encourage customers to contact us directly if they ever have any issues. Our product has passed both micro bacterial testing and the USP 51 preservative challenge test (for consumer safety), results can be seen here. We use only natural ingredients: Magnesium Oil, Apricot Oil, Mango Butter and Beeswax – no funny, artificial, hard to pronounce substances are in our product. Out lotion is preservative free. – Mike Crumbs

Sufficient magnesium is such an important factor for good health. I’m thankful there are numerous ways to increase magnesium levels, including transdermally through magnesium lotion. It’s the perfect solution for both kids and adults!

Do you struggle with magnesium deficiency? What is your favorite way to supplement? Have you seen any health improvements when using magnesium supplements?

Having trouble navigating all the different types of magnesium? This guide will help you!

Homemade Fruit Snacks

How to Make Homemade Fruit Snacks | Dye-Free & Allergy-Friendly!

Impress your kids and avoid strange ingredients by making homemade fruit snacks! Just a few simple and nourishing ingredients create a fun and healthy snack.

Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

One of the best decisions I made as a parent was to stop buying packaged fruit snacks. Let’s face it – they are sort of weird, food-like morsels that really are more like candy than anything.

Even the “natural” or organic versions still have some questionable ingredients. And basically zero nutrition.

Why You Should Make Your Own Fruit Snacks

My solution to this problem is always homemade.

I’ve been making homemade fruit snacks (also known as gummies) from scratch for my kids for quite some time. I get lots of requests for the recipe.

Most people are amazed at how simple it is. But beyond that, it’s amazing how healthy they are!

We used to buy organic fruit snacks once in a while as a special treat. But not anymore.Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

Homemade Fruit Snacks with Grass-fed Gelatin

These fruit snacks are filled with nourishing gelatin (use code TAKE10 for 10% off) which is great for gut healing. They are also very safe for almost any allergy. I love that I can even make a variety of flavors for my little guy that is allergic to multiple fruits (have you ever tried finding something fruit flavored at the store that does not contain banana, grape or pear? Impossible).

My kids will easily eat a whole batch in a week if I let them. So I often have to make a new batch almost weekly! I try to make different flavors like blueberry lemon, lemon lime, lemonade and cherry. I love having very healthy snacks on hand that my kids truly love. And they don’t have to feel like they are missing out.

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

One of the things that surprised me is how much my toddler loves homemade fruit snacks. I just make them in a pan and cut them into small squares. It’s a great finger food! Bonus that I can pack them up for when we are out and about. No little puffs or melts with strange ingredients. Just fruit and gelatin.

Do your kids like fruit snacks?

Try replacing the store-bought version with a homemade version. You can make them in any shape and flavor. Let your kids choose which ones. They’ll think it’s great! And you can know they are eating something that is healthy and healing.

This post is linked to Allergy Free Wednesday.

Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

Homemade Fruit Snacks
A fun, fruity snack that is full of nourishing gelatin and free of allergens and artificial ingredients.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup pure juice (i.e. blueberry, cherry, lemon, lime)
  2. 3/4 cups sweetener (cane sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup)
  3. 3 -6 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
  4. 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the juice, salt and sweetener in a small saucepan. Heat slightly and mix until the sugar/honey dissolves.
  2. Taste the juice and add more sweetener if necessary.
  3. Allow the juice to cool for 10 - 30 minutes.
  4. Add the gelatin to the juice while gently whisking.
  5. Let sit for one minute.
  6. Heat the juice/gelatin mixture over low heat, whisking gently until the gelatin completely dissolves.
  7. Pour the mixture into molds or a glass pan.
  8. Refrigerate until solid (about 20 minutes).
  9. Remove fruit snacks from molds or cut into squares/desired shape from a pan.
  10. Store in a container in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. Do not use juice from concentrate/juice that you would drink plain. Use pure juice.
  2. You may need extra sweetener for some flavors like lemon and lime.
  3. You can use one type of juice or a combination - blueberry lemon, cherry lime, lemon lime, etc.
  4. Using less gelatin will make a softer gummy and they will need more time to set. More gelatin will make it firmer.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Are you ready to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity and get your child back to full health? I've got all of the details of the Vitamin A Detox Diet to get your started.

How to Overcome Vitamin A Toxicity: The Vitamin A Detox Diet

VAD Diet updateAre you ready to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity and get your child back in balance? I’ve got all of the details of the Vitamin A Detox Diet to get your started.

Are you ready to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity and get your child back to full health? I've got all of the details of the Vitamin A Detox Diet to get your started.

I hope you’ve been enjoying this series on Vitamin A Toxicity/Hypervitaminosis A. I also hope you haven’t been too overwhelmed with information. It’s a lot to take in. And I’m only scratching the surface!

Today we’re discussing what you’ve all been waiting for – how to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity.

It’s really quite simple.

I also wanted to note that I will be focusing on the Vitamin A Detox Diet in relation to children since that is my area of specialty. That being said, everything will be applicable to adults as well.

Finally, know that this is VERY NEW information. So new things are coming to light left and right. I will do my best to keep up with anything that changes and give you the most up-to-date information.

How Does Your Child Get Vitamin A Toxicity?

A person becomes toxic when the liver is saturated with a particular toxin and can’t handle any more. Too much toxin = toxic. Once your bathtub is full of water it will start spilling over the edges. You can’t truly drain the tub until the faucet is completely turned off.

In other words, you have to stop taking in Vitamin A (intox) in order for your body to get the built up Vitamin A out (detox). You need the Vitamin A Detox Diet.

To clarify I do NOT mean detox in the sense of a juice cleanse or starving yourself. I’m using the word detox purely to mean the act removing the toxin. Not the widely held beliefs about the methods of detox.

The idea of no more in, drain the stored amount out is pretty simple and straight forward. I’ll go into more details on how specifically in a moment.

First I want to address how we got here in the first place.

Are you ready to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity and get your child back to full health? I've got all of the details of the Vitamin A Detox Diet to get your started.

Why Are Children so Loaded with Vitamin A?

If you’re like me you’ve been trying hard to nourish your kids and make sure they are eating lots of fruits, veggies and whole foods. Maybe you add extra egg yolks to smoothies or some desiccated liver to your meatballs. Your kids take cod liver oil weekly, drink raw milk or organic whole milk, eat sweet potatoes, carrots, avocados, peppers, beets, spinach and kale. An assortment of healthy food.

How about a multi-vitamin added in for good measure? Just to “fill in the gaps.” Some whole food Vitamin C too?

Well, maybe not. Each of those things contains Vitamin A in the form of retinol, beta carotene or other carotenoids. And they add up. Quickly.

Humans did not eat this way thousands or even hundreds of years ago. Nobody ate the rainbow 1,000 years ago (I think we’ve forgotten how healthy white fruits and veggies are!). It just was not an option. There were no supermarkets with produce from around the world shipped in daily. People ate what was available.

Or maybe you’ve raised your kids on a typical diet these days of processed foods and pasteurized milk. They are all fortified with Vitamin A. Did your child ever drink formula? Fortified. In this case the government is dictating that your child needs large doses of Vitamin A on a daily basis.

How our Food and Diet Have Changed

I’m going to get technical just for a second here to explain some things on a deeper level.

Our bodies have a variety of receptors (molecule that responds to/”receives” specific substances like neurotransmitters, antigens and hormones). These substances are called ligands. Scientists have labeled one of the receptors RXR (Retinoid X Receptor). It is a poor name since this receptor can, and should, accept more than just retinoic acid.

RXR can also accept DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and phytanic acid, two types of fatty acids (there are others it accepts as well). These are actually the intended ligands for the RXR. Think of them as keys that unlock the RXR. And when they are present, they block the RXR from accepting Vitamin A.

DHA and phytanic acid should come from our food, specifically from ruminant animals. Ruminants eat grass, break down chlorophyll into DHA and phytanic acid. Then we consume them in beef fat and dairy fat. Both DHA and phytanic acid speed up the enzyme that breaks down Vitamin A in addition to blocking it from the RXR.

But this process has been interrupted. What are animals fed these days? Grains. No chlorophyll. On top of that the grains are usually covered in glyphosate. So there is much less DHA and phytanic acid to breakdown Vitamin A. And there is glyphosate that prevents the breakdown of Vitamin A (read all about the glyphosate Vitamin A connection here). A double whammy.

The popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets has also been a factor. We need red meat and animal fats from grassfed animals to get sufficient protein (to make retinol binding protein), DHA and phytanic acid. But those are missing on these restricted diets. Then add Vitamin A supplements on top of that “to prevent deficiencies.” It’s a recipe for disaster. If you know anyone that has gone on a vegan or vegetarian diet and felt great for a bit and then all of a sudden started to feel awful…this is why. They may actually be inducing an autoimmune disease!

As you can see our food supply and recommended diet has contributed greatly to this imbalance of Vitamin A. Plus the abundance of glyphosate is preventing us from detoxing Vitamin A.

How My Children Became Toxic

I’m right there with you when it comes to having children with Vitamin A Toxicity. 

When my son was two he started itching his legs like crazy until they would bleed. Eczema. I did not know it then, but eczema is actually classified as an autoimmune condition. We had him tested for allergies. Oh boy. A laundry list of foods, including dairy and nuts. Time for big diet changes.

So over the years I got creative and made everything dairy free (or tomato free when avoiding nightshades) using pumpkin or squash as a replacement. He also couldn’t have potatoes. So he always got carrots instead.

When he was five (after multiple rounds of testing and we’d had to carry an epi-pen for a year due to a severe nut allergy) he had more allergy testing. The new allergist took one look at him and noted that he had orange feet!! Carotenemia…an overload of beta carotene…Vitamin A Toxicity. I’m sure he was overloaded before that (why he had the eczema in the first place). But this took it to a whole new level.

We’ve struggled for years with him having stomach aches, up and down eating, skin issues, minor fevers, mood/behavior issues. Now we know why!

Vitamin A Toxicity in Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my third I was being so “good” eating every nutrient dense food possible…with liver added. And a multi on top. I’m sure I was getting extremely high amounts of Vitamin A. And it’s passed to baby both in utero and in breastmilk. God designed babies to detox the Vitamin A from mom since baby’s liver is healthier. Great design. But not so nice for baby in this world we now live in.

So my daughter had a tongue tie, feeding issues and extreme vaccine reactions as an infant. She basically stopped eating. And of course I tried to get her back to health feeding her squash and liver smoothies!! She is now 4 1/2 and still struggles. She has complained of bone pain since she was old enough to verbalize how she felt. She has frequent stomach aches and a low appetite. Again, now we know why!

Thank goodness after a short time on the VAD diet and using our simple magnesium lotion her leg pain is gone, and she eats so well!

Of course I did not know anything about Vitamin A Toxicity back then. So when I became pregnant with baby #4 I ate the same way. So much nourishing food…or so I thought. Salads piled high with a rainbow of vegetables, avocado, fried eggs and desiccated liver. Washed down with a big glass of raw milk.

Now I’m dealing with the consequences again. Or should I say my son is. Feeding troubles from birth. Food reactions. Flat spot on his head. Weak bones. Horrible teething pain. Body tension and tongue restriction. All because I tried to follow current health advice.

Are We All Overloaded with Vitamin A?

But it didn’t even start there. Like most people I’ve been overloaded with Vitamin A my whole life. My parents probably were too. Maybe my grandparents were too! I was born in 1980. Processed food was what everyone ate. And all processed food, infant formula, and pasteurized milk are fortified with Vitamin A.

Then glyphosate was added to everything, making it much harder for our bodies to detox Vitamin A.

So it didn’t matter which extreme I was in – I was filling up on a toxin. And then passed that on to my children. Even my oldest. She was born before I had ever heard the term Real Food. But she still got the Vitamin A overload from me, then compounded with vaccines. And it impacted her neurologically.

All this to say, many people are overdosing on Vitamin A whether they realize it or not. Plus nobody is able to detox in our toxic world. That is a big problem. And it needs to stop.

How Do You Stop Vitamin A From Coming In?

  1. The easiest way to start the process is by eliminating all supplements containing Vitamin A or D and foods fortified with Vitamin A or D from your child’s diet. Immediately. They can be sneaky. Alternative milks and yogurts, flours, cereals, crackers. Not sure why our government thinks we are all Vitamin A deficient and we need it added to every food.
  2. The next step is removing Vitamin A foods from your child’s diet. Well, mostly. Unless you go to extremes like eating only beef and rice for the next six months you will be getting some Vitamin A. But the goal is to make that as minimal as possible. The less comes in, the faster it gets out. I will talk more about particular foods later.
  3. Then you have to look at what you put on your child’s body. Soap, shampoo, lotion. Even essential oils. If it comes from brightly colored plants (even green herbs) it has carotenoids and your skin will absorb it.
  4. Another critical aspect of your child’s food is to make sure it is organic. Glyphosate amplifies the effects of Vitamin A in the body. Try to avoid it as much as you can. This is particularly important when it comes to grains. Washing your produce well is also helpful.
  5. Finally I highly recommend doing HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) with a skilled practicioner to find out what supplements your child truly does need short term to get in balance and to help the detox process.

Vitamin A Detox Diet

So what exactly does the Vitamin A Detox Diet look like? And how do you get started?

That’s where my new book comes in! I have created a guide for parents to walk them through the process of detoxing their children.

The diet does not eliminate any major food groups. You can still eat meat, veggies (all these white ones are awesome!), fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, beans and fats. So in that sense it is quite easy. You definitely won’t go hungry!

But it does eliminate a lot of foods you are probably used to eating. Like most red, orange, yellow and green veggies, pork, fish (due to contamination), dairy, egg yolks, olive oil, lard and unrefined coconut oil. In that sense it’s a big change from the traditional food diet we are used to. It’s hard to make that mental shift. And it can be hard in social settings.

My book has a long list of recipes and sample menus to help get you going. And it has the approved food list.

One critical aspect of the VAD Diet is protein. Your child must get adequate protein. Remember that Retinol Binding Protein we discussed in an earlier post? It is the only way to safely transport Vitamin A out of the liver. And it is a protein…so you need protein to make it. There are many sources of protein, but meat from ruminant animals is an essential one of the VAD Diet (read why here).

Getting Started on the Vitamin A Detox Diet

If you want to jump in now, a general rule is that if it’s colored it’s out and if it’s white it’s OK. This does not apply to all fruits as many get their color from substances other than beta carotene. But some do, like peaches and nectarines. Most grains are OK and most meat is OK (except pork). There are also some foods that don’t contain Vitamin A but do impact the body’s use of Vitamin A, like certain nuts and fats. So it is important to get the full diet.

The Vitamin A Detox Diet is generally a very short process for kids. I’d say a few weeks to a month or two is all that is needed.

Kid-Friendly Vitamin A Detox Diet Foods

I’ll keep sharing some new Vitamin A Detox Diet recipes.

My four-year old has been the easiest to feed on the VAD Diet. She asks for my food all the time.

Some of our favorites right now are:

  • roasted parsnips
  • rutabaga fries
  • crinkle cut homemade french fries (yes, you can eat white potatoes!)
  • peeled cucumbers or rice crackers dipped in homemade hummus
  • rice and beans
  • baked or roasted chicken dipped in honey
  • roasted cauliflower
  • roasted green cabbage
  • gluten-free banana bread topped with sunbutter or butter
  • fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, bananas, pears, apples, cherries, white peaches)
  • grassfed beef meatballs

Those are just a few ideas. I’ve got a lot more in my book.

Are you ready to help your child get back to full health? Are you ready for the Vitamin A Detox Diet? Got any questions for me?

Curious if the diet works? Check out my 6 month update here:

6 month Vitamin A Detox Diet update

Or my 9 month update here:

9 month Vitamin A Detox Diet update

And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook where I’m continually sharing the latest info and our progress.

Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Two-Ingredient DIY Magnesium Lotion

Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

My four-year old has been struggling with leg pain for over two years now. She wakes in the night just crying and crying because her legs hurt so badly.

At first we assumed it was growing pains. But as time went on we started to wonder if there was more going on. The pain was so intense. And recently it became more and more frequent, hurting in the day instead of just at night, on a daily basis.

Of course “mom brain” starts to think of the worst scenarios. I expressed my concerns to her pediatrician. I was worried her bones were weak due to malnutrition as a baby (you can read more about her story here).

So we did an x-ray of her leg. All clear! (phew!) Her bones look normal. Maybe it is “growing pains” after all (though technically nobody really knows what growing pains are…so I still started searching for root cause).Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Natural Remedy for Growing Pains

With my mama mind at ease I started looking into natural ways to combat leg pain. One of the best remedies for leg pain is topical magnesium.

Perfect! I already had a bottle of magnesium oil made. I’ve been using it myself for about six months to help boost my own magnesium levels.

There is just one problem. Magnesium oil is not fun to use. It’s kind of sticky. It makes your skin itch and sting.

I knew I’d never get my daughter to use that every day. She tried it once and ended up washing it off because she couldn’t handle the itching.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Simple DIY Magnesium Lotion

I started searching for magnesium lotion I could buy. There are some good ones out there (I love this one from The Magnesium Lotion Shop!).

If you are on the Vitamin A Detox Diet there are a lot of oils/lotions that aren’t allowed. And anything you put on your skin is instantly absorbed. So I had to be picky.

In the end I decided to make my own.

My conclusion?

This is SO easy to make. It is SO much nicer to use than magnesium oil. WHY did I not do this six months ago and spare myself the torture of using magnesium oil every day?

Side note: I just made a fresh batch of magnesium oil yesterday (you need it to make magnesium lotion). So I sprayed a little on this morning to try it. Now I’m sitting here trying to write while my stomach itches like crazy. Only lotion from now on.

Benefits of Magnesium

Who could benefit from magnesium lotion?

Everyone.

For real. Just about everyone is deficient in magnesium. And that one deficiency messes up the balance of all of the other minerals.  Imbalanced minerals can cause a host of health problems (I’ll be sharing more on that in the future as I get my NTP and HTMA training).

Magnesium may help with:

  • energy creation
  • protein formation
  • muscle movement
  • nervous system regulation
  • brain function and mood
  • blood sugar control
  • blood pressure
  • headaches
  • joint and muscle pain
  • PMS
  • digestion
  • neutralizing stomach acid
  • strong bones
  • over 600 reactions in the body! [source] [source]

These are just a few of the ways magnesium helps your body. Magnesium is pretty important!!

Take note that there are a few people that don’t tolerate magnesium supplementation, either orally or topically. So use caution when trying magnesium lotion. Here are some reasons magnesium might make you feel worse.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

How to Make Magnesium Lotion

For such a prevalent problem, you’d think the solution would be complex. Thankfully that is not the case!

Homemade magnesium lotion is so easy to make. You’ll need two basic ingredients:

  • magnesium
  • refined coconut oil

You have to start by making magnesium oil. This simply requires you to mix magnesium chloride with hot water. The longest part of the process is heating a half cup of water.

Once the magnesium oil is cool you can whip it with the coconut oil. Instant lotion!

Yes, it really is that easy.

I also like to add some essential oils to make it smell nice. But that is optional. My favorite is Young Living’s Stress Away. I like the vanilla scent. Lavender would also be good for kids. Just be careful which oils you use if you are on the VAD Diet as essential oils are very potent and easily absorbed.

Some people use bees wax to help prevent separation. I’m a fan of simple. So I don’t bother with that. The magnesium oil and coconut oil may separate a little after the lotion sits for a month or more. Simply re-whip it to combine if that is an issue.

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Two-Ingredient DIY Magnesium Lotion

A simple DIY magnesium lotion made with only two ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup magnesium chloride
  • 1 cup organic refined coconut oil
  • 5-10 drop essential oil optional

Instructions

  1. Place the magnesium chloride in a small glass bowl.

  2. Pour hot water on the magnesium and stir to dissolve.

  3. Allow to cool, and store in a glass jar or spray bottle.

  4. In a large bowl beat together the coconut oil, 1/4 cup of the magnesium oil, and essential oils on medium high until well combined, about 2 minutes.

  5. Store in a glass jar at room temperature for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

The magnesium oil and coconut oil may separate after a while (after a month or so). You can simply re-whip it.

Want to see how it’s done? Check out my Facebook Live where I make a fresh batch of our “Magic Lotion.”Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

What Kind of Magnesium Works Best?

There are three options when it comes to topical magnesium.

  1. Buy a pre-made oil (like this one).
  2. Magnesium chloride flakes (like these).
  3. Pharmaceutical grade magnesium chloride (like this).

All three will work, but the preferred option is the third one. It does not contain high levels of bromine like the flakes. It costs a few dollars more, but is still very affordable. One pound of the magnesium chloride will last at least a year – probably several years! Even if the whole family is using the lotion.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Why Use Refined Oil?

You may be wondering why I used refined coconut oil instead of unrefined.

Remember that your body absorbs anything you put on your skin (makeup, lotion, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.). So if you are on a particular diet you need to pay attention to what goes on your skin. If you are not able to eat it, don’t wear it.

Unrefined coconut oil is not allowed on the Vitamin A Detox Diet. It contains multiple fatty acids that contribute to Vitamin A Toxicity. You can read more about it HERE and HERE. Refining the oil removes the problematic fatty acids. Not to mention it removes the smell. So you won’t walk around smelling like a coconut all day.

How to Use Magnesium Lotion

We now know how easy it is to make magnesium lotion. Guess what? It’s even easier to use!

Simply apply as much or as little magnesium lotion as you like, wherever you like, as often as you like. You really can’t get too much. If you notice it causing loose bowels you can cut back. But generally topical magnesium does not have that effect since it is not ingested.

We prefer to apply it to our legs and/or abdomen. My oldest prefers to put it on her belly (I do too). My middle two prefer their legs. But it works no matter where you apply it.

I like to use magnesium lotion two or three times a day to make sure I’m keeping my levels steady. Your body uses it constantly throughout the day, and it gets depleted easily.

My kids always use it right before bed. It helps them settle down and sleep more soundly.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

How Magnesium Lotion Helped My Four-Year Old

Back to my daughter’s growing pain dilemma.

Armed with a full jar of DIY magnesium lotion I started applying it to my four-year old’s legs every night before bed. The first two nights I didn’t notice a change.

But after the third night we had an unexpected surprise!

First, her leg pain was gone. And she has not complained of it once since.

In addition she has been dry overnight ever since!! Up to that point she was wearing a pull-up to bed every night. Sometimes it was soaked in the morning.

But she has now been dry every night and is in underwear to bed.

The magnesium lotion was so effective at getting her minerals in balance that she stopped having to urinate so frequently!

If you have a child that struggles with bed wetting, growing pains, overactive bladder, or constipation give magnesium lotion a try.

My kids have actually named it Magic Lotion. It really has felt like magic with such a drastic change overnight. And you better believe we never skip a night now!Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Magnesium Lotion for Everyone

Considering the prevalence of magnesium deficiency, I think almost everyone would benefit from using magnesium lotion. It is safe for everyone, including infants and the elderly.

In fact, I just might make some for gifts this year. I wonder if it could help my dad who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I also need to convince my husband to try it. He struggles with restless legs – which is an obvious sign of magnesium deficiency.

Know anyone with osteoporosis? Magnesium lotion could help. There is such a strong relationship between magnesium and calcium.

If nothing else it can simply be used to help you relax. I think we all could use help in that department in our fast-paced, stressful world.

Do you use magnesium oil or lotion? What health benefits have you noticed? If not, are you ready to give it a try?Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

The Health Benefits of White Fruits and Vegetables

The current health mantra is “Eat the Rainbow.” But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

I used to pride myself on how many colors I could eat in a day. As a hard core perfectionist it was like a game. How many different colored vegetables could I squeeze in?

And when you try, it’s honestly not that hard. Red peppers, squash, golden zucchini, spinach, purple cabbage, red and golden beets, peas, broccoli, carrots…you get the idea. Especially now that we have access to just about any produce we want year round, eating the rainbow is easy.

Why White Fruits and Vegetables are Good for You

Unfortunately there is one “color” that often gets overlooked…white! Yes, there are many health benefits to white fruits and vegetables. Note that white refers to the flesh. So this includes foods like cucumbers, apples, zucchini, and pears.

White fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals as well as other compounds that aid in specific processes of the body. Here are just some of the delicious white fruits and vegetables and their benefits.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Cauliflower

This is definitely one of our favorite veggies. We love it roasted or served raw with dip (like this simple hummus). Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, insoles, and isothiocyanates that have been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells, protect your heart, and strengthen bones. It contains fiber and is good for digestion. Cauliflower also helps reduce inflammation via antioxidants. The choline in cauliflower benefits your brain too. It really packs a punch!

The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are often overlooked even though they are one of the healthiest foods around! They contain beta-glucans[source], which support your immune system, help prevent cancer, regulate cholesterol and help control blood sugar. Another white food high in beta-glucans is oats. Mushrooms also contain selenium, an essential mineral.

Potatoes

White potatoes have gotten a bad rap lately. Seen as just a starchy filler, many people try to replace them with sweet potatoes and other veggies. But don’t toss your white potatoes! They are a staple of the American diet (for good reason!) and are very beneficial. White potatoes contain potassium, Vitamin B6, iron, Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and copper. They may aid in digestion and relieving constipation. Potatoes have also been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, prevent kidney stones, prevent heart disease and improve brain function. Baked potato, anyone?!

Just be sure to peel your potatoes and avoid any green spots or sprouting potatoes.

Parsnips

Parsnips are pretty much my new favorite vegetable. If you’ve never had roasted parsnips, go get some and roast them NOW. My four year old would eat an entire pan of these herself. And I don’t mind if she does! Parsnips contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, folate, thiamin, pantothenic acid, Vitamins B6, C, E, and K, fiber and anti-oxidants. All of these vitamins and minerals help boost the immune system, strengthen the heart, reduce birth defects, and promote strong bones.[source]

Rutabaga

Rutabaga is another newer vegetable for our family. And another one that is quickly becoming a personal favorite! I love rutabaga fries! My girls both devour these too. Rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. It has a mild cabbage flavor, but also a sweetness. Their firm flesh holds up well in baking, making them a great substitute for potatoes. We love using them diced in soups and spiralized for noodles!

Rutabagas contain manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins C, E, K, and B.They also contain glucosinolates, which have been shown to reduce tumor growth. Rutabagas can help relieve constipation, improve bone health, and improve vision.[source] Contrary to what you might hear, rutabagas do not contain large amounts of beta carotene. They are an approved food on the Vitamin A Detox Diet.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Zucchini

You many wonder why zucchini is on the list of white vegetables. The white refers to the flesh. We peel all of our zucchini to remove the colored portion. We grow both green and golden zucchini in our garden and enjoy it for many months roasted, raw, in stir fries, in soups, in breads, in crackers, and even in cupcakes.

Zucchini contains potassium, folate, fiber, and Vitamin C. Some claim it helps relieve both asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Zucchini also aids in digestion, improves vision, and strengthens the heart.[source]

Onion

I don’t know about you, but when I’m planning meals and trying to figure out what vegetable to serve, onion most certainly doesn’t come to mind! And to be honest it’s a vegetable I don’t often use. I think it’s mostly because I hate chopping onions! But onions are super healthy, and I hope to start adding them to our diet more often.

Onions contain Vitamin C, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, iron, folate, potassium, quercitin, and sulfur. The quercitin in onions has been linked to cancer prevention. [source] Raw onions are also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. They are often used for treating colds, fevers, and allergies.

Garlic

Are you a fan of garlic? I don’t mind the flavor. But (confession) it’s not something I ever buy. I use lots of garlic powder in our food. But I really hate dealing with fresh garlic. I guess I need to teach my kids how to use it! This is one more white vegetable (technically an herb) to add to my list of things to start incorporating in our diet more often because the health benefits are so great.

Garlic contains phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, iodine, sulfur, chlorine, folate, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin C, A, K, and B6. [source] That’s a lot of good stuff in a tiny package! Raw garlic is known for treating colds and coughs. In addition, garlic may aid in digestion, treating acne, eliminating ear aches, and reducing the progression of some types of cancer. Can I get some garlic, please?!The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Ginger

Ginger is another item on the white vegetable list that isn’t technically a vegetable. But it is still very good for you! And one more food that I don’t typically use in my kitchen. One more thing to add to the list! This spice contains gingerol, which has powerful medicinal properties. [source]

Ginger helps ease nausea, most notably morning sickness. It also can help relieve muscle pain, lower blood sugar, and help fight infections. Add some to your next stir fry or soup!

Fennel

Here I thought I was a pretty adventurous eater when it comes to vegetables. But here is yet another one that is not a staple in our diet. We have used fennel before, but not regularly. I think it’s time we try it again. Fennel bulb contains vitamin C, fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, magnesium, zinc, niacin, vitamin K, B-vitamins, and flavonols. [source]

Fennel may help with anemia, constipation, gas, indigestion, colic, and PMS. It is an overall digestive aid.

White Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is similar to rutabaga. It is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Though it has a stronger flavor than rutabaga, almost a bit spicy. We use kohlrabi on occasion, though it is not a family favorite.

Kohlrabi contains potassium, fiber, glucosinates, antioxidants, Vitamin C, iron, folate, phosphorus, and calcium. This unique vegetable may help with anemia, digestion, blood pressure, healthy skin, and even cancer prevention via apoptosis. [source] If you are curious how to cook kohlrabi, this is a great post!The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Green Cabbage

I know, “green” cabbage isn’t technically white. But really it is mostly white. After you get through the first few layers of leaves it’s basically a white vegetable. We eat a lot of cabbage. It tastes amazing roasted. But it also works well for sauerkraut! Or you can use it in casseroles and soups. I love it in homemade coleslaw. Cabbage is so versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked.

There are quite a few varieties of cabbage, including Napa and Bok Choy. We generally stick to the traditional green cabbage both for flavor and function.

Cabbage contains manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamins C, B6, K, and E, sulfur, and choline. These nutrients make cabbage good for detoxification, reducing inflammation, cancer prevention, proper digestion, boosting the immune system, repairing skin, strengthening bones, and improving vision. [source]

Cucumber

Here we go again with the “green” vegetables. We always peel our cucumbers and just eat the white flesh. So it is on my white vegetable list. Every summer we get an overload of cucumbers from our garden. We enjoy them fresh with dip or turned into pickles.

For such a simple vegetable, cucumbers have a lot going on. They contain vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin, polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), and antioxidant flavinoids like quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol. Not to mention cucumbers are about 95% water. So they are great for hydration.

Cucumbers may help with brain health, reducing inflammation, cancer prevention, proper digestion and heart health. [source]The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Apple

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. And that’s good news for my family since we have an 80-tree apple orchard! Apples are one of the easiest white fruits to add to your diet since they are so readily available year round and stay fresh for so long. Just be sure to buy organic and wash them well to avoid glyphosate and other chemicals. Even organic apples are sprayed. Here are some tips on making your own produce wash.v

Apples contain fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, manganese, copper, and polyphenols. They have been shown to aid weight loss, decrease risk of cancer, improve heart health, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and protect your brain. [sourceHere are some more reasons to love apples.

Pear

Much like apples, pears are a delicious and nutritious fruit to add to your diet. They contain potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, phenolic compounds, folate, dietary fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins.

Pears are great for hydration, reducing blood pressure, preventing birth defects, aiding digestion, promoting wound healing, improving circulation, and protecting against osteoporosis. [source]

White peach

You probably don’t think white when you hear the word peach. But white peaches are both delicious and healthy! Unlike its orange-flesh counterpart, the white peach is very low in Vitamin A. But it still contains loads of other nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, Vitamin K, magnesium, and zinc.

Peaches can help relieve constipation, aid in hydration, promote healthy skin, improve heart health, and boost immunity.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Banana

Some say eggs are the most perfect food. I think you could make that claim about bananas! This mild-flavored pale yellow fruit can be enjoyed by everyone, from infants to the elderly. Bananas boast quite a nutritional profile. They contain fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, and manganese.

Bananas are widely known for their potassium content. Although not the food highest in potassium, this nutrient makes bananas great for balancing electrolytes and supporting heart health. They also support kidney health.

Take note that many claims about the nutritional value of bananas is related to resistant starch. Although some say it is beneficial, I believe resistant starch is not good for you. So make sure there is no green on your banana to avoid resistant starch.The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids!

Should We “Eat the Rainbow?”

It’s obvious that there are many health benefits to white fruits and vegetables. And that wasn’t even all of them! But what about the colorful ones? Should we still eat them? Should we adhere to the “Eat the Rainbow” advice?

That depends on your health and the source of the color.

If you do a little research you’ll find that the “Eat the Rainbow” slogan has not been around for very long. It is definitely not the way our ancestors ate. It is a very modern way of living to have access to every kind of fruit and vegetable you could want year round. Not to mention having access to produce that is not native to your environment. I don’t think the British were dining on avocados in the 1600’s! So if you are a fan of traditional diets, you may want to rethink eating the rainbow.

In fact, we probably don’t need as many fruits and vegetables in our diet as we are led to believe these days at all. I absolutely include them in our diet. But I don’t go overboard either. Too many fruits and vegetables can be hard to digest. I know plant-based diets are all the rage these days. But we must remember that animal products are a necessary part of nutrition as well, containing critical nutrients we can’t get from plants. We are omnivores after all. It’s all about finding balance.

Also, if you are dealing with Vitamin A Toxicity you should avoid fruits and vegetables that get their color from carotenoids. You can learn more about Vitamin A Toxicity HERE. Note that many colored fruits (like berries, kiwi, pineapple, dates, and grapes) get their color from polyphenols, phytochemicals, and other compounds. These are also beneficial.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Why Are Vegetables Brightly Colored?

This may all sound a little far-fetched to you. Don’t eat lots of colors? Load up on white? Let’s look at history and some hidden details of colorful produce.

Let’s start with the humble carrot – a staple in many diets today. But if you do a little research you’ll find that carrots were not originally orange. They were white! The orange color and the carrot’s current shape and flavor were due to domestication from humans. We made them orange! Actually it seems the Dutch made them yellow and orange after years of selective breeding. Should we have done that? [source] [source]

Winter squash is another common orange vegetable that has gained popularity over time. Interestingly, what we now eat is also a domesticated plant. “Wild forms of squashes are harshly bitter to humans and other extant mammals…Wild squashes carry cucurbitacins, which can be toxic when eaten by smaller bodied mammals, including humans.”[source] “Early on, squash was only grown for seed because early squash had little flesh and a bitter taste.” [source] Again, we have taken a plant not meant for human consumption and turned it into something edible. But was it a good idea?

Take note that pretty much every healing diet eliminates the nightshade family. This includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. Notice that the first three on the list are very brightly colored vegetables. They are a relatively new addition to the Western diet. Tomatoes were originally ornamental vegetables because people believed they were poisonous! Nightshades are known to cause inflammation.

Finally, we need to consider color as a warning, called aposematism. This is very common with insects and animals. “If the poisonous thing is aposematic, [the animal] won’t make the same mistake again. Monarchs happen to display their toxicity with bright colors, as do most toxic animals and any animal that tries to look toxic. If you see something really colorful and striking in nature, it’s probably chemically defended. Otherwise, its coloration would make it instant prey.” [source] So it is very likely that the same goes for plants. You can read more about aposematism and fluorescence of plants HERE.

Make White Fruits and Vegetables Count

All this to say we may need to rethink our fruit and veggie mantra these days. More (in terms of quantity) isn’t always better (my tummy could tell you that!). More (in terms of color) isn’t always in your best interest either.

Make sure you know where your fruits and vegetables get their color and whether or not it is truly what your body needs.

Our meals these days contain a lot of white fruits and vegetables. They are just as healthy as their colored counterparts. Not to mention they are good for your digestive system, heart, brain, kidneys, skin, eyes, hair, and more!

Have you considered the health benefits of white fruits and vegetables? Or have you been led to believe the more color the better?

Interested in reading more about the potential harm of loading up on brightly colored veggies? Here are some resources:

Is Vitamin A Really a Vitamin?

What Does Vitamin A Do in the Body?

Teething, Tongue Ties, Flat Spots and Growing Pains: How Vitamin A Impacts Bones and Tissues

Is Gluten Really the Problem? How Glyphosate Impacts Vitamin A Toxicity

White Fruits and Vegetables Intake Associated with Lower Disease Risks

“Eat the Rainbow” is a Farce and a Fraud

The “Foods of the Bible” are Overwhelmingly Low in Poison/”Vitamin A”!

Problems with Nightshades

Nightshades are Toxic

Have you ever wondered what all of the vitamins and minerals do you in your body? Or if they are really that important? Or that maybe we're getting too much? What does Vitamin A do in the body? I'm sharing the details today.

What Does Vitamin A Do in the Body?

VAD Diet updateHave you ever wondered what all of the vitamins and minerals do you in your body? Or if they are really that important? Or that maybe we’re getting too much? What does Vitamin A do in the body? I’m sharing the details today.

Have you ever wondered what all of the vitamins and minerals do you in your body? Or if they are really that important? Or that maybe we're getting too much? What does Vitamin A do in the body? I'm sharing the details today.

Last week I presented the theory that Vitamin A is not really a vitamin at all. It is a toxin/poison.

Whether you are warming up to that idea or not, today I’m digging into the role of “Vitamin” A in the body. What does Vitamin A do in the body? What happens after you ingest it? And where does it go wrong?

I’ll admit, some of this stuff is a bit technical for me. It kind of makes my head hurt to read the details. But I’m going to do my best to break it down for you so you have a basic understanding. If you like the nitty gritty details make sure you read Grant Generuex’s books that I linked to in my previous post on Vitamin A. Most of the information in today’s post is what I learned from Grant’s book. But I tried to summarize it and break it down for you.

How Vitamin A is Supposed to be Handled

In a healthy (not toxic) person there is a simple cycle that the body uses to maintain balance when it comes to Vitamin A.

  1. Vitamin A is ingested.
  2. That Vitamin A is quickly transported to and stored in the liver.
  3. The stored Vitamin A is periodically called for by cells in the body when it is needed.
  4. The Vitamin A is delivered to its destination via Retinol Binding Protein (RBP).

RBP is like an envelope to deliver the retinol safely to its destination (this is a critical point). The body does not want to be exposed to retinol without RBP. Plain retinol is toxic. Also, the cells calling for retinol have receptors specifically for RBP. So the retinol goes directly where it’s needed in a nice protected package. A wonderful design.

Pretty straight forward. And harmless.

Have you ever wondered what all of the vitamins and minerals do you in your body? Or if they are really that important? Or that maybe we're getting too much? What does Vitamin A do in the body? I'm sharing the details today.

How Vitamin A is Handled in Toxic Individuals

But this simple cycle is messed up if the liver is saturated from excess Vitamin A. Now the tissue of the body is exposed to plain retinol without RBP because it is sitting around, not able to enter the liver. Instead excessive Vitamin A levels are now found in the blood serum, giving it time to combine with fat (remember it is fat-soluble). Other systems and organs try to deal with the excess vitamin A by storing it in the only safe wrapper it knows – fat. So that’s where it sits. And there is speculation that this is the cause of obesity! The body stores fat to handle excess Vitamin A.(you can read more about the connection of Vitamin A with obesity here).

So now the simple cycle above looks more like this:

  1. Vitamin A is ingested.
  2. That vitamin A is stored in adipose tissue (fat) because the liver can’t hold any more.
  3. Some of the retinol is converted to retinoic acid.
  4. Specific gene expressions (all my epigenetics fans – this is where it comes in) and immune response of the individual dictates how the body responds.
  5. This causes inflammation.
  6. Serum pH drops.
  7. Calcium is drawn from bones and teeth to compensate.

Not so simple now. The liver is swollen from excess Vitamin A (fatty liver). Organs and tissues are being exposed to retionic acid. And the body gradually breaks down little by little completely inflamed. In other words, you now have health problems like autoimmune disease. And you develop weak bones.

That is the big picture. Did you follow me?The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids!

Vitamin A at the Cell Level

There are two inflammatory responses in the body.

One helps heal. It is the body’s natural response to infection and injury. The immune system uses inflammation to protect against pathogens. In this case the inflammation is healing. You get sick…the body heats up and fights back. Wonderful.

The other is the body’s response to cell injury, damage or incorrect mutations. In this case inflammation is destroying. A damaged cell must be killed before it creates problems.

We all know that inflammation produces heat. This helps kill the pathogens/intruders. It is why you get a fever when you are sick. Your body is doing what it is supposed to do to fight and heal. And this is great when it really is a temporary invader (like infection or injury) or random cell damage. The body calls in the troops, heats up in battle and then settles down.

Inflammation and Autoimmune Disease

But that is not how it works with autoimmune disease. In this case the inflammation is chronic. But here is where current understanding goes wrong.

The inflammation itself is NOT the cause of the disease.

The inflammation is the body trying to do its job like always…but not succeeding because it is searching for phantom pathogens. So it is never-ending since it can’t actually find a pathogen. But there is no off switch. It is a search and destroy mission. And the heat applied to the retinol-containing lipids (fats) is like setting off a bunch of bombs!

The body is attacking a damage-associated molecule instead of a pathogen – your own tissue cells with the molecule. And all that heat it generates is what you know as an autoimmune flare-up.

The human body has quite a defense mechanism. It uses a lot of proteins and acids as weapons – one of which is retinoic acid. As the body produces more and more retinoic acid it creates more inflammation. As the retinoic acid destroys tissue (like skin, intestines and joints), it makes them very thin and weak (think eczema, Crohn’s and even leaky gut!). Ever heard of chemical peels for the skin? It’s retinoic acid!

After the acid attacks, the body quickly tries to make more tissue to compensate. But this time around the tissue is much thicker (sclerosis). This is how conditions like arthritis and psoriasis come about.

Where Does Retionic Acid Come From?

Obviously we don’t consume retinoic acid. So where is it coming from?

The Vitamin A we eat is retinol, retinal or its precursors carotenoids (like beta carotene). The conversion from Vitamin A to retinoic acid happens at both the cellular and molecular level. It is converted in the intestines and in other cells. Not damaged cells either. Retinol is metabolized to retinoic acid in normal cells.

I mentioned that the body knows how to transport retinol properly via RBP. Once it reaches its destination it is unwrapped and converted to retinoic acid (RA). The RA goes to the nucleus of the cell to be used for gene expression and protein generation.  The gene expression can produce cytokines. Which in turn can produce an immune response. This is all well and good when the cell actually requested some retinol. It needs the retinoic acid for a specific purpose. And the liver is able to supply sufficient retinol for all the body’s needs.

Now here is where the real problem arises. When there is unbound retinol (excess retinol just floating around not packaged by RBP) it can still enter the cell. But the cell did not request it. The extra retinol has now bypassed the cell’s regulatory system. But it still produces cytokines and potentially more inflammation.

This is what we know as autoimmune disease. But it is not “auto.” There is a reason for it. Excess Vitamin A. The body does not just randomly produce inflammation. It is responding to something. And now we know what that is!

This conversion of retinol to retinoic acid will happen much more frequently in people with an over-saturated liver.The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids! A Parent's Guide

Too Much Vitamin A

Once your liver reaches saturation, the Vitamin A will be stored in other tissues – skin, fat and intestines. And disease begins. The body’s primary defense mechanism (liver) is out of commission. So any amount of Vitamin A you consume after that will cause problems (like a bathtub overflowing with water).

A little extra keeps the inflammation going. A lot extra makes a full blow autoimmune flare, burning holes in your skin, tissues and organs.

All Autoimmune Disease is the Same

Here’s where it all comes together. All autoimmune diseases are actually the same condition – Vitamin A Toxicity. Where the inflammation happens is unique to each individual based on genetics and lifestyle/diet. When the inflammation starts and how severe it gets just depends on how long it takes your liver to become saturated. It could happen at age two or age fifty.

I hope you followed all that! You may have to re-read it a few times for it to make sense. I know I did! That is the basic idea of what happens in the body when you consume Vitamin A. In small amounts it is totally fine. And probably necessary. God didn’t create it for no reason. But we have gone WAY beyond small amounts. And now we have so many sick individuals, including young children. It should not be common for kids to have diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease and autism. But that is the reality of our world now. It has to stop!

The numerous conditions Vitamin A Toxicity can influence is beyond the scope of this post. Again, I refer you to Grant’s books (Poisoning for Profits and Extinguishing the Fires of Hell). 

I am just scratching the surface of the Vitamin A Toxicity details in this post. But hopefully it’s enough to help you understand how Vitamin A can go wrong and make you curious enough to read more.

I hope you’ll stick around for next week’s post. The one I know everyone is waiting for…how to detox the Vitamin A and get help for your health problems! This is the key to getting your child to eat!!

Do you think Vitamin A can be the root of all disease? Does it just sound impossible?

The Parental Stress of a Child With Feeding Challenges

As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

I spend a lot of time on the couch nursing baby number four these days. And I can only look at my phone or stare at the wall for so long. Which means I’ve gotten back into reading! It’s been great to actually have time to read again. Even if it’s usually short intervals because I get sleepy or lose focus. Postpartum sleep deprivation will do that.

Recently my husband suggested a book he bought called “Boys Should Be Boys” by Meg Meeker, MD. Sure, I thought. I’ll give it a look. After all, we do have two sons! And a pediatrician should have some good advice.

I felt encouraged that a lot of it was right in line with how we raise our children – don’t overschedule, let them have plenty of free time, let them explore outside, give them attention. Great.

All About Mom

Then I got to the chapter specifically for moms. I found a few areas to work on and more encouragement that I’m doing an ok job at this parenting thing.

And then I read one line that made me pause for a moment.

“In my medical practice, the most stressed-out mothers I have encountered are often the mothers whose sons have growth issues. If a child fails to eat well and fails to grow, a mother subconsciously feels that she has failed.”

It wasn’t until about thirty minutes later that the weight of that statement really hit me and the tears started flowing.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

After four years of watching my youngest daughter struggle with eating and being undernourished and now having another baby that struggles to eat, it was the first time I didn’t feel alone.

I’m not just the crazy mom that worries too much about her kids. If a pediatrician sees the parents of children with feeding challenges as the most stressed out, then it’s not just me!

And it’s Not Just You, Either!

To the mom who couldn’t breastfeed despite her best efforts – you are not alone.

To the parents of a child with an undiagnosed tongue tie resulting in undernourishment – you are not alone.

To the mother of a kid going through feeding therapy – you are not alone.

To the parent of a child whose diet is limited to ten foods – you are not alone.

To the parents of kids who throw tantrums at every meal – you are not alone.

To the mom who gets anxious before every checkup, fearing that your child is still not growing – you are not alone.

To the mom of a kid with food allergies – you are not alone.

To the mom that puts her life on hold to make feeding her children well a priority – you are not alone.

And to the mom whose baby screams at every feed, whose day is consumed with feeding attempts and you can hardly leave the house – YOU are not alone. I am not alone.

In her book “Cold Tangerines” Shauna Niequist describes feeding others like this:

“[F]eeding the people I love is a hands-on way of loving them. When you nourish and sustain someone, essentially, you’re saying that you want them to thrive, to be happy and healthy and able to live well.”

That is exactly how I feel about feeding my children. And it’s a challenge when there is a road block in the way.

I see other moms of little ones going out on dates or out with friends, while I’m over here wondering if I can manage a trip to the grocery store between feeding attempts. I see other families going to the beach or the zoo for the day, and I can’t go anywhere for more than an hour without a private place to breastfeed. There is no such thing as being discrete with all the bouncing, back arching and screaming going on.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

The parental stress of a child with feeding challenges is very real, but hard to understand if you’ve never been through it. If you know a mom struggling with feeding issues give her some encouragement and maybe a helping hand. She is doing such important and demanding work!

Parental Stress

I focus a lot on health and nutrition for kids. But also for parents. It’s important for mom and dad to be healthy not only to set a good example, but also to be able to properly care for your kids.

I’ve been working on my own health for many years. And it’s always a challenge during pregnancy and breastfeeding when I am sharing nutrients and often on a limited diet for baby’s food intolerances.

But one of the biggest factors in health problems is not the food you eat but instead the amount of stress in your life.

Ask any doctor and they will tell you to reduce stress.

You can declutter your house, free up time in your schedule, simplify meals and try to get to bed earlier…but you can’t get rid of your child! The parental stress of a child with feeding challenges is a permanent fixture as long as the feeding troubles remain.

I often joke with my big kids that baby brother only wants to eat as soon as I sit down to eat. So I have to rush through every meal with a fussy baby. Eating too quickly, not chewing thoroughly and eating while stressed is a recipe for disastrous digestion. Yep, that’s me. You too? I pretty much have a constant stomach ache from the tension.

The stress impacts how I interact with my other children and my husband. If my little guy is having a bad day I am having a bad day and patience goes out the window. If my four year old refuses to eat my anxiety builds and it shows.

As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

Help for Feeding Challenges

I can’t make your stress go away, but I can offer assurance that you are not alone. And encouragement that you will get through this. As kids get older the feeding gets easier. And there are things you can do right now to at least ease the problems. I outline the details in my book “Why Won’t My Child Eat?!” I have tips for breastfeeding struggles here and feeding a child with sensory processing disorder here.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Dr. Meeker.

“Mothers love through sacrifice. They act. They will surrender whatever is necessary to keep their son alive. Whether it’s intuitive or not, that is what love does.”

Caring for a child with feeding challenges is stressful. It’s hard work. And it shows your deep, deep love for your child. Some days are more challenging than others. And some days you just need a good cry. But don’t give up. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up!

I wrote this post to encourage others. But also to encourage myself as I’m right there with you dealing with multiple children with feeding challenges at the same time. It is stressful. And it’s OK to admit it. Just know you are NOT a failure!

I hope that ten years from now when I’m not struggling with very young children this post can still offer encouragement to those in the midst of the challenge. And I will still be here to help you along the journey!

What has been the most stressful part of having a child with feeding challenges for you?

There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

How to Find Joy in Nourishing Your Body

There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I’ve experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I’m so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

“You have to be healthy to eat healthy.”

It’s something I often say to people frustrated with trying to eat the “right way” but still not feeling great. There are so many diets that promote real food and healing. They all have merit, but that doesn’t mean they work for everyone.

I know this because I’ve tried them (read some of my thoughts HERE). And the only thing I got was severe obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, more food intolerances and infertility. But no healing.

The real problem is they all include rules. Specific diets place restrictions on what you can eat and categorize food as good or bad. When a food is deemed bad or forbidden guess what happens? You want it! You are left with this constant decision making between doing the right thing or the wrong thing. And feeling guilty if you choose wrong. Or worse food starts to cause anxiety.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

It took me the last twenty years to move past feeling like food is either good or bad. But I did it. And I love it! It is so freeing to finally enjoy food.

Sound Familiar? There’s help!

Are you hung up on trying to find the right diet for you? Are you wondering if low carb or grain free or high fat is right for you? Does it make you stressed just thinking about it? Here are some simple tips to get past the fear and back to joy.

  1. Start listening to your body.
    Take note of how you feel when you eat certain foods. Keep a food journal for a week or two if need be. If nuts bother your stomach, take a break from them. If you feel better eating more carbohydrates and less fat then go for it. Eat what makes YOU feel good, not what helps your neighbor or your favorite blogger. If you are dealing with an autoimmune disease or allergies that will impact what foods hurt or help.
  2. Get rid of the rules.
    Stop viewing food as good or bad. As long as it’s real food it’s ok. Enjoy a piece of homemade chocolate cake and ice cream. Make a big stack of pancakes with butter and real maple syrup for breakfast. When you restrict foods because you think you shouldn’t eat them (instead of restricting because they actually make you feel bad) they create more stress. Ditch the diet and rigid rules.
  3. Start focusing on nourishment.
    This is where the fun begins. When you let go of unnecessary rules and you’re not constantly debating between eating a salad and digging into a container of ice cream you can focus on really taking care of your body.

Finding Joy

I spent far too many years trying to eat the perfect diet. Only to feel stressed, anxious and deprived. Then I had to go the other direction of eating anything and everything to try to restore metabolic health (you can read about my journey HERE and HERE). All to find a place of balance. Now I find great joy in nourishing my body. Not because a diet tells me to. Because I want to.

I heard someone recently say that happiness is external and joy is internal. Being happy comes from your circumstances, but joy is a state of being that comes from within. And it’s true. Good food does make me happy. But it’s the joy and peace I have inside that motivates me to make healthy choices every day.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Balance is Key

Today eating is like an exciting adventure for me. I try to pack as many nutrients into my food as possible. I add desiccated liver and fermented kale to smoothies and salads. I eat sardines and anchovies a couple times a week. I eat pastured meats and eggs regularly. I aim for a rainbow of vegetables and plenty of healthy fats daily. I drink herbal teas for added minerals and to support my body and get my hormones back in balance. It’s almost like a fun game to see how many vitamins and minerals I can get each day. I feel good and the joy comes pouring out.

But I also enjoy a dish of ice cream when I want it. Sometimes I eat a bowl of mashed avocado and tortilla chips for breakfast (quick and delicious…and it’s easy to add liver to avocado!). I like to bake with my kids and make special sweet treats together (like gluten free Oreos® and salted honey chocolates). It’s even rare that I go a day without at least a little bit of chocolate.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

There is no more should or shouldn’t with food. There are no rules. There is no restriction. Which in turn eliminates cravings (imagine that!).

Now I love to fuel my body, and I love how it makes me feel. That does not mean my diet is perfect. Not every single bite of food has to be nutrient packed. And less healthy foods here and there don’t negate all the good stuff I put in my body every day.

Let go of the Guilt

There is no guilt or feeling of reward for eating a certain way. I just truly love to eat nutrient dense food. No rules or special diets. I don’t eat GAPS or Paleo or AIP or low carb or any other specialized diet. I just eat real food that makes me feel good and that I know is helping me take care of my body. One day I might eat grain free while the next I might need some extra starch. And they are both just fine!

It’s very freeing to let go and find joy in nourishment. And it’s the healthiest I’ve ever been!

I am very blessed that I do not have an autoimmune condition or severe allergies. But I do have some sensitivities and health issues I’m still working through. But I try not to let them get me down. I nourish my body as best I can with my limitations and keep striving for full healing.

Eating real food is easy. There are limitless options. Eating real food that meets your needs can be hard. But once you figure out how to do it you’ll love how you feel.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Foods That Nourish

Some of my favorite nutrient dense foods are ferments. They are packed with natural probiotics. What I really love is how easy they are (take a big scoop and enjoy!) and how much my kids like them. My toddler can’t get enough sauerkraut. While we do make our own sometimes, I don’t always have time to pound cabbage.

I recently got the chance to try sauerkraut and fermented pickles from Cultured Guru.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Both the kraut and pickles have just a few simple ingredients and taste amazing! Using traditional fermentation these products are teaming with probiotics. They make great additions to a meal or are the perfect quick snack.

My oldest can’t get enough of the pickles. She has oral SPD and doesn’t tolerate any amount of spice. So even though she likes pickles it’s rare we can find any she’ll eat. But she loves the Cultured Guru pickles! She loves the sauerkraut too. Another rarity for her.

If you want to try some Cultured Guru ferments you’re in luck! You can get 25% off off using coupon code PROBIO.

I’ll be stocking up too. My kids and I can’t get enough!! Such a blessing when working on healing allergies!There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Super Charged Bites

Another super food that tops my list is a traditional staple – organ meats. I get mine by adding Perfect Supplements desiccated liver to just about everything. I even make caramel with it! I also love the fermented kale, collagen and aquatic greens from Perfect Supplements. I add them to most of our smoothies.

You can get 10% off any of these Perfect Supplements products with the coupon code TAKE10.

Some of my other favorite foods include sardines, salmon, eggs, raw milk, butter, lard, tallow, pastured meats and a rainbow of vegetables. They all make my body smile.

You have to be healthy to eat healthy.

I’m so excited to finally be healthy so I can enjoy eating well and nourishing my body every day.

Are you ready to let go of rules and enjoy eating again? Ditch the diets and find joy in nourishing your body.

Today is my birthday, and I’m starting it with pure joy. Joy that I’m taking care of myself and this beautiful body God gave me.

Want to see what I eat for my #nourishingbreakfast #nourishinglunch and #nourishingdinner? Follow me on Instagram! It may inspire you…or it might gross you out. In my husband’s words, “You eat that for breakfast?!”There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Disclaimer: I am working with Cultured Guru for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.