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EMF Protection During Pregnancy and Childhood

EMFs are all around us, yet we don’t know their full impact. I’m sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!

In the digital age we live in you’ve probably heard the term EMF – electromagnetic frequency. It is something that is all around us both from natural and man-made sources.

Why Worry About EMFs?

It’s hard to say. The data is still inconclusive. Though I tend to err on the side of caution. I’d rather be proactive and find out I was overcautious than to do nothing and find out I could have prevented some harm.

Some EMFs are low frequency, such was microwaves and WiFi. Others are higher frequency and are known to potentially cause problems, like X-rays (i.e. no x-rays while pregnant!).

Wellness Mama has a great post with more info on EMF exposure and the potential impacts to our bodies…that are actually electromagnetic systems themselves! I strongly encourage you to do more research on this topic.

Especially with the recent development of 5G networks that could have some profound health consequences, EMF protection is more important than ever!
EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact. I'm sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!

Protecting Babies From EMF Exposure

What I want to talk to you about today is how to protect your baby before and after birth from too much EMF exposure. Little ones are going to be impacted the most by EMFs simply due to their size. So it is important to take precautionary measures when they are young.

There are some simple ways to reduce EMFs in your day-to-day life:

  • Turn off WiFi at night or any time it’s not in use.
  • Keep your cell phone on airplane mode.
  • Keep electronics out of the bedrooms.
  • Replace your smart meter with an analog meter.
  • Hard wire electronics instead of using wireless.
  • Use EMF-blocking cases and pads for cell phones, tablets and laptops.
  • Keep wireless devices off of your body (laps, pockets, etc.). This is especially true for children!

One of the biggest step I took in my last pregnancy was to use a Belly Armor blanket.

RadiaShield® Fabric make this blanket a convenient and unobtrusive way to protect your child within against the risks of everyday radiation. Easily portable in your handbag, this maternity blanket is ideal for both the home and the office. You’ll forget this breathable protector is even there while having the peace of mind of RadiaShield® protection.

Safe to use for mom and baby – products are free of heavy metals, toxic chemicals and common allergens.

During pregnancy, simply drape over your midsection while sitting or lying down to create a soft, protective barrier from wireless radiation.

EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my tips to help protect baby before and after birth from EMF exposure.Working with Wireless While Pregnant

The Belly Armor blanket has 99.9% shielding effectiveness. As a blogger I spend a lot of time at the computer. I feel so much better knowing that baby is protected while I work. I love that I’m getting more protection too!! I just lay the blanket over my belly and legs. So simple.

Since my son was born I have continued to use my Belly Armor blanket on a daily basis. I drape it over him while he’s nursing or sleeping on me and I’m at the computer or using my cell phone. It basically travels around the house with us!

I already do my best to keep cell phones and tablets away from my kids. But now I can go one step further for protection.

If you are expecting a baby or have a new little one I highly recommend Belly Armor. I wish I had found it sooner! I would have worn the belly band the whole pregnancy. Their baby monitor looks amazing as well. Yes, baby monitors generate EMFs too! I know some people go without for this very reason. I’d never hear baby without one. So I do my best to keep it at a distance in both my bedroom and the nursery so I can still hear baby without too much exposure.EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!

Cell Phone EMF Protection

I love my Belly Armour blanket. But I can’t keep it draped over a busy toddler all day. So I have also taken another step to protect my kids from EMF exposure.

I use an Aires shield on my cell phone. It drastically reduces EMFs. Let’s be real – there is no way around using a smart phone around kids sometimes. We use it to look up information or watch videos while homeschooling. And I often use my phone while nursing my son to sleep.

I feel so much better knowing I have added protection.

The best part is how easy it is to use!. Seriously. Just peel it off the card and stick it on your phone. Done.

I’m planning to use more of them on our other wireless devices, like our laptop. The things my kids use. It gives me peace of mind.EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my EMF protection tips for pregnancy and as kids grow. A few simple changes could have a big impact!

Are you worried about how to protect your kids – whether in utero or after birth – from EMF exposure?

Check out all of the cool Belly Armor products. If you’re like me you’ll have a hard time choosing just one! The little bunny hat is so adorable!

And consider getting an Aires shield for your devices. I’m actually really intrigued by their other products that can be worn by individuals or used for entire rooms. I’d love to get something like that for my kids and their bedroom. EMFs can really impact sleep!


Interested in ordering some EMF protection devices for your family? Use the code justtakeabite10 to get 10% off AiresTech products HERE!!


Taking a few simple steps can help you rest easier knowing you are doing your part to reduce EMF exposure for both you and your growing little ones.EMFs are all around us, yet we don't know their full impact yet. I'm sharing my tips to help protect baby before and after birth from EMF exposure.

I am working with Belly Armor and Aires Tech and have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

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.

NOTE: I no longer support the Vitamin A as poison theory. All information in this article is purely to help you understand what it is based on. It is possible to get too much Vitamin A by overdosing supplements or liver. But that doesn’t happen often and can be quickly remedied if it does. Vitamin A from animal sources is an essential part of the diet. Beta Carotene can cause carotenemia (as my son had) but will not overload the body with Vitamin A. I encourage you to research and make your own decisions. You can read our update/why we turned and ran from the Vitamin A Detox Diet HERE.

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

 

Is Vitamin A Really a Vitamin?

VAD Diet update

What if everything you thought you knew about about nutrition was wrong? Are vegetables really good for you? Do you need loads of Vitamin D and calcium? Is Vitamin A really a vitamin? Let’s dig into these questions!

What if everything you thought you knew about about nutrition was wrong? Are vegetables really good for you? Do you need loads of Vitamin D and calcium? Is Vitamin A really a vitamin? Let's dig into these questions!

NOTE: I no longer support the Vitamin A as poison theory. All information in this article is purely to help you understand what it is based on. It is possible to get too much Vitamin A by overdosing supplements or liver. But that doesn’t happen often and can be quickly remedied if it does. Vitamin A from animal sources is an essential part of the diet. Beta Carotene can cause carotenemia (as my son had) but will not overload the body with Vitamin A. I encourage you to research and make your own decisions. You can read our update/why we turned and ran from the Vitamin A Detox Diet HERE.

Are There Vitamin Impostors?

I will preface this by saying that you need to have an open mind. Forget what you know about nutrition for just a moment and listen.

We’ve all been taught since grade school that we need vitamins. They are important for our health. There are water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K, etc.). There are lots of important minerals as well (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, etc.). We get these vitamins and minerals from our food. Our bodies use them to function well. Pretty straight forward.

But what if I told you there were a couple impostors in that list?

It is well-documented that Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin. It is a hormone. [source] Yet, people are supplementing with “Vitamin” D left and right. Somehow we’ve been told that everyone is Vitamin D deficient. Here’s a little secret…you’re not! And if your Vitamin D truly is low (you can find out with a blood test), supplementing is not the solution. A low level of Vitamin D (low is below 25 ng/dL. Ideal is 25-40 ng/dL…don’t think you need sky high Vitamin D levels) is an indicator that something is not working properly in your body (often times a Vitamin C deficiency). So you need to figure out what that is and fix it. Supplementing is like putting on a band aid. It might change your symptoms, but it’s not actually fixing anything. Here is what is actually happening.

Supplementing with Vitamin D is like taking hormone replacement therapy. And people are doing it to their children!! Even infants. Vitamin D drops, cod liver oil, multi-vitamins. You don’t need it. The excess fills your liver and then gets stored in your tissues (joints, digestive tract, kidneys, skin, etc.). You wouldn’t give your baby estrogen or testosterone drops. So why give hormone D drops?

Think about DHEA. Most people consider it good for health…but that doesn’t mean we call it a vitamin!

Isn’t Vitamin D Good For Your Bones?

Wrong again. Actually quite the opposite. One of the roles of Vitamin D is to maintain calcium levels in the blood…not the bones [source]. So it does whatever it takes to maintain that balance, including drawing calcium from your bones. All that extra Vitamin D you’re taking displaces the calcium in your bones. So if you want to guarantee that you have weak bones and teeth and that you will develop osteoporosis, keep taking Vitamin D supplements. Or keep drinking tons of Vitamin D fortified milk…and see if you develop arthritis or kidney stones.

Ok, that was kind pf a tangent. I just wanted to give you an example of a common health claim that is totally bogus. This post is really not about Vitamin D. It does relate to the rest of the post, though. If you want to learn more here are some great articles.

What if everything you thought you knew about about nutrition was wrong? Are vegetables really good for you? Do you need loads of Vitamin D and calcium? Is Vitamin A really a vitamin? Let's dig into these questions!

Is Vitamin A Really a Vitamin?

Now for the real heart of the matter. Vitamin A. Is it really a vitamin?

Let me start at the beginning.

After my fourth was born I started having some odd symptoms. I was already experimenting with my diet to help my nursling feel better and nurse better. So I was very observant of how I felt and how he felt in relation to what I ate.

I started noticing the symptoms appeared when I ate desiccated liver. That was odd. I’ve always thought liver was a super food loaded with nutrients (like Vitamin A and D). Knowing that it is one of the highest sources of Vitamin A I started to wonder if you could get too much Vitamin A.

I stopped eating liver and felt a little better. Ok. Maybe I didn’t need it or I wasn’t tolerating it. No big deal.

Then I happened to see this post from Matt Stone…all about Vitamin A. Good timing I thought. It was interesting. And helped me decide to stop the desiccated liver completely. Back to my crazy life trying to figure out why my kids won’t eat.

Then I saw Dr. Garrett Smith, ND post on Facebook about how Vitamin A is toxic. I started following him a few years ago at the suggestion of my Nutritional Therapy Practicioner (NTP), but hadn’t seen any posts from him in well over a year (and you know how picky Facebook is…why would I happen to see this one?).

I watched one of his videos and thought it was interesting, but a little out there. Carrots and spinach are bad for you? Avoid egg yolks? I don’t know about that. Those are super nutritious!

I was elbow deep researching histamine intolerance and methylation. So I focused on that and figured I’d ignore the Vitamin A stuff. It just sounded a little too strange for me.

Breastfeeding Challenges

At the same time my son continued to struggle with breastfeeding. My four-year old was not doing well either. She had an eye infection, followed by a month of full body hives and then stomach aches and poor appetite. She was back to hardly eating. It was getting so bad we had her pediatrician order a bunch of blood work.

I was praying daily for wisdom. I was on a low histamine diet since many of my symptoms match histamine intolerance. But I knew that was just a temporary fix. Not a true solution.

God Gives Wisdom if You Ask!

Over the next few weeks I saw daily posts about Vitamin A toxicity. I tried to ignore it. But God wouldn’t let me. It was on the top of my feed every time I got on Facebook. Ok, ok. I’ll listen to the information.

And that started our new journey of healing. The more I read and listened, the more it made sense.

And it explained all of my symptoms, all of my son’s symptoms and every other feeding challenge we have faced over the last ten years. Every. Single. One.

What is Vitamin A Toxicity?

So this is where I’m starting (hopefully you made it this far to get to the heart of the post!). Today I’m telling you a little bit about Vitamin A Toxicity (Hypervitaminosis A) and giving you some resources in case you want to dig in for yourself. If you want to hang back and just watch how it goes for us, that’s fine too. I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I’m just giving you the information.

And I will forewarn you…once you read about it you can’t unread it. And it could change your views on health and nutrition forever.

A quick Dr. Google search will tell you that hypervitaminosis A is a real condition[source]. You can have hypervitaminosis of any vitamin (true vitamin or substance called a vitamin) really. Yes, hypervitaminosis D is very real too! The list of symptoms hypervitamimosis A is lengthy. It includes:

  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased pressure on the brain/headaches
  • Blurry vision or other vision changes
  • Swelling of the bones
  • Bone pain
  • Poor appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Dry, rough skin
  • Itchy or peeling skin
  • Cracked fingernails
  • Skin cracks at the corners of the mouth
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Yellowed skin (jaundice)
  • Orange skin (carotenemia)
  • Hair loss
  • Respiratory infection
  • Confusion
  • Softening of the skull bone
  • Bulging of the soft spot on the top of an infant’s skull
  • Double vision
  • Bulging eyeballs
  • Inability to gain weight
  • Coma
  • Fluid-filled cysts
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Autism
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Picky eater/refusal to eat
  • Oily skin and hair
  • Osteoporosis
  • Eczema
  • Food intolerance/food allergy
  • Cradle cap
  • Asthma

Did you catch all that? Crazy, huh? And those aren’t even all of them.

Another search will tell you that pregnant women should not get too much Vitamin A because it can cause birth defects. I wish I had known that! Sadly I listened to the WAPF pregnancy guidelines that claims you shouldn’t worry about too much Vitamin A. Just one example of something they got SO wrong.

Where Does Vitamin A Come From?

Vitamin A is found in many common “healthy” foods today:

  • sweet potatoes
  • carrots
  • liver
  • egg yolks
  • dairy
  • brightly colored vegetables
  • pork and lard
  • avocado

Really most foods have at least a little Vitamin A. Meat and grains are probably the lowest in Vitamin A. And the body can handle a little.

The problem arises when the liver gets saturated. Which, you can see, won’t take long if you eat a healthy diet by today’s standards or from a traditional diet. The WAPF dietary guidelines for pregnancy would give a woman an overabundance of Vitamin A! Truly excessive amounts.

Initial symptoms usually impact the skin (dry skin, eczema), hair (thinning, graying), eyes (dry, red, itchy, poor vision) and bones (osteoporosis, weak bones and teeth, joint pain). But as the toxicity continues it will gradually break down other systems. The inflammation reaches the intestines (think Crohn’s, Colitis, IBS, leaky gut, food allergies), the brain (cranial pressure/migraines, ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s) and other important organs (thyroid, kidneys and heart).

Does that sound like you or anyone you know? Or everyone?

Where “Healing” Diets Fail

And what is the solution these days? A “healing” diet like GAPS, AIP, Keto, Nemecheck. Where you load up on brightly colored fruits and veggies, bacon, lard, egg yolks, liver, sweet potatoes, unrefined coconut oil. Are you seeing the irony here?

What if our “Eat the Rainbow” mentality was actually doing more harm than good? In the plant and animal world bright colors are a sign of poison (called aposematism). Plants are brightly colored to keep animals from eating them (should we be doing the same?). Animals that are poisonous are often brightly colored (think snakes and frogs). It is a warning sign. Yet we have come to see them as the holy grail of nutrition!

You may be thinking, “But we have soil nutrient depletion and other factors now.” True. But they aren’t enough to cause such a drastic increase in health problems and autoimmune diseases and conditions like autism in recent years.

Is a Standard American Diet Less Toxic?

And what about people that don’t eat healthy? What about people on the Standard American Diet?

Well, they don’t have it much better. Somehow the government has thought they know better than we do what our bodies need. For the past fifty plus years now our foods have been fortified. All pasteurized milk must be fortified with Vitamin A and D. Most grains/flours, cereals, milk alternatives, yogurts and snack foods are fortified. We’re all told to take multi-vitamins and random supplements without any kind of testing.

Everyone worries about not getting enough vitamins and minerals. But we are bombarded with them…certain ones at least. And it’s causing so much overload and imbalance. Excessive supplementation will not fix anything. It will just make problems worse. God designed our bodies to get nutrition from food and to maintain balance. Our bodies now have to compensate for all of the over-supplementing and it is causing big problems (you can read more about the dangers of supplements HERE).

Unless you and your children somehow fall in the middle (no processed/fortified foods AND no abundance of veggies and traditional foods) you probably have Vitamin A Toxicity. That’s right. Just about everyone has it.

What About Vitamin A Deficiency?

But wait. Isn’t Vitamin A deficiency really serious? That depends on your view. IF Vitamin A is actually a vitamin and IF the established symptoms are truly from a deficiency, then yes. The problem is those could both be false assumptions.

Are you still with me? Do you think I’ve lost my mind yet?

In the 1930’s when Vitamin A, the first vitamin, was discovered, the experiments were done incorrectly. The scientists were actually loading the rats with Vitamin A instead of depriving them! They were poisoning the rats instead of inducing a deficiency.

If you look at the symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency and the symptoms of Hypervitamonosis A (listed above) you’ll notice something odd…they are the same! Whether or not that’s possible I’m not sure. Whether Vitamin A deficiency is actually a condition I don’t know. I’m not sure there have ever been any true studies to prove it. Would you actually go blind without Vitamin A? I don’t know. It would take a long time to actually get it all out of your system (could be 5+ years!). How did everyone not go blind hundreds of years ago without supplements and without orange veggies?

It turns out that Vitamin A may actually not be a vitamin at all.

Our bodies can handle some. But too much is toxic. Where that threshold lies is different for everyone and depends on the health of your liver (this is key!).

That rainbow we’ve been told to eat…could be acting more like poison if you are overloaded. (side note – the “five a day” and “eat the rainbow” campaigns were completely arbitrary recommendations).

Now What?

I don’t like to leave you hanging. I just told you that you could be poisoning your family after all! But I also don’t want to overwhelm you with information. And this could take a while to digest.

Plus I’ve got homework for you.

I’ve got more posts coming on other factors that contribute to Vitamin A Toxicity, what happens to Vitamin A in your body and what you can do about it. That’s really what we all want, right? A solution!

There is one. And I have a new book that will help guide you through it. This could be the definitive guide to solving all of your feeding challenges. I know that is a bold statement. But I truly believe it.

I also want you to do some reading and research of your own. And you may know just about as much as I do if you actually do all the reading. So if you just can’t wait, get started!

Engineers Are the Best Problem Solvers

All of this information started with some personal experimenting from an engineer named Grant Genereux (I truly believe engineers make some of the best doctors since our passion is finding root problems and coming up with a solution. Yes, I am an engineer too). He was diagnosed with eczema, an autoimmune condition, and told he would have it for the rest of his life and there was nothing he could do for it. 

Not an acceptable answer for an engineer.

He healed his own autoimmune condition and wrote two very detailed books about his research on Vitamin A.

They are totally free and totally worth reading every word. I could not pull myself away. If you really want to understand Vitamin A Toxicity I suggest you read his books. At the very least his second book, Poisoning For Profits. It will blow your mind.

To be fair, I also wanted to point out that often times engineers are Analytical Eaters (see my Eating Styles for more details), myself included. Analytical Eaters tend to get in food ruts and cause excesses and deficiencies. So whether or not Grant had created a severe Vitamin A Toxicity in himself I don’t know. Just an observation on my part. So he may just be one more extreme case, not the norm.

Here are his FREE books:

Poisoning For Profits

Extinguishing the Fires of Hell

I know, not everyone has the time or interest to read 400-page books on vitamins.

Here is another great blog post from Butter Nutrition about the symptoms of Vitamin A Toxicity.

So, Is Vitamin A a Toxin?

I applaud you if you made it to the end of the post. And even if you do now think I’ve gone completely mad I hope this at least got you thinking. Let it sit a while and come back to it if you need to. That’s what I had to do. And lots of praying for wisdom. But I feel this is truly where God is leading me.

Big changes are always hard. Changing your perspective on health and nutrition is very hard. But change can also be good.

As I said at the start of the post, I’m always researching, learning, and experimenting. After a year on the Vitamin A Detox Diet I’m still not fully clear on my views on Vitamin A.

I truly believe that it is toxic in certain doses (and probably lower than people think) and that a state of toxicity is quite easy to reach these days with fortification, supplements, superfoods, glyphosate, and other toxins.

I also think the health of your liver and your body’s ability to detox is of utmost importance and a key factor in the whole equation. But whether or not Vitamin A is a toxin I’m not sure.

Unfortunately most scientific studies are done in the extremes. They are either trying to prove the impacts of toxicity or deficiency. But we are supposed to live in balance. There are no studies in the balance zone. What that balance is, I’m not sure. Do we need certain amounts of Vitamin A to balance other things? Does eliminating all high Vitamin A foods create other imbalances? There is a LOT we still don’t know. Just because there are studies that show the seriousness of Vitamin A Toxicity does not mean there can’t also be a deficiency? I’m not sure a true Vitamin A Deficiency study has ever been conducted!

Bio-individuality and listening to your own body is also critical. Regardless of any scientific study or prescribed diet, you have to do what works for you and makes you feel your best.

After a year on the Vitamin A Detox Diet we are learning that we have developed some serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies and most symptoms have returned. We are adding in foods that we tolerate and finding a new balance.

Have you ever heard of Vitamin A Toxicity? Have you ever wondered about over-supplementing?

Letting go of Fear: A 33 Year Journey Comes to an End

Life isn’t always what it seems. Today I’m sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

If you don’t know much about my story you may think my life looks well planned. I am happily married. I have four kids, two boys and two girls, all about three years apart. And almost ten years to the day between my oldest and youngest. Picture perfect, right?

Yes, it’s true that I am a major planner, But I can assure you that God did all the planning when it came to building my family.

As I approached Simon’s birth I realized just how monumental it was. His birth carried with it 33 years of dreams, desires and hopes…and struggles, doubts and fear. And in that one moment when he arrived a weight I’ve carried with me for so long was lifted.

Today I want to share the journey with you. Though I admit I debated about whether or not to. Do I want to relive it? Or just forget it and move on? These thoughts and emotions have been swirling around in my head for the last couple months. Hopefully I can get them written and fully let go. And maybe it will give hope to someone else. So here we go!Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

When it All Began.

It started on my fifth birthday. The only thing I wanted was a Cabbage Patch Doll. But they were sold out everywhere. Finally my mom heard a store near us had just gotten ten more. We rushed over. By the time we got there only five were left. It took me all of two seconds to pick the one I wanted. A girl with a tuft of blonde hair and a paci. I named her Caroline Rebecca.

And from that moment I knew that more than anything I wanted to be a mom.

But more specifically I knew deep down I wanted four kids – two boys, two girls. How I knew this at such a young age, I don’t know. I think it was a seed God planted in me. A seed of hope that has kept me going through a lot of struggles. No matter how hard I tried over the years to shake it (and believe me, I tried! I prayed and prayed for God to take it away.), I knew my life would not feel complete without four children.

I spent a large portion of my childhood playing with dolls. Not Barbies. Babies. I pretended to nurse them, dress them, feed them. They went wherever I went. I was playing dolls well into junior high!

The teenage Years.

Fast forward to puberty. When the fear first set in. From my first menstrual cycle at age 14 I knew something wasn’t “normal” about me. I only had a period once or twice a year. I was too scared to talk to anyone about it. I lied about it at doctor visits. I thought my body was broken…for good. And the fear that I would never have the family I dreamed of set in.

I started an obsession with health (which sort of led me to where I am now). It was an unhealthy obsession then (and would be for many years to come). I actually knew nothing about health. In my mind there was only one factor. Skinny meant healthy. So I became fat phobic – the popular dietary misinformation of the day. I could live on fruity candy and fat free ice cream and call it healthy.

This is also when my obsessive compulsive disorder began (though I wouldn’t understand it/identify it for another 15 years). My eating became so restricted. My weight dropped like crazy. I was less “normal” than ever. But I didn’t care because I was skinny.

This continued all through high school. I was underweight, scared of food and so undernourished.

Coming to a Head in College.

Then I went off to college. All of my obsessive behaviors combined with my extreme shyness created a lot of anxiety. And it was hard to make friends or let anyone get to know me.

I was playing soccer and taking honors classes. My days were so busy I hardly had time to make friends even if I wanted to.

By the grace of God there was some positive change by my junior year. My soccer career came to an end…which made it possible for me to start a relationship with the man that would one day become my husband. We were both electrical engineering majors, which allowed us to spend a lot of time together.

I had no idea at the time, but I was gradually re-feeding my body (you can read more about that in this book). My weight had gone up enough to be in a healthy range. And I was eating more nutrients (though still low fat and plenty of processed food). For the first time in my life I started having regular cycles! I finally felt normal. I got excited every month when it showed up. My body was working!!

On the flip side my OCD and digestive problems were progressively getting worse (I didn’t understand how food impacted mood at the time). And getting harder to hide.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

A BIG Mistake.

One year after graduation Justin and I got married. A few months before the wedding I made a bad decision that would impact my health for many years to come…I started birth control pills. It was just what you do when you get married. I never thought twice about it, I never questioned what negative effects they could have. Or that it might not be how God wanted me to live. Trying to be in control instead of giving that to Him.

I now understand how harmful birth control is. And will teach my daughters so they don’t make the same mistake.

At first it was great. Having everything work like clockwork. I had no idea they messed up your hormones and that the period was just a withdrawl bleed, not an actual period.

Gradually I started to feel the impact. At the start of each new pack I would get so sick I would vomit, My anxiety and OCD were out of control. I was having panic attacks.

My digestive problems continued to get worse as well. I had constant painful colon spasms, I was constantly searching for solutions, I tried all sorts of dietary changes. None of them worked. They just made my anxiety about food worse.

I finally got to the point I couldn’t handle things and started working with a psychologist, I spent the next ten years working with her,

Time For our Family.

In early 2006 my husband and I started talking about having kids. The thing I had been waiting for since I was five. I stopped taking birth control…and the long journey through infertility began. I waited six months with no sign of my cycles returning naturally. Those three years on birth control had destroyed my health both physically and mentally.

During those three years I also underwent a host of tests to help my digestive problems, But every time the doctor would tell me everything was normal. After years of searching for answers I finally self-diagnosed my problem. At 26 years old I had a rectal prolapse. I met with a colon surgeon who confirmed it and ran more tests, In September 2006 I had surgery to correct it.

I was out of work for two months. It was a long, slow recovery. Something I don’t care to ever repeat.

Treatment Begins.

My first day back at work post surgery was also the day of my first visit with the endocrinologist. We started with three rounds of clomid – which my body did not respond to. Next we moved on to IUI. It was during this process that we learned we had both male and female infertility, As each month came and went with no luck my fear of not having the family I dreamed of really surfaced. I wondered if I’d ever be a mom at all.

The endo told us our only option was IVF. He didn’t give any health suggestions, No dietary advice, Just medical procedures. So began our journey through the lonely, painful, expensive world of IVF.

Of course my body never likes to follow the norm. The doctor diagnosed me with polyfollicular ovaries – not PCOS. But I could never find any information about it. He said he rarely had patients like me.

I didn’t respond as well as hoped to the procedure because of my condition. I produced tons of eggs…but most of them were not mature enough to be useful. So after the egg retrieval I hyperstimulated, In other words all of the empty egg sacs filled with fluid, which then filled my abdominal cavity. It’s painful. It makes you feel sick. It can damage your ovaries, And it makes you unable to transfer any fertilized eggs back. We had to freeze everything and give my body time to recover.

Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!
What hyperstimulation looks like – a belly full of fluid.

We waited another month to move on. Just when it was getting too hard to hope we received great news – our first IVF transfer worked! I was pregnant. I gave birth to our first child, a daughter, in 2008.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

Let’s Try Again.

In the fall of 2009 we decided to start trying for another baby. I weaned my daughter just weeks before returning to the endocrinologist to start the next round of treatment. In other words I didn’t give my body any time to recover or restore nutrients. We did another IVF transfer. Unfortunately it didn’t work. And it used up what fertilized eggs we had frozen.

So back to square one. We started right up with a new round of IVF stimulation. It was around this time that I first learned about real food and started making dietary changes.

As before I hyperstimulated and had to recover before doing transfers. We went on to use up all of our fertilized eggs with three frozen transfers…all of which were unsuccessful. The third one was dragged out a bit, but ended up being a chemical pregnancy. I felt so broken and alone (I wrote about it here). Those fears were taking over. Would I ever have more children?

After a couple months off we started yet another round of IVF. Again I hyperstimulated. The worst it had ever been. I was so sick and had to do transfusions to help my fluids balance. But finally we got to our sixth frozen transfer. Praise the Lord it worked! I gave birth to our first son in 2011. During that pregnancy I started the GAPS diet to try to help with my digestive problems. Unfortunately it made my OCD go out of control. It also made my food sensitivities worse in the long run.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

Baby #3??

In May of 2013 we headed back to the doctor, hopeful we would at least have one more child. We still had fertilized eggs in the freezer. Just as I was starting the hormone meds we got a letter that my endo was retiring immediately due to health problems. Panic. I’m already starting a round of treatment…now what?

Thankfully we have another great endo in town that was taking on all of my old doctor’s patients. And he was able to squeeze us in yet for this cycle. This was it. We had to use up all of our freezer supply for this transfer. The two week wait was eternal. I felt all of the usual symptoms. But the hormone shots do that to you.

Finally I got the pregnancy test results – positive!!! I was so beyond happy. It worked. We would have three kids. I would have to settle for that. And we would be done with fertility treatments.

But a week later I started to bleed. I went to the doctor for an ultrasound – inconclusive. No heart beat. But it could be too early. I had my hormone levels checked – they weren’t rising. I went for a final ultrasound to confirm it was a blighted ovum.

Dreams shattered. Fears in control.

Letting God Take Control.

Now what? Justin and I both knew we couldn’t do another round of IVF. My body couldn’t handle any more. And we had already spent so much money on it.

But this was when God really changed my life. Through this heartbreak he brought so much healing. You can read all the details HERE and HERE. When I tell people our first two children were conceived via IVF and our second two were natural I always get the same comment – “Your body just started working again! It figured out how to do it.” No. NOT AT ALL. There was a LOT of work that went into the healing process. And it was HARD work. So hard. But in December of 2013 I found out I was pregnant. Our second daughter was born in 2014.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

You would think that would put an end to my fears. But it didn’t. Her first two years of life were riddled with fear. From vaccine reactions to tongue ties to so many allergies I was worried she’d starve to death. She didn’t gain any weight for a year. We could hardly leave the house. It consumed me. By God’s grace we made it through. She is now thriving.

Yet through those years of struggles with her I thought daily about having another baby. It weighed heavily on me. I didn’t know if my husband would be willing to try again. I didn’t know if my body would work again. A lot of unknowns. A lot of giving it over to God on a daily basis.

Baby #4??

I weaned my daughter in early 2017 in order to start working on my health. To my complete amazement my body started cycling on its own about six weeks later. That alone gave me hope. That had never happened before. My body was working!! Nothing was regular. But I charted my cycles. On August 14, 2107 I found out I was pregnant with our final miracle baby.

I had a deep rooted fear in the back of my mind the whole pregnancy. All of the “what-ifs” played out over and over. I had experienced enough heartbreak and witnessed others go through heartbreak. What made me think I would get a happy ending? I had waited 33 long years for this. I was so close, but not there yet.

And I felt like I didn’t deserve it. That somehow it would all be whisked away just before I got there. I was so caught up in Satan’s lies that I couldn’t see God’s love.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

I could hardly even enjoy my pregnancy during the last six weeks. Satan was working hard to make sure my fears were front and center everywhere I looked. Every song I heard. Every picture I saw. It all seemed to point to something bad happening.

But over the past couple years my focus has been “Be Fearless.” God brought me this phrase. It’s hanging in my kitchen. I see it daily. And I have to give my fears over to God daily, sometimes hourly. Living fearlessly isn’t always easy. But it is living according to God’s Word.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

On April 23, 2018 we welcomed our fourth miracle baby to the family. Precious little Simon Arie. He has completed our family and once again shown me just how real God’s love is. Everything went smoothly. He is healthy and growing well. All those fears were for nothing. There is a song on the radio often these days called “Fear is a Liar.” I love listening to it. But I often replace the word fear with Satan. They are the same. I’m done listening to Satan’s lies. I will continue to Be Fearless.

Moving On.

It’s actually been hard to write this post because at just a few weeks postpartum I’ve already left it behind. I should have started writing it while I was still pregnant! This will always be my story. But I’m so ready to move forward without this 33 year fear controlling me. 

There are still challenges ahead. We’re working through nursing/food reaction issues with this little guy (of course – that’s just the way things are for us). I’m a mom. I will always be concerned about about my kids’ health and safety. There are still traces of the OCD that I’m working through and hope to get rid of through God’s power.

But I won’t have to carry the daily burden of whether or not we’ll have more children. A weight has been lifted that I can’t even describe. It was a part of me for so long. It almost feels like I’m leaving a piece of me behind.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

I still have one more big milestone ahead. When I eventually wean our youngest. I will close the chapter of my life where I share my body with another person. When that time comes I’ll be ready to focus on fully nourishing myself and restoring my health. But thankfully I’ve got a while. I’m not quite ready for that yet. Breastfeeding is one of my favorite things about having babies. I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can.

I never for one second take for granted these precious miracles God has entrusted to me. And although the journey was long and difficult I am thankful for all I have learned along the way. Each child has brought me so much healing. They have already given me more than I could ask for. I pray that I can be the mom they need and teach them well as they grow. Teach them how to love, how to take care of their bodies and how to live in God’s love without fear.

I am anxious to see what God has planned for the next chapter of my life as this one comes to an end. One thing I know is that I don’t have to be afraid of it.

How to Prevent Picky Eaters from the Start

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It’s no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I’m going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Picky Eaters.

It’s something all parents struggle with at some point. But did you know that shouldn’t be the norm? Really. Picky eating is a symptom. Not a condition. It’s the whole purpose of my blog – to help deal with picky eaters and get kids to just take a bite!

How to Handle Picky Eaters

Trust me. I’ve dealt with every kind of eating struggle you can imagine…and come out on the other side. I dealt with the root cause. Which got rid of the picky eating symptom. But it wasn’t easy!

I have ways of dealing with picky eaters in my book “Why Won’t My Child Eat?!” But today I’m sharing a little secret with you. The best way to prevent picky eaters is right from the start. From the first taste of solid food. Actually even from the time baby is in your womb and breastfeeding!

If you are pregnant, make sure you eat a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods. Baby does taste what you’re eating! Then when baby is breastfeeding continue a nutritious diet. Your milk will change flavor based on what you eat and give your little one a taste for real food.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Prevent Picky Eaters from the First Bite

Then comes the really important step – introducing solids. You can’t wait for it with your first child. You kind of get annoyed with it by your second child. But eventually you get to or you have to (however you look at it). And what you feed your baby can create or prevent picky eaters.

I’m a huge fan of letting baby lead when it comes to solids. But that doesn’t mean a food free-for-all. It just means I offer a variety of nutrient dense food and let baby decide what and how much to eat. In general I offer baby what the rest of the family is eating. Here are my basic guidelines.

  • No added sweeteners
  • No food coloring or artificial ingredients
  • Lots of healthy fats
  • Let baby chew
  • Offer variety – a mix of fruits, veggies, proteins and fats
  • Stick to a gluten free or grain free diet for at least the first year

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Some of my favorite first foods include:

  • avocado chunks or lightly mashed
  • banana chunks or lightly mashed
  • ripe pear chunks
  • egg  yolk lightly fried in butter, coconut oil, tallow or lard or hard boiled egg yolk
  • whole milk yogurt
  • ripe mango chunks
  • beef or chicken liver
  • peas
  • sardines
  • roasted chicken
  • ground beef

Keep in mind baby is not born with an affinity towards sugar and brightly colored foods. If you skip those baby will not feel dissatisfied. On the contrary, you will be giving baby one of the best gifts ever! The gift of a taste for real, whole foods.

If you do need a few tricks to get the healthy habits going check out Think Baby.

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Help With Feeding Baby Made Simple

I’m thankful there are good companies like Stonyfield Yogurt and Once Upon a Farm that have the same philosophy on feeding little ones. Companies that combine the need for simple, yet nourishing foods.

Stonyfield’s YoBaby banana mango yogurt is made with whole milk and has NO added sweeteners! As a mom of soon-to-be four kids (in less than two weeks!!) I’ve been waiting a while for this. An infant does not need sugar added to their yogurt. Honestly. They will eat it plain. Or you can mix in some fruit if you like.In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

We recently tried the banana mango YoBaby yogurt. Even my 10 year old loved it! I’ve even been eating it. Here is some other cool info straight from Stonyfield.

  1. Yobaby is the #1 pediatrician recommended yogurt for babies and kids 6 months to 2 years.
  2. Stonyfield YoBaby was the first yogurt made especially for babies.
  3. Yobaby now contains the probiotic culture BB12. In addition to live active cultures, Stretococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidus, Lactobacillus Casei, and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, YoBaby® yogurt now contains the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis lactis BB-12® that has been shown to have a digestive health benefit when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. BB-12® is a registered trademark of Chr. Hansen.
  4. Our texture is thick and creamy. It is thicker and isn’t as runny as other organic baby yogurts. This helps with less mess for moms while feeding AND especially for babies/toddlers that are starting to self-feed.
  5. We use PLA cups (meaning, made from plants!) because we heard from moms that they were concerned with polystyrene packaging – PLUS plant-based packaging has a lower carbon footprint.

In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

Don’t Forget the Fat!

We have been eating Stonyfield yogurt for many years. But Once Upon a Farm is new to us. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and flavor of the ingredients!

Just real, whole foods. A variety of fruits, veggies, seeds and healthy fats. Exactly what little brains and bodies need. And as a mom of kids with a variety of allergies I was happy to see there are flavors each of my kids can enjoy.

According to Once Upon a Farm, “We use High Pressure Processing (HPP) to keep our food as close to the farm as it gets. HPP is a revolutionary technology in food, the kind that those unrefrigerated brands don’t use. It allows us to keep the flavors, aromas, colors, textures and nutrients of the food intact, leading to optimal taste and palate development in infants.”In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

One of my favorite qualities of Once Upon a Farm pouches is how the ingredients are combined.

“We synergistically combine ingredients to create optimal absorption and bioavailability of nutrients. Most baby foods are devoid of fats, especially high quality ones. At Once Upon a Farm, each recipe contains a healthy fat for stable energy levels, nutrient absorption and optimal brain development.”

That is so important to me! Kids need plenty of healthy fats for absorption and brain development!!

I know these are for little ones, but I’d happily serve them to kids of any age…or eat them myself! My kids wanted to eat them all in one day.

Skip the Sugar!

If you skip the sugar from the start your kids will not crave it and be dependent on it as they get older. They will enjoy foods in their natural state. My kids describe their vegetables as sweet! Yes, with a palate free of sugar they can enjoy sugar snap peas and carrots fresh from the garden and consider them a treat.

We do have the occasional sweet here, like homemade graham crackers or homemade ice cream. But those are not part of our daily diet. And they are not given to the little ones. Plus when I make them at home I can keep the sugar content down even in my baked goods!In our culture kids are bombarded with brightly colored food and overly sweet treats on a daily basis. It's no wonder their taste buds are skewed! I'm going to share how to prevent picky eaters from the start.

You can start this process at any age. You are never too old to learn to enjoy real food.

But the best strategy is to teach your kids about whole foods from birth. Skip the sugar in first foods to teach kids how to enjoy foods in their natural state and prevent picky eaters.

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Once Upon a Farm for this post. All opinions are my own.I have not been paid to post a positive review.

When you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don't need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.

My Essential Baby Items for a Natural Home

When you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don’t need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.When you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don't need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.

As a mom of three kids plus one on the way I can say I’ve gone through a lot of baby gear. With our first we had everything (who doesn’t, right?). Swing, exersaucer, bouncy seat, Bumbo, jogging stroller, play mat,…the list goes on and on. Our house was loaded with baby items.

By the time my second was born I realized I didn’t need so much. I knew holding him was much better than setting him in some contraption all the time. They aren’t good for the spine and development anyway. Plus he hated being strapped into ANYTHING. So all of those toys were pointless. All I needed was a blanket for the floor and a carrier so he could be with me the rest of the time.

With my third I used even less. And now that I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of number four I know that there is very little you actually need for a baby. And it helps keep your house from getting so cluttered! So I’ve come up with a list of my essential baby items for a natural-minded mama. Yes, every baby needs a place to sleep (whether that’s by your side or in a crib) and clothes. But beyond that these are my favorites (and some are on my current wish list!!).

My Essential Baby ItemsWhen you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don't need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.

Soft Structured Carrier

I have used a carrier with all of my kids. It is probably my most used baby item. I carry them from birth until at least 2 1/2. But it has taken me until baby four to figure out which one I really like! With my first child there weren’t too many options. I just went with what was in the store – Baby Bjorn. Now I know they aren’t designed that well and put baby in a poor position.

Thankfully when she was around one I got a new soft structured carrier – a BabyHawk. I have used it with all three kids! And I really do love it. It’s been my favorite up to this point. It keeps baby’s legs in the M position, which is best for the spine.

With my son I also got a Moby (wrap style carrier). It worked very well for him because he loved being really close to me at all times. Though my daughters did not like it. It was not roomy enough.

After years of carrying my kids I’m actually deciding to get a new one this time! I love the comfort of my BabyHawk. BUT I hate the long straps. I’m so sick of tying my BabyHawk and my Moby. I feel like I’m always dragging long strings when putting them on.

So my final choice and top pick is a soft structured carrier with buckles. I also want a hood for when baby naps or to be able to nurse discretely while out and about.

There are quite a few great brands of SSCs out there. You just have to try some on and see what fits you best. Some great examples are Ergo, Boba, Tula, and Lillebaby. I have my eye on the Boba this time around. And can’t wait to start using it!! No more annoying straps. Just a quick clip and done.When you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don't need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.

Cloth Diapers

We did not start using cloth diapers until my second child was born. I wish we had done it with my first! We have saved so much money by using cloth diapers. Plus it’s just so much better for baby’s skin.

There is an up front investment and a learning curve. Do you want all-in-one, pocket or covers? Growing up there was only one way to cloth diaper. But now there are so many choices! And they are so cute too. But once you have a good stock you don’t have to worry about running out of diapers. No weekly purchases.

We chose to use pocket diapers and have been very happy with them. The brands we use are Fuzzibunz and Bum Genius. Though there are so many others! Cleaning is easy with a diaper sprayer attached to the toilet. And we have accumulated enough diapers that we only have to wash them every three to four days.

I love that we are doing our part to help the environment by not filling landfills with so many disposable diapers.

I know cloth diapering doesn’t work for everyone. But I truly think it’s far easier than most people realize.

Now that we are expecting baby four a few of our original diapers are wearing out. The elastic in the legs is not so stretchy. So we’ve had to replace a few. But it’s still a very, very small cost in comparison to disposables.When you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don't need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.

Nursing Tanks and Tops

If you are planning to breastfeed nursing tanks are a MUST. I live in them when my babies are little. They make nursing so much easier.

With my first I went super cheap and just got a few from Target. They worked. But they weren’t the best fitting.

With my second I wised up and got some quality nursing tanks (I used Bravado). They are so nice and fit so well I can actually wear them alone as a tank top when I’m out and about (which is great with spring/summer babies!). After using them with two kids they are getting a bit stretched out. So I need to buy replacements. But almost daily wear of them for about four years combined is pretty good.

On top of nursing tanks there are now many options for nursing apparel. This was not a thing when I first had kids. I’m excited this time around to buy shirts that allow easy access for nursing…while still looking cute (here is an example of one I like)! I love that more and more efforts are being made to encourage breastfeeding and make it easier to do so in public.

Muslin Swaddle

When my third child was born my sister-in-law gave me a nice, muslin swaddle blanket. My first thought was, “look, another blanket to add to the pile.” But it quickly became a favorite! At three years old my daughter still sleeps with it!

I love how light and breathable these blankets are. They make awesome nursing covers because they are large and lightweight. Plus they are so soft. You can use it to cover a car seat or protect baby from the sun in a stroller. They are great for toddlers that want to snuggle too.

It would seem that I don’t need another muslin swaddle this time since we have one. But I don’t think my toddler is willing to give it up. So it’s one more item on my wish list for this baby. This is the one I want!When you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don't need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.

Car Seat

It may seem pretty obvious that you need a car seat for a baby. Unless you don’t plan to ever drive anywhere. I add this here as something to consider. We used the same infant car seat for our first three children. I have sort of a love-hate relationship with infant seats.

Yes, you need one. Yes, it’s handy to be able to strap baby in while you are in the house and carry them into your destination.

BUT – it disturbs me seeing people leave their baby in a car seat for so long! I’m not judging. I did it too with my first. But now I can’t stand it. My kids are only in their car seat when in the car. Other than that there is no reason to keep them in. Why keep my baby strapped in a seat when I can take them out?

My oldest had a somewhat flat head as an infant. And keeping her in a car seat (and other things like a baby swing) too long and too often contributed.

For this baby we had to make a choice. Buy a new infant seat (our old one is very expired) and then buy a new booster after that. Or go for an all-in-one? We decided to get a Graco 4-in-1 seat. It will last from birth until ten years of age. And I don’t have to worry about breaking my back carrying an infant seat. Something to consider when you are expecting a baby.

Non-toxic Toys

When it comes to toys you really don’t need many…at all. A baby can be overstimulated very easily. Instead of buying all the toys with flashing lights and music, stick to a handful of simple, non-toxic toys.

Something to chew and something to shake. Maybe a mirror. Baby really wants to see your face and your surroundings. Wearing baby, talking to him or her and spending some time working on motor skills is sufficient.

The great thing about only having a handful of baby toys is that you can spend a little extra to get high quality and they won’t overtake your house. As your baby gets older look into Montessori style toys to encourage creativity and learning.When you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don't need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.

Books

It’s no secret that reading to your child is one of the best things you can do for them. One item we have an abundance of in our house is books! We read a lot. I always say you can never have too many books. It is one of the best tools for learning. It also encourages lots of time together and good communication.

Even at just a few months old my oldest would sit and listen to book after book after book. She ended up teaching herself to read at the age of four and is still our bookworm.

My son was a child that had to move. It took longer for him to be able to sit through books and to pick up reading. But it was still well worth the effort.

All of my children were pretty early talkers. I truly believe that all of our time reading together was a huge factor.

They all ask me to read to them the instant I sit down these days. And we go to the library every couple weeks to restock our book supply. It’s rare that we come home with fewer than thirty books.

Non-Toxic Bedding

This is one that a lot of parents don’t really think about. But your baby’s bed and bedding is so important. Babies sleep…a lot. Which means they spend a lot of time on a mattress of some kind. Which kind you use can have an impact on your child’s health. Many are made with chemicals that are dangerous to inhale. And some people even say it could be the cause of some cases of SIDS (which is why back sleeping helps…less direct contact with/inhalation of the mattress).

We are in the process of replacing all of our mattresses. We just started with our toddler. She got a new mattress from My Green Mattress. They aren’t cheap…but they are worth the investment!

In our family we are also very conscious of environmental allergies (since my husband and all of my kids have them!). Everyone in our house has a dust mite cover on their mattress and pillow. The baby should be no exception.

EMF-Blocking Blanket

The final thing on my essential baby item list is an EMF-blocking blanket. Yes, another blanket. This one is unique.

EMF (electromagnetic frequency) may be something new to you. It’s a topic I have researched some, but not nearly enough. But definitely enough to know that we don’t know the full impact they have on us. This post from Wellness Mama is a great read if you want to learn more.

Sadly EMFs are all around us these days with the use of cell phones, laptops, wireless devices, smart meters and just about anything that uses electricity.

I am very intentional about not allowing wireless devices like phones and tablets to touch my children (or myself!) aside from our hands. The effect of EMFs is proportionate to distance. The farther away you are the less impact they have. I don’t put my cell phone in my pants pocket, in a stroller or in a pocket of my carrier. I turn off the WiFi on my phone when I don’t need it.

We limit anything electronic in the bedrooms. I do still use a monitor, but try my best to keep it across the room from baby and not right by my head.

That being said, there are EMF-blocking blankets to use over baby when you are sitting at your computer with them or using your cell phone by them. It’s just one more step to protect that precious little baby of yours. This is not something I’ve used in the past, but it is another item on my wish list!When you are preparing for a baby there are so many gizmos and gadgets to choose from! You don't need most of them. Here are my essential baby items for a natural home.

Is That All?

As you can see my list of essential baby items is quite small. I wish I had been able to read this list before my first was born. It would have saved a lot of money and countless hours dealing with an overabundance of toys. Who knows, maybe it would have helped my oldest with her sensory processing disorder! She sure had more than enough stimulation.

A baby needs sleep, nourishment and to be close to mom and dad (both physically and in communication). That’s really it.

If you are expecting a baby (be it your first or fifth) or know someone who is, use this list as a guide to what is really essential and worthwhile buying for baby.

What would be on your natural baby essential items list?

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Are You REALly Ready for a Baby?

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

I knew nothing about real food and natural living when I got pregnant with my first child. And there was nothing natural about the process of fertility treatments with no explanation why my body wasn’t working.

Fast forward a few years (and more treatments and another child) to when I got pregnant naturally with my third. I knew so much more. My lifestyle was so drastically different (like drinking raw milk and eating raw liver instead of being terrified of anything raw during pregnancy).

It was almost like for the first time I was REALly ready for a baby.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

What Was Missing?

As I look back on all three pregnancies there is one thing I wish I had had – a week-by-week guide based on a traditional way of living.

For all you mamas-to-be you are in luck! It does exist now!!

The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide To Pregnancy and Childbirth has everything you ever wanted to know – from what’s going on during the first two weeks (that you aren’t actually pregnant) to natural birthing options, placenta encapsulation and best stroller options. For real, it has everything!

Genevieve Howland (author and founder of mamanatural.com) has helpful tips on easing morning sickness naturally, what nutrients you and your baby need at different stages and the benefits of breastfeeding.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Great Read

I’m a Type A person that wants to read every little detail about what’s going on during pregnancy. I sometimes wish there was a day-by-day or hour-by-hour handbook (seriously, I’d read it). So it’s been so fascinating (even when not pregnant!) to read this amazing resource.

In fact, it’s so cool I’ve caught my nine-year-old reading it!! I’m just careful about which parts she’s reading.

Pregnancy is exciting and scary at the same time. There is so much to do, and there are so many decisions to make. So, are you REALly ready for a baby?

Get Yourself Ready

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or know someone else who is this book is a MUST! Grab a copy for yourself and one to give away.

Looking back on my baby shower there are really only a handful of things I needed – cloth diapers, a good baby carrier (love my BabyHawk!), a bouncy seat…and a pregnancy guide that showed me how to do things the REAL way.

Are you REALly ready for a baby? That’s kind of a loaded question – nobody is really. But whether you feel ready or not, the Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth is for you!

I have been compensated for my time to write this review but all opinions expressed are my own. I have not been paid to post a positive review.