My Health Journey

The Emotional Side Of Healing

Getting healthy is a lot more emotionally involved than you may think. But let me just start off by saying that I am not perfectly healthy now, and honestly never will be.. our bodies are imperfect. But I have, like many of you, struggled with something for years and am finally at a point in my life where my body looks and feels it’s best. It’s been a long journey but I wish for nothing more than to share all that I have done in order to help some of you.

The Beginning

I remember the first time I knew something was wrong.  I had just eaten a meal that I had eaten probably 100 times, and suddenly my stomach started to cramp, I got really cold, chills all over my body. It had gotten so bad so fast that I began writhing on the floor. I felt so nauseous, and tried making myself throw up but wasn’t able to. It would start to go away then immediately come back full force. I was crying out in pain. It was honestly the worst pain I had ever experienced, even worse than awful period cramps because of the fear of not knowing what was happening to my body. I literally felt like my stomach was going to burst through my skin.

It thankfully passed after a few hours, but I was really, really scared.

my healing journey, sibo, emotional side of healing.www.awellspringoflife.com

The Healing Process

Physical Side

Over the next few years I became extremely cautious with my food. I kept making little changes in my diet, always eliminating food that gave me problems.

My symptoms included: sharp, excruciating pains in lower and upper stomach, chills and goosebumps covering my body, nausea, rash from chest to stomach, unintentional weight loss, continuous breakouts, various food sensitivities, and feeling totally and completely helpless.

But it had gotten to the point that even healthy foods began to give me these problems. And foods would one day be fine, but then another day suddenly cause me to drop to the floor and curl up into a ball. It felt like my body was continuously rejecting all of the food I tried to give it.

my healing journey, sibo, emotional side of healing.www.awellspringoflife.com

March 2, 2017. It wasn’t until later that I had realized how thin I had become. My body wasn’t absorbing any nutrients.

I signed up for Dr. Axe’s Leaky Gut Program after watching a webinar because I knew my disease was at least partially caused from my gut being damaged. It is a magnificent program that helped both my husband and I, but I knew I needed further attention.

When we were in Florida for a holiday I made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor I used to go to. And with the normal testing- blood work and hormone test, he gave me something I never heard of before- a breath test. To test my level of bacteria in my body.

When the results came back it showed that I had super high levels of bacteria which gave me the diagnosis of Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth aka SIBO.

I was ecstatic. The fact that there was a name for my condition meant that there were certain steps I could take to help heal my body. I had gone so many years,slowly giving up hope and this was the first sign that showed the light at the end of the tunnel.

So I went on the specific SIBO diet- cutting out a lot of different vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sugar, protein, etc. And although this helped a little bit.. I am sorry to say that it did not heal me. My body was still weak, I still felt like my stomach was always upset. I went back to the doctor but never quite felt like he had my best interest in mind, something about how he spoke just didn’t show the care that I needed. So back to square one.

*small lesson: You do not need to see a doctor you do not love. You are your own best health advocate. Trust yourself and your feelings.*

I started seeing an acupuncturist, and after our consultation she gave me such confidence again that I started tearing up and gave her a huge hug. She is actually a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor so she was able to help me more than the typical acupuncturist. She first put me on high dosages of natural antibacterials to help kill the bacteria, high doses of probiotics to bring back the balance, and a shake to heal the gut lining and give my body the nutrients I wasn’t absorbing through food.

She also ordered a stool test which was by far the NASTIEST thing I have ever done but it is the best test to see how your body is doing. It tested my nutrient absorption, which bacteria levels were high, if I had any viruses or parasites, etc. This allowed my doctor to personalize my treatment even more.

my healing journey, sibo, emotional side of healing. www.awellspringoflife.com

September 22, 2017. I was far along in my healing protocol and my stomach was doing better, but I was still really thin and dealing with a lot of emotional baggage.

Emotional Side

But it wasn’t until I tested my hormones through Delgado Naturals and saw how high my cortisol was that I also began to work on my emotional stress. If you read my other posts on my story on healing. ways to deal with emotional stress, and how to reduce cortisol, you’ll know that I have had some pretty hard years.

And you must know, this is so very important, that all stress manifests itself in physical ways. So my constant low level stress was causing my stomach to get all twisted up inside. I was constantly on the verge of tears, I was extremely lonely and heart broken, so I took the path to begin seeing a counselor. Having that outlet and a source of calm wisdom helped heal my heart and mind.

The Finale

Through persistence and patience, I am now at a point in my life where my body is absorbing nutrients, my gut is strong and healthy, my energy has dramatically increased, and I am, without a doubt, so much happier. I still go once a month to my acupuncturist to keep my body aligned. I don’t really take many supplements besides ones to balance my hormones, and I have kept up with the lifestyle changes to reduce my stress.

Now, I’ve been told that SIBO never truly leaves your system.  You can help it go into recession, but it may never fully go away. And that’s okay- I have accepted it. Through this health journey I have discovered various natural ways to help my digestive system whenever I do have a flare up. I am just so thankful that I never gave up trying or looking for a doctor that I truly felt was looking out for ME.

my healing journey, sibo, emotional side of healing.www.awellspringoflife.com

September 26, 2018. This is me now. With a little extra love all around, and a healthy, strong body

my healing journey, sibo, the emotional side of healing. www.awellspringoflife.com

Your health is not determined by a number on a scale. It is only defined by your happiness.

 

What are you currently battling in your health journey?

xxjoannaxx

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How To Reduce Cortisol (STRESS)

It’s Time To Tell That Cortisol To Get LOWWW

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If you guys know me, or follow me on my social media— you’ve probably deduced that I have a tendency to stress the frrrriiiick out. But you also probably know that I struggle with gastrointestinal issues as well. Surprise, surprise, most stomach problems are caused from the body’s response to stress.

Quick story: Your body manifests your mental and emotional state in your physical body. So if you’re ever going through a hard time at work, home, relationships.. this all translates into your body. The symptoms depend on the person, some get skin issues, some people get really imbalanced hormones, some (like me) get stomach problems. So just keep that in mind when you’re addressing your health issues- ask yourself how happy are you? how stressed? Is there anything you are dealing with?

Okay so back to me. (so self absorbed i know)

The main reason many people have stomach problems due to stress is because you subconsciously squeeze and contract your stomach. What do children do when they feel sad or uncomfortable? They cross their arms over their stomach- as if to protect it.

If you read my previous post, I kinda go into detail about all of the things that I’ve been struggling with. You can find that here. So through my journey of healing my body and healing my gut (that would randomly give me such awful pain, chills, bloating) I have learned so many tips and exercises to use to help calm my body down. Cortisol is the stress hormone, so whenever you are in the “fight or flight” mode, your body floods itself with cortisol. Causing a whole host of problems.

Symptoms of High Cortisol 

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Rapid Weight Gain
  • Food Cravings
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Brain Fog
  • Emotionally Unstable/Mood Swings
  • Imbalanced Blood Sugar
  • Weak Immune System
  • Poor Sleep
  • Changes In Libido
  • Acne/Skin Issues
  • Aches and Pains
  • Imbalanced Hormones/Period Problems

I’m betting you have one or maybe even multiple of these problems. So let’s get down to business (to defeat the huns) no just kidding. to defeat high cortisol. (that was a mulan joke if you didn’t get it)

WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS/CORTISOL

Eat Whole Food Diet, Reducing Inflammatory Foods

  • When you feed your body things that cause it to work overtime, deprive it of key nutrients, or flood your system with toxins that it cannot process- you are putting your body and your internal systems under a lot of stress. PLUS, when you eat inflammatory foods your blood sugar becomes super unstable- rising then crashing constantly throughout the day.
    Foods that are anti-inflammatory are high in key nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants which help balance hormones and control your cravings, all of which help bring your body into balance. Read this blog to find out what Inflammatory Foods you should avoid! 

Meditate

  • Meditation has been around for centuries. Creating space and stillness in your mind and body is scientifically proven to reduce your stress response and encourage relaxation and healing. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference. Try slowly building up your ability to meditate. It is really difficult, especially for those who were raised in this current generation who need that constant gratification of doing a million things at once. There are some apps you can get to help guide your meditation, as it can be difficult to know what to do and calm yourself down. Just try it for one minute one day, and keep adding a minute every day. 

Deep Breathing

  • When you’re stressed your chest become tight and your breathing becomes shallow. Very quick, light, short breaths. Unfortunately, these are automatic reactions that are part of the stress response… but most adults breathe like this all the time. To help counteract this- try diaphragm breathing. This actually activates your parasympathetic nervous system aka your natural relaxation response!!
  • How To- Breathe in through your nose, long and slow, filling up your belly and chest with air, then slowly exhale through your nose. You can also try putting one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach to help monitor your breathing, while also directing your thoughts and energy towards those areas to increase the loving healing. 

Acupuncture

  • I began acupuncture probably a little less than a year ago to help address/heal my SIBO. Combined with supplements and lifestyle/dietary changes, acupuncture had a really impactful effect on my healing journey. Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago, and is intended to rebalance the energy in the body. Injuries, disease, stress, these all cause the body to become out of balance. Acupuncture can help alleviate pain, balance hormones, heal stressed organs, achieve better sleep, increase circulation, etc. If you’re in the N. Tampa area, I have a really wonderful Traditional Chinese Doctor who offers acupuncture, she’s the best. 

Regular Exercise

  • This one should come at no surprise to you- exercise is pretty much the second most important thing you can do for your body. I’m serious. It is also one of the best ways to manage stress- as well as balance hormones, balance blood sugar, help you sleep better, yada yada yada it’s really important. There is one catch though- you MUST make sure that you do not overexert yourself to the point of exhaustion. And you must make sure you give yourself time to rest and heal. People who over train actually cause more stress on their body, releasing unnecessary cortisol into their system.
  • Although exercise temporarily increases cortisol, it brings it back down once you are finished. This teaches your body how to handle stress and how to lower cortisol levels easier. 

Adaptogens

  1. Food is medicine. What we put on and into our bodies literally break down and become our cells. So what better way to “treat” ourselves than to feed it substances that can help balance our body. Adaptogens may be something you have never heard of before- and I’ll be honest, until I became super health conscious I never heard of the word either. To put it simply- adaptogens are herbs that help your body “adapt” to undesirable conditions. “According to naturopath Edward Wallace, an adaptogen doesn’t have a specific action; it helps you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological functions.” source 
  • I am a big big fan of adaptogens, I really believe I can tell a difference when I consistently take them. I have had experience with Ashwagandha, it is the most common and gentle of herbs. Here are the other top adaptogens that aid in reducing cortisol:
    astragalus
    licorice root
    medicinal mushrooms, including reishi and cordyceps
    rhodiola
  • TIP- always always always make sure you are buying your herbs and adaptogens from a reputable source. Often conventional foods herbs are grown with heavy pesticides and metals. I solely buy my adaptogens from Sun Potion. Their products are top of the line and they last a reaaalllyy long time.

Essential Oils

  • Ah, oils, my favorite! These work similarly to herbs and adaptogens, they work with your entire body bringing it back into balance. If you want to read my previous post about what essential oils are- check this post, it’ll help you understand more of what I’m talking about! Here are the top oils for reducing stress: lavender, clary sage, frankincense, and ylang ylang. I actually just bought the Doterra Roll On Blend called Clary Calm. This is specified for women who deal with PMS/menstrual problems (hormone imbalance, stress, cramps.) I like using it because it helps reduce my stress while also working on the other problems in my body. I love that it is already packaged so I can take it with me wherever I go to get a quick pick me up! 
  • NOTE- When buying essential oils, make sure they are from a reputable company!! Conventional companies are known to add fillers and toxic ingredients to their oils.. which can cause serious harm to your body. I exclusively use Doterra, if you have any questions or want to get started- let me know! 

Get Enough Sleep

  • Remember, cortisol isn’t inherently bad. It is a natural part of our body- it is the thing that wakes us up in the morning, and the thing that makes us tired at night so we sleep deeply. A lot of people with high cortisol levels have an extremely hard time sleeping, their circadian rhythms are out of balance. Getting enough sleep helps our body repair itself, and control cortisol production. Try applying the other tips to balance your cortisol and this will hopefully help our sleeping situation. ALSO- keep in mind, naps are okay. If you are super super tired and you didn’t sleep well and you can’t function- take a nap. Rest. Your body needs it.

Yoga

  • So yoga is like the ultimate cortisol defeater. It includes exercise, deep breathing, and meditation. You can also include essential oils into your practice to reap those benefits. I know yoga isn’t for everyone, but it is a really really powerful tool for reducing stress in your body. Even if it’s just ten minutes once a week. Your body feels so good afterwards, very light very open.

WHEW. Now that was a long blog post. But I know how important it was to write! If you have any questions or any other tips, leave me a comment or send me an email! Don’t forget you can catch me over on my instagram to see all of the other healthy tips and tricks.

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Hope you find the time to relax today. <3

xxjoannaxx

 

Top 8 Natural Remedies for Seasonal and Environmental Threats

The Rise of the Histamines

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Let me just say it- POLLEN SUCKS. It’s great for the bees and the plants and butterflies and whatever- but for you and me and all other humans… no thanks.

My car is literally coated in green.

Anyway, most people are afflicted with allergies. And while doctors normally prescribe pharmaceuticals like antihistamines, they’re not good for your body and may actually make allergy symptoms worse.

So I’ve compiled a bomb list for natural remedies, that can only help your body heal!

Wave Goodbye To Seasonal/Environmental Threats! 

  • Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet-
    • Lots of fresh leafy greens, veggies, and fruit.
    • Add in garlic! Natural antibiotic and immune booster. For most powerful, eat it raw
    • Lemons are amazing at detoxing the body and keeping it ‘alkaline’ (in balance)
  • Take Probiotics-
    • Everyone has bacteria in their gut, but most people have way more bad bacteria than good bacteria. A really good soil based probiotic (like these) helps rebalance the gut, which really increases your immune system and decreases allergies!
  • Eat Local Raw Honey-
    • This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s hella not. By taking a daily dose of this, your body will natural build up a tolerance to the local pollen! It is recommended you take 1 TBS daily, whether in tea, oatmeal, smoothies, etc. Remember though- it has to be raw and local, if it has been heated up you will lose the potency, and if it’s not local you won’t be building up your immune system against the local pollen. Check your local farmers market! 
  • Use a Neti Pot-
    • This clears sinuses and removes congestion, naturally relieving allergy symptoms. (like this one) or (this one!)
  • Frankincense Essential Oil-
    • You didn’t think i would go a whole post without mentioning the King of Essential Oils, did you?
    • Frankincense boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, and heals the entire body. You can rub it (diluted) onto chest, or diffuse in your home, or take a couple drops under your tongue daily. (i only use Doterra’s Frankincense because it is the highest quality out there! Many essential oils are cheap and full of fillers, they will actually cause harm to your body! Check out more here)
  • Drink Stinging Nettle Tea-
    • This is a remedy that dates back to medieval times..!
    • It can treat a wide rage of health concerns, and naturally controls histamines which is why it’s so great for allergies! (check it out here)
  • Doterra’s TriEase Softgels Seasonal Blend
    • TriEase Softgels were developed to protect against seasonal and environmental elements and to promote a healthy respiratory system when needed most. Each softgel contains equal parts of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils, known for their ability to maintain clear breathing and a healthy immune response when combined together.”
    • You can purchase these through my site on Doterra! Which is linked here. ***If you wish to get more involved with oils, have questions, or wish to become a member and save 20% on each order plus earn points towards future orders- let me know! Send me an email or DM me on my Instagram @awellspringoflife!** 
  • Drink lots of water, sleep 8 hours a night, don’t eat sugar, processed foods, dairy, or conventional grains. 

I’m telling you, if you incorporate just a couple of these into your daily life you will see a difference!

Comment below if you’ve had any experience with these natural remedies!

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xxJoannaxx

 

**this post contains affiliate links, but it comes at no extra charge to you! It just helps support me and my blog when you purchase items through that link 🙂 )**

What Are Essential Oils?

Are They Safe?

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Those moments when you’ve smelled a flower or peeled an orange- you have enjoyed the wonderful experience of essential oils.

“These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants.”

Essential oils are the things that give plants their smell, and are their natural defense system. Plants are constantly attacked by mold, fungus, insects, etc and actually have a natural way of defending themselves! Not only do essential oils protect the plant, but also aid in helping the plants become pollinated!

But before I go any further, I should probably break down what a “Volatile Organic Compound” even is:

They are small organic molecules that have the ability to change quickly from state to state (ie- solid to liquid to gas) at room temperature. This is what makes them volitile; their ability to change so quickly. There are over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds, and they determine what the essentials oil’s aroma and benefits are.

The composition of essential oils and their VAC’s can often vary depending on where and how it was growing, the time of year, the weather, the harvest, distillation, etc. Every step of the process plays a huge role in the quality of the essential oil.

Essential oils can be used in three ways; aromatically (smell), topically (touch), and internally (mouth). They can be used for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Essential oils are used in medicine, food preparation, and beauty treatments!

COOLEST FACT: You’re probably wondering why these work on humans. Essential Oils are great for plants, but how can they be applied to me? WELL, plant cells and human cells are actually suuupppper similar! So when your body comes into contact with an essential oil, the essential oil knows what to do because it’s working with similar material.

This blows my mind. It’s absolutely incredible.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to prioritize buying high quality essential oils. There are many companies out there trying to sell you crappy oils full of chemicals and nasty fillers. do not buy them. I know they’re tempting, but there’s a reason why they’re $5 instead of $30. People have become seriously sick/injured from using impure essential oils.

If you’re serious about your health, then you will want to only buy the best.

I exclusively use DoTerra. Not only are they the largest essential oils company, but they have the highest quality essential oils available. They also source it from all over the world, constantly giving back to developing countries.

If you’re interested in taking your health journey to the next level, send me an email! I would love to talk to you, figure out your health concerns, and from there talk about what are the best options for you <3

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xxJoannaxx

Why I Started Using Essential Oils

There’s An Oil For That

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This isn’t one of those insane, unbelievable, miraculous stories.. but I think it’s just as important to share those everyday life occurrences. It’s more relatable.

I had received a kit of Doterra Essential Oils as a wedding gift…. and didn’t touch them until about a year later. I had no idea what they were, how to use them, why I needed them, etc. I thought they looked and sounded super cool and hippyfied, but actually putting them into practice was another story.

I honestly kinda forgot I had them.

As most of you know, I don’t have the best skin. Mostly due to genetics and imperfect health, but it’s very stubborn and super confidence breaking. I had just gotten into really reading about health and nutrition and natural solutions, and came across Tea Tree Essential Oil. A super star for all things skin concerned, especially breakouts.

And I was like AHA! I hope I have this! And sure enough, amongst all of the other treasured Essential Oils in that kit, I found Tea Tree Oil, also known as Melalueca. I made a little concoction with jojoba and Lavender (also good for skin), and my face was astoundingly thankful.

And I was like “oh frick yeah, this jank works!” So I started incorporating Essential Oils into my everyday life. With cleaning, cooking, healing, pain, emotional support, etc. When I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed I didn’t take any of the medication they prescribed me, just Essential Oils. Of course I was kinda worried that I could get crazy infections because I have four gaping holes IN MY MOUTH, but I trusted the oils and their miraculous abilities. I healed super well and it just adds to my Essential Oil testimony.

I plan on going more in depth with different ways I use Essential Oils in the upcoming posts, I just wanted to start off the series with my background!

Always, always make sure you are using high quality Essential Oils. I religiously use DoTerra, who created their own standard of quality because it didn’t yet exist. Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.

*If you have any questions, curious about ways to use it in your home or in your health journey, email me! I’m one of their representatives and would love to get to know you, talk about your goals, and send you a free sample!*

I whole-heartedly believe that Essential Oils are a crucial step in all journeys to better health. In helping you become A WellSpring Of Life.

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xxJoannaxx

Why You NEED Collagen

Baby Phat

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Collagen is a word frequently thrown around in the natural health and beauty world. Many companies and doctors praise it’s name, claiming it can heal anything from arthritis to dull skin. And not only have there been these claims, but also the countless testimonies from people who have had amazing results. It’s quickly rising to the top of the ‘things you need to add into your diet’ list.

What is Collagen

“Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues..” Dictionary

Although collagen is technically a protein, it also contains a mixture of amino acids (proline, glycine, hydroxyproline, arginine). This is found not only in our own bodies, but also in the bones and connective tissues of animals.

Why You Need Collagen

Collagen is something our body already produces. However, age has a tendency to take things away from us- one of those being collagen. The wrinkles, the kinks in our legs, the sagging neck- all attributed to the slow, but consistent loss of collagen.

Collagen gives skin its elasticity, hair its strength, and connective tissue its ability to hold everything in place. It’s pretty necessary to have a good amount of this in your body, for obvious reasons.

Supplementing Collagen

Age can decrease collagen, but so can stress, gut imbalances, poor diet, etc. So pretty much all Americans are really in need of collagen, no matter their age.

Thankfully, modern medicine has found a way to extract collagen and making it available to the public.

Collagen comes in powdered form, making it super easy to mix with water, non-dairy milk, smoothie, or even some snacks! There are really great recipes online that use collagen if you want to get creative. When choosing a powder, be sure it is sourced responsibly and grass-fed from a reputable company. I currently use this kind, and I LOVE it! Such good quality, and immediately dissolves into the liquid. No lie, I can tell a difference when I use this supplement.

Try it and see the magic work! Feel the power. Get the Collagen!

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xxJoannaxx

Organic vs Natural

Are you being fooled?

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Natural, Organic, Non-GMO, Free Range, Pasture Raised, Grass Fed, Grass Finished, Gluten Free, Whole Grain, Wild Caught, Farm Raised.. etc etc etc

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!?

If you’re jumping onto the (massive) health bandwagon, you’ve got a lot of new vocabulary to learn. The most important is defining the difference between Organic and Natural.

Which is better? Are they different? Are they the same? Are they similar? Why is Organic so much more expensive? Natural is the best, right?

You see where I’m going here.

So grab your pencils, your notepads, and don’t forget to button that thinking cap! (currently writing this in the car after being in here for 8 hours, if that helps explain anything)

Defining Natural and Organic

Natural

Sounds good, right? We all want our food to be as natural as possible. No gross additives or chemicals. However… there are absolutely zero regulations for the term “natural.” So literally any company can slap that label onto their packaging to help sales. The most processed, chemical ridden, body killing companies can say their food is natural. The worst part is that so many people get fooled by it and eat food they think is good for them because it’s “natural.”

Please, don’t be fooled. Read the ingredients and decide for yourself whether it’s healthy or not. If it’s loaded with weird unpronounceable words, and mile long lists… chances are that food is full of junk and it sure ain’t natural.

Organic

100% regulated by the USDA (United States Division of Agriculture)

They must meet these requirements:

  1. Produced without excluded methods (e.g., genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge.)
  2. Produced using only certain allowed substances
  3. Overseen by a USDA National Organic Program- authorized certifying agent, following all organic regulations.

The companies that wish to call themselves organic, and have the official organic seal on their labels must apply to become organic and pay a fee.

So it’s a pretty serious thing. Which is great because we know we’re getting the right stuff.

Yeah so as you can tell, Organic is TOP DAWG. It is more expensive, so to be smart with your finances and budget.. try to buy all of your meat organic, and there’s a Top 12 Dirty List for produce. You don’t have to break the bank to be smart!

Are you currently buying anything organic? can you tell a difference?

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xxjoannaxx

Get Skinny, Eat Fat

Fat and Happy

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If you saw my recent instagram post, you would know that I am a big fan of fat. yes, fat. F-A-T. 

About 70 years ago, the government started telling us that fat was bad for us. And yes, some fat is. Like greasy fried donuts, fast food, packaged foods, etc. BUT not all fats are created equally and your diet NEEDS FAT. This is not some luxury for health conscious freaks. It’s not equivalent to me saying you need to eat a certain mushroom grown at the top of a specific mountain.

No, this actually is applicable to everyone with all body types and food diets.

Why You Need Fat In Your Diet

  • Fat is a MAJOR source of energy. Your cells thrive when there’s fat in your meal.
  • Fat helps you absorb certain nutrients that are fat soluble. KEY TIP: A lot of great nutrients found in vegetables are fat soluble, so adding in some sort of fat (olive/coconut oil, avocado, etc) will help your body assimilate and absorb those nutrients! Really, why do all that work and eat tons of greens if you’re not reaping all of the benefits?
  • Our Brain is primarily made up of fat. (!!!!) So you really need to feed it with fat to maintain optimum function. It’s especially important in brain development for young kids, so make sure to not be afraid of fatty foods with your children!
  • Our body does miraculous things, but there are certain things our body needs to outsource; like essential fatty acids. Only certain types of fat can provide these nutrients, and as the name suggests– they are ESSENTIAL.
  • Fat keeps our bodies fuller for longer, without the constant yo-yoing of starving then stuffing, it keeps our blood sugar balanced. If you are consistently being satisfied at every meal, you will snack much less, which is better for your insulin production and weight loss!
  • With better managed insulin production and steady blood sugar, your other hormones will also eventually balance out. If you keep finding yourself starving and then stuffing your face with bad food, your body is constantly going in and out of survival mode. Spikes and drops with any hormone is going to throw your body out of whack. So by eating fat you’re not only keeping weight down, but also balancing hormones.

So now that you’re convinced that you need to reevaluate your diet, I will now raise you a point by suggesting some of the BEST foods with fat! I will also add the links to some of my favorite products that you can purchase online! 

Best Fatty Foods

  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Full Fat Dairy (if dairy sensitive, use coconut/goat alternatives! Very few people can tolerate cow dairy)
  • Nuts/nut butters (this particular brand of almond butter is just made out of almonds! which is SO SO rare! they’re usually mixed with a nasty inflammatory oil)
  • Olive Oil (extra virgin)
  • Coconut Oil
  • Ghee
  • Butter
  • Salmon
  • Organic Grass Fed Beef (if it’s not organic, you’ll be unintentionally pumping tons of synthetic hormones into your system- which are best avoided at all costs)
  • Coconut Manna (this is my newly discovered food love. IT IS SO TASTY. especially on toast with almond butter. or mixed in with a matcha latte. or just by the spoonful.)

I am such an advocate for adding more fat into your diet, it’s an important key many people are missing in their journey to health. What’s your favorite fatty food? 

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xxjoannaxx

Dry Brushing=Less Cellulite

Who Doesn’t Want Silky Smooth Skin? 

IMG_0292Yes! Another interesting thing to add into your beauty routine! All you have to do is brush your bare, dry skin with a (you guessed it) brush. Pretty much the most simple thing.. like ever. And it benefits both the outside and inside of your body! Double Win.

Benefits of Dry Brushing ::

Invigorates Body

Releases Toxins

Exfoliates Skin Cells

Reduces Cellulite

Improves Circulation

Stimulates Lymphatic System

You have to use a natural fiber brush. They have specific ones for dry brushing, usually found at health food stores and of course online (like this one.) Make sure it has a long handle so that you can reach your back. It’s recommended to do it before you shower so you can wash off all of the dead skin cells that you sloughed off, and then make sure to moisturize afterwards!

How to:

Before your shower, start at the bottom of your feet and brush upwards towards your heart. You should take long, firm strokes, and brush the same area about 3-4 times, kind of overlapping each area. I have attached a diagram to help with the visual.

**Don’t brush your face or any other sensitive areas (groin, breasts)**

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Now, it is going to hurt at first, probably the first couple times. So just be gentle until your body gets used to it. I went super gentle at first, especially in my inner thighs because it was so sensitive, but now it actually feels really good. My body afterwards feels so so soft and smooth, that’s worth it for me right there. I practice this every night before my shower, and it only takes a couple minutes. It kind of gets me in the zone for my “night time me routine.”

So, give it a couple tries and let me know what you think!

xxJoannaxx

Stop Drinking Poisonous Water

Don’t Tap That

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We all have to drink water to stay alive, but what if the water you’re drinking is slowly killing you?

I bet that got your attention.

Did you know that tap water contains a crap load of chemicals and contaminants?

“…Adding large amounts of extremely poisonous chemicals…Key scientist are now providing evidence that long-term ingestion of small amounts of chemicals like these could be the cause of some major health problems.” Source 

Some of the chemicals that are commonly found in our water:

  • Liquified Chlorine (reactive chemicals that bonds with water, including those in your gut which can produce poisonous hydrochloric acid)
  • Aluminum Sulphate (can cause burning, abdominal pain, vomiting)
  • Calcium Hydroxide (a poison that can cause severe internal damage)
  • Fluorosilicic Acid  (poisonous substance that can cause burning, abdominal cramps, vomiting, or collapse)
  • Sodium Silicofluoride (can cause irritation, lung problems, and bone and teeth disability)
  • Perchlorate (key ingredient in rocket fuel… ‘nuff said)
  • Dioxins (released during combustion from burning hazardous waste, forest fires, cigarette smoke, and burning oil and oil.)
  • Lead (found in the corroded pipes and can cause developmental issues, stunted growth, deafness, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and brain damage.)
  • Mercury (although natural, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. Like lead, this can cause a whole bunch of internal problems due to its extreme toxicity.)

Yucky. Nasty. No thank you.

And that’s only a small list. Your tap water also contains pesticides, hormones, arsenic, and other heavy metals. *yikes*

Good News: you don’t have to drink this water.

(and dear God please don’t buy plastic bottled water, it’s so bad for the environment, and all of those chemicals from the plastic actually leach into the water.)

So you have some options:

A. Buy gallon water jugs and fill them up at your grocery store.

B. Buy a hook-up filter for your sink.

C. Buy a water filter pitcher.

I’ve done both A and C (B is too expensive), and honestly filling up waters every week sucks. It’s just another chore to add to your list, and if for some reason they don’t get filled up.. well you’re out of water my friend.

As far as water filter jugs goes, I’ve tried Britta and Pur, and they were okay, but it was made out of plastic, didn’t filter all that well, and you kept having to replace the filters like every 3 months. Which, of course, I didn’t do cause I forgot.

I really wanted something sustainable and that was excellent quality. I really didn’t want to have to worry about how tainted my drinking water was (your girl has enough to worry about.) So when I found out about Berkey Filters— I was hooked.

It’s definitely an investment, but a really awesome investment from which you immediately see the rewards. No filling up waters every week, no plastic water, no replacing filters, nothing. I literally just fill the tank up about every day from my sink and enjoy fresh, delicious, and (actual) natural water.

Berkey Filters has a bunch of different products and sizes depending on your needs. My husband and I got the Big Berkey (their most popular) and it’s perfect for us.

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WHAT IS THE BERKEY FILTER

It is a stainless steel two level tank that comes with two purification elements that remove 99.99% of everything bad in your water. You can literally go to a stream and filter that water, the filters are that good.

I seriously love mine so much, and from allll of the reviews I’ve read everyone else loves them too. It’s the most high quality, best performing water purification system you can buy for your house. It may take some time to save up for it/fit it into your budget, but it’s worth it. Isn’t clean water worth it? Isn’t your health worth it? Aren’t YOU worth it?

Yes. a million times yes.

What do you drink for clean water? Does it taste kinda funny.. and do you know why? **If you’re not sure if you’re even drinking enough water, click here to check out my previous blog post for some great tips on HOW to drink more water!**

Clean Water is one step to helping you become a WellSpring of Life.

xxJoannaxx

reference: cdc.gov (centers for disease control and prevention)

*this post contains affiliate links, but don’t worry it doesn’t cost you any extra it just helps me out a little every time you use that link to purchase something!*