Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Simple Steps Towards Natural Living

Simple steps towards natural living

I’ve written for Lindsey again this month, this time on Simple Steps Towards Natural Living.  I hope you’ll have a read – let me know what you think!

I hope you’ve managed to listen in to the first day of Nourished Living Summit this week – so much great info for free!

Have a great week,

Victoria

Nourished Living Summit – FREE Online Conference

I’d love to share a great opportunity this week for you to tune in for free and listen in to some of the best experts in the area around in the area of natural health.

The Nourished Living Summit brings together 69 natural health, wellness, and parenting professionals who are dedicated to helping parents care for their family naturally.

Nourished Living SummitThe Nourished Living Summit is a FREE online event and launches 24 March 2014.

The Nourished Living Summit is showcasing 62 presentations divided into 8 thematic tracks including:

  • Pre-Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Health and Development for Children Ages 0-18
  • Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family
  • Care and Nurturing For Mothers
  • Education for Natural Minded Parents

Beginning 24 March, you will have 48 hours to listen to 3-5 presentations. Each track is divided over the course of two 48 hour periods. Presentations will stream live Monday-Saturday with Sundays off. The Summit ends on 29 April.

IMPORTANT: You need to be registered in order to listen to the presentations. You can register on the home page of the official Nourished Living Summit website.

Speaker Line-up

Pregnancy

Infertility and Preconception Health
Donielle Baker
Natural Fertility and Wellness

Natural Family Planning and Ecological Breastfeeding
John and Sheila Kippley
Natural Family Planning

Birth Choices
Nicole Deggins, CNM, MSN, MPH
Sista Midwife Productions

Carrying and Parenting Multiples
Trisha Gilkerson
Breastfeeding Place

Preventing Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies Before Conception
Jill Baumann, BS, NC
Guided Path To Health

Herbs and Oils for Pregnancy and Birth
Jessica Aveni
Natural Health and Prevention

Eating For Two
Courtney Hillis
THRIVE: Natural Family Living

Family Oriented Bonding
Guggie Daly
The Guggie Daly

Breastfeeding

Supporting and Boosting Milk Supply Naturally
Diana West, BA, IBCLC
Low Milk Supply and Mahala Lactation and Perinatal Services, LLC

Building Blocks To A Healthy Breastfeeding Relationship
Dionna Ford
Code Name Mama

Back to Work Breastfeeding
Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC
The Second Nine Months

Breastfeeding As A Source of Joy
Christine Poirier-Brotchie
Momzelle Nursing Wear

Donor Milk
Emma Kwasnica
Human Milk 4 Human Babies

Nutrition and Breastfeeding
Becky Webb, NTP, CD (DONA)
Rooted Blessings

Inducing Lactation – One Mother’s Story
Millie Copper
Real Food For Less Money

Tongue Tie
Jennifer Tow, B.F.A., IBCLC
Intuitive Parenting Network

0-3

The Vaccine Decision – What Parents Need To Know
Jessika Bailey
Natural Mother Magazine

Gentle Sleep Solutions
Elizabeth Pantley
The No-Cry Solutions

Baby Led Weaning and Starting Solids
Kate Tieje
Modern Alternative Mama

Co-Sleeping
Laura Schuerwegen
Authentic Parenting

Newborn Decisions/Newborn Care
Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D
Author of The Business of Baby

Proper Care of Your Intact Son
Jennifer Andersen
Our Muddy Boots
and
Larissa Black
The WHOLE Network

Cloth Diapering
Miriam J. Katz
Author of The Other Baby Book and Intuitive Life Coach
and
Megan McGrory Massaro
Author of The Other Baby Book

Elimination Communication
Marija Mikolajczak
EC Wear

Babywearing
Jennifer Wenzel
True Confessions of a Real Mommy
and
Julie Mangan
A Little Bit of All of It
and
Shannon Riley
The Artful Mama

3-6

Autism
Dr. Jay Gordon, MD FAAP
Dr. Jay Gordon

Childhood Development Disorders
Dr. Jamie Oskin, N.D.
Arizona Natural Health Center

Chiropractic For Children and In Pregnancy
Dr. Staci Borkhuis, D.C.
Cornerstone Chiropractic

Children’s Dental Health
Will and Susan Revak
OraWellness

Extended Breastfeeding and Tandem Nursing
Lauren Wayne
Hobo Mama

Potty Training/Learning
Robert Edwards
Squatty Potty
and
Moorea Malatt
Savvy Parenting Support

Fostering Healthy Independence
Ariadne Brill
Positive Parenting Connection

Children and Reading
Elaine Krishnan
Usborne Books and More 
and
Jana Kemp
Jana M. Kemp

6-18

Puberty
Dr. Sherrill Sellman, N.D
What Women Must Know with Dr. Sellmen

Adrenal Health For Children
Michael Smith, N.D. BHSC
Planet Naturopath

Teen Health
Lydia Shatney
Divine Health From The Inside Out

Posture Makes Perfect: The Benefits of a Physically Balanced Life
Elizabeth Eckert
Word Cures

Parenting Without Stereotypes
Paige Lucas-Stannard
Parenting Gently

Raising Your Children To Know Where Their Food Comes From
Abbie Walston
Farmer’s Daughter

whole Family

Common Childhood Illnesses
Dr. Mary Bove, ND
Brattleboro Naturopathic Clinic

Skincare for Families
Jennifer Saleem
Hybrid Rasta Mama

Food Allergies
KerryAnn Foster
Intentionally Domestic

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Joy Moeller, BS, RDH
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist

What Every Parent Needs To Know About Gluten
Joe Rigola
Wellness Punks

How Candida and Parasites May Be Harming Your Children’s Health
Amy Love, NTP, CGP, CILC
Real Food Whole Health

Environmental Toxins
Andrea Fabry
moms AWARE

Kombucha for Families
Hannah Crum
Kombucha Kamp

mama care

Preventing Postpartum Depression
Amanda Rose
Rebuild From Depression

Herbal Support for New and Overwhelmed Mothers
Carol Little
Studio Botanica

Self Care For Moms
Lauren Luquin
Spiral Elixir

Healing from Trauma and the Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation
Stephanie Brandt Cornais
Mama and Baby Love

Getting Centered
Amy Phoenix
Presence Parenting

Mommy Tummy and Diastasis Recti
Bethany Learn
Fit2Be Studio

The Babywearing Workout
Kelly Stewart
The Babywearing Workout

Parent Empowerment

Managing Anger and Overwhelm as a Parent
Dr. Laura Markham
Aha Parenting

Attachment Parenting: Creating a Foundation for Healthy Child Development
Kelly Bartlett
Author of Encouraging Words for Kids

Becoming Aware of Possible Toxins Around your Children; Choosing Safe Products for Your Children
Dawn Lorenz
Raising Natural Kids

Holistic Fathers – Engaging and Including Dad
Billy Bradley
Holistic Dad

Creating a Natural Medicine Cabinet
Rosalee de la Foret
Herbal Remedies Advice

Sneaky Nutrition
Lisa Herndon
Lisa’s Counter Culture

Real Food For Families
Kimi Harris
The Nourishing Gourmet

Finding Community
Chara Shopp
Stitching Hearts Together
and
Judy Tyler
Living Healthy ‘n’ Happy

REGISTER HERE

I am all for getting equipped to live a life that co-operates with how we were created.  There’s a number of these that I’m going to listen in to myself.

I hope to see some of you there!

Victoria

{Shared at Teaching What is Good}

What is Natural Living? – A Faith-Based Perspective

What is Natural Living

Anyone else out there feel like the realm of natural health is a vast sea of information, sometimes conflicting research, seemingly ever-changing facts, and everyone from the expert to the blogger has an opinion on what way is best?

I’ve meandered all over the place on this journey, having tried a mostly raw diet, nourishing traditions diet, various gluten and/or dairy-free combinations, and experimented with different wonder-foods and new discoveries in health.  And still, I come back to the same place each time.  It is much simpler than what many have let this become.

I believe a natural living is simply co-operating with God’s design for you.  ‘Natural’ speaks of ease, of rest, of wellness, of wholeness, of belonging, and of a rhythm that is intentional yet without toil.  The bible speaks of stewardship, generosity and community, and for us, those are important aspects of how our family desires to live out Heaven’s purpose for our lives on earth.

What do I mean by ‘Natural Living’?

With the above in mind, here are my thoughts on what natural living means to me.  The core value that my husband and I have on this is, to live responsibly in a way that stewards our bodies well and that co-operates with God’s design for our lives – as much as we currently can with other limitations and circumstances outside our control.  The rest that we can’t do, for numerous reasons, we just have to trust in Him to take care of.

Here’s how we try and live out this idea of natural living:

  • Parenting from a natural, responsive paradigm where children are valued, included, cherished, prioritised, and raised in a loving and affirming environment.  Healthy attachment and relational connection are paramount.  This may look different from family to family.
  • Eating healthy, whole, and usually organic food in its most unadulterated state – that includes being GE-free, fair-trade, and free from harmful chemicals (ie. pesticides, herbicides, fungicides etc);
  • Seeking nature’s remedies and methods for common ailments, and preventing and curing illness with nature’s best;
  • Using sustainable practices, such as recycling, seed raising, and composting, and minimising our waste;
  • Using household and personal care products that are free from harmful chemicals;
  • Switching to products made from nature, such as glass, wood, and natural fibres (eg. cotton and wool), over those made from polyester, plastic and the like.

If you’re participating in a modern world, the complete removal of everything man-made that is potentially toxic is near impossible.  Most of us use phones and computers, electricity and some degree of harmful chemicals.  I think we can only move in the direction of more natural living and find some balance in our transition to a way of living that is more in line with how God would have us steward ourselves and our world.

For us, living naturally also means living in loving connection to our Heavenly Father, just as he created us to, and living this out purposefully in the world.  It means living and serving within community and reaching out to a lost and needy world.

Diet and Nutrition

On this aspect, I don’t believe in a one-size fits all diet or approach – our occupations vary, our climates impact our diet and health, our individual health needs are different, our local food availability varies, and so forth.   The world we live in is constantly changing also.  Sometimes it might even mean what worked last year could need to be adjusted this year.

For some of us, changing our lifestyle may be a complete undoing of the only way we have ever known, as well as it being the opposite of the way that mainstream culture flows.  Simple steps can help to keep it things sustainable and stress-free.

You may have some certain health needs that will require a temporary and specific diet for a period of time, before you can return to a way of living that is more long-term.

Finding a Path Forward

It’s my hope that you don’t feel like it’s all too hard but that you can see some steps you can take that will set your family on a course that will affect your health for years to come.

Our family is not perfect, and like many others, we’re trying to live as naturally as possible with many constraints and various pressure from different places.  But we’re better than we were a year ago. And much better than we were 2 years, 5 years, 10 years ago.  We’re on a journey, and like any journey, there are times when we stop and assess where we’re at, and make changes to the direction we’re on as the Lord reveals more of the map to us.

Can I encourage you today to simply sit in the presence with your heavenly Father, and listen to what He wants to say to you?  I’m confident that He wants to show us all how to live closely to Him, and find a path to health and prosperity that will bring life to us and those around us.

For further information and links, please see Natural Living Guide, Simple Steps Towards Natural Living, and Natural Health and Healing.

{Shared at Babies and Beyond, Graced Simplicity, Growing Home, Teaching What is Good, Time Warp Wife, and Raising the Barrs}

A Different Perspective on Frugal Living

a different perspective on frugal living

As my husband and I have been moving forward for some years in making changes to live more intentionally, this area of managing what we have in our hands with wisdom is still something we are growing in.

I know many of us have used this term ‘frugal’ to describe how we aim to be careful, prudent, and economical with our resources, as we’re aiming to get the most from our money and reduce unnecessary expense and waste.  Many of us homeschooling families are single income homes, trying to do the best we can in what has become a double-income economy.  It’s not easy is it?

When I look up the different dictionary definitions, the general meaning of ‘frugal’ is on saving, sometimes excessively so, and almost to the point of being stingy.  It’s also about being careful about spending money or using things when you don’t need to or are better off saving for later.

For some reason, ‘frugal’ has never sat well with me in its entirety, perhaps because of the implication of cutting back and withholding ones resources, particularly in the event it might be needed for yourself or your own family.  Or perhaps it’s the idea of trimming, scrimping and saving, and potentially missing what we are called to inherit as children of the Creator who gives in such abundance.

Why I prefer ‘Stewardship’ over ‘Frugal’

I believe we can be economical in our use of resources and how we spend money, but at the basis of our decisions in how we live, we need to have trust in our God at the very core.  We can line up all our ducks, and cut back, trim our budget, and do all these things without knowing the source of provision in our lives, or truly walking in the fullness of what He gives.  He promises us abundant life and invites us to join with Him in pouring out into others.

Frugal living, by its very definition, implies saving, withholding, restraint, and getting by on less.

Stewardship, however, speaks of being faithful, of trusting Him, of partnering with Him in managing what He has given to us.  They way that looks might still be that we are careful and intentional, that we save or shop at thrift stores and so forth, and that we don’t unnecessarily waste or squander what’s in our hands.  But it’s the core value that makes all the difference.  We don’t own, we only steward.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”. (Psalm 24:1)

Why does this all matter?  Because words define and shape our actions.  In the quest to live frugally, we can lose the heart of where our focus should lie – that we are to steward all the Lord has given us in a way that also thinks of the interests of others (Phil. 2:4), and how we can further His Kingdom on earth.  He may in fact be asking us to give generously during a time that defies common sense.

I believe as participants in the Kingdom, we are called to be generous, extravagantly so, in our relationships and therefore also with our resources.  At some of the most difficult times financially in our lives, we have continued faithfully and obediently, to give even from our own place of need.  We’re still here and still OK!  And we’ve been unbelievably blessed.

Sometimes Kingdom living calls upon us to make decisions that don’t appear economical.

Remember this one:

“Freely you have received, freely give”.  (Matt 10:8)

And where we should be storing up:

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:20)

Do we go without at times?  For sure.  We’re still learning how to live this one out, and truly understand and walk with faith.  Whatever amount we have in our basket, we are still to hold all things lightly, stewarding well, and doing so with joy and a willing heart.

I’m praying for the Father to show me how to better manage all that he’s given me – faithfully, wisely, and obediently – while being generous at all times.  My hope is also to instill this value in my children, and that they too would learn about waiting with joyful expectation to see how the Lord uses them in the lives of others.

{Have a read what some of my blogging friends wrote ‘On Being Frugal’ – going live on 12th March}:

on-beging-frugal{Linked up at Good Tips Tuesday, Teaching What is Good, Hearts for Home}

Tips, Treats, Topics and Treasures {February 2014}

Tips, Treats Topics, Treasures

I can hardly believe that the month of February is already gone!  We finished our summer holidays and have been back to homeschool in full swing.  You might remember last month that I wrote that we are changing the pace of life in our family, and being intentional about what we say yes to.  It’s been such a good thing so far and I would love to encourage you again to consider how this might look in your own family.

So on that note, here’s some things to pass on that have caught my attention this past month.

In the Kitchen

A round-up of the most gorgeous ‘real food and allergy friendly’ Valentine treats, but enjoy them year-round.

An easy and yummy version of Paleo Butter Chicken that I’ll be trying this week.

‘Food Matters’ recipe book – this is such a great resource to help you create simple, clean food for your health.

What I’m Reading and Watching

‘Emma – BBC version online (5 parts).  Or at the very least, watch this lovely dance scene.

A beautiful and much loved little boy who lived for 10 days, and how his family captured his life in photos.

I love this version of ‘The Prayer’ with Josh Groban and Celine Dion.

New Discoveries and Good Ideas

Seasons at Home is a stunning print magazine with topics for the whole family, and includes articles on whole food cooking, homemaking, homeschooling, and projects for the home.

‘Take Them a Meal‘ is a great way of organising a meal roster for someone special.  I’ve been part of these many times.  You can see what others are planning, which helps to avoid 7 nights in a row of lasagne. 🙂

Fun Ideas for your Backyard – I love the idea of growing sunflowers in a circle and creating a space for your kids to play.  Gorgeous!

I cannot tell you how incredibly excited I am about having the opportunity to watch and review this documentary called ‘Captivated’ very soon!  Please take a look at the short clips here and I’ll let you know soon where you can get hold of a copy for yourself.

On the Homeschool Front

Candace inspired me with this neat art project, so we did this one around 14 Feb. 

We have this art curriculum, See the Light Shine, coming to our homeschool very soon!  It teaches art techniques and integrates art history and a biblical approach.  I can’t wait for us to get started.

We are continuing through ‘Story of the World’ and really enjoying it.  Don’t forget to visit the SOTW Blog Roll for lots of great ideas from other bloggers for making it memorable and fun.

Hidden Treasures (great reads in the blogosphere)

‘Envision a Positive Future’ – an outstanding post on speaking life into your child from Marcy at ‘Ben and Me’

Cultivating Faithfulness in Homeschooling – a great read at Proverbial Homemaker that you’ll find tremendously encouraging.

7 Faith Considerations When Raising Introverted Kids – I so appreciated this one.  Make sure you bookmark this!

A Few of my Favourite Things

The 51 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever.

Celebrating Woman – my Pinterest Board with some fabulous photos of woman around the world.

Quote of the Month

When you articulate your boundaries to people, they have the opportunity to respect your needs and virtues and protect your relationship with them. And when they value and protect the things that are important to you, the relationship flourishes. This is the process that builds trust between you and others. – from ‘The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness’ by Kris Vallotton

Have a great week,

Victoria

{This post may contain affiliate links}

{Shared at The Road to 31, Good Tips Tuesday, Hearts for Home,  Growing Homemakers}

Tips, Treats, Topics and Treasures {January 2014}

monthly round up January 2014

Beginning this month, I’m going to do a round up at the end of each month of things that have grabbed my attention over the course of the month – things to make in the kitchen, things I’m reading or watching, something I’ve read or discovered in health and natural living, and perhaps something we’ve been doing in homeschooling that’s been a great experience or fun part of the journey.

I simply want to pass on things that have caught my interest and been of benefit to my journey, in the hope that you might also find something useful or inspiring too.

So here goes…

In the Kitchen

What I’m Reading and Watching

  • Crafted Prayer (e-book) by Graham Cooke
  • Why Stomach Acid is Good for you: Natural Relief from Heartburn Indigestion, Reflux and GERD – by Wright and Lenard
  • I’ve been enjoying Dr Caroline Leaf’s material for the last couple of years on the brain and faith connection, and strongly recommend you listen in.  She has a series online at the moment on TBN.  Here is the first episode.
  • Compelled by Love – the inspiring story of Heidi Baker.
  • Rend Collective: 10,000 reasons – Love this! Intimate, honest, inclusive worship in a community of kindred people.  Love the Irish folksy sound, and love the heart of these people to honour one another and honour their King.
  • I am really looking forward to watching this one coming out this year: ‘Heaven is for Real

New Discoveries

  • iHerb.com – a great place to get over 35,000 supplements, health and beauty products at great prices.  Best of all, they ship to NZ for just $4, and only $8 for 2-day delivery (on average).   I’ve already put through 2 orders – love cheap international postage!
  • See the Light Shine Art DVD series – just got bumped up my homeschool wishlist.  We can’t wait to get started next month!
  • PureSante –spend months or years trying to get to the bottom of your health issues (like I have!), or consult with someone like the amazing Rachael who can help lead you into greater health. For folks in the Bay of Plenty, give this fantastic gal a call – she is amazing!

On the Homeschool Front

Online Treasures (great reads on the web)

  • I participated in a blog hop with my friends at the TOS Review Crew on the ‘Homeschool Essentials’.  Here’s a few I enjoyed:
  1. Wildflower Ramblings Content with my Role as Mother
  2. Delightful LearningMy Children’s Essentials
  3. FinchnWrenLove
  4. Every Bed of Roses Art and Music Appreciation Resources
  5. At Home: Where Life HappensPaperbacks

A Few of my Favourite Things

Quote of the Month

“When the key element of your identity comes from a negative, then your experiences will always be negative. When you see yourself as a sinner, then you will be preoccupied with sin. When you know that you are a saint, then you will be occupied with righteousness because a saint is one of the holy ones. You were a sinner that has been saved by grace to become a saint. You are a child of light beloved of God walking in newness of life. That makes you a completely different person!”

From MIND OF A SAINT – Graham Cooke

Have a great month!

Victoria

{This post may contain affiliate links}

Juicing and Blending

Juicing and blending pinJuicing and blending are effective ways to get maximum nutrients from your fresh vegetables and fruits.  Both methods have benefits and we prefer to do both daily in our household.  We usually have a vegetable-based juice in the mornings, and an afternoon smoothie with more fruits and superfood powders (and the odd leafy greens blended in).

I should mention that these tips below are for general health and not a protocol for healing any specific illness or for detoxing. Those guidelines are often different, as there are certain foods that may be off-limits or at the very least, quantities of certain foods that will be restricted.

These are simply tips that have worked for our family, with the purpose of bringing greater health and vitality to our lives.

Juicing

Juicing is a great way to get essential nutrients into your body without it having to break down fibre.  The nutrients and energy is absorbed into your body instantly.  For this reason, it is better to limit fruit quantities as it could cause unstable blood-sugar levels.

  • Keep your juices green – use only the amount of sweet vegetables and fruit that you would eat. Eg. one carrot, one apple, half a beetroot, and then the rest should be leafy greens
  • If you are using green powders, I personally prefer juiced grass powders, not just green powders
  • A squeeze of lemon juice with greens can help with the more bitter flavour.
  • You might like to start with gentler tasting greens, such as spinach, and when you get used to the taste use a variety of others (collards, kale, arugula, meslun, etc).
  • Have your juice on an empty stomach for maximum absorption of the nutrients.
  • Wait ½ hour before eating.
  • Don’t use as a complete meal replacement.
  • ‘Chew’ your juice, don’t knock it back fast, as your body benefits from pre-digesting it in your mouth first.

Blending

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Smoothies are a great way of getting fibre into your diet. The best way to have it is to drink it straight away (same goes for juices).

  • Don’t overblend, as it can break the fibre down too much.
  • Add in superfood powders into your smoothie, such as spirulina, acai, lucuma, maca or other blends.  Choose only the best organic powders and blends.  Chia seeds and ground flax seeds are also a great addition.
  • Avoid adding in any other vegetables, except leafy greens, as they don’t tend to combine well with fruits (your body processes them differently).
  • I tend to keep smoothies as an afternoon pick-me-up, so they generally have a base of berries, a banana to thicken them up, raw milk (or fresh nut milk) and yoghurt or kefir.

If you’re able to make the investment, I’d recommend buying a cold-pressed or masticating juicer that squeezes out the juice (we use a Champion – the Norwalk is the best but very expensive!).  The cheaper centrifugal juicers (the ones that spin) destroy much of the nutrients.

The good people at Food Matters have this Juicer Buyer Guide which gives some detailed information on juicers:

Here’s a favourite ‘Banana-Chocolate-Coconut’ smoothie of ours (Serves 2):

  • 1 cup fresh coconut water or milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 orange (juice and pulp)
  • 1 or 2 peeled kiwifruit
  • A large handful of blueberries
  • 2T chia seeds
  • 1T lucuma powder
  • 1T cacao powder
  • 1T bee pollen
  • 1T maca powder (optional)

 Do you have a favourite juicing or blending recipe you’d like to share?

{This post contains an affiliate link}.

{Linked up at Good Tips Tuesday}

A New Year and Renewed Health

A new year and renewed health

**THESE SPECIALS HAVE NOW FINISHED**

Friends, I’d love to share with you a couple of opportunities to start the new year off with a kick-start to your health.  Take advantage of a new year to set some goals and grab hold of these resources to see you on your way.

  • The good people at Food Matters are running 3 days of FREE guided detox from 3rd to 5th Jan.  Kick start your health and join in the community for recipes, discussion, and your questions answered.
  • Harvest Your Health have decided to do a re-run of the popular October sale, in which 8,865 of these super bundles were sold.

This sale will run from 3-6 January in a 90 hour re-run, and then will be gone for good!  It’s live right now!

There are a handful of products that aren’t returning on this one, but it’s still AMAZING value at $886.78 for the whole bundle.  Here’s what you’ll find:

  • 52 ebooks
  • 5 meal plans
  • 1 private kitchen community membership
  • 3 ONLINE magazines
  • 1 ONLINE fitness plan (1 month for 1 penny)
  • 20+ discount codes

The one thing I’m excited about the most in this bundle is the resources and recipes for helping us on our wheat-free journey.  When you’re armed with recipes and resources like this, it makes the transition so much easier and your long term success in changing your diet SO much more sustainable and possible.

I’ve read most of these books, and there’s something here for everyone – whether you’re planning a baby, needing some fresh recipe inspiration, needing some guidance on children’s health, or wanting to step your wheat-free (or grain-free) living up a notch.

I encourage you to take advantage of this offer, and set some goals for the new year to move into greater health for you and your family.

cooking and preparing paleo

cooking and preparing real food

home and personal care

fertility and motherhood

inspiration

Informational

fitness

Detoxify

Intentional Simple Living

There is currently a giveaway running, with currently over $2,200 in prizes and more being added as the giveaway runs.  Make sure you ENTER HERE for an opportunity to win an i-pad, Kindles, gift cards, and much much more.

So there you have it!  Some super opportunities to boost your health and set you on a path for wellness in 2014.

I hope you’ll jump in with me!

Victoria

{This post contains my affiliate links}.

Weeding Out Wheat – Changes & Improvements

Weeding Out Wheat pin

It’s been about 2 months since I removed wheat from my diet.  I wrote last month about the initial changes to my health which included some weight loss and some improvements to my overall digestive health.   I find that wheat will instantly give me an unsettled stomach, and also appears to irritate my digestive tract.  As soon as I stopped wheat, the discomfort disappeared almost immediately.

Although I haven’t been 100% perfect, I’ve mostly ditched wheat from my diet completely, and the improvements have been enough to keep me motivated to continue.  I’ve read Weeding Out Wheat’ a number of times now, and continue to glean plenty from Luke and Trisha’s insight.  I’m finding it’s helping hugely in the transition.

Improvements

Although the improvements are ever so slight, I appear to be absorbing more minerals and nutrients than I was previously.  Here’s how I know:

  • My dry skin has improved.
  • A little curl has returned to my hair (it went straight after a couple of years overseas, which included a stint eating the standard American diet over a decade ago).
  • My digestive health has definitely improved.
  • My foggy head has mostly cleared (the rest of the foggy head is just plain Mummy tiredness)
  • I even appear to be having more rested sleep.  That was something a little unexpected, but a very welcome change!

I’ve has some issues with my teeth in the last couple of years, which from extensive reading, I’ve attributed to a number of interlocking factors: compromised gut health, significant drain on the nutrients in my body (5 years of straight pregnancy and breastfeeding, and still counting), and the subsequent demineralisation of my teeth. 

Although I haven’t reversed the tooth decay yet, I appear to have at least stopped it from spreading any further.   My holistic dentist has said previously I have very good oral hygiene, no plaque, but very acidic saliva. I’ve been putting organic, high nutrient-dense foods into my body for years, including fresh green juice, and finally it’s starting to get where it needs to.

Acid/Alkaline Balance

I’ve been testing the ph of my saliva for about a year, in an attempt to monitor the acid/alkaline balance, and have consistently been getting a more acidic result than what I would like**.  After just a couple of weeks of dropping wheat, my saliva was showing a neutral ph.  Very encouraging!

Let me attempt to explain what I believe the connection to be.  (I realise not everyone in the health and wellness field agrees on this area, but I can only speak out of my own experience thus far).

The main causes of a high acidic ph test result are: too much acid-forming food (eg. meat, sugar, alcohol, coffee, grains), too much phosphorus and too little calcium, long periods of stress, and some medications (one of my sources here).

Many experts recommend maintaining a balance of 20% acidic foods to 80% alkaline foods.  This is a good starting place if you’re looking to improve your health and don’t know where to start.  There are many lists online that will help you in determining which side the different foods fall.

I’ve also read in places of the need to obtain twice as much calcium to phosphorus for optimal health.  If you’re not eating organic food, you are likely getting significantly more phosphorus due to the use of superphosphate fertiliser on crops.  Phosphorus is an acidic mineral, while calcium is a mineral that neutralises acid.

So What’s All This Got To Do With Wheat?

Weeding Out Wheat explains the anti-nutrients in wheat (gluten, lectins, and phytates) disrupt and interfere with my body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

It is suggested that some doctors and researchers suspect everyone suffers from at least a small degree of gluten sensitivity.

Why is gluten a problem for most (or all) people? Gluten is made up of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. In everyone, gliadin causes zonulin to be released in the body. Zonulin regulates how permeable our intestinal wall is—how much liquid or gas will be able to pass through it. The more zonulin present, the more permeable your intestinal wall becomes. The more permeable your intestines are, the more partially digested food (i.e. poop) can enter in your blood stream. (Weeding Out Wheat, Gilkerson, p30)

There’s also more in this section in the book on the science behind why gluten, lectins and phytates might be a problem (more than I can cover here).  But here’s the part that did it for me:

One of the key take-away points in all of this is that grains are highly associated with leaky gut. When your gut isn’t healthy you can’t absorb nutrients so you become malnourished and more prone to disease. (Ibid. p31)

So from what I understand, despite the high nutrient diet I’ve been putting into my body, without the ability to successfully absorb these nutrients, I haven’t been reaping the benefit from all these nutrients entering my body at the very time in my life (ie. motherhood) where I need them more than ever!

So I think it’s time to change what I’m doing, as clearly what I’ve been doing these last few years hasn’t been enough.  I know that my body is crying out for more calcium particularly and other essential minerals, so giving up wheat to assist with healing my gut health is going to be key.

Stay Tuned

I’ll continue writing on this topic in future and will cover what foods I’m focusing on increasing and decreasing (beside obviously ditching wheat).  There’s a few other things involved, including optimising my Vitamin D levels, and supplementing in a few specific areas.  I’ll also let you know how I’m transitioning my family’s diet.

I hope you’ll take an intentional look at this area of your health too.  Please feel free to comment on where you’re up to in managing your family’s diet and health.

The Book – “Weeding Out Wheat”

Can I encourage you to take advantage of the official launch of Luke and Trisha’s excellent book ‘Weeding Out Wheat’ from 30 Dec to 1 Jan?

The kindle version is only $1.99 (usually $9.95)WOW 3 day saleThe print version is only $9.95 (usually $14.95)

WOW Buy the Book

Luke and Trisha are also hosting a giveaway that will be live on December 31st.   Make sure you head over there on Tuesday 31st and enter! {Giveaway has ended}

[** The terms ‘acid and alkaline’ in relation to food, refers to the whether a food produces an acid or alkaline residue after it has been metabolised or broken down.
For more information on the acid/alkaline connection to disease, read this article].
{This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.  If you purchase via my link, I will earn a small percentage of the sale – it won’t cost you any extra. Thanks for your support!}

Raw Christmas Truffles

Raw Christmas truffles

These are so simple and so good!

In a food processor, simply whiz up 2 cups of almonds until finely ground (or use almond meal).  Add 2 cups of raisins (or whatever dried fruit you have), and 2 tablespoons of raw cacao.  You may need to add a little water to get the consistency right – you should be able to roll into balls without it being too wet.

Roll into balls and gently flatten.

Very gently heat some raw chocolate until it melts.  Or if you’re in the southern hemisphere this Christmas, put in a bowl outside until it melts!  {NB. Your raw chocolate will no longer be raw if you heat to over 106 degrees Fahrenheit}.

Then simply decorate with raw pumpkin seeds and goji berries.

Enjoy this simple and healthy treat with your family this Christmas.

{Linked up at Try a New Recipe Tuesday}