The Dairy Debate

So you are here because you have some issues with dairy. Might it be because you have an idea dairy affects you badly, have hormone issues, need to go dairy-free for you or your little one’s tummy, have chronic inflammation, or just want to see how you feel going dairy-free? Regardless of your reason, I hope this product guide helps make your journey easier!

First I want to start out saying, Dairy can have tremendous health benefits… but it is important where you source your dairy . Conventional Dairy (which is in 99% of processed foods, supplements and products) is not equal to grass fed dairy. Conventional milk and beef comes from cows that are fed mainly grain, soy, alfalfa, and corn products, The diet results in a high omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio which causes inflammation in the body. You are what you eat, so if you are eating or drinking a product from a highly inflamed cow fed an unnatural diet, you will also have inflammation, unbalanced hormones and poor fat in your body.

Grass fed dairy and meats are from cows who have a diet based on grass all year round. These cows graze on pasture until the winter when they are then fed cut grasses inside the barn. Yielding milk and beef higher in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

You can buy organic and/or grass-fed/pasture raised milk and dairy ( I know this is overwhelming but it gets easier). Grass fed is better than conventional but grass fed and organic is the best if financially feasible. Organic overall means the grass they are eating is free of chemicals and pasture raised means they are able to roam free vs. being fed grass. Here is article explaining it all.

Here are my favorite Grass-Fed dairy products:

Dairy Free

I went dairy-free almost two years ago in midst of my healing journey. Ironically my headaches stopped (I am still not too sure if it was coincidence or not), but I got pregnant two months later. Dairy can be a great part of your diet if your body can tolerate it and it is cleanly sourced. Unfortunately, like most of our food these days, it is over-processed and the cows are fed an unnatural grain and high inflammatory diet like corn and GMO feed. Just like humans with breastfeeding, the food animals eat is transferred into their milk. This is why if you are able to tolerate dairy, it is important to drink it from a clean source and organic, if feasible.

The great news is, after you decrease inflammation in your body and heal your gut lining most people can tolerate raw or grass-fed milk in their diets again. Most intolerances and sensitivities are due to the process of processing the milk. Learn more about it here.

I have spent plenty of money over the years just to toss out yucky dairy-free alternatives. On top of the taste, many alternative options are filled with chemicals, inflammatory oils, and preservatives. The below options are not only my favorite for taste but are also on the cleaner side. I am gluten-free, so all of these products will work for my gluten-free people also! Most of these products are available at your local health food store such as Wegmans, Sprouts, or MOM’s Organic Market.

Dairy Free Suggestions – That actually taste good and aren’t terrible for you!

Here is a list of my favorite Dairy-Free Alternatives:

Three Trees Nut Milks : Organic with only the needed ingredients. Remember Oats should ALWAYS be organic, and it is easy to make it at home if this is out of your price range. Elmhurst is a shelf stable brand with good nut milks but non organic.

Culina Yogurt: This is the closest thing to greek yogurt I found and it has just the right ingredients with ]out added junk! Coco June is another alternative. I buy it plain and add in my own honey or sweetners.

Siete Snacks: They make “Doritos”, Tortillas and Churro snacks. Everything they make is clean and delicious with avocado oil instead of hydrogenated oils like sunflower and canola.

Primal Kitchen: They make great dressings and sauces with clean oils and ingredients. Ranch is hard to copy– I make my own with their mayo and herbs!

Protein Bars: My new obsession is Skout but they have to be bought online. I love the ingredients. RX Bars and Larabars are okay but high in natural sugars. I also buy Cerebelly for my child.

Icecream: Be careful here…a lot of “dairy-free” ice creams are filled with junk. My favorite brand is Coconut bliss. Cado is another great alternative but still has gums in it.

Lesser Evil: They make great snacks! I love their paleo puffs and popcorns. They use ghee (if tolerated) or coconut oil for a true dairy free snack. They also make brownies that I mix into my ice-cream!

Simple Mills: This is a much have in a gluten free kitchen and luckily they make great dairy free options as well. They make mixes for cakes, muffins, and crackers.

Chocolate: No fear there are great dairy free clean options (everything in moderation). Unreal chocolate has healthier alternatives for M&M’s, Reeses, Almond Joys and Snickers! Back to Human (HU) makes great chocolate bars and baking chocolate. I also use Enjoy life chocolate for baking.

Goat and Sheep Cheese: A great alternative as your gut heals. Look for the raw versions. I buy it in a block and shred it for easy use. *Not everyone can tolerate goat or sheep cheese but a lot of dairy-free people can. Many alternative cheeses are filled with all kinds of junk. I just try to not eat it daily. It tastes great on pizza and grilled cheese. I don’t even miss regular cheese anymore, and I was a cheese lover. This goes for ghee as well if you are trying to add in butter. Butter alternatives–well stink.


These are my main staples in my household. I hope this helps you on your dairy-free journey. Going dairy-free can be hard at first, and it may take a couple weeks for your taste buds to adjust. BUT, I promise once you start feeling better and your taste buds adjust, you won’t miss the dairy as much as you think. Once your inflammation has decreased and your gut has healed you can add in grass fed and raw options. Feel free to reach out for more suggestions or guidance.

No time for your health?

I understand being busy with work, while raising children and keeping up with the house makes you not wanting to cook. Leaving you cooking somethings fast and easy and probably unhealthy. These meals usually involve a cardboard box and tons of preservatives and chemicals. Yes it was easy but was it healthy? Trust me, I hate cooking but I know how real food makes me feel. Is it worth the possible health consequences on us and our children? Obviously you are answering no to that one, but unless you’re informed it’s way to easy to do. There are plenty of healthier versions of your favorite meals and go to snacks, it just may take some practice and education.

I personally feel that we have so many more “sick” children and adults these days. I hear the statement “we are just more aware” all the time from people. No, we are moving further away from a real foods! Think of your childhood classroom and ask your parents the same questions: How many people had to get insulin in school? Inhalers? Had crazy rashes and ADHD? I can think of maybe 1-2 children. Now it is doubled if not more!

Think of your lunches and your children’s lunches. How many people have/had mini muffins, dunkaroos, a sunny-d and “fruit” gummy’s for lunch?? 👋🏻 I did, and we all thought it was healthy (minus the delicious dunkaroos) but hey there was fruit in it and a label that says no high fructose corn syrup , so I am good ✔️.

It’s so unfortunate how companies label things that make you feel that you are feeding your kids and self healthy alternatives when they are packed full of additives that are detrimental to your health. Even organic snacks have these sneaky ingredients. Honestly I was there and until I healed from food I would laugh at the seriousness of these ingredients.

This is not to fear monger you, but to educate you. We have all heard that shopping the perimeter of the grocery store is the best for our health. This is absolutely true because this is where most of our real whole foods are. Some choices are better than others, but whole food is ALWAYS best. Please feel free to check out my blog on organic foods to helo make those choices easier!

Here are some easy pantry swaps. Check out my blog on how to clean out your pantry for better tips on swaps and healthy pantry snacks.

So the summary of this rant is to help you and your family avoid the thousands of dollars on doctors and medications to try to correct your health issues. Even if you feel fine now your body can only handle so much! Instead start adding in whole foods to your diet! You don’t have to be perfect. I have a baby and don’t have time to make all my food and eat things in packages, but it’s limited and chosen wisely.

I am here to spread the wealth of my knowledge from my healing journey to educate and keep you healthy. I hope this was informative and reach out if you would like to learn more or work with me in the future 💛

Your stress bucket 🪣

You can eat a 100% organic farm raised diet and still be “unhealthy”. I was totally baffled for years why I was in so much pain but eating so “clean”. Just as you can’t dress like a football player and expect to jump into a professional game and nail it, you also can’t eat healthy and ignore other stressors on your body and expect to be healthy. Food is the basic support to our body and is essential, but there is so much more that contributes to our wellness.

If this is you, then kudos to you! If you’re here though you are probably suffering in some aspect and here for curiosity or guidance.

Your body is similar to a bucket. It can only take on so much before it “overflows” or in your bodies case, goes into overdrive which then results in our symptoms and illnesses.

There are many ways our body detoxs and rids our body of toxins and stresses. If your bucket is full then there is no room for more water to come in. I’m not saying you are supposed to live a stress free life, but one that your body can handle and stay balanced. Obvious stressors include visible stress, but many of us (myself included) had hidden stressors from your diet, environment and immune that are not obvious!

This is why it’s so important to look at healing your body as a whole and not at only the symptoms. On top of this every body is different. This is why some diets, detoxes and supplements work for some but not others. I have been there! It is frustrating, time consuming and expensive! Don’t give up if you’re suffering, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You just haven’t found your bio individualized plan to help you heal yet.

Here are some tips on how to balance out your “bucket flow”

  • DRINK MORE WATER! This is soo simple and widely known, yet most of our health issues are from cellular dehydration! Drinking GOOD drinking water and enough of it is always my #1 go to for health concerns, especially if they are new!
  • Correct digestive concerns: look into food reactions, sensitivities. Gut health is soo important to your health!
  • Eat a whole food diet: this will help balance out any blood sugar, fatty acid, mineral and detoxification issues. Everyone is individualized, so there is no one size fits all diet approach, but eating whole nutritious food is a great start! Check out other blogs on how to eat cleaner and how to clean out your pantry
  • Avoid environmental factors: Now you can’t live in a filtered bubble and avoid all toxins but there are some easy lifestyle changes to decrease your toxic load dramatically. Check out previous blogs on how to live a more chemical free life.

If this interests you and your looking for a way to get healthy for your individual health needs click the “how to work with me tab” to get on my list. I would love to guide you into becoming the best you. I will be accepting clients in August 2021!

Authenticity

Be yourself and be PROUD of who you are ❤️

I am sure people think I share too much about my life on social media. But I try to be authentic so others have the courage to do so. So we can share our love for similar likes and talents. ​So I can support other local businesses who created something from a small spark of hope and joy, because it’s something that is important to them and makes them happy. It’s important to do stuff for YOU, not for what you think others will like.

I feel like the word authentic has been trending and for once I am okay with a trend. I am happy that self love, self worth and being YOU is actually embraced. It shouldn’t be a trend but instead something we are taught young. Our parents used to tell us to be ourselves and we didn’t need all that make up, but we didn’t listen. These are the peoples judgements we should care the most about but unfortunately it’s usually the opposite. I use to care SO much what others thought. I would shape my look and friends to be who I thought would make me happy. Resulting in not having great friends because I wasn’t being true to them or myself. When I stopped caring what others thought and dressed how I liked, did what I enjoyed and allowed my family and friends to be heard, this is when I found true joy.

Being authentic should not be a trend, but taught to be the “new cool”. Social media has definitely made this hard. But remember people post the highlights mainly, and are posing for that picture. Candid pictures are few and far in between on my feed these days .

Be proud of that messy bun, sleep deprived look. No need to pretend to be anything more than you 🦋

The things people didn’t talk to me about motherhood

Forrest has been my biggest blessing, but I have struggled as a mom. Being a past nanny and a current nurse who cares for babies, I felt like I had a little bit of experience. Motherhood has shook me, and I don’t know if it’s not talked about enough or I wasn’t listening.

Everyone I knew from strangers to parents of patients at work always raved about what a great mom I would be, how calm I am and how great I am with their children, and then I became a mom. Crippled with anxiety about doing “what is right” and “why is he upset, what did I do?”. I know babies cry because they are just that, babies! But he has seemed like he is suffering and my nurse mom brain knows too much.

Within his 6 weeks of life he was diagnosed with a tongue and lip tie that was revised (although I didn’t want to originally), he has reflux and a hard time sleeping flat, and makes sooo many noises from a floppy noise-box (called laryngomalacia). These last two are fairly common as they are small little babes and will usually grow out of. Which I knew, but didn’t make hearing and seeing it easier. I also have an oversupply of milk and with all the above combined was choking him for basically 6 weeks. This can also be fairly common until your milk regulates but we were both miserable and from all the above he was suffering from gas and “colic” and that left me reddened with anxiety.

I used to give “advice” from my experiences and from what I knew was “right”. Then I became a mom and broke all the “rules” and my own advice.

While pregnant, I researched hours about bassinets, mattresses, natural child birth and so forth. I planned on breastfeeding but just assumed it would come somewhat natural. Well guess what- something so natural is hard! I was so surprised and the more I struggled and reached out to others, a lot of women do! I wish I knew this and feel like women should be more prepared! It would lower womens expectations and give women more of a chance to do what they were created to be able to do. Fed is best, formula or breast. My husband was formula fed and is healthier than I have ever been. I also suffer from a ton of food sensitivities and issues and assume I will need an expensive formula for my little one. This will be about my breastfeeding experience so far, so stop reading if you don’t want to hear about boobs 😂 The one thing I have learned during my short time as a mom already is that most moms are secretly struggling, don’t let social media steer you to think otherwise!

I googled everything. And I tried everything on google to help my little man to stop crying and from struggling. I called lactation a hundred times while crying every time I fed him which resulted in him choking and swallowing so much air. I tried pumping and doing bottles but that made my oversupply soo much worse and was making me even more depressed. Hats off to you exclusive pumping moms, I did it for a weekend and that was all I could handle! Even with lactation I didn’t feel like I had the right support and see why so many moms give up. Which I have absolutely nothing against formula and respect all fed moms as I do all births! This is more of a journal than an advice blog these days. Personally I really wanted to breastfeed and have let the anxiety and stress of it over take me. But why has no one told me about these troubles?

Luckily I kept reaching out, to social media, moms anyone that could listen honestly. I admit, I am sometimes too open but in this case it saved my breastfeeding journey. I know we will have more ups and downs (as this entire six weeks has shown me), but I finally feel like we are getting it and it will only get better from here. A mutual friend suggested a lactation consultant who was so empathetic and very involved allowed me to finally believed I could do this. I also took him to see an awesome chiropractor. I tried the natural route first (because thats who I am) and ended up on medication for a short time to hell regulate my supply. This was so stressful for me as everyone kept saying give it 8-12 weeks to regulate and I tried but the hours of crying and no sleep from the stress of me simply trying to feed my baby was beyond exhausting and depressing. I would say I gave it my all before resulting to medication and I wouldn’t have done it without medical supervision because I easily could have went a full 360 and lost my supply.

Your baby is with you for 9+ months. They feel your emotions. They feel your stress and anxiety. They feed of this, literally. I wish someone gave me a warning about how hard breastfeeding can be. I was not prepared and and hope this little post doesn’t scare you but helps prepare someone else. Don’t give up, at the end of the day if your baby is gaining weight you are doing something right. And if you have to switch to formula that is okay too. But it can get better. I still don’t have it all together breast-feeding still work. My nipples and husband and I would have disagreed a few weeks ago that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel – haha I know I am no where near the end of this roller coaster, our next battle to tackle is sleep!

Your killing it mamas or mamas to be 🤍

Forrest’s “Birth” Day

Forrest arrived into this world a day after his due date completely natural and unmedicated. This was my plan and the hardest thing I have ever done. It was also the most rewarding and amazing experience I have ever had. Although I was saying otherwise during my 12+ hours of laboring, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Birth is unpredictable and plans are preferences. I was lucky to welcome my sweet babe into the world as I intended, but I would have done whatever was needed to get him here safely.

Our happy family ☀️

Preparing for a natural labor and delivery

I read a ton of books, and joined a ton of mom pages. The pages were overwhelming because with natural birth sometimes comes anti everything medical. I am a medical professional and wanted a happy medium. There are ton of Hypnobirthing resources I read some but mainly focused on positive birth stories and birth stories throughout history. We forget women have been giving birth for years and not all countries (developed included) rely on epidurals etc. These are the top resources I recommend for anyone who is interested in going natural!

  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: this has a lot of home birth stories but also hospital births. It make you feel confident and believe in your body, as women have been giving birth naturally for years.
  • The birth hour podcast: more birth stories. The more you read the more confident you will be in whatever happens during your birth. Also listening to people who went naturally after medicated births and why they preferred the natural delivery.
  • Your birth, your baby by Hollie de cruz: this included Hypnobirthing techniques which got me in the right mindset during the strong contractions and tough parts of labor. The book includes an mp3 of affirmations and music that I played while laboring at home.
  • Your bag packed with goodies (truthfully my Doula provided everything I needed but I had this all packed)
    • headphones for music/affirmations (never used as planned)
    • Essential oils for nausea (peppermint) my saving grace, clary sage, orange and lime are recommended also!
    • A diffuser (I ended up just using oil on a cotton ball in a bag from my doula, heaven sent during my nausea spouts!)
    • A speaker to play music (I never used this)
    • Yoga ball/mats if not provided (I used these very much)!
    • A birth partner! The doula and my husband were the only reason I was able to get through this day. It’s important to have someone you trust and that able to calm you.

The morning of his arrival

I had a feeling when I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions that “this was it”. I have been waking up for weeks with them but I had a feeling today was the day. I was an insomniac my entire pregnancy so went to the couch and started imagining the fact this may be my last night pregnant and uncomfortable on the couch, but trying not to get too excited. The contractions continued to happen every 15 minutes. I told my husband when he woke up my contractions were steady but to go into work since they were far apart. By 7am they were 5 minutes a part lasting about 45 seconds. My OB wanted us to go to the hospital when they were 4 minutes apart, lasting one minute for one hour. I was not able to sit and was walking through the contractions but was handling them well. I told my husband to plan on being home around 9am. Terrified I would bring him home for a false alarm (not that he would care), I did what my books all said to keep labor progressing and went on a long walk with my dog. I was definitely needing to stop every 4-5 minutes to breathe but was handling them well still. It was a beautiful 70 degree day outside and I just soaked in nature’s beauty knowing that I could do this, I am close to meeting my baby. I got home and had a random surge of energy. I fed my chickens treats, filled my bird feeders, made banana bread (which I happily packed and ate at the hospital), and took a long hot shower. My husband arrived home adorably excited and finished getting last minute things together in preparation around the house. Offering to help by doing counter pressure but I was tolerating it well by breathing and using my yoga ball (little did he know he would be doing hours of this later). By 10am my contraction timer was yelling at me for an hour to go to the hospital because they were 4 minutes apart lasting a minute for well over an hour. Being fearful I wasn’t dilated enough I thought about staying home but they were getting stronger and we made our way. The car ride was painful, but not terrible. I made my husband stop at Starbucks for my fav tea (that they were out of 😪) as I know I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink soon.

The hospital arrival

We arrived to the hospital and got all checked in. I was still in disbelief because I was handling this too well and walked in to L&D calm saying “Hi I am in labor”. I went back and got checked to see my progress and unfortunately was only 4cm. This was what I was last week and the midwife knowing I wanted to avoid medical interventions said to go home for a couple hours or go walk around for a couple hours. This was my biggest fear about leaving too soon and I was obviously upset. Right when I was walking out of the triage room with our bags we brought in excitingly, my doula showed up. She took our bags to her office and got us some goodies to set up “shop” outside in the courtyard for me to labor. My contractions were getting pretty painful. Little man was sunny side up and his occiput (back of his head) was giving me terrible back labor. The doula showed my husband some counter pressure techniques and we headed outside. She has a peanut ball, a yoga ball and mats. She knew once I was admitted I wouldn’t be able to eat and made me a smoothie and grabbed us snacks (which is hard to do since I don’t eat gluten or dairy!). I was getting pretty tired and knew I had a long day ahead so tried to sip and eat something for the energy, although I didn’t want to. I was uncomfortable but with the counter pressure and the multiple balls and positions I was making it through the contractions. Not caring I was in a public place or who was watching. They were 3-4 minutes a part at this point and I kept referring to my books in my head. Trying my hardest (it was hard) to breathe, relax my shoulders and visualizing my cervix opening so I could meet our baby. Every time I started to lose control I came back to “I’m going to meet my baby soon”.

Here was our set up (again all thanks to the doula!). We were so lucky for this great area and weather. It just shows you can labor anywhere! I didn’t care who walked by or heard the noises I was making, as my baby was coming today! I even went on a walk around the hospital. Needing to pause every three minutes for my husband to do counterpressure during my contractions with plenty of spectators.

Laboring in a hospital courtyard. If you know me, these are my favorite colors. Everything was meant to be!

Re entering the hospital

This time I was not calm at the desk saying I am in labor. I was moaning very vocally and having stronger snd longer contractions in my back every 2-3 minutes. After about three hours of being outside and waiting for triage I was checked. Thank the heavens I was 7cm and going to be admitted! I told my husband prior I was getting an epidural and screw the plan if I didn’t progress much, so we were so happy to hear this and I was able to continue to try to follow my plan. The IV was placed. Which PSA- if your going naturally don’t let them put in your dang wrist! From all the tensing and movement and bracing I was doing I am not sure how it stayed in as long as it did. This was about 430 and my doula joined us in the room for the rest of our journey. I labored in the room with intermittent monitoring every 20 minutes for the baby. I planned on walking around the room but I was exhausted and labored on the bed in different positions and on the ball. I had the help of my husband and doula pushing my hips open with each surge of a contraction as the babies head was really hurting me. I swear this baby was coming out of my butt and back wt this point. Between the counter pressure constant huffing of peppermint oil and breathing I was doing it but getting tired.

Almost pushing time

I met the OB since mine was out of town. I was 8cm which I was a little bummed about after the hours of pain. I was getting super tired almost laboring 12 hours at this point. My water was still intact and my bag was bulging. They ruptured it on purpose (after asking of course) in hope to speed everything up as everyone could tell I was in pain and tired. I think this was around 630 and the contractions really picked up after being ruptured. I was having less breaks between surges and was losing my control at this point and wanted to push. My doula helped me control my breathing and urge to push as I wasn’t dilated enough. At 730 the doctor came in checked me and said if I can push over my cervical lip I can start pushing- we were almost there! This was hard and honestly I was getting discouraged because it took me a little to do so, but I did it! The doctor allowed me to push with the nurse, doula and husband and would pop in between checking on me and another laboring mom who was also close.

Evacuation of the baby!

The doula looked at the nurse and said she is getting close. Within minutes I needed to push like the most natural instinct I have ever ever had. The nurse had called for the doctor who was currently delivering the other mom’s baby. An agency doctor luckily swooped in because there was no not pushing going to happen. I waited the extra few minutes for the doctor to come and I began to push differently. I did do controlled pushing although some books advise against this. I think being controlled helped me not tear as my body was preparing for the size of his head to come out. Using my body to open up my hips and allow a slow but steady opening for the baby. As hard as this was, because I was able to feel everything I was still in control of my pushes. The baby was stable the entire time and the nurses and doctors kept saying “Wow your baby is a model baby so happy in there” from the monitor readings. Which I continued to say, they can be happy out here too!!! At this point we didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl so the baby was referred to him as “they” often. After pushing with the doctor for not terribly long baby was here! I was planning on letting my husband announce the sex but from how I was positioned I saw right away and we simultaneously screamed it’s a boy!! Then I made everyone laugh by saying, “oh my gosh he looks like us”. Not sure why I thought he wouldn’t but that’s when it hit me, we made this.

Moments after birth

Forrest was always positioned very low and although I labored naturally he didn’t have that great descent down and came out rather juicy. After holding him for a minute they had to swoop him up for some stimulation and suctioning. Being a baby nurse I knew what was going on and that he was stable but all I wanted was him on my chest. The doula was taking pictures and running them over to me as they got him stable and settled. After the longest thirty minutes ever I got to hold my little grunting baby and in about an hour he was stable enough to feed. I finally got my magic hour and felt like a mama. Forrest William arrived at 8:21 pm on April 5th 2021 💙 7lbs 3oz and 20.5 inches long.

Recovery

I do not have another birth to compare it too but multiple health care professionals I met during my day had said they had done it both ways (naturally and medically) and naturally they healed better. You can feel the urge to push and the contractions fully, resulting in less medical interventions because baby is hopefully not in distress and putting you at a lower risk for tearing. My biggest complaint was I felt like jello after giving birth. The hours of laboring and bearing down to push was the biggest workout I had done in 9 months (honestly maybe ever). The agency doctor who jumped in like a superstar kept complementing me saying I was so controlled and impressed with me. Which I did not feel like I was in control in the moment looking back I was. I could trust my body. I had a slight tear and was getting around slow for the first week and was sore (ice and honeypot pads are the bomb). By two weeks I was going on walks and getting out of bed without pain. Luckily I didn’t have to deal with any of the side effects such as constipation, swelling or headaches from the medications. I just got to soak up being a family with my husband and baby boy. Thank you for reading. Hopefully it wasn’t to much information and you enjoyed my birth story.

Doula information

Due to covid I chose a doula through the hospital as you only can have one person with you in the delivery room (at the time I birthed) at GBMC. The doula program was worth the money and then some. Everything happens for a reason and I am blessed Lanny came into our lives. I am not sure we could have done it without her. If you are local I totally recommend delivering at GBMC and using their Doula Touch Program. Here is their link for more information!

Hopefully this helps you want to try to birth naturally. You were made to do this ✨.

But, “You don’t look sick”.

This statement use to really hurt me to my bone. The reason I personally allowed my body to get so sick was because I didn’t look sick. This is something I have endured my entire life. I have had pain issues and eventually did end up in a wheelchair during my childhood, but most of my pain issues were “idiopathic” and my fatigue was because of mono. I had no obvious deformity or growth in my body, but I was getting sicker and sicker despite medical attention, I continued not to take it seriously. Now I have the knowledge and experience on why you shouldn’t ignore your body and I hopea you will not do the same.

I thought the older you get the more pain you get, so everyone must feel this sh*tty all the time. Plot twist, you aren’t supposed to feel that much pain or THAT tired in your twenties. In our society we are taught to suck it up and keep on working. That’s how we get to extreme burnout and allow our bodies to get so sick. It’s okay to work hard, but your body has to be a healthy place to do so. As we get more and more tired, we eat easier to make and more unhealthy foods. We stop taking care of ourselves and go into fight mode. Our body thinks it’s in survival mode and our bodies to continue to get sicker. By doing so this allows our body functions to decrease or cease. So the whole “you don’t look sick thing” ignore it. You DON’T want to let your body get to that point of looking sick. Once your body is that sick your adrenals (stress hormone center) will be shot, your thyroid (another hormone regulator) will be shot and you will have 10x the amount of work to get your body back to “normal”, rather than listening to it in the first place.

You know your body better than any practicing professional. That being said is why you shouldn’t give up on feeling better. Find a doctor that will work with you and not give up on you. Find one that will look for the root cause and won’t continue to shove medication after medication into your body after months and months of no results.

I’m not anti-medications by any means. Personally since childhood I’ve been on more antibiotics than I can count just because it could help. Trust me when I say these medications are doing more harm than good if you don’t NEED them and are just being taken for the hope that they will work. A lot of medications are for the symptoms and not the cause. While the cause of your illness will probably continue and you may continue to get sicker. While medications are important if they help fix your illness or imbalance, if you aren’t seeing a change after the time your doctor said to give it, stop it. Of course do this while working with your doctor. Each medication takes time to work and wean off. Trust someone who’s been on more medications than most adults combined, being on a medication hoping it will help is terrible for your body. The more we put into our body unnecessarily the harder our kidneys and liver had to work to excrete them. Our gut is becoming leakier and making us sicker by leaking out toxins and waste our body couldn’t process. Our brain receptors are becoming flooded and not allowing our brain to work at the best potential. We are basically feeding into anxiety and depression because we are assisting in altering our brain chemicals (neurotransmitters).

If this is known science then why do doctors keep prescribing us medications repeatedly “hoping” to help us? Sadly that’s all they know and what they are taught. Western culture makes their money though pharmaceuticals, insurance and treating chronic illnesses. Herbs and natural medicine is normally not something that can be charged through insurance. I now know that Hollistic healing with food and natural medicine is very effective. There are countless of studies done that food and nutrition can help heal 90% of our illnesses and diseases. Yet we would rather continue to be lazy, sick and taking “magic pills” than to have a slight lifestyle change. It may sound brutal, but it’s the honest truth. If you told college me that I would have to give up half the food I eat daily I would have laughed. But if you told me I was going to struggle with pain, anxiety and chronic brain fog and fatigue would I have listened differently ? Who knows, but now I truly understand the importance of food nutrition and gut health and I hope you will take it serious too.

If you’ve ever had mono in your life (EBV) you may battle this reactivation of fatigue and should work with a practitioner who understands the virus to allow you to function a normal and healthy life. Check out my last post on this virus and check out these books which go into detail the importance of EBV and how it’s the underlying reason disease and illnesses are able to enter our body.

  • The Rain Barrel Effect: How a 6,000 Year Old Answer Holds the Secret to Finally Getting Well, Losing Weight & Feeling Alive Again!
  • The Epstein-Barr Virus Solution: The Hidden Undiagnosed Epidemic of a Virus Destroying Millions of Lives through Chronic Fatigue, Autoimmune Disorders and Cancer

You are not your illness, and there is hope. I hope that this mindset helps someone. I am unsure if years ago myself I would have been ready to listen. But if I help even one person avoid years of pain and countless medications and procedures, it’s worth it ❤️

Things I wish I knew going into dealing with a chronic illness

If you are suffering chronic pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and so forth, I feel you. I know how debilitating each day can be and you do your best anyway. I know how desperate for relief you are, and how you will try any medication or procedure for the hope of relief. After years of this, I want to share with you what I’ve learned and how to skip a few painful lessons on your own health journey.

The first and most important lesson is to get professional guidance!

I’m considered a medical professional but this isn’t medical advice, just my own experiences. Even though I have medical knowledge and thought I could do this on my own, I needed help. I went to specialty after specialty after realizing I needed help, but finding the right help is the next step. I have another blog post on all of the doctors I’ve rotated through if you need help deciding where to start. From both ends of the spectrum of western medicine to anything Holistic, a naturopath has been the most helpful for me.

Commit to your health as the #1 priority.

This one is hard. I know a lot of you are moms and have to work 40 hours a week to pay bills. But try your best to put yourself first. Let it be okay — the house will stay dirty and accept it’s not worth exhausting yourself more. Being a perfectionist with a chronic illness is hard, but you also learn what is a priority and what’s not.

You have to continue to put yourself first, even on hard days when you want to give up and let it all take its course. I would try something new that someone recommended or that I read and committed to, but it wouldn’t work. At the end of each trial I was still sick; I would say it’s in my head and I would give up, then repeat. Commit to your health. You owe it to yourself and your family, and you are worth it. Being run-down with brain fog and pain is not okay; no matter how many of your friends also suffer like this, it’s not normal. It may be a simple fix – as little as a diet or attitude change or as big as a chemical imbalance or infection. Either way, invest the money in a practitioner. It’s so helpful to have someone give you guidance rather than guessing yourself. Being let down time and time again only adds to the depression of feeling ill.

Stop letting what others thing about you matter.

Guess what — it doesn’t matter. You matter and your health matters. In a year, the opinions of others will mean nothing compared to having your mental and physical health. Yes, you have your tribe of people, and you NEED them or someone on this journey to support you, but at the end of the day, YOUR health mentally and physically is what is important. By letting yourself care about what other people think, you allow doubt and negativity in. You do you, and you’ll find yourself. As soon as I stopped caring about others’ judgements toward me is when I started reaching out to the right people and finding actual answers and seeing progress. Nothing is worse than thinking others assume you are a hypochondriac and it’s all in your head, but it’s your body and you are trying the best you can. You have to believe in yourself; you know your body the best.

Patience

This is the hardest one, the one I still struggle with. Especially if you’ve been struggling with something for a while and feel like you’ve tried everything, you have to give everything a few months, not days or weeks. This is the hard part because it takes time. But this is why it’s important to get the proper guidance. With the proper help, you minimize wasting time trying to tackle this all on your own. The more you fail and continue to suffer, the more fear for the future, depression, and anxiety is created. You have to believe in the process, but having help getting there is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s worth every dime to minimize the time it takes to heal yourself and get you to your best self.

Your food and environment are essential to your recovery.

It’s okay to eat out and enjoy yourself. You don’t have to go vegan or never eat your favorite food again, but you do have to be aware of proper nutrition and the toxins in the standard American’s diet. The food we feed ourselves and things we put in and on our bodies has been shown to harm us dramatically. Here’s an old post on how to live a chemical-free lifestyle. It’s hard at first, but it’s worth feeling better. This one is important and can be the hardest for a lot of people. Even before learning my blood nutrition results from my practitioner, I ate healthy. But sometimes what you think is healthy isn’t for you — another reason why it’s worth the time and money to have someone run these tests for you.

It’s so important to know what your gut and body actually need. I’ve written a previous post on the importance of avoiding preservatives and eating organic foods. When you feed your gut, you truly are feeding your health. The gut-brain connection is a proven yet ignored thing. Your diet can dramatically change your mentality and decrease inflammation in your body. By fixing our diet, we eliminate the cause of many “symptoms” that we are put on medications for. Eating well gives your body the fighting chance to work in synergy, to heal, and to provide us with the best health we can give ourselves. I know it sounds easier than it is, but start small. Small wins lead to big changes!

Your mindset is everything.

If you know me, you hear me preach about mindset and the importance of good energy and healing. You don’t have to be as spiritual as me, but your mind is truly a powerful thing. Meditation, yoga, gardening, etc. are all great relaxing tools and are needed to help your mind heal. Check out this old post on the importance of your parasympathetic nervous system and tips on staying grounded.

I’m not saying these steps are the all cure — but it could save you a lot of time and money by avoiding the months of medication trials, diets, and specialists.

My personal health journey has led me to a naturopath practitioner. She was able to connect all of my issues to Epstein-barr Virus (EBV). This virus is commonly known as “mono.” 90% of the population has had it and carries antibodies for it. Most people’s immune systems handle this fine. For others it creates havoc in the body, triggering gut issues, brain fog, pain, depression, and autoimmune issues. Your body fights itself, depleting the thyroid and adrenals, and your body continues to get sicker with no explanation. The research done on this is crazy — yet western medicine ignores this virus because as mentioned above, most people carry the antibodies and are fine. But there are a lot of chronically ill people out there, and the way we eat and live our lives these days trigger the illness to become more and more active, oxidizing and depleting our bodies. Feel free to contact me because I would love to help you heal as food is honestly the best way to do so with any inflammatory virus.

Thanks for reading and I hope you start to feel better soon. I can’t wait to post about my healing journey and all its success and hear about others! Stay positive and keep fighting; you’re worth it ❣️

Compassion and Happiness

I use to have a hard time having compassion for others while I am suffering myself. This was unknowingly selfish of me, because others have great compassion for me by listening to me while I am still throwing myself a pity party. I’m not saying don’t complain, because struggling day to day silently is also not healthy. It’s healthy and okay to reach out and talk to others about your struggles. Compassion can lead you to happiness. Whether it be in relationships with your friends or family, into your work or environment etc. By including this into your daily life you can change your mindset by changing your behaviors. Being a nurse I naturally have compassion for others, but meaning it is different. It takes time to mean it, but it’s necessary to help you heal from your own pain.

If you have chronic pain, anxiety and/or depression, you wouldn’t wish it upon anyone…I hope 😉. No one chooses unhappiness over happiness. Suffering with these ailments makes life suck or seem not worthwhile some days. Becoming compassionate for others helps you become more present and appreciative of your surroundings outside your pain. You learn empathy and are able to connect with others and stop focusing all on your struggles.

Pain, anxiety and depression all hit similar transmitters and parts of our brain. Our gut helps impact all of these three as well. It’s hard to work towards rewiring our brain and healing our gut until your able to get your mind into a more positive mindset.

By showing compassion and being able to empathize with someone else’s struggles you are able to take a break from yours and stop feeling and wishing for your own struggles to end and wish for another’s happiness. You are triggering other parts of your mind and are tuning into being more aware. Mindset can impact our lives tremendously. It doesn’t get rid of our issues, but it does open our eyes making us more aware that we can control our body more than we think. We can help stop our thoughts from going down into that dark tunnel of sadness and self pity. When you express compassion or do something go for others for no reason…you feel good right? You trigger endorphins and you become full of happy fuzziness and are able to sit up straighter and think clearer. Now I’m not telling you to donate all your money to charity, but to simply do more kind gestures to others.

It’s hard to listen, to want to do things for others, to actually care for others while you are struggling. It’s hard to get the feeling of happiness and joy for others when you yourself are hurting. But with more practice your mindset will shift. Your compassion towards others will help lower your pain, anxiety and/or depression or maybe all three! It’s not a magic answer or quick fix. As I said earlier, no one chooses to be unhappy.

So choose to feel happiness and give compassion a try. You have nothing to lose by being kind to others. You’ll gain more connections with friends and strangers, you’ll learn more about your true self and you will see happiness on others faces which will in turn bring you joy.

Healing your pain is not always an easy fix, a quick pill or diet. It’s a journey and hard work physically and mentally. Nourish your body with good food and energy. Life is worth living, and it’s worth being able to enjoy a happy more present life ❣️ Namaste 🙏🏻

Acceptance

This is something I’m still working on, but I have came a long way and so can you. Since I can remember I was always trying to fit in. Never confident of my own choices, outfits, likes and dislikes. Instead of believing in yourself you begin to look for acceptance from others. This is natural, but it’s gotten to an unhealthy point in the world. Social media isn’t going away but our children need to learn to believe in theirselves. Of course there are morals of right and wrong, but being embarrassed of who you are is not a way to feel at any age.

I have always cared so much of what others thought. The music I liked, how I dressed, how I looked and so on. Instead of listening to the people’s thoughts who actually mattered who have always told me “it doesn’t matter what others think”. I have never really been confident, and have been self conscious most of my life.

I really cared what people thought about me and my pain. Afraid people thought i was attention seeking. But honestly, not hiding the pain and talking about how I am “actually” feeling has opened eyes to others but mainly myself. Life has become much easier since I have accepted my feelings and truths. I have accepted this is my body, these are the issues and things need altered. Notice how I did not say changed or fixed.

It can and did take a long journey of doctors and medications before this realization and acceptance came. Refusing to accept this being my normal and the pain. By accepting you are able to look deeper into your self for a root cause, as it may be a deeper and harder thing to fix than a quick pill.

I have accepted my love for health, Hollistic medicine and healing. By accepting it’s okay to believe in what you love with no judgement. I know my Hollistic and spiritual beliefs may not be believed by others, but I have accepted this fact and don’t care! I actually don’t care what others think. I respect their thoughts and I believe my journey has led me here, to a place of healing and progress.

Many spend all their money and time focusing on the “fix”. Some times things don’t need changed, some byproducts of our life and mind can simply spiral our body and sometime lives out of control. I spent thousands on medical doctors before finally seeking a naturopathic doctor, which in the long run would have been cheaper and on the road to my best self sooner.

Being unbalanced for so long can absolutely lead to health issues and diseases. Being balanced is not an easy task. Especially with all our processed foods and chemicals, it becomes easier and easier for people to fall out of balance. People are experiencing emotions and pain more and more these days. Which leads them to doctor to doctor, medication to medication. If this sounds like you and you are reading this looking for a quick fix (a supplement or diet) even though nothing is working, I challenge you to look deeper.

Look to see if you accept who you are and your thoughts and desires. If you are not ready to accept them then why? The answer is within you and you may not even know it.

I refused to have my rest of life in the amount of pain I am in, understandable. But the route of spending thousands and thousands of dollars, trying every herbal supplement and diet around wasn’t the answer. This just led to further frustration, anxiety and depression. It wasn’t until I believed in myself that I made some positive strides. Maybe it was a big combination of issues over the years that led me to where I am, but I feel all the chronic pain folks are always grasping at straws as I have. It’s not just one thing or one answer, it’s years of combined and ignored issues that built up and more sensitive over time.

If your know me, you probably know my love for Yoga, Ayurveda and chakra energy. All of these things are combined mainly with digestion and energy being are life forth. Allowing us to dictate and heal our bodies by nourishing our bodies with the food that is needed to keep us balanced and by opening the line of energy though the body. Energy and gut health is the basis to almost every other countries medical treatment but ours. People walk around with blocked energy for years before realizing they have the power to balance their own lives, naturally. With simple diet changes, meditations and mantras. Again this is not a quick fix. It’s amazing with ancient knowledge how this easy medicine is not used more. By realizing your “issues” you can find what is unbalanced and blocked. By establishing these connections, you are able to actually find answers. Not hypothesized ideas that this medication or procedure could help you. Actual proof of millions over the years and results. I’m not healed, but I’m on my journey of getting there. I hope my journey can help lessen the time it takes you to live your best life, as I can’t wait to truly live mine.

People are going to judge you. It’s sadly to egotistical world we live in. Not everyone is going to love what you do. But people also don’t like when people are trying to hard to fit in. Being genuine and honest is much more becoming to others and on your soul. The more you believe this, the easier you will be on yourself, and one day be carefree of what others think of you!

.