Tag - Natural Living

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» Review: Dr. Mercola Probiotics
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» Review: MegaFood Vitamins, Fresh from Farm to Powder
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» REVIEW: NeilMed Nasal Solutions
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» Fighting the Flu
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Chiropractor: 12th Visit Update
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The Chiropractor: Popcorn Back
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>> Fighting the Flu
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The Chiroprator: Lola’s Journey

» Review: Dr. Mercola Probiotics

We have been aware of the benefits of probiotics for quite some time. However, our kids aren’t always eager to take them and they often have an interesting taste, and can be difficult to mix with foods or liquids. We have pressed on, knowing that 80% of our immune system lives in our gut. A healthy gut often equals greater health overall…. so we were quite excited to partner with Moms Meet to try out Dr. Mercola’s probiotics for kids and adults.

If you are curious what makes a good probiotic, here is a quick checklist to look for:

  • Contain effective bacterial strains – must be strain specific*
  • Are viable and dose specific
  • Remain stable and viable for a long time
  • Have the ability to survive the stomach and reach the intestine
  • Thrive in the intestine

You can be sure to avoid false claims by double checking the label for the following:

  1. Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1
  2. Lactobacillus casei
  3. Lactobacillus plantarum
  4. Lactobacillus salivarius
  5. Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  6. Lactobacillus brevis
  7. Bifidobacterium lactis
  8. Bifidobacterium longum
  9. Bifidobacterium bifidum
  10. Streptococcus thermophilus

Dr. Mercola does indeed include these ingredients in a conveniently packaged and truly good tasting powder. Dr. Mercola products are also subject to third party testing and the probiotic strains demonstrated gastrointestinal acid and bile tolerances over 90%. You can read the results here.

The kids actually enjoyed mixing this up and drinking it. I also packed the adult probiotic with me on my latest trip to Africa, it was so convenient to mix with bottled water.
Additionally, it mixes very smoothly. There were no complaints when it came to taking the daily probiotic!

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Disclaimer: Mom’s Meet provided samples of Dr. Mercola’s probiotic. As always the opinions are my own.

» Review: MegaFood Vitamins, Fresh from Farm to Powder

I have a vitamin hider in my house. Her name might be Charlotte. She takes her carefully selected whole-food vitamin and smiles at me… already scheming where she will dump it. I’ve found it in a plant, in the toilet (slowly dissolving), in a bathroom drawer, in the dog’s food or even on the trampoline. We had many talks and still the vitamins find new homes that aren’t in her tummy.

Enter MegaFood Vitamins. They are full of fresh fruits and vegetables and even have turmeric for good measure. (And no extras like sugar or food-coloring!) The powder is easily digestible and just a small scoop provides them with the support they need for the day. Because we all know how difficult it can be to get enough servings of veggies into these little mouths.

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In our experience MegaFood Vitamins worked best in strawberry yogurt smoothies. We simply blended frozen organic strawberries, apples, yogurt and ice with a scoop of the vitamin powder. The kids happily drank away not realizing all the additional benefits they were receiving. We also tried the immune-system support powder and will likely stick with this during cold and flu season. Tip: blend the powders with thick liquid. We did try it in orange juice but it wasn’t a success. Blending in a smoothie is really the best choice.

If you have a vitamin-hider in your house MegaFood is a great way to ensure your child gets what they need without the hassle.

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Disclaimer: I received MegaFood vitamin powders as a Moms Meet blogger. As always, these opinions are my own.

» REVIEW: NeilMed Nasal Solutions

There has been a lot of snot talk around here lately. Sinus pressure, sinus drainage… tis the season for Fall allergies and colds. Fortunately NeilMed products have us covered. We are long time Neti-Pot fans but NeilMed has recently expanded their lines with some great child friendly products for clearing the nasal passages. The Naspira provides moms and dads with a gentle way to clear up a stuffy baby and the Sinus rinse system is easy to use with school age children.

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Additionally, the NeilMed devices come with their safe and effective Sinus Rinse solution.

The solution can be used with the Neti Pot and the NeilMed SINUS RINSE The rinse is an easy squeeze bottle system that allows you to deliver the saline solution with positive pressure to clean the nasal passages thoroughly, while maintaining your head in an upright position. If you are still trying to figure out how one actually uses a Neti Pot check out this video for a through tutorial. This is why the Rinse system works a bit better than the pot for kids. You have complete control of the pressure and volume of solution, ensuring a gentle, soothing and therapeutic experience. Daily rinsing is safe and will keep your nasal passages clean, healthy and open.

Use For

  • Nasal Allergies, Dryness & Hay Fever
  • Sinus Pressure & Nasal Stuffiness
  • Nasal Symptoms from Flu & Cold
  • Nasal Irritation from Occupational & House Dust, Fumes, Animal Dander, Grass, Pollen, Smoke, etc.
  • Post Nasal Drip & Nasal Congestion

Advantages

  • Soothing, No Burning or Stinging Large Volume & Low Pressure System for Saline Nasal Irrigation, Moisturization and Daily Nasal Hygiene
  • Single piece, custom-designed rounded black cap fits any nasal opening. No push and pull components make for easy cleaning.
  • Preservative, Drug, Iodine, BPA, Gluten and Latex Free
  • Premixed Packets of USP Grade Sodium Chloride & Sodium Bicarbonate (Purity level 99% or higher)
  • Excellent cleansing prior to spraying nasal corticosteroids
  • pH Balanced & Isotonic, or Hypertonic with two or more packets
  • Smooth Flow with easy squeeze bottle
  • Empties nearly 95% in upright position
  • Suitable for use after sinus surgery and during pregnancy. Consult your physician with concerns.
  • Portable for travel

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NeilMed products can be found pretty much anywhere: Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Harmon, Kinney Drugs, Shop Rite, Brookshire’s, amazon.com, drugstore.com, and neilmed.com. They are inexpensive, drug free and extremely effective. We love using these products to keep sinus infections and pain away.

Buy on Amazon

NeilMed website

Disclaimer: I received these NeilMed products as a Moms Meet blogger. As always, these opinions are my own.

» Fighting the Flu

Last year our whole family went down hard with the flu days before we were destined for Disney. Since it’s flu season, I thought I’d share some tips on how you might recover from Influenza A. For the record, we had a complete recovery in only 2 days.

1. At first sign of illness I started everyone on Boiron Oscillococcinum. This is a homeopathic treatment, but also prevention. I picked up a family pack (30 quantity) at Walgreens and we all downed a little vial every 6 hours. They are WAY cheaper on Amazon so I suggest keeping some on hand and not going broke at Walgreens or Target. I used to keep this in the medicine cabinet but it’s been almost 6 years since any of us have had the flu so I stopped stocking it. This actually makes you feel better, it’s amazing stuff.

2. We were already taking Elderberry syrup and Fermented Cod Liver oil daily so we continued to do this. I credit a large portion of our recovery to having these things in our system already. We weren’t able to prevent the flu completely but we definitely didn’t get a super bad case! I make my own elderberry but you can grab a bottle from my friend Lori’s site on Etsy, she’s a pro. Also, if you are wondering what the heck Fermented Cod Liver Oil is and why you should take it, check out the info here.

3. We continued to eat a balanced diet, lots of dark greens, oranges and broths. Lots of hot tea, lots of water.  And lots of rest. Well, rest for everyone but me. But you know how that goes.

4. At the recommendation of my friend Michelle, who is a certified health coach, we added 50,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 for adults and 25,000 IUs for the kids. This can be used as a preventative as well, but in a lower dose- 10,000 IUs/5,000 IUs. This is obviously a HIGH amount, you would need to discontinue once you are well.

5. I mentioned hot tea earlier. We specifically love the line of teas from NUMI Organic Tea. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and they have such an extensive selection. From Jasmine Green, to Gunpowder Green, and my personal favorite Toasted Rice Green, there is so much to choose from. It’s always fun to grab a variety pack and try new teas to expand our palate.

Starting the morning with green. #numi #numiorganictea #antioxidants #greentea @numiorganictea

A photo posted by Erica Ho (@goodbye_normal) on

And that’s about it! To be real for a moment, it’s a LOT of work to keep up with all of this for 6 people. When you are using homeopathic meds and syrups you have to give them every 2, 4 or 6 hours depending on the dosage. You will constantly be rubbing something on someone or putting them in an Epsom salt bath. You’ll be boiling water for teas and heating soups. But you’ll also be taking charge of your health and caring for your family with your own two hands. Sickness can be a time to serve. We are evidence that supporting, rather than suppressing, the body’s function can many times lead to a much faster recovery.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Numi for providing us with tea to sample and review. As always, the opinions are my own.

Chiropractor: 12th Visit Update

If you have been following our quest to help Lola heal you’ll know that we’ve started seeing a chiropractor to help with her ADHD and impulse issues. Last night was our 12th visit. On the 12th visit you typically review new x-rays to check for progress, review symptoms, talk about nutrition and determine whether the care is beginning to help. In our case we were able to report a huge decrease in nervous movement and better sleep patterns. Lola is eating well so we did not need to address nutrition issues but Dr. Ben did advise to cut bananas out of morning meals as they cause a spike in blood sugar in such a small person. We are focusing on proteins like eggs and nuts. Her typical meals are high protein, green vegetables, low carbs and no dairy. We are also going to add an Organic Chlorella detox that lasts for 45 days. The chlorella binds and removes toxic heavy metal from the body, metals that Lola had high exposure to before coming home.

They say seeing is believing and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the difference in her first and second set of x-rays. The yellow circle highlights the area of improvement.

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 The spinal column is no longer jammed into the base of her skull. Dr. Ben and I were both pretty excited to see such quick results. She is responding really well to the adjustments. The earrings showing through on the X-ray are also a nice touch! I’ll continue to update on Lola’s progress and share my thoughts on the care we are receiving. So far we have nothing but love for this new addition to our lives and routine.

The Chiropractor: Popcorn Back

As promised I’m continuing to document Lola’s chiropractic journey. She is now on her third week of treatment and we are seeing some positive things. We have noticed a small change in her motion level. Especially in regards to jumping up and down. In addition to the positive behavior changes, Lola has also experienced some detox symptoms such as lethargy and diarrhea. These did not last long or affect her significantly.

We continue to have a great experience with our Living Well Chiropractic friends. They are great with kids, using phrases like “time for popcorn back” or “I’m going to make you into a pretzel, do you like your pretzels with cheese or salt?” Super cute and super relaxed for kiddos. Our visits are quick and Lola enjoys her time there. Charlotte tags along for appointments and has recently decided to be a chiropractor when she grows up, she gave me a practice adjustment yesterday. Adorable.

I will keep the updates coming! We are hopeful and excited.

>> Fighting the Flu

Three days before the highly anticipated Disney trip, Elliott’s nose started to run. Charlotte was already staying home from school because she was slightly under the weather. Their symptoms were pretty mild so I honestly didn’t think the flu was the culprit (we later found out that NINE kids in her Kindergarten class were absent because of the flu). Then Calvin called from work. Again, we are three days away from the super-duper, top-secret Disney adventure. He was achy, and sneezing, and head-achy. Oh and he had a fever, too. He came home from work to rest and after mulling it over for awhile I took Elliott to the pediatrician and sent Calvin to the local Walgreens for a flu test. They both tested positive for flu type A. At this point I was feeling okay but my calves were achy. I took that as a sign to start a preventative for myself. The next morning I went for a flu test and took the rest of the kids as well. Both Charlotte and I tested positive for flu. Lola and Liam did not, but they were exhibiting some minor symptoms and we were informed that flu tests often show a false negative. Either way, Liam and Lola never went past a stuffy nose.

Within the next 12 hours we did start to feel pretty crummy. Especially Calvin and Elliott. I was feeling well enough to keep the household moving so I put everyone to bed with quiet activities and continually sanitized surfaces and finished packing, secretly in the closet. I kept worrying about the pace I was keeping, thinking I would surely crash because rest is such an important part of recovery. Thankfully I was able to take some breaks for rest while getting things done. The point of this narrative is to ultimately tell you that we were able to make a complete recovery from Influenza A in only 2 days. Our trip was not ruined, we hit the ground running when we arrived on Saturday and did not suffer any relapses or set-backs due to illness. How did we do this? Here is the protocol we followed:

1. At first sign of illness I started everyone on Boiron Oscillococcinum. This is a homeopathic treatment, but also prevention. I picked up a family pack (30 quantity) at Walgreens and we all downed a little vial every 6 hours. They are WAY cheaper on Amazon so I suggest keeping some on hand and not going broke at Walgreens or Target. I used to keep this in the medicine cabinet but it’s been almost 6 years since any of us have had the flu so I stopped stocking it. This actually makes you feel better, it’s amazing stuff.

2. We were already taking Elderberry syrup and Fermented Cod Liver oil daily so we continued to do this. I credit a large portion of our recovery to having these things in our system already. We weren’t able to prevent the flu completely but we definitely didn’t get a super bad case! I make my own elderberry but you can grab a bottle from my friend Lori’s site on Etsy, she’s a pro. Also, if you are wondering what the heck Fermented Cod Liver Oil is and why you should take it, check out the info here.

3. We continued to eat a balanced diet, lots of dark greens, oranges and broths. Lots of warm liquids, lots of water.  And lots of rest. Well, rest for everyone but me. But you know how that goes.

4. Lastly, at the recommendation of my friend Michelle, who is a certified health coach, we added 50,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 for adults and 25,000 IUs for the kids. This can be used as a preventative as well, but in a lower dose- 10,000 IUs/5,000 IUs. This is obviously a HIGH amount, you would need to discontinue once you are well.

And that’s about it! To be real for a moment, it’s a LOT of work to keep up with all of this for 6 people. When you are using homeopathic meds and syrups you have to give them every 2, 4 or 6 hours depending on the dosage. You will constantly be rubbing something on someone or putting them in an Epsom salt bath. You’ll be boiling water for teas and heating soups. But you’ll also be taking charge of your health and caring for your family with your own two hands. Sickness can be a time to serve. We are evidence that supporting, rather than suppressing, the body’s function can many times lead to a much faster recovery.

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The Chiroprator: Lola’s Journey

Our Lola came home from China just over a year ago. She is legally blind due to sclerocornea which causes opaque corneas. Additionally, Lola struggles with ADHD and impulse/mood control. While Lola’s blindness doesn’t hold her back, her ADHD presents issues for her in daily life. We have used many natural items that help her significantly, like Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Natural Calm and most recently L-thiamine in the form of these cute little Dinosaur Chewables.

Additionally we use sensory therapy items like trampolines, balancers, chewable jewelry, you name it. We did try medication for a time but that sent her mood swings into overdrive. Diet and the supplements listed have been the most significant thing we’ve done to help Lola.

Recently Lola began to complain of headaches. Terrible headaches, that caused her to cry and scream out in pain. She doesn’t sleep well and her bathroom trips are not regular. I was really starting to worry. There had to be something else we could try.

The Chiropractor.

People have their own opinions about Chiropractors. I have personally utilized chiropractic care on many occasions. During pregnancy for sciatica, after pregnancy when everything was out of alignment and for the time when I bent down to pick up a kiddo and got stuck that way. Each time I’ve been cared for well in an education-driven environment. So yes, I love the chiropractor. But honestly I had not considered how it might help with other ailments, or how not being aligned could cause a mass of symptoms throughout your body.

I want so badly to launch into everything I’ve learned about chiropractic care and ADHD but I’m saving that for part 2 of the journey. I know there may be readers out there who are struggling with the same issues and I want to walk you through this whole thing. I plan to share our weekly visits and update on Lola’s progress while sharing every single thing I learn along the way. As a starting place I will share that at this point Lola has had her first set of x-rays (I included them below, because it’s fascinating) and had one adjustment. I’ll also tell you that with one adjustment she made a trip to the bathroom. Even more impressive, Dr. Ben said that would happen. Congrats Dr. Ben, you called it. For the first little bit we will be hanging out at Living Well Chiropractic 3 days per week.

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By the way, Lola calls the adjustment “popcorn back.”

I’ll continue to share and update and educate about our chiropractic journey once a week. I hope you’re riveted…because I am.

 

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal