Nourish Mama by Sherry Rothwell
Nourish Mama, a nutritional program by Sherry Rothwell

6 Common Causes Of Shitty Bowel Movements

Enjoy this guest post written by Emily Van Gils!

Your poop can answer a lot of questions about your health and if your body agrees with what your putting into it or not. Everything from consistency, whether or not your logs leave streaks on the toilet, and even the colour can give you hints about what you need to change so you can have satisfying bowel movements (seriously, who doesn’t love a good poo?).

So.. if you don’t look at your poop after having a bowel movement, now is a good time to start.

A healthy poop will come out in a few seconds and oddly enough will resemble the tail of a dog. However, an unhealthy poop could feel like you’re dispensing gum balls from your ass, or it could look like a sausage with lumps, be complete liquid, or mushy just like pea soup.

Causes of these poo inconsistencies vary. Depending if it’s chronic or acute, it could be..

  1. Dehydration: especially if you are constipated, have lumpy sausage shaped poop, or if your butt is acting like a gum ball dispenser.
  2. Bacteria/viral associated: usually presents as complete liquid or pea soup consistency
  3. Food intolerances: again, complete liquid or pea soup consistency
  4. Insufficient fat digestion or consumption:  can be related to lumpy sausage & gum ball shaped poop OR it could result in my next point..
  5. Dampness: usually a result of a dairy intolerance, or sugar/gluten/alcohol consumption resulting in streaks left inside the bowl after flushing. It is likely that you will have to wipe a dozen times to get all the poop off of your hole in this situation.
  6. or you could just be stressed out and need to relax. Lots of diarrhea/constipation is a result of stress!

Click here to read this article in it’s entirety!

Want to learn some tips and tricks that you can implement TODAY to strengthen your digestive system so you can relieve the distressing discomforts of IBS?

Click here to get instant access to Emily’s e-booklet ‘Dynamite Digestion: Top 10 Tips For Relieving IBS. Simple yet important practices for proper digestion so you can be free from embarrassing diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and belly pains!

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Carob vs Chocolate?

In the mood for some late night chocolate flavour without the caffeine? Watch the video to learn about the health benefits of carob vs. chocolate : )

Not sure which one is best for you, watch the video below to find out!

Now that you know which one, learn how to make your own quick and easy delicious homemade ‘chocolate’ bars!

Everyone around here LOVES this recipe (you can use chocolate or carob)!

Perfect when you want chocolate, but can’t have it. No caffeine, no theobromine and no oxalic acid.

Which one do you like better? Carob or chocolate? I love them equally!

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Sensational Soy

While in North America soy used to be reserved for hippy’s past, today soy is mainstream and these days has become controversial in the natural health community.

As an ex vegetarian, I fell in love with the versatility of tofu decades ago. As a nutrition educator, I am well aware of the arguments for and against soy.

I believe that the truth comes down to context, so let’s take a look.

October 1 002You may have heard that the Okinawans (the world’s longest-lived people), have eaten whole, organic and fermented soy foods like miso, tempeh, tofu, soy milk, and edamame (young soybeans in the pod) for more than five millennia.

Today soy is recognized as a healthy food with it’s long history of safe use in Asia.

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “Human studies on soy while limited, have demonstrated that soy may help lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, increase bone density, protect the kidneys of people with diabetes, and relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.”

It is believed that the beneficial effects come from isoflavones, which are considered weak plant (phyto) estrogens, that can block the absorption of more powerful human estrogens and harmful xenoestrogens (toxic environmental chems).

On the other hand you may have also heard that…

Soy might promote breast cancer, block thyroid function and prevent the absorption of minerals and interfere with digestion.

Here is what Dr. Hyman has to say about these concerns…..

He says that studies that show poor outcomes with soy were done with unusually high amounts of soy, much more than the average person would ever eat on a daily basis and goes on to say “breast tissue density is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. Breast tissue density increases with estrogen replacement, but decreases with isoflavone consumption in postmenopausal women. That’s a good thing.”

He says that studies also show that “Eating soy foods at an early age (childhood and the teen years) appears to have a significant protective effect against breast cancer.”

As for the impact on thyroid health, he says, “A review of the research found no significant effects of soy on the thyroid except in people who are iodine deficient — a condition that is rare in this country. Based on my assessment of this and other research, I am convinced that normal amounts of traditional soy foods pose no risk to thyroid function.”

He believes that the effects on the thyroid are not relevant unless you are deficient in iodine and that one can mitigate the effects by eating fish, seaweed or sea vegetables, or iodized salt.

Not everyone agrees…..

The Weston A. Price Association, an organization that promotes staying true to the traditional foods of our ancestors, is strictly against the use of soy products. And that’s because the way that North American’s consume soy is not in keeping with the safe and time tested traditions of Asia.

The organization stresses that soy should never be consumed without being first fermented – and then only served in small amounts, alongside animal foods like meat and iodine rich fish broth, to mitigate their goitrogenic effects, as well as to prevent mineral depletion from their naturally occurring phytic acid content.

They discourage the consumption of any unfermented soy, as they say it has been shown over and over to have many detrimental effects in animal studies.

Soy seems to be both good and bad, so which one is it?

It is very possible that negative outcomes associated with soy are based on the consumption not of the whole bean, but of SPI (soy protein isolate) and hydrolyzed soy (HVP) which is a second cousin to MSG (the soy is boiled in hydrochloric acid and then neutralized with sodium hydroxide leaving a brown powder that contains a form of MSG used by food producers as an additive to make things taste savory – in place of meat broth). SPI is the type of soy used in processed foods and meat substitutes.

According to……

“About 85 percent of the world’s soybean crop is processed into meal and vegetable oil, and virtually all of that meal is used in animal feed.  Some two percent of the soybean meal is further processed into soy flours and proteins for food use… Approximately six percent of soybeans are used directly as human food, mostly in Asia.”

Processed soy foods are made from soybean meal that has been dehulled and defatted and processed into three kinds of high protein commercial products: soy flour, concentrates, and isolates used in soy junk foods and animal feed.  Not to mention these types of soy are most often genetically modified (typically Monsanto’s Roundup Soyabeans) unless they are certified organic.

Examples of these processed and harmful soy foods include:

  • soy supplements
  • soy cheese
  • soy ice cream
  • soy oil
  • soy burgers
  • soy hotdogs
  • soy margarine

These poor quality foods don’t have the thousands of years of traditional use that whole soy foods do. Not only are they processed, but they contain unhealthy fats and other toxic additives.

Processed forms of soy can sometimes be hard to detect……

In order to avoid hidden forms of soy, you must also avoid products that list these ingredients:

  • soy protein concentrates or isolates
  • hydrolyzed
  • TSP textured vegetable or soy protein,
  • “boullion,” “natural flavor,” and “textured plant protein.”
  • Mono-diglyceride
  • Soya, Soja or Yuba
  • Lecithin
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate)

But is there a healthier form of soy?

The health benefits from soy are most likely attributed to soy consumed in moderation in a fermented form.

Fermented soy is definitely a better choice than non-fermented soy, and of course it beats out SPI and TSP by leaps and bounds.

Here is why……

Soybeans (as well as other legumes contain phytates- naturally occurring food chemicals that binds to minerals, thus reducing their absorbability).

The Asian cultures that have traditionally consumed soy, typically ferment it first thus reducing the phytic acid, and through fermentation adds extra nutrients and beneficial bacteria (probiotics).

Fermented and safe soy foods include:

  1. Miso
  2. Natto
  3. Tempeh
  4. Fermented Tofu (identifiable under the following names: fermented bean curd, sufu, tofu cheese, or preserved tofu and can be found in Asian markets)
  5. Naturally brewed soy sauce
  6. Fermented soymilk (the most recently developed and the only one to have originated in Europe in the early 1900s).

To be on the safe side, Dr. Hyman recommends limiting yourself to 2 servings a day.

But what about the minimally processed unfermented tofu and soymilk, edamame and sprouted soya?

A little every once in a while in small amounts should be fine (but only if they feel easy for your body to digest).  These foods are eaten occasionally in Asia, and specifically, sprouted soy beans have been a consistent part of the Korean diet (and seemingly so without harm).

In my home, we eat certified organic tofu occassionally (never soy milk) and first ferment it in a marinade that includes at least one ferment: traditionally brewed soy sauce and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar or Kombucha…..but we pass on both processed soy based meat alternatives and non organic tofu.

Practicing moderation, eating according to the food traditions of our ancestors and avoiding processed foods is just good common sense.


1) How Soy Can Kill You and Save Your Life by Mark Hyman, MD (article)

2) History of Fermented Soymilk and Its Products by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi (article)

3) Weston A. Price Soy Alert (webpage) and

Additional Resource:

1) The Hidden Dangers of Soy

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Why Healing the Gut fosters a Healthy Baby

Did you know that your baby is “cultured“ at Birth?

As our babies are being birthed, they are literally being “cultured“ by our vaginal flora.

“The medical science shows that the flora in the vagina comes from the gut. What lives in the woman`s bowel will live in her vagina… in women with recurrent thrush, no matter how many powerful anti fungal topical preparations are used, the thrush always comes back. Until she gets rid of it in the bowel, she is not going to be free from vaginal thrush. But why does this woman have an overgrowth of fungi in her bowel? Because she does not have a healthy gut flora to protect her from this fungus and many other microbial invaders. This woman has a condition called gut dysbiosis. She will not only have an overgrowth of Candida albicans in her gut but lots of other pathogenic microbes, causing many other health problems.“
Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition)

Babies aquire their particular microflora balance at birth through the skin, eyes and mucous membranes of their mouth and nose, as they descend through the birth canal.

What happens when moms have gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut)?

Mother passes on her own gut flora (for better or for worse) to her baby. The state of mom’s flora has the potential to either promote healthy digestion, immunity and mental capacities or it can compromise her baby’s health right from birth causing a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering for both. Click here to read the article ‘How to prevent colic, diaper rash (and more) in baby’

Besides having a history of antiobiotic use (antibiotics kill our good bacteria leaving no competiton to keep the bad or pathogenic types in check) there are many other digestive, immune and mental indications that we need to restore our bacterial balance (or inner ecosystem).

Here are some key symptoms:

□ allergies and food sensitivities
□ vaginal yeast infections
□ difficulty losing weight
□ fatigue
□ depression
□ bi polar
□ OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
□ dyslexia or dyspraxia
□ autism/aspergers
□ poor concentration
□ sugar/carb cravings
□ constipation
□ dairrhea
□ poor digestion and digestive disorders
□ acid reflux
□ sleeping poorly and night sweats
□ joint inflammation and stiffness
□ bad breath
□ gum disease and dental problems
□ frequent colds and flus
□ frequent infections
□ chronic yeast problems
□ acne
□ eczema
□ fungal infections
□ menstrual difficulties

If you suffer from 1 or many of the above symptoms you might be wondering how you can find the resources and the support you need to learn how to heal, restore or improve your current microflora balance, right?

Follow this step-by-step guide to improving your microbial balance in pregnancy:

  1. Eliminate white sugar and flour from your diet. If that sounds incredibly difficult or impossible, click here to read the article: How to get off Bread and Sugar-and by the way it is not your fault!
  2. Avoid natural sources of concentrated sugar ie: dried fruit, tropical fruits like bananas and mangoes etc. Instead include sour fruits like kiwi, berries of all kinds and green apples.
  3. Acidify your colon (good bacteria thrive in a lactic acidic rich environment)- eat plenty of cultured foods– start with the kid friendly ones if you are nervous about getting started.
  4. Eliminate all bleached, refined and deodorized fats like: margarine & vegetable oil food products like corn, soy and canola oil from your diet. Replace them with traditional fats like butter and coconut oil for baking and sauteing while using olive oil (raw only) for salad dressing.
  5. Alkalize your blood- modern people are often overfed, yet undernourished. Mineralize deficient blood by eating plenty of cooked green vegetables, crispy seeds, gelatinous bone broth and seaweeds.
  6. Take a probiotic pill with a wide variety of beneficial bacteria (10-14 or more strains) throughout your entire pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
  7. Upgrade the quality of the animal products that you consume to being antibiotic free, from compassionately raised and free range or grass fed animals.
  8. Drink, bathe and shower in water that has been filtered of chlorine (which is also unfortunately an antibiotic).

These practices must be adopted by couples planning to conceive, and by pregnant and breastfeeding women -and moms seeking to prevent common childhood disorders such as asthma, eczema, colic and tummy aches while promoting optimal immune health in their developing baby and children.

For people who don’t have severe digestive problems or a long history of antibiotic use, the aforementioned recommendations will be adequate to restore the gut flora in most cases.

However, in more severe situations such as autism, IBS and other chronic or persistent cases of digestive distress and mental illness, the family must in addition adhere to a grain free diet for 6 months to 2 ½ years to restore the gut back to its optimal state of health.

For more information about how to get started on that path check out our private consulting services or ‘Getting Started with GAPS’ e-course.

Want to learn more?
1) Watch Dr. Natasha Campbell Mc Bride chat about gut health.

What should you do now, if you didn’t know about this before having your kids? These same steps apply for anyone who suffers from microbial imbalance. It is never too late to improve your own and your family’s health!

Want to learn more and how to make cultured foods at home that please even the kids (and kids at heart)? If you said yes, then check out our Cultured Kids e-course page where we show you a video of how we transform a standard North American lunch into a wholesome probiotic feast!!!


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Want to get off sugar? (but not really)


You know this about sugar right?:

1) Sugar makes you fat.
2) Sugar wreaks havoc on your hormones.
3) Sugar makes you moody.
4) Sugar ages you.
5) Sugar increases inflammation
6) Sugar elevates your risk for developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease

While we know that all of this is true, it doesn’t make a bit of difference does it, when you feel the urge to reach for a candy bar or bag of chips (I know, you thought you were a salt person- but the truth is, potato chips metabolize just like sugar anyways. Busted!).

You see, the thing is that most of us are motivated by instant gratification.

The pleasure of sugar in the moment, outweighs the future health risks, right? And that’s why sheer willpower, diet plans and the very best intentions don’t work when it comes to sugar.

The truth is, when you eat sugar, it stimulates the release of dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure- essentially making your brain crave more.

Did you know that heroine, morphine and sugar all stimulate the same receptors in your brain? 

That gives it some perspective, huh? Makes it a whole lot easier to see why it is so hard to get off sugar and why so many people are in denial.

If you are willing to admit that you are addicted to sugar, there is a part of you that WANTS TO get off sugar, and there is a part of you that DOESN’T WANT TO.

You feel conflicted, right?

You probably don’t trust yourself to even try, but there is also a part of you that is gently whispering ‘you can do it’, no?

I hear that and that is why we’ve developed a sugar detox that doesn’t force you to rely on your willpower (details below).

“Yeah but”, I bet you are wondering, “Will this just be another one of those things that I’ll try ‘half ass’ but never really get into”?

If you are nodding your head, you’ve hit the point of futility.

But, here is the Truth. In every decision you make, you are either moving toward better health or away from it. Don’t ever give up on you!!

Believe in yourself and that you are worth taking a chance on!

The thing is, even if you only implement 1/4 of what we share with you, you will still make significant gains toward your best health.

I don’t know any mom who wouldn’t welcome more energy and an increased sense of well-being. That’s a priceless commodity!

Here’s the solution we provide:

1) Move toward your goal of getting off sugar as fast or as slow as you want (yes, slow is good too -remember, slow and steady wins the race).

2) Follow our 3-step method that shows you how to replace, reduce and relax about sugar (this is not about becoming a militant sugar ‘avoider’).

3) Learn to feed your body, brain and spirit to ‘purge the urge’ for sugar-we will show you how!

4) Listen to what your body is trying to tell you (we will help you discover your unique craving complex so that you can eat your way to normalizing your desire for sugar).

5) Knowledge, motivation and inspiration to get started and stay on the horse (including a private Facebook group with the other participants so that you have all of us to support you and help you stay accountable to the goals that you set for yourself).

6) What you will learn in this program will not only get you off the sugar roller coaster, but you will learn extremely important distinctions about food that medical/educational institutions and the media are NOT telling you (crucial stuff you’ll want to know).

7) Plus, everything we share (and the order in which we deliver it) is designed to get you off sugar without trying (you see, there is no reason to feel futility in this program- you can’t fail because you won’t be trying!)

Finally, this isn’t just about getting off of sugar, it is about a paradigm shift. Let us elevate you to a new and exciting way of relating to yourself and the world.

Alright – are you ready? Click here. Registration ends soon.


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Think you’re not addicted to sugar? Think again.

Do you think that sugar isn’t an issue for you just because you don’t have a ‘sweet tooth’?eatin-cotton-candy

If you can easily say ‘no’ to cake, cookies, chocolate bars and the like, you might be under the assumption that you couldn’t possibly be addicted to sugar.

BUT, if you can’t say ‘no’ to any or all of the following (or if you can’t imagine enjoying life without them) then I hate to break you the news, you ARE a sugar addict.

  • Bread
  • Juice
  • Crackers
  • Wine/Alcohol
  • Chips
  • Cereal
  • Processed foods
  • Ketchup etc.

While the aforementioned foods may not actually be ‘white sugar’ they either contain it or are metabolized just like it (hence why you can’t imagine enjoying food without them).

The benefits of getting off sugar go far beyond balancing your blood sugar and the good bacteria in your gut.

  • You get to heal the insulin resistance you didn’t know you had – and the subsequent digestive distress and hormonal havoc that come with it – so that you can stop losing your mind (and your hair!).
  • You can finally be free of your weight woes, get your glow back and feel ‘foxy’ instead of frumpy!
  • You can stop ‘drying out’, puffing up and aging fast.

But how you say?! How can I possibly give up these foods and still enjoy life?

You can. And I will share how in this complimentary ‘Sweet Life without Sugar’ training call.

Let’s face it sugar is super addictive.

I bet you’ve tried to get off it before, but it calls you back.

That’s because we are physiologically programmed to want sugar….the problem is, we’ve never before in history had access to concentrated sources of sugar the way we do now.

You haven’t evolved quick enough to be able to handle so much sugar, although if you are of European descent, you might be able to get away with it for longer than those of us who have a family background that is African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander American.

But even if you can get away with it for longer, who would want to with all the side affects? Like….

  • lowered immunity
  • weight gain
  • nutrition deficiency (when you fill yourself up with sugar, you are displacing the nutrients your body needs)
  • cardiovascular disease
  • fatty liver
  • metabolic syndrome
  • digestive distress
  • hormonal havoc
  • your hair falling out
  • aging fast
  • chronic ear aches
  • yeast infections
  • fungal infections

Really, this is the short list of health issues that overconsumption of sugar contributes to.

But we already know that sugar is not good for us.

We just can’t stop ourselves because of the instant pleasure gratification and subsequent crashes that keep us wanting more.

So how is what I am sharing with you going to even help in the face of that!?

The truth is, you CAN get off the sugar addiction cycle without giving up your favourite foods, simply by pressing reset on what your body craves through simple dietary shifts that will help you stop craving ‘the crap’ (without willpower).

Here’s how you can reduce your sugar intake by leaps and bounds (without having to use willpower or deprivation):

  • Step 1: Swap your artificial sweeteners  with the natural non-toxic ones.
  • Step 2: Upgrade the quality of the sugar in your kitchen from white sugar to the best natural sugars available (and no agave syrup is not in that category).
  • Step 3: Transform your baking into nutrient dense delights (instead of eating nutrient and energy depleting ones) using 3 simple ingredient upgrades.
  • Step 4: Learn to adopt simple Chinese medicine principles and watch your cravings disappear.
  • Step 5: Eat the right fats- the ones that will actually satiate you (so that you forget about sugar).
  • Step 6: Discover your unique craving complex (what’s really driving those cravings and how to meet your nutritional deficiencies).
  • Step 7: Infuse your body with deep nutrition (give yourself a nutrient infusion, body reset and rejuvenation of your taste buds) so that you can experience what it is like to be fully nourished into freedom from sugar cravings and enjoy the natural flavour of real food. *When you eat sugar, table salt and processed food, your taste buds become so numbed out, that real nutritious food tastes boring and bland – but I promise you don’t have to give up the sweet, creamy rich comfort foods you love!

If your sugar addiction is mild or you don’t have insulin resistance, the aforementioned steps will probably alone get you to a place where you can eat sugar in moderation, with out feeling the need to binge on it.

However, if you have any hypoglycemia, hormone havoc, digestive distress, candida or any of the other symptoms I mentioned earlier, then you’ll want to get in on the complimentary ‘Sweet Life without Sugar’ call!

Or if you can’t wait and need to deal with this now before the holidays sweep you up in a sugar craze, then you’ll want to grab the Delish Diet Starter Kit, where I will walk you step-by-step through what you need to do, so that you actually do it (just knowing it, isn’t doing it!).

This is about sustainable changes.

I could rile you all up to get off sugar tomorrow, but then you’d be back on it next week.

That’s why the Delish Diet program is actually less about detoxing from sugar and more about what to eat exactly to allow your sugar cravings to drop away – while feeling more satiated and satisfied by what you eat than you have ever felt before – guilt free!

Best of all, while you are making the transition to sugar free, I have a ton of sweet recipes for you, so that you can still have your cake and eat it too!

We won’t simply be using willpower or psychology to change your behavior, but you are actually going to transform your physiology – so that you naturally desire more satiating foods that have staying power.

We’ll use nourishment to get you there, not deprivation or willpower!

People who crave sugar in any or all of its many of guises have a physiological craving.

If that is you, your body is literally driving you to eat sugar- and it is not your fault.

But you can get off the track and best of all, it is not even hard if you know how to do it right!

If you are ready to learn how to detox the hidden sources of sugar in your life, decode your cravings and add more nourishment to your life, then you are invited to come long with me and step into a craving-free version of yourself.

Imagine being able to get through the holidays without a sugar hang over? It is easy when you’ve got the tools.

Grab the starter kit to get them!

Still not convinced that you eat too much sugar? Get on this call and I’ll prove it to you!

I too thought I didn’t even eat sugar, but boy was I wrong!


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Why you should put that detox kit back on the shelf and do this instead.

Have you ever bought one of those health food store detox kits?

If you know me well, you know that for many years I worked in the health food store industry. You might be surprised to learn that in all that time, I never once went on a ‘cleanse in a box’.

One thing that I know about detox (with a lot of experience customizing my own food based cleanses) is that you can add as many herbs and supplements as you want to a cleansing regime, but if you don’t make specific fundamental shifts in your diet and lifestyle at the same time, any benefits you get from the program will be short lived at best.

I am serious. You are wasting your money.

The thing is, you can spend your money on a short lived product or invest in a life changing experience.

It’s true. When you expect results in a bottle you end up spending money (yip, you can put that in the expenses category), whereas when you invest in a sustainable lifestyle and paradigm shifting experience, the return on your investment is priceless.

Anyone who is serious about getting off sugar, junk food, cleansing or healing their body is much better off investing in a health program (or healing retreat) where you can get the support, feedback and accountability of a group or mentor.

Most of us know what to do to help ourselves, but the fact is we just don’t do it. The best laid intentions and plans soon crumble when essential pieces are missing from the equation.

Plus, getting ‘unstuck’ in the places that we are stuck, often requires good coaching and a multifaceted approach that includes other aspects of our lives (beyond the kitchen) that need to be addressed, before we can shift and transform our way of being with food.

There are also the simple sustainable changes that we often overlook. If we saw them, it would take ‘hard’ out of the picture for us (an objective coach is essential in helping us uncover the things that we don’t know, we don’t know).

And there are certain structures and systems that we must put in place and become immersed in, for lasting transformation (yes, there are systematic and structured ways of getting organized around food that make eating healthy effortless)!

One thing that is typical of people who overcome their ‘processed food addictions’ (bet you can’t think of one person addicted to raw broccoli!) and heal from disease is that they often have a paradigm shift in the process that elevates and evolves literally every aspect of their lives.

Now you can’t get that from a pill or in a box, but you sure can from real caring people who can hold your hand and show you the way- but only if you are ready for the journey of course- what you put in, you get out.

So if you were thinking of just doing one of those cleansing kits, do you REALLY want to ‘just pop pills’ or do you want to make craving junk and sugar a thing of the past, so that you can take it or leave it (no issue)?

Now like I said, put that detox box, back on the shelf and git yer self in a program  : )

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Essential Oil Scented Epsom Salt Baths

Not being much of a crafty mom, I am always on the look out for something crafty-functional that serves both as play and as something useful again later.

This New Year’s morning, Jasmine and I went out for a girl date and I while we were enjoying our hot chocolate & coffee, I started thinking ahead to what we could do at home to continue our date just a little bit longer.

With Shoppers Drug Mart being the only place open on New Year’s day, it occurred to me that we could prepare some aromatherapy Epsom salts baths by simply stirring in essential oils then storing them in glass canning jars.

This fast, easy craft is sure to tantalize the senses of both moms and kids!

Read on to learn how and why to make your own both nourishing and detoxifying bath salts at home.

Why do it:

1) It is a simple, fast, rewarding, sensory and health enriching activity that your kids will love!

2) It will nourish the whole family (many of us are actually deficient in magnesium, plus magnesium helps us absorb calcium). Magnesium is also way better absorbed through the skin, than through digestion.

3) It is a gentle detoxifier that is safe for the whole family.

4) Reduces inflammation and muscle pain.

5) Helps relieve stress by nourishing the adrenals, as well as sedating and toning the nervous system.

6) It makes bath time luxurious and fun!

7) According to the Epsom Salt Industry Council, it has all the same benefits associated with magnesium supplementation (improves the body’s ability to use insulin, increases heart and circulatory health, reduces irregular heartbeats, prevents hardening of the arteries, reduces blood clots and lowers blood pressure, prevents migraines, improves mood, concentration and digestion all the while helping you sleep better).

8) Sulphate triggers the pancreas to release digestive enzymes, helps form proteins in joints, brain tissue and mucin proteins (the cells that secrete mucous along the digestive tract).

.How to make it:

Step 1: Put 2 cups of magnesium sulphate in a bowl.

Step 2: Add 10-20 drops of your favourite essential oil that is safe for skin application.

Step 3: Mix with a wooden spoon.

Step 4: Put in a half quart canning jar and store in an easily accessible place in the bathroom.

How to use it:

Dissolve 2 cups epsom salts in a bath (only 1 cup or less for children) that is as hot as you can tolerate. Soak for a minimum of 12 minutes.

Do this up to 3 times per week to replenish magnesium or to detoxify.

Since magnesium is so well absorbed through the skin, please do not exceed this amount excess magnesium can be fatal.

Do not let children drink the bathwater as magnesium sulphate is a laxative when taken internally.


If you prefer not to use the synthesized form of magnesium, you can use the magnesium derived from the sea although it is more costly and less accessible.


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How I Avoided Antibiotics and a Root Canal Twice.

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There have been two times in my life where I was told that I needed a root canal. The first time was when I told a conventional dentist my symptoms over the phone and the second time it was advice from a reluctant, but well meaning biological dentist.

The first time it happened, I started with a toothache very late at night that hurt so freakin’ bad I was ready to take myself to the hospital because I wanted nothing more in that moment than to have my tooth ripped out…..I rocked back in forth in bed like a crazy women in a straight jacket while my husband coached me to breathe myself back to sleep (thank god, b/c who knows what path I would have taken had I arrived in emergency that night). So by focusing on my breath I somehow fell asleep during the most physically painful experience that I have ever had in my life (and yes, this is after giving birth….I’d take birth over a toothache like that anyday).

So the next morning soon after getting up, I discovered that if I held cold water in my mouth, there was no pain. So I proceeded to try to work like that until I couldn’t take it any longer and finally called a dentist, who insisted that I come in Monday morning for a root canal.

Well, I kind of flipped out internally thinking it was too odd to be diagnosed over the phone and scheduled for surgery, when no one had even looked at my tooth! I figured that since I still had a day and a half ahead of me, that I better get to the drugstore and get some advil. Once the painkillers set in and I could think clearly again, I logically concluded that if I was experiencing pain and inflammation then clearly I must have an infection, so why not work to clear the infection like I would any other? So I simply gargled with water and unrefined sea salt, took colloidal silver and applied tea trea oil to the tooth and clove oil, each at least three times a day, while taking calcium flouride tissue salt ( a homeopathic mineral salt). By monday, I didn’t need to take the advil anymore and that is in fact the end of the story. The tooth has not given me one bit of grief since. That was 9 years ago.

Fast forward 5 years later, I am in a very stressful time in my life (we are moving AGAIN half way across the country), I am in the middle of a liver gall bladder cleanse and suddenly one of my top molars starts aching….I look and I see this blister forming on my gum above the tooth. Oh shit, here we go again!

And just to add to my stress, my son and my roomates daughter both have huge cavities and gum boils at the same time as I have mine! What the?

My roommate follows the conventional advice. Her daughters tooth gets pulled and she need some other thousand dollar contraption to keep her teeth from moving inward toward the new hole.

I drive an hour and half to the closest city at the time to see a biological dentist for myself and my son. I am just not a conventional route kind a gal. By this time I’ve already treated myself the exact same way that I did to recover my tooth the first time and the pain is gone already, but the blister still there. But without pain, I assume I must be on the mend. Yet I need to know what the heck is going on with us and I seek out the most holistic dentist I can find.

We get there and this dentist is absolutely amazing in terms of the personalized service and genuine care that she exudes..I am expecting to be in and out, but she’s so lovely she’s starts by focusing her energy on developing a relationship with us-to the point that I am worried that my car is gonna get towed! So after all the fun and games, she recommends that my son and I start swishing with H2O2, that he gets a filling and that I get myself on some antibiotics and be on my way to a good old fashioned root canal. She is sure that since I can’t feel the pain anymore, my tooth must be dead!

I guess even holistic dentists don’t believe that a tooth infection can heal….I dunno. I really don’t get why every other part of the body can heal, except for the teeth (even though they are a living matrix)…it just doesn’t make sense. But still, she’s a dentist… she has got to know something about teeth that I don’t and she carries a holistic worldview.  If there is any dentist I would trust, after the whole experience in her office, it would be her…..but my gut said no.

It said no to the filling for Isaiah’s gaping cavity and no for antibiotics and no to a root canal (FYI- biological dentists in general, do not recommend root canals because they can harbour infections that can later cause other health problems down the road…..but she said since I was so young and healthy, she thought I could personally handle it…she didn’t want to see me with a missing tooth).

Now listen, it is not as though I went forward in complete confidence….her strong urgings to get me on antibiotics definately rattled me…I did my research and saw all the warnings about tooth infections… while I was nervous about the possibility that she could be right and that I could be walking around with a dead tooth with the potential at any minute to harbour a dangerous infection, I did what any person who equally feared death, as much as they had a strong distaste for the misuse of modern medicine would do…..I bought the antibiotics and I put them way up high on the back of the shelf in the bathroon, just in case… and then I carried on with my hippy ways.

In addition to all of the above supplements, I took a MANY prong approach (and I did this all for my son too) to finally heal the gum boils:
1) I took anti infection supplements ( oil of oregano, goldenseal and colloidal silver 1 Tbsp, 3 times per day for 10 days instead of antibiotics)
2) I took herbs and supplements to boost my immune system (echinacea, vit.c and probiotics)
3) I swished with sea salt, tea tree oil and H2O2
4) I took tooth builders (calcium/magnesium in homeopathic form, plus the 12 Tissue Salts with extra Calcium Flouride (this is the form of flouride that occurs in food naturally (ie: cabbage and cauliflower) as opposed to the sodium flouride the toxic waste  industrial waste by product). Plus I took lots of silicea gel!
5) I took herbal and homeopathic blood cleansers.
6) We chewed Xylitol gum which suprisingly seemed to speed things a long (but be cautious as it can cause tummy aches if overdone).
7) I looked up the metaphysical cause of gum boils and tooth infections and it turned out to be in line with what was occuring for me at the time. I journalled all of it out of me.

What happened? Within 10 days, both of our gum boils started opening up and draining. Isaiah’s gum sealed up soon after, mine took about 3 months, maybe longer while I kept up with the supplements. The tooth has given me no trouble since, save that it would start acting up again…if I ate ice cream, I’d get a 8-12 hour toothache.

But this summer I dared once to have ice cream, and guess what? No toothache!

Think this kind of approach is for you?

One must be self responsible to do this….you can’t be half ass about these kinds of things, and you have to make sure you have all your bases covered….build up nutrition, increase immune system, fight infection and keep your blood clean….deal with your emotional stuff if that resonates… you can see it took quite a bit of self responsibility on my part and a committment to faithfully take the supplements consistently.

But I was highly motivated…hmm take supplements or suffer root canal….fear can sometimes be a great motivator! And yes, vanity too….who wants to lose a tooth?

It takes a lot of courage and committment to heal from something, when the world thinks you can’t. Address your health challenges from as many angles as you can. If it empowers you, buy the antibiotics and leave them on the shelf… whatever it takes to quell your anxiety so that you can relax and heal… thinking back, I am pretty sure that I did progressive relaxation, and I know that I took New Roots Herbal Chill Pills….it was a lot of stress for me to be handling both my own tooth challenge and my son’s at the same time….worry, worry, worry…..but in the end, my instincts outweighed my fears.

Since our family has upgraded from a whole foods vegetarian diet to a traditional foods diet over the past three years, our teeth have been good.

After my son’s tooth infection healed, even though he only had half a tooth left from his cavity….I kept him on both of the above mentioned tissue salts, and the tooth did not decay any further AND  I watched it faithfully for about another 2 and half years. It fell out to reveal a healthy adult tooth underneath.

I only recommend this approach to parents who are seriously committed to making sure they are doing what needs to be done, to make sure that the tooth is not decaying further. One cannot be “sorta” doing self dentistry or self healing of any kind really.

For those interested in self dentistry, here are two sources that may reveal what you are looking for:

I am more than willing to answer any questions that you might have about this approach. Write your questions or comments below.

Update: November 12th. We just entered the winter season and a very busy time and my tooth started feeling “off” again (first time in just about over a year ….not painful, just this empty pulling sensitive feeling, like my tooth was a bit loose and a bit “long”, plus a sense of tension in my jaw. I started my usual regimen of silver and calcium magnesium. Since I was also getting shooting pains in my ears (that cleared up with homeopathic belladonna of course), but I started to wonder if there was a connection between my tooth and my ears, and if there was an infection starting. And then it occurred to me that we just entered Kidney season in Chinese Medicine. Kidney rules the teeth, adrenal glands and ears. So I had the thought to drink licorice tea for my adrenals and it took the sensation away in 5 minutes!!  I went to bed, woke up fine….after a few hours felt it starting again, and then drank more tea and it went away officially. Throughout this week, when I have felt the sensation of that empty, deficient feeling in my jaw, I just drink the tea and feel good. Today, 5 days later I haven’t needed the tea at all and everything feels well and good.

So it seems that feeding and nourishing the adrenals is another excellent way to respond to tooth troubles…..and this weekend, I am getting some high vitamin butter/cod liver oil combination which has helped many heal their teeth from cavities and such (I am at the Weston A Price conference in Dallas, Texas)!

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