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Easy Peasy Homemade Mayo

Easy Peasy Homemade Mayo

Making your own healthy homemade mayonnaise has never been so easy! This foolproof method is a total game changer. Stick with me and you will never purchase store bought mayo ever again! 

Let's face it, if you are a creamy dressing, mayo obsessed person (ahem...like me) BUT also a health consicious person (again, me) then you have probably had a really hard time finding a mayo in the store that fits your needs. 

Once you try this recipe, you will be blown away at how easy it is to make your own homemade mayo that you will never need to buy a store brand again. 

The only equipment you need is a hand immersion blender which can be found at almost all grocery stores. Picture below so you know what to look for. I love to use this hand blender for pureeing soups as well! 


Let's get right to the details so you can start making your own mayo ASAP! 


  • 1 glass jar, which you will use to both make AND store the mayo. Make sure that you use tall jar with an opening that’s just wide enough to accommodate your immersion blender. I prefer to use a pint sized wide mouth mason jar or a 2 cup measuring container.
  • An immersion blender as pictured above. This is the magical appliance that will make your mayonnaise whip up SO easily. And no, a normal blender won't work..I have tried and failed. 


  • One WHOLE large or extra-large fresh egg (size does matter here. Make sure you use a large or extra-large egg)
  • One egg YOLK, yes yolk only. 
  • One cup extra light tasting olive oil*, liquid (no flavor) coconut oil or avocado oil (my preference).
  • 1 tsp of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with "the mother" OR my preferred raw ACV- Fire Cider
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • OPTIONAL flavors: raw garlic cloves (my fave for the added health benefits), siracha, rosemary, thyme, any herb really. The sky is the limit to the mayo flavors! 

*About the oil, it’s VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU USE light tasting olive oil and NOT full flavor. The latter is way too strong for mayonnaise! You could, however, sub avocado oil or no flavor liquid coconut. I prefer Chosen Foods Avocado Oil for the most nuetral flavor. 


  • Add all the ingredients to your glass jar and let them sit for a few seconds, just long enough for the eggs to settle at the bottom of the jar, underneath the oil.
  • Insert your immersion blender and push it all the way down until it makes contact with the bottom of the jar.
  • Push the power button and do not move the blender AT ALL for a full 30 seconds. Almost like magic, you’ll see the oil start to emulsify and turn into a thick creamy concoction, slowly making its way all the way to the top of the jar.
  • After 30 seconds, the transformation should be pretty much complete, so start moving your blender around and up and down just to make sure that every last bit of oil gets well incorporated as my video shows below. 

The beautiful thing about making your own mayo is now you can easily make your own ranch too. Ranch Recipe located HERE



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3 easy steps to homemade kombucha

How to make Homemade Kombucha

Have you ever wondered how to make kombucha – the gut loving healthy fermented tea? It is so easy, cheap and fun to make. You won't need any fancy ingredients or equipment to get started. I am breaking down the basics of everything you need to know below. Let's Brew!


Making homemade kombucha has three steps:

  1. Make SCOBY (1 to 4 weeks) – to make the “mother”
  2. First Fermentation (7 to 10 days) – make the actual kombucha tea
  3. Second Fermentation (3 to 10 days) – to carbonate (make fizzy) the kombucha tea


The SCOBY  (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) pictured above is a pellicle that forms on top of the tea brew. The SCOBY is the “mother” that jumpstarts each batch while simultaneously protecting the kombucha from contaminants like dust. You can buy a ready-made SCOBY online, but it’s easy to make it yourself so why not?


  • 7 cups water
  • 4 bags organic black tea
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup unflavored, unpasteurized store bought kombucha


  • A large 1 gallon glass container (pickle jars work great!)
  • Tightly woven cloth (coffee filter, cheesecloth, papertowels)
  • Rubberbands
  • Large pot for boiling water


1. Make Sweet Tea: Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the sugar into it, stir until dissolved. Add the tea bags and allow them to steep for at least 20 minutes (or until tea has cooled).

2. Cool to Room Temp: Allow hot tea to cool to room temperature. This is a very important step that you don't want to skip. If you add the store bought kombucha into the warm or hot tea it will pasteurize (aka kill) the starter. 

3. Add Starter: Pour the room temp sweetened tea into your jar, then pour store-bought kombucha in, making sure to include any floaties that may be at the bottom of the kombucha bottle. These are perfect for kickstarting the fermentation!

4. Cover: Cover with a few layers of the tightly woven cloth to keep out dust but still allowing your tea to "breathe", securing with a rubber band.

5. Ferment: Set somewhere room temperature (70-75 degrees F) for at least 1 week and up to 4 weeks, until a ¼ inch SCOBY has formed.

6. Go to 1st Fermentation: You have yourself a SCOBY! The SCOBY should be alive and do well for years if treated well. Keep the SCOBY in this liquid until you are ready to use the SCOBY for the next step, which is the 1st fermentation.


  • Only black tea: The SCOBY won't grow well with herbal or green teas, it needs some caffeine to thrive in the beginning. Once your SCOBY is larger you can use herbal or green tea (which is what I do), but for creating the scoby stick with black tea. 
  • No honey: Honey can contain botulism bacteria that, when grown exponentially as bacteria and yeast tend to do in kombucha, can be dangerous. You can use honey in the second fermentation, once there are a higher number of good bacteria to fight off the bad, but for now, stick to sugar.

Here is a picture of a really healthy SCOBY:



Now that you have a SCOBY let's get the fermentation rolling! The first fermentation is where you actually create the kombucha that you’ll be drinking!


  • 14 cups water 
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 8 bags black or green tea
  • 2 cups unflavored kombucha (either from a previous batch or unpasteurized, unflavored store bought kombucha)
  • 1 SCOBY


  • A large 1 gallon glass container like an old pickle jar
  • Tightly woven cloth (cheese cloth, coffee filters, paper towels, etc...)
  • Rubberbands
  • Large pot for boiling water


1. Make Tea: Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and dissolve sugar into it. Add the tea bags and allow them to steep until the tea has cooled to room temperature. 

2. Cool to Room Temp: Again, Don’t be impatient here – hot water will murder your SCOBY

3. Empty the Jar: With very clean hands, transfer SCOBY to an equally clean plate. If this is your first round of kombucha, reserve 2 cups of the liquid the SCOBY was growing in (that can be your starter kombucha), discarding the rest of the liquid (it is very acidic and not nice for drinking).

4. Add Starter: Pour the sweetened tea into your jar, then pour in unflavored starter kombucha. With clean hands, place SCOBY into jar.

5. Cover: Cover with a few layers of the tightly woven cloth and secure with a rubber band.

6. Ferment: Set the jar somewhere at room temperature (70-75 degrees) for 6 to 10 days. Begin tasting at about 6 days by gently drawing out some of the tea with a clean spoon. It should be slightly sweet and mildly vinegary. The warmer the air temperature, the faster the kombucha will ferment. The longer the tea ferments, the more sugar molecules will be eaten up, the less sweet it will be.

7. Go to 2nd Fermentation: Reserve 2 cups from this batch to use as starter kombucha for your next batch (just leave it in the jar with SCOBY). The rest can move into the second and final fermentation.


  • Other teas can be used in this step! You are free to experiment with green, white, oolong, or herbal tea. I personally love using our allergy tea blend! In the beginning herbal teas should be mixed with a few black tea bags to ensure the SCOBY gets what it needs to thrive. Once I have an established scoby after a couple of uses I only use herbal tea since I don't prefer to consume caffeine. 
  • Large SCOBY? When the SCOBY gets to be around an inch thick, you can peel off a few layers to create a second SCOBY (use it to create another batch or gift it to a friend!). You can also get a SCOBY hotel going as pictured below! I have an awesome SCOBY hotel.



In my opinoin this is the most fun step in the kombucha making process! The second fermentation is where the real magic happens, flavoring and carbonating your kombucha into bubbly goodness. 


  • Homemade kombucha from the first fermentation
  • Sweetener (fruit, honey, or sugar). There are SO many flavor combinations but as general rule work with a ratio of 1 cup kombucha to:  
    • 1 to 2 Tbsp fruit or fruit juice (although I have been known to use up to 1/2 cup of blueberries)
    • 1 to 2 tsp honey or sugar


You just need some flip top fermentation bottles as pictured above for the second fermentation. These bottles are meant for fermentation and have an airtight seal, which will prevent carbonation from escaping. If you don’t have these, canning jars will do an decent job but won't get it near as carbonated since they aren't fully airtight, but I use them in a pinch. 


1. Bottle: Funnel kombucha into bottles, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top (3.8 cm).

2. Sweeten: Add your chosen sweetener (fruit or sweetner) and seal tightly.

3. Ferment: Let ferment somewhere dark and at room temp for 3 to 10 days.

4. Serve: If desired, strain out fruit before serving (I often freeze the fruit to eat later). Place in fridge to slow the carbonation process.


  • Blast Off: Your jars can explode if the pressure becomes too high! For your first few batches while you’re still getting the hang of how kombucha reacts to your environment, bottle a portion of it in a plastic bottle. This will act as a gauge for the others; when the plastic bottle is rock solid, the rest are probably done. “Burp” them by opening each to release some pressure, then place them in the refrigerator to slow fermentation.
  • Faster Fermentation: Be aware that the kombucha will ferment more quickly when it is warmer and when there is more sweetner. It will ferment slower in the opposite conditions!


  • Fresh or Frozen Bluberries with fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp- 1/4 cup of our elderberry and honey tonic
  • Fresh or Frozen Strawberries with fresh mint
  • Blood orange and fresh rosemary
  • Frozen dragonfruit and cucumbers
  • For a spicy mix I do 2-3 inch fresh raw turmeric, dash of ground cayenne pepper, 1 inch fresh raw ginger and a little bit of molasses for the sugar
  • 1/2 an apple cubed, 2 ceylon cinnamon sticks

You can eat the fruit after it's fermented as well, I usually freeze it for later! 

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Local Honey- cure all for allergies?

Local Honey- cure all for allergies?

The women in my family line have suffered with allergies for as long as I can remember. My maternal grandmother's nose runs like a faucet 24/7-365 days a year. My mother has a chronic cough that is triggered by allergies and since she is allergic to EVERYTHING, she coughs..a lot. And I get it in the form of awful sinus pressure, headaches and a strange "inflamed brain" sensation. Thanks genetics.
So is local, raw and unfiltered honey a cure all for us?
Oh how I wish it were. For the past several years I have used raw unfiltered honey that is harvested for that particular allergy season (spring honey in the spring, fall honey in the fall for those specific allergens, etc...) and I am sad to report that I saw zero improvement in my allergies based on honey alone. Studies with actual people bear this out. For a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in 2002, scientists gave a jar of honey to each of 36 seasonal-allergy sufferers and asked them to eat one tablespoon a day for 30 weeks (seven and a half months) while keeping a record of their allergy symptoms. Unbeknownst to the participants, a third of them got local unpasteurized and unfiltered honey, another third got a national brand of filtered clover honey, and the control group got a placebo: corn syrup laced with artificial honey flavoring. At the end of the study, neither of the honey groups saw any improvement in their symptoms over the placebo group." (1)
Why doesn't honey work for everyone?
This article explains it really well, "The logic goes like this: During an allergic reaction, your body’s defenses overreact in response to an allergen, causing you to swell and tear up and sneeze. For some, that allergen is pollen. And bees, as we all know, use pollen to make honey. By exposing yourself to a low dose of the very thing you’re allergic to, you’re helping your body develop a tolerance and stop freaking out every time you’re exposed to it. Sweet deal, right?
Except for one thing: That scenario is totally, utterly wrong.
First of all, bees do not make honey from pollen. Bees make honey from nectar. Yes, pollen gets stuck to their legs in the process, which is how they pollinate the next flower they land on. But when it comes to the actual honey-making, pollen is but an “accidental guest” to the party. The amount of pollen in honey is minuscule and not enough to impact the nutrient value”—around 0.1 to 0.4 percent, according to the National Honey Board."(2)
In addition to the above, the vast majority of seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees and grasses in the summer and ragweed in the fall. In fact, the entire reason you're plagued by pollen during these seasons is that these trees and grasses are wind pollinators that release their pollen into the air. Bees generally pollinate plants that don't have the right equipment to let the wind do the work. (1)
So do we ditch raw honey all together?
Of course not. Raw honey is still extremely beneficial to your health in so many ways. It is anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and it's great for fighting infections. So that raw honey you are consuming is actually really good for you - so keep it up! But if you are paying outrageous prices for a local honey specifically for allergies, you might want to reconsider where you spend your valuable $. If you are a hardcore allergy suffer like I am, and you are allergic to much more than pollen, you will most likely need to have some other allergy treatments in your back pocket. Of course, if you believe local honey is helping your allergies then by all means keep rolling with it! It might be helping you because you believe it is, the placebo effect is a strong and real thing!
What in this allergen polluted world can we do then?
Man, I feel you. The headaches, the fatigue, the sneezing/itchy/watering eyes. It is MISERABLE. I have tried almost everything under the sun to get mine under control. See the unflattering picture below...it's an actual picture of my allergy test results for mold about one second after it was given. What you can't see in the picture is how it felt like my arm was on FIRE and was itching like crazy. The full results? I am allergic to literally everything. I wish I would have taken more pictures because it got much much worse. Dust mites, dogs/cats, trees, grass, mold, pollen...it's not a good diagnosis. And it's probably a huge reason why honey doesn't even begin to touch or handle my allergy symptoms- because I am allergic to WAY more than just pollen (and most people are). I tried allergy shots and antihistamines for a solid year and a half and they didn't help either.
Another real life, unflattering picture of me suffering from a major sinus headache five years ago. At the time I was working in a stuffy building (I literally didn't have an air vent in my office) and my allergies were off the charts. My headaches were constant all day everyday, and I would shut my door- put an ice pack on my head with an ace bandage to hold it in place (I now know they make fancy ice packs specifically for your head) and try to get some work done through the fog. This was me pre-elderberry and all of my other holistic tools. Fun stuff.
What I personally do to beat my allergies, or at least have a better handle on them so I don't walk around looking like the above picture all the time:
6) Nasal Wash- morning and evening
Allergy relief is all about reducing the histamine and inflammation load in your body. When you come into contact with something you are allergic to, the immune system releases a chemical called histamine, which triggers the allergic reaction and all of the frustrating symptoms. Below is an in depth break down of the above regimen that I personally use. As always, this is not to be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor, I am just sharing what personally works for me.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C alone may have beneficial effects on histamine levels by preventing histamine release from cells and by improving the breakdown of histamine. According to a 2018 study on vitamin C in the treatment of allergies, oxidative stress plays a key role in allergic diseases. As vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it may act as a treatment for allergies.The researchers observed that high doses of intravenous vitamin C reduced allergy symptoms.
They also reported that a deficiency in vitamin C might lead to allergy-related diseases. Another study from 2000 suggests taking 2 grams (g) of vitamin C daily to act as an antihistamine. (3)
As always, you can naturally up your intake of vitamin C with the following foods: bell peppers, broccoli, cantaloupe, melon, cauliflower, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, strawberries, tomatoes and tomato juice, winter squash.
I like this brand because it has bioflavonoids + some quercetin added in.
2. Allergy + C Herbal Tea
This blend is unique and high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and antihistamines. It is caffeine and sugar free and tastes really yummy. Many of the herbs in this blend contain histamine reducing properties and/or high vitamin C content. The rose hips and orange peel provide a high amount of vitamin C.
Nettle is the powerhouse in this blend as far as anti-histamines go. Nettle is rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A/C/K and minerals such as Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Polyphenols such a paempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids. Many of these nutrients act as antioxidants inside your body. (4)
All ingredients are certified organic and help to aid histamine and inflammation in the body: Nettle, Goldenrod, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Rose Hips, Elder flowers, Hibiscus, Orange Peel, Lemon Grass, Mullein, Lemon Peel, Astragalus, Rooibos, Ginger, Cinnamon, whole stevia leaf.
You can purchase Allergy + C Herbal Tea here.
3. Elderberry & Honey Tonic
I add about 2 tbsp of our elderberry to my allergy tea when allergens are strong because the potential benefits are endless. Our tonic has 12 herbs and roots and many of them act as anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory modulators; specifically the turmeric, ginger, astragalus, and elderflower.
Turmeric is a spice that may prevent the release of histamine from mast cells. Turmeric is well-known as an anti-inflammatory powerhouse for a good reason. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has been linked to reduced symptoms of many inflammation-driven diseases, and could help minimize the swelling and irritation caused by allergic rhinitis. (5b)
Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of health issues, like nausea and joint pain for thousands of years. It’s also been proven to contain antioxidative, anti-inflammatory phytochemical compounds. Now, experts are exploring how these compounds may be useful for combating seasonal allergies. In a 2016 animal study, ginger suppressed the production of pro-inflammatory proteins in the blood of mice, which led to reduced allergy symptoms. (5b)
Astragalus is an herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has many purported health benefits, including immune-boosting, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects. (5c) Research shows that astragalus also has anti-fatigue effects and can improve endurance, which may be helpful for those who feel run down from seasonal allergies.
Elder flowers are one of the most effective herbs used in Western herbalism for treating hay fever-like symptoms. One of the elder flower’s properties is its role to relieve the inflammatory nature of allergic reactions, soothing and toning mucus membranes in the nose and throat. From an ayurvedic perspective, its actions also dispense the accumulation that takes place in the respiratory system by eliminating toxins from the blood. (5a)
4. Quercetin
The bioflavinoid found in onions that helps to knock down histamine in our body specifically in relation to watery or itchy eyes, asthma and hay fever. Quercetin is best taken with vitamin C as this improves the antihistamine effect. Quercetin may be effective for allergies, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, sinusitis, cold and flu. Much like vitamin C, quercetin stabilizes the mast cells (specialized immune cells) that cause an allergic reaction, and decreases the release of histamine, which could help decrease allergy symptoms. I personally take 500 to 1,000 mg two or three times per day depending on my symptoms. If you don't want to take another pill quercetin is found in many fruits, vegetables, grains, leaves and seeds. Kale and red onions are common foods containing considerable amounts of quercetin. (5)
5. ProBiota HistaminX
The histamine-friendly species included in this formula are delivered in a delayed release (acid resistant) capsule to ensure that the probiotics are delivered intact to the lower digestive tract. This formula helps to support the body’s microbiome and healthy digestion, and may help support healthy metabolism of ingested histamine.
The verdict?
Unfortunately honey cannot help with the following allergens: mold, dust mites, pet dander, dust, trees, grasses, etc.... and it's questionable if it can actually help with pollen. Bummer, I know.
With fall allergens around the corner it's important to have a fully robust allergy support plan in place. Personally one of my biggest triggers for fall allergens is MOLD. Those leaves that fall off the trees? The decomposing leaves are filled with mold, says Dr. Jeffrey J. Dietrich, a board-certified allergist.
Will we still be taking raw honey? Absolutely, we love it! Plus we use it as an all natural sweetener in our elderberry tonic to avoid using refined sugar. But we don't expect it to be a cure all for our allergies and we have better natural tools at our disposal to keep us sniffle free.
(1) https://curiosity.com/topics/local-honey-wont-fix-your-seasonal-allergies-curiosity/
(2) https://slate.com/technology/2015/05/local-honey-for-allergies-pollen-in-honey-cannot-desensitize-the-immune-system.html
(3) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323276#vitamin-c
(4) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/stinging-nettle#section1
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5562462/
(5a) https://theherbalacademy.com/4-remedies-for-allergy-season/
(5b) https://www.healthline.com/health/seasonal-allergies-best-foods#3.-Citrus-fruits
(5c) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/astragalus#what-it-is
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Pineapple Immunity Water

Pineapple Immunity Water

Ladies and gents, this is the drink recipe you have been waiting for. It's delicious, nutritious and definitely kid approved.


This recipe has a twist that you might not expect. Typically we peel the pineapple and discard the exterior to get to the golden delicious meat inside.


This time, you won't throw it away. Instead you will utilize the WHOLE fruit to gain the maximum benefits.



* One Large Pineapple

* 1 tbsp Cloves

* 5 Cinnamon Sticks (We use Ceylon Cinnamon but grab whatever you can find in these crazy times, even cinnamon powder)

* 2-3 inches peeled fresh ginger

* (optional) 1/2 cup honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar (we used honey)

* 1.5 gallons of filtered water






#1 Cut off the stem of the pineapple

















#2 Scrub that baby down really really good. I chose to scrub AND soak it in some apple cider vinegar water just because of all the crazy germs going around.














#3 Slice off that pokey goodness



















#4 Gather the other ingredients. Slice up the ginger. Easy peasy.















#5 Throw in the peel and core only (not the fruit inside) with all the other ingredients in the pot. I break up the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces. Simmer on low heat, covered, for 25-30 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to steep for another 25-30 minutes.


*side note- your house is going to smell like Christmas on the beach. You're welcome*




#6 Once the mixture has slightly cooled, carefully strain it into a pitcher or bowl. All of my pitchers were dirty, so into the bowl it went.


I then opted to add a little bit of raw honey, but you can leave it out or try your preferred sweetener.





And that's it! It's ready to drink. This recipe makes a LOT because my daughter is slightly obsessed. We keep it in the fridge for up to five days and then I freeze the rest in silicon muffin tins, pop them out and keep them in a gallon zip lock bag in the freezer. When we are ready to drink we thaw it in baggies placed in cold water.






#7 I haven't forgotten about the insides. We chop it up, add a little bit of ceylon cinnamon, mix it up and consume immediately or stick it in the fridge for later. So yum.









This recipe was 100% inspired by my previous peruvian nanny, MiMi. She is an AMAZING cook and she introduced me to so many great dishes, new spices, and this fabulous drink in the short two months that we had her before she moved. In Peru they waste nothing, which is why they use the peel and then eat the insides. But just like most fruits, so much of the nutrition can be found in the peel.



The nutritional benefits of pineapple are pretty astounding, see nutritional data below. We typically use pineapple to help aid coughs/mucus, up our vitamin C dosage and as a digestive aid.


source for above data

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Anti-Viral Regimen - 10 easy tips

Anti-Viral Regimen - 10 easy tips

I receive an overwhelming amount of messages from customers, friends and family almost everyday about what we personally do to stay healthy during times when viruses are on the rise. Many of you are traveling right now and are wondering what we take when we travel or fly. While I cannot give medical advice, or suggest that any of the below will treat, cure or prevent a disease, I can however give you a peek into what we take and do in our home to try and stay healthy.

#1 Eat the Rainbow
I know, I know. It's so cliche and we are tired of hearing our moms tell us to eat our veggies. But there is legit reasoning behind this. We try to focus on eating healthy as a lifestyle but we are even more diligent during the colder months when viruses seem to thrive in the dry winter air and lack of sunshine. We focus on lower sugar/carb and tons of fruits and veggies. We aim to eat fruits and vegetables that are abundant in carotenoids. Carotenoids are vegetables and fruits that are dark in color ranging from orange/purple/green/yellow/red. They provide antioxidants and enhance your immune system. They are also converted to vitamin A which helps to protect our cells against viruses trying to attach and replicate (aka what makes you sick as a dog is the replication). This is also extremely beneficial for eye and brain health. There is a reason I listed eating the rainbow as #1 and that is because you can’t supplement your way out of an unhealthy diet. We also make sure to eat loads of raw garlic, turmeric and ginger. I buy them in season when they are fresh. I peel and then freeze them so we have it on hand all year round.
Other top immune boosting foods that we are eating:
Blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, lemons, bone broth (my recipe here), wild caught fish, walnuts, mushrooms, manuka honey, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, thyme, oregano, oranges, cabbage, apple cider vinegar (with the mother) also in my Fire Cider, carrots, onions, grapefruit.
It's not always easy to eat the rainbow, especially when traveling. When we can't we make sure to take Juice + Concentrated Fruit, Berries and Veggies capsules. There have been 41 third party clinical studies done on this product that shows it is highly bioavailable (meaning our bodies actually absorb it) and more. Juice Plus+ Clinical Research Summary here. And this is a great four min video talking about how Juice + can bridge the gap for your nutritional needs. 
#2 Vitamin D
We always make sure we are receiving adequate amounts of vitamin D. Less sun exposure in the winter months sets us up for low vitamin D and more viral infections, including flu viruses. Most holistic physicians agree that your blood work should show levels between 70-100. Mine is chronically low, even in the summer when I walk an hour everyday, so I supplement with it all year round. I have written about vitamin D and the brand we use in a previous post here. My daughter gets 500 mg a day via vitamin D drops with K2 in her elderberry shot every morning. The only brand I use for vitamin D is seeking health brand. They are completely aligned to my high standards, including their vitamin D liquid drops and vitamin d pills.
#3 Vitamin C
We personally take Ascorbic acid (very affordable) and mix it with water or juice. For every day prevention I take around 2,000 mg of ascorbic acid in water everyday and my six year old gets 1000 mg. Vitamin C is virucidal – it kills viruses on contact so it's important to have some on hand. As mentioned above, a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables will supply you with vitamin C. If you are not eating enough then you will most likely need to supplement. If we feel like we are getting a viral infection, we take 2,000 mg every two hours until lose bowels occur and then back off to the previous dose.
#4 Elderberry
We strongly believe in the power of elderberry in our household (obviously). It is an every day staple during winter months in our home. We typically take around 1 tbsp of our elderberry and honey tonic every day, but this year with the flu and RSV being so rampant we are taking it twice a day. If we are exposed to someone who is ill or are traveling we up that even more. Speaking of traveling there are two options with our elderberry. One, you can pour our elderberry tonic into a small container (like a recycled liquor shot bottle) and as long as it is kept cold with a little ice pack you are good to go. The easier solution, when traveling, is our elderberry glycerin tincture which does not require refrigeration even once it has been open due to the glycerin. It's 2 oz so you can take it on the plane without issues. We get the strangest looks on airplanes as I am passing around the dropper and squeezing it into my husbands and daughter's mouths every two hours. Typically a dark purple mess ensues due to a wiggly three year old and we get even more attention, but it's all worth it to us.
***Side note on elderberry*** Recently there have been some concerns posted by some bloggers that elderberry could cause a potential cytokine storm in the body. There is no data to back that up and it is just their speculation and opinion. We have to work within the regulations set by the FDA and the Department of Agriculture. Therefore we cannot claim that our products prevent, mitigate, or cure disease, nor are we able to provide medical advice. This practice protects our customers as well as our business. In this time of uncertainty, many of you are searching for information on elderberry and cytokine storm. Since COVID-19 is a brand new virus, research is inconclusive on ALL treatment options.
I will let my favorite herbalist speak to it here in her article. In addition, a 2016 study showed that a formula based on elderberry inhibited harmful cytokines in people who had atherosclerosis.
This is another great article by my favorite holistic MD.
Dr. Avivva Romm MD stated, “the association with elderberry and cytokine storm is implausible; Elderberry is not able to cause cytokine storm whether used for prevention or invention, or during infection. Were one experiencing cytokine storm, one would be far too sick for herbal therapies; this is an ICU/life support level crisis.”
Dr. David Berger, a pediatrician in Florida, says "In an attempt to reduce the chances of a viral infection, in addition to our other immune supporting recommendations, at the first sign of viral symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath upon exertion, fatigue, body aches, or diarrhea, which early evidence suggests may also be a symptom of COVID-19), we continue to support the judicial use of black elderberry as a component of our complete protocol, along with other supplements, designed to keep the immune system strong and balanced. We acknowledge the concern of cytokine overstimulation exists; however, we feel that, based on elderberry’s antiviral effects and a long history of use within the practice of integrative medicine, the benefits of use outweigh the currently understood risks." Here is a link to his full article.
As always, check with your physician if you have any concerns.
#5 Cod Liver Oil
This is a great source of natural Vitamin A & D and fatty acids. I personally do not like to take the vitamin A listed below every day and feel more comfortable with cod liver oil as a preventative. The adults in our family take about 1 tsp a day and my 6 year old gets 1/2 tsp in her elderberry shot every morning.
#6 Vitamin A
If we wake up feeling under the weather we take around 50,000 IU of Optimal Vitamin A Drops from this brand. They go out of stock easily so we always make sure to have a couple of bottles on hand and we always travel with it. There are some holistic doctors that recommend upwards of 400,000 IU per day for two days to abort the viral infection. We have not experimented with anything that high but if we were to be hit with the measles or something extremely serious I wouldn't hesitate to take that amount to strengthen our cell membranes. There is a lot of fear surrounding vitamin A and liver toxicity, but that only happens if you take high amounts for a long time. I feel comfortable with my family taking 50,000 IU - 100,000 IU of vitamin A once a day for three days. Always trust your gut and ask your doctor.
#7 The Gut
So much of our immune strength can be reflected back to our gut health. There is a lot I could say here, and I am sure there is a potential future blog post in me regarding this but for now I will stick to the basics of what we do to ensure our guts are thriving.
Hydrochloric acid (HCL) helps your body to digest and absorb nutrients from food. It also eliminates bacteria and viruses in the stomach, which is kind of a big deal. Many of us are chronically low, especially the very young and the elderly...see a correlation there with the two populations that seem to get hit the hardest with illness? There are some great HCL supplements that you can take with meals to build it up but I don't over-rely on this method because I don't want our bodies to get reliant on the supplement and stop making HCL naturally. We do have the pills on hand if needed and we travel with them. This is my favorite digestive enzyme that has HCL in it, we take it with meals when traveling and a few times a week. 
Fermented Foods also help to build up the good bacteria in our stomach that help fight off the bad bugs. We don't love sauerkraut so we do fermented pickles, kombucha, apple cider vinegar with "the mother" via our Fire Cider, etc... I relied on this method when my daughter had reflux as an infant. I did not feel comfortable giving her prescription antacids so I gave her fermented sauerkraut juice in tiny doses via a needleless syringe and it 100% healed her acid reflux within two weeks. No more back arches and horrible screaming episodes at night so we got a LOT more rest because of something as simple as fermented juice. If you don't love fermented foods be sure to take a high quality probiotic.
Herbal digestive bitters are another way to build up the stomach acid if taken right before meals. This brand has some great options.
#8 Nasal Irrigation
When we have been out and about we do a couple of squirts of this product in our noses and this one for my little one that is specifically formulated for kids. It has grapefruit seed extract in it that helps to fight infections and viruses (I could do a whole post on grapefruit seed extract and it's amazing benefits). Stay tuned. I like to purchase the three pack becuase it's cheaper and I keep one in my purse, one at home and one in my travel bag. 
#9 Hybrid CR
This is another product we keep on hand at all times. I personally know the pharmacist that created this herbal blend and trust his quality and expertise. Per their website, in regards to one of the ingredients in the blend, Andrographis, "This potent and effective herb activates your immune system and tells your body to start building more defensive immune cells.* Andrographis helps manage the severity of an immune challenge by activating a strong, speedy immune response and supporting a healthy inflammatory response. Popular in Scandinavian cultures, this herb has been proven effective in multiple clinical trials." We travel with it and if we have any signs of illness we take immediately. Only for ages 12 and older.
#10 The Obvious Stuff
Hand washing, hand washing, HAND WASHING.
Drink 1/2 your body weight of water in oz everyday. If you weigh 150 aim for 75 oz of water.
Apply "heat" to your body via exercise, sauna, hot bath, etc... Viruses hate heat, hence the body fighting bugs off with fever.
And there you have it! A peek into what my family does to try and stay immune strong.
*The content of this post and website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. None of the above supplements have been approved by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
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Sore Throat Relief

Sore Throat Relief

Many of us are struggling with sore throats these days.



Whether it's from allergies, a cold, or something worse. Either way, sore throats are the WORST especially when trying to sleep at night. Sore throats seem to intensify x1000 when sleeping and my below remedies have been tried and true for keeping sore throats soothed.


Sore Throat Tea:

  • Carefully pour boiling water in a cup and add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme or 3 tsp fresh thyme

  • Cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes

  • Strain and add honey to taste once the tea has cooled somewhat to boost the nutritional content and flavor of thyme tea. We prefer to use this manuka honey in sore throat tea.

  • Drink 2-3 times a day to boost your immunity, help aid a cough, or get rid of that pesky cold faster.

  • Optional add in's: Splash of our elderberry & honey tonic (you will get a dose of 12 herbs and roots with this added in)​, fresh or dried sage leaves, squeeze of lemon, cloves for their numbing effect.

  • Side Note- I am not saying this is the most delicious tasting tea that you will ever have but whatever it takes to feel better? Am I right?


Simple Sore Throat Gargle:

  • Carefully pour boiling water in a cup add the following ingredients and let steep for 10 minutes, covered:

  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 3 tsp fresh

  • 1 clove garlic smashed

  • 1-2 cloves for their numbing effect

  • Once the above has infused and is no longer piping hot, add a splash of apple cider vinegar and 1/2-1 tsp of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt.

  • Gargle this as often as you can. If you swallow it, it won't hurt you but it won't taste great either. Make sure to rinse your mouth out with water afterwards as you don't want vinegar coating your teeth for too long.

Why Thyme?



The antimicrobial and antispasmodic properties of thyme, offer us a great natural choice for respiratory issues and sore throats.


Thyme is also a robust antibacterial plant that can help treat respiratory infections in humans. Research has shown that thyme contains compounds that may help treat cold and flu infections naturally. (1)


Research has also shown that thyme essential oil is effective against multi drug-resistant bacteria. (2) It was found that thyme helped kill off infections in the airways, mouth, and stomach. (3)


We have never had strep throat in our home (knock on wood), but if we did I would automatically turn to thyme gargle and tea as a first step.



Final Simple Sore Throat Tip:


When you can't sleep due to a sore throat believe me when I say you need to ditch that Chloraseptic Sore Throat Spray. I grew up taking it too, but let's be real...it only helps for like 1 min to coat your throat, plus the FDA warns about the risks of throat numbing spray. They report that, "Methemoglobinemia impairs the ability of red blood cells to transport oxygen. As a result, patients can suffer from signs of oxygen deprivation such as headaches. If the condition is undetected and untreated, life-threatening cyanosis can develop. Patients with a history of breathing disorders including asthma and emphysema, smokers and patients with heart disease may be particularly at risk when treated with the benzocaine sprays." No big deal right? Yikes.


What do we do instead?


Manuka honey for the WIN. Our favorite brand is Bees and Trees manuka honey because they are one of the only brands that have been tested for bioactivity. We use their manuka honey in our skin salve and majorly believe in the healing benefits. So if we end up with an annoying sore throat we keep a small bowl of manuka next to the bed. If we wake up in pain we take a small spoonful and let it slowly coat our throat and try not to swallow too much. I promise this will put you back to sleep faster than any chemical spray ever will.



Stay well friends









*as always, this article does not constitute as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Please check with your doctor if you have any concerning symptoms.

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Nourishing Herbal Bone Broth

Nourishing Herbal Bone Broth

Hi Friends! Thanks for stopping by. I have been receiving tons of requests from customers wanting to know how we stay healthy during this season. If you haven't read my other blog post, "Our Anti-Viral Regimen- 10 easy tips" be sure to check it out! You guys have asked what vitamins/supplements I take, what kinds of food we eat, how to help with reflux/digestion- you can probably name it and I have had a customer ask me. I LOVE to share with each and every one of you that reaches out, so starting up a blog was the next logical step to give you all a peek into what we consume and why. Obviously the first line of defense that we take is our elderberry & honey tonic- one tbsp a day for adults and one tsp a day for kiddos over one. If we know we will be traveling (especially in an airplane) we up it to three times a day the week before, during and after traveling.
Nourishing Herbal Bone Broth- the WHY
Every weekend I whip up a batch of homemade bone broth for us to drink on all week. I am especially diligent about making it during cold/flu season. Why would I take the time to do this you ask? So. Many. Reasons.
Bone broth is one of the best digestive aids you can consume prior to eating your food. You may or may not be familiar with the benefits of betaine HCL for low stomach acid. Betanine HCL helps to boost the bodies supply of hydrochloric acid, which most of us are low in (if you have heartburn/acid reflux I can almost guarantee you have too LITTLE stomach acid..not too MUCH). I take betanine HCL a few times a week with my food to boost production, specifically this one because it has no fillers. I choose not to take it with every meal, as I do not want my body to become dependent on the supplement and stop producing hydrochloric acid on it's own. Apparently, our bodies can become lazy like that. I tend to rotate between herbal digestive bitter tinctures (fennel, ginger root, dandelion root, burdock root, and many more wonderful herbs in tincture form), apple cider vinegar, betanine HCL and bone broth to boost my bodies ability to produce sufficient hydrochloric acid. A great source for herbal bitter tinctures is Mountain Rose Herbs, I 100% trust their quality. You can check out their digestive herbal bitter tinctures here that are made and ready to go. Or if you are feeling adventurous here is a great DIY recipe for digestive bitters. Why do we care about stimulating digestion and hydrochloric acid levels? Check out this article here that explains why.
You know when you would get sick as a kid and your mom or grandmother would feed you chicken noodle soup? They were definitely onto something (check out this interesting article), except bone broth is like chicken noodle soup on immune boosting steroids. There are so many amino acids in bone broth - like glutamine, cysteine and arginine- just to name a few. Amino acids help to boost immune function. When we are sick our bodies are inflamed, the L-glutamine helps to ease that inflammation in our guts.
Hydration, hydration and more hydration. Bone broth is chalked full of electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium and since 70-80% of your immune system is located in our guts, it's kind of important.
#3- Skin/Cellulite/Joints-
I've never met anyone that doesn't want to have beautiful skin and I am no exception. As much as I loathe cellulite, even my sweet, perfectly healthy 3.5 year old has a tiny bit of cellulite so I have come to embrace mine. Isn't it awesome when your kiddo teaches you to have grace for yourself? If bone broth has even the slightest 1% chance of helping cellulite- then I am on board. Here is an interesting article explaining why it can help our precious dimply spots. Essentially it helps to make our skin more supple as cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissue- even super skinny people can have cellulite if they don't have a proper diet. Bone broth is extremely rich in collagen which is what we need to build up our connective tissues. This is exactly why I add chicken feet to my recipe below as they are loaded with collagen. There is always a method to my quirky madness. Collagen can also help to reduce wrinkles, stretch marks and reduce puffiness. Bone broth shots anyone?
Side note- I don't make anything the "simple" way (as shown in my 12 herbs and roots elderberry & honey tonic). As an herbalist I am always looking for ways I can sneak herbs into our everyday foods, and bone broth is one of my favorite ways to do just that. There are plenty of basic recipes you can find online that will work well too. I add astragalus, parsley, turmeric, fennel and nettle to my recipe which are obviously optional for you. But they are HIGHLY nourishing and I always sneak them in when I can. I grow fennel so I used fresh and not dried, dried can be a little more potent in taste so I would probably use 1 tbsp if all I had was dried fennel. I purchased fresh turmeric and ginger from a local farmer and the rest of the dried herbs from mountain rose herbs- about a handful of each for this recipe.
  • Heavy-Bottomed Stock pot or crock pot (my choice because I'm lazy)
  • One gallon of filtered water- honestly I just fill my crockpot up so I am not 100% sure on the amount of water I use.
  • Organic/Free Range/or local chicken bones from cooked chicken carcass (for extra collagen add feet, neck and even the head). I get a whole chicken from a local farmer and cook prior, remove the meat which we eat on all week and then use the bones/neck/feet for the bone broth.
  • 1 cup organic carrots and/or parsnips
  • 4 organic celery stalks
  • 1 large organic onion
  • 8 organic peeled and diced garlic cloves
  • Basic herbs/spices- 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp thyme, 1/2-1 tbsp whole peppercorns, 1-2 tbsp celtic or himalayan sea salt
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar- 2 tbsp at a min, but I have been known to add up to 1/2 cup. Just test and see what you like. This ingredient is crucial as it helps to release the minerals, amino acids and collagen in the bones.
  • Optional but awesome herbs/roots: fresh fennel, raw ginger, raw turmeric, nettle, parsley, astragalus root (about a handful of each, with the exception of ginger- I only use about 1 tbsp of peeled and diced raw ginger since it has a strong flavor)
  • Also Optional: chicken feet (2-4)
  • Let bones and veggies sit in the cool water with the apple cider for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add the basic herbs and spices (We will add the optional ones later)
  • Cover and bring to a simmer. This requires the high setting on my crock pot for about an hour. Skim off any scum that might rise to the top and discard.
  • Simmer on low for a min of 6-8 hours adding water if necessary. I personally keep mine on low for 24 hours, letting those bones become super soft and drained of all their goodness.
  • If you decide to add in the optional herbs and roots, which I highly encourage you to do- even if it's just one of them! Add them in the last two hours of cooking. You don't want to overcook the herbs, and two hours on a low simmer is sufficient to absorb their nutrients and minerals.
  • Strain out the solids and store the broth in glass jars.
  • Broth will keep about 1-1.5 weeks in the refrigerator, but can also be frozen into ice cubes or any other container you choose. I still have a ton of breast milk bags so I freeze them in those because I'm cheap and efficient like that.
  • You can scrape off the fat and store In a jar for later use in cooking.
Enjoy drinking this delicious, immune boosting, cellulite popping, gut healing drink everyday! If you are still reading this long post, keep scrolling and I will show you how we made this bone broth into dinner tonight......
Finished product, pre-straining. Yep..that's a chicken foot. (if adding chicken feet see below additional instructions)
Chicken Feet Instructions:
We choose to take the raw chicken feet and boil them for five minutes, cut off the toes and peel them before adding to the broth. I may or may not have not known to do this the first time and I just threw them into the broth as is. We may have consumed dirt and chicken poop in that first batch of broth, but we survived. I don't think my grandmother peeled and boiled them first so you decide what is best for your broth!
How we turned this broth into dinner:
We just made this up on the fly, so no "measurements" to share. We were staaaaarving and we needed something quick style! The possibilities are truly endless with broth! I freeze leftover broth in my breast milk bags that work great for freezing and don't leak.
We added the following in a pot and simmered for about 20 mins:
  • 2 cups of broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Two big handfuls of raw spinach
  • Tons of raw chives
  • Noodles of choice
  • 10 or so cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2
  • About 10 banana pepper rings
  • Garlic powder
  • A few splashes of coconut aminos
  • Shake of chili powder
The beautiful result!
Our little ones preferred way to eat bone broth is with diced avocado and carrots- she ate a TON for dinner! Mommy win!
Enjoy friends!!!
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5 Day Water Only Fast

5 Day Water Only Fast

If you have toyed with the idea of doing a water fast but want to hear from a real person what it was like then dive in below! If you are serious about your health, read all the way to the bottom for an awesome coupon code to help track your healing progress.
Day 1: This day was a breeze. I had a few pangs of hunger but nothing I couldn't handle. My energy was up and I felt normal.
Day 2: This day I was a little hungrier that day 1 but it wasn't all consuming. I am used to doing 24 hour fasts at least two times a week so I believe that is why my body was more adapted and prepared.
Day 3: This day started out good until I made a HUGE mistake by going into the infrared sauna for 30 minutes. This is something that I typically do 5-6 days a week for my lyme disease/mold exposure symptoms so I didn't think too much about it. I was extremely shaky afterwards and immediately regretted it. I quickly realized how obvious it was that it would never be a good idea to do the sauna while fasting. I was weak and shaky for the rest of the evening. I did check my blood sugar levels to make sure they were not below 50. They were sitting around 62. I did not sleep well at all this night which is extra difficult when you are hungry.
Day 4: Roughest day by far. I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I was nauseous and extremely weak. I could barely take care of my three year old and she watched way too much TV on this day. I can only assume it was from my poor decision to use the sauna the day before. My body was definitely still struggling from that experience. I tripled my Celtic sea salt intake, potassium, water and my magnesium body butter on my feet multiple times a day to replenish my levels and it helped a ton. By 7 pm I was feeling much better. Slept more solid this evening as well.
Day 5: Last day! I woke up feeling really good which I had read that by day five most people start to feel much better which was on point for me. I was hungry but it was bearable. My brain felt much more clear and my body felt stronger. I was excited that this was the last day and I broke my fast at 8 pm (to meet my 120 hours) with a cup of hot water infused with fresh ginger to wake up my digestive system and 1 cup of homemade herbal bone broth that is filled with minerals and herbs.
Day 6 & 7: On these days I woke up and started my day with some fresh pressed celery juice. I personally love the taste of celery juice (tastes sort of milky to me) so it was a welcome treat. It is extremely important when breaking a water only fast that you go very low and slow with what you consume as to not overwhelm your digestion and cause bloating/gas/upset stomach. My dad did the five day fast with me as well and he made the mistake of eating a very small bag of sunflower seeds as his first meal, it did not go so well for him. On this day and the next I consumed liquids only. My liquid consisted of bone broth mentioned above, fresh ginger infused water, my allergy tea because it is packed with nutrients and minerals, apple cider vinegar water, hot teas, avocado, cucumber/spinach/fennel/celery juice. I consumed ZERO fruit juices as I did not want to spike my insulin levels and flood my body with sugar.
Day 8: On this day I started to consume some more solid food. I had a couple of boiled eggs, some almond butter with celery, a little whole fat plain yogurt mixed with fresh blueberries, Bubbies fermented pickles, unsweetened homemade almond milk and some sprouted pumpkin seeds. For dinner I had a small serving of grilled chicken, sauteed spinach with garlic and a salad. It's amazing how your taste buds get a reset after an extended fast and you CRAVE all the healthy food. Everything tastes more vibrant and delicious.
Day 9 & Beyond: On this day I started to eat normal again. Plenty of healthy fats, organic grass fed meats, plain whole fat yogurt, tons of veggies, salads, nuts, etc... I plan to continue to stay in ketosis for at least a month by keeping my net carbs below 30 grams and my eating window only 4-6 hours (intermittent fasting). This will allow all the benefits of the fast to continue and stick. After 1 month of the above I will continue with what I was doing before which is diet variation with the 4:2:1 strategy: 4:2:1 Strategy That is 4 days of intermittent fasting with my eating times being limited to 4-6 hours a day aiming to eat lower carb but I won't be obsessive about it either, 2 days a week I will fast for 24 hours, and then one day of "feasting". I want to be clear that for me, feasting does not mean eating all the pizza and cheeseburgers I can stand. Although that does happen from time to time in my life and was happening WAY too much before I did the water fast. Right now I am laser focused on healing my body and getting rid of this mold and lyme inflammation for good. So feasting for me looks like around 150-200 grams of carbs in the form of healthy grains like quinoa/spelt/sprouted brown rice coupled with lots of starchy high carb veggies like sweet potatoes/carrots. This process allows your body not to get stuck in a rut. By changing up the low carb/fasting/high carb it keeps your body guessing so it doesn't plateau. I will also throw in one-two 72 hour fasts per month depending on how my body is feeling. Always listen to your body's intuition when it comes to fasting.
My "Why":
My sweet grandmother was extremely worried about me and my health when I told her I was embarking on this journey. I assured her that I would never do anything that would be harmful to my body. Many friends asked me​ why in the world would I want to "starve" myself for five days.
My main "why" to go longer than the typical three days and push to five was so that my body could reach a state autophagy. That's a weird word right? Autophagy is a fascinating process to me. “Auto” means self and “phagy” means eat. So the literal meaning of autophagy is “self-eating.” It’s also referred to as “self-devouring.” While that may sound like something you never want to happen to your body, it’s actually beneficial to your overall health. When the body is low on sugar through fasting or ketosis, it brings about positive stress that wakes up the survival repairing mode in our cells. Autophagy has been linked to many benefits. I still have some days where my lyme and mold flare up and to be honest I am just flat out tired of it. I took this extreme measure to help knock down any remaining inflammation and damage done to my body.
Just because it was right for me does not mean that it is right for you. My "why" does not constitute as a green light for you nor is this medical advice in any way shape or form. There are several groups of people that should not fast: pregnant or nursing women, people who are under a healthy weight, individuals with clearly defined medical diagnoses such as heart stents, renal dialysis, or recent weight loss surgery. Always consult your doctor to make sure you and extended fasting are a good fit. I contacted my doctor and got the approval to proceed before I embarked on this quest.
Potential Benefits of Fasting:
  • Removing toxic proteins from the cells that are attributed to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduce Loose Skin from prior weight loss or pregnancy
  • Clearer, healthier and smoother skin
  • Autophagy as mentioned above. Autophagy is similar to taking out the trash and replacing cell parts, like mitochondria. Mitochondria are your cellular engines. They burn fat and make ATP, your body’s energetic currency. There is a lot of harsh toxic build up in mitochondria that can damage cells, and breaking them down proactively saves future wear and tear on your cells. Autophagy of other cell parts helps the entire cell work more efficiently not just to burn fuel but also to make proteins. Healthier cells work more efficiently.
  • Weight loss
  • Recycling residual proteins
  • Prompts regeneration and healthy cells
  • Correcting your appetite control
  • Removing toxins from fat cells
  • Some studies suggest that many cancerous cells can be removed through autophagy, whether it is preventing or treating cancer
  • Helps regulate inflammation
  • Boosts immune system
The Myths of Fasting:
1. Muscle loss is the fasting myth that will just never die.
It was proven wrong in the 1860's and again in the 1880's and then several more times in the 1920's and 30's and again as most recently as 2016. The ratio of fat to muscle loss is 97% fat to 3% muscle during water-only zero-calorie fasts.
2. Slows down metabolism.
Most of us have been taught that restricting calories leads to a slow metabolism. That is indeed true of calorie restriction... but fasting doesn't work like that. Check out Dr. Fung's book, "The Obsesity Code" if you want to learn all the science and data behind it. Basically it's all about insulin. To have a healthy metabolism, your body needs to have fuel to burn. That fuel can either be glycogen (basically, the food you're eating and digesting that's readily available), or it can be fat (stored body fat). Your body can burn glycogen for fuel anytime, but it can only access the stored fat if your insulin levels are low. With fasting, however, your insulin levels drop, your keytones rise and your glycogen stores get depleted. Once your glycogen stores (glucose) get depleted your body starts consuming your own fat for fuel. Some people are also able to acheive this state by consuming very low carbs and entering into ketosis. ​This is why some people actually experience increased metabolism after several days of fasting.
3. You are just starving yourself.
Nope. As long as you are not underweight, through fasting you are allowing your body to access stored fat to use as fuel, therefore your body is still getting plenty of fuel.
It’s true that your body can survive without food for several weeks. According to Scientific American, there have been reports of people going without food as long as 21, 36 or even 40 days without going into starvation mode.
Tip's and Must-Do's if fasting:
Electrolytes are a must.
This includes magnesium, potassium, and sodium to prevent feeling lightheaded or hypertension. This balances the body’s function as it crosses through the cells while going through the cleansing process. I drank 1/4 tsp of himalayan or celtic salt around 3 times a day in warm water. I loved it and pretended like it was broth. I applied my magnesium body butter on my stomach one or two times a day and then on the soles of my feet before bed. In my research and personal experience, the best way to absorb magnesium fully is to apply it to your skin instead of taking a pill.
I did not realize at the time that I needed to do the potassium and I believe that is why I crashed so hard on the fourth day. I follow the below chart now when I am fasting or in deep ketosis.



Hydration is key.
Water is a key ingredient when it comes to not only external exfoliation but also the internal exfoliation process. Aim for at least 64 ounces of plain filtered water daily. We use a berkey water filter that filters out chlorine and flouride.
Ketosis as a lifestyle for healing:
Fasting is one of the quickest ways to get your body into ketosis but you can also reach a healing state by dramatically lowering your carbs. Some great books to read on the subject that I personally recommend:
1. Anyway You Can - I love this book and it is such an easy read. Dr. Boz explains her mothers battle with cancer and how it went into remission by supplementing keto tools. Her story of courage, faith, and tenacity helps young and old achieve better physical, mental, and emotional health through ketosis. You can click on the purple title above for a direct link to the book.
3. Delay Don't Deny- Gin Stephens does a great job of "dumbing down" the fasting lifestyle and making the science part of why and how it works much easier to digest. Her book is mostly about intermittent fasting, which is how I started out and is what I would suggest trying before jumping into a longer fast. You can click on the purple title above for a direct link to the book.
A Practical Awesome Tool:
A tool that I used while fasting was a "Keto Mojo Meter" to measure my ketone levels and blood glucose everyday. I absolutely LOVE it and I do it every single morning now. It is a great motivator for me when it comes to trying to heal my body, seeing hard facts via the numbers works great for me.
Being in ketosis helps your body to heal whether you are fasting or not. Testing via your blood is the most accurate way to know how many ketones you are producing (the urine test strips are extremely inaccurate). It's a fun tool if you are a data driven person like I am. Using this tool has allowed me to fine tune my keto lifestyle and know exactly how many carbs I can eat to stay in ketosis. Glucose-Keytone Index (GKI) (which is a measure of health, ketosis, healing and weight loss) is measured by dividing your blood glucose level (mmol/L) by your blood ketone level (mmol/L).
The Keto Mojo Meter comes with an awesome free app that tracks all of that information for you and automatically calculates your GKI via bluetooth so you never have to do any actual math (winning). I try to aim for a GKI of 5.0 or less for weight loss, a GKI of 3.0 or less for reducing overall inflammation/healing my body. For stressing cancer cells I aim for a ratio of under 2.0 which I have only achieved with extended fasting (over 36 hours). Below is a great visual of the varying levels.


Below is an actual reading from my keto mojo meter after doing a 20 hour fast and most likely experiencing deep therapuetic benefits for my body.
You can use this link here to get 15% off of your purchase of a keto meter (discount will be applied when checking out and does not apply to the meter strips).
I hope this has been helpful information and if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out!




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Zinc + Ionophores

Zinc + Ionophores

Have you ever heard the word "Ionophores"? I hadn't either until I started researching the absorption rate of zinc.
The official scientific explanation: "Ionophores are lipid-soluble molecules that transport ions across lipid cell membranes. The subsequent disruption of cell membrane permeability results in antibacterial effects." (source)
My simplified explanation: Ionophores may help to carry zinc into the walls of our cells.
There is a lot of buzz going around concerning zinc, and for good reason. Medical professionals are seeing some great results in regards to zinc and the treatment of this most recent pandemic. As soon as I started doing a deep dive and realized the success that they are seeing, and the little the media is covering this awesome news, I knew I had to share it with all of you! I truly value all of my customers and want you to have the most up to date info for the health of you and your family.
Stop what you are doing right now and watch THIS VIDEO that is pictured below. Hopefully this video will not be removed and censored from the web. It is only 1 min and 31 seconds so it is a very quick listen.
Dr. Anthony Cardillo speaks to the prescription drug, Hydroxychloroquine in the above video. He states that "Hydroxychloroquine opens the zinc channel, zinc goes into the cell, it then blocks the replication of the cellular machinery. So it has to be used in conjunction with zinc to be effective. Every patient that I have prescribed it to has been very very ill with Covid-19 and within 8-12 hours they were basically symptom free"
So, back to Ionophores and how they relate to all of the above. Remember that Ionophores help to carry zinc into the walls of our cells and ionophores can be found in many forms.
  • Quercetin
  • High quality green tea
  • Quinine (can be found in tonic water)
  • Chloroquine (prescription drug)
  • Hydrochloroquine (prescription mentioned in video)
Out of all the options above quercetin is my first choice to help the zinc supplement that I take get transported into my cells. I would use one of the last two options (the prescriptions) if I was in really bad shape in the hospital, without question. But as a daily ionophore to help optimize zinc then this is the no brainer choice because there are no known side effects to consuming healthy foods.
Dr. Chris Majdyło states in this article here that "The aforementioned ionophores also include noteworthy natural substances, devoid of toxicity, such as– quercitin (plant flavonoid, found in many fruits and vegetables) – supports the immune system and increases the effectiveness of treatment of viral infections"
This amazing article lists 93 quercetin rich foods ranked by quercetin density. I have only listed the #1 of the veggie and #1 fruit category below, but please read the article for the full list. I know we will be loading up on local asparagus, onions, cilantro and kale. Those are our fave veggies that are high in quercetin, but pick your favorites from the list and consume some everyday!
Here is another scientific study on zinc ionophore activity of quercetin.
#1 Quercetin Rich Fruit
Guys. I was genuinely surprised to see this listed as the #1 fruit. I know elderberry is amazing and packed full of so many benefits but I was not aware that it may help transport zinc into our cells! Mind officially blown. This favorite berry of mine never disappoints. We are already taking our elderberry & honey tonic a couple of times a day right now, so we are covered on the fruit front for quercetin. But we will also be upping our consumption of blackberries, blueberries and apples since they are also shown to be dense in quercetin and we love them!
#1 Quercetin Rich Vegetable
To be honest I had no idea what this veggie was, I had to google it. I probably won't try to find dock right now, but we will definitely be consuming more of the commonly found veggies on the list that we love.
As far as the other options go, we will also be consuming some high quality green tea every day as it is very high in polyphenols and I also plan to try my hand at making my own tonic water and drinking 2 oz of it everyday. Even though I legit hate the taste of tonic water, at least this version will be free of high fructose corn syrup and homemade. It is made with Cinchona bark, which you can order online here. Recipe for making your own tonic water here. It's easy to get excited about using cinchona bark as a preferred natural remedy. For safety, we recommend following dosage instructions and recipes precisely. While cinchona bark is generally safe at low levels, it does contain quinine, a substance which may cause serious health concerns at high levels. Those with heart conditions should consult a physician before using cinchona bark.
Ok, now that our cells have a transport to be able to put that zinc to work what brand and amounts of zinc should we take?
To be honest, there are so many forms of zinc (over 15 to be exact) out there and since this post is already so long I am going to let The School of Holistic Medicine speak to the different forms of zinc in this very in depth article here. I trust and value their opinions. You can also obtain zinc from some food sources, which is always the best option and in the above article they speak to that as well.
Another Dr. speaking to zinc in relation to this virus and how much to take in this video. He states there is no data to back up taking zinc as a preventative to help, but we are still choosing to take a low doze of zinc every other day right now. Do what is best for you and what you and your doctor agree upon.
Guys, share this far and wide. Your mama, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends all need to know this information! God forbid, if you were to find yourself in the hospital very sick with this virus, wouldn't you want to know this info? What if the doctor seeing you was not aware of these findings? They typically wouldn't prescribe an anti-malaria drug like Hydroxychloroquine to you for this virus unless they had seen this information. This is why it is so important for us to stay informed and I am doing my part sharing this with you so you can share this info with everyone you know. Hopefully the media will begin to share this positive news, but as of now it has not been shared widely to my knowledge. If you aren't subscribed to my newsletter make sure you subscribe (and mark us as a safe sender so it doesn't go to junk/spam) so you can always get the info I share straight to your email!
*as always this post is not to be substituted for medical advice. I am not a medical doctor. This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any illness. Please see a medical professional if you have any concerns about a specific illness or issue.
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Share to WIN! #morethanbasicelderberry

Share to WIN! #morethanbasicelderberry

We love to give back to our loyal customers in so many ways because we are deeply grateful for you. One of our favorite ways to share the elderberry love is via giveaways. We have come up with a new monthly giveaway that is fun and a great way for YOU to potentially win...every. single. month.
The rules are simple: 1. Take a picture with our Elderberry & Honey Tonic in whatever fun and creative way you would like. This might mean you spot it at one of our valued retail partners and snap a pic of it on their shelves (be sure to tag them too). Or if you don't have one of our retailer partners near you and we ship to you directly, then you can simply take a picture of our elderberry from the comfort of your home!
2. Simply share your image on your stories or feed
Tag #morethanbasicelderberry to be automatically entered to win! If you share on your feed as a post that will count as 2 entries vs. a story counting as one entry. We will pick one winner on the last day of the month every single month. 3. Be sure that you are following us on Instagram @rootsandleavesinfo so we can send you a private message if you win!
Why #morethanbasicelderberry? Because...look at all of those beautiful herbs and roots that we put into our tonic in our picture below. 12 herbs and roots = WAY more than basic elderberry syrup. Most elderberry syrups contain 4-5 ingredients. Typically ginger, cloves, cinnamon, elderberries and usually an incredible amount of honey or sugar (future blog post on how our elderberry is lower in sugar content than most) is what most elderberry syrups include. We have taken it so much further to help give your body extra support.
Good luck to everyone and have FUN!
Multiple entries encouraged. This is limited to Instagram only at this time, not Facebook. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Valid in the US only.
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Two supplements I'll take for life

Two supplements I'll take for life

When I first got diagnosed with Lyme disease two years ago, I was both thankful for answers that were long overdue but simultaneously overwhelmed. Since my tick bite occurred when I was 18 and it went undiagnosed for 16 years (that was fun) it was too late to treat with antibiotics so the supplement list I was about to undertake was LONG. I plan to write a separate post about my lyme disease journey soon, but it's a long story to tell and I am still gathering my thoughts on how to present the content.


Some of my main symptoms were extreme fatigue, crippling headaches, brain fog so bad at times I couldn't even drive. It was easy for my doctors to blame ALL of my symptoms on the lyme, but when my fatigue and headaches wouldn't let up even after month's of treating lyme I started being my own patient advocate and digging deeper. I started demanding specific lab work be done to check my thyroid levels, hormones (more to come on those later) and vitamin d levels. One thing I have learned is you HAVE to be your own advocate and speak up for what you need and if you are too sick and tired to do that then please hire someone to help you that works more in the holistic realm. I discovered that my vitamin d levels were TANKED and no doctor had bothered to mention it. Thanks guys.


Vitamin D- The Sunshine Vitamin


We all know we should unplug and get outside more often, but most of us don't realize how healing it can actually be to get some sunshine. By exposing our skin to the sun's ultraviolet B rays we get a boost of vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D received will depend on the time of day, where you live on the globe and the color of your skin. For example, a fair skinned individual might only need 10-15 mins but a darker skinned individual may need much longer. You do NOT need to tan or burn to receive vitamin D. You obtain the most vitamin D when you expose a large area such as your back, vs. your face/arms. Even though I walk for 30 mins to an hour almost every single day, it still wasn't enough for me to get the vitamin D I needed (probably because I wasn't walking shirtless). And let me tell you, I was bone crushingly tired almost all day everyday. My vitamin d numbers were in the 30's and from my research one feels their best if it is over 70 and my body definitely confirms that. So I started supplementing with this vitamin d. Because my numbers were so low I started out taking (and still do) 10 IU a day, most people will only need 5 IU. I am going to experiment backing off to 5 IU and recheck my levels in a few months...stay tuned. I have tried getting off vitamin D, just because it's annoying to remember to take it all the time, but every time I get off my numbers tank and I feel awful. That's why I am a lifer when it comes to vitamin D.


One thing I lOVE about taking my health in my hands and being my own advocate is seeing documented results. Before supplementing, my numbers were extremely low but after three months of taking 10,000 IU a day (which is only two pills of the brand I take) my numbers and energy are WAY better. Obviously, I am not a doctor so work with a really good holistic/functional doctor that will help you figure out your dosage and rule out other reasons for fatigue such as adrenal fatigue, hormones, thyroid issues, etc.. Most traditional doctors will prescribe vitamin D2 but in my research, vitamin D3 which is over the counter is much more effective. This article explains why. It's also important for me to have a vitamin that is not packed with fillers which is why I like the above brand since I take this supplement everyday. I also require my vitamin D3 to have K2 added as well, here's the really important reason why. My 2.5 year old takes this liquid vitamin D3 with K2- I give her a couple drops a day in her elderberry shot and I take this one, which has proven to raise my vitamin d levels so it's the only one I take now.


My actual test results- three months apart:





Some (but not all) symptoms of low vitamin D are summed up well in this article. Headaches, dental issues and fatigue were my main symptoms, but others can have a wide range of issues as highlighted below. It's worth a quick blood test to see where your numbers fall.



photo cred: womenfitness.net



The second supplement I will take for life...

Magnesium has been dubbed the "master mineral" for so many valid reasons. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical functions in the body such as regulating heartbeat rhythms and neurotransmitter functioning- making this one of the most crucial minerals for optimal health. Vitamin D and magnesium work together as well. All of the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D appear to require magnesium, which acts as a co-factor in the enzymatic reactions in the liver and kidneys. You can be taking sufficient vitamin D but if you are magnesium deficient you may not be able to increase your blood levels.


A lack of magnesium in the body can effect us negatively in many ways: heart issues, anxiety, depression, insomnia, RLS and more. According to the The US National Academy of Science’s Food & Nutrition Board, 75% of Americans may be deficient in magnesium, and "the average American 14 or older is magnesium deficient." I began my magnesium journey when I started having some heart palpitations and sleep issues. At the time I was using magnesium gel, which works, but it stings and is sticky. So I created my magnesium body butter, I made it super strong so I wouldn't have to use much and it would last a long time...bonus- it doesn't sting (unless applied directly to an open wound). I apply a fingertip amount to the soles of my feet at bedtime and the result has been deeper and more restful sleep. My heart palpitations are almost non existent these days. I apply a tiny dab to the bottom of my 2.5 year olds feet a few times a week for overall health.




There are magnesium pills you can take- but honestly trying to decide which one (oxide, chloride, sulfate, taurate, glycinate) to take was a little overwhelming and a whole lot of contradicting information exists out there on ye old google. I personally believe that trans-dermal (applied to skin) offers the best absorption rate and your body knows what to do with it. Our bodies were created to heal and our skin is our largest organ absorbing everything we slather on it within 60 seconds. Impressive.


There are also some foods you can eat to supply you with some magnesium (my fave being dark chocolate), but you will most likely still need to supplement in some form. According to the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, healthy adult men should generally consume 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium daily. To give some perspective to those numbers: ¼ cup almonds is around 100mg magnesium, a medium banana contains around 33mg magnesium and 1/2 cup broccoli contains around 51mg magnesium.


So....now ya know which two supplements will always be on my bedside nightstand. Of course, there are many other supplements I take on a daily basis but they may not be for life, or I may rotate them and that is why I will chat about them in a separate post. Even my beloved elderberry & honey tonic which has brought much healing to me on my journey, I rotate and don't take it daily in the summer months (Sep-April-ish we take it every single day).



Cheers to greater sleep, improved energy/mood and overall health!



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