Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Handy Germ Vigilante

I have been known to be a germophobe from time to time (ahem...I may have carried Lysol spray around with me at college...and I may or may not have panic attacks at the mere thought of using a public restroom).  Anywho...I have now learned about toxic products versus healthier alternatives, as well as over-sanitizing and the impact it has on our microbiomes.  I now resist the urge to pump my hands with goop every chance I get, and I am also more choosey about just what that goop is.  I had read more than enough info about common hand sanitizers and how toxic they are (like this article), to know I needed to find some good alternatives.  In the past I have used CleanWell spray and wipes, which I have been happy with (I like that they use Thyme, which is a well-known germ-killer), but sometimes I just feel like I need a heavier hitter.

Over the years I have really come to learn the value and effectiveness of essential oils...and I have quite the collection of them!  Last year we were planning our first family airplane trip since I had become ill, and I decided to make my own batch of "Thieves Oil" to help protect us.  I had read so much about its germ-fighting, immune-boosting has quite a history and reputation, which you can check out for yourself.

I was so excited to also find this awesome Thieves Oil Hand Purifier by LULU ORGANICS!  We dropped the straight essential oil blend on our collars to breathe in while traveling, and this hand sanitizer kept our hands clean...and we didn't get sick, even during "high-flu-time."  (Keep an eye out for a future post about my "healthy travel" tips!)

LULU ORGANICS Hand Purifier - Don't Leave Home Without It!!!
I also passed these tips on to a fellow "Choir Mommy" while our kids were practicing, because she and her family were heading to Disney this Fall for a much needed "Make-A-Wish" trip.  Due to the fact that her young daughter's immune system is in the process of rebuilding after chemo treatments she was concerned about her getting sick and the implications of that for her and their trip (potential hospitalization, etc.)  She even used Thieves in a mister in their hotel room both while they were out and while they slept!  She was thrilled to report to me last night that their entire family of six all stayed healthy during, and after, the trip!  I was over-the-moon happy to hear it, and it just reinforced my confidence in Thieves-based blends.  I have had many people I know tell me stories of "I woke-up sick this morning, did a steam tent with Thieves, and was well by the afternoon," but this story meant the most to me and really touched my that's why I share it.

Now I carry LULU ORGANICS Hand Purifier with me everywhere I go!  I get mine from my local natural foods store (cheaper than the online prices, too), but there are other versions such as the one made by Young Living you can look into.  If you have essential oils already (or you are planning to purchase them) you can make your own, which is even better!

I hope these tips will help you and your loved ones stay healthy...not only for the holidays but EVERYday!  XO

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What You REALLY Need To Get Through The Holidays

When I first decided to do this "Sharon's Favorite Things" for the 2016 Holiday Season my mind was swirling with ideas.  What made sense to start with?  I settled on the fact that you won't get very far if you aren't feeling well, which made this share easy.  For the last 5-6 years of being quite ill I have gotten extremely hypersensitive and the point where most of the vitamins and supplements suggested to me by my doctors did not agree with me and just ended up in my "pill-bottle-graveyard."  That's why I was SO EXCITED to finally find some that worked very well for my "fine-tuned" system this year.

I am using some self-restraint not to get too much in my head for this series of posts.  I don't want to spend a lot of time explaining the geeky/sciencey details...instead just getting to the good stuff!  However, I will say, we all have very different needs, but most of us are vitamin and mineral deficient...even if we eat the most healthy diet, our foods are just not as nutrient dense as they used to be.  Also, some of us have genetic factors that prevent us from actually utilizing what we eat and supplement ourselves with.  For example, for a long time I was getting B-12 in my multivitamin (Centrum - suggested to me by my PCP before I knew better!  Yuck!), but I wasn't utilizing it.  It was basically just building up in my system (my blood levels were between 2,000-3,000), which was causing me anxiety and insomnia, among other things.  Since then I have learned about the ever important "Methylation."  (If you want to read more about methylation I have carefully selected two articles that I think explain it well, without getting into the over-the-top details, from: "To Health With That!" & "Judy Tsafrir, MD"...the second one is really cool, because it looks at methylation - both under and over - and the emotional/mental implications).

Though a healthy diet is first and foremost, a high quality multivitamin is a close second!  Pure Encapsulations is one of my all-time favorite brands, and they really do seem to agree with even the most sensitive of people (like moi).  Their O.N.E. Multivitamin ROCKS!!!  Among tons of other good stuff it has Metafolin (methylated Folate), methylated B-12, and TRAACS molybdenum, which is huge for detoxification!  Multivitamins can be hard to tolerate, so I started with literally a pinch on my breakfast, and very slowly worked my way up to a full cap overtime (I still open it and mix it with my food to help with absorption).  I can't wait to have my homocysteine levels rechecked to see if they have gone down!

POWER DUO!!!  They will keep you going this holiday season...and beyond!
B-Vitamins are extremely important for so many reasons...especially nervous system function and energy levels.  Vitamin B-12 deficiency is the root cause of many ailments (which you can read about if you are interested...just click the link).  It is important to get your levels tested, but just know that a very high level doesn't mean you are all set (remember what I said high level just meant that I wasn't using what I was taking...though doctors mistook that high level as a good thing, it wasn't).  After lots of research I found Global Healing Center's liquid (and it also happens to be Vegan) Methylated B-12.  I love that I can take as little as I want and start slowly...and there are no crazy additives.  I started with 1 drop, first thing in the morning, and worked my way up to around 3-4 drops total.  If I go up too high my body lets me know with insomnia/strange dreams and agitation.  Since I take so little, one bottle lasts me a very long time!  I started taking these drops in June (2016), and I just had my blood drawn to check B-12 last week, so I am excited to see where my levels are at.  I definitely feel better, and that's all that really matters!  I just purchased some other products from Global Healing Center (digestive enzymes, probiotics, oxy-powder, etc. to support digestion), because I really love their quality, and they had some crazy "Cyber Monday" deals - running until 12/ get in there!

I am hoping this "favorite things" post will help you feel your absolute best this holiday season, because that is THE BEST GIFT EVER!  May you have energy and peace to spare so you can truly enjoy yourself and be fully present with your loved ones (without relying on coffee or energy drinks)!  XO!

*EXTRA TIP: Take your Multi, and especially the B-12 (and other B-Vitamins), in the morning because they can be stimulating to the system...and we NEVER want to interfere with a good night's sleep!