If there are two things everyone seems to want to boost it’s their wealth and their health.
I grew up on the Standard American Diet and a wealth of health issues – debilitating periods, asthma, seasonal allergies that weren’t actually seasonal, food intolerances, sensitivity to artificial fragrance, sensitivity to changes in blood sugar, headaches, dry skin, white patches on my legs and keratosis pilaris on my arms.
I was surviving by what was my normal but I wasn’t thriving.
My health problems only got worse in college. I developed hemiplegiac migraines and combated massive fatigue with massive caffeine intake that exacerbated breathing issues and anxiety.
It wasn’t until I was married and began discussing starting a family with Husband that I started on my journey to a healthier lifestyle.
I dove into Weston A. Price, bone broth, kombucha, herbal medicines, paleo, whole foods, essential oils, homeopathy – if it was labeled crunchy I was into it.
I had a fairly standard first pregnancy but V has had autoimmune-related health issues for most of her life. While Baby A seems to be healthy overall, after two pregnancies (for me) and the massive stress of nursing school (for Husband) coupled with lifelong health issues that hadn’t been rooted out and V’s natural sensitivity, it seems like we’re all in need of a reset.
With the release of UltimateBundles’ Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, I was inspired to go back to the basics of what small changes make us feel the best.
Here are my top five easy tricks to naturally boost your health
1. Cut sugar
Now I know for some people the idea of completely cutting out sugar is not remotely easy. But sugar has such a suppressing effect on your immune system it is my one standby as soon as someone is starting to feel run down. Plus the blood sugar spikes wreak havoc on your hormones and adrenals.
Some tricks to ease the pain? Even if you only cut added sugar (which is what I usually do) your body will benefit immensely. Swap fruit in for your treats, switch to kombucha instead of soda (but avoid kombucha if you have IBS or SIBO – and if you feel extremely bloated after drinking kombucha, you may want to get tested for SIBO). My favorite snack when I’m being strict on cutting added sugar is frozen blueberries. The little bit of natural sugar helps calm the sugar beast and the frozen texture feels different than a regular snack. Some people also have success with keeping organic dark chocolate in their diet but cutting all other sugar.
2. Introduce fermented foods
While I firmly believe probiotics are an amazing health tool, it’s hard to keep up with which probiotics are the best for which types of issues – fridge vs. shelf-stable vs. soil. We do use this probiotic supplement occasionally and I supplement with this during candida flares, but we don’t use one every day. Instead we try to incorporate fermented foods into our diet. Fermented foods have a much higher bacteria count and a wider variety of strains, plus they are easier on your body to use. My kids all love sauerkraut and I really enjoy kimchi. I’ve made sauerkraut in the past but we are lucky that there are several local companies who make fermented foods which makes this even easier on a busy mama.
3. Supplement sparingly and specifically
Our bodies absorb nutrients and minerals best when they are in their natural state – food. The best way to supplement is by eating a wide variety of high quality meats and produce and listening to what your body needs. For example, my body craves chocolate when I need a magnesium boost so I use this lotion or spray (I’ve tried cheaper brands but they were not mixed as well). Listen to your body and then try to discover what sorts of minerals or nutrients you may be lacking based on your cravings. It won’t always work but it can be great insight into the state of your nutrient stores.
Just like I’m not pro-constant probiotic supplementation, I don’t think everyone needs to take a multi-vitamin for the entirety of their life. When I am breastfeeding or pregnant I do use a prenatal vitamin because I’m not comfortable enough with the nutrient stores of my body or the quality of soil used to grow my food. This is my favorite prenatal. When I am feeling particularly run down, a few doses of this and I feel amazingly better. When my kids haven’t been eating well or seem off in general, we like this lower sugar gummy vitamin option.
4. Supercharge your water
I don’t love the taste of water. Especially when I’m pregnant, getting enough water to maintain my body’s optimum levels is a chore. Supercharging my water through natural flavors and add-ins helps a ton. Using a magnesium powder like this one gives water a slight taste (I usually get the unflavored) and effervescence that I find pleasant. I like to add half a lemon to a glass of room temperature water first thing in the morning for a cleansing burst of energy (without the crash I get from my beloved coffee). There are lots of flavored water options that only use fruits, veggies and fresh herbs that are great options. And when I can tell my adrenals are needing a boost I’ll add a pinch or two of himalyan pink salt or this vitamin c powder to my water. When someone is starting to feel a virus coming on we start supplementing with the vitamin c powder, elderberry (we make our own syrup but this one is great in a pinch), and echinacea.
5. Optimize your skin
Your skin is your biggest organ and one we often overlook. When I’m feeling run down I try to catch some bare skin time outside in the sun for a much-need Vitamin D boost. Another way of caring for my skin (and get a lymph boost in the process) is skin brushing. Before hopping in the shower, brush your skin in circular motions toward your heart with a boar bristle brush (this is a great starter kit) and then rinse off. It’s invigorating, your skin will feel great, and you’ll help unclog your lymph system. These are both also great ways to force yourself to slow down. Spending this time in prayer is a great way to take care of mind, body and soul all at the same time.
What are your favorite ways to boost your health naturally when you are starting to feel run down? Looking for more tips? Be sure to check out the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle before the awesome deal expires – $3,236.39 in healthy living ebooks, ecourses, printables and more and you get it for only $37 if you buy before Monday.