Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Working on #Wellness

It is not easy to change from a life of unwell to a life of wellness.

I have had signs for YEARS that my body was revolting against my lack of health-minded habits. I was diagnosed with arthritis at 16, 16! While there is arthritis in the family, it had always been late onset. At that time, we did not have any answers as to why I had developed arthritis. The diagnosis came after I had weeks of extreme cramping and pain in my hands.

When I was 22 I had to have my gallbladder removed after my second pregnancy. It was ugly and there was no saving it. The organ had been inflamed the entire pregnancy and sent me to the emergency room when the baby was only 6 weeks old. Two weeks later I had it removed and my digestive system has never recovered.

From the time I was about 14 I had an occasional migraine every couple months, after my gallbladder came out the migraines increased to 14-20 days a month with one.

Doctors were unsure of why, but gave me prescriptions. Some helped, some didn't, some gave me some really bad side effects. I stopped taking them after one gave me a bad reaction. I decided I would just deal with it, and I did until I went to college.

Functioning through day to day tasks aren't horrid when you know what is coming. Learning and thinking changes from day to day especially with the increased tasks. At this point, I started watching what caused the migraines. I noticed that sometimes the migraines and arthritic flares would coincide.

Migraine wise I have three different ones.
  1. Triggered by hormones (Thank you, Aunt Flo)
  2. Triggered by barometric pressure (Thank you mother earth)
  3. Triggered by certain food additives (Thank you, Uncle Sam)
The first two I decided I would leave be while I focused on the third. Interesting thing is that when the third one started getting under control, the other two did too.

Food determines a lot of our health, it truly is garbage in, garbage out.  I have to work at keeping the bad stuff out of my system. I am not there yet. 

So what is it that my system has issues with? MonoSodium Glutamate, Dairy Products, Red 40 food color, Yellow 5 and 6 food color, Carmel Color, High Fructose Corn Syrup, ANY artificial/processed sweetener,  nightshade family (many spices, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, white potatoes, etc)

Every time I cheat it takes a while to get back on the train. Wellness is about a lifestyle, not just diet. While food is the foundation stone to your physical life, exercise is important. The sedentary lifestyle that many have picked up from their work schedules is not good. If nothing else on your break walk around the parking lot for 15 minutes. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

How do you work on your wellness?

  • I am working on a recipe book for our family that is "safe" for all of us. (Our youngest has several food sensitivities too.) 
  • Planning a few fall hikes for the family. We live in an area perfect for a nice hike.
  • Teaching the kids how to cook also. This will not only help in the day to day but also prepare them for being an adult.

Monday, October 24, 2016

REVIEW: Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate

This product, Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate, I purchased after I was in a discussion about healthy joints. This brand and this exact product were recommended multiple times.

A little bit of my history. I fell on concrete (about a 2-foot drop) several years ago. Both of my knees were injured badly. As a mom, I did not feel that I had time to stop and get myself to the doctor so there was never a diagnosis. B3's physical therapist did look at the worse of the knees and questioned if I broke my knee cap. Again, I did not seek medical treatment. At the time I took glucosamine chondroitin. After about 2 weeks I seemed to be okay.

In the last 5 years, age has caught up and the aches and pains with it. I have also developed an allergy to some shellfish and glucosamine chondroitin is off the table to help my joints. This is why the healthy joints discussion caught my attention.

I have purchased three containers of the Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate in the last three months. That said, it is obvious I believe this product is helpful. I mix 2 tablespoons in my coffee in the morning along with Dr. Bronners Coconut Oil. The product helps my joints.

Some things to note. Drinking the appropriate amount of water for your body is essential for joint health. As well as eating a well-rounded diet. Avoid foods and beverages that increase inflammation.

Since using  Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate, I do no have as much joint pain. I have also noticed that my skin is not as dry and my hair is getting healthier. I do take other supplements so I am unable to say my skin and hair are from the Collagen. I have noticed the decreased joint inflammation since starting to use it. This really says a lot because the fall tends to be pain season.

An additional benefit is that this is protein. For me, this is a great advantage because my glucose levels are irregular in the morning since I have a hard time eating breakfast. By adding it to my coffee, it helps level out.

To also note, while I have used it in my coffee (religiously), it can also be dissolved in room temperature beverages too.

Disclaimer: This website uses affiliate links. We were not compensated for this review.
Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate

Monday, October 17, 2016

REVIEW: Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium Dietary Supplement

We are always looking for ways to improve our health and in doing so, love to share with others.

The Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium Dietary Supplement was recommended to me after I researched magnesium supplements. My doctor had suggested taking magnesium to combat leg cramps and insomnia. I started using Epsom salts to soak my feet in or even take a bath in the evenings and it helped.

*Epsom salt is Magnesium Citrate

As time went on, stopping every day to do an Epsom salt soak became bothersome. We have a busy schedule and can get caught up. Plus, we were going through a lot of Epsom salt between me and B3. (Epsom salt soaks are amazing for kids with sensory issues.)

We tried magnesium butter. Which I believe we received the most benefit from as you are putting the magnesium on your skin and it absorbs. The problem with magnesium butter is it can be expensive. Not to put a price on health, but it is a consideration.

So, a magnesium supplement was recommended. The guidelines are that it needs to have a high absorption rate. I ordered Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium Dietary Supplement.

The first thing I noticed was the tablets are large and dosage is 2. It took a couple days to get used to taking them. The do not have a coating so they will dissolve some. They are not too horrible as my 11-year-old can take them with no problem.

Since I started taking them, I get better sleep. Plus, I don't feel drugged like I have with other homeopathic or prescription alternatives.  (Note* I take the magnesium in the morning) In addition, the leg cramps I was having that were quite painful have minimalized. At worst now I will feel a tight muscle and rubbing it out with some fractionated coconut oil and lemongrass essential oil takes care of it in minutes.

My 11-year-old also takes these tablets and his sensory issues are at the level that taking an Epsom salt bath daily were. He is also seeing a reduction in migraine headaches since taking them.

To focus on this brand, I feel that we get a good absorption rate. It is nice to have alternatives. I will continue to purchase these supplements. If you are interested in the oils that we use, please email me at faith(at)heaveninourhearts.com

Disclaimer: This website uses affiliate links to help support the site. We have NOT been compensated for this review.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Break is dwindling down

Peek a boo, I see youOur boys love fall break. They enjoy some downtime for school so that they can reset their minds and start fresh.

B3 was able to attend the Jr. Ranger Camp for special needs kids at MBSP. All three boys were able to spend some time with Nana and Papa too. Plus, there was time spent together just as a family.

For mom and dad, the end of fall break is a relief. It is a struggle to make sure the kids are taken care of while we work to provide. We also have the reminder of how things are different from when we ourselves were growing up. Both of us at the age of 13 or 14 would have been allowed to play outside or even go to a friend's house while our parents were at work. It just isn't safe to do that now unless there are arrangements made prior.

G1 & guy visiting with the boysThe boys did have a LOT of fun playing Apples to Apples with G1 and her guy when they came over on Sunday. It was a very joyous and loud game. Makes my heart melt when the grown come back for family night.

B1 and B2 are excited to be going back to school on Monday. For friends or for education, it matters not. They enjoy going to school. B3 is having difficulty. School causes a lot of anxiety for him.

To end our weekend, we have a plan to go hiking.

Disclaimer: We do use affiliate links on this site. They help support the site and keep it running.

Monday, October 10, 2016

REVIEW: Wool Dryer Balls 6 Pack-XL.

organic wool dryer ballsIn seeking healthier methods to take care of my family and also save money, I purchased Wool Dryer Balls 6 Pack-XL by Feeling Fluffy. I was not too sure how my family would  respond to having "fluffy balls" in their laundry.

The first person to adjust was Hubby. He wanted his dryer sheets. His argument was that the dryer sheets didn't really cost that much and added a nice fragrance to the laundry. The answer to cost is that while the dryer balls are an expense at the beginning, after a month or two (3-4 for average sized families), the balls are cheaper.

The next person to complain was G3, the college student. Her complaint was that the balls get stuck in her laundry, specifically her sheets and blankets. But, she did notice that the laundry dried quicker.

What I have noticed since purchasing in November 2015:

  1. My dryer runs a lot less = lower electricity usage
  2. Our clothes seem to be softer.
  3. We now have fewer chemicals in our lives, I don't purchase fabric softener at all .
Tricks we learned to make everybody happy:
  1. I put a drop or two of essential oil on each ball about once a week.
  2. I don't over dry my clothes to prevent static.
  3. I use at least 6 per load (we ended up buying another set)

The only true problem we have run into is that if the laundry sits, the balls get misplaced in the basket. So we have to stay on top of the laundry, which is good practice anyway with this brood.

As I am finishing this up, The bed set (comforter, mattress pad, fitted sheet, and flat sheet) that I put in the dryer 20 minutes ago is done. That used to take at least 45 minutes and rearranging to get dry before.

Disclaimer: This website uses affiliate links. We were not compensated for this review.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

October Already? Fall, Autumn, Color, Crisp Air

It is hard to believe that time has brought us to the month of October already. The kids have completed the 1st 9 weeks of the 2016-2017 school year.

B1 at practiceThere have been a couple hiccups. B1 exploring being in the High School and joining Raiders with the JROTC. Learning that being responsible is not just a nice thing, but sort of required in life. He is doing well with his academics and is enjoying the competition.

B2 is enjoying being an "upperclassman" in the middle school. Good grades, enjoying choir and growing like a weed. He is looking to try out new things to find just who it is that he wants to be. Being the musically creative one, he also wants to see what other things spark his interest. He says singing isn't going to create video games so he has to find something that will.

B2 and B3 enjoying fallIt appears to be the one having the hardest time adjusting this year is B3. 6th grade is a hard adjustment. He has never adjusted to change easily,  With his special needs, anxiety is becoming a major issue. We are attempting to work with his teachers but it does take time. We are thankful that we have essential oils to support him while his issues are coming under control.

The amazing part of the season is that the air is turning crisp, the colors are vivid in the foliage and it is perfect chili weather. I can not wait until we have a bonfire and hot dog roast. (It is one thing the entire family loves.)

One of the must-haves when it comes to the change of seasons is our essential oils. The protective blend of essential oils is a must have. I love diffusing it in the diffusers at home to give the air a fresh fall scent. The blend has wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary.