My natural home birth

My natural health obsession reached a peak when I became pregnant with my son. I was well on my way before then but the responsibility of creating another human being really kicked it up a few notches!

I knew right from the get-go I didn’t want to give birth in a hospital setting unless there was some sort of medical emergency that required it. And my health philosophy is all about being super (and borderline obsessively) proactive to avoid medical emergencies. When it comes to my health, I never leave anything to chance.

An acquaintance of mine that had gone through a couple of natural home births recommended I start drinking red raspberry leaf tea even before I became pregnant to improve fertility and especially during pregnancy to strengthen my uterus. I did this regularly before and throughout my pregnancy. In doing your research on this herb, you’ll see that conventional medicine says it can cause miscarriage in the first three months. If you read carefully, the research tested the isolated active component and not the whole herb. Be aware and do what feels comfortable and safe for you.

From a food standpoint, I avoided the usual list to steer clear of but on top of that I completely eliminated coffee and even chocolate. My boy didn’t even get chocolate cake on his first birthday… I made him “chocolate cake” using carob. I told you I was crazy right? I’m a lot more nutritionally lax with my son nowadays but it was really important for me to get him started right. I was also drinking a lot of fresh, homemade green juices.

It goes without saying I went the midwife route. I also hired a doula and took hypno-birthing classes. These are non-negotiable in my opinion. I have no doubt that the affirmations and visualization I learned to do through hypno-birthing were a big factor in my success and positive birth experience. I actually hate that as women we’ve been made to feel disempowered and scared of our own bodies when it comes to birthing. These exercises helped me ignore the fear-mongering that surrounded me.

In addition to mental exercise, physical exercise was a huge part of my pregnancy. I was doing spinning classes into my 8th month and my last gym workout was 4 days before I gave birth. I worked with the amazingย Sarah Zahab to get the best pregnancy workout for my needs. I also religiously did my Kegels and deep squat stretches. Giving birth was probably the toughest workout I ever did and staying in shape throughout pregnancy was definitely one of the best decisions I could have made.

I really wish someone would have introduced me to the power of essential oils back then. High-quality mandarin and lavender are amazing health and mood supports during pregnancy. I’m certain I could’ve reduced a lot of discomfort with oils and I can just imagine how amazing it would have been to have a diffuser going during labour.

I rarely go into detail about how wonderful and empowering my birthing story was because I know that’s not everyone’s experience. However, I decided to share some of the counter-culture things I did to help others who want to follow this path and hopefully make a small impact in the birthing experience of these women.

We are STRONG. We are POWERFUL. We were MADE TO DO THIS. Please don’t ever let anyone take that belief away from you…

Sounds crazy (and by now you know I am crazy!) but I would totally give birth again tomorrow. Unfortunately, having another baby just wasn’t in the cards for me.

I would absolutely love to hear the positive home birth stories of other women! Feel free to share with us in the comments below and include any unconventional things you might have done during your pregnancy ๐Ÿ™‚

M.

My jade roller experience

I should first mention that I’ve had a love affair with jade for a long time. The colour is amazing and I’ve been lucky to be gifted beautiful jade jewelry over the years.

I’m not big into gemstones and crystals but I vaguely knew it had powerful healing properties. When I heard about jade rollers, I decided to take a deeper look. Turns out, jade is considered the stone of eternal youth. That statement in itself was enough to capture my attention!

The whole premise behind the jade roller is to apply pressure up and out across different areas of your face to increase circulation and lymph flow, smooth out wrinkles and give your skin a nice glow. It doesn’t take much more than two minutes to do so and I can attest to the glow!

To use, keep your jade roller in the freezer. The cooling sensation feels nice and can also help with any puffiness you may be experiencing. Prepare your skin by washing it and then applying a natural oil. I make my own skin oil and I’ve posted a couple of recipes here and here.

I highly recommend you use only the BEST essential oils as essential oils easily penetrate the skin and many can go into your cells… plus, the jade roller will further help enhance absorption. For good health and longevity, it’s extremely important for you to keep your cells healthy and toxin-free as much as realistically possible. Reach out to me to get started with the best essential oils and find out more here.

Wash your jade roller with mild and all-natural soap after each use, then put back in the freezer. And voilร ! Repeat daily, morning and night.

Have you tried jade rolling yet?

M.

 

 

 

 

 

Whatโ€™s in your product: body spray

doTERRA "Beautiful" body mist
My favourite “pure-fume” scent.

Perfume was definitely one of the first things to go when I started removing the toxins from my self-care routine. That was years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been settling for smelling like the essential oils I add to my all-natural deodorant,ย which is not a bad thing at all ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lately, the fad seems to be body mists. You can smell massive wafts of it walking by certain stores in shopping malls. Problem is, along with the pretty smell, you can usually also smell the synthetics they carry.

Remember: it’s been said that your body absorbs about 60% of what you put on it. Plus, the particles you breathe in go directly to your brain…

In this blog post from the “What’s in your product” series, I cover the doTERRA Spa body mist which happens to include my favourite-smelling essential oil blend. It rates super low according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database. Here’s the EWG scale:

EWG-scale

And here are the ingredients plus how they rate on this scale:

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: used to moisturize and replenish the skin.ย Scores as a 1ย on the EWG scale.
  • Coco-Caprylate: acts as skin conditioning agent andย scores as a 1 on the EWG scale.
  • Octyldodecanol: fragrance ingredient that rates super low as a 1 on the EWG scale.
  • Citric Acid: I talked about citric acid in my last post in this series. It’s also used in food products so I found it surprising that it rates as a 2 on the EWG scale. This is still relatively low.

The rest are natural oils, essential oils and extracts. So, needless to say, I now have a pure-fume body mist back in my self-care routine! I also love keeping a bottle in my gym bag. In addition to just smelling good, the essential oils in this mist have the added benefits of being uplifting, calming and confidence-boosting.

You can feel (and smell) good spraying this body mist on your skin!

M.

You can always email me at rustikhealth@gmail.com for more information about these products or join my community and get some delivered to your home ๐Ÿ˜‰

Essential oils and vaccines

Mother's hands, child's hands, doTERRA zendocrine essential oil detoxification blend
This is so much more than simply plant essences to my family and I.

This doesn’t make much sense but I am vaxxed (by “way-back-when” standards), my son is somewhat vaxxed but I am TOTALLY anti-vaccination. Let me explain…

Although I had started on a natural health path well before I ever became pregnant, when I found out I was expecting I became really hard core. I started making everything myself: what I applied to my skin, most of what I used around the house and I ensured that every food product that went in my mouth had maximum nutritional value. Can you believe I didn’t consume any chocolate during my whole pregnancy because of the minimal caffeine content?! That’s how hard core I was… and I have zero idea how I survived that… I’m sure I lost my mind for 9 months. LOL!

I had never thought twice about vaccines until I became pregnant. I remember getting some shots in middle school and I know from my parents that I got some when I was younger also. But the whole concept freaked me out when I delivered my son. I had been reading up on it months before and my gut instinct just didn’t feel right about it. The whole concept of vaccines is pure genius but the actual execution of it is completely suspicious to me. Plus, the exponential increase in the number of vaccines administered to kids from when I was born to now is alarming in my opinion.

I managed to hold off on vaccinating my boy until he was 5 years old (MMR). In fact, he might never have been vaccinated at all had his dad and I not gotten divorced. It became a losing battle for me after the split because, let’s face it, there isn’t a lot of support out there for anyone that questions the medical status quo. We’re all a bunch of quacks.

So when I knew I’d have no choice but to see my son get some shots, I feverishly researched what I could do to support his body before and after vaccination. I wasn’t going to just let my kid get injected with sh*t and hope for the best. The first thing I learned in my holistic nutrition studies was that illness/disease is dependent on TWO factors: exposure AND susceptibility. I might not have much control over exposure but I was going to do EVERYTHING I could to reduce my son’s susceptibility.

As I was researching, looking for gentle and safe protocols for detoxing vaccinated children, that’s when I discovered essential oils. Most of the natural health tools I read about I already knew but the one that stood out to me was a specific blend of essential oils called Zendocrine. It was recommend I include this oil in an Epsom salt bath for my son. I immediately ordered a bottle and so became the obsession with essential oils as part of my holistic health lifestyle.

Since then, my son got vaccinated another two times. Once at 6 years of age with the DTaP vaccine followed by another dose at 8. Even though I have a bunch of natural tools at my disposal to support his body through this, I still haven’t become comfortable with the whole process.ย I might feel slightly more comfortable with vaccines if they at least contained ONE healthy ingredient. Like, seriously… we can’t have one vitamin, mineral, macro-nutrient, phyto-nutrient, antioxidant, etc.??? This is the ingredient list of the last vaccine my boy had:

  • Pertussis toxoid
  • Pertussis filamentous haemagglutinin
  • Pertussis fimbriae types 2 and 3
  • Pertussis pertactin
  • Diptheria toxoid
  • Tetanus toxoid
  • Aluminium phosphate
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Formaldehyde
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Water

I felt sick to my stomach typing that. All that sh*t went straight into a young child’s bloodstream – bypassing important processes in the body’s immune system. Oh, but wait… it had water. That’s healthy, right?! For the first time ever, my son had an adverse reaction to a vaccine and I can’t even begin to describe how upset I was. You can bet he won’t be getting another shot for a LONG time!

I’m not writing this post to fuel the whole vaccine debate. How other people take care of their health is none of my business. I’m just here to share some tips for others that don’t feel quite right about vaccines but either choose to or are forced to go through with it:

  • Nutrition is the foundation of health. Make sure your child consumes as much nutrient-dense food as possible before and after. I make my boy chug down a green smoothie. It often takes coaxing and bribing, but you gotta do what you gotta do…
  • Let’s face it… it can be hard to get your child to make good food choices. To compensate, include a high-quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement in his/her diet.
  • Fish oil and probiotics: these are non-negotiable, if you ask me!
  • Epsom salt bath with Zendocrine essential blend nighly for the next week or two. They may comment that it smells funny… but it small price to pay for amazing benefits.
  • Helichrysum essential oil with coconut oil applied around the injection site for bruising.
  • Lots of love and cuddles.

You’ll find other steps you can take but these are just the ones I ended up following through on. Most of these are things I also do on a regular basis just to maintain my son’s overall health.

I hope this helps others that felt scared and helpless like I did just a few years ago…

M.

Disclaimer: please don’t take this post as medical advice. The intent is to encourage you to be proactive with your family’s health. There are simple, safe and effective tools out there to empower you and ensure you don’t leave you family’s health outcomes to chance. You are more powerful than you think…

 

 

 

 

 

Whatโ€™s in your product: kid’s probiotic

pb-assist-jr-retouched
Remember Fun Dip when you were a kid? This probiotic powder tastes just like that!

I decided to do a blog mini-series on the ingredients of key products and supplements that I use with my family. I find it astonishing how many people blindly apply to their skin, ingest, inject and inhale products without ever having read or taken the time to learn about the ingredients.

Granted, I am definitely guilty of occasionally doing this myself and so I’m making a conscious effort to really understand what I bring into my home. I spent a few hours this weekend totally nerding it out and reading scientific abstracts. Be assured I won’t reference any random health blogger or profit-seeking corporation info (even though I shamelessly do represent this brand).

This first post is going to be about PB Assist Jr., a probiotic I give to my son and personally use on a regular basis. Yup, I take a kid’s probiotic because it just tastes so darn good that I crave it and thus never forget to take it ๐Ÿ™‚

And this is why I don’t want to forget to take my probiotics or give them to my son:

There is increasing evidence in favour of the claims of beneficial effects attributed to probiotics, including improvement of intestinal health, enhancement of the immune response, reduction of serum cholesterol, and cancer prevention.ย ” (Source)

In addition to the 5 billion live cells of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains in this probiotic formula, and the fructo-oliogosaccharide prebiotic, this product includes:

Xylitol and erythritol: these are known as “polyols”, “sugar alcohols” or “indigestible sugars”. They are safer sweeteners with side benefits. For example, xylitol can apparently reduce blood glucose, trygliceride and cholesterol levels (source and source). It’s been studied a lot in the context of dentistry as it has been shown to have beneficial effects on the oral flora, reduces the accumulation of dental plaque, promotes mineralization by increasing the flow of saliva and decreases the risk of caries in children (source).

(Note: xylitol, and to a lesser degree erythritol, can cause gastro-intestinal disturbances in some people and xylitol should be avoided by those on the FODMAPs diet. Eating fiber at the same time can help prevent this. Also, know that this issue will go away as soon as you stop consumption.)

Silica: silica is a food additive and acts as an excipient for drugs and vitamins. I didn’t know what “excipient” meant either so I googled some definitions and found that it’s an inactive substance that confers a therapeutic enhancement, such as facilitating the absorption or enhancing the solubility of something. So it sounds like it’s basically helping something work better.

There’s data to suggest that silica is actually essential for health but there is no established RDI. Deficiency induces deformities the skull and peripheral bones (yikes!), poorly formed joints, reduced contents of cartilage, collagen and disruption of mineral balance in some bones (source).

Citric acid: citric acid is found in fruit and also acts as an excipient due to its antioxidant properties (source).

And well, there’s natural strawberry melon flavor… I’m sure that’s what has me addicted to this product (lol). This information is likely proprietary so I’ll have to trust in the good faith of the company for this one.

I hope this was helpful! These ingredients are in many other natural health products so now you know what they do ๐Ÿ˜‰

M.

 

Winter 2018 face oil


I’ve been creating variations of this face oil now for well over one year. It seems to last approximately 3 to 4 months. You can read about my last concoction here.

This time around, given winter is basically here, I’ve gravitated towards more moisturizing oils. As a base, I used jojoba because it’s excellent for the skin and macadamia nut for its skin moisturizing, regenerative, anti-aging and non pore clogging properties.

To be honest, the proportions for the base oil (1 part jojoba and 3 parts macadamia) were purely based on how much of each oil I had left! I would have reversed the proportions had I had more jojoba left. I was actually really nervous about using so much macadamia… I thought it would be really greasy for some reason but I FELL IN LOVE with it! I’m really happy with the texture of it and how my skin absorbs it super well.

As for the essential oils, I picked the following:

  • Frankincense (5 drops): because I ALWAYS use frank on my skin. It is said to preserve a youthful complexion and aids in cell regeneration. (Mic drop)
  • Patchouli (1 drop): great for dry and mature skin. Because let’s face it… I ain’t getting any younger.
  • Sandalwood (2 drops): good for dehydrated and aging skin. Pretty much the same reason I went with patchouli. By the way, I am obsessed with using sandalwood in my hair! I’ll post about my shampoo soon ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Blue tansy (2 drops): moisturizing and soothing to dry skin. And that blue colour… that means it has antioxidant super powers!

I mixed all of the above in a 50 ml amber glass bottle with dropper lid. It only takes about 6 to 7 drops per application.

What do you think about my oil choices? Let me know!

M.

November natural health order

For a myriad of reasons I wonโ€™t get into tonight, I decided to blog my monthly natural wellness order. Maybe one day Iโ€™ll blog about the reasons why I did so ๐Ÿ˜‰

The big bottle is alcohol-free, essential oil infused On Guard mouthwash and it is my new obsession. Seriously, I had run out for a few days and I was freaking out over my oral health. Why? Because I see HUGE benefits from using this mouthwash every day. You only see me unpack one bottle here but I actually ordered two bottles – I couldn’t even wait to do this short video and blog post to start using it again. It’s now one of my MUST HAVE products. It also rates super well if you look up the ingredients in the Environmental Working Group database.

You also don’t see me unpack my second obsession, which is the PB Assist Junior kids probiotics. I’ve unpacked these a few times already and talked about them. I’ve ordered them regularly. However, the problem now is that I’ve tasted them… and well… they taste AMAZING! So I haven’t even been taking my “adult” probiotics anymore I just want the kids version. No kidding, I crave the stuff like I crave candy or chocolate. Except this is actually good for me. Have a hard time remembering to take probiotics? If you fall in love with the taste like I do, it will never been an issue again! In fact, you’ll have a hard time holding back from taking more ๐Ÿ™‚

So now for the oils… I won’t explain all the different uses for these oils – because there are tons! – I’ll just cover what I used these for.

  • Clove: incredible antioxidant; good for oral health (Health Canada approved for internal use).
  • Bergamot: love diffusing at night for bedtime; on an emotional level, it’s an oil that helps provide confidence and self-esteem. It might sound crazy y’all but it works for me!
  • Lemon: an all-around great cleanser. What don’t I use lemon for? People also love it for the skin but make sure you avoid the sun for at least 12 hours if you apply it topically.
  • Geranium: this is another great one for the skin. It’s in the skin moisturizer I make. I like putting a drop over my heart when I need some emotional support. I’ll mix this with Clary Sage and apply topically for respiratory relief (and my beau loves the smell of this combo on me).
  • Black pepper: honestly, I’m just low on this one and not too sure why. It’s used a lot in pain blends.
  • Arborvitae: I love the smell of this one (think: wet cedar) so I diffuse it a lot with a citrus oil and flowery oil. I like to put a drop under my feet as a tonic.

Voilร ! That’s my November health products restock.

M.