Empowered Sustenance http://empoweredsustenance.com Eat well and heal!™ Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:16:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 How to Stock a Natural Medicine Cabinet http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-medicine-cabinet/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-medicine-cabinet/#respond Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:16:06 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7668 What’s in my natural medicine cabinet? I’m frequently asked about what products I use on a daily basis, so this is a first in a series that will cover: What’s in my natural first aid kit? Read it here What’s in my natural medicine cabinet? What’s in my natural makeup bag? Coming soon What’s my supplement […]

The post How to Stock a Natural Medicine Cabinet appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
how to stock a natural medicine cabinet!

What’s in my natural medicine cabinet?

I’m frequently asked about what products I use on a daily basis, so this is a first in a series that will cover:

  • What’s in my natural first aid kit? Read it here
  • What’s in my natural medicine cabinet?
  • What’s in my natural makeup bag? Coming soon
  • What’s my supplement routine? Coming soon

Many of these products are items that I’ve settled on after trying numerous brands. All of them fit my strict ingredient standards for purity and sustainability.

A few of these items, like the bentonite clay and tallow balm, are also considered part of my Natural First Aid Kit. That’s what I love about simple, natural remedies – they boast so many uses!

What I have in my natural medicine cabinet:

Castor oil – I use organic castor oil for oil cleansing in the evening. (Here are directions for oil cleansing, a method of deep-cleansing the face. It’s excellent for balancing oily and acne-prone skin). I also make a moisturizing body oil by mixing 1 part castor oil with 3 parts macadamia oil (discussed below). Feel free to add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for fragrance.

Bentonite Clay – I use Hydrated Redmond Clay as a face mask once a week. It is a staple in my Natural First Aid kit as well, and I use it on cuts and bug bites.

Earthpaste – Did you know that the glycerine found in many natural toothpastes (including Tom’s of Maine) can coat the teeth, preventing the healthy mineralization process of your teeth? I use Earthpaste, which is made with only clay, sea salt, essential oils and a bit of Xylitol for sweetness.

Enessa Clove Acne ControlEnessa Clove Acne control, a proprietary blend of essential oils in jojoba oil, is the only topical treatment I’ve found that drastically reduces the inflammation and redness of cystic acne overnight. I’ve used it for years and am never without a bottle. A little goes a long way (apply it only to the cyst) and a bottle lasts me at least 7 months. 

Enessa Rescue OilEnessa Rescue oil is formulated for non-cystic breakouts. Only apply it directly on blemishes, definitely not to the entire face. It is pricey, but the best thing I’ve found for blemishes. A teeny-tiny dab goes a long way and a bottle lasts me many months. I also use it for soothing bug bites.

Jojoba oil – I use organic jojoba oil mixed with macadamia oil as a daytime facial moisturizer. These are the only oils I can use on my face because they don’t break me out. Many people can use coconut oil, shea butter or other natural oils as a facial moisturizer, but these don’t work well for me. It’s important to find what works best for you.

how to stock a natural medicine cabinet!Macadamia oilMacadamia oil makes an amazing face, body and hair oil alone or mixed with jojoba oil. I love it because it absorbs quickly without a residue, and is lightweight and non-comedogenic for the face.

Morrocco Method products – I use only Morrocco Method shampoos and conditioners – which I discuss here in detail – as well as the ultra-lightweight Styling Pomade to help define the wavy texture of my hair. Bonus tip: any of the MM shampoos and conditioners also double as shaving cream or moisturizing body wash!

MyChelle Skin Clearing Pads – I use these willow bark pads to treat/prevent ingrown hairs after shaving. Works like a charm!

Primal Pit Paste – I love Primal Pit Paste deodorant because 1) it contains safe ingredients, 2) it actually works, and 3) it comes in a convenient tube.

Raw honey – I use raw honey to wash my face in the morning with The Honey Cleansing Method, explained here. Manuka honey is the best because it contains vastly higher levels of antibacterial properties, although it is more expensive. Feel free to whatever raw honey you have on hand!

Rose water – I use pure rose water as a luxurious and balancing facial toner. I put it in a glass spray bottle to spritz my face.

Tallow balm – Nothing beats tallow balm for soothing dry skin, chapped hands or ragged cuticles. It is also the best topical treatment for eczema (which can’t be truly treated topically, but it helps to have something soothing and anti-inflammatory to use on the skin). I love this handmade Tallow Balm, which has a beautiful and very light fragrance from a blend of pure essential oils. A tiny dab goes a long, long way. In the winter, I’ll use it as a body moisturizer.

I hope you enjoyed this peak into my medicine cabinet! Do you have any of the same things in your medicine cabinet? 

The post How to Stock a Natural Medicine Cabinet appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-medicine-cabinet/feed/ 0
3 Ways to use Pearl Powder for Clear Skin http://empoweredsustenance.com/pearl-powder-for-skin/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/pearl-powder-for-skin/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:33:05 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7387 Move over, pretentious diamond facials Recently, I read a blurb about a spa in New York offering facials featuring a diamond-based microdermabrasion, with each treatment accompanied by an exorbitant price tag. I thought this fad of using jewels for skin care was new, until I recently learned about the benefits of pearl powder for skin. Interestingly, […]

The post 3 Ways to use Pearl Powder for Clear Skin appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
3 ways to use pearl powder for skin health

Move over, pretentious diamond facials

Recently, I read a blurb about a spa in New York offering facials featuring a diamond-based microdermabrasion, with each treatment accompanied by an exorbitant price tag. I thought this fad of using jewels for skin care was new, until I recently learned about the benefits of pearl powder for skin.

Interestingly, pearl powder has been used both internally and externally in China for thousands of years. The only female empress of China, famed for her impeccable complexion, used pearl powder as a skin care preparation and cosmetic. Today, many skin care creams and masks in Asia feature pearl powder.

At first, I balked at the mere thought of slathering my face with pearl powder, due to the assumed price tag of this treatment. Using pearl powder may sound luxurious, however, but it is a relatively economical option as far as effective and natural beauty remedies go. I have been blown away by the results of using pearl powder as a skincare treatment and natural cosmetic. The pearls that are unsuitable for jewelry due to imperfections are carefully ground into a superfine powder, with a constancy resembling cornstarch, to use in cosmetics and beauty creams.

Where can I find pearl powder for skin?

pearl powderI played eenie-meenie-minie-moe when picking out a brand of pearl powder for the first time, but ended up with a product with which I’m happy. I made sure it said “100% pure pearl powder” on the package and also picked a package that had the label written in English rather than Chinese, so I could read it.

I got these Pearl Powder capsules, which are convenient for both using it topically and internally, as I explain below. I emptied the capsules and put them in an empty glass jar, as shown in the pictures.

 3 ways to use pearl powder for skin health

1. Make a pearl powder mask

The first time I tried this divine treatment, I couldn’t believe how effectively it calmed the redness in my skin! It leaves your face silky, matte, soft and soothed.

Directions: Empty one capsule of pearl powder into a bowl and add water of rose water, a few drops at a time, until you have a thick liquid that you can apply to your face with fingers. Let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing. I use only one capsule of this pearl powder per mask, so one bottle contains enough for 100 masks.

2. Use pearl powder as a finishing powder

Do you use a pressed powder to mattify your skin or set your makeup? Ditch the compact and switch to pearl powder! It sounds crazy, but pearl powder could be considered “mineral makeup” because pearls are minerals. Pearl powder makes an ideal face powder that diffuses imperfections and adds a shine-free luminosity.

I have a fair skin tone and it doesn’t leave any noticeable color, probably because the pearl powder is so fine. I believe it would work equally well on darker skin tones, too.

Directions: To use pearl powder as a face powder, I empty a capsule of the pearl powder onto a saucer, dip in a fluffy makeup brush, and very lightly brush it over my face. As an added bonus, you’ll reap the skin care benefits of pearl powder by using it this way. You can even apply it before bed, and it helps soothe skin and absorb excess oil during the night.

3 ways to use pearl powder for skin health

3. Supplement with pearl powder

100% pure, high quality pearl powder may be taken internally to support skin health. I have not yet tried taking pearl powder internally, primarily because I’m already juggling a smorgasbord of supplements, but the unique benefits of supplementing with pearl powder intrigue me! According to acupuncturist Patricia Pilot, these are the benefits of pearl powder supplementation:

  • Pearl powder contains an antioxidant that boosts the efficacy of superoxide dismutase, one of the strongest antioxidant enzymes in the body
  • Pearl powder contains signal proteins that stimulate the regeneration of collagen
  • Pearl powder contains a concentrated source of the most bio-avaiable form of calcium
  • Pearl powder is rich in amino acids and more than 30 trace minerals to support health (source)

Have you used pearl powder before? Would you be up to taking it internally? 

The post 3 Ways to use Pearl Powder for Clear Skin appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/pearl-powder-for-skin/feed/ 5
7 Ways to Balance Melatonin Naturally http://empoweredsustenance.com/balance-melatonin-naturally/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/balance-melatonin-naturally/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:58:21 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7921 “Why are you wearing construction glasses?” my sister asked me months ago, when I first donned what I call my Melatonin Glasses. After I gave her a lengthy explanation about blue light waves, circadian rhythms and melatonin, she turned back to the book she was reading. “Oh, I get it. It’s just another one of your […]

The post 7 Ways to Balance Melatonin Naturally appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
7 tips to balance melatonin naturally

“Why are you wearing construction glasses?” my sister asked me months ago, when I first donned what I call my Melatonin Glasses. After I gave her a lengthy explanation about blue light waves, circadian rhythms and melatonin, she turned back to the book she was reading. “Oh, I get it. It’s just another one of your crazy health things.”

Yep, that about sums it up!

How light disrupts melatonin

Melatonin is commonly thought of as The Sleep Hormone, but this is a vast oversimplification. Melatonin isn’t necessarily responsible for inducing sleep, but it does share a crucial pattern with the circadian rhythm. Melatonin is lowest in the morning and peaks at night and is closely regulated by the light in our environment.

Did you know that light governs your melatonin levels? This is one more example of how intrinsically the human body is tied to the cycles of nature. Since humans first created fire, we’ve used it for light at night. Since we’ve been evolving with with firelight, the orange glow of firelight does not mess up our circadian rhythm.

On the other hand, artificial light from light bulbs and electronic screens is interpreted as daylight to the human body.  When we are exposed to artificial light after sunset, it lowers the healthy rise of melatonin at night.

Importance of balancing melatonin

  • As discussed above, melatonin plays an important role in balancing the circadian rhythm which governs our sleep patterns.
  • Melatonin is a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent (source).
  • Melatonin is a powerful anti-cancer agent. Melatonin has been showed the slow the growth of cancer cells as well as cause cancer cells to self-destruct (source). The disruption in melatonin levels may be why shift working is linked to a wide array of health issues including cancer. The World Health Organization classifies shift working as a possible human carcinogen (source).

 How I support healthy melatonin levels

1. I do not take melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a powerful hormone, not a sleeping pill. When we take a hormone into our body, it has the ability to not only disrupt our regulation of that specific hormone, but many other hormones. Yes, melatonin is important for sleep. But that’s were lifestyle changes are valuable. Melatonin supplements should absolutely not be dolled out like candy for sleeplessness, although there may be grey area where the supplements can be helpful for jet lag. For more details, please read my post 3 Reasons to Avoid Melatonin Supplements.

2. I wear my “melatonin glasses” at least an hour before bed, but preferably from sunset to bedtime. I first learned about amber glasses in Chris Kresser’s post, How Artificial Light is Wreaking Your Sleep. The orange tint of the glasses cancels out the blue light from both the lighting in your home and the light from electronic screens. These glasses are also excellent during the day if you suffer with eye fatigue when reading a computer screen.

There are a few options for the glasses

  • These Uvex glasses, shown in the picture above and below. They are available here.
  • Wrap-around Uvex glasses, which may block light more effectively but I find my version works just fine. They are available here.
  • Gamma Ray Computer Glasses, which look like regular glasses with slightly tinted glass. They are available here. I haven’t tried these get, however I just ordered them and look forward to trying them.

Last week on Instagram (yes, I finally got started on Instagram! Follow me here) I lost my selfie virginity and shared my first selfie featuring my melatonin glasses:

melatonin glasses

3. I keep my bedroom pitch black at night with heavy-duty blackout blinds. I also use a towel to cover the crack of light under my door. For optimal melatonin levels, your room should be so black that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. However, I crack my blinds three nights out of the month to correlate with the full moon, and this helps balance my menstrual cycle. This is called Lunacaption, and I explain it in this post. It’s another example of how light can manipulate our hormones!

7 tips to balance melatonin naturally4. If I wake up during the night to use the restroom, I put on my melatonin glasses before turning on my light. Even brief exposure to light in the middle of the night can disrupt your melatonin balance.

5. I light my room with the orange glow of candlelight or a salt lamp before bed. I need a relaxing nighttime ritual to help turn off my brain before bed. At least 30 minutes before bed, I light my room with only one or two beeswax candles or my salt lamp. These produce an orange-ish light that mimics firelight and, as a result, will not disrupt melatonin. During this time, I will listen to an audiobook or music while I do some gentle yoga.

6. I have f.lux installed on my laptop. f.lux is a free program you can download and it removes the blue light from screens after sunset. The screen will look slightly orange, but it is not at all distracting. You can also install this program on your iPad or iPhone, but you must “jailbreak” the device to do this, which cancels the products warranty.

7. I don’t use electronics before bed. But if I do want to watch TV before I sleep, I make sure to wear my melatonin glasses.

*If you work a night shift or rotating shift, supporting healthy melatonin levels is a bit more complicated but even more crucial. Wearing melatonin glasses during the night will help keep your circadian rhythm somewhat balanced.

Sources and further reading:

How artificial light is wreaking your sleep – Chris Kresser
The Many Health Benefits of Melatonin – Dr. Mercola
LowBlueLights.com

 

Do you wear melatonin glasses or take other steps to balance melatonin? 

The post 7 Ways to Balance Melatonin Naturally appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/balance-melatonin-naturally/feed/ 19
25 Brilliant Three Ingredient Paleo Recipes http://empoweredsustenance.com/three-ingredient-paleo-recipes/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/three-ingredient-paleo-recipes/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:55:14 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7443 Three ingredient paleo recipes, no chemicals allowed Recently, Buzzfeed trapped me on their site with a post of cat memes when I found a clever compilation of Genius 3 Ingredient Recipes there. But my heart sunk when I saw that most of the recipes called for chemical-laden processed ingredients like cake mix, whipped topping, shortening, pre-made pie crusts and […]

The post 25 Brilliant Three Ingredient Paleo Recipes appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
25 brilliant three ingredient paleo recipes Three ingredient paleo recipes, no chemicals allowed

Recently, Buzzfeed trapped me on their site with a post of cat memes when I found a clever compilation of Genius 3 Ingredient Recipes there. But my heart sunk when I saw that most of the recipes called for chemical-laden processed ingredients like cake mix, whipped topping, shortening, pre-made pie crusts and chocolate wafer cookies. I was bummed, and decided to use the idea to create a list of three ingredient paleo recipes. Grains, dairy, refined sugar and chemicals aren’t invited to this party. Happy three-ingredient cooking!

P.S. Salt and pepper are “freebie” ingredients and don’t count :-)

1. Cauliflower + Eggs + Curry Powder = Cauliflower Wraps

three ingredient paleo recipes

Perfect for enjoying with your favorite filling. Recipe here.

2. Banana + Nut Butter + Chocolate Chips = Chocolate Banana Bites

three ingredient paleo recipes

A healthy snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, and also something kids love to make. Recipe here.

3. Strawberries + Bananas + Ginger = Strawberry Ginger Sorbet

three ingredient paleo recipes

A delicious summer soft-serve made with fruit. Recipe here.

4. Coconut Butter + Garlic + Olive Oil =  Egg Free Mayonnaise

three ingredient paleo recipes

Perfect for dipping veggies, using in sauces, and spreading on sandwiches. Recipe here.

5. Bell Pepper + Tuna + Mayonnaise = Tuna-Stuffed Peppers

three ingredient paleo recipes

A super quick meal. Use homemade mayonnaise made with coconut oil/olive oil for paleo-friendly mayo without vegetable oil. Recipe here.

6. Coconut oil + Honey + Coconut Milk = Caramel Sauce

three ingredient paleo recipes

Silky, dreamy, sweet. Recipe here.

7. Almonds + Hazelnuts + Vanilla Beans = Toasted Almond Hazelnut Butter

three ingredient paleo recipes

Homemade nut butter is so much more flavorful than store-bought – and cheaper, too! Recipe here.

8. Pecans + Dates + Chocolate Chips = Chocolate “Turtles”

three ingredient paleo recipes

It couldn’t be easier to create a healthy alternative to Turtles candy. Recipe here.

9. Coconut Flour + Shredded Coconut + Banana = Paleo “Oatmeal”

three ingredient paleo recipes

This oat-free “oatmeal” is a warming breakfast porridge. Recipe here.

10. Watermelon + Coconut Milk + Garnishes = Watermelon Cake

three ingredient paleo recipes

The frosting is made with coconut cream, which is the thick part that separates to the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk (this one is my favorite brand of coconut milk). Recipe here.

11. Cocoa Powder + Honey + Coconut Oil = Chocolate Cups

three ingredient paleo recipes

Fill with fresh fruit or ice cream for a cute dessert. Recipe here.

12. Tulsi Tea + Gelatin + Honey = Hormone-Balancing Tulsi Geleé

three ingredient paleo recipes

Tulsi tea and gelatin (particularly grassfed gelatin like this one) both boast hormone-balancing properties. Learn about these ingredient and get the recipe here.

13. Pumpkin + Eggs + Coconut oil = Pumpkin Pancakes

three ingredient paleo recipes

A quick and delicious breakfast! Recipe here.

14. Apples + Caramel + Coconut Cream = Caramel Apples

three ingredient paleo recipes

Who knew caramel apples were so easy to make with healthy ingredients? Recipe here.

15. Banana + Chocolate + Pistachios = Banana Sushi

three ingredient paleo recipes

Adorable concept and kids love personalizing their “sushi” with a variety of toppings. Recipe here.

16. Plantain + Baking Soda + Egg = Plantain Waffles

three ingredient paleo recipes

Three ingredient waffles? Sign me up! Recipe here.

17. Avocado + Basil + Lemon = Avocado Pesto Sauce

three ingredient paleo recipes

This would be delicious served with Zucchini Noodles or with spaghetti squash for a paleo pasta meal. Recipe here.

18. Apricot Preserves + Coconut Aminos + Apple Cider Vinegar = Sweet and Sour Sauce

three ingredient paleo recipes

Coconut aminos taste very similar to soy sauce, but contain no soy. Recipe here.

19. Coconut milk + Eggs + Banana = Banana Custard

three ingredient paleo recipes

Top with nuts and maple syrup, if desired. Recipe here.

20. Bananas + Eggs + Instant Coffee = Coffee Pancakes

three ingredient paleo recipes

Get your morning coffee and pancakes in one bite. Recipe here.

21. Portobellos + Proscuitto + Eggs = Baked Eggs in Mushroom Cups

three ingredient paleo recipes

A new way to enjoy your morning eggs. Recipe here.

 22. Coconut Milk + Sweetener + Probiotic Capsule = Coconut Milk Yogurt

three ingredient paleo recipes

A creamy and dairy-free yogurt. Recipe here.

23. Bananas + Almond Butter + Honey = Almond Crunch Ice Cream

three ingredient paleo recipes

No ice cream maker needed! Recipe here.

24. Cocoa + Coconut Milk + Maple Syrup = Chocolate Mousse

three ingredient paleo recipes

A thick and creamy mousse without dairy or eggs. Recipe here.

25. Dates + Non-Dairy Milk + Unsweetened Chocolate = Chocolate Fudge Sauce

three ingredient paleo recipes

Is your mouth watering yet? Recipe here.

25 brilliant three ingredient paleo recipes

 Have you tried any of these three ingredient recipes? Don’t forget to share the post if you enjoyed!

The post 25 Brilliant Three Ingredient Paleo Recipes appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/three-ingredient-paleo-recipes/feed/ 14
Watch My Holistic Sleep Webinar! http://empoweredsustenance.com/watch-holistic-sleep-webinar/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/watch-holistic-sleep-webinar/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:28:58 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7959  Tired of insomnia? Click here to watch my Holistic Sleep Webinar! At Empowered Sustenance, I want to address all aspects of health and that includes SLEEP. If you struggle with insomnia, then you know how a lack of sleep affects both your emotional and physical wellbeing. In The Holistic Sleep Webinar, I’m going to tell […]

The post Watch My Holistic Sleep Webinar! appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
sleep webinar image

 Tired of insomnia?

Click here to watch my Holistic Sleep Webinar!

At Empowered Sustenance, I want to address all aspects of health and that includes SLEEP. If you struggle with insomnia, then you know how a lack of sleep affects both your emotional and physical wellbeing.

In The Holistic Sleep Webinar, I’m going to tell you about my tips for naturally addressing insomnia and Chiropractor Nicole Zimmerman is going to tell you about what to look for in a non-toxic mattress.

Once again, here is the link to watch my Holistic Sleep Webinar

I hope it answers some of your questions about healthy sleep and mattress toxicity!

The post Watch My Holistic Sleep Webinar! appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/watch-holistic-sleep-webinar/feed/ 3
Quick Tip: How to Store Essential Oils http://empoweredsustenance.com/store-essential-oils/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/store-essential-oils/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:42:19 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7928 Store Essential Oils Properly I have a “quick tip” type of post for you today. I’m moving in 16 days from Northern Virginia to Seattle for school. I’ve started to prioritize my health products and natural remedies because I will have very limited space in the two suitcases I’m bringing. Something that I absolutely couldn’t leave behind were all my […]

The post Quick Tip: How to Store Essential Oils appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
how to store essential oils

Store Essential Oils Properly

I have a “quick tip” type of post for you today. I’m moving in 16 days from Northern Virginia to Seattle for school. I’ve started to prioritize my health products and natural remedies because I will have very limited space in the two suitcases I’m bringing. Something that I absolutely couldn’t leave behind were all my essential oils, but I didn’t know how to store them and safely pack them.

I had previously kept all my oil in a box, and I had to rifle through them to find the one I wanted since only the top of the bottles were visible. And I certainly couldn’t throw this box into my suitcase, because the oils were loose and could break. After searching for different essential oil storage options, I found this handy case with elastic bands to hold the oils in place.

The case I purchased is available here on Amazon. It comes in a few different colors and sizes. The size pictured below is the 64-oil size in black.

It is perfect! Here’s why I love it:

  • It allows me to see all the labels on the oils, so I can quickly pick out the one I need
  • It holds different shapes and sizes of bottles. In the picture, you can see 5ml size bottles and some 15 ml size bottles. On the other side of the case (not pictured) I have some longer/fatter essential oil bottles that fit well.
  • The oils are snug and secure when the case is zippered shut. I can throw it in my suitcase to safely transport them to Seattle. It also has a handle on the spine and a removable shoulder strap.
  • The oils are stored in the dark, which is important to prolong the life of the oils. Be sure to keep your case in a cool place to protect the oils, too.  I might throw an icepack into my suitcase so it doesn’t get too hot in the baggage compartment of the plane.
  • Affordable – just $30 with free shipping here on Amazon!

how to store essential oils

 What essential oils do I use?

If you are wondering, the essential oils pictured in my case are primarily Vibrant Blue Oils, which I discuss in detail here (you’ll also get a coupon for the oils in that link). However, I don’t use those oils exclusively and have oils/blends from other brands in my case.

When it comes to oils, I prefer the “small guy” to the “big guy,” which is why I don’t work with the MLM oil companies. This is my personal preference. With Vibrant Blue Oils, I’m able to have a close relationship with the founder and I know how the details of how the oils are sourced, blended and tested.

I hope this quick tip was helpful to you! How do you store your essential oils?  Do you have any other tips for essential oil storage? 

how to store essential oils

The post Quick Tip: How to Store Essential Oils appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/store-essential-oils/feed/ 12
3 Reasons to Re-Think Vitamin D Supplementation http://empoweredsustenance.com/vitamin-d-supplementation/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/vitamin-d-supplementation/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:03:50 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7902 From Lauren: Today’s post comes from Kristin Savory, a licensed acupuncturist, who recently discussed the difference between food based and synthetic supplements on Empowered Sustenance. Like Kristin, I believe that vitamin D is better absorbed when it comes in a biodynamic food source, which is why I supplement with fermented cod liver oil (a supplement that […]

The post 3 Reasons to Re-Think Vitamin D Supplementation appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
3 reasons to re-think vitamin d supplementation

From Lauren: Today’s post comes from Kristin Savory, a licensed acupuncturist, who recently discussed the difference between food based and synthetic supplements on Empowered Sustenance. Like Kristin, I believe that vitamin D is better absorbed when it comes in a biodynamic food source, which is why I supplement with fermented cod liver oil (a supplement that Kristin discusses in this post). Another source that may be helpful to you as you consider vitamin D supplementation is Chris Kresser’s discussion on vitamin D here. He touches on the research suggesting that the optimal vitamin D level might be much lower than is currently recommended.

Seems like everyone is shouting about the benefits of vitamin D these days.

A lot of people are testing low for it, smart docs are recommending it and even more folks are taking high-dose vitamin D therapies on a regular basis.

High-dose vitamin D therapy might feel good in the short term. You might experience an increase in energy or a shift in your mood. Maybe you’ll feel a little stronger, or even more resilient.

Most people feel better with high dose therapies in the short run because of severe deficiencies in our diets and lifestyles.

But is the high- dose vitamin D you’re taking working well for your body?

Problems with Synthetic Vitamin D Supplementation

Over the long haul, dosing with a synthetic nutrient- in particular vitamin D- may have unwanted consequences (read more about the differences between whole foods and synthetic supplements here.)

When considering supplementation, it is wise to understand a few critical points about vitamin D.

  1. The RDA for vitamin D is between 200 and 400iu. Doses of 50,000iu can be toxic. These days, it is common practice for professionals to recommend 4,000- 10,000iu units on a regular basis. Now, I’m not one to throw around RDAs because those numbers generally reflect isolated compounds. But when it comes to the miracles of vitamin D, more is definitely not better because of factor number 2.
  2. Your body stores vitamin D. You’ve got a smart body, yes, you do. You can make this nutrient in the sun and you can also get some D’s from food. Yet, your body “knows” that vitamin D is not always readily available due to cloudy days or a deficient diet. To even things out, your body stores vitamin D in fatty tissues like your liver, skin, brain and bones [note…vitamin D is not stored in blood]. That’s good news if you’re getting your D from food sources, but if you’re taking high doses of D that means you’re at risk for toxicity over time.
  3. Vitamin D does not work alone. In foods, nutrients work synergistically and vitamin D is no stranger to this kind of partnering. Foods that are high in vitamin D often contain vitamin A and lots of essential fatty acids.  All of these nutrients work together to get your D’s to work more effectively. To read more about how vitamin D and A function together read this article by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig and this article by Chris Masterjohn.

Vitamin D toxicity is nothing to joke about.

Vitamin D is a big helper in calcium absorption and metabolism, so it goes to follow that too much vitamin D often leads to symptoms involving too much calcium. Symptoms can include, nausea, loss of appetite, headache, kidney stones, calcium deposits in the soft tissue (i.e. kidneys, heart, and lung), as well as hypercalcemia. [Hypercalcemia is a fancy word for too much calcium in the blood, which can put unnecessary strain on the kidneys.

Because vitamin D is stored in fat, toxicity is going to vary from person to person. Unfortunately, young kiddos and babies are most at risk.

Research has indicated that your body reacts differently to synthetic and food sources of vitamin D. According to Judith DeCava, CNC, LNC, author of The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants:

One of the effects associated with taking excessive amounts of the chemically isolated, synthetic vitamin D is high blood pressure. Yet studies with cod liver oil, a source of natural vitamin-D complex, report a reduction in blood pressure if previously elevated.

After comparing synthetic and natural sources of D, researchers-Barnes, Brady and James- have concluded: “It would seem that we are not justified in considering rat units of vitamin D in irradiated ergosterol [a synthetic form of vitamin D] as being equivalent to the same number of rat units of vitamin D in cod liver oil [a natural source] as a curative or prophylactic remedy for rickets.”

Food-Based Vitamin D Supplementation

Does this mean that you should ditch vitamin D?

Heck no, D is critical for mineral metabolism, bone growth, proper cell permeability, and a healthy nervous system. And, as it turns out, vitamin D may also have a critical role in hormone production through the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Instead of relying on a high-dose vitamin D therapy, consider siding with Mother Nature and get your D’s in with these 3 low-cost alternatives:

  • Eat foods high in vitamin D: Our bodies can’t make vitamin D on it’s own, but we can get significant amounts from our food. Higher levels of vitamin D are found in fish, butter, cheese, pastured lard, liver and pastured eggs. Fatty fish, like tuna and salmon, rank the highest in vitamin D.
  • Take a break in the sun: A young, healthy body can make up to 10,000iu of vitamin D in one day of sun exposure. For most of us, plenty is made within 10 minutes of sitting in the sun on a daily basis. Skip the sunscreen, peel off the sunglasses, and give yourself the gift of 10 glorious minutes of vitamin D therapy in the sun. [Note: Depending on age, angle of the sun, and tissue health the amount of vit D made from sun bathing can vary. Always pair a sun break with other food sources of vitamin D.]
  • Supplement with cod liver oil: If you’re still not convinced on the amount of D that you’re getting in any one day, cod liver oil might be your best bet to cover your bases. Look for an oil that is not tampered with or processed with peroxides, with a ratio of 10:1 vitamin A to D. You can find a high-quality, fermented cod liver oil here.  Follow the dosage on the bottle or consider these recommendations.

When making changes in how we think about a particular supplement (especially one that is touted as often as vitamin D), it can be helpful to seek inspiration and reassurance. Weston A. Price, DDS, author of the revolutionary book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration wrote:

“Nature has been making normal birds, butterflies, and animals for millions of years. If wild animals can do it why cannot we? Is it because they, by their instinct, select the right foods and do not meddle with Nature’s foods by changing them?”

Switching the high-dose Vit D to low-dose-but-works-like-a-charm cod liver oil may not seem like a big deal, but your body undoubtedly knows the difference.

Now, I’ve got a question for you. I want to hear your story. How do you get vitamin D? Have you been taking a high-dose supplement or are you already a fan of natural sources?

Sources:

DeCava,CNC, LNC , The Real Truth About Vitamins and Anti-oxidants, pp. 97-106.
D.R. Fraser, “Vitamin D,” The Lancet, Vol. 345, No.8942, (14 January 1995), pp.192-198.
D.J. Barnes, M.J. Brady, and E.W. James, “Comparative Value on Irradiated Ergosterol and Cod Liver Oil as a Prophylactic Antirachitic Agent When Given in Equivalent Dosage According t the Rat Unit of Vitamin D,” American Jounal of Diseases in Children, Vol.39, (1930), p.45.
R.A. Buist, “Vitamin Toxicities, Side Effects and Contraindications, “International Clinical Nutrition Review, Vol. 4, No.4, (1984), pp.159-171.
 

About the author: Kristin Savory

kristen bio picKristin Savory, LAc, helps women heal their thyroids and balance their hormones so they can live their most vibrant lives. She does this naturally through acupuncture and the wisdom of whole-food nutrition. Hop on her newsletter by clicking here and find delicious Recipes to Heal Your Thyroid and learn the first steps towards Balancing Your Hormones Naturally at www.kristinsavory.com

The post 3 Reasons to Re-Think Vitamin D Supplementation appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/vitamin-d-supplementation/feed/ 9
Strawberry Mango Soft Serve (Paleo, No Sugar Added) http://empoweredsustenance.com/strawberry-mango-soft-serve/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/strawberry-mango-soft-serve/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:35:02 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7890 Strawberry Mango Soft Serve Don’t have an ice cream maker? That’s no problem! All you need for this recipe is frozen fruit, egg yolks and a blender or food processor.  Although I do have a dust-covered Cuisinart ice cream maker in the back of my pantry, “blender ice cream” is the only ice cream I […]

The post Strawberry Mango Soft Serve (Paleo, No Sugar Added) appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
strawberry mango soft serve (paleo and non sugar added)

Strawberry Mango Soft Serve

Don’t have an ice cream maker? That’s no problem! All you need for this recipe is frozen fruit, egg yolks and a blender or food processor.  Although I do have a dust-covered Cuisinart ice cream maker in the back of my pantry, “blender ice cream” is the only ice cream I make. It’s a simple, healthy treat.

The Ingredients

Frozen strawberries and mangoes – I always have a couple bags of Trader Joe’s frozen organic fruit in my freezer. Trader Joe’s often caries both organic frozen strawberries and organic frozen chopped mangoes, which are my favorite. If you can’t find frozen mangoes, just peel and chop fresh mangoes and then freeze to use in this recipe.

Egg yolks – Egg yolks provide a creamy, rich and fluffy texture to this soft serve without the need for dairy products. When blended with the cold fruit, it makes the mixture thick and silky.

You’ll notice that the egg yolks are used raw. Four years ago, I would have scoffed at this recipe and thought, “Salmonella in a bowl? No thanks!” However, in earlier generations, raw egg yolks were revered as a highly nutritious food for those with compromised immune and digestive systems, such as the elderly and chronically ill. Raw egg yolks are a healthful traditional food… with one caveat: make sure you source fresh egg yolks from chickens roaming in fresh pasture. I get my pastured eggs from a local farmer. Pastured eggs have an extremely low risk of salmonella, according to ethical farming trailblazer Joel Salatin:

So far, not one case of food-borne pathogens has been reported among the thousands of pastured poultry producers, many of whom have voluntarily had their birds analyzed. Routinely, these home-dressed birds, which have not been treated with chlorine to disinfect them, show numbers far below industry comparisons. At Polyface [Joel’s farm], we even tested our manure and found that it contained no salmonella.

You can read more about the safety and nutrition of raw egg yolks in my post here.

strawberry mango soft serve (paleo and non sugar added)

Strawberry Mango Soft Serve (Paleo, No Sugar Added)

Yield: Makes about 3 cups

2 big servings

Strawberry Mango Soft Serve (Paleo, No Sugar Added)

You can find bags of frozen strawberries and frozen mangoes in most health food stores, which makes this recipe very convenient. Use only egg yolks from pastured, local chickens since the yolks will be used raw.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mango pieces
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 4 egg yolks from pastured chickens

Instructions

  1. You can use a high quality food processor or high powered blender to make this recipe. I use this Ninja blender, which works very well and is a more economical alternative to a Vitamix.
  2. Put the frozen fruit with about 2-3 Tbs. of water in the blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the egg yolks and then process until you get a creamy ice cream. This may take a couple of minutes. If necessary, add a small splash of water if the fruit won't blend.
  3. Serve immediately for soft serve or freeze for an hour for a more firm ice cream.
http://empoweredsustenance.com/strawberry-mango-soft-serve/

 Have you made blender ice cream before?

The post Strawberry Mango Soft Serve (Paleo, No Sugar Added) appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/strawberry-mango-soft-serve/feed/ 3
My New Book! Quit Acne: The Nutritional Approach for Clear Skin http://empoweredsustenance.com/my-book-quit-acne/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/my-book-quit-acne/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:17:36 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7731 Introducing Quit Acne I am excited to finally reveal my most recent project: my new book Quit Acne, which is now available on Amazon as a Kindle book! (And speaking of Kindle books, I also just moved my other books – Indulge and Heal and Quit PMS – to Kindle. You can check out Indulge […]

The post My New Book! Quit Acne: The Nutritional Approach for Clear Skin appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
introducing Quit Acne

Introducing Quit Acne

I am excited to finally reveal my most recent project: my new book Quit Acne, which is now available on Amazon as a Kindle book! (And speaking of Kindle books, I also just moved my other books – Indulge and Heal and Quit PMS – to Kindle. You can check out Indulge and Heal here and Quit PMS here.)

Here is the book summary from the Amazon page: 

Your acne is telling you something… and it’s not telling you to invest in a heavy-duty concealer or a pricey facial serum! Your acne is a symptom telling you that something is wrong inside your body.

In Quit Acne, nutritional therapist Lauren Geertsen explains, in her thorough and accessible style, the three primary underlying causes of acne. Then, she equips you with 7 effective and practical dietary practices to address the cause of acne and eliminate it. By following the Quit Acne nutrition protocol, you’ll enjoy radiant, clear skin naturally.

Quit Acne covers key topics, including:

  • Why the correct dietary fats are vital for eliminating acne, while other fats cause breakouts.
  • The ingredients for clear skin that you can only get from animal sources.
  • The one food that wreaks havoc on hormones and exacerbates acne.
  • Why going dairy-free isn’t necessarily the best option for clear skin.
  • How balanced blood sugar affects the clarity of your skin.

Quit Acne takes a research-backed and ancestral approach to nutrition and is not compatible with a vegan diet; however it can be modified for a vegetarian diet.

Check out Quit Acne on Amazon here!

Why I wrote Quit Acne

I live by the motto, My life didn’t turn out as I planned, and that’s what makes it so wonderful.

I never planned to write three books on health and nutrition before I graduated college. I never planned to start Empowered Sustenance, an alternative health website that would be read by over 7 million people in its two years of existence. I never planned to become a nutritional therapist (NTP) and wake up each day with the mission to change the way the world thinks about food.

But I also never planned to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease when I was 14. Or be told at age 18 that, to continue my life, I would need invasive surgery and a lifetime of potent medications. And, although my skin woes were a last priority after my more serious health issues, I never planned to struggle with chronic acne for nearly half of my 21 years on this earth.

I refused to believe the doctors who told me that surgery and medications were my only options for my chronic health conditions. Instead, I threw myself into researching nutrition and mind-body medicine.

By renovating my diet and lifestyle, I began a new chapter in my life without the threat of surgery or medications. With my nutrition research and dietary changes, I also opened another unexpected but very welcomed chapter—clear skin, for the first time in a decade!

Are you ready to experience the clear skin chapter in your life, too? Then get Quit Acne here on Amazon!

Quit Acne FAQs

Do I need a Kindle to read Quit Acne

Quit Acne is available as a Kindle Edition on Amazon, but you do not need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can download the Kindle Reader App here to your phone, tablet or computer to read the book.

Is Quit Acne available as a paperback?

Currently, Quit Acne is only available as a Kindle digital book.

Is Quit Acne suitable for restricted diets or vegan diets? 

Quit Acne takes a research-backed and ancestral approach to nutrition and is not compatible with a vegan diet, although it can be modified for a vegetarian diet. It is compatible with restricted diets and food allergies.

The post My New Book! Quit Acne: The Nutritional Approach for Clear Skin appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/my-book-quit-acne/feed/ 9
Primal Pit Paste Giveaway! http://empoweredsustenance.com/primal-pit-paste-giveaway/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/primal-pit-paste-giveaway/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:06:01 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7789 I’ve been using Primal Pit Paste exclusively for almost a year now. Primal Pit Paste is a line of natural deodorants that don’t compromise ingredient purity or efficacy. I love this company, their products, their commitment to non-toxic ingredients, and I love working with them (this is a sponsored giveaway). This is my second giveaway with […]

The post Primal Pit Paste Giveaway! appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
Primal pit paste giveaway

I’ve been using Primal Pit Paste exclusively for almost a year now. Primal Pit Paste is a line of natural deodorants that don’t compromise ingredient purity or efficacy. I love this company, their products, their commitment to non-toxic ingredients, and I love working with them (this is a sponsored giveaway). This is my second giveaway with them and I’m excited to tell you what is new in the Primal Pit Paste world!

Introducing Pit Primer and Pit Pump

Primal Pit Paste recently released their two much-awaited additions to their natural deodorant family: Pit Primer and Pit Pump.

Pit Primer is a silky, soothing serum that is designed to help you transition to a natural baking soda deodorant. If you have sensitive pits, this is a must-have!

Pit Pump is a convenient spray deodorant that can be used before your Pit Paste deodorant for extra power. It can also be applied during the day to freshen up. They’ve added a dash of essential oils so it smells light and amazing!

There are some things that you don’t know you need until you try them. Pit Primer is one of those things. Did you not get blessed with the “good armpit genes?” I didn’t, either. Although I have sensitive skin, my armpits seem exponentially more sensitive. That’s why I was so happy to find Pit Paste in the first place – the ingredients are safe, it actually works and it didn’t irritate my skin. Now, I love using the Pit Primer – especially after shaving – because it soothes and prevents any irritation.

Other things to keep in mind…

  • Pit Paste lasts forever. A stick lasts me 8 months.
  • Pit Paste comes in a variety of strengths and scents. The fragrances used are pure essential oils and are very light.
  • If your skin reacts to the baking soda in the regular Pit Paste, I recommend the Happy Pits Stick. It doesn’t have any baking soda and instead uses clay to help control odor. It isn’t as strong, so you might wish to pair it with the Pit Primer or Pit Pump.

primal pit paste

Primal Pit Paste Giveaway Prize

This giveaway prize includes:

  • Pit Paste jar (your choice of strength and fragrance)
  • Pit Paste stick (your choice of strength and fragrance)
  • Pit Primer
  • Pit Pump

Enter the giveaway

1. Click here to sign up for my weekly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time but to be eligible to win, you must be subscribed when the giveaway closes.

2. Click here to sign up for the Primal Pit Paste monthly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time but to be eligible to win, you must be subscribed when the giveaway closes. (Neither Primal Pit Paste nor I will ever share your email address.)

3. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Primal Pit Paste Giveaway! appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

]]>
http://empoweredsustenance.com/primal-pit-paste-giveaway/feed/ 237