Detox Your Lifeeeeee

Firstly, I shall like to announce the winner of my Otto’s Cassava Flour giveaway, Nicole in NSW. Congratulations goes out to her!

You may have noticed that Making Natural the Norm has been a bit quiet lately…at least with any new posts for a while. This is because I have spent much of my time recently establishing my home as a place where chemicals are no longer welcome. For many reasons. Getting ready for littles to start joining our family is a big reason. And it has taken me a long time to get to this point of realization that the word ‘clean’ does not have to be synonymous with antibacterial, disinfect, sanitize, so on and so forth. Golly! Do you realize how hard it is to detox your home?! It is pretty dang hard guys. Especially when you want to do everything perfectly because you are a perfectionist and you only accept perfectionism. Haha!

BUT the reality is this. Clearly you cannot eliminate every single chemical you come in contact with because well, we do inhabit the planet of Earth and said planet is well…a tad bit contaminated. We have to breathe. Just the other day I was walking through the mall and the scent of overpowering fragrances almost knocked me flat out dead on the floor. As I exited the mall for some ahem, “fresh air”, all I could smell was cigarette smoke. Oy vay. Not to even mention the fact that my own little backyard in my own little home is on a busy, busy street (think freeway, highway, thoroughfare…ok you got it). So I am always torn between opening up the windows for some here we go again, “fresh air”, or just leaving them shut. And then there’s the tap water. To drink or not to drink? And the times that you don’t take your shoes off right at the front door and proceed to walk around your house with shoes on. Oh the INSANITY! I mean…how COULD you?!

As you might have already guessed, trust my husband to help me reel in my perfectionism on this whole detoxing your life thing. He has told me that I can only detox my life as far as what I am in control of personally, and well, that is all. Ahhhhhhhhhh what?!?!! Whyyyyyyy? I seriously didn’t know this. Glad to be in the know now. 😉

After much trial and error, here is the list of chemical-filled items that I/we have said goodbye to:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Body wash/Soaps in the shower that are not natural except for one product (Trent insists on keeping his chemical shampoo)…I will also continue to use Dove Extra Sensitive bar soap for washing my skin afflicted with sores/eczema as it is quite literally the ONLY thing I have found that doesn’t sting/burn in those areas.
  • Hand soap
  • Liquid dish soap and dishwasher tablets
  • Deodorant (For me at least, Trent prefers to continue to use his spray can of deodorant)
  • Lotion
  • Air fresheners and candles
  • Perfume
  • Cottonelle wipes
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting wipes
  • Floor wipes
  • Wet Ones wipes
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Shower cleaner
  • Toothpaste/Mouthwash/Floss
  • Feminine hygiene pads
  • Makeup……yep……finally…….I’ve overhauled my totally toxic makeup to include ONLY ORGANIC ITEMS. HUGE PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT. Will be posting a lot about makeup in the future so stay tuned you beauty fanatics. 😉
  • Crawling/flying pest spray for indoors and outdoors…and let me tell ya, we have a TON of pests
  • Laundry – After much debate, I have decided against going completely chemical free for my washing. However, I am more conscious now as to what I will and will not use. When our kids arrive to the planet, I will wash their clothes in Seventh Generation or something similar. However, for Trent and I, chemicals will remain in some of the products we use in the laundry room.

Sooooo minus the laundry, basically I have either switched out a “bad” product for a “good” product or have completely eliminated using the product at all.

I will eventually get around to putting up what I am using now instead as well as how I am doing my house cleaning. I hope it is something that will be of interest to you. 🙂

I am a firm advocate in that a healthy lifestyle does not entirely have to do with diet. There is so much more to life than food.

Until next time,

Brittany


Brittany Talks – Journey to Find Health

Hi there,

I thought that it might help me to try to talk about my health journey in addition to writing it down which I have done so in my About section of this blog. The more we can share our stories and connect with others, the less alienated we feel.

 

Whew! To put into words my experiences was a lot harder than I had expected. Note all of the ummms. Sometimes I wonder if the past decade of my life wasn’t as stressful as it was if I would not be in the health situation I am in now. My father got very ill once I graduated high school when I was age 18 and had to be on kidney dialysis. I started college. I watched as my father got closer and closer to death. I got married at age 21. I will never forget how feeble and weak my father was as he walked me down the aisle at my wedding. He died when I was 22. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree at age 23. I filed for divorce later that year at age 23 after only 2.5 years of marriage. Right before turning 24 I was in a car accident that totaled my car. My depression was at its worst from ages 23-26. At ages 24-26 my mother had multiple surgeries on her heart because it is failing. At age 26 I finally booked my first appointment with a functional medicine doctor and ended up completely changing my diet and lifestyle practically overnight. At age 26 I met the love of my life Trent. At age 27 we got married. I am now 28.

I strongly believe that in a lot of health cases, stress and traumatic events can in and of itself send our bodies into a debilitating state which is what happened to me. Add that to a lifestyle with minimal sleep and poor dietary choices and a recipe for disaster gets brewing.

I am in a certain sense grateful for my past and what it has taught me. I now take pretty darn good care of myself as far as what I eat and drink. I am mindful of how many hours of sleep I am getting each night. I do try not to be a stress maniac but that is probably my biggest battle. It really did take me hitting rock bottom in order for me to wake up and realize that I needed to listen to my body and find real help. My husband’s health has improved as well as he takes on this journey with me. Bless him. And if we one day find ourselves with children I have a much better understanding of what is healthy and what is not in which I can pass that knowledge onto them.

All is never lost if we keep hope alive. Though there may be moments or even years with nonexistent faith in a better day ahead whatever your circumstance, those who keep fighting in retrospect say that the fight was worth it. I am one of those people.

The motto of the past decade of my life is this: If you let Him, God will turn your messes into masterpieces.

Brittany


Why I Am Not Pregnant…Right Now

I have always wanted to be a mom. Growing up I had countless dolls with names for each. I even wrote my favorite names on lists throughout the years for my future children. First names AND middle names of course. I loved babysitting. As I am the youngest of 4, I have 10 nieces and nephews that gave me lots of practice.

I thought I would have all of my children by the time I was 30. Well I just turned 28 and am still childless. My biggest fear is not being a mom. My biggest fear IS becoming a mom. I examine my every day and am not quite sure how I would take care of an infant, baby, toddler, child, AHHHHH! Not to even mention the pregnancy itself. I mean, would I be in more pain? Less pain? Would I be in a tolerable situation? Or crisis?

“Oh, I killed an ant today. I felt like a warrior. That’s really all I did. Yep.” And just imagine me on the days I kill 2 ants. Unbelievable. Because of my health trials I can barely scrape by and take care of myself. Let alone another little human, are you kidding me?!?!!? And did I mention I want two kids? TWO. I am completely petrified at the thought that I might have the perfect set up for an unhealthy, sick child. Not to even mention my mental state of going in and out of anxiety and depression. If that even makes sense! Would I even be a half decent mom? I look at my mom and she is the cream of the crop.

And then the questions in my head begin. Oh the very many questions. Would it be fair to my children to have such a neurotic mom? What if they had food allergies? What if they had eczema? How would I cope? How would I not feel responsible for their pain and suffering? How would I even take care of them? What if I couldn’t even get pregnant? What if it took me forever to get pregnant? Could I make myself eat tons of liver during pregnancy so they would stand half a chance? How would we pay…. – Don’t even get me started on the finances!

Which brings about the big discussion. BIG. “Okay so I couldn’t and didn’t have both of my children before age 30. Fiiiiine. I’ll stretch my limit to 35. BUT ONLY 35. Gosh. Life. So now I gotta create a whole new master plan. But wait. Actually I can’t. Because I’ve already scrapped all of my previous master plans. Yeah, remember Brittany? They didn’t pan out. I keep telling you to STOP PLANNING. But??! Yes. Stop. Ok. Until tomorrow.”

Every once in a rare while I feel awakened and I am like yes! I can be a mother! I can do it! Bring on motherhood! And then all of the other days (the majority, sadly) I really just do not see it happening. This is where I believe the Lord God above comes in. I will keep myself prepared for pregnancy as best I know how and I will wait. And I will TRY to be patient. And if there is a window of time where I am feeling better, physically and emotionally, it just might very well be that I will become a mother. And if it is so that I am meant to adopt or to be a mother in the next life, then I will accept that and I will look forward to it with much anticipation. Because I know that one day someone will call me mother. With my husband by my side, together, we will find our way.

Brittany


Keeping It Real

Prior to reading this post you may want to consider clicking on my About tab and reading the sections there. 🙂

Most days I wish I were my prior self. You know, the one before my body went all sorts of crazy and I am in pain 24/7. The one where I am not shouting out on a continual basis because it hurts THAT bad. The one where I do not spend hours crying and crying. The one where I wasn’t pleading in my prayers with God to heal me and let me be my old self again. The one where my emotions didn’t go from normal to sad to an angry psycho in one second on the clock.

I wake up. I want to sleep more but there is something inside myself that always makes me get out of bed. I am ALWAYS CONSTANTLY tired these days no matter how many hours of sleep I have gotten and sleeping more sounds very desirable but unrealistic. Things must get done. Time moves forward. So must I.

I do my chores in the morning. Before my shower. Because in between the time in which I awaken and get into the shower is the window of my day in which I am in the LEAST amount of pain. This is because it has *almost* been a full 24 hours since my last shower. Showering brings me much pain but I do shower daily! I love the feeling of being clean and I do not want my skin to get infected AT ALL. I would DIE. So. On a typical weekday I get up and talk with my husband as he gets ready for work. An enjoyable time of day even though we are both zombies. Once he has left I load the washer with a batch of clothes because I am able to lean over so much easier (aka am in much less pain) than post-shower. After this, I do any other cleaning, chore, or task that needs to be done as my physical movement is not so limited.

My shower is not so enjoyable and I am always glad when it is over. After I get out, getting dressed and ready can take some time. I don’t even do my hair or makeup unless I am actually going out somewhere because I just do not have the energy. My wet hair simply air dries and my face, well, I haven’t had the budget to make the switch over to natural, organic makeup so my face is probably grateful that I only put the toxins on it here and there. Haha!

This is basically the first part of my day. The rest of my day I am in substantial pain and as much as I would like to sit down, sitting is not so much fun (more pain). I spend my “free time” alone in the house cooking, thinking, learning, reading, researching, going outside for a walk (only on less painful days), skyping with my mother as much as possible, and working on this blog as time permits (all while usually standing) before my husband returns home to me. By the end of the night my feet are killing me and bedtime starts looking quite enticing.

This is just a little snippet into the daily life of me. If daily life for you is hard, I sympathize with you. If you are in pain, I feel for you. If you wish for some kind of relief, I am right there with you. If something as simple as walking around your house is agony, I am struggling next to you. We WILL make it through. Somehow. Some way. Life IS still beautiful.

Brittany


What Is Autoimmunity?

“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates

Sometimes when I mention to people that I don’t eat certain foods and that I’m battling autoimmunity they get a puzzled look on their face like what’s that? Let me try to explain in a simple manner. Autoimmunity basically means that your body is attacking your own body. Yes, that’s right. How crazy is that! However, it makes sense really when you start putting the pieces together. We live in a toxic world in which our food supply and products we use on a daily basis (including products we label as food but are far from the real deal), as well as our environments are bombarded with many toxic contaminants in the form of chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, and so on and so forth. When these toxins get inside our bodies, what do you think our bodies think? Attack! So in the attack our body suffers and usually this results in a lot of pain for us. Our bodies get confused. Any part of the body can experience symptoms. They can be downright serious when our internal organs are the ones being attacked or less serious but still extremely painful and bothersome. You can have a specific autoimmune disease like Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Lupus, etc., or your body can simply not be at ease and is attacking in its own way experiencing symptoms that don’t fall exactly in line with any one specific autoimmune disease which is a category many sufferers fall into. Many people also have more than one autoimmune disease which creates a lot of problems.

So what do we do when our bodies have gotten to this point? Well according to the wise philosopher Hippocrates and my functional medicine doctor, we first try to heal the gut because this is where disease begins. We start to think in terms of what is natural, real, and wholesome. What am I putting into my body and using on my body that is going to help heal instead of hinder and even cause my body to be in attack mode? In a sense it requires an awareness of nature and earth and what God has provided for us to eat and use – not mankind. Artificial food surrounds us everywhere we go. The trick is making the choice not to consume it any longer. Oftentimes this decision comes after being in much pain and looking for solutions and answers to agony. Our bodies are simply sending out sirens to try to tell us that things are not right. Ironically, this can bring about some powerful changes to health and well being.

Getting quality and enough quantity sleep every night is also very important as our bodies need adequate rest in order to heal and repair. I personally feel my best when I get 10 hours of sleep. Stress plays a vital role in autoimmunity as well, especially chronic stress over time, as it wears us down and makes our bodies exhausted, not feeling well, and the struggle to heal becomes harder. Relaxation practices can really help our stress levels. Yoga, walking, meditation, listening to calming music/sounds, and even deep breathing exercises are great tools to use.

I think the most important thing to remember is that if you have autoimmunity, you are never alone. I know firsthand that at times it does feel that way in the journey of finding the right doctor and getting the right answers but there is a huge support “group” out there in the form of websites and blogs (even Instagram!) that have such great resources for every day living.

Best to you!

Brittany

 


Nutrition 101

It has been said that it is easier to change a person’s religion than it is to change their diet.

With all of the endless different and conflicting information we hear regarding what we should eat, what we should not eat, when we should eat, when we should not eat, and how many calories should be eaten per day, blah, blah, blah….who really knows how to achieve a healthy diet?

I have personally experimented with different kinds of diets in the past (starting in high school) not because I particularly wanted to but instead felt forced to. I grew up in the USA eating the regular American diet. I never thought much about or was even very interested in thinking about food until my digestion dilemmas started controlling my life. Sometimes I would be fine eating a certain food and other times not fine at all. I tried to figure out my body but it was always an impossible task. When food always makes you feel sick, you get desperate. I kept thinking that something was wrong with ME. It seemed like everyone else around me could eat whatever they wanted at any time of day and I envied that.

Infectious disease vs. Chronic disease

Infectious diseases are at an all-time low while chronic diseases are skyrocketing. Why is this? It’s simple really. It all stems from the time in history in which we shifted from an agricultural existence to an industrial one. It is great that we have been able to eradicate a lot of history’s horrific infectious diseases. That is something we can be proud of. But what are we dealing with right now, today?

I have read books and have studied countless hours regarding everything nutrition. I have decided that the link between eating good, healthy food and preventing many of the leading chronic diseases that plague current societies is huge. HUGE. I have learned that food can literally be the medicine our bodies need.

The problem (and it’s a big one): We have lost touch with what real food even is. We have tried to play God in this industrial age by manufacturing, processing, and “creating” what we think will pass as food for our bodies. I have really thought about this in the deepest sense. I have literally spent days…weeks…months pondering this phenomenon. Cancer, diabetes, obesity…these are all chronic diseases of the humans of today. But here’s the thing…they are all preventable! We can take a stand and take back our health; we have that capacity.

I realize that not everyone has digestive complaints or health complaints in general. Some people really do just have awesome genetics and a fully-functioning immune system. They sail through life eating and drinking whatever and are perfectly fine. However, at some point in every family there will be a chronic disease that will manifest itself.

MY RESEARCH HAS TAUGHT ME THAT EVERY CHRONIC DISEASE ORIGINATES FROM THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM…..

Also, I believe it is extremely important to realize how often these types of diseases are showing up in YOUNG children. I have been awakened. Because I have been sick, I would not wish what I’ve been going through on anyone. The standard American diet will never be a part of my life again. It is unacceptable for me and for my family.

The solution (and it’s a simple one): Get back to our roots. Think about our ancestors. How did they live? What did they eat? They lived off of the land and ate the food nature provides. The food God has provided for us. Meat from animals…vegetables…fruit…nuts and seeds. These are all natural foods that the body understands. The body does not know so well how to digest grains, dairy, or any man-made food. (Grains and dairy will each have their own posts somewhere down my blogging line explaining why they should be avoided).

Preparing and cooking food MUST be done in our own homes. This is crucial. Guess what? This takes time. A LOT of time. Did I mention this takes SOOOO much time? It is a full-time job when you are doing this for every single meal. But guess what? It is SOOOO worth it. Your body will thank you.

Brittany


Traditional vs. Functional

What does traditional vs. functional even mean? Well the way I see it there are basically 2 main types of medicine, traditional medicine and functional medicine. To be honest I didn’t know much about medicine before I saw how flawed the regular healthcare system is and the way doctors approach patient care. I do feel that modern prescriptions help in the healing process (if the patient *really* needs that particular prescription) but I also can see that these prescriptions are relied on way too heavily by the conventional doctors of modern society.

Anyone who has ever made a doctor appointment for any reason can attest to the fact that it is not a very satisfying experience. You go, tell the doc what’s wrong, a brief discussion takes place, maybe some tests are done at best, and then you are sent on your way typically with a prescription in hand. You then proceed to walk away with the feeling, but what if this medicine doesn’t help me? What else can I do? I am in a lot of pain. I don’t think the doc understands….and so on and so forth.

Traditional medicine is practiced by most doctors in hospitals and clinics. It is the standard, conventional way. We all know that doctors specialize in one area of the body. So it’s only logical that if you have a skin problem that you make an appointment with a dermatologist, right? Depends. Sometimes these doctors forget that the body works as a complete system and that a problem at site A could be caused by a problem way over there in site H.

I must make note however, that I have faith in the traditional system as far as *after* someone has already been diagnosed with a disease, such as heart failure, and needs surgeries, etc. I just don’t like how prevention of such disease is blatantly disregarded and most people are left grappling with the questions of how they became “diseased” in the first place. Some of it is obvious; some of it not. These traditional doctors have a hard time answering the tough questions which leaves people lacking much needed knowledge.

Functional medicine is a specialty that views the body as one whole system. It is a holistic approach that includes addressing lifestyle habits such as diet/nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction practices through yoga/meditation. A doctor will look at a person’s entire history in all aspects of life as well as the past and present diet of an individual. Then after the patient has provided current symptoms, many lab tests are completed in order to find out the *root* cause of the big problem. You mean there’s hope after all? Yes, why yes.

It took me FOREVER to get to the point where I finally stopped going the traditional route and made an appointment with a doctor who specializes in Functional and Integrative Medicine and is also a Registered Dietitian. I simply did not know these kind of doctors even existed! I would have made an appointment years ago had I known. It is definitely the way to go for anyone who is sick and tired….and well, tired of being sick!

Brittany


What I Am Set Out To Do

Changing the way we think about health. Becoming educated. Stopping the glorification of busy as chaotic lives create stress and exhaustion. Naturalizing our homes. Simplifying realities. Contemplating what we feed our families. Using food as medicine. All aspects in our lives can be and need to be reevaluated. No more acceptance of the social norms at face value. It is high time to take a stand and start making natural the norm.

You will not see me using an expensive camera to take photos for this site. Basically I am not going to hold a photo shoot for the food, etc., as I want this website to convey a more down to earth feel and vibe that you get from day in and day out living. I hope this sounds as appealing to you as it does to me 🙂

Brittany


It Is Time

So here I am! I have decided to write about my life. And you’re thinking, “Wow, how exciting”…Right?! Well, I’ll have you know that it has been one heck of a ride so far! My main intention of this site is to sort everything out in my own head and organize my thoughts. I have much on my mind. My life has evolved and changed so much in recent years that I feel like I need to catch my brain up to the current me!

The subjects on which I want to fill this site with are close to my heart. They are what make me, well, me! Food, health, education, diet, and nutrition are huge topics for me personally. Excited to begin…it will be a major work in progress and what better time to start than right now.

Never give up. Never lose faith. Never lose hope. Do not stop searching for truth and what you know is right even if it takes years, even if you feel like you are on your death bed, which I have been feeling lately, as in the past couple of years. Even when everyone is telling you otherwise, keep fighting and keep going. These attributes will propel you forward through the darkest of days. You will become resilient. Someday I will get to where I am going. Probably in the end because that is where we are all headed and also where everyone usually tends to end up. So let’s help each other get there…one day at a time! I am learning right along with you and I love that!

Brittany