I'm not sure if I can blame pregnancy for necessitating these game changers, or simply bringing health and wellness to the forefront of my mind, but below are the 3 things that I have fallen in love with, and don't anticipate ever giving up in the future because they don't cost a million dollars, and are actually easy to do every day.
- MAGNESIUM: It is SO important, and it's believed that over 80% of Americans are severely deficient -- knowing what I know now I would say that it's probably way more than that. We used to get magnesium from our food, but magnesium has been depleted from our soils and food sources, so now only those that swim in the ocean regularly, don't consume alcohol caffeine and sugar (which deplete mg), and drink mineral water and/or supplement daily are getting enough. Magnesium is used in almost 400 cellular processes and reactions in the body, and when we are deficient, our cells can't produce ATP, metabolize fats, carbs, or amino acids, our arteries and muscles start to calcify, hormones start to become unbalanced, and every type of tissue in your body is affected. This leads to poor sleep, brain fog, exhaustion, depression, muscle spasms and fatigue, poor immune and healing responses, and hundreds of other symptoms. Do some research yourself, or just believe me and go buy yourself some bath salts :)
- How to Get It:
- FOOT SOAKS! I notice a HUGE difference in my sleep quality when I don't do a foot soak before bed. Add a scoop of mineral bath salts to a bucket of hot water, and soak your feet for 20-60 minutes before bed. Apply some lotion to your feet afterwards (or have your honey rub it in for you :) since the salts can kind of dry out your skin. This is the kind I use -- I like that it doesn't have any artificial additives, and you can add essential oils if you love an aromatherapy sesh before bed.
- Magnesium Oil: We keep a little glass spray bottle on the nightstand and spritz the bottom of our feet before bed. It's actually a magnesium/water solution but kind of does feel "oily" and takes a minute to absorb. Magnesium can kind of tingle and should be washed off after 20 minutes or so if you use it on more sensitive skin, (don't expect to sleep comfortably with it on the inside of your arms just because you think it'll be better absorbed there-- personal experience lol) but I haven't noticed any discomfort leaving it on the bottoms of my feet all night. This is the kind we use.
- Magnesium supplements: This is where I started when I first learned about magnesium, but your body will take what it needs and any excess will be processed by your kidneys and/or left to travel through your intestinal tract which can cause gas-like cramping and stomach upset, so I stick to absorbing trans-dermally (foot/bath soaks and magnesium oil spray) and don't have any tummy troubles from it.
- More Research:
- PROBIOTICS/PREBIOTICS/ALLLLL THE GOOD BACTERIA: I am such a good-gut-flora pusher. I try to convince everybody I meet that the one thing missing from their lives is a thriving colony of happy-tummy bugs. I completely believe that the secret to fighting illness lies in our gut.. My grandpa used to make us take acidophilus and blended kale smoothies when we were sick growing up, and I always thought he was a crazy hippy -- but even back then he knew that the success of our entire immune systems lies in the balance between good and bad bacteria, and the welfare of our good bacteria is mostly reliant and the crap we eat.. which for most of us isn't consistently anything to brag about.. You can't expect those little buggies to thrive on hamburger buns and cheese and sugar, but if you're like me and can't live without a few burgers and some sugar, then do your best to give your little bugs what they need despite your abusive nourishment. Take a good probiotic, even better if it already includes prebiotics (insoluble fiber) and kiss goodbye your bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, a struggling immune system, and the bad attitude that comes along with these things, and say hello to 2-3 comfortable poops a day, killer digestion, and a BOSS immune system.
- How to Get It:
- Supplement! I take probiotics and prebiotics daily, around 60 billion micro-flora (via a single capsule, or even better a couple smaller capsules throughout the day to equal that much) and I rotate brands to try and build up as many strains as possible. Before pregnancy, I was less consistent and felt like 30 billion a day was perfect, but I have upped my game since I'm trying to stay healthy myself and prepare another human body for a life of disease fighting.
- Lady Side Note: After multiple treatments prescribed by doctors for bacterial vaginosis and semi-frequent yeast infections 5-6 years ago(basically my weak-ass vaginal bacteria would freak out if I even thought about changing laundry soap or got a little too sweaty at the gym) the vaginal support probiotics were the only thing that I've found to bring permanent vajayjay happiness. I've started adding these back into my daily routine now as well to give my baby as many strains of good bugs as possible during birth. See: Microbes for Baby
- Stop Lysoling Everything! This one still surprises me when I think about it, because I have probably spent 10K on Purell and anti-bacterial everything over the past decade and would feel completely at peace in a sterilized stainless steel box. But we NEED bacteria. Our immune systems become such pansies if they never have to fight anything. This does NOT mean to stop washing your hands after you go potty or touch raw poultry or some other gross thing/person, but it DOES mean play in the dirt a little more, go barefoot, and stop putting Lysol and bleach on everything you own every 48 hours (or was it just me who did that..). Those chemical cleaners will give you cancer quicker than a little cold ever will, anyway.
- Ferment Your Food! Or if you aren't on my Martha level, wahaha, at least buy some food that's already fermented.. ;) We brew kombucha, kefir, and ginger beer, we ferment salsa and vegetables, and love sauerkraut and whole milk yogurt. I have found that I simply don't eat enough fermented food to rely on diet alone to get those good bugs without supplementation, but it's a great goal!
- More Research:
- RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: It's alkalizing, meaning it helps your body become a disease-fighting environment, not disease-breeding.. ACV is also an irreplaceable remedy for indigestion (whether caused by a food baby or an actual baby) and gets rid of heartburn, which is usually caused by having too little acid in your stomach. It goes against everything you thought about acid sitting in your throat, I know, but try it the next time you eat a burrito and then tell me how much you love me and apple cider vinegar. It can also boost your energy, get rid of a sore throat, clear your skin, AND clean almost every surface in your house without chemicals. We take a tablespoon or two mixed with 8 oz. water after almost every meal, and we LOVE it.
replete yo good bugs, and yo good minerals.. yo!