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How the 4R approach helped me heal my gut & allowed me to eat gluten again

How the 4R approach helped me heal my gut & allowed me to eat gluten again

As I sat down for lunch with my very hungry five-year-old twins, I noticed they accidentally put mayo on my son’s turkey sandwich.  I thought, “he is not going to eat this.” I kindly asked them to make another sandwich and I enjoyed the turkey sandwich with mayo on white bread.

I would have never imagined this would be me six years ago. 

I’ve struggled with diet my whole entire life.  When I was young, I would break out with acne on the back of my arms.  My stomach would bloat out and my digestion was terrible.

In college, I would turn bright red after a few drinks and would never know what foods would upset my stomach.

As I got older, I began avoiding foods.  I avoided meat, dairy, and then eventually discovered the gluten-free diet worked for me.

My stomach felt better, but I still never felt “right”, I was always confused with what are the best foods for me.

In 2009, I finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel.  I met an Ayurvedic doctor who helped guide me toward an Ayurvedic Vata diet which consisted of eating warm, cooked foods, along with teas to aid digestion and soothe anxiety.

During my pregnancy, I was able to eat anything I wanted.  I happily added gluten and dairy back into my life.  I fondly remember sitting down to eat two pieces of pizza-alone-when I was seven months pregnant.  I practically cried at how wonderful it tasted.

As the years passed and I was able to take care of my health again, I noticed I had to return to the gluten-free lifestyle I had before having children, but this time it was much harder to accommodate as I now had an instant family of four to feed.

When I began searching for courses to help me heal my postpartum depression naturally, I found Dr. Aviva Romm’s Women’s Herbal Educator certification.  With shaking hands, I enrolled in her online course hoping she could guide me out of this fog I entered after having twins.

What I received was so much more than I ever imagined.

Dr. Aviva Romm taught me why I was experiencing so much pain and anxiety.  Too many doses of antibiotics as a child and young adult, along with my monthly Advil was taking a toll on my gut health and, in turn, my anxiety.

Antibiotics and medications change our gut microbiome, making it difficult to digest certain foods like dairy and gluten. When you heal your gut and reduce medications, you may be able to add gluten back into your life again.  Or you may choose to never eat it again.

Are you struggling with what foods to eat as well?

The root of your problem may not be the environment, your genetics or all in your head, it may, in fact, be in your gut.

If that rings true to you.  Read on.  

Our “second brain, the gut, contains some 100 million neurons; when this system is compromised or “inflamed” disease sets in. As a women’s herbal educator, I also begin with your diet first.  What you are eating, or avoiding, can be an indication of what supplements you may need to heal your gut. 

10 Signs you may need to heal your gut:

  1. Digestion problems-bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea
  2. Food intolerance-avoid meat, dairy, and/or gluten
  3. Seasonal allergies
  4. Skin complaints; acne, skin rash etc.- your back, your tush, and the back of your arms included
  5. Autoimmune disorder
  6. Tired/ poor concentration
  7. Anxiety & depression
  8. Candida overgrowth
  9. Cannot lose weight
  10. Your joints ache

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What is the 4R approach?

This method addresses the underlying causes of gut imbalances and restores harmony, helping to alleviate symptoms and maybe even disease.

The program suggests you: Remove> Reinoculate> Repair> Reintroduce

heal your gut

How do you heal your gut?

  • Remove all triggers: i.e. all allergens and cross reactors like gluten and dairy.
  • Get off medications (with Dr.’s approval and replace with natural remedies ).
  • Reduce your stress with meditation, exercise, and botanicals.
  • Heal your gut lining with the 4R approach below.

1. Remove

Take out what ails you.  The top allergens are wheat, corn, eggs, dairy, peanuts, and soybeans. Add in whole grains (like quinoa and rice), organic vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. Remove all allergens for 4-6 weeks or it may take up to a year to heal your gut with an auto-immune disease.

Encourage whole, organic foods if able and consider shopping the perimeter of the grocery store.

2. Replace

After 2-4 weeks on the Elimination diet, Introduce a good quality digestive enzyme containing protease, lipase, amylase, and pepsin.  This is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, too. I like Enzymedica, you can buy it here. 

Adding bitters, like  Urban Moonshine Bitters will trigger the digestive system to produce digestive enzymes, secrete bile and balance HCI levels in the stomach.  Take bitters 10-15 minutes before your meal.
If you have a lot of nausea with meals or when you take supplements, you might also need some additional stomach acid in the form of a supplement called Betaine HCl, or try 1 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar in water with your meals. 
{click on links above to see the companies I love}

3.  Reinoculate

Wait 2 weeks for the elimination diet or up to 6 weeks.  Adding in a probiotic can give you gas and bloating if you do not remove the allergens first.

Add a good quality probiotic to restore your gut flora.  I like Klair probiotics.

You want it to have a minimum of 5 billion CFU in each dose, and a good range of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacter species.
Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchee can also be a helpful advantage to your gut, add it into your diet 3-4x week. Although very delicious, kombucha can be high in sugar so consider using sparingly. 

4. Repair

Include the following supplement for 6-weeks or more to repair your gut. The following supplements can be taken for up to 6 months to help to heal the intestinal lining:

  • Tumeric- I personally like to take turmeric in a blended tincture like Adrena nourish
  • Aloe vera
  • Marshmallow root powder
  • DGL licorice (aloe and licorice are not for internal use during pregnancy; these are fine for children) are some of the most effective herbs for healing the gut lining.
    • They are best taken in capsule or extract form, though turmeric can also be added to foods.

Do you get heartburn?

  • DGL or diglyceride licorice is a great alternative to tums and does not raise your blood pressure. DGL licorice is available as chewable lozenges and thus may be the simplest one to give to kids. Klair labs has one here or Pure encapsulation combines aloe, slippery elm, and marshmallow root together!

Zinc.

  • 5-10 mg/day for children 4-7 years, 10-20 mg/day for children to age 12, 25-40 mg/day for older children and adults.

An antioxidant supplement

  • Look for one containing vitamins A and carotenoids, C, E, and selenium. 
  • These are often found in a multivitamin.
  • Pregnant women should get these from their prenatal vitamin only.

Fish oil:
I prefer Carlson’s Lemon fish oil.  

L-Glutamine Powder
5-10 gm of powder twice daily for one month. (Much less for kids but talk with your child’s doctor before using and don’t supplement in pregnancy).

 

Conclusion

If your struggling with digestive concerns and find you’re avoiding foods, there is hope.  Healing your gut with the 4R approach can help reduce bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation and have you eating the foods you love again.

Warmly~

Tara

{Keep in mind, I am not a doctor.  Please consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.}


References:

{1} https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/digestive-diseases-statistics-for-the-united-states.aspx

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5 Home Cough Remedies For Kids

5 Home Cough Remedies For Kids

Botanicals can soothe a child’s cough and prevent further complications, like pneumonia, when used often and as soon as you feel your child getting sick.
 
In this blog post, I’ll share the exact remedies I use with my children and my clients to soothe both a dry and wet cough. 
 
Don’t let your kiddos suffer one more day. These home remedies can save the whole family from a rough night’s sleep.
 

Home remedies for a cough for kids

Finding an herbal remedy for my son’s cough has been one of the more challenging events we have endured.
 

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Coughs can be dry, or wet. Coughs also can accommodate the flu, ear infections, or a sore throat.

 

To address a cough think of adding anti-viral botanicals plus, expectorants to support their immune system and release the mucous. ¹
 
So, what do we tackle first?
 
There are four ways I like to use natural remedies with children. I’ll give them teas, tinctures, decoctions, and homeopathy.
Plus, try your best to reduce their sugar intake and increase their fluids with chicken soups and pops, like our favorite herbal popsicle recipe here.
 

Teas For Kids

Make a cup of tea with 1 tsp. of dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and add honey for children over 1 year or you can add juice to their Sippy cup.
 
For babies, you can add cooled chamomile tea to their bottles, adding maple syrup to sweeten if needed.
Toddlers love Lemon Balm or Peppermint as well.
 

Tinctures For Kids

Tinctures are an extract of a plant in alcohol. Because of the processing method, the amount alcohol your child ingests is similar to a ripe banana.
 
If you’re concerned with the alcohol intake you can use a glycerine tincture. These tinctures are made with glycerine instead of alcohol and most moms feel more comfortable using them.
 
When the cold begins, give an Echinacea glycerine tincture and Elderberry Syrup to support their immune system.
 
Studies show elderberry syrup can lower the duration of your flu and the need for medication. 
Dose: When the adult dose is 2 droppersful (60 drops), the following is recommended for children:
Age — Dosage  Younger than 3 months — 2 drops 3 to 6 months — 3 drops 6 to 9 months — 4 drops 9 to 12 months — 5 drops 12 to 18 months — 7 drops 18 to 24 months — 8 drops 2 to 3 years — 10 drops 3 to 4 years — 12 drops 4 to 6 years — 15 drops 6 to 9 years — 24 drops 9 to 12 years — 30 drops
Other ways to determine dosage: Young’s Rule – Add 12 to the child’s age. Divide the child’s age by this total. Example: dosage for a 4 year old: 4 divided by 16 (4+12) = .25, or 1/4 of the adult dosage. Cowling’s Rule – Divide the number of the child’s next birthday by 24. Example: dosage for a child who is 3, turning 4 would be: 4 divided by 24 = .16, or 1/6 of the adult dosage.²

Decoctions For Kids

Decoction is a method of extraction by boiling herbal or plant material to dissolve the chemicals of the material, which may include stems, roots, bark and rhizomes.³ This works best when the herb doesn’t taste well or you want to make a syrup, like elderberry syrup.

Homeopathy For Kids

Homeopathy is wonderful for kids.  Please read my article:

  • Everything you need to know about homeopathy HERE. 
 

Home remedies for a cough and throat pain

When a cough is dry with throat pain, you’ll want soothing herbs like licorice, slippery elm, and marshmallow root.
 
    • I’d also give an immune tincture like herb pharm to boost their immunity found here.
  • Our favorite tea recipe for a sore throat is found here. This is safe for toddlers who do not have hypertension and they love how sweet it is!

Home remedies for a cough and mucous

When there is mucous, you’ll want herbs that act like an expectorant, look for products with elecampane, hyssop, mullein, thyme, yerba santa, and ginger for warming.
 
 

Home remedies for infants

Using botanicals with infants requires more caution. The tincture doses are much less due to their body weight. Please see your free cheat sheet.
 
To administer a tincture to an infant, you can add tinctures to a bottle or place in 1/3 cup of water. Use a syringe or straw to make sure your child gets the full amount.
 
I wouldn’t use essential oils with children until they are 3 months of age. If you choose to, please use caution. Make sure you only use 1 drop per 1 tbs. of oil. They should be very diluted and avoid the eyes, ears, and any openings in the body. Never ingest essential oils with infants. (Unless advised by a professional as they are very estrogenic.)
 

Home remedies for a cough with toddlers

Toddlers are a little easier, as they love anything new and fun. I would add tinctures to their Sippy cup, use a syringe, or sip out of a fun cup with a straw.

5 Home Cough Remedies

  1. Slippery elm lozenges
  2. Licorice & peppermint tea
  3. Herb Pharm Lung expectorant
  4. Andrographis- to prevent pneumonia
  5. Echinacea tincture
 
Conclusion
When using botanicals and homeopathy with children it is very important you’re choosing the right herb (or homeopathic treatment) and correct dosing for their symptom. With a combined effort of diet, teas, and rest your child will be able to become resilient through the years.
What have you tried for coughs? Let me know in the comments below.

¹ https://chriskresser.com/rhr-treating-viral-pneumonia-and-other-infections/ ² Reference used: “Herbal Remedies for Children’s Health” by Rosemary Gladstar 

³ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decoction

 

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How scar tissue affects your bladder leaking.

How scar tissue affects your bladder leaking.

Do you ever feel like your scar has affected your bladder control?

Your thoughts may not be so crazy after all.

The scar tissue formed from C-sections, episiotomies, surgeries, and perineal tearing can cause numbness and an inability for the adhesions to lay down in a proper pattern, affecting all your muscles around the area. Furthermore, if you have scar tissue internally, it may be affecting your organs.

For over the past seventeen years, I’ve worked with women of all ages and the pain doesn’t seem to subside with time.

(Here’s a nice image to demonstrate the pull of scar tissue)

One way to speed the healing of your scar tissue is to practice a scar massage.

Here are symptoms you may be having due to the scar tissue:

8 Symptoms You May Be Experiencing From Your C-section Scar

  • pain during sex
  • clitoral and/or labial pain
  • feeling like you need to go to PEE a lot
  • numbness around the scar
  • lumpy or hard spots over the scar
  • pelvic, low back and pain in the groin
  • digestive troubles
  • can’t feel your abdominals doing work

3 Symptoms You May Be Experiencing From An Episiotomy

    • difficulty going to the bathroom
    • pain/tension in your pelvis
    • pain or discomfort with sex

So, What can you do about your pain?


======>>> Massage your scar:)

{keep in mind, I am not a massage therapist}

The scar tissue formed after an incision may not lay down as “neatly” and is less pliable and flexible. A gentle scar massage can “break-up” this tissue creating more freedom in the area and in your overall body and may reduce the tension you are feeling.

How soon can you practice a scar massage?

You want to wait for at least 6-weeks after any abdominal surgery and consult with your doctor before adding this in. Do not massage the scar if there is any oozing or redness. Please see your doctor!

How do I do a scar massage?

There are 4 ways to do a scar massage

  • massage gentle circles over the scar {and any area of tension}
  • press and wiggle- press down and shift forward and back slightly
  • go over the scar left to right and right to left
  • use a SOFT massage ball/foam roller and gently sit on it and breathe for your perineal area

You can use coconut oil or any other oil to help the fingers skim over the skin.

Practice this for 1 minute most days of the week. Be gentle and over time increase your pressure.


Take your time and realize healing takes time. The best types of exercise for you are breathing, walking, core restoration and light bodyweight exercises until the scar tissue heals. Possibly 9-12 months.

Diet is also VERY important to heal the scar tissue. Make sure you are getting enough healthy protein at each meal.

When the scar tissue is released, you will unwind years of tightness and be able to connect to your core AND pelvic floor with ease.

Have you experienced pain from your scars? I want to hear from you.  Tell me below in the comment section. 

Need more help?

Check out my online course Pelvic Pow-HER; a pelvic care course to help women reduce bladder leaking.

Have you had a c-section? Do you have pain from it? Leave a comment below.

5 Home Remedies For The Flu

5 Home Remedies For The Flu

What if you could decrease your flu symptoms naturally? If you prefer to use natural remedies during the cold and flu season, read on.

Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, can be debilitating and cause great suffering for you and your family.  Botanicals and homepathic remedies can decrease your symptoms and ease the pain of the flu.

The first time I had the flu, I swore I had malaria.  I even drove myself to the ER, just for them to tell me it was the Flu. I called my mother at 5:00 am crying and begging her to help me.  Over the next three days, she helped me change the sheets four times and nursed me back to health.  I missed ten whole days of work and thought I was dying.  I took the medication that I knew at the time and slept the days away.  Little did I know there were an alternative way and natural remedies would ease my symptoms and decrease the pain the next time I had the flu.

In this post, you’ll discover the symptoms of the flu, when to call the doctor, the herbs, and homeopathy I use to shorten the duration of the flu and ease the achiness.

What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu

  • High fever of 102-104
  • Severe achiness-(in fact, it used to be called breakbone disease)
  • A sore throat
  • A cough
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lack of appetite

When to call the doctor for the flu

  • Signs of dehydration
  • High fever persisting (103.5 and over)
  • A severe headache
  • Stiff neck or pain in the back of the neck
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Fever for more than 4 days
  • A severe cough with chest pain and shortness of breath (could be pneumonia)

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The achiness is usually what gives away the symptoms of the flu. If you feel like it may be something else, see a doctor right away.

In the United States, the flu usually hits between December and February. Adults 65 and older and children under 5 are at the greatest risk of developing flu-related illnesses.  {read more here}

I realize the Flu is not to be taken lightly.  If you are generally a healthy adult these remedies may be right for you.

Home Remedies For The Flu

  • Tinctures for the flu
    • A tincture is a concentrated liquid herbal extract taken 2-3x day in a 1/4 cup of water. 
  • Choose these tinctures as a single or blend.
    • #1 Boneset Tincture/Extract {Eupatorium perfoliatum L.}-(herb pharm, moutainroseherbs.com)
      • The #1 recommended remedy for the flu. I’ve used both the tincture and homeopathy.  I prefer the homeopathic dose for quicker results. flu remedies
    • #2 Crampbark {Viburnum opulus}
      • As suggested, crampbark is used for cramps and aches in the body. 
    • #3 Jamaican dogwood {Piscidia piscipula}
      • As an analgesic, Jamaican dogwood can reduce pains in the body for cold and flu season and also works great for PMS.
    • #4 Elderberry Syrup-  In one study, Elderberry Syrup was used to treat 60 patients suffering from influenza.  “Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.”

Homeopathy For The Flu

Homeopathy is my preferred way to shorten the duration of the flu.  Keep in mind, your symptoms may increase for a moment and then they should improve within 20 minutes. Homeopathy can be tricky to use: read my post Everything You Need To Know About Homeopathy Here. 

Homeopathy is based on the person symptoms.  It is best to seek out a homeopath for the best results.

Boneset 30C (Eupatorium perfoliatum)- Best Remedy For The Flu

{click here for a quick link to Amazon}

  • How do you know if boneset is right for you?  Your symptoms would include:
    • Patient experiences a deep aching in the bones and even the eyeballs are sore. 
    • May feel totally wiped out and unable to exert the least effort. 
    • Is usually thirsty, especially as the chill begins to come on.
  • How do you take it?
    • Take Boneset 30c, wait 20 minutes take again and wait.. you should feel an improvement. 
    • You can use herbal remedies with homeopathy. 
    • Other homeopathic remedies are available as well if these symptoms do not match.

Teas For The Flu

Tea can be nourishing and hydrating when you are suffering from the flu.  The following herbs can help reduce a fever and fill the body with vitamins and minerals during the cold and flu season.

Try these teas as a single cup or blend daily.  Enjoy 3-4 cups if you’re able to sip on it.

  • Lemon Balm
  • Yarrow
  • Linden Flower
  • Elderflower
  • Catnip
  • Peppermint.

Conclusion

I agree the flu is not to be taken lightly.  If your symptoms do not improve in 4 days or you feel uneasy, please contact your doctor. To be prepared, purchase Boneset 30c in preparation for when the flu hits your home this winter.

Remember this post? Pin the picture to keep in your Pinterest page.

xoxo

Tara

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Everything you need to know about homeopathy.

Everything you need to know about homeopathy.

Have you ever wondered if homeopathy actually works?

Maybe you’ve tried those little sugar tablets with no relief.

Or you already believe, they will not work.

My first experience using homeopathy is when I had the flu for the second time in my life.  I had a liquid form of boneset from a herbal course I enrolled in with Peeka Trenkle.  I took one dose of the boneset and immediately felt relief and then.. I ran out! The bottle was empty.  I couldn’t believe it, I rushed to Nature’s Pantry to discover they didn’t have any boneset in stock.  The shift in symptoms was so dramatic, I knew it was from the homeopathic remedy.

What is homeopathy anyway?

  • “Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people.”
  • The remedies are so diluted that, based on chemistry, it is difficult to find any molecules of the original substance in the remedy YET, they are very mighty!
  • Safe enough for children and the elderly, yet potent enough you could create adverse effects if you do not know the principles.

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What are homeopathic remedies made from?

  • Homeopathic medicine is made from minerals, plants, animals, poisons of animals, and bees and then diluted or successed {shaken.}natural remedies, home remedies for cough and cold

How is homeopathy made?

The first stage in preparing a homeopathic remedy is to create a tincture or “mother tincture” by diluting the material in vegetable alcohol. Then, the triturated mixture is repeatedly diluted and shaken or succussed for hours or days, depending on the potency or strength.  This process of diluting and succussing is called potentization. The potentized homeopathic medicine is then added to lactose tablets or pills.

How does homeopathy work?

The Infinitesimal Dose
  • The more a remedy is diluted and succussed (vigorously shaken), the stronger it becomes a cure. For example, 1M is stronger than 6c.  Always begin with 6 or 30c, unless working with a professional homeopath. 
  • One theory is the succession creates an electrochemical pattern which is stored in the dilutant and spreads like a liquid crystal through the body’s own water. 
  • A second thought is the dilution process triggers an electromagnetic imprinting which directly affects the electromagnetic field of the body.
  • You can purchase homeopathic tablets as 6, 9, 12, 24 or 30 c or x.  I feel comfortable with purchasing 6c or 30c tablets for acute remedies.

How do you take homeopathy?

  • Tip a tablet into the lid of the bottle and tip into your mouth without touching it
  • Or tip-in on the palm of the person taking the remedy; try not to touch the remedy if you are giving it to someone.
  • Never put back any tablets that have fallen out
    • Try not to eat, drink or brush teeth for 10-20 minutes before or after taking a remedy
    • You should feel a shift occur if it is negative in any way STOP and reassess. 
    • You may have an increase in symptoms and then it will resolve. If you are not seeing results don’t repeat. There should be a beginning, middle, and end to your symptoms.

Homeopathy medicine acts as a catalyst, the remedy stimulating the body’s own vital force to heal itself.

Do you use homeopathy with your family? Download my free cheat sheet to mark your symptoms BEFORE choosing a homeopathic remedy.  By marking your symptoms and choosing the right remedy, you will have more success.

How to give homeopathy to children?

  • For Babies; Crush the tablet between two spoons and tipped dry on to the tongue. Or alternatively, dilute the small sugar pill in water and/or bottle. {clean any item with hot water so the next person doesn’t get the remedy}
    • Dilute in water and use a syringe to insert into their mouth
    • Dilute in milk, water or juice in a sippy cup
    • Place on a spoon to eat
    • Toddlers can put in their mouth with a spoon

Things that interfere with homeopathy?

    • Camphor (used as an ingredient in many cosmetics and salves, such as Tiger Balm, Blistex, Vick’s Vapor rub, Noxzema, Chapstick, Karmex, Sea Breeze, some shaving creams, liniments, and many other products which have a similar odor is a universal antidote and should be avoided.
    • Electric Blankets.
    • Certain Holistic therapies, such as acupuncture, craniosacral manipulation, polarity therapy, e.t.c. should not be used simultaneously with homeopathy.
    • Strong odors in the mouth or the environment at the time of taking the remedy can inactivate the homeopathic medicine. That’s why we recommend taking the remedy at least 30 minutes before or 1 hour after eating, drinking (water is allowed), chewing gum, brushing your teeth, and smoking.
    • Major dental work
    • Excessive, and in some cases even moderate consumption of coffee and stimulants
    • Street drugs, including marijuana

Tips for Homeopathic Dosing

      • Prescribe according to the urgency and unique symptoms- download your free cheat sheet
      • Use one remedy at a time
      • Avoid combined remedies
      • Stop if you see improvement
      • Start again if the same symptom returns; repeat as needed
      • If you have given 3-6 doses and have had no response, stop and reassess
      • Change the remedy if the symptoms change and/or get worse
      • Always seek professional help if your symptoms recur or do not improve
Homeopathy is really complex; use the Homeopathic Principles to guide you.
      • Law Of Similars-
          • “Let like be cured with like”
          • Any substance that makes you ill can also cure you.
          • By symptoms, the homeopathy means those changes that are felt by the patient or observer which may be associated with the disease.
      • The Single Remedy
          • The classical homeopathy gives one remedy at a time to gauge its effect more precisely than would be possible if two or more remedies were given together.
      • The Law of Cure
        • As someone becomes well, symptoms move from the innermost organs of the body to the outer organs
        • Cure moves from within to without
        • Cure takes place from above to below
      • Minimal Dose
        • Less is more, wait and see. 
        • How little can I use and still produce a result?

Have you used homeopathy? Did it work for you? Tell us your story in the comments below!

xoxo

Tara

P.S. Pin the image to save for later when you need it.


Books I love

    • Kruzel; The homeopathic emergency guide
    • Castro, Amanda: Homeopathy for pregnancy, birth, and your baby’s first year
    • Panos: Homeopathic medicine at home

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10 Natural Remedies To Reduce Constipation

10 Natural Remedies To Reduce Constipation

Have you ever wondered how constipation affects your pelvic floor?

Check out this image on the right.  The more pressure you have pushing downward increases the pressure on the muscles below which are your pelvic floor!

Furthermore, if you’ve had surgery, like a C-section, hysterectomy, or even episiotomy from pregnancy, the weaker the whole structure will be due to scar tissue. Then constipation exacerbates the weakness and may cause leaking and pain down below.

Are you experiencing pain with digestion or leaking? It could be due to constipation.

10 Tips To Reduce Constipation Naturally:

#1 Go Gluten and Dairy Free

Yes, it is difficult! Is it worth it? Yes!
Gluten-containing foods and dairy products can cause constipation due to their inflammatory effects.

Try an elimination diet for three weeks and notice if you feel better.

If so, eliminate these foods from your diet. Keep in mind; Gluten-free doesn’t mean buying more boxed foods! Whole grains like quinoa or rice may ease your digestion.

#2 Eat warm, cooked, foods

Ayurvedic medicine believes, as we get older we need to add warm, cooked foods to our diet because our body becomes dryer.  Consider drinking hot water with lemon in the morning and adding soups to your diet.

#3 Drink 8-9 cups of water a day.

When constipated, drink 2-3 cups of water immediately.  Go for a walk, stretch and wait. Notice what you are drinking during the day, can you add plain, filtered water to your diet.

#4 Try a daily probiotic

Choose a probiotic with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species and take it daily for 1-3 months.

With sever constipation, you can also add a powdered form of probiotic to 1/4 cup of water and have at each meal.

#5 Add supplements.

Magnesium Citrate assists with constipation aids relaxation and supports sugar cravings.  Start with 200mg at bedtime.  Reduce amount if you have diarrhea.

Natural Calm- Filled with magnesium citrate, it works similar to Miralax by pulling water into the intestines. Take before bed to induce relaxation and will lead to a soft BM in the morning.

#6 Take a digestive enzyme

Enzymes assist the chemical breakdown of food into smaller absorbable components. Enzymes called amylases break down starches into sugar molecules; proteases break down proteins into amino acids, and lipases break down fat into its parts. I love Enzymedica!

#7 Take Betaine HCL

Stomach acid is essential for digestion and nutrient assimilation. Having too little stomach acid can cause just as many problems (if not more) than having too much.  Read this article on how to supplement with Betaine HCL and consult your doctor if you have acid reflux or ulcers.

#8 Reduce stress

Often we are eating while we are working or driving or doing something.  Pause, and take a deep breath before each meal to enhance the digestive enzymes in your body.

End your meal with chamomile or peppermint tea to aid the digestive process.

#9 Add Flaxseeds

One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 2 grams of dietary fiber. You can grind 1 cup for the week and store in the refrigerator.

Take 1-2 Tbs. of ground flaxseed per day to keep bowels regular. Stir the ground flaxseed it into oatmeal, soup, coconut yogurt, smoothies, or any food that you enjoy.

#10 Add Triphala

Triphala is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal formulation made from  Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). Taken at night, Triphala is a gentle supports regular bowel movements and relaxes the nervous system.

Conclusion

When you reduce constipation, you can reduce leaking and heal your abdominal separation.

Do you have pain with digestion? Send me your 3-day diet to receive feedback and suggestions.

xoxoxo
Tara

Skinny Tea Recipe

Skinny Tea Recipe

Do you love creating your own tea blends?

Would you love to decrease your bloating and PMS symptoms with one cup of tea?

Then this skinny tea is for you.

Who is skinny tea good for?

  • If you have constipation
  • You have PMS
  • You are experiencing bloating
  • You have Urinary discomfort
  • You’re eating chocolate:) Yes, it helps balance the sugar rush.

How do you make skinny tea?

Step #1. Purchase your tea from high-quality sources like www.jeansgreens.com or www.mountainrosherbs.com.

Buy 2-4 ounces of each, except for rose hips purchase half the amount.

Step #2. Blend the herbs together and place in a sealed container.  When I suggest 1 part, you can use 1 cup and 1/2 part, use 1/2 cup etc.

Step #3.  Use 1 tbs. of dried herbs per 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.  Add honey if desired.

Let me know if you have any questions below.  Pin the image to keep for later!

xoxo

Tara

How I Healed My Abdominal Separation {a.k.a. diastasis recti}

How I Healed My Abdominal Separation {a.k.a. diastasis recti}

What if you could heal your abdominal separation?

OR at least know the best exercises to re-connect to your center again.

You’re probably sick of hearing it by now.

But, it’s not about closing the gap.

That’s a crazy thought, isn’t it?

You see in 2013, I had my twins Mario & Eva and during the postpartum time, I was very confused with the best exercises to heal my core. I taught Pilates for over thirteen years and felt like situps made my stomach pouch out more, not flatten.

Just like you, I was confused.

Should I do sit-ups? Should I skip running? How do I close the gap?

But, that wasn’t the important piece.

What I should have been focussing on is my pelvic floor and core re-connecting, plus a nutrient dense diet to heal the connective tissue and reduce the bloating.

I only had a 1.5 finger separation, but it bothered me. I still looked pregnant. And, my back would go out occasionally while caring for the twins.

So, I’m here to tell you, take a deep breath… it’s not about closing the gap. The important question is, do you need pelvic floor physical therapy?

You see, the pelvic floor {those muscles below the belt} can help restore your core.  You may be holding tension in the muscles from a c-section or a perineal tear, and this tension needs to be released.

You also may be weak in your pelvic floor if you had a vaginal birth.

So, How do you know if you need pelvic floor exercises for your separation?

  • Your back goes out occasionally
  • You feel like you have doming in your abs with sit-ups
  • You have leaking once and a while:)
  • You squeeze your buttocks most of the day
  • You can’t connect to your center at all

My tips & tricks are in this nifty handout for you.  Just add your name + email to get started today!

5 Ways I Healed My Diastasis Recti

#1 Abdominal Pumps

  • #1 Similar to “fire breath” in yoga.  You inhale release your abdominals and then exhale, pull in your core as if snapping it to your back.  Practice this 10-100x daily.
  • #2 Hold your abdominals in and count to three.  Rest and repeat.

#2 Stretching My Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor muscles are BELOW your core.  So, it only makes sense that they are affected when your core is not functioning correctly.  If your pelvis is tilted forward OR back, your pelvic floor has changed.  A diaphragmatic breath will release any tension in your pelvic floor and re-teach your core to let-go of undue stress.

#3 Addressing Gut Imbalances

Due to antibiotic use and the hormones from your baby {or two in my case!}, you may need to address gut healing to shed the pregnancy look.  It’s common to have leaky gut syndrome after birth. {Read 10 signs you have a leaky gut and how to heal it, by Dr. Aviva Romm.  }

Therefore, you may need to remove gluten and dairy for 4-6 weeks and add in some good supplements to repair your gut digestion.  It’s called the 4R approach, as a women’s herbal educator I can walk you through the steps or reach out to a functional medicine doctor for a firm diagnosis.

#4 Watching Alignment

Your rib to hip alignment is extremely important in healing your abdominal separation. Think of sticking your tush out {not squeezing your buttocks} and drawing your ribs over your hips.  This will engage your core and help with a better alignment throughout the day.

#5 Is It Safe To Do Sit-ups With A Separation?

This is a big question! One I suffered with for over three years.

IF you can engage your pelvic floor and transversus {a muscle that flattens your core in the front}, then you can do sit-ups.  Diane Lee has some amazing FREE content for instructors and clients to view.  Check them out here. 

“Training comes before strengthening.”- Diane Lee

So, what are your next steps to heal diastasis recti?

#1 Train your pelvic floor – Check out my online course Pelvic Pow-HER

#2 Activate your transversus with correct core exercises

#3 Seek out a pelvic floor physical therapist

#4 Change your diet for gut healing

Conclusion

It’s not about closing the gap.  When you have a separation you want to learn how to engage your pelvic floor and your core again.  When you have doming, stop the exercise and reassess.

Do you have a separation? Comment below and tell me what you have tried so far.

5 Questions Answered About Your Pelvic Floor

5 Questions Answered About Your Pelvic Floor

Imagine never leaking again when you cough, laugh, sneeze, or jump?

You see, over four years ago I was at my best friends wedding.  My twins were only a year old and it was the first time I was out enjoying myself.  After no sleep the night before, I was drinking and dancing in heels.  Jumping up and down, I felt something.  Did I start my period?

I ran to the bathroom and said this to a friend. She said “nope”, you just peed your pants!?!&% What? It’s not possible, I teach Pilates.  I’m fit.  I”m healthy.

From that point on, I was determined to figure out why this happened.

As you imagine, I’ve since found the answers.

And, the more I talk to mothers of all ages, the more I hear this one complaint. “I’d love not to pee my pants when I cough, laugh, sneeze, or jump.”

You see, I didn’t know it was called leaking.  And I would have never said I have incontinence {that’s for old people!}.  But, the truth is.  Women of all ages need pelvic floor rehabilitation after pregnancy, chemotherapy, hysterectomies, and menopause.

The Most 5 Questions Asked About Pelvic Floor Health

#1 I’m too old to reduce leaking, aren’t I?

You are never too old to heal your body.  It may take time.  It may take effort and many lifestyle changes.  But you can always heal.  Your pelvic floor muscles (found below the belt), can be tight or weak causing you pleasure or pain.  When you engage them properly, you should have less leaking, less back pain, and more freedom in your pelvis and hips.  These muscles can also be too tight, creating tension and leaking.  See a pelvic floor physical therapist for the best diagnoses.

#2 High tone pelvic floor dysfunction.

How do you know if your pelvic floor is too tight or has a high tone? Some women (men too!) can have a tight pelvic floor. If you continue to do Kegels or tighten your pelvic floor, you will continue to have a cycle of pain.  How do you know if it’s too tight?

  • sex is uncomfortable
  • inserting anything inside is uncomfortable
  • you may experience constipation
  • you may have leaking
  • you may have low back, groin, and hip pain

What do you do about it? Stretching and rolling your inner thighs and hips will help.  I teach these exact exercises in my Pelvic Pow-HER program.  Releasing your pelvic floor with the diaphragmatic breathing and rolling your pelvic floor with a soft massage ball.  Plus, you may want to seek out a pelvic floor physical therapist for a complete diagnosis.

#3 How do you know if your pelvic floor is weak?

A weak pelvic floor seems to be more common amongst postpartum women. You may have experience leaking, low back or even knee pain from your weak pelvic floor.

What weakens your pelvic floor?

  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • surgeries
  • excessive coughing from a cold
  • age
  • obesity
  • heavy lifting/ high-intensity activities
  • constipation

#4 How do I know if the pelvic floor exercises are working?

Clients say they notice a change in the stream of their urine flow.  If you listen carefully, you’ll notice the change.  There is also less urgency, less leaking, and less low back pain.  Your core may feel stronger and your feet feel lighter.

#5 How do botanicals help with leaking?

Postpartum Leaking

The autonomic nervous system controls the bladder and bowel during filling and emptying.  This complex system helps relax the bladder wall when filled, helps the resting tone of the pelvic muscles so they keep the urine inside, and quiets the gut to increase or decrease the speed of elimination.¹

There are many drug therapies to reduce spasms and inflammation in the urinary tract, as well as, reduce anxiety to ease leaking.  There are a number of botanicals that help with these symptoms as well without all the side effects.

As a women’s herbal educator, I work with women to restore their own innate healing with diet, herbs, and lifestyle practices.

xoxo

Tara

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Resources

¹ Hulme, Janet A; Beyon Kegels®

5 Myths Of Postpartum Exercise Recovery

5 Myths Of Postpartum Exercise Recovery

I didn’t do a sit-up for over four years because of my diastasis recti, an abdominal separation due to my twin pregnancy. Confused and sleep deprived, I also drank Guinness to improve my milk supply and paid little attention to my diet for the first year.
 
But eventually, I was able to heal my core and improve my digestion through corrective exercises and a nutritional diet.
 
Let me explain…
We have this perception that we need to be tone and fit in our pre-pregnancy clothes six weeks after birth. What we are not honoring, is the healing process a new momma needs to go through.
 

Here are the 5 Myths of Postpartum Exercise Recovery.

#5 It Takes 6-Weeks To Recover From Birth

 
Your body went through one of the biggest transformations in your life. Eight weeks postpartum, you may still be sore and sleep deprived. If you had a c-section, episiotomy or diastasis recti you have endured an injury that may need up to two years to recover.
 
Click here for Your body after baby to see if what you are experiencing is normal. 
 
 

#4 You can go back to your previous exercise routine

Postpartum Exercise

We are so quick to jump into our previous exercise routine without realizing we need post-rehabilitative exercises to heal our wounds. 

Sign you may need pelvic floor rehabilitation are:

  • leaking, ongoing back, pelvis, groin or abdominal pain
  • Pressure or bulging in your vagina or rectum and bulging of your abdomen during ANY exercise
  • Difficulty doing any of your everyday activities because of pain, leakage, pressure or any other symptom that concerns you

#3 You shouldn’t do crunches with diastasis recti {DRA}

Postpartum gurus may tell you not to do crunches if you have a diastasis recti. Following this advice, I skipped flexion {a.k.a. crunches} for over three years afraid I would increase the split!  Guess what, this guru was wrong.
exercise

Postpartum Exercise

 
Diane Lee, physiotherapist shares how women can have a gap and still transfer load through the body without pain. It’s about your function movement and transfer of load in your body so you don’t have more biomechanics and injuries.  
You can do crunches with an abdominal separation IF you know how to engage your pelvic floor first and you re-learn how to transfer load through your body. 
Not sure if you have a separation? Click here to watch my YouTube Video.

#2 A little leaking is ok

 
The pelvic floor is very resilient, but one sign it is not functioning properly; is when you have leaked. Leaking a little bit is a sign of pelvic floor weakness. This weakness in your “inner unit”, can create a dysfunction in how you transfer load through your body.
 
You may also have trouble breathing, low back pain, hip pain or a weak core in response to your pelvic floor tone.
 
In a large postpartum study of prevalence for urinary incontinence (UI), Wilson et al (2002) found that 45% of women experienced UI at 7 years postpartum and that 27% who were initially incontinent in the early postpartum period regained their continence while 31% who were continent became incontinent.

#1 Kegels are enough

Kegels are small contractions of your pelvic floor muscles, suggested during pregnancy and postpartum to decrease incontinence.

The reason Kegels may not work is:

a) your pelvic floor could be too tight, needing a release
b) you’re performing the pelvic exercises incorrectly
c) your body alignment could be off
d) you need a full body workout
 
There are over ten different ways to contract your pelvic floor. Squeezing and lifting these muscles are not enough to gain the full effect of your pelvic floor strength.

Conclusion

In conclusion, allow your body 1-2 years to recover from pregnancy. Seek out a pelvic floor physical therapist if you have any pain, leaking, bulging or pressure in your pelvic floor.  Your body will heal, 
 
Are you ready for a postpartum plan? Click here to learn about Pelvic Pow-HER.

Transform your child's health. Click Here
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