Top Eight Toxins In Your Home

We are all exposed to cleaners whether we like to clean or not. While we have good intentions, many of our cleaners are dangerous and even deadly. What are you using to clean your home is important, as important as what you put in your body. Here are our top eight toxins to avoid. We’ve also provided a few recommendations as an alternative, toxin-free options.

BPA

BPA is found in many household plastic items. This chemical imitates estrogen in our bodies. BPA has been linked to cancers such as breast, reproductive issues, weight gain, early puberty, and heart disease. According to the Environmental Working Group 93% of Americans have BPA in their bodies! BPA can be found in plastic water bottles and food containers. Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2, and #4 on the bottom are better choices because they do not contain BPA. Avoid putting any plastic containers in microwaves.  Better yet, avoid plastic altogether. It is bad for you and the environment. Check out clean, BPA Free reusable food and beverage containers here.

AIR FRESHENERS

You may think it’s a smart move covering up those pesky odors with an air freshener. Think again! The danger here is many of these air fresheners contains irritants which can impair lung function and bother the eyes, throat, and skin. Some air fresheners have been linked to cancers. Don’t second guess your fresh smelling air in the house again. Try a non-toxic, non-irritating alternative like Indigo Wild or J.R. Watkins here.

BORAX

Found in laundry and dishwashing detergents, borax, and boric acid have been linked to reproductive issues. After chronic exposure to these ingredients at high doses, studies have shown decreased sperm count. Animal studies have shown this substance can cross the placenta and impact skeletal development and birth weight. Clean clothes and dishes are supposed to be clean, don’t question them again work with brands you can trust like laundry soaps from Better Life, Seventh Generation, and Zum here. Keep your dishes safe enough to eat of off with these soaps here.

CHLORINE

Also seen as sodium hypochlorite, this chemical is very toxic to aquatic life and can cause severe burns, respiratory issues, and eye damage. You can find this in many household cleaners. If exposed to chlorine gas, a person can develop asthma after a single intense exposure. You can find non-toxic formulas that don’t have chlorine, you can even find a free & clear non-chlorine bleach that Seventh Generation makes here.

1, 4 – DIOXANE

Found in many households liquid laundry detergents. A study commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found dioxane in children’s bath products. Why?!? This chemical has been linked to cancer and skin allergies. There are natural, safe alternatives, that do exactly the same job. Find better baby bathing items here.

PINE OR CITRUS OIL

It may sound safe and smell pretty sweet but when these scented oils mix with the ozone in the air, they can create formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Understand the difference in your products.

GLYCOL ETHERS

You can find these listed in 2-butoxythanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DGME) on your cleaning products, paint solvents, brake fluid, and cosmetics. These ethers can cause blood abnormalties, lower sperm count and aggravated allergies and asthma in children.

PERFLUORINATED CHEMICALS (PFCS)

Commonly used to make non-stick cookware, this chemical has been linked to decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disorders, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol. Avoid non-stick pans to avoid PFC’s sticking to your body. Yuck!

We encourage you to continue to read your labels, understand the ingredients in your products and food, and always know that you deserve the best quality of ingredients. Continue learning and growing in your understanding of what is best for you and your family.

Guide to Surviving Allergies This Spring

The dreadful words – seasonal allergies! They can make life miserable. The good news is, with the help of the good life, there are things we can do! All you need is a few simple natural remedies to provide a ton of relief.

Studies tell us that an estimated 25% or more of the population suffers from allergies. These include grass, trees, pollen, fecal particles from dust mites, animal dander, certain foods, air pollution, beauty product ingredients, and bug bites.

While there is no magic cure for seasonal allergies, don’t despair! We’ve got the top tips for you to find relief.

First is first keep a clean house. Seasonal allergies can be triggered by dander and mold in household living areas. Make sure to do an inspection of any spots in your home. Don’t forget to check gutters, compost areas and any other areas that can be breeding grounds for mold and other harmful pests.

Secondly, stay hydrated. A lot of symptoms of seasonal allergies deal with allergens getting trapped in your mucous lining of the sinuses. That includes sneezing, running noses, dryness, and itchiness. What helps these symptoms? Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated. This moistens the sinuses and helps clear out those irritants. Drink up!

Seasonal Allergy Relief

Non-drowsy,  all-natural, gentle, safe & effective. Contains no Pseudoephedrine.

by Hyland’s  |  $6.11  |  Shop Now >>

Pollen Defense

Traditional digestive for support of eye and sinus secretions. Made with organically grown plants.

by Herb Pharm  |  $13.05  | Shop Now >>

Argan Beauty Balm

Nourish your nose and moisturize. This is great for hands too!

by Badger  | $15.75  |  Shop Now >>

Hydraplenish

Provides natural lubricant within the body. Healthy connective tissues.

by Nature’s Way  | $15.00  | Shop Now >>

12 Ways to Be a Natural Beauty Rockstar

You don’t need harsh chemicals – or tons of time – to get shiny, healthy hair and smoother skin. Just steal these gentle, back-to-basics moves to start looking like a natural beauty rockstar. Whether you are new to natural products or just looking to shake up your routine, we’ve got the recommendations for you to make your natural essence and beauty shine all day and night long.

Fabulous & Fresh Face

  • For a radiant complexion slice a few grapes in half and rub the inside over your clean skin. The fruit acids are natural exfoliators and will give you a glowing look. Remember to rinse after about 5 minutes.
  • Puffy eyes be gone with a chilled eye cream (tip: keep your cream in the fridge for easy access and always chilled). Apply it from the outer edges of your eyes towards your nose. This helps drain excess fluid in the area. Try Nourish Organic’s Renewing + Cooling Eye Treatment ($20.99; soaphope.com). We love the feel of the metal on our skin for that extra pick me up.
  • Zap blemishes with two ingredients homeopaths have used for centuries: arnica which is filled with anti-inflammatory benefits and antibacterial tea tree oil. Find them here in the purest form arnica oil ($13.50) and tea tree oil ($7.29).

Maximize Moisturizers and Face Masks

  • A unique way to stay protected, apply a moisturizer with aloe vera before sunscreen; studies have shown the ingredient decreases the effect of UV radiation on skin and may help prevent sunburns. We like Jason’s Soothing Moisturizing Creme ($9.00).
  • Increase the effectiveness of a facial mask by applying it in the shower, where steam opens pores so ingredients can penetrate. Check out a large selection over 40+ masks to find the perfect one to pair with your next shower ($2.00 and up).
  • Brighten up and protect your skin against environmental aggressors such as UV rays and pollution to fight free radicals that cause premature signs of skin aging. Studies show that antioxidants can neutralize these damaging free radicals. Put up your defense with Avalon Organics Intense Defense that is rich in Vitamin C, White Tea, and Lemon Bioflavonoids to defend and support skin.

Bronzed, Bold, and Beautiful

  • Get bronzed skin without the damage of the sun or toxic self-tanners. Mix one teaspoon organic sunscreen and a pinch of loose mineral bronzer in your palm, then blend it over your face for an instant and protective glow. Try Derma-E Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ($15.80), and Mahya Mineral Cosmetic Bronzers in a variety of shades ($25.00).
  • Firmer jaw, neck, and throat just practice these simple exercises in the morning and evening, or while stuck in traffic, or in the line at the store. Basically, you can do these anywhere! Slowly tilt your head back, pucker up, and try to kiss the ceiling; repeat at minimum 4 times in a row. These are exercises for your face.

Hair Helpers

Strong, Sleek, and Frizz Free

  • Add shine to your hair by adding a few drops of Acure The Essentials Moroccan Argan Oil throughout damp hair. The star ingredient, argan oil, makes strands glossy, but won’t weigh them down or feel oily.
  • Strengthen hair with a mayo mask or coconut mask. Comb 1/2 a cup through wet hair, wait 15 minutes, and rinse with cool water; shampoo as usual after. We love Nature’s Way Organic Coconut Oil ($18.00) and it will last forever.

7 Natural Product’s You’ll Be Green with Envy About

Celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day with all the luck of the Irish. If you are drawn to simple, natural, and effective products and looking for inspiration to “green” your routine, these 7 natural and organic products will make you green with envy!

Clove Mint Zum Bar

Time to go green with and indulge with Clove Mint Zum Bar. Not clover, but clove, this wonderful combination creates an aroma that is sweet, earthy, and mellow with a refreshing and sharp wild streak from premier maker Indigo Wild. This Zum Bar is infused with clove and spearmint to soothe damaged, inflamed, and season affected skin. This soap bar will balance your skin’s pH in a natural and gentle way. Add this beauty bar to your list here or increase your luck and try a Soap Hope exclusive Indigo Wild Mint Four Ways Collection.

Evergreen + Eucalyptus Candle Glass Tumbler

This crisp scent full of traditional pine, eucalyptus, cypress, and tonka beans will make you feel like you are wandering through a field in the Irish emerald. This candle is infused with natural essential oils that include fir needle, cedarwood, eucalyptus, patchouli, and cedar leaf. Warm your home with this Evergreen + Eucalyptus candle by Caylan Wax Company the whole day through. Bonus when you are through burning this beauty, wash and reuse to sample a nice Irish Whiskey or beverage of choice. This tumbler doubles as a class when finished its original purpose. Shop this candle now!

Chakra Bath Salts Collection

Follow this rainbow and see if balancing your body’s seven chakras leads to that pot of gold. These invigorating scents infused with shea butter, pure essential oils, and all-natural micas will help balance and align your chakras and relax into a higher plane. We suggest as you enjoy a chakra infused bath with these salts you take time to remember this quote, “St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” We wish you all the luck in finding your magic with this unique Chakra Bath Salts Collection.

Rosemary & Mint Body Wash

Detox all that St. Patrick’s Day celebrating with Seaweed Bath’s Purifying Detox Body Wash in Rosemary & Mint. This nutrient-rich wash is infused with bladderwrack seaweed, green coffee extract, and French clay to detoxify and cleanse for softer, smoother-looking skin. We love the calming scents as your body slowly detoxifies. Plus this bottle will keep our beautiful planet green as it is made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.

Clean Matcha Green Tea

Time to refresh your senses and your tummy after all those green dyed, sugary foods and beverages. Heat up Pukka Tea’s Clean Matcha Green Tea in your favorite cup. This refreshing blend of organic whole leaf green tea, lemon, dandelion root, and fennel combined with the lifting energy of emerald green matcha powder makes this tea the perfect pick-me-up. Skip a sugary treat or coffee and reach for this instead. Your body will thank you!

Silky Green Two Tones Lustrous Eye Shadow

Looking to keep the celebration going? Mahya Cosmetics has the perfect Silky Green – Two Tones Lustrous Minerals Eye Shadow. This Two Tones Lustrous all-natural shadow provides impossible-to-miss-shine and sparkle, but with a natural look. Infused with real pearl, this eye shadow catches and reflects the maximum amount of light to create a metallic multi-effect glimmer finish. Shop all Mayha colors here.

Natural Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste

Time to treat your teeth to Desert Essence’s Tea Tree Oil and Neem Toothpaste. This unique blend is formulated with simply pure and natural ingredients to keep your mouth feeling fresh and you feeling confident throughout the day and long after the celebrations have ended. Made with powerful, but gentle ingredients like Tea Tree Oil, Fennel, and Mint. Free of gluten, fluoride, and harsh abrasives, they help give teeth a deep clean.

 

Valentine’s Inspired Essential Oil Blends

Creating your own essential oil blend l is a great way to create the perfect recipe for what you need. Coming up with essential oil blends that pique both of your interests intimately, enhance energy, relieve tension, or relax the senses is a fun activity that helps you learn about yourself and how to balance. Here are our  Valentine’s Day-inspired essential oil blend recipes that are sure to please everyone. Make them for yourself or gift them.

What’s really fun about the essential oils in these blends is you don’t need to limit them to just massage oils. You can put them in your diffuser, in a bubble bath, in a room spray, and so much more! Even a vacuum! Check out this past article about using your vacuum as a diffuser. You can choose which recipes fit your mood, alter them to your liking, and just run with it.

You can use any carrier oil you like for the base of these recipes like sweet almond, avocado, olive oil, etc. Feel free to make larger or smaller quantities to suit your needs!

Tranquility Blend

This is a lovely blend that reduces worry, circulation thoughts and negativity, and the mental effects that come along with nervous thinking. There is no better mood killer than worrying about work and other stressful situations. Tranquility will help you achieve mental relaxation, stress relief, and overall tension relief. It’s perfect for those who are overworked and just want to enjoy a lovely evening with their loved one.

Here’s what you need to make Tranquility (3% dilution – aka 18 drops of essential oil)

• 4 drops bergamot
• 4 drops sweet orange
• 4 drops grapefruit
• 4 drops patchouli
• 2 drops ylang-ylang

Sensational Blend

This is an amazing blend to massage onto the inner thighs for some particularly fun bedroom activities. It’s cooling yet warming and gives the skin a nice tingling sensation that boosts romance, sensuality, and intimacy with your loved one. I highly recommend it trying it out!

Here’s what you need to make Sensational (5% dilution – aka 30 drops of essential oil)

• 1oz carrier oil (recommend sweet almond)
• 8 drops peppermint
• 8 drops black pepper
• 4 drops ylang-ylang
• 4 drops geranium
• 3 drops bergamot
• 3 drops jasmine

Tame the Tension Blend

My personal favorite! It’s a busy and demanding world we live in and the effects of stress, overwhelm, and the constant hustle and bustle in our everyday lives wear us down. Tension builds in our neck and shoulders making us feel uptight, grumpy, and overall unhappy. This blend not only loosens tense muscles but also eases a tense mind allowing you to relax and focus on what’s important – a relaxing night with your significant other!

Here’s what you need to make Tame the Tension (3% dilution – aka 18 drops of essential oil)

• 4 drops peppermint
• 2 drops eucalyptus 
• 2 drops rosemary
• 2 drops spearmint
• 2 drops lavender
• 2 drops basil
• 1 drops cinnamon leaf
• 1 drops chamomile

Dry Brushing Benefits

What if I told you there’s a simple wellness trick that only takes five minutes a day, costs nothing, and helps cleanse your body, inside and out? Dry skin brushing has a number of health benefits and is so simple to do.

So how does it work?

Your skin, the largest organ in the human body is an organ of elimination. One-third of your body’s toxins are excreted through the skin and dry brushing helps to unclog pores and excrete toxins that become trapped in the skin.

To get started, follow the simple steps below:

1. Purchase a natural (not synthetic) bristle brush with a long handle so can reach all areas of your body. We recommend EcoTools Dry Body Brush.

2. Get naked and stand in a bathtub or tiled surface to catch the falling skin. (It’s a bit gross, I know.)

3. Begin brushing by starting at your feet and moving in long sweeping motions toward your heart. Always brush toward your heart.

4. Brush several times in each area, overlapping as you go.

5. Take care as you brush over more sensitive areas. Your skin will become less sensitive the more you dry brush.

6. Once you’ve brushed your entire body, jump in the shower. (I like to alternate between the hottest water temperature I can tolerate and the coldest. This stimulates blood circulation, bringing more blood to the top layers of the skin.)

7. After getting out of the shower, pat dry skin and apply a natural body oil. We’ve got a variety of options here.

8. Continue to dry brush your entire body every other day. Remember to clean your brush with soap and water once a week. Leave to dry in a clean, sunny spot to avoid any mildew accumulation on your brush.

Try this for 30 days and see the results for yourself!

Some benefits of dry skin brushing:

1. You’ll exfoliate dead skin.

Forget your in-shower loofah and body scrubs, this will ensure you have silky-smooth skin all year round!

2. It stimulates your lymphatic system.

Dry brushing your skin will kick start your lymphatic system, which helps you remove toxins from the body. The stiffer the bristles on the brush, the better the lymphatic stimulation you’ll create.

3. Dry brushing helps to reduce cellulite.

Cellulite is simply toxic materials that have accumulated in your body’s fat cells and are trapped, unable to be eliminated from the body. Forget lipo, dry skin brushing helps to break down any trapped toxins from within the body and help your body eliminate them through its usual elimination channels.

4. It unclogs pores and de-congests skin.

Dry skin brushing unclogs the pores of your skin and helps your skin absorb more nutrients. Daily skin brushing promotes healthy, breathing skin. It’s a real treat for the largest organ in our bodies!

Brush, Brush, Brush!

Holiday Gift Must-Haves | Mini Gift Guide

Our annual guides aim to make holiday shopping personal, thoughtful, and more than a little natural. We’ve got you covered from gifts for family, teens, teachers, soap lovers, and more. Don’t procrastinate- these natural gifts don’t last long.

Scents of the Season

 

Zum Christmas Chi – Spruce & Sage

This Glow Votive is a little ballad of seasonal scents that make the days brighter and fills your home with the true Christmas spirit. Enjoy this candle and make your home a little jollier this year. Great gift for the Christmas enthusiast. Check it out.

Bourbon Cedar Candle

This beautiful copper vessel with a cedar top for storage emits bourbon cedar features with notes of rich red cedar and smoky vanilla. This candle is perfect for the man in your life that wants to keep it casual with his candle arrangement. Get it here.

The Christmas Collection

Goodlight has given you the perfect holiday collection to deck the halls in your home this year. Think scents of orange clove and cinnamon. With vanilla nutmeg and cardamom. Finally, infuse the season with noble fir. We can’t decide between the three of these season scentful packed tins. Get them all.

Deck the Shower with Soap

 

Good Tidings

The scent of almond is a holiday favorite. Now you can carry that scent around with you all day long while you enjoy scratch made soap by A Wild Soap Bar. May your days be merry and bright with this natural holiday soap. Stock up.

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning is a special day, but you don’t have to experience it just once a year. This soap combines essential oils to leave you feeling and smelling like Christmas. Get it now.

Bundle Up

We just can’t decide. With goat’s milk and 100% pure essential oils in the Holiday Zum Bundle from Indigo Wild, you’ll get moisturized skin without stripping your natural oils or making you feel dry and parched. The Green (or Red!) box contains 9 ounces of Zum Bar Goat’s Milk Sample Size Soap Slivers so you can easily use them without having to hassle with a bulky bar. Indigo Wild brings you high quality, handmade, all natural goods made with pure essential oils. These gnarly avengers say no to all things toxic, manufactured, harsh, chemical and unnatural. Buy the bundle.

Silver Bell Bath Lovers

 

Bath Bombs Trio

Jump into a warm and essential oil luxury bath with some of Hugo Natural’s bestselling bath bombs. This trio will destress your skin and your soul this season. Unwind, relax and get it here.

Chakra Around the Tree

The Zum Chakra Salts Gift Pack pairs an invigorating scent with each of the body’s seven chakras. Infused with shea butter, pure essential oils, and all-natural micas, these natural sea salts will help you balance and align your chakras and relax into a higher plane this holiday season. Sink in and soak here.

Elfs a Foot Candy Mint

Deep Steep’s Candy Mint Therapeutic Foot Scrub conditions and nourishes skin while exfoliating to reveal soft, smooth skin. Enjoy the soothing effects of Peppermint essential oil while revitalizing the senses with the scents of the season. Scrub and Soothe here.

Get Glowing Protocol

Are you ready for this? I have selected some specific Soap Hope products that work together to support the skin’s optimal turnover, circulation, healthy boost, and supple balance. Sound good? Then follow this AM/PM protocol 1-2 times a week to revive the skin, even out the tone and get it glowing for the next holiday party, special occasion or just because you’re feelin’ it!

P.M. ROUTINE:

At night, your skin is solely focused on rejuvenating itself while you sleep. The following heroes set the stage for success, starting with a super yummy pre-cleanse…my favorite part!

The Pre-Cleanse with Badger’s Sea Buckthorn Face OilSea Buckthorn CO2 Extract, which contains vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, along with Omega 3, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids, is awesome to soften and soothe. Massage 2-3 pumps of oil into damp or dry skin to loosen makeup, dirt, and soften debris in the pores. Use light, upward strokes to the face, neck, and chest to stimulate healthy blood and lymph flow, which helps the skin hydrate and detox more efficiently.

Full Cleanse with Andalou Naturals Meyer Lemon + C Creamy Cleanser. Lather up a nickel-sized dollop of cleanser with water and work it over using only your fingertips. Rinse with luke-warm water and gently pat dry. Vitamin C and juice from Meyer Lemons naturally work to brighten and Manuka honey protects moisture balance and healthy microflora on the skin.

Enzyme Exfoliation is never better than with ACURE’s Brightening Vegetable Peel. Pineapple and papaya fruit enzymes digest and loosen the dead, damaged layers, and decongest the pores. Chlorella Growth Factor And Kale dive deep to feed active skin cells firming superfood power to even skin tone and boost collagen regeneration. Apply a thin layer to face, neck, and chest for 4-8 minutes (depending on your sensitivity level). Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Tone with Zum Face’s Lemon-Geranium Zum Face Gentle Facial Toner.  A good toner is key to bring your skin pH back to a more acidic happy place. This one engages aloe, marshmallow root and rosemary to help soothe inflammation, redness, and bring lovely hydration. Apply to an organic cotton ball or cotton round and lightly spread to face, neck and chest.

Moisturize using Olivina Age-Defying Day & Night Face Rescue (a line designed for men but excellent for ladies too!). As the skin works hard rejuvenate while you sleep, it’s also losing a lot of hydration in the process. That’s why I love this light application of omega 3,6 and 9 through two of my favorite oils…Olive and Hemp Seed! They help draw moisture from the air into the skin with their humectant properties. Also full of essential amino acids they help support younger, smoother-looking skin and reduce inflammation. Plant-derived squalene acts as a natural lubricant and skin barrier to protect and slow moisture loss. It also helps boost the penetration of other ingredients.

Now sleep tight, beautiful!

A.M. ROUTINE:

Once you wake, it’s key to cleanse all that your skin has shed and purged overnight, and apply optimal acidic protection and support for the day.

Cleanse/Exfoliate with the ACURE’s Pore Clarifying Facial Scrub. Moroccan red clay helps gently draw impurities from the pores as black jojoba beads softly slough away the dead skin cell layers you loosened the night before. It helps improve skin clarity and elasticity, stimulate collagen support, and most importantly, soothe inflammation to moisturize, remineralize, and brighten!

Tone once again with Zum Face’s Lemon-Geranium Zum Face Gentle Facial Toner. Remember, the skin is happiest at a more acidic pH. Even water can be too alkaline and stripping, so a toner like this helps to re-establish your acid mantle and pull more hydration into the skin with aloe and glycerine. Apply to an organic cotton ball or cotton round and lightly spread to face, neck and chest.

Moisturize using Olivina Age-Defying Day & Night Face Rescue. A bean-sized amount will do and don’t forget to apply to your neck and chest too…hey, that rhymed!

Seal the deal with an additional pump of Badger’s Seabuckthorn Face Oil. This extra kick of nutrition in a lightweight oil delivery adds brightening, plumping and skin firming radiance. 1 pump pressed into the skin on top of your moisturizer, protects your hydration and supplements your barrier function for optimal support from the weather, pollution, and irritations of the day….now that’s what I call the perfect cocktail for the skin!

You are ready for the day…glow on with your bad self!

Three Tips to Tame Thanksgiving Indigestion

When this time of year rolls around, gratitude is in the air. Even if we’ve weathered some storms over past months, we’re thankful for so much. But that stomachache or hazy food hangover that follows a holiday meal? Not so much.

Yes, there is a dark side to the holidays that few take seriously but most feel internally: gastrointestinal distress. When you approach the holidays as permission to overindulge, a pleasant occasion can precipitate minor discomfort or degenerate into physical agony—and every gradation in between.

This isn’t merely unpleasant. According to the healing tradition of Ayurveda, which minces no words when it comes to indigestion, this is the root of all disease. Moreover, indigestion impairs fertility and compromises the nutrition of the children you might already be nourishing. It’s a multigenerational problem!

So you do well to mind your tummy this holiday season, for your future health as well as your temporary comfort. These 3 simple tips can help.

Chew your food

This is a fundamental, easy, but often overlooked step, yet the mouth is central to human digestion.

While Ayurveda has lauded saliva for thousands of years, modern scientists are finally latching on. In fact, one researcher built a laboratory simulator of the human digestive system and though confronted with all the wonders of our internal structures, concluded that chewing is the single most important step in the process. It allows saliva to moisten food and mix with enzymes that begin the breakdown of starch. It’s also critical for the proper production of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid), which contrary to popular opinion is deficient in 90 percent of people experiencing heartburn.

So do yourself a favor and avoid acid blockers for digestive distress; they actually do more harm than good (but that’s a topic for another day). Instead, try chewing your food.

Aim for 25 to 50 chews for each mouthful of food, or simply make the food a paste or liquid in your mouth. Follow the adage “chew your liquids and drink your food,” meaning that even beverages should get active mastication and your solids should be liquid before they’re escorted down your esophagus.

Drink this tea

If digestion is seen as a fire, then cold substances put out that fire, impairing the whole process of metabolic breakdown, absorption, and assimilation of nutrition, ultimately creating a breeding ground for disease.

Tea to the rescue! Warm beverages stoke that digestive fire, and enlisting the aid of herbal helpers makes them exceedingly effective.

Cumin, coriander, and fennel (CCF) are powerful digestive spices that create a synergistic blend. As a traditional Ayurvedic remedy for a number of gastrointestinal symptoms, CCF tea deserves a place at your holiday table. Sip it mindfully (read: no chugging) before, during, and after that Thanksgiving feast for less distress.

New mothers also love this drink! In addition to gently removing gas, relieving abdominal distension, and enkindling the digestive fire, the CCF combination aids hormone balance and milk production. Mildly laxative and diuretic, this easy-to-prepare tea benefits both mother and baby, since fussiness may be due to digestive discomfort.

Ginger is also a well-known digestive aid. Gently warming with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, fresh ginger features liberally in autumn and winter fare, as well as postpartum cooking. In fact, Ayurveda affectionately dubs it the “universal medicine,” so throw in a few slices regardless of your season in life!

Cumin-Coriander-Fennel Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 quart filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring seeds, water, and optional ginger to a boil on the stove.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes or more.
  3. Strain and serve hot.

Offer thanks

Not merely reserved for holiday gatherings, a prayer or word of thanks to inaugurating eating encourages optimal digestion.

Pause to breathe deeply (more on that here) and express gratitude before a meal. When done with intention and awareness, this practice switches the body from a state of stress (the sympathetic nervous system) to a state in which we can rest and digest (the parasympathetic nervous system). It not only turns off the stress signal and better regulates immune function but also releases more digestive enzymes and bile, helping your body assimilate the food that comes next. Likewise, pausing for a moment at the end of the meal preserves that parasympathetic state and allows for a more lasting sense of satiety and gratitude.

Conscious breath and a centered heart encourage mindful eating and being fully present, a rare state in our lives of busyness and multitasking. So set the to-do list aside, turn off that football game, and enjoy the sensory engagement and pleasant conversation of a slow meal shared. Your digestion—and your overall well-being—will thank you for it.

Gratitude really is the best attitude—for optimal digestion and so much more. Invite it to your table this season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you want further support, Soap Hope carries products that improve digestion and more. Have you tried these?

Stacy Claxton is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner (FDN-P) and an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner (AHP) specializing in preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum care. She offers a range of services that merge the laboratory investigation of her FDN training and her foundational background in Ayurveda and yoga. As an educator and a clinician, she believes strongly in the transformative power of diet and lifestyle and desires to inspire wise stewardship in the realm of holistic health. Stacy is one half of the dynamic duo behind Preparing to Parent (P2P), where she and her identical twin, Erin, are “growing families with purpose…on purpose.” To learn more about Stacy’s private practice and the mission of P2P, please visit www.preparingtoparent.com.

Sewing A Brighter Future

Inocencia Gomez is a strong woman with a happy spirit and a loving heart. This mother of five children operates a sewing business – creating sheets, curtains, furniture and much more for her community – and sells beauty products on the side.

Hard work has brought this woman a life she loves, but she has not always experienced such happiness.

With the first loan from Esperanza of only $45 dollars, she took the reins of her business and became the author of her own success. The capital enabled Inocencia to buy whole rolls of cloth for the first time, which greatly increased the efficiency of her business and the value of her products.

Over the course of twelve years and with the help of twenty loans, Inocencia continued working and growing her company. She increased her creditworthiness enough to buy a motorcycle, which allowed her to sell her handicrafts in multiple locations including a nearby beach for tourists.

With each loan, Inocencia’s business improved. She bought new equipment and higher quality fabrics, making her business one of the premier sewing operations in her community.

With each improvement came increased profitability, enabling Inocencia to provide a better life for herself and her family. “Now I can buy my food without credit. I’m much better because, with Esperanza, I’ve remodeled my house. Look at the little kitchen I’ve started.”

Inocencia even has enough money to help others in her community, often helping to pay for funerals for those whose families cannot afford them.

As for her future, Inocencia has high hopes for her and her children. “I always hope to live better than how I live now and to help my children live a better life than I had.”