Got Allergies? Your (Natural) Solution is Here

Allergies are more common (and more dangerous) than ever. 

Seasonal Allergies

Pet Allergies

Food Allergies

Environmental Allergies

Allergic reactions can result in anything from an itchy rash to digestive upset to upper respiratory congestion to anaphylaxis (death in rare cases)!

In Springtime, or any time of the year, allergies can be a real problem for a growing number of people. 

The list of things sensitive people need to avoid is growing longer by the day… animal dander? Grass or pollen? A certain type of food?

Lactose, gluten, corn, eggs, nuts… the list of allergens is endless these days!

Allergies used to be a temporary inconvenience but for many have become a way of life. Friends and family members are forced to plan their lives around the avoidance of these allergens, and restaurants and food manufacturers have responded by producing products that eliminate the most common allergens, and disclosing if a product contains potential allergens.

How did we get here?

The prevailing medical thought is that certain people “just have allergies,” and there isn’t much you can do about it, other than avoid the allergens or take allergy meds.

But I don’t believe that.

And fortunately it isn’t true.

It doesn’t even make sense, because many people develop allergies over time. For example, you may have not had allergies growing up but suddenly find yourself having seasonal allergies as an adult.

Or a food that you have always enjoyed may begin to bother you and now you can’t eat it any more.

It stands to reason: if you can develop an allergy, you can heal from it. You just need to get to the root of the issue and reverse the problem that caused it.

What Causes Allergies?

As with many of our “modern problems,” allergies have risen exponentially over the past few decades

But did you know ALLERGIES are a GUT issue? 

There is a growing body of research over the past few years linking histamine intolerance and allergies in general to gut health and the balance of the gut microbiome.

What does that mean?

It’s good news because…you guessed: healing your gut can heal more than just digestive issues. It can help reverse your allergies too! 

And as we have explored in other articles, healing your gut can do so much more: from resolving anxiety and depression to improving symptoms of autism spectrum (some have lost their diagnoses!) and beyond….even hormone balance and infertility! 

We’ve talked about ADHD, anxiety, depression, focus, brain fog, thyroid, blood pressure, IBS, detox…. We’ve learned that gut health is ROOT CAUSE. 

Now we know that gut health is also the root cause of allergies. And now we know that healing the gut can bring relief to all kinds of allergies as well!

Questions? Text “Allergies” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

Break it Down

My dad had severe seasonal allergies for 60 years.

He spent his life avoiding flowers and trying to find ways to alleviate his misery every springtime when the blooms and pollen overwhelmed him.

His seasonal allergies were so bad he couldn’t put a single flower on his lapel at my wedding. 

He tried all of the natural advice:

  • Eating local honey
  • Bee Pollen
  • High Dose Vitamin C
  • Allergy meds
  • Antihistamines
  • Air Purifiers

All of these things helped some, but nothing resolved the issue completely, until….

He healed his gut.

Now he lives and works on a farm with no problem. 

His allergies plagued him his whole life. He could have resigned himself to it and said that he was born with it, or it was genetic, or there was nothing he could do.

But he didn’t do that. He didn’t give up. And he found a natural solution in the most unlikely place. He healed his gut and healed his lifelong allergies along with it.

Questions? Text “Allergies” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

And how about me?

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?

I grew up allergic to cats: my entire head would become congested within minutes of exposure to a cat or a house that had a cat living there. 

After healing my gut cats don’t affect me at all. 

It seems a little counter-intuitive that healing our guts can resolve something like allergies… but it does.

Why?

Because the gut is the root of everything. Read more about how the health and balance of the gut microbiome is foundational to everything. 

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Food allergies can be really scary. In recent years we’ve all heard about peanut allergies and how some children who are even incidentally exposed to peanuts or something that touched a peanut product could react severely (some can even die!).

There are so many foods that induce allergies these days. I have met people who have a list of only 3-5 foods they can ever eat because they are allergic to everything else.

Most people with a food allergy spend their lives avoiding that food and regretting it when they make a mistake or accidentally eat something they didn’t know had an allergen.

Other people don’t even know they are sensitive or allergic to a food… so they have unexplained symptoms and have no idea why.

If you suspect a food allergy you may go to a doctor to get an allergy panel done… but here’s why I don’t believe that is the best idea.

Instead, try an elimination diet: they are easy and free to do, and give more accurate results than testing anyway. Here’s a great book on how to do an incredibly accurate elimination diet so you know what is triggering your symptoms.

Even if you test negative for food allergies, those same foods can still be causing problems if you have a food sensitivity. Here’s how to tell the difference. 

And the great news is: once you heal your gut, you can usually add back the offending food! That’s much better news than thinking you just have to avoid your favorite food for the rest of your life, isn’t it?

Questions? Text “Allergies” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

How do I Improve Gut Health?

For a long time I was reading the research about gut health and knew it was the answer, but I didn’t know how to improve gut health!

I tried dozens of probiotics, most of which did nothing for me.

No matter how much I paid, they were a waste of money.

Then a few months ago I found a protocol that is simple, whole food based and didn’t break the bank.

It is based on all of the latest research, has nothing synthetic or GMO, and it WORKS. There are thousands of testimonies on Facebook to prove it.

And it has a 100% money back guarantee for a YEAR.

So I figured I’d try it. Why not?

Do you have a pet allergy? There is a natural solution.

This protocol has helped people heal from everything from allergies to food sensitivities to depression to IBS, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue and blood pressure.

This protocol works. Guaranteed.

Don’t suffer–you don’t have to! Start healing your gut now before the pollen counts skyrocket. You’ll be glad you did.

To learn more about the protocol I use, click here.

Learn more about the science behind the gut-brain axis. 

To be invited to the group where people post their own experiences, text “invite me” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬.

There is a natural solution for allergies. Get it now. You are worth it.

Questions? Text “Allergies” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

Resources for Further Study

Explore the many things gut healing can do: it is truly the root of our health! 

How the Gut-Brain Axis Can Resolve Depression, Anxiety, Brain Fog, Memory Issues and More… Naturally! 

See Stories of Healing: Autism, ADHD, Behavior, Mood, Anxiety, Mold, Digestive and More! 

What About Infertility? 

Are Allergies Actually a Gut Issue? (Study)

How (and why) to do an Elimination Diet

The Virgin Diet, by Dr. JJ Virgin

The Science Behind the Gut-Brain Axis Healing Protocol. 

The Natural Solution to Improve your Gut Health and target allergies. 

Heal Your Gut Now with This Simple Protocol 

 

Questions? Text “Allergies” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

 

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

 

Heal Your Gut and Your Gut Will Heal You

I’ve spent the last decade of my life researching (and writing about) natural healing, food as medicine, and taking control of our own health. 

For most of that time I have advocated for changing our diets: eating “as close to the ground” as possible. And that is still the best advice. Food is foundational. It’s a constant input to our bodies, and what we eat affects everything. How can it not?


In my research and in my own health, however, there seemed to be a missing piece. As I researched deeper and deeper, the topic of gut health came up constantly. Everything pointed back to the health and the balance of the gut microbiome.

Gut health is literally the root of everything. 

And it actually makes sense. Here is how one doctor put it: 

Your gut makes up the ONE LINE that goes from the entrance of your body to the exit. Everything you put in your body passes through that one line… so how can the health and balance of that line NOT affect every other system in the body? 

 

When you add to that the fact that the brain controls all the functions of the body (both voluntary and involuntary–and how the organs function and work together), it becomes apparent that the gut-brain axis (also called The Vagus Nerve) is VERY important to every aspect of our health. 

For example… did you know that the gut microbiome is responsible for producing serotonin, dopamine, and almost ALL of the neurotransmitters the brain needs to function and keep us healthy? 

And those neurotransmitters are sent to the brain along The Vagus Nerve (gut-brain axis). 

So if there is an imbalance in the gut, OR a deficiency in the brain, OR an interruption in the connection between the gut and the brain, all kinds of issues start to appear. 

The organs start to work less efficiently and begin to malfunction because the signals are crossed. 

We also can’t absorb appropriate nutrients from food or supplements with an imbalanced gut… so the food and supplements we take will be less effective for healing. 

Our hormones are regulated by the gut microbiome as well… so an imbalanced gut can results in hormonal imbalances…and all of the accompanying issues. 

The gut also regulates our thyroid hormones… so balancing the gut can improve T3 and T4 numbers, as well as the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction.

If we are low in serotonin and dopamine because of an imbalance in the gut microbiome, we may suffer from 

The health of the gut affects the brain and mental health so much, the gut has now been commonly referred to as the “second brain.”

(Text “Heal My Gut!” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ for more information or to chat about your specific situation and get a recommendation. )

Read real-life stories of healing from the root here. 

Allergies and Gut Health

Did you know the presence of allergies is ALWAYS a gut issue?

And it doesn’t matter the type of allergies, whether they are seasonal allergies, environmental allergies, pet allergies or food allergies: all allergies are rooted in gut health. 

My dad suffered from debilitating seasonal allergies his whole life (60 years!)… to the point he couldn’t wear a flower on his lapel at my wedding. 

Guess what happened when he healed his gut? Those allergies he had been struggling with his WHOLE LIFE disappeared. Now he works outside on a farm every day… amongst all of the trees and flowers and pollen he used to hide from. 

I used to be terribly allergic to cats. I would enter a house that had a cat and immediately get a terrible head cold: congestion in my nose, watery eyes, and trouble breathing. This would happen whether or not I was aware there was a cat in the house. When I would ask, the host would say, “Oh yes, we have a cat. We put her in the other room when people come over.”

Guess what happened when I healed my gut? No more cat allergy. Cats literally don’t affect me at all. It’s shocking! 

Food allergies are most commonly caused by leaky gut. Gut healing is imperative, because leaky gut can cause all kinds of issues, including an auto-immune response to eating food. 

There are, of course, some foods that we just shouldn’t ever eat, like highly processed foods, fast food, and junk food. The main reason we shouldn’t eat these things is because they aren’t actually even food. They provide no nutritional value to our bodies and they do more harm than good. So what is the point? Food is for our nourishment and to fuel our bodies, so if it is not providing that, why are we eating it? 

If you have an allergy to real food, however, there is a problem. I have a friend who is unable to eat almost any uncooked vegetables or fruits. This is a sign of severe leaky gut… and needs to be addressed immediately.

Simply avoiding all the food is not the answer: we need to find healing! 

If you are having severe symptoms of food allergies or just know something is wrong in your body but you don’t know what, the best way to find out what you are sensitive to is an elimination diet

Elimination diets are the ONLY sure way to determine exactly what you are sensitive to. Even allergy testing at the doctor is not as accurate as elimination diets (and they are often very expensive). 

I mentioned earlier that “simply avoiding” foods you are sensitive to is not the answer… so why am I telling you to do an elimination diet? 

Because those foods are causing a problem, so you definitely will need to cut them out of your life for awhile… UNTIL you heal your gut. After you heal your gut, in most cases you can add those (real, whole) foods back into your diet without issue. 

This is a great book on elimination diets and how exactly to do it from a highly respected physician who identified her food allergy, healed her gut, and then was able to add that food back into her diet. 

Read real-life stories of healing from the root here. 

 

Eczema, Rashes, Acne and other Skin Issues

Our skin is our largest organ. 

If all of our “regular” detox pathways are open and running smoothly, we are able to detox everything through those channels (liver, kidneys, lungs, blood and lymphatic system). But if even one of these detox pathways gets clogged or slowed down, we start seeing signs in our skin.

 

Bright, clear, healthy, vibrant skin is a sign of health: it shows that our bodies are working as they should and there is no toxic burden present.

This is why healthy people are beautiful: health literally shows on our faces! 

Instead of wearing makeup to cover “problem skin,” why not focus on the inside and get glowing, radiant, beautiful skin because you are healthy?

“But I don’t know how to do that!!”

Again, the answer lies in gut health. 

(Text “Heal My Gut!” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ for more information or to chat about your specific situation and get a recommendation. )

 

Read real-life stories of healing from the root here. 

Food for Thought

Why are 80% of the pharmaceutical products sold in the US (both prescription and over-the-counter) for digestive complaints? 

Why do people who suffer from depression, anxiety, brain fog, mental health issues, autism spectrum disorder, skin problems and allergies virtually ALWAYS have an accompanying digestive complaint? 

Because all of it is rooted in gut health. 

Our bodies are whole units: one part affects every other part. And the gut is the most foundational of parts. 

One doctor I follow put it this way:

“Heal your gut and your gut will heal you.”

No matter what your issue: 

  • Digestive
  • Skin
  • Weight
  • Thyroid
  • Mental Health
  • Energy
  • Blood pressure
  • Detox
  • Mood 
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Brain
  • Blood
  • Adrenals

Or a combination of several…. 

The root is always gut health. Start there. 

In most cases, healing your gut will begin a chain reaction of healing in your body. 

Our bodies are made to heal. We just need to give them what we need (and stop poisoning them). 

Begin by healing your gut, and then things will start to fall into place. If you need additional support after that, you can reevaluate. But you will be shocked how many things resolve themselves when the gut microbiome is balanced. 

Read real-life stories of healing from the root here. 

(Text “Heal My Gut!” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ for more information or to chat about your specific situation and get a recommendation. )

How do our guts get imbalanced? 

You may think back to childhood, a time when you ate whatever you wanted and had no issues. 

It may lead you to believe that we are born with perfectly balanced gut microbiomes… but that is not so. 

We inherit our gut microbiomes from our parents: particularly our mothers at birth. As we pass through the birth canal we ingest billions of bacteria, which seeds our microbiome and sets the stage for the health we will experience throughout our lives. 

If our mothers (and to a lesser extent our fathers) have a gut imbalance, we will inherit that imbalance. This is also one reason things like addiction and depression can be “passed down” along generational lines: because we share a gut microbiome profile with the rest of our families. 

Other things can affect our gut microbiomes, both for good and bad. 

Antibiotics and other Pharmaceutical Meds

Most of us have had antibiotics in our lifetimes: some of us have had many, many rounds. 

Antibiotics can be life-saving, there is no doubt: but the rampant over-use of them in our society has not made us healthier. 

Antibiotics are not good at targeting exactly which bacteria to kill: they kill indiscriminately. Recent research shows that one round of antibiotics can kill 25% of the gut microbiome (both good and bad bacteria)! That is devastating to the balance of the microbiome. And just think.. If you take more than one round, how much of our gut balance is affected! 

Other factors influence gut health as well: diet is a huge one. The food we eat feeds either the good or the bad bacteria in our guts: creating balance or imbalance with every bite. 

Sugar, processed food, fast food and other junk feeds the “bad” bacteria, causing overgrowths of candida and parasites. This creates an imbalance favoring “bad” bacteria in the gut, which causes a host of health issues, from weight gain to cravings to blood sugar problems and hormonal imbalance. 

Whole, real food, including fermented food and probiotics, promote the growth of “good bacteria” and create a balanced microbiome, which promotes optimal health in the whole body.

Other environmental components can influence gut bacteria for the positive or negative as well: ambient radiation from Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF from cell phones, radio waves, cell towers and electronics), as well as toxins in our water, air, personal products and food.    

When we learn all of these things and how foundational gut health is to every system in the body (and even to brain and mental health), our question should not be “What can gut healing do for me,” but

“What Can Gut Healing NOT Do For Me?”

If you have any health issue at all, start with the gut.

“Heal your gut and your gut will heal you.”

 

(Text “Heal My Gut!” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ for more information or to chat about your specific situation and get a recommendation. )

Read real-life stories of healing from the root here. 

“But HOW Do I Improve Gut Health??”

Healing the gut may sound like a simple fix, but how is it done?

Most people know we should take probiotics and eat real food. But beyond that, things get confusing.

I’ve been researching this topic for years and it is still confusing, because labels don’t answer any of these questions.

And not all “probiotics” are the same. There are literally billions of strains.

So how do we know which ones to choose? 

I’ve tried dozens of probiotics, spending hundreds of dollars… and most of them didn’t do anything for me.

So if you are ready to heal your gut, how do you know where to go from here?

The research I have done shows that the gut-brain connection is key, because the brain controls all of the systems of the body, and the gut and brain communicate in real-time to do that.

If the gut is the “2nd brain” and it provides everything the brain needs to function, and the brain controls the whole body… this gut-brain connection is really important!

Until a few months ago I knew this was the key, but had no idea how to influence it.

How do we heal the gut-brain connection? 

Which probiotics do we take? 

What else do we need? 

So when in my research I came across a gut-brain axis healing protocol, I thought this could be the missing link I’d been looking for.

I’m always skeptical when looking at new products, because I have incredibly high standards for ingredients.

I won’t even consider a supplement if it has:

  • Synthetic vitamins
  • Artificial colors or flavors
  • Harmful additives (like maltodextrin)
  • GMO ingredients
  • Soy,  corn or wheat

This list eliminates almost every supplement I look at.

When this protocol checked every one of those boxes, AND I learned that it is whole-food based and synergistically combined with food, herb and prebiotic ingredients according to the latest research, I started to get excited.

And then I saw how it was working for people.

Over the past few months I’ve seen friends and family find healing in the areas of:

  • IBS
  • Constipation
  • Energy
  • Focus
  • Stomach Pain
  • Food Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Adult cystic acne
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Brain Fog
  • ADHD
  • ASD symptoms (there is even a kids protocol that tastes amazing!)
  • Seasonal and Pet Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Blood Pressure
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Weight issues

And reduce or eliminate meds for a variety of issues….

I knew I had to share this root cause healing protocol with the world.

There is a group on Facebook where people share their healing stories with this protocol regarding each of these issues and more: men, women and children! Text me at ‪(802) 227-7051‬ with your Facebook name so I can invite you to the group and you can see for yourself.

Want to check out this amazing protocol?

Click here for the adult version

Click here for the children’s version

(And an enhanced adult protocol that also addresses heart health)

And text me at ‪(802) 227-7051‬ if you want recommendations, or I can build you a cart and make sure you get wholesale pricing and the latest promotions included with your order.

And did I mention customers have a money back guarantee for a YEAR??

It’s literally guaranteed to change your life. Try it for a YEAR and if it doesn’t, return the empty bottles for a full refund!

There’s nothing to lose, except your pain, depression, stress, and discomfort!

There is healing.

There is hope.

Find it today.

Read real-life stories of healing from the root here. 

(Text “Heal My Gut!” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ for more information or to chat about your specific situation and get a recommendation. )

 

 

 

 

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

 

Resources

Serotonin is produced in the gut??

Allergies are a gut health issue

How to Heal the Gut-Brain Connection

Introduction to the Gut-Brain Axis Healing protocol (2 minute video by head Biochemist)

Nutritional Facts and Ingredients: Adult Protocol

The only gut healing protocol specifically designed for kids! 

Nutritional Facts and Ingredients: Kids Protocol

ABC News Special Report: Natural Remedy for ADHD that is more effective than Ritalin! 

Pixie Stick (Delicious, Natural and Sugar free) for focus, attention, behavior and mood! 

Read real-life stories of healing from the root here. 

How I REBOOT My Gut and Kill Parasites

Parasites?

Ew.

“I live in America. I don’t have parasites.” 

How would I get parasites? 

Unfortunately, we all have parasites.

From the tiny “bad” bacteria in our gut microbiome to liver flukes and intestinal worms… every human being has them to one extent or another.

And honestly, from the research I’ve seen and all the things I’ve read… parasites may be responsible for virtually all of the health problems we experience.

Insomnia?

Parasites

Grinding your teeth?

Parasites

Depression or Anxiety

Parasites

Anger Issues? 

Parasites

Brain Fog? 

Parasites

Reflux? 

Parasites

IBS?

Parasites

The dreaded “C” word? 

There’s evidence even this is a parasite issue. 

Unfortunately we all have parasites. We can’t hide from it. So let’s face it and deal with it.

(Skip ahead to how to kill parasites actively)

(Skip ahead to how to eliminate parasites more gently and safely)

Questions? Text “Bad bugs” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

And what about Covid-19? Interestingly, the drugs that have been found most effective in preventing and combatting Covid-19 are anti-parasitic drugs….

Based on all of the research coming out over the last decade, the health and balance of our gut microbiome is everything.

Our guts (and the health of our guts) determine the overall health of our bodies and our minds.

It is even said that 85-95% of our immune system resides… in our guts.

This has been backed up by the research I’ve seen coming out every day about healing the gut. By improving gut health you can…

Tackle parasites head-on and you won’t regret it.

…and more.

The health of our gut microbiome is the root of everything.

One doctor I follow said “Heal your gut and your gut will heal you.

Parasites

So what’s the deal with parasites and how do they tie into gut health?

Since parasites are generally defined as any organism in our body that harms us (they eat our food and secrete toxins into our bloodstream) they come in all shapes and sizes, and can get into our bodies in a variety of ways: through the skin, through food or water, or from contact with animals or other people.

Questions? Text “Bad bugs” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

The parasites inside of us aren’t this cute…

Parasites thrive off of the food we eat and give us nothing beneficial in return. They can starve us of nutrients and poison us from within. They can get into our organs and under our skin and even into our brain, and eventually they can kill us.

Parasites and poor gut health go hand in hand, because parasites thrive in an unhealthy body.

For this reason, improving gut health will automatically make us less susceptible to parasite infestation. Another great reason to improve gut health!

How do I know if I have parasites?

While we all have parasites, everyone has different ones, and to a different degree. If you have any of the following symptoms, there is a very good chance you have parasites and should deal with them to resolve these issues (and to prevent more problems):

  • Constipation
  • Skin rashes or itchy skin
  • Brain fog
  • Teeth clenching or grinding at night (resulting in tension headaches)
  • Bloating and/or gas
  • Digestive problems
  • Stomach pain
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Chronic nausea
  • Other unexplained issues or problems

(Skip ahead to how to kill parasites actively)

(Skip ahead to how to eliminate parasites more gently and safely)

If I want to heal my gut do I need to kill parasites first?

Killing parasites can be a tricky business.

First of all, parasites are really good at hiding and avoiding our attempts to kill them. They can hide a lot of places: first of all our intestines, but they can really go anywhere in our bodies.

Second, when you take drugs or herbs to kill parasites, they get very angry. When they are being attacked they start spewing poison into our bodies, which makes us want to stop what we are doing. This is called a Herxheimer reaction, and can range from congestion to severe flu-like symptoms to (rarely) death. I’m not trying to scare you, but it’s important to understand the worst that could happen and learn how to prepare properly for a parasite cleanse.

Third, even if you kill parasites and eliminate them first, it’s important to improve gut health at the same time or directly afterwards, because good gut balance and health creates an inhospitable environment for parasites and bad bacteria. That will not only prevent future parasites from growing, it will help expel any current parasites that your cleanse doesn’t fully remove.

Questions? Text “Bad bugs” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

Good bacteria (unlike parasites), eat the things we don’t eat (fiber) and secrete beneficial substances like vitamins and nutrients that our bodies can use. The more of these “good guys” we have, the healthier we are, and the fewer parasites can survive in our bodies.

How do I kill parasites safely?

In my opinion, the safest way to kill parasites is to take a pro-active approach: improve gut health by making better dietary choices and finding a great gut healing protocol.

Want to get to the ROOT of your issues?

You probably already know I am not a fan of meds because of all of their short- and long-term adverse effects. But even herbal parasite cleanses (which are very effective) can make people very sick because of how parasites react when they are being targeted.

Gut healing, in contrast, is a more passive approach. It’s gentler and safer. It’s generally safe even when pregnant or breastfeeding because it’s so gentle.

When you add in good bacteria it changes the environment of the microbiome. The pH improves and the good bacteria start crowding out the bad. This weakens parasites and they can be more naturally flushed from the body. They don’t usually release toxins because they aren’t being attacked. They just become weaker and let go of the intestinal walls and leave the body.

Questions? Text “Bad bugs” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

Starting with gut healing is an effective approach because improving gut health has to happen anyway: even if you kill parasites and do a cleanse, you still need to improve gut health to ensure they don’t come back.

Read inspiring stories of real healing–from people I know! 

(Skip ahead to how to eliminate parasites more gently and safely)

Anti-Parasitic Herbs

Herbs like wormwood, black walnut, cloves, pumpkin seed, garlic, and oregano oil are very effective anti-parasitics.

If you decide to use one of these (either in drops or capsules) just be sure to start slow if you’ve never done a parasite cleanse or have reason to believe you have a severe infestation.

Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth powder is very fine: do not inhale!

Another way to kill parasites is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is (from Wikipedia), “a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. It has a particle size ranging from less than 3 μm to more than 1 mm, but typically 10 to 200 μm.”

The benefits of diatomaceous earth is that it’s cheap and safe to consume (but the powder is very fine and can damage your lungs if inhaled so be very careful when handling it!).

The particles are very sharp and they have a scrubbing/cutting action as they pass through the digestive tract. This cuts parasitic worms, which can make them angry and cause die off reactions. Diatomaceous earth is also very good for scrubbing the digestive tract of mucus, so it’s a good idea to take it on occasion to keep things clean as well (don’t worry; it doesn’t hurt at all and it’s beneficial to our intestines).

Castor Oil

The third method I have used to directly kill and eliminate parasites (and it’s probably my favorite) is frozen castor oil capsules. I like it because it’s easy, cheap, effective and there are no side effects.

Castor oil is a traditional parasite cleansing agent. It’s very effective, but when taken as it was traditionally done (swallow the oil on a spoon) it is unpleasant for several reasons. It tastes terrible and you have to stay very close to the bathroom all day long.

Watch as I talk about how I do my frozen castor oil parasite cleanse. 

What I do instead is a frozen castor oil parasite cleanse. There are no side effects or die off reactions, and I like it because it targets a specific hard-to-reach parasite that hides in the small intestines.

Questions? Text “Bad bugs” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

These parasites live in the mouth of the small intestine, just behind a valve where the stomach empties food into the small intestines. Because of this hiding place these parasites are often able to avoid other methods used to kill them, so they can be tricky to eliminate.

First you need to get castor oil gelcaps. These are very inexpensive for a big bottle.

Next you freeze them. Empty the capsules into a Ziploc bag and put it in the bottom/back of the freezer where it stays coldest. You will need to freeze them for at least 1-2 weeks. You can see they are ready when they look white and translucent.

Now wait for the next full moon (a quick google search or Siri inqury can tell  you when the next full moon is). The reason I wait for a full moon is because it is the time when parasites are most active and when they lay eggs. They tend to detach from the intestinal walls during this time so it’s easier to flush them from the body as well. This ensures you kill the most parasites possible.

I usually do these cleanses for 3 days or for 5 days. Decide which one you want to do and start either 1 or 2 days before the actual full moon date.

First thing in the morning, swallow up to 6 frozen gelcaps with water (if you want to start slow feel free to do that). It has to be on an empty stomach; then wait about an hour before eating breakfast. Do that for 3 or 5 days in a row (whichever you choose). That’s it! Easy peasy.

Let me know if you notice anything (no pictures please)! 😅🤣

Now What?

After killing parasites (or even if you decide not to directly kill them), improving gut health is key.

Gut health is the root of everything: the gut microbiome produces and regulates hormones, controls how well we absorb nutrients, keeps us regular, helps keep digestion smooth, keeps us at a healthy weight, keeps our organs and blood pressure healthy, regulates adrenals, produces and sends neurotransmitters to the brain so we can sleep well, feel good, be happy and productive… and our gut is almost all of our immune system.

So is gut health important? You decide.

I’ve tried a lot of gut health products and probiotics (most of which did nothing for me), and I finally landed on a protocol I love.

It’s whole food based, fully methylated, nothing synthetic or GMO, no sugar and it actually WORKS. For a lot of people I know, including me.

There are probiotics everywhere these days, all at different price points. But no matter how much or how little I pay, to me it’s a waste of money if it doesn’t work. And most of them I tried didn’t work.

Questions? Text “Bad bugs” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

I prioritize getting something that will help me over saving money. And besides, I was buying supplements anyway, so this just replaced those and I’m not spending more money.

This is the protocol I like, and it works for almost everyone who tries it (they also offer a one year money back guarantee, so there is no risk to see if it works for you!).

The other great thing about this protocol is the first order comes with a free ReBoot, which sets you up for success. It’s a 3 day protocol you do before starting the gut healing protocol. A modified vegetarian, no grain diet for 3 days while you take the liver-supporting herbs in the ReBoot packet. This “resets” your gut and makes the gut healing protocol even more effective.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t suffer any longer.

Questions? Text “Bad bugs” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬

Resources for Further Study

Heal Your Gut and Your Gut Will Heal You: How Gut Health is the Root of Everything

The Gut-Brain Axis: How Healing the Gut Can Heal the Mind

Where to Start: How Do I Heal My Gut? 

The Gut Healing Protocol I use

Real True Stories of Healing from the Root

 

 

 

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

 

REAL FOOD Movie Theater Popcorn: Make it!

Who doesn’t love popcorn?

And there is just something about popcorn at the movie theater: it’s so buttery and delicious… home-made never quite measures up.

But I found the secret ingredient, and you’ll never guess what it is.

We all know we should be getting only GOOD fats in our diet… right?

If you’re like me, you may be realizing you need MORE (good) fats….

Well if you like popcorn, you’re in luck, because this Real Food Movie Theater Popcorn is full of them.

Who knew popcorn could be healthy? And this is not your mother’s dry, bland, tasteless air popper popcorn. This is buttery, delicious, salty popcorn just like at the movie theater, but without all the bad oils, artificial colors and chemical flavorings.

Here’s the misconception: most people think “healthy” food is gross, like eating cardboard or rice cakes.

But it’s not! Healthy, real food is what we were designed to eat! When real, whole food tastes good and we can’t get enough—that means we should eat more of it!

Our bodies have been conditioned to crave chemical additives, excitotoxins and fake flavors, instead of the nutrients that accompany naturally delicious and satisfying food.

Once you realize that, everything changes.

When most Americans want popcorn, they grab a bag of microwave popcorn from the pantry, tear off the plastic, and stick it in the microwave for 3 minutes.

It’s quick and easy, right? It can’t be THAT bad for me….

WRONG

There are dozens of dangerous chemicals in most microwave popcorns, from the artificial buttery flavoring to the coating on the bag that prevents the oil from leaking through the paper. Some of them even have teflon inside of the bag! You are exposed to all of these chemicals and absorb them by smelling, touching and eating microwave popcorn.

But who wants to make popcorn on the stove?

Isn’t it difficult? And messy? And not as good?

If you use an air popper, there isn’t any oil used and that popcorn can be bland. So I’ve never been a big fan of that, because if I’m going to eat popcorn I want it to taste good!

Plus popcorn is the perfect opportunity to get some good, nourishing, satiating fats into our diets.

And the fats I use are really good ones. One of them you may not have used before, but you can get it pretty much anywhere.

So let’s get onto the recipe.

For the past few years, I’ve used an old stainless steel pot I have and it worked just fine, so you don’t need any fancy equipment.

But….

I recently moved and I threw out that old pot so for Christmas my husband bought me this great stovetop whirlypop pot, and I’m in LOVE! If you want something specifically for your popcorn that will be perfect every time, definitely consider one of these. (Make sure to get the stainless steel and not the aluminum, because aluminum is bad for our brains).

Now that we have the tools out of the way, let’s get to the ingredients!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is very filling, very nourishing, and can even contribute to weight loss! It has so many benefits, and it tastes great. It can even help you to fight off or prevent illness!

Most people already have some of this in their pantries these days… but if you don’t, definitely get some!

 

Butter or Ghee

Butter is a very nourishing food, and it can be an important source of key vitamins like Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 and Vitamin A. If you can, get butter from grass-fed cows. Kerrygold is a very tasty one. I like to add butter because it (obviously) adds a rich, buttery flavor and boosts the nutritional content of your popcorn by a lot!

If you are sensitive to dairy, you can buy or make ghee. All the flavor and health benefits, none of the casein or other milk proteins!

And now… for the secret ingredient!

Red Palm Oil

Red palm oil is a very exceptional oil, because it contains forms of Vitamin E and other vitamins that aren’t found in any other food. That makes it great for skin, eyes, heart, and other organs.

Here are just a few of the proven health benefits of red palm oil:

Protects heart health

Protects against skin cancer

Alleviates joint pain

Increases milk production in lactating mothers

Controls blood glucose levels

Prevents Constipation

…and more!

This is one great oil you will want to have in your arsenal. I love it with popcorn (gives  it that unique movie theater flavor)… but so far I haven’t found anything else I like to eat it with.

Oh and by the way, red palm oil is not the same as palm kernel oil, which has been responsible for deforestation and killing of some wildlife. Red palm oil does not carry these concerns (Nutiva guarantees it!).

Real Salt

You may have heard that salt is BAD BAD BAD.

But like with most things… this is only partially true.

When salt is consumed in its whole, natural form, it is actually one of the best things you can eat.

The problem is when we process all of the nutrients out of it to get the snow-white iodized table salt you find most places. That’s when it can cause problems.

(The problems do not arise out of the food itself, but in the processing and types of foods we consume).  

Unrefined salt contains dozens of trace minerals, including magnesium.

You probably know that trace minerals (especially magnesium) are vital for overall health and wellness… and salt is the best, easiest way to get them.

But what type of salt? My favorites are Redmond Real Salt, Celtic sea salt, and Himalayan salt (in that order). There are a lot of types, and each type has varying profiles of trace minerals, so it’s probably a good idea to get a variety.

Additionally, low salt consumption has been shown in clinical studies to increase mortality in the population significantly.

Here are more benefits of consuming salt daily. 

Bonus Ingredient for Extra Credit: Nutritional Yeast Flakes

They don’t sound very appetizing, but nutritional yeast flakes actually add a cheesy flavor to popcorn that I really like.

(Just make sure the one you get isn’t “fortified” with synthetic vitamins like B-12 and folic acid. We want real, not fake, nutrition).

A few benefits of nutritional yeast:

  • Support the health of hair, skin & nails
  • Contribute to digestive health
  • Enhance immunity
  • Boost Energy

If you can’t eat dairy or just want a nutritional boost to your popcorn–it’s definitely worth trying!

The recipe is simple:

Ingredients

  • Organic Popcorn Kernels (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
  • 1 T Coconut oil
  • 1 T Red Palm oil
  • 1 T Butter or Ghee
  • Real Salt
  • Nutritional Yeast flakes (optional, but it gives it a cheesy flavor I like and adds nutrition too!)

That’s it!

Directions

  • Add all 3 oils to the bottom of your pan and turn on the heat (medium-high)
  • Once the oils are melted, swirl the pan around until combined
  • Add the popcorn kernels (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
  • Swirl the pan again to make sure the oil is evenly coating the kernels, which should be a thin layer at the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the kernels start popping, turn the whirly crank or shake the pan a bit to keep the popcorn from burning.
  • As soon as the popping slows, turn off the heat and allow the popcorn to finish popping.
  • Sprinkle with real salt and nutritional yeast flakes (optional) and enjoy!

I’d love to hear what you think–or if you have another secret ingredient I should know about–comment below!

 

 

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

Resources

How I discovered processed food is the devil

Chemicals in Most Microwave Popcorn

What are “forever chemicals” and why are they in my popcorn???

Top 3 Dangers of Microwave Popcorn

Microwave Popcorn is Toxic

Health Benefits of Red Palm Oil

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Health Benefits of Butter

Health Benefits of Salt

Study: Low Salt Intake Increases Mortality 

Health benefits of Nutritional Yeast

 

Miracles of Root Cause Healing: True Stories

You’ve probably heard by now that gut health is foundational: that improving  gut health is root cause and can underlie almost every health problem there is. 

At least… if you’ve been following me for more than 5 minutes you’re aware. 

I have a lot of friends and family who are seeing such miraculous healing by following a simple protocol, that I thought it might be helpful to share some of their stories. 

Of course we are all a work in progress, but when a mother starts seeing her non-verbal autistic child regain speech within days of starting a new protocol, she starts to shout it from the rooftops. 

When an older family member who has spent years on countless medications with serious side effects starts telling me about how much energy and life she has now… I start paying attention! 

When a mother of 10 children can’t stop smiling because one of her daughters chronic constipation is resolved and another daughter’s behavioral issues have improved overnight… it seems crazy! 

When my good friend tells me how she was doubled over in pain every night after dinner and was suffering daily from headaches, nausea and food sensitivities, and now feels like a new person, that makes me really happy! 

I asked each of my friends permission to share their pictures and their words (mostly from Facebook posts, which i will link to–feel free to reach out to them or encourage them on their posts!). I hope these stories will give you as much hope and encouragement as they do me. 

Perhaps they will even encourage you to take a step towards your own personal healing! 

As I write this it’s almost Christmas, but these are miracles I see all year long! 

REAL LIFE MIRACLES

What follows are real, true stories of people I personally know (and their children). I will link to their original posts from which I quote. Feel free to click on their profiles and find more stories of their healing!

And as always, if you want to discuss your situation or how to find healing for yourself or someone you love, text “Gut Healing” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ and let’s chat! 

JENNIFER

Jennifer is a mother of 10 children. She is a good friend and fellow researcher.

She had spent years looking for a natural solution to her daughter’s digestive problems, including severe constipation. She says:

She turned 13 last week, and I can finally see that there is major healing going on. I cannot express how happy this makes me. My once very sensitive, easily overwhelmed child, no longer cries and tells me she’s overwhelmed. She has stopped crying about tummy aches and nausea from trying to eat. In just under two months, the results have stunned me.” 

Click here to read more of Jennifer’s story. 

Stories like this are what I live for! 

Jenna

Jenna is a good friend of mine, and has a story so inspiring I couldn’t wait to share it. She has suffered with Lyme, inflammation, pain, food allergies, infertility and weight gain with all of the accompanying health issues for over 20 years.

She describes her life before in this way:

“I was absolutely miserable…. My whole body was swelling and I was in more pain than I could bear.
I HATED that when I met the love of my life’s family, I felt like death.
I cringed when they asked to take pictures because I knew I would hate how I looked. I tried to hide the pain in my face but I think if you look close you can see it.

Jenna: Before (left) & After (right)

“I hunched over in all the photos.
My mother in law had me put my feet up! I was not even 30 yet and I was dying.
My body was collapsing beneath me.”

Jenna has been healing her gut-brain axis for about 3 months now and she tells a very different story:

So much has changed from then to now.

“After day 3, I no longer craved the junk.
After 2 months the pain is almost gone.
After 4 weeks my bloat was gone.
And now I crave all the heathy foods. Seriously! I don’t want the ice cream, the cake, the pizza or the junk. I don’t even have the desire for it anymore.
And it’s been incredible!!
I have fasted from sugar before and still had to fight through cravings.
This is the first time I have felt like I didn’t have to rely on will power.
Because it’s not lack of will power that makes you crave junk. It’s your gut bacteria. Feed the good guys and they scream louder than the bad ones! ♥️
Goodbye inflammation, hello beautiful skin!

There is nothing like true healing. This isn’t weight loss. It’s getting to the root of the problem and actually becoming healthy.

That starts a chain reaction (in a good way) to more energy, more motivation, fewer cravings, which lead to results you can see and feel and gives you more motivation to make better choices.

There’s nothing like it. 

Follow Jenna’s journey of healing here. She’s just getting started! 

REBECCA

Rebecca also has a large family and is pregnant with one more. Her young son is on the autism spectrum and she has struggled with his behavior and lack of empathy since his diagnosis several years ago. 

She had been researching natural options and saw a lot of evidence that gut health and the gut-brain connection plays a huge role in autism and behavior, so she gave it a shot. 

She says, “Three years ago I thought my life was ashes. It was when I first realized that Declan wasn’t going to “grow out of it.” I believed I had failed my son and my God. My son because he was vaccine injured, and my God because this precious gift of a child that we had prayed to conceive for a year was damaged by my own ignorance…. Who knew a pioneering mental wellness company would have such far-reaching benefits for our children?”

Rebecca has seen Declan improve in so many ways, from better communication, more independent actions that free her up to take care of the other children, to being more compassionate and loving with his siblings. 

These changes have given their family new life! Read the rest of their story here (and scroll her timeline because she has posted several times about her son’s progress). 

BETTY

One of my family members has had diabetes for over 30 years and is also on medications for mental health that have side effects so drastic that she sometimes refuses to take them completely. 

Weight gain, constant fatigue, brain fog and just not being herself are common complaints due to the medications she takes several times a day. 

When she began this gut-brain axis healing protocol she started seeing results she didn’t expect: 

ENERGY was the first one. She tells me she has so much energy she goes for walks, she WANTS to clean her own house (which she didn’t have the energy to do for years) and she says friends are telling her she is talking so much more than before. Her physical and mental energy and alertness are off the charts and she is feeling amazing. 

Every time i talk to her she can’t stop raving about the “vitamins” I gave her and how good she is feeling, and just yesterday she called and told me she had lost 5 pounds. 

Oh, and her doctor did a blood test and told her “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!” because her lab numbers look better than they have in years! 

Read more about Betty here. 

This is why I do what I do! 

If you want to discuss your situation or how to find healing for yourself or someone you love, text “Gut Healing” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ and let’s chat! 

KALEIGH

Kaleigh’s youngest son has been having health issues since before he can remember. Look at this story of incredible healing that just keeps getting better and better:

“As many of you know we’ve been dealing with my youngest having seizures. It started in December shortly before his 2nd birthday. He had 3 that were 3 weeks apart and after that he started having them daily.”

“Yahweh blessed us by having a friend share a gut/ brain communication protocol with us that made a huge difference! Going 3 times longer in between episodes than before AND MUCH better recovery AND frequent chiropractor visits were no longer needed.”

Kaleigh has been so amazed at the improvement she saw right away!

(Kaleigh’s story was posted as friends-only, so I won’t link to her post, but if you’d like to connect with Kaleigh, let me know by texting me at ‪(802) 227-7051‬ and I can introduce  you!)

RENE

Rene is one of my best friends, so when she told me she had been suffering with debilitating digestive problems almost every time she ate, I wanted to help her.

I could not have predicted the dramatic results she would get from adding one simple protocol to her daily routine.

In her own words:

“I would feel overwhelmed when things weren’t perfect. I would get stressed out when things got too loud. I had stomach pain every night, and massive heart burn every time I ate something that wasn’t healthy, or when I ate meat, or when I ate spicy food, or when I stayed up too late, or or or, the list goes on!

“I just wanted to feel good again. I wanted to feel motivated again, passionate again. I wanted to wake up refreshed. I wanted to feel affectionate to my husband. I didn’t want to have bad gas all the time.”

Read the rest of Rene’s story here. I think you’ll be as amazed as I was.

Part of Rene’s story is mold toxicity, after she was exposed to a lot of mold in a house she was renting.

If you have elusive symptoms that doctors can’t diagnose or you suspect mold could be wreaking havoc on your health, do yourself a favor and watch this interview I did with Rene about healing from her symptoms of mold toxicity.

I am so thankful to have a natural solution that works

 

JOSHUA

My friend’s son Joshua is also on the autism spectrum and is a little bit older than Declan… but his symptoms are similar.

Josh has struggled with identifying his feelings and communicating with others. He’s always been very serious and he has a very difficult time adapting to anything out of his routine.

Since healing his gut-brain axis, however, things have been changing and his family can’t believe their eyes.

His mother shares: “We are seeing an emerging happening in his mind, in his thought processes, in his reasoning and his rationale, and it has taken him further than we really thought possible. His body really responded quite quickly to this protocol as I think it’s just providing nutrients and help exactly where he needed it!

He used to really struggle when the schedule got changed or an interruption happened in the day’s routine, and now he can just shrug it off and not let it affect him.
He has gained motivation to participate more in activities and be a part of them instead of just being an observer. That has been an absolute delight for our family, to see him more engaged and wanting to join in! His sense of humor is coming out and he shows a ton of affection. He is quite happy and wears a huge smile more than ever!!!!!
The other day she posted a video of them dancing together to music. He has become happier and more engaging than ever before.
Click here to read more about Joshua (scroll the timeline to see more posts about him).

 

If you want to discuss your situation or how to find healing for yourself or someone you love, text “Gut Healing” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ and let’s chat! 

GEORGE

George holds a special place in my heart because he’s the oldest child of my sweet friend Sarah, and he is one of the first children I saw healing with my own eyes.

Sarah had tried everything, but he was always in a bad mood. Everything was a disaster. He just wasn’t able to achieve the happiness and joy we all want for our children. He was in a perpetual funk.

Sarah reached out to me because she saw me talking about the gut-brain axis and how important it is for mood, behavior, mental health and just general well-being. She knew George needed all of that, but didn’t know how to get him there.

And then they started healing George’s gut-brain axis with a kids protocol. And everything began to change.

“After dinner, George and I were chatting while I finished cleaning up (a new normal for us, which I’m loving!). All of the sudden he said, “My eyes are watery. I feel like I’m crying, but I don’t know why.”

“I looked over at him and he was smiling. I gave him a big hug and said, “You know George, sometimes people cry tears of joy.””

Read the rest of Sarah’s story here. And be sure to scroll her timeline to see updates on George’s progress (you’ll be glad you did).

AND THEN THERE’S ME

My story is a little bit different.

I didn’t have any health problems to speak of.

I didn’t need this protocol… at least not from any outward indication.

But why didn’t I need it?

Why do others need it?

Prevention is everything.

I have spent most of my life researching alternative medicine, natural remedies and food-as-medicine. I love to share what I’ve learned with everyone.

And along the way I learn so much, and I try the things I’m learning.

I try diet tweaks and recipes.

I make fermented foods on my kitchen counters.

I try supplements and probiotics that are helping people.

I exercise and I purify my air and water… even if there isn’t a particular problem with my air and water.

I believe this is why I didn’t “need” this protocol. I don’t have a dramatic story of healing because I’ve spent my life preventing illness to the best of my ability.

This is what healthy people do. They are always looking for ways to be more healthy, and to prevent disease. To me, that’s the best way to go… because there is less suffering that way.

So when I find a protocol that heals the gut and restores communication between the gut and brain along the vagus nerve, I try it. Not because I have a problem… because I don’t ever want to have a problem.

And because I know people who have problems, and I want to have a natural solution to recommend so they can find healing. That’s what I want for you too.

If you want to discuss your situation or how to find healing for yourself or someone you love, text “Gut Healing” to ‪(802) 227-7051‬ and let’s chat! 

 

Resources

What can healing my gut do for me? 

What is the Gut-Brain Axis and Why Should I Care?

Come follow the Freedom & Coffee Facebook Page, where we share even more information and discuss natural healing and current events.

Watch my interview with Rene, who has healed her symptoms of mold toxicity by healing her gut.

Watch my interview with Marlo, who healed her gut-brain axis to help her overcome deep depression after the loss of her son.

Watch Chelsea share the heart-wrenching story of bringing her daughter back from a very dark place (with a great tasting KIDS protocol!)

Listen to a molecular biologist explain how healing her gut-brain axis let her eliminate her meds for anxiety!

How Crystal overcame regular migraine headaches by healing her gut.

Why would I want to get off meds and take a natural approach? (video)

What do you think about NATURAL CONSEQUENCES?

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

Natural Solutions For Depression & Anxiety

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, you may have wondered if it can be healed naturally.

Fortunately it can!

The latest research on brain health has revealed that the health of our digestive systems (our “guts”) and the health of our brains (and by extension our mental health) is inextricably linked.

The Vagus Nerve

Did you know there is a group of nerves that connect the brain directly to the gut?

This link, called the vagus nerve, is like a 2-way superhighway that keeps the gut and the brain in constant communication. 

Why?

Because, as research is showing, up to 95% of the serotonin, as well as at least 60% of dopamine and other neurotransmitters are produced in the gut.

You may know that medications for depression and other mental illness often recycle the serotonin in our bodies (when there isn’t enough) so the brain can re-use it.

This is necessary when our bodies don’t make enough serotonin, or when the communication between the brain and the gut (where almost all of the serotonin is made) is interrupted. 

When our brains don’t get enough serotonin (and other neurotransmitters) from our guts, mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, dementia, insomnia, migraines, overall irritability, and psychiatric disorders can result. 

Pharmaceutical meds not only don’t heal you or “fix” the issue of not producing enough serotonin, they often come with a plethora of unpleasant side effects, from overwhelming fatigue to weight gain to stomach and digestive complaints. Not only that, long term use of anti-depressants and other psychotropic medications can cause an imbalance in brain chemistry long term, so you become dependent on the drugs

Additionally, despite the fact that drug manufacturers have known since the introduction of anti-depressants that they commonly cause suicidal tendencies in teens and young adults, they are commonly prescribed to these age groups.

Question: Do you take medicine so you can heal or to manage symptoms and take the medicine forever? 

If natural healing was possible without side effects, would you consider it? 

The Importance of Healing the Gut

In America today, approximately 80% of the pharmaceuticals sold (both prescription and over-the-counter) are for a digestive complaint like IBS, indigestion, nausea or other digestive issue. 

And you may not have connected the two, but the latest research is showing that a mental wellness issue like depression or anxiety is almost always accompanied by a digestive complaint of some sort

When you realize how common it is for these two to be happening at the same time, you start to see how gut health and brain health are necessarily connected. 

Connecting the Dots

Gut health has always fascinated me, and I’ve been following the research around gut health and how it affects overall health for over a decade. 

We have known for a few years that there is a strong connection between the gut and the brain, but until recently we didn’t understand how intimate that connection was or how exactly the gut affected the brain. 

With new research coming out every day, science is discovering that there are specific microbiota in the gut that produce the neurotransmitters the brain relies on for healthy function. 

For the brain to be healthy, it needs those neurotransmitters produced in the gut by specific gut bacteria, so we need to have those gut bacteria present and have a good, healthy colonization of them in our guts… or we won’t have the neurotransmitters we need, and mental wellness issues will arise. 

Not only do we need a gut filled with a healthy population of those specific neurotransmitter-producing microbiota, we need a healthy vagus nerve so those neurotransmitters can be ferried directly to our brains when we need them (for example, when we want to sleep at night). 

So the first step to a health brain and the best mental wellness possible is with a healthy gut—one filled with the right gut bacteria that will produce the neurotransmitters we need to be happy and healthy. 

Stress and Trauma

You may be thinking: My gut is fine. I don’t need to heal my gut. My issues stem from trauma or stress in my life. The only way to resolve my mental illness is to deal with those emotional traumas. 

Here’s the thing: Everyone has stress. Everyone has been hurt. Everyone has some emotional trauma. Granted, some peoples’ trauma are worse than others.

But why are some of us better at dealing with those trauma and stresses than others? 

Can you think of a time when you didn’t feel sad?

When the tiniest annoyances didn’t set you off, and minor insults just rolled off your back? 

When you could eat anything you wanted without digestive issues? 

When frequent migraines were not an issue for you? 

When you fell asleep as soon as your head hit the pillow and you woke up every morning feeling well-rested? 

When stress helped you to thrive instead of break down? 

There is a way to handle stress and emotional trauma without years of counseling (counseling may be needed too… but if your neurotransmitters aren’t firing you’ll still need to heal your gut to fully recover even with counseling… or take meds to manage your symptoms). 

How Did My Gut Become Imbalanced?

When we are born, our guts are sterile: we are inoculated with good gut bacteria from our mothers as we pass through the birth canal. 

But what happens if mom didn’t have the right gut bacteria that will produce serotonin and other neurotransmitters? 

What if you were born via C-section? 

What if you were given several rounds of antibiotics early in life? 

All of these factors can play a role in how many of those good bacteria you have in your gut. And remember, if you don’t have them, your body can’t produce serotonin and other neurotransmitters you need to have great mental health. 

The gut can become imbalanced later in life as well, as the result of:

Environmental pollution

Contaminants in our food and water supply

Herbicides and pesticides sprayed on our produce

Pharmaceutical medications (especially antibiotics)

Radiation from electronic devices, cell phones, Wi-Fi signals and other sources

And a depleted gut micro-biome can result in all kinds of issues:

  • Digestive complaints
  • Metabolic syndromes
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Adrenal issues
  • Brain fog
  • Poor focus
  • Low Energy
  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia 
  • Migraines
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Poor stress management
  • Symptoms of autism
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Thyroid issues
  • Food allergies
  • Seasonal and pet allergies
  • Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rashes….

…..literally everything. 

And when you think about it, it makes sense: our guts make up most of the one line that goes from the entrance of our bodies (the mouth) to the exit. Everything we put in our bodies goes through this pathway. So it logically follows that this pathway is critical to every bodily system and process. 

If your gut is unhealthy, you will also be unable to properly assimilate nutrients from food or supplements—so just changing your diet or taking supplements may not be very effective until the gut is truly healed. 

Got more questions? Text WELLNESS to me at ‪(802) 227-7051‬!

How do Genes Factor In? 

Many people tell me that mental illness runs in their families. 

Pulling the genetics card is tricky, because it leads people to believe that there is nothing that can be done. If you have suffered from depression for as long as you can remember, you may not think of it as something that can be “healed.” You may believe it is a part of who you are. 

Nothing is further from the truth. Your mental health struggles do not define you, and they can be healed. 

As mentioned above, our guts are sterile when we are in the womb, and we rely on our mothers’ micro-biome to inoculate us and fill our guts with all of the good gut bacteria. But if her micro-biome is imbalanced (and she has those mental health or digestive symptoms to prove it), then won’t yours be imbalanced just like hers? 

Additionally, recent research has also found that heavy metals can be passed down from both parents to children…so heavy metal detox may be an additional area of consideration as well. 

How do I Heal My Gut to Achieve Mental Wellness? 

You may be wondering: if changing my diet or taking supplements can’t heal my gut and resolve my issues, then how can I heal it naturally? 

You can do it with a good gut healing protocol designed specifically to address your issues and heal you from the root cause, so you don’t have to rely on meds for the rest of your life or suffer in agony. 

Got more questions? Text WELLNESS to me at ‪(802) 227-7051‬!

There are a few things I love about the gut healing protocol by Amare:

  1. The research, science and clinical trials behind their formulations is extensive. They have taken a science-based approach and used proven natural ingredients that WORK.
  2. The ingredients are natural, food and herb based, and fully methylated (so if you have the MTHR gene mutation or other concerns, there are no worries about synthetic components)!
  3. The money back guarantee is insane. Customers have a full year to use Amare products and return them for a full refund of the purchase price if they don’t work for them. A YEAR!!
  4. There is an Amare Facebook group for people to post their own testimonies and results, and they are incredible! People healing and dropping meds for everything from IBS to skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis) to depression and anxiety to thyroid health and weight loss. The gut truly is the root of everything! (Message me if you’d like an invite to that group to see the amazing testimonies)!
  5. My personal results. I’ve tried a lot of probiotics, and usually don’t discern any results. With Amare I’ve noticed great, clean energy, clear focus, no crash in the afternoon, boosted immunity (I haven’t gotten sick and fight everything off with ease!), less bloating, a slimmer figure, and just overall improved mental and overall health. It’s hard to put a price tag on just feeling better. 
  6. The chance to share natural, life-changing information with people to improve their health, and their lives. Amare has a great customer referral program: when you tell others about how Amare has helped you, you get free products! Or build a residual income stream from anywhere!

If you have more questions or want to discuss your situation, text me any time at ‪(802) 227-7051‬!

The great thing about healing your gut is that most of us know we need to do that anyway.

If you can improve your mental wellness and heal your gut (thereby improving your overall health and any other health or digestive complaints you may have)—why wouldn’t you do both at the same time? 

I spent years following gut health research and trying every probiotic I could find, and honestly none of them did very much for me…. but this one has gotten me results.

This protocol is the first one I have ever seen to specifically, reliably target brain health and mental wellness by healing the gut. And it’s helping thousands of people.  (There is an entire Facebook group dedicated to people sharing their testimonies with it. Message me and I can invite you to the group to see for yourself).

Right now the science on the gut (and the gut-brain connection specifically) is exploding. There are new studies coming out every day, showing how intimately the gut is tied to every area and system of the body, and even pinpointing the specific microbiota that influence those different systems.

From brain (mental) health to hormone balance, from digestive issues to thyroid and adrenal health, the gut is the root of everything.

A doctor I follow said,

“Heal your gut and your gut will heal you.” –Dr. Nuzum

And it’s true! The gut is the root of everything.

When you think about it, it makes sense: the gut makes up the one line that goes from the entrance to our bodies (mouth) to the exit… and it’s what all input must pass through.

So if our guts are unhealthy we can’t absorb nutrients from food or supplements, we develop food and other allergies, and every system of our bodies are affected!

Our bodies are a whole, and the health of one part affects the health of all the others.  This is true nowhere as much as the gut.

Heal your gut and your gut will heal you.

If you have more questions or want to discuss your situation, text me any time at ‪(802) 227-7051‬!

Other Resources

Mental Wellness, Naturally: How to Heal Your Mind By Healing Your Gut

How is Your Mental Health? Take a Mental Wellness Quiz

AHDH, Autism, Sleep, Mood, Migraine Solution for KIDS: Heal the Gut

Antidepressant meds cause increased risk of suicide

The root of depression is in the health of your gut 

The Connection between Depression, Anxiety, and Digestive Issues

Difficulty Dropping Meds and Antidepressant Dependence

ADHD Meds can increase risk of psychosis

ABC News Report: There is a natural solution for ADHD without dangers or side effects

News Report: Behavioral Disorders and Gut Microbiome

News Report: Children’s behavior and ADHD tied to the gut

The Research: Gut-Brain Axis Clinical Trials 

What is the Gut-Brain-HEART Axis?!

Build Residual Income from Anywhere! 

 

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

Got more questions? Text me at ‪(802) 227-7051‬!

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

The BEST CLEAN & CRUNCHY Gift Giving Guide 2020

The holiday season sneaks up faster and faster every year, and we’re caught scrambling for meaningful gifts to choose for our friends and family.

It is important to choose something thoughtful that:

They don’t already have.

They will actually like. 

They will use. 

  THE PERFECT GIFT

Gift-giving is not limited to Christmas or “The Holidays,” though. There are many times throughout the year that we need to come up with a great gift for someone we love: Birthdays, Homecomings, Mothers and Fathers Day, Retirement and other occasions. 

It’s always a good idea to have a few GREAT GIFTS up your sleeve. 

The past few years I have built my own business, and I have come to appreciate how much work and effort goes into building something from the ground up. Because of this, I am much more likely to purchase from small businesses.

One reason I like to patronize small businesses is because I know how hard small business owners work for every sale, and how much those sales mean to them. Another reason is because the product quality often far exceeds anything I could have purchased at a box store. The value is usually much better than with cheaper, cookie-cutter products as well.

I’ve put together a list of great gifts that prioritize CLEAN & CRUNCHY, and many of them are through small businesses of people I know. Because when we help each other, we all win!

(I’ll also sprinkle in a few gifts you can buy on Amazon–because sometimes we just need a gift within a couple of days!)

The last section will highlight some great “token” gifts and stocking stuffers that are natural, crunchy, and safe–and that are actually very useful!

Here are the top 10 BEST GIFTS for the 2019-2020 seasons. 

10. This GORGEOUS SELENITE LAMP

You’ve probably heard of Himalayan Salt Lamps, which are amazing, health-promoting and gorgeous! But many people already have a Himalayan Salt Lamp, or maybe Salt Lamps are not some peoples’ style… This elegant Selenite Lamp is much more versatile and useful, because it has a dimming switch and it can serve as a bedside lamp! 

Ever since I got mine I use it instead of my bedside table lamp–even for reading–because it’s so bright with a clean, white light. 

While Himalayan Salt Lamps are great (I have a few!), they are a little bit hippie, and don’t provide a lot of light, so I really love this Selenite Lamp for both health benefits, an elegant addition to any decor, and a useful reading lamp for the bedside. 

9. CBD BODY BUTTER AND OIL… PERFECTLY PACKAGED WITH JADE MASSAGE STONES

Swoon! Jade massage stones! 

Whether or not you have jumped aboard the CBD wagon… this is a gift of epic proportions! 

CBD-infused massage oil and body butter… this isn’t just any CBD oil. My friends who regularly use CBD oil say this works incredibly well for any kind of chronic or acute musculo-skeletal pain, from neck or back pain, sciatica, sore muscles– both the cream and the oil soak in beautifully and target inflammation for immediate, long-lasting relief! 

Packaged in a gorgeous gift box with these amazing jade massage stones… this is a gift they will be talking about for years to come! Get one for every member of the family–because if you leave someone out they will be jealous! 

Heck, I’m jealous! This is a must-have… I will be ordering more, because this exclusive holiday-only set is sure to sell out quick and who knows if they will ever have it again?! This is at the top of my Christmas list and will be remembered by anyone who receives it.

8. Essential Oil Gift Sets
Beautiful and functional Essential Oil Diffuser and Humidifier

Don’t love making your own gifts, but love the idea of helping others cut our harmful fragrances and promoting healing in their homes? 

I love giving gift sets that include a couple of great quality essential oils and a diffuser of some sort, from a high-end room diffuser to diffuser jewelry like this necklace or this bracelet set. They make unique stand-alone gifts, prizes, stocking stuffers… or make a great addition to a gift basket or care package.

7. Don’t Forget the Pets! 

Many people who don’t have children consider pets their “children.” 

If you are going to a holiday party or spending Christmas morning with family or friends who don’t have kids but who cherish their pets, it is a great idea to bring gifts for their “children.” 

Why not get the best pet care line out there to pamper their kids, just like you would do if they had human children? They will LOVE you for it–you can thank me later!

This fun holiday set is the perfect way to pamper pets: luxurious, concentrated pet shampoo and a deodorizing spray, as well as a multi-functional tote for pet necessities!

6. If they don’t have a weighted blanket yet… Trust me, they want one.
Great Quality With a Washable Cover–and a Discount!

Weighted blankets have become very popular–and for good reason! There is nothing more comforting than to feel its weight cocooning you on a chilly night!

I love this particular weighted blanket because it’s great quality and it has a washable cover and glass beads inside! I don’t know about you, but whenever I get something that I can’t wash I start to worry. So the washable cover makes this a win-win!

And when you add this one to your cart there is a $20 discount coupon you can apply at check-out! (Check the box on the product page, but hurry before it’s gone)!

5. The gift of clean, pure water, any place & time!

Concerned about water quality and fluoride levels

This Epic water filter eliminates 99.99% of the contaminants, pollutants, chemicals, pharmaceutical drug remnants, and bacteria in our water supply, whether you live in a big city or use well water.

I love Epic water filters because not only do they filter out 3000% more contaminants (over 200 of them!) than other leading water filters, they last much longer too (150 gallons) so they end up being much cheaper as well! The no-guess digital filter reader also tells you when to change the filter, so there is no guessing.

Did you know that water quality can vary widely from area to area, and city to city? if your water quality is exceptionally bad, any filter you use won’t last as long (but it’s super important to filter your water in this case).

If your water quality is better, it’s still important to filter it to eliminate chemicals that have been added, such as chlorine and fluoride–but congratulations, because your filters will probably last longer than expected! Check your water quality here to see what kind of water comes out of your tap.

Ok, so now that you know why you should filter your water, which water filter should you choose? The options are dizzying, and range from just a few dollars to thousands. So how do you know which filters are best and how to choose?

Until recently, there were several good options out there, but most could not filter out fluoride, which is a neurotoxin and a huge concern. Your options were limited to Reverse Osmosis systems, which are great, but which also filter out trace minerals that we need (so those had to be added back in). What a hassle! There were a few options that could filter fluoride with extra filters, but that got very pricey, and they are big, bulky, on-the-counter units that take up a lot of room and require a lot of effort in refilling them and waiting for the water to be ready.

Epic water filters use coconut carbon, and can bind to even the smallest fluoride particles, eliminating 99% of them, along with all other contaminants. The good news is that they don’t bind to or filter out necessary minerals, so we still get those in our pure, delicious, clean water!

I also love all of the options, which make them ideal for gift-giving. If you are looking for a no-hassle under the sink option that only needs to be changed once every year or more and doesn’t take up counter space, this is the one for you.

If you

want an easy pitcher that you can refill and store in the fridge,

this one is perfect: no installation required, and the included monitor tells you exactly when to change the filter!

Need a few stocking stuffers for the kids or a great gift for the outdoorsy type or person on the go? Epic has a wide variety of personal water bottles with filters inside! They can be filled in water fountains or the outdoor bottle can be filled in a natural water source to make it clean and safe for consumption. You can even buy a filter that works with Hydro-flask bottles!

 

4. The gift of emf protection!
Whole house plug: protects up to 5000 square feet: just plug it in and go!

We are all noticing 5G towers going up all around us, and for many of us this is raising real concerns about what EMF radiation is doing to our bodies and our minds.

If you or a loved one has these concerns, you may have been wondering what you can do to protect your family from any harm that may come from this untested radiation exposure. 

This site has research-backed devices, pendants, cups, bracelets and jewelry that has been tested and proven to mitigate and neutralize the documented harmful effects of EMF radiation.

Phone stickers: a must for anyone with a smart phone. Discreet, with comprehensive protection!

Check out the “facts” section of their website for more information about what EMF radiation is and why you should arm yourself with protection against it.

And if you have a “crunchy” family member who seems to have “all the things,” or just really loves to have crunchy gadgets, this site is full of great, functional and attractive items that will also provide health benefits and EMF protection for the user.

I always wear this pendant–it protects a 20-foot radius around me!

For example, how cool is this whole house plug that protects your entire house, office, RV or other building, up to 5000 square feet? Just plug it in and forget about it: it’s the easiest, most effective way to protect your family from EMF radiation exposure for years to come.

Click here to order… use coupon code FREEDOM at checkout for 10% off everything on the site! 

 

3. A Whole New Outlook 

Do you have a loved one who suffers from depression? Anxiety? ADHD? 

Feel like superman: conquer the world!

Or a child in your family that suffers from focus issues or migraines? Difficulty concentrating in school or other brain issues? 

Why not give them the gift of health this year? 

Science is discovering that the gut-brain axis is more prevalent than was previously thought… to the extent that they are now uncovering specific microbiota that directly affect brain health and mental wellness! 

This is revolutionary because  children, women and men can heal their guts and reclaim mental wellness! If you or a loved one suffers from brain fog, fatigue, migraines, depression, stress, insomnia, anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, digestive issues like IBS or reflux, hormone imbalance, weight gain or any number of health issues… the health of your gut is the key. 

The children’s protocol is yummy! It comes in a naturally-fruit-flavored probiotic drink, pixie-stick mood pouches and yummy methylated vitamin chewables. The adult protocol is a drink and two supplements to support gut health, brain health, and the pathway that connects the two. 

Check out the science here, and get your loved one (or yourself!) the gift of health this year. And take the mental wellness assessment here

2. The Only Natural High-Performance Skincare on the Planet

Finally! Naturally-based Performance Skincare!Do you struggle with finding a skincare regimen that really works and doesn’t have toxic ingredients? Most people do… which is why this brand new skincare line is going to change your life, and could be the perfect gift for the acne-prone teen or aging mom in your life (or even yourself)! 

Check out those results after just one week! What a transformation!

We’ve all heard about anti-aging skincare, and we’ve heard about natural skincare, but for the first time ever, there is high performance anti-aging NATURAL skincare…and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. 

Whether the issue is acne, wrinkles, dark puffy circles, fine lines, dark spots, saggy skin or anything in between–you need to know about this natural skin care line! 

She has eczema and after just 4 days of use, she is comfortable going to work without makeup for the first time!

It’s been selling out ever since it was released and has been featured in several fashion magazines and “best product of the year” websites… so get it while you can! 

The packaging is gorgeous and will make the perfect gift for anyone! 

And did I mention there are discounts available (nobody pays retail!)? I’d love to discuss which line will work best for your needs and how to get the best deal possible! I can also get you a $20 credit towards a (future) 2nd purchase!

1. easy, affordable, whole-food meals all year long: in clay! 

Do you have a crunchy mom in your life that is hard to shop for because she is so picky about ingredients and anything she uses? 

Do you know a chef who will only use the best materials to cook with, because he knows the material you use makes a huge difference in the final flavor, texture and nutrient content of his creations? 

Do you want to get your mother or grandmother something that makes cooking at home easy, quick and non-toxic

Use coupon code NOURISH10 at checkout for 10% off any purchase!

If you are looking for a gift for the hippie, chef or foodie in your life, you may have just found the perfect gift: a VitaClay Multi-Cooker

 

The inner pot is made of organic, unglazed zisha clay, and the muti-cooker machine is very versatile: it has a rice maker, yogurt maker and slow cooker all in one! It can even reheat foods (it re-steams rice so it tastes freshly cooked), steam veggies, create simple one-pot meals, and cook the best bone broth you’ve ever tasted! 

Material really does matter when cooking, and using non-toxic cooking materials is key: it’s those little exposures of chemicals, heavy metals and toxins on a daily basis that make the biggest difference in our health. 

VitaClay Stock Pot: Great for Large batches of broth, soups and stews!

 

VitaClay is the gift that keeps on giving–your loved one will not be able to stop talking about this amazing gift! And watch the site for sales and specials approaching every holiday–use code NOURISH for 10% off at check-out as well! 

🌱 BONUS: A BREATH OF FRESH AIR  🍃

We’ve discussed cleaning up multiple areas of our lives, from what we put on our bodies to what we use to clean our houses; from purifying our water to protecting ourselves from EMF radiation.

But what about the air we breathe?

Most of us live in a city or are affected by a nearby source of air pollution, such as a factory. Even if we don’t, we can be affected by pollution from other parts of the world, such as pollution that is carried across the Pacific Ocean via the jet stream.

It has also been documented that air quality inside of our homes and other buildings is worse than the air quality outside of even the most polluted cities!

It is important to know the air quality of the place that you live, and also recognize that it can change based on events that happen. For example, I live in Northern California, and we are exposed to smoke and pollution from wildfires on a pretty regular basis. Last year the smoke from the fires several hundred miles away was so bad that there was a red haze settling over the entire area, and we were avoiding going outside at all, wearing masks when we did!

I read that in some places (most notably in Asia) just breathing the air can be the damaging equivalent to your lungs as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day!

The air we breathe affects every cell in our bodies and impacts our health in major ways, so if you want to be healthy it makes sense to purify the air in your home, where you sleep and spend a majority of your time.

Use coupon FREEDOM for 10% off and free shipping

Why not get the best air purifier that money can buy? I like Austin Air Purifiers because they not only purify the air better than any other filter out there, the filters last 5 YEARS and even the filters have warranties! They use coconut carbon, which is not only sustainable, but it cleans the air better than any other material on the market. And Austin Air Purifiers doesn’t even store their filters or their purifiers in a warehouse, so the filters last much longer because they haven’t been absorbing the VOCs and other impure elements in a warehouse environment. These purifiers and filters are shipped directly to you for best air purification and longest life possible.

If you are looking for a great gift for the whole family, or just for yourself… something that will benefit your whole household’s health for years to come, check out Austin Air Purifiers.

Right now use coupon FREEDOM for 10% off AND free shipping through December 18!

 

 

🎅 Stocking Stuffers and Secret Santa Gift Ideas 🎅

Sometimes you just need something a bit smaller–whether you are looking for an addition to a gift basket or care package,  you need fun stocking-stuffers or even a great Secret Santa gift, here are a few ideas that are clean, crunchy, fun and easy on the wallet.

Massage Roller Ball

This massage roller ball is useful for anyone who ever has musculoskeletal pain. Whether you know a gym rat or someone who loves to play sports, a weekend hiker or someone with arthritis, this massage roller is affordable, but it’s something they probably don’t already have! 

There are cheaper versions (get a few for small gifts for co-workers or acquaintances) and higher-end versions that are higher quality and do a little bit more. Either way, your friends are going to love you for this special gift!

Chocolate candy. Real Food ingredients.

Candy–Without the Baddies!

If you are a parent, you probably fill stockings full of candy and presents. But if you are trying to make things more natural this year, you may be wondering if candy is a thing of the past–and how to preserve your children’s childhood without giving them toxic treats.

Organic fruit-flavored candies of all varieties!

Fortunately there are lots of options for occasional candy treats: organic, no toxic artificial dyes or GMOs; they are something you can feel good about putting in your kids’ stockings.

Finally! Real Food Marshmallows that taste AWESOME!

 

My two favorite brands are Unreal Candy and YumEarth. Between those two I can cover most of the candy options that kids (and adults) love! And if you are looking for marshmallows with great ingredients, check out Smashmallows!

 

 

Great (Affordable) Home-made Gifts for Everyone! 

If you are even a little bit “crunchy” (natural), you probably have collected a few essential oils. Essential oils are super versatile and also very healing. 

Good quality essential oils provide a plethora of benefits, from adding a non-toxic pleasing aroma to yourself,  your beauty products and your household, to boosting cleaning power in natural and homemade cleaners, to promoting healing and immune system response during cold-and-flu season, to promoting feelings of calm, courage, and inspiration. 

Essential oils are so great because they are so versatile: there are thousands of essential oils, and everyone has a favorite fragrance, whether it’s citrus, mint, vanilla or floral. The combinations of different oils are endless, so everyone can find their own, unique favorites. 

You can make easy (cheap!) gifts for everyone on your list, from perfumes to deodorant, from a home-made poo*pourri spray to healing balms, lip balms and bug repellents. 

Check out 15 gifts and stocking stuffers you (or your kids) can make for everyone you know this year–quickly, easily and affordably! 

But don’t pick up cheap essential oils from the dollar section… many are diluted or are just fake artificial scents–which defeats the whole purpose! These are the best quality oils around, so if you are going for benefits, go for these.

Great Water Bottles that Filter Themselves!

So many options!

Whether you need fabulous stocking stuffers for the kids or a great gift for workout fiend or the hiking aficionado… Epic has a wide variety of personal water bottles with filters inside! They can be filled in water fountains or the outdoor bottle can be filled in a natural water source to make it clean and safe for consumption. You can even buy a filter that works with Hydro-flask bottles!

 

A Fun, Healing Drink for the Kids!

 All the latest science is talking about gut health.

Every health article I read lately talks about how gut health is the key to everything, and even science around mental health is all about the gut-brain axis and healing the gut to heal the brain and the mind.

If your child had sleep issues, focus issues, ADHD, mood problems, aggressive behavior, headaches, anxiety, or even severe issues like Autism spectrum or other diagnosed mental issues, gut health is key.

But where to start? 

The science is showing specific microbiota that are responsible for mental wellness: did you know 90% of our brain’s serotonin is created in the gut??

This is big news! That means we can heal our guts (and our children’s guts) to achieve mental wellness! Focus, attention, calm, sleep, happy children! All of it!

I love this yummy drink for kids: they can just drink this once a day and heal their guts, AND their brains! Lots of people are cutting down or eliminating meds just by healing their guts! I’m excited about this… so discuss the results I’ve been getting (for me and for my son), hit me up and we can chat!

If you would rather look at the adult gut-brain axis healing protocol, you can see that here.

Take the Mental Wellness Assessment for you or your child here.

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

Not Another MLM!?! Is Network Marketing a SCAM?!

You’ve seen it a hundred times.

Your good friend Kathy is just a normal person, minding her own business… then

BAM!

Kathy joins an MLM company.

You avoid talking to her.

You ignore her messages in your inbox.

You may even unfollow her on social media so you don’t have to see the posts about her products.

You are convinced that MLMs are bad news. You haven’t ever actually done business with one before, but you’ve heard a lot of rumors. And they aren’t good:

  • The products are overpriced
  • The reps are obnoxious
  • They have bad business practices
  • MLMs are a scam

While some of this may be true of some companies or some reps, it is important to note that Network Marketing (previously known as Multi-Level-Marketing) is none of these things in and of itself.

Network Marketing is just a way that some companies do business.

It’s simply a different marketing strategy.

Just as most companies employ “conventional” marketing techniques like TV commercials, billboards, internet banners and other such methods, Network Marketing companies employ an equally valid marketing technique:

Word of Mouth

It is well-known in the world of retail sales that the gold standard of advertising is word-of-mouth advertising for a couple of reasons:

  1. Word of Mouth advertising is free
  2. Word of Mouth advertising is incredibly effective:
    • If your mom tells you she just had the best burger of her life at the new restaurant on the corner…what will you be having for lunch tomorrow?
    • If a guy you meet at work tells you Lasik eye surgery changed his life and he hasn’t had to use glasses for 13 years, are you likely to consider it for yourself?
    • If you watch a girl at church go from a size 18 to a size 6 and she tells you it’s because she started drinking a certain brand of shake, how likely are you to look up that specific brand as soon as you get home?

Word of Mouth Advertising is powerful. When someone you trust tells you that a product is good, you listen. And you are much more likely to buy that product than if you just saw it on a TV commercial.

And that referral didn’t cost the company anything!

Companies all know that word-of-mouth marketing is the most influential marketing of all, but they all use different ways to entice people to recommend their products.

Some companies offer affiliate programs to bloggers or social media influencers. For example, if you sign up as an affiliate for Amazon, you can create product links that generate a commission for you whenever someone buys. The larger your referral sales, the higher the commissions.

If you like to look at reviews before buying a product, you have probably seen reviews that said, “I received this product for free/at a discount in exchange for my honest review.” Companies are desperate to harness the power of word-of-mouth. So desperate, they are willing to give their products away for FREE to get it!

If every company in the world could use the power of Word-of-Mouth marketing for every product, they definitely would.

What Makes Network Marketing Different

Network Marketing companies harness the power of Word-of-Mouth marketing instead of traditional marketing methods—and they use those billions of dollars of advertising budget to pay a grassroots army of reps, who live and work among the masses.

People like your cousin Lucy or your uncle Marvin.

People you trust.

People you love.

And if your mom is selling a great shampoo, wouldn’t you much rather use your dollars to support her than buy an inferior quality product from a big box store?

The strategy is genius if you think about it: the product has to be great, or they won’t find people to recommend it to everyone they know.

Because of this, the products from network marketing companies are often far superior to anything you can buy on the mass market.

BUT…??

Now let’s look at a few of the objections that may pop up in your mind when considering a network marketing company or opportunity:

Objection #1: The products are overpriced.

I used to think this too.  After all, why would I buy a $30 face wash or a $50 supplement when I can get what looks like the same thing for ¼ the price at Target or on Amazon?

It looked like those multi-tiered compensation plans just created a bunch of needlessly expensive products.

Then I did some research.

I started seeing products I really wanted to try from network marketing companies that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Sure, there is a supplement that says it does the same thing on Amazon a lot cheaper, but when I look at the reviews on that product it doesn’t seem to be working for people. When I find one online that does have great reviews, it is even more expensive than the “expensive” network marketing product I was trying to avoid! And often the network marketing products last a lot longer or include freebies with a purchase… and they want to give me a discount!

When I really started looking into it, I realized the products weren’t overpriced after all. They were often better quality than what I could get anywhere else, and they were cheaper!

Almost every network marketing company offers discounts on their products based on an automatic shipment, and most also offer wholesale pricing to distributors, or to people who want to buy a bundle of products initially.

Quality matters. I have come to learn that I get what I pay for. People aren’t buying expensive things because they are stupid. They are buying more expensive things because there is value there.

Have you ever purchased a cheap product from a retailer and it barely survived the ride home? Purchased a supplement or protein powder of inferior quality that did nothing for you—or worse—made you sick?

These products have rave reviews for a reason. People are paying their prices for a reason. The quality demands it.

Did you know there is a 70% mark up on any product you buy on a store shelf? There are a lot of expenses that go into a product that have nothing to do with its quality:

  • Manufacturing
  • Advertising
  • Distribution
  • Retailer Mark-up

You are never paying what it costs to make the product because there are so many steps (and people who need to get paid) in-between.

So if you are buying a bar of soap that costs $1, think about it: what kind of quality can it possibly have? It cost the manufacturer 20-30 cents to make it. Are you willing to wash your body with something that cost 20 cents? If you’ve ever tried to make soap, you know it costs more than $1 just to make it with the raw materials, not even including the effort, marketing and shipping. So that soap you thought was such a good deal? Watered down and likely toxic. All so you could save $1.

The businesses that create products are doing it to make money. Everyone has to make a living. So if they are selling cheap products, it’s worth considering what you are really spending your money on. If it’s an inferior quality product with toxic ingredients that will last you a week instead of a month, are you really getting such a good deal?

Story Time

Once my husband purchased “cheap” underwear at Target. He expected that maybe it wouldn’t last as long as the ones he usually bought, but what he didn’t anticipate was that he couldn’t wear them at all. They were itchy and uncomfortable, and he threw the whole package away. Did he save money or waste it? Now he only buys quality underwear, even if it costs three times as much. They are comfortable and they last 2-3 years, so for him that is the value that matters.

When you do a bit of research, you will find that most network marketing companies provide products of superior quality which present a better value than cheaper products offered in stores.

Another example: for years I looked for a natural shampoo that would make my hair healthy. I tried every product on the market: whatever I could find at my local health food store, at salons and online. Nothing ever worked for me.

My hair was damaged, frizzy, thin and unmanageable. I was frustrated because I was not willing to compromise on ingredients. I only wanted to use something natural… but nothing natural ever worked!

I heard about a hair care brand called MONAT, but I balked at the prices. Why would I pay so much for shampoo? When I looked at salon-quality brands, however, they were even more expensive—and filled with toxic ingredients I didn’t want to use!

So I tried it.

Guys.

From the first wash, I could see, feel, smell the difference. My hair was smoother, shinier, more manageable without me doing anything different! Not only that, but that handful of hair I used to shed in the shower? It was reduced to just a few strands.

Photos on the left: before MONAT. Photo on the right: about 11 months of exclusive MONAT use.

I was hooked. How could I not use this stuff? I had been looking for it for YEARS.

And as it turns out, the first bottle I ever purchased lasted me almost a YEAR. That made it cheaper than anything I’ve ever used before: even the clearance stuff of the store shelf at a big box store!

Some things are more important than saving a little cash.

We have to consider the quality of the product.

If I’m faced with a crappy cup of coffee or no coffee at all… I choose no coffee. Every time. It’s not worth it to me if I don’t like it.

The experience also counts for something. Just walking into a locally-owned coffee shop relaxes me. I feel comfortable and wanted: it makes me want to stay awhile. On the contrary: walking into a convenience store is harsh and sterile. I want to get out of there as soon as possible!

I will happily go out of my way to go into a locally-owned coffee shop and pay four times the price of a cup of coffee—because cheap gas station coffee isn’t worth getting at all.

This is the whole idea behind Network Marketing. What if, instead of buying from a corporation, we could buy from our friends… our family… our neighbors?

What if we worked together and helped each other? When all of my friends have small businesses, I can get everything I need from my circle…. I don’t  have to step foot into Wal-Mart or Target if I don’t want to. I get the best products for a great value and the best possible customer service—because I’m shopping with my friends.

Objection #2: The reps are obnoxious.

Maybe you’ve had a bad experience with people who were involved with Network Marketing companies. Maybe they hassled you and bothered you and spammed you with information you didn’t ask for.

Maybe someone sent you a friend request on social media, only to immediately send you a cold message asking you to buy their products or share their business with your friends.

These are not good business practices; they never were. Not only are they annoying, they simply don’t work. Irritated people will not become your friends, your customers or your business partners.

But think about it: just because some people do it wrong doesn’t mean you should never do business with anyone involved in Network Marketing.

As we discussed above, the quality of many products from Network Marketing companies is superior to anything you can find in the store, and often at a better value.

Why would a bad experience with one person or company prevent you from benefiting from great products or even a business opportunity you could really use with another person or company?

Most companies appeal to consumer wants and needs through advertising.

Network Marketing companies appeal to consumers through relationships.

It’s like the difference between going to a gas station for coffee or stopping in at a locally-owned coffee shop.

Sure, you may pay more for the coffee from the coffee shop, but you probably get better quality coffee (that tastes better), a more inviting atmosphere, and you can sit and chat with the owner while you are there.

Which one is really the better value?

Objection #3: Pyramid Scheme! 

We’ve all heard that MLMs are “pyramid schemes.”

But this isn’t accurate.

From Wikipedia: A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.

Pyramid schemes are illegal, and don’t involve any products or services. They ask for money from participants, and promise that everyone will make much more money than they “invested.” No products or services are exchanged.

Example: Sally tells Bill that there is an investment opportunity that is really easy. All he has to do is invest $1000 and recruit 2 or 3 other people to do the same, and he will make back $5000. Sound good? Maybe, but it also sounds very sketchy.

Pyramid schemes are illegal for a reason: they are a true scam. People at the top make all of the money, and people at the bottom are left holding the bag when the whole thing collapses.

Network marketing companies aren’t like this at all. There are true products and services involved, and that is what you exchange your money for. Just like when you walk into a store and fill your cart then pay for it… you do the same thing with network marketing companies.

The ONLY DIFFERENCE between network marketing companies and other companies is the way they market their products. That’s it. Just the advertising. Everything else is the same.

Now let’s do a little exercise.

Pull out a piece of scrap paper and draw the organizational layout of the company you work for. Or of Sony. Or Ford.

There’s a guy at the top, right? Usually the CEO. Then a couple of people under him, and a few people under them, and on and on and on.

What shape does your drawing make?

Pretty much every company makes this shape: with the people at the top “making the most money,” and the people at the bottom “doing all the work.”

So next time you are tempted to yell “pyramid scheme…” think about it.

The thing I like about network marketing is that it is a level playing field. Literally anyone can be successful, with little to no start-up cost.

Do you have to work hard? Yes.

Do you have to be determined and persistent? Yes.

But is there any limit to what you can accomplish? No.

Sounds kind of like the American Dream to me. 

The tax savings alone make it worth joining a network marketing company, because when you do, you are “starting a business” in the eyes of the IRS, and that means tax deductions, which can get you a fat return check in April.

Besides tax savings, residual income is definitely something you want–and network marketing companies provide that in spades. Would you like to work once and get paid forever? That’s the kind of potential we are talking about here.

To Recap….

Network Marketing is a business model that involves marketing primarily based in Word-of-Mouth advertising. Network marketing companies harness word-of-mouth marketing over traditional mass-marketing methods.

And in the process, they partner with individuals like you and me. They allow us to be their spokespeople, which is way better than hiring celebrities and purchasing TV spots or internet banner ads.

Better for them, and better for us.

It’s better them, because they pay out their “advertising costs” on commissions.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on an advertising campaign, they will pay out millions of dollars in commissions to regular people like you and me.

That advertising money is spent either way. But when it’s spent on commissions rather than advertising, everyone wins.

The company gets more effective advertising, dollar for dollar. And we have the opportunity to build residual, passive income and become financially independent.

Once you understand what Network Marketing is, and what it is capable of giving you, I think you will believe (like I do) that it is the best business model there is.

What Do You Think?

Did you learn anything new about Network Marketing or MLM business strategy?

Will you think differently about it the next time you hear someone say, “I don’t do MLMs,” or, “That’s a pyramid scheme?”

 

 

More Resources

Residual Income: How to Get it in 5 Steps

You Need a Side Hustle: Tax Advantages to Having a Home-Based Business

How to Get the Best Hair of Your Life–And Make Money Doing It

Save the Most Money Possible on the Best Natural Haircare and Skincare

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo by Skin Science: An Honest Review

I am a sucker for natural products. Anything that claims to use the power of nature to work wonders on my skin, my hair, my body, or my overall health has me entranced, and I have to try it. 

Hair History

For years, I bounced from shampoo to shampoo, looking for natural products that would make my hair healthy, shiny, thick, smooth and manageable. I tried everything I could find: online, at the health food stores, and even in salons. Nothing ever worked for me: my hair was thin, fine, frizzy, flat, weak and pathetic. It was very frustrating. 

About two years ago I found a product that transformed my hair: it is now thicker, longer, healthier, shinier, smoother and so much more manageable than ever before. My shedding is down 80% and my hair is 2-3x thicker than it’s ever been. It would never grow past my shoulders and now it’s half-way down my back. It’s just overall better. 

That doesn’t stop me from seeing ads for other products that come out, however. 

I’ve been eyeing this WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo by Skin Science for awhile: the ads are everywhere and they look really good! I’ve even had a couple of friends say they love it.

Apple Cider Vinegar is making people’s hair thicker, shinier, longer, healthier! It’s getting rid of dandruff and build up! (Basically everything my current shampoo has done for me. But this one looks like it might be cheaper, and what if…?)

So when I was offered the chance to try it, I thought this would be a great time to compare it with my current routine. 

Full disclosure: I love my current hair products. They have done wonders for my hair. I don’t think I’ll ever switch. But if I found something I liked better, that was just as natural and cost less, I absolutely would switch. And I would promote that shampoo instead of the one I have been talking about. 

So let’s see how this one shakes out. I will try not to compare too much with what I’m using, but I’ve been using it for almost 2 years, so some comparison is inevitable: I am used to my hair being the way it is, so I have to compare my experience here with that. 

Let’s see how it goes! 

First Impressions

  1. Large Bottles, Low Price
    My first impression is that at first glance it appears to be very affordable. The bottles are 16.9 ounces and I paid $29.99 for a shampoo and conditioner set (they’re about $20 each if purchased separately on Amazon).

Over the past couple of years I have realized that fluid ounces of hair product + price is not always the most accurate indication of value. Most shampoos I’ve looked at are heavily diluted, so it’s necessary to use an entire handful to get a good lather on my head. If that’s the case, 16.9 ounces may not last as long as it looks. If I’m using almost an ounce of product for each wash, it will last me less than 20 washes.

2. The Ingredients

I also had to look at the ingredients. I have become somewhat of a shampoo ingredient guru over the past 20 months with countless hours of research under my belt, and I can recognize the main offenders of toxicity and build-up in hair care products pretty quickly. 

I noticed the claims of WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo by Skin Science (from the official Amazon store):

  • BEAUTIFUL, STRONG HAIR: WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is able to balance the pH level that closely resembles human hair to help obtain the silkiest, softest, glossiest hair. Use twice a week to be less prone to breakage, split ends, and thinning hair.
  • CLARIFYING CLEANSER: Detox your hair & scalp – cleaning the buildups caused by dirt, dust, filth, dead scalp cells and styling product. Raw apple cider vinegar ensures removal of toxin in damaged hair. Helps rejuvenate & refresh for men and women.
  • MAXIMIZE HAIR SHINE: Improve your hair cleansing routine with our deep cleaning shampoo to get the best results possible. You’ll reduce dandruff, flakes, and frizz while enhancing shine and gloss to your hair. Get the best hair nourishment available.
  • SLOW DOWN HAIR LOSS: Saw palmetto helps slow down hair fall and male pattern baldness, reducing the amount of hair strands falling during a shower. With a little patience, your hair will have more volume and will feel softer, thicker and natural.
  • NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Our WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is hypoallergenic, sulfate and paraben free for moisturized and hydrated hair. Massage scalp and stimulate hair follicles to be less prone to breakage, split ends, and thinning hair. Cruelty Free.


Sounds pretty good! I did notice that there were no claims to not contain any PEGs or petroleum derivatives, silicones, waxes, gums, phthalates or harmful fragrances. 

This distinction is important for a few reasons: 

PEGs or Petroleum derivatives are the most toxic ingredients in most hair and body care products. All of the problematic ingredients: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, harmful fragrances, harsh sulfates and other toxic chemicals are most often derived from petroleum. If you see a guarantee that there is no petroleum or PEG (petroleum derivatives), pay attention! 

Harmful fragrances (derived from PEGs) cause a lot of problems! Many people have become very sensitive to artificial fragrances and with just a passing exposure can have symptoms like migraines, dizziness, nausea, or worse! Even if you don’t have a fragrance sensitivity, these fragrances can cause hormone imbalance (endocrine disruption) and absorb into our bloodstream, causing more health issues over time (and sometimes building up to result in the fragrance allergies listed above). 

Silicones, waxes and gums are not necessarily toxic, but they are deadly for your hair! These artificial (and sometimes even natural) ingredients build up on the hair strands and in the hair follicles. They are in most hair products for a reason: they make hair feel soft, silky and smooth by coating the hair strand with a waxy, plastic-like substance that glosses over the imperfections and damage of the hair cuticle. The problem with them is that they build up on the hair strands and on the scalp over time, causing issues like dry, brittle, frizzy hair, dandruff, oily scalp, and even hair thinning over time! That’s the opposite of what we want from our shampoo!

Phthalates, parabens and harsh sulfates are also commonly derived from petroleum (PEGs) and therefore carry the same health consequences listed above. I have seen some sulfates that can be derived from other sources, like coconuts (as in the case of Dr. Bronner’s Sal’s Suds), but for the most part, ingredients like SLS are toxic and will damage your health and your hair in the long run. Your best bet: find products completely free of PEGs or petroleum products of any kind. 

Overall, Wow Apple Cider Shampoo and its accompanying Conditioner are not as bad as many mainstream products, but I was not impressed with them as a whole.  

3. Where is it Made?

The bottle indicates WOW Apple Cider Shampoo and Conditioner by Skin Science are made in India. I do like that my current shampoo is formulated, manufactured, processed and shipped from start to finish on American soil. Not only is it a point of pride and provides jobs for American workers, it makes the products more Eco-friendly as well, cutting down on pollution from shipping and other environmental footprints. 

4. Is it Eco-Friendly? 

As it contains petroleum derivatives, that already makes it less than ideal from an ecological standpoint (as well as a health one). The bottles do have a “1” plastic recycle code, which means they are recyclable. Hooray! But the fact that they are less concentrated means they use more plastic than necessary, and more bottles need to be used and recycled than if it were more concentrated. So overall, not terribly impressed with the eco-footprint, especially combined with the fact that it is made in India and shipped to me across the world, containing mostly water. 

Testing the Product

Without further ado, let’s see how the product works!

The First Wash

I followed the instructions on the bottle, which advise to use a “generous amount” of shampoo, lather on the scalp, and allow to sit on the scalp for up to 5 minutes for best results, then rinse and follow with conditioner.  

In doing this I noticed I used 5-6 times as much product as I usually do to get a good lather on my scalp. It definitely is not nearly as concentrated as the products I have been using.

The Fragrance

The shampoo smells like apples, and the conditioner smells like coconuts. 

But not like smelling an actual apple or coconut… more like smelling an apple or coconut candle. Very artificial fragrances. I am not chemically sensitive to most fragrances unless they are in my face and I’m breathing them in heavily for over an hour, but I can usually spot harmful artificial fragrances just by their overpowering, artificial-smelling scent. These products do not even claim to eliminate harmful fragrances, so it’s clear that the fragrances are not natural or safe. 

Shedding

My primary concern before using my current shampoo and something that is very important to me is shedding. Since I was a teenager I would shed handfuls of hair in the shower every time I washed, and then I would be shedding hairs all day long: every time I ran my fingers through my hair I would get 4 or 5 hairs. In order to prevent my hair covering everything, I made constant trips to the trash can to throw away the hairs that were inevitably in my hands every few minutes. 

Shedding I have experienced over the past two years with my current products and routine, washing 1-2 times per week.

 

The shampoo I’ve been using for the past couple of years cut that shedding down by about 80%, which also has made my hair much thicker as it’s grown out without all of the constant fallout. I was very curious to see what happened when I used this shampoo, and a little bit worried because I don’t want to lose all that hair again after growing such a thick, healthy head of hair over the past 2 years! 

 

 

 

Shedding from shower using WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner.

In the first wash, I did experience about twice as much shedding as I usually do with my current shampoo. Not as bad as before, but still not exciting to me. 

Tangling

My hair type is fine and thin, so I have always had some issues with tangling and knotting, especially when my hair is damaged and I need a haircut. With my current shampoo regimen I almost never have any tangling. If i do have tangling (once every month or two) I use the detangling spray from our junior line and that takes care of it. 

Shedding when combing out numerous tangles after using WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner.

With Wow Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and their accompanying conditioner, my hair felt more coated than I am used to, and it was much more tangled. When using my wet brush to brush it out, I lost about the same amount of hair I had lost in the shower when I was washing! 

To be honest, the shedding alone makes me hesitant to use this product again, but I want to use it at least a few times for a fair review. 

 

 

 

Results

My main requirements are low shedding, no frizz, manageable, thick, healthy hair with shine and volume, that will grow past my shoulders. Of course I don’t want to add build up to my hair if i don’t have to either.

Knowing the detriment of buildup to my hair health, why would I? 

For the purposes of review, I did everything the same as I normally do it with my hair: I most often air dry by twisting my hair up into a bun and allowing it to dry in loose curls that way. So that is what I’m doing with WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner by Skin Science

Here are my results: 

  1. Shedding. As I discussed above, the shedding has quadrupled in just one wash. Not loving it. 
  2. Frizz: More frizz than normal, but not terrible. Definitely not as bad as before I started using my current products. 
  3. Manageable: Slightly less manageable overall. My hair felt coated and heavy and didn’t “fall” in the effortless way I am used to. I found myself brushing it every few minutes to try to get it to lay down and look decent. Finally I gave up and pulled it into a pony tail. I can’t remember the last time I needed to do that before day 5 after washing. 
  4. Thick: I’d have to use it for a good year to see the difference in how it grows out, but if the shedding is increased, my hair will not be thicker. 
  5. Healthy: My hair is already healthy, as it’s been growing out with my current products for almost 2 years, and getting better and better with time. It will probably take a year or more of exclusive use to see if there is a real difference. 
  6. Shine: I didn’t notice any difference in shine compared with my current routine.
  7. Volume: Volume was decent in the first wash. 
  8. Growth: Again, impossible to say for sure unless I use it for a long time. 

Overall, on day 2 (the day after my wash) my hair felt heavy and coated. I was surprised that it didn’t look terrible, but it didn’t feel good either. It was a little more frizzy and less manageable than I am used to, and the artificial fragrance lingered and was nauseating after a while. 

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo  by Skin Science promises to remove buildup and resolve scalp itchiness and dandruff… yet, my hair and scalp felt coated and less clean, and my scalp itched a little bit (it usually doesn’t itch at all). So that is a concern with continued use as well, because buildup can have that effect. 

Cost Analysis

I had to use a full handful of this product to get a lather all over my scalp. I would say I used at least an ounce of product, but to be fair, let’s say I will get about 20 uses out of this bottle, which means it will last me about 10 weeks if I wash my hair twice per week. 2.5 months for a bottle of shampoo that cost me $15 comes out to $12 per month for both shampoo and conditioner, or $1.50 per wash. Not a bad value!

Also a lot more expensive than what I am currently using and what is giving me much better results. The first bottle of my current product lasted me more than 10 months… roughly 4-5 times the 10 weeks this may last if I can stretch out washes to twice a week (doubtful since I already want to wash my hair on day 2).

Even with a lower cost per bottle, this still makes WOW Apple Cider Vinegar 2-3 times the cost of what I am using now.


Given my current experience and how it compares to my regular shampoo in terms of cost, safety of ingredients and results achieved, there is little chance I would ever use this product long enough to see what happens with continued use.

I will probably use it one more time, for the sake of a reasonable test period, but I really don’t want to. I will probably have to wash sooner than the 4th or 5th day (the soonest I usually have to wash with my current routine), which will be an added cost of time and money (if I’m washing more often than twice a week as I do now, the bottles will not last even the projected 10 weeks, which is much shorter than I’m used to already). 

Side Note: My Skin

Another thing… when my hair feels dirty and oily, it makes my skin feel oily and dirty too, which for me usually results in breakouts. As another uncomfortable side effect of using this… definitely not persuading me to continue. 

Conclusion

I stated from the beginning that I love the hair products I’m using now, but after using them for almost two years, I thought it would be fun to try something else that claims to do the same things, and might be cheaper. 

My conclusions for this test of WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner by Skin Science are: 

  • It leaves my hair feeling heavy and oily
  • I have slightly more frizz than I’m used to. 
  • My hair is noticeably less manageable than normal.
  • Volume and shine seem about the same. 
  • I will need to wash more than my normal 1-2 times per week. It’s only the 2nd day and I already want to wash my hair because it doesn’t feel clean and it’s making my skin feel oily and clogged. 
  • It is much more expensive than what I am currently using because it is much less concentrated and I will have to wash quite a bit more often. At most, if i wash 2 times per week, these bottles will last me 10 weeks. My first bottle of what I am using now lasted me more than 10 months, 4-5 times longer. Even at retail price, my current products are half the price of these and give me much better results. At the wholesale price I pay, WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner by Skin Science are about four times the cost of what I am using now. 
  • The ingredients of WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner by Skin Science are not as clean as the products I am using now. They use toxic PEG (petroleum derivatives), harmful artificial fragrances, and ingredients that build up on the scalp and hair cuticles. After almost two years of researching the ingredients in hair products, these do not impress me, especially for something that claims to be all natural and pure. 

 

Bottom Line: While WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner by Skin Science is less toxic than most mainstream brands of hair care, it does not match up to my current hair care on any level: not in terms of cost, performance or toxicity. 

 

Want to know what I’m using instead? Check out this review.

 

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

Disclosures:

Many of the product links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission from any purchase. I only recommend products that I love and this is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our mission with your clicks!

The Truth About Fluoride

No matter where you live or what you believe, you’ve probably heard conflicting information about fluoride.

We are all taught from an early age that fluoride is beneficial for teeth and that it can prevent tooth decay. We hear this from the dentist, from our parents, on TV, and we may even be exposed to an advertising campaign aiming to make sure we know all the wonderful benefits of having fluoride in our toothpaste and in our water.

We also hear conflicting information, however: and usually this information comes from less… “reliable” or “trusted” sources.

Perhaps you heard it from your conspiracy theorist uncle, or you saw alarmist posts on social media. Maybe you’re noticing the products on the store shelves that boast a lack of fluoride (fluoride-free toothpastes and water filters that can remove the fluoride from your water).

Is All Fluoride Created Equal?

First of all, I have been researching natural health and how to heal ourselves without meds for over a decade. During that time I have discovered that nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Fluoride is no exception. It’s not a clear-cut case of “Fluoride: bad, ” as it turns out.

This fact was discovered by my friend Kara over at Deep South Crunchy Mom when we were discussing Kombucha. She told me that in an effort to cut back on coffee, she was now drinking Kombucha every morning and it was doing wonders for her gut health and energy levels. I told her I had read on the blog Cheeseslave that there were high levels of fluoride in Kombucha, both because tea leaves tend to absorb fluoride from the soil, and because fluoride is a byproduct of the kombucha-making process.

Kara was devastated (but not for long). She knew the fluoride in our water and toothpaste was bad (see below) but thought there had to be some difference between naturally-occuring fluoride in tea and kombucha, and the nasty industrial waste product found in our water supply or even the pharmaceutical grade fluoride found in our toothpaste (which is still a neurotoxin).

See what she found here.

Then, if you are curious about Kombucha and what it can do for you, head over to my friend Sara’s blog Clean Living with Kids, to learn more about Kombucha and how to make it.

What is the Truth About Fluoride?

If you’re here for the first time, you may not know it, but I have been researching health, nutrition and the big industries in America for over a decade. (Read here about how I got started on this journey).

I have learned a lot of very eye-opening information during this time, but the number one thing I’ve learned is:

We can’t trust everyone, especially those who are profiting from our trust.

Have you ever heard the term, “Follow the money?”

It may seem cliche, but this phrase one of the truest statements you will ever hear regarding the dangers in our food and water supply as well as a lot of the other dangers in our society today.

If you hear of a “conspiracy” in any area of society, whether it pertains to food or politics or anything else, and you think, “Why would they do that?” The answer is almost inevitably: “Follow the money.”

A Brief History of Fluoride

Fluoride was first added to the U.S. water supply in 1945 in an effort to combat tooth decay.

It seems strange that this was the goal, however, because the year before (1944) the American Dental Association found that fluoride was actually detrimental to teeth and could cause decay and other issues.

The 1944 the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that using between 1.6 and 4 ppm (parts per million) fluoride in water would cause 50% of adults to need false teeth. On top of that, the world’s largest study looked at 400,000 students, revealing that tooth decay increased in over 25% with just 1ppm fluoride in drinking water. (Source 1)

To understand why a chemical of then unknown risk was added to our water supply for seemingly no good reason at all, we have to understand the mindset of the scientific community in post World War II America:

“The history of community water fluoridation is a reflection of the post WWII era of the 1950’s when many thought chemicals in one form or another could solve almost any problem. Our gaze was focused on the beneficial properties of the chemicals, not on the potential hazards. A classic example is DDT, that in addition to being a potent pesticide, almost killed off predatory birds and more recently was found to be harmful to humans.”  –Steven Gilbert, Ph.D., founder and director of the Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders (INND) (Source 2)

Since that time, it has become widely known that fluoride is a neurotoxin, yet it is still added to approximately 70% of US water supplies. Why?

Any dentist will tell you it is beneficial for our teeth. But is it?

And what are the potential hazards of this chemical?

And how is it produced?

We’ve already discussed that the American Dental Association has known since 1944 (the year before water fluoridation began) that fluoride is actually not beneficial for dental health. So why have they been adding it to water supplies ever since?

In 1945, a large quantity of hydrogen fluoride was produced as a byproduct of industry from DuPont’s Deepwater, New Jersey, plant. The huge quantities of this chemical byproduct were a problem: they had no good way to dispose of it, so they proposed a solution: add it to the water supply. After the government was convinced that fluoride was good for our dental health and that it should be added to water, they continued to do so, finding other sources, like the fertilizer industry, which produces phosphates as an industrial byproduct.

Again from Dr. Gilbert:

Many are surprised to learn that unlike the pharmaceutical grade fluoride in their toothpaste, the fluoride in their water is an untreated industrial waste product, one that contains trace elements of arsenic and lead.

Without the phosphate industry’s effluent, water fluoridation would be prohibitively expensive. And without fluoridation, the phosphate industry would be stuck with an expensive waste disposal problem.”

Studies Proving Harm from Fluoride Ingestion

If you thinks this smacks of conspiracy, take a look at this. When European countries such as Germany, the UK, Italy and France did a risk analysis of fluoride, they all concluded that it was a dangerous toxin and that any potential benefit was not worth the risk.

They further concluded that adding fluoride to drinking water has no measurable benefit to dental health at all. It doesn’t even make sense to take it internally when it is only supposed to help prevent enamel erosion and decay.

Dr. Gilbert explains that the U.S. government’s decision to fluoridate drinking water was the result of two short-term studies that compared cavity rates in a city with water fluoridation (Muskegon/Grand Rapids, Michigan) with the cavity rates in a city without it (Kingston/Newburgh, New York).

These two studies were set to run 10 years, but when early results showed cavity reduction, the U.S. Public Health Service approved water fluoridation after five years — with no data or safety studies on long-term toxicity.

A more recent study done by researchers collaborating in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico shows that fluoride levels ingested by a pregnant mother is inversely proportional to the IQ of the child she is carrying. Because of reports of neurotoxicity from fluoride, these researchers wanted to do a study that measured the actual effects on prenatal brain development when the pregnant mother ingested differing amounts of fluoride. The study included 299 participants and the results were astounding: for every increase in maternal urine fluoride by0.5mg/L, the IQ of the child she was carrying was lowered measurably and significantly (Source 5).

Okay, so we shouldn’t fluoridate our water… but what about toothpaste?

If you are thinking that maybe fluoridating the water supply went too far, but we should still harness the dental health benefits of this chemical at the dentist and when we brush our teeth, think again.

Remember, it’s never a good idea to put a neurotoxin in your mouth.

Let’s look at this logically. Pick up a tube of fluoridated toothpaste and look at the back. There is probably a warning on the back that it is “harmful if swallowed,” and that you should call poison control:

Wait…what?

You should call poison control if you swallow something that you put in your mouth every day? Does that sound reasonable to you?

How much fluoride is worth calling poison control?

The amount of toothpaste that the package itself says it harmful to swallow (and that poison control should be enlisted) is the amount in one use: a pea-sized amount (as listed on the package).

Do you know anyone who uses a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when they brush their teeth? Do you? These are the images we see every day, on every package of toothpaste, and on every television commercial:

To me that looks like about 6 peas lined up together, and one source said the “pea-sized amount” is about the size of a split pea: much smaller than you would think!

So if more than a tiny pea-sized amount of toothpaste, a product we put in our mouth every day at least once, is swallowed, we are supposed to call poison control. Because fluoride is toxic. Does that sound okay to everyone?

Add this to the fact that the fluoride found in toothpaste is actually pharmaceutical grade, and the fluoride found in our water supply is an industrial waste product (most recently being purchased by our government from China’s industrial waste supply, because not even China thinks fluoride is safe enough to put in their water supply)….

 

…and to the fact that fluoride doesn’t even benefit our teeth! The evidence that there is any benefit to dental health at all is sketchy at best, and far outweighed by the toxic nature of the chemical itself.

Which really begins to beg the question… why are we being poisoned with fluoride?!

Is it Really That Bad?

At this point you may be thinking, “Okay, I’m sure fluoride is toxic at high levels, but surely we aren’t ingesting anything significant in our drinking water, right?”

Wrong.

And that is why adding fluoride to drinking water is so dangerous. The amount of water people drink on a daily basis can vary widely from person to person, and the toxicity of even just a minute amount can affect a baby much more than it can affect a 200-pound man.

So how can the government be so irresponsible as to allow a known neurotoxin to be added to our water supply? And why would they tell us it’s good for us?

The world’s largest study looked at 400,000 students, revealing that tooth decay increased in over 25% with just 1ppm fluoride in drinking water. How much fluoride is in our drinking water? A minimum of 1ppm.

And how much fluoride do you have to ingest for it to become toxic? Well, that depends what you mean by toxic. The minimum lethal dose of fluoride is 5 milligrams of fluoride for each kilogram of body weight. And how much fluoride does the average fluoride toothpaste contain? About 5 mg in a tiny pea sized dollop (which we 10x every time we brush our teeth).

For an adult, one swallow is not a lethal dose of fluoride, but consider that many children’s toothpastes are also fluoridated:

“Most disturbing, however, is the fact that even bubble-gum and fruit-flavored toothpastes for children contain sufficient amounts of fluoride to kill a child. Indeed, as shown in the following table, an average-weighing 2-year-old child could die from ingesting just 40% of a “Colgate for Kids” bubble-gum flavored toothpaste.”  (Source 6)

So… we make children’s toothpaste taste like candy and then put enough fluoride in less than half a tube of it to kill them.

Perfect.

Another disturbing fact is that fluoride builds up in the body. It is not flushed out like you may think. This means the effects of this poison are cumulative.

Now that 8 glasses of water we drink every day doesn’t seem so harmless, does it? That tiny bit of toothpaste we swallow twice a day just got a lot more intimidating.

What Can We Do?

It’s easy to switch to a non-fluoride toothpaste: they’re everywhere (and if you have kids, definitely do that so they don’t accidentally swallow an amount that would harm or kill them).

My favorite toothpaste is clay-based toothpaste, because it binds to bacteria in the mouth for a detoxifying effect and can also remineralize teeth!

What are my options for water?

But of course the main source of fluoride for most of us is in our drinking water. As we’ve seen, many municipalities add industrial waste fluoride into our drinking water and tell us it is good for us. 

Buy it.

To avoid fluoride, one option is to buy all of the drinking and cooking water we use, lugging it from the store home several times a week. Some people do this, and they are happy with this arrangement.  If we don’t want to do that, the only recourse we have (aside from moving to the country and drinking water from a private well) is to purify our tap water.

Purify it.

Fluoride is a very small particle, however, and is difficult to remove from water with a filter.  Most filters, even if they remove 95+% of contaminants, do not claim to remove fluoride. How frustrating!

Until recently, the best way to reliably remove fluoride and other contaminants from the water was a reverse-osmosis filtration system. These are easy to install and they really do work, but it’s like drinking rain water directly from the sky: it’s a sterile water with no minerals, which isn’t ideal.

What kind of filter should I get?

Drinking water, from mountain springs for example, is rich in minerals from rocks and soil, and our bodies need those minerals. If we drink distilled (reverse-osmosis) water, we can become depleted of essential nutrients in the body, which can cause health issues over time. For this reason, most people who use reverse osmosis systems also need to add minerals back into the water with liquid mineral drops or a mineral-rich salt.

All of this is a bit too much work for me, so for a long time I had a decent under-the-sink filter that removed pretty much everything…except fluoride.

There are things you can eat, such as tamarind or iodine, that detox fluoride from the body, but if you can remove it from the source you don’t have to worry about detoxing it.

Finally, a filter that removes fluoride, NOT minerals!

There are two filters I know of that remove fluoride without distilling the water and removing essential nutrients. One is the Berkey, which is a great choice, but it’s expensive, bulky, and the filter replacements are quite pricey (the fluoride filters are extra).

Recently a friend told me about Epic water filters, and I am hooked. They are convenient (even portable!) and they use a filtration material I am comfortable with: coconut charcoal. They remove 99.9% of tap water contaminants, including fluoride!

They have a variety of options, from under-the-sink filtration units that are easy to install, to pitchers and personal water bottles. They even have a conversion kit for hydroflasks! I got the stainless steel Outback for my son to take to school after I found out he was filling up his water bottle in the water fountain. I opened it up and it smelled like it had been filled in a pool! Yuck!

I’ve been very happy with my Epic water filters, both in terms of cost and performance, and the only drawback I have found so far is that the water takes a little longer to filter. I think this is because it has to filter the tiny fluoride particles, the filter is that much more dense, and it just takes the water longer to get through it. Overall, Epic water filters have been a great solution for my family to get clean, fluoride-free drinking water for a low cost.

The Plot Thickens…

Don’t forget to check out my friend Kara’s post about why not all fluoride is created equal…

And if you are curious about Kombucha, check out Sara’s post about the benefits of Kombucha and how to make it yourself.

Resources and Citations

Fluoride: How A Toxic Poison Ended Up In Our Water Supply

Dr. Mercola: A Statement Opposing Fluoride

History of Medicine Fact #8: U.S. water fluoridation began in 1945 and continues today, despite the fact that the FDA has never approved it

Hazard Profile on the Fluoridation of Drinking Water 

Health Effects Database

Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6–12 Years of Age in Mexico

What is a Lethal Dose of Fluoride?

How Fluoride Was Sold to America and How We Bought It

More Fluoride Resources

 

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