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 2019-2020

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!

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

 

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!

Eyeing that Instant Pot? Why Stainless Steel Isn’t as Safe as You Think (and What to Use Instead)

When I learned about the dangers of aluminum cookware and non-stick coatings, I was eager to find safe alternatives that I could use without the risk of exposing my family to dangerous heavy metals or toxic chemicals.

I began researching all the options: from stainless steel to glass, copper and ceramic. I made a lot of rice, so I wanted a rice cooker (they make the best rice!) but it was very difficult to find a rice cooker that was not non-stick-coated aluminum.

I first began looking for rice cookers with stainless steel inserts, because I knew that was safe. My research, however, led me to the facts, which are not always as simple as we think.

Stainless steel is safe… sometimes.

As with everything else, manufacturers eventually will cut corners and produce inferior products that save them money in production and increase their profits. Stainless steel is no different.

Instant Pots are all the craze right now–and why not? They make cooking easy, quick and fun again! They don’t heat up the house and they create delicious meals in minutes! They’re programmable and they come in huge sizes–perfect for any family! Most importantly, they are made of stainless steel, so they are completely safe!

Not so fast. 

With every material, there is some kind of trade-off…so it’s good to be informed as to the benefits and the risks associated with each material.

I’m teaming up with Kara at Deep South Crunchy Mom and Sarah at Clean Living With Kids to bring you a series on truly safe cookware.  We want you to have all of the information: risks and benefits, so you can decide for yourself what are the best materials for your family.

See Kara’s post about cast iron here,

And Sarah’s post about glass here.

What’s Wrong With Stainless Steel?

At first glance, stainless steel seems like the perfect solution: it’s hypo-allergenic, it doesn’t rust, it isn’t breakable, and it doesn’t have any heavy metal issues.

Upon closer examination, we will see that not all stainless steel is created equally.

Cheaper grades of stainless steel are not as pure as we have been led to believe, and they can leach nickel into our food. Nickel is a heavy metal, so this is not ideal. (Read more about nickel toxicity here).

How do I know if my stainless steel is safe?

It can be very difficult to determine what grade of stainless steel you are using…. and this is where it gets confusing. There are quite a few grades and classifications of stainless steel (read about them here), and each grade is a different combination of metal alloys.

Bottom of my one stainless steel pot (I use it for popcorn)

Manufacturers don’t often disclose what grade of stainless steel they are using in the cookware that we buy at the store, but a general rule of thumb is: the more expensive it is, the higher grade it is.

In general, stainless steel cookware is either of the 300 or 400 series, and often you can see the grade stamped on the bottom of the pot. Usually these numbers look something like 18/10 (most common), which indicates it is 18% chromium and 10% nickel.

To me, 10% is a lot…especially when it can leach into my food. So I try not to use this kind of stainless steel on a regular basis. I have one stainless pan (pictured) that I use just for popcorn or for steaming things in a separate bowl inside of it.

I’d be particularly wary of cooking anything acidic (tomato sauces, anything with citrus) in low-grade stainless steel, as it would more readily leach the harmful nickel into your food, especially with high pressure or long cooking times.

Check your stainless steel pots and pans for this mark to see what grade your pots and pans are. They are likely this 304 18/10 grade, as that is the most common and most affordable. If you didn’t pay $300 to $400 for each of your pans, it’s not likely they are a high enough grade that would eliminate the nickel (18/0).

If Stainless Steel isn’t Safe, What Can I Use?

I know this is frustrating. It seems like nothing is safe any more, so why even bother? What can I even use?

I have a few things that I use that are safe:

I’m also not a fan of glazed ceramic, like is used in slow cookers and other baking dishes, because it has been found that trace amounts of lead exist in all of those glazes. Now, trace amounts might not matter too much when it’s in your drinking glass… but I don’t want my hot food stewing in something that has any lead in it for hours on end.

So in my house, I primarily use these three materials, and my favorite is clay.

Unglazed clay is great for a lot of reasons, and my favorite way to cook with it is VitaClay.

  • Pure Zisha clay has no lead or heavy metals (3rd party lab verified)
  • No glaze means no added lead
  • Clay has excellent thermal heat retention properties
  • Clay has excellent nutrient retention properties
  • Clay preserves texture and flavor better than any other material
  • Clay employs infrared heat to cook the food faster and more safely than other methods

VitaClay is my favorite because it is a multi-cooker, and it makes cooking easy, quick, safe, and non-toxic! Plus it doesn’t heat up the house or run up the utility bills.

VitaClay is a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, broth maker, steamer, and reheater in one. It can do almost all of my cooking tasks quickly and more easily than with other methods.

The food in VitaClay comes out tasting better than cooking with any other material I’ve used, including stainless steel, non-stick, glass and cast iron. For some reason, food just tastes better when cooked in clay.

VitaClay is the best of all worlds–delivering safe, delicious food, home-cooked without the hassles, the stress or the mess. Most meals can be put together in less than 10 minutes, then VitaClay takes over, and dinner is ready when I am. It even has a preset feature that allows me to have steel-cut oats ready when I wake up in the morning!

And if you’re still thinking that Instant Pot will cook your food faster and more easily, think again! We tested several dozen recipes in both VitaClay and Instant Pot, and in most cases, the meals were cooked faster (not to mention with better results) in VitaClay! Why? Because that “15 minute” recipe quickly becomes 55 minutes when you take into account the 20 minutes it takes to pressurize and the additional 20 minutes it takes to de-pressurize. VitaClay, not being a pressure cooker, has none of that extra time added on and still cooks 50-75% faster than other slow cookers and multi-cookers.

VitaClay is truly my favorite kitchen appliance: it has replaced my slow cooker, my rice cooker, my yogurt maker, my microwave, and my stock pot… just to name a few. And the results are always better in clay.

Right now you can get 10% off any VitaClay cooker on the website with code NOURISH10 at checkout. So start saving today! If you’d rather order from Amazon, check it out here.

 

And please, if you do decide to use the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, always follow these safety tips to avoid explosions, burns or serious injury.

Resources:
Here is more information about Stainless Steel Cookware and the different grades that can be found.

Here is the 3rd party lab testing that has been done to ensure the unglazed clay used in VitaClay pots is free of lead and other heavy metals.

Check out Kara’s post at Deep South Crunchy Mom about the benefits of cast iron and why you should replace your non-stick pans STAT.

Check out the post from Sarah at Clean Living with Kids on glass bakeware and why glass is a great cookware option opposed to glazed ceramic, aluminum or other non-stick options.

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!

Dirty Benefits: Diatomaceous Earth

When we think of something as “dirty,” we often think it’s something that needs to be sanitized, sterilized and washed clean.

Our “culture of clean,” complete with an unlimited supply of antibiotic soaps, gels and hand wipes, is new to our bodies and our microbiome.

What is our microbiome? It’s all of the symbiotic organisms that live on and in our bodies that keep us healthy. That’s right: our bodies are host to trillions of bacteria, both “good” and “bad.”

I’ve seen estimates that indicate: by mass,
our bodies are
made up of up to 90% bacteria!

That gives me a different perspective on germs, dirt and what it means to be “dirty.” It makes me think that maybe dirt isn’t the enemy we’ve always thought it was, and that being “squeaky clean” is not all it’s cut out to be.

In this series on dirt, I’m partnering with Deep South Crunchy Mom and Clean Living with Kids to talk about different types of dirt that are actually really good for us!

Bentonite Clay, Activated Charcoal and Diatomaceous Earth are three of the many beneficial forms of “dirt” that can contribute to our health and well-being. We’re going to talk about how we use them and how they’ve helped us.

The best thing about each of these “dirts” is that they are very affordable,  incredibly powerful and effective for so many things!

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

From Wikipedia, Diatomaceous Earth is “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.”

Why do we care about diatomaceous earth and how can we use it?

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are a type of unicellular micro-algae that are crucial to the Earth’s atmosphere. It is estimated that diatoms produce 20% of the world’s oxygen and that the shells of dead diatoms can be found half a mile deep at the bottom of the ocean!

How is Diatomaceous Earth Used?

Diatomaceous earth can be found in many of the products we use every day. Since it is a mild abrasive, it can be found in polishes, toothpastes and as a filler in cat litter for its odor and liquid-absorbing properties. It is also used in filtration products and insecticides, as well as a filler, absorbing agent and even an activator in blood clotting studies! I’ve even seen it used as a filler in foods such as commercial breads.

Commercially, diatomaceous earth has a lot of applications.
But personal use is where it gets really interesting.

I first learned about diatomaceous earth when I was researching parasites in the body and how to kill them.

A parasite is any organism that lives inside of and benefits
from another organism while causing the host harm.

Often we think of parasites as only something people in third world countries have to deal with. After all, we wear shoes and we don’t eat contaminated food, so we should be clean, right?

WRONG.

Everyone has parasites (we get them through food and water–they are impossible to avoid), and traditionally it was known that people needed to do some kind of parasite cleanse at least once a year to keep them in check.

These days we don’t even think about parasites, or even admit that we have them.

Unfortunately, when unchecked,
parasites can cause all kinds of health issues.

In fact, if you have any of the following health issues, parasites could be to blame:

  • Digestive problems
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Rashes (including eczema and psoriasis)
  • Anal itching
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Allergies
  • Poor concentration or lack of focus
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Stubborn belly fat
  • Post nasal drip
  • Anxiety
  • Grinding your teeth at night
  • Sleep problems
  • Muscle pain, cramps or unexplained soreness
  • Irritability
  • And many more!

As you can see, parasites can cause a lot of different health problems.

If you’ve never done a parasite cleanse and you suffer from any of these issues, it’s very likely that parasites are to blame.

We won’t get into the different types of parasites we host, but you can learn more about that here.

Here’s where diatomaceous earth comes in very handy.

Diatomaceous earth particles are tiny: if you buy a bag you’ll notice it’s like a bag of dust (don’t breathe it!). These particles are also sharp, and have a cage-like structure. This allows diatomaceous earth to do several things when we consume it:

  • The abrasive nature makes it a great “scrubbing agent” for the intestinal walls. Over time, mucus builds up there and can make us sick, so periodically cleaning out this mucus is vital to good health.
  • The sharp edges physically cut any larger intestinal worms that are present, eventually killing them and allowing them to be expelled by the body
  • The cage-like structure works to trap smaller bacteria and toxins within it, to be flushed out by the body.

Diatomaceous earth makes for a very effective (and very affordable) parasite cleanse that is really easy to do.

So let’s get to work! First step, buy food-grade diatomaceous earth

I have been following a 90-day protocol that calls for diatomaceous earth to be taken once a day first thing in the morning, at least an hour before eating anything.

 

Here’s what I do: 

  1. Mix one heaping teaspoonful into a glass of water (don’t breathe it!).
  2. Drink the water (it tastes a little chalky, but there is no real flavor, good or bad)
  3. Drink plenty of water after that, and wait an hour before eating.
  4. Do this every morning for 10 days in a row, then take the rest of the month off.
  5. The following 2 months, do the same thing: 10 days on, 20 days off.When I first did this I took it more than 10 days (approximately 3 weeks of taking it every day in the morning) and I got a really bad sinus infection, which I think was due to detoxing “too much” or possibly the mucus being washed away just overloaded my body. Either way, from now on I’ll take the assigned breaks so that doesn’t happen again.

Herxheimer Reaction

If you’ve never done a parasite cleanse before, start slow.

Take a quarter or half a teaspoon the first day and work your way up. If you begin get a bad reaction: headaches, nausea or some other discomfort, you may be experiencing a Herxheimer Reaction.

If you do experience this, simply back off: lower the dose until the symptoms subside, and then work your way back up to a higher dose.

The most important thing to remember is that if you get a bad reaction, that means it’s working. It also means you have a lot of things to clean up (which you may already suspect) so quitting will not benefit you. Any short-term discomfort will be well worth the health you experience after the cleanse. 

To lessen or prevent a herxheimer reaction, I recommend using Bentonite Clay.

(Learn more about the benefits of bentonite clay here).

To prevent a herxheimer reaction, I take one teaspoon Redmond Clay in a glass of water (give it a couple minutes to sink to the bottom of the cup, then stir and drink it fast) before I go to bed at night. This will help clean up any toxins that the parasites are excreting when they are being killed by the diatomaceous earth (they get mad when they are dying)! 

Other Benefits of Consuming Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth contains elements that benefit us in so many more ways than just killing intestinal parasites! It contains a high concentration of silica (in fact, diatom cell walls are actually composed of biogenic silica). Silica is a powerful detoxifier, and can help the body:

  • Clean the blood
  • Improve heart health!
  • Neutralize free radicals
  • Supplement calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and other trace minerals
  • Kill viruses
  • Detox heavy metals such as aluminum
  • Prevent osteoporosis
  • Keep joints, tendons and ligaments healthy and pain-free
  • Grow hair faster and longer
  • Protect skin, teeth and nails
  • Maintain anti-aging benefits
  • Improve digestion
  • Improve liver and colon function
  • Improved energy
  • Improved immune function (get sick less often)!

Even if you don’t think you have any parasites (trust me, you do), there are plenty of reasons to consume diatomaceous earth on a regular basis! 

But wait…there’s more!

Diatomaceous earth has even MORE benefits and uses than we’ve already described. So why isn’t everyone talking about it and using it every day?

It’s cheap, effective and easy to use–so get some today!

Other Great Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

  • Dust your pets with it to keep fleas away
  • Use it in your garden as a fertilizer
  • Use it to purify drinking water
  • Put it in your detox bath to purify the water
  • Put in pet food to kill parasites
  • A non-toxic insecticide
  • Put a thin line of diatomaceous earth around the outside of windows and doorways to prevent insects from coming in the house
  • In homemade toothpaste as a mild abrasive
  • As a facial exfoliator

WARNING:

You may have noticed in a few places in this post that I warned to always be careful not to inhale diatomaceous earth.
Here’s why: The fine particles are very sharp and dust-like, so they become airborne easily, and if breathed into the lungs can cause damage. So just be careful not to breathe it–and don’t dust it in places where pets or babies will be sniffing around.

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!

There is Hope for Infertility

Please welcome my friend and fellow blogger Rebekah Greco, of the blog Brothaholic. Rebekah suffered from infertility, miscarriages and pregnancy complications, but then discovered how she could heal her body and now has six healthy children! She has generously contributed this educational guest post about infertility and her experience, as well as ways you can heal and find hope to conceive! 

******************************

Infertility can be a topic that is treated a lot like money: it is mostly avoided,  but bringing it up can cause explosive reactions or grief.

It is a topic that involves feelings of despair, shame, and hopelessness. While it can be a painful topic, infertility is a condition that is pretty common in the US.

My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage.

While pregnant  with my second daughter, I was told that I had the beginnings of both endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). After that birth, my husband and I packed up and moved to another state. I had a new doctor and a new set of eyes to look at more ultrasound results. At this point I was pregnant again. I was told the same thing: Endometriosis and PCOS.

My doctor told me that this would likely be my last birth, that my diseases would continue to escalate, and eventually I would need a hysterectomy. I was told to mentally prepare myself.

I miscarried another pregnancy after that appointment.

Just like the first miscarriage, it was emotionally devastating.

During these years I began to really research the causes of infertility, miscarriage. My search for answers has continued for another eight years.

I have discovered there are a lot of possible causes and various forms of infertility. For one person there may only be one or two reasons to experience infertility, for someone else it may be a combination of several reasons, and some never find a reason.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is when the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus.

It is an inflammatory condition that can cause cramping, pelvic pain and heavy bleeding. (See the sections below about true vitamin A and progesterone as they are related.)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome aka PCOS

PCOS is diagnosed when either one or both ovaries are present with regular abnormal cysts. It can cause delayed or infrequent ovulation and can be associated with later experiencing type II diabetes and heart disease. It is associated with low vitamin D levels. (1)

Low Progesterone

Low progesterone can occur during different times for women of childbearing age. Some women have low progesterone, ovulate, are able to conceive, but experience very early miscarriages or what is called chemical pregnancies.

Then there are women that produce enough progesterone to conceive and have pregnancies which go four weeks or more.

During early pregnancy, an ovary will have a beneficial ovarian cyst called the corpus luteum cyst that supplies progesterone to the baby until their own placenta takes over and begins to produce its own progesterone to sustain the pregnancy. This occurs around the twelve weeks gestation mark.

For some reason, in some women, the placenta never fully takes over progesterone production, and this causes miscarriage or it may produce progesterone on a more low side of normal.

The ones producing low, or on the low side of normal, may have frequent cramping and spotting. Low progesterone can cause a subchorionic hemorrhage behind where the placenta is implanted. Low progesterone can also cause stillbirth in late-term pregnancies.

Low progesterone is associated with estrogen dominance. (2)

Fallopian Tube Blockages

Fallopian tube blockages can cause the inability to conceive. They can also cause a tubal pregnancy where the baby begins to grow inside the fallopian tube and is most often a medical emergency.

The most common cause of fallopian tube blockages is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, aka PID, from sexually transmitted infections or surgical infections.

Blockages can also be associated with endometriosis. Unfortunately, the solution to this is not dietary/lifestyle changes. These changes could certainly help to prevent further damage, but a minor procedure using a laser can be used to clear out the tube or tubes.

For some types of blockages, a non-surgical procedure can be performed using a special catheter to unclog the blockage.  

Low in True Vitamin A

Being low in true vitamin A makes it difficult for the body to rid itself of excess estrogens. Excess estrogen can cause excessive bleeding and is associated with endometriosis. (3) Excess estrogen causes progesterone insufficiency.

We associate Vitamin A with eating orange vegetables or green leafy vegetables.

Unfortunately, converting beta carotene to true vitamin A is dependent on a few factors. Does the individual have the proper gut bacteria present to make the conversion, and are the vegetables consumed well-cooked and with saturated fat? If not, the conversion will not occur (4). 

(Note from Leah: You can boost your gut bacteria by taking a high-quality probiotic and real-food supplements. For more information on how to increase beneficial gut bacteria, see my post  Bacteria Boom: What Are Probiotics and Why are They So Popular?).

There is a way to bypass these issues by eating foods that have true vitamin A, like pastured eggs (the nutrients are in the yolks!), pastured butter or ghee, and organ meats from pastured animals. For the more squeamish, grass-fed desiccated liver pills can be found online. They come in easy-to-swallow capsules.

Reduced Cervical Mucus

In order to conceive, cervical mucus is needed to transport the sperm to the egg. In fact, noticing extra cervical mucus is typically a sign that the body is in its fertile phase.

When a woman does not produce enough cervical mucus, everything in her fertility may be in working order except for the cervical mucus production. This is when beta carotene from orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes becomes a shining star because it increases cervical mucus production, many times significantly (5).

A Regular Low Body Temperature

(Hypothyroidism is associated with infertility.)

Some cases of hypothyroidism are from the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Other cases are more easily fixed.

The thyroid gets stressed from not eating enough calories, excessive dieting, excessive exercise and in turn lowers adrenal function. Hashimoto’s on the other hand typically requires a gut healing protocol and testing for a chronic high viral load from things like Epstein Barr.

Removal of heavy metals may also be necessary. Other causes of a chronic low body temperature (below 98.6) can be fixed by reducing stress, sleeping more, eating enough calories, and avoiding excessive exercise.

While low-carb diets are beneficial to some women, for other women these diets can stress the thyroid excessively, affect the adrenals, and make conception difficult. (6)

Toxic Exposures

Toxic exposures to poisons can cause both the inability to conceive as well as miscarriages.

An example of this occurred where I live in the Plano/Frisco area in North Texas. The water supply was poisoned with trihelomethane, which is a known female fertility disruptor. Who knows how long this had been going on and where else this is occurring.

Our family relies on a heavy duty gravity filter, like a Berkey, to reduce our toxic exposures. We do not drink or cook with water directly from the tap.

Early Ultrasound Exposure (before 13 weeks)

Unless a tubal pregnancy is a serious concern (extreme pain in the pelvis and sometimes bleeding caused by the baby growing and the tube rapidly expanding), early ultrasounds are mostly always unnecessary.

Ultrasounds have been shown to cause changes in tissue temperature and depending on where the baby is attached in the uterus and how long the ultrasound takes, it could be dangerous. We do not fully know the effects at this time. (7)

I personally had two miscarriages after an early ultrasound. I was on progesterone at the time, so low progesterone was not the cause. During the ultrasounds the babies appeared to be very healthy and active.

Though it’s possible the ultrasounds did not cause my miscarriages, for the rest of my pregnancies I have avoided early ultrasounds. This is merely anecdotal evidence, and is up to your discretion.

How I Healed

After the birth of my second child, I had begun to clean up my diet.

I have never been one to avoid eating regular fruits and vegetables, so that certainly was not my problem. I did begin to eat good fats, such as coconut oil, butter, real olive oil, avocado oil and meat fats.

I had no idea in years previous that consuming my regular salads with store bought salad dressings was causing chronic inflammation in my body and not allowing my body to properly convert sunlight exposure to vitamin D.

At that point, I rarely ate things like packaged cookies, crackers, or chips (which are mostly all loaded with cheap, rancid omega 6 oils), but until I became rigorous in avoiding high omega 6 vegetable oil products, I did not see results.

Another thing that helped my body convert sunlight to usable vitamin D was trans-dermal magnesium. I happened to have moved to a place by the ocean and had my feet in magnesium-rich ocean water regularly.

Those not by the ocean can get extra magnesium by using magnesium oil or magnesium lotion on their skin. Epsom salt baths are another great, inexpensive way to absorb more magnesium, as well as detoxify your body. Another way to get more magnesium is by switching from table salt to Celtic Sea Salt, which has more magnesium. I personally did both.

During this time, I began to do something else that helped my body get rid of mineral deposits in my reproductive organs, which was to consume more vitamin K2. This happened purely by accident, because I had discovered how to make Parmesan cheese crisps and ate them liberally.

Vitamin K2, not to be confused with vitamin K, helps the body to stay in balance. A lack of K2 may cause mineral deposits or plaque in the brain, arteries, kidneys and ovaries instead of in the bones and teeth. Foods with vitamin K2 are pastured egg yolks, grass-fed butter, cultured vegetables like cultured (not vinegared!) sauerkraut, hard cheeses, and natto.

I changed my fats, was out in the sun, had magnesium exposure, and ate Parmesan cheese with wild abandon–and I got pregnant again. 

My doctor was not optimistic about this pregnancy, but when I had another ultrasound, there was no sign of endometriosis or PCOS! He was so confused that he went to my old records to re-verify that he was not mistaken. I have had multiple ultrasounds since then and it has never come back.

A Supplemental Band-Aid And More

I had to use progesterone to maintain my pregnancies starting around 6 weeks and lasting until 34 weeks.

I cleaned up my lifestyle increasingly with each consecutive pregnancy.

I began to avoid eating or drinking from plastics or cans because they contain chemicals that cause hormone disruption.

We began to filter our water with a Berkey. I did a gut healing regimen to heal from mold exposure that had sickened me in many of the places I had spent a lot of time, like places of employment, a rental home, and a home we owned that we discovered had mold. Mold can produce mycoestrogens, which can also disrupt normal hormone levels. (8)

Another thing I realized should be avoided was conventional beef.

Beef is one of the last meats on the market that allows excess estrogen unless it is labeled as hormone free. When the cows or steers are put on a feedlot, they are given an ear piercing that delivers estrogen to cause them to gain weight quickly.  At home we eat grass-fed beef, but when we go out to eat, I now avoid beef.

In my quest to avoid estrogen producers, I also began to avoid soy (with the exception of organic fermented soy sauce or occasional natto) as soy is estrogenic. 

Furthermore, to avoid hormone disruption, I also changed all of my personal hygiene products to ones that avoid toxins and hormone disruptors.

 

My Real Food Success

My last pregnancy was different than all of my other pregnancies.

For the first time in my life, at six weeks of pregnancy, my progesterone levels were on the low side of the normal range. I was always below normal in week 6 and 7 in previous pregnancies (per the levels recommended by the Pope Paul IV Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, which differ from the levels presented as within normal range by The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology).

Since I was on the low side of normal, I took progesterone again to prevent nuisance cramping.

As a note: I used supplemental high dose progesterone.

For one pregnancy, I had done the progesterone injections and had a terrible reaction: huge hives at the injection site.  For this reason, I do not recommend the injections because the carrier oils can cause the body to overreact with what appeared to be an autoimmune response.

The pills (Prometrium) are bio-identical, but my doctor felt they were not as effective as progesterone vaginal suppositories. To prevent pregnancy loss I took them for a few days until a compounding pharmacy could finish a prescription for the bio-identical progesterone suppositories. I did this a few times during times of bleeding while I waited for my prescription.

My Experience

What does all of this mean? At this point, if I were to conceive again, would I need supplemental progesterone? I do not know the answer to that, but I am really happy with the results I have gotten so far. I no longer have any signs of endometriosis or PCOS, my progesterone levels during early pregnancy with my last child were close to normal for the first time and I now have six healthy children.

–Written by Rebekah Greco of Brothaholic


Sources:
  1. The importance of healing your gut 
  2. Vitamin D and PCOS
  3. Estrogen, progesterone, and endometriosis
  4. Fat, Vitamins and Hormones
  5. Thyroid, Adrenal and Hormones
  6. The affects of ultrasounds on a fetus in the womb
  7. How do Phytoestrogens affect Human Estrogen? 
  8. The Dangers of Soy and other Phytoestrogens

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

Disclosure: 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!

What is a Fast and Why Would I Want to Do One?

Have you ever tried fasting? 

If you are religious, you may have done a little bit of fasting for that reason in the past.

When they hear fasting, some people think of Lent, and “giving up something” for a set number of days before Easter. Maybe chocolate, TV or Facebook.

A true fast, however, involves giving up food completely for a set amount of time, usually at least 24 hours.

There are different types of fasts: absolute fasts (no food or liquid at all), water fasts (only water is consumed), juice fasts (calories from clear liquids such as juice, clear broth, or water can be consumed), Intermittent Fasting (narrowing your eating hours during the day to a window of 6-8 hours), and other variations.

I have done several juice fasts for durations ranging from 3-10 days, for different reasons each time (sometimes to focus on prayer or an event coming up, sometimes for health reasons), and each time I’ve found it a difficult but very rewarding experience.

Each time I come out of a fast of any duration, I feel physically cleansed, like a deep detox has taken place. One great benefit I have noticed is that junk food is no longer appealing to me at all.

It’s like my body has been re-booted.

When my computer gets sluggish or starts acting buggy, what do I do? I reboot, and most often that resolves the issue. And re-booting the computer periodically is best for optimal function and health of the computer.

So why don’t we think about doing the same thing with our bodies? What if we could re-set our bodies to a more natural, optimal state?

WE CAN.

Most religions incorporate fasting for a period of time to focus on a spiritual purpose: in order to pray for something or someone, to prepare for a ceremony or holiday, or just to focus on God and discipline our minds and bodies.

When I began researching fasting, I was surprised by all of the health benefits that result as well. And since I am a Christian, this serves to confirm to me that all of these different practices and guidelines that God has put in place are there for our ultimate good: spiritually, mentally, and physically.

I started my research on fasting several years ago when I read the book A Hunger for God by John Piper.

I knew the spiritual benefits of fasting, and was convinced it would be beneficial for that reason.

Then I began researching the health benefits and I was blown away. The first time I tried a ten-day fast I was living in China after college, and I wanted both the spiritual and physical benefits that fasting offered.

Without a doubt, fasting is not easy. It takes commitment and determination, and not even for the reasons you may think. The longer you do it, the harder it is, but the more benefits you receive.

Most recently I did a Master Cleanse fast about 5 years ago for 10 days. Master Cleanse is a modified juice fast in which you take only lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in water several times per day for 10 days. The lemon juice serves to detox the liver and other organs and alkalinize the blood, the maple syrup provides some calories and minerals to help prevent severe hunger while still bypassing the digestive system, and the cayenne pepper is a blood purifier and helps ramp up the results.

Ketosis

The Keto Diet and Ketosis are all the rage right now, but what is ketosis and is it a good thing?

Ketosis is what happens when your body literally goes into starvation mode. There are no available sugars (glucose) for energy in your body to function, so your body releases ketones into the blood which triggers the burning of body fat for energy. If you go into ketosis under the right conditions, this state can be very healing and energizing to your body in the short term.

Ketosis can be beneficial on a short-term basis for plenty of reasons: bad bacteria, parasites and cancer cells all feed on glucose. If they are deprived of that energy source, they will die.

Ketones have also been shown to be an optimal fuel for the brain. Ketosis has been proven effective in treating numerous health issues, including various types of cancer, brain disorders and illnesses, as well as degenerative diseases such as diabetes and dementia.

The Keto Diet is popular right now, and a lot of people are jumping on board without really understanding how it works or the best way to go about it. Most people aren’t truly doing a keto diet at all, in fact. Since going into ketosis requires eating almost no carbs and 80% fat, 20% protein, this is not an easy diet to follow or sustain for very long. As a short-term cleanse or for the purposes of healing a major illness, I think going into ketosis is great; for a long-term diet, I think a more balanced approach is in order.

Reboot Your Body

Now that we understand a bit about why ketosis can be a good, short-term strategy for detoxing, healing, cleansing and losing weight, it’s easy to see why doing a fast for a few days that puts your body into ketosis for a short term has a similar effect.

When I fasted I did experience a clear mind, energy, and weight loss (weight loss results will vary for the duration of the fast, but rebooting your body makes it easier to lose weight for the long term as well).

The hardest part was not even being hungry: especially if doing a juice fast. I was surprised how hungry I was not.

The hardest part is mental. 

I wanted to eat. I smelled food or saw friends going to a restaurant and I felt sad. I just missed eating. 

There were times I reached for food without even thinking, and almost ate something out of habit.

There are also some detox symptoms that made me feel sluggish. Even though I wasn’t hungry, I knew that eating would make the discomfort stop. So I had to resist the urge and push through.

Want to Try?

I’ve always believed that fasting contributes to optimal health. Ideally, I would do several short fasts (1-3 days) each year and a longer fast (10 days) every few years.

But I’m not gonna lie. Fasting is hard. It’s hard to schedule 10 days where you can’t go out to eat. It’s hard to go to work every day or work out when you aren’t eating. It’s hard to maintain strong willpower for 10 days straight.

Recently I came across a few companies who offer products that claim to put people into ketosis quickly.

See, normally, even when on a true fast (not eating anything) it takes the body the better part of a week to go into ketosis.

With these new products, which contain ketone salts, the body is able to go into ketosis in hours or minutes, even if you are still eating.

Crazy, right? 

I’ve decided to try the products from a couple of different companies to see how they work for me. I will probably do a few livestream videos on the topic to map my progress and share my results.

But first, I decided to do a Keto Reboot. It’s a short-term fast (60 hours) that puts your body into ketosis during your first night’s sleep, and keeps it there for the next 60 hours. They provide a kit that moves you through the process. The kits contain a few supplements, as well as drinks that contain ketone salts (teas and drink mixes).

Since I’ve done a true fast, I am going to compare how this stacks up. There is a Facebook group of people who all do it at the same time, and they only sell the kits for a few days time so everyone does it together. 

Who’s in?

If you would like to do this 60 Hour Keto Reboot with me, check out the intro video and kit here and apply to join this Facebook group.

I would love to do this with as many people as possible–we can all share our results and chart our progress and how we feel as we’re doing it!

The next keto reboot event starts the evening of July 15 (Sunday night) and goes until the morning of July 18. It last 60 hours (2 full days and 3 nights).

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

Disclosure: 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!

Step Away From the Can: Ditch Processed Food For Good

I grew up in the era of processed food.

  • Breakfast? Break out the milk, cereal and O.J.
  • Mid-morning snack? Grab a candy bar from the vending machine.
  • A little soup and sandwich for lunch: grab bread, American cheese slices, and a can of soup—all warmed in the microwave, of course.
  • Want cookies? Open a package in the cupboard. Grab some chips & canned salsa for an appetizer, and order pizza for dinner.
  • Dessert is ice cream from the store, or maybe a colorful pack of candy.

This was a way of life for my generation, and we didn’t know any other way.

If someone pointed out that everything I ate in a given day was processed in some way, I wouldn’t even care, much less know what that meant. Looking back, I cringe at the things I once ate, and I marvel that people still eat this way.

Whenever I venture into the grocery store there are inevitably people with carts loaded full of popular processed items: TV dinners, ice cream, packaged snacks, breakfast waffles and canned everything.

I remind myself that there was a time when I didn’t see anything wrong with these items either, and I realize how important  for us to educate ourselves about nutrition and the dangers of processed food.

My food education came in stages.

You could say I was privileged because my parents were very health-conscious. This gave me an interest in health and some knowledge that the food we eat does matter.

Still, I bought into the idea that food is food, and surely the government and food companies wouldn’t allow anything into the marketplace that was harmful for us.

…Right?…                                     ….Right?

Slowly, though, I started to see the world differently. I began to realize that huge billion-dollar food companies were just that: profit-centered businesses.

I began to realize that my health was my own responsibility.

Wake-Up Call

When I began this research, and became aware of the toxins and nutritional deficit in almost all of the “food” I was eating, I became disillusioned and depressed.

I felt betrayed by the system, abandoned in a world that didn’t care whether I lived or died, as long as they made some money from me while I was here.

I began to educate myself. I realized that all of the information I needed was out there; I just had to find it. And with the internet these days, if we have anything in abundance, it’s information. Knowledge is power, and I was about to empower myself to a whole new level.

Big Food is Not Our Friend

We’ve literally grown up on processed food, and most of us never thought twice about it. Cereal for breakfast, candy for snacks, and fast food burgers for dinner was just our way of life.

When I began to realize that the food industry was not in the business of keeping me healthy, I started to educate myself, and I discovered a lot of things that needed to change.

I was overwhelmed: so many things to change in my own diet, not to mention changing the mammoth food industry as a whole.

But all I could do was begin with myself and try to educate others so they could make their own intelligent choices. A friend introduced me to a book called Nourishing Traditions that totally changed the way I think about food, along with a few other books (like this one).

The first thing I began to eliminate from my diet was artificial sweeteners. The news was reporting studies that aspartame was definitively linked to cancer.

Wait, what?

I grew up drinking diet soda. Sugar is bad, right? But now the alternative is going to kill us.

Wonderful.

Next I saw studies of artificial colors linked to brain disorders such as autism and even tumors and cancer. I began studying the ingredients lists more carefully now, and started wondering what all of those other unpronounceable ingredients were.  Research into each ingredient resulted in some unsettling information.

Almost every ingredient was questionable at best.

This is where it began: my disillusionment with the food system in America.

Up until this point I trusted the food supply. I realized now that food corporations weren’t trustworthy: they were after the bottom line, no matter how many corners needed cutting. I realized that cheap food comes at a cost, but I still didn’t understand the extent of that cost.

After I began to see that virtually no processed foods were free of the dangerous ingredients I had learned about, I realized that getting rid of processed food altogether was really the only option. Like everyone else, I was used to the convenience of processed food, and frankly, I didn’t know how to cook food from scratch.

Could I do it?

Organic Food 101

Around the same time I had discovered organic food. At first I didn’t believe the hype: I thought it was just another way to mark up the price of the same food.

Then I tasted it.

Apples, chicken, milk, you name it! It was like I’d never had these foods before.

An apple tasted more like an apple, and chicken was more… flavorful! Rich! Delicious! Almost everything I tried tasted better and was more colorful and healthy-looking, and because of this I concluded that these types of food probably contained more nutrients as well.

After tasting the difference, I was convinced. So my first thought was to switch to organic processed food.

Genius, right?

Easy, awesome and healthy: win-win! And most of the offending ingredients I was trying to avoid were absent in the more expensive organic-certified packages. Score!

I also began following a number of health-living, organic-minded, do-it-yourself blogs; documenting various clever ways people have come up with to make their own versions of beloved, processed junk food.

After all, we grew up with it, and when you have a craving you can only resist it for so long. Fortunately, there are a lot of creative people out there who have already tested recipes for our favorite comfort and junk foods using real ingredients. Just try searching “paleo brownies,” “real food fudge,” or “grain free mac & cheese” to get the idea. If you want it, there is a healthy-substitution recipe out there that tastes good.

Enter Traditional Food

So here I am, fully committed to eating only organic food, and happily munching away on my organic crackers, cookies, pastas, breads, and cakes.

Enter Traditional Food.

I was introduced to a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, which documents and supports an earlier work by Weston A. Price called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (both of these books are so good, and I highly recommend you read them).

These two books turned everything I knew on its head. They not only confirmed my unwilling belief that processed food (organic or not) was the devil, but they confirmed what I secretly knew instinctively, deep down: people have been thriving on their local, fresh, whole, traditional diets for millennia, and within a few years we industrialized the whole food system to make food cheaper, easier, and more convenient.

These “benefits” have a cost, however, and that cost is has become higher than anyone could have guessed. I started watching the growing number of documentaries showing the cover-ups in the industrial food system in America. Continue reading “Step Away From the Can: Ditch Processed Food For Good”

What is a Side Hustle? (And Why Everybody Needs One)

Have you ever looked at your paycheck and been frustrated with how much of it is taken out for taxes?

Have you ever thought what you could do with all of that extra money if you could actually keep more of what you are earning?

Have you ever wondered why you still have to pay more taxes in April, or why you’re not getting nearly enough money back on your tax returns?

You should get a side hustle.

A side hustle is any work you do “on the side.” Some examples are: cutting hair, mowing lawns, tutoring, or selling products. Side hustles are done on your own time for extra money.

You may already be involved in a side hustle and not even realize it.

But there’s more benefit to a side hustle than just earning a little extra cash.

Money you spend to fund your side hustle is tax deductible–AND some of your current expenses could also be tax deductible!

Did you know that you can also deduct expenses that you may not have thought of?

Some examples:

  • A portion of your rent or mortgage if you do any business or preparation for business at home
  • Mileage on your car if you ever use it to drive to and from places you do business or try to get new customers
  • Utilities
  • Internet bill
  • Cell phone bill

These kinds of expenses really add up. If you are paying these expenses anyway, and you can use a portion of them to deduct money from your taxable income, your tax bill not only shrinks, but you may bump yourself into a lower tax bracket.

We’re talking potentially thousands of dollars in tax refund money.

You might say:

“I don’t have time to do anything else.”

When you think about the tax savings, you can really see the potential: what if you were doing something that only took a few hours a week but saved you thousands of dollars on your taxes, PLUS the money you make doing what you’re doing?

Do you have time NOT to get a side hustle?

You might say:

“I don’t have money to invest in a new business.”

What if you could invest a couple hundred dollars and save a few thousand dollars on taxes, and make money on top of that? Do you have the money NOT to invest in that kind of side hustle? That’s a pretty great guaranteed return, no matter what business you are in.

Here is a simplified example of the kind of tax savings possible with a side hustle:

Say you make $65,000 per year. According to your tax bracket, you’d pay 25%, or $16,250 in taxes over the course of one year.

If you had a side hustle, let’s say you could write off $15,000 in expenses per year (car mileage, part of your rent or mortgage, a portion of your cell phone bill, purchases and supplies for your business, start-up costs. If you take a trip for your business, the tax-write off numbers could easily be higher).

It is acceptable to take a “loss” in a new business for up to the first 3 years of the business. If you don’t make any money on your business the first year, here is your new taxable income:

$65,000 – 15,000 =  $50,000 taxable income. 

Now you’ve bumped yourself into a lower tax bracket, which only taxes 12% of your income. Now you’re paying only 12% taxes on a total income of $50,000

$50,000 x 0.12 = $6000 taxes.

Originally you would have paid $16,250 and now you’re paying $6000. 

You just made $10,250!

And that’s without doing anything other than starting the business– and not including any money you make for your business.

These are all estimates and would vary based on your specific circumstances, but you can see how this works. 

How would an extra $10,250 per year change your life? 

Maybe you could pay off that credit card bill. 

Make several mortgage payments. 

Take a family vacation… or four. 

Get your Side Hustle On!

 If you don’t already have a side hustle, you should definitely get one. But what kind?

There are lots of things you can do, from tutoring to babysitting to mystery shopping. The way to really make money, however, is to sell things. And you need to find something to sell that people really want. If you sell something you love, you can even deduct some of the products you use on your taxes as well! After all, if you are selling something to people, you need to try it out so you can tell them how great it is!

The great thing about a side hustle is that it’s flexible, and it’s based on effort (not hours).

If you don’t have a lot of time and you don’t need to make a lot of money: perfect! Do a little here or there and make some extra cash while saving tons of money on your taxes.

If you dream of quitting your job and finally being financially free: PERFECT. You can totally do that.

A Slave to the J.O.B.

I love to talk about ways to save money, and even make a little money or bonuses doing things you already do–like shopping online.

Today I want to talk about something more powerful, though: residual income.

You know how….

you go to work and you get paid for the time you spend doing things they tell you to do?

 you can have a great job with lots of money and amazing benefits, but if you don’t show up to work, you don’t get paid (or lose your job)?

 your boss (or your company) can make you do things you don’t want to do because they have the power to take away your livelihood?

 rumors in the company about layoffs keep you up at night, worried what you would do if you lost your job?

The big corporations we work for have us at the end of a rope, and there isn’t much we can do about it. We need the money they are paying so we will do whatever it takes to earn it.

  • Hour-long commute in rush hour traffic.
  • Long days in a boring office sitting at a computer.
  • Eye, back, neck strain from sitting at a desk all day.
  • Doing the same thing every day.
  • Longing for that next vacation.

What choice do we have? We have to earn a living. We have bills to pay, kids to feed, Christmas presents to buy!

Where does all the money go?

Enter: Side Hustle

What if you could reduce your tax burden while increasing your income?

Most of us have jobs. A side hustle is an income “on the side.” Working for yourself! There are so many advantages to working for yourself: flexible schedule, tax deductions and extra income!

You can make your own hours–you can work as much as you want to, and you don’t have to quit your current job (unless you want to…).

There are so many benefits to getting a side hustle, you may be wondering why you don’t have one yet.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on a side hustle:

  • If you could do something you love and get paid for it, what would that be?
  • How much money would you want to make to reach your goals?
  • What is your biggest motivation for finding a side hustle?
  • How could your family’s life change if you made an extra $1000 a month? An extra $5,000? $10,000?
  • What personal goals could be pursued or attained if you had financial freedom?

 The answers to these questions may bring you closer to the side hustle that’s perfect for you.

Of course, I have a couple of favorites, for very good reasons. I’d love to discuss with you why I chose them and why they are working for me!

Learn a little bit more about the ones I’m involved with here:

How Gut Health is Connected to Mental Health: the Mental Wellness Revolution

The Next Big Business Boom: The Microbiome

(Try it for yourself: get FREE samples!)

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! 

I love this webinar that goes through all of the things to consider when deciding on your perfect side hustle. Watch it here:

 What do you think? What kind of side hustle would suit you best?

 If you want some suggestions or tips on finding a side hustle, email me at leah@freedomandcoffee.com or message me on Facebook and we’ll discuss your goals and how you can achieve them!

Contact me by email (leah at freedomandcoffee dot com) or message me on Facebook to learn more about the side hustles I’m involved in and the side hustle that is perfect for you.

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!

I am not an accountant, so please talk with your accountant or tax preparer for more details on the tax deductions for which you qualify.