Which Vitamins Should I Take? Is There a Difference? 

One day a friend came over to our house and was talking about how he had discovered that taking a multivitamin was super important to fill in the gaps of nutritional deficiencies in our diet. 

Okay. So far so good. 

Our soils are very depleted and no matter how good your diet is, there are probably fewer nutrients in it than there were in the food our grandparents ate. So taking additional nutrients in the form of a supplement makes sense for most people. 

Then he said, “I got a huge bottle of from the drugstore for like $10! It last me about 6 months!” 

Hold on. 

Stop right there. 

I told him, “Those vitamins will kill you” and he couldn’t pick his jaw up off the floor fast enough. I’m usually the “healthy advice” person in the room, so when I say things that contradict what people read in a magazine I get looks of shock. 

As is usually the case… supplementing our diets with vitamins is a bit more complicated than the standard mainstream advice. 

Aren’t All Vitamins the Same?

Almost all vitamin supplements on the market are synthetic. (If they are cheap: they are guaranteed to be synthetic). 

That means they are not from food: they are chemically created in a lab. You may think, as my friend did, that “everything is a chemical” so it doesn’t make a difference where we get these nutrients… but it does. 

Chemical, synthetic “vitamins” may share a chemical structure with their natural counterparts, but they are not recognized as nutrients by the body, and with long term use will cause disease.

In fact, even a nutrient isolated from a whole food is not the best thing to take, even if it came from a completely natural source. 

What’s the Difference?

Here’s the thing. 

Nature puts our nutrients into packages called food: fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, plants, and even animals. 

Our bodies are part of nature and we have always assimilated nutrients through food. 

When we eat food, our body is not only absorbing one nutrient. It’s absorbing the whole food, which is a unique combination of micro and macro nutrients: vitamins, minerals, fiber, sugar, carbohydrates, protein, fat, amino acids, enzymes, and other components. Foods have a very complex makeup of symbiotic constituents that work together to provide nourishment to the human body. 

We often try to recreate this symbiosis (in a primitive way) by pairing vitamins and minerals together that we have discovered are “cofactors” of each other.

For example, iodine is a very important nutrient to our bodies, but it has been discovered that we don’t absorb iodine very well without selenium. So you may see supplements that have both selenium and iodine to ensure adequate absorption of both. 

But it’s much more complicated than that. And simply re-creating a vitamin in a lab with chemicals is not the same thing as getting that nutrient in its food packaging. 

How the Body Absorbs Nutrition

When we eat food the digestive system breaks it apart and begins assimilating and distributing nutrients to different areas of the body. 

The body has receptors for certain nutrients in all different places. For example there are iodine receptors all over the body, but there are a lot of iodine receptors specifically in the breasts and sexual organs of women. So when there is an iodine deficiency, dysfunction in these organs and systems can often result. 

This is Important

When there is a deficiency of a nutrient in the body, the body starts to crave the foods that contain those nutrients. That’s why sometimes, out of nowhere,  we really want to eat a burger or chocolate or something with tomato sauce… our body may be in need of iron or magnesium or lycopene, for example. 

Taking a multivitamin to fill in nutritional gaps is not a terrible idea, but synthetic vitamins are not a good solution. The body does not recognize these nutrients… but it will accept them as a substitute in the absence of real nutrition. 

Over time however this can cause all kinds of health problems, from disease to chronic ailments, pain or cancer. 

Disease is pretty much always a deficiency of nutrients, in combination with a high toxicity load. 

Synthetic vs Natural Nutrients

For example, this is how people die of radiation poisoning. Radioactive isotopes are simply unstable elements that are similar to nutrients our bodies need. 

At Fukushima there was an abundance of iodine-131 contaminating the oceans and environment. This can be dangerous to humans, but only if we are already deficient in the good, stable form of iodine. 

What is the way to prevent radiation poisoning from iodine-131? Get the whole stable form of iodine (an essential nutrient) 

This is how the body sees it: “I’m deficient in iodine (most people are). This “iodine” isn’t the best but it’s better than nothing so I’ll take it.”

Then this unstable iodine poisons the body and fills up the iodine receptors (there are a bunch in breasts, ovaries and other female reproductive organs). 

The way to prevent or remedy this is to take actual iodine…. the body says, “Oh! This is what I really want!”

So it dumps the toxic stuff and replaces it with the real stuff. 

This is also exactly how the body responds to synthetic nutrients: it will accept them in the absence of real nutrients… and you might feel better initially. But there is no healing, and these synthetic elements will eventually cause problems in the body because the nutrient deficiency was never adequately addressed. 

An Epidemic of Malnutrition

You may be surprised to learn that in the United States, a country with an abundance of overweight people, malnutrition is an epidemic. 

It would seem that these people are overfed, if anything, and that’s true: but they are undernourished, because we eat a scarcity of foods with real nutrition. 

Have you ever wondered how you can eat a whole meal and feel full but still feel hungry at the same time? 

It’s because your body is craving actual nutrition. You just ate a bunch of calories that the body doesn’t know what to do with, but it still needs nutrients. So the body stores those calories as fat to deal with later, and you are still hungry. 

This may come as a shock to you, but eating food is to fuel our bodies: not just because we like it. 

Don’t get me wrong: real food tastes really good. But in our over-processed society filled with fast junk food… we are overfed and undernourished. 

We have missed the point of eating entirely. 

Think about what you’ve eaten over the past 3 days. Write it out if you can remember. 

I’ve seen food diaries that look something like this:

  • Breakfast: bagel with cream cheese
  • Snack: Coffee powdered creamer and a doughnut 
  • Lunch: Subway sandwich with deli meat and condiments with a soda
  • Afternoon snack: Doritos and M&M’s
  • Dinner: Pizza with soda, ice cream as a dessert

Unfortunately, this “diet” is much more common than anyone wants to admit. Some even think this is fairly healthy! 

What I see is an entire day almost completely devoid of any nutrients whatsoever. 

The entire point of eating is nutrients, and we aren’t getting any! 

No wonder our bodies are starving as our weight tips the scale! 

So What Do We Do?

But if the multivitamins we buy at the store aren’t good either, what should we do?

The first thing to do is improve our diets. Even though it may not be possible to get all of the nutrients we need from today’s food, We need to do a better job of trying, because the best multi in the world is not going to give us all of the nutrition we need.

We also need to focus on gut health: eating for gut health, improving our gut health and ensuring that we are absorbing the nutrients from our food and supplements.

Think about it: if our digestive system is unhealthy and imbalanced, we will be unable to absorb the proper nutrients from our food or our supplements–so all of that effort and expense will be wasted.

Also, the latest research shows that gut health is literally the root of everything: so if your gut is unhealthy, you will be sick. And you won’t get better until you improve gut health. The issues you have may snowball into more issues and more issues. So why not just get to the root and be healthy and avoid all of that heartache?

Gut health is the root of: 

Literally everything.

Click here to read some inspiring stories of healing in each of these areas.

But How Do I Improve Gut Health? 

That’s a great question.

I spent about 10 years trying to figure this out.

I tried dozens and dozens of probiotics.

I created my own ferments (both food and drink) in my kitchen.

I made and consumed gallons of bone broth.

I ate organ meat and farm-fresh vegetables and any dairy I consumed was raw or cultured.

I avoided all the bad things like sugar and processed foods and read every label in sight.

But it wasn’t enough.

I knew gut health was the root, but HOW did I achieve it?

I stumbled upon a gut-brain axis healing protocol that changed everything. 

It’s research based, formulated with whole foods, herbs, probiotics and real nutrients, and it actually works.

Not only that, the company offers a money back guarantee. FOR A YEAR.

It’s literally guaranteed to work. So I figured I had nothing to lose.

And neither do you.

Nothing to lose except

  • pain
  • bloating
  • inflammation
  • indigestion
  • IBS
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • skin issues
  • allergies
  • high blood sugar
  • high blood pressure
  • brain fog
  • parasites
  • candida
  • mold toxicity
  • sensitivities

What are you waiting for? Get the gut-brain axis healing protocol here.

And when you get that, you can add this for half off: a whole food, fully methylated multivitamin for less than you are probably paying now.

Everything is guaranteed for a full year.

And today I can offer $10 off your first order: simply enter code 39519 in the coupon code box at checkout.

 

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

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

 

Resources for Further Study

The Best Gut Healing Protocol I have found (Gut-Brain Axis Healing)

Need a Whole Food, Fully Methylated LEGIT Multivitamin? Here you go.

The Gut-Brain Axis: The Key to Mental Health From the Root

Natural Healing For Allergies

How to Reboot Your Gut and Kick Parasites to the Curb

Want Clear, Healthy Skin? Heal From the Root

Inspiring Stories of Root Cause Healing

Improve Your Gut and Improve Your Whole Life!

Miracles of Root Cause Healing: True Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REAL LIFE MIRACLES

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

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

JENNIFER

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

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

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

Click here to read more of Jennifer’s story. 

Stories like this are what I live for! 

If you have a child suffering from constipation, nausea, overwhelm, or other issues, you have to check out this kids protocol that has brought healing to so many. 

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

Jenna

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

She describes her life before in this way:

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

Jenna: Before (left) & After (right)

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

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

So much has changed from then to now.

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

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

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

There’s nothing like it. 

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

And if you have lyme or another chronic illness and need a solution that REALLY WORKS, you need to try this protocol (it has a 12 month money back guarantee… so what do you have to lose, except your symptoms??)

REBECCA

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

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

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

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

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

Do you know someone like Declan? Hope is here.

(It’s whole food based with no sugar or anything synthetic and it’s working for so many. Plus it has a one YEAR money back guarantee… what do you have to lose?)

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

BETTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about Betty here. 

This is why I do what I do! 

Do you know someone who needs healing like Betty? Look at what she is doing and try it out–it is guaranteed for a year!

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

KALEIGH

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

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

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

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

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

If you know someone struggling with seizures or another neurological issue… let’s chat. Kaleigh’s son is taking this kids protocol.

RENE

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

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

In her own words:

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

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

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

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

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

I am so thankful to have a natural solution that works

Do you have debilitating digestive issues or food allergies that control your life? Gut healing may be your answer. And this protocol is guaranteed for a YEAR so why not try it?

JOSHUA

My friend’s son Joshua also suffers from developmental delays and is a little bit older than Declan… but his symptoms are similar.

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

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

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

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

 

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

GEORGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you know a child with mood and behavioral issues that are impacting the entire family like George? This kids protocol is what helped George’s family. It’s whole food based and yummy too!

AND THEN THERE’S ME

My story is a little bit different.

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

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

But why didn’t I need it?

Why do others need it?

Prevention is everything.

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

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

I try diet tweaks and recipes.

I make fermented foods on my kitchen counters.

I try supplements and probiotics that are helping people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want to know exactly what I take? Text me at the number above or check out the protocol here. It has a long list of incredibly effective ingredients that I used to take separately, so this protocol has dramatically simplified my supplements game and saved me money as well!

 

Are you looking for healing from the ROOT? In my years of research I have found that root cause healing begins in the gut. Specifically the gut-brain axis. If you are looking for true healing, start here: Heal Your Gut and Your Gut Will Heal You. 

You will not regret it. 

Resources

What can healing my gut do for me? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Crystal overcame regular migraine headaches by healing her gut.

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

What do you think about NATURAL CONSEQUENCES?

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

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

Natural Solutions For Depression & Anxiety

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

Fortunately it can!

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

The Vagus Nerve

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Healing the Gut

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

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

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

Connecting the Dots

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

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

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

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

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

So the first step to a healthy 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!

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

You’ve seen it a hundred times.

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

BAM!

Kathy joins an MLM company.

You avoid talking to her.

You ignore her messages in your inbox.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s simply a different marketing strategy.

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

Word of Mouth

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

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

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

And that referral didn’t cost the company anything!

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

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

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

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

What Makes Network Marketing Different

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

People like your cousin Lucy or your uncle Marvin.

People you trust.

People you love.

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

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

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

BUT…??

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

Objection #1: The products are overpriced.

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

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

Then I did some research.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Manufacturing
  • Advertising
  • Distribution
  • Retailer Mark-up

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

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

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

Story Time

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

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

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

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

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

So I tried it.

Guys.

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

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

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

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

Some things are more important than saving a little cash.

We have to consider the quality of the product.

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

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

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

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

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

Objection #2: The reps are obnoxious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most companies appeal to consumer wants and needs through advertising.

Network Marketing companies appeal to consumers through relationships.

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

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

Which one is really the better value?

Objection #3: Pyramid Scheme! 

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

But this isn’t accurate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now let’s do a little exercise.

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

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

What shape does your drawing make?

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

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

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

Do you have to work hard? Yes.

Do you have to be determined and persistent? Yes.

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

Sounds kind of like the American Dream to me. 

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

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

To Recap….

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

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

Better for them, and better for us.

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

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

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

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

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

What Do You Think?

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

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

 

 

More Resources

Residual Income: How to Get it in 5 Steps

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

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

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

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

 

Disclosures:

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

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

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

Hair History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s see how it goes! 

First Impressions

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

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

2. The Ingredients

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

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

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


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

This distinction is important for a few reasons: 

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

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

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

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

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

3. Where is it Made?

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

4. Is it Eco-Friendly? 

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

Testing the Product

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

The First Wash

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

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

The Fragrance

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

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

Shedding

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

Tangling

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Results

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

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

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

Here are my results: 

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

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

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

Cost Analysis

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

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

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


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

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

Side Note: My Skin

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

Disclosures:

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

The Truth About Fluoride

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

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

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

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

Is All Fluoride Created Equal?

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

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

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

See what she found here.

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

What is the Truth About Fluoride?

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Brief History of Fluoride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And what are the potential hazards of this chemical?

And how is it produced?

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

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

Again from Dr. Gilbert:

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

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

Studies Proving Harm from Fluoride Ingestion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait…what?

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

How much fluoride is worth calling poison control?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Is it Really That Bad?

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

Wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect.

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

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

What Can We Do?

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

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

What are my options for water?

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

Buy it.

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

Purify it.

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

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

What kind of filter should I get?

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

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

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

Finally, a filter that removes fluoride, NOT minerals!

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

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

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

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

The Plot Thickens…

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

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

Resources and Citations

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

Dr. Mercola: A Statement Opposing Fluoride

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

Hazard Profile on the Fluoridation of Drinking Water 

Health Effects Database

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

What is a Lethal Dose of Fluoride?

How Fluoride Was Sold to America and How We Bought It

More Fluoride Resources

 

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!

How to Purchase MONAT for the Best Price Possible

I’ve been using MONAT exclusively for the past 20 months… and my hair has been literally transformed.

My hair before was thin, flat, frizzy, dull, lifeless, weak and wouldn’t grow past my shoulders. I had to was it every day.

My hair now is full of volume, shine, manageability (just run a brush through it and go out the door!), thickness, and strength! I regularly go a week without washing my hair, and it’s grown halfway down my back!

Before MONAT I had terrible shedding: handfuls in the shower, and then I was shedding all day long, every day.

Now: I shed just a few hairs in the shower when washing, and rarely does a hair fall out during the day. Because of this fact alone, my hair has grown out at least twice as thick. I have thicker hair now than I ever thought possible!

Photos on the left: before MONAT. Photo on the right: about 11 months of exclusive MONAT use.Needless to say, I never want to use anything else…and I think everyone should try it too.

If you’ve been watching awhile you may be curious. You may want to try it but be hesitant.

At first glance, I thought this stuff was too expensive. I wasn’t going to try it. But then my friend who was using it talked about how concentrated it was, and how she was spending less money with MONAT than the other brands she had been using. She broke down the cost to about $12 per month. That didn’t sound bad, so I tried it. And as you can see, I am so glad I did.

Guys… my first bottle lasted me almost a year! I was shocked. I was amazed. I was sold for life.

I don’t care how cheap your current shampoo is… it is probably more expensive than MONAT when you factor in how long it lasts. The average bottle life is 4-6 months, for people who wash almost every day.

And most people find themselves washing less frequently with MONAT too: it just feels and looks clean longer (which also contributes to a longer life of each bottle).

Since MONAT offers a 30 day money back guarantee (even if your bottles are empty), there is no reason not to try it: you’ll save money, and you’ll love it: GUARANTEED, or your money back!

Is a Guarantee Important?

Personally, I always look for money-back guarantees in the products I buy for a few reasons:

  1. I want to know if I don’t like it I can get my money back. I like to buy quality products and that sometimes means they are pricey. If they are worth it, I will know that when I try them.
  2. Most things I buy these days are online. There is no real way to know for sure if something is as good as its claims until I try it. There has to be a guarantee.
  3. I want to purchase from a business that stands behind its products. If they are asking me to take all of the risk (buy with no guarantee), do I really trust this company?
  4. It tells me that this product will for sure be good. How can a company stay in business if they have a money back guarantee and their products aren’t great? They’d go out of business! You are literally guaranteed to love it.

3 Ways to Buy

Now that you know that you can save money with MONAT and that it’s guaranteed you will love it, let’s do it!

You will save money with MONAT over what you are doing, even if you buy retail. The prices are comparable with salon brands, but last much much longer (and what salon brand do you know that is money-back guaranteed??).

But who wants to pay retail?

Fortunately, there are a few great ways to get discounts:

  • Sales 
    MONAT has great sales, usually at least twice a month.  This summer sales have been ongoing–often overlapping! Sometimes concurrent sales can be combined for the best discounts I’ve ever seen!Reach out to me: Text “SALES” to  802-227-7051 and I’ll update you on the current offers!
  • Be a VIP Customer
    MONAT has the best customer loyalty program I have ever seen. Here are the benefits:

15% discount on all products — for life!
Access to all of our flash sales (2-3 every month) — save even more!
Free shipping with flash sale and flexship orders
No requirement to buy monthly — push your flexship out every 2 months — indefinitely
Free Only-for-You product with every flexship order ($25 value)
$25 in product credits every year on your birthday
Earn $20 in product credits for every referral

😍 How to Sign Up as a VIP Customer

Text “VIP” to  802-227-7051 and I will give you a link that will get you $20 off your second order too! I’d also love to chat with you to help you choose the best products for you at the best price possible. 

  • Get it Wholesale: Be a Market PartnerI think being a Market Partner (also called wholesale customer) is the best value overall and gives you the most flexibility with no commitment at all.

Here are the benefits:

✅ Wholesale prices — 30% off all products, all the time
✅ Access to all of our flash sales (2-3 every month) — save even more!
✅ Free shipping with flash sale and flexship orders 
✅ No sign up fee
✅ No minimum orders, ever
✅ No minimum sales, ever
✅ No automatic shipments
Tax deductions on your side hustle business (you can potentially save thousands of dollars on taxes)
✅ Earn commissions for every referral 
✅ Opportunities to earn cash bonuses every month
✅ Earn free products
Earn free vacations

And if you don’t want to earn money with it, you don’t have to! (But if you do want to, it’s a great business to be in. And what do you have to lose? You have to buy shampoo anyway so why not get it wholesale and get paid to tell your friends about it!) You can just be a wholesale customer with no requirements, minimums or expectations.

Just wholesale discounts. And whenever there is a sale, you get the sale discount on top of your wholesale discount–so you are saving money twice!

To become a Market Partner there are no fees or requirements: just buy a wholesale product pack and you are in!

There are 4 options. Check them out here!

To discuss which option is best for you and which products you should start with for your hair needs, text “MP” to 802-227-7051 and I’ll be happy to discuss any questions you have!

To review, there are 3 ways to order: 

One thing is for sure: you should try MONAT.

You won’t regret it.

And if you don’t like it, there is always a 30 day empty-bottle money-back guarantee! 

Text me today to find out how you can have the best hair of your life, and maybe even earn a living doing it!

 

More Resources:

Get Residual Income in 5 Easy Steps

Why Everyone Needs a Side Hustle (Hint: Save money on taxes and get a bigger refund!) 

What’s So Great About MONAT? 

Link to order MONAT as a Retail or Wholesale Customer

Referral Link to Order as a New VIP Customer (to get $20 off your 2nd order)

See What Sales Are going on Now (click “Start Now”)

Heard Rumors About MONAT? Find the Truth Here

Resesarch on the Safety and Effectiveness of MONAT’s ingredients

Spreadsheet listing MONAT shampoo ingredients and SkinDeep Ratings

 

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!

Residual Income: GET IT! 5 Simple Steps

Let’s talk residual income and how to get it.

What is residual income, and is it really possible?

Residual income almost sounds too good to be true:

  • Make money while you sleep
  • Work once and get paid forever
  • Become FINANCIALLY FREE

This may be why you’ve disregarded claims about passive income.

Is that possible?

How could I do that?

Where would I start?

It is possible. And every person who builds wealth does it. 

We are all taught the “path to success” from an early age:

  • Go to school
  • Learn things
  • Get a job
  • Work your way up the corporate ladder
  • Retire

How many people do you know who have followed this path?

Most people.

And how many of those people are financially free?

Many are struggling.

Some are comfortable.

But none are wealthy.

That’s because it’s not possible to become wealthy while building someone else’s dreams.

Wealthy people (in every sense of the word)* work for themselves.

They are entrepreneurs. 

Take a moment and look it up: the wealthiest, most successful people in the country, in your state, in your city: what do they do?

I’m willing to bet they are almost ALL entrepreneurs of some kind.

In order to create real income and true wealth, it is imperative to create passive, residual income. Without it, you’ll never do more than just “get by,” and you’ll never be paid what you are worth.

Once you understand what residual income is and how it works, you will want it. Surprisingly, it’s not incredibly difficult to accomplish, but it does take work!

Maybe you have tried your own business…

Lately I’ve been talking to a lot of new entrepreneurs.

These people want to work from home, but are frustrated with their “new businesses”

Many have joined network marketing or direct sales companies.

I haven’t gotten any sales!” Stephanie complained.

I’ve talked to people, but no one is interested,” lamented Melanie.

I’m just not very good at selling,” Olivia sighed.

What’s the problem?!

The frustration is real, but if you consider a few simple factors, you will see that true, substantial residual income is not only possible, it’s attainable by anyone: even you and me!

You just may need to reconsider your approach.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing YOUR Side Hustle

1. The Products

People often tell me they chose their side hustle because “the products are amazing,” or “they changed my life.”

That’s great!

But is it a good enough reason to make that your side hustle?

Of course, it’s important to be passionate about the products you represent.  It’s guaranteed that if you don’t think your products are life-changing, nobody you talk to will get excited about them either.

Your products ABSOLUTELY must be life-changing, and you must believe in them 100%!

So if you are representing a product you love, you will definitely be successful, right?

Not so fast. There are four other very important considerations, and it is crucial that they all apply to your business if you are going to be successful.

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

2. The Competition

Ask yourself objectively: How many other companies carry products that are similar to yours?

  • You have 100% organic bath and body products? Great! So do 100 other direct-selling companies. Even more importantly, organic soap and lotion are quite easily bought on almost anywhere with no commitment or interaction.
  • You have the cleanest make-up around? That’s amazing! How many other companies offer organic make-up and skin care? (Also, not everyone wears make-up. Your audience is limited to women, and then only some of them use make-up often if at all).
  • Your weight loss shakes transformed your health and you lost 60 pounds? Perfect! But if every other company you see sells weight loss shakes and supplements, it may be difficult to compete. Do they all have amazing testimonies that look just like yours? (And even if people buy weight loss products, how long will they continue to purchase? Generally, they either don’t work and they stop buying it, or they work great… and they stop buying it).

COMPETITION MATTERS. It can make or break your sales.

What sets you apart?

You should offer something people can’t get anywhere else.

“But these shakes are truly revolutionary! They do things no other shake does!”

Your shake could be amazing, but that testimony isn’t very convincing to your average consumer, who has 5,326 other options for shakes that (to them) look identical to yours. And that’s if they are even in the market for a shake: only a fraction of the population is interested in shakes at all!

Ideally, your product has NO competition.

And you should be well-versed on what sets your product apart.

EXAMPLE:

I work with a Mental Wellness Company.

Have you ever heard of a mental wellness company? 

Probably not (because there is only one). 

Is mental health a big deal these days? 

I’d say it’s at crisis levels.

Are people desperate to heal from this issue? 

And get off their meds, that have disastrous side effects. 

Are there clear, easy, readily available (natural) solutions to this issue already in the marketplace? 

You tell me. 

So let me ask you this: if you struggled with anxiety, depression, brain fog, focus issues, energy, sleep, weight,  hormones, thyroid, digestion, food allergies, behavioral issues…

…and I could offer a solution that promises to address ALL of them… simply and easily, with natural ingredients, that is literally guaranteed to help you…

Would you want to try it?

Chances are you would. Why?

Because no one else is promising these things, except pharma manufacturers… and we all know drugs don’t heal; they just mask symptoms and have side effects that are difficult to live with.

If you could get to the root of ALL of your issues naturally and effectively, GUARANTEED….

Why wouldn’t you try it?

That’s what exclusivity in the marketplace looks like. 

…Something people know they need, but they have no idea where to get it.

They are just waiting, watching for the answer.

And you have the answer.

Personally, I can tell you I’ve earned more income faster than I have with ANY company working with the Mental Wellness Company.

And did I mention how inspiring and fulfilling it is to help people finally, truly heal?

It’s like nothing else.

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

 

So what do you do to determine if your product is unique in the marketplace?

Come up with a list of things that sets your products apart.

Make sure your list is compelling, and that you have it committed to memory.

It should be abundantly clear to anyone who has never tried your products before that yours are different from anything else on the marketplace.

(Be honest with yourself here.)

If you can’t come up with a good list of reasons why your product is ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE, you may have found the reason it isn’t selling well.

If your product has too much competition in the marketplace, the dollars will be spread over every option, giving each one a smaller share.

The problem may not be you. It may be your products.

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

3. The Company

The products can be amazing and there can be no competition, but if the company lacks integrity, you have a problem.

Research the company you are looking at.

  • Is it owned by a family or a mother corporation?
  • How long has it been in business?

(If a very long time, like Avon, Amway or Mary Kay, the market may already be saturated).

  • How does the company treat their associates?

Do they value the people that work with them or have they ripped people off, leaving distributors unhappy?

Do they offer valuable incentives, trips, and a generous compensation plan with bonuses that encourage success?

  • What is the structure of the business model?

Is it direct-sales, network marketing, traditional marketing, commission-based?

Do they provide resources and quality marketing materials to give their associates the best possible chance at success? Do they provide training videos?

  • Is the company in debt or financially free of ties?

My brother worked with a company that provided storable food solutions for Emergency preppers: because when the end of the world is upon you, it’s a good idea to have food handy.

His business did well and he was making up to $15,000 per month… until they sold the company and changed the business model away from network marketing.

He lost the income he’d built overnight.

Trusting the company you work with and doing your research on the financial shape of the company is imperative to avoid this kind of disaster.

Learn about the company: who owns it, what their philosophy is, if they are in debt or if the company is sustaining itself with revenue, and meet the CEO if you can to understand the true mission and values of the company.

My friend & me hanging with the CEO in his office… no big deal.

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

4. The Compensation

You can have amazing, unique products that have no competition and a wonderful, family-run company that treats their distributors like gold, but if they don’t have a great compensation plan that allows you to build significant residual income long-term, how can it be the right vehicle?

The first thing to look at is the nature of the products. Do they allow for residual income by being used up, so people keep coming back for more?

  • The product should be consumable.

Consumable means they run out: they must be repurchased regularly.

While selling something like hair clips or jewelry is fun, every time you want to sell more, you have to find more customers, and sell more.

That’s not passive income—that’s active income. It can be one type of income stream, but it will NOT create residual income—because people aren’t re-ordering on a regular basis. After all, how many pieces of jewelry does a person need?

Conversely, if one of your selling points is that your customers only ever need to buy one thing every few years (like with one cleaning company I’ve worked with that sells high-quality cleaning cloths), what does that mean for you? It means you have to hustle a lot more to make a decent income, and it won’t be very residual.

To build truly residual income, your products MUST BE consumable.

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

  • Study the compensation plan.

Any time you are considering a company, you need to evaluate the compensation plan and really understand it.

There may be videos that go in depth, or maybe the person who told you about the company can explain it in more detail so you know how they get paid and what you can expect.

  • It’s great to find a company that not only pays commissions on personal sales, but also incentivizes building a team. This way you can earn commissions on all of the people on your team, not just your customers.
  • Look at the top earners in the company. How much are they making and how long did it take them to get there? How many people are making really great incomes?
  • Also many companies have bonus incentives the first 1-3 months after joining: so you start making good money right away and get your business on the right track from the beginning—which is good for everyone!

Bonuses built into the comp plan, especially at the beginning, allow for active income (now) and passive income (residually…forever)!

The details of the comp plan matter. A lot.

5. The Team

Lastly, examine the team you would be working with if you joined your potential business.

  • Do you like these people?
  • Are they successful?
  • Do you like their strategies?
  • Can you relate to them?
  • Would you like to work with them and learn from them?
  • Are they people that could be (or already are) your friends? Would you be happy to travel with them and do events together?

One of the biggest benefits of having your own business is the ability to work with people we like. We can choose who our teammates will be! And when they succeed, we succeed–we are literally invested in each other’s success.

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

Over the past year, I’ve met some of my best friends doing this business.

Some of them live near me, and some live across the country. I’ve traveled to the Bahamas with some of them (a free vacation on one of my companies!) and look forward to many more trips with these new life-long friends.

  • Does your potential team work together well to achieve goals?
  • Do they help each other?
  • Do they like each other, or is there a lot of drama and fighting?
  • Can you get on board with the team’s strategies? Are they open to your ideas?
  • Can you see yourself contributing and being successful with them?

These are all questions you must ask yourself when considering a serious side hustle.

Network marketing is a team effort–your choice of team is important.

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

Now that we’ve gone through the top 5 things to look for when choosing the side hustle that is perfect for YOU… let’s talk about some questions or objections you may have.

But isn’t Network Marketing a Scam?

Network marketing  (MLM) has a bad reputation.

Some people call it a “pyramid scheme” (which isn’t accurate—look it up! Pyramid Schemes are illegal and don’t involve any products!).

Let’s look at what Network Marketing is, exactly.

Network Marketing is a business model that involves marketing primarily based in Word-of-Mouth marketing.

Why?

Because studies (and common knowledge) show that the most effective way to get a new customer is if someone they know and trust recommends it to them.

Plain and simple.

People buy what their friends and family recommend.

But what kind of marketing do most companies do?

Billboard ads, TV commercials, radio spots, Internet banner ads, etc.

That advertising is far less effective than word-of-mouth. But for huge corporations, it is a lot easier to spend money to advertise than to enlist an army of faithful customers to dedicate their time and efforts to spreading the word about their products.

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

And that’s what Network Marketing companies do. They 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.

I work with a couple of companies, and of course I’ve applied all of the above criteria to each of them. That being said, if I come across products I really want to try and I can get a wholesale discount by signing up as a distributor, I usually do it: because that makes that purchase tax deductible, and if I recommend it and someone buys I can make a little bit of money as well.

Here are the companies I have found to meet all of the above criteria and offer (with work) the best chance of success:

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

Amare: Heal Your Brain by Healing Your Gut. 

The latest research in mental health (and overall health) is all pointing to the same source: GUT HEALTH.

Did you know the gut produces 95% of the body’s (brain’s) serotonin? This brain chemical, once thought to be exclusively centered on the brain, is produced in a healthy gut. This tells us a lot about how gut health can influence mental wellness.

Did you know that over 80% of pharmaceutical medicines sold are for digestive complaints? GUT HEALTH.

And what about all of the children on pharmaceutical meds for ADHD, autism, focus, attention issues, hyperactivity, aggressive behavior… GUT HEALTH.

This company is changing what we think about mental wellness. Now you can heal your gut (which everyone needs to do anyway) and target mental wellness, naturally. And this company is new, so it’s a great business opportunity. If you want to discuss this mental wellness revolution opportunity, email or message me and let’s chat!

Take a Mental Wellness Quiz here to see how healthy your mental state is, and find out what you can do to improve it (hint: everyone can improve it).

MONAT haircare. I was never a “hair person” before, but guys: this stuff is life-changing. I always thought I had bad hair, but it has been literally transformed in the year since I’ve been using it. (And it’s helping people GROW BACK THEIR HAIR from thinning, balding, Alopecia, chemo, and other hair loss. This stuff is flying off the shelves!) It’s just a great business model, comp plan, company, team, and consumable product.

  • Click “join now” to get the best hair products you’ve ever tried at wholesale prices, write off all of your hair related expenses on your taxes, and make great money! Always a 30 day money (empty bottle) money back guarantee on every purchase–so there’s no risk! Take a hair quiz to see which products will fit your needs best.

And of course if you ever have any questions or would like to discuss anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My google voice number is (802) 227-7051. Feel free to call or text me any time, or PM me on Facebook messenger.

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

*Wealth: What is “true wealth” (in every sense of the word). It is a lot more than money. It is freedom. 

  • Time Freedom: Make your own hours, do what you love on your own schedule. Pay attention to your kids when they need you. Take a vacation on your clock. 
  • Location Freedom: Work wherever you are: from your phone, laptop or in person. At home, on the beach, in a ski cabin, across the world. 
  • Freedom Freedom: Be your own boss. Call your own shots. Choose the people you work with.
  • Financial Freedom: To accomplish all of the above, you have to make enough money to finance it. Don’t be a slave to your job, your bills, your taxes, your mortgage. Live in freedom. 

Resources:
Is Network Marketing a SCAM?? The Truth About MLMs

What is a Side Hustle? (And Why Would I Need One?) 

How to Get the Best, Healthiest Hair Naturally 

Mental Wellness: Heal Your Brain By Healing Your Gut 

 

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

New to Freedom & Coffee? Start here.

Disclosures:

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

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”