Ho-Ho-Holiday Foods & Gut Health

The holidays (and seasonal weight gain) are upon us! Work parties, class parties, family get-togethers… there’s no escaping the food spreads! And oh, it can be soooo tempting to go back for seconds!

But there’s more than just an expanding midsection at stake this holiday season, did you know that your gastrointestinal tract (GIT) health is the cornerstone to 80% of your overall health? Find out how to promote, maintain and support your GIT health this holiday season and year round with these tips and tricks.

Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) Health: Cornerstone to Your Overall Health

If your digestive system is in order, it should be filled with healthy bacteria (flora) and enzymes that break down your food while supporting your immune system, nervous system and all of your hormonal functions. Translation: You’ll feel great!

Common body functions/systems a healthy GIT can help support:

  • Energy
  • Positive Mood
  • Healthier Cravings
  • Digestion
  • Immune System
  • Skin
  • Vaginal health
  • Mental Focus
  • Healthy Weight Maintenance

What damages the gut flora lining?

Our gut lining is one cell thick, so supporting its health (and preventing the spread of candida yeast) is crucial. Candida spreads and is hard to kill! The result: a “leaky gut” that allows partially digested foods to flow through the damaged area of the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream directly (Yikes!).

LeakyGutSyndrome

This leak can cause intolerances and the release of stress hormones. One of these stress hormones, cortisol (produced in Adrenal Glands), further taxes the body, starts to IMPAIR the body's immune system, and promotes WEIGHT GAIN in the mid-section.

Substances that damage the GIT

  • Pain Killers
  • Poor food choices (processed foods)
  • Viruses
  • Parasites
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Antibiotics
  • NSAIDs
  • Bad bacteria

The 4 R’s of GIT Health

Support your GIT health by remembering the 4 R’s.

1. REMOVE

God created our bodies and our foods... let's just try to stick to His foods – His plan. Start your journey to GIT health by removing stressors and these unhealthy food choices from your life:

  • fake foods that are loaded in toxins (aka “processed foods”)
  • strong & excessive caffeine
  • sugars
  • sugar substitutes
  • diet colas & regular colas
  • preservatives
  • alcohol
  • gluten & dairy (test these one at a time to see if your body responds because not everyone is sensitive to them)

Rule of thumb: If there are words on the ingredients list you can’t pronounce, then don’t buy it. And if the ingredients probably won’t be found in your own kitchen ingredients pantry, then don’t buy it.

2. REPAIR

I take   Oregano Oil,   Copaiba , and  Thieves  to promote organ health. Organic coconut oil is great for its probiotic power. 

I take  Oregano Oil, Copaiba, and Thieves to promote organ health. Organic coconut oil is great for its probiotic power. 

Time to take action! Here are 4 steps to help repair your GIT health.

Step 1: As part of an unprocessed diet, be sure to include omega-3s like OmegaGize and vitamins such as zinc, antioxidants (vitamins A, C, & E), L-glutamin, quercitin, aloe vera, and turmeric. Master Formula contains all your vitamin needs, plus oils that research has proven to support organ tissue health.

Step 2: Allow your gut to rest by juicing or fasting.

Step 3: Consume Caprylic Acid, which comes from coconut oil, to kill candida yeast. Longevity contains coconut oil plus essential oils that support healthy cells.

Step 4: Take Oregano Oil, Copaiba, and Thieves to promote organ health.

3. RESTORE

Life 5, a powerful probiotic, is on my DAILY supplement lifst! 

Life 5, a powerful probiotic, is on my DAILY supplement lifst! 

Probiotics help restore gut flora. It’s a good idea to take a probiotic daily. On days you are taking antibiotics or are sick, increase your dosage. This is why Life 5 is on my DAILY supplement list!   

Life 5 builds and restores core intestinal health by providing five clinically proven probiotic strains including two advanced super strains to enhance intestinal health, sustain energy and improve immunity. Life 5 contains 10 billion active cultures and improves colonization up to 10 times.

Try to also include fermented food & beverages such as greek yogurt (no sugar), water kefir, milk kefir, kombucha, kimchi, or sauerkraut. These fermented foods and drinks are high in probiotics. Go to your local health food store for all of these (or brew your own... or contact me for grains to get started on your own)! I take Life 5 DAILY along with drinking Kombucha!

4. REPLACE

Young Living’s  Core Supplement Kit  contains EVERYTHING you need for gut health (Master Formula, Life 5, OmegaGize, and Longevity).  I would also add in Essentialzyme for the breaking down and absorption of vitamins and minerals from your food!

Young Living’s Core Supplement Kit contains EVERYTHING you need for gut health (Master Formula, Life 5, OmegaGize, and Longevity).  I would also add in Essentialzyme for the breaking down and absorption of vitamins and minerals from your food!

Help the gut ease back into proper functioning by taking digestive enzyme supplements, such as Essentialzyme. Continue taking Life 5 probiotics for gut health maintenance. Try to eat ½ a plate of vegetables at each meal and also eat something raw at each meal. “Raw” foods provide live enzymes! This could be an apple, mixed salad, or raw cheese.

Young Living’s Core Supplement Kit contains EVERYTHING you need for gut health (Master Formula, Life 5, OmegaGize, and Longevity) and I would also add in Essentialzyme for the breaking down and absorption of vitamins and minerals from your food!

Ask Santa (or Me!) for Help Stuffing Your Stocking with Essential Oils

YoungLivingStocking

Holidays can be exciting! Just try to enjoy the company more than the second plate of food! Get plenty of sleep and rest for the gut. And, oh yeah… ask Santa for a stocking full of Young Living supplements and essential oils!

Christie Brooks, Registered Dietitian

Level 1 CrossFit Trainer

Young Living Essential Oils Distributor & Educator #1376241

WhyWeightLifestyle

Top 10 Essential Oils for Pregnancy

My little boy is 2 and embodies the phrase “Oil Baby.” You may not have heard this term before (I hadn’t before he came along), but it has definitely become common in my vocabulary. I was introduced to Young Living Essential Oils a couple years before he was even a "twinkle in our eye," as they say, and when I became pregnant I was very cautious of anything I used. I work in a Children’s Hospital (specifically the ICU areas) so I’m a little more paranoid than most, but I quickly discovered that there were several oils that made me feel better than I had ever before. So you could say, he was an Oil Baby even before he was born!  

My Oil Baby!

My Oil Baby!

And now with #2 on the way, I’m enjoying this one (almost) as much! Let’s be honest, with a 2-year-old and a full-time job, sleep isn’t quite as attainable. So I may be a little sleep deprived…ok, maybe a lot, but other than that I feel great! But, like I told the OB, I just don’t tell other pregnant women for fear that they may assault me in the Waiting Room! 

But today, I’m sharing my top 10 Oils (and a few products) that I can't live without while pregnant! But quick disclaimer first: I am not a medical professional and I cannot confirm nor deny whether these are safe to use during pregnancy, always check with your primary doctor.

My Top 10 Favorite Essential Oils for Pregnancy

1. Thieves 

Thieves is great for immune support during pregnancy. 

Thieves is great for immune support during pregnancy. 

I was working in the Emergency Room when I was pregnant the first time, and not just the ER, but the waiting rooms of the ER with all the sick kiddos. Let me just say throughout my entire pregnancy I did not get sick once! I put it on the bottoms of my feet every day before work. Oh and added bonus…it helps with stinky feet ;) 

2. Peppermint

Ward off congestion and exhaustion with a little Peppermint. 

Ward off congestion and exhaustion with a little Peppermint. 

This is good for those early days when you feel a little (or a lot) woozy. And it can help alleviate head pressure and congestion that comes along with pregnancy. Oh and when you feel a little sleepy but you don’t have the option of a nap because a 2-year-old is running around your house? Breathe a little of this to perk you up! 

3. Lemon

Say goodbye to the queezies with Lemon. 

Say goodbye to the queezies with Lemon. 

I’ve heard many women comment on lemon oil helping with the queezies. I didn’t know about this the first time around, but I definitely used it this time! And personally I love the taste and smell much better than peppermint. Lemon is also a great one to have around to keep your spirits up and help you stay positive!

4. DiGize

DiGize is great for all stomach discomfort. 

DiGize is great for all stomach discomfort. 

Anyone who does not have this oil in their possession (pregnant or not) needs to get a bottle. DiGize has saved me so many times! This stuff supports normal digestion and promotes healthy intestinal function and gastrointestinal system comfort -- after every meal. It also helps with that burning sensation you can get when you've eaten a few too many slices of pizza...you know that fun feeling that usually takes hold in the latter part of pregnancy…not looking forward to that…

5. Peace & Calming

Take the edge off of pregnancy stress with Peace & Calming. 

Take the edge off of pregnancy stress with Peace & Calming. 

I used this my entire pregnancy on a daily basis. I started off using it for deodorant because I didn't want to come in contact with all that aluminum and other yucky stuff. I loved the smell and I mixed it with coconut oil. I’m convinced this is why my baby was ridiculously calm and chill as an infant, but can’t say for sure. Regardless, it kept me at peace to better handle all the stressors of being pregnant—and just life in general!

6. Gentle Baby

Add this to your daily regime to reduce your stretch mark risk. 

Add this to your daily regime to reduce your stretch mark risk. 

Gentle Baby helps prevent stretch marks. Unfortunately, I was not diligent the first go-round with this daily regime, but I learned my lesson. I’ve been using it like crazy for Pregnancy #2! I actually just whipped up some body butter made with Raw Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Gentle Baby, and I love it!  Smells great and it’s super smooth and creamy.

7. Lavender

Lavender is great for so much! Try it for congestion, skin support and more. 

Lavender is great for so much! Try it for congestion, skin support and more. 

Lavender is the “Swiss Army Knife” of oils; it has so many uses and it’s so gentle I always felt ok using it. It promotes healthy respiratory function, the body's natural response to skin irritation and so much more! When in doubt, I pull out that lavender!

8. ClaraDerm Spray

Keep this handy for "down there" issues. 

Keep this handy for "down there" issues. 

This is a wonderful blend of oils combined with a carrier oil all in a super convenient spray bottle. ClaraDerm spray is great for all those “down there” issues that no one wants to talk about. It’s also great for prepping and recovering from labor and all the unspeakable things that happen with that!

9. OmegaGize

Help your pregnancy brain with OmegaGize. 

Help your pregnancy brain with OmegaGize. 

These are great capsules to help your pregnancy brain. Many people recommend taking fish oil while pregnant to help you and the baby. OmegaGize is a great alternative. Many fish oils go rancid quickly, sometimes before you even buy them. The way these capsules are produced and packaged you don’t have to worry about that, and they’re infused with essential oils to help you absorb the nutrients even more efficiently.

10. True Source

True Source vitamins are derived from the true source!

True Source vitamins are derived from the true source!

I absolutely love these vitamins! I did hours of research the first pregnancy to make sure these vitamins measured up to the prenatal vitamin standards. I also discovered many other tidbits of info along the way such as many synthetic vitamins can be dangerous to have too much of, like Vitamin A. So the great thing about these is they’re not synthetic and come from the true source! You can tell when you look at them too, the colors naturally reflect what they're made from. The one minor drawback: the set of 3 capsules can be hard to stomach in the beginning, but they are well worth the struggle! I feel great, my hair and nails grow wonderfully, and, the best part, I don’t have the negative side effect that arises from most other prenatal vitamins…the constipation. But even if you did, you could use peppermint or DiGize noted above to support your digestive system!   

Learn More

So as I was saying my little boy is an Oil Baby. I’ve used Young Living Essential Oils with him from the womb and now he asks for them! When he doesn’t feel good, he’ll go find the oil bottle and hand it to me. And I’m sure this next one will be the same way, except she’ll have Mom and big brother “oiling her up” to face the world. I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

If you would like to learn more about how my family incorporates essential oils into our everyday life, I would love to talk to you! Feel free to contact me at creationsbyrae@outlook.com or 408-250-0648.  Or if you're ready to just jump in, visit my website, youngliving.org/rachelzachary to sign up!  

Oily Mommas: What are your go-to pregnancy oils?