Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Natural

Camp

Take me back to last weekend, the long weekend, the first weekend in a very long while our little family got to escape the city and go bush! As we were packing on autopilot and as we relaxed into a simpler rhythm of camping I reflected how things have changed for the better…

  • Camp meal planning no longer involves packet rice and packet pasta but a whole heap more vegetables and knowing your butcher
  • The night before camp now includes meal prep like this amazing roasted spicy capscium dip

Happy hour around the camp fire

  • Husband did the last minute camp shopping and was horrified when he reached for the some of the foods we used to pack only to turn it over to read the gazillion numbers and non-food ingredients. Safe to say they went back on the shelf.
  • Husband was so proud when he got home from shopping with the water pack being fluoride and additive free. Next time we will double the water as we all drink it in greater quantities than last camp trip.

Fresh water

  • Making quick green smoothies for breakfast on the go rather than drive through Maccas (I use banana instead of mango)
  • Pit stops for a toilet break at Maccas confuses Master 4 ‘Isn’t this yucky food?’
  • Snacks for the road trip are no longer bags of lollies but a box of bliss balls and some mixed nuts & seeds.
  • Energy for the long road trip is fuelled by the car diffuser wafting Energy and Vitality
  • I had massively over-catered as we no longer eat many snacks and our meal sizes are smaller as they are so much more nutrient-dense
  • Setting up the campsite Master 4 remarked ‘Where is the TV?’. We were only one of two groups camping on the unpowered sites, everyone else was connected to power either camping or in caravans.
  • I discovered not 1 but 4 packs of pain-killer tablets in our camping gear, I used to have a pack or two everywhere I went. Now I rarely need them and if I do get a headache or tummy ache I reach for my peppermint oil.
  • Everyone is happy with bacon and eggs for breakfast everyday
  • I found a jar of Vegemite and a pack of gravox in our camp cooler bag and husband and I both laughed as we no longer eat these! In the bin they went!!
  • Sharing amenities with other people is an assault on the senses with the toxic personal care products people use. Waiting for shower with a row of teenage girls washing I felt myself holding my breath.
  • Preparing much of our food at home cut down on the waste we threw away, with only a shopping bag of rubbish over the long weekend and a few plastic items to recycle (any cardboard got incinerated on the campfire!)
  • Master 4 got some nasty insect bites on his hand that turned into welts and I was able to soothe the sting with lavender oil. One night I tucked him into his sleeping bag and zipped up the tent to then hear a wail of ‘Mum, I NEED my lavender!’
  • How convenient we have set our lives to be and how little we move our bodies. Walking to the amenities or the camp kitchen or the kids activities multiple times a day you certainly feel exhausted at the end of the day. Go-karting takes the exhaustion to a whole new level!
  • Being outside all day and all night exposed to the sunlight and moonlight as well as the fluctuations in temperature is a great way to reset your circadian rhythms and recharge your mitochondria. I made a conscious effort not to wear my sunglasses all weekend!
  • Total disconnect from social media and reconnecting with family was the ultimate recharge I needed
  • The realisation how light saturated we have become when you go bush and gaze up into the clear night sky to see a spectacular sight of stars.

Starry, starry night!

Already planning the next camping trip…Do you have any tips for camping while keeping in tune with a healthy lifestyle?

 

Jammed Up

The start of 2017 has not been the greatest with a few health expressions to slow me down. The first week I endured a 3 day migraine with the second day resulting in a blood shot left eye; not a particularly great look on the first week back to work. Last week I took sometime to slow down and listen to my body with another health expression. I spent time bed napping and resting with body aches, stuffy nose and a smashing headache. Soothed my razor blade throat with Zesty Mumma ginger lemon-aid (I only had oranges). I had my diffusers pumping with Twenty8 Immune Boost, body boosted with this blend as well as added a few drops to my detox Epsom salt bath. Immune Boost blend is a potent combination of Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea Tree, Cedarwood and Pine is perfect for strengthening the body’s immune system as well as a powerful decongestant with anti-bacterial properties. Took the edge off the headache with Twenty8 peppermint EO.

With all these headaches I was having recently I really was wanting to see my chiro. 12 months ago this notion would not have even crossed my mind. I have started to see a chiropractor in May 2016 after attending the MINDD Forum and ACNEM which really made me think more about how the postural alignment impacts the state of our health. After the first few sessions my fog of fatigue lifted, the clarity of thought was remarkable, and my chiro was able to pin point areas of concern without me saying a word. My chiro noted the sore spots base of head = adrenals, spot just below my right rib cage = food intolerances, stomach = gut issues, all linked via the vagus nerve (more about this another time).

My chiro worked with my body to promote healing, ironing out the kinks, releasing the tension in my neck and shoulders and discovering a lot of tension was located at the very top of my spine, the seat of much emotion for me. With regular chiro sessions, we got my body to a physical point of wellness, and a place to be able to start working through some of the emotion that had been brought to the surface.  I started to stretch the sessions further apart as life became busy. My body soon told me what it thought of this with the return of headaches. Over the Christmas/New Year I let my sessions slip too long and I unravelled into a health expression. I was grateful for my chiro Living Health Care to see me last week and un-jam me. Now to work out what is going on in my neural tree.

Keeping up the fluids and EOs has helped with a quick recovery, as well as booking in a follow up appointment with my chiro. What tips and tricks do you do when you have a health expression?

The Wellness Summit 2016

The Wellness Couch thank you for a brilliant weekend filled with inspiring speakers and amazing exhibitors, bringing together so many like-minded people to create the change we wish to see in our world! There were even times with the conversations I had with friends over the weekend I thought some of the speakers had bugged our room. Such a powerful weekend!

summit-1

Wellness Summit 2016 Day 1

Back to basics, getting the small things right, simplify. Wellness Summit 2016 Day 1.
The Wellness Guys demonstrated poo to make us think about what sustains you, what goes into your body. Pick the keys moments to make the change.
Kim Morrison – you are here now from all the choices you have made, stay in your authentic self moment by moment. Self-awareness leads to self-discipline leads to self-control leads to self-respect leads to self-love.
Jo Whitton –  steps to healing from mental illness, and make time to talk to your kids. Counselling/fighting fears, chiropractic/natural therapies, supplementation, detoxing home/body, practicing gratitude, sleep, nature therapy, exercise/movement, and hobbies & interests. Support each other. Take the time to heal. Support yourself with like minded people.
Fouad –  part of experience is trust in life. Who is the I behind the concept?
Carren Smith –  if we don’t use challenges for what its purpose was we won’t grow and expand. What came first you or your thoughts, emotions, experiences? We all have to stand up and take responsibility for the way we live our lives from the inside out.

An Unexamined Life is a Life Not Worth Living – Socrates

Tim Robards your body is reflection of the environment you put yourself in, look after yourself first.

summit-3-lt

Laurence Tham – Wellness Summit 2016

No one is coming to save us, it’s your life, take self-control, take self-responsibility, the world does not owe you a single thing.
There are times when you feel on a journey by yourself, others can’t identify, acknowledge the loneliness, don’t try to hide it.
Appreciate the process.
Don’t ignore the conversations with yourself.
Find your child within.
Swim your own race 🏊
Powerful words from Laurence Tham at The Wellness Summit 2016.
And in the words of LT’s gorgeous children Be brave, believe in yourself and never give up

summit-4-bh

Brett Hill – Wellness Summit 2016

It’s not about other people, it’s about you. It’s how you deal or struggle with stress, it’s not about the size, big or small it’s important to you.
How do you keep going? How do you do it? What’s the alternative? What’s my choice?
Focus first on loving yourself. You haven’t been doing things for yourself because of other people. Do things for yourself because you are worth it.
Make the change to get back on track and go be a better version of you with a clearer version of your why.
Stay curious.
Learn about yourself.
Life is a choice. Choose to believe it happened for a reason.
Challenges faced are a good thing, I am exactly where I need to be.
Recovery from rock bottom happens with one choice, gradually you make more choices because you love yourself.
Life challenges, you don’t know why, it doesn’t make sense, you never know what life has got planned for you.
Something comes along and changes your life in an instant.

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”. – Charlie Chaplin

As tears trickled down my cheek, it was like Brett Hill was talking just to me, not the other 900 people at The Wellness Summit. Thank you Brett for your courage and compassion in sharing your rock bottom with us all

summit-2

Wellness Summit 2016 Day 2

You have a choice! The Wellness Summit 2016 Day 2.
Damian Kristof – make what we do by having a gentle approach, have fun, make connections. What is the best we can get?
Cyndi O’Meara – we have a crisis. Unless you make a commitment to make a change you will be like the rest if people. It’s time for a paradigm shift

Paradigm Shift – A time when the usual and accepted way of doing or thing about something changes completely – Changing Habits

Hilbilby beer pong! Seeing the speakers have fun on stage and pull the fire tonic faces was such a laugh a minute!

summit-5-mp

Marcus Pearce – Wellness Summit 2016

We dampen our incredible life at the expense of others.
Put yourself first.
Use being selfish for positive.
Be mindful of your culture, love your culture, create your own culture, protect your culture.
Your peer group is your culture. Choose it wisely.
Your family is your greatest teacher.
Thank you Marcus Pearce for an incredible wrap up of The Wellness Summit 2016! 

MINDD 2016

The MINDD Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children and families by promoting a holistic approach to healthcare and living. After last years MINDD Forum changing the direction of my healing and recovery there was no way I was missing the MINDD Forum this year, especially with the key note speaker being Kelly Brogan.

Dr Nancy O’Hara was back again this year speaking about ‘It wasn’t me it was my germs’; love this concept! We are depleting our microbiome of the nutrients we need by the way we lead our lives. The majority of our immune system resides in our guts. Gut dysfunction is associated with germs including parasites and yeast. It was interesting to learn that a clostridia infection, a bacteria in our gut, has been found to associated with psychosis. The way to treat gut dysfunction is with nutrition as fresh, organic, unprocessed foods that are varied and rotated; probiotics to control inflammation and encourage gut movement; remove stressors;  and the best way to detox is a minimum of 1 stool per day.

There is no such things as junk food; it is either junk or food

– Nancy O’Hara

Great talk on effects of food on anxiety by Trudy Scott, eating real, whole, good quality foods is the foundation to maintaining optimal mental health. A lower risk of depression and anxiety was found with traditional diet of vegetables, fruit, fish, grass-fed meat, and whole grains when compared to western and modern diets in an Australian study by Jacka 2010.

Diet intervention

Trudy Scott

Food is Medicine but there is no “one size fits all” diet. Great talk on Using Bioindividual Nutrition to Personalize Therapeutic Diets. Julie Matthews spoke about how dietary intervention is at the foundation of healing. Individuals have specific dietary needs and diet needs to be bioindividually applied. Keep an open mind as you may need to use a particular diet in the short term or further restrict a diet or prioritize one diet over another or apply more than one dietary principle to improve function with the goal of the least restrictive, most varied diet possible.

no one size fits all

Julie Matthews

What an awesome way to spend a Friday with these inspiring wellness rock stars at the MINDD Forum Food is Medicine day. I loved the cooking demos learning from the best of the best Alexx Stuart, Jo and Isaac Whitton from Quirky Cooking, and Helen Padrin and Charlotte Carr. From digestive calm soup to lemon cheesecake panna cotta to best butter chicken ever to pantry essentials in an non-negotiable hour of power. Nourishing your family with quality, real food is simple, basic to basics home cooking. Change the way we do our shopping and change how we approach new ways of eating. Teach our kids real food, take time to spend with our kids, talk with our kids makes a difference when going through change.

Food is Medicine

Top: Alexx Middle: Isaac and Jo Bottom: Helen and Char

I had the honour of meeting Kelly Brogan MD. Kelly is such an inspiration to me and I am extremely grateful to Kelly for her focus on maternal mental health including postpartum psychosis and showing us that we do have ‪‎capacity to heal‬. Thank you MINDD Foundation for bringing Kelly to Sydney.

Kelly

Kelly Brogan and me!

Listening to Kelly Brogan speak about the root cause of depression and anxiety and the power of our food was awe inspiring. We need to stop looking at the symptoms and start asking WHY? The whys are sugar imbalance, gluten sensitivity, nutrient deficiencies, and thyroid autoimmunity. Depression is an inflammatory response, a symptom not a disease.

Medication is not better than doing nothing. We don’t know what medications are doing to our microbiome. We are passing the damaged microbiome onto the next generation. The principle mental health intervention needs to be dietary recommendations.

We have knowledge inside us how to interact with food in a healing way but it is hijacked early with processed foods. We have to get back to food as information for gene expression and our microbiome. We need to speak to our nervous system in a different way.

Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.

“Through the alchemy of my darkest nights I heal and thrive. Today I rise!”

A beautiful and moving video shared by Kelly Brogan at the end of her talk which had most of the room in tears. We as women will transform this world!

Today I rise

Kira Sutherland spoke about the basic principles of healthy living for optimal wellness are natures 7 healers, of which most of us manage to achieve 2-3. However, if we achieve exercise this cascades into other areas and we are almost always then able to achieve all 7 healers. Exercise helps us to be better adapted to stresss, strengthens our immune system, improves our gut flora, helps our organs to detox, has been shown to be just as good as anti-depressant medications but with positive side effects. 

Exercise

Kira Sutherland

Other speakers included Erica Peirson on hypothyroidism in children on how brain development and every cell is dependent on the thyroid horone, pregnancy is a stress test on the thyroid and how the microbiome should be nurtured as much as the newborn itself; Elizabeth Mumper spoke about the Management of Prenatal and Postnatal Risk Factors of Autism and that so many things have changed so quickly for our kids and the basic recommendations for pregnancy include a well-balanced, organics, non-GMO diet, green your home, reduce stress, get enough sleep, regular exercise and avoid toxins; and Annalies Corse on Maternal Health and the nutritional considerations for conception, pregnancy, birth recovery  and the 4th trimester, and that it can take greater than 6 weeks for recovery after birth as this transition can be very stressful both emotionally and physiologicaly which can then further deplete us of nutrients and energy, with a labour + c-section birth the hardest delivery from an emotional point of view.

The postpartum period is a time when women tend to be amenable to health counselling; this provides a tremendous opportunity for promoting lifelong healthy habits.

– Annalies Corse

Help the brain heal the gut. A major aha moment for me listening to Dr Carlo Rinaudo talk about the role of the vagus nerve. If the brain is not working properly you have reduced brain-gut activation affecting gut and immune health. The vagus nerve is our largest cranial nerve connected to many different organs in our body.

Low vagal nerve activation results in

  • reduced gut motility
  • reduced release of digestive enzymes
  • reduced blood flow which reduces repair and nutrient transport
  • leaky gut leading to inflammation and autoimmunity

The typical response for low vagal tone is a sympathetic dominant state: adrenal stress, anxiety, poor sleep, hormone imbalances and poor posture. The vagus nerve stimulation has used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, stress, anxiety and depression.

I had vasovagal syncope‬ (fainting) after the birth of my son in the weeks before developing postpartum psychosis. The pieces of my health puzzle are starting to come together.

Vagus Nerve

Dr Carlo Rinaudo

Right time, right place meeting Holly Bridges with a lovely long chat with Holly about the polyvagal theory and the 3 responses to stress: flight, fight and freeze. Our body goes into survival mode, into a state of safety, into a shut down response thanks to a weak control of the vagus nerve. With the help of neuroplasticity it is possible to reconnect the mind-body connection and re-engage the brain.

Holly has a fantastic, easy to read, easy to understand book explaining the polyvagal theory and how this impacts people with Autism. A huge piece of my health puzzle has been ‘reframed’. Thank you Holly!

Reframe Book

Holly Bridges

My books from the MINDD Forum 2016.  So grateful to get my copy A Mind of Your Own signed by Kelly Brogan MD. Finally got my hands on Bubba Yum Yum’s The Paleo Way and get it signed by Char and Helen.

books

Books from MINDD 2016

Save the date for the third weekend in May 2017 for next years MINDD Forum!

 

Functional Nutrition Course

 

ACNEM 2016

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

What an amazing weekend of learning at the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) Nutrition in Medicine conference in the Sydney. So many awesome speakers with many gems of information on toxins in our environment, our microbiome, autoimmunity and genetic influences.

Cribb

Julian Cribb – ACNEM 2016

“If we do not have a ‘Right Not to Be Poisoned’, there will probably never again be a day when we are not.” – Julian Cribb Poisoned Planet 2014.

Brilliant presentation on the toxins in our environment. Most people have little notion of the contaminant spread and the impact on our bodies and minds, and the risks posed to human life now and for centuries to come. In our modern society we need to take responsibility, we alone have the power to correct, to take action and demand a new human right to eliminate toxins from the food chain.

Ecology

Emeritus Prof Mark Wahlqvist AO – ACNEM 2016

“To know where we come from is to know who we are and where we may go. We are ecological creatures.” Fantastic presentation by Emeritus Prof Mark Wahlqvist AO on “Health Care Systems for Ecological Creatures: the need to know who we are” ACNEM 2016. Food is an indicator of our ecological status and the eco-vulnerable are those who as most disconnected from their ecosystem. The rapid loss of our ecosystem is contributing to our health. The wholefoods system is being transferred by each generation to a people-less food system. We are losing our food biodiversity. We are missing our ecosystem with Nature Deficit disorder. We are ecosystem dependent creatures.

Bijlsma

Nicole Bijlsma – ACNEM 2016

Every 60 seconds 20 chemicals are registered on the Chemical Abstract Service Registry. That’s over 200,000 chemicals a week – Nicole Bijlsma – Environmental chemicals in the built environment: sources, health effects and avoidance strategies ACNEM 2016.

It takes years and generations to prove if these chemicals are safe or hazardous. Being evidence based is keeping us in the dark ages, when is sufficient evidence to act? The burden of proof is not on industry to prove safety of these chemicals. It is up to us as citizens to get involved to assess our chemical load. There are many ways we can reduce our toxic load including changing the food we eat, changing the personal care products we use and changing the way we clean our homes.

Prescott

Prof Susan Prescott – ACNEM 2016

“To change the world, you have to change the menu first” – Prof Susan Prescott.

Fantastic presentation on Early life solutions to the Modern Health Crisis. Our early environment influences our development and function. Bacteria are our foundation of life and as we have co-evolved with microbes they influence our physiology and behaviour. We don’t yet understand the effect on biology of food and we don’t even know what bacteria we have lost. Our disconnect from nature is another factor in our dysbiotic drift. The health of tomorrow will depend on what we do today. Everyone can make a difference by the choices we make!

Curriculum

Launch of the ACNEM Primary Care Curriculum

“As a nation we must do more”. The Federal Health Minister, The Hon Sussan Ley MP launched the ACNEM Primary Care Curriculum at the ACNEM Nutrition in Medicine conference. The greatest epidemic of all time is chronic disease. Changing our eating habits and emphasising the nutrition role in medicine is important in the prevention of disease and promotion of a healthy lifestyle, and as is providing doctors with this knowledge.

Nutrition and our environment play such an important role in our health, and after attending the ACNEM conference it certainly has made me think more about what is in my food and the toxins around my home. For anyone who is concerned about the foods they consume or may have any kind of health concerns a must watch is the upcoming What’s With Wheat Documentary.

This documentary investigates

  • what has changed in our wheat that is now causing a huge increase in cealiac and non-cealiac gluten sensitivity.
  • how modern agriculture has affected our wheat crops.
  • why we as a society are getting sicker and sicker, including a rise in autoimmune diseases.
  • what we can do to make change to not only improve our own health but the health of our children and future generations.

You don’t want to miss the FREE screening of What’s With Wheat Documentary available in June 2016.

What's With Wheat Documentary - opt-in page

Mrs Wishy Washy

Since first reading Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel I have wanted to give it a go in making my own laundry liquid. I thought it would be hard, time-consuming and fiddly. How wrong I was!

I made my first batch just before Christmas and this has lasted just under 3 months including many washes for night time toilet training. No longer washing day or night cloth nappies gave me a great opportunity to start to make my own laundry liquid. For laundry powder and liquids suitable for cloth nappies look here.

Laundry Liquid

Laundry Liquid Step by Step

There are only 3 ingredients to homemade laundry liquid, 4 if you count the water. Soap, washing soda, and borax. The recipe I started off with was Rhonda’s blog Down to Earth Have you tried homemade laundry liquid, and Homemade laundry liquid revisited. However I was not keen on the borax, as I think ant poison straight away and I am unclear of the environmental impact. Rhonda’s blog posts have some great comments and tips at the bottom from many of Rhonda’s readers.

The recipe I choose to use was Melissa from Frugal and Thriving, a borax free recipe. This week I made my second batch.

My product cost:

  • 7.95 soap
  • 3.99 washing soda 1kg
  • Half an hour of my time

Cost of Ingredients:

  • 7.95 1 bar of soap
  • 1.00 1 cup of washing soda

Total for 10 Litres = $8.95, that’s less than a $1 a litre!

Many of the recipes I found on how to make laundry liquid or powder recommended using any old soap, or sunlight soap, or lux flakes for ease of use. Soap ain’t soap!

  • Lux flakes Ingredients: Soap, Perfume.
  • Sunlight Soap: Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Etidronic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 11680, CI 16255, Potassium Hydroxide.

Sure this may be the cheap, standard option but I want my laundry liquid to be safe to use with no nasties like fragrance, perfume or EDTA. I refer to my Twenty8 Additive card when I am out shopping to check what ingredients to avoid in my personal care products. You can also refer to Chemical Maze or Skin Deep to look up the ingredients and check for yourself what is safe for you and your family.

I went looking for soap and I choose Dr Bronners Pure Castile Unscented bar soap; safe ingredients but compromising on palm oil, sorry orang-utans.

I choose the unscented soap so that I can add my own essential oils and know the quality of the essential oils that are being used with my laundry. I choose what is safe for me and safe for the environment, nothing synthetic or adulterated. I add 3-5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to each load as a stain remover as well as its high anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties. Every few loads I will add 3-5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil to a load for its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.

Tips

  • Use a pot just for soap making – just to be safe. I share my soap pot with my mum.
  • Best made when children are not around.
  • Washing soda can be found in most supermarkets, look on the top or bottom shelves.
  • Have enough containers handy to store more than 10L of liquid as you need space in container to shake before use.
  • The liquid is more like gel and will separate, it is still good to use.
  • Have a scoop to store with your liquid. I choose to re-purpose my plastic 1/3 measuring cup dedicated to laundry. (I have stainless steel measuring cups for cooking).
  • Have a smaller working container for everyday use and decant as needed out of the larger containers. I use a large 10L ice cream tub from my local cafe.
  • Any of the first aid oils would be a great choice to add to your laundry liquid and will give a beautiful and fresh aroma to you clothes and linen.

If you are more a powder than a liquid person, check out Stuart’s recipe.

If you are not keen on making your own laundry liquid, Jo from Down to Earth Mum has some great tips on how to choose the best laundry liquid or powder. My favourite store-bought eco-friendly laundry liquid is Kin Kin Naturals. Some other great laundry options can be found here and here.

Mrs Wishy Washy was a popular children’s book from my 1990s school days which I can still picture in my mind when I do the washing! Have you tried making your own laundry liquid?

Take my breath away

Take my breath awaaaaay!

Lately I have found myself holding my breath from the chemical bombardment I have been encountering. The toxins in the air seem to be everywhere, there is no escape. People think that this continual bombardment is ok in small amounts but we are starting to discover the accumulation effect of these chemicals and that some people may be more sensitive than others. The more I travel down the low-tox lifestyle path, the more I find I can’t stand the smell of fake fragrances and the more sensitive I am becoming to chemicals.

Do you find that you purposely avoid the cleaning product aisle at the supermarket from the toxin fumes wafting from every product on the shelf? Do you dread when you actually need a product from this aisle and make a made dash to locate and retrieve the product of choice whilst leaving the child and trolley at the end of the aisle to spare them from the onslaught? I certainly do as the smell takes my breath away.

Recently my sunglasses broke and I set out to buy a new pair from Westfield. I walked through the cosmetic section of Myer to get to the Sunglasses Hut and I thought I was going to pass out, it was so strong. How do those shop attendants work in that environment every day selling these so called perfumes?

Last Friday my neighbour had their whole unit steam cleaned and put the steam unit in the common area. I was suffocating from the toxic fragrance wafting to my unit, even husband gagged when he got home from the stench, it was that strong. Despite how cold it is we had to open our balcony door to be able to breathe, I couldn’t even smell my vaporiser with my essential oils.

Each week I take my son to his kinder gym class during Term. During a class one of the fathers was with his child and the aftershave/deodorant stench knocked me sideways. I spent most of the class working out where this particular father was just so I didn’t have to encounter the bubble of synthetic fragrances that surrounded him.

On the way to work I walked up the street behind a man with pungent deodorant. I was forced to stop and wait till he walked further ahead just to allow me to breathe. Can people not smell how strong that stuff is that they put on themselves?

At a recent birthday celebration I was surrounded by fake smells within the household. Coconut & fig foaming hand wash I had no choice but to use to wash dirt off toddlers hands. The smell stuck to my hands for what seemed like forever. The toilet block that scents and cleans with every flush. The spray and wipe used to clean up the spills. I escaped outside just to get some fresh air any chance I got.

If a chemical is questionable let’s try to eliminate it or at best it avoid it as best you can.  While I may not be able to control the entire environment, I am able to make my home as close to nature as possible and reduce the toxic chemical load. Has anyone else developed a heightened sensitivity to fake smells since reducing the chemical load in their life?

Garlic

Did you know that if you rub garlic on your feet that you will taste garlic in 30 minutes? This is a cool fact I learnt in Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program (HLE).

A few months ago I noticed a red, raised, rash-like patch the size of 20 cents on my armpit. I had no idea what it could be and it proceeded to get extremely hot, irritated and itchy especially being located in my already hot, sweaty armpit. It only got worse as rashes to began to appear on my other arm pit as well.

At first I thought it might have been an unusual way of detoxing as lymph nodes, which are part of your immune systems that help fight infection and disease, are found in the arm pit area as well as many other areas in your body. Then I saw on a low-tox Facebook group a number of other people were asking about rashes in their arm pits. I was not alone! However, it turned out that most of these people had made a recent switch to natural deodorant like Black Chicken. In my case I had made the switch to a natural deodorant months prior and it didn’t contain bicarb.

Not knowing what I had I asked my Mother-in-law. One look and she said ‘ringworm’. Great I have worms! Actually I had a fungus tinea also known as athletes foot. Ringworm thrives in wet, moist areas, particularly if you sweat a lot, and is highly contagious. Ringworm, like candida, may be caused by my ongoing issues with gut dysbiosis. One Google search mentioned “GAPS Diet along with antifungal herbs, supps would be great help. Fungal infections also are indicators of low immunity. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell, fungus overgrowth wouldn’t clear up until mercury/heavy metals are gone from the body. She says fungus is there to protect you from heavy metals. …B vitamin deficiencies, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E, D all are immune boosters. When they are low, body won’t function the way it should.” This particularly interesting as healing my gut is a work in progress. After the MINDD Forum listening to Dr Natasha in person I am looking into GAPS and I am currently getting tested by a holistic doctor following up some of ahas about my health, particularly around vitamin deficiencies and heavy metals levels.

I started treating the ringworm with over the counter anti-fungal creams, the heavy duty strength version where they recommend no longer that 2 weeks usage. Not particularly encouraging to use especially when you are applying this to your highly absorbent arm-pit area. I even tried a natural version of a over the counter anti-fungal cream. Creams didn’t really have an effect.

2015-06-21 008 Lavender

Twenty8 Lavender

Dr Google wasn’t much help as there as so many ways people recommend to treat ringworm, some even saying its difficult to treat or incurable despite it being so common. I was confused on what to do and reluctant to go to the doctor to get prescription medication. So I turned to my trusty essential oils. Lavender and Tea tree essentials oils have great anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties and these two oils in particular are safe to apply directly to the skin. Not having a pure therapeutic grade tea tree essential oil that I could trust I used my Twenty8 Lavender essential oil. Every first aid kid should contain Lavender.

Over the next few weeks the redness and itchiness subsided and the initial patch began to heal. But other rashes persisted and were starting to drive me bonkers. In my Twenty8 HLE course I started to learn the different properties of essential oils. I thought a synergistic effect of a combination of anti-fungal oils would be more effective than Lavender alone. I started to do a mini-massage on my arm pits with half a teaspoon of sweet almond oil and 1 drop of Twenty8 Immune Boost. This had the desired effect and slowly my arm pits started to recover slightly, but the ringworm still persisted. The tea tree oil I did have on hand I used as an anti-fungal laundry rinse aid by adding a few drops (or perhaps a drizzle) to each load of laundry as ringworm can be extremely contagious and spread easily in a household. Tea Tree essential oil certainly made our clothes, sheets and towels smell amazing!

2015-06-21 005 Calm kids

Calm Kids by Jennifer Jefferies

I was at the stage of seeking medical advice to combat the ringworm that had plagued me for months now. I had hoped with the advent of the winter months and the cooler weather this would help settle down my skin. I was sick and tired of having itchy, irritated armpits. Whilst reading Calm Kids book (recommended reading in Twenty8 HLE) I read that garlic can be used on older children to treat ringworm.

I decided to try the garlic option as it seemed easy enough. A sliver of raw garlic rubbed directly onto the skin. You may experience a slightly burning sensation if you get the garlic on unaffected skin, but the relief from the itchiness is almost instant. Its the caprylic acid in garlic that is anti-fungal and which is also found in coconut oil, another recommended option to treat ringworm. What I discovered after the fact was that it should have disclaimer on the numerous sites claiming garlic is an effective treatment. After I treated myself with garlic I Googled an explanation as to why I became so ill. A side effect of garlic can be diarrhoea, stomach issues, nausea, gas in some individuals like this and this website mentions. I got all these symptoms in spades along with loss of appetite not surprisingly, and this was most likely caused by the toxins excreted from the fungal die-off.

However, within three applications of raw garlic onto my armpits over three days my ringworm has almost cleared completely. It took over a week to start to feel like my stomach was happy with me again and to be able to eat without wanting to gag. I continue to apply the anti-fungal creams and essential oils now that the ringworm appears to under control.

Have you tried any natural remedies for ringworm? Or a natural treatment for skin conditions?

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