Your Guide to Good Gut Health

Pixabay – CCO Licence

In recent years, the benefits of good gut health have become more clear. If your gut is healthy, you are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, sleep well at night, have a strong immune system, and be in a better mood – and that’s just or starters.

So, it’s clear that achieving good gut health should be the aim of anyone who takes their own health and wellness seriously, but how exactly do you do that? Read on to find out… 

AVOID THE FOLLOWING

Although you can achieve good gut health on any diet from vegan to paleo, there are a few foods and actions that you should avoid if you want to get your gut as healthy as it can possibly be. They include: 

Sugar

Sugar is one of the worst things you can eat if you’re hoping to boost your gut microbiome. Why? Because fungus and bacteria, such as Candida love sugar. If you provide them with a never ending supply, they will chow down and begin to thrive in your body. In fact, sugar is so loved by various gut bacteria that, if you eat a lot of it, it can actually change the composition of your gut microbiome and the way that it functions. This doesn’t mean that you can never eat sugar but make it a once in a while thing rather than a daily part of your diet.

Preservatives

Everyone knows that processed foods are far worse for us that healthy home-cooked whole foods, but did you know that processed foods can negatively affect your gut microbiome? The main reason for this is that processed foods contain preservatives like carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate 80, which are able to alter the composition of your gut’s microbiome. Regular exposure to them will hit your gut health hard, so be sure to check the labels on any packages food you do eat and where possible cook fresh healthy meals for yourself and your family.

Pixabay – CCO Licence

Artificial Sweeteners

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to replace your sugar habit with lots of artificial sweeteners because they too are pretty bad for your gut microbiome and can make your belly really unhappy.

Artificial sweeteners can cause your gut’s microbiome to become unbalanced, promoting intolerance to glucose and other metabolic abnormalities which can lead to illnesses like diabetes as well as poor gut function. If you can eliminate them from your diet completely, you would be doing your body a huge favor.

Allergens

More than 50 million people in the USA suffer from at least one allergy each year, but because many of them experience only mild symptoms, a sizable percentage of sufferers do not even realize they have a problem. This is bad news for their guts because, if they ingest an allergen, it could cause painful issues inside the gut. That’s why you should check out these common allergy symptoms and signs, and if you think you could be allergic to a foodstuff, arrange a blood test with your doctor. It could make a huge difference to your wellness levels and give your gut a break.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are often necessary and if your doctor thinks you need them, you should not avoid taking them, but on those occasions where they are not really necessary, you should perhaps, on the advice of you doctor, give them a miss because they often kill off good bacteria in the same quantities as bad, which can leave your gut in a bad place.

If you do have to take them, consider taking a probiotic supplement once you’ve finished your course of medication as this will help to repopulate your gut with the good bacteria it needs for optimum health.

Smoking

Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, but not a lot of people know that it is also one of the best things you can do for your gut microbiome. Numerous studies have shown that smokers have gut microbiomes that are similar to people with IBS and obesity – which means they are not in the best shape. Once they quit, providing they eat a gut-healthy diet, they can improve their gut health significantly. 

Pixabay – CCO Licence

Stress

Did you know that many people refer to the gut as a second brain? Your gut and brain are always communicating with one another through the vagus nerve, and when you are stressed, this can have a negative impact on your gut. That’s why, if you’re experiencing digestive issues, as well as treating the gut, you should maybe try to give your brain a break by taking up meditation or pampering yourself with essential oils and a hot bath to bring your stress levels down. You might be surprised by how well it works.

DO THE FOLLOWING

Spend Time in Nature

In the recent past, humans have tended to migrate from rural locations to city metropolises. As a result, we tend not to have the same kind of connection with nature that we once did. This means we aren’t exposed to quite as many microbes as we once were and this is having a negative impact on our bodies, making us more likely to have allergies and poor immunes systems as well as poor gut health. By getting exploring forests, beaches, and rivers, we can expose ourselves to more microbiomes and increase our wellness levels significantly. 

Exercise Regularly

You knew it was coming, right? It seems like exercise can improve your health and wellness in so many ways and your gut is no exception. If you work out regularly, the diversity of your gut’s bacteria will improve and this will help to improve your digestion amongst other things. You don’t even have to exercise particularly hard to see results – a simple walk or hog around the block will help just as much as a long sweaty gym session when it comes to boosting gut health at least.

Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer Review

Disclosure: I received free product to help facilitate this posts. Affiliate links are included herein.

A good thermometer is an essential in any household, especially when you have kids!  We always had oral thermometers before Thaxton was born, but when we found out about his arrival we got a couple of thermometers for the forehead. (Because you can never have too many thermometers, in my opinion.)  Recently I had the chance to try the Exergen Temporal Thermometer.

This thermometer is #1 in proven accuracy by more than 70 published clinical studies.  Here are few quick facts:

  • It works as the gentle stroke of the forehead captures naturally emitted heat
  • red LED lights and soft beep indicate a correct scan
  • Arterial Heat Balance computes the correct temperature
  • Safe and easy to use

Why & How So Accurate?

Temporal thermometers are said to be more accurate than ear thermometers and at least as accurate as rectal thermometers.  (They are also safer than these two altneratives.)

And we all know that oral thermometers can be inaccurate if the person has eaten or drank something recently; not to mention, it is impossible to get a baby or small child to hold a thermometer in their mouth (or anywhere else).

The Temporal Artery is directly connected to the heart via the carotid artery and has the constant blood flow needed for accurate measurement.

Exergen Vs. My Other Temporal Thermometers

Other forehead thermometers I’ve tried required the thermometer to be placed on a certain spot on the head to get one reading. (I have one that you have to put between the eyebrows and another that goes in the middle of the forehead.  A simple mistake in placement could lead to inaccuracy with those.  Not to mention, I found myself doing 4 or 5 checks each time and getting different results, which is frustrating.) 

Meanwhile the Exergen thermometer is used by running it over the forehead randomly.  As you move it across the forehead it takes 1,000 readings per second, selecting the most accurate.  (I love that!)

I also like that it beeps and lights up when you scan, so you know you it is working.  The light up feature is also great for checking your little one’s temperature at night.  The thermometer also features a silent mode, which is a big plus if you are checking on a sleeping child.

It’s also very easy to use, and again, I love that you scan over the entire forehead and it gives you an average for the reading. This is way better than than touching it to one spot and hoping you hit it right.

Take a lot at the Exergen Temporal Thermometer to learn more!

Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box: March Mood Box

Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this post.  Affiliate links are contained herein. The opinions are my own.

Happy March!  This month we have another great Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box!  The theme for this month’s box is Mood Box! I’m very excited about this one, because one of the big reasons I got interested in oils was to help with combat anxiety, stress, and trouble sleeping.

Here are a few quick facts about the Essential Oil Recipe Box:

  • Cost is just $39 / month.
  • Each box has 4 bottles of essential oil, recipe cards to help you use your oils in fun and unique ways, plus other materials you need to make the recipes.
  • Each box is specially curated with a unique theme in mind.
  • Each box is a $150 value!
  • When you subscribe you get a cool BONUS box for FREE!
  • You also get a $40 gift card for FREE when you use my referral link and coupon code:  SSHOMEFREE!

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Discover How To Correct Issues With Your Teeth

Are you having issues with the look or feel of your teeth? This could be impacting both your confidence as well as your quality of life. It can stop you from smiling because you no longer feel comfortable showing your teeth. At the same time, you might struggle with pain and discomfort which can lead to problems with both eating and talking. So, there are a couple ways to correct these issues. Let’s take a look at some of the options. 

Yellow Teeth

Yellow teeth are one of the most common issues that you can have and that may impact your smile. If you have yellow teeth, then they are just not going to look the way they should and indeed, the way that people expect. There are a few ways to handle this and there are even natural treatments that can work wonders. For a natural whitening solution, you just need lemon juice and baking soda. You can mix these together to form a paste that you will be able to spread across your teeth. This is going to cause them to look whiter in just a few days. 

Crooked Teeth

If your teeth look crooked and it’s just a basic cosmetic issue, then you may want to consider veneers. Veneers are one of the easiest and indeed the cheapest ways to correct aesthetic issues with your teeth. How much are veneers? A lot less than it will cost you to get braces that’s for sure and they are probably more durable than you think as well. You don’t have to worry about these cracking or needing repairs after just a couple of months. 

Of course, if you have more significant issues such as overcrowding or teeth that cross over quite a lot, then braces could definitely be the right answer. You might want to explore options that are less apparent, particularly as an adult getting dental treatment. 

Pain 

There are a variety of issues that can cause pain with your teeth. This might be a sign that you are not brushing enough or not taking care of your oral health. This is a possibility worth exploring. However, it could also be the case that there is something lurking beneath the surface here. You might for instance, constantly be getting infections in your mouth. One of the issues here could be wisdom teeth that should be removed. This can stop the infections, even though dentists are often reluctant to remove wisdom teeth these days. 

We hope you see how the changes that you will need to make to fix problems with your teeth. It’s important that you don’t let these issues grow out of control. Particularly, in terms of pain. Even seemingly cosmetic issues can begin to wreak havoc on your life. It can cause you immense levels of pain, even in other parts of your body. For instance, if your teeth aren’t sitting quite right, then you may find that you suffer from migraines. You need to address these problems the right way. 

How do “normal” people become addicted to prescription drugs?

Everyone says, “It won’t happen to me.” But the truth is that “normal” everyday people become addicted to prescription drugs every single day. In 2018, there were 4,359 deaths from prescription drugs in the UK alone. At one point, every one of those people was “normal” in the sense that they were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, friends, and coworkers. They never said, “I want to be a drug addict when I grow up.” But it happened. 

Several prescription medications have addictive properties 

All medicines have the potential for dependence. The most dangerous prescription drugs can cause physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them. This is possible and happens often, especially with prescription pain medications. The withdrawal alone can cause a person to stay on the medication longer than necessary. These can include a return of the original symptoms (pain, anxiety, inattentiveness, and restless nights) and physical symptoms from not having the medication in your body. Withdrawal indications can include nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea, problems sleeping, excessive sweating, and flu-like feelings. Dependence can even happen and happens under a doctor’s care. 

Prescriptions that are commonly abused include, 

  • Benzodiazepines (for panic, anxiety, and OCD symptoms)
  • Ritalin and other ADD and ADHD medications (for focus)
  • Codeine (for pain)
  • Opioids (pain and post-surgical discomfort)
  • Gabapentinoids (nerve pain)
  • Zopiclone (Sleep disorders)

Most patients start taking these medications for positive reasons, such as ending the control that pain, anxiety, lack of focus, and sleep disorders have on their lives. Unfortunately, dependence on the drugs takes control, rather than the person. 

Chronic pain patients often need to increase their dosage 

You can go through several years on the same anxiety and panic medications without increasing the dose. However, benzodiazepines don’t work the same as other pain treatments. Patients with pain conditions, such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease, often need their dosage increased as the body becomes accustomed to the dose. This means that to get the same relief, they need to take more. 

With opioids, the higher the dose, the more your chances of developing dependence increase. Additionally, upping the dosage also puts patients at a higher risk of overdosing. Doctors prescribing high doses of opioids are often walking a thin line trying to control pain and prevent dependence and overdoses. 

Normalization of prescription drug “safety” 

Until the past few years, doctors and medical professionals regularly handed out prescription medications for anxiety, muscle pain, ADHD, and other common ailments. Patients with anxiety issues are more likely to ask their general practitioner for anxiety medication during troubling times and not seek counseling to get to the root of the cause. Additionally, patients with muscle pains prefer a quick fix in the form of a pill, when the best treatments for minor injuries involve resting, stretching, elevating, and icing. 

Self-medicating Pitfalls 

They tell you to always safely dispose of medications after you stop needing them or when they expire. But people keep these in their medicine cabinet for a few reasons,

  • Why throw away good medication?
  • What if I need that later?
  • If I leave it, I might be able to use it the next time I’m hurting physically or emotionally

Unfortunately, several problems can arise here. The first is self-medicating, which is a common occurrence. For example, you’ve pulled a muscle in your back at work, in the yard, or during your daily workout. Instead of taking the time to contact a physician and schedule an exam, it’s easier to pop a few of the painkillers your doctor prescribed after your hernia surgery last year. 

This does circle back to the normalization of prescription medications. It didn’t occur to you that it wasn’t okay to take the same dose for your back pain as you would for recovering from painful surgery. The next time this happens, you’re more likely to react the same. Another problem with this self-diagnosis technique is you could have serious injuries that a doctor needs to examine, and by self-medicating with pain drugs, you may be worsening the original injury. 

People tend to think of heroin, cocaine, cannabis, and meth when they think of drug addiction. However, addiction takes root through many drugs with addictive properties, which includes several legal medications prescribed by physicians. Yes, many addicts were aware of their actions, and that taking the drugs would lead to legal and health problems. But a large number of patients are dealing with addiction on top of other health concerns, including chronic pain, anxiety, and the inability to focus. 

Simply Earth Essential Oil Starter Box Review

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I received products to facilitate this post. The opinions are my own.

Last year I had the honor of reviewing the Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box!  This is a subscription program where you get 4 bottles of essential oils each month, plus other supplies and recipe cards that teach you fun and unique ways to use your essential oils.  (If you missed these posts, please scroll down to the bottom to find links to all my reviews!)

Here are a few quick facts about this amazing subscription box!

  • Cost is just $39 / month.
  • Each box has 4 bottles of essential oil, recipe cards to help you use your oils in fun and unique ways, plus other materials you need to make the recipes.
  • Each box is specially curated with a unique theme in mind.
  • Each box is a $150 value!
  • When you subscribe you get a cool BONUS box for FREE!
  • You also get a $40 gift card for FREE when you use my referral link and coupon code:  SSHOMEFREE!

Rather than reviewing the January box, this month I had the opportunity to review their new STARTER BOX!  Check it out!

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Supporting a Loved One with Dementia

When someone close to you, whether it be a family member of a friend gets diagnosed with dementia, it can be hard. As well as watching them accept the fact that slowly, their life will change and they will, at some point lose a lot of their memories. It can be tricky to know exactly how to approach this as someone who wants to help.

Regardless of where they are in when it comes to their diagnosis, there will be challenges as not only will their behaviour change but also they will too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help them or give them assistance. Nor does it mean it has to be all bad. There are many different ways you can help someone with dementia, even if you think you don’t know how to.

Activities.

Just because someone has dementia it doesn’t mean they have to stop doing what they enjoy. Or even finding new things they enjoy to do as the disease progresses. You can find plenty of ideas for activities for seniors with dementia online or via various support groups specialising in helping those who care for people with dementia.

Brain games, crossword puzzles, card games are all good activities to help keep the brain working for as long as possible and can be a great way to spend time together. 

Keeping active is also a great idea. Dancing can be a favourite amongst some seniors with dementia as is gardening or just walking around some of their favourite places or attractions.

Support.

Caring for someone with dementia is hard. There are going to be ups and downs and honesty, trying to do it on your own can be exhausting both mentally and physically. 

So making sure you get the right support for both the person you are caring for and yourself is essential. Reach out to charitable organisations who specialise with conditions such as dementia or Alzheimers and find out what support there is for both of you. Drawing on others’ experiences and being able to confide in others who have or are going through the same situation can be a great stress release. This will also give you somewhere you can go to when you need extra help with changes or symptoms.

Care and Assistance

As the disease progresses you will notice your loved one starts to lose the ability to remember things, do things and even speak. Sometimes what they are doing or saying may not make sense and that can be frustrating for everyone.

Be patient and try to read between the lines when it comes to communication. Be willing to assist with small day to day jobs just as personal hygiene and changing clothes along with chores around the house if need be. Offer support and assistance to help them do what they need to do.  This can be especially important when it comes to eye care, people with dementia need to be able to take care of their eye health, make sure you find an optician who can be patient and are used to working with people who have dementia. This can make all the difference to your loved one and their experience.

As frustrating as it can be, try to stay calm and avoid asking them if they remember. this will only invoke more emotions as they struggle to understand or even remember what you are asking them.

Taking Care Of Yourself Is Always Important!

Life can be pretty stressful a lot of the time. That’s probably not going to be the most controversial statement that you read all day, but it’s certainly true. Most people end up feeling incredibly stressed out and tense, simply because that seems to be the standard mode of operation for people in the modern world. Between work, family, chores, hobbies, and trying to maintain some kind of social life, most of us just have so much that we’re trying to do that it can be kind of overwhelming. With that in mind, it’s that you learned how to relax! Here are just a few ideas for how you can finally start to kick back and let the troubles of the world roll off your back.

Take time for yourself

Most people have a lot of responsibilities that they have to honour throughout the day, and many of those can consist of doing things for other people. Now, helping others and being there for the people in your life is incredibly important and is something everyone should endeavour to do as much as possible. However, if you’re helping other people so much that you lack time to focus on yourself, then you’re going to end up exhausted. Every once in awhile, get the kids and your partner out of the house, put your phone on silent, and just spend some time focusing on yourself. The reality is that if you can’t take care of yourself, then you’re never going to be able to take care of anyone else either!   

Be willing to pamper yourself

Sometimes self-care means being able to take some time for yourself just to do something that you really enjoy. And what could be more relaxing and enjoyable that being pampered for a little while? You can go for a spa day and enjoy being pampered by someone else. Places like Borgata SPA are perfect because they offer a whole variety of treatments so that you can be sure that you’ll always be able to find something that will help you feel a whole lot better. Of course, that’s not always in everyone’s budget. If that’s the case, then you can always do it yourself! There are plenty of ways to pamper and look after yourself and your appearance at home without spending huge amounts of money..You’ll be amazed at how refreshing it can be if you take some time to really focus on yourself.   

Learn to say no

Saying no is one of those things that many people are taught never to do. Instead, you’re told that you should always say yes if someone asks you to do something for them. And, yes, there is something to be said for being able to be completely selfless and help the people around you. However, that doesn’t mean that you should feel obligated to do so no matter what. You end up feeling as though your friends will be angry with you if you don’t help them, or that you’re going to pay for it at work if you don’t take on every single task your boss asks you to. But the truth is that you’re well within your rights to say no to things if you don’t feel like you can handle them. As long as you’re polite and you explain yourself properly, no one can get angry at you for not taking on more than you can properly deal with. After all, if you end up trying to help everyone else so much that you burn yourself out, that’s a serious problem. If you can’t take care of yourself, then how can you possibly be expected to take care of anyone else?

Stay on top of tasks

One of the most stressful things in the world is knowing that there’s something hanging over your head all of the time that you haven’t yet dealt with. It can make it so that even the time you spend trying to relax is nearly impossible because you’re just thinking about all of the things that you’ve yet to do. That’s why staying on top of all of the tasks that you need to do is so important. Rather than putting things off, make sure that everything, from bills that need paying to DIY jobs that need finishing, or work tasks that need to be completed, is dealt with right away without putting it off. Otherwise, you’re just going to end up swimming is unfinished tasks and you’ll never be able to relax. 

Reach out for support

It’s okay to need help from time to time. This is something that a lot of people seem to have completely forgotten. Sure, there’s something nice about being able to say that you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and never needed anyone’s help, but the truth is that you’re going to be much happier if you just let the people around you lend a helping hand. Reaching out to friends, family, your partner, and even your employer for some support can take huge amounts of pressure off you and make your life much more pleasant and simpler to deal with. Sure, you don’t want to be dumping everything on other people, but if you try and handle it all on your own then you’re almost certainly going to end up feeling incredibly stressed out and you could even be at risk of burning out.

Of course, there’s a big difference between being able to relax now and then and ignoring all of the important aspects of your life in favour of focusing exclusively on yourself. The reality is that there’s a big difference between self-care and self indulgence. Self-indulgence is when you end up focusing on yourself to the point where it actively makes your life worse. Self-care couldn’t be more important, but if you’re not able to function properly as a person on a day to day basis, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to end up getting into a lot of trouble.

The Difficult Health Decisions We All Have To Make

Taking charge of one’s own health is of central importance to the fully considered life. Only be really being sure of what you are going to do to manage your own health can you make sure that you are living fully. But this process of being in charge of your own health is something that many people find challenging. In particular, there are a number of difficult health-related decisions which we are all going to have to make at one point or another. How you approach this could affect your life profoundly in the future, so it’s something to be aware of.

Whether To Ask For A Second Opinion

Being diagnosed with a health condition, or even just being suspected of having one, is fraught with difficulties. Not least is the fact that you need to make absolutely sure that your doctor is correct in their judgement. There might be reason to suppose that your doctor is not absolutely certain or confident in what they are suggesting you have, in which case you might want to think about whether to ask for a second opinion. That is a difficult choice to make. If you are in any serious doubt, however, it is often best to seek a second opinion, just in case.

What To Allow If You Are Incapacitated

We don’t like to think too much about such worst-case scenarios, but it is nonetheless important to make sure that you know what you desire should you become somehow incapacitated in the future. Let’s say you end up in a coma and it becomes life-threatening: you need to have decided beforehand what kind of treatment you are happy with, and what you would rather do without. The only way to be sure you get your wish is to write out a legal document called a living will – see WillTemplates for an example of one.

When To Take Or Refuse Treatment

There are all sorts of reasons that an individual might want to refuse any particular treatment that a medical professional is offering or suggesting. It might be that they feel it is not good for them, for instance, such as those who have concerns about vaccines or psychiatric medicines. Or it might be that the individual has been recommended the same cycle of three or four drugs so often that they are just fed up with the rigmarole of it. While it would never be the advised thing to refuse treatment a doctor is strongly suggesting, there might be times when you find yourself unsure as to whether to take the medicine being offered. Ultimately, it’s up to you.

As you can see, there are plenty of tricky decisions that we all might need to make at some point or another, and when the time comes it is important to make sure that you know what you will choose. Thinking about this stuff now is, therefore, a wise move to make, and one which could put you in good stead for the future.

Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box: October Box Review

Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this post.  Affiliate links are contained herein. The opinions are my own.

October is here, and it is time for another  Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box unboxing!  Appropriately this month’s box has a fall theme; since that is my FAVORITE season, I was really excited to get this!

Here are a few quick facts about the Essential Oil Recipe Box:

  • Cost is just $39 / month.
  • Each box has 4 bottles of essential oil, recipe cards to help you use your oils in fun and unique ways, plus other materials you need to make the recipes.
  • Each box is specially curated with a unique theme in mind.
  • Each box is a $150 value!
  • When you subscribe you get a cool BONUS box for FREE!
  • You also get a $40 gift card for FREE when you use my referral link and coupon code:  SSHOMEFREE!

[Read more…]