FLOAT THERAPY: BENEFITS, DOWN SIDES, AND THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN ORANGE COUNTY
I just recently started float therapy and guys - I LOVE IT. I find it more relaxing than acupuncture and cheaper, too! Plus - it helps with a lot of the same symptoms. Flotation therapy, also known as a sensory deprivation tank or an an isolation tank, is when you strip down, enter a big ol' tank of body temperature water (usually around 6x4x1 ft-ish) filled with about 800 lbs of epsom salt, and then just try to relax. It can be hard to get into at first: laying in stillness and silence (or with light music) for an hour in a weightless chamber can lead to some awesome mediation and relation - but it can take awhile to get comfortable with hearing everything in your head and nothing else. That said - once you get the hang of it? Most relaxing hour EVER!
Why so relaxing? First, the simple disconnect and mediation, and second, the high amount of epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) which is a natural muscle relaxer. This helps to calm your nervous system and enhances your body’s natural ability to heal. The deep relaxation state the you enter when floating helps to reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels. Blood flow is stimulated and endorphins are released. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that reduce feelings of pain and trigger positive feelings. Magnesium is absorbed through the skin and tends to naturally correct magnesium deficiencies. Magnesium is also absorbed from the diet but in many areas of the world, over-cropping without adequate replacement of magnesium makes the normal diet low in magnesium. Since the body naturally optimizes the levels of magnesium, there is no real risk of 'over-floating'.
I have tried out two different places now through my Classpass account (tap here for $40 OFF your first month!) and feel like I'm getting a better grasp on what I like and don't like about my float experiences. I've been sharing all my visits on my IG story, but thought it deserved a better explanation with more detail. I was so hesitant to try it my first time because I didn't know anyone else who had tried it and I wanted to share my experiences so YOU could go in feeling informed and ready for relaxation!
First things first - a few things to know:
1. You'll want to enter your float session totally naked. It helps the experience of really disconnecting from the outside world and removing any distractions your clothes hugging or pinching might cause. You'll have a private room to change in before your session that directly connects to your float space to get ready in.
2. You will be provided with ear plugs, but not all places offer vaseline / petroleum jelly and this was something I found I used every time for little cuts, shave bumps, and even on my eczema before getting into the water to protect it from the salt. Also - don't shave or get waxed right before your session. That's just asking for irritation!
3. Eat something first. My first experience ended in me being able to focus only on my growling stomach and that was a bummer. Don't stuff yourself, but a granola bar on hand just in case never hurt anyone.
4. DO NOT GET THE WATER IN YOUR EYE OR MOUTH. You will immediately regret that decision. I wiped my eyes the first visit and had to get out and use the shower to rinse completely before I could get back in. I learned the hard way - you won't like the stinging feeling either, so save yourself the time babes.
5. Claustrophobic? Me too. I was really worried that would affect my experience but I found that it was actually okay for me, even with the pod / door closed. Admittedly, I preferred the pod in terms of having more physical room and a larger exit door.
The first facility I booked was at Float Easy in Costa Mesa (pictured above), and the second (below) - also in Costa Mesa - was called Newport Float Therapy. Here's my rundown of each:
Float Easy: - bigger rooms to shower and get changed in with your private pod - optional light therapy - optional array of 15+ mediations or music selections to be played underwater in your pod while you're inside - staff was awesome and super helpful - shower amenities provided with private bathrooms at the back with combs, hair dryer, ect. - provided towels, earplugs, q-tips, AND petroleum jelly - facilities were very clean but there was some slight water damage on the wall to the left of the pod (you can see in the picture below) - I couldn't figure out my first time how to turn off the blue light, so it was a bit distracting but also kind of nice to have the light on the first time in a small enclosed space - I mentioned it above but I actually think the pod experience would be better suited to someone scared of being enclosed in a smaller space. The tank at NFT was technically larger but the door getting out was much smaller and made my brain feel like the tank was far smaller.
Newport Float Therapy: - great front desk staff, super helpful - similar newish facility, but smaller lobby and waiting area than Float Easy - smaller rooms to change in but larger overall tank size - tanks are NSF certified - tanks are more 'freezer style' than pod. You enter the entire enclosed chamber through a small green door (pictured below) and then are in complete darkness - these tanks were more sensory dep style with no music or meditations playing - because of the black out / sound off factor, I found myself much more easily able to enter a mediative state - had towels, ear plugs and petroleum jelly, plus combs and bathrooms in the back - smaller showers but had full amenities (shampoo, conditioner, body wash) - 2 types of tank sizes here: 6x4 ft and 6x6 ft. I reserved the smaller one initially unknowingly but liked the larger tank better because I didn't bump any of the sides ever and get pulled out of my meditative state. If you want the bigger size, you just have to call and ask.
If you're still curious, I think it's important to note WHY you might want to lock yourself, alone, into a dark, wet chamber for an hour. There are SO many benefits to float therapy besides relaxation, and a lot more than I expected when I started. Here are some of the benefits and areas you will seem improvement with regular float therapy:
Lowers cortisol levels and stress
Fighting anxiety + depression
Joint / muscle pain relief
Increased blood flow
Lactic acid reduction in muscles aids in athletic performance
Insomnia and sleep problems
Tendency towards diabetes
So - should you float? I'm a fan! I like the pod experience more for beginners and the sensory deprivation variation better once you're comfortable in the dark and being in your own head. I definitely plant to keep going an a stress-relieving alternative for my body to acupuncture, and as a new way to challenge myself to disconnect from my thoughts. Plus, its affordable for me as a part of my ClassPass plan and not something I've having to pay extra out of pocket to try out. Remember, you can use my class pass discount code for $40 OFF your first month if you want to try it!
I would love to hear your thoughts on floating - have you tried it? Did you like it? Leave your experiences in the comments below so other newbie floaters can learn, too!
Getting a Better Night's Rest with Reverie Sleep Coach
A few months ago, I teased you guys and let you know I was working with a sleep coach. It was never something I thought I’d need to try - I’ve always fallen asleep quickly and been able to take a nap almost anywhere. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I started connecting the dots; the reason I can nap any time is because I rarely sleep through the night and wake up at least 4 or more times, tossing and turning, getting overheated, and of course trips to the bathroom! (Is it just me or do you also drink like 3x as much water at night?!) I worked with Reverie, an innovative leader in sleep technology for over fifteen years, to create a custom sleep plan to identify the factors that were keeping me up at night and how to fix them.
I was nervous but excited - would it be worth in investment? Would I walk away with better sleep habits? Could my partner benefit, too? Before I give you a resounding YES - let’s talk about what Reverie Sleep Coach entails.
Reverie offers all kinds of products to help you get a better night’s rest, from mattresses to pillows and sheets, to one-on-one sleep guidance with a certified Sleep Coach. can go the more DIY route or consistent coaching route, depending on your sleep needs. You have the option to relearn sleep through curated and customer sleep tips delivered to your inbox once a week or work on your unique sleep needs with a Sleep Coach. My private sleep coach, Elise, and I met in two separate over-the-phone sessions after I finished the initial sleep quiz. The sleep quiz helped identify any issues I was experiencing, and Elise dove deeper into those problems to help me create a sleep plan to overcome them. She pointed out simple tactics to put into place to help alleviate waking up 4+ times a night, to stop that constant need to pee at 4 a.m.
The Reverie Sleep Coach program gives personalized guidance, working with an advisory board of doctors, scientists, and psychologists to develop the most accurate, relevant information on how to sleep better - which means you are getting the most current data on sleeping your very best! Reverie Sleep Coach also equips consumers with knowledge that will help them understand the importance of sleep and the impact healthful sleep can have on everyday activities. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repairing of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke to name a few. A large portion of the population makes do with six or less hours of sleep on average, but six hours of sleep a night puts your health at serious risk. We NEED to get more uninterrupted, quality sleep at night rather than continually playing catch up, which is something I learned from Elise!
Like I said earlier, my biggest sleep problems revolve around waking up throughout the night and shuffling to the bathroom in the dark. After chatting with Elise in my initial session, we set my first few goals as follows:
1. Hot Shower or Bath Before Bed—This helps with overheating at night. I get hot often, even when I don’t wear that much, because I like to get way too cozy in the blankets. Elise shared that taking a hot shower before bed would help to cool my core body temperature naturally by drawing all the heat to the surface of my body. When you step out of the bath and begin to lose the heat, your body stays cooler for hours. Plus, you can always throw in extra lavender or Epsom salt to help your body relax!
2. Cut Down on Liquids Before Bed—This helps minimize the amount of times I wake up to use the bathroom at night. I give myself at least an hour or two before bed to help give my body time to relax and prevent the nightly bathroom breaks.
3. Consistent Bedtime—Creating a balance has helped my circadian rhythm get back to a regular cycle making it easier to get to sleep and stay asleep through the night.
4. Screen Time Cut-Off—I make sure to have at least an hour without any screen use before bed. Blue light from screens (big and small) messes with your brain's ability to fall into that natural sleep rhythm, so the earlier in the day you can ditch it, the better.
5. Charge Phone Away from Bed—I would wake up from random phone calls and late-night texts but charging my phone across the room prevents waking up from those notifications. Pro tip: when your phone is away from your bed, it forces you to wake up and get out of bed to turn off the alarm.
I noticed a big shift in my sleep quality after a few weeks of working on these goals on my own. I was sleeping more regularly through the night and removing my phone before and during bedtime also pleasantly forced me to spend more time with my books and my partner in the evenings. I did my best to cut down my liquids, but because I sometimes teach at night and end up chugging water, I still struggled with getting up for the bathroom at least a few nights a week. The best thing Elise has me try was the hot showers, which have been LIFE CHANGING! Not only do I sleep better and longer. I also stay far cooler throughout the night.
My second session was focused on my progress and more practices I could put into effect. This time my most significant remaining problems were my partner waking me up, waking up and not being able to fall back asleep, and forcing myself to stick to a regular bedtime. I talked with Alex about implementing some of the same things I’d been trying and that helped with his tossing and turning slightly. I think sleeping with a partner can be hard, especially when they’re on a different schedule, sick, or moving around more than usual. When I woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep. I started challenging myself to get up and be productive rather than just lying there. HUGE difference! My final challenge for our last session was getting on a consistent bedtime. I still struggle with that one. I work weird hours sometimes and my husband often works late, so I usually find my bedtime irregular but falling between about 10:30 p.m. and midnight. Other than that, my sleep has been SO MUCH BETTER! By forcing myself to sleep cooler and without my phone nearby, I found my restlessness ceasing and my sleep deeper than ever. My husband has benefitted too. He uses that hot shower trick almost every night after work. Reverie Sleep Coach helped me re-learn basics of quality sleep I forgot.
So back to those questions at the beginning of the post: would it be worth in investment? Would I walk away with better sleep habits? Could my partner benefit, too? YES - YES - and YES! I seriously cannot say enough great things about the ease of the service and depth of knowledge of the sleep coaches they have on staff. Plus, the price is pretty great, too! Reverie Sleep Coach Basic is $49 and provides 90 days of individualized tips delivered via email. Personalized 1:1 coaching packages start at $129 for two sessions. To learn more about Reverie’s Sleep Coach Service and find better sleep for yourself, visit http://www.reveriesleepcoach.com and start by taking the Sleep Quiz!
This post was created in partnership with MegaFood®. As always, all opinions and text are my own. You guys know - I love high-quality probiotics! As someone with all kinds of food allergies and intolerances, taking high quality probiotics along with dietary supplements crafted with nutrients and whole food ingredients is a great way for me to make sure I’m getting all of the vitamins and minerals I need in my diet. That said, there are too many companies touting their products as ‘the best’ or ‘most effective’ that it can be really tough to figure out what’s worth your money and your time. I’m a big fan of MegaFood® products – not only are their supplements made with whole foods from trusted farm partners, they are also committed to supporting organic and regenerative agriculture. Even more, their products are tested free from the most common allergens: gluten, dairy, and soy. But there is a lot to choose from!
So how do you figure it out? Well, my friends, transparency is key. Most companies are quiet about where or how they source their supplement ingredients. Often they buy from farms that use glyphosate, the number one herbicide in the US - labeled by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer as “probably carcinogenic in humans”.1 NOT COOL. More on glyphosate below. Luckily for us, MegaFood is committed to quality, safety and purity above all. They are a brand you can really trust! And I love them for that. They’ve just released a new line of probiotics I’m head over heels for - their Shelf-Stable Probiotics are uniquely curated with probiotic strains formulated to support benefits like Mood*, Energy*, Digestive Health*, Immune Defense* and Women’s Health*! The capsules are acid-resistant to help protect the probiotics strains from our stomach acids while digesting, all in support of optimal gut health.*
Glyphosate is - terrifyingly - the number one herbicide used in the United States. It’s on ALL KINDS of things, including just about anything that isn’t grown organically. It’s sprayed heavily on GMO and conventionally-grown crops at harvest and frequently used in home gardens, public parks and schools. Its use has skyrocketed over the last two decades - nearly 15 fold! In fact, glyphosate is the number one herbicide used in the world, even with that scary warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) about it being “probably carcinogenic to humans” that we mentioned earlier. Ick - no thank you!
Organic farming bans the use of glyphosate and other fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones, which is why certified organic ingredients are so important and is why MegaFood partners with trusted farmers who share their commitment to organic and regenerative agriculture. MegaFood is the first supplement brand to have its ENTIRE LINE certified Glyphosate Residue Free by The Detox Project, an independent research and certification organization dedicated to bringing awareness to the public by testing consumer goods and food products for toxic chemicals. Because they are so passionate about delivering the best products on the market, MegaFood is working to ban the use of glyphosate as a desiccant, or drying agent, before harvest. Using glyphosate as a desiccant allows food to be harvested quickly but in turn, increases the likelihood that consumers will be directly exposed to the pesticide through the foods they eat, even after processing. They’ve teamed up with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and other powerhouse brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Stonyfield to help make this happen!
So how can YOU help? Well, you can start by committing to using products labeled Glyphosate Residue Free by The Detox Project (like ALL MegaFood products!) and then you can support this call to the EPA by signing this public petition aimed at joining and educating consumers. It’s that easy, friends! Ready to get started on your own healthy, whole food supplement journey? Head to MegaFood.com to get started and find the right products for you!
10 SMALL THINGS YOU CAN DO EACH MORNING THAT WILL LIFT YOUR MOOD + MAKE YOU YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE SELF!
1. Start a Gratitude Practice! 🙏 Mine is a simple checklist in my head of the three things I am most grateful for in that VERY moment. It changes regularly and you can check in on your gratitude practice as many times a day as you like…like when you’re about to scream at the person who just cut you in traffic.
2. Make your bed - it matters! I make my bed every morning because it sets me up to be organized and productive. Plus, it’s my way of moving my brain from ‘sleepy’ time to ‘awake’ time! 😴 And who doesn’t want to get into a cozy, nicely-made bed each night?
3. MEDITATE. Seriously - just a few minutes a day helps, and there are tons of apps, blogs and podcasts designed to help! It takes practice, so keep trying - every if the first few times feel a little silly! 🙈
4. Morning Mantras! 📿 Find your phrase or empowering could words and repeat then until you EMBODY them. Whenever I’m down, I look at myself in the mirror and repeat “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh daring - people LIKE YOU!’ and while I always end up feeling a little ridiculous and inevitably laughing at myself, it HELPS. Find your mantra and repeat it over and over and over.
5. WORKOUT! I am a HUGE believer that a good seat can cure almost anything. When in doubt, SWEAT IT OUT! Now sure where to start? Our recent Real Good Podcast episode on Fall Fitness is a great place! 🍂
6. Journal. Journal. Journal. 📖 Okay, so I actually hate journaling guys - I prefer to talk it out. But if you ARE someone who likes writing, please try it! Getting on your feels out on paper can be SO stress relieving and a great way to sort through your feelings! I’m still more of a talk it out kinda girl, and if that’s your style, just make sure you’re venting to someone who doesn’t mind listening! 🤷♀️
7. Put Down the Phone + Stop Scrolling 📱 Give yourself a time limit on your phone and set some guidelines for yourself on when you use it. Stop sleeping with it next to your bed and stop taking it into the bathroom with you. Boundaries are key!
8. Make a To-Do List! I’m an OBSESSIVE list maker, but it helps me clear my head of excess stress and focus on what NEEDS to get done that day. 👌 Cross things off as you finish and watch your stress melt away with your to-do list!
9. Message a Friend 👯♀️ Sometimes all you really need to lift your mood is a chat with a close friend. If your favorite babe is unavailable or needs a little extra love, be the best friend ever and shoot them a random “YOU ARE AMAZING AND I FRICKEN LOVE YOU” text or send a little coffee money to their venmo account. They will SO appreciate it, and you will feel great for doing it. A win / win! 10. Treat Yourself! 🍩 Get yourself a donut, matcha latte, crazy coffee drink pr whatever it is that makes your morning feel like a YES! You deserve it, you badass babe.
We held our very first (hopefully of many!) Morning Mindfulness event last weekend and it was SUCH a success! My close friend Kruti (of @cultivatewithkruti) and I co-taught a gentle yoga flow on the green outside of Whole Foods to 25 students, followed by a superfood smoothie-making workshop and all kinds of selfies!
Kruti and I met online and quickly realized we already attended the same yoga studio! We bonded over our love for yoga and great food, and were instantly friends. We knew once we were both finished with our teacher trainings and certified, we wanted to teach together. Now that we're both certified yoga instructors (well Kruti technically has a few hours left - but she's almost there!), we decided to host the event near our local Corepower Yoga studio (where I'm now a TEACHER, YO!), outside of the neighboring Whole Foods. The space outside has a large green and we were able to rent the space to host the event. Luckily, it was a beautiful morning with a light breeze - perfect for flowing outside!
Kruti taught the first half of our gentle yoga flow, and I took over halfway through to finish off the flow. Our yogi's were so strong and did such a great job - it was an honor leading the practice! We hydrated afterward with Waiakea Water and Harmless Harvest, the headed over to Whole Foods for our smoothie bowl making' party! We served up superfoods-stuffed Chocolate Macadamia Smoothies with bananas, Purely Elizabeth granola + coconut, and talked about our food journeys a bit, too. Kruti and I have both struggled with disordered eating, and are always working to nourish our bodies instead of depriving them these days. And these smoothies were the perfect way to nourish and refuel after our yoga flow!
The last part (and arguably the best!) was when we got to hand out goodie bags to all of our great attendees! We had loaded them with our favorite food and skincare goodies, and had products from Nuttzo, 4th & Heart, Aloha, Cocokind, Siggi's, GoodDay Chocolate, Goodbelly, Ozery + PerfectBar to share. We had SO much fun and hope to host another event like this soon. It was wonderful sharing space with new friends and community members, and getting to squeeze so many sweet people! Catch a glimpse of our event in the video above, gorgeously captured by David Lee at Legendary Media House, and scroll down for still shots from the morning. Big thanks to all of our sponsors and to La Floresta for helping facilitate the lovely space we used!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Helix for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
I've had a TON of interest and questions about my Food Sensitivity+ testing since I posted about receiving my kit from Helix. If you’d like to read more about my experience using the kit to test my saliva + blood for my body's response to 96 foods, you can head here. Otherwise, I’ll catch you up. Basically, a company called Helix sent me their DNA kit to collect and sequence my DNA so that their partner EverlyWell could analyze my DNA for a genetic predisposition to different food sensitivities. Helix uses Exome+ sequencing which reads every letter of all 22,000 protein-coding genes and produces 100 times more data than most consumer genetics companies. Then, once you've taken and sent back your DNA sample, they'll store and protect your genetic data so you can access and share just the relevant portion with any Helix partner of your choosing (such as EverlyWell) without ever having to provide another DNA sample. And if you're interested in finding out more about your DNA, Helix offers other tests to help you dive further into that information too. They offer cool tests for ancestry, family planning, hereditary cancer screening - all kinds of different things if you're interested in exploring further. I did a kit called Food Sensitivity+, made by Helix's partner EverlyWell, that tests elevated levels of immune antibodies in my blood, plus, it measures my genetic predisposition to metabolize and absorb foods and vitamins. Food Sensitivity+ needs just a few drops of blood (plus some saliva for the DNA part of the test) and it can test for genetic predisposition to reactivity to 96 foods (like gluten, wheat and dairy) as well as genetic influences on lactose intolerance, caffeine, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and magnesium. That’s AMAZING! And way more info than I get from my doctor in a single visit, too.
And guess what?! I just got my results back! I’m so excited to share them with you guys, and frankly was just so excited to have some insight on why I am having these constant tummy troubles. I knew there had to be something contributing to some aches and pains, but I couldn’t pinpoint what. You guys are not going to believe what came back in my results! Some serious surprises and things I was eating literally EVERY DAY. This test is a quick (results came back within about two weeks), safe, and effective way to figure out what your food sensitivities are.
So what were my biggest sensitivities? Soy and most types of dairy came up as highest reacting; no surprise there! I already do my best to avoid them because of how badly I do react, so this just reinforces for me that I should be reducing my intake of them. The real exciting (and disappointing) part comes next; I had sensitivity to the following foods, in order of reactivity: sweet potato, cashew, clam, crab, green beans, pineapple, sesame, wheat, chia seed, malt, sunflower, kelp + gluten. Yeah, I’m just going to let the take a moment to sink in. I had to. That is a LOT of foods that I very regularly eat showing up on mysensitivity test. Ugh.
For me, that means a lot of foods that I was eating nearly every day - cashews, gluten, pineapple and chia seeds, specifically - may be causing a reaction. And it made a lot of sense! For someone who eats a pretty healthy, balanced, nearly sugar-free, plant-based diet - I shouldn’t be having so many issues. Or so I thought! But compound that same diet with a host of inflammatory foods and you’ve got a recipe for an upset stomach + a bunch of skin issues - which is exactly where I’m at.
Along with food sensitivity testing, the DNA portion of the test also tested for genetic variants for things like B6 + B12 levels, lactose intolerance, magnesium levels and caffeine metabolism. Everything there came up normal for me except my genetic predisposition for low B12 levels. Even though the test doesn't tell me that I currently have low B12 (I'd have to confirm with a doctor), I'm definitely going to try to have more foods with B12 in my diet. I might consider grabbing a niacin-free B12 supplement too.
Just knowing what my body reacts to is going to help me so much. I can alter my diet to reflect the removal of said foods, and can be on high alert when I am having a stomach ache or reactive effect for what I may have ingested that affected me. I havestarted trying to reduce my intake of the other foods that I’m most sensitive to, but I still find that wheat, gluten, and chia seeds slip in here and there. I am hoping to start the New Year by trying to reduce my intake of some of the foods I have highest sensitivity to, to see how my body reacts. Since finding out which foods most affect me I’ve been trying to cut back a bit on them, and have already started to see small improvements in my eczema and acne. Score!
I look forward to using the Helix DNA collection towards one of their awesome biomarker tests, too - because once they have it on file, they keep it on file. And they have so many great accompaniment kits I’d love to try! You can get 30% OFF any purchase on any Helix product with code: HelixJPfO. But HURRY - only the first 25 unique users get the discount!
This post is sponsored, which is a tool we use to keep the content on this site fresh and relevant. While I was paid for this post, all thoughts and opinions expressed are true and from my own experience.
This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with a brand I really use and really love, and helps to keep the site running. Thanks for your understanding!
I love vitamins. I know - weird. But as someone with all kinds of food allergies and intolerances, taking high quality, supplements made with whole foods is a great way for me to make sure I’m getting all of the vitamins and minerals I need in my diet. That said, there are too many companies touting their products as ‘the best’ or ‘most effective’ that it can be really tough to figure out what’s worth your money and your time. I’m a big fan of MegaFood® products - the majority of their products are free from the most common allergens: wheat, corn, gluten, dairy, and soy. But there are a lot to choose from!
So how do you figure it out? Well, my friends, transparency is key. Most companies are quiet about where or how they source their supplement ingredients. Often they buy from farms that use glyphosate, the number one herbicide in the US - labeled by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “probably carcinogenic in humans”. NOT COOL. Luckily for us, MegaFood is committed to quality, safety and purity above all, and to providing their customers with the most authentic nourishment possible. They are a brand you can really trust! And I love them for that.
MegaFood is the first supplement brand to have its ENTIRE LINE certified Glyphosate Residue Free by The Detox Project, an independent research and certification organization dedicated to bringing awareness to the public by testing consumer goods and food products for toxic chemicals. This certification is just one part of MegaFood’s continued commitment towardThe Big T Transparency, which is a complete operational transparency between MegaFood employees, suppliers, retailers and customers - and a challenge they’ve officially extended to other supplement brands!
Glyphosate is - terrifyingly - the number one herbicide used in the United States. It’s on ALL KINDS of things, including just about anything that isn’t grown organically. It’s sprayed heavily on GMO and conventionally-grown crops at harvest, and used frequently in home gardens, public parks and school. It’s use has skyrocketed over the last two decades - nearly 15 fold! Organic farming bans the use of glyphosate and other fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones, which is why an organic certification for your supplements is so important, and is why MegaFood is committed to working with organic farms and farmers. You can even meet the farmers they work with - and see the products they grow - right on their website!
MegaFood is keeping their supplements made with whole foods number one in the game with their commitment to transparency and their constant innovation of products. As someone on a plant-based diet, I’m often low in iron and have taken their Blood Builder® tablets for years. They go down easily and never give me an upset stomach, like some iron supplements do. I’ve also been taking their Doctor-formulated Muti for Women, a vitamin specifically for the ladies that is packed with real, whole foods ingredients like brown rice, carrots, broccoli and oranges! I’ve also recently started making hot morning drinks with their nutrient booster powders and LOVING them! They make both a Daily Turmeric Nutrient Booster Powder™ and Daily Maca Plus for Women Nutrient Booster Powder™ that mix into my lattes seamlessly and add a ton of nutrition to my morning drinks. Unsweetened and packed with good-for-you, whole food, from-the-farm ingredients - they’re a win / win!
Ready to get started on your own healthy, whole food supplement journey? Head to MegaFood.com to get started and find the right products for you!
(This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Helix. All opinions are 100% mine.) If you’re following me on Instagram, you may have seen that I recently got the coolest thing in the mail. A company called Helix sent me a DNA test. This particular test is called Food Sensitivity+, made by EverlyWell and powered by Helix. Together, they’ll tell me if I have any sensitivities to certain foods, plus measure my genetic predisposition to metabolize and absorb foods and vitamins. What does that all mean? Well simply said, Food Sensitivity+ needs just a few drops of blood (plus some saliva for the DNA part of the test) and it can test for my reactivity to 96 foods (like gluten, wheat, and dairy) as well as genetic influences on sensitivity to lactose and metabolism of caffeine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, and magnesium. That’s pretty rad!
This test is a quick (results come within about a week!), non-invasive way to figure out what your food sensitivities are. Helix’s proprietary technology, called Exome+, reads every letter of all 22,000 protein-coding genes in your body, which produces 100 times more data than most consumer genetics companies. Then, once you’ve taken and sent back your DNA sample, they’ll store and protect your genetic data so you can access and share it with any partner of your choosing without ever having to provide another DNA sample. And if you’re interested in finding out more about your DNA, Helix offers other tests to help you dive further into that information, too. They offer cool tests for ancestry, family planning, hereditary cancer screening - all kinds of different things if you’re interested in exploring further!
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ‘IBS’ after blood and stool tests plus an endoscopy, colonoscopy and an ingestible camera found nothing but healthy organs with a lot of inflammation. Eventually, after many tests and dietary restrictions, doctors finally figured out that I was having reactions to soy. They figured that was what was causing all my abdominal pain, content bowel movements, and eczema breakouts - and they were mostly right. Now I’ve been soy-free for almost two years and while the abdominal issues, cramping, and overall IBS symptoms have stopped, the eczema and adult acne have only gotten worse. And while I’ve tried tweaking my diet here and there, it can be really hard to pinpoint when you’re shooting in the dark. With Food Sensitivity+, you’ll learn your body’s sensitivity to many common foods AND the impact your DNA may have on your ability to digest certain foods and nutrients. That’s pretty awesome, because it also gives you the tools to create long-term meal plans and food awareness for yourself, plus it'll help you understand which foods may be triggering you and causing your symptoms. You’ll know which foods your body should be getting more of and what you might want to try reducing from your diet to see how you feel.
The process was super easy. I ordered my kits online and they arrived within just a couple days. For the Helix part of the test, the DNA part, I just needed a simple saliva sample. Spit in a tiny tube, close it up, and shake it up! For the EverlyWell part of the test, the blood part, I did a simple finger prick, then put drops of my blood onto a biomarker collection card. Then all I had to do was drop my samples into a pre-addressed, safety sealed envelope and drop it into a mailbox! Two days later I got an e-mail that my results had been received by the lab, and now I’m just a few days out from my results. And I can’t wait! You can get 30% OFF any purchase on any Helix product with code: Helixivhk. But HURRY - only the first 25 unique users get the discount! And stay tuned - my results will be back soon and I’ll share them here!
See the video below for a sneak peek at contents of the FoodSensitivity+ blood test!
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I've always had an easily upset-able stomach. It's sensitive to new foods, too much sugar or spice, dairy, soy, and sometimes wheat. And because of my history with an eating disorder, I've totally wreaked havoc on my insides. My stomach has a hard time finding it's happy place, but with the help of lots of probiotics, a good routine, and a couple other little helpers, I've mostly gotten a handle on it. That said, I still overeat sometimes or go out and splurge a little on my diet - and that can cause serious tummy troubles. Sure, you could just feel crummy and go to bed, hoping that your stomach will have dealt with the bulk of the uncomfortable trouble while you're sleeping - or you could start to try and fight back! Working on balancing your belly pH and cutting your crap intake all at the same time. I've found a few tools that have really helped me to work past the uncomfortable belly pain and get into a state of relief. These tools may not work exactly for you, but they're ve helped me HUGELY and I think you'll find some relief with at least one of the options listed. And I'm always open to suggestions! Please totally leave your suggestions in the comments below, I'd love to know how you help fight your tummy troubles. Otherwise let's dive right in. Your insides need you!
1. Probiotics I'm all about those probiotics. Between my daily kombuchas and kraut intake, I do my best to take in fermented foods every single day. On top of that, I take a daily refrigerated probiotic pill - the 50 billion from Ultimate Flora - to keep my tummy in check on the regular. When I do need a little extra oophm, I love the GoodBelly Probiotics Shots. They also make probiotic juices and drinks but they tend to be really sugar heavy. The plain an vanilla chamomile flavored shots are my fave and have the lowest sugar content, plus pack a serious probiotic punch - I swear you can feel it start to work as soon as you drink it! Probiotics are getting easier and easier to find, so make sure you start using them. They're great for digestion and intimate pH balance in your gut, and with all of the studies coming out tying gut health to mental health, you want to be take as good care of your gut as possible. Plus, they really will help kick the tummy troubles!
2. Coconut Charcoal I was suggested coconut charcoal from someone before our Honeymoon trip. I always struggle with digestion when traveling, and a friend recommended I try these pills from Bulletproof if I was feeling gassy or bloated along the way. And guys - they TOTALLY saved me. I struggled a lot with bloating when we hit the ground in Europe because we basically survived on bread, and these pills became my lifesaver. That said, go easy on them. Charcoal is GREAT for removing impurities, but it can also remove all the good stuff in there, too. So if you are going to take it, be sure to take some prebiotics a bit before and probiotics a bit after to keep everything balanced. But do try it! Even after an accidental dairy slip-up it worked wonders on my grumbling tummy. Big fan!
3. Ginger Capsules Ginger is great for helping with an upset stomach, in any form you've got it. Fresh, raw, in juice, kombucha, or powder form - it does WONDERS on the tummy! Ginger is known to aid digestion and increase saliva flow, AND it boosts nutrient absorption in the body! So really, take it everyday in some form, if you can. When you've got an especially crummy tummy these ginger pills are great because they pack 540 mg of ginger per capsule, and are easily sucked down. They work fast, and I usually feel relief within 30 minutes of taking a few of the capsules. Ginger is also a great remedy for motion sickness, and because it's totally plant-derived, you don't need to worry about 'overdoing' it. 2-3 capsules and you'll be feeling better!
4. Essential Oils I love putting essential oils in my diffuser, but since taking yoga teacher training I've gained a much bigger appreciation for slathering them right onto my skin. I use lavender oil regularly for massage, but didn't even really think about using a scent like peppermint at first. As it turns out, Peppermint not only smells great and stimulates up your senses, but it's cooling abilities also calms the stomach and aids in digestion! I have a few essential oil roller-sticks I've picked up recently, and one of my faves has become this 'Chill' stick from Frisky Fish; it's a blend of mint and lavender oils, and I think it's the perfect combo of cooling and relaxing. Perfect for post-yoga or after a big meal. I just roll it onto my wrists, neck and temples, and occasionally rub it right onto my belly for extra oomph. I immediately feel my body relax a bit and start to calm - from the inside, out. After some researching, I learned ginger + tea tree essential oils would be great options for diffusing or applying for digestive issues, too!
5. Herbal Tea I've been hooked on Aloha's 'Clean' Ginger Green Tea lately and love the way it makes my stomach feel. Clean, balanced, and refreshed! A green tea with added nettle, dandelion root, and ginger root, the tea promotes detoxification in the body and and purification of the digestive system. Completely organic and wrapped in biodegradable sachets, these bags of tea are great hot or poured over ice. I sometimes add a bit of raw honey to mine, but you could also add a couple of slices of fresh ginger for extra digestive care.
And that's my go -to upset stomach routine! Hopefully having these 5 Natural Remedies on hand will help you find relief the next time you have an upset stomach. I'd love to hear your recommendations and what you do to calm a troubled tummy - let me know in the comments below!
I've been making a real effort lately to spend some serious time on self-care. It's a phrase that's been getting thrown around a lot lately, but I'm actually a big proponent of the discussion and the idea. Self-care, if you're late to the party, if all about taking care of yourself in a restorative way. That can be different for everybody! I like to do gentle yoga, listen to podcasts, get a massage, light scented candles and take long afternoon walks. These things help me center, calm my crazy always-running brain, and allow me to spend some time focusing on myself and what I need. It's really a skill to be able to focus on listening to your body and giving it what it needs - especially when what its need is a little extra TLC.
Since summer is coming to a close and flip-flops are making their way back into closets, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this easy salt scrub - it's perfect for buffing out rough edges on your elbows and feet! While you can sub in any essential oil you prefer here, I chose clary sage for it's natural ability to boost self-esteem, confidence, and mental strength and fight depression. Basically all the tools you need when you're practicing a little self-care - and probably if you're going back to school or work after a great summer vacation, too. Plus, for the ladies, clary sage is also shown to help balance hormones and menstrual pain - it's an amazing essential oil! So use whatever oil you like, but I've been really loving this combo. If the scrub separates, you can just give it a stir to mix the salt in evenly. This scrub also makes a great gift for a friend or favorite teacher - especially if they're the kind of person that enjoy long baths and soft skin - and who doesn't?! Let's get to scrubbin', ladies (and gents!).
INGREDIENTS: 9 ounces (250 g) melted or fractionated coconut oil 4.5 ounces (125 g) pink Himalayan sea salt 10 drops of clary sage (or your favorite scent!) essential oil
DIRECTIONS: Pour your melted coconut oil into a small mixing bowl. Add the Himalayan sea salt and essential oil drops and mix well. Leave to cool (if not already) before using or transferring to a glass jar, stirring every so often as it cools to avoid separation.
To use, massage your feet for a minute or two each with the scrub in tiny circular motions an feel the stress melt away! Rinse.
Scrub can be stored in the bathroom or shower for weekly use, but may need to be stirred occasionally to recirculate the sea salt. Enjoy!