Probiotics with Purpose
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!
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1 International Agency for Research on Cancer: IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides
10 small things you can do EACH morning that will lift your mood + Make You Your Most ProduCtive Self!
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.
Morning Mindfulness - Yoga, Smoothies + Video!
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!
At Home Food Sensitivity Testing with Helix
(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!
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. Thanks for understanding that sponsored content helps offset the costs of keeping this site running, and thank you to out sponsors who allow us to create such awesome content!
5 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR AN UPSET STOMACH
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!
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!
Self care recipe: Clary Sage SALT Scrub
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!).
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
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!