Aug 31

My Response to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ice bucket challenge

As if anyone on social media has not seen the ice bucket challenge… I’ll quickly explain the gist: friends are nominating one another to donate money to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) research or have a bucket of ice cold water dumped on their head. Want the truth? I hadn’t clicked on a single video… until yesterday, when a friend whose father-in-law lost his battle with ALS just within the last year posted this video (warning: there are a few expletives, but that does not take away from the message!). Because I knew personally of their family’s battle with the disease, I was urged to click, and was deeply moved by what I saw.

I tend to get up on my soapbox (ya know, in my head) and preach (to myself) about the evils of our modern society, the diet we eat, and the toxins around us. I tend to feel burdened by the lack of nutritional knowledge by the majority of Americans. I tend to feel frustrated in general because I want to share with others how they can lead a healthy lifestyle. I want everyone I love to experience vibrant health, and I feel like I could help them do so because I have turned my own family’s health around so drastically!

I wanted to write a comprehensive post on how to prevent and treat ALS and similar diseases like MS, but came across this article by Dr. Axe, which summed it up very nicely. No need to reinvent the wheel. Please click to read about Natural Treatments and Diet for ALS . The linked article contains suggestions for supplements and a paleo-style diet that I also recommend to those suffering from degenerative disease.

My Free Offer

Instead of dumping water on my head (I live in an area suffering from severe drought) or donating money to a source that will likely be seeking pharmaceutical treatments rather than nutritional and dietary treatments for ALS, I want to extend an offer: free health coaching services for anyone suffering from ALS, particularly those local to me in the Abilene/San Angelo area.

Please know I think it’s great that the ice bucket challenge has raised awareness for this terrible disease and I am in no way passing any sort of judgment on anyone who has participated. I know anyone who is willing to dump ice water on themselves has a pure motive and heart and it IS working to generate awareness! I am so passionate about helping others achieve health through diet and nutrition and I hope ALS sufferers and their caregivers will reach out for me to assist any way I can!

You can reach me at Jaclyn@naturalmommainprogress.com.

Be well,

Jaclyn

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and you should always discuss changes in diet or supplementation with your health care provider.

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Aug 14

A Few of My Favorite Things Giveaway

 favorite things giveaway header

Did I mention I celebrated my birthday last month? I think birthdays are always a big reason to celebrate! I love to make big deals out of my kids’ birthdays and love to be surrounded by family and friends when I ring in my own birthday… and just for the record, this year was not the B-I-G three-oh! Not quite yet. Anyways… because I like to make a big deal out of birthdays, I thought it would be lovely to give you, my readers, a chance to win a few of my favorite things for my birthday! Soooo, without further ado, here are some awesome items I am offering up to one of you lovelies, brought to you as a giveaway from some amazing sponsors!

My Favorite Body Care Item

Have I ever told y’all about Bumble and Co? If you don’t know about this awesome company, you need to check it out now! Bumble and Co. makes “natural artisan luxuries for the bath & body to soothe, nourish & pamper the skin from head to toe.” The products are made by hand using natural ingredients, including plant & fruit oils and butters, extracts and fresh botanicals. It was with these products that I first fell in love with the scent of lavender and I cannot get enough of it! Bumble and Co. is giving away one Lavender Lotion Bar, one of my favorite products! It is a solid lotion that comes in a beautiful bee design and is made from shea and cocoa butters, a mix of fruit and nut oils and, of course, lavender essential oil. This lotion bar is perfect for rubbing over dry areas like knees and elbows, and I love to smooth it over my hands, making them so soft and scenting them with the wonderfully earthy scent of lavender. Lotion bars are also really great for back massages! ;)

bumble lotion bar

My Favorite Hair Accessory

I can’t believe I lived most of my life without a Flexi Clip from Lilla Rose! Now that I’ve been using one, it is easy to see why Flexi-Clips are not only one of my favorite things, but of many other ladies as well! They are so pretty and they really hold your hair well.

My favorite part about my Flexi Clip is that I can easily throw my hair back and still feel pretty and put together. There are over 80 ultra-feminine designs in countless color combinations, ensuring there is a Flexi Clip that will match your wardrobe! In fact, I plan to get more in different sizes so I have lots of options! Because the Flexi Clips come in lots of sizes, it’s easy to do lots of different hairstyles with them. Since my hair is fairly thin, I’m able to get all of it in a size small, but I think I’d like to try a bigger one so I can do French twists and chignons as well. With so many cute styles, I definitely want to grow my collection! Wisdom Seeking Mommy is giving away one Flexi Clip valued up to $16 to one new customer.

flexi clip

 My Favorite Makeup

While I don’t wear makeup very often, when I do, I want to make sure what I’m wearing is healthy and natural. I have been slowly changing out my makeup supplies over the last few years, but it has been pretty slow going since I go through it so slowly! Last year I came across an awesome company with organic mineral makeup. Faerie Organic products contain no bismuth oxychloride, no parabens, no GMOs, no micro/nano particles, no fragrance and no petrol products. The company is truly committed to a 100% natural mineral product, unlike most other mineral makeup companies that use fillers and harmful ingredients. I have been using a blush and bronzer from Faerie Organic for quite some time and love the way they look, feel and last! I also just received a sample kit from the company so I can determine what type of foundation to purchase, as it can be difficult to decide on color and finish. I love the way the foundation performs as well! One winner will also receive a sample kit from Faerie Organic to give this fabulous makeup a try!

mineral makeup

My Favorite Yoga Mat

 If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I love yoga (even if I don’t get to practice as much as I’d like these days!). I spent a long time looking for the perfect mat and trying out different ones at various yoga studios. A good mat was an investment and I wanted to make sure I got the perfect one! What I finally decided to buy was the Jade Harmony yoga mat. It is the perfect mat for me for so many reasons: it is long, which is so important when doing a very active vinyasa/ashtanga style yoga; it isn’t too heavy, which makes it easy to haul around; it is made from sustainable natural rubber, but doesn’t have an awful rubber smell that some yoga mats have; and most importantly, it has amazing grip and traction, which is super important when you’re taking a hot yoga class and getting really sweaty! And, Jade Yoga mats are beautiful! They come in tons of colors to suit any taste, male or female, but I personally love my orchid-colored mat! I hope you, dear readers, are also yoga enthusiasts, because one of you will win one of these awesome mats!

jade yoga mat

My Favorite Essential Oils

Did I mention I love lavender? I love it so much. I love having it in essential oil form because you can do so much with it! My favorite thing to do with it is scent homemade lotions, but I also love its medicinal properties. Lavender is wonderful for burns, scrapes and stings! In fact, when my oldest got three terrible wasp stings recently at a friend’s house, she whipped out her doTERRA lavender essential oil and I applied it right away to his stings and he became calm almost instantly. I have used several brands of essential oils, and I do think that the doTERRA versions that I’ve used seem to be more potent and effective than those I’ve bought at grocery and health stores.

One of my other favorite essential oils is peppermint, another that I’ve found to be much more effective in the doTERRA brand! Headaches always seem to be my default health issue when I am lacking sleep, am not taking enough care with my diet, or when I am very stressed out. doTERRA peppermint essential oil is ESSENTIAL for relieving my headaches naturally. It works so well to just dab a little directly on the place that the pain seems to be coming from; it instantly alleviates the pain. Sometimes I need to dab it on several times, but it will generally get rid of a headache for me! Cheaper brands of oils have not had the same effect on my headaches.

One winner will receive one bottle each of doTERRA Lavender and Peppermint oils from Nourishing Simplicity!

essential oils

 

I’m so excited for one of you to win all of these great prizes! To enter, just complete the Rafflecopter below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends August 19th at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected by Raffelcopter and be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Winner must register as a customer on Lilla Rose web site in order to receive Flexi Clip prize. Please note that Naturalmommainprogress.com is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. I have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. Any products provided for the review were free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge; no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

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Aug 06

GAPS Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

 

shepherd's pie

Shepherd’s Pie has been one of my new favorite go-to meals since a friend brought it to us following the birth of our littlest three months ago. It was an instant hit with my family as well! The simplistic concept of a one-dish meat and potatoes meal makes for a yummy, easy-prep dinner. However, since we’ve stopped eating potatoes (again), I wanted to come up with a new way to enjoy this meal we have all come to love. A friend of mine insisted that turnips taste like potatoes and were a good replacement on GAPS, so I decided to give it a try! Turns out, they are a great replacement in this recipe!

Here’s how to make Shepherd’s Pie, GAPS-style:

GAPS Shepherd's Pie
Serves 6
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Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
332 calories
11 g
87 g
25 g
17 g
13 g
222 g
694 g
5 g
1 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
222g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 332
Calories from Fat 220
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g
38%
Saturated Fat 13g
66%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 87mg
29%
Sodium 694mg
29%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 4g
14%
Sugars 5g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A
79%
Vitamin C
40%
Calcium
6%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb ground beef
  2. 1 cup mixed frozen carrots and peas
  3. 1/2-1 cup beef broth
  4. 1/2 cup pasture butter
  5. 1 small onion, chopped
  6. 2 large or 3 medium turnips
  7. 1/2 tbsp. paprika
  8. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  9. 1 tsp. real salt
  10. 1/2 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef, seasoning with a little salt and pepper as it cooks.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the turnips and begin boiling them in a large pot.
  3. As it starts to brown, add 1/2 cup broth, spices, onion and peas and carrots to the meat.
  4. Cover and cook on low for approximately 15-20 minutes, adding more broth if the meat gets dry or begins to stick.
  5. Once the turnips are soft, drain them and place them back in the pot. Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Blend the turnips with a hand mixer until smooth. They will resemble lumpy mashed potatoes.
  7. Take the meat and vegetables off the stovetop and pour into a pie plate.
  8. Scoop the mashed turnips on top of the meat mixture, spreading it so it covers the whole surface.
  9. Place in a 350* oven for 20-30 minutes, until the mashed turnips begin to brown a bit.
beta
calories
332
fat
25g
protein
17g
carbs
11g
more
http://www.naturalmommainprogress.com/
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Jul 30

How I Cloth Diaper a Newborn- + a Review of Green Mountain Diapers!

gmd review

I’ve mentioned that I wanted to cloth diaper our newest little from day one and today I want to tell you how that went and what I did!

First things first: I didn’t actually cloth diaper from day one like I had hoped.  I had planned to cut disposable liners out of old t-shirts to use and toss during the early meconium days, but my husband just wasn’t interested. I was ok with that since he is so great and helpful with our babies while I’m recovering. I didn’t want to force him into more work. So, we used natural, chlorine-free disposables for the first few days.

After a few days, once we were past the meconium and I felt ready to begin washing diapers, I decided to dive in and try out all the cute, little newborn diapers I had stocked up on! I figured out pretty quickly which were my favorites and which didn’t work. Here is what I found worked for us and why I have a new favorite cloth diaper:

Cloth Diapering a Newborn

I knew if I wanted to cloth diaper from early on, I would need diapers specific to newborn size. With my third son, the one-size diapers I had gotten didn’t fit until he was around 6 weeks old, so I knew that would probably be the case again.  I bought some inexpensive all-in-one diapers (they are waterproof as is and don’t need a cover) and some prefolds ( thick, square-shaped fabric that fold around baby), and made some wool covers.

The kind folks at Green Mountain Diapers also sent me some diapers to try out: a fitted (a diaper shaped like a disposable that needs a waterproof cover), a couple of prefolds, a waterproof cover and some fasteners.

The number one thing people want to know about cloth diapering a newborn is how many diapers they will need. Total, I had 20 prefolds, 6 all in ones, one fitted, one waterproof cover, 3-5 wool covers and a Snappi diaper fastener.  With this amount, I did laundry 2-3 times a week.

Which Diapers Do I Like Best?

I thought for sure that I would love the all-in-ones best since you don’t have to put a cover on them. I thought they would be so convenient. It turned out those cute, cheap little diapers leaked all over the place. I couldn’t leave him in them for very long or he was soaked around the leg. I’ve used them now only for short periods of time around the house or I put a cover over them and use them as fitteds.

I was already familiar with prefolds, so I knew I liked them. I love that prefolds are made out of natural fabric and they are a really frugal option. The Green Mountain Diaper Cloth-eez prefolds are awesome for newborns because they are sized, instead of one size like many brands. They fit great and the organic cotton and bamboo are soft and comfy for baby (especially the bamboo- which is super soft!). Once baby outgrows the newborn size, you can move up the next size, as GMD has many different sizes of prefolds to fit from newborn to toddler.

It turned out my very favorite option for cloth diapering a newborn (and any age, really) was the fitted! GMD has a special type of fitted called a Cloth-eez Workhorse. The one they sent me has a snap closure, which I have found I really like because I hate searching around for a Snappi (which tend to get lost in my house!). The workhorses are made from the same fabric as the prefolds, but are cut into the shape of a fitted diaper, with elastic around the leg openings. The workhorses also have an extra flap sewn in for even more absorbability. These are so handy to use that they are what I throw in the diaper bag for quick changes on the go, but they are absorbent enough that I can also use them for nighttime.

As far as covers over the workhorses or prefolds, I ended up loving the Bummis cover GMD sent me. I still use wool during the day, but at night I use a waterproof cover. It is a no-fail way to prevent leaks at night. The Bummis Super Snap is great because I can get an awesome fit and I find that I prefer snaps over Velcro (also called aplix) because they seem more durable. Snaps are especially awesome for bigger babies who learn to rip off Velcro diapers!

My Washing Routine

I like to keep things very simple when it comes to my wash routine! After having ammonia problems with my older son’s prefolds, I have decided I feel most comfortable using a cloth diaper safe detergent, rather than a homemade one, so I purchase this one, which has clean ingredients, is inexpensive, and lasts 100 loads! Since I make our laundry detergent for the rest of our clothes, I don’t mind buying one to use exclusively for cloth diapers and it lasts for a long time.

I do the normal washing method that most people use: hot, heavy wash with an extra rinse. I don’t usually bother with doing a pre-rinse because the heavy wash on our machine does a very thorough job. A cold pre-rinse typically helps to prevent staining, but I’ve realized that with that orangey-yellow newborn poop, it’s going to stain anyway. You want to make sure your water heater is turned up most of the way so that the water is getting hot enough to clean the diapers well.

If it’s a nice sunny day, I lay the diapers out in the sun to dry. The sun works as a natural bleach and actually removes those stubborn stains entirely! It’s like magic! Plus, the sun is a great natural antibacterial and antimicrobial, so if I can, I do like to use the sun. If you don’t have a clothesline, as I don’t, a drying rack like this works great! Otherwise, I just run them through the dryer, easy peasy. I don’t put the Bummis covers in the dryer, however, as it will break down the pul.

While everyone seems to like something different when it comes to cloth diapering, this is what I’ve found works for me! I have bought the next size in workhorses and Bummis covers and will probably continue to use the workhorses almost exclusively until baby is potty trained- I love them that much!

What are your best tips for cloth diapering a newborn?

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Jul 09

Legit Grain-Free {Paleo} Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies

The health food store that I shop at started carrying bulk blanched almond flour. Previously, they only carried almond meal. So not the same thing. Let me just say that having good ingredients makes all the difference in the world. I couldn’t have guessed just how much good almond flour would take my baked goods to. the. next. level. Y’all, these chocolate chip cookies are too legit to quit. And paleo. Ya know, if paleolithic peeps ate chocolate chip cookies. Anyway… get yourself some good blanched almond flour and it will change your life.

If you’ve been pining away for real chocolate chip cookies since sticking with a grain-free diet, these will change your life also!

Legit Grain-Free {Paleo} Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 36
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
110 calories
11 g
18 g
7 g
1 g
3 g
24 g
90 g
5 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Yields
36
Amount Per Serving
Calories 110
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 3g
13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 18mg
6%
Sodium 90mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 5g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  2. 1/2 cup butter, softened (or palm shortening if you want to stick to strictly "paleo" ingredients)
  3. 1/2 cup honey
  4. 1/2 cup {Enjoy Life} chocolate chips
  5. 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 3 tbsp. coconut flour
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla
  9. 1 tsp. baking soda
  10. 3/4 tsp. real salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add softened butter, honey, vanilla and eggs and mix well.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips and pecan pieces.
  5. Spoon tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, then flatten the cookies with your fingers or the back of a wooden spoon, dipped in water.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
beta
calories
110
fat
7g
protein
1g
carbs
11g
more
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You know what the best part about these cookies is? Eating the dough. A cookie recipe is only as good as its dough tastes, and this dough is delish!

Chocolate chip cookies are one of those main-stream treats I’ve missed since sticking with a grain-free lifestyle, but these totally fit the bill! The key is not to eat too many because they’re so good!

May I recommend:

Honeyville Farms Blanched Almond Flour

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips or Chunks

If You Care Parchment Paper

Organic Coconut Flour

Redmond Real Salt

 

Have you noticed a difference in your kitchen creations when using different quality ingredients?

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.naturalmommainprogress.com/2014/07/09/legit-grain-free-paleo-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Jul 07

Why I Take Turmeric Capsules and How I Save Money By Making Them Myself

turmeric

I’ve read about the benefits of turmeric for quite some time, but knew I could never season my food enough to achieve any real results.  After encapsulating desiccated liver, as well as my placenta, I learned just how easy it is to fill capsules with whatever you would like to take in supplement form.  I decided to try turmeric, and am happy to report that I can attest to the healing properties of this awesome spice!

All About Turmeric

Turmeric has been used due to its medicinal properties for nearly 4000 years, originating in India, where it was also used for culinary purposes, and even in religious ceremonies.  Today, most of the world’s turmeric comes from India with 80% being consumed in India.  Because of its high content of curcumin, the disease-fighting, anti-inflammatory component that gives turmeric its distinct color, turmeric produced in India is considered to be the best in the world.  It is called by many names, including over 50 different names in Sanskrit alone, due to its various uses and attributes.

“It was used in ancient times on the Indian subcontinent to treat various illnesses such as rheumatism, body ache, skin diseases, intestinal worms, diarrhoea, intermittent fevers, hepatic disorders, biliousness, urinary discharges, dyspepsia, inflammations, constipation, leukoderma, amenorrhea, and colic. Curcumin has the potential to treat a wide variety of inflammatory diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, psoriasis, [and more]…” (1)

There is literally no condition that can’t be helped by turmeric, from digestive disorders, to cuts and abrasions, and even depression.  Turmeric has been extensively studied and found to be beneficial in relieving respiratory illnesses, including asthma, and is a powerful anit-mucosal.  It is a cholagogue, which means it stimulates bile production in the liver and encourages excretion of bile via the gallbladder, which improves the body’s ability to digest fats. In many cultures, turmeric is mixed with milk or water and taken to treat colds and sore throats.

Is It Safe?

To date, no studies in either animals or humans have discovered any toxic effects associated with the use of turmeric, and it is clear that turmeric is not toxic even at very high doses (2).  This is great news for pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as those who wish to use nontoxic means of treating symptoms in children.  I personally began taking turmeric capsules since I’ve been nursing my fourth child and have not seen any side effects whatsoever.

Curcumin may interact with blood thinning drugs (3).

My Experience with Turmeric

I started taking turmeric capsules after recently having my fourth baby and finding myself in need of some relief of inflammation.  Since we had eaten some things we normally don’t following the birth, I sensed that my body was not feeling its best and my sinuses were a little tender.  I also developed a blocked milk duct in the early weeks.  Because nursing limits even the natural remedies that can be used (I used oregano oil to treat a sinus infection while I was still nursing number three and my milk dried up overnight!  Thankfully, it bounced back after I drank a few cups of Mothers Milk Tea!), I knew I needed to find something that would not effect my milk supply.  I had read about the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric but wasn’t sure I could get enough to fight inflammation by drinking it in milk or tea, and certainly not by lightly seasoning my food.  I decided to put it in capsules.

The results were noticeable and I found turmeric to be very effective.  Within one or two days, my tender sinuses cleared up and my milk blockage was relieved.  After that, I decided I would just give these capsules to my whole family as part of our daily supplements.  Unfortunately, we ran out quickly and stopped taking them after a little while.  Again, I found myself in need of them when last week, my oldest son and I seemed to be developing some seasonal allergies.  We were both sneezing and had runny noses and itchy eyes.  After only one day taking turmeric capsules, both of our symptoms had cleared up entirely.

These benefits have convinced me that I need to keep enough capsules on hand to keep them as part of our daily supplement routine.  I also suspect some problems with candida and perhaps intestinal parasites, which we are always working to remedy with diet, but I think the turmeric capsules will be a fantastic ally in fighting these undesirables.

Dosage

When I’m experiencing inflammation, I take 12-18 capsules a day, depending on how often I remember to take them.  I pop 4-6 capsules at a time, several times a day.  I give my six year old about four at a time, two to three times a day.  And as a regular supplement, I like to give everyone a couple of capsules in the evening, along with our other supplements.

How to Make the Capsules

If you’ve read my post on how to make desiccated liver capsules, you know I stress the importance of using a capsule machine to fill capsules.  I did without one for a while and it is a lot more work!  Once you have an easy way to fill capsules, you’ll think about all the different things you can fill capsules with that will benefit your body!  I’ve also filled capsules with grassfed gelatin, spirulina, probiotic powder and even Natural Calm!  Capsules are just a really convenient way to get things into your body that would be prohibitive otherwise based on taste or messiness.  They are especially helpful when we are going to be out of town and we need a more easy-to-transport form of our regular supplements.

Because co-supplementation with 20 mg of piperine (extracted from black pepper) has been found to significantly increase the bioavailablity of curcumin (by 2000%!) (3), I add black pepper to my turmeric capsules. One 00 capsule holds 735 mg, so 20 mg is only a very small portion of this.

If you’d like to make turmeric capsules, you will need:

00 capsules

Capsule machine

or buy this kit to save some money!

(organic) turmeric

and a little black pepper

After mixing a little black pepper in with your ground turmeric, simply follow the instructions for filling the capsules!  It’s so fast and easy and saves a ton over buying pre-made turmeric capsules.

Have you tried using turmeric as a medicinal spice?

 
Sources
1 Pari L, Tewas D, Eckel J, Role of curcumin in health and disease, 2008
2 Prasad, S. Aggarwal, BB, Turmeric, the Golden Spice, From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine, 2011
3 Mishra, Shrikant and Palanivelu, Kalpana, The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview, 2008

 

 

 

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Jun 30

The Home Birth of Our Sunny Side Up Baby

sunny side up
After having a home birth with our third son, we knew we would birth this way for any future children we might have! Our home birth with Everett was so perfect, spiritually rewarding and everything we could have wanted in a home birth. When we became pregnant again just over a year-and-a-half later, my midwife was one of the first people I called. We had moved to a town about an hour and a half away, but we knew we wanted to use Kelly for our second home birth. We were so excited to have a chance to use her again and welcome another baby at home.  Here is our story!

 

About six weeks before I was due, my midwife discovered that our baby had turned to a posterior position (face up). I wasn’t worried. I knew I had plenty of time to get the baby to turn, and figured it would happen on its own. She told me about some exercises I could do to help baby to turn and I worked on doing them in the weeks that followed. By the next time I visited my midwife, the baby still had not turned. Nor had baby turned at the following two visits. I was feeling a little worried and frustrated, but still believed our little one would turn when the time was right. I visited the chiropractor and continued to do the exercises to help the baby turn.

About two weeks before my due date, my sister flew in for a visit, with the hopes that she would be around for the birth. I had asked Karyn of In Bloom Photography to photograph our birth, but she was scheduled to leave town the day after my sister arrived and would be gone for more than a week. I prayed I would have the baby the day my sister arrived, in that small window before the photographer left. My sister and I took my three older boys and went hiking, but to no avail. I had been having strong Braxton hicks contractions, but they weren’t doing anything serious. I went to bed knowing that I most likely would end up having the baby while the photographer was out of town and was a little disappointed. I had had all of my other children at least a week early, so I didn’t expect to make it past 39 weeks.

Fast forward to 39 weeks. I was still pregnant! I couldn’t believe it! The best part was that my sister stuck around to wait on the baby and our amazing photographer had arrived back in town.   While my contractions were not “real” contractions yet, they were uncomfortable during at least the last couple of weeks and a couple of times became very strong and regular for a couple of hours before dying out. That last week was emotionally trying, as my body seemed to be trying to go into labor, but struggled to get it in full swing because of the baby’s positioning. My midwife told me this is typical of babies in the posterior position. I was so frustrated!

I went to the chiropractor again on a Wednesday, because I knew baby was still face up, plus I hoped an adjustment might get labor moving. She adjusted me, then did some acupressure on points that are supposed to help induce labor. The contractions did seem to get closer together and that night I thought I might be going into labor, but by morning nothing had happened. The contractions stayed uncomfortable and 30 minutes apart all day long on Thursday. Somehow my husband, David, convinced me to get dressed up and go to a work dinner with him. I didn’t feel much like it, but thought it would be good to get out, so I went.

last pg pic hudson

39 weeks, 5 days

Through dinner, the contractions continued. After we’d eaten, they began to get stronger and I was feeling like it was time to go home. I stuck it out a while longer until they had really become painful and were getting a little closer together. We headed home and got everyone to bed. My sister went to bed, but insisted I wake her up if anything happened. I worked on some laundry and asked David to help me out with a few tasks before we went to sleep just in case I was in labor. Because I had had so much false labor at this point, I wasn’t convinced the contractions I was having were the real thing yet. David went to sleep for a while and I tried to rest for a bit also, but the contractions were not letting up. This was different than the couple of times I’d had false labor because when I went to sleep, they went away. This time, they were not going away and I could not sleep.

I lay in bed for a while and decided I should track the contractions, so I downloaded an app. I tracked them for a while and by about 1 am, they were getting stronger and closer together, so I got into a hot bath, rocking on my hands and knees to continue to encourage the baby to turn. The hot water felt great on my belly and back during the contractions. I realized I was really hungry, so I called David into the bathroom to get me some milk. (Raw milk = perfect labor food!) When he came in, I don’t think either of us was convinced yet that I was really, truly in labor. I wasn’t ready to call the midwife yet either.

We did a few more tasks around the house and David began to help me through the contractions by putting counterpressure on my back. Finally, around 2:30 or so, we felt it was time to call my midwife, Kelly, so I did. I was so scared that I was calling her for a false alarm! She said she would pick up her assistant and head my way. Because she lived about an hour and a half from us, I was really worried about crying wolf. I hated the thought of her getting up in the middle of the night, driving to my house and then finding that I was not actually in labor. Thank goodness when she arrived at just after 4 am, she found me to be between 5-6 cm dilated! We could all breathe easier knowing I was actually having the baby! Suddenly, it was “go” time, and David began setting up the birthing pool!

My sister had woken up a little before our midwife arrived and Karyn, our photographer, arrived soon after. Just before everyone started arriving, a beautiful song had started playing, saying “Start a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain and I can’t control. I want more of you God.” As I sang along, I began weeping. I can’t explain why, but I know in that moment, God was present and He stayed with me through an emotional and physically trying labor and delivery. I still thought that if I spent time on my hands and knees, my face up baby would turn. So, as my birth personnel gathered around me for support and my husband labored with me, I rocked back and forth on my hands and knees through every contraction.

Hudson-138-3278665146-O

Finally, I felt ready to get into the birthing pool. The contractions were getting pretty intense, and though the back labor I was experiencing (thanks to the back of  baby’s head pushing on my spine) was helped by a TENS unit (used to send little electric shocks via pads affixed to my back), I felt the warm water would help more. Someone reminded me to take the TENS unit off before getting into the water… but did not remind me to shut it off before taking it off! It shocked my hand and scared me, giving us all a much-needed laugh!

 Hudson-148-3278682874-O

I thought that once I entered the water, I would stay in the water, and felt that labor was surely drawing to the end. I had asked my sister to make a couple of phone calls to let my parents and a good friend know I was in labor. She was unable to reach the friend so left a message, and my mom decided to rest for a while before she and my dad made the hour-and-a-half long drive to my house. I thought they would all miss the birth.

Hudson-163-3278711819-O

Goofing off between contractions.

It turned out the end of labor was not as close as I’d imagined. Not very long after getting in the water, I felt a little more relaxed and my labor even seemed to be slowing down. I was worried and asked my midwife what I should do. She ended up giving me an herbal labor augmentation tincture and it seemed to help because labor got harder and harder after that. I ended up getting in and out of the birthing pool several times to use the bathroom.

 

Before long, I noticed the sun was up and my mom and friend were in the room. I was so glad they had made it! By this time, labor was getting very hard to bear and I made lots of noise and grabbed onto David during contractions. I was really getting worn out, but as my contractions got closer together, I knew I was getting very close to the pushing phase. Out of nowhere, I began weeping and I knew I was in transition. Even though I couldn’t explain why I was crying, I knew it meant I was almost done, and it helped to calm me. To be honest, I think part of me was crying because I was disappointed by how hard my labor had been and I was exhausted and frustrated.

 Below, my sweet friend Mary greets my son; my mom arrives, excited to meet her new grandbaby!Hudson-206-3278757316-O

Hudson-192-3278743246-O

Hudson-185-3278735245-O
In transition and nearing the end.

I still had some hard contractions ahead of me and they were overtaking me at this point, washing over me, one after another, and I was ready for the ride to be over. Instead of visualizing peaceful waves, I imagined the contractions were slamming against me, like angry waves against a rocky cliff. Before my labor had gotten quite so intense, I had tried to use some of the positive speaking techniques I had learned from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, saying “my body is going to open up and I’m going to have my baby.”. Now, as my labor became unbearable, I spoke loudly and with authority “In Jesus’ name, I will be fully dilated on this next contraction!” as another contraction overtook me.

 Hudson-188-3278738106-O Hudson-189-3278738829-O Hudson-217-3278774532-O Hudson-219-3278777065-O

I could hear and feel those in the room in prayerful agreement with me and I knew what I had declared had taken place. It was time to push. I began to feel urges to push and could reach down and feel my waters bulging. I tried to get my husband to feel because it was such a miraculous thing to me, to reach down and feel that, but I think he was too shy in a room full of people! On the next contraction, I pushed and my water broke, with my hand still over it. What blissful relief and an amazing thing to feel with my hand! I had never done that before and thought it was really cool to experience delivering my baby in this way.

 Hudson-213-3278769158-O

My mom and midwife pray together as I labor.

 

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Relief and a quick water break.

My relief was short-lived as I began to feel my baby’s head emerging. Keeping my hand down, I felt my baby’s head! How special to know our sweet baby was almost here! As the baby began to push through, however, having my hand down began to be a downfall, as I could feel myself stretching over the head, coming out the wrong direction. Despite my efforts to turn my little one during labor, the baby was coming out face up. I screamed: a loud, horror-movie-worthy scream. Kelly immediately told me to stop screaming (I thought it was because that was no way to peacefully welcome a baby, but realized later it was because screaming causes your body to tense up and therefore, delivering a baby to be much more difficult). I instantly regained the presence of mind I needed to deliver my baby.

 Hudson-230 Hudson-244

Hudson-247

The delivery took a little longer than my previous children, I assume because of the face up position. In two to three contractions, I pushed the head out, and almost felt for a moment I was done and could relax. Alas, the body had to follow! On the next contraction, I pushed out the rest of our baby, and just as the body was emerging, the baby turned! I can’t quite describe what a strange feeling it was to feel that little body spinning as the baby came out of me. Baby was brought to my chest and we were attended by loving hands.

 mom dad and hudson

We had not found out what sex our baby was, so one of the first things I did upon delivery was reach to feel what parts the baby had! Another boy! Number four! I had been so sure and convinced he was a girl for most of my pregnancy, so I was surprised to welcome another boy. We had already chosen the name Hudson, but didn’t decide on the middle name until the next day.

 Hudson-442-3279451478-O

Hudson David was born on April 25, 2014 at 8:47 am, weighing 6 lbs, 12 oz and measuring 20.5” long.

Hudson-324-3278922653-O Hudson-326-3278925703-O Hudson-321-3278921898-O Hudson-319-3278915619-O Hudson-312-3278903745-O Hudson-346-3278958071-O Hudson-371-3278991236-O Hudson-387-3279016214-O Hudson-399-3279034302-O Hudson-402-3279038261-O Hudson-410-3279049915-O Hudson-434-3279438998-O Hudson-446-3279459917-O Hudson-450-3279463346-O Hudson-464-3279489614-O

All pictures are courtesy of Karyn Carbone with In Bloom Photography. Images may not be used without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.naturalmommainprogress.com/2014/06/30/home-birth-sunny-side-baby/

Jun 25

Legit Grain-Free {Paleo} Tortillas

 

grain-free tortillas

I’ve come up with some decent replacements for tortillas since going grain-free. We eat lots of lettuce-wrapped “tacos” and I occasionally make cauliflower wraps. Those options work and we enjoy them. But. I’ve really been wanting to try to make legitimate tortillas. Ones that taste good on their own and not just as a vehicle for their tastier contents.

Because these tortillas contain arrowroot powder (also known as arrowroot flour or starch), I hesitate to call them “paleo”, lest the paleo police slap a fine on me for calling arrowroot paleo.  However, I think the occasional use of arrowroot or tapioca starch is ok, as long as you’re not on a more restrictive diet like GAPS. Too much starch can feed back bacteria in your gut, but I think it’s okay from time to time.

I’ve been dreaming up ways I can make them, and apparently I’m not the only one! My friend Kimball of Heavy on Wholesome recently posted a picture of tortillas she had made and shared the ingredients with me. I tried a variety of combinations and tweaked the recipe until I was happy with it. Today, I made quesadillas with the tortillas and the family loved them! My two-year-old was sort of over the moon about them, as he’s never even had a quesadilla.

But the real test was whether the tortillas tasted good with butter and honey, one of my favorite snacks of all time. What’s that you say? That’s weird? Hm. You should try it.

No really. Try it:

Legit Grain-Free {Paleo} Tortillas
Yields 6
Write a review
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
20 min
111 calories
13 g
0 g
6 g
2 g
1 g
61 g
397 g
0 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
61g
Yields
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 111
Calories from Fat 53
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
10%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 397mg
17%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup blanched almond flour (not meal)
  2. 3/4 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  4. 1 tsp. real salt
Instructions
  1. 1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender, making sure to scrape the sides if need be so that the batter is smooth and not clumpy.
  2. 2. Heat a stainless steel skillet on low heat.
  3. 3. Spread butter in the skillet to prevent sticking. This is important. If you don't eat dairy, use your preferred oil (although I think the butter adds to the flavor, so if you can use it, do!).
  4. 4. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet and smooth it out quickly with the edge/back of your scoop. It will begin cooking and thickening right away, but the batter is pretty forgiving and will let you continue to smooth it out for a bit.
  5. 5. Let the batter cook on the first side for 2-3 minutes before flipping, then cook on the second side for another 2-3 minutes. I smashed it down a bit with a slotted spatula to flatten in out more and squeeze out moisture as it cooked. I also flipped each tortilla back and forth a couple times to ensure thorough, even cooking. The key is to be sure the tortilla gets cooked in the middle or it becomes gummy. This is why it's important to cook it on low enough heat to not cook the outside too quickly.
beta
calories
111
fat
6g
protein
2g
carbs
13g
more
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I am so excited thinking of all the ways I can use these! Fajitas are next on my list, as I bought my hubby a cool cast iron fajita skillet for father’s day.

For another great paleo recipe, check out my Paleo Chicken Enchiladas!

What are you excited to make with tortillas?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.naturalmommainprogress.com/2014/06/25/legit-grain-free-paleo-tortillas/

Jun 04

Holistic Circumcision: What it is and Why it Matters

holistic circumcision

A Personal Decision

Circumcision has become an extremely controversial topic in recent years.  There are some great perspectives out there on both sides, and I believe you can choose to circumcise or not and be ok, spiritually, emotionally and physically.  While I don’t personally feel that circumcision is necessary for Christians, as Christians are not obligated to uphold ancient Jewish laws and traditions as laid out in the old testament, I do think there are some considerations that might cause couples to feel circumcision is the right choice for their son.

There are reported health benefits of circumcision.  Because I generally don’t trust much from the mainstream medical community, it is hard for me to determine if I truly believe circumcision prevents disease.  I also find it difficult to accept that circumcision diminishes sexual pleasure for adult males because there is no way to physically test this theory, short of asking an intact man to experience intercourse, become circumcised, then have sex again and report back his findings.  That’s not likely to happen.  The most recent report (2012) of an AAP task force “found that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks.” (1)

My aim is not to help you to decide whether or not to circumcise.  There is plenty of good research to be found on the subject.  Whether families choose circumcision or not is a very personal choice and one that I think should be left up to each individual family (just as I think all decisions, medical or otherwise, should be left up to parents).  What I want to offer you is information on circumcision that is not routinely discussed: there is a gentler method!

Holistic Circumcision

What is holistic circumcision?  Dubbed “holistic” or “easy” by the mohels (Jewish professionals who specialize in the ceremony of circumcision; mohel is pronounced moyel) who perform them, this type of circumcision focuses on the family being present during the procedure, where the infant is attended by loving hands, laid gently on a pillow, where his comfort is of utmost consideration, and allowed to go to his mother’s breast following the procedure.

Routine Circumcision

  • In a doctor’s office or hospital
  • Parents generally not allowed to attend
  • Takes 20-40 minutes
  • Baby’s arms and legs are strapped down
  • Injections/other drugs are used

Holistic Circumcision:

  • Surrounded by loved ones
  • Held by loving hands
  • Performed often in the child’s home or another comfortable place
  • Takes only 10-20 seconds
  • No drugs or injections

Method of Procedure: Holistic vs Routine

Please note that I am not a medical professional and the following descriptions are my own, based on my observations and research.

During a routine circumcision, a doctor will use tools to clamp the foreskin while inserting another tool to separate it from the head of the penis.  The doctor will then cut the foreskin so that the head emerges, but the foreskin is still attached.  At this point, a metal or plastic device (called a “plastibell”) is used to gather up and clamp the foreskin away from the head of the penis.  The doctor will then cut the foreskin away in a sawing motion.  This process, again, can take 20-40 minutes and the parents are generally not allowed in the room to comfort their baby during the procedure.  Healing takes 5-7 days.

During a holistic circumcision, the mohel will use a tool to quickly separate the foreskin from the head of the penis (no prior clamping required), another tool, called a hemostat, is used to gather up the foreskin altogether so that it can all be cut at once, rather than in a sawing motion as in a routine circumcision.  The mohel will then, in one fluid, swiping motion, cut the foreskin away from the head of the penis.  The whole procedure takes only 10-20 seconds and the parents are encouraged to touch and talk to baby during the procedure.  Healing takes 24-48 hours.

If you’d like to watch the procedures for yourself, these two videos nicely reflect the differences in the two: (WARNING: these videos are graphic, especially the first.  I advise you to be certain you’d like to watch.  If you are adamantly against circumcision, I would suggest skipping the videos, as they will likely be upsetting to you, especially the first video.)

A routine circumcision

A holistic circumcision

*This video shows the Jewish ceremony known as Bris Milah.  My purpose for showing this video is so that the different circumcision technique can be observed.  For families who simply want to have their son circumcised, regardless of their religion, home or office visits are available from qualified mohels.

How to Find a Mohel

It should be noted that to have a holistic circumcision performed on your son, you need not be Jewish or have any specific religious reason for doing so.  Many families choose this gentler method simply because they feel it is better for their son.  If you would like to find a mohel to perform your son’s circumcision, you may be able to find one through your midwife or doctor (though a holistic practitioner is more likely to be in contact with a mohel).  Interestingly, many mohels can be found through a simple internet search using “holistic circumcision” or “how to find a mohel” (which brings up the site mohelusa.com, where can you search for a mohel by state).  I would recommend seeking out references before choosing a mohel.  I personally recommend Rabbi Michael Rovinsky.

Please Note:

I am well-versed in the history of circumcision, the differences between modern-day circumcision and the way it was originally performed, and modern-day circumcision’s roots in masturbation prevention.  Hateful comments, those bashing parents who choose to circumcise and foul language will not be tolerated.  My aim here is to provide information so that families who do choose to circumcise know what their options are.

Sources (1)

If you plan to have your son circumcised, have you considered a holistic circumcision over the routine procedure?

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.naturalmommainprogress.com/2014/06/04/holistic-method-circumcision/

Jun 02

What’s In Your Probiotic? + A Giveaway From Organic 3 Worth Over $100!

gutprogiveaway

On our journey to better health, from the GAPS diet to Paleo, to slacking off, one thing has remained constant as I’ve cared for my family: our need for a good probiotic.  We have tried many brands, and honestly sometimes have gotten a lesser quality at times based on our budget.  The problem with lesser quality probiotics is that most of them contain fillers or allergens.

Additional ingredients that many probiotics contain include:

  • stearic acid
  • maltodextrin
  • silica
  • fish
  • milk
  • soy
  • pectin
  • silicon dioxide
  • corn
  • and more

Just like in our food system, probiotic ingredients are sometimes difficult to pronounce and may have mysterious origins.  For those seeking to take therapeutic doses of probiotics, these ingredients can be harmful to healing, as many of them serve to further irritate the gut.  If you’re going to go through the expense and trouble of taking a probiotic, you should make sure it’s one that doesn’t do any harm along with any good it might be doing.

Bacterial Strains and Colony Forming Units

Not only are ingredients important when it comes to choosing a probiotic, but it’s important to look at the bacterial strains present, as well as how many colony forming units (CFUs) are in a dose.  While a good variety of bacterial strains are necessary, it’s also important to note which kinds of bacteria are in the probiotic, as some are not very compatible with the human gut, particularly compromised guts.

Equally important is how many CFUs are in each dose.  For therapeutic dosages, it is necessary to take at least 15-20 billion CFUs per day for an adult (the Healthy Home Economist has a helpful chart here which highlights suggested daily CFUs for all age groups).

The GUTPro Solution

The folks at Organic 3 recently let me try their specially-formulated probiotic, GUTPro.  I have been so incredibly impressed with the results I’ve seen in my family from this amazing supplement that I couldn’t wait to share it with you all- and give one of you a bottle!

GUTPro is one of the few probiotics on the market that have no added ingredients.  None.  If you purchase the powder alone, all you will find in the ingredients is the bacterial strains.  If you buy the capsules, you will get only the extra ingredients found in the vegetarian capsules, which the creators of GUTPro painstakingly chose through much research.

gutpro-powder-label

This formula has been so thoroughly and carefully researched and has been found to be effective by many who adhere to diets such as GAPS and SCD, and is recommended by many practitioners whose clients experience severe gut abnormalities. 

One bottle of this concentrated probiotic powder contains 240 servings of adult-sized therapeutic dosages of 25+ billion CFUs!  (If you’re giving it to a child, the dosage is half.)

Our Experience

We are loving using GUTPro and plan to purchase it when our current bottle runs out.  Why do we love it so much?  When we first began taking it (starting with small doses and working our way up to the therapeutic dose), we felt a sort of “clearing out” of our digestive systems.  While it was a gentle cleansing and we didn’t have any terrible die-off symptoms (likely thanks to the extensive healing we’ve already done through diet), everyone seemed to get “cleaned out” the first couple weeks on the probiotic.  We were even able to get off of a supplement we’d been taking to help keep everyone regular, as the GUTPro alone did the job.

The most exciting result of taking GUTPro occurred about six weeks after we began taking it.  My two-year-old’s mild eczema (that previously was only helped by completely eliminating dairy) vanished!  Because eczema is closely linked to food intolerances, I knew that healing his gut was in order to eliminate his eczema.  The GUTPro seems to have done the trick because not one hint of eczema has returned, another couple months later. 

My husband also did quite a bit of traveling this past month and was forced to eat foods he normally doesn’t for extended periods of time.  After returning home from his first trip, he was practically begging for his GUTpro!  I made sure to pack him some to take with him on the next trip and he thanked me for it!

Also, I should note that I was pregnant for the first six weeks or so that I took GUTPro and have no doubt that our little five-week-old has the healthiest gut of any of our babies so far.  He does. not. spit. up.  This is the hugest blessing!  I’ve never had a baby that didn’t spit up and I know it’s because he has such healthy gut flora (and because I eat better than I ever have before!).

After trying several different brands of probiotics, and now having been on GUTPro for several months, I can tell the difference!  Our family will be taking GUTPro for the foreseeable future!  The concentrated powder works well for us and one bottle will last many months for our whole family of five (the baby doesn’t take it).  If a single person is taking it, it will probably last them 6-7 months!  GUTPro is actually very cost effective if you break down the price per dose.

So, how would YOU like to win a bottle of GUTPro? 

The generous folks at Organic 3 have offered to send one winner a bottle of either GUTPro or GUTPro Infant (worth $99.95!), along with the measuring spoons needed for accurate dosing.

Simply complete the rafflecopter below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends June 6th, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only.  Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.  Winner will be selected by rafflecopter.com and be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that Naturalmommainprogress.com is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.  I have represented the sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsor, in most cases, will ship their item to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.  The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge; no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.  Facebook, Pinterest,Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.  By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone.  I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

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