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    How I Beat Thrush Naturally

    Thrush. It's literally the worst ailment that afflicts both mom and baby. Ok, so maybe it's not THE worst but it certainly felt that way when BC and I had it! Here's how I beat thrust naturally despite a doctor telling me it wasn't possible.

    At BC’s 6 month check up we were diagnosed with thrush. My first response to the doctor telling me this was,

    But my boobs don’t hurt!

    And literally as soon as that statement left my mouth, they started hurting. After nursing for more than two and a half years with two previous babies, I now have thrush. I did what any responsible mom would do–I hit up Google to see what fellow moms were saying about thrush.

    I Found Great Information

    There was great information out there. I felt really prepared to heal this thrush naturally, especially after my the doctor scoffed at my notion of healing him without medicine. The combination of other mom blogs, Facebook friends, and my Instagram stories, I was ready to get this party started and the thrush gone.

    Here are some of the links that I found that were helpful:

    Mama Natural
    eMedicine
    Candida Specialists

    Here’s What Those Handy Dandy Links Didn’t Tell Me

    I want you to know this:

    Thrush. Hurts. Like. Hell. 

    No one really talked about how when your milk comes down and you’re nursing it feels like a million little needles are trying to make their way out of your milk ducts. I’ve had THREE unmedicated births that I feel like I handled like a champ. But guys. I want you to really feel me when I say this:

    Thrush almost broke me. 

    via GIPHY

    This was going to be it. I was tapping out of one of my favorite parts of motherhood–breastfeeding. Surely something that is so good for both BC and I shouldn’t hurt me this way, right? Anytime he latched, I flinched. There were tears–not from him as he was completely unbothered. Oh, but did I mention that he was cutting his top teeth at the same time?

    Yeah, there’s a special place in heaven for me because I didn’t let the fact that I had BLOODY, bruised, and what felt like permanently damaged nipples stop me from nurturing this last little bundle my body had created. So how did I thrive despite thrush’s attempts to destroy me? This is what I did.

    Thrush. It's literally the worst ailment that afflicts both mom and baby. Ok, so maybe it's not THE worst but it certainly felt that way when BC and I had it! Here's how I beat thrust naturally despite a doctor telling me it wasn't possible.

    How I Beat Thrush Naturally

    For the first 3 days I put Just Thrive probiotics directly on his thrush two times per day. After each nursing, I wiped out his mouth with the Jack N’ Jill Mouth Wipes. This helped A LOT. I was watching the white gunk come out of his mouth–super gross but whatever. During these 3 days, I also doubled up on taking my probiotic as well.

    Because I’m not a glutton for punishment, after suffering that first day through the pain, I started taking 800 mg of ibuprofen every 6-8 hours–yes, just like when I gave birth. I also made some natural antibiotic and anti-fungal wipes using this recipe:

    1 c of water
    1/2 c of Apple Cider Vinegar
    1/2 c of melted Coconut Oil
    10 paper towels cut in half

    Put all of the paper towels in a tupperware container. Mix ingredients together and pour over the paper towels. Cover them and shake to make sure all the solution gets in there. Use these wipes after every nursing.

    Ok so by day 3 we still had thrush. Mine was going away as was evidence by the lessening of the pain in my boobs but he still had the white lesions in his mouth. I had ordered some Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) from Amazon (bae) and I created a solution daily for the next 3 days that had 10 drops of GSE with 1 oz of distilled water. I used Q-tips and swabbed this in his mouth 3 times daily. During this 3 day period we tried the medicine the doctor prescribed and he vomited it all over my bed so we were done with that.

    So now we’re 6 days in and I see a huuuuuuge difference in the lesions. It’s completely gone from his tongue and most of it is gone from his cheeks. For the next couple of days I let it ride as I waited for the Gentian Violet to come in the mail from Amazon. This was the most highly recommended remedy. But we were nervous about trying this because it would turn his mouth purple–like all of it.

    We tried it. I gave him two doses of it two nights in a row. Once the purple cleared I saw that his lesions had cleared as well.

    Yes, I danced and sang and almost cried tears of joy.

    via GIPHY

    So yeah, that’s how I beat thrush naturally.

    How We’re Snacking Happy With Organic Valley Grassmilk Kids Yogurt

    Organic Valley is one of my favorite brands to eat, drink, everything. They've recently launched the Grassmilk Kids Yogurt and I'm excited to share it with the world! Oh, and did I mention that there's a giveaway too?
    This post is sponsored by Organic Valley. All thoughts and opinions are my own

    Mini looked around the kitchen the other day and says to me

    Mommy, we have a lot of Organic Valley stuff.

    And you know what? She’s right. I’ve shared a lot on my social media about my love affair with Organic Valley Ghee and coffee creamer but it doesn’t stop there. Organic Valley has recently released their Grassmillk Kids Yogurt and I’m happy that I can share this with my kids.

    Snacking Happy

    I never realized just how much my kids ate until I started homeschooling them and snacks became a big part of our curriculum. I say this jokingly but I’m so serious! I don’t have picky eaters and they’re always planning out their next meal or snack while they’re eating their current one. Something that I’ve learned through trial and error with them is that if I give them a snack or meal that’s higher in protein and fiber, they’re less likely to eat me out of house and home.

    Organic Valley is one of my favorite brands to eat, drink, everything. They've recently launched the Grassmilk Kids Yogurt and I'm excited to share it with the world! Oh, and did I mention that there's a giveaway too?

    Organic Valley is one of my favorite brands to eat, drink, everything. They've recently launched the Grassmilk Kids Yogurt and I'm excited to share it with the world! Oh, and did I mention that there's a giveaway too?

    Giving them a snack of yogurt gives them some of the protein they need to sustain them until the next meal and I love this.

    Not All Snacks Are Made Equally

    Who doesn’t love a sweet treat every now and again? I know I do and both of girls do as well. One of the things that we love doing is freezing the tubes of the yogurt. I’ll either pack these up for a picnic at the park or they squeeze them out and boom, frozen yogurt aka ice cream!

    Organic Valley is one of my favorite brands to eat, drink, everything. They've recently launched the Grassmilk Kids Yogurt and I'm excited to share it with the world! Oh, and did I mention that there's a giveaway too?

    Organic Valley is one of my favorite brands to eat, drink, everything. They've recently launched the Grassmilk Kids Yogurt and I'm excited to share it with the world! Oh, and did I mention that there's a giveaway too?

    Many foods–especially dairy items–are chock full of nastiness. There are often hormones and other harmful additives in there that we aren’t 100% how they’ll affect the little bodies of our children. I want what’s best for them so that means being more intentional about what I offer them to eat. Does this mean that we ALWAYS go without things like Hot Fries? No. But what this means is that in our home, we have a ready supply of fresh fruit, low to no processed snacks, and healthier options to feed our sweet teeth.

    Why Organic Valley Grassmilk Kids Yogurt

    I first REALLY encountered Organic Valley when I was at ShiftCon in 2016. They had their creamer out and when I tell you that it tasted like Jesus himself stirred my cup of coffee, I mean it. You may laugh but when you try it, you’ll see what I mean. Organic Valley as a company has a different and higher standard for their products and this is something that I love. I love that for my body I can make wiser choices easily and now I don’t have to share (yes, mama has a problem sharing ha!) my snacks with my kids.

    Did you know a recent study found that 100% grassfed dairy is more nutritious?

    The science shows that whole milk from organically managed cows fed an essentially 100 percent grass- and legume-based diet:

    • Contains 147 percent more omega-3s than conventional whole milk, and 52 percent more omega 3s than organic whole milk.
    • Contains 125 percent higher Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) than conventional whole milk and 90 percent higher CLA than organic whole milk.
    • Contains a balanced 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.

    Omega-3s are beneficial fats that have been linked to brain and eye health, especially in young children and developing fetuses. Studies have shown that CLA can boost immunity, heart health and cancer prevention. Because Americans consume, on average, at least three servings of dairy products each day, a simple switch to organic grass-fed dairy could provide more nutrients, in addition to those associated with consumption of other types of milk.

    Source

    In a nutshell, when cows eat well, you do, too. Their newest product, an exclusive with Publix, is this Grassmilk Kids Yogurt. It’s the only 100% grass-fed organic yogurt for kids out there. As a mom, you can bet that I want portable and convenient for my kids, but I want as little sugar as possible, too. Organic Valley Grassmilk Kids Yogurt is available now at Publix, and will be available later this summer at other groceries and retailers.

    Because I Love You…

    Organic Valley is one of my favorite brands to eat, drink, everything. They've recently launched the Grassmilk Kids Yogurt and I'm excited to share it with the world! Oh, and did I mention that there's a giveaway too?

    I’m giving you two things:

    1. Mini loves making her own smoothies using the Organic Valley Grassmilk Kids Yogurt and is sharing one of her recipes today so check her out!

    2. I want you all to be winning SO I’m doing a giveaway for a month of free Organic Valley Grassmilk products!!!!!! Enter the giveaway here:

    One Month of Organic Valley

    Organic Valley is one of my favorite brands to eat, drink, everything. They've recently launched the Grassmilk Kids Yogurt and I'm excited to share it with the world! Oh, and did I mention that there's a giveaway too?

    How To Beat Food Intolerance Without Losing Your Appetite

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here.
    Food intolerance is an important aspect of our health not getting enough attention. I’ve partnered with Pinnertest to share my experience with food intolerance testing in this sponsored post.

    I’ve dedicated this year to becoming the best version of myself yet and I’ve started off on the right foot. I’m learning how to manage stress in a healthy way. Business is going well. I’m managing the kids better than before. And I’m prioritizing my health.

    This last piece is huge for me.

    I typically will put everyone else’s health before mine with the thought of, “As long as they’re taken care of, I’m taken care of.” Writing this out sounds just as foolish as it should. Making sure I’m doing whats best for me enables me to care for others–not the other way around. A major facet of this is what I eat. This is actually something that I spoke on during my keynote panel this year at Shiftcon.

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here.

    We are what we eat, so what is my diet saying about me?

    If I’m being completely honest, I normally LOVE to follow the trends on diets and stuff. I was big into juicing and green smoothies and paleo and veganism but this year I was talking to my friend Brittany and we were basically saying the same thing: We’re tired of following these trends and diets but not know if they’re actually good for US. Sure, everyone and their mother’s are out here consuming all the green smoothies while chomping on gluten-free muffins and GMO-free lemonade but is it what really good for THEM?

    This is what I started my year out wanting to know so that the work that I thought I was doing in cleaning up my diet wasn’t actually counter productive to my goals. While my goals are pretty much always to lose weight, but they also include adopting a lifestyle that I can maintain.

    If you are what you eat than you'd better make sure you're eating what's healthy for YOU!Click To Tweet

    Food Intolerance Vs Food Allergies

    How crazy would it be if I was over here making all these kale smoothies and stuff BUT I HAD A FOOD INTOLERANCE FOR KALE!?! I would be pretty upset, honestly. Or even worse, if I was allergic to it. Did you know that there’s a difference between food intolerance and allergies?

    Food intolerance occurs when our bodies cannot properly digest and convert the foods we eat into the necessary nutrients that fuel our systems.
    More simply, food intolerance occurs when you eat something but it fails to be properly broken down in the intestines. The main reason for this failure (maldigestion) is due to a lack of digestive enzymes– it’s their job to break down food molecules so that they can be properly absorbed into the bloodstream.

    A food intolerances and a food allergy can sometimes have similar symptoms, but the way they react with your body is very different.
    The main difference between an intolerance and an allergy is that an allergy will manifest itself almost immediately after inhalation or consumption of a particular substance. Food intolerances, on the other hand, are more deceptive. Depending on the individual, symptoms might arrive anywhere between a couple hours to a couple days.

    –www.pinnertest.com

    Most people know about food allergies because many of them can lead to death. Tests are normally run by the doctors and in some more extreme cases, shots are given in increments to help to deal with said allergies. But did you know that there’s a test for food intolerance as well?

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here.

    Testing For Food Intolerance

    In order to find out if your body had an intolerance for a food, you used to have to use an elimination process. With this, you basically eliminate everything from your diet and slowly add things back in noting how it makes your body feel. This requires lots of time, effort, planning and journaling. This method is still used by many. But there’s actually a simple blood test that you can do at home that will also give you results. Yes, this means that you have to prick your own finger and send it in but I swear it’s super easy.

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here. J

    Pinnertest

    Pinnertest is a company that tests for food intolerance in the comforts of your own home.

    Pinnertest utilizes advanced IgG (FC Fragment Specific), Antigen, Antiserum, Control tests to determine an individual’s food sensitivities.

    So for those that are like me and don’t exactly understand that this means, here it is in layman’s terms: they take 2 drops of your blood and are able to test it against 200 food samples to see what you may have an intolerance for. It’s super easy and took me under 5 minutes to get myself set up, pricked and shipped out. My results came back in about 4 days.

    So what do I have a food intolerance for? Cow milk, Soybeans, and corn. That’s it.

    Do you know how comforting it is to know that I don’t have to cut out things like black beans or nuts or different spices??? I am so relieved!

    Why Food Intolerance Matters

    Did you know that food intolerance have been linked to weight-gain, weakened immune system (hello flu-season!), depletion in our serotonin production (this hormone is responsible for maintaining mood balance, social behavior, libido, memory, and digestive health), increases in cravings for carbs and sugars, gastrointestinal problems, brain fog, joint pain, acne and chronic fatigue. I’ve never heard of anyone saying that they want to deal with any of these things.

    Interested in finding out more about your own food intolerance?

    Get tested by Pinnertest today and find out what you should, and shouldn’t be, eating! Use coupon code “THECRUNCHYMOMMY” for $60 off!

    Food intolerance is very different than having a food allergy. While they are very different, paying attention to foods that fall into both categories for you is very important and Pinnertest can help in identifying those intolerances from the comforts of your own home. Read more here.

    5 Everyday Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar

    I love Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I jokingly say that ACV, breast milk and essential oils can pretty much heal anything. I joke but there’s a little bit of truth to statement. There’s MANY uses for ACV but not all can be used daily so here are 5 everyday uses for Apple Cider Vinegar.

    5 Everyday Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar

    1. Cold Remedy

    It’s cold and flu season which EVERYONE hates. In fact, this flu season is a rather nasty one. ACV has natural immune boosting attributes. It also rids your body of excess mucous which harbors disease and bacteria in your body.

    How To Use: At the onset of symptoms, mix 1:1 ratio of ACV to honey with hot water and drink 3 times per day. 

    2. Stops Hair Breakage and Shedding

    Between the cold and dry air that comes with winter and my postpartum hormones, I can certainly attest to the effectiveness of ACV in stopping your hair from breaking and shedding. How? The ACV restores the natural pH of your hair follicle while removing build up of hair products. It’s also a natural conditioner and hair detangler. I didn’t quite believe the detangling part until I used it on my hair–which has grown an insane amount lately.

    How To Use: Mix 1:1 ratio of ACV and distilled water in a spray bottle. After shampooing hair, saturate your hair from root to tip. Let it sit for a couple minutes before rinsing. 

    3. Skin Care

    There are 2 ways that I’ve used ACV on my skin: as a toner and to mix in with bentonite clay for a facial. As a toner, it brightens and detoxes your skin. As a mask, it REALLY pulls the impurities from your skin. I use the mask on my face, underarms and groin area to keep my lymphatic system detoxing because of my Hidradenitis Supportiva.

    How To Use: As a toner, mix in a 1:3 ACV to water ration. Keep refrigerated. To use it with the clay mask, mix it until there’s a creamy texture and then apply to the affected areas. 

    4. Enhances Weight Loss

    Yep. You read that right. ACV can help you lose weight. How? I wish I could say it breaks down fat cells but that’s not how it works. In fact, I’m not sure exactly how it works but you can read more about it here.

    How To Use: Take 2 tablespoons daily in water. 

    5. Acts As A House Cleaner

    Well, it doesn’t clean the house for you but you can make your own cleaner with it.

    How To Use: Mix 1:1 ACV to water with 2 drops of lemon essential oil, 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 2 drops lavender essential oil. 

    So what are you going do with your Apple Cider Vinegar first?

    How To Get A Prenatal Massage That Saves Your Life

    Pregnant? You need a prenatal massage. But not just any prenatal massage. You need one of those that cures your body's pains and this is how you get one.

    At 35 weeks pregnant I’m feeling the best that I have since becoming pregnant. How? I invited someone to my home who delivered the best prenatal massage that I’ve ever had.

    Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a believer in the power of the prenatal massage. Each pregnancy I’ve had one and each one felt like I was just paying someone to slather me in oil. While my skin appreciated the extra TLC, my muscles, aches and pains were still present. When my prenatal massage therapist, Ebony, arrived, I told her just that–I’m not a believer but I’m pretty ashy so I’m still here for it. Well, she flipped my entire belief system on the prenatal massage.

    What To Look For In A Prenatal Massage Therapist

    I met Ebony while she was pregnant with her now 3 month old at the Blogalicious conference last year. She has a beautiful smile, the cutest freckles and a calming energy about her. I knew that she was a blogger looking to grow but I had no idea that she was a massage therapist–let alone one certified in prenatal massage. In talking to her about my previous experiences with the prenatal massages, I realize the I went wrong in choosing my massage therapist. Our chat led to the following conclusions when looking for the proper prenatal massage therapist:

    1. Make sure that they’re certified in prenatal massage. While any massage therapist will rub up on your back, a certified prenatal massage therapist knows the ins and outs of the pregnant woman’s body and how to navigate properly to give an effective massage.
    2. You need to feel complete comfort with your massage therapist. This seems obvious but as she was massaging the most tender and painful parts of my lower back, I realized it was easy to relax into it and breathe the discomfort away because I was completely comfortable with her.
    3. Get a woman who’s gone through pregnancy. I know, this is a little sexist but women who have had children know intimately what you mean when you describe certain pains. It’s like going to another mother for advice on children. While every woman’s body is different, at least this woman has a higher chance of understanding what you’re body is going through.

    Pregnant? You need a prenatal massage. But not just any prenatal massage. You need one of those that cures your body's pains and this is how you get one.

    The Benefits of an In-Home Prenatal Massage

    All of my previous massages have been at places of business. They’ve been beautiful places too but there’s something so different about the comforts of your own home. When Ebony arrived, I forewarned her that my house was a mess. It was Sunday which is normally our cleaning day. And by “our” I mean my husband and kids because I’ve been in so much pain that doing just about everything has stopped outside of grocery shopping and cooking. This was probably the only source of tension but she didn’t care. She came in, set up her table and had an essential oil diffuser going that had my living room filled with bergamot easing pre-existing tensions.

    I didn’t have to leave the comforts of my sweat shorts and husbands white tee to get treated professionally and I loved that. We turned on my Google Home and let the sounds of Pandora whisk me away into a pain-free euphoria. Once it was all said and done, I didn’t have to put shoes on, sit in the hot car and head home. I rolled off the table and felt no pain in my body for the first time in months. I feel so good I’m almost tempted to clean the house–almost.

    Let Me Gush For A Second…

    This pregnancy has been hard. From the time my little egg was fertilized, it’s been rough. From non-stop puking and extreme exhaustion in the first trimester to constant pain beginning in the second trimester, I honestly didn’t think I would get relief from anything I’ve been feeling. My creativity and writing has taken a hit because let’s be real, who can be creative and think happy thoughts when constantly in pain? I was apprehensive about Ebony coming over. She made no promises to how I would feel but delivered on every broken one that I’d previously received. This woman is truly gifted with her hands. She gave me a deep tissue massage that hit every point of pain that I’d been experiencing and massaged it away. When I stood up after she was finished, I was able to do so without wincing in pain. My lower back is no longer a source of issue for me. I walk, bend over, take the stairs and put on panties (super winning) with no pain. It feels amazing.

    Who Is Ebony and How Can You Reach Her?

    I’m not the selfish type. Ok, I am. But I feel amazing right now and I want others to feel this way too. For those of you in the Atlanta area–pregnant or not–here is her information:

    Healing Mother Massage & Wellness
    Ebony Ricks, LMT
    757-292-9769
    info@healingmothermw.com
    healingmothermw.com

    I encourage you to let her come and nurture you! Tell her I sent you!

    Mamas, have you had prenatal massages while pregnant? What was your experience like?

    It’s Ok To Be Happy

    I’ve been in a writing funk since the end of last year. Ok, it’s not just been a writing funk, it’s been more of like a life funk. This may or may not give great advice to anyone struggling since I haven’t planned out what I’m going to write but I know I need to just write it out because sharing my words is my happy place. My happy place. It’s a place I haven’t been in sometime.

    I Forgot How To Be Happy

    I know… How do you forget? I did.

    It started with the election. I typically don’t discuss politics or religion here because I don’t want make anyone feel polarized and there’s nothing that people can say that can change my views on these things. But let’s be honest here, I’m a black woman raising little black girls married to a big black man. In the eyes of many people in the world, all of us are a threat and one of the worst people in the world has been elected leader of the once free world. As he slowly dismantles life as we know it, I struggle to be able to happy as I experience much of my life. I wouldn’t say that I’m living in fear but I feel guilty being happy.

    People are crying.

    People are dying.

    And it’s killing me inside.

    How can I possibly be happy when pictures of Syrian refugee children being killed are circulating on FB? How can I be happy when my Muslim friends and family are being targeted and falsely accused of being terrorists? How can I be happy when my Hispanic/Latino brothers and sisters are living in fear of deportation? How can I be happy when there’s a civil war brewing?

    It’s all so much to digest.

    via GIPHY

    I Need To Feel Happy Again

    I’m a creative. I love to help people. I love creating things that help or inspire people and in my sadness I haven’t been able to either. I haven’t been able to feed my spirit and it’s been starving. I used to laugh all the time and smile. Now I find these moments fleeting and I hate it. I need my happiness. My kids need my happiness. My husband needs my happiness. The new life inside me growing and sending me in vomiting rages needs my happiness.

    I want to belly laugh so hard that I cry daily.

    I want to see my kids light up again.

    I want my husbands smile and jovial nature.

    But all of these things have been missing because as the nucleus of the family, this isn’t what I’ve been giving them. I’ve been sad. I’ve spent so much time in the bed and just not taking care of the things and people that I love that I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like. I need to be happy again. I need to be productive again. I need to regain the power over myself again.

    via GIPHY

    I've been in a serious funk lately and unable to find my happy but I'm determined to get it back because I deserve it. So does my family.

    It’s Ok To Feel Happy

    This is something that I’m struggling with. I’m an empath and take on the feelings of those around me to the point where it’s hard for me to tell what I’m feeling versus what they are. But I need to give myself permission to be happy because what is going to happen is going to happen regardless of how I feel about it. I come from a lineage of survivors–if they weren’t, I wouldn’t be here.

    It’s ok to be happy that we finally got pregnant after months of trying.

    via GIPHY

    It’s ok to be happy that I made the decision to homeschool my babes.

    It’s ok to be happy simply because I feel like it.

    And it’s also ok for you to feel happy if you’re struggling as well. I’m hoping that by getting this off my chest that it’ll open up the creativity that’s been held captive by my happiness’ vacation. And if it doesn’t, I’ll just have to try something different because I’m committed to feeling happy again.

    What To Expect For Your Toddler’s First Trip To The Dentist

    Your toddler's first trip to the dentist can be a scary one if this is your first child. I interviewed our dentist to help prepare other parents with info!

    I’ve always hated going to the dentist. The dentist was a scary place filled with cold, silver things that looked like they were ready to harm me at any given moment. The dentist wasn’t overly warm—they were there to look at my pearly whites, give criticism, and move on with a fwap of their sterile, white jackets. The dentist was always the most uninviting and intimidating place in the world to me. Becoming a mother, none of this has changed for me but I wanted something different for my girls—which is why I chose Dentistry For Children (D4C) to be our dentist. One of the things that I felt so unprepared for was my toddler’s first trip to the dentist.

    Naturally, this was with mini. I remember picking her up from school and them sending her home with some “intro to pediatric dentistry” pamphlets for another dentist that was close to her school. It was a nice enough dentist but not nice enough to quell my own fears that I was working hard not to pass on to mini. I got a recommendation from a friend of mine who has 2 kids and both loved going to their dentist. Their recommendation was D4C and we haven’t looked back since.

    Your Toddler’s First Trip To The Dentist

    Guys, when I walked in the first time I was pretty scared for mini because I didn’t know what to expect. I had just had a crown done on my teeth and was FINALLY getting over that pain. I’m actually a still a little scarred but that’s another story for another day. But I felt a little like Corky Romany when he was behind the podium frantically waiting for questions to be asked (if you haven’t seen the movie, you should, it’s hilarious). I don’t want you guys to feel like I did when you take your babes to the dentist so some of my friends and readers submitted questions for me to ask our dentist to prepare you!

    Your toddler's first trip to the dentist can be a scary one if this is your first child. I interviewed our dentist to help prepare other parents with info!

    Interview With The Dentist

    I got a chance to have some one-on-one time with our dentist Dr. Lisa Shilman. We’ve seen her for almost 3 years now and I love going to her! So here are the questions that were asked that Dr. Lisa answered:

    At what age should children first see the dentist?

    The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child in as early as one in order to establish a relationship with the dentist. Check=ups are completed–no pathology or x-rays happen. Parents are educated on diet, brushing and habits to keep teeth heal

    thy. The follow-ups are dependent upon what the dentist finds.

    So is all candy really terrible for their teeth?

    No lollipops and definitely no gummies. The amount of time that teeth are exposed to the candy, sugars and acids are what do the damage. Dark chocolate is great!

    So what’s the deal with fluoride? What are the best ways to get it with the littles?

    Fluoride is needed in toothpaste for sure. When they are young and can’t spit, rubbing it on their teeth and then wiping it off is effective as well. Drinking and cooking with tap water that has fluoride in it is good as well. Giving children the baby water with fluoride added to it is another option. 

    Is there a correlation between breast feeding and tooth decay?

    Breastfeeding alone doesn’t cause tooth decay and neither does breast milk. But breast milk can contribute to tooth decay after adding other things to a child’s diet. If your baby is still night feeding, wipe or brush after nursing. This really only becomes an issue after the age of 1. 

    When can we stop supervising the kids brushing their teeth?

    Normally between the ages of 6-8. Disclosing solutions (the ones that show tarter still on teeth) that can be found at the drug store are also a big help. 

    Teeth grinding, is this an issue to be concerned about?

    Teeth grinding isn’t an issue for baby teeth. It’s only an issue if there’s pain. Once permanent teeth come in, grinding will normally stop. But no mouth guard is needed until the jaw is completely grown. 

    Any recommendations on tooth brushes?

    No, not really. Just make sure that they have a small toothbrush head so that you can navigate their mouths, soft bristles and never use hard bristles–even as adults. 

    Are there any alternatives to fluoride for those that don’t like to use it?

    Fluoride is big in preventing and repairing cavities but there is something called calcium phosphate that is a paste that can also be effective. It’s called MiPaste and can be found at most dentist offices. But it’s important to note that it’s derived from milk. 

    Any tips on getting kids to brush more regularly?

    Add it to the calendar or schedule it. There are apps that can be used to remind them. There are toothbrushes like Sonicare Smart Tooth Brush and Oral-B that have timers for 2 minutes and corresponding apps that let you know when they’ve brushed. Let your kids choose their toothbrushes and toothpaste. Set up a rewards system with a chart–if they get 60 stickers in 30 days they earn something special. 

    I love how you have this total child care mentality when it comes to them. Is this just your attitude or is this something that is the culture at D4C?

    This is definitely my mentality but it’s also something that is taught at Dentistry 4 Children. Pediatric dentists are in school for longer than other dentists. We have to learn different things because kids are different than adults. 

    Your toddler's first trip to the dentist can be a scary one if this is your first child. I interviewed our dentist to help prepare other parents with info!

    Why I Chose D4C

    When I walked in for mini’s first appointment, there was a big tree house and video games that greeted us. It was awesome! Then the staff has consistently been incredibly friendly and kind and patient. The culture when you walk in is everything. The people are amazing and you can’t help but to be excited about the appointment. And they honor your time. I’ve never waited more than 5 minutes for my appointment!

    Abc’s First Visit to the Dentist!!!

    Abc had her very first visit to the dentist and I caught it on Snapchat! Check it out here:

    Listen, if you haven’t scheduled your child’s appointment with D4C yet, you need to do so stat! And tell them I sent you!

    What’s In Your Cold/Flu Kit?

    Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. It's my favorite season but I hate getting sick. I'm preparing now by building my cold/flu kit with Be Koool!

    Can you believe it’s here? No, I’m not talking about fall. I’m talking about cold and flu season! This is my LEAST favorite part of my favorite season of the year. I try so very hard to make sure that I don’t get the germs that my kids bring home and I honestly think I do a stellar job. I get sick pretty rarely and my immune system is like Super Girl. But my kids? Their immune systems are still getting stronger and antibodies are developing which is why I have a cold/flu kit for them.

    Every year I re-build my kit because things expire, things get all used up, and because new products come on the scene that need to be part of my kits. Now before we get started with what’s in my kit, I want to state the obvious: I’m not a doctor or in the healthcare profession at all. These tips and tricks are from personal experience as a mother.

    Standard Items For My Cold/Flu Kit

    Essential Oils

    Now if you’re a regular reader here, you already know that I think essential oils and breast milk can pretty much cure anything. I kid—but only a little! I keep the following essential oils on hand:

    I naturally keep a lot of coconut oil on hand and will use this to make my own version of vapor rub and other things with the essential oils.

    Motrin

    I try to break fevers naturally but if I can’t then yes, the Motrin does get whipped out—as a last resort!

    Kali Bichromicum

    Whenever I talk about cold/flu season, I talk about Kali Bichromicum. This has been a God-send for us. It reduces the amount of mucous in the sinus cavities preventing and getting rid of sickness faster.

    Colloidal Silver

    We have the nasal spray. Works to build your immune system

    Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. It's my favorite season but I hate getting sick. I'm preparing now by building my cold/flu kit with Be Koool!

    New Item Added To The Cold/Flu Kit: BEKOOOL® Soft Gel Sheets

    After being asked by many how to reduce fevers the best, I have a great remedy to offer in BEKOOOL® gel sheets. While these gel sheets don’t actually reduce the fevers, they reduce the discomfort associated with fevers.

    What are they? These are small gel sheets that are specifically designed with the miniature people in mind. They provide immediate cooling relief for your babes as they holler out “Mommy my head is hot!!!”—I know you guys have heard this before!

    Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. It's my favorite season but I hate getting sick. I'm preparing now by building my cold/flu kit with Be Koool!

    But more importantly it’s something that they don’t have to ingest that will provide comfort. We try not to load the girls up with antibiotics and pain relievers because I just think that we tend to overmedicate. BeKoool® gel sheets give parents an additional option while providing great care for our kids.

    Features:

    • The BeKoool® gel sheets provide portable and immediate cooling relief in a convenient, disposable sheet.
    • They gently adhere to your child’s forehead/cheek/neck.
    • They are designed to fit children
    • The cooling effect lasts up to 8 hours
    • Because they are non-medicated, should you decide to use a medicine that is ingested, they are safe to use together.

    Fall and I have a love/hate relationship. It's my favorite season but I hate getting sick. I'm preparing now by building my cold/flu kit with Be Koool!

    From My Mini Tester…

    Me: So what do you think of the gel sheet?
    Mini: It’s cooooold! I didn’t want to take it off because it’s comfortable.
    Me: What did you think when I first put it on you?
    Mini: I thought it was freezing and interesting because it felt wet.
    Me: If you had a fever or your head hurt would you want to wear this? Why?
    Mini: Yes. So it could cool down my forehead and then it would be easier for me to go to sleep because I cannot go to sleep with pain.

    Make sure you’re ready for the cold/flu season this year by making sure you have these in your kit!

    What other items would you add?

    7 Healthy Benefits to Your Pumpkin Addiction

    As the world celebrates their pumpkin addition, I'm here to give you the 7 reasons why you should hop on the pumpkin bandwagon!

    As soon as summer bids us adieu, in comes pumpkin season. Up until last year, I honestly didn’t get the appeal behind everyone’s love of what was once only used for pies and Halloween décor. But last year I fell in love with a pumpkin and this year as the season rolled around again, I figured there HAS to be some health appeal to these rotund gourds. And there is.

    In fact, pumpkins are really quite good for your health. As in I can justify admitting to using a pumpkin base sauce for pasta instead of tomato it’s so healthy. So while my husband angrily devours the deliciousness of my recent gourmet pumpkin additions, I can say, “It’s for your health!”

    As the world celebrates their pumpkin addition, I'm here to give you the 7 reasons why you should hop on the pumpkin bandwagon!

    7 Healthy Benefits to Your Pumpkin Addiction

    1. Pumpkin is a rich source of Vitamin A. What’s that good for? Vision. They say to eat more carrots to take care of your eyes but pumpkins are a quality source!
    2. They are one of the best sources for beta-carotene.
    3. The potassium in pumpkins has been linked to positively affecting high blood pressure.
    4. Pumpkin puree can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes.
    5. Lowers risks involved with prostate and colon cancers specifically.
    6. Increases fertility in women because of the plant-based iron.
    7. It boosts your immunity because of the beta-carotene and vitamin C.

    Delicious Ways to Feed Your Pumpkin Addiction

    I’m not ready to be a self-proclaimed pumpkin lover just yet but I have found some rather tasty options out there that really make the tummy’s of my family and I happy.

    Trader Joe’s

    Friends, don’t judge me based on how much pumpkin I’ve bought from here.

    Pumpkin Spice Medium Roast Coffee – this is literally my favorite coffee ever.

    Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn with Pumpkin Seeds & Walnuts – OMG soooooo delicious!!!

    Pumpkin O’s Cereal – the hubs even loves this

    This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar – the name of this cereal bar makes me laugh everytime.

    Sprouts

    You guys know Sprouts Farmers Market is bae. The only pumpkin product I’ve gotten from there has been the truly divine Pumpkin Apple Cider.

    Fresh Market

    They’re pricey and I probably won’t go back—unless it’s to buy more of the Pumpkin Pasta Sauce.

    My husband is in major judgement mode over the recent development of me using pumpkin for all sorts of thing but I think he’s most upset because he’s secretly really enjoying it! Up your pumpkin intake for your health and don’t hide your pumpkin addiction—embrace it freely!

    What’s your favorite way to feed your pumpkin addiction?

    Detox 101: The Basics of Detoxing Your Body

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    Depending on what kind of crowd you roll with, detoxing can be popular with you or something new but either way, it’s not a new concept. People have been detoxing their bodies for years and for most, it’s a necessary—and sometimes evil—time. I love detoxing though. The first one that I did was when I was in high school. We fasted on apples and oranges during the end of the year. It was hard and required discipline but I made it the week successfully! Since then, I’ve truly loved the detox process.

    My Detox Testimony

    As I’ve shared here before, I struggle with a disorder called Hidradenitis Supportiva. There’s no cure and the only way to deal with it is through surgery, antibiotics, and other holistic means. I’ve found that through detoxing, I have less flare ups. I’ve tried all the detox methods that I’m discussing here and, while I prefer some over others, I’ve experienced success with all of them.

    So what does success look like for me? No flare ups, clear skin, weight loss, and improved digestive functionality (that’s adult code for regular pooping). Weight-loss has been a side effect as well since after the detox my digestive system is running in tip top shape.

    detox-101

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don’t know how to do one or if it’s time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    How To Tell If You Need To Detox

    Are you more tired than normal? Is coffee not doing it for you anymore? Are you experiencing more breakouts? Have a lot of mucous building up? Not feeling so well?

    These are all signs that it may be time for you to detox. A detox when seasons change help to prevent sickness and reactions to allergies as they allow your body the time it needs to build up its immunity. It rids your body of unnecessary mucous and toxins that can lead to you becoming sick and more tired.

    Methods of Internal Detoxing

    These are all methods that I’ve tried myself and have gotten some kind of success with.

    The Master Cleanse Diet

    This is also known as The Lemonade Diet. This was big in the early 2000’s and the Hollywood stars would swear by it to lose weight. It’s called the lemonade diet because for a minimum of 10 days you drink nothing but a drink that’s made with cayenne pepper, lemons, distilled water, and grade B Maple syrup. This is a hard cleanse but incredibly effective. I’ve done this a couple of times in my lifetime and each yielded great results. By the end I felt lighter, more energized, and ready to make positive changes in my life.

    Green Smoothie Cleanse

    This was made popular a couple of years ago as well. This is another 10-Day cleanse where you consume green smoothies with a variety of different recipes as well as teas that will aid in elimination. This one I liked because I love smoothies. I did find it to be effective but not as much as the Master Cleanse.

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    Juicing

    Juicing is probably my favorite. I did a 60-day juice cleanse for my 30th birthday that was truly phenomenal. I don’t mean juices in the sense of apples and all the delicious fruits. I mean juicing things like fennel, spinach, kale, ginger, and other veggies that are nutrient dense. Green juices have become a favorite of mine after watching “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. I have the juicer from this documentary and I love the fact that I can use the pulp to create casseroles and quiches.

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    Equinox Cleanse

    This one is NOT popular at all. The only way I know about this is because an elder of mine had us do this my first year of college and this worked like a charm. It’s a 1-week cleanse where during the day you eat 3 apples and a handful of green grapes. Throughout the day you have 1 salad made with mustard greens, leeks, and lemon juice. This was the hardest cleans that I’ve ever done but it was so necessary. After the first day I was releasing mucous and I was one of the only ones in my dorm not to get sick that winter.

    Additional Information on Internal Detoxing

    People can sometimes find going on a detox daunting and it can be! Start off slow with 1-2 days at a time to see how you feel after that before making a commitment of a week or more. Understand that these methods aren’t for everyone! Some additional daily things you can do to detoxify your body are:

    • Drink hot water with lemon in it every morning
    • Take a tablespoon of Cider Vinegar

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    • Add turmeric to your food
    • Eat clean
    • Detox teas

    When detoxing, make sure that you choose fresh and organic items to use.

    Methods of External Detoxing

    For some, it’s just too hard to do an internal cleanse but that doesn’t mean you can’t detox your body!

    Detox Bath

    Mix Epsom Salt, Lavender EO, and some Tea Tree EO and soak in a nice, warm bath.

    Deodorant Detox

    Do you know how bad the normal deodorant is for your body? That’s another post for another day but as someone who struggles with infections, this is one of my favorite products. You can snag some of this here along with some of the deodorant detox soap. This works better than regular deodorant and is better for your body too.

    Doing a full body detox at least once a year is great for your health. Don't know how to do one or if it's time? Read on for more details on detoxing.

    Dry Brushing

    This is more of an exfoliator but it’s helped my skin so I figured I would share! Make sure that you’re using an all-natural body brush. You brush the skin lightly while it’s dry prior to bathing. This leaves your skin way softer than pre-brushing and helps to remove the surface level toxins.

    I love the way that my body feels after a good internal or external detox!

    Are you into detoxifying your body? What methods do you use?

    **Please note that I’m not a doctor and you should consult a doctor for any medically related issues you may have. This is based on my opinion and results.**