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    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.**

    Motion Sickness: The Fun Killer

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!
    This post was sponsored by Dramamine® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions are my own.

    I’ve always been jealous of my brother’s ability to read while we were road-tripping as kids. Growing up, road trips were big for us. As a family of four with parents that loved to travel, it was just more cost effective to drive than fly. Plus, my mom always managed to have the most awesome surprises for us as we traveled.

    Growing Up With Motion Sickness

    I can still remember it like it was yesterday: My mom would wake us up at around 5 am telling us we were going on an adventure! Naturally, I was excited–I mean, what kid doesn’t like an adventure, right? But there was always apart of me that was so leery of these trips. Not because I didn’t want to go but because I would get motion sick and would have to have some time to recover when we arrived wherever our surprise destination was.

    My mom used to tease me that I knew the insides of every bathroom on every highway because we always had to stop. My upset stomach, headache and nausea was always the culprit. And it sucked. Big time. I hated the stigma that came along with motion sickness and always being bored in the car. Not that we had portable DVD players to watch movies in my younger days but I was an avid reader and hated that I couldn’t lose myself in a book as my mom whisked us off to our new destination.

    I was bored. Sick. And just miserable.

    I Didn’t Grow Out Of It

    And you know what? I didn’t grow out of it! Just like I was puking on my first Disney cruise, I was doing the same thing on a gambling cruise in South Caroline. Only differences were: 1. I was pregnant, and; 2. I missed–in a major way. I walked out of the bathroom and had somehow managed to even scar myself with the damage I had done in there. Terrible… Just terrible.

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!

    My brother and I… He could read an entire series in the car while I just looked. Out the window. Bored.

    Being someone who prefers more natural remedies, I’ve tried the gambit of ginger solutions: ginger chews from Whole Foods, Yogi Tea’s Ginger Tea (which now brings back not so fond memories) and of course, ginger ale. I’ve tried saltines. Sea bands. You name it, I tried it and nothing worked until now.

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!

    Dramamine® Non-Drowsy Naturals

    Dramamine® is a VERY familiar brand for me. On a cruise for my family reunion I took it and it worked–but I fell asleep! I’ve been sharing how I’ve been roadtripping more this summer and I’ve been able to do it with the help of these new Dramamine® NoDrowsywy naturals. I’ve even been able to read an entire library book (which was really good and highly recommend) while I was a passenger in the car.

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!

    So what kind of magic is in here to make it work, right? Ginger. Yes, ginger but not just any ginger. This is a clinically-tested dosage that’s different that what you find in teas, chews, and Ginger-Ale. And since it’s made with one of my all time favorite natural remedies, you can take it daily as needed! So yes, that means no more missing out on great reads, enticing movies, and making pretend the sights are that interesting you can’t look away. No more keeping a basket in the car equipped with paper towels, mouth wash, saltines, gum and water.

    Most people brush motion sickness of as just a mild inconvenience unless you have to deal with it. Dramamine® feels our pain and has a new product to help!

    Now you can enjoy those road trips!!! I know I plan to! Oh I even have a coupon for you to try these out!

    Have you ever suffered with motion sickness? What remedies have you used?

    Living with Hidradenitis Supportiva

    On the scale of skin disorders to have, there are worse ones than hidradenitis supportiva so sometimes I feel ridiculous for even feeling some kind of way about having it. But then there are times like yesterday when I couldn’t walk without the tears escaping from my eyes as I pressed to think happy thoughts unsuccessfully. It’s hard to mother or wife when you’re in so much pain doing normal things like sitting, walking, bending over, cooking but still need to function.

    Hidradenitis supportiva is not the most common skin disease in the world but as someone who has it, it's painful. Here's what I've learned in 20 years.

    Photo Credit: Hidradenitis Supportiva FB Group

    What Is Hidradenitis Supportiva?

    In short, they’re lumps that form under the skin in areas where skin rubs together–under the arms, groin area, butt. The longer, non-MayoClinic definition from personal experience is they are a network of cystic bumps under the skin that are in the areas where the skin rubs together. They often become painfully infected. Some say that they’re infected hair follicles, others have no clue as of what causes them but there are often a network of tubes that can constantly feed the lumps under the skin. When infection occurs, pain arises. If you have it, it will normally showing around puberty.

    Hidradenitis supportiva is not the most common skin disease in the world but as someone who has it, it's painful. Here's what I've learned in 20 years.

    My Personal Journey

    When I was 13, I noticed I kept getting these bumps in my groin area that made it really painful for me to wear my swimsuits. At the time, I was a competitive swimmer so swimsuits were my life. I would go to the doctor, they would prescribe an antibiotic and I would leave. When I was a senior in high school, I had a minor surgery where they removed one just to make sure it wasn’t cancerous–it wasn’t. Then they gave me a cortizone shot in the cyst. This was an unimaginable pain but it was years before the next ones returned.

    Cut to when I was 25. I had a surgery where they removed ALL of the cysts and their networks. After being diagnosed by a dermatologist, we decided this was the best route since this network of tubes had been growing for over 10 years and I was tired of the pain. The surgery was a mix of the best and worst decision for this. They put me under and when they brought me back, he said that it was more extensive then they had thought but they’d gotten it all. There were more little vessels under my arms with wasn’t what they had expected. But they were gone. Finally. But the healing? This was the hardest thing in the world for me. I would literally sit and cry for hours because of the pain. Take a pain pill right? They made me so sick so I chose the pain.

    After I healed, they were gone for maybe a year before I encountered my first one back during pregnancy with mini. It was depressing. I was already low because I was single and pregnant but then this too? It was a lot for just all of me to be in so much pain. Since then, I’ve gotten them sporadically but I was able to track how often they came back based upon my diet, stress levels, and water intake. But they are painful. Very painful and an inconvenience. It’s hard to explain to someone that you can’t walk when you haven’t been injured and can’t really explain the depth of your pain to someone. It’s hard to see your baby cry because you’ve yelped out of pain because of an untimely hug or jump in your lap. It’s tough to see your child wince when they see the scars on your body not from carrying them, but from something that’s uncontrollable.

    Hidradenitis supportiva is not the most common skin disease in the world but as someone who has it, it's painful. Here's what I've learned in 20 years.

    Photo Credit: Hidradenitis Supportiva FB Group

    Natural Ways of Healing Your Body

    I’m not going to lie, it’s tough to have an ailment that they don’t really know the cause of and then to just be in so much pain is hard. It’s very hard. But I learned that though there’s a lot that I can’t control, there are some things I can control and that helps a lot.

    Clean Eating

    I know. Everyone is ALL about clean eating for weight-loss. It works. But clean eating is also really important for taking care of your body and helping it to regenerate itself. If you have a chance to watch “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” I totally recommend it. It’s on Netflix so check it out one evening. After having a conversation with a fellow mother and hearing how she plans eating out certain days a week. At the time I thought this was genius! There’s nothing like taking some of the hours I spend in the kitchen off my shoulders! While it’s a temporary weight off my shoulders, being on my 2nd day in pain tells me it wasn’t worth it.

    Salt Soaks

    One of the ways to bring both comfort and cleansing to my skin is with salt soaks. Depending on how much pain I’m in and the location of the inflammation, sitting in an Epsom salt bath or just doing warm compresses with the salt will help with pain management and bringing the infected area to a head.

    Goldenseal

    I learned in my teens that Goldenseal is one of nature’s antibiotics. Instead of going to the doctor, I would just start taking some of these as soon as I could feel the onset of one. Depending on the dosage and timing, I could catch it before it got out of hand.

    Focus on the Positives

    So this seems like it’s self-explanatory but it’s not. I’ve had one of these infections for a week and I was incredibly depressed. When you’re in pain for an unknown amount of time, it does something to your psyche. Trying to do the normal things like hug or shower or lay or breathe and it result in pain is just hard. During these times it’s really important to focus on good things

    Go to the Doctor

    Yes, this is probably my last result. Right after I had abc I had a really bad one. Like really bad. And trying to care for a newborn while in that much pain was something I just couldn’t handle. So I went to urgent care and I had it drained. I’ve had 2 pain-med free births and this pain right here? I almost passed out. If it wasn’t for my little beauty being strapped to me I may have lost it. Some tears went un-caught but they “packed” it (they took a bunch of tape looking stuff that was soaked in an antibiotic and put it in the huge hole that was in my leg) then sent me on my way telling me I couldn’t sweat. I had to come back in a couple days to have the packing removed but because it was so bad, they repacked it and sent me on my way. It healed pretty nicely but alas, I just had another one.

    While there will more than likely never be a cure and all of this affected by this disease will just have to continue, it’s comforting knowing that throughout the almost 20 years of dealing with it, I’ve found some remedies that work and a community that knows intimately what I am dealing with on the daily.