Current Favorite Things

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When I find nontoxic and holistic products I love (after trying products over and over that don’t work) I want to share what I find! Here is what I have been using and loving lately.

Magnesium Lotion

Since I have a 6 month old (so crazy!), the sleep that I do get needs to be amazing. Therefore, I must do all means necessary to get that quality sleep! Enter, magnesium lotion! Magnesium is hard to get enough of, especially since our soil is so depleted. It is also best absorbed through your skin. This magnesium lotion is awesome. I used to try and take baths with Epsom salt or use magnesium oil to get my magnesium intake up. However, baths are hard to take when you are a mom and the oil spray can easily sting and it is really hard to wash off. This lotion however, is so easy. I put one pump on each foot before bed and rub in. Within minutes I feel more relaxed and I totally notice a difference when I forget to use it! For more on how important magnesium is read this article.

goop G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo

Okay. This is THE BEST shampoo I have ever used. Nontoxic or not. When I hit 4 months postpartum, not only was I losing hair but my scalp was extremely dry! It is something I have struggled with before but never this bad. This shampoo however, not only deep cleans your hair but it leaves my scalp fresh and not flaky. It strips away oils, dirt and any product residue. This stuff is seriously a Godsend. I use this once a week and I usually only wash my hair twice a week.

Dry Brushing

Dry Skin Brushing has been kind of a fad the past couple of years but I haven’t really tried it until now. After having a baby, my hormones are all crazy and my skin has been taking the brute of it. I ended up getting keratosis pilaris (tiny bumps) on my arms and a little on my legs. I tried dry skin brushing twice a day, with this brush and within two days I saw relief! Dry Skin Brushing is also extremely good at detoxing your lymphatic system, helping it rid your body of toxins. Learn more about it here. I also use the face dry brush for my face twice a week to fluff off any dead or damaged skin. I use in a circular motion before I was my face and it does wonders! My face is always so soft after using it.

Acupuncture Mat

This is so random how I found this mat, but I am so glad I found it! My back was killing me and bored one day on Amazon, I searched “back pain” and this acupuncture mat popped up. This was at least a couple years ago when I did the search and the mat was only $15 back then. I thought, “it cant hurt to try for only $15.” Low and behold, both Cory and I use this thing daily. We now have three mats total in my house and I have bought it many for friends and family members. My husband and I use them EVERY night when we are ready to go to sleep. I have also brought them on road trips and it really helps your back when you are driving long distance (this was my husband’s saving grace when we drove to Montana a couple years ago).

If you are looking at this thing and thinking, “no way” I feel you. At first, it really hurt. I won’t lie. It is best to use on bare skin but it gets better, I promise! You just need to get yourself into a position you can handle, and commit to laying on it for 5 min. Then the next time 6 or 7 minutes and so on. Before you know it you will fall asleep on it you are so relaxed. This mat is so helpful since I store all my stress in my neck and shoulders, not to mention breastfeeding! I can position it to help all my problem spots and I love the pillow it comes with, since it fits right under my neck.

Follain.com

This website is what I have been looking for! They dubbed themselves the “Sephora of Clean Beauty.” They have so many products that I have never even heard of. I am so excited to explore all of them! For my first purchase I bought the Clean Essentials Kit which is a little sample kit of their best selling skincare products. I actually love everything that came in it and I want to get the toner in a regular size. Everything smells incredible too! I have heard great things about some of their shampoos and conditioners too. I will do another post reviewing some products I have been trying.

What are some of your favorite products you are using right now? Comment below!

All pictures by Jessica Walla.

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1st Trimester Must Haves

img_6215img_6222img_6228img_6237img_6238ACVACV 2B&CSince this is my first pregnancy and it has been over 20 years since my mom was pregnant, there was a lot that I needed to learn about having a baby. I really didn’t know what to expect, but soon realized there was a ton to learn. Can I eat cacao powder? (Yes, it’s ok!) Can I use essential oils? (You can!) What can I expect?

I found out I was pregnant and literally the next day I came down with an awful cold. I usually don’t get colds and when I do, I usually get over them within a couple days. This cold however, lasted about 10 days! I was miserable. I did not want to risk taking anything and I have always wanted my pregnancies to be as natural as possible, taking no medication if I could help it. While sick, I usually bulk up on vitamin C, take oregano pills and drink lots of lemon water with Manuka honey. However, I knew that there are certain vitamins you can take too much of and right on the bottle of my oregano pills it says “DO NOT TAKE IF PREGNANT.” I wanted to kick this cold but do it without hurting the baby. So I did what I knew was safe, I drank fresh squeezed lemon with hot (not boiling) water every morning (sometimes with a little Manuka honey), I made chicken noodle soup with bone broth and ate lots of other fruits that are full of vitamin C.

Although my pregnancy started out a little rough, I knew I didn’t want to be this unprepared through out the whole nine months. As I approached 8 weeks I noticed that things were really starting to change and I needed help. I have “The Bump” app and I LOVE it but it didn’t give me all the info that I was craving. After my first doctors appointment and ultrasound, I drove straight to Barnes & Noble in search of some pregnancy books. The book I had in mind was “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” but what I found was even better! This brings me to my number one must have for your first trimester (and the rest of your pregnancy).

1.“The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth”

This book has so much amazing info packed into it and is so easy to read. Mama Natural takes the more holistic approach to pregnancy and she also has exerts from midwives and doulas to get you more familiar with them and their point of view. She has home remedies for colds, stretch marks and many other things that change in your body when you get pregnant as well as recipes and a week by week of what is happening to you and the baby. Without this book, it would have been a lot of endless searching on the web for answers to questions I had/have. Mama Natural also has her own website and YouTube channel which are also marvelous.

2. Belly Armor

One of the first things I read when I found out I was pregnant was read Food Babe’s blog post on the top pregnancy questions she got. One thing that she was adamant about was Belly Armor. Your cell phone, laptops and wireless routers emit radiation which has been shown to cause birth defects and even miscarriages. Belly Armor blocks 99% of radiation so when you are constantly on your cell phone, tablet or laptop, you can have peace of mind that you aren’t hurting your baby. They have blankets, shirts, tank tops, etc. I choose a blanket (wearing it now) because I can use it while pregnant but also the baby can use it when born.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

I could not live without this stuff. Towards the end of my first trimester, I started having acid reflex (which I have never had in my life) and I would take a tablespoon and just shoot it. Even though it tasted gross going down, it was totally worth it. It made my acid reflex go away and you take take it up to 3 times a day while pregnant. I have tried other kinds and Bragg is just the best. I will only buy their apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is amazing for many, many other things too. Lately, I have been taking a warm bath with 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar in it to help with achy joints, softer skin and hair, plus other reasons why (you can read about it in “The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth”.

4. Peppermint, Ylang Ylang and Lavender Essential Oils

I was extremely nauseous pretty much all the time while in my first trimester. There wasn’t much I could do about and the only thing that kept it at bay was peppermint essential oil and vitamin B6. I did drop one drop of peppermint oil in my mouth at times. I know people say not to do this but I use the highest quality essential oils and would make sure I didn’t over do it. I also would drop it in my palms and cover my nose and breath it in, which also helped. Vitamin B6 also helped when I took it before bed and with meals. I don’t know why this works, but it does!

If you have trouble sleeping like I did, vitamin B6 will help you too. Before getting pregnant I would always have to take melatonin and/or GABA to be able to sleep but I wasn’t sure if they were safe or not so after some research, I found out that Ylang Ylang essential oils helps you sleep when you add a drop or two to the bottom of your feet before bed. I could not sleep right after I found out we were pregnant and when I came across this I tried it and BOOM, I was out like a light and had the best nights sleep I had had in awhile! Needless to say that I use this on my husband too. I also almost always diffuse lavender at night too. It is so calming and promotes relaxation and combats restlessness.

5. Bread and Cheese (in almost any form)

That’s right, bread and cheese. I try and eat so healthy and even before I was pregnant I was practicing the ketogenic diet, really limiting my carb intake. But with this pregnancy my body wants bread, crackers, pasta or something of the like at least once a day. During my first trimester, I was so nauseous that saltine crackers and cheese were all about I could get down. There were days that I could not even get any veggies down because they were just too much and they would just come back up. I wanted to give my baby the best and eat as healthy as I could, and because all I wanted was bread and cheese, I was getting a bit discouraged.

Then, I had a friend tell me that during her first two pregnancies she listened to her body, ate what she wanted in moderation and she gained about 50lbs with each. Then for her third pregnancy, she decided she wanted to do it differently. She hired a personal trainer and ate no sugar and limited carbs and she ended up gaining 70lbs and she said she was miserable! Her advice to me was to just listen to you body and the baby will tell you what it needs. This was the single best piece of advice I have received while pregnant!

I am at the end of my second trimester now and I have been living by this advice and I have gained a healthy amount of weight and other than being tired all the time, I am doing and feeling well!