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Christmas Hope

I’m so thankful for Christmas and the HOPE that it gives us. 
God sent His Son, Jesus, to this world – 
– so that we could have a Savior. 
– so we could have eternal life. 
– so we could have hope.

Hallelujah! And Merry Christmas!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b0F0FmTJEk

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. -Ephesians 1:18-19a
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. -Colossians 1:27


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My Favorite Things

Even though this EI life is so challenging, I’ve been thinking about the many good gifts God has provided to help me walk this road. So here’s a list of some of my favorite helpful and enjoyable things. =) 
*Peppermint oil – This is one of the few essential oils I’ve been able to use and I LOVE it! I enjoy the smell of it, which is in itself a wonder (since I reacted to any smells for many years, even natural ones). And it’s great for so many things – relieving pain, lifting mood, detoxing, etc. My mom and I use it almost every day, so even when it’s not Christmas season, our house still smells like Christmas! =) 
*Epsom salts – There’s nothing like a foot bath or detox bath in epsom salts to relax you. They’re also great for helping with detoxing. 
*EM1 – A friend told us about this unique product and it’s been so helpful with our laundry! If our clothes get contaminated with chemicals, mold, etc. we soak them in a small amount of EM1 then wash again, and they come out fresh and clean (or at least much better…sometimes we have to soak them twice if it’s a really stubborn chemical). The product information lists many other uses for this as well, though so far we’ve only used it in laundry.
*Charcoal – You can buy charcoal in capsules or powder. We mostly use the capsules. Charcoal binds with/absorbs many different chemicals and toxins. We keep a bottle of capsules in our car. Then if we go somewhere and get exposed to petroleum products, cigarette smoke, or other toxins, we just hold a few capsules in the right hand for 10 minutes. This helps to counteract the exposure. We also put charcoal tablets in new appliances for 10-20 minutes to help them off-gas. Sometimes I even set charcoal out in my room for 15-20 minutes, if I’ve been detoxing a lot and my room feels toxic. It’s a wonderful tool for trying to live non-toxic. 
*Organic dark chocolate – There are a lot of unhealthy foods that I don’t eat, so sometimes it feels like my diet is very limited. But I’m so thankful that organic dark chocolate is actually good for me! =) I usually eat 1 tiny square 2-3 times a day. It gives me a little energy boost and feels like a special treat, all while benefiting my health. Win-win! =) 
*Coconut oil – I use it all the time for cooking, baking, putting on my food, and even as a lotion. I like the flavor. I love the health benefits. And I appreciate having a wonderful multi-purpose product. 
*The beach – We don’t get to go as often as we’d like. But when we do go, I love the fresh ocean breezes, walking in the sand, and watching the waves roll in. It’s very healing and refreshing. =)

Well, those are some of my favorite things. What about you? What’s one of your favorite healthy things?

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Breaking Up With Sugar

I know they say that breaking up is hard to do…but sometimes it’s necessary. Especially when it’s with the culprit of sugar. 
I wrote a post about the harmful effects of sugar a few years ago. But with the holidays upon us, I thought this was a good time to address this topic again. 
Not only does sugar negatively affect the body in many different ways, but most people are way over-consuming sugar! 
Some form of added sugar is in almost every prepared food these days. 
“…added sugars hide in 74 percent of processed foods under more than 60 different names!”
from: http://www.sugarscience.org/
Just how much sugar is too much?
“The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend limiting your daily added sugar intake to nine teaspoons (38 grams) for men, and six teaspoons (25 grams) for women. The limits for children range from three to six teaspoons (12 – 25 grams) per day, depending on age…and I strongly recommend limiting your daily fructose intake to 25 grams or less from all sources, including natural sources such as fruit—regardless of whether you’re male or female.”
from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/10/sugar-processed-foods.aspx
I eat almost completely sugar-free, but even then I probably get close to these numbers. I eat fruit every day, use honey in my non-yeast bread, and occasionally have an organic granola bar, which contains 9 grams of sugar.
The reason these numbers are so important is because of how our bodies work.
“The main problem with sugar, and processed fructose in particular, is the fact that your liver has a very limited capacity to metabolize it. According to Dr. Lustig, you can safely metabolize about six teaspoons of added sugar per day. As mentioned, the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day. All that excess sugar is metabolized into body fat, and leads to all of the chronic metabolic diseases we struggle with….”
The human body is not made to handle the high amounts of sugar people eat today. That’s why “sugar consumption in America is one of the 3 major causes of degenerative disease.” 
Many people say, “Well, I don’t eat much sugar.” But when you ask a few more questions, you realize they are consuming a LOT more sugar than they realize. “Sugar” isn’t just cookies or candy. It’s in almost every processed food, like tomato sauce, crackers, etc. If you read every label and added up how many grams a day you’re consuming, it would probably be well over the recommended amount. 
The kind of sugar you consume is also important. High fructose corn syrup is probably the worst kind of sugar (see my previous post here). White table sugar runs a close second. However, things like fruit, honey, and even small amounts of real maple syrup have various health benefits – as long as they aren’t over-consumed.
This time of year it seems like the sugar is flowing freely at every event and place you go. But I hope you’ll consider what a gift you’ll be giving your body, your health, and your loved ones if you break up with sugar. =) 


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Mercury In Your Teeth

Before my health crashed, two people in my extended family had the mercury fillings removed from their teeth. Then they both had dramatic recoveries of their health. (I never had any fillings put in my teeth, so this wasn’t a factor for my health challenges.) 
The fact is that mercury is highly poisonous. It’s a neurotoxin, which means it damages the brain. It also damages the nervous system, the kidneys, and more. It is especially dangerous for children, pregnant women (negatively affects the baby), the elderly, those with neurological problems, etc.
Mercury fillings are toxic and dangerous, yet many dentists are still ignorant or try to tell you these filings are harmless. Here are the facts:
“Dental amalgam is a primitive filling material made of between 43 and 54 percent mercury. Amalgam fillings are commonly called as “silver fillings” – a marketing term that deceives many consumers into believing that amalgam is mainly silver, which is only a minor component of amalgam. 
Amalgam is not stable after it is implanted into human teeth – it constantly releases mercury vapor into your body.  And this mercury bioaccumulates.”
from: http://www.toxicteeth.org/mercuryFillings.aspx
Mercury fillings also expand over time and can cause cracks in teeth requiring more dental work. 
And, mercury fillings are unnecessary since there are other healthier options.
“Amalgam is interchangeable with numerous other filling materials – including resin composites, compomers, and glass ionomers – that have rendered amalgam completely unnecessary for any clinical situation.” 
from: http://www.toxicteeth.org/ 
So there’s really no good reason to keep using mercury fillings, yet many dentists still do. It’s so important for your health and your family’s health to protect yourselves from mercury fillings! If you don’t know about your dentist, just ask what they use. Or look for a natural dentist. This website has a directory of mercury-free dentists by state. 
http://www.toxicteeth.org/dentistsDoctorsProducts.aspx
For more reasons to choose a mercury-free dentist you can read this article or watch the short video on this website: http://www.toxicteeth.org/home.aspx
If you know you have mercury fillings, I encourage you to consider having them removed. However, be cautious in this endeavor. Some dentists take little to no precautions for this procedure, or even replace the old fillings with new ones that still have mercury! One natural health writer had this experience. He later had to have the procedure done again by a trusted dentist to remove the mercury fillings that supposedly were taken out the first time. This time his dentist followed a very careful procedure, including oxygen for the patient, and respirator masks for the dentists. You can read his story here. He also shares some things he did before and after the procedure to help his body handle the removal of the mercury (including high dose vit. C before and charcoal after). 
For detailed suggestions on how dentists should safely remove mercury filings, check out this website: http://iaomt.org/safe-removal-amalgam-fillings/
Be sure that the dentist you chose knows what he’s doing, and research him/her to make sure they have no bad reviews of their work. Also, expect that your body will have a transition/detox period. I think the people I knew felt dramatically improved in their health in less than a month. It takes time, but the more healthy habits and detox therapies you can use, the easier it will be for your body to recover.
Getting the mercury out of your teeth is definitely a good step toward better health. For some people it’s the big step they need to return to good health. For others, it’s not the sole cure, but it is a significant piece of the puzzle. 
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions please post them in the comments.