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How to Prevent Nutrient Deficiencies while on the Birth Control Pill

Birth Control Pill
Oral birth control, or “the pill”, has done many great things for women. It’s given freedom, but like many prescription medications, there are side effects that cannot be neglected. Yes, it can prevent unwanted pregnancy and improve period problems. On the other hand, the long-term health consequences aren’t frequently discussed, and they can have a significant impact on your daily life. Once you understand how the pill works and how it can really impact your body in the long term, you can take a proactive approach to prevent these side effects. Common side effects of the pill Being moody all the time  Depression  Increased risk of stroke  Increased risk of thyroid and adrenal disorders  Increased risk of heart attacks Fatigue Hair loss Dry skin Low libido Change in periods Leaky gut  Depletion of key nutrients: magnesium, zinc, B vitamins and vitamin C How does the birth control pill work? The pill acts on all your hormones, not just your sex hormones responsible for the pregnancy. This means that everything from your metabolism to your stress can be affected.  Your natural estrogen and progesterone hormone levels will change and fluctuate every cycle. When you take the pill, you are giving yourself a dose of synthetic estrogen and progesterone, with a week of sugar pills (no hormones). These synthetic hormones suppress your natural hormone fluctuations, so you won’t be able to release an egg each cycle (ovulation) and get pregnant.  During the week you are taking the sugar pills, you will experience a bleed and have a “period” as a result of hormone withdrawal. It’s not the same as a natural period, which is why your period problems likely went away after starting the pill.  Why the pill does not fix hormone problems  When it comes to hormones, the pill is a band-aid solution. While you’re on it, you can suppress your own hormones and perhaps your PMS symptoms too. But once you stop, you’ll likely be right back where you started. The more times you’ve taken the pill does not mean you are working towards your hormones being more “balanced”. In fact, the longer you stay on the pill, the more you suppress your body’s natural processes and hormonal fluctuations.  How to protect yourself from the negative side effects of the pill It’s not always feasible to get off the pill, so the best thing you can do is support your body with the right nutrients. Key nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc are depleted by the pill, so you can choose to eat more nutrient-dense foods or use supplements. Supplement options New Roots Pure Magnesium Bisglycinate 130mg 120 Capsules AOR Advanced B Complex Ultra 60 Time-Release Tablets Mega Food Complex C 72 Tablets NFH Zinc SAP 60 Capsules Nutrient-dense foods Leafy greens Oysters Grassfed beef Beef or chicken liver Camu camu Avocado Coconut water Staying on the pill Whether you choose to stay on the pill or not, you can be proactive in making sure your body is still receiving and absorbing all the key nutrients. The more you know about the side effects and nutrient deficiencies, the better you can prepare yourself. Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Healthy Planet DIY Herbal Healing Bath Infusion

Take a load off - you deserve to relax and give yourself a treat this weekend. Baths are an amazing opportunity to relax the body and reap in beneficial nutrients for the skin. I like to make my own healing bath infusions and have been for years. They are relatively easy to make and I’m a firm believer of the simpler the better, always. What You’ll Need:- Organic cotton mesh cloth or hemp cloth also works fine as well- @ifyoucare_usa Twine or cotton string - @nowfoodsofficial Essential Oils (For a bath, I like to choose lavender and rosemary) - Dried Lavender, - Rose Petals  (feel free to also add dried lemongrass and dried peppermint - @celticseasalt Epsom Salt - @organictraditions Coconut Oil How To: 1. Cut a 7x7 “ inch square with the fabric.2. Take 1 cup of epsom salt and add it to the center.3. Mix in the dried rose and lavender flowers.4. Drop 10 drops of lavender essential oil onto the salt and dried flowers.5. Drop 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to the sale and dried flowers.6. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil onto the mixture.7. Take the 4 corners of the fabric and wrap the edges.8. Bunch the excess fabric up in your fist with one hand and take the piece of string and wrap the string around the fabric. Benefits:* Rosewater relieves inflammation/ soothes irritated skin, brightens your complexion, tightens pores and smells amazing* Rosemary stimulates circulation, will help relieve muscle aches/soreness, has been shown to boost memory and clear congestion simply by being inhaled* Lavender works as a “anxiolytic” (anxiety reliever) it calms the nerves, reduces anxiety/aggression/depression and does wonders for the skin* Epsom Salts contain magnesium which also help to relax and soothe muscles. Salt water in general is super healing, good for energy cleansing I am against most bath bombs because they contain artificial fragrances, artificial perfume and or scented ingredients that do not offer any health benefits. These artificial compounds are harmful to our health, waterways and wreak havoc once absorbed. Bath bombs look great but majority of them are full of toxins and allergens Dedicating one hour from your weekend to invest in yourself will refuel you! Try this simple bath infusion today!   Follow along with Healthy Planet as we collaborate with Stephanie Wong bringing you everything from Cruelty Free Beauty to All--Natural Living Tips! Written and Created by @5teffy

Happy Mother's Day from Healthy Planet!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! This is the perfect opportunity to treat all the Mama's in your life and even yourself to a few sweet gifts to celebrate this beautiful day. Healthy Planet is currently running an INCREDIBLE Mother's Day Sale, full of pampering and practical products for all Mothers! I have narrowed down my top 4 favourite products that not only do I use, but would make the  perfect Health & Wellness gifts for the Mama's in your life this Mother’s Day!   Organika Collagen – Because healthy skin is always on trend. Collagen has many beautiful benefits that does our body so good - promotes skin health, boost muscle mass, improve ingestive health, burns fat, alleviate joint pains, promotes heart health, and improves cognitive health. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, however our ability to produce it decreases less and less as we age. This is why it is so important to either incorporate foods that contain collagen in our diet or supplement it with a product like, Organika Collagen. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Skin Essence Facial in a Jar – Spoil the Mama's in your life with this multipurpose product. You can either use this as an exfoliator to scrub away dead skin or leave it on as a mask so that the product can absorb all the oils and impurities out of your skin. Either way, this product will leave your skin super soft, supple, nourished and will brighten your overall complexion!   Everyone Hand Soap Coconut Lavender – This is the best naturally smelling hand soap on the market. I really love that it is kind to our earth, cruelty free, gluten free, does not contain synthetic fragrance, and really does a wonderful job at cleansing and moisturizing the skin.   Andalou Naturals Body Lotion Lavender Thyme – You will not catch me without some sort of hand lotion in my diaper bag. With all the diaper changing and constantly washing my hands to avoid catching my toddler’s germs, it strips away my natural oils leaving my skin super dry and cracked. I love this hand lotion not only does it DELICIOUS but it also does a fab job at moisturizing and keeping the skin moisturized for a long period of time. If Lavender Thyme isn’t your jam, they also have a large selection of other scents as well!   Written by Healthy Planet Ambassador @lifestylebycp.  Follow Cherrie as she lives her best life spreading her vision of the Health and Wellness lifestyle with the help of Healthy Planet!

Foods For Glowing Skin

As relaxing as regular facials may seem, sometimes they’re just not enough to give you the healthy glow you’re looking for, because how your skin appears on the outside can often be a good indication of your health on the inside. What we eat can not only affect us mentally and physically, but it can have a big impact on our skin’s appearance; that’s why it’s important to incorporate foods in your diet that are full of beautifying nutrients. So in addition to your skin care regimewhich should already include avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, a good moisturizer and drinking 8-10 glasses of water each day, start adding these 5 foods to your diet right now for healthier, more vibrant and younger looking skin. Chocolate Why: Yup, you read that right. But not just any chocolate, dark chocolate. Dark, unprocessed chocolate contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that can help improve the health and look of your skin by helping to protect it against UV damage and can help fight free radicals, which have a direct relation to aging skin[1]. Chocolate has also been shown to help reduce stress and can boost your mood to brighten up tired-looking skin and reduce the breakdown of collagen….so you can say “See you never, wrinkles.” Tip: We aren’t suggesting to go grab yourself a large chocolate bar or drinking an extra-large hot chocolate. Studies show that just 2-3 ounces of 70% chocolate can give you the beautifying benefits (and craving fix) you’re looking for. Turmeric Why: Right now there’s nothing trendier than turmeric, but for a good reason!  Although not a food per se, turmeric is a not-so-spicy spice that should definitely be on this list. Many skin conditions such as acne, eczema and puffiness can be due to inflammatory conditions within the body that manifest to the surface of the skin. Turmeric on the other hand, is known for its high anti-inflammatory properties, so using turmeric as a flavour enhancer while cooking can offer some wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin. Turmeric can also be used in at-home facial masks and can even be taken as a supplement if you want some additional benefits.   Avocado Why: Famous for their many heart and brain health benefits, they are actually great for the skin, too! Avocados are high in mono and poly unsaturated fats, which can help give your skin the glowing, dewy look by keeping it firm and moisturized. Avocados are also high in vitamin E and carotenoids, an antioxidant that helps fight free-radical damage—a major cause of aging skin. Studies[2] also show that carotenoids can help improve the skin’s thickness and tone, making it less prone to wrinkling. Tip: Avocados can be added to any meal, really, so there is no reason not to get enough of this yummy item in your diet. Need some ideas? Try topping your sandwich or salad with some avocado slices, or blend half an avocado in your next smoothie for extra creaminess. Still need some avo-inspiration? This summer, try grilling avocado slices topped with fresh lemon juice and sea salt. Or hey, give them a try as a facial mask if you’re feeling adventurous. Grapefruit Why: It makes for way more than just a refreshing breakfast! Grapefruit contains more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, a nutrient that has been shown to help aid skin damage caused by the sun or other environmental pollutants. Collagen, what keeps our skin tight and firm, naturally decreases with age, but one of vitamin C’s claims to fame is that it can help stimulate collagen production, which in turn can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help prevent future ones from developing.  Tip: Vitamin C is highly volatile to heat, meaning its potency can be lost during cooking. So eating these items raw is your best bet to get your max vitamin C benefits. If you’re looking for additional collagen support, a collagen supplement such as Jamieson Collagen Anti-Wrinkle is your best defense against fighting off the signs of aging. Tomatoes Why: They work great as a salad topper (and admittedlythey go perfectly on pizza), but it’s hard to find a reason why tomatoes shouldn’t be on your list if you’re looking to improve your skin health. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a carotenoid that gives them their bright red hue, which is converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A (or you may be familiar with the term “retinol”) is a nutrient that can help reduce the effects of aging while helping to increase the production of collagen. Lycopene has also been shown to help reduce the effects of sun damage, helping skin cell regeneration, and reducing skin redness. But oily skin can also benefit from this antioxidant as it can help reduce inflammation leading to excess oil production and breakouts. Tip: Unlike Vitamin C, h ...

Four Ways to Create A Realistic Family Routine

Routines. They help us stay organized and on-track. A good one can help set the tone for a positive, successful day.  But, routines are not one-size-fits-all.  And sometimes trying to shoe-horn a routine that isn’t right for your family creates more stress than their worth. For some of us, the mornings are where the chaos makes its presence known. Can I get a nod from those who feel like getting everyone in the car with 2 shoes on their feet and food in their hands without being late is a small victory?? For others of us it’s the evenings that the chaos devil comes out. As you work to pick up toys in one area, messes are being made in others, and it’s all you can do to get dinner on the table. It’s a bonus if no one complains about what is being served. Whenever it is that seems to send you spinning, here are tips on how you can create a realistic routine that fits your family and with your schedule.   Establish Your Morning Routine. The Night Before. Back-to-school can make the mornings come back with vengeance. Being dressed, fed and out the door with 2, 3 or more kids in time to catch the bus can feel completely chaotic and exhausting, two things no one wants to face before 8AM.  To make your mornings easier plan ahead by laying out your outfit (kids and adults!), packing lunches (leftover dinner is usually an easy option) and putting backpacks and bags packed and by the door.   (Meal) Plan Ahead Meal planning is an easy way to keep continuity and structure in your days. With a plan you’ll be able to keep your established routine and not feel flustered about what to make for dinner or not having time for breakfast.  Take a few minutes to prep breakfast the night before by doing things such as pre-making smoothie packs that can be tossed and blended in under 5 minutes in the morning, or making a batch of oatmeal that is divided out in the refrigerator for a quick reheat grab and go option. Large batches of muffins and breads that can be stashed in the freezer are also good options. Spend Sunday planning out your meals for the week, using your favorite websites or cookbooks for inspiration. Get your kids involved too!   Doing It Once, Checking It Twice How many times have you gone to the store two times in a night because you forgot something on your original trip? Save time (and brain-power!) by making lists which can help simplify your daily routine and allow you to efficiently tackle everything from your grocery store needs, to returns you need to make, to after school tasks. Buy a notepad that has a magnet and stick it on the fridge or use the notepad function on your phone. You’ll feel like a super hero as you get things done and cross things off!   Follow The Cues Of Your Kids Routines are not one-size-fits-all and what works for your neighbors may not work for you. If your kids are sleepyheads in the morning and you have to drag them out of bed work to get a lot of the morning tasks, like packing lunch and backpacks, done the night before. On the other hand if you’ve got early risers and evenings are a battle, do bath time (or showers), pack lunches, etc. in the morning. Finally, some kids do well with detailed schedules for the day (even when out of school) while others need a bit looser structure. Decide what works best for you and your family.   How do you create realistic routines for you and your family? https://myvega.ca/blog/family-routine/

A Check List for a Comforting, Calm Lying-In

Over the moon thinking about life with your new baby? While you’re planning your Lying-in, here are some essentials to help you have a comforting and calm recuperation so you can establish a bond with your baby while you heal your body! How long can you “lie in” – realistically do you have two days, a week, a luxurious month? Whatever you can manage, prepare to make the most of it by doing the least you can once baby arrives. (Remember, not “doing”, just “being”.) Who will be there while you bond and heal? A partner, a friend, a relative, a support team of people or a group of trusted neighbors? Think about who you can turn to so you don’t have to even get out of bed. Make a schedule so you know who to count on. Prepare and freeze padsicles (frozen herbal pads to comfort your healing vagina – see below). Spray bottle with a comforting herbal mixture to help you prepare for when you need to pee. Towels and pads for under your healing bottom and milk-filled breasts. Meals in the freezer – enough for you and for the people coming to help you. You don’t want to have to feel like you need to cook or even order pizza. This is just what crock pots were made for. Prepare several simple, nourishing, healing foods for you, like bone broth, oatmeal, healing and boosting herbs, foods that can help get your body rebalance and heal, help your milk production, and more. Not just dinner! You need easy-to -eat, easy–to-prepare breakfast, lunch and snacks too, and have lots of healthful fluids, lots of water, herbal teas and kombucha. A loving but clear message to friends, family, neighbors that you may just need some time to yourself, people can see the baby after you’ve all got to know each other a little. Don’t wear pants. A mantra or saying: something that helps you to remember this is your time to heal, bond with your baby, get to know each other and prepare for a lifetime of love. Anything else is a distraction. With preparation and awareness you can make your own lying in peaceful, nourishing and healing.  Want to know more about Lying-in?   Reference: http://blog.earthmamaangelbaby.com/a-check-list-for-calm-lying-in/
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