Monday, June 24, 2013

Going Au Natural

I'm not talking about walking around in the buff people-- although that would be very Portland of me!  It's not really my thing, but I applaud those who are bold enough to do it...

Portland's World Naked Bike Ride                                                                                         Courtesy:

Last week I discussed my decision to make instead of buy several of our food staples.  But today, I want to continue that discussion by talking about my decision to use more natural methods when it comes to my health and wellness.

Above are the natural ingredients I consume on a daily basis.  From left to right, I'm going to list them and the benefits they give me health-wise...

Oregon Raw Honey-- It's important that it's raw... AND that it's made here in Oregon.  The reason: the regular honey you buy in the bear is processed to the point that it pretty much loses its health benefits. Honey does wonders for your health...  and I choose to eat local, Oregon honey because it can also help with Allergies because you're ingesting the local pollen.

Folic Acid--  I started taking this supplement after my mom told me a woman she knows started taking it because she was beginning to gray pre-maturely.  I am also starting to pre-maturely gray, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Multi-Vitamin-- My doctor recommended I take one, so I am.  I doesn't hurt to get your daily dose of vitamins.

Vitamin D-- Living in Oregon, we don't see much sunlight during the year.  Because of that, my gynecologist recommended that I start taking a vitamin D supplement.

Nettle Tea--  I drink one glass of this each day, cold and mixed with Cranberry Juice (it's got a funky taste).  My cousin turned me on to this, because it's supposed to help with allergies.  I just started drinking the tea and so far, I've noticed a slight difference.

Apple Cider Vinegar-- 2 tablespoons, 3 times daily mixed with cranberry juice to cut the taste.  The benefits are endless.... most notably: helps with weight-loss, lowers cholesterol, helps with allergies and sinus infections and detoxes the body.

Coconut Oil--  A few tablespoons a day can help boost energy, balance body weight, improve digestion and metabolism and improves heart health.  Plus, it tastes great!

I also take probiotics regularly to help with my digestion.

Now let's talk about why I do all of this stuff.  It may seem like a lot, but since I started doing this I've felt like a healthier version of myself.  I have more energy,  I make better food choice, my stomach doesn't hurt all of the time and I have way less gas.  That last one is probably an over-share, but who cares!

I also know that what I'm putting in my body is good for me.  That's an important one for me, because of my past experience with insulin resistance.

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance.  I've talked about it before on this blog.  The doctor put me on a drug called Metforim to help balance out my blood sugar.  The drug is used a lot for people with Type 2 Diabetes.  I wound up taking Metformin for a year and a half and it helped bring my blood sugar and my weight down.

But, Metformin also screwed up the way my body digests food.  Several people who were on the drug told me that would happen.  I didn't realize that meant that I would get horrible stomach cramping anytime I ate food that was overly processed.   While it was painful, it was also a blessing  because it made me re-think what I put in my body...

That's when my natural kick began.  I started researching vitamins and natural supplements and tried to figure out what I could do to make myself a healthier person, without filling my body full of drugs or processed diet drinks.  It was really important to me to do this weight loss thing the natural way, with food and good old fashioned workouts.  It's hard work, and I will admit-- sometimes I think it would be nice to take a magic pill or make a magic shake and have the weight fall off quickly...

But I don't know what those things will do to my body, and I'm don't really want to go through the process to find out.  After the debacle with Metformin-- and thankfully it was only a year and a half that I had to take it-- I realized that I only get one body in this life, and I have to take care of it.

Do you take natural supplements and/or eat local, raw ingredients?  What is your reasoning behind that choice?  Or, if you don't, why not?  Do you think foods like honey and coconut oil really have those health benefits, or is it just a bunch of malarky?  I'd love to hear from you, leave your comments below!

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