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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Succulent Life: Just Keep Growing

The Succulent Life: Just Keep Growing


My husband has an amazing green thumb. His interest in horticulture and his fascination with  rare plant trivia are what make him a plant whisperer. The other day, as my husband left for work, he asked my 3.5 year old son and myself to help him with cleaning up the plant pots. We had a lot of planters filled with succulents that were full of water, dead leaves and stalks. It was clear that the plants needed some tender care after such a long wet and cold winter. I could feel Spring on the horizon, but the air was still brisk and the cold required stamina and lots of physical movement. My son opted to watch me through the windows pressing his face up against the glass making faces and slim marks all over. All bundled up with my propagation supplies, I  sifted through each leaf and planter. 

As I was clearing off all the dead foliage, I started thinking about the parallels the succulents and my life had. I recently moved to Washington and it's been a long year, but especially a long winter. 

Change is expected to be challenging, but as exciting as change can be, stability has it's comforts too. How far would you go to reach for a dream? It's frightening to just go for it, challenge status queue or change the trajectory to risk something better. All successful people have a common thread, they never gave up on themselves. The same with ugly succulents, they keep reaching for the sun and surviving another day. 

Although I may feel a bit water logged right now, I will look to the mighty succulent for inspiration. Because it is out of the dark where new life takes root for the succulent. It is the pieces that others are tempted to cast away, that are what actually helps succulents flourish and thrive. And much like the succulent, I will continue to believe in myself and the infinite possibilities that are taking root. I may not see it at first, but it will be well worth the wait. 


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Meal Planing: Week #1 (Paleo/Primal)

Meal Planing: Week #1 (Paleo/Primal)

Figuring out the Paleo lifestyle and diet can be a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with the in's and out's of the food philosophy or even a cook in the kitchen. BUT, fear not, help is here, and it's actually easier than you realize. 

1. First thing to know is that you have a very limited pantry with Paleo, which makes it super easy to cut through the noise of the grocery stores and focus only on the foods that truly feed and nourish your body. 

2. Second thing to know, is that recipes and cooking preparations can be very simple, just like the approach to food. There doesn't need to be fancy foods or preparations, granted there can be, once you get comfortable and want to go for the gold. But simple preparations are easy and still very delicious and satiating.  

3. Paleo is a 'whole foods' approach to eating and cooking. No prepackaged or processed foods. Stay away from all grains (rice, quinoa, wheat, etc.). Stay away from beans and corn. Limit your dairy to plain Greek yogurt (no milk, soft cheeses,etc). Paleo is high protein with lots of vegetables making up most of the diet and sugars only from fruit or naturally occurring like coconut sugar, honey and maple syrup. 

There are fancier explanations about Paleo out there and why a Paleo/Primal approach to food is the foundation to healing and nourishing our bodies, but for this blog's sake, we'll focus on one week's worth of meal planing and ideas. 

JUST REMEMBER "Every morsel of food or drink you put into your body either heals and nourishes or harms and aides in disease." 
The old saying "You are what you eat" is ALL TOO TRUE!  

Let's get started......

The shopping lists suggests Costco and Safeway, but any store will do. I prefer Costco, because you can buy meat in bulk, and being Paleo is such a high protein diet, I like to freeze my portions of bulk meat for later weeks. (see previous blog http://shedished.blogspot.com/2016/11/good-eats-4-easy-steps-to-tackle-whats.html) You should also go as grass fed and organic as possible, but it can be costly, so baby steps towards that goal. I am strict with my veggies and fruits being organic, and stores including Costco, can accommodate that task. Costco also has organic chicken and ground turkey, and grass fed ground beef. Do the best you can! 











This by no means needs to be your Week #1, but it's a start to ideas and how to approach your meals and snacks for any week in your new lifestyle change! 
Enjoy! You Got This!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Athletic Shoes: One Sole to Another

What’s on Your Feet? One Sole to Another 
By Katie Mitchell 



Whether you call them; trainers, kicks, joggers, sneakers, tennies, runners, or gym shoes; have you ever really thought about the evolution of your athletic shoes and how they came to be on your feet? As we trail blaze up mountains, run the rouged roads, or move swiftly across courts, we owe a great ode of appreciation to the soles that keep us grounded with a solid foundation to attempt these incredible feats.

These early athletic shoes, were known as plimsolls, named after the water line of a ship’s hull, and were worn by vacationers, and slowly started evolving, with details like engravings on the sole for added grip, as they made their way onto tennis courts and even on the feet of soldiers in the British Army in the early 20th century. Then came the company J.W Foster and Sons, who we can thank for inventing, what is recorded as one of the first running shoes, in which they added spikes to the soles to assist with reaching greater traction and speed.



Once these shoes made their way to America, the US Rubber Co. with the help of inventor Charles Goodyear, created the line knows as Keds, by putting canvas atop  a flexible rubber sole, and were marketed as ‘sneakers’ . The demand for sneakers grew post World War II, as sports and athletics came to be seen as a sign of patriotism. In the 1920’s famous athletes of the time spurred the popularity of sneakers, like famous basketball player Chuck Taylor and his endorsement of the nostalgic Converse All Stars.



And so athletic shoes took off, constantly reinventing and morphing into new styles or with emerging technologies. They come in many colors, brands, and styles. They have celebrity endorsements and are designed by some of the highest fashion houses.  Some with fancy embellishments, some with shoelaces and some without. Now and days it’s hard pressed not to get a kinesiology lesson when picking out athletic shoes, as they seem to have varying elements which compliment one’s use, body, or personal style. The days of the ‘Plimsoll’s have passed us by, by about 150 years, but it’s those early designs that kicked off generations of all new kinds of kicks.



I love my Chuck’s, remember my beloved Air Jordan’s, and now swear by my Brook’s Heritage Collection; but those are just my kicks for kicking it. When I’m ready to kick my own butt, lacing up my New Balance’s, have been a long tradition, and one that’s been a tradition for many dating back to 1906!



Now when you strap on your modern version of a plimsoll, give thanks and praise to the shoe gods, one sole to another !


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Twilight Musings or Twilight Amusing(s)

Back in 2005 I entered a poetry contest and was published in a book by The International Library of Poetry. My poem was among a compilation of others poems by other authors titled Twilight Musings edited by Howard Ely. I ordered 3 copies of the golden embossed hardbound book; one for my parents, one for my Pops (my grandpa), and one for myself. Imagine my joy when I opened the box to find my poem was printed on the first page! It was a gratifying feeling, like I accomplished a great thing.



And then life went on, 11 years have passed, and the beautiful book sits on my shelf among all my other prized books. Then recently, I remembered the book and grabbed it off the shelf and re-read my poem with pride. Being that we are in a digital age, I started searching the internet to see if my poem or the book was anywhere online, pointing back to my great accomplishment. Well, to my astonishment (or maybe not, being I always had a small suspicious feeling), it turns out this whole 'publishing' of my poem was a scam many others fell for too. When I did find a copy of the book online and read the reviews, imagine my surprise when other authors mentioned in their reviews of how proud they were that their poem received first page placement too...... wait...what the.....??

So...... I guess the three copies of the book I ordered are probably most likely the only three copies that exist in this world with my poem in it and on the first page! C'est La vie!


In honor of my original written words, I will self publish my poem here and now. At least I can now give a bit of context to accompany the poem. At the time when I wrote this poem, I was taking classes with a spiritual medium on energy and clairvoyance. I learned how to tap into my spiritual side, clear my chakras, read my energy and ground myself to the center of the earth. For those of you who speak this language, you'll understand, for those who don't, won't. Regardless of the validity of the book my poem was printed in, it's still special to me. I will proudly adorn my book on my shelf again, but this time looking at it with a wink and a smile, knowing it's context just got a little richer. 

The Colors of Each Day
Through the grandness of time
Through all dimensions of space
I seek to reclaim what is mine
I seek to clarify my place
Rooted to the center of this Earth
Connected to the depths of my spirit
I seek to explain my life's worth
I seek to know my life's merits
Through the powers of color and light
Through the strengths of body and mind
I seek to find my everlasting sight
I seek to no longer continue to live blind
Through the incredible lightness of being
Through the simplicity of pure energy
I have found my longing for seeing
I have found my pathway towards infinity
Through what I have learned today
Through all I have ever known
I will embrace the colors of each day
For I have found what my spirit has already known

By~ Katie Fry (now Mitchell), c. 2005





Good Eats: 4 Easy Steps to Tackle "What's For Dinner"

Those who know me, know that I love food and love feeding people. My grandmother always said, a way to a person's heart is through their stomach.


My beloved Grandma Dee left the biggest impact on my kitchen skills and introduced me to a worldly pallet at a young age. She had an old school foundation, but as she aged she garnered a passion for chef like skills and embraced her zeal for gourmet preparations and ingredients. It was in the latter of her life, where I was a wee little one, and she welcomed me into her kitchen as she eagerly prepared multi course meals. I was so fortunate to be exposed to the art of making master sauces and trying new foods, which spurred me to always try new things, keep learning about flavors and foods, and always cook delicious home made meals.



But meals don't have to be gourmet or multi coursed to be delicious and healthy. As well, you don't need to be a chef to answer the question each hungry person faces EVERY single evening.



 Here are some quick tips to build up your culinary foundation, and how to systematically tackle what to feed your hungry bellies for dinner as you stare into your refrigerator.

Step 1. Pick Your Protein
The only thing you should be pulling out of the freezer is your protein to thaw. (Ditch those prepared meals, fast and with fury. They offer zero nutrition and are full of sugar, preservatives and artificial flavors.)

I frequent Costco for my meats and fish. Their pork tenderloins come 4 in a package, and I'll separate them and put them individually in freezer zip blocs. The salmon comes in a large slab, whereby I'll cut them into portions, put them into zip blocs and into the freezer. Same thing with pork chops and stew meat, you get the drill. By having a freezer full of portioned out proteins, it makes it easy to grab one out of the rotation of meats, de-thaw and proceed to step two.

Step 2. Find Your Inspiration Ingredient
This is the moment where you find the ingredient in your fridge or pantry that gives you inspiration. Is there a veggie that needs to be eaten soon, or an ingredient like ricotta cheese or capers, that you purchased and haven't used yet. I usually see one thing in my fridge that says, " Yup, it's my turn, I'm your inspiration ingredient" and then my dinner direction starts to form into a meal.




Step 3. Pick Your Flavor Destination
Think about the part of the world that the inspiration ingredient is from, and start to build your flavor profile for the menu.  Or is it cold outside and time for soup? Is the family in need of some comfort food? Once you have a flavor destination in mind, start pulling out complimentary ingredients. You still need help figuring out a direction? Utilize Pinterest search bar and enter your protein and inspiration ingredient, then see what images pop up that appeal to you.

Flavor combos ideas:
Italian: Tomato sauces, basil, oregano, Parmesan cheese
Mexican: Cumin, oregano, beans, jalapenos, crumbling cheeses 
American: whole roast chickens, bouillon, onions, garlic, rosemary
Asian: fresh ginger, avocado, coconut aminos (in lieu of soy sauce), rice wine vinegar
Thai: curry, cumin, coconut milk, pumpkin, basil
Greek: feta, lemon, oregano, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes
Seafood: lemons, capers, citrus, herbs, garlic
Korean: Pickled red onions, sesame oil, mirin, sake, fish sauce
Cold weather or comfort food: soups, stews & chili

Check out my Pinterest Board for Protein Ideas: 

 Seafood Ideas: 
 Soup Ideas: 





Step 4. Veggies & Sides
Veggies and sides round out your meal. My latest favorite side is riced cauliflower (which you can get at Trader Joes), and just bake it in a dish with butter and salt, and when it's tender (but not mushy) pull it out and add some chopped cashews. The cashews add a rich buttery crunch, and the cauliflower has a true rice consistency. Other ideas of veggies and sides that may pair with your flavor destination:

Italian: zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, broccoli, spinach, pasta
Mexican: Corn, tortillas, peppers, rice
American: potatoes, peas, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, onions
Asian: broccoli, cabbage, green beans, bok choy, pumpkin, rice

 Veggie Ideas:


 Sides Ideas:



Quick Bonus Tip: Utilize the Pinterest search bar and try entering a few of the ingredients you have on hand, and see what pops up in your search results. Don't get caught up in fancy recipes or ones that have a ton of ingredients you have to go out and buy. Get creative or have a plan in advance. You can always make something out nothing, by keeping it simple; salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs go a long way on a baking pan with any protein and veggie.

Shopping Tip: Now knowing this 4 step technique to tackling dinner, when you go to the grocery store, buy new interesting ingredients, that you can take inspiration from for future meals. For instance, I recently bought some fermented kimchi which lead me to make a Korean Bibimbap bowl with shredded pork complete with a fried egg, pictured above, and it all started with my inspiration ingredient.

You Got This! Enjoy your Good Eats!!








Sunday, October 30, 2016

Not Meshing Around: Shouldice Hospital 70 Years of Non Mesh Hernia Repair

non mesh hernia, hernia, Toronto, shouldice, hernia repair

non mesh hernia, hernia, Toronto, shouldice, hernia repair


Earlier this year I was diagnosed with a hernia just above my belly button. I knew something was wrong when I felt the little bump that was causing me pain. One night, I pushed on it, leaving me with the most unsettling feeling, like I just popped something and I was going to go septic. My mind whirled with so many anxious thoughts from that moment on. I was diagnosed by my family doctor, sent for an ultrasound, and my hernia was confirmed. I was in the middle of moving from California to Washington and was told surgery was an option but many people live with their hernias without ever correcting them. Being that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans, I chose to postpone doing anything for it, strapped on a hernia belt I bought off Amazon, and continued to move out of one house and into another one. I also had a two and a half year old that was 40 pounds and still loved being in his mama's arms at times. I did not take it as easy as I should have, and when things settled down and we settled into our new house, I knew I needed to handle my situation. My pain was getting worse, my hernia grew in size and was popping out more than it was staying in. I was loosing weight because eating was uncomfortable, my lady time of the month became excruciating, and I found myself only finding comfort when laying down flat. This was not a way to live. Towards the end, I was forced to use the electric carts at Target and Costco, which I had no shame doing. I was struggling to play with my young son, cook dinner, or do the most simplest of tasks. My mood changed from the chronic pain and I became more anxious and on edge, constantly worrying about my condition. It was time to do something. 

So, I met with the general surgeon who I was referred to by my family doc, and from the moment my consultation started with him, it was off to a bad start. 

A bit of few details about me before I dive in. I live a pretty clean life. I am gluten free and eat mostly Paleo style because I have eczema and asthma, both of which have vastly improved my 'auto immune' ailments. My body transformed when I switched my diet, and I will always subscribe to this new clean lifestyle. I found more relief and reduction in inflammation from eating clean, and I felt more in tune with my body than I ever have before. Part of my lifestyle change also included ridding our house of all toxic cleaners, filtering our water, swapping out for natural skincare products and just being more aware of what things are made of.  

Two other things to note. First, my friend was also diagnosed with a hernia at the same time, and chose to do surgery immediately. She had an awful experience, as it turned out she had multiple hernias, and her surgeon did the typical mesh surgery, and sent her home the same day. She was in horrid pain, and even had to go back into emergency surgery a day later because of complications. Secondly, her experience left such an impression on me, that's when I started researching about surgery options and discovered more information about mesh. More horror stories starting haunting me, as I read about people whose bodies rejected their mesh, and went on to live a life in chronic pain, setting off a litany of other ailments. I did not want this to happen to me! That's when I read about Shouldice Hospital in Toronto Canada, a hospital that has specialized in non-mesh hernia repair for over 70 years, with incredible stats and nothing but rave reviews. 

So, back to my US general surgeon consultation. The doctor looked at me like I had three heads when I told him I was concerned about the mesh and my body rejecting it, as I explained I had auto immune ailments. Mind you majority of the visit was him explaining to me what a hernia was and where they all can occur, like I didn't know why I was there meeting him or where my hernia was. As I asked him questions about non mesh options, he began to get very agitated like I was insulting his intelligence, because clearly he knew more about my body than me!? That was the thing, I was just a body to him, not a person with a health history and valid concerns. I mentioned the Shouldice hospital, where he proceeded to tell me all these stats about them, which were inaccurate, as I did previous research on the hospital. At that moment, my mind was made up, I was going to do whatever it took to go to Toronto for my surgery. I cordially left, after the surgeon said "...he already had spent enough time with me", mind you it was less than 30 minutes. I got into my car and balled my eyes out. I was so exhausted from pain, and was completely dismissed by this surgeon who made me feel like I was making a huge deal about nothing. This was the moment where I picked myself up, held my head high, and vowed that I was never going to let anyone dictate or bully me into a choice that came to MY body. 

hernia, no mesh, non mesh repair, shouldice hospital, Toronto


I made the call to Shouldice, and an angelic voice spoke from the other end. She was comforting, compassionate, understanding and responsive. She sent me the forms, which I immediately sent back, and I was booked for my surgery within 2 weeks of the first call. I cried again, but this time, tears of relief. The answer to the million dollar question, it did not cost a million dollars, but rather less than $5,000 not including my travel. But wait, it gets better, I stayed in the hospital for 5 days, all food included and healed under a team of nurses and doctors supervision! Not only was the food incredible, but they accommodated my gluten free diet too. But wait it gets even better again, they taught us Thai Chi and I got a phenomenal message, both of which were meant to improve recovery time. I'm getting ahead of myself. 

I arrived in Toronto with my mom accompanying me. I needed wheelchair assistance at the airport because walking was becoming a struggle, as my hernia was constantly out. I was weak, tired, and had a broken spirit. My anxiety was in full bloom, as I was just praying to make it to the hospital without having any emergencies or accidents. Being that I lived in Washington State, I arrived a day before my check in because it took a full day to travel to get there. The next morning, I arrived by taxi, and pulled up to the most beautiful property, that absolutely did not look like a hospital. The acres of grounds were green, landscaped, well manicured with trees, geese, fountains, and tranquility. The hospital looked like a huge estate that was beautifully adorned and immaculately kept. I walked in, where I was quickly attended to, sent to meet with a nurse to record my stats, given lunch, then met with the doctor, and then brought to my room for the stay. My roommate was the loveliest lady who reminded me of Strega Nonna, an Italian Grandma with an incredible heart. She was there to have two hernias fixed, and we lived together, ate together and recovered together the entire time of both of our stays. The room had two beds, separated by a curtain with our own private bathroom. Every room looked to be set up the same way, with the difference being men were matched with men, and women roomed with women. This allowed for immediate friendships, and everyone who checked in on the same day, all 'graduated' the same day, 5 days later. There were men and women of all ages from ALL OVER THE WORLD. I met the most incredible people, as we bonded daily, shared in our recovery together, broke bread at every meal, and participated in light exercise classes.

The surgery. The philosophy of the hospital, was to not put patients under completely, but rather do locals and partial sedation. Their reason being that the body heals faster, as under a general our bodies tend to tense up, making it harder and longer to recover. Their surgery technique is world renowned, and one that is not certified by any other doctor except by Shouldice. (Please look up these details on their site http://www.shouldice.com and ask questions, as I don't want to misinterpret their surgery style, but it is absolutely no mesh, and the occurrence rates were phenomenally low.)   I wasn't allowed food all morning, as they slated the older patients first thing in the morning, and the healthier younger ones later in the day. When it was my turn, they brought me down, gave me some pills, where I quickly fell asleep. They woke me up and I walked into the surgery room, got onto the table, where they started to prep me, and gave me some anesthesia, which I've heard is called truth serum. I don't remember everything, and I felt nothing, but I know I was gabbing to the doctors the entire time. It's kinda hazy how I got to my bed in my room, but waking up for me was probably the roughest part of my experience. I'm not use to drugs, and not feeling sensation all of my body freaked me out, but over the course of an hour sensation slowly came back and the nausea went away. Then I was hungry! Boy did I eat, like it was my first time in a LONG time. As for my pain, nothing! Just some uncomfortable pressure from the swelling and some bloating, all of which they warned us of. I did not take a pain reliever more powerful than a Tylenol, the entire span of my recovery. Even when I got home, I didn't need anything. And the surgery, it was like night and day, like one minute I thought my insides were falling out, then the next minute I felt like I had a suit of armor on my belly, like nothing had ever happened. 

The recovery. This was also magic, nothing like I had ever experienced. My well being was their top priority. They made sure all patients were comfortable and well fed. They also would not let us stay in bed, and forced us to continue to eat in the dinning hall together for every meal and snack, they even limited wifi to certain lounge areas, handicapping the smart part of phones. They scheduled Thai chi group classes, and encouraged us to walk the grounds to keep moving and keep blood flowing and stimulated. They also gave us the option to book a massage, in which the therapist met with us prior to surgery to explain the benefits of massaging the meds out of your body and improve recovery time. They spoke my wellness language! In the US, it would have been an in and out surgery, recover at home, and prescription for pain meds just after going fully under. I understand one reason the US would send you home the same day, being its more sanitary from less sick people, but for me, I wanted to be under medical supervision as I healed those first days, and the hospital was beyond sanitary. It was so comforting and really stress relieving knowing I didn't have to second guess what my incision looked like, or if I had a weird feeling, or what to do, if.  What an empowering feeling and place to recover. My last day was kinda sad, as my new friends and I said our goodbyes, as we all felt we went through something incredible together that we'll never forget.

My mom picked me up in a rental car the morning of my check out, and we went shopping at the local mall, ate sushi and enjoyed each other's company without my hernia getting in the way. The next day we had a later flight, so we drove all around beautiful Toronto and walked the streets that are coined the "Rodeo Drive" of Toronto, and without my hernia stopping me along the way. We ate at an amazing Italian restaurant where I truly enjoyed eating again. My week in Toronto felt more like a stay at a wellness spa, where I unplugged, read books, had incredible conversations with new worldly people, and I healed my body, mind and soul.

To say that my experience at Shouldice was incredible, is an understatement. I urge anyone who is seeking a hernia repair, to look no further than here. You are in amazing hands, as the staff, nurses and doctors treat you like a person, look you in your eyes, listen to you and your body, and make it clear that your health and well being is their top priority. Thank you to the brave bloggers that shared their stories, which ultimately led me to find this amazing hospital. I will never be the same, from the impression Shouldice left on me, to the appreciation I have for Shouldice for taking me into their arms and making me whole again!





  




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Note to Self: Heal Thy Self

There's a saying that rings all too true, all too often; "You know better, you do better."

 :

Growing up in my teens to my twenties, living a 'healthy life' was trying to get to that goal weight with fad diets. From the 'low fat' trends of the 90's, to the fake sugar drinks, and focusing on minimizing calories. In my thirties I started wising up to my food choices, but looking back, I still had no clue what my body needed. Emphasis on what my body NEEDED, and enter that ' Ah-ha' moment that forever changed my thinking about food.

How we get to our 'Ah- ha' moment is different for everyone, mine is another story for another day. But my family has thrived ever since we started making simple changes to our diets and lives. Friends and family have asked what changes we made.

This post is a NOTE TO SELF, and just a few ways we got started:

1. Go Grain Free! Strive to be Paleo or Primal at least 80% of the time. 
This cookbook [Primal Cravings] has a great Introduction that is spot on. First know what's included in your Paleo pantry, and cooking seriously becomes a cinch. Understand the basics then build on your foundation with recipes on Pinterest. I have tons of boards on my Pinterest profile dedicated to all the Clean Food your pallet could crave (https://www.pinterest.com/ktfrita/).

2, Berkey Water Filter System. Water is life. Don't trust what comes out of your tap!
Be an advocate for your family and serve them CLEAN water! The Berkey Water filter system is simple, affordable, and beyond easy to use. Under $400 for a complete system with all the bells and whistles and it sits on your counter top, no installation needed. GET A BERKEY NOW! We even travel with ours, in our suitcase! (http://www.berkeyfilters.com/)


3. Excalibur Dehydrator: Beef Jerky, Dried Fruit, and so much more!
This company has the BEST dehydrators, hands down, mic drop- winner, winner! What you thought a dehydrator was, ei. this tall, plastic tower of pieces that takes up an entire cupboard and you ended up selling at a garage sale. Well, this dehydrator PROUDLY adorns my kitchen counter top permanently. It looks sleek, it's quiet and has a timer, so like a crock pot, you turn it on and walk away. We always have a batch of beef jerky going- protein is our staple. Or I'll dry an entire bin of spinach, powder it in the blender, then add it to our sauces and smoothies, discretely adding Vit K and greens whenever I get the chance.  I have yet to master all the techniques of this machine, but I sure love it every time I use it! This kitchen gadget was a game changer! Oh and a tip... go for the 9 tray versions, you'll want more trays, trust me! The timer is so convenient and the clear door is awesome for peaking. They come in fabulous colors too. (http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com)https://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/
3. Vita Mix- Best Blender Ever and it does so much more. 
Smoothies, soups, and so much more. The recipes and benefits of Vita Mixing is a wonderful thing. Smoothies are a staple in my household. This blender handles it all. The blade and motor are unmatched. I'm so used to how it blends, when I come across an everyday blender, I quietly give praises to my Vita Mix at home. But all jokes aside, this is really a fantastic tool to have in your kitchen arsenal. (https://www.vitamix.com)


4. Thrive Market; No need to source your goods from multiple stores- one click shopping! 
This shopping site seriously rocks. I used to have to drive to multiple stores to get the items I needed for my kitchen and household. This site is a one stop shop. You do need to pay an annual membership, but the savings I get on the Dr. Bronner's bar soap over the year probably covers that membership price. Plus, other major perk, I am introduced to a plethora of new products that just continually make living a clean life easier. They carry everything you'll need and didn't know you needed :) Have fun and if you do sign up, use this link: (http://thrv.me/Pvoiip). Why, because you'll be a great friend by giving me a credit for inviting you. Just another way they encourage you to spread the word!



5. Honest Company & Honest Beauty
Rid your house of toxic products. Cleaning products are the worst. Swap out your skin and hair care for products that are safe and not full of toxins and perfumes. Honest Company is a staple in our house for tooth paste, deodorant, lotion, my son's body wash and a few other bathroom items. We only use HC sunscreen and bug spray. They have a cough rub that is miraculous for flu season! My son is growing out of the infant items and most of the cleaning stuff I can get locally for less, but our family still uses many of their products loyally.* Friendship Perk for me if you use this link to sign up (http://www.honest.com/refer/865970) .

The makeup we put on our face seeps into our bodies too, and Honest Company pledges trust worthy ingredients. Honest Beauty is a bit more expensive than I like and you are required to sign up for automatic renewals, which you can turn off or slow down. I really like their make up. It's not the same as my previous Mac makeup, but it's a great substitution that leaves you feeling confident, beautiful and assured that you aren't pumping your skin with toxins. (https://www.honestbeauty.com?share=1066252)
http://www.honest.com/refer/865970

These are just a few places I started when making changes to Heal Thy Self. Your body truly starts changing before your eyes, you feel different, and it's like coming out of a fog. My entire life I struggled with my auto immune diseases and skin ailments, and for the first time ever I have clear skin and a body that matches my expectations. Everyday I'm feeding my body to heal and in return it gives me health and happiness to enjoy everyday.