3 Foods That Can Boost Your Metabolism Naturally

Do you ever feel sluggish and tired during your day ? It could be that your metabolism isn’t working at its most efficient level. This may lead to a cycle of restlessness, difficulty sleeping, loss of energy, and even depression. It can also be much more difficult to lose weight when metabolism is not functioning at an optimal level.

If there was a way to combat this naturally, would you be interested in finding out how? As it turns out, there are foods that can help you to correct your metabolism. Check out these 3 foods that can boost your metabolism naturally.

Broccoli

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This close relative of cabbage can have a positive effect on the metabolism. It is super high in antioxidants and carries a high amount of calcium which is known for its ability to help the body to metabolize fats.

Broccoli is also very high in dietary fiber, which helps to clean out the intestinal tract. A clearer intestinal tract, particularly of the lower intestine, means that broken down foods can be more easily absorbed through the intestinal walls. When plaque builds up in the intestines, the body has a harder time getting the nutrients that it needs.

Another aspect of broccoli is that, among all the deep-colored veggies, it’s one that also contains calcium. Calcium has shown to increase fat loss, especially in the stubborn abdominal area.

Jalapeno and Cayenne

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These hot peppers are a popular flavor additive when people want to heat up their favorite dishes.  The active ingredient in them is called capsaicin, and it’s had a long history of being included in remedies to help with vascular health.

Research has shown a particular effect that capsaicin has on the metabolism, in that it can stimulate blood flow and increase metabolic activity for over 2.5 hours. That means that while the capsaicin in your body, you are more likely to burn calories that you’ve stored, or burn the calories of the foods you’ve just eaten.

Apples

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Have you had an apple today? Apples are well known for promoting a healthy digestive tract and building a healthy gut microbiome. They are full of useful vitamins and are very high in fiber that the body needs to sweep the digestive tract. 

Modern science has discovered that his is largely due to the agent found in apples called pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. Apples help to feed the good bacteria in your gut, because small intestine doesn’t absorb fiber during digestion. Instead, it goes to your colon, where it can promote the growth of good bacteria.

Pectin also has the ability to bond to cholesterol and many toxins found in the body to make them easier to eliminate.

Apples aren’t the only fruits that contain pectin. Plums, pears, and some berries also contain this amazing agent, and it’s the thing in food responsible for the consistency of jellies and jams. Since apples are low in fat and calories, they are also ideal for weight loss.

So, try adding a few of these foods into your diet during the week. Small changes, such as adding these types of fat-busting foods into meals, can add up over time and help you reach your weight-loss goals.

3 Surefire Ways To Get Healthy Fats Into Your Diet

If you want to consume more healthy fats, but are struggling, you’re not alone. Healthy fats are essential for promoting healthier gut bacteria, lowering inflammation, increasing weight loss, creating optimal brain function, regulating blood pressure, living a keto lifestyle, and more. However, it can be tricky to get the right kinds of fat in the correct amounts during your day.

It might seem like fat would be easy to get more of into your diet… but, for example, if you’re trying to reach a keto goal of 70-75% fat for your daily intake, it can be challenging. Here are some easy ways to sneak in some more healthy fat into your diet.

Focus On The Right Fats

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Before you start adding more fats to your diet, you want to focus on the right types of fats. Healthy fats will ensure that you maintain the right health and energy.

Good sources of fat include animal protein, like beef, duck, and tallow, which are your saturated fats. Other saturated fats include clarified butter, regular butter, and coconut oil.

You can also have other healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, peanut oil, and avocado oil. Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, and pecans are easy to add to your diet as a quick snack.

Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds can be a quick addition to meals.

Cheat Sheet:

Avocados
Cheese
Dark Chocolate
Whole Eggs
Fatty fish, like Salmon
Nuts: Macadamia, Almonds, Pecans
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Avocado Oil
Peanut Oil
Butter
Tallow
Coconut Oil

Make Keto Coffee in the Morning

This is a quick and easy way to increase your fat intake each day without a lot of additional effort. For keto coffee, you can use the same premise as Bulletproof Coffee, but you don’t have to be as strict with where the coffee beans are sourced or the brand of fat added.

For a simple keto coffee, just blend a cup of brewed coffee with a tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil, 1-2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, and a tablespoon of unsalted butter. You can change the quantities if you want, but this recipe has about 35 grams of fat just for one cup of coffee.

If you need that touch of sweetness in your coffee, add stevia or monk fruit for a low cal burst of taste.

Use Fats When Cooking

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Fat is your friend when it comes to cooking! Be sure to add your healthy fats every time you cook. When making eggs, load up your pan with grass-fed butter.

If you are going to make a big steak, prep your pan with healthy fat! Your steak will be better than ever.

Use olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil if you are going to pan-fry anything or cook veggies on the stove. There are so many ways to add in fats while cooking, increasing the fat and the flavor at the same time. Top your foods with fats as you desire, from butter on veggies to olive oil in your salads.

With every meal or snack, think: “Where’s the healthy fat” as you prep it. If it is a lower fat food, experiment to see how you can add in a healthy fat. Enjoy this challenge and remember that small actions over time can add up to big results. Keep going strong on your healthy journey!

Can You Have Alcohol With a Low Carb or Keto Lifestyle?

If you live a low-carb or keto lifestyle, there are those times when you want to go get drinks with co-workers, enjoy a cocktail with friends or family, or (let’s face it) have had a rough day and need your own “happy hour”. So you might be wondering…

Can I Have Alcohol With a Low Carb or Keto Lifestyle?

Yes! You can live a low-carb and ketogenic lifestyle and have alcohol too. Just like anything else, you need to know how many carbs or sugars are in the alcoholic beverages that you enjoy. Here are some tips to give you success with your low-carb or keto journey and have your adult beverage too.

Tip # 1 – Stick to the Clear Liquors

So, do you have a favorite liquor? When choosing liquor, the easiest thing to do is go with your clear liquors. They tend to be lower in carbs before you mix anything with them.

It is often what you mix liquor with that increases the carbs and other macros. Liquor can be easily paired with low-carb mixers like seltzer, sugar-free tonic water or sugar-free flavored soda (just watch the artificial sweetener type).

Some good clear liquors to try are rum, tequila, gin, and vodka. Some colored liquors are okay, but in lesser quantities, like dark rum or whiskey.

Tip #2 – Very Dry Red Wine or White Wine (in moderation)

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As far as wine goes, the amount you have determines whether or not it will fit in your low-carb or keto diet. So, Mama, if it has been a super rough day, pace yourself.

For the most part, wine averages around 3-5 carbs per serving, but white wines do tend to be lower in carbs overall. Sauvignon blanc is the wine with the least amount of carbs, with 2.7 carbs per glass. Other white wines that are good options are pinot grigio, champagne, and chardonnay. Riesling, which is sweet, is over 5 carbs per glass.

Dry red wines all have similar amounts of carbohydrates – ranging from about 4 grams to 5.5 grams per 5 ounce serving. For red wines, the best ones are pinot noir and merlot. The lowest carbs in red wine is non-Burgundy Pinot Noir, while the highest is Pinot Noir from Burgundy.

Tip # 3 – Beer Occasionally

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If you are more of a beer fan, good news…you can still have a beer! Like anything on low-carb or keto, you need to know the carb count and make sure you are tracking it. It is a good idea to add your “future beer carbs” into your daily eating plan so that you have a good strategy for your low-carb foods during the day.

If the thought of light beer is actually causing you to make a face right now, I totally understand. I am a crafts beer lover myself. However, there are craft beers out there that have been made for us, with as low as 1.5 net carbs per beer can. You can check out some of the best beer options at www.beerconnoisseur.com.

I would like to raise my glass and offer cheers to you and your low-carb or keto journey! Remember that small changes over time add up to big results. Whether low-carb or keto, you have chosen to get healthier and create a bountiful life. Keep up the good work, Mama!

4 Tips to Ease Stress & Boost Gut Health By De-Cluttering

Have you noticed that when you enter certain spaces, whether it be home or work, that you can feel an energy shift, either positive or negative? There can be a few reasons for this, but one big bold positive energy shifter is visual peace (or lack there of).

There are scientific studies that show that clutter in the home or office can produce mental stress which can create a negative domino trashing your positive energy.

Your gut health can be affected this stress which can negatively affect digestion and the nutrients the intestines absorb. When you are stressed, there are hormones and chemicals released by your body that can enter your digestive tract mess with digestion. This can cause bloating, weight flux, constipation, and other digestion issues.

There are easy ways to reduce stress in the home and workplace by by creating visual peace. Taking a few minutes to organize and tidy your space can help you de-stress, support your positive mindset, and boost your gut health.

Here are some easy tips to help you de-clutter, create visual peace, and reduce stress while supporting the gut.

Tip #1 : A Positive Start To Your Day

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By organizing the closets in your home, you can get ready for your day quickly and stress-free. If your bedroom closets are bursting with piles of garments, then you may feel exhausted before you begin your day at home or at work.

Organizing your closets may take a bit of time, however, if you take sections of your closet and decide to take 10-20 minutes a day for a week, you can easily get rid of excess clothing, throw out what is too old for the donation bin, and decide what items you REALLY like and use.

Ask yourself: “What clothing or outfit makes you feel good?”

Those are the clothes to keep. If there is something that doesn’t fit, but holds a memory, try taking a photo of it. This will allow you to have the memory, and let the item go to someone who will use it.

Walking into a closet with visual peace can elevate your positive energy. Being able to get dressed quickly in the morning or for an event later in the day can give you a mental energy boost, which can positively effect your gut health.

Tip #2: Create A Home That Almost Cleans Itself

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Cleaning can seem like a never-ending job…sweeping, mopping, laundry and vacuuming can seem like it’s a run-on sentence, especially if you have kids and pets at home.

However, when you have a space that is fairly organized, you can actually complete the household chores faster with a better energy. Almost like a home that cleans itself (well…sort of).

Rather than feeling overwhelmed with cleaning your home, you will be able to knock it out quickly. Although you may not be jumping for joy that you are cleaning, you may feel an energy boost because you zip through everything efficiently without visual chaos and overwhelm.

Positive energy supports your gut because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected. A stressed-out brain can send signals to the gut which can cause a negative effect on your gut flora, which are microorganisms that live in the digestive tract and help with digestion.

Tip #3: An Organized Home May Help You Lose Weight 

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By creating an organized space, you can positively support your weight loss journey.

What?…Really?

Yes! A positive peaceful space can support weight loss by creating feelings calm and optimism. When a space is cluttered and chaotic, it can cause feelings of overwhelm and depression. In addition, a cleaner and more organized kitchen make it easier for you to stay in a positive mindset, preparing healthier meals and thinking about your pathway forward on your weight loss journey.

Tip #4: Happy and Productive at Work 

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When you have a cluttered desk or work area at your job, it can drain the energy from you before you begin your day. We’ve all been there before. In the business of the week, it is easy to get things piled up, whether in the office at home or at work.

To have more energy at work, try to organize everything in your visual space to start. Get rid of excess papers, broken tools, outdated items, or excessive knick-knacks. At the end of each day or week, remove the clutter from the area so that when you arrive the next day, you can begin working in a clean place, giving you a huge boost of energy.

Showing love to yourself, your home and your work space, will help you de-stress, boost your positive mindset, and show your gut some love.

3 Herbs That Calm Stress and Naturally Support Your Gut Health

Do you feel like life is a constant balancing act, full of various events, interactions, foods, stress, and other things that add or subtract from our state of gut health happiness. Although gut health can be affected positively and negatively by many things, there are herbs that you can add to your life that can bring you one step closer to better gut health.

Many of us are on a quest to find easy ways to elevate our gut health, whether with an action or an item. In the business of our lives, it is easy to have our gut health dwindle as we get bogged down with the stress of our huge “to-do” list or overwhelming situations that we have to deal with.

Sometimes taking, what may seem to be insignificant actions, can actually make a big difference in your gut health, and in return help you beat the bloat, lose weight, gain energy, and rock your digestion.

If this sounds like you, then might I recommend some herbs that can easily add to your day that help relieve stress and promote your gut health.

Passionflower

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Passionflower is an herb that can improve your gut health by actually helping bring calm to your life and help draw you into a more positive mood almost immediately.

You may be thinking – “How can stress actually affect the gut?” According to the American Psychological Association, stress can affect brain-gut communication and may trigger pain, bloating, and other gut discomforts to be felt more easily.

However, many people have found that the calming effects of passionflower allow them to step back from their stress and use that calm to settle the gut – a sort of calm inside the eye of the storm type of viewpoint. Though this may not work for everyone it is helpful, for those of us dealing with high stress, to step back and calm down from what feels like swirls of chaos.

Passionflower tea is one way to take a moment in your busy day and enjoy the benefits of this calming herb. You can add dried passionflower to boiling water to create an herbal tea. You can find dried passionflower or prepackaged tea at many health food stores. Always talk to your doctor before trying passionflower as an alternative treatment.

Chamomile

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If you find that you have gut irritation from the stress that seems to linger toward the end of the day, then you may want to consider using chamomile to help settle your nerves and gut.

According to Healthline, studies suggest that chamomile may be effective for promoting better digestion by reducing the risk of certain gastrointestinal conditions.

Chamomile is known to have anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce silent inflammation within the gut and allow your body to work more efficiently with digestion.

This flower can be dehydrated and used in hot tea before bed. It can also be used throughout the day in small doses as a tincture that can be taken straight or added to tea and other drinks.

The flower helps to calm your nerves and push back feelings of being overwhelmed which can lead to feelings of depression and sadness, which can whittle away at your gut health.

Valerian

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Valerian has been used for many centuries in Europe to treat digestive problems like constipation and is known to promote positive digestive effects. Some women report improved digestion and an increase in bowel activity after using it.

Regular movement within the digestive tract is essential for a healthy gut. Constipation, whether daily or occasionally, allows to “bad bacteria” to increase and flourish, which can cause bloating, gas, stomach pain, poor appetite, back pain, and general malaise.

Valerian root is easily found in most health food stores and can be taken in capsule, whole herb, tea, or liquid forms.

The key to remember with these gut-happiness-inducing herbs is that it may take only one or a mixture of the herbs to work.

You may find that you need to try a few options before you come upon the right one that works for you. If you do this, make sure to keep a journal of what you tried and how you reacted to each method so you can ensure you remember what worked in order to use it properly again.

Sleep Better With A Healthy Circadian Rhythm

Having trouble getting really high quality sleep? If you’re a mom, sometime the kids dictate the amount of sleep you get, however, the sleep you get during the short periods of time, can be better.

Let’s check out circadian rhythm and what it actually does to the quality of sleep.

What Is Circadian Rhythm?..

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Circadian rhythm is the natural internal 24-hour cycle of physical, mental, and behavior changes that the body goes through. The biggest factor that controls circadian rhythms is the lightness and darkness levels within your life.

The light and dark give signals to the body as to when it is day or night, awake-time or sleep-time. Without the proper light or dark signaling from the body’s internal clock, it can be difficult to fall asleep. Many gals wake up during the night, or are unable to sleep as long as they want into the morning.

The Scientific Stuff

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The study of the circadian rhythm of organisms is called chronobiology. Science has discovered that humans aren’t the only living things to have a circadian rhythm, and that even other animals, plants, fungi and bacteria can also have circadian rhythm.

Generally, most living things have a cycle that takes place within a 24 hour period. This is because multiple factors like daylight and temperature have a big hand in the order of these rhythms, and can directly influence a number of physiological functions of the body such as the sleep-wake cycle, the body-temperature cycle, and the cycles in which a number of hormones are secreted.

Health Connection

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Circadian rhythms can influence your health, due to the large impact it has on your sleep quality.

Functions of the human body like hormone release times, eating times, temperature, and digestion are majorly important processes, so disruptions of the circadian rhythm can throw your body out-of-sync.

Some common circadian rhythm disorders are:
🌙 Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both.
🌙 Sleepiness during the daytime.
🌙 Fatigue and exhaustion.
🌙 Lethargy.
🌙 Decreased alertness and difficulty concentrating.
🌙 Impaired judgment and trouble controlling mood and emotions.

What to do Next

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If you have been struggling with your sleep, have insomnia, or are just looking for a way to have a healthier sleep routine, start to examine your daily patterns.

Experts recommend to wake up every day at the same time and try to go to bed around the same time every night. Keeping a regular sleep schedule will help reset your circadian rhythm. By going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, your body will learn to adjust to the new rhythm and will know when it is time to sleep, allowing you to get better sleep, even if it is interrupted by outside factors (kids).

Avoid having a large meal within 2 hours of bedtime. Your body needs time to metabolize your meal, and if you go to bed close to the time you’ve eaten, the body is still busy digesting your food, which can effect your sleep quality

Try keeping your lighting in sync with your circadian rhythm. Dimming the lights and limiting “screen-time” 30 minutes before you’re ready to go to sleep, can help to prep your mind and body for sleep.

Baby-Time At Night

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If you’re a new mom, then you are most likely getting up during the night. To help you keep some sort of circadian rhythm, try to keep the lights low, sounds soft, and voices calm (even if baby is not on board with having a calm voice…).

If you’re up feeding your baby, try a simple practice of noticing your muscle tension. It is easy to tense up when you have a crying baby, as it is a natural body reaction. Being aware of your muscle tightness and allowing your face, upper body and torso to stay relaxed, can help keep your body and mind in a peaceful-mode, so when baby is back to sleep, your body knows it has permission to transition easily back to sleep.

2nd and 3rd Shift Work Hours

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If you have an odd work schedule, notice the lighting preceding your “day” and “night”, depending on your work hours. If you have to sleep during light hours, get a blackout curtain to make your room as dark as night. If your “work day” is during evening hours, brighten your lights to tell your body that its time to be awake. Try an keep your eating schedule consistent so your circadian rhythm knows exactly what it should be doing.

The better sleep routine you have and the more consistent you are with it, the easier it is going to be to have a solid circadian rhythm and for you to get quality sleep each night.

5 Secrets to Successful Outdoor Fitness…Even During the Hot Summer!

If you’re a busy gal who has decided that you plan to be committed to a workout schedule, even during the hot days of summer, then girl, you rock!

Here are a few tips that can help you on your fitness journey as you venture out into the wild summer weather to accomplish your daily workout goals.

Get the Forecast Ahead of Time

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First thing in the morning, take a look at your local hourly forecast. You want to avoid dealing with funky weather during your outdoor summer workout.

Depending on the forecast, you can strategically plan your workout within the day, giving it the priority it needs. You can adjust the time, location, duration, or type of workout you do according to the weather.

The last thing you want to do is plan an amazing summer hike, only to find out you are walking up a mountain in 100-degree heat or dealing with a full cloud burst with thunder and lightening.

It’s also good to stay aware of any possible pollen or air quality warnings. Low quality air can make outdoor training tough and can be damaging to your health efforts.

Pick A Good Time of Day For You

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So when is your best exercising time?

Some gals prefer to get their workout done early, before the days begins and the heat rises. However, maybe you want to wait until sunset, to avoid the sun beating down upon you.

Which ever time you chose, it needs to be right for YOU. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, you know your body and schedule the best. Go with your plan.

If you find that sometime the day gets away from you and the workout gets cut. Then you might want to see if you can plan an early workout.

If you’re a busy mom, this might mean getting up before the kids, to get it done during the summer schedule. It may feel like a struggle getting up earlier, but once the workout is over, you will feel amazing knowing that is a big thing checked off you list.

You can even try a half-half strategy. Maybe get up a little earlier and do your cardio in the morning and then catch the other part of your workout after the sun sets and the evening temps drop.

Give Your Skin Room

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One way to stay cool is to wear looser clothes or clothes that allow your skin to have better ventilation.

Wearing a lighter color like white can also help your body to stay cool by reflecting the light away from you.

If you have to workout in the sun, you might check into the long sleeve clothes that offer ventilation, light-weight fabric, and moisture wicking properties.

Drink A Lot of Water

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Ok I know this goes without saying…drink more water.

There are a lot of women who live their lives while dehydrated without being aware of it. Hydration helps your cells to continue to function which helps energy, digestion, skin health, and muscle recovery.

Try to take a drink every 10 minutes during workouts, in the summer months, to be sure that you’re replenishing the water that you’re losing in the form of sweat.

Listen To Your Beautiful Body

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This is the most important bit of advice… be aware of the signals that your body is sending you. Your body has a lot of ways of sending you signs to let you know there is a problem, so you don’t want to ignore those messages.

Over-heating can happen easily in a humid, hot environment (even in the shade). Some symptoms of over heating to be aware of are:
Heavy sweating
Cold, pale, and clammy skin
Fast, weak pulse
Nausea or vomiting
Muscle cramps
Tiredness or weakness
Dizziness
Headache

If you have any of these signs, stop exercising, drink water or an electrolyte replacement drink and get out of the heat. Seek medical attention if symptoms don’t go away.

Exercising in the heat of summer is totally do-able with forethought and safe strategies.

3 Essential Oils That Are a Simple Plug-and-Play For a Happier Gut

Mama, if you are looking for easy and natural remedies to help with your gut health, essential oils are a simple plug-and-play. There are a bunch to choose from that can improve your digestion, reduce inflammation, and help to heal your gut.

Not all essential oils can be ingested, so make sure your essential oil bottle is labeled for internal use. Also, a little goes a long way, so start with a single drop and go from there.

Let me show you my top 3 essential oils that can help you add a boost to your gut health in just a few minutes.

Lemon

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The first essential oil to consider for your gut and digestive health is lemon oil. Lemon essential oil provides a lot of amazing health benefits for you, not just for your gut.

It can help to detox your digestive system, sooth your gut, and has natural anti-bacterial properties. Plus, there is the added benefit of the scent and flavor of lemon oil, making it really easy to use in a variety of ways.

For a quick gut health boost, add 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil to a glass of water in the morning, which will kick your digestion into gear.

Don’t have lemon essential oil? No problem – you can get the same benefits by infusing water with lemon. Add a sliced lemon and filtered water to a pitcher or large jar. Put it in the fridge for at least 3 hours, allowing the lemon oils and juice to infuse the water. Enjoy your easy-to-drink refreshing lemon gut booster.

Cardamom

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Cardamom is one of those spices that you may have heard about, but is not as popular as other essential oils.

However, cardamom can be your “go-to” if you are looking for an essential oil that is good for your digestive health and inflammation in the body.

This is because cardamom is natural anti-inflammatory essential oil which is part of the ginger family.

It works similarly to ginger by naturally easing your stomach as you work hard to heal your gut and digestive system.

Ground Cardamom seeds are often used in the culinary world. You can use Cardamom oil in place of cardamom seeds to enhance the flavor of many recipes and improve gut health.

Try adding Cardamom oil to breads, smoothies, salads, or meats to elevate food flavor, aid digestion, and boost your gut health.

Peppermint

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Peppermint is a very pleasant essential oil to use, which has long since been known for soothing and cooling many ailments.

If your gut health is in need of calming, then this is a wonderful oil to add to your routine. Peppermint relaxes the smooth muscles of your intestines and is known for being used to help relieve gas pressure. It can also help to calm down acid reflux.

Peppermint essential oil has antispasmodic properties, which can help relieve constipation. This is because the peppermint oil relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, making the bowels looser.

Let’s face it, Mama, we can all use a little help in the poop department once in a while (yes I said it…poop).

A super easy way to add peppermint oil to your day is adding a drop or two to your tea, smoothie, or infused water.

Peppermint oil different than extract, which is used primarily in cooking. Peppermint oil is much more concentrated. Whereas extract consists mostly of other ingredients, such as water or alcohol, plus enough oil for flavor.

Be sure that you use food grade peppermint essential oil. There are so many companies out there, and quality is not always their top priority.

If you don’t have peppermint oil on hand, grab some peppermint tea. This can be a relaxing go-to for a soothing gut-calming beverage, and can be a wonderful part of an evening routine.

If you want more easy solutions for your health? Click HERE to sign up for Health Guru Gal’s Weekly Quick Health Tips!

3 Easy DIY Methods to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home

Ready to have a dazzling smile without having to pay a dentist or use chemicals in your mouth? There are natural ways to whiten your smile without harsh products.

I have tried the prescription methods as well as the over-the-counter whitening strips. Although these can get results, they can also cause major tooth sensitivity and down right pain.

I thought I had something actually wrong with my teeth, due to the increased sensitivity caused by the trays and strips. Why did it not work for me?

Tooth sensitivity is most often caused by the bleaching solution used to whiten teeth. Bleaching solution?… I know they don’t actually use “bleach” but the combo of chemicals can be very harsh.

Standard teeth whitening solutions can remove minerals within the enamel and cause the teeth to become temporarily porous, exposing micro tubules within the teeth.

This may damage the dental enamel, causing irritation to the gums and tooth sensitivity. Some of these effects will eventually fade, but damage to the dental enamel can be permanent and irreversible.

That being said, there are natural ways to get your teeth sparkly, bright, and beautiful with harsh chemicals.

Check out these healthy ways to whiten your teeth naturally and inexpensively.

Brighten With Baking Soda

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This is a tried and true method of whitening your teeth naturally. You can either wet your toothbrush and add some baking soda to it, or combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Choose your option, add it to your toothbrush, and start brushing your teeth just like you normally would. Pay more attention to the front enamel of your teeth where you want them to be whitened.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a rinse, followed by rinsing with plain water. This will kill bacteria in your mouth and improve your breath at the same time.

Activated Charcoal Smile

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Charcoal is another ingredient that can be used to whiten your teeth naturally.

Grab the powdered form of activated charcoal, which is easy to find online or at your local natural grocery store.

Wet your toothbrush, preferably one used only for this purpose, then dip it into the activated charcoal powder. Now brush your teeth for 2 minutes just like any other day. If you are consistent and do this daily, you will start to notice that your teeth are much whiter.

There are also companies that have their version of charcoal toothpaste. It seems odd to squirt black gel onto a toothbrush, to get your teeth whiter…but it works!

Give Coconut Oil Pulling a Try

Coconut oil pulling has been around for a while…a tried and true method for whitening teeth.

Coconut pulling is known to whiten your teeth while also improving your breath, getting rid of bacteria, and cleaning between your teeth where your toothbrush won’t reach.

It is called “pulling” because as you have the oil in your mouth, you swish (or pull) the oil through your teeth, back and forth.

You want to melt the coconut oil first to a liquid form, then swish it and pull through your teeth about 10-15 minutes, or up to 20 minutes if you can handle it.

Have fun trying these methods of teeth whitening. As with any health practice, if you have unwanted effects, discontinue use. Check with your dental care provider or naturopathic doctor for additional information about the health of your teeth.

Improve Your Gut Health By Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Do you ever notice your digestion gets a little off when you’re stressed or anxious?

Your nervous and digestive systems are separate parts of your body…

However, their relationship shows in the way anxiety and emotional stress can cause such problems as indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and nausea.

Here are a few common struggles that happen when gut health is combined is stress, anxiety, nervousness, or burn-out.

The Sensitivity of Your Digestive Tract

When we are overly stressed, a brain “overload” can occur.

This just means that your full attention is being taken over by what is in front of you, and the brain may deprive other elements of the body, including the digestive tract, with the regulation needed to function properly.

Not only can the brain “ignore” some of its duties concerning the gut, a large amount of emotional stress can also result in the excessive production of stomach acids, causing considerable discomfort. Double whammy…

Stress and Adrenaline Production

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In times of stress, the body produces excessive amounts of the hormone adrenaline. This hormone imbalance will affect the processing of nutrients, which will in turn affects the functioning of your digestive system.

Adrenaline relaxes the muscle of the stomach and intestine and decreases the flow of blood to these organs, slowing (or stopping) digestion.

When you’re in the privative brain mode of “fight, flight, or freeze”, the body naturally wants to stop digestive processes, so you can “run away from the tiger”. In our current lives, we are not running away from tigers, but the brain may still act on its privative level when overly stressed, which affects our digestion, causing bloating, constipation, and discomfort.

Gut Heath and the Immune System

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You may not realize that 70 percent of the immune system is housed in the gut. Making sure our gut health and digestive system are in excellent shape can be key to avoiding sickness and staying healthy.

Although the immune system is important in protecting your body from disease and other threats, it can be negatively influenced by emotional stress. That is why people tend to get sick after a stressful event in their lives.

Anxiety and Sleep Problems

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Waking up at 3am? When you feel stressed, your body may activate your sympathetic nervous symptom, and you may jolt awake in the middle of the night. Stress that your “go to bed with” can cause this. It may also be negativly affecting your gut health.

Lack of sleep can increase stress, which affects the gut.

A stressed gut may lead to bloating, inflammation, stomach pains, food sensitivities, and changes to the gut microbiome.

This can be a brutal cycle to find yourself in…

Try to building up your healthy gut bacteria, as it may positively influence normal sleep patterns by helping create serotonin and dopamine – important chemical messengers in the brain.

Dealing With Digestive Problems

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An ongoing digestive problem may be an indication of excess stress and/or an unbalanced gut microbiome. You may want to check in with your health care provider.

To help relieve stress, give yourself moments during the day where you can de-stress, by breathing deeply, relaxing the facial muscles, and getting fresh air.

You can boost your gut health by adding prebiotics and probiotics to your diet, either through food or a supplement and consuming fermented foods, such as yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, or kefir.

To learn more about how to improve your gut health, check out my other article Show Your Gut Some Love.

Remember that small changes can lead to amazing, beautiful results in your gut health, mindset, and happiness.

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