Noise

Noise...It's everywhere. Even in the quietest sanctuaries, there is noise. Lately the loudest noise I hear is the noise of the internet. Louder than any siren that whirls past you in your car. For the last twenty years the internet has gone from the novelty of dial up to being at our fingertips every waking moment. Plus those middle of the night wake ups. It is loud and demanding and attention seeking. It is noise and not the healthiest noise.

A few months ago I made a decision for myself. Certain aspects of my life were not living up to the standards I have tried to create of living in peace and healthy behaviors. I quit drinking. I found a group of people who could help me in that endeavor. When I was a young woman in my early twenties I knew this group well but eventually I walked away thinking I could do it all on my own. It took over a decade to realize that I could not. So these people welcomed me back and from that moment in early June, my life has gotten better every single day. My marriage is better, my relationship with my children is better, but my relationship with myself is the biggest improvement so far.

How does this play into this talk of noise? Since I made this huge change in my life, I've really learned what quiet is. I've learned to savor it, yearn for it. That's sort of crazy for this extrovert who basically never shuts up...especially if you ask my family. I meditate often. I pray for guidance. And I listen. There is a new awareness as a result. The noise is so loud. The noise on the internet.

In the last couple of days I've read a few stories on Facebook that have pushed my buttons. I'm spending less and less time on social media lately, but some addictions are easier to quit than others! One of my reactions to slowing down before I take action means that I'm less likely to share a post and rant about the thing that irritates me with the intention of getting others on board and siding with me. It's still known to happen but far less than ever before. This awareness has shown me that we're all at war with each other. On our little and big screens. We use our keyboards as daggers. "You don't agree with me? I'll show you with scathing words that cut to the core of who you are!!" The internet drama is bleeding over into our real lives. We see information that we wouldn't otherwise know. A double-edged sword.

Almost everyday as of late I've considered ditching all of this. The blog, the podcast, social media. None of it has been lucrative like I'd hoped. I've made a decision to seek full time employment after 13 years of working from home so I could be with my kids, but now they're in school and it's time for me to help support my family financially. Many days I just want the noise to quiet down but I jump on social media in fear of missing something important. A few years ago I took a six month break and missed the news that an old friend passed away after a very long battle with breast cancer. I was crushed that I didn't know until months later and found out through Facebook. The reality is I could have just stayed in touch with her and other friends through old fashioned ways. You know, that thing we call a telephone.

The other fear of leaving the noise entirely is that the new career I'm seeking will require the use of it and I need social media to connect with people who can offer support in what I'm seeking. So there you have it. I can't break free completely from the cycle. What I can do is what I'm always talking about here and that's continue living in balance of it. I don't have to be part of the war. I don't have to stir stuff up on Facebook. I can continue to post positive things that make me feel good and hopefully make you feel good. I can be like water and instead of letting the noise be negative let it sound like waves crashing on the shore or a waterfall like the ones in the mountains a couple of hours from my house that live in my mind when I go to my place of peace.

Perception. We have the control to perceive and act. That may be the only control we have but it's ours to own. Sobriety has given me that awareness but that's clearly not the only way to find it. We just have to stop and listen through the noise.

xo-K


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'Ava Anderson Non Toxic' Product Giveaway

Today I've invited my friend Christina to talk about some products she's been having success with lately. She's generously giving away a package of products with a $60 value to one of my lucky readers. Read more for details on how you can win! Contest ends October 6.

Christina Roth www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/croth

When I was officially diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in January of 2013, I had no idea the kind of journey I was about to embark upon. I had always been fairly conscious of the fact that something was “wrong” with my health – I just needed someone to give me a complete diagnosis, guide me in the appropriate direction, and help me correct the symptoms. I needed someone to “fix” me. I realized after my first round of a complete nutritional overhaul and numerous food protocols, that the fixing would be much longer than I had anticipated.  Sadly, this was disappointing since those who are closest to me would confirm that I am not a very patient person.

The more I learned about my autoimmune condition, the more I realized the true complexity of the human body and the significant importance of my nutrition and lifestyle choices. In the midst of the food protocols, the revised fitness regimen, and my attempt at maintaining a minimally stressful schedule – I realized I was neglecting to address the largest organ in my body. My skin.

At some point during the food reintroduction phase I developed a rash on my underarms. I had long given up on natural deodorants because none of them would hold up to teaching all day long and a rigorous CrossFit workout in the evening. Then a friend told me about Ava Anderson Non Toxic, a non-toxic line of home and personal care products. I figured, what’s one more deodorant, so I gave it a try.

It’s not often I get excited about personal care products, let alone something as potentially simple as deodorant. However, the past two years have taught me a great deal about becoming more passionate when it comes to health and wellness – including my deodorant, lotion, mascara and multiple other items in my daily beauty routine. The more I began to listen to my body, the more I realized I needed to consider what I was putting on my body as much as what I was putting in my body.

The deodorant from Ava Anderson is completely non-toxic, paraben-free, aluminum-free, and made with 100% organic ingredients. It is composed of a cocoa butter and coconut oil base, including tea tree and peppermint essential oils. The coconut oil and cocoa butter serve to help moisturize and protect the skin, allowing the essential oils to soothe and reduce any existing inflammation. Not only does it feel and smell wonderful, but also it truly works! One application in the morning and I am comfortable and odor-free the entire day.

When I considered the other products that I wanted to replace after I realized they were irritating my autoimmune symptoms, the one that caused me the most heartache was my beloved mascara. I couldn’t use conventional mascara because it would give me a headache and typically cause my eyes to itch within a matter of minutes. After having success with the Ava Anderson deodorant, I switched to the mascara as well – and can honestly say I was ecstatic with the result. The mascara has an aloe vera base, with coconut oil and natural minerals for color. So the texture is silky and it feels wonderful with every application. No itchy eyes, no more headaches, and it lasts all day without drying or flaking.

Most recently I began using the Ava Anderson Diaper Cream to help with some rosacea that had formed on my nose. This is my typical reaction when I’ve been exposed to dairy  - and I knew that the cream had calendula and chamomile essential oils. The soothing properties of these organic oils, along with the moisturizing component of the shea butter and olive oil, helped to relieve the irritation on my nose in less than 24 hours. I was amazed at the results from just one application.

The Ava Anderson Non Toxic company is more than just products; they’re a message about living a toxic-free lifestyle. Ava Anderson was only 14 when she began to research and develop these products.  She is now a junior in college and advocates for eliminating harsh chemicals all around the country, including our nation’s capitol. I am thankful that, as a teenager, she had the ability to see beyond herself and reach out to spread the word about chemical toxicity. I am also very grateful for the fact that I was able to find products that work for me and help me continue on my journey to wellness. So thankful, that I recently became a consultant for Ava Anderson Non Toxic and hope to share the message about becoming an ingredient detective.


As a gift to the Primal Balance followers I am offering a giveaway package of all three items listed above, to one lucky reader! If you’re interested in learning more about Ava Anderson Non Toxic I encourage you to check out my consultant page at www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/croth and find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/QueenCityAva.

-Christina Roth


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Born Primal Episode 41: Caitlin Weeks and Diane Sanfilippo



This week's guests are two of the three authors of the upcoming cookbook, Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. Caitlin Weeks, her husband Chef Nabil Boumrar, and NY Times bestselling author Diane Sanfilippo collaborated to create this culturally accurate cookbook to be released October 28.

Caitlin and Diane talk about the process and recipes in this episode of Born Primal. We also chat about the importance of community related to food.

Check out the Mediterranean Paleo Book Signings in Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, & San Francisco.

Podcast available on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also download the mp3 HERE!!!

BUY THE BOOK!

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Guest Post: What Three 12-year Old Girls Taught Me In Middle School

At this year's Ancestral Health Symposium, I had the honor to meet a young man who made a big impression on me. Julian Lucas was born with only one arm and is an aspiring fitness model. See the inspiring video below of his workout regiment. Check out Julian's website Adaptive Health and Fitness and follow him on Facebook




I’ll never forget it. It was 2 a.m. and I was talking to one of my best friends at the time who was a girl. We used to talk every night until her cordless phone would die (yup, those existed way back then). We had just entered middle school so it was a hormonal free for all. In elementary school you are with the same student body the entire time. So everyone knows one another. But middle school is when you are revealed to a much larger audience. My friend and I were telling one another what everyone thought of each of us. Then she started to sob.


What she told me changed my life forever. Through her tears she told me that all the girls were saying that, “I would be so hot if only I didn’t have one arm”

As you could imagine, this was quite devastating for the 12 year old me to hear. I couldn’t understand. My arm was never an issue. See I was born with one arm. And all of my friends and family were accustomed to it. It wasn’t until I entered middle school that I realized how different I was. This set me up for many many years of being one of the most self-conscious individuals to ever exist. It put me on the path to try and become perfect in every way. I told myself that I must become perfect in every other way. That in order for people to like me that I’ll need to be so perfect that they will forget about my “imperfection”.  I became obsessed.

This was of course a losing battle. I struggled with a negative body image for  the majority of my life.  Staring at my arm in the mirror hoping that one day the rest of it would magically grow.  I just couldn’t live like that way anymore. I could no longer stare into the mirror and hate what I saw. I didn’t want to wish to be someone else anymore. I wanted to actually love myself. And true self love. Not telling myself lies I didn’t believe. Who’s to say that I’m not already perfect? That I’m not beautiful? And If I had two arms in whose eyes would I be perfect in?

So I got my act together. I joined a gym, I got my diet in order and I educated myself on what it takes  to be truly happy with one ’s self.  Now I’m not going to say that I have all the answers, or that I have successfully reached the other side yet. But I let go of this fantasy of becoming “perfect”.  I’ll never be perfect. No one will.  I now only try to become the best me, pushing myself to go outside of my comfort zone. Setting news goal and striving to achieve them.

Currently right now I am striving to become one of the only one armed fitness models/bodybuilders in the world. My goal is to help change our perspective on what true beauty is all about and what you can accomplish despite your “limitations”.

Through bodybuilding and fitness I learned that we are all just works in progress. We’re never done, we never reach perfection, there is never a finish line. You just keep going, learning and growing. Letting go of the notion of trying to achieve perfection has had the single greatest impact on my personal well-being and health than anything else in my life.

I can now look in the mirror, acknowledge that I want to become more fit, but can still consider myself beautiful regardless. I no longer look at my arm as an eye sore. I embrace it. It’s just as part of me as any other part of my body. I no longer hide from the world. I face it head first. I stand tall, proud, because I worked too hard to become the man that I am to not be.


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Parenting Twins (aka Life In Crazytown)


For 10 years I've been the mom of fraternal twin girls. Still one of the biggest surprises of my life. They were my second pregnancy after delivering a ten pound girl just two years before. As a prior homebirther, I chose to forego the medical route and stick with a midwife. When my belly continued to grow faster than what seemed normal, I assumed I was just going to have a bigger baby than the first one. At 23 weeks the midwife heard two heart beats and felt two babies so I decided it was time to get an ultrasound. Yes, there were two healthy, full sized baby girls in my womb. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.

There is no comparison between the twin pregnancy and the two singletons I carried before and after them. It was hard. I hurt every single day. Just sleeping after 30 weeks pregnant was a difficult task. To go to the grocery store I had to wear a support band. By the time I got home, the pain was unbearable. But then they were born at 39 weeks. I'd like to say that it was all magic and stars but it certainly wasn't and any parent of multiples would likely agree with me. I still struggle with feeling like I missed out on sweet moments with the twins that happened with my singletons, especially my first baby, because I was just so damn overwhelmed. I had no family support nearby and I had an almost three year old who needed my attention as well. Life was all about feeding them, changing their diapers, soothing constant cries from the older twin who struggled with sensory issues from birth, and attempting to get some sleep.

By the time my daughters were two, my marriage was dissolved. If I thought life couldn't get any harder than that first year of raising them, I was totally wrong. Ten years later on the other side of it all, I can see that all of the struggles I faced having them and getting through those early years were worth every bit of the challenge. There is something so special about those two. They are not like many identical twins who have inseparable bonds. Most of the time they act disgusted with each other, but occasionally they remind me that they grew together and have a bond they'll never have with anyone else.

I have no idea what their future together will be like. I've heard horror stories of fraternal twins hating each other. That's my worst nightmare. But I've learned to let all of my girls go through the normal fighting that happens in a house full of hormones and hope they grow out of it.

If you're pregnant with multiples or parenting infant or toddler twins, I have some very simple wisdom to pass down. Don't beat yourself up and don't try to be perfect. Embrace the imperfections of life with young multiples. Parenting them is nothing like parenting singletons so don't even bother comparing the two. It's going to be a little nutty for a while. Maybe a long while. Hang in there, get a shower when you can, do your best to pamper yourself so that your batteries get recharged, and enjoy the double smiles and coos that come with those days when the double crying has you wondering how you'll get through it. One day when they decide for the first time ever that it would be fun to dress exactly the same on the first day of school, or you hear one translate the other's completely inaudible sentence, you will feel this light in your heart and be so grateful you get to be the mom of twins.


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Born Primal Episode 40: Kyle Maynard

This week's guest is a powerfully inspiring human being. Kyle Maynard was born with congenital amputation. He is the first man to crawl on his own to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. He owns a Crossfit gym and he's competing in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in October. All of this he's accomplishing despite being born with arms that end at the elbows and legs near the knees.

In this episode we talk about:
Kyle's childhood
How he became a wrestling champion
Robb Wolf's influence
Paleo diet
The art of grit
Community
Ritual
Climbing Kilimanjaro
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Living your dream



Podcast available on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also download the mp3 HERE!!!

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Born Primal Episode 39: Dr. Emily Deans Evolutionary Psychiatry

Today I'm joined by Emily Deans, M.D., a psychiatrist searching for evolutionary solutions to the general and mental health problems of the 21st century.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Sleep management
  • Parasites treating autoimmune disease
  • MTHFR & COMT
  • Mental health mismatch and benefit
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Ketogenic diet for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Podcast available on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also download the mp3 HERE!!!

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Born Primal Episode 38: Hannah Crum Kombucha Kamp

This week I'm so excited to hang out on the show with Hannah Crum from Kombucha Kamp also known as the Kombucha Mamma.

Hannah has been healing the world, one gut at a time.

In this episode we talk about:

How much booch to drink
History of fermentation
Bacteriosapiens








Podcast available on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also download the mp3 HERE!!!




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Born Primal Episode 37: Jimmy Moore and Dr. Jeffry Gerber

Jimmy Moore is back with his new book, Keto Clarity. In this episode I chat with Jimmy and Dr. Jeffry Gerber, Denver's Diet Doctor.

We talk about:

Benefits of Ketosis
Criticism of the Ketogenic Diet
Blood Ketone Testing
MCT Oil- Use It Or Not?
AHS and The Ketosis Talks 
Using Ketosis for Bipolar Balancing
Getting Keto Adapted
Physician Freedom- Ancestral Doctors 
Why Ketogenic Diets Aren't For Everyone






Jimmy Moore on Facebook and Twitter
Dr. Jeffry Gerber on Facebook and Twitter 


Podcast available on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also download the mp3 HERE!!!


BUY THE BOOK!

Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet

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Born Primal Episode 36: Tony Federico Paleo Grilling

If you've been wondering where I disappeared to, I've started co-hosting a new podcast called Living The Optimized Life. Dr. Daniel Stickler and I are now partnering with some other wellness folks on the website ePhysiologix.com where we have not only the podcast, but a video series and I host a weekly parenting column.

After a lonnggggg break, Born Primal is back. This week it's with one of my favorite Paleo pals. Tony Federico, the host of Paleo Magazine Radio, is on the show to chat about his new cookbook just in time for Labor Day. Paleo Grilling gets the caveman or cavewoman "fired" up and ready to eat some meat over the grill! Here's what we chatted about:

-Trends we're seeing in the Paleo community
-Starches, carbs, ketosis.
-Our Beyond Food panel at Paleo FX 
-Medication in the Paleo community
-SEX: American ideas, monogamy, non-monogamy, sex ed in school, talking to kids about sex, shame





Podcast available on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also download the mp3 HERE!!!


Buy the book!

Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire

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What Is Love?

At this moment, Ray LaMontagne is blaring through my speakers singing "Still don't know what love is." Do any of us? It seems like we all have these different ideas about love. Yet the theme of love is one of the most popular in our culture. We seek love in so many ways, whether it's the love of our parents, the love of our children, the love of a partner, the love of friends. It's always love. We're so invested in the idea of love that we created a holiday specifically celebrating it. Even though most of us have this general concept of what love looks like, it seems most of us have our own ideas. Getting those to match up with others can be one of the biggest challenges we face in life. 

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary love in the form of a noun is defined as:

: a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
: attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
: a person you love in a romantic way


First let's talk about unconditional love. This is supposed to be a very specific kind of love reserved for our children, pets, and perhaps greater beings we might believe in. In this idea, all other love is set to conditioning. I don't care for this belief system. Do I love my kids unconditionally? Yes, but I love my husband unconditionally too. I love my parents unconditionally. I love my friends unconditionally. What I'm getting at here is that I don't set conditions on love...period. No matter who it's towards. This brings me to my next point.

LOVE IS AN EMOTION, NOT AN ACTION. This is where we're so confused! Remember that definition above? "A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person." Feelings are feelings. Actions are actions. That feeling can be an indicator in romantic love that we want to go to the next level. I'll leave the chemical releases that happen when we feel love to the smarty pants scientists, but just know that you aren't crazy for feeling all gooey and excited when someone is seriously floating your boat. We're human beings evolved to share those chemical bonds so that we may procreate and keep the humans happening for a long time. While it really is just that simple on a cellular level, our very busy brains make it all so complicated. Why else would there be so many Jennifer Aniston Rom-Coms and Ryan Gosling memes?


Ahem....I digress.

Childhood conditioning and the relationships we have early in life can define our adult belief system about love. Perhaps that's where we begin to put conditions on it and believe that love is only defined by action. Because of how we're raised and what we see in movies and television, we have ideas about what love should look like in our culture. But what if we took love as an actionable item off the table and we allowed ourselves to just feel love? To just really truly feel it and have no attachment to any behaviors associated with it? Especially feeling it without needing others to return the feeling.

When I learned what love was, it wasn't because I got married or gave birth to my daughters. It was when I learned to love myself. I don't believe you have to love yourself to experience the feeling of love for someone else. However once I did start loving myself, my ability to feel love for others grew exponentially. I had a new awareness about how love felt. There are times when I feel love for multitudes of different people in a day. Besides feeling it for those closest to me in life, I might feel it for someone I've just met. Like the cashier at Trader Joe's who finds me the gluten-free pizzas in the back for my daughter's sleepover. Just like you might feel anger for the guy who cuts you off in traffic or fear towards the person you feel is following you too closely while you're running or excitement towards the girl who gave you the eye at the gym. Why do we get so hung up on one emotion like love but feel so many other emotions rather freely? The reason is because we've attached action to love instead of just letting it be a feeling. 

Perhaps we could take a step back from making this idea of love be an action. Imagine a world where we just feel love and we don't have walls around us about that feeling. Forget that you've been hurt in past relationships. Stop protecting yourself by pushing that feeling away. Let go of the belief that you don't deserve to feel love because of your behavior. Allow yourself to feel love. Let go of control, let it in, do nothing, and just feel it. 

Who do you feel love for today? 









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10 Tips For A Natural Birth



When I gave birth to my oldest daughter, I didn’t have any idea how much her birth would be a shock to my system. Fortunately I was prepared for it as much as a woman who hasn’t yet experienced it can be. My birth was a physically painful and emotionally exhausting ordeal. My ten-pound baby was born at home with the assistance of a midwife and her assistants a few days after her due date. What I learned from that experience is that birth is unpredictable. In celebration of her 13 years on this earth and the 3 homebirths I had after (her including a set of twins) I devised these 10 tips to help others find balance in their own birth experience.

  1. Find a doctor or midwife you feel completely comfortable with
  2. Hire a doula
  3. Take a natural childbirth class
  4. Involve your partner
  5. Keep birth attendees low
  6. Have realistic expectations
  7. Create a peaceful birth environment
  8. Go to La Leche League meetings
  9. Create a daily mantra 
  10. Let go


1. Find a doctor or midwife you feel completely comfortable with
Birth is the most primal, intimate experience of a woman’s life. You want to feel safe and secure while you’re going through it. Most obstectric offices require you to cycle through each doctor because there’s a chance you won’t actually give birth with your personal doctor attending. Unfortunately many OBs are unable to give you more than a 10-15 minute appointment due to modern medicine practices. Certified Nurse Midwives who often practice out of obstectric offices or CNM clinics usually offer a more intimate setting for appointments and have longer appointment times. Birth center and home birth midwives, who are sometimes CNM’s but most often Certified Professional Midwives (CPM,) offer appointments that are generally at least an hour long. No matter which option you use, make sure that you are happy and comfortable with the person attending your birth.

2. Hire a doula
The Greek word doula means a woman who serves. In the labor setting a doula cares exclusively for the mother. She is a birth professional who creates a relationship with the expecting mother before, offers physical and emotional support during the labor, and continues the relationship for as long as agreed upon during the postpartum phase. The mother and doula decide before birth what the mother expects. Usually massages, calming words of support, a doula can be the communicator between the mother and the birth attendant. She can also be the person who ensures that the birth team is following through with a pre-written birth plan.

3. Take a natural childbirth class
There are childbirth classes offered by hospitals and doctors offices but they generally only touch on the process of laboring and giving birth in the hospital. Those may be covered by insurance while natural childbirth classes can be expensive, but the cost is worth it. I took The Bradley Method for my first pregnancy, but there are so many options. A doula or midwife can give you options in your area. You can also find resources through a local attachment parenting group.

4. Involve your partner
Birth can be an overwhelming and harrowing experience for male partners. It’s not possible for them to truly understand the changes a mother’s body goes through for the 9 months of pregnancy and months of postpartum. Talking to them about the process is very important. Including them at prenatal visits is helpful and encouraging them to ask questions will help both parents. Most people have never seen birth, especially men. Watch natural childbirth videos together. Talk together about the things that might happen during labor and birth. Many women make primal noises, some cry, some (including me) say they can’t do it. Sometimes encouragement is welcomed and other times it’s distracting or annoying. Tell your partner before labor that you might say mean things and that you don’t mean them. The overwhelming process of birth can make the most timid and respectful woman turn into a sailor instantaneously! Some partners feel helpless watching their wife in discomfort. This is worth communicating about so that your partner feels safe. Another reason to have back up support and the reminder that birth is the most natural experience a woman can go through.

5. Keep birth attendees low
My first birth had a midwife, two assistants, my mother, my mother-in-law, a friend, and my husband. All while I labored naked in my bed. Most of them were sitting in chairs watching. My birth went on hours longer than it should have. My last birth had my husband and my midwife and it was the easiest birth I’ve had. A watched pot never boils. Birth is a private experience. In the hospital you may have less options but this is something you can discuss with your provider and have an expectation set ahead of time of who is allowed in and during which times. Include this in your birth plan if necessary. If you’re birthing at home, have childcare arranged. Even if you want your other children there in attendance, you could change your mind once those early contractions start.

6. Have realistic expectations
You can take every class possible and feel completely prepared going in, but birth is tricky. While our bodies are 100% designed to do this, that doesn’t mean things won’t get weird or go wrong and that can happen very quickly. Keep a positive attitude but also be prepared for things that could become out of the norm. Talk to your provider about the possibilities and ask them how they would handle those situations.

7. Create a peaceful birth environment
Decide what will keep you calmest. Do you like peaceful music, candles, being able to take a bath during birth or planning to labor in a birth tub? This is personal so plan your birth space accordingly to what relaxes you the most. If you’re birthing outside of your home, have the things you desire packed and ready for someone to set up in your birth environment. Your partner or doula should be aware of what things you want in your setting.

8. Go to La Leche League meetings
La Leche League meetings are a breastfeeding support group found in almost every setting. Breastfeeding as seemingly natural as it should be can be one of the most difficult challenges faced by women. You go through all of this work to get the baby out, now you have to figure out how this feeding stuff works! Latch issues, thrush, pain, it can wear down on the most hormonally stable woman. But take one who’s recovering from birth, sleep deprived, and overwhelmed by new motherhood…the breaking point is easy to get to in that situation. This is where a support system is integral. If we were living in primitive tribes we would grow up seeing women breastfeed everywhere. Once it was our turn all of the women would be supporting and teaching us. In the nuclear family, we have almost no breastfeeding support. We have a couple of generations that made breastfeeding out to be a bad thing so women now have mothers who may have never even breastfed. Going to LLL meetings before you ever have your baby can create that support system so that if you find yourself struggling, there are women who can help you through it so that breastfeeding becomes a successful journey for you.

9. Create a daily mantra
I had a decent postpartum hemorrhage after my first daughter. My midwife was very skilled and knew exactly what to do when it happened but during those 10 minutes or so it was a frightening time. During my next pregnancy I told myself everyday that I wouldn’t hemorrhage and I didn’t! For my fourth baby I told myself daily that I would have a beautiful, peaceful birth and I did. Use whatever mantra you’d like for the outcome of your experience.

10. Let go
There is nothing that takes away your control more than birth. Don’t let perfectionism into your experience. If your goal is a natural childbirth but you end up using medication or having a cesarean it’s perfectly okay. Don’t beat yourself up or build resentments about the experience. Let go of the outcome and enjoy the journey with the baby you’re growing. The moment after birth your whole life will change forever.  The truth is that even though birth is this really big deal, you won’t be thinking too much about it once your little one starts growing up and you’re experiencing all that their own journey brings to your life.

Good luck and happy birthing!

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Partnerships, Podcasts, and Big Changes On The Way


Dr. Dan and I on set for our new video series launching in July

I've been a little MIA from the blog and podcast. Here's why! Exciting things have been brewing. A year ago I was contacted by Dr. Daniel Stickler (Paleo Doc) when I was graduating from the Nutritional Therapy Association. He wanted to do some collaborative work and also invited me to be part of a Paleo Wellness Retreat in Jamaica.

As you've possibly experienced, so much can happen in a year. We hosted two retreats in Jamaica. We went to Paleo conferences. We gave talks. We figured out what we really want to put out into the Universe. Now we're taking our collaboration to the next level and starting a brand new company that goes public in a couple of weeks, along with our spouses Mickra and Dave and our friends Warren and Elisa. This last year we've all become a family of people committed to bringing wellness to the world. Not just the Paleo world either. Our website will be a place where you can find information that might only be afforded to those with access to integrative healthcare. Dr. Dan is a functional medicine doctor, former gastric bypass surgeon, and fitness professional. He and his partner Mickra run two wellness centers in Charleston, WV and Asheville, NC with a large patient base of people from all over the world. He has a plethora of knowledge to offer and I'm excited to help facilitate getting that to you guys!

The main goal of our new company is to shift the human potential. In addition to the Born Primal show, I've decided to focus on a new podcast that's more inline with the new website. But I will still have amazing guests and wonderful conversations. Just not always Paleo oriented. I believe that's a good thing. We should always keep expanding our horizons and being open to new ideas. I still love the Paleo world and I'm not going anywhere, just broadening the information I can bring to you. Our new website will offer coaching programs from experts in nutrition, self-help, fitness and more. We'll have tons of recipes plus fitness, lifestyle, nutrition, community, and mindfulness resources. Dr. Dan and I will be offering a weekly video series where we talk about nutrition, sexuality, hormone balancing, fitness, and pretty much anything you want to hear about.

We want everyone to be living up to their full potential of an optimized life and we look forward to helping you get there!



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My Break Up Letter To Pain

Recently I recognized that I hadn't "officially" ended my relationship with my pain. When something has dominated your life in such a way, it can be difficult to completely say goodbye. I had a lot of fear about that, but it kept showing up in relationships I was choosing in my life. Making it evident that I needed to let go so that all the possible good I was attempting to bring into my life could actually get in. Pain loves to stand in the way of that. I have the right to good, the right to pleasure, and the right to love. So do you. Feel free to add your own break up letter into the comments. 


Dear Pain, 

Every time I try to write this letter to you, I run. Because you are delicious and sweet to my body in the worst kind of way. You are everything that I have ever known. You are heroin, you are nicotine, you are sugar, you are caffeine, you are wine. I can call on you anytime and you are always there….day or night. For almost 30 years I've been attached to you and relied on your availability to meet my needs. I use our relationship to end every good thing that comes my way. When life becomes challenging or overwhelming I run to you like a moth to a flame. But now things are different. You don't own me any longer. Now when I run to you I realize almost immediately your toxic nature. The twinge in my heart is an instant reminder of your danger. Quite honestly, you disgust me. I've known for some time that we we're over but I've held on out of fear, out of predictability. 

I'm breaking up with you and I'm starting a brand new relationship. His name is Pleasure and he is much sweeter and more delicious than you could ever be. Pleasure puts a smile on my face and in my heart in the way you never could and never will. I know you'll try to show up, but I have a restraining order against you. Thank you for all you taught me but it's time to say goodbye. You're not welcome here anymore. 

Signed, 

ME

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Born Primal Episode 35: Molly Galbraith Girls Gone Strong



This week, Girls Gone Strong Co-Founder, Molly Galbraith joins Born Primal to chat about helping women love our bodies. Molly is so incredibly knowledgable about training women. She just released the Modern Woman's Guide to Strength Training. A must have for every woman, no matter what shape you're in or your experience level. 

In this episode we talk about Molly's weight struggles when she was younger, finding love of lifting, how women need to be empowered to rock and own what we've got, and we talk about our dislike of the Paleo police! 

Podcast available on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also download the mp3 HERE!!!




Show Notes:
Molly on Facebook & Twitter
Love Your Body Challenge
Get the guide!!














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Born Primal Episode 34: Paleo f(x) Wrap Up With Karen Phelps

Karen Phelps and I rocking our twin bamboo shirts. Gifts from Tess McNulty and her friends at Atlas Wear Clothing

Karen Phelps, my best friend, returns to Born Primal to chat about our fun times in Austin a couple of weeks ago at Paleo f(x). Karen blogs at Paleo Periodical, she writes for Paleo Magazine, and she handles PR for the Ancestral Health Symposium. 



Here are the topics we cover in this episode (photos below)

*My talk on "The Power of Imperfectionism"

*Cultivating The Well-Adjusted Male aka "The Man Panel" with Robb Wolf, J. Brett Smith, Geoffrey Miller, Tucker Max, John Durant, and Christopher Ryan 

*The feminization of men: why we like male attention

*Rafe Kelley workshop: Evolve, Move, Play

*Dan Stickler's talk 

*Paleo and Addiction panel with Karly Randolph Pitman, Kaila Prins, Susan McCauley, Amy Kubal, and Dr. Nicole Avena

*Christopher Ryan (Sex At Dawn) "Paleosexuality" talk and the Bonobo sex video

*My "Beyond Food" panel and how it went from meditation to a sex talk in 20 minutes time with Darryl Edwards, Dr. Dan Stickler, Kyle Maynard, and Steve Kirsch 

*"US Healthcare: In Crisis or Chaos?" panel with Robb Wolf, Dr. Grayson Wheatley, Julie & Charles Mayfield, Dr. Richard Maurer, and Darryl Edwards


Podcast available on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also download the mp3 HERE!!!

Show Notes:
Karen's "Man Panel" Post
My "Coming Out of the Mental Health Closet" post
Ancestral Health Symposium 
Karen's new project: Year in a Yurt


PALEO f(x) Photographic Evidence

Pecha Kucha opening event with Michelle Norris (PFX) & Will White/Caveman Cafeteria who catered the event 
My talk!! "The Power of Imperfectionism"
Getting to squeeze on one of my favorite girls, Sarah Fragoso

Free Kombucha all weekend?? Yes!! Thank you LIVE Kombucha

The "Man Panel" l-r Chris Ryan, Robb Wolf, Brett Smith, Tucker Max, John Durant, & Geoffrey Miller

Another gorgeous lovely I never get enough of, Liz Wolfe

Our fun table at the presenter dinner! Glen White, Shauna Young, Geoffrey Miller, Moi!
Such a beautiful night at Springdale Farm for the presenter dinner
My favorite fashion lover, Diane Sanfilippo
Dr. Daniel Stickler, The Paleo Doc
Two of the beauties from the addiction panel Karly Randolph Pitman & Kaila Prins
My "Beyond Food" panel l-r Kyle Maynard, Darryl Edwards, Dan Stickler, Me, Steve Kirsch
Post conference shooting in Austin! 






















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Paleo Wellness Retreat in Jamaica May 7-May 11


A year ago I was introduced to Dr. Daniel Stickler and Mickra Hamilton. They are doing innovative and fascinating work at their two wellness clinics in Charleston, WV and Asheville, NC. Last October we along with a wonderful group of people made our way to sunny Jamaica for the first Paleo Wellness Retreat and now we're doing it again! This is an exceptional opportunity with great rates. Workouts include daily yoga on the beach, running, weight lifting classes in the gym, and parkour. The three days of morning and afternoon workshops will cover nutrition and fitness, stress reduction, and mind/body fitness. Leaving plenty of time for enjoying all that the beach and ocean have to offer and great food and drinks. Hope to see you there!

Arrive May 7 and Depart May 11

(add up to 3 days before or up to 3 days after at discounted rate)

 Join us for 4 days of Education, Relaxation, and Health Optimization

Enjoy 4 nights at the exclusive Grand Lido Negril, the secluded jewel of Negril Jamaica

This is all-inclusive with unlimited food & drink

Unlimited access to paddleboards, kayaks, sail boats and snorkling

$1400 Conference and Beach front room for two
$1280 Conference and Ocean view room for two
$910 Conference and Beach front room for single
$850 Conference and Ocean view room for single
**swim with the dolphins and other excursions are optional and available at discounted rates
**Airfare not included 






Daniel Stickler, M.D.

Dr. Stickler is a functional medicine physician and serves as the Medical Director of Synchronicity Wellness as well as Physiologix Medical Institute.  He is also hosts a blog: PaleoDoc.com.  
He trained in allopathic medicine and held board certification in General Surgery for more than ten years; performing general and vascular surgery as well as over 3,000 gastric bypass weight loss procedures. He had a thriving surgical practice and was a specialist in weight loss, treating over 10,000 clients in both the surgical practice and at the wellness institute. The busier he became the more he began to realize that true health is not a result of pharmaceuticals and stainless steel. He discovered that the clients at the wellness institute were making remarkable progress through nutrition, fitness and lifestyle counseling and hormone optimization.  Not only were they resolving disease, they were optimizing health, regaining vitality, improving neuro-cognitive status and creating lasting changes.  
This realization led him to the understanding that he could leave the old methods behind and fully embrace the new paradigm of health optimization. He retired from surgery and now knows that each individual has within them the ability to achieve optimal health and live a life full of vitality. He works closely with each client to develop individualized treatment regimens and provides extensive guidance throughout the year to assist the client in achieving their goals. 

Kendall Kendrick, NTP
  

Kendall Kendrick is a mom to four girls, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and motivational speaker. She writes about Paleo nutrition, lifestyle, personal growth, and empowerment on Primal-Balance.com and hosts the show Born Primal: Conversations With the Ancestral Health Community. Kendall shares her expertise with those facing nutritional adversity amongst peers and family members. She also speaks on the role of nutrition and lifestyle when it comes to self care, body love, letting go of control, shame, and perfectionism. 

 Mickra Hamilton, AuD
Dr. Mickra Hamilton is the Director of Wellness at Synchronicity Wellness LLC and owner and visionary of Source Harmonics PLLC. Her passion is to bring health to humanity through a new paradigm in medicine.  Mickra understands that optimized health and true balance are achieved only when all aspects of the human being are addressed.  Optimizing health is a beautiful process that focuses on the body, mind and spirit and involves hormone optimization, functional nutrition, functional fitness and stress reduction.
Mickra is a nationally certified Doctor of Audiology who leverages her twenty-five years of experience with neurophysiology and acoustics to diagnose and treat hearing loss and stress related dis-ease.  She uses Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback combined with customized sound/music to create unique and highly effective stress reduction programs in Synchronicity’s state of the art, 3D Anechoic, sound chamber.  Mickra also trains athletes in the use of HRV for sport specific training optimization. Her current research involves establishing evidence- based protocols for HRV and Music in the treatment of stress related disorders, specifically anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, diabetes and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.  
Mickra is a member of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research. She is a WellCoach trained life coach and provides counseling for functional nutrition, functional fitness and stress management.  She is a certified CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Kids Instructor and is a trained Mountain Athlete and Wilderness Medicine First Responder. 

Kim Smith
Kim is the PaleoYogaMom. She is a mother, yogini, foodie, writer and lover of life. The practice, the lifestyle that is yoga has reconnected her to the shining light of creativity and clarity that exists in us all.  Through yoga she hopes to instill in her students and her family a deeper knowing of themselves, allowing a more rich and meaningful experience in life. Through the Paleo diet she has been able to achieve health and all the benefits that health has to offer. You can connect with Kim via Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/PaleoYogaMom?ref=hl or visit her blog,http://www.paleoyogamom.com      








G. Warren Walsh, Jr., DMD

Dr. Walsh is a practicing dentist interested in helping people obtain whole body health and wellness.  
 He stumbled into the paleo lifestyle/functional medicine paradigm almost four years ago looking for a new way to approach health, nutrition, and a better way of "living".  What started out as a personal journey now exudes though his personal, family, and professional life.
 Upon discovering functional medicine, Dr Walsh started to see many parallels between the state of dental health and whole body health and he is constantly working on ways to better serve his patients through diet and lifestyle modification programs in his current dental practice.
 He has a special interest in nutritional optimization and human performance using many different technologies and nutritional modalities. 

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