Wellness

Welcome to the best part of the year! I love to curate gift guides because I am one who likes to give the perfect gifts. Each of these gift ideas were carefully selected and are also some of my favorite products that I’ve used and loved for years.

You’ll find many small businesses, eco-friendly, non-toxic, and cruelty-free gifts featured here. That doesn’t mean that everything in this guide is pricey, they’re just the best. 😉 I don’t want you guys to do the work – let me showcase it all for you.

Just click on the guide above or access it here and flip through the pages.

xx, Lynn

I have been totally immersed in nutrition and wellness for a long time, however now I feel like I am truly honing in on what actually works, what’s innate to human health, and how to truly live your best life. And that starts, in part, with what we eat. The gut is the second brain – haven’t you heard?

Hippocrates said over 2,000 years ago that all disease begins in the gut. And it’s also clear that health begins in the gut.

Over 80% of the immune system resides in our gut and the gut produces 75% of our neurotransmitters! SO…we need to take care of our precious guts. {via}

Ok, now let’s get really specific on bacteria AKA gut flora in the gut. We are made up of over 100 trillion microorganisms, or bacteria, which reside in our gut. That’s 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body. Having lots and diverse gut flora promotes healthy gastrointestinal function, keeps us protected from infection and illness, helps to regulate metabolism, and recent research has even shown that a healthy microbiome can reduce anxiety. {via}

A lot of people suffer from not so ideal gut flora due to stress, antibiotics, Overuse of NSAIDs, eating a poor diet, and chronic infection.

Ok, so how the eff do we take care of our gut flora? The answer can be complex, but some general tips include:

♡ Consume whole foods

♡ Reduce inflammation by eating turmeric and ginger and remove or reduce foods that are inflammatory from your diet

♡ Take a probiotic

♡ Eat gelatinous foods

…AND here’s where we get into gelatin and specifically, the GUMMIES. Which is why you’re here, right?

Eating gelatinous foods can help protect you from getting a leaky gut. More health benefits of gelatin:

♡ Gelatin contains 18 amino acids which help balance your diet

♡ Reduces wrinkles and cellulite – like HELLO, sign me up! {via}

♡ Supports digestion

♡ Helps to build strong muscles

♡ Enhances gastric acid secretion and aids in restoring a healthy mucosal lining

♡ Reduces joint pain {via}

If you would’ve asked me months ago if I would go out of my way to purchase gelatin or gelatinous foods, I would have said “fuck no”. But referencing the beginning of this blog post, I have realllly begun to dig deep into what is best for optimal health. And I need to put my neurotic disgust with certain foods aside. And yeah, I’m still working on that. I am having a lot of issues with dairy mentally…not physically. I can’t stomach the THOUGHT of it. Gelatin is similar but not quite as bad. I’m telling you this because you might be like me. Sensitive mentally to certain foods. But I am putting my own neuroticism to the side to benefit what’s best for me. Kind of similar to what I did when I stopped being vegan.

ANYWAY.

After looking into the best ways to get gelatin, I came across gummies. Like gummy bears but healthier. The deets on the ingredients:

THE GELATIN

I did what I do best and I researched the hell out of what kind of gelatin to get and I decided on Perfect Supplements Unflavored Gelatin to make the gummies I’m about to share with you. So many gelatin brands add fillers and cut corners but Perfect Supplements does not. It’s important to purchase the right type of gelatin with abundant nutrients and amino acids. It’s rich in amino acids, minerals and is 98% protein. Gelatin is sister to collagen which is the only thing I use to up the protein in bars, shakes and smoothies. They’re nearly identical in amino acid profile, the only difference is gelatin “gels” and collagen does not.

Perfect Supplements Gelatin is exclusively sourced from pastured cows, is non-GMO and is free from hormones and pesticides.  

TART CHERRY JUICE

I knew I wanted to make gummies that were kind of sour, like sour gummy worms but without all the refined sugar. Tart cherry juice is perfectly tart and it is also rich in phytochemicals such as melatonin, the natural sleep hormone. So eating these in the evening may help you sleep in addition to healing your gut. Make sure you buy a tart cherry juice with no additives. I got mine at Whole Foods and it’s the 365 brand with zero additives or preservatives, including sugar.

HONEY TO SWEETEN

I love using a local honey to help with allergies and also to support local businesses. Honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to your gummies.

THE RECIPE:

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, pour half of the juice and sprinkle gelatin over the juice to “bloom.” Whisk to combine and set aside. It will become very thick – that’s a sign that the gelatin is blooming. 
  • Set the saucepan on medium heat, add the remaining juice. Bring to a gentle simmer, while consistently stirring to make sure all gelatin is dissolved. Set aside for a few minutes to cool. FYI this will smell like a barnyard. Not going to sugarcoat it. It’s pretty nasty…a huge turnoff. And at this point I thought, I will not be able to eat these gummies if this is how they taste or smell.
  • When gelatin and juice is slightly warm to the touch, add honey and stir well. You want to make sure not to denature the honey, so letting it cool is important before adding it in.
  • Pour in silicone candy molds – I bought these cute heart molds on Amazon and they work great. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator for 2 hours to set.
  • Invert the silicone molds to remove the gummies. Store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. Best be kept in refrigerator.

I’m pleased to tell you that the nasty barnyard smell goes away once the gummies are cooled and set, but if they do warm up, like if you leave them out for a bit, the flavor will creep back in so I like to eat mine cold. And they taste like delish tart cherry gummies!

Eating gelatinous foods like these gummies with muscle meats (think steak, chicken thighs, bacon, etc etc) is so important because it balances out the amino acids we eat when we eat meat.

Peace, love, and GELATIN!

xx, Lynn

With everything going on in the world right now, taking care of our mental health is so important. And I’ve been on an affirmation kick over the past couple of weeks which has improved my mental wellbeing tenfold. My healthy mindset has improved my energy, optimism, focus, and relationships. It’s magical, really. 

The reason I love doing affirmations in the morning is because they are a powerful way to start your day and something intentional you can do to direct how your day will unfold. 

How affirmations work

Morning affirmations powerfully work because they actually rewire your brain in a positive way. When we have a thought, there’s a burst of neurochemicals in our brains. Patterns form between brain cells, which are connected by synapses. The more we have a particular thought, the quicker and stronger the synapses pass along that message. In addition, the emotions we attach to specific thoughts become more automatic and powerful the more often we repeat those thoughts. That’s how positive affirmations can affect our brain’s natural processes to alter our experience of life. {via}  

A recent study published in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Journal found that self-affirmation activates well-known reward centers in the brain, as well as increases activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate. These areas are connected to self-related processing and act as an emotional buffer to lower states of vibration.

Affirming to yourself what you want to experience in your life helps you to step into that perspective, and when your perspective changes, your whole reality shifts.

How to start daily affirmations

Morning affirmations are still new to me, and I’ve found that starting with ‘lighter’ ones works well in the beginning. They easily and quickly begin to lift your vibration, which puts you in the frequency of everything that you want.

So, here’s my routine and the ‘light’ affirmations that I have been repeating.

I wake up, make a cup of coffee – this week I’ve been loving Nespresso’s Costa Rica coffee. It’s creamy but still bold, just how I like my coffee. I light a candle or turn on my diffuser and get cozy on the couch or sitting on the bed. I have been writing my affirmations down in a journal, but you can do this however you want – whether it’s saying them outloud or writing them down…or both. 

My favorite light affirmations:

  • Today I wake up filled with gratitude 
  • I choose to love myself today
  • Today I get to give love and spread positivity to those around me
  • I will not worry about the things I cannot control
  • My possibilities are endless

I hope that you have a magical, positive, and kickass day! Please feel free to use my affirmations above or create your own. <3

xx, Lynn

If you know me you know I love to do my research – this means really digging, understanding biases, agendas, you know the drill. 

WAY back in 2009 I wrote a blog post about sunscreen. That is when I learned that not all sunscreens are created equal and wrote about the benefits of using a physical sunscreen vs. a chemical sunscreen. But now, I’ve learned that there is a lot more to the picture and a lot more to consider even buying physical sunscreens, because some are still filled with toxic chemicals. 

Almost every health and/or women’s magazine will advise you to wear daily sunscreen in an effort to protect us from skin damage and skin cancer. Until a few months ago, I followed this advice. Once I learned about the toxic chemicals in most sunscreens and humans’ need for unprotected sun every day, I now only wear sunblock (and yeah, there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock) when I will be out in the sun in the middle of the day for an extended period of time. 

Ok, now back to sunscreen vs. sunblock. The difference is simply that a sunSCREEN will screen out the sun with chemicals. Chemical UV filters penetrate the skin, enter the bloodstream, and can wreak havoc on our bodies. 500 of the most popular sunscreens actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer. {via} SCARY SHIT, right?! {via} SunBLOCK is a physical block, such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. You will need to work a little harder to blend sunblock into your skin, but it’s SO WORTH IT. 

Not only is sunscreen (the ones with toxic ingredients)  mostly just not great for you, but we actually need to be able to produce Vitman D naturally for optimal health. {via}

So what’s a girl to do? How can we protect ourselves from sun damage?

  1. Eat a nutrient-dense diet and avoid polyunsaturated fats which will help your body protect itself from disease. {via}
  2. Dress well – A hat and longer sleeves protect the body without any chemicals.
  3. Use a natural, non-toxic sunblock when you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. My favorite is Juice Beauty’s Sport Sunscreen. The only ingredient is Zinc and it blends into my skin really well. No breakouts, either. I apply it anywhere and everywhere that I need it. 
  4. Use coconut oil as a backup – I just learned that coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4, and I’ve put it on my arms for early morning hikes and no burns here. 

Since most of us are working from home right now, I feel like we should make it a mission to get outside for at least 30 minutes each day and get that Vitamin D! Being in the sun also just puts me in a good mood.

Off to do some sunning…

xx, Lynn

I started following Brittany on Instagram a long time ago and was instantly drawn to her because she offers such tangible tricks and tips to live your best life – something I stand for and you know that if you’ve been following along here. Brittany is Nutritionist, biohacker, and podcaster. She helps her clients optimize their hormones, gut, and skin.

So I was very excited that she agreed to come on the All Gussied Up podcast to discuss it all from skin to the benefits of sunning to cold baths for your face and body.

In the episode, you’ll learn how she got into nutrition and biohacking, what the top biohacks are for optimal health, and she recommends a sunscreen that is a new favorite of mine.

With that, I invite you to listen to our conversation HERE.

♡♡♡

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