Somehow I feel 10 years older after having a baby! My joints hurt and sometimes feel swollen and I’m not even 30 years old! I’m glad my life didn’t go as I had planned because if it had, I would have been getting married at 28 (my current age!) and having babies shortly thereafter. It’s funny how we think we know EXACTLY how it should be, isn’t it?! Then we get older and wiser and realize it’s probably best that we didn’t get everything we wanted, when we wanted it! 😉
I’ve been on a journey towards healthier living for awhile, but it’s funny how I feel more relaxed about it now than when I first started out. I think I went overboard and obsessed, which made me stress about a lot of things I didn’t need to be stressing about! (Which, in turn, increased my cortisol levels and that’s never good!) I’m trying to be more laid back about my health and approach it with more of a mentality of sustainability; I want to be able to make it a lifestyle change and not a “diet!” Due to Charley’s food intolerances and the fact that I was exclusively breastfeeding him, I made a lot of changes to my diet. I also added different supplements to help support my body as it was feeding another human being (NO small task, I might add!!). I was trying SO hard to alleviate his eczema symptoms (intense itchiness and red/angry rashes). It wasn’t until I started adding some things back into my diet (around the holidays, of course!) that I realized how much they affected ME. I had cut out dairy and gluten (among other things) so boy did I FEEL it after our Thanksgiving feast! The joints in my hands felt swollen & stiff, I felt intense fatigue for 5-7 days afterwards (like I had mono or something!), and I felt like my head was in a fog. This was an eye opener for me, and a major turning point in my health. I realized that dairy was the main culprit and that sometimes, the temporary enjoyment of a food I know I can’t tolerate well is just not worth it!
For those of you who don’t know, in addition to blogging, being a new photographer (shameless plug!: Emily Lindsey Photography), and a full time mom, I work part time as a nurse in the cardiac ICU on the weekends. Nursing school is becoming a quickly-fading memory but there are certain nuggets of wisdom that I will never forget, and one of them is regarding skin. Our skin is our largest organ and it reflects the health status of our bodies. Even a fresh, super “green” nurse can tell how sick a patient is by glancing at their skin. This is something we usually assess at first glance; is the patient ashen, yellow, or pale? Then you can bet they are pretty sick, their organs are in rough shape, and they may even need a blood transfusion. This has been something that has stuck with me & helps guide me as I search for healthier, glowing skin. We all hear how important sleep and water is for our skin, but sometimes, I think we forget HOW important they are.
Knowing how closely our skin is tied to our gut health and overall health status, I’ve been searching for ways to support my skin, joints, and hair from the inside out. For the past few weeks I’ve been adding 2 scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to my morning coffee. It may be too early to say, but I’m loving the way it supports my health! My joints in my hands have felt great, I don’t feel like I need quite as much oil & cream when I moisturize my face at night, and I just feel good. And I don’t take that for granted!
A couple things I love about Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides: 1) The powder is unflavored! I can’t even tell it’s in my coffee. I just make some classic drip brewed coffee, add some Califia vanilla almond milk creamer to it, then 2 scoops of the collagen peptides and stir. I tried blending it once (because omg everyone is blending their coffee!! ha ha) but I actually prefer it stirred. I like my coffee hot and I found that blending it made it cool off too fast. 2) It’s sustainably sourced whole food nutrition. This is very important to me! And it should be to all of you, too! 😉 But seriously, we should seek to leave the smallest footprint we can on our environment and it’s important for our health that any supplement we take be the highest quality plus in a form that we can reap the greatest benefits from.
I’ve also been using the Marine Collagen. Living in Oklahoma, I don’t have nearly as much seafood as I did living in Oregon. This collagen is sourced from fresh wild-caught snapper, is non-GMO project verified, and UNFLAVORED. It’s been a great way to add more omegas to my diet through a source of whole food nutrition! I mix 2 scoops into my morning coffee; same routine as with the Collagen Peptides.
I’ve also tried the Collagen Beauty Greens and I love it. I have skin prone to dryness so this is one way I can support healthy, glowing skin. This one does have a flavor (Coconut Vanilla), so I added it to a smoothie instead of my morning coffee. 😉 (Plus, the directions say to add it to cold liquid) This one contains a mixture of marine collage peptides, raw organic greens, hyaluronic acid, and probiotics. I added some strawberries & blueberries I had on hand, half a banana, half a cup of almond milk, and 1/4 of an avocado. It was very good! The only regret I had was that I didn’t freeze any of the ingredients first because it could have been colder, in my opinion! I’ll probably add frozen berries and frozen avocado next time, but the texture and consistency was very good!