Natural Remedies for Pain After Birth – Organic Raw Nuts Worth the Cost? – Night Terror Solutions – Refined Coconut Oil Healthy? – Sugar Cravings and ADHD – Alternative Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
My inbox runneth over with questions from readers wondering “What would Emily do” about Real food and holistic health topics. I’ve created this Q&A to get your questions answered and for other folks to benefit from the answers too.
Who am I to know the answers to your questions?
I’m a holistic-minded mom, a sometimes beach bum, a real food foodie, a curious health researcher, and I’ve been practicing holistic and Chinese medicine for over a decade. That said, the answers here are only my opinion, and shouldn’t be construed as medical advice.
If you read something here and have your own wisdom or opinion to add, by all means, please leave a comment so we can all benefit from your experiences and perspective.
Okey dokey! Let’s dive in…
Question 1: Natural Remedies for Pain After Birth
Do you have any recommendations for after birth pains? We will be having our 4th kiddo in July and would love to have something on hand other than ibuprofen to help with the pain. (I'm fine with labor pain but the after pains have felt worse after each baby).
Yes, Joelle! I found that taking the homeopathic supplement arnica every 3-4 hours after the birth was super helpful in reducing pain after both of my births and speeding the rate of healing. This was the recommendation from my midwives.
Question 2: Are organic raw nuts worth the cost?
Jacqueline wants to know:
I want to purchase quality organic raw unpasteurized walnuts, almonds, cashews, etc. that I can soak/sprout/roast/process into nut butter at home. Does this mean I should buck up and pay the shipping cost to order from Azure Standard or some such company? Do Trader Joe's raw nuts not cut it? Thanks for your input! I've been searching online and haven't found conclusive answers.
Great question! Personally, I have compromised in the nut department because my family doesn’t eat that many nuts (or beans) so I’m not as worried about the damaging effects of phytic acid.
Because of this we use unsoaked organic peanut butter – gasp! When I don’t have the time to make my own cashew butter or have forgotten to order the good stuff.
If we ate a lot more nuts, I would go out of my way to buy raw and organic nuts to make my own by soaking and drying them to avoid the negative effects of the phytic acid. Because the raw nuts from TJ’s are not organic and therefore run a higher risk of introducing pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins into your food.
Read more about the problems with phytic acid in nuts, grains, and legumes here.
Learn how to make homemade cashew butter in this post.
Lazy like me? Buy pre-made nut butter from organic, soaked nuts here.
Question 3: Solution for night terrors that really work
I need help for night terrors. My daughter is 4 and has 1-3 every night. She has a consistent bedtime routine and is not overly tired. I have tried limiting sugar and waking her up 1 hour after she goes to sleep.
Hey Ryan – Night terrors are no fun for anyone involved. You can read about why they happen and what to do about it in this post. Personally, my favorite tried-and-true remedy for night terrors are flower essence blends – like this one.
Question 4: Is refined coconut oil still healthy?
Brandy is wondering…
If I used refined coconut oil in my cooking that I don't want the coconut flavor in if it's still worth using nutritionally speaking?
Great question, Brandy. I use refined coconut oil (I buy this one by the gallon) because I also don’t want all my foods tasting like coconut either. Luckily, when it is properly refined – expeller pressed as opposed to solvent refined – coconut oil retains all of the good qualities of it’s virgin self. This is because the fats in coconut oil are quite stable.
Read more about the health benefits of coconut oil here.
Question 5: Sugar Craving in Gluten Free 9 year old diagnosed with ADHD
Amy Lou writes…
My 9 year old daughter was taken off gluten for ADHD last May, but for some reason I can not help her control her eating and obsession for sweets. We don't buy sweets for home but when she gets them, she'll eat everything right away, she'll come back to look for more. Every time I pick her up from school asks for ice cream. have a hard time waking her up in the mornings and I think it's because she will snack until she goes to bed. I need help!
Hi Amy Lou. Here’s what I would do…
First, make sure your daughter is eating tons of well-sourced (organic, pasture-raised, etc) saturated fat at every meal – butter, bacon, meat, eggs, fish, cream, cheese, coconut, avocado, etc. This is of utmost importance for her brain function and also for her body to feel satiated. While sugar and gluten can have an addictive quality, it is made far worse by a diet that does not include enough good fat. If this seems like a foreign concept, please read my explanation of a real food lifestyle.
Second, take steps to heal her gut – eliminating gluten and sugar is only part of the work – she needs probiotic-rich foods, plenty of bone broth, and probably some supplements. If you’re not already working with an alternative practitioner well-versed in the gut-brain relationship, I recommending finding one.
Finally, your daughter is old enough to understand, so if you haven’t already, talk to your her so she can understand how gluten and sugar affect her brain and her body. At 9, she’s the perfect age to become an active participant in her own health and well-being.
Question 6: Alternative treatment for uterine fibroids
Hi! I have uterine fibroids and want to keep my uterus. So far, I have some annoying symptoms but really want to treat them naturally. I follow a pretty clean, traditional diet. What else should I do?
Hey Erin – Having uterine fibroids does not mean you have to lose your uterus – except for in extreme cases, hysterectomies for uterine fibroids is an outdated solution. I recently had a patient with 40 fibroids that were surgically removed, and she went on to have a relatively healthy pregnancy.
If the fibroids are small (less that 2-3cm) and you do not have baby-making on the horizon in the next year or so, Chinese herbal medicine can often resolving them without surgery. Chinese herbs are less effective in shrinking large fibroids, but can help prevent them from growing larger.
Regardless of size and whether or not you choose surgery, I recommend including Chinese medicine in your treatment plan because your practitioner will address the root imbalance that allowed the fibroids to grow in the first place.
Question 7: Dealing with skeptical daycare workers
In the past few months my family has switched over to a more natural diet and we are trying to approach illness and allergies in a more holistic way. My two year old son has suffered from congestion and allergies. I have informed our daycare provider that we do not want to give him conventional medicines anymore, and she continues to suggested that we put him on allergy medication. I was hoping you might be able to provide links or information that would back our goal?
Hi Sheena – First of all I want to commend you on taking steps to incorporate real food and holistic health for your family. While your daycare provider can suggest whatever she wants, it’s your choice how you choose to treat your child's symptoms.
If the issue is whether or not he’s allowed at school with his symptoms, that’s another story. I recommend reading this post: “Is My Child Contagious?”
Learn more about getting starting with a real food lifestyle here.
Read this post for more on immune boosting foods you may be missing.
And finally, here’s my list of common cold remedies that really work.
Question 8: Difference between regular and fermented cod liver oil
Quick question regarding FCLO and non-FCLO – the price difference is HUGE between the two…what all would I be missing out on if I choose just regular cod liver oil?
Hey Ashlin – Lots have folks have had this same questions, so I wrote all about it in this post on the benefits of fermented cod liver oil.
Question 9: Homemade baby formula – allergic to dairy and beef
Johanna is looking for an alternative…
Hi Emily – I wanted to see if you have any formula ideas for a baby who is allergic to milk (cow and goat – also can't have beef). It looks like all the home made formulas include dairy or beef ( liver) and wanted to see if you have any other options you could recommend ? Thanks so much!
Hi Johanna, I’ve had patients who’ve had success with using chicken bone broth and chicken liver in the homemade baby formula. For babies who cannot do dairy at all, you may be able to successfully eliminate the whey and lactose from the recipe.
Question 10: Milk alternative for 1 year old with eczema
I have a 13 month old with eczema. Her allergy test (IgE) came back negative but I'm still convinced she has a sensitivity to something. I've kept a food journal but can't pinpoint the problem. I'm taking her to a dermatologist next week and then an allergist. In the meantime, I'm almost out of breast milk and need a recommendation for milk for her. I don't want to do cow's milk as I think she has a lactose issue, I was hoping to do rice milk, but I can't seem to find one that doesn't have carrageenan in it. I'd prefer to stay away from soy, but that might be my only option. Any other suggestions?
Hi Lisa, I’m so glad you asked. Eczema is the most common pediatric condition that I treat in my practice.
At 13 months old, assuming she is eating a good deal of solid foods and is otherwise healthy and thriving, it is not completely essential that your daughter have milk for nutrition and calories – especially if is exacerbating her condition (or you suspect it may be).
If she needs the routine of taking a bottle, I would transition her to a homemade meat-based formula, bone broth, or pure coconut milk (avoid one with additives). Rice milk does not offer any nutritional benefit, and soy should be avoided at all costs.
Also, I highly recommend that you read my ebook, The Eczema Cure, where I will provide you with a plan for healing your daughter’s eczema from the inside out. Unfortunately dermatologists – and even allergists – will not provide you with a comprehensive, lasting solution.
Got questions about real food or holistic health and wondering W.W.E.D.?
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