Beautiful Chaos

Finding adventure in the everyday
Browsing Health

What we do when we have the flu


This nasty stomach bug seems to be going around so I thought I’d let you all know what we do in those situations. We haven’t gotten it this year, thankfully, but I keep hearing about it in our circles, so I’m glad I’m stocked up on what we’d need. As always, in case you haven’t seen it, this is why we are pretty strictly Shaklee around here.


One very important thing when there is vomiting and diarrhea is to stay hydrated. Sometimes vomiting can continue simply because the electrolyte balance is all out of whack. I’ve seen it in Layla. She was sick with the flu and couldn’t even keep in a sip of water. She kept throwing up and throwing up despite having an empty stomach. A friend suggested i give her sips of Shaklee’s Performance instead. It is Shaklee’s sports rehydration drink and it is all the things we love about Shaklee- no sugar, artificial anything, dyes, etc. and it is a perfect balance for the body. She started sipping that and didn’t throw up again. Of course, it isn’t magic and if you’re still sick you may still throw up, but your body won’t be struggling with dehydration as well.

The only other thing I do is optiflora, shaklee’s probiotic. While the gut is losing the good bacteria at an intense rate, it helps to keep replenishing it and allowing them to do their work.

I don’t do Tylenol or Motrin for fevers. I just try to keep my kids or me as comfortable as possible. My reasons? One, I don’t personally trust what’s in those or how they work, and two, fevers are good and shouldn’t be tampered with. God created fevers as a part of our body’s defense system. This has some good myth versus facts about fevers, although I don’t agree with giving medication for discomfort. I don’t want my kids uncomfortable, but breaking up the fever over and over instead of letting it do it’s thing, will make them uncomfortable longer, because it will take their body longer to fight. This Mama talks a little about it here.

Good luck! I hope your family doesn’t catch the bug going around! Let me know if you want to stock up on things so you’re ready in case it comes your way!


*As always, I’m not a dr, just a mama who has found some amazing things that work for my family and I’d like to share them with you!

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Cal Mag Plus and Joint Health Complex


Within the past 2 weeks I’ve had some friends try out a new supplement and have amazing results really quickly. I thought I’d let you know a few of the conversations I’ve had.

My mom got a YMCA membership in October/November and started going there every Tuesday and Thursday evening for one of the classes they offer. She was loving the class and how hard they were working her and strong she was feeling, but her hips especially were starting to bother her. She has been using Shaklee products for a few years but had never tried our glucosamine product (Joint Health Complex). She decided to give it a try, and before her first week was up, she was texting me and telling me how amazing she is feeling. She said, “Love the Shaklee Joint Health! My hips don’t hurt. It even makes my back feel better. Like an inside lube job…lol”


Well, she’s actually right. Shaklee’s Joint Health Complex (from the Shaklee website):

  1. Improves cushioning. Glucosamine helps maintain cartilage, the protective cushioning between joints that allows them to move more freely*
  2. Maintains healthy connective tissue. Zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin C help build collagen and other important components of connective tissue that give strength and structure to joints*
  3. Increases joint comfort. Boswellia extract works fast to blunt the body’s stress response mechanism to improve joint comfort*

All of those things probably would feel exactly like a lube job.

Another friend who is in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy has been struggling with acid reflux. It is the worst, she said, when it wakes her up in the middle of the night. So uncomfortable and sometimes it’s even painful. I know, I had it too this 3rd pregnancy. What I did and suggested to my friend was Shaklee’s Chewable Cal-Mag Plus. I like to give this to my kiddos to make sure they are getting their calcium, but I have learned that it is also amazing at neutralizing acid reflux. I mentioned this to my friend, who tried a few I gave her and she bought a bottle a few days later.


It’s so great to be a part of a company that can make a noticeable difference in health and quality of life. I also love that I know that I know that I know it is so safe. There are things (drugs, over the counter or perscription) that could probably make her feel better, but what could it be doing in the long term to her body. Or what side effects might there be?

As always, I think that these supplements have had the affect they’ve had because of the company they’re from. If you aren’t familiar with Shaklee, or are curious why they are so much better in my mind than others, read this. And feel free to contact me ( if you have any questions.


**I am not a doctor, just a mama who has found some things that are working wonders for her family and friends. I’d love to help it work for you too!

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Why Shaklee


I plan on sporadically letting you guys know about some products in our house that have really made a MAJOR difference in our health. And to do that, you have to know the company first because I have tried other stuff and rarely find anything that works like my Shaklee works. This company just goes above and beyond and it really shows from the quality of their products to everything they do for the environment and in the world. So, I want to make sure I give you a clear picture of why our family has chosen Shaklee.

**Yes, I have a Shaklee business, and yes I’d love your business to come through me, but first and foremost I want you feeling well and living life to the fullest. I would rather you buy Shaklee from someone else and get healthy/feel great than to personally “make a sale”. I trust Shaklee with everything in me, they have never let me down, so feel free to do your own research. Look into them, let me answer your questions about them, research other companies (I have a questionnaire at the bottom that will help you evaluate other companies), just don’t let the fact that I’m selling it, turn you away. Okay, back to business.**

Before I can tell you why Shaklee, I need to first tell you why supplement at all. Why do we need vitamins? Well, our bodies are made up of trillions of cells, with billions being created every day. Every system in our body needs nutrients to keep it going and our bodies aren’t capable of producing those nutrients on their own. They have to come from outside of us. AKA food, water, supplements, etc. And while my goal is to eat in a way that gives my body the most nutrients as possible (I eat gluten free, grain free, dairy free, corn free, only honey and pure maple syrup as sweeteners, almost NO processed foods…), I know that I can’t do it perfectly. My great diet is still falling short. And that is where Shaklee enters in.

We have a lot of supplements in our house. We use them for many different things. Some just daily supplements, some for when we have headaches, some for if we get sick, some for prevention when we go someplace extra germy. 98% of our supplements are from Shaklee. The ones that aren’t were recommended by my doctor to heal the lining of my gut from accidental exposure to gluten this summer. I’m sure Shaklee has something that would’ve done the trick as well, but I trust Dr. Gladd and know that he is researching things the same as Shaklee does.

That is one of the huge advantages of Shaklee for me. They are a research company. They are not a sales company that happens to sell supplements. Dr. Forrest Shaklee, who started this company almost 60 years ago, was looking for something to help his chiropractic clients with their health and so started developing Shaklee’s supplement line. Since that time, Shaklee has grown and grown and all of the amazing things they are involved in has grown too. You can read more about it here. One of my favorite facts is that they were the first company in the world to totally offset their carbon emissions, meaning they have no drain on the environment. Whether you care a TON about the environment or personally try to kill as much as you can, it’s still cool that this company stands behind what they believe enough to put it into action. It’s also awesome that they were the first ones. But they not only don’t drain, they give back. There is a lot more about all they are involved in, in that link above.

Shaklee is always safe, always works and is always green. These are the things you can guarantee in every one of their products.

Always Safe. Shaklee scours the world for the purest and most potent ingredients. When they get a new batch of raw botanical ingredients for their supplements, they run over 350 tests for pesticides and fungus and all kinds of bad things that could get in there with the good, natural stuff. That’s 240 more tests than they are required to by the United States Pharmacopeia. They run over 100,ooo quality tests a year to make sure their products are pure and potent. When ginseng products were all the rage in the 90’s, Shaklee couldn’t find a source of ginseng that was pure. It all had some type of fungus growing on it. So, Shaklee didn’t have that product on their shelves until they could find a source that met their standards. They forfeited a lot of business in ginseng products because they couldn’t go against what they believed in. I don’t know about you, but that speaks VOLUMES to me. That is how I want my kids to live their lives. Giving up something gratifying in the moment because it is against who they want to be.

Shaklee not only runs tests on the raw ingredients but also on the finished products. There are so many things that can kill whatever good and powerful ingredients are in a product. Heat, pressure and not properly stabilizing ingredients to name a few. Shaklee is aware of these things and therefore tests the finished good to make sure it is still potent. A while back they formulated a product called Immunity Formula I. It is an immune boosting supplement (duh). Anyhow, they found their pure ingredients, made sure each ingredient was potent, then put them together. They could have stopped there. But Shaklee tested the finished product and realized that the way they had put the ingredients together allowed them to all eat each other up basically, so there was nothing good left in it. They would have been selling a worthless, money devouring nothing of a pill. But, Shaklee went back to researching and came up with a way to stabilize all ingredients and put them back together in a way that gets them to us in a POWERFUL way. Basically, Shaklee checks their homework.

Always Works. Shaklee knows stuff. They have 33 years of clinical studies, almost 60 years of experience, 100 published scientific papers, 111 medal winning performances by world class athletes, and a study based on their supplements showing those who took Shaklee over 20 years were healthier. They have invested over $250 million in clinical testing, research and development. They seriously know stuff. But you’d have to if you were the #1 natural nutrition company in the United States.

I could tell you story after story of Shaklee successes in our family alone, and I probably will over time, but for today let’s just say I have seen it work. They fueled, with their products, 7 of Time-Life Books’ 25 Greatest Adventures of All Time. They helped power the first American ascent up Mount Everest. In 1993, Shaklee developed a product specifically for the astronauts in the NASA space shuttle program, which they still use today. And to back up how strongly they believe their products work they have an unconditional guarantee. Use up their product, if it doesn’t work, you get your money back. Boom.

Always Green. Their whole cleaning line is safe for your family, but also safe for the environment. From kitchen to bathroom to laundry, their cleaners are good for you and good for wherever they end up. They developed one of the first biodegradable cleaners. That first link up there can tell you a lot more of the things they do to give back to this planet we are to be good stewards of.

So, yeah. That’s why we choose Shaklee. Over the past 4 years I’ve only learned things that make me like them more. Trust them more. Respect them more. I’m so thankful that I found products to help up so much.

If you want to research other companies, here are some questions you may want to ask. I put some of Shaklee’s answers in for you (if I didn’t talk about them earlier) so you know where they stand.

Questions to Ask of Nutrition Companies

  1. Does the vitamin disintegrate quickly enough to be bio-available for your cells? Example: Shaklee created their B Complex with a patented outer layer (folic acid) that disintegrates quickly enough to get into your body. Folic acid can be hard to absorb, so Shaklee made sure they found a way for it to absorb. They do this with all their products.
  2. What is getting into your/your child’s blood stream? Artificial ingredients, dyes, sugar, preservatives? Is there anything in those products that will harm your child if they take it? Make sure you know what is getting into their blood stream.
  3. Is high heat used to process the vitamins? Shaklee carefully works between 51-131 degrees to make sure the processing keeps the product the same as it’s whole food value. Heating kills nutrients and can turn a product toxic to your body
  4. Do they use high pressure processing, especially for minerals? Calcium can become like a brick under that processing and just sit in our system, not good. Shaklee knows this and is careful.
  5. Is the vitamin food sourced, synthetic or an isolate? Synthetic nutrients are just fake versions of the real thing and don’t work/aren’t good for our bodies.  Or are they an isolate? That just means they put the nutrient all by itself rather than putting it with a companion nutrient which makes it available to the body. Nutrients aren’t found alone in nature so they shouldn’t be alone in your supplements either.  So, what is it made from?
  6. Is the manufacturer committed to product research, scientific research or just marketing research? The majority of companies have no scientific team at all, they don’t even make their product.
  7. Is the research published in scientific journals or just marketing journals?
  8. Do pro athletes and practitioners use the products without endorsement?
  9. Are all ingredients pure and controlled? No pesticides, fungicides, heavy metals, herbicides? Our batches will be rejected if they do. Does your company check for all of that? Do they look at ingredients from beginning to end and stick to pure ingredients no matter what?
  10. Is there a 100% money back guarantee?
  11. Do representatives of company know anything about wellness issues or are they just good salesmen?
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my first hater


I’m sure there will be many many more along my journey, but I read my first “you suck” comment recently. I knew it was coming. If you’re around the blog world or really any social media, you notice people have a lot more boldness than I think they would face to face. Anyhow, to this persons credit, they didn’t post it straight to my blog or even on my blog Facebook page, but instead a friend of mine shared my link and they commented there. It still stung. I still had to emotionally regroup, but after some time thinking, I’d like to say something to my hater. Thank you.


Their questioning of me and my beliefs on health caused me to ask some hard questions of myself as well. Is it all true? Is it true that I’m simply getting “expensive urine” by using the supplements I use or that those ailments I talked about would’ve cleared up on their own without help? Is it true that I am not really helping our immune systems because if I were we wouldn’t get sick at all? Am I just plain wrong? And am I leading people astray with all my wrong-ness? Am I just sharing with people to make a sale, to use them?


And what I came to is no. No to all of it. Over and over and over again, no. I’ve seen things turn around as we’ve started supplements. I saw Monkey’s dry, rough, totally itchy skin disappear over the course of a few days after starting him on supplements. I’ve had allergic reaction itchy hands and scalp to the point of fearing injuring my skin until I took my Shaklee. I’ve seen a rash covering Spunky’s body go away 30 minutes after giving her specific supplements. I’ve had my painful PMS diminish as I’ve provided my body what it needs. I’ve had multiple people tell me how much better their joints feel when they take Shaklee’s glucosamine product versus other brands. I have so many more stories that prove to me, scientific study or not, that they work and are WELL worth it for my family. (PS Shaklee has a Landmark Study done by a 3rd party that proves they are beneficial).


And yes, I’m going to share my experiences with people I love so they at least know that other options are out there. And yes, if sharing something that has changed my life could also make me some income to supplement my husband’s hard work, then yes, I’ll be doing that too and feel no shame. So asking those questions only strengthened my belief in all I do and stand for. And I am thankful.


I felt better after all of that pondering, but there was still a nagging in my heart. Next, I had to wrestle with how people see me. This person thought pretty hard core negative things about me. And they thought them when I was simply sharing my heart and my experiences. I had to ask more questions. Ok, so what if they do think that about me? What if 1000 people think those things? Then what?


And what I so peacefully and gratefully was led to? Then nothing changes. I’m still God’s. He’s still mine. I’m still complete and whole in him. He is still a heartbeat away, whispering to my soul, leading my life, filling in all of my gaps. He still looks at me the way I look at my kids: with delight and pride and hope for all he sees and all he knows I’ll become. No one can convince him to let me go. No one can convince him that I’m not worth it. No one can decide what “worth it” is, except him. And he decided it when he imagined me and proved it when he sent his Son to die for me. I am unshakable because I am standing on the Rock. 

Oh friends, may we all have things in our lives that give us the chance to run back to Him and make us realize how unshakable we are when he is our only foundation.

Why we do what we do: colds, flu,ear etc.


When Spunky was 9 months old she got her first ear infection. I did what most people do, the only thing I knew to do, I took her to the doctor, got an antibiotic and her ear infection went away. Yay for medicine, right? Well, 4-6 weeks later she got another one. Then another one. Then another. In the span of 6 months, she had 4 ear infections. This medicine that I was relying on was helping, but not really taking care of the problem. She was still getting ear infections. She was still struggling to fight off the virus on her own and so it was continuously turning into an ear infection.

This 4th ear infection was a month after my world was rocked by a celiac disease diagnosis so I was open to alternative ideas. I went for a run with a new friend and mentioned some of my recently discovered health issues that I was wading through. She invited me to come learn about a new way.  I thought I was going to learn info for me that night, and in a roundabout way I did, but I walked away with hope for Spunky. My friend taught me about the ability of our bodies to fight infection. She taught me about strengthening our immune systems. And she taught me about giving our bodies the nutrients they need to do the work they were made to do. She also said that if we let our bodies fight for themselves, they get stronger. They remember and fight better the next time.
I had an appointment set for Spunky that next day. My friend gave me what I needed to boost Spunky’s immune system and help her body fight while I waited for my supplements to come in. I cancelled her appointment. I was skeptical and fearful. I was also hopeful for a new way. I called my friend multiple times in those first few days. Spunky’s ear infection cleared up in a day or two. Without any antibiotic. And she didn’t get another ear infection for 2 years.
What happens to our immune system when we use nutrients to fight?
This is the Immune System for Dummies version. I can’t handle much deeper than what I’m explaining to you, however, there are many deeper places to read about these things if you just start searching.
But, from what I have learned, when we get a virus or a bacteria in our bodies, our immune system jumps into action. Lots of cells with lots of different jobs start working together to fight the intruder. One type of cell detects the invader, one detects what kind it is, one sounds the alarm and calls others to action and one calms everyone down once the fighting is done so the fighter cells don’t get carried away and start attacking good guys. After the bug has been concurred, acquired immunity is achieved. Your immune system remembers. Not that we’ll never get a cold or ear infection again (there are many different strains of things), but each time our immune system is exposed it gets stronger and smarter and better at dealing with bad guys.
What happens to our immune system when we get sick and use antibiotics?
Antibiotics work and they usually work fast. But, when we send an antibiotic into our bodies, they wipe out everything. The good bacteria along with the bad. They make it harder for the immune system to remember. That is why Spunky kept getting ear infections. Her body was never able to figure it out on it’s own and learn to stand up to those irritating punks!
This guy has a great article about the intestinal flora (good bacteria) and how important it is for our immune systems.
What supplements do I use?
First, and most importantly, I use a brand of supplements called Shaklee. I’ll explain why in my next blog but for now just know that they are far superior to anything else I’ve found. Yes, they are pricey, but there’s a reason for that as well: they work. They’re safe. They are a research company and have proof to back up their claims. They have guarantees. Every time (at least 3 times I can think of) I’ve tried to save money and buy something from the health food shop or the natural grocery, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t work as well, if it even works at all. I keep thinking, Shaklee can’t be the ONLY company that makes quality products, but so far they keep holding their ground against any perceived competition. I say perceived because, in my mind, there is no competition when it comes to supplement brands, but like I said, I’ll tell you more on that later.
I use a lot of different things for different ailments, but since I was talking about ear infections before, I’ll just elaborate on that one for now. When I started treating Spunky’s ear infections I used garlic, Nutriferon (something I can explain at a later date), vitamin C, and an echinecia blend all crushed in a liquid vitamin. And I did that twice a day. I was pulling out all the stops that first time. Spunky was also taking a multi-vitamin (Incredivites) that I knew would help strengthen her immune system. I don’t do all of those things every time anymore, I’ve learned I can get away with less. Now that I’ve learned more and their body’s immune systems are pretty strong. However, if I did continue to do all those things, they’d probably get better faster.
Am I totally against antibiotics?
No. I am thankful for them and know they have a time and a place where they are SO necessary. A week after I had Monkey, I got Mastitis (a breast infection), I had no idea that is was happening since nursing is painful in the beginning anyways. I got super sick before I caught it and couldn’t fight it myself. In that instance, I was so thankful for antibiotics. But since then, I have had at least 5 bouts of Mastitis that I’ve kicked on my own using my normal regimen.
I also think that we, as a society, have learned to jump to antibiotics really quickly instead of trusting our bodies to be tough enough to fight. We have learned a lot of fear about illness that isn’t necessary. And since my family has been doing things differently, we have been healthier. Less sick, and when we do get sick, our bodies know what to do and do it efficiently.
Since Spunky’s last round of antibiotics at 15 months, none of my kids have needed an antibiotic. No one in our house has, other than my time of mastitis. We’ve had sinus infections, respiratory infections, ear infections, pink eye, croup, colds, flu, mastitis and I’m sure other things that weren’t diagnosed. I’m glad to know that antibiotics are there if all else fails, but am also so glad to have other options at my disposal, and on hand for whenever something strikes.
*Just so there’s no confusion (since my detailed explanation of the immune system was so in depth and scientific) I am no doctor. I am a mama who learned bits along the way and has discovered a new way to treat her kids that has improved their health. I am still learning and growing and discovering and researching. But I’m hoping that my experience can help others out there who may be in a similar situation as I was in. Let me know if there is any questions I can answer or find answers to. I’d love to help if I can.
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Why we do what we do: series intro


In my little family, we do most things different. What we eat, how we parent, how we school, how we treat sickness, how we birth. It’s all outside of mainstream culture.



            I never set out to be different. In fact, I used to have a lot of unfair judgement on all the people who did what I now do. I thought about how absurd they were and how unnecessary the harder choice was.  A few of the topics I just didn’t know the other option existed. At any rate, I was ignorant and responded as such.
            Until, I had a health crisis when I was 22 or 23 that sent me from doctor to doctor, from test to test trying to figure out why I felt so crappy all the time. For 2 years I did this and discovered nothing.
            Well, that’s not true. We discovered that my gallbladder was fine, my bloodwork was fine, I didn’t have an ulcer and after drinking really thick nasty stuff, the X-rays of my abdomen were normal. Oh and one doctor wanted to prescribe antidepressants over the phone after I told them my symptoms and that I wanted to come in. Ah!
             It wasn’t until after my daughter was born  and I started pursuing health again when I was 26 that I found a doctor who diagnosed me. I was nervous to see him. I thought he might be crazy. He was much more holistic and natural. He looked at my test results from 3 or 4 years prior and said, “you have celiac disease.” He changed my life forever.
              I went from totally checked out of life, tired and freezing all the time, stomach bloated and uncomfortable every day, no/random periods that were extremely painful when they came (gradually as I healed) to normal. It took time to heal and to learn some of my other intestinal triggers, but cutting out gluten from my diet gave me my life back.
              From then on, I started questioning everything. If mainstream couldn’t diagnose me with the results in front of them, maybe mainstream had some other things that could be improved on.
               It was a slow ripple effect from there that has made me become a researcher. Who says? Why? and What’s the alternative? have become my go to questions at every new decision. I’ve also learned to listen to what my heart says and start from that point. I felt so sad at the thought of sending Layla to school. But instead of plowing through because mainstream says that’s what you do, I looked into options as I asked God to lead.
               So, I want to share with you in this little series why we do what we do. Information, circumstances and research that led me to each point of decision and then what it looks like once we’re here.
               Maybe you are like I was, partially oblivious and partially judgmental and this will serve as new ideas into a world you didn’t know existed. Or maybe you’re where I am and this will encourage you in your weird-living. Or maybe this will simply give you insight into who I am and how I got here. Whatever this series speaks to you, I’m excited about sharing the journey of such a significant part of our story.
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Dry Skin: need to know


I have a series I’m working on (pretty excited) that includes a lot of our health practices over here at the Hemsoth house, but I couldn’t wait on this bit of information.

A few weeks ago, Monkey started getting dry skin. He usually does in the winter and a little coconut oil helps him get through this dry season. This time, however, the coconut oil wasn’t doing the trick and he was itching to the point of scabs on his shins and sides. Being that it was only the end of November, I knew we needed to look into something to ease his suffering. The itching was keeping him up at night and taking him close to tears at his frustration of it.

I’ve learned over the years (more details to come in my series), that a lot of health issues begin on the inside of us. So, I asked my most knowledgeable friend what nutrient my Monkey could be lacking. She first asked about possible food allergy, if it was a rash or hives, but we came to it probably just being a dry skin issue. She told me Vitamin C and E are good for that. I figured out what I needed to order from Shaklee (more info on this, my most favorite company, in my series as well), and planned to order it but I needed something right away since I knew it would take some time to make a difference in his body (so I thought). I remembered a soft gel I’m taking from Shaklee called GLA, amazing for balancing a woman out hormonally, but also contains vitamin E. And there are no hormones in it, the nutrients are just some that women can lack and when we fill in the gaps it stabilizes us. ANYhow, I gave one to Monkey, he popped it open with his teeth (his favorite) and that night, the itching was SIGNIFICANTLY better. And now, 5 days later, he isn’t itching AT ALL! WHAT!?!? His skin is no longer dry. It feels totally normal!

I have seen filling in missing nutrients make substantial differences in me and my kids in the past, but I’m still always so excited when I see it in a new way. 5 years ago, I NEVER would have thought about giving Monkey a vitamin to help him with a skin issue. It seems illogical, at first, that some cream wouldn’t be the only answer. But when I stop and think about it, of course our skin is a reflection of our body on the inside. The inside is what makes the outside! And if you’ve ever looked at those creepy before and after pictures of heroin addicts, you know that what we put in reflects what we see out.

So, before you run to the dermatologist to get expensive creams that may only cover up a lacking nutrient in you or your child, think about, talk to me about, what options you have to try and do it on your own. I’d love to give you any info I have or point you to someone smarter than me.

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