The Best Time to Take Probiotics

The Best Time to Take Probiotics


You probably know probiotics are good for gut health, but most people don’t know that they actually help decrease inflammation in your tummy and boost your immune system.

In fact, 70-80% of the entire immune system lives in the GI tract.

Most people also don’t know when to take probiotics, and how often they need to take them.

A consistent probiotic routine is very important when determining the best times to take a probiotic - because when and how often they are absorbed determines how effective they will be.

Everyone is different, and it is important to find a time that works for you to take your probiotic – so you remember to take it each day.

The first step to better understanding probiotics as it relates to you is to know that each person’s needs vary.

Below are three descriptions of the most common types of probiotic users

and when they should take their probiotic – determine which you identify most with.

Type #1. You Require Little Maintenance and Are Very Healthy

This person does not have any major gut health issues, such as bloating or diarrhea after each meal.

For the most part, this person eats a diet of anti-inflammatory foods and does not eat processed foods, foods high in sugar, foods that are high in saturated fat or processed oils.

If you identify as this type and are an early riser, research shows that taking your probiotic supplement at the same time each morning (one hour before you eat your first meal) will benefit you most.

If you tend to stay up late at night, research has also found great benefit in taking probiotics at night, so you can keep your sleep-wake cycle on a regular rhythm.

Type #2. You Sometimes Have Tummy Issues

This person deals with digestive disturbances, skin issues or headaches, bloating, gas, diarrhea, loose stools and constipation after meals.
If you eat fast food, gluten, dairy, packaged foods or fried foods, then you definitely need to be taking a probiotic.
Better food choices and a high-quality soil-based probiotic will help support your immune system and improve your mood as well.
A regular probiotic routine will help calm autoimmune flare-ups by maintaining a positive bacterial balance – taking probiotics at each meal can help accomplish this.
Research shows that carrying high levels of healthy bacteria in your gut is a great way to cut down on weight gain, brain fog, mood swings, skin conditions and many autoimmune issues.
To ensure your soil-based probiotics thrive in the GI tract, make sure your probiotic supplement also has prebiotics in it. Prebiotics are the food that probiotics eat, and both are needed to maximize benefits.

Type #3. You have Insomnia, Infections or Trouble Breathing

Most of our neighbors, family, and friends fall into this category.

In fact, one in three people find it difficult to sleep, and many people have chronic sleep disorders.

If you can relate to this, you might find relief in taking a high-quality soil-based probiotic before bed to help get your sleep-wake cycle back on track.

Probiotics also help strengthen the gut and liver connection and ease the sleep cycle.

If you are fighting an infection or suffer from a low immune system, taking a probiotic with meals will help offset the inflammation placed on your body by medications or antibiotics by restoring your gut flora balance.

Probiotics may also be helpful in reducing allergies, especially food allergies, which have been found to contribute to asthma and breathing problems.

For people with these issues, the best time to take a probiotic is twice a day, once an empty stomach and once with a meal.

No matter what type of probiotic user you are, focus on consistently taking high-quality soil-based probiotics to find your way back a stronger immune system, happier moods, better sleep, and smoother skin.

No matter how you take your probiotics, a routine is paramount - taking the right soil-based probiotics with prebiotics at the right time will ensure better health.

Why Women Live Longer than Men

Why Women Live Longer than Men


In all developed countries and most undeveloped ones, women outlive men, sometimes by a margin of 10 years. In the U.S., average life expectancy at birth is about 79 years for women and about 72 years for men.

Harvard researchers studied people who live 100 years and more to conclude that...

Menopause is a major determinant of the lifespans of both women and men.

A women's lifespan depends on the balance of two forces.

⚈ One is the evolutionary drive to pass on her genes.
⚈ The other is the need to stay healthy enough to rear as many children as possible.

Menopause draws the line between the two. It protects older women from the risks of bearing children late in life and lets them live long enough to take care of their children and grandchildren. 

As for men, Harvard researchers believe that their purpose is simply to carry genes that ensure longevity and pass them on to their daughters. Thus, female longevity becomes the force that determines the natural lifespan of both men and women.

Interestingly, most animals do not undergo menopause.

It seems that menopause evolved in part as a response to the amount of time that the young remain dependent on adults to ensure their survival. Pilot whales, for example, suckle their young until age 14, and they, along with humans, are two of the few species that menstruate.

Human females eventually become so frail that bearing children involves a high risk of death. Earlier in evolution, that was as young as 35 to 40 years old.

Anyone who developed a genetic alteration that caused infertility, i.e., menopause, obtained a survival advantage over females who continued to be fertile and died bearing children.

The Gender Gap

The gender gap is most pronounced in those who live 100 years or more.

Among centenarians worldwide, women outnumber males nine to one. In all the studies involving centenarians from eight cities and towns around Boston, Harvard researchers say that eighty-five are women.

The mortality gap varies during other stages of life.

✦ Between ages 15 and 24 years

Men are four to five times more likely to die than women.

This time frame coincides with the onset of puberty and an increase in reckless and violent behavior in males. Researchers refer to it as a "testosterone storm."

Most deaths in this male group come from motor vehicle accidents, followed by homicide, suicide, cancer, and drowning.

✦ After age 24

The difference between male and female mortality narrows until late middle age.

✦ In the 55- to 64-year-old range

More men than women die, due mainly to heart disease, suicide, car accidents, and illnesses related to smoking and alcohol use.

Heart disease kills five of every 1,000 men in this age group, and men are more inclined to put on fat in the abdominal area, which is associated with higher rates of heart disease.

Women, by contrast, more often carry fat below the waist. 

It seems likely that women have been outliving men for centuries and perhaps longer. Even with the sizable risk conferred by childbirth, women have out survived men at least since the 1500s.

Although, in the United States between 1900 and the 1930s, the death risk for women of childbearing age was as high as that for men.

Since then, improved health care, particularly in childbirth, has put women ahead of men again in the survival struggle, as well as raising life expectancy for both sexes.

It is important for readers to note that a longer life does not necessarily mean a healthier life, however.

Statistically, men have and are more likely to succumb to fatal illnesses like heart disease, stroke, and cancer, while women live on with non-fatal conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes.

In a nutshell, while men die from their diseases, women live with them.

⚝ One contributor to the gender difference in lifespan is the influence of sex hormones.

The male hormone testosterone not only increases aggressive and competitive behavior in young men, but it also increases levels of harmful cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), raising a male's chances of getting heart disease or stroke.

On the other hand, the female hormone estrogen lowers harmful cholesterol and raises "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein).

Emerging evidence suggests estrogen treatment after menopause reduces the risk of dying from heart disease and stroke, as well as of dying in general.

⚝ One of the most common reasons as to why women live longer than men is because of how a woman’s heart can become more active.

A major part of one’s biological age is that of one’s heart activity in that when the heart is more active and healthier a person’s biological age can be reduced because of how the heart is still working in a proper way.

A woman’s heart tends to be more active primarily because of how the menstruation process causes the heart to exercise and to work at a greater level.

What happens in menstruation that causes a woman’s heart to become active is that the estradiol hormone is released in the woman’s body during the process.

Estradiol will work to give the woman’s heart a greater amount of energy because this is an especially powerful form of estrogen that can cause her heart to be more active.

It is more powerful than other types of estrogen that can be in a woman’s body.

Because of the workout that is given to the heart during the menstruation period the heart will be able to work at a better rate and as a result to help with getting one’s biological age reduced.

A longer life means survival of the fittest, and women, evolutionarily speaking, are more fit than men.

The longer a woman lives and the more slowly she ages, the more offspring she can produce and rear to adulthood. Therefore, evolution would naturally select the genes of such women over those who die young.

Long-lived men would also have an evolutionary advantage over their shorter-lived brethren.

However, research points out that studies of chimps, gorillas, and other species closely related to humans suggest that a male's reproductive capacity is actually limited more by access to females than by lifespan.

And because men have not been involved in childcare as much as females, survival of a man's offspring, and thus his genes, depended not so much on how long he lived, but on how long the mother of his children lived.

In their studies of centenarians, Harvard researchers Perls and Fretts that a surprising number of women who lived to be 100 or more gave birth in their forties.

These 100-year-old women were four times as likely to have given birth in their forties as women born in the same year who died at age 73.

A study of centenarians in Europe by the Max Planck Institute of Demography in Germany the same relationship between longevity and fecundity.

This does not mean that having a child in middle age makes a woman live longer.

Rather, the factors that allow certain older women to bear children—a slow rate of aging and decreased susceptibility to disease—also improve a woman's chances of living a long time.

Extending that idea, that the driving force of human lifespan is maximizing the time during which woman can bear children.

The age at which menopause eliminates the threat of female survival by ending further reproduction may, therefore, be the determinant of subsequent lifespan.

Closing the Gap

If this is true, then the genes of female centenarians hold the secrets of a longer, healthier life. And these are no ordinary genes.

Whether the average person drinks, smokes, exercises, or eats her vegetables adds or subtracts five to ten years to or from her life.

But to live an additional 30 years requires the kind of genes that slow down aging and reduce susceptibility to conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

In summary, centenarians are a tremendous resource for the discovery of genes responsible for aging and the ways in which aging occurs.

Finding these genes could lead to testing people and determining who might be disposed to accelerate aging via diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Such individuals might eventually be treated to extend the prospect of their living longer.

Although women can expect to live longer than men, the gap is closing.

Death rates have begun to converge in the past 20 years.

Some researchers attribute the convergence to women taking on the behaviors and stresses formerly considered the domain of males—smoking, drinking, and working outside the home.

Deaths rates from lung cancer, for example, have almost tripled in women in the past 20 years.

One study concluded that, on average, middle-aged female smokers live no longer than male smokers, and that smoking is the greatest equalizer.

Other reasons?

Other reasons why women outlive men include the fact that women are more likely to consult a medical practitioner when they experience adverse symptoms.

U.S. women account for 471 million doctors’ office visits per year, compared to just 316 million for men. They are also more inclined to seek regular medical screening for common health problems.

Men, by contrast, tend to ignore problems and hope they will go away.

Men are more likely to consider it a sign of weakness to acknowledge symptoms of illness.

They are more inclined to be stoic and ignore bodily signals that may indicate serious problems until it is too late to do anything about them.

Lastly, men are more inclined to suffer work-related stress and to have less well-developed social networks of supportive friends.

Many married men rely almost completely on their wives for emotional support, making them more vulnerable in the case of divorce or death of a spouse.

Suppressing emotions can also play a role in undermining physical health among men.



Bursting Your Bubble. Chewing Gum Dangers


Some experts argue that this is the most toxic substance in the supermarkets today. Most everyone has tried it and may even have an addiction to it.

I am referring to chewing gum.

And since its commercial sale debut in 1848 by John Curtis in the state of Maine, its popularity has exploded, and with that, the way the chewing gum was manufactured.

The ancient Greeks and Mayans chewed resin and sap gums made from trees, which were very natural. Cut to modern day flavors which are made from synthetic materials that are not so great for the mouth, digestive system, and body.

These synthetic materials can be

✪ aspartame
✪ BHT (to maintain freshness and increase shelf life)
✪ titanium dioxide
✪ calcium casein peptone-calcium phosphate
✪ plastics
✪ elastics and fillers (which are part of the gum base)
✪ other preservatives and artificial colors/flavors.

Let's learn a few reasons why some may say chewing gum, even the ones "4 out of 5 dentists recommend chewing to prevent cavities," is not so healthy for us.

To make it easier to read, I will list and briefly describe the reasons why habitual gum chewing should not be recommended.

♦ Gum chewing is inflammatory for the body.
♦ Stimulates weight gain. Gum chewing stimulates saliva production and takes away from metabolic functioning (when not actually eating real food).
♦ May cause abdominal pains, cramps, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome because of the extra swallowed air.
♦ May suppress the immune suppression and cause yeast development in the body,(leading to cavities and allergies).
♦ The latex and polymers that are in gum made with synthetic ingredients cause digestive problems.
♦ Aspartame and other sugar-free, synthetic toxic substances have been documented to cause cancer, neurological disorders, birth defects, tinnitus, diabetes, and prove poisonous to the body.
♦ Gum made with high fructose corn syrup prove to be a direct link to obesity, tooth decay, cancer, and diabetes.
♦ Gum preservatives(BHT) and coloring agents have been linked to tumors and cancer-causing.
♦ People with TMJ or other pre-existing jaw conditions may aggravate muscles, tendons, and cartilage surrounding mouth area.
♦ May create more headaches because of instigating chronic tightness in two of the muscles around the temples.
♦ Does not rid bad breath, and chewing gum with sugar will only breed the bacteria in the mouth (which is one of the reasons for halitosis).
♦ May promote tooth decay.


Many people who chew gum habitually find themselves trying to relieve stress, anxiety or tension orally. Find another way that is not oral to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, exercising, journaling, or crafting and brush after every meal. The habit will stop and your mouth will feel fresh and clean.

If you must chew gum, chew a natural colored (not synthetically dyed) and flavored gum sweetened with xylitol. You can find these in your local health food stores.

Chew for about 5 minutes directly after a meal (this will ensure that all the loose food particles are removed from the teeth crevices and the stomach digestive enzymes and juices continue to secrete (sometimes people eat too fast and the body has not had time to fully release digestive juices).

Homemade Sunscreen (Kaley Wirthlin)

Homemade Sunscreen (Kaley Wirthlin)

Guest blogger Kaley Wirthlin is the creator of, a website dedicated to improving health through real food, farming, natural remedies, outdoor adventures, and non-toxic living. Below is a great article on making your own, effective sunscreen!

We live and Florida and love the beach. We’ll be going to Honeymoon Island once a week when summer is finally here.

Just a few pictures to help you understand why. :0)

It is beautiful and the boys love playing in the water and sand.  If we are not at the beach, you can find us at the pool.  There is a great pool right by us and we go often.  I guess Florida is known for its outdoor recreation. We take advantage of it.

I have one son that is very tan, and one son is that is fair skinned.  I am right there with my fair skinned son, even though we tan easily… we have to be careful.  We mainly use natural sunscreen from the health food store.  Many of the ingredients in regular sunscreen contain toxic chemicals and endocrine disrupting chemicals.  These ingredients are especially  bad for children and women during child-bearing years.  Some sunscreens actually raise your chances of getting skin cancer. There are some good options out there, but be careful even natural sunscreens can have sketchy ingredients.  Always read the LABELS.  If you want to read more in details about the risks and benefits check out this article.

Since making my homemade facial cream,  I have really wanted to try my own sunscreen formula.  Many of the ingredients are the same which makes it easy.  My boys are always in the sun, so it was a no-brainer.  Experiment time!!! I love this part.

Another way to help build and strengthen the skin and keep from burning~ take fermented cod- liver oil regularly.

This sunscreen formula was adapted from Wellness Mama.


1/2 cup grape seed oil (coconut, olive, almond)
5 tsp zinc oxide (available online or in stores~make sure it is pure zinc oxide) Do NOT inhale!
1 Tbsp Beeswax
1 Tbsp distilled water
1 tsp Rosehip essential oil (optional~ use any for scent, just not citrus bc it is phototoxic)

Check out why rosehip oil is so great for the skin.

How to Make It

1. Heat Oil and beeswax in a mason jar sitting in a pan of low boiling water until just melted.  I stir it occasionally with a long toothpick. Takes about 5-8 minutes.

2.  Remove from heat.

3.  Add essential oils.

4.  Put into bowl that will not be used for food, and add zinc oxide powder, Mix well. Make sure you do NOT inhale zinc powder.

5.  Add in 1 Tbsp distilled water.  Whisk a little more…. Depending on the texture you like, you can add a little more or less water.  More of a lotion or thick cream.

On my skin ~ nice consistency and texture.  It rubs right in.

For application suggestions and further information about how much SPF is in this homemade sunscreen, please visit Kaley's blog at

Chronic Headache Relief: Acupuncture and Essential Oils (Anna Dolopo) 

Chronic Headache Relief: Acupuncture and Essential Oils (Anna Dolopo)


Are you plagued by chronic headaches?

More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, and 20 million of them are women.

Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.

The pain that a headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives.

Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches and can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause.

Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes, have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years.

They can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine do not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome.

Instead, these approaches aim to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, tuina massage, and energetic exercises to restore balance in the body.

Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables.

In diagnosing your individual issues, you may be asked a series of questions, including:

➢ Is your headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
➢ When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?
➢ Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?
➢ Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you.

The basic foundation of Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs.

According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. 

Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Here are some natural alternatives to ease your aching head:

The Headache Point

Large Intestine 4 is such a powerful acupuncture point for headaches that it is often referred to as "the headache point."

It is located on the padded area of your hand between the thumb and index finger, between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.

Use Your Essential Oils!

Peppermint Oil

It has a calming and soothing effect on the body, and is often used to treat headaches. Rub peppermint essential oil across your forehead and temples to relieve a tension headache or inhale a peppermint steam treatment to treat a sinus headache. Adding 10-15 drops of peppermint oil to a warm bath is another great way to relax, reduce muscle tension and relieve a headache.


Numerous clinical studies have shown that ginger can be used to relieve headaches. Researchers believe it does so by relaxing the blood vessels in the head and diminishing swelling in the brain.

Ginger also activates natural opiates in the brain that relieve pain, and reduce prostaglandins, which are responsible for causing inflammation.

Other oils to try include:

➢ 2 drops Marjoram
➢ 2 drops Geranium
➢ 2 drops Helichrysum
➢ 2 drops Peppermint


To contact Dr. Anna, please visit




New to Essential Oils? Just How Do Essential Oils Work?

New to Essential Oils? Just How Do Essential Oils Work?


If you are new to essential oils, helping to understand the simple science behind just how essential oils work can help alleviate some of the guesswork behind one of the most popular "alternative" medicine and  lifestyle practices.

Below is a quick overview of how essential oils are absorbed into the body, how it affects the chemical receptors of the brain and body and ways to use essential oils.

Essential oils enter the body in three ways:

❶ Topically: Applied to the skin
❷ Aromatically: Inhaled
❸ Internally: Ingested

❶ Topically: Skin Application

Essential oils can be applied topically to the skin.

Common examples include

✯ applying a blend that contains black pepper (Piper nigrum) or ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil to reduce arthritis pain and improve flexibility

✯ applying German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Geranium or Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) essential oil to treat eczema and other skin dermatitis.

Our skin is very permeable. The active chemicals in essential oils are absorbed just like the ingredients in common pharmaceuticals such as hormone replacement therapy cream and nicotine patches, and even the water in which we bathe.

Factors That Increase Skin Absorption

Different factors affect the absorption of essential oils through the skin.

If you massage the area first, it will increase circulation to that area, thereby causing an increase in the absorption of essential oils. Heat will likewise increase circulation and thus enhance absorption.

Some researchers report that essential oils may be more readily absorbed from skin locations with greater concentrations of sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the genitals, head, soles, palms, and armpits (Battaglia, 2003).


❷ Aromatically: How to Inhale Essential Oils?

Inhalation is perhaps the most common way people use essential oils.

Essential oils enter the body is through the nose or mouth.

Spraying essential oils into the air, diffusing them with a diffuser, humidifier or lighting an essential oil candle are great examples.

Popular essential oils that are diffused into the air include the relaxing eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globules, E. radiate, or E. smithii) for respiratory complications such as a cough, inhaling peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil to reduce fatigue or nausea and lavender essential oil to bring about calm and relaxation.

The Human Olfactory System

The olfactory system includes all physical organs or cells relating to, or contributing to, the sense of smell. When we inhale through the nose, airborne molecules interact with the olfactory organs and, almost immediately, the brain.

Molecules inhaled through the nose or mouth are also carried to the lungs and interact with the respiratory system.

Thus, inhaled essential oils can affect the body through several systems and pathways.

Interaction with the Limbic System (Emotional Brain)

During inhalation, odor molecules travel through the nose and affect the brain through a variety of receptor sites, one of which is the limbic system, which is commonly referred to as the "emotional brain."

The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance. (Higley & Higley, 1998)

This relationship helps explain why smells often trigger emotions. Knowing this, we can hypothesize how inhalation of essential oils can have some very profound physiological and psychological effects!

"Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived."

Helen Keller

❸  Internally: Ingesting High/ Therapeutic Grade (Only) Essential Oils

The third way that essential oils enter the body is by ingestion (swallowing).

Oral ingestion of essential oils is only recommended with use of the highest grade of essential oils.

Know your sources and company reputation.

Consult a healthcare professional knowledgeable in essential oils and homeopathy when considering taking essential oils internally.

The ingestion of essential oils is not common practice in the US. But in eastern Asia, India and in France, it is more common, but only when specially trained physicians, pharmacists and shamans prescribe and dispense them.

There are several reasons for caution, including the following:

⚠ Some essential oils can be toxic to the liver or kidneys when ingested.
⚠ Chemical breakdown of essential oils during gastric processing can change the effects.
⚠ There could be potential drug interactions. ,sup>(Tisserand and Balacs, 1995; Schnaubelt, 1999)