Reflection of my Daughter’s Health

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In a couple of weeks, my beautiful daughter will celebrate her 6th birthday!  As parents, we often reflect on the past birthdays, the fun trips, and the sweet baby we once held.  This time last year, I was flown to New York City by Shaklee Corporation to share my personal testimony about how Shaklee products have changed the health of my daughter.  At that time, I was asked questions about my daughter before using Shaklee cleaners and my daughter after changing products.  Wow….at one point during my video interview, I thought I was going to cry.  In fact, my mother was with me and she did cry!  It was not that I had not realized how much her health had improved, but I simply did not think about her past anymore.  Today, I want to reflect on my daughter’s health.  But first it is important to know that I am simply a mom.  A mom that did a lot of research to help her daughter.  As parents, we must be advocates for our children and research what is best for them, while working with doctors.

With that said, here’s my reflection!

From 10-months on, my daughter was always sick (Please note I did pull all our insurance records to ensure accuracy)

On antibiotics 1-3 times a month except five months in a 27-month period
Chronic nighttime cough
Throw up at night from coughing so hard
Runny nose
Overall was always sick
Tubes placed in her ears
Adenoids removed

As my daughter approached her second birthday, it seemed she was getting worse.  I was referred to a pediatric asthma and allergy specialist.  At two-years old, she was diagnosed with asthma.  After a few months of trial-and-error, they settled on five different medications.  (Feel free to read more about her initial medications here).  While we were able to control her cough better and get sleep, she was still sick all the time.  I was told that it was normal and she would slowly grow out of being sick so much.

After a year on all these medications, I was able to wean her off a couple of them simply by changing the cleaners in my house!  I never knew that toxins inside my home were hurting her and causing her asthma to flare up.  Another year later, after continuing to see my daughter sick at least once a month, I was determined to do something different.

After researching more, reading stories from other moms with similar situations, listening in on health webinars, and chatting with an awesome health coach, I decided nutritional habits had to change.  I learned that many of her medications were weakening her immune system.  I learned about this weird thing called candida and how 80% of our health was connected to our gut, and all these antibiotics she had been on were ruining her gut flora.  I learned that she did not eat enough protein.  I learned I should stop dairy and sugars as much as possible during an illness.  I learned SO. MUCH!

The best part of all my new knowledge was being able to apply it to my family, specifically my daughter.  Since March 2013, Lenna-Grace has been taking supplements to help her be healthier.  In return, she has been medication free for two years.  Let me repeat that.  Lenna-Grace, who once took FIVE medications daily to control her asthma and allergies, has been medication free for TWO YEARS.  And since she has not needed to take daily medications, she has also not been sick in two years.  The past two years, she has only had  one sick appointment, which was when we decided to get a dog and her asthma flared up.

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Today….I am excited to watch my beautiful, healthy little girl run outside, ride her bike as long as she wants, play in the snow without stopping to catch her breathe, enjoy running around chasing her brothers, and much more.  Today, I am thankful for knowledge.  I am thankful for friends who share their knowledge with you.  But mostly, I am thankful for this beautiful girl!

Asthma….7 months later

In April, I shared about my daughter’s asthma.  I shared some statistics about asthma, side effects of medications, and how supplements were helping my daughter.  Be sure to read the post here if you have not already. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma causes 4,200 deaths per year (that’s roughly 11-12 people a day).  If you look at my previous post, I quoted 9 people a day.  That number has went up since the CDC’s recent data was published!  The CDC also states that asthma costs $56 billion in medical cost, lost school and work days, and early deaths.

Lenna-Grace was previously taking the following medications (My daughter started these at only 2.5 years old):
Flonase – nasal steriod (1 spray in each nosil twice a day)
Flovent – Inhaled corticosteroids (2 puffs twice a day)
Zyrtec – allergy medication (1 tsp twice day)
Singulair – Leukotriene modifiers (1 tablet once a day, when sick or asthma/allergy was worse)
Albuterol – Short-acting beta agonists (2 puffs immediately before bed and if needed for attack)

Last year, I changed all the cleaners in my house to non-toxic cleaners.  I removed all chemicals that could be bothering allergies.  And in return, I saved money!  (I was a couponer, but was able to save money on non-toxic, safe, green, and effective cleaners with Shaklee Get Clean Kit).  You can see all my posts Healthy Cleaning on a Budget–All-Purpose Cleaner, Laundry, and Dishes.  You can also read about why non-toxic cleaners are necessary!   After making these changes, I noticed some improvement in Lenna-Grace’s runny nose and daytime cough.  But she still needed her medications at night daily.  She still was getting sick all the time.  And she still needed extra asthma medications when she was sick.

On March 1, I made the change.  I waited until Lenna-Grace was not sick and after I started adding extra protein to her diet.  I started giving her daily a children’s multivitamin, vitamin C, and an immune system builder.  It is important to note that Lenna-Grace was already taking a Flintstone daily vitamin.  However, I made the switch to an all-natural supplement that has no artificial flavors, no toxins, and is created and tested by the #1 Natural Nutrition Company in the United States.

Now….7 months later and I am happy to report that Lenna-Grace is doing AMAZING!  She has had no asthma or allergy medication since March 1.  She has not been to the doctor once (except her 4-year old check up).  She has not had any asthma attacks.  She has not had any major illnesses.  She caught a 24-hour tummy bug once.  She also had a cold.  The best part though…the cold lasted less than 5 days AND she needed NO asthma medications!!!  A year ago this would have been unthinkable.  When Lenna-Grace had a cold, she needed to double up on her inhalers and usually ended up at the doctor’s office.

This is so amazing to me that I am going to say it again.  Lenna-Grace has had NO asthma or allergy medications, NO doctor visits, NO antibiotics for 7 months, and NO real sicknesses. 

I am well aware that allergies and asthma is typically worse during certain parts of the year.  Last year, Lenna-Grace was the worst from August until March.  We survived March and August, and so far September.  I am well aware that flare ups can still occur.  My goal is to be proactive and help her to be a healthy little girl!

Just so you are aware of the medical costs–
From August 2012 – February 2013, our insurance records show the following:

Medical Costs $1,522.54 before insurance ($778.66 paid out of pocket)
Pharmacy Costs $392. 54 before insurance ($236.66 out of pocket).

Did you see this is $1015.32 out-of-pocket in only seven months!  For the past 7 months, do you know what I have spent?

Incredivites ($29.70/120 tablets)
NutriFeron ($39.00/60 tablets lasted us 7 months)
Chewable Vitamin C ($23.35/300 tablets)

Total: $151.45
**I also have Alfalfa ($16.45/330 tablets) on hand when I see allergies occurring, such as runny nose, for all the kids.**

From August-Feb, we spent $145.03 a month.  From March – September, we spent $21.64 a month!  WOW!

$145.03 compared to $21.64! 

$123 difference PLUS I have a healthy child.  I have spent less hours caring for a child coughing continuously.  I have spent less time at the doctor’s office.  I have spent more time enjoying my healthy children!  Did I mention that NONE of our four children have been to the doctor for any illnesses in this past seven months?  (Dalton did get a rash on his booty).

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Here’s our happy and active little girl–with no asthma symptoms in SEVEN months!
In a few months, I hope to update you these same results.

If you would like to hear more, please join me Monday, September 23, at 9 PM (EST) for a wonderful, and free, webinar (Register here).  I have the wonderful privilege of guest speaking with Nutritionist Barbara Lagoni, with over 30 years experience, and Dr. Steve Chaney, Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine for the webinar “Asthma – Natural Approaches to Strengthen Immune System and Reduce Environmental Toxins and Irritants.” Dr. Chaney received the rank of Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.  He has been teaching medical and dental students at UNC since 1972.  He also ran an active cancer research program and has published over 100 peer review scientific journal articles.

Please note that I am not a doctor.  I am simply a mother who longed to have a healthier child.  I did a lot of research.  I also kept (and still have) all asthma medications on hand in case needed. 

Healthy Cleaning on a Budget….Part 1

Would you like to go “Green” and use products that are biodegradable?  Would you like to use cleaning products that are safer for you and your family?  Would you prefer to use products that are non-toxic and have no harsh odors?  Would you prefer to use cleaning products that would not aggravate your allergies and/or asthma?

All this sounds great, but…..IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE!  Right?

I couponed and saved a lot on all my cleaning supplies.  I bought most of them at CVS for around a $1.00.  So to consider ordering something I cannot use a coupon with is just not realistic.  Let’s consider a typical CVS run for some name brand cleaners. (This is a typical scenario of how I could use sales and coupons, along with CVS Extra Care Bucks, to buy my cleaners).

2/$5.00 – Lysol Disinfecting Wipes (35 count) reg. $4.69
– COUPON $0.50/1
2/$5.00 – Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner (32 oz) reg. $4.99
– COUPON $0.25/1
2/$5.00 – Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner (24 oz) reg. #3.49
– COUPON $0.50/1
PLUS….receive $5.00 in Extra Care Bucks when you spend $15.00 (Lysol Products)

DEAL:
Buy two of each listed above
TOTAL : $15.00
COUPONS: -$2.50
EXTRA CARE BUCKS: $5.00

TOTAL:  $$7.50 for all 6 products!

Breakdown $1.25 for each product!  I know you are thinking that is pretty good!  But what if I told you that you could do BETTER financially and GO GREEN!!

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Basic H2 All-Purpose Cleaner – (Cleans counters, appliances, floors, windows, mirrors, everything!  See this post for more detail.  Or Katie’s post for more information.)

Let’s Compare it to my scenario above:

Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner                                 Shaklee All-Purpose Cleaner
$1.25 (with coupons and sale)                              $10.25 (membership price)
32 oz.                                                                   16 oz
Use (per galloons) Straight from bottle             Use (per galloons) 2 teaspoons per galloon
Cost per Gallon $5.00 (4 x $1.25)                       Cost per Galloon $0.22
CANNOT be used on wood, windows,             Use different amounts to clean ANYTHING!
mirrors, cars, or furniture
Products Comparison

This is just Basic H2 Cleaner!  I use my Windows Bottle (only 2 drops per 16 oz. bottle) to clean windows, mirrors, wooden furniture, the inside of my car, and my LCD TVs and monitors (spray on a cloth first).  This means 2 drops of Basic H2 replaces Windex, Pledge, and Armor All in my home.  The All-Purpose bottle in my home is used to clean the kitchen counters, appliances, sink, bathrooms, spot clean floors, walls, and more.  This replaces Lysol Bathroom, Lysol Kitchen Cleaner, 409 Cleaner, and more!

The best part…..SAFE!  GREEN!  EFFECTIVE!  I purchased my All-Purpose Basic H2 May 2012.  Fifteen months later….yes 15 months later, and I still have HALF the bottle left.

Did I mention you can use this on your floors?  And to clean your car?

But Amber, I have to pay for shipping for this. Let’s say you JUST bought Basic H2 and did not divide the shipping among other products.
$10. 25 – Basic H2
$8.49 – Shipping
TOTAL – $18.74

That is still ONLY $0.39 per gallon of Basic H2!

EXTRA BENEFITS to saving money and Going Green!
Did we discuss how you could Save the Planet and Save for College?  Or how Toxins in your home can effect your allergies and asthma (or here for another).  

Want to learn how to save on SAFE laundry, follow Part 2!

In the meantime, checkout ALL the Great Get Clean Products!

Childhood Asthma: Medications vs. Supplements

What is Asthma? According to the CDC, “Asthma is a chronic disease that affets the airways in the lungs.  During an asthma attack, airways become inflamed, making it hard to breathe.  Asthma attackes an be mild, moderate, or serious–and even life threatening.”

FACTS:

  • 1 in 11 children have asthma
  • 1 in 12 adults have asthma
  • The average cost for a child with asthma (2009) is $1,039
  • Roughly 9 people die daily from asthma
  • 1.9 million ER visits occur annually due to asthma-related issues
  • 1 in 5 children with asthma are seen in the ER
  • 3 out of 5 people with asthma limit their physical activity

How was Lenna-Grace diagnosed with asthma?
I have to admit that in the summer of 2011, I was shocked to learn that my 2-year old daughter was being diagnosed with asthma.  No one in my family or my husband’s had this disease.  However, I was also relieved to find out what has been wrong with her for the past 12-15 months.  She was constantly sick with pneumonia, broncitis, ear infections (prior to having tubes put in), and always coughing.  Once the doctor diagnosed her with asthma, it was a challenge to find the right medications to manage her asthma (remember she was only 2.5-years old).  After four months, here was the final prescriptions that we used that controlled her coughing.  This did not keep her from getting sick still, but it did control the horrible, painful sounding cough.  She would hack all night long!

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What Medications were prescribed for Lenna-Grace?
Flonase – nasal steriod (1 spray in each nosil twice a day)
Flovent – Inhaled corticosteroids (2 puffs twice a day)
Zyrtec – allergy medication (1 tsp twice day)
Singulair – Leukotriene modifiers (1 tablet once a day)
Albuterol – Short-acting beta agonists (2 puffs immediately before bed and if needed for attack)

WOW….2.5-year old with all these medications

Did you know the following?

  • Organic pollutants, found in many common cleaners and even air fresheners, are present at levels 2 to 5 times higher inside your home than out.
  • Common cleaners give off fumes that potentially can increase the risk of kids developing asthma, the most common chronic childhood disease.
  • If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you generate more than 20 pounds of hazardous household waste each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).

What are the alternatives?
In May 2012, I began exploring “Green” cleaning products.  What I learned was that many allergy-related issues are caused by the horrible toxins I am putting in my home–my cleaners (laundry detergent, Lysol, toilet bowl cleaner, clorox, etc.).  After about three months of using Shaklee’s natural Fresh Laundry and Basic H2 All-Purpose cleaner, I noticed Lenna-Grace’s nose was not so runny.  I took her off her Zyrtec medication at this time.  Nothing got worse, so I tried to remove another medication–her flonase.  A couple weeks passed and she was doing great with no nasal related issues anymore.  After a few weeks of playing with her medications, I was able to take her off her Flonase, Zyrtec, and Singulair.  We continued the Flovent and Albuterol.

Later, I read a testimony of a mother who was able to take her son of asthma medications by using supplements and an immune system builder.  So, I thought….”why not?”

In February, I ordered a child’s multivitamin, vitamin C, and Nutriferon (immune system builder).  And I quit asthma medications, cold turkey!

Did it work?
I am happy to report that for two months now my 4-year old, who was diagnosed with asthma, has been medication free!  We went on vacation one week and I forgot the supplements.  You know what….she was back to coughing and I had to break out the albuterol.  As soon as we got home, we went right back to the supplements.  No more meds!  AND…..my daughter who USE to get sick constantly, has not been in two months!

What Exactly Does She Take?
Children’s Multivitamin (Incredivites)
Chewable Vita C
Nutriferon (1/2 tablet daily)

asthmavit

Didn’t you just trade one drug for another?  She’s STILL taking something for it!
Yes, she still has to manage the asthma by taking supplements.  BUT….it is not the same as the medications.  Let’s take a look at what she was taking.

  1. Flovent is an Inhaled corticosteroids. “Long-term use of these medications has been associated with slightly slowed growth in children”  The most common side effects are cold or upper respiratory tract infection, throat irritation, headache, fever, diarrhea, ear infection.  Those are common and listed on the Flovent website.  Maybe that is why my daughter was always sick–her meds made her sick!
  2. Flonase is a corticosteroid inhaled through the nose.  “Should be used with caution with children….may stunt growth.”  Rarely, it will get in the bloodstream and cause an overdose, but “these side effects are more likely in children.”  Common side effects are runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
  3. Singulair  is a Leukotriene modifier.  “In rare cases, these medications have been linked to psychological reactions, such as agitation, aggression, hallucinations, depression and suicidal thinking.”  WOW!!  Actually, we used this only when Lenna-Grace was sick or asthma was really acting up.  She would wake up screaming in the middle of the night and saying someone was there.  She was VIVID.  And it only happened when taking it!

Is there really any need to continue??

Can everyone come off Asthma medications?
I cannot answer that!  I am not a doctor.  However, our doctor did not think I would be able to get Lenna-Grace off medications with the use of supplements!  I did monitor Lenna-Grace and still do.  Her rescue inhaler is always around just in case.  By for now….I am very happy!

In January and February, we spent $876 on doctor visits and medications for Lenna-Grace alone.  She had strep throat twice, the flu, and her asthma medications.  Yes, you read that number right….$876 and I have insurance!  Now, we spend very little on Get Clean Products to keep toxins out of our home.  And the cost of her supplements are here:

Incredivites are $29.70 (member price) for a 2 month’s supply
Chewable Vita C is $23.30 (member price) for 300 tablets
Nutriferon is $39 (member price) for 60 tablets

Daily cost for her dosage: $0.91 (x 30 days) is $31/month.  Plus…we’ve not been to the doctor for illnesses!!  (Her monthly prescription medication, with insurance was $197)

If you would like to know more or want to see the testimonies from parents that influenced us, just email me at ja.robinson29@gmail.com

Be sure to check out the previous post on Children’s Vitamins and Why Shaklee’s are different!

 

 

Raising Healthy Children: What You Need to Know About Vitamins

I am super excited to share a post with you today by a friend who introduced me to Shaklee.  Kylie Hinkle is a wife, mommy to two boys and a girl on the way, and blogger at The Imperfect Home.

Kylie’s recent blog is on Children’s Vitamins and what can be found in them!  I am grateful that she is letting me share her knowledge with you.  Please read!

I have so much information here that I am going to dive right in.

In 2007 the FDA became aware of reports of elevated levels of lead found in certain vitamins. In response, they conducted a survey to determin the content of lead in women’s and children’s vitamins.
Here are some of the common brands that were listed containing lead.
Nature Plus
Spider-Man
Kiddievite
Disney
Emergen-C Jr.
Kirkland
Flinstones
One A Day
Life Solutions
Veglife
Mother Nature
The Vitamin Shoppe
Lil Critters
GNC

There are so many more. This is just a short list of some of the children’s vitamins containing lead, I did not even list any in the women’s prenatals, or the adult women category. Check out the site yourself for more information.

According to the mayoclinic.com:
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over a period of months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

So after seeing the “small” amounts of lead found in the vitamins listed above, you may have thought, “oh it is only a little”. Yes, you are right, but we just heard from the Mayo Clinic that lead can build up in your body. Not only that, children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning.

But this study was done 5 years ago, surely they wouldn’t still have lead in them.

I would hope you are right. The problem with thinking this way is the fact that we are trusting the FDA to tell us what is bad. (That is a whole other blog post all together). The FDA cannot possibly test every ingredient in every product on the market. There is just not enough time or resources for that. And we also have the problem of the FDA approving things that are actually harmful for us.

Chicago Tribune article, “U.S. allows chemicals in food that are illegal elsewhere“

Shape article, 13 Banned Foods Still Allowed in the U.S.”

If I can’t trust the FDA to protect my heath, what do I do now?

You become the health advocate for your family.

Are there trusted brands out there?

Yes!
I don’t know about all that may be trusted, but I do know about one that follows pharmaceutical standards. A company that conducts over 350 tests on every single new botanical ingredient for heavy metals, pesticides, or any of hundreds of other harmful contaminants. And they continue to conduct over 100,000 quality tests annually to guarantee the purity and safety of each and every product.

So what brand is this?

shakleebanner

Why is Shaklee better?

1. Shaklee has been committed to purity for over 50 years!
2.They have 90 articles published in peer review publications, not the magazines you see on the self of your doctors office, peer reviewed publications!
3. They have a 100% guarantee on ALL of their products. You don’t like it, you send it back for a refund.
4. Shaklee products do what they promise to do. Meaning, they actually get absorbed into your body, you are not just paying for expensive pee!
5. They have the first-of-its-kind study called their Landmark Study, showing that people who took Shaklee supplements for over 20 years had markedly better health than those who just took a multivitamin or no supplementation at all.
Read more about the Landmark Study.

Here are just SOME of the ingredients on Shaklee’s NO list.
NO Parabens
NO Triclosan
NO Phthalates
NO Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
NO Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES)
NO 1,4-Dioxane
NO Propylene Glycol
NO Volatile Organic Cleaning Compounds (VOCs)
NO Hydrochloric Acid
NO Ammonia
NO Sodium Hydroxide
NO Butyl Cellosolve
NO Formaldehyde
NO Bisphenol-A
NO Petroleum Distillates
NO Toluene
NO Chlorine Bleach
NO MSG
NO Dyes
NO Trans Fats
NO Artificial Sweeteners
NO Toxic Inks
NO Banned Substances

Here are some of the Children’s products.

kidsshaklee

Can I find Shaklee in any stores?

No

How do I get Shaklee products?

You can find a local Shaklee distributor or simply visit this website and start shopping.

The supplements are just some of the naturally safe products Shaklee offers.
They offer products for:

Healthy Nutrition
Healthy Home
Healthy Beauty
Healthy Weight

Kylie also shared in her blog how to help teach your kids to swallow pills.  Her 3-year old son can swallow his vitamins!  Check out her tips:

  1. Do not teach children to look up at the sky to swallow a pill. This actually restricts the amount of space in your esophagus when trying to swallow. You actually need them to look down slightly, not much, just slightly. This will open up the esophagus making it easier to swallow.
  2. For my son, it helps to have him take a drink, hold the water in his mouth, slide the supplement in, and then swallow.
  3. Don’t show any discouragement if they can’t get it. Just say something like, “Thank you for trying, maybe we can try again tomorrow.”
  4. If they can’t get it at this time, don’t push it. Just keep crushing your supplements with your mortar and pestle.

I am very grateful for Kylie introducing me to Shaklee.  Since using their Get Clean products, our 14-year old no longer takes Zyrtec for his allergies (he use to throw up almost daily for congestion).  And since placing the whole family on Shaklee supplements, Lenna-Grace  no longer takes her 5 allergy and asthma medications!  As well, all of our children have a lot better immune system!!  Thanks, Kylie!!

If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to email me at ja.robinson29@gmail.com