Natural & Young Living

A resource site by Priscilla

My first blog! – My health journey

Wow this is exciting! I am officially starting a blog –  not sure what this will lead to but my hope is that it will simply be a resource for those interested in their overall well being. I was asked by many of you to put together a blog – so here it is! I am not claiming to be an expert but simply here to help provide resources. I will mostly be posting about nutrition, food labeling, recommended health products, organic foods, public health and a little about my spiritual journey.  I also understand and respect other views and opinions on health and want to make clear that I am not here to judge your health choices. I am a strong believer in instinct and intuition when it comes to our choices about our health. I am simply on a journey and invite you to follow me as I learn.

This is a great way for me to document and share my mind, body and soul journey with you.

First I am ME!! I love playing Volleyball when I get a chance, I love pizza and I love going on family trips. I am the wife of an amazing man, a mother of two awesome kids, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.

Photo taken by Claire Renee Phototgraphy

Photo taken by Claire Renee Phototgraphy

I have a B.A. in Child Development worked as a Behavioral Interventionist with children in the Los Angeles Unified School Districts and in their home. After giving birth to two I decided that I wanted to stay home full time & homeschool our children. I enjoy caring for my children and I feel blessed because in today’s economy that is rare. Staying home has been my toughest job yet and the most rewarding.

I heavily stress that one should take full responsibility for their overall mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health.  As a mother and caretaker of my family it is important that I continuously research and learn about the foods and products I buy for my family.

My curiosity about eating healthy started when I moved to West Los Angeles for college. I guess living on the west side had a big influence in my awareness on health.  My first apartment as a Freshman in college was across the street from our neighborhood Trader Joe’s grocery store.

TraderJoes440I had never heard of Trader Joe’s before. They had good prices on food and being a college student that was an automatic plus. This is where I first became aware of the words organic, natural, hormone free, antibiotic free etc. What did that mean? I’d never seen those labels before on food products. My local grocery stores growing up on the East side of Los Angeles were stores like Ralphs, Vons, Food 4 Less, or our nearest Gigante Supermarket. Maybe those labels existed but  I wasn’t doing the shopping as a child so I never noticed or knew there was a difference. As a 17 year-old living on her own with roommates – I had to buy my own groceries and started learning about food labels.

When it was time to find work as a college student I decided to work at my local smoothie and juice place called Robek’s Juice. DSC_0711I liked that they promoted natural and healthy living. Lets just say it was a good start – we all know how much sugar those smoothies have and non of it was organic. We served wheat grass, fresh pressed juice, smoothies etc. That is where I bought my first nutrition book – called Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch and James F. Balch.

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I dug deep into the book and learned a lot. It was easy to read and I fell in love with the idea of natural healing. I learned simple concepts like eating pineapple to help relieve a headache or that chopped onion helped relieve a stuffy nose during a cold. So they next time I got sick I went straight to the book to find natural healing.  Buy book

I was introduced to alternative medicine after hearing a couple of my friends visiting a Homeopathic doctor in Santa Monica. Dr. Keith DeOrio.

Here is a link to Dr. De Orio’s website: http://www.drdeorio.com/

drdeorio.comAs a college student I later discovered that most insurance companies don’t cover and or recognize homeopathic doctors. So I had to pay out of pocket in order to see a holistic Doctor – expensive. Unfortunately I was only able to see him maybe once or twice as a student. I bought one of his books called The New Millennium Diet Revotution by Keith De Orio. In this book I started learning about blood types and how we all digest foods differently according to our blood type. Ever wonder why we have different blood types? It was a great guide at the time for me to follow. 41YJeYmQd-L._SL500_AA300_

Later I married my best friend during college and it was a fun journey as I started sharing with him my thoughts about eating healthy. I now was buying groceries for the two of us and started to learn more about his food options. There was a great documentary that was released in the same year we were married called Super Size Me. 220px-Super_Size_Me_PosterHere is a link to watch for free: http://www.hulu.com/watch/63283

After watching this documentary and learning about the harmful effects of fast food, my husband was convinced to stop eating at fast food restaurants. I was so excited about his conviction and our journey as a couple. We became more aware of toxins in our foods, environment and products. We started a nutritional fast together that Dr. DeOrio had recommended as a start up on our health. We simply cut off processed foods and ate whole foods for 6 weeks. detoxDaniel started going through a intense detoxification from simply eating healthy fats and salads. He had to be closely monitored from our doctor and took a half day off of work because he couldn’t function. We will never forget the day he reacted so intensely. What that means is that his body was detoxifying too fast that it puts a strain in your liver – crazy huh! Who would have known that from cutting off sugars and processed foods your body would go through a withdrawal phase.

We revisited our health options when I became pregnant with my first child. One of our friends was also pregnant and I learned that she had been seeing Midwives from UCLA instead of a traditional OB/GYN. Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 12.56.00 PMWe were able to have the Midwives monitor our pregnancy – we enjoyed the experience we had with the midwives. Now another gate opened up in the realm of health when we knew we were adding another member to our family. There was so much research to do – what do I eat or not eat during pregnancy? What can I drink? Which test do I take or not take during pregnancy? 706_38648838716_4649_nWhich cleaning products can I use that won’t affect our baby? Which soaps, shampoos, laundry detergents etc do I use? Will we vaccinate our child? What kind of birth do I want? Will we breastfeed or formula feed?  Who will be our Pediatrician?

Luckily during that time our grandmother had recently introduced us to the concept of Paraben Free products, and we started learning about carcinogens (cancer causing agents). We immediately switched to non-toxic cleaning products. At that time we started using Melaleuca http://www.melaleuca.info/?culture=en-us– to safely clean our home. We started buying products that were labeled paraben free, sulfate free etc. melaleuca This was perfect timing since we were starting to shop for baby products and realized that there were lots of baby products that contained cancer causing toxins. My mother in law at that time was also researching about an ingredient in our food called high fructose corn syrup. Surprisingly there are also lot of baby products that contain high fructose corn syrup – Mott’s applesauce for toddlers was a shocker.  Wow! So much to learn!

As the birth of our first born was approaching we decided we wanted a minimally intrusive birth. We wanted natural care for our newborn. We started researching every procedure recommended when you deliver a child in a hospital.photo4 Here is a list of decisions we had to make before the birth of our child: 1.) do we let them administer the vitamin K shot, 2.) do we use eye drops, 3.) do we circumcise, 4.) do we give him the Hepatitis vaccination, 5.) do we have them bathe our son the first hour he is born or do we wait a week?  6.) do I take the suggested Measles Mumps and Rubella shot etc? All of these decisions had to be made before the birth because they are usually administered the first day of birth. DVD-Box-Art.Nov-8So we did our research and learned a lot about each and every topic. It was another eye opening experience. In our research we came across another documentary called The Business of Being Born produced by Ricki Lake. Here is a link to the websitethis documentary also helped us learn about the labor process and the different options we have when giving birth in a hospital, birthing center or in your very own home. We wrote out a birth plan and brought it with us to the hospital the day of his birth. Some of the nurses were a little confused on why we decided not to follow the normal hospital procedures. I was surprised but I also understood that they were doing their job as much as we were doing ours. In the end they respected our views and we checked out of the hospital happy. Lets just say that we opted out on 9/10 of the procedures..wow didn’t know we had the option! So empowering to take charge of the health of your family!

After giving birth to our son and taking him to his first Pediatrician visit we were disappointed to hear that our physician wasn’t respecting our health choices. Again we completely understand and respect the decisions of traditional western medicine but we had a different philosophy and after 6 months of trying to work together my husband and I decided it was time to move on. After expressing my frustrations to my mother in law she found a doctor for us that worked out great for us. Her name was Dr. Lauren Feder – a nationally recognized physician who specializes in primary care medicine, pediatrics and homeopathy. Lauren_Feder_for_Kindred-page2261During my first visit with her what I loved most was that she respected our decision to not vaccinate our children with no questions asked. What I love most about Dr. Feder is that she continuously reminds me to trust in my own intuition as a parent and that I know my child best. Every child is different and we must trust our own instincts. She has written two books that have been very informative. First book that I recommend is Natural Baby and Childcare by Lauren Feder and The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations: Practical Medical and Natural Ways to Protect Your Child, by Lauren Feder, MD. Both books are great reads. Here is a link to her website where you can also purchase her books: Dr. Lauren Feder

right-to-know-label-gmo-foods-campaign-logoWith the recent election and propositions in November –     I have been doing extensive research on Genetically Modified foods. With Proposition 37 on the California ballot at the time I started to create awareness – unfortunately the Prop didn’t pass but it was a great start.

I feel that as a mother of two and a caretaker of my family it is important that I continuously research about foods and products that I buy for our family. I do most of our grocery shopping and feel that I have been given the responsibility of providing our family with the best food and product options. Although organic foods are pricier than non-organic there are many ways to cut down on your grocery bill or at least find a balance. I found myself buying a lot of processed foods and decided to replace them with organic foods instead and was able to maintain the same grocery budget. A box of crackers or cereal can cost almost $4  – instead you can buy an organic bunch of spinach that will last you a few days and can be used in many meals. You cut down on the sugar and replace it with a healthier choice. Another way to save money is to find products that have multiple uses. 96070-OrganicCoconutOilHere is one example. What if you found a product that only cost $5.99 and you could use as a moisturizer (lotion), hair product, deodorant, and much more. This would save you more than $30 that you can in return use to buy more organic meats, fruits and vegetables. This magical product is Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Oil http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=554. High in fatty acids, vitamin E, contains great anti microbial & anti fungal agents like monocaprin and monolaurin when acted upon by certain enzymes. There are so many other uses for this product that it will surprise you. For more information check out this article: http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/properties-of-coconut-oil.html

I enjoyed writing my first blog, it was fun going through the years. Hope I didn’t bore you. I look forward to blogging and would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and ideas. Please also feel free to message me on topics you would like me to write about.

Lets get started!

Sincerely,

Priscilla Luna

update: 5/14/14

Wow it’s been two years since my first blog! Love it! So cool to see what I was up to 2 years ago and my thought process – I have definitely evolved through the years and I’m learning so much. Excited about posting new links and sharing with you all my new adventures.

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4 comments on “My first blog! – My health journey

  1. Vickie King Watson
    December 8, 2012

    I loved your Blog & plan to follow you on Facebook…

    • Vickie King Watson
      December 8, 2012

      Actually.I would love to get your blog on email,

      • Priscilla
        December 12, 2012

        Thank you Vickie, I am so glad that you are enjoying the blog. I have added a link to receive my blog through email on my home page. Simply add your email. Thanks! Have a blessed day!

  2. Josefa
    December 13, 2012

    Congrats on your new blog! Loved reading your journey! If you need any help or advice let me know! 🙂

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