I Am My Own Lab Rat: The Lab Rat Discovers Fish Oil

I’m a Registered Nurse and was taught that regular use of health supplements is usually unnecessary and potentially dangerous. For this short blog post, I am not going to cite a slew of research articles that confirm or negate this view. I am simply going to share my experience with you. It turned me into a regular user of health supplements!

In 2014, I started having strange symptoms in my hand and foot. I would bend my thumb and it would lock into place for about half a minute. Around the same time, the same symptom occurred on my foot while I was driving. Luckily, I was only a block away from home! After this, I started to have tightness in my entire hand which led to pain in my hand. After about a week, my hand became so tight that I could barely write with it. My doctor tested me for an electrolyte imbalance and found everything to be normal. Instead of undergoing more testing, I decided to do some research on my own. This research let to my discovery of fish oil. I started taking fish oil and all my symptoms were gone within a week! I started taking fish oil in 2014 and have not had the same issues since then.

What is your view on health supplements? E-mail me at contact@inspirationforwellness.com for high-quality supplements!

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This post was originally posted on December 6, 2018; it was updated on September 26, 2019.

Favorite Healthy Grocery Stores

Looking for healthier grocery stores? Our family tries to eat organic, non-GMO foods whenever possible. That is why we enjoy shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Thrive Market!

Whole Foods

Whole Foods carries organic, natural foods along with body care, health supplements, and a limited supply of other household items. The store also sells pre-made food, and food that you can have cooked while you shop. When we don’t have time to cook, we enjoy Whole Foods’ pizza, organic rotisserie chicken, burgers and Asian cuisine. The hot bar and cold bars also sell a variety of healthy foods, comfort foods and some ethnic foods. The cookies, cakes, gelato and ice creams from the bakery are made with real sugar and other real food ingredients. Simply delicious!

Whole Foods seems to be the most expensive of the three stores, but you can save money by choosing the 365 brand (the more affordable Whole Foods brand); you can also save some money if you are an Amazon Prime member. My husband and I spend $20 to $200 per visit. Depending on which products are currently discounted for Prime members, we usually save $2 to $15 per visit. I like Whole Foods because of its wide selection of foods (including pre-made foods) and high-quality products. I have been shopping at Whole Foods for ten years and I can only remember a couple of times when I could not find an exotic food item that I was looking for!

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is a kid-friendly store that provides unique natural and organic foods. They also carry a very limited amount of health supplements and household products. My kids love Trader Joe’s because of the kid-size shopping carts, stuffed animals, lollipops and stickers. Each store has some kind of stuffed animal (our local stores have a monkey and a dragon named Norbert) that is hidden somewhere new everyday. At checkout, children are rewarded with a lollipop if they tell the cashier where the stuffed animal is hiding. The children are also given stickers at checkout. Fun seasonal items include pumpkin pop tarts and Trader Joe’s sells unique items like calamansi juice. The food selection is a lot smaller than Whole Foods, but I choose Trader Joe’s over other grocery stores because they promise that all their products are GMO-free. Trader Joe’s is also a win because it is a very affordable, high-quality grocery store.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market is an online store that carries many of the same products and brands as Whole Foods, but at lower prices. Like Trader Joe’s, Thrive also promises that all their products are non-GMO. Products are ordered online and free shipping (shipping takes about three days) is provided for orders over $49. After a 30-day membership trial, you pay a yearly $59.95 membership fee which is donated to a family in need. Members can also receive free gifts such as coffee, pancake mix, supplements, nutrition bars, skin care, and other great products when orders have reached a specific dollar amount. I like Thrive because of its convenience; I don’t have to leave the house and I have an endless amount of time to do research on products before buying. Thrive is also affordable and sells a diverse selection of products.

Where do you shop for high-quality groceries? If you like this blog, consider liking the Facebook page as well!

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This post was originally published on November 14, 2018 and updated on July 29, 2019.

Is Soy Sauce Bad For Your Health?

In 2012, I committed myself to a healthy, natural lifestyle. I gave birth to my kids naturally; switched to non-toxic personal care products; cut back on certain foods in my diet; spent more money on essential oils, health supplements and organic foods…you get the idea. Heck, this past week, I even bought an expensive, non-toxic sofa without flame retardants—it was designed with hardwood sourced from FSC-certified domestic forests, CertiPUR-US certified poly foam, and certified organic cotton interior lining. Before 2012, I never expected to give a darn about the materials that were used to create our old, torn sofa.

But when a friend started talking about the dangers of soy, I kind of just looked the other way and pretended not to hear him. Because of my Asian background, I have eaten a lot of soy sauce in my life—and I love it. So, what’s the deal with soy sauce, anyway? If you love soy sauce like I do, you might be pleasantly surprised with some of the information that I found. Turns out, there’s what I like to call “Bad Soy Sauce” and “Good Soy Sauce.” I also found a tasty substitute for soy sauce!

Bad Soy Sauce

Bad soy sauce goes through acid hydrolysis and contains soybeans, caramel color, corn syrup and salt. The process to create bad soy sauce is complete in a few days.

I call this bad soy sauce because it contains artificial ingredients and GMOs. I would also like to note that 1 tablespoon of soy sauce usually contains about 38% of your daily value of sodium. That’s a whole lot of salt in one tablespoon!

Good Soy Sauce

Good soy sauce goes through a fermentation process and contains soybeans, salt, and enzymes. Wheat is often added as well. It takes approximately six months to create this type of soy sauce.

I call this good soy sauce because of the fermentation. Thanks to the fermentation process, this soy sauce may be beneficial for your gut. If you choose to eat soy sauce, try to find an organic brand (avoid the GMOs) that contains less sodium.

Soy Sauce Replacement: Coconut Aminos

This is what is listed under Ingredients on my Coconut Aminos bottle (I get mine at Thrive Market):

“Organic coconut tree sap aged and blended with sun-dried, mineral-rich sea salt.”

Coconut Aminos is a delicious replacement for soy sauce—and it contains only two healthy ingredients. If you are like me, you are probably wondering, “does it taste like coconut?” No; thankfully, it does not! Also, one tablespoon of coconut aminos contains only 12% of your daily value of sodium. I would say that this is a big improvement from 38% (the daily value of sodium for one tablespoon of soy sauce).

What do you think of soy sauce and coconut aminos? If you like this blog, consider liking the Facebook page as well!

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Reference

Soy Sauce. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/soy-sauce