Friday, June 5, 2015

Babymoon #8 My Sweet, Precious Son

It’s been eight weeks since my precious son was born and I’ve neglected to share the news with you all here! Needless to say I’ve been baby-mooning, breastfeeding and getting to know my handsome, strong and superbly healthy baby boy! He arrived on National Siblings day.  Checking in at 10 pounds, 20 inches long.

My waterbirth was successfully perfect. It wasn’t pain-free as I was hoping, but it went pretty fast. Here is my young prince at six weeks old.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Birthing In Water

Holistic Parenting Magazine invited yours truly to write an article on water birth. “Birthing in Water” is featured in this year’s March/April issue. Here’s a snippet of it…
Birthing In Water by Hannah Rhodes
“There was simply no way. It was imperative to seek out other birth choices. My second birth experience comprised all the traditional cocktails a modern childbirth has to offer. Induced, strapped to a bed, denied food with a painfully neglected IV stuck up my arm, it was nothing short of a miracle I wasn’t sectioned. My daughter arrived, unscathed by the harsh pitocin, but not the pulling and tugging of rough hands, and I endured the whole thing without pain medication. The memories surrounding what should have been a peaceful introduction of a beautiful child, are filled with degradation, belittle-ment, and resentment. Never have I felt so mistreated and violated in such a personal way. I spent that first and last night in that hospital in full defense mode. I fended off nurses who cited hospital policy while bringing bottles of formula and seemingly sadistic ideas on how to keep baby awake.


Today, the concept of water birthing continues to intrigue and cajole women across the globe as an therapeutic option for pain management and easy transition for the child. Although water birthing may be shocking to modern, medical consciousness, the practice is certainly not new and has been increasing in popularity in America since the ‘90s. Birthing in water is the practice of laboring and delivering in a tub of warm water (98 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit). It has been said water birthing has been around for a millennia, but there is little concrete evidence to show for this. The first modern water birth, as documented, took place in 1803, in France, in a French Medical Society Journal.”

You can find the complete article here:

I will be penning more articles for Holistic Parenting Magazine! Subscribe to read my upcoming articles as well as empowering, informative articles by other authors.
You can like them on Facebook and view beautiful and poignant pictures of birth, families and just about any topic related to the Holistic Parenting life.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Standards vs. Testing Does #Non-GMO Project Make the Grade?

IMG_20130428_144308I used to be embarrassed about being a purist, because many people and family members view it as a form of snobbery, possibly elitist in some way. Often, I battled my preferences for the cleanest food against offending those with friendly offerings of cultural, non-food items. Two years ago, I nearly gave in to the ideal that good, clean food and products just don’t exist and that I needed to lower my standards and expectations. Then I discovered Miessence. Not only do they sell food-grade skin/body care products, but they are on a mission to empower and inform. Since becoming a rep, I’ve been tickled to expound my mission as a blogger to learn more and personally reach out and share with those interested in clean products and clean living. Joining the Miessence community of support and like-minded individuals, has empowered me further to embrace my inner purist, striving in every facet of my live to live as naturally, and holistically as possible and making evolutions away from the way I used to live and eat.

I offer no excuses to those who seem offended by my expectation of clean food and products, as a matter of fact, I use these opportunities to share and enlighten. About a year ago, a sweet little girl, along with her dad showed up at my door selling girl scout cookies. Usually, I like to support these efforts, but a quick glance at the ingredients showed soy, soy derivatives and other items that typically hail from GMO crops. Pondering how to begin the conversation, I started by explaining to the dad that 95% of soy crops are genetically modified and I was avoiding GMOs for myself and my family. Surprisingly, he understood and even knew what GMOs were. They departed on a positive note and I’m sure the conversation left an impression on him and his daughter. We are so sick as a society and many have not made the connection to what we eat and how we some ways we all need to be purists. Simply because the powers that be, the ones that claim to oversee safety, seem to not only fallen asleep at the wheel, but have undercut this agenda in the name of profit.

I’ve most certainly lost faith in the FDA to protect us from dangerous products on the market. Not only is the cosmetic industry self-regulated, but Iatrogensis, injury or death from medical care, is one of the leading causes of death. Adverse drug reactions tops the list of inadvertent medical errors. Drugs, it should be emphasized, that have been approved for the marketplace. I’m a thinking woman. So when we have a government organization assigned for oversight and safety and the results of this aren’t showing up in society…as a matter of fact, the exact opposite of it…clearly a problem exists.

Thus, we turn to certifying agencies and certifications to assure ourselves of clean products and food. Not to too long ago I purchased USDA certified organic products with confidence, unfortunately, stumbling upon some information has caused me to question the validity of a USDA certified organic product. Despite the advice of credible experts such as Dr. Oz and the Institute of Responsible Technology, a USDA certified organic certification does NOT guarantee that the product you are purchasing is GMO-free. This fact comes from the National Organic Program, itself. They explain certifying organic products is processed-based and does not require testing. A company that adheres to the “excluded methods” (GMOs are excluded along with a list of exclusions) process in their approved organic system plan, is considered an organic operation…even IF the unintentional presence of GMOs are found in their products.  Don’t take my word for it. Read for yourself >>>here.

An approved organic system of excluded methods is left up to the discretion of a certifying agency (approved by the FDA). Can we trust these certifying agencies to provide certifications services that reflect true embodiment of the products they validate? The Organic Consumer Association compiled agencies (personal care, not food standards) and have graded them according to their approval process. Suffice it to say, they are not all created equal. The link can be found under the citations section at the end of the article.

The USDA, National Organic Program (food standards) remains the highest organic standard, but as I mentioned earlier, even this system has flaws. As a matter of fact, Tropical Traditions, a company I’ve found to be very credible (at this point!) have begun testing their OWN products for the herbicide glyphosate. Upon discovering some of their products contaminated with it, they have promptly removed those products from their line! Dissatisfied with today’s certifications and labeling, Tropical Traditions announced that they will be phasing out their USDA certified organic certification because standards have become “watered-down and confusing”.


At least we have NonGMO Project Verified…right? That’s what I thought until I discovered KeVita Probiotic Drinks was Non-GMO Project Verified. This led me to contact Non-GMO Project to inquire if they actually test probiotic strains for genetic modification. The conversation was enlightening to say the least, but left me with more questions than answers.

Prior to contacting them, I was under the impression and a believe a lot of you are too, that Non-GMO Project, did the actual testing for GMOs. What I learned is that much like the National Organic Program, they employ a “standard” and third-party agencies apply the approval and testing process, in which documentation is submitted to NGP for certification.

The convo took place over a week in seven emails, here are portions of the emails…

ME: (Initial question) “I have a question and concern about an ingredient listed on a product that has the nonGMO Project verification status. Before I delve into the topic, I'd like to ask, does nonGMO Project verify and test probiotic/bacteria strains for genetic engineering or modification?”

NGP: All probiotics are evaluated in every product, because they are active organisms. All inputs are reviewed in a product, and with living organisms, that requires a review of what that organism consumed. Basically, our Standard addresses micro-organisms similar to the fashion in which our Standard reviews animals. A product that includes probiotics would mean that our verification ensures the organism itself is non-GMO and the organism was not fed GMOs. (Most bacteria and fungus raised in/on a growth media of sugar.)”

ME: “Just to confirm how your standards are organisms such as probiotics are not tested for genetic modification themselves, but instead are determined nonGMO by your organization due to consumption of nonGMO food, in this case nonGMO sugar?

Let me pose an example to you, if genetically altered salmon was offered to your organization as a review, you would not test that living organism for genetic modification, but instead you would review what it consumed, and by that, your determination of that salmon would be non GMO?” 

NGP: “Hannah, I appreciate you seeking clarity. Genetically engineered probiotics are prohibited by our Standard.

For all living organisms, our standard requires proof that 1) the organism is not genetically modified, and 2) that it is not consuming GMOs.

We do not allow genetically modified salmon, cows, pics, bacteria, yeast, etc .... nor any of their progeny or any of their byproducts.

For pobiotics to be compliant, manufacturers must supply the technical administrator (certifying body) with documentation about the specific strain of bacteria they are using to show that it is not a genetically modified strain. They must also provide information about the growth medium.”

ME: “Thank you [Name Redacted], I truly appreciate your patience!

I was under the impression that nonGMO Project did the actual testing for genetic modification. Is this not so?

If companies submit documentation to your certifying body, are their documentations from an independent third party? Do they provide documentation of lab tests?”

NPG:  “Similar to an organic certification---whereas the National Organic Program retains and upholds the organic standard, while individual certifying bodies apply the standard---technical administrators that have been trained and approved to apply the Non-GMO Project Standard provide services to companies to go through the verification process. Once proof of verification is provided by the TA, the Non-GMO Project releases use of the Verified seal per a licensing agreement with the company.

Documentation required during the verification process is retained by the assigned TA, which is industry standard practice. Only approved independent, third-party labs can provide testing and evaluation services as part of the verification process.” 

ME: “Thank you. Smile

In their defense, this information IS provided on their website. When NGP became a reality, I was so excited to see an independent, non-profit take on the cause of GMO testing, I didn’t think to look into the process of how that testing was actually applied. The next thing I did to satisfy my ever inquisitive mind was contact one of their TAs, Food Chain ID, by phone, with a the help of a friend, due to my hearing impairment.

We learned that Food Chain ID only tests “high risk” ingredients. For example, they wouldn’t test cranberries or apricots for GMOs since no crops have been approved for GE.

Makes sense.

But when I asked if they consider probiotics high risk and tested directly, no direct answer was given. Instead of a yes or no, I got an explanation on how strict they require the growth medium for the probiotic to be. In my book, an indirect, evasive or deflective answer is no answer. So I’ve concluded that probiotic strains are not conclusively tested for genetic modification.

Having said all this, a guideline I’ve decided for myself… use the certified organic certification as a way to determine whether your fruits or veggies are organic, I would not completely rely on this for packaged products. In the same vein, I use the Non-Gmo Project seal the same way. I would purchase a Non-GMO Project verified packaged product, but I’m not sold when it comes to verifying probiotic stains to GE free.

One last note, my shop does offer some USDA certified organic products, but all products with the exception of the dish detergent, either have an Australian or IFOAM (International) certification, whose standards are undoubtedly higher than USDA. As a matter of fact, as the world’s first certified organic skin/body care line, there were no other standard for cosmetics to live up to other than food grade standard. Our formulas have remained consistent. I’m happy to consult and offer my research services to anyone who is concerned about the current products they’re consuming, use the contact box to set up a free consultation.

Tell me, are you just as surprised to learn about Non-GMO Project’s verification process as I was? Leave a comment!

Please review TOP’s Disclaimers/Disclosures


Friday, February 6, 2015

The Role of #Probiotics in #Pregnancy, #Childbirth & #Breastfeeding

IMG_20140802_135941As mothers, we hold wondrous potential to build, form & create health for our children in utero and beyond.

This reality, sobering and humbling to moms, loved ones and society in general, is best governed, balanced with love and knowledge...not fear. Having been pregnant a few times, I've found the prenatal and childbearing industry (an unfortunate term) generally regulated by fear, fear of lawsuits, lack of health, injury and so on. Most of the time, the fear projected on moms comes from an outside source, in an effort to manipulate the choices or understanding of what is taking place in her body. I've experienced this and have doubted my resolve and positioning at times. I've come to understand that the fear that this industry is based on, the ones loved ones project...comes from their lack of control of the entire process whether it is based on financial gain or genuine concern. I believe a healthy balance of LOVE and KNOWLEDGE is the best way to govern the responsibility a gestating mom carries as she nourishes her unborn in a brave attempt to provide her child(ren) with their ultimate

With out of control health care costs and generally poor health in abundance here in America, it is absolutely vital to assess our culture, lifestyle and diet. When you consider that we, as a society and consumers, no longer have control over the process of seeding, farming, harvesting our food, the many issues we face with the final product found in mainstream stores shouldn't be surprising. Many of foods we purchase and consume are filled with pesticides, preservatives, antibiotics, trans-fat (hydrogenated oils) artificial colors, flavors, scents, vitamins and genetically modified ingredients to meet the ease and bottom line of mega corporations. What we are left with as consumers is food-like products devoid of nutrients needed for a healthy life.

Are Pregnancy-Related Diseases Diet-Related?

My first two pregnancies were healthy, but conventional, in the modern medical sense. And as an African-American, I was always encouraged to get more tests for genetic conditions, without considering my individual state of health. I find this practice lacking, unprofessional and borderline prejudicial. I remember going in for tests, freaking out that I could "catch" a  pregnancy condition, such as gestational diabetes. However, studies show that vitamin D deficiency correlates to preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter, and protein… or the lack of, is also linked to gestational diabetes.

"The surprise discovery could lead to simple dietary solutions and possible therapeutics for the disorder known as gestational diabetes, which if untreated, has serious implications for both mother and child. It also offers new insights into possible ways to reverse non-gestational diabetes in its early stages, the researchers say."
Read more at:

It is very interesting to note that  95% of the serotonin is produced in the G.I. tract.

There is no doubt a healthy diet that supports conditions for healthy gut flora is also vital while pregnant. Nutrient-dense, REAL food often comes in forms of unprocessed, unheated, organic, chemical & additive-free, COULD play a preventative role. Yet, ironically, nutritional counseling does not play a big part of modern prenatal care, other than a prescription of prenatal vitamins, which...whether food-based or chemical-based, does little-to-nothing for the nutritional needs of a gestational mom. You can read why I no longer support commercialized and synthetic multivitamins at this link. >>> "True Nutrition"  Genetics can absolutely play a role in pregnancy-related conditions, however, far too often it becomes a default answer or explanation without looking at care from a nutritional aspect. This is due to the fact that doctors (unless specifically trained) are generally not knowledgeable about nutrition. They are typically trained to offer surgery and drugs as solutions. And sometimes, this training can come at the hands (and studies) of pharmaceutical companies who have a financial invested stake in seeing their drugs being purchased. Does this lend certain biases toward un-patentable, natural, plant-based, earth-sourced nutrition in the medical community? I  believe so.

The Unhealthy Gut Trend

Gut health issues and concerns are on the rise in American society. Could this because of the processed food, and food-like products loaded with pesticides, antibiotics and hormone disrupting chemicals rampant in the food industry? I believe yes. Research indicates healthy gut flora can be disrupted by these factors as well as many others.

Because pregnancy and babies are new beginnings, let's look at the bacteria kingdom, the base of life. Did you know that the bacteria in our gut outnumbers our cells by 100 trillion? It can easily be said that we are 90% microbial! Considering this, it is important to evaluate the importance of gut health and what bacteria, namely probiotics (for life) mean to a gestating mom and her babe.

Probiotics not limited to the defense and offense of unfriendly bacteria.

They create beneficial compounds and essential nutrients.

  • Lactic Acid
  • B Vitamins
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Insulin
  • Interferon like factors,
  • Vitamin K
  • Essential Fatty Acids.

A healthy balanced gut employs a ratio of 85%, 15% (good vs. bad) and enjoys a complex relationship with each other. Nearly 400 species live in the gut keeping one another in check, When this ratio gets out of balance, Dysbiosis, such as; chronic yeast problems, acne, eczema, skin and foot fungus, takes place. Many experts agree, disease begins in the gut. Considering 80% of our immune system resides there, this theory makes perfect sense.

Probiotics and Pregnancy

Expectant moms should make a commitment to eating real, nutrient-dense food in addition to supplementing this diet with a high quality probiotic. Probiotics are necessary to break down nutrients and make them available to the body, therefore, the healthiest diet in the world means nothing, if the gut flora is lacking in this regard. Additionally, research suggests the composition of a woman's gut changes each trimester to support the growing fetus. According to Dr. Mercola each person's "community of gut flora is unique" and the ground work is laid from birth. A maternal welfare clinic in Turku, Finland composed a double-blind, placebo controlled study on the impact of a probiotic-supplemented diet on pregnancy, prenatal and postnatal growth. The study with 191 participants wanted to see if probiotics had any impact on Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Key findings showed that the probiotic group had significantly reduced rate of GDM. The study utilized two strains of probiotics that are patented Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis which may be known as B. Animalis or BB-12. It is not clear in the study which strain is specifically used, as some companies have claims on some of these (sub)strains. While the results of these studies appear favorable towards the action of probiotics and GDM, long term effects of safety concerns relating to designer or modified strains haven’t been established. I expound a bit more on this further in the article.


Probiotics and Childbirth

Probiotics have been found to balance and support the vaginal eco-system. The popular belief in the scientific community is that the baby's gut in utero is sterile. Traveling through the vaginal canal gives the baby his or her gut flora. In an interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride of a GAPS nutritional program she shares this...

"As far as science knows, the baby inside the mother's womb during nine months of gestation is sterile. The baby's gut is sterile. The baby acquires its gut flora at the time of birth, when the baby goes through the birth canal of the mother. So whatever lives in mom's birth canal, in mom's vagina, becomes the baby's gut flora.
So what lives in mom's vagina? It's a very richly populated area of a woman's body. The vaginal flora comes from the bowel. So if the mother has abnormal gut flora, she will have abnormal flora in her birth canal. Fathers are not exempt because fathers also have gut flora, and that gut flora populates their groin and they share their groin flora with the mother on a regular basis.

Understanding this places an important emphasis on vaginal childbirth. Unfortunately, this emphasis is not necessarily reinforced in our modern childbirth industry.

Do High Cesarean Rates Contribute to the Poor Gut Trend?

Hovering near the 33% mark nationwide, Cesarean Sections remain the third most commonly performed surgery and deemed unnecessary in many instances. To grasp how high this number is, WHO (World Health Organization) recommends a cesarean rate of only 15%. This number varies from state to state, hospital to hospital and can range from 22% (Alaska) to 40% (Louisiana).

When Cesareans are unnecessary, what does this mean for the babies born in this way? The Science Daily shares their insight based on a recent study.

"Within the bacterial categories however, enormous diversity exists. Each individual's community of gut microbes is unique and profoundly sensitive to environmental conditions, beginning at birth. Indeed, the mode of delivery during the birthing process has been shown to affect an infant's microbial profile.
Communities of vaginal microbes change during pregnancy in preparation for birth, delivering beneficial microbes to the newborn. At the time of delivery, the vagina is dominated by a pair of bacterial species, Lactobacillus and Prevotella. In contrast, infants delivered by caesarean section typically show microbial communities associated with the skin, including Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, and Propionibacterium. While the full implications of these distinctions are still murky, evidence suggests they may affect an infant's subsequent development and health, particularly in terms of susceptibility to pathogens."

Breastfeeding and Probiotics

Studies show that breast milk does not merely play a nutritive role, but a protective one. The presence of oligosaccharides, prevalent and pre-existing in breast milk, curiously, is only partially digested in the small intestine where it goes on to stimulate and feed the presence of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the gut... picked up through the birth process, thereby establishing the foundation of gut flora for life right after birth. Interestingly, oligosaccharides is one the main components in breast milk and is found naturally in plants. Cow's milk does not have oligosaccharides. Taking a high quality probiotic, daily while nursing, can be a wonderful reinforcement of this protective role.

Purchase With Caution

Nutrition and health has become a marketable commodity and many times consumers can’t (or don’t) distinguish food from products or food-like products from real food. In this vein, probiotic products are no different. Many on the marketplace are patented, trademarked and commercialized for profit. In order to own a new strain for profit, the strain must be “new”, in other words not found in nature. Altering a strain through genetic modification can change the expressions of the physiological traits owing to the live nature of the strain. Are genetically modified strains safe?? How do these live, altered strains influence your intestinal microbiome? Considering that 3.3 million genes are found in the G.I tract from the microorganisms living there, man-made, altered strains, do not sit well with me. Since GMO labeling is still not a reality, it is truly difficult to ascertain natural strains (naturally occurring/cross-breeding without genetic material or structure being changed) from GE strains. In addition, simply because a probiotic is labeled as one, doesn’t necessarily mean it actually is a probiotic. As it stands, there is no legally sanctioned definition of what a probiotic is.  According to Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders, PhD, an expert in this field

“Probiotics are live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. The evidence for the impact of probiotics on diverse end points of human health is mounting, driving the commercial development of products containing them. Subcategories of the general term probiotic include probiotic drug (intended to cure, treat, or prevent disease), probiotic food (which includes foods, food ingredients, and dietary supplements), direct-fed microbial (probiotics for animal use), and designer probiotic (genetically modified probiotics). As there is no legal definition for the term probiotic, products labeled “probiotic” on the market may not have been adequately characterized for content, stability, or health effects.“

Dr. Sanders suggests that in order for a probiotic to be considered as one, it must confer a health benefit to the host and be “safe under the intended conditions of use”. She offers these factors to consider for safety:

  1. The Inherent property of the microbe
  2. The physiologic status of the consumer
  3. The dose administered
  4. The possibility that the probiotic could be a potential source of genes in the gastrointestinal tract environment that could be transferred to less innocuous members of the colonizing microbiota by horizontal gene transfer.

In my opinion, these safety considerations lend themselves more towards designer probiotic strains (GE/GMO) than naturally existing, cultivated strains. Although, I do agree that the physiological status of the consumer needs to be considered when taking a natural probiotic as reactions and symptoms can occur while the G.I. tract is being “cleaned up”. Dr. Sanders suggests the Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, and S. thermophilus species as they all have excellent safety records for such uses. I agree with her suggestion of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and personally take them myself. However, I avoid genetically altered, new or designer strains belonging to these species. I’ve composed four clues to pinpoint GE strains. Read the article here>>> Four Clues to Pinpoint a Genetically Altered Probiotic Strain.

My Probiotic Pregnancy

For the first time, after seven pregnancies, I’ve incorporated a probiotic in my prenatal regimen. ALL of my pregnancies and births have been normal, healthy and blessed. When expecting my seventh child, I got rid of commercialized prenatal vitamins, incorporated sole in my prenatal diet, and declared that to be the healthiest pregnancy and child, I’ve experienced thus far. I stand corrected. My eighth child will be arriving soon and to say this experience has been usual is an understatement.

I have absolutely zero cravings. None. This concept is mind-boggling for me. Each pregnancy, with a slight exception of my last, I’ve had cravings for chocolate, sweets, salt etc. From the beginning until now, I’ve not had one preferred comfort food. Cravings are the body’s way of letting you know what it needs. This tells me my nutritional needs are being met. I’m not even hungry very often. When I am, I eat raw, whole nutrient-rich food. My body simply will not allow me to consume anything else. I become nauseous and feel icky when I eat too much cooked foods.

I’m losing weight. My weight gain steadily increased the first two trimesters, plateaued and then declined. Meanwhile, my fundal height (height of uterus) measures quite large for my estimated gestational age. In other words, I’m losing weight while my babe is gaining and growing!

MyProbioticPregPicI have a super active, strong babe. In comparison to my previous experiences, this little one has powerful kicks, movement and energy that has my husband and I completely amazed. I expect this baby to come out break-dancing. Really.

I’ve no bleeding gums. Bleeding gums have been a trademark of my pregnancies. Not once have I experienced this. As a matter of fact, my dental health has improved. These past few months I’ve lost plague that have been stuck on my teeth for the past decade or so. I attribute this to my diet and the toothpaste I switched to nearly two years ago.

No gassiness and bloating. Being gassy and bloated are also trademarks. I’ve experienced very little gassiness and no bloating. I’ve no puffy, pregnant face, nor have I experienced swollen feet. The only time my feet swell is if I’m on my feet for long periods of time. My skin remains clear of acne/blemishes in spite of the pregnancy hormones.

The only discomforts I’m experiencing is an over active growing babe and nausea when smell and SEE processed/fake foods!

Preparing The Way to a Good Gut

I’ve learned so much over the years and from my personal experiences. I’m humbled and blessed to be able to apply my wisdom and watch the fruit of my labor, literal and figuratively speaking, unfold. My pregnancy diet consists of five daily supplements I’ve deemed important: Sole, Spirulina/Protein, Red Raspberry leaf (a tea or tincture) and Probiotic.


InLiven Probiotic Superfood is the only product I trust & utilize in my effort create a wholesome pathway for my soon-to-be-newborn. Not only does it contain the entire Lactobacillus family (13 strains), all of them are naturally occurring, nonGMO and certified organic. After doing lots of research in 2013, I began my online site featuring this and other certified organic, food-grade products. I’ve been taking InLiven since and throughout my pregnancy. I personally know the owner and manufacturer (Narelle Chenery) of InLiven and have had the honor of mentoring with the creator (Czerral Wheeler) of InLiven before his passing in November of 2014. All this lends to my confidence in using, recommending and promoting these superior, authentic probiotic supplements.

Ellen Laham Dart states that babies are coated in microbes and bacteria in the vaginal secretions that are ultimately ingested through the baby’s skin! My goal is to rub a bit of FastTract, the liquid, gluten-free version of InLiven on my newborn’s back, arms and legs to reinforce the vaginal gulp process! I highly suggest you read Ms. Dart’s informative article, The Vaginal Gulp.

Czerral Wheeler, InLiven formulator This article was written in memory of Czerral Wheeler. His wisdom, expertise and passion is truly missed.  Hear Czerral share his wisdom on Probiotics and Pets. >>> Listen to the call here.





Information and products presented in this article is given in an informative and opinion-based format and should not be use to diagnose, cure or treat any diseases and should not take the place of a doctor’s care. Similarly, products recommended here are offered for sale on TheOliveParent Organics shop. Experiences outlined here are my own and should be considered bio-individual. To learn more about the products contact me via the contact box on the sidebar.


Ferguson, Elaine R. M.D., Superhealing: Engaging Your Mind, Body and Spirit to Create Optimal Health and Well-Being, Health Communications, Inc. Deerfield Beach, FL., 2013

Monday, January 19, 2015

Updated! #Holistic Parenting Magazine Review, Giveaway and a Special Announcement!

**The editor of Holistic Parenting Magazine has offered one winner a full year’s subscription! All terms of the the giveaway still apply.**

I’ve had the utmost pleasure to read and review the Holistic Parenting Magazine for the past few months. I devoured the magazines from cover to cover, reading everything…something I just don’t do with conventional magazines.

With “home of authentic family living” as a tagline. Holistic Parenting Magazine is truly the real deal. Too many times, I’ve encountered magazines or sites that claim to promote & support “natural” or “holistic” topics, but have a good mix of conventional living thrown in and don’t get me started about the ads! Advertisements from pharmaceuticals and other products that don’t support authentic living make it difficult for me to take seriously. As a matter of fact, they have a strict advertising policy. They do not “endorse any products that inhibit or interfere with the natural bonding between parent and child, or products that pollute our earth”. In Holistic Parenting you’ll find beautifully, raw wholesome pictures. Pictures that depict birth (as it is) breastfeeding, beautiful round and expectant bellies displayed artistically  and advertisements of businesses I’m actually interested in!

HPM is very new and just put out their 7th issue, but has already interviewed greats such as Ina May Gaskin, America’s leading midwife, author and director of The Farm Midwifery Center. The interview with Suzanne Arms, an international acclaimed author and an acknowledged leader of the international birthing movement, would be one of my favorite articles, in addition to The Vaginal Gulp, a piece about the importance of childbirth and the vaginal microbiome. Interestingly enough, I’m currently piecing together a similar topic to be published soon, here on TOP! The topics are intimately applicable to the holistic family lifestyle and has covered…

  • Freebirthing (unassisted childbirth)
  • Circumcision
  • Cloth diapering
  • Large families
  • Breech Birth
  • Birth Trauma
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe morning sickness)

Another thing I love about the magazine is that it doesn’t smell! One of my biggest issues with conventional magazines is that it reeks of chemicals and ink (I’m very sensitive to those smells) and rubs off on your hands & clothing. HPM is printed on sustainable sourced paper using environmentally responsible printing presses, which I assume uses earth and human friendly ink, since I do not smell the ink at all, not even on my brand new issue.

I’m excited to share with my readers that I am a contributor to this special magazine! My article on water birthing will be published in issue #8 (March/April) and I’ll compose another article to be published later on in the year. HPM is the only subscription-based magazine in print and digital. It comes out bi-monthly at $6.99 per issue. HPM can also be purchased at select bookstores.

Today I’m giving away my extra copy of the current issue!

The winner will also receive a free sample of Miessence’s certified organic, food-grade, Skin Essential pack featured on my shop, TheOliveParent Organics.

Entry is simple, leave a comment telling me how you live a holistic lifestyle. You must be 18 years of age and a resident of the USA to enter. Please read the Giveaway Terms and Conditions here. This giveaway is sponsored by TheOliveParent, all opinions and experiences listed here are mine. Giveaway closes 2/10/15 11:00 PM CST

**Don’t forget to subscribe to TheOliveParent Organics Inbox Magazine for tips, articles, webinars, product updates and promotions. You’ll also get a free Toxin Text Resource List! **

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