14 Natural Remedies For Joint Pain

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Joint pain can leave you stopped in your tracks. It seems that it is becoming more and more common, especially amongst adults. Typical intermittent aches and pains can plague all of us, but when joint pain begins to become chronic, it can feel like it is becoming a way of life. And, simultaneously taking away from the ease of your life. 

Joint pain is most often felt in areas such as knees, hips, low back, shoulders, ankles, and wrists. Inflammation is the main culprit but the root cause could come from overuse, injury, muscle strain, muscle weakness, autoimmune disease, and general systemic inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can help to ease the discomfort in the short term, but rarely addresses the root cause of that inflammation. Not to mention, in some cases, these medications can make you feel great in the short-term but actually worsen the root cause. 

There are many options to naturally decrease joint pain. If the joint pain onset is related to a deeper foundational root cause (i.e., weakened gut health, leaky gut, systemic stress, etc), then implementing some of these natural remedies could greatly decrease your joint pain and also heal your body on a deeper level. You don’t need to do all of these tips, but picking the ones that seem to work for you could greatly decrease your pain and discomfort (and bring more ease back into your life!). 

  1. Drink plenty of water (and stay hydrated). This tip is one of the most important and most foundational, yet one that gets overlooked all the time. Water lubricates and cushions the joints. Make sure that you are drinking half of your bodyweight (in lbs) in ounces of water daily, more if you consume dehydrating beverages (i.e., coffee, teas, and juices) and/or sweating often.
  2. Remove gluten, dairy, and sugar from your diet. Your body becomes more inflamed the more you eat foods that can increase inflammation. These are the main foods that cause inflammation and body flare ups. This includes not only joint pain, but also acne, rashes, and other inflammatory-related symptoms.
  3. Eat the right kind of fats. Fats are essential for overall body and hormone functioning, but the right kinds of fats are important. Remove inflammatory Omega-6 fats, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, and other seed oils. Add in more Omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats, such as wild-caught salmon and extra virgin olive oil. These are excellent for managing and decreasing inflammation. If you don’t do fatty fish, you could try consuming a fish oil supplement to help get these healthy benefits. 
  4. Get plenty of sun (with skin exposure) or take a Vitamin D/K2 supplement. Vitamin D is important for supporting healthy bones. It helps with calcium absorption and those with low levels of vitamin D are linked with higher levels of osteoarthritis. 
  5. Consume plenty of high-quality animal protein. Your body needs the full set of amino acids to keep your bones strong, support muscle recovery, and decrease inflammation/joint pain. Animal protein will give you the complete range of amino acids, B-vitamins, choline, magnesium, and iron that you need to support healthy tissue. The key word, however, is high- quality — grass-fed beef, pasteurize- raised poultry and eggs, and wild game such as venison. The muscle meat is not the only part that is nutritious for your joints…
  6. Consume a form of collagen. Along with the animal protein, consuming forms of collagen are super helpful in calming joint pain. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the your body and it helps to build joints and keep connective tissue strong. Consuming collagen, gelatin, or bone broth are ways of getting in natural glucosamine, which have been shown helpful in reducing joint pain. 
  7. Use high doses of curcumin. Turmeric has become popular specifically because of it’s active ingredient curcumin. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  8. Up your magnesium intake. Most people are deficient in magnesium, even if they are eating a nutrient-dense diet. Low levels of magnesium can cause muscle aches, joint pain, leg spasms, weakened bones, and unhealthy nerve function. If you are low in magnesium or suspect that you are, try taking a high-quality magnesium supplement. 
  9. Get active. Regular exercise is critical for healthy muscle and joint function. It helps to strengthen the muscles and joints and decrease your potential for injury. Exercise is also important for balancing hormones such as human growth hormone, cortisol, and other hormones that play a role in appetite and aging. Make sure that you lift heavy weights (appropriate for your body) and stretch regularly to loosen the pressure placed on your joints. 
  10. Eliminate nightshades foods. Nightshades include foods like peppers, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, goji berries, paprika, and ashwagandha. These foods can play a role in joint pain and muscle aches — inflammation — possibly due to the alkaloid content, or toxic compounds, that those plants can give off as a self-defense. 
  11. Try a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement. This combination has been shown to be helpful in nourishing the joints for some people. It can support the health of the cartilage. There are some people who notice worsening effects, so if you try it and your symptoms get worse or you don’t notice anything, stop taking it. 
  12. Try a high-quality CBD or hemp oil daily. CBD and hemp oil have very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and can be the “thing” that helps lessen the effect of chronic pain and inflammation. Make sure that when choosing one of these oils, that you find a company that is high-quality, tested for metals or toxins, and is sustainably resourced. 
  13. Use essential oils. Lavender, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary are just a few of the essential oils that have been linked to decreasing joint pain. Dilute 1-2 drops in a carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, etc) and rub over the affected area to help decrease pain and discomfort. 
  14. Try the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol), if you are still have joint pain. If you are still having problems after doing the foundational steps, you may need to take a deeper dive. Eliminating foods such as coffee, eggs, grains, and nuts can help to calm your body’s inflammation and chronic pain. Doing this for a few months has given some people great relief and has helped them to discover exactly what foods are triggering their joint pain. 

**Click here for easy access to recommended supplements above.

Joint pain and body inflammation does not need to stop you from enjoy all that life has to offer. There are plenty of natural approaches you can try to help give you relief. Not only will these help to give you relief, but they also help to support the body as a whole!

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8 Ways To Relieve Seasonal Affect Disorder And Depression

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Winter used to be synonymous with feeling sad and not like myself.

The holidays would come and go. And so would my spirits — feeling like I was constantly in a state of doom and gloom. 

I truly dreaded winter time because of this. As I got older, I started to realize that I was not alone. Others felt the stranglehold of winter’s grip around their hearts and I started to feel something new…


And for many years, I lived in normalcy where I would curse the winter and grump my way through my day. That was until I learned about what it really meant to be SAD. 

Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is a form of seasonal depression triggered by the change in seasons that occurs primarily in winter. The shorter the days are, the more you might be prone to this phenomenon. I felt massive relief in knowing that there was a reason I felt not like myself. I wasn’t broken. But then that left me questioning…

Why do some people get SAD? I found that experts aren’t certain, but some think that seasonal changes disrupt the circadian rhythm — the 24-hour clock that regulates how we function during sleeping and waking hours, causing us to feel energized and alert sometimes and drowsy at other times.

Yet, another theory is that the changing seasons disrupt hormones such as serotonin and melatonin. These hormones regulate your sleep, mood, and feelings of well-being. It also turns out that women and young people are more likely to experience SAD, as are those who live farther away from the equator. People with a family history or diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder are also more susceptible.

What does SAD look like? According to valleyrecovery.com, common symptoms include:

  • Feelings of extreme hopelessness, depression, sadness
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Withdrawing from social activities and/or hobbies
  • Inability to tolerate stress
  • Difficulty focusing or procrastination
  • Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates

The light started to turn on and I quickly realized two things:

  1. SAD can be treated and managed.
  2. SAD needs to be treated and managed — all forms of depression limit people’s ability to live their lives to the fullest, to enjoy their families, and to function well at work.

Here are 8 things you can do to start releasing SAD’s grip on you:

 1. Tidy Up Your Nutrition

Nutrition is the first place to look. Yes, there are specific foods and nutrients that will help you feel better, but I think the real power is in looking at what you are already taking in. Keeping your blood sugar balanced is key to stable mood and hormone balancing. Limit the amount of sugar that you consume because sugar is directly linked to brain health. A sugar high may have you feeling good momentarily, but will knock your blood sugar out of whack. Once the sugar high wears out, your blood sugar will drop and increase lethargic feelings and irritability. 

You also want to look at the amount of processed foods and gluten that you have in your diet. Eliminating gluten from your diet can heal your gut health, balance your blood sugar, clear up brain fog, and balance your hormones. 

Eat consistent meals to keep your body fueled and and your energy high. Not eating consistently can cause dips in your blood sugar and you might notice higher levels of feeling “hangry.”

2. Listen To Music That Makes You Feel Good

One of the most immediate ways to alter your mood is to listen to music. You can probably remember a time you put on a song to elevate your mood or to even trigger sadness. Music therapy has been used as a medicinal alternative for a wide range of health problems from autism to healing from a surgery. Remember the power of music — it can increase sadness so choose music that is lighter and not tied to painful memories.

3. Get More Vitamin D 

Vitamin D has many health benefits. It is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” because your body produces it when your skin is exposed to UV light. Unfortunately, you may not be able to head outdoors once the temperature drops, which greatly decreases your daily dose of vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to SAD in research reported in 2014 in the journal Medical Hypotheses. Adding in a supplemental vitamin D may be helpful to release the depression.

4. Keep A Gratitude Journal (Or, Any Journal) 

Writing down your thoughts can have a positive effect on your mood because it can help to get your negative feelings out of your system. What is even more powerful for depression is keeping a gratitude journal to help you see what is good and bright in your life. 

Having trouble knowing where to start in your journaling journey? Click here to get you started.

5. Stick To A Schedule

Sleeping at night can really feel like a chore with those dealing with SAD. And if you can’t sleep at night, getting up in the morning may be even harder. Maintaining a regular schedule improves sleep, which can help alleviate symptoms of SAD.

Keeping a regular schedule will also expose you to light at consistent and predictable times. And eating at regular intervals can help you watch your diet and not overeat. Many people who live with SAD find they gain weight in the winter because of this, especially if you are prone to emotional eating.

6. Add Aromatherapy 

If you like essential oils and smelly stuff, then you are in luck — Aromatherapy may also help those with seasonal disorder. Essential oils can influence the area of the brain that’s responsible for controlling moods and the body’s internal clock that influences sleep and appetite. 

You can simply add a few drops of essential oils to your bath at night to help you relax or plug your diffuser in and left the smell waft through the air. Click here to read more ways you can use specific oils for symptoms of SAD. 

7. Let The Sunshine In

Getting outside as much as you can during the day and take advantage of what sunlight there is can dramatically improve SAD or any kind of depression. If you live where it’s cold, be sure to bundle up, but take a stroll around the block at noon or soon after — that’s when the sun is brightest.

Also, when you’re indoors, keep your blinds open to let as much natural light in as you can. You want to be in bright environments whenever possible to stimulate the brain.

8. Use A Light Therapy Box

Light Therapy Boxes give off light that mimics sunshine and can help in the recovery from SAD. The light from the therapy boxes is significantly brighter than that of regular light bulbs, and it’s provided in different wavelengths.

Try sitting in front of a light box for about 30 minutes a day. This will stimulate your body’s circadian rhythms and suppress its natural release of melatonin. Research shows that most people find light therapy to be most effective if used when they first get up in the morning. 

Seasonal Affect Disorder does not have to be something that you suffer with. You can take back control of your life. Remember, exercise and socialization and having something to look forward to are just as important as any of these other tips above. But if you feel like you do those things and you are still feeling stuck, give the tips above a try and see how you can begin lifting the heavy cloud of winter blues!

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3 Key Nutrients To Increase Happiness

As we become more aware of the food we eat and the lifestyle that we live, the connection between that and the quality of our mental health is getting more attention.

In a world of chaos and many unhealthy choices, it may feel like we don’t have a lot of control and mental health imbalances can run wild. And they have been!


The rise of mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, has been noted among much research. There are many factors that contribute to your mental health — it can become complex — but one factor that is getting more and more attention is your nutrition.

Ironically, it is also the one factor that so many of us do not pay close attention to.

There are foods that will support your mental health and others that will deplete it. But, why do certain foods act the way they do? It really comes down to key nutrients that you’re getting from those foods.

And as research on this subject becomes more explored, we are seeing a higher connection between specific nutrients that support emotional health and create stability in our moods. What are some of those nutrients?

Here are three main nutrients that will help to support brain and mental health (and the overall quality of your body’s health):


1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Not only are they heart healthy, but they are brain healthy too. Omega-3s may be helpful in the treatment of depression and seem to have a mood-stabilizing effect. They have been connected to reducing inflammation and are vital for normal brain function and development. Low levels of omega-3s have been connected to accelerating brain aging and contribute to deficits in brain function.

Fish oil supplements are one of the most common ways to get more Omega-3s into your daily diet — those that contain higher amounts of EPA may improve depressive symptoms in people with depression. They appear to have the greatest effects in those who are already taking antidepressant medications. If you plan to get your omega-3s from fish sources, then oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, anchovies and sardines) are the most highly recommended sources and should be eaten at least twice a week.

What if you are vegetarian or vegan? Higher levels of omega-3s can also be found in walnuts, flax (or flaxseed oil), olive oil, avocados, fresh basil and dark green leafy vegetables.


2. Vitamin D. Higher rates of depression have been associated with lower levels of Vitamin D. Lack of Vitamin D is thought to play a role in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is depression that commonly starts in the fall, lasts through winter and decreases when the sun is more abundant.

Why is Vitamin D so important? It is needed to help the body absorb calcium for strong teeth and bones and increases the health of muscles and the immune system. It has also been associated with heart disease and increased risk of heart attacks.

Our bodies do produce Vitamin D as a result of being in the sun — 5-30 minutes of sun exposure twice a week is typically a good amount to produce adequate levels of Vitamin D. But, not for everyone — skin color and where on your body you get your sun exposure matters!

Most foods do not naturally have Vitamin D, but many are “Vitamin D fortified.” Fatty fish like salmon and tuna have the most naturally occurring Vitamin D. Other foods like milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals have Vitamin D added.


3. B Vitamins and Folate. B Vitamins are fantastic in improving overall mental health, especially depression. In particular, increased intake of B 12 and folate is associated with decreasing depression.

Folic acid is essential for production of cells and especially important for healthy hair, skin, nails, eyes, liver and red blood cell production.

Where can you get it? Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains have high amounts of folate, or folic acid. If you are looking to up your overall level of B vitamins and also want to know if you might have a deficiency, this article is helpful.

Managing your mental and emotional health can seem daunting when you are feeling the weight of it all and when you are feeling out of control. The good news is that you do have control! It may even be sitting right in your cabinets already.

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6 Nutrients Your Body Needs To Slow Your Aging

As we get older, things change. Our skin gets thinner and wrinkles start to form. We lose lean muscle (if we don’t actively work on it) and our belly fat starts to shift to our midsection. We also produce less stomach acid, making it harder for our bodies to efficiently absorb vital nutrients.

Did you know that studies have estimated that 20% of aging people have “atrophic gastritis”, a condition in which chronic inflammation has damaged the cells that produce stomach acid?

This is a real problem! If your stomach acid is low and can not absorb the nutrients you need to stay healthy, it is easy to fall into a lot of health problems. And, when this is coupled with the fact that we need less calories as we age, hormonal changes begin to run wild, and we are more likely to be prone to dehydration, absorbing the nutrients to keep you healthy is even more challenging. There are specific nutrients that you may need to be consciously aware of getting more of —

6 Nutrients You May Need As You Age


Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Heart disease is a big deal and it is even bigger as you age. Changes in your diet, stress levels, and your hormones can all play a role in how well your cardiovascular system operates. And that all can catch up to you as you get older. Omega-3 fatty acids can lower heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and triglycerides. They can also increase HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. Get your Omega-3’s by eating foods like walnuts, wild-caught salmon, mackerel, cod liver oil, herring, avocados, flax seeds, and chia seeds. You can also take a fish oil supplement. Incorporate a bit of these every day!



As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and wrinkles. Collagen is a major component of your skin and it plays a role in strengthening skin with benefits of elasticity and hydration. Adequate collagen has been linked to improving your skin health, relieving joint pain, preventing bone loss, boosting muscle mass, promoting heart health, improving gut health, balancing out moods, and supporting a healthy metabolism. Where can you find collagen? Collagen is found in the connective tissue of animals. Foods such as chicken skin, pork skin, beef and fish are sources of collagen. You can also find collagen in gelatin, such as bone broth, or you can add a collagen powder to your smoothie or liquid drink. This is my favorite. These foods are abundant, but their absorption is not as efficient as that of hydrolyzed collagen.


Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important nutrients for bone health. As you age, vitamin D levels decrease, making it challenging for calcium to be efficiently absorbed. This can set you up for bone weakness and potential fractures, including osteoporosis and osteopenia. You can get vitamin D through sun exposure, but if you are quite deficient or not in the sun enough, you may not be getting enough vitamin D. You can naturally increase your vitamin D levels by eating egg yolks, a variety of fishes, mushrooms, and fortified foods. You can also take a cod liver supplement. As for calcium, you can find 15 calcium-rich foods right here to get you started!



The loss of muscle mass is called sarcopenia and it is a major source of weakness, fractures, and health issues as we get older. The average adult loses 3–8% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Aiming to consume a moderate amount of 25-30 grams of high quality protein with each meal will help you get your protein needs. It is also being shown that increasing protein and resistance exercise will help to decrease your risk of sarcopenia. Get more protein by topping organic greek yogurt with chopped almonds, snacking on organic cheese sticks, starting your morning off with a protein shake, or adding a protein rich food to your salad.



Magnesium is a super important mineral in the body.  As you age, you are at risk for a deficiency because of poor intake, medication use and changes in your gut functioning (I.e., low stomach acid). According to MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.”  Magnesium helps with maintaining a healthy immune system and stabilizes nerve and muscle functioning. It helps to keep your bones strong and your heart beating healthfully. It also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, creating a more consistent energy level. Magnesium is also a super aid to calming the nervous system and allowing you to relax and fall asleep at night.


Vitamin B-12

Aging increases the risk of a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Unfortunately, studies estimate that 10–30% of people over age 50 have a reduced ability to absorb vitamin B-12 from their diet. Again, it is all about the low stomach acid! With time, this can cause a major deficiency. Why is this important? B-12 is essential for making red blood cells and maintaining healthy brain function. Vitamin B-12 is found naturally only in animal source foods such as dairy products, meat, eggs, fish, and shellfish. Vegan or Vegetarian? People who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet do not get adequate sources of B-12, so they can benefit from taking a vitamin B-12 supplement or consuming foods fortified with vitamin B-12.

Why wait? These may be nutrients that you need to support you as you age, but why wait to start? All of these nutrients are important at any age. Start to pay attention to how they play a role in your diet now so that you can set yourself up for a healthier, more supportive future!