One year ago, as I was making myself my second latte of the morning and wondering if I could get the kids to play quietly in the afternoon so I could take a nap, the thought hit me that I hadn’t been this tired when Sunshine was a baby.
Back then, I’d made myself one coffee a day just because I liked having a hot drink to sip when I sat down to write while she napped, and not because I desperately needed the caffeine jolt to keep me going. Sure, I now have five kids to chase instead of one, but that didn’t seem to be reason enough for my continual exhaustion.
Something more was going on. That realization was the start of my gut health journey with Plexus.
If you are also an exhausted mama, or dealing with other minor health problems like occasional depression or patches of eczema, I invite you to read my story and see if anything rings a bell with you. Over the last year, I’ve learned the many ways that gut health affects our overall health. Healing my gut has also cleared up many of the symptoms I was experiencing and brushing off as “minor” or just trying to ignore because I was too busy as a mom chasing my kids to take care of myself.
Until one day that changed, thanks to Plexus…
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When I was growing up, my mom cooked and baked all of our food from scratch. We bought our milk (both cow’s and goat’s) directly from local dairy farmers. We raised a huge garden each summer and put up the produce ourselves in the fall. We also had an orchard of apple trees and a long line of raspberry bushes. Mom bought huge cases of fruit each fall to can. We raised our own sheep, chickens, turkeys and geese to put in the freezer. Our food was as organic and unprocessed as you could get.
We were also active as a family. My brothers and I rode our bikes all over our neighbourhood with our friends. We played baseball in the summer and hockey in the winters. We went for family walks together several times a week. In my teen years, Mom and I swam laps together twice a week. Both swimming and biking were good ways to relieve stress, so if I had a bad day, I’d often jump on my bike and ride hard for 12 to 20 km before coming home again. Family vacations involved backpacking in Jasper National Park.
Then I started university and, four years later, got married. I was no longer as active as I’d once been. My husband had different meal and cooking expectations, and I began buying more of the foods that he was used to eating, such as Kraft Dinner. When we both went back to university just after our second daughter’s birth, our tight budget and busy schedules further changed our eating habits. Organic? Too expensive. Baking from scratch? No time.
Those were also years of high stress. Unemployment, frequent moves, university deadlines, childcare problems, prenatal care provider concerns, and more left its toll on me. We were busy and exhausted but there wasn’t anything to do but to just keep going… one day at a time, one course at a time.
When university ended, we had a brief respite as we moved out of Family Housing to a rural rental home in Sooke. It felt like a return to my childhood. I was a stay-at-home mom again as I’d always wanted to be. We lived in a quiet, peaceful setting. I couldn’t have a garden there, but I did have more time to cook and bake again. One source of stress (university) was over, but others remained.
Fast forward to last year, when I stopped and took stock of my health and my life. I was exhausted all the time—drinking four cups of coffee a day to keep myself going, trying to sneak a nap whenever I could, and feeling bad that I was grumpy and short with my kids. I had a pesky patch of eczema on my finger that itched like crazy some days and wouldn’t go away, no matter what creams I tried. I had a few “bad days” (I didn’t want to call them depression) every few weeks, and dreaded December and January because my depression tended to get worse then.
A Naturopath’s Advice
I had tried seeing my family doctor about my eczema. I spent more time in his waiting room than in his office. He barely glanced at my finger when I said it was itchy, diagnosed eczema, and gave me a prescription. I didn’t bother filling the prescription; I already knew it didn’t work, because my husband had the same prescription and I’d already tried it. I’d also tried other over-the-counter creams that I had from Jade’s bout with eczema as a toddler; nothing had really helped make my own eczema go away.
Next, I tried a naturopath recommended by a friend of mine. She spent an hour listening to my health concerns and asking questions about my history. She recommended several supplements and cleanses to help with my eczema and exhaustion. She suggested giving up eggs, as she found that eggs often caused eczema among her clients.
I said, “Okay.” Eggs are nice but not necessary.
Then she added, “You could also try taking dairy out of your diet.” At the look on my face, she laughed and said, “It’s probably dairy.”
I followed her advice. I took the supplements, did the cleanses, and gave up dairy and eggs. I had more energy and my eczema cleared up. I tried a few eggs. No reaction from my skin. I had a latte. My eczema flared up, just as itchy as before. I discovered that I liked coconut milk lattes, but it was hard to find substitutes for cheese and yogurt. Our grocery bill was going up as I tried different non-dairy products. It was stressful to plan a dairy-free menu, and to avoid dairy when the rest of the family was still drinking it.
Avoiding dairy didn’t feel like solving a problem, however. I felt like I was missing something. My exhaustion, eczema and depressions were symptoms. Even my food intolerance was a symptom. But a symptom of what? What was causing all these health problems for me? How did I get to the root of the problem?
That’s where my friend Alissa and Plexus came in.
A Friend Introduces Me to Plexus
My childhood friend Alissa had been posting about her journey with Plexus for a couple years. These natural supplements had revolutionized her health. Like me, she was a mom of five kids (with one in heaven) who had also moved a few times. Now, we were both living in BC and homeschooling our kids. She knew the “mom exhaustion” as well as I did, and had experienced various other health problems. She traced most of these back to the antibiotics she’d taken during and after each of her pregnancies.
While I appreciated what Alissa shared, I kept telling myself I was pretty healthy. I’d rarely taken antibiotics. Yet as I looked at the supplements I was taking from my naturopath, and thought about the health concerns I’d brushed off for so many years, I realized I wasn’t as healthy as I thought.
When I looked back to the healthy lifestyle I’d grown up with, and how that had changed once I got married and started having kids, I could see how my gut health had also been impacted. Antibiotics affect our gut microbiome, but so do diet and stress (and many other factors). My dry skin, depression and exhaustion were little messages from my body, trying to tell me that something wasn’t right.
When I mentioned to Alissa what I was going through, she encouraged me to try Plexus. I decided it couldn’t hurt. I could get my supplements from my naturopath, or I could get them through a friend and support a fellow work-at-home mom. I’d already tried and loved one Plexus product—the Joyome Essentials lotions. Plus, Alissa had shared some pretty fantastic Plexus testimonials with me. I couldn’t wait to see what results Plexus would have for me!
Plexus: The Health & Happiness Company
Plexus promotes deep down health, not just quick change. Their products are based on the latest science and health research and are the highest quality non-GMO, 100% vegetarian, and gluten free wherever possible. Plexus supplements pave the way to better digestive health and feed your system to benefit the body and mind. They balance your blood sugar, reduce your inflammation, and improve your gut health to create a healthier, happier YOU.
Our gut microbiomes are like a garden. Symptoms are like thistles that crop up in our garden. Many of us are trying to do things to get those thistles out of the garden. Maybe you’re apply steroid creams to your eczema like I did, or popping over-the-counter allergy medicines. However, instead of rooting out the thistles, we’re just chopping off the head. The roots are still there and the thistles keep growing.
Plexus goes to the root of the problem by getting rid of bad bacteria and feeding good bacteria to restore balance to your gut microbiome and restore your overall health.
As I look back on my Plexus journey from the vantage point of one year, I can see the huge difference it has made in my life. My eczema is gone and I’m once again drinking regular lattes and eating all the cheese and yogurt I want.
I’m no longer an exhausted mama; I’m back to my get-it-all-done self (on most days—sometimes I still stay up a bit too late and pay the price, or get woken up by a restless toddler too many times, but on a daily basis, my energy is back to normal).
And my depression? I can’t remember the last bad day I had. December and January flew past without my usual winter blues. That is huge for me.
If you are dealing with any of the symptoms of leaky gut… even minor symptoms such as mine… I’d recommend doing some research. Type your health problem plus leaky gut into a search bar and see what you can learn. Over the last year, I’ve been amazed at how many health problems are connected to one part of my body… that’s right, my gut!!!
Taking care of my gut, and healing my gut microbiome, has been slowly helping my other health problems. Some symptoms (like my eczema) cleared up right away, while other symptoms (like my irregular cycle) are taking longer to adjust. I remind myself that this is a journey; I didn’t wreck my gut overnight and I won’t fix it overnight, but I’m happy to be on the path to a healthier, happier me.
If you want to know more about gut health and whether Plexus could help you, I’d be happy to chat!
If you’re ready to jump into your own Plexus gut health journey, please connect with me so that I can help you customize the products to your needs!