Folate vs Folic Acid

Folate…folic acid…these words are used interchangeably so often that people believe they are the same.  However, in the body they are recognized and processed as very different forms of vitamin B9.

Folic acid is a synthetic version of B9, only found in supplements and fortified food.   Even though its molecular structure is very similar to folate, it requires additional enzymes for the body to break it down – which can be difficult for many bodies to metabolize.  There are two conversions it must go through in order to become folate – the structure the body is able to utilize for many key functions. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a group of key enzymes that convert folic acid into folate.  However, if there are any genetic variations within these enzymes, they can reduce the amount of folic acid converted to folate.  At this point, the body is receiving less folate than it requires. When the amount of folic acid exceeds a certain amount, your body loses the ability to process it, the liver becomes overwhelmed and folic acid ends up in the bloodstream.  This unmetabolized folic acid has been associated with many serious health risks.

Folic acid has been a mandatory fortification by the USDA since 1998.  It is included in many enriched grain products such as breads, cereals, flours, pastas and other packaged goods.  This regulation was enforced with the goal of decreasing the number of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, that were occuring during fetal development.  Spina bifida is when the neural tube does not fully close, leaving the meninges and spinal cord vulnerably exposed through the vertebrae structure.

It is important to note that folic acid has been consumed in large quantities only recently.  It poses a risk for both having too much folic acid in the system as well as not getting the required amounts of folate needed for key functions.  Recommendations should be based on each individual’s genetics and enzymatic ability to process B9. This is exactly why there is not one diet that fits everyone.










Folate is the natural form of folic acid, which is found in foods like spinach and liver.  It is easily absorbed by the body and utilized efficiently. Folate plays a critical role as a co-enzyme in the process of DNA synthesis as well as cell division.  It is recommended to consume at least 400 mcg of folate daily. This amount is increased to 600 mcg daily for women of childbearing years.

Unfortunately, even high quality prenatal and multivitamins contain folic acid instead of the natural-form folate.  It is best to get your naturally occurring folate from food sources such as spinach, broccoli, liver, black eyed peas, asparagus, brussel sprouts and avocado.  Just a 3 ounce portion of liver will provide over 50% of your daily recommended intake. A half cup of boiled spinach will provide 33% of the daily intake and an avocado will provide 15% of the daily intake.

On top of a great whole food intake of folate, it is important to get a boost through quality supplements.  If you are choosing to supplement B9, make sure it is in the form of folate, not folic acid. This is why it is very important to check labels when you are looking for a high quality supplement.  Keywords to look for include: folate, Methylhydrotetrafolate or 5-MTHF.  For those who know they are genetically metabolizing B9 extremely well, it is recommended to consume folinic acid, which is a natural, non-methylated form of folate.

In general, it is important to be aware of what exactly is in the foods and supplements you chose to consume. While folate and folic acid sound like the same ingredient, they have very distinct roles for the body. As a general rule, find natural sources of the nutrients you are looking for, and your body will thank you!

Is Salt Really Unhealthy?

Salt has always been essential to humans, dating back to the prehistoric times.  It has been used a natural flavoring for thousands of years. Moorish merchants in the 6th century would regularly trade prized salt in equal amounts for gold!  There were salt trade routes all over the world with the most famous one spanning from the Sahara to Timbuktu. In fact, it is so vital to our existence that we have an area on our tongue solely dedicated to the salty taste.   

Table salt does not contain essential minerals like potassium because it is  mined from underground salt deposits and highly processed.It is heated to extremely high temperatures, which alter the chemical composition and strip the salt of these minerals that provide nutritional benefits.  Table salt ends up only being 97% sodium chloride while the other 3% is made up of anti-caking agents, iodine, MSG and/or white processed sugar to stabilize the iodine and aluminum derivatives. While it is important that we get iodine in our diet, it should be from real food sources and if that isn’t as available (especially here in the goiter belt), then iodine can be supplemented.  Iodine evaporates extremely quickly. From the time it is added to table salt in the processing stage to when you’ve had it open for 20-40 days on your table, over half of the iodine is lost to evaporation. The amount that is added at the factory versus the amount that you sprinkle on your food at home is drastically different. In addition, the type of iodine they add is only 10% bioavailable. The bottom line is, no one knows how much iodine you are even getting from iodized salt.  

In contrast, high quality sea salts, including himalayan sea salt and celtic sea salt, contain up to 84 trace minerals including magnesium, potassium, iron and copper.  Trace minerals can be difficult to find in our foods because of the nutrient lacking soil they are grown in.   Sea salts come from the seas and oceans – which still are abundant with trace minerals. They are the go-to source to obtain these essential minerals for our bodies to function at their best.

Himalayan Sea Salt is also known as a halite, and comes from a region of Pakistan not far from the Himalayan mountains.  This region is known to have one of the richest salt fields in the entire world. Himalayan salt is believed to be composed of dried remnants of the original, primal sea. SeaSaltGraphicThese salts can be pink, red or white in color and are indicative of their mineral content.  They have undergone extreme pressure over millions of years to become 99% pure. When looking for quality of these salts, it is important to look for a darker pink salt, which indicates higher mineral content.  Also, make sure the pink Himalayan sea salt is coming from Pakistan, which is the only true source of Himalayan salt.  I would be wary of any that are sold at a very cheap price because they may be salt that was collected by higher elevations and not the deeper, more pure mines.  These salts are more likely to have impurities and not reap as many of the benefits of the true, high quality sea salt. High quality pink Himalayan sea salt is one of the purest salts you can find

Celtic Sea Salt in comparison to other types of salt, contain less sodium and higher levels of calcium, magnesium and iron.  It is very comparable to Himalayan sea salt for its health benefits but comes from a different source (Brittany, France), is a different color (grey) and has a different mineral composition.  This light grey color comes from the sea minerals and clay found in salt flats. The clay ionizes the salt, making it even more beneficial. It is a very tasty and extremely famous in the culinary world for its flavor.

Sea salts contain all six essential electrolytes: sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium.  These happen to be the exact minerals (excluding sodium) that are stripped from table salt during processing. You can replenish your body’s electrolytes naturally by adding a pinch of unrefined sea salt to your diet.  This is especially important if you are working out or sweating profusely and losing your natural electrolytes. You can make an all-natural gatorade at home by mixing ¼ tsp of himalayan sea salt to 1 liter of water and add the juice of half a lemon and some raw honey to taste.

It is always important to avoid the salt in processed and packaged foods. Sea salt, on the other hand, in moderate amounts daily is key to boosting your health in many ways.  In addition to being flavorful, pink himalayan salt benefits include improving respiratory problems, balancing pH levels, aiding digestion, purifying air and inducing better sleep.  Try substituting a high quality sea salt for your table salt and start reaping the benefits while using the salt shaker guilt-free. You can enjoy how tasty sea salt makes your food while it positively impacts your health – now that’s a win-win situation!



Photo credit to the Dr. Axe Food is Medicine Blog


So What’s the Deal with Juicing?

I began juicing about a year ago after learning about the amazing benefits during a chiropractic nutrition seminar.  I was intrigued and had to know more – so I started doing research! Juicing floods your body with micronutrients, and is insanely delicious!

carrot juice

There are some truly great juice bars out there with deadly delicious combos of vegetables and fruit, but homemade juice, in my opinion, is a million times better! It just takes a bit more time and effort to make it from home.

The juicer itself is going to be the biggest investment in the process.  However, choosing a juicer that is right for you is crucial. There are several different styles on the market ranging from $50-$2,500.  My best advice is to choose one of higher quality so you will be able to reap the most benefits from your hard work.

There are two types of juicers:

Masticating (Cold Press): This type of juicer works first by crushing the produce and then pressing it for its highest juice yield. Since it does not create much heat, more of the fresh ingredients’ nutrients remain intact.  It is the best type of juicer for green juice since it processes greens quite efficiently. Another benefit is that they are quieter than most centrifugal juicers.  However, they are pricier, so look for a good model on sale.

Centrifugal: Typically known as the most common type of juicer, it utilizes a fast spinning metal blade that spins against a mesh filter, separating juice from flesh via centrifugal force.  This type of juicer generates heat which destroys some of the enzymes in the food being processed. The heat also begins the oxidation process, causing less nutrients to be maintained.

I ended up purchasing my Omega J8004 juicer from Craigslist for under $100 from someone who tried juicing once and could not keep up with the amount of work required. I would look at Craigslist, Amazon, and eBay to find the most affordable juicer.

Juicing is a fantastic way to get a high amount of nutrients into your body.  I would make sure to choose organic produce to avoid pesticides. Also, make sure that your juice is made up of at least 80% vegetables and just 20% fruit (for flavor).  This helps lower the overall sugar content and ensures you are getting the most nutrients and fiber per juice. The best types of produce to use as a base in a juice are celery, cucumbers and carrots because they are extra juicy. The more leafy greens you can get into your juice – the better.  The most shocking element to me was the amount of produce that went into one 24 oz juice. All of the ingredients pictured below went into ONE juice. Now just imagine trying to eat all that produce in one sitting without getting full first. This is just one amazing reason why juicing is a great way to flood your body with nutrients from REAL food.

One of the most frequently asked questions about juicing is: Do you lose all the fiber from your produce when it goes through the juicing process?  The answer is no! While juicing does remove some fiber, the insoluble, it leaves the soluble fiber intact. Soluble fiber absorbs water and provides bulking matter that acts as a prebiotic to support good bacterial growth and digestive health.  It also regulates blood sugar, may lower cholesterol and slows the transit of food through the digestive tract, helping fill you up. Insoluble fiber is also a critical component of produce. It helps fill you up, bulk stool, and speed the passage of food through the digestive system.  This is why it is important to balance whole foods and juicing, so you maintain healthy levels of both types of fiber in your diet.

You can store juice in airtight containers in your refrigerator.  However, they start to lose their nutritious benefits over time once they begin to oxidize.  I would recommend drinking them immediately or at least in the first 24 hours to reap the most benefits.

I have included my favorite juice recipes below:


Beet Juice Rainbow Juice
1 ½ beets 1 Granny Smith apple
4 celery stalks 1 beet
1 cucumber 4 celery stalks
1 Granny Smith apple 1 cucumber
1 lemon ½ lemon
Green Drink 10 carrots
4 apples Carrot Ginger Juice
2 cucumbers 12 carrots
small handful of parsley 1’’ ginger root

2 lg handfuls spinach

1 Granny Smith apple

4 celery stalks
1’’ ginger root

Happy juicing!

Cast Iron: The Skillet of All Skillets

Not only is the cast iron skillet incredibly versatile, but it also boasts a great value for all it can handle. After getting one last year, I have downsized on much of my cookware. Cast iron is a versatile workhorse and no other pan even comes close. They can be used in both the oven and the stove top and can withstand very high temperatures.

They are built to last and are extremely tough. It is not uncommon to find 50 year-old pans still floating around at thrift sales. In fact, that is exactly where I found my skillets! They only needed a thorough cleaning to remove the rust and they were as good as new. These skillets will last a lifetime if cared for properly. Cast iron is tough as nails – the skillets are difficult to ruin once they have built up a layer of seasoning.

Some other amazing benefits of cast iron:

  • High Heat Capacity: Once the pan is hot, it stays hot. This is especially important when searing meat.  Make sure to preheat your cast iron for about 10 minutes on the stove, rotating it occasionally.  You can also heat it in the oven for about 20 minutes, but make sure to take it out with an oven mitt.  It will also heat food all the way through, not only heating the outside layer of food.
  • Great Source of Iron: When cooking with cast iron, you are also getting low doses of iron in your food without having to supplement.
  • Natural Nonstick Coating:As long as your cast iron pan is properly seasoned you should not have too many issues with foods sticking to the surface. Especially in comparison to Teflon and non-stick pans, which can produce toxic fumes when overheated.


This is the process of creating a slick and glossy coating.  You can apply multiple layers to help even the surface.  Cast iron is made of little peaks and valleys and the oil during the seasoning process helps create a smooth finish.

Although many pans come pre-seasoned, I personally do not trust the rancid vegetable oils used.  So even if you purchase a pre-seasoned skillet, I would suggest scrubbing it thoroughly with a steel wool pad and re-season the skillet.

The process of seasoning involves rubbing a thin coat of coconut oil or lard over the entire surface of the pan.  Rub off any extra with a paper towel so that it doesn’t look too “oily”.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to catch any drips.  Place pan upside down in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.  Turn oven off and let the pan cool to room temp.  Repeat seasoning process 3 or 4 times. Although, the best way to get a really good season is to simply use the pan – since you are seasoning it each time you do.


Always make sure to clean your cast iron immediately after use – while it’s still warm or slightly cooled.  NEVER soak it or leave it in sink as this may cause it to rust. The easiest way to wash it is with warm water and a sponge or stiff brush. If food is caked onto the surface you may want to use a nice stainless steel spatula with a flat edge to scrape it off. In fact, you can use this method of scraping off food bits or oil deposits left from cooking instead of washing it with water.  Just make sure to wipe it clean with a paper towel afterwards and if necessary, add a thin layer of oil.  Another option would be to use a steel wool ball to remove the food, but you will need to follow up with re-seasoning the skillet.  If you are looking for a gentler way to remove stuck-on bits, you can try making a coarse salt and water paste.  Always make sure to dry your cast iron off immediately to avoid rusting.  Feel free to apply a light coat of coconut oil to the inside of the pan.

Once you get the hang of it – care and clean up are super easy, with the added benefit of being coated with nontoxic ingredients. Cast iron skillets have been one of my greatest kitchen additions!

Wool Dryer Balls

Are you ready to ditch chemical laden dryer sheets?  Say hello to wool dryer balls: your natural alternative – which pair perfectly with your choice of essential oil.  Not only do they save you money, but they also save you drying time.  By bouncing around your dryer, they essentially beat your clothes, leaving them softer and reducing static cling.  Additionally, they wick away moisture from your clothes, lessening the amount of time your clothes will need to be in the dryer. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to each dryer ball before putting it in the dryer to add a fresh scent to your already clean clothes.

If you know me at all, you know that I am not a big fan of the dryer to begin with.  In fact, the only items that go in my dryer are my towels, sheets and socks.  I prefer to hang dry all my clothes to keep them from fading and shrinking.  However, I noticed what I did put in the dryer needed to run for 2 cycles in order to actually come out dry.  That is, until I started adding wool dryer balls to my routine.  They cut down the amount of time that my laundry needs to be in the dryer and keeps it smelling fresh and clean without the use of wasteful dryer sheets.  In fact, wool dryer balls should last for a couple years before needing to be replaced.

I use 3 wool dryer balls when I have a load of laundry.  You can either buy them or make them.  They are fairly inexpensive to purchase and can found at many stores. I got mine at Marshall’s, however, they are also available on Amazon, Etsy, etc.  Personally, I do not think they are worth the time and effort to make since I can purchase them so inexpensively, but if you are a DIY savvy individual, go right ahead!

Using them is very simple.  Add 2-3 drops onto each dryer ball before tossing them all into your load.  Currently, I use about 3 balls per load but I also have a very small dryer – so I would use at least 4 if you have a fairly large capacity dryer.  They can be used for about 3 cycles before needing to add more oils to the balls.

Great Combinations:

  • 2 balls Peppermint & 1 ball Ylang-Ylang – especially good for sheets & towels
  • 2 balls of Purification & 1 ball Tea Tree – great for supporting your immunity
  • 2 balls Lavender & 1 ball Orange – bright and cheery
  • 2 balls Orange & 1 ball Stress Away – stress fighting and fun
  • 3 balls of Raven – my current favorite!

Have fun with it and try out different combinations!  This is a very easy and cheap way to start reducing your chemical laden products in your home. 🙂

The Switch to Natural Deodorant

Don’t sweat!  Changing up your beauty products can seem like a daunting task.  In fact, it took me years to finally realize the toxic health effects of conventional deodorant and antiperspirant and how it was affecting my body.  The decision to exclusively use natural deodorant required a bit of dedication during the transition period but has been well worth the change. Are you aware of all the pitfalls to using regular deodorant and antiperspirants?  Their effects can vary from skin irritation to systemic toxicity. What’s in yours?

Common Ingredients

  • Aluminum Compounds: These compounds plug the ducts within the sweat glands in order to stop the flow of perspiration. In addition, they also mimic estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s.
  • Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propryl, benzyl and butyl): Parabens have been deemed xenoestrogens, which are agents that mimic estrogen in the body.  They disrupt the body’s hormonal balance causing a multitude of effects.
  • Steareths: Endocrine disruptors that have developmental and reproductive toxicity.
  • Triclosan: The FDA has classified triclosan as a pesticide.  It is also a skin irritant and ends up killing both your good and bad bacteria.
  • Talc: If Talc contains asbestiform fibers, it is then considered to be a carcinogen.
  • Proplyene Glycol: This ingredient is considered a reproductive and fetal neurotoxin and has been linked to kidney and liver damage.

These infertility-causing ingredients and toxic chemicals have even been linked to Alzheimer’s and cancer.  To me, this alone was not worth the risk of using antiperspirant. Antiperspirant works specifically to clog the pores preventing the release of sweat from the sweat glands.  When the sweat builds up behind the gland, it can cause unwanted effects such as bumps and painful inflammation, as well as a build-up of the bad bacteria causing an even worse odor.

Sweating is 100% normal

We are supposed to sweat.  It is a good thing – it is one of the ways that our bodies are able to expel toxins and regulate temperature.  By using antiperspirants, we are blocking our bodies natural ability to detox by clogging our pores with aluminum compounds.  Sweating is totally and completely 100% normal.  Believe it or not – sweat does not actually smell.  It is just a mix of water and salt.  The odor is produced when the sweat comes in contact with the natural bacteria on our skin.

How to make the switch

My first suggestion would be to stop using all deodorants and antiperspirants for a few days.  This allows your body to expel any remaining toxins as your sweat glands begin to unclog.  This natural detoxification process will allow your body to reset.  As your body pushes the remains of the aluminum compounds out of your sweat glands, it is important to not apply anything else to the area since these compounds may already be irritating the skin as they exit.  Once you have detoxed most of the ingredients, you can begin your search for the best natural deodorant for you.  All-natural deodorants are not created equal. You will want to make sure to find one with a good balance of baking soda and essential oils.  Many “natural” brands still find a way to sneak toxic ingredients into their products.  There is no “one size fits all” for natural deodorant.  Our bodies are all different. Some people can get away with just a few dabs of tea tree oil while others will need a whole lot more.

Personally, I have tried a few different brands; everything from homemade recipes to a plethora of store bought brands.  The one I have found to work the best for me is Native, an online brand based out of San Francisco.  They come in a variety of scents, my personal favorites including Grapefruit and Eucalyptus & Mint.  After using it for the past year, I have noticed less irritation and inflammation in my underarms which allows me to have a cleaner shave that lasts longer. In addition, I no longer have yellow pit stains which were caused from the reaction of the acidic aluminum compounds with the fabric of my shirts.  They also have free shipping and returns on their products! Check them out here:  You also will get a free mini deodorant with your purchase by using the link.  The mini size is perfect for travel and to throw in your purse.

Again, each person is different so you may have to shop around in order to find the best natural deodorant for you.  Give it at least a few weeks in order to see the benefits since it takes your body a little while to adjust. I can almost guarantee you will not be switching back anytime soon!

What Does Organic Really Mean?

In this day and age it seems that organic foods are in every aisle at the grocery store.  Organic can be a confusing term however, and leaves most people perplexed at why it could possibly be that much more expensive or beneficial for you.  Understanding what “organic” really means can help you make more informed choices during your next trip to the grocery store.

What Is Organic

The goal of organic farming is to maintain more traditional methods of farming that our ancestors used prior to pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.  The food our grandparents used to eat were most likely farm fresh and what we now consider to be “organic”.

What Labels Mean

USDA Certified Organic Seal – foods must have at least 95% of ingredients which are certified organic

Made with Organic Materials – Food can it has less than 70% certified organic ingredients.

100% Organic – All ingredients must be organic certified

USDA Organic Standards

  • Grown in soil that had no prohibited substances (synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) applied for three years prior to harvest
  • Animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors, such as the ability to graze on pasture
  • Fed 100% organic feed and forage
  • Not administered antibiotics or hormones
  • In most countries – they are not genetically modified

Why to Choose Organic

Healthy, fortified soil means healthy, strong plants which translates to better-tasting food.  These plants are built from a solid foundation on healthy soil which is also able to provide more nutrients to these growing plants than conventional farming. Recent studies have shown an upward of 40% more antioxidants present in organic food versus conventional food.  Eating organic food will also reduce your family’s exposure to harmful pesticides – which for me is reason enough.

When to Choose Organic

Organic produce can be very costly, so if you’re looking to pick and choose which items to buy organic these are a couple easy options.  In general, the easiest way to decide is to think if the item has a skin that you eat – if so, it has likely been sprayed with pesticides and synthetic fertilizer so it is best to choose organic.  For items that have a skin you take off before eating, you can get by with choosing conventional.  That being said, I believe it is worth it to eat organic because our body is worth it.  Washing your fruits and vegetables helps to remove some of the pesticides, but will not remove it all.  Sometimes, pesticides will actually make it into the plants themselves and will be in the fruits and vegetables we eat.  Check out the lists below to figure out which produce items will be best to buy organic (Dirty Dozen) and which you can get by buy conventional (Clean Fifteen).  Meat should ALWAYS be purchased organic.

Dirty Dozen:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes

Clean Fifteen:

  • Sweet corn
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Sweet peas frozen
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit


Your best choice yet will be purchasing your produce from a local farm or farmer’s market.  You can ask you farmer about what their farming practices look like.  Sometimes they will not purchase the right to the USDA Organic label since it can be very costly for a small farm.  Look for another blog post coming soon as I explore the St. Paul Farmer’s Market for myself to see what local farms sell organic quality produce and how you can do the same on your next trip to the farmer’s market.

Moro Reflex – Why Babies Are Startled Easily

Ever wonder why it is that babies seem to startle so easily? Say hello to the Moro Reflex – your best and worst friend. Reflexes such as these develop in utero and will be present at birth. They are key in the development of infants, for instance, the latch and rooting reflex are present in infants so they are able to facilitate the breastfeeding process on their own. The presence of the Moro reflex is an important indicator of a healthy, developing nervous system.
The Moro reflex is also known as the startle reflex and is commonly seen when a baby is sleeping and is suddenly startled awake. It is quite abrupt and the baby will inhale sharply and flail their arms out to the side and quickly pull them back in. It can be very jarring and can scare them since they perceive the event as a free fall. It is a protective mechanism that is naturally exhibited and is key to their survival when danger presents itself.

The presence of the Moro reflex is a good thing. It signifies a functioning nervous system. However, when the baby constantly wakes himself up, he is likely to be upset and fussy. Who wouldn’t be upset if they were abruptly woken from a cozy nap?

During their first 6 months of life, infants experience a whole new world of sensations and stimuli, much different from their life in the womb. Things that trigger this Moro reflex include: a loud noise, a sudden touch, a change in intensity of light and shifting movement such as feeling unsupported. While these stimuli cannot always be avoided, there are a few tricks to help make sure they sleep soundly through the night.While the Moro reflex is a vital sign of health, there are some ways we can make sure it isn’t interrupting their sleep – including mom and dad’s sleep.

  • Swaddling: This may be a good option for reducing wake-ups during naps and night time. Opt for a lightweight fabric such as a muslin swaddling blanket. This will help baby feel safe and secure much like the feeling when they are being snuggled close to Mama. Look for more posts to come about how to swaddle safely and appropriately.
  • Babywearing: The hardest part about putting a baby to sleep is actually laying them down. This method will actually help solve that problem. With baby pressed up against mom or dad, it is much more difficult to startle them. They are surrounded in warmth and love and nestled close to their protector. In order to keep baby calm, they are preferably worn facing in and snuggled tight to mom or dad’s chest.
  • Transferring: Once again, the hardest part about putting a baby to sleep is actually transferring them down to their crib. This is a prime time when the Moro reflex will rear its ugly head. Make sure you are not moving too fast or lightening your grip. They need to feel secured and supported the entire time they are being put down into the crib. This includes for a few seconds after they are lying down. Release your hands slowly, as sudden removal can seem very scary to your newborn.

Around 4-7 months of age, these reflexes should begin to integrate into their system and will slowly disappear. This is also the time when they start to gain more control of their head and body and begin rolling over. Presence of this reflex past this point may indicate inefficiency in neurological developments.

Because the Moro reflex is such an important indicator of a healthy nervous system, your chiropractor should be checking for this reflex at birth and again at future visits. Lack of this reflex at birth may signify potential issues with the nervous system and even birth-related injuries. This is why getting your baby checked by your chiropractor as soon as possible after birth is so such an important step.

Beet Salad

Have you ever had beets before? If not, you are missing out! They are a root vegetable, sweet, juicy, packed with nutrients and absolutely delicious!  Beets have quickly become one of my favorite vegetables due to their delightful flavor. If you are short on time, feel free to buy them already cooked and peeled.  

Normally, I will use roasted beets that I have cooked for a meal the night before.  This makes it easy to toss this salad together quickly.  You can choose to peel the skin or leave it on – preferably I leave the skin on for extra nutrients – just make sure you wash them thoroughly.  

This is the perfect lunch to bring to work – you can also choose to add an additional protein to the salad such as chicken or chickpeas.  I enjoy it just the way it is – in all it’s tangy goodness 🙂

These sweet beets are complimented by diced asian pears, nutty crunchy pecans and creamy goat cheese.  All topped off with a tangy mustardy homemade vinaigrette.


5 oz. spring mix salad, washed

2 large cooked beets, diced

3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

1 large asian pear, diced

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp stone ground dijon mustard

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp honey

salt & pepper

  1. Toss all salad ingredients together including spring mix, beets, goat cheese, pecans/walnuts, pear.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix together mustard, vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt & pepper.
  3. Dress salad to taste.

Hello world! I Am Her

Welcome to I Am Her.

I’m so excited to start I Am Her as a way to share my passion for natural health and wellness!

My mission is to normalize natural healing solutions for everyone in the community so that our children will grow up healthier than us.

I am Dr. Jen Goldsmith, a family wellness chiropractor and owner of Lux Family Chiropractic.  I  see all ages in my clinic, but have a particular focus on providing care for moms and children, with extensive studies completed in both pregnancy and pediatrics.  I witness miracles every day in my practice as my patients reclaim their lives and health.  I focus on families because babies are meant to thrive, not simply survive and thriving is her goal from the very beginning.

Although Wisconsin born and raised, I have found Minnesota as my new home for the foreseeable future.  However, I am still true to my roots, and will be a Packers fan until the day I die.  I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Dietetics (GO BUCKY!), before pursing chiropractic school at Northwestern Health Sciences University.

I grew up in a medical mindset – with amazingly successful parents – who just had different tools in their tool bag.  They enabled me to grow and learn more about my body and what natural healing abilities it had. Supporting me every step of the way, they were the ones who first introduced me to chiropractic and the rest is history.  Fully embracing the chiropractic lifestyle and trusting that health comes from the inside out, I have thrived in pursuing natural and alternative health solutions.

What’s in the name? 

I Am Her – It is an affirmation statement in itself.  It emits confidence and femininity. I end my daily morning affirmations with this strong statement.  I feel as it reflects who I am, as well as being a reflection of what I hope to instill and empower in those around me so that we can all live our healthiest and most vibrant life.

This is a place of inspiration, empowerment and love for anyone willing to take the leap.  I’m here to share with you a bit of my “crunchy” life here in the midwest.

Look forward to a new post every Monday morning.