Health and Wellness

6 ways to improve your health without breaking the bank!


We are undeniably in the midst of cold and flu season.  During the holidays people consume significantly more sugar and alcohol, sleep less, and stress more. The temperatures have dropped outside and the amount of time we are spending indoors has increased greatly. All of this sets us up to catch all the nasty germs going around. I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for what the GAPS world calls “The cherries” to help me and my family stay well (or to lessen the severity of whatever we catch) during this time!

Even before my diagnosis with Hashimotos, as I was searching for what exactly was wrong with me, I quickly began to realize that getting well can be an extremely costly endeavor. Once I started to truly change my diet and pursue the various alternative avenues available to me to try and bring about healing, both physically and mentally, I discovered that trying to get healthy can quickly break the bank! I soon began to look for ways to improve my, and my boys, health that was inexpensive or, even better yet, free!

I love that the GAPS world calls all the extras, on top of a good diet, cherries! Basically, a healthy diet full of stock, good fat and a rainbow of vegetables is the ice cream in the sunday- the base. All the other things you pursue for wellness are the fun toppings that make the sunday all the better. You have to have the diet- without it you do not have a sunday! But, the cherries make the sunday more satisfying and effective. I have found a number of amazing gems, but here are my top 6 extremely inexpensive or free”cherries” that we are loving in our home.


When I first heard that drinking small amounts of salt water could be beneficial I thought folks had lost their mind. But, not only have I seen some great benefits come from drinking sole (salt water) every day, I really enjoy it!

Wellness Mama has a great article all about the benefits of sole and a quick and easy recipe! My favorite place to buy salt is from Salt Works. They have, by far, the best tasting salt I have ever had and their salt is reasonably priced. One of our absolute favorites is their Himalayan pink salt!


I feel like, by now, we all have heard how wonderful yoga can be. Coming from a world of loving dance and pilates, I have always thought I would rather enjoy yoga. Yoga has even been recommended to me by a number of healthcare professionals, but we have never had the time or money for a yoga gym membership. Then I discovered Yoga with Adriene! Her videos are free on YouTube. She has videos for various amounts of time, levels of experience and interests. Plus she is absolutely adorable. One of our favorites is here yoga for digestion flow video. One of our other favorites is Yoga with Tim. My boys love Cosmic Kids Yoga. Of course, their personal favorites are the Star Wars and Harry Potter episodes.

I am amazed by how much better I feel when I do yoga on a consistent basis. Even if I only commit to 10 minutes a day, I notice a significant difference in my energy, sleep, digestion and my mental well being.



Detox Baths
Detox baths are known to draw out toxins, relax muscles, improves sleep, and so much more.  We love enjoying a bath to offset the negative effects of die-off or to help the boys unwind after a busy day. There are a number of ways to prepare a detox bath from adding essential oils, clay, or Epsom salt. Our favorite is to add Magnesium Bath Flakes from Ancient Minerals.


Castor Oil Packs
These, by far, are one of my favorite things! For years, what would start off as a reaction to food or small stomach upset would soon have me doubled over in pain, with chills, and panic attacks. There are not words for how horrible it was and every time I would end up in the ER. Then I discovered GAPS and castor oil packs! Now, anytime I sense a reaction coming on or my stomach is unhappy I immediately do a castor oil pack and I have not had a bad attack since! To learn more about castor oil packs and how they work you can read up on them here and for more information about castor oil and all its uses click here.

My life rarely provides the opportunity to lay with a pack on me for an hour or more. So I take the simple approach. When doing my castor oil packs I wear a tank top I do not care about. I rub a couple teaspoons of castor oil on my stomach. I then just place my hot water bottle or heating pad on the outside of my tank top and I go to sleep. It is a wonderful way to fall asleep and I wake up with my stomach feeling good. I will put the same amount of castor oil on me if it seems unhappy and just lay down and put heat on my stomach for a bit and it helps significantly!



Get Outside
There will be a lot more coming to Aprons & Armor on this in the near future, so for now, all I am going to say is you HAVE to get outside! Fresh air, vitamin D, and exercise are just a few of the MANY benefits of getting out! The world is beautiful and amazing and needs to be explored for your physical and mental health.


Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Acceptance
Here is the deal- wellness is a journey without a true destination. This side of heaven you will never be completely without sickness or sadness, where you are never tired or mad. People will wound you and let you down. Your life is not always going to go the way you hoped it would and the grass will always be greener in someone else’s yard. And we desperately need to come to a place where we understand and accept that.  Acceptance leads to contentment which has a significant effect on our health, spiritually, physically and mentally.

When I first became sick and even more so when we began to realize what was truly going on with our Little Bear I wanted the magic fix- I wanted to be free from these hardships, free from pain. 4 years later I can trace the hand of God in all of it and He is teaching me to trust His heart towards us. He is creating within me a heart of empathy, grace, and love that would not be if it was not for these trials. Robert Urich once said, “A healthy outside starts from the inside.” I have seen this time and time again in my own life and I truly believe it is a benefit to all of us!


Now, with each of these, as with all new things we try for wellness we introduced them slowly and watched for any negative reactions. Some things, like getting outside, was great from the start, but other things, like detox baths, we have had to go slow and build up how long we can take a bath and what we added to it. Make sure you seek wise counsel from your health care provider before starting anything new.

My hope is that you find inspiration and encouragement in this post. These “cherries” have been wonderful for me and my family and I hope they may be helpful to you as well!



*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other form of medical professional. The content of this blog is simply my opinion and has not been evaluated by the FTC, FDA or any other government agency and this information is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.


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