digestion, fitness, Gut Health, Immune System

Eight Fantastic Gut Aids: Colostrum

This blog contains affiliate links.  For information, see full disclosure here.

In the previous entry, Need to FIX Your Gut?, I discussed an excellent book that I read regarding gut health.  Over the next several entries, I will share eight foods and supplements that I’ve found extremely helpful in aiding my gut, as well as my fitness endeavors.

My Top 8 Gut Friendly Supplements

  1. Colostrum
  2. Collagen
  3. Bone Broth and Bone Broth Protein Powder
  4. Probiotics
  5. HCL
  6. Digestive Enzymes
  7. Fermented / Cultured Foods
  8. Proteolytic Enzymes

Maybe you already use some of these items.  If not, perhaps one or more is just what you need to heal* your gut and take your fitness, and your life, to the next level.


Photo by Edward Boulton on Unsplash

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum is the first form of milk produced by mammals immediately after the delivery of a newborn.  This liquid is filled with immune cells, antibodies (immunoglobulins), and growth factors that benefit the newborn, and have been shown to be of benefit to humans as well.

Benefits of Bovine Colostrum

Some studies indicate positive and downright amazing results when used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to improve performance and to speed up post-workout recovery.  It has also been shown to improve digestive tract permeability issues (leaky gut) and boost the immune system.

Other benefits may include:

  • Injury repair
  • Anti-aging
  • System detoxification
  • Improved mood
  • Assisting friendly gut flora by killing harmful bacteria and fungus
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Help to repair gut lining

Possible Side Effects

Side effects tend to be minor and temporary for most individuals.  Noted side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Flatulence
  • Detox symptoms (aches, fatigue, brain fog)

What to Look For

When purchasing colostrum, be sure to choose / consider the following:

  • Country of origin (US, Canada, New Zealand are best)
  • “6-hour” / first-milking
  • No additives or fillers
  • Produced by grass-fed cows
  • Organic and / or non-GMO
  • Non-denatured, raw, and whole
  • Antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and pesticide-free

My Personal Experimentation

I’ve experimented with colostrum off and on for about 4 years and find that I’m less susceptible to colds and flu.  On the other hand, if I do catch a bug, I recover much faster.  After completing the Clean Gut program in February, I started taking it on a regular basis.  As far as healing or helping leaky gut, I can definitely give it two thumbs up.  While improved digestive health is one of the main reasons I chose this amazing food, I’ve recently increased my intake for fitness performance reasons.  Other than a noticeable increase in muscle mass, I can’t as of yet share any comprehensive results.

Brands to Consider

My go-to brands are Immune Tree and Jarrow Formulas:

Immune Tree Colostrum6 Powder, Certified 6-Hour Colostrum, 6.5oz

  • HIGH QUALITY ALL-NATURAL CERTIFIED 6-HOUR COLOSTRUM – Made from grass-fed, Grade A, Dairy cows that are certified healthy, BST, BSE and Antibiotic-Free.
  • MAXIMUM STRENGTH – Certified and proven by Dr. Don Lein, Professor Emeritus Cornell University to be “true colostrum” and not transitional milk.
  • ALL NATURAL CHYMOSIN protects the natural Anti-aging, Immune, Metabolic and other factors from stomach acids; these components help the body maintain its immune system and its ability to respond to different health issues. Fortifies the health of the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Click for more information or to purchase:

Jarrow Formulas Colostrum Prime Life, Supports Gastroinestinal, Immune, and Respiratory Health, 500 mg, 120 Capsules

  • Highest Biological Activity
  • Proline-Rich Polypeptides rBGH Free Lactose Reduced
  • Free From Antibiotics & Added Hormones
  • USDA Certified Capsules

Click for more information or to purchase:


Other Great Brands

Sovereign Laboratories Travel / Trial Pack Colostrum-Ld Powder with Proprietary Liposomal Delivery (Ld) Technology For Up To 1500% Better Bioavailability than Regular Bovine Colostrum

Synertek 1st Six Hour Colostrum Powder, 8.8 Oz

Douglas Laboratories®  Colostrum, 100% Pure New Zealand, Supports Immunity and Gastrointestinal Health, 120 Capsules


I hope you’ve found this information helpful.  If you have digestive issues such as leaky gut, go ahead and try it for yourself.  I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.

Best to you in your journey to better health!



You might also be interested in: Other Gut Aids


Diet, digestion, Gut Health, Health, Well-being

Need to FIX Your Gut?

This blog contains affiliate links.  For information, see full disclosure here.

Happy Gut, Healthy Life?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and while this may be just an old adage, there is some truth to it.  What if someone said to you, “The way to improve your health is through your gut,” would you believe them?  Well after reading “Clean Gut” by Dr. Alejandro Junger, you’ll likely, quite adamantly, agree.

While researching books for the book section of Aisle 4, I came across Dr. Junger’s book and was immediately intrigued, and I ordered it that day.  Being a survivor of Crohn’s Disease, digestive health is near and dear to my…gut.  For the last two-and-a-half decades or so, I’ve studied and learned a lot of valuable information regarding the relationship between health, well-being, and the human digestive system, and of everything I’ve read, Dr. Junger’s book ranks at the very top.


Easy Reading

The first third of the book provides a thorough yet understandable discussion of his personal health journey and the what and whys of the gut issues facing the majority of adults today.  Many, including Dr. Junger, believe issues such as gut inflammation and leaky gut are at the root of most diseases, and by easing, and even healing and reversing such conditions, overall health* will improve.

In the rest of the book, Dr. Junger lays out a plan for helping your gut heal itself.  The 28 day program is challenging but absolutely doable.  And, it worked for me.  Of all the programs I’ve tried, the Clean Gut plan really helped clean up my gut.  The plan is rather simple and inexpensive.  A few food additions and gentle supplements, along with a reduction in sugar intake, temporary elimination of specific foods known to cause gut issues, and you’re on your way.

Coconut Smoothie
Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash


My Experience with Clean Gut

As a whole, I found the dietary plan rather easy to follow, but the first few days can be a little tricky as you figure out what to eat and which supplements to take, and when to take them.  The most challenging part for me, by far, was the reduction of carbohydrates; I found I needed to adjust my workouts accordingly, but after about two weeks, I started to notice more energy than expected, even with the lower carbohydrate count.  And before the end of my Clean Gut month, I experienced improved digestion, clearer skin, and a steady sense of overall well-being.

Because everyone is different, results will vary from person to person.  Some may experience a much higher energy increase than expect.  Others may find the opposite is true.  Either way, don’t be afraid to experiment.

So, if you experience any of the following common issues related to gut health, get this book, go all-in, and see and feel the difference a clean gut can make in your life.

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • IBS
  • Unexplained Joint Aches
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Allergies
  • Mood Swings
  • Brain Fog
  • Low Libido
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Depression
  • Weight Gain
  • Eczema

Best to you in your journey to better health!


Supplements Recommended in Dr. Junger 28-Day Program

Ecological Formulas Monolaurin, 600 mg, 90 capsules. This powerful antibiofilm dissolver and antimicrobal helps eliminate unhelpful organism while sparing helpful bacteria.


Jarrow Formulas Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS, 5 Billion Cells Per Capsule, Promotes Intestinal and Digestive Health, 90 Veggie Capsules.  Helps balance intestinal flora.


KAL Magnesium Glycinate 400 mg, Vegan, Chelated, Non-GMO, Soy, Dairy, and Gluten-Free, 90 Servings. 


Source Naturals Essential Enzymes 500 mg Vegetarian Capsules, 120-Count:

Garden of Life Vitamin B Complex – Vitamin Code Raw B Vitamin Whole Food Supplement, Vegan, 120 Capsules:



Emotions, Health, Mind, Well-being

The Simplest Encouragement

We all need encouragement from time to time, and from time to time, we find ourselves encouraging those around us in simple but effective ways.  Cheering on another person, a friend, a family member, or even a stranger, happens without second thought, hesitation, or doubt.  An affirming nod, a smile, a listening ear, a look of understanding can do more than change someone’s day–it could alter the course of a life.

But, how often do we encourage ourselves?  How often do we pat ourselves on the back, remind ourselves of past victories, or, affirm our own heart’s cry?  Perhaps not as frequently as we should or need to.  It’s an easy thing to do, it takes just three second.  But, a word of caution: don’t let the simplicity decrease the perceived value of self-encouragement.  It is vital to you achieving your goals and dreams, and to aiding your overall well-being.

You Got This
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

You and I both know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already understand.  I’m just reminding you to encourage the person you’re with most often, to be one of, if the biggest and best encourager in your personal camp.


Simple Ways to Encourage Yourself

Ready to do it?  Just think about one of your goals and say these brief phrases aloud, at whatever volume you feel, and with the utmost conviction and determination you can muster:

  • “I must do this.”
  • “I can do this.”
  • “I will do this.”
  • “I got this.”

Research shows that for some, verbalizing such self-talk phrases using you instead of I has a much greater effect, especially when it comes to stress control.  If that’s the case for you, use these instead:

  • “You must do this.”
  • “You can do this.”
  • “You will do this.”
  • “You got this.”

Powerful Words with Strong Gestures

Whenever you need a stronger boost, need to evoke a much more robust and powerful feeling, try this.  Stand up, thrust your hands high, and roar from the depths of your soul, with your whole mind, body, and heart any of the above phrases.

Photo by Agnieszka Boeske on Unsplash


If that doesn’t spark you, try a superhero pose, or simply fold your arm, gaze at your goal, physically or within your mind’s eye, and let fly your chosen phrase.

Hero Pose 1
Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash


What Works for Me

Using you instead of I certainly works well for me.  As I confront and battle through the daily challenges I face on the journey of building my dream since taking my leap of faith, I’ve relied on these and other phrases often, daily, hourly, or by the minute, especially when I experience one of those particularly tough days.  I don’t always have someone around me to offer a word of encouragement, so the ability to encourage myself to keep believing, keep pushing, keep fighting, is absolutely necessary.

While I don’t employ the “arms of victory” method often, certain other subtle gestures and voice tones, thoughts and phrases support, encourage, and fire me up just as much.  Be sure to experiment for yourself and find what works for you.

So there you go.  Being your own best encourager is unbelievably easy and undeniably necessary.  Of course none of this is to say we don’t need the encouragement of others, because we do.  But it should be clear, self-encouragement is self-love, and the better and more consistent we are at encouraging ourselves, the deeper the positive impact will be when we encourage others.

Give it try.  You got this, of that, I have no doubt!



Still need a little extra encouragement to awaken your internal encourager?  Check out this super-simple reminder that I wrote back in 2017.


Health, Skin Care

The Cold Hag’s Corrosive Caress

This blog contains affiliate links.  For information, see full disclosure here.

Are you enjoying Sprinter so far, this hybrid season of timid Spring and will-not-retreat-will-not-surrender Winter?  Yeah, those memes proclaiming it’s actually day 127 of January 2018 sure feel true.  Probably nowhere does that feel more true than in and on your skin.  Has the lingering cold and dry weather’s touch done a number on your skin?  Are you experiencing itching, scaling, flaking, or even cracking?  If so, let’s see what can be done about it.

First of all, if your condition is extreme, like you’ve started walking with your belly to the floor, and you’re growing a tail and developing an obsessive taste for fish and turtle, go see a doctor or dermatologist, today–right now.

Skin 2
Photo by Bas van Brandwijk on Unsplash

Since we all know that skin is a barrier, a shield, protecting us from all kinds of potential invaders, we also know we need to take care of it.  Maintaining the integrity of your skin-shield may in fact help you stay healthy*.  Putting it another way, imagine you lived in a castle or fortress during the Middle Ages; if your fortress wall is full of breaches and cracks, the enemy will get through and wreak havoc on what lies inside.  So, whether winter, or spring, or somewhere in between, it is important that we protect our shield so that it can its job and protect us.

While there are many lotion and moisturizer options when it comes to keeping your skin hydrated, healthy, and resilient, we need to be on the look out for suspect chemicals that could do us more harm than good.  As you’ll recall from science class, our skin absorbs to some degree or another almost everything that comes in contact with it.  That means both the good and the bad chemicals can and do pass through your protective barrier, even when the barrier is sound.  Unfortunately, some of the chemicals in our skin care products may be linked to cancer and other diseases, could be neurotoxic, and may be hormone and endocrine disruptors so, in general, minimize use of, or stay away from products containing any of the following.

Top chemicals to avoid:

  • Aluminum
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Synthetic Fragrance
  • Parabens (Ex: methylparaben, sodium butylparaben, etc)
  • Petrochemicals (Ex: paraffin wax, benzene, PEG, mineral oil, petrolatum, etc)
  • Phthalates (Ex: di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), etc)
  • Sulfates (Ex: sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, etc)

Dude, I get it, I’m with you, it’s all bad, but what in the #@%* am I supposed to use then?

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Don’t stress out like this guy.  Thankfully, there are many really good, chemically conscious companies out there producing great products.  While I am not at all suggesting that you make the hard switch and throw away all of the skin care products currently in your house, you might want to consider phasing out products containing harsh, suspect chemicals in favor of those formulated with a friendlier chemical profile.  So, let’s take a look at just a few healthier skin care options.  I’ve done most of the research for you, screening out products that contain the worst chemical offenders, and presenting only the best of the best.  This screening process was most challenging, not to mention time-consuming, but in the end, creating a good list of better-for-you products as seen in Aisle 4 makes it well worth it.

Lip Balm:

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm, (Naked, Peppermint, Lemon Lime, Orange Ginger):


Sky Organics USDA Organic Lip Balm, 6 Pack Assorted Flavors:


The Crafted Coconut Organic Coconut Oil Lip Balm Trio, (Eucalyptus + Mint, Vanilla, Citrus):



Cleure Natural Body Lotion, for Sensitive Skin, All Skin Types, Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free, Formaldehyde-Free, Fragrance-Free, No Animal Testing, (6 oz):

Shea Moisture 100% Marula Oil & Organic Shea Butter Fragrance-Free Sensitive Skin Body Lotion, Unisex, No Parabens, No Phthalates, No Paraffin, No Mineral Oil, No DEA, No Petroleum, No Formaldehyde, No Propylene, Cruelty-Free, (16 oz):

Molivera Organics Raw African Organic Grade A Ivory Shea Butter for Natural Skin Care, Hair Care, (16 oz):

For more  skin (and hair and oral) care information and healthier products, be sure to visit Aisle 4‘s “Personal Products” section.

There you go, healthier options for easing winter’s sting, and for restoring, and keeping your skin smooth and strong.  Until real Spring finally, actually, truly arrives, stay warm, and moisturized!


Diet, fitness

How NOT to Eat that Cookie, Part 2



In the previous entry, I shared my primary method for not eating that cookie.  It’s a rather simple mindset hack or mental switch that I’ve used for decades with astounding success.   Now I’d like to share a few other options that may also help you battle cravings and stick with your dietary goals.

Some of these you’ve no doubt heard of or even tried before.  Even so, try one or all, or combine them until you find the mix that works for you.

  • 80-20, or 90-10 Plan

This one is pretty easy: 80-90% of the week, eat healthy.  The remaining 10-20% of the week, enjoy a treat.

  • Go All-in, Cold Turkey

That junk food that you’ve been eating too much of, just stop it.  Jump off that cliff.  Drop that junk, fast and hard.  Stop buying it.  Clear your cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator, or freezer shelves of it, and give every last bit of it away.  Then, don’t look back.  Don’t look back.

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash
  • Tapering

For most, going “cold turkey” can be physically or emotionally stressful, resulting in an even greater desire to indulge or overindulge.  So, instead of leaping off that edge, ease your way down the cliff.  Over a period of a week or a month, reduce your consumption of those tasty, but not-so-healthful foods.  If you swap in a healthier item, increasing the amount of the better-for-you food as you decrease the other, you’ll hardly miss the questionable food.

  • Quick Switch

Much like going Cold Turkey, the Quick Switch requires abrupt action, but also takes advantage of Tapering.  Start by replacing that daily donut with carrot chips or fruit just once or twice per week.  Keep doing this until you reach your goal.

  • Drink More Water

Sometimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger.  So yeah, fill your water bottle and drink more good, quality water.  Be sure to add electrolytes for even deeper hydration.

  • Accountability Partner(s)

Find a trusted friend or close family member who is walking a similar path to better health, or desires to, and team up.  Hold each other strictly accountable for what you eat on a daily or weekly basis.  This will require complete honesty, transparency, and more than a touch of vulnerability.

  • Bounty Buddy

This final method takes the Accountability Partnership to a different level, so choose your buddy wisely.  It’s easy and can be fun.  You’ll need someone who possesses a good sense of humor but who will, at the same time, hold your feet to fire and call you out if and when you mess up.  You start by making simple a contract such as: “I will pay John Doe $50 if I eat any sweets between now and August 31st.  Signed, XYZ“.   And if you eat the cookie before August 31st, you pay up.  Simple yet effective.

If losing money doesn’t motivate, consider agreeing to something a bit more, uh, creative such as:

-Sporting a mohawk for a week and then shaving your head

-Singing karaoke at a local biker bar.  Sappy love songs are a must

-Cleaning your buddy’s house or walking their dog every day for a month

-Posting daily on social media, telling the world what an extraordinary and amazing, awesome and intelligent your friend you have in your pal

-Chauffeuring your Bounty Buddy around for a month

-Wearing your clothes on backward for a week

-Wearing bright colored 1970s leisure suits for a week


So there you go, more easy to implement ideas that just may help you stay on the healthier diet path.  Again, try one, or try all until you discover what works best for you.

If you have started or completed the Intention Challenge presented in Part 1, please let me know how it’s going or how it went for you by dropping a brief note here: contact.