How do you address stomach aches, sleep issues, bee stings, and more? Erin O’Donnell, author of “Fully Alive,” shares what has worked for her family for all of the above. Her natural tool kit remedies include the following:
- The chamomile tea for calming the nervous system (and avoiding pinkeye)
- Tart cherry juice for lowering inflammation
- Getting naked in the garden (or at least as naked as possible).
Erin offers practical tips throughout the episode and discusses her son’s tongue tie and the changes that resulted once corrected. She also discusses the surprising deleterious health effects of a seemingly innocuous change in her family’s home environment.
Check out Erin’s website: fullyalivefamilies.com
Register for the Wise Traditions conference in Kansas City, MO.
Listen to the podcast here
Within the below transcript the bolded text is Hilda.
Do you have a natural remedies toolkit to address digestive issues, bee stings, sleep troubles, and more? This is episode 437. Our guest is Erin O’Donnell, the author of Fully Alive. Erin shares what has worked for her family for all of the above. Tips include chamomile tea for calming the nervous system and avoiding pink eye, tart cherry juice for lowering inflammation, and getting naked in the garden. Erin talks about the issues her son had with a tongue tie and the changes she noticed once he had his frenectomy. Finally, she also shares the surprising issue that negatively impacted her family’s health for over one year, which led to sleep issues, fungal overgrowth, and other things, and the simple solution that changed everything.
Before we get into the conversation, I want to invite you to the Wise Traditions Conference this October 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. The food is always Wise Traditions friendly, as you might expect, and delicious. The people are down-to-earth and beautiful. The speakers are out of this world, including Tom Cowan, Alec Zeck, Naomi Wolf, and Sally Fallon Morell. This is the conference that nourishes in every way. Join us. Go to Wise Traditions to find out more and to register.
Check out Erin’s Website: Fully Alive Families
Register for the Wise Traditions Conference in Kansas City, MO. – Wise Traditions
Welcome to the show, Erin.
You told me that your husband had to build you all a privacy fence. It might have something to do with your being naked in the garden. Tell us about this. What does that help and why?
One of my basic life goals is to be naked in a garden. We were created naked in a garden, and then we sinned. We had to leave the garden. We were clothed. The Lord gave us clothes to cover our nakedness. Clothing is a result of sin and so is indoor housing because you are not in a garden if you’re indoors. Cranky kids are fighting because they’re fighting. People are teething. People are tired because they have chronic sleep issues, which is my house. People fell off the couch and hit their heads, which is what happened. We went outside and the crying stopped immediately.
Whatever is wrong, it is so much less wrong when you go outside. You have all these good sensory things going on. You have the sun and, hopefully, fresh air, depending on where you live. It may be cold or warm. You relax a little bit. Having that relaxation tells your body, “It’s okay. We can go into heal mode.” It does feel really good but it heals you because your cortisol drops. Your immune system can work again. Go naked in a garden. Hopefully, I’ll get my privacy fence.
I love that idea. It can change the mood and the dynamic. Even if you didn’t know the science behind how it lowers cortisol, how the Earth gives you negative ions, and all these things, it will change your family’s mood and your own mood. It gives you perspective. You see yourselves in creation. It’s a whole different situation, isn’t it?
Yes. It feels good, whether we’re young or old.
I was trying to figure out if you guys wear swimsuits or if you go completely naked in the garden.
We don’t go completely naked in the garden. I’ll let the tiny people go naked in the garden. One of my favorite stories is of Fiona, who’s six. I’m big into the sun belly. For little people, “Take off that shirt and go in the sun.” For big people, “Roll the shirt up,” or whatever, depending on where you are. Fiona would get hot so she would say, “Mommy, can you take off my shirt so I can get some belly shade?”
We aren’t literally naked, but we’re barefoot. We’re in the mud and the closer to naked we could be. Also, the bath. It’s not a garden. It’s like, “Get naked. Get in that water.” That water, I don’t even know how much healing it has in it, but it has to have a lot because it feels so good, especially with some magnesium, clay, or something in there, but even without it.
You’ll do some baths outside, is that what I hear you saying?
We’ll do baths inside, for sure, in wintertime or because we need to. I get the big plastic kiddie pool, the biggest one I can find. We’ll dump magnesium in there, or you can mix up the bentonite clay with water beforehand. The kids can get in and out. They can get belly sun, belly shade, grass, and water. The sensory is so good for kids but also grownups. We can have it all in our little half-acre plot.
What do the Epsom salts help with? What minerals or properties do they have that help with the body?
Epsom salts are magnesium. In the society we live in, there’s so much soil depletion. The food is lower in magnesium than it should be. Also, if you want to be drinking good water, you’re going to be filtering it if you’re on city water as we are because it is full of junk. You got to filter everything out. Additionally, we have all these toxins. The body uses magnesium to process toxins and get rid of them.
Our society is so depleted of magnesium. Epsom salts are magnesium. You put them in the water and the skin absorbs the magnesium. The difference can be night and day. It is not a placebo effect because it works on kids, like kids who didn’t sleep because their magnesium was too low. Magnesium relaxes you. One bath or an outside playtime in the pool with magnesium salts and that sleep is so much better. It helps with mood, too. Even before sleep comes, you can see their mood improve because they’re able to relax. It’s because they have magnesium.
I’ve interviewed several experts who’ve suggested that magnesium is the one nutrient or mineral that most people are deficient in. We could all benefit from these magnesium baths.
They’re easy and cheap. You can pick up magnesium salts at your grocery store. You don’t have to do anything crazy. You can buy them at the grocery store and dump them in the bath.
It’s good for digestion, too, right?
Yeah. Some people will take magnesium orally, whether it’s in a pill, liquid drops, or liquids to swallow. I’ve always found them hard on the stomach, but a lot of people find it helps them have better bowel movements. It also has that nice relaxing effect. If the bath isn’t going to work for you, and I love baths so that’s fine with me, there is that option. It can be helpful for keeping things going. Also, if you’re calmer, your digestion is going to be better. It has the short-term but then also this long-term that we can relax and digest our food.
It’s so cool. Sally Fallon Morrell, the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, is always saying that science is catching up to ancestral wisdom. It’s true because, for example, a practice around the world is to pause before eating a meal to offer thanks or gratitude. That is telling your whole system to calm down and get ready to receive. It’s beginning the digestive process. It’s putting the body back into that parasympathetic nervous system mode, which is what you’re talking about.
That’s something I talk about in my book, too. This timeless worldwide tradition of pausing to give thanks is right because we may have grown the food, but we can’t take credit for it. It’s right, but then, it’s also good for us to relax and not eat on the run all the time.
We’ve already started diving into your mom’s toolkit that you mentioned in your book Fully Alive, which I love. I want you to continue sharing bits of wisdom that may be very practical for the audience, especially those with a bunch of kids who are trying to figure out, “How do I handle these different issues that are coming up?” You’ve already talked about the importance of getting sun on the body, getting magnesium in the body, and the benefits of being naked in the garden. Let’s talk about maybe some of your favorite essential oils and herbal preparations and what they’re good for.
I could go on forever, so I’ll hit some highlights. My number one favorite herb is easily chamomile. It is good, especially for moms. Keep it around. You can get the essential oil. It’s a pricey one, so I usually buy the dried chamomile flour in bulk. It’s super easy. Pop it in a mason jar, pour hot water over it, let it steep for 10 to 20 minutes or, honestly, however long you want, and then strain it. That tea, we use for everything. For an upset belly, you can sweeten it if the kid doesn’t want it or if the mom doesn’t want it straight. You could sweeten it with honey, maple syrup, or whatever. It will soothe an upset belly. It’s so relaxing.
I am a Type-A mom. I will do a cup of chamomile tea, maybe with a little lavender in there, before bed. We’ll also use it without any sweetener added for pink eye. We’ve never had pink eye. There have been quite a few times where I’m like, “I feel like I have pink eye coming,” or I’ve looked at the toddler and been like, “That’s going to be pink eye.” We’ve never had it because every time, we do the chamomile. We’ll either steep a teabag and some warm water and then put it on there or wash it with the tea.
How did you find out that chamomile was good for these things?
You read about it in a lot of places. I love the book The Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee De La Foret. This is my number one favorite book. She has so many practical, easy-to-do-at-home, good for moms and anybody, and not too expensive, most of them herbal tips. It is super well-researched also.
Chamomile is great for relaxation, avoiding pink eye, and calming the nervous system. What other herbal remedies or go-to’s do you have around the house?
My husband is Polish-Irish, so I have White kids who are sunburned no matter what we do. Either chamomile tea or mint tea, we’ll steep it super strong and then pour it in a cool bath. After a day in the sun, we pop them in the bath and have them rub that tea up and down. It does wonders. Also, we do vitamin C before and after sun exposure. Whether it is a fruit or a good quality powder supplement, that makes a huge difference, too. Also, I’m positive that tea helps. Chamomile or mint tea helps a lot.
Since you said you could go on and on, give us another one.
Echinacea tincture is a new one that I’ve discovered. I don’t use it orally because I have autoimmune issues and it can flare them. I fell down some rabbit hole and it said you can use it for any snake or insect bite topically. I thought, “I’m going to try this out.” You get the little echinacea tincture with a dropper bottle and pop it in your purse. My kids, at least, are always catching snakes and frogs and getting bee stings, so I was like “Okay.”
My daughter was eighteen months and she had a bee sting. We put the echinacea tincture on there and she stopped crying. She was full-out screaming bee sting. She was done. It was over five minutes. You can pop it in your purse and carry it around. That’s what we do. What’s also good for bee stings is bentonite clay. Mix it up a little bit. We keep it in a little jar mixed up in the fridge. You can put that on any sting or bite and it will suck the poison right out. We love that one.
Let’s say it’s been a long day. Your kids are done catching the snakes and the frogs and they’ve had their little bath. What if they still have sleep issues? What do you have in your mom’s toolkit to address sleep issues?
All three of my kids have sleep issues partially because they have gut issues, they’re tongue-tied, and two of them are Type-A like mom. One thing we do, which is so foundational, is dimming the lights, whether it’s getting night lights or getting those fancy lights without blue light in them. There’s the whole color spectrum. There are the warmer and the cooler lights. If you can get warmer lights, that’s going to affect your sleep less. When the sun goes down, that’s telling your body, “Wind down. It is time to go to bed.” Turn on that electric light and tell your body, “Wind back up. It’s not bedtime.” We keep the lights dim. We use night lights. Sometimes, we use Christmas lights for bedtime routine time, which is fun, too.
It sounds special.
We do that. Also, if my son is up reading as he often is, we give him these cool blue light-blocking glasses. I use them also if I’m up washing dishes or whatever. We really don’t do screen time before bed because that kills sleep, but if there are emails I need to answer or something, the blue light blockers help.
Also, my son, after an hour in bed, he’ll come out and be like, “I can’t sleep.” We either do tart cherries or tart cherry juice. It is magical for sleep. It’s non-addictive. A lot of people use melatonin. It is probably pretty safe but it’s addictive. Tart cherry juice is non-addictive. A couple of ounces or a little handful of dried tart cherries is magical for sleep. I’ve read the studies. They supposedly help with falling asleep, staying asleep, more time in deep sleep, more restorative sleep, and falling asleep more quickly after you’ve been woken in the night. It helps with all of the sleep parameters. It is magical, tart cherry juice.
What I love about this conversation is that you’re in the trenches. You’re with your kiddos. You’ve tried the different things in the toolkits. You know what works and what doesn’t. I want to ask if you know a little of the science behind it. Do you know what’s in the tart cherry juice by chance?
It’s incredibly anti-inflammatory. All of my research about it was years ago, so beyond that, I don’t remember the why of that one. Usually, I’m a science nerd. I think it was that it reduced the inflammation in certain parts of the brain, but I don’t remember that with certainty.
Tart Cherry Juice reduces inflammation in certain parts of the brain.
That is so fascinating. I’m particularly interested in cherry juice because our family doesn’t usually do juice. We started making some gummies with gelatin powder. I bought some tart cherry juice to add to the gummies that I was making. Our family really likes the tart cherry juice. I didn’t even know it had this anti-inflammatory property to it.
Athletes will use it for faster muscle recovery. I’m so interested in getting the word out about tart cherry juice. If you have an inflammatory issue like arthritis or something, that’s a great thing to try first because it’s so natural and good for the body. Smart Juice is the brand that has that. It’s organic and it’s also not from concentrate. My family does not do well with juices that are from concentrate. Smart Juice Organics is the brand I would recommend.
What’s the issue with the concentrated juices?
It took me a long time to trust Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride on this one. I should have trusted her. She’s so trustworthy. I remember reading her talking about when the juice is concentrated, the sugars bind in a different way and your body can’t process them anymore. I was like, “It’s fine. We’re not going to drink tons of juice or juice with added sugar. It’s fine.” Every time, I would regret it, whether it was my kids complaining of stomach aches or having behavior issues or me complaining of stomach aches and having behavior issues.
Finally, a couple of years ago, I swore it off. That also meant swearing off the tart cherry juice because I could not find something that wasn’t a concentrate. I was delighted at our local Food Lion have this Smart Juice Organics tart cherry juice, not from concentrate. We don’t go crazy with it. It’s the only pasteurized juice that we’ll have. We’ll have a couple of ounces. I love it.
Coming up, Erin talks about how to handle chronic and periodic stomach aches. She also shares the deleterious effects a seemingly innocuous change in her home had on her family’s health.
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You mentioned a moment ago that sometimes, you have stomach aches or your kids do. That is so common in a lot of households. How do you address digestive issues?
We get stomach aches occasionally. That’s a different thing than the chronic. If you have a child or you have chronic stomach aches, it’s time to look at what you’re eating every day. If you’re already eating well, then it’s time to investigate maybe an elimination diet, GAPS, or the autoimmune protocol. In terms of short-term, like, “I have a stomach ache right now,” chamomile tea is great. For mint tea or fennel tea, take the seeds, the leaves, or the little teabag. Pour hot water over it, let it cool, and drink it. It is super helpful.
If you have chronic stomach aches, it’s time to look at what you eat daily.
Sauerkraut juice is a great digestive because it’s acidic. Your body needs the acid to digest. It’s also got probiotics in it. Those are some easy ones. Broth, you have to have it on hand, which can be worked to make it, although there are some good brands out there. For the broth, even a sip or two, I’ll feel that soothing going down into my belly like, “That is what I needed.”
Many people in our society are still scared of fat. There are fats to be scared of, like canola oil, but those good fats are so soothing to the stomach and the digestive tract. Whether it is butter, coconut oil, or bacon fat, and we love to buy bacon so that we’ll have the bacon fat to cook with, they’re so soothing that you can avoid stomach aches in the first place.
Also, bitter foods. We Americans don’t like bitter. The bitter taste turns on your body. There are bitter receptors all through your gut. If you eat bitter food, at every step of your digestion, your body’s being turned on to digest that bitter food as it goes through. You can buy digestive bitters. We like Iberogast. That’s been helpful for us. Also, we blend up arugula from the garden to make an arugula pesto. I’ll serve that as a condiment on the side of things. It is anything bitter, like dandelion greens or parsley.
I was thinking you are exactly right. We avoid bitters. You were saying dandelion green and parsley. Do fermented foods count in that category?
If you fermented something bitter, that would work. Fermented foods are awesome in their own right. They’re so good for digestion. They’re sour, unless it’s sweet and sour. We Americans don’t want it. If it’s not sour gummy worms, we don’t want the sour. It could be a soup of sauerkraut or a pickle. My toddler loves having a shot glass full of pickle juice.
Fermented foods are awesome in their own right. They’re so good for digestion.
That’s awesome. I’ve heard of pickle popsicles that some moms make.
That’s so fun. We’ve never done that. I will do that because she loves cold. I’m making her pickle popsicles.
The other question that was on my mind is you said we have bitter receptors in every step of digestion. What are the steps that you’re aware of with our digestive system?
This is my favorite topic. Digestion starts before you start eating. You see this food and smell the food. It might be the right time. It’s like, “This is dinner time. Daddy got home.” There’s this whole ambiance of eating that tells your body, “Let’s eat.” You can feel, a lot of times, salvation starts. You stop and pray. You thank God for the food. You cut in and start eating and then you’re supposed to chew. You may or may not chew.
I’ve got three kids and friends with more than three kids, so I get how hard it is to relax and eat. That’s such an important step to relax and chew your food. Your saliva has enzymes that start digesting your food. The more you mix with that saliva, the better. The more you mush your food up in your mouth, the less work the rest of your gut has to do. Chewing is the first vital step of digestion.
You chew your food and swallow it down into the stomach. The stomach is supposed to be super acidic. A lot of times, there can be all kinds of things going on to reduce the acidity of the stomach. It’s supposed to be highly acidic. It breaks down the food. The enzymes that are in the stomach need the acidity to function. Also, the acidity triggers the sphincter or the opening at the bottom of the stomach, to open and let a little bit of food at a time into the small intestine. You then pause for a second there.
If you are having digestive trouble, one of the first things to look at is whether you have low stomach acid. That’s where your sauerkraut is going to come in. If it is possibly a supplemental stomach acid, you can have a little apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or lime, kombucha, or anything acidic to help that digestion. That’s a good starting place if you have any gut issues at all. Many could be fixed by fixing the stomach acid.
The food travels through the small intestine. The small intestine is very low in bacteria. It’s this long, skinny pipe. The liver and the pancreas dump bile and enzymes into the intestine. They break the food down and you absorb the bulk of the nutrients of the small intestine. It’s seventeen feet long. It’s super long. It curves all through there. It then enters the large intestine. In the large intestine, there’s a little bit of nutrient absorption going on, but mostly, there are bacteria working and helping you with the last bits of nutrients. The water is absorbed in the large intestine. It holds in the rectum, and then when the time comes, you poop it out.
There are any number of things that can go wrong, which can lead to stomach aches. I like your simple solutions and advice for those who are feeling like they may have low stomach acid. I want to interject that sometimes, when people have acid reflux, they think, “I have too much acid.” Sometimes, that’s a symptom of too little. Isn’t that right?
Yeah. I’ve experienced that big time. When I was pregnant with Fiona, I had terrible reflux. There was no acid in it. I would reflux water. The problem was my stomach wasn’t acidic enough. If the stomach acid is low, the stomach contents won’t empty into the small intestine. You have your esophagus and then a sphincter at the bottom between your esophagus and your stomach. If your stomach is not acidic enough, the sphincter doesn’t stay closed tight. It’s exactly like you say. The acid reflux is what they call it, but very often, it’s low acid reflux. If it was acidic enough, there would be no reflux.
All this makes me think about another section of your book I was looking at, which is troubleshooting breastfeeding issues. This is important because we want to make sure that the baby is holding onto all the nutrients we’re giving it through the breast milk. What are some of the issues that moms encounter or maybe that you’ve encountered, and how did you address them?
I think of my first baby, Seamus. This is a couple of years ago. He was a hot mess. I remember people would talk about reflux and how he had really bad reflux. He reflexed a few times an hour. I was thinking, “My kid reflexes a few times in ten minutes.” I stopped cleaning my floor because it was pocked with baby spit-up. I grew up around babies. I’m not squeamish about spit-up, but this was crazy. I had a nursing background, but I had no answers for this.
He was colicky. If you’re tongue-tied and when you swallow, you can’t press on the roof of your mouth. Pressing on the roof of your mouth tells your stomach food’s coming. There’s a nerve connecting the mouth and the stomach, the vagus nerve. If you’re tongue-tied, you can’t send the message to your stomach that there’s food coming so it doesn’t start producing stomach acid.
Babies don’t produce a ton of stomach acid, and yet, that warning like, “There’s food on the way,” is huge. That was probably a huge part of his reflex. It was that he was severely tongue-tied. He was probably two and a half. I found a really good pediatrician. She looked at him and goes, “He’s tongue-tied,” because she could see the way his cheek muscles had developed. They had developed a way to compensate for this tongue tie. I was amazed. I was like, “How did nobody tell me that before? We could have solved this problem.”
One of the first things to look at when you’re having breastfeeding issues is the tongue tie. It is because of epigenetics and the toxins that are so prevalent in our society that tongue tie is somewhat overdiagnosed, but it is also on the rise. Honestly, a good lactation consultant is what you need for breastfeeding issues. If you have a lactation consultant who is not taking your questions seriously, if you’re saying, “He has tongue tie,” and she’s like, “It’s something else,” and brushing you off, that’s a big no-no. If she doesn’t leave you feeling empowered, like you have some options and information, then get another one. Most of them are great, and some of them are bad. If you get a bad one, get another one.
When you had Seamus’ tongue tie addressed, you said it was nearly miraculous in your book.
It was life-changing. We didn’t get it addressed until I was about to publish the book, so I didn’t write about it in there.
I heard about it.
I mentioned it to you, but I did allude to it in my book. He was diagnosed when he was two and a half. Two and a half is a really bad time to have oral surgery. Also, I’m disinclined to do oral surgery unless I’m convinced it’s necessary. We were trying other things to improve his health and his chewing. COVID happened. You can’t do elective surgery during COVID. That was really difficult. He was probably seven. It was finally the time that we could focus on this and get it done.
It was a big journey. We had to find someone who was willing to do it without anesthesia. We have the genetic mutation where you don’t process the toxins very well, so I did not want to have that child have this severe reaction to the anesthesia. It was this huge journey finding everything or everyone we needed, but we got an awesome periodontist. He said before we go, we needed to have these weeks of oral myofunctional therapy.
The oral myofunctional therapy made a huge difference in his sleep and his chewing. He was the kid where I’d say, “Chew your food.” I would watch him and he’d move his mouth. I can’t even mimic it. He would try to chew, but you could see the food wasn’t getting chewed. He’d swallow and there’d still be food in his mouth at seven. We’re not talking about a toddler here. He would work once a week with the therapist and then every day with me to improve his chewing skills and speech skills. He was good at speaking, but a lot of things were compensated.
In the weeks before he had the clip done, I could see he would suddenly sleep in. He never slept-in in his life. He would go to bed however late he went to bed. If he was up in the middle of the night, which he always was, he would never make up for sleep in the morning. All of a sudden, it would be 7:30 and I’m like, “Where’s my kid?” He’d roll out of bed and be like, “I decided to stay in bed for a while.” I’m like, “That’s interesting timing.”
He then got the frenectomy, which is what it’s called. Days immediately after the frenectomy were rough. He was in a lot of pain and things, but suddenly, he was calm. He had been in fight or flight since he was born or probably since he was in utero. I knew he was a different kid since he was in utero. He was suddenly able to be calm. He was still passionate. He was still alive, but he was able to be calm. He sleeps in all the time. He doesn’t sleep late, but he sleeps and chews. It’s amazing.
The tongue tie was affecting him on many more levels than you might have even suspected.
It was affecting everything and also his posture. He was always hunched like an old man. There was no lack of strength. We’d go to the chiropractor and all these things. Suddenly, after the frenectomy a few weeks later, I was like, “He is sitting right.” All the coaching is like, “Please sit up straight.” That’s what you say to your kids. He’d try, but nothing happened. He was suddenly holding himself up. It was incredible.
Whenever I’m watching him, it’s still incredible to see. He’s comfortable in his body. He also holds his chiropractic adjustments. We can’t go every week, but it’s like, “We need to go back to the chiropractor. You’re not functioning right.” Whereas this time, it’s month and six weeks, I’m like, “You’re still fine.” It’s crazy. It’s affecting everything.
There are so many stones to unturn when you’re leading your family and helping your children to be as healthy as possible. There are so many things and so many factors. It’s important to listen to your intuition. That leads me to my next question for you. While you were writing your book, as I understand it, you had noticed your kids’ health and behavior, I don’t want to say collapse, but you had many challenges during a course of a year. You finally hit on something that it hadn’t even occurred to you to look at. What was that thing?
This was in the publishing year. I spent three years writing, and then I took a year off to have a baby. I was like, “We’re going to do the home stretch here.” Mave was three months. She was the first easy baby. She was tongue-tied, but we knew. We had it clipped. She was calm, peaceful, and happy. I was the empowered mom of three kids.
I remember standing in my backyard. She was asleep in the little baby carrier, and the older two kids are playing happily. I was like, “This is my dream life.” Somebody came from the power company. He was replacing the power meter in our carport. I remember somewhere in the back of my brain, I was like, “Those smart meters got EMF signals,” but we have cell phones. I was like, “This is probably not a battle worth fighting. It’s not like we hang out over there right next to it. It’s fine.”
I remember my kids were interested. They came and watched him put the thing in. The gentleman was really nice. I did not think about it again. That moment was buried in my memory, but reflecting on it, that was the day it changed from, “Mave is my happy baby. I have my happy life with three kids. I’ll probably have twenty kids. These kids are so easy,” kind of attitude. It so quickly changed. I was like, “She’s teething.” Mave was suddenly upset all the time. I was like, “It’s her teeth. All my kids teeth early. She must be teething.” She was teething, but she was more miserable than that. She was suddenly waking all the time. I was like, “It’s the four-month sleep regression.”
She was then this four-and-a-half-year-old who had adjusted beautifully to giving somebody else the baby of the family spot who was suddenly having temper tantrums 3, 4, or 5 times a week. I was like, “This is great.” I was doing all the nice and fur mom things at the same time. In the meantime, this baby is getting more colicky. Her reflux was getting worse.
She would only sleep in the baby carrier. That meant I was spending my life trying to keep this baby asleep in the baby carrier, which is very time-consuming. I’m more checked out for my big kids. I was like, “I’m not cooking enough. They’re eating too many plantain chips. That’s why their guts are getting worse. I’m not eating as well. That’s why the baby is getting gassier.”
I was trying to do all the things with all the tools I had, but nothing was getting better. I cut out goat dairy, and that helped a little bit. Little things helped a little bit, but things were terrible. My kids were sick constantly. Previously, my kids would get sick once a season, maybe. If people were sick, we’d go, “Unless you’re throwing up, we’ll go to your house anyways,” because my kids never got sick. Why would I worry about it?
All of a sudden, my kids were sick with everything. I stopped planning anything beyond the next day because my kids were sick all the time. I would get sick, too. I used to go two years out without getting sick. Everything they got, I would get. I’d get a sinus infection and the whole nine yards. I was like, “What is going on here?”
This is a year of this. I was walking up and down the street with a baby because naked in a garden, go outside, everything s better outside. I ran into a neighbor I hadn’t seen in a year, whose name is also Erin. She’s great. I was like, “How are you?” She goes like, “Today I’m okay. My Lyme is flaring.” She has chronic Lyme.
I was like, “I’m so sorry. What’s up?” She goes, “The smart meter they put in our house was making my Lyme flare. I got it taken out and I was doing really well, but then, they put it back. I’m almost non-functional.” I was like, “What?” She’s like, “It caused all these immune problems. It causes yeast issues.” I was like, “What?” Mave, at that point, was one. We’d finally gotten her diagnosed with massive yeast overgrowth. She was one and not eating any solids because her gut symptoms were horrific if she had any solids.
This is after two kids of SIBO and GAPS. I knew all the things. I couldn’t have been screwing up that badly. I was like, “Thanks, Erin.” I went home and got online. I started researching. It turns out smart meters are not like cell phones. I don’t talk with my cell phone right on my head or things like that. We’re a very low electronics family. This smart meter is a whole new level from cell phones. There are different smart meters and research, but the signal they send out is 250 times stronger than a cell phone.
That’s crazy. That’s so intense.
That’s going to have an effect on the human body, especially on these little tiny growing bodies. I started diving into research. The Weston A. Price Foundation has a couple of good articles about it. The type of radiation they use is a class one carcinogen. Lead is a class one carcinogen. It causes cancer even if there are no compounding factors. The smart meters’ radiation is in the same classification. It suppresses the immune system, which is probably why Mave had yeast overgrowth.
It also causes behavioral problems. I got on the phone and started making calls like, “What can I do about this?” Our power company, thankfully, has an opt-out option. We have what is called a non-communicating smart meter. It still reads our power minute by minute. It also still has a stronger electromagnetic field in the house, but it doesn’t transmit this super strong signal.
On a Tuesday, they took it out. I was like, “Please let this be a moment of change.” I wasn’t expecting anything right away. By Friday of that week, I suddenly realized that I was excited to put my kids to bed. I like mom life. I love all the mom life stuff. I’m that person. I was like, “I have not looked forward to bedtime routine in over a year,” because all of my kids were different. They were all suddenly peaceful. They might be overtired because they are still kids, but there was this angst that was suddenly gone. Mave might still have trouble falling asleep because she was gassy or whatever, but she was peaceful. I was like, “What’s going on?”
The yeast treatment we were doing to be inching forward with progress but not getting anywhere suddenly was working. By the end of another week, she was pooping solid, which is too much information, but she was fifteen months by then and not pooping solid ever. She was suddenly pooping solid poops. She went from almost exclusively breastfed to eating a solid half to three-quarters of her own food within two months.
That is fabulous. I’m sure you could go on and on.
I could keep going. It all changed on a dime. The temper tantrums are gone. They stopped as soon as it was out. It was crazy.
This is helpful to put in the mom’s toolkit to look into what kind of meter is close to your home and realize that radiation may be impacting your family’s health and behavior as well. There is so much to look into. I feel like there are other things I wish I could have covered with you. Maybe we’ll have you write an article in the journal or we’ll get you back on again sometime. In the meantime, let me ask you the question I like to pose at the end of the show. If the reader could do one thing to improve their health, and you know a lot of different tools and hacks, what would you recommend that they do?
I would recommend doing the thing that you know you need to do. Often, we know exactly what we need to do and we’re scared to do it because we think we can’t do it. It’s like the gospel story of the loaves and the fishes. You bring your little loaves and fishes that are not enough to feed 5,000 people or your hungry kids who are also having whatever problems they’re having. Do that one thing you can do that you already know. Do it and God will bless it a hundredfold. He will make it enough. Start that journey. Do that one thing and the next thing will show itself. Don’t be scared. Dive in, get the help you need, and do it.
Just do that one thing you can do that you already know. Just do it, and God will bless it a hundredfold.
Thank you so much. This has been a delightful conversation.
Thank you, Hilda.
Our guest was Erin O’Donnell. Visit Fully Alive Families to learn more. On behalf of the Weston Price Foundation, I have resources on my website, Holistic Hilda. Let’s read a review from Apple Podcasts. Peachinthepines had this to say, “Wisdom my heart resonates with. I finished listening to episodes 369 and 370 and I have goosebumps in a good way. These episodes were so pure and delivered sound wisdom and truths that stuck to the core of what is going on in the world today. Shedding light on what so many people struggle to grasp and understand.”
She said, “I love how these episodes discuss wisdom and truths that my heart can resonate with but delivered in such a simple and easy-to-understand way. I love each and every episode and look forward to new ones. Thank you with all my heart for consistently bringing this information to light and unapologetically discussing topics that need to be shared. I’ve been wanting to leave this review for a long time. I can’t even form enough supporting words to express my gratitude and appreciation for this show. I highly recommend tuning in to it and suggest you don’t wait another minute to get started.”
Peachinthepines, that is awesome. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you’re still enjoying the show. You, too, can rate and review it by going to Apple Podcasts. Click on Ratings and Reviews. Give us as many stars as you like and tell the world why they should tune in to the show. Thank you so much in advance. Stay well, and remember to keep your feet on the ground and your face to the sun.
- Fully Alive
- Fully Alive Families
- Optimal Carnivore
- The Alchemy of Herbs
- Apple Podcasts – Wise Traditions
About Erin O’Donnell
Erin O’Donnell is the author of “Fully Alive.” She is a wife, mother, and former RN who left the world of modern healthcare disillusioned and is now rejoicing to be able to help her family and others seek and find health through older and surer paths that the Lord has provided. Erin loves spending time with her family, friends, church community, chickens, garden, farmer’s market, books, and the bees she hopes to keep one day.
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