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Heather

on September 4 by

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Hi there. I’m Heather, the Mommypotamus. This is where you read a little about me, so here goes:

I’m a mom. I have three beautiful children that were born in water in my living room. You can read their stories herehere, and here.

I’m a researcher. Questioning the status quo comes naturally to me, which is why I rely on evidence-based research to guide my decisions on food, vaccinations, birth, full-term breastfeeding and a bunch of other topics.

Why do I write this blog? You may have noticed when I introduced myself that I’m not a doctor or certified nutritionist. There are no special letters behind my name. I’m just a mom that’s passionate about nourishing my family in every way possible.

I wasn’t always this way, though. Daddypotamus and I were junk food fiends when we got married. Part of every dinner came from a box or takeout, and we were fine with that. But years of eating MSG, genetically modified foods, and hormone “enhanced” meat took its toll. About two years after we said our vows – just when we were thinking about starting a family – I developed a debilitating autoimmune disorder.

Blood tests also revealed that years of low-fat dieting had lowered my cholesterol to nearly undetectable levels – lower than those long distance runners who don’t get periods. It’s embarrassing to admit now, but when I first heard the numbers I thought it was a good thing! Um, no. Cholesterol is necessary for producing the hormones that sustain a pregnancy, I was told. “Don’t get pregnant, you’re not strong enough to carry a baby to term” were her exact words. Fine, then. I went home and drank 8 oz of oil straight up. (Do not ever do this! You will puke for 10 hours!)

I wanted cholesterol. I wanted a baby. I wanted my horrible acne, acid reflux, anxiety and chronic exhaustion to just GO AWAY. I wanted all of those things and more, but what I NEEDED was real food.

So, with Nourishing Traditions in hand, I hacked away at my old food habits until every single one was gone. No one else I knew was eating this way and honestly I kind of felt like the unabomber while concocting ferments in my kitchen.

It was frustrating, but oh-so-worth-it. Through nutrition and laser therapy I recovered my health, got pregnant, carried my baby not only to term but to the very last day of the forty second week, nursed for two years, got pregnant AGAIN, continued to nurse through my pregnancy, had another baby at 41 weeks. I now have three year old and a one year old and have been continually nursing for 46 months straight. That’s a far cry from not being able to carry a baby to term!

Of course, that was just the beginning of the journey! The best part has been figuring out how to nourish my vibrantly healthy, energetic children and writing about it here. I’d love for you to share the journey with us!

Some of you curious types may be asking yourselves, What is a Mommypotamus? If you want to know check out this post.


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

 

60 Responses to Heather

  1. Hi Heather!

    I have just been reading some of your posts, how you got the name, your past illness and your discovery on birth control. I am always impressed with each post and I get so much value about what you write.

    I wanted to ask you if you would like to talk sometime? I have a blog on health as well (after reading your about page, we have so much in common). I would love to do some kind of syndication with you for getting traffic to each others blogs. I have a couple of other people I’m asking as well, but only people who have some seriously good blogs. You are definitely one of those people:-)

    Please let me know if you’d like to talk! Until then, have a great day!

    Emily Giuffre

  2. so glad I found your blog!!!

  3. Hi Heather! I am so moved by your story, your message, your commitment to share the truth, and your beautiful vision for a life connected to the rhythms of nature. I am excited to hear more from you. Keep shining your light!

  4. Christi Austin says:

    Hi Heather,
    I have been looking at your information that you posted on the 21 day cleanse. Do you know what a person could substitute for the meat during the cleanse? I am a vegetarian and I notice that you are not supposed to eat nuts or beans. Please help if you can. Thank you for your time!
    Christi

    • Heather says:

      Hi Christi! Since lentils are allowed and they contain protein I would probably use them a lot. Did you see my recipes page? You may find some ideas there. If not check back soon because I will be releasing an ebook with tons of lentil recipes. :)

  5. Hi fellow Heather! I’m also a GAPSter and was searching around for a good coconut milk recipe (my ds is no longer allergic to coconut! woot for GAPS!) and found yours and was drawn in to look around your site. I thought you might like this, if you didn’t already know it:
    God asked the heather the same question that he’d asked the others. “Will you go and grow upon the hillsides to make them more beautiful?”

    The heather thought about the poor soil, the wind and the rain – and wasn’t very sure that she could do a good job. But turning to God she replied that if he wanted her to do it, she would certainly give it a try.

    God was very pleased.

    He was so pleased in fact that he decided to give the heather some gifts as a reward for her willingness to do as he had asked.

    Firstly he gave her the strength of the oak tree – the bark of the heather is the strongest of any tree or shrub in the whole world.

    Next he gave her the fragrance of the honeysuckle – a fragrance which is frequently used to gently perfume soaps and potpouris.

    Finally he gave her the sweetness of the rose – so much so that heather is one of the bees favourite flowers. And to this day, heather is renowned especially for these three God given gifts.
    ————————————————————-
    Facts About Heather Flower

    * The scietntific name, Calluna vulgaris, in general, came from Calluna from the Greek Kallune – to clean or brush, as the twigs were used for making brooms and vulgaris from Latin, meaning common.
    * Heather flowers are a traditional remedy in Swedish herbal medicine.
    * The Heather plant is sometimes also referred to as Ling derived either from the old Norse Lyng or from the Anglo Saxon Lig meaning fire and referring to use as a fuel.

  6. Shauna says:

    I just found your blog while looking for a soaked flour pizza crust recipe. Then, your “about me” page caught my attention. I can so identify with being odd in our eating and parenting but really feeling like status quo needs to be challenge if I am to do the absolute best for my family. My journey began when I had my son 2 and half years ago. Just browsed your blog quickly but bookmarked it to read more later :)

  7. Nice meeting you! I enjoyed reading your story and glad I found your blog. I’ll be browsing around. Hope you will visit me at Just Making Noise… I am also a mama of 3 kids and follow the NT guide of wholesome food.

    • Heather says:

      It’s nice to “meet” you, Marilyn! I’ve seen you around but have never said hello, so hello! That ice cream book you created looks SO YUMMY!

  8. Hello back at ya! Did you really drink oil straight up? Man! Anyway, thanks for the compliment and hope to see you around now that we’ve officially “met” ;o)

  9. Natalie says:

    Hey Heather,
    I would like to say “thank you” for all the info you research and share. A few years ago I thought organic food was for hippies, but not now! I am a mom of 3 and recently graduated from the Global College of Natural Medicine and am a Nutritional Consultant. I would love to pass along info to you that I get, but only if you WANT me to. :) I can either pass alot of it along, or you can be speciffic as to what you’d be interested in, or I can just keep reading your blog. Let me know. :)
    Here is a sample of the kind of info I get:
    http://www.naturalnews.com/035047_magnesium_ADHD_Alzheimers.html

  10. Natalie says:

    Since you are such a lover of coconut oil here is one more. :)
    http://www.naturalnews.com/035045_coconut_oil_Alzheimers_brain_function.html

  11. Hi Heather,

    What a great site and full of so much information! My name is Danielle, and I am currently in medical school and will be graduating in 2013 and starting my naturopathic practice in 2014. I am also a mom of kids with food allergies (hello gluten-dairy-egg-free diet). I would love to refer my patients to your site as well as learn practical tips from you.

    It is so wonderful that there are people like you in the trenches trying out and perfecting all the recommendations that I am making to my patients on a daily basis.

    I look forward to exploring your site more extensively.

    Thanks again for all your dedication, creativity, and hard work!

  12. Jodie says:

    I’m feeling very overwhelmed. I have three kids. The oldest and youngest are pretty healthy, only the occasional snotty nose or stomach bug. My middle child is constantly battling some illness. For example in just the last month and a half he’s had strep (with the horrible strep rash from head to toe), a viral rash, a cough, another viral rash and a stomach virus. I k now that some sort of change is in order, the problem is that I really don’t know where to start. I’ve been reading your blog for so long now and love the information that you share. Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      I know it’s been awhile now, but I just saw your comment! Is there a topic you’d like me to cover as you explore how to boost your middle child’s immune system?

  13. AImee says:

    Mommypotamus is an adorable name. I already have two young children and I don’t know If I will be having any more, but I still want to read your book “Nourished Baby” anyway. I love hearing stories like yours, where someone truly finds healing and continues on that journey. I have been on a journey too, I have not yet found healing in all my searching (everything from gluten-free, sugar free-paleo and on and on), but I believe that God will work all things out for good. I’ve struggled with similar issues to yours, specifically acid reflux, anxiety, and being underweight. However, i’ve been super small my whole life. It just got worse after I had my two babies, but I keep my eye out for others who have found success and it inspires me to keep at it.
    Thanks.

  14. Are you from Fort Worth/HEB/or thereabouts? I was reading a post where you mentioned Dr. Cindy Haggerton and though I don’t see her, I recognized her name from a Yahoo group I’m a part of that is mostly focused on health and alternative health solutions. Anyway, I just thought that was neat, since it seems most blogs I read are never by people from DFW. I’ve been enjoying your blog, and hope to buy your book in the next week, as I’m 7 months pregnant. Nice to “meet” you!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Kimmie! I am from DFW but recently relocated to a little town just outside of Nashville. Dr. Cindy is one of my best friends (just talked to her today!) and I highly recommend that you go hang out in her waiting room if you want to meet some like-minded parents – that place is awesome! So mice to “meet” you too! Wishing you a beautiful, butter birth!

  15. I am actually having a homebirth (my first, but my fourth child) with Jenee from Gentle Beginnings, who apprenticed under Ann Crowell (who I saw attended one of your births). Small world! What town did you move to? I guess maybe you don’t want that public though, so nevermind! My family is from Tennessee and I went to college in Jackson (Union University). So nice to make random connections! :)

  16. Melissa Page says:

    Heather, I am SO GLAD I found your blog! Thank you so much for all you are sharing, I hope you know how inspirational and helpful it all is. God bless you and your family. – Melissa

  17. Hope says:

    You look incredibly familiar. Did you happen to do undergrad at DBU in Dallas?

  18. Robin Shirley says:

    Hi Heather! Would you be interested in speaking at the Take Back Your Health conference about how to increase fertility and how to have a natural and healthy pregnancy?

  19. Heather says:

    Have you ever heard of Hypobetalipoproteinemia?
    It is a genetic thing that is extremely rare and it makes my cholesterol extremely low! 65 to be exact. Your mention of yours made me interested in your site. Your blog has been helping me understand pregnancy and low cholesterol. I am lucky to have 2 beautiful, smart children born before knowing about my cholesterol issues. But I am now understanding more the complications I went through. Thank you for your time.
    Thank you for your time.

  20. leigh says:

    Heather, does your baby ebook cover pregnancy-induced high blood pressure? I have had epidurals for all 3 of my babies, but due to possible complications from my recurring staph infections, I’m hoping to take a less invasive route this time. My only concern is keeping my BP under control in order to avoid complications that might result in a c-section. Can you give me any advice? I’m also trying to treat candida w/ colloidal silver gel and not having much success. Also concerned about this causing complications.

    Thank You

  21. Christina says:

    Hello!

    I purchased your ebook on natural skin care, etc. Thank you for writing it. I was wondering if you have any sources for, or will be writing about, how/where to obtain “natural/toxic free” makeup? (eye shadow, blush, foundation, lipstick, etc.). Thank you!

    • Sarah says:

      I’s like to add to Christina’s question, and ask whether you know if there is any form of ‘safe’ foundation out there, or whether you feel it’s a case of healing ourselves and learning to live without this.

      Thanks a lot!

  22. Dea says:

    I just found you blog and am so grateful to hear of others like me. I was stricken with autoimmune and endocrine issues shortly after the birth of my first child. It worsened after my second childbirth to the point of seeking medical care and discovering that my cholesterol was too low to produce hormones. I breastfed continuously for 3 years during my pregnancies. Changing my diet and getting back to basics has helped me recover too. I think this movement of self reliance will prevail. We grow and can many of our own foods, I sew clothes for my family, we have chickens and are planning to raise rabbits, pigs and goats. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s great to know other like-minded people are sharing their knowledge with others!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Your skin care book sounds interesting……..however, $25 for an EBOOK is FAR too expensive…….especially when you consider all the black & colored inks needed to print it out.
    I will have to pass.

  24. Abby says:

    Hi Heather! I found your blog after researching Rami Nigel’s Cure Tooth Decay book after being told that my 3 year old has some small cavities between her two front teeth….devastating! Your story has given me hope! I had 2 natural births as well and truly believe in the power of nutrition, toying with a primal/paleo lifestyle and try my best to mainain an organic way of parenting. I am so happy to have found your blog! It is so nice to feel close to other moms with similar values and ideas :). My kids are close in age to yours all of your advice and ideas are really helpful…thanks again!

  25. Schalk says:

    G’day Heather. I stumbled upon some cream you made with tallow’s. I tinker with some home made creams and lotions. I currently just use spices and edible stuff to add some fragrance. Currently I use bees wax and olive oil, and spices so that you don’t smell like a salad like star anise. Extracting the awesome smell from the spices using easy home prep methods…still proof to be a challenge. Then I read a French method called Enfleurage that absorbs the fragrance into fat. Then you extract it again using alcohol…blaa,blaa,blaa. But if I can short cut the process and use the perfumed fat directly as part of the cream or lotion so much the better. Could you email me please on the success of your fat lotion?
    Interesting testimony from you alive but not living experience. :) I am now on the opposite end of the scale where just looking at food makes you fat.

  26. April says:

    Above you mention you did laser therapy. What kind and what for?

  27. April says:

    Was it for fertility?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Just curious, you mentioned you had laser treamtents? Can i ask what kind of acne you suffered from, and which laser was most effective for you?

    Thank you.

    • Heather says:

      I’m not sure exactly how my acne would have been classified. I went to a dermatologist, but if she gave me a specific diagnosis I don’t remember what it was. Regarding the laser treatment, they were basically acupuncture with lasers instead of needles. They weren’t meant to treat acne specifically, but they did help it resolve :)

  29. joyce says:

    Hi heather-i received the info from orawellness regarding kombucha being so high in floride http://www.orawellness.com/blog/why-we-dont-drink-kombucha/. This is the first time I have heard this and our familiy of 9 drinks a lot of kombucha. Just wanted to know your thoughts if you have the time. Thanks, Joyce.

  30. Cassie says:

    Hello Heather,

    Thank you for all the work you do on this lovely website! I read many of your posts via facebook. I had a question for you. I am 9 weeks pregnant and have started experiencing anxiety that has been keeping me up late in the night. I was wondering if you know of any pregnancy safe supplements and/or treatments. I know it’s best to avoid stress of any kind during pregnancy and so any information that you have would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks!

  31. Keesha Doss says:

    Where so I START?!?! :) No, literally, where should I start? :) I cannot stop reading article after article in your blog. Such a wealth of information! I’m actually starting to feel a little hopeful about my situation. Maybe. I’ve been beat down and discoiraged for so long. I cannot eat hardly anything BECAUSE I get a swollen throat almost instant burning red itchiness and blisters on ny hands. I’m so hungry… and Am in fear of eating. Every time I eat, I develop a new allergy. I’m starting to wonder if this will ever end. Sorry, but I have been discouraged for so long. It’s 3am and I’m up researching cuz a swelling throat and itchy blisters woke me cuz I ATE. (Sigh) I need serious help. I’ve been told by traditional drs that there’s nothing they can do and it is just something I’ll have to live with. A life on antihistamines, antibiotics and still miserable is NOT what I want. Now I am here. Can you pleas give me something to get me started? Books? Anything for hope? I.am.so.tired.of.fighting.this. I have tears running down my cheeks right now. so.tired. :( Physical pain/sickness 24-7 takes its toll! I’m sorry if I sound down, but I am so desperate. I’m ready to try anything. Even a lot of “natural remedies” I’ve tried… I have a severe allergic reaction to. Help. Please just at least give me hope and a few books to start out with.

    • E says:

      Hi Keesha,
      I’ve suffered with innumerable symptoms daily, inside and out, for over 5 years. I’ve had symptoms similar to those you mention, and just wanted to reply to your post bc the down, desperate feelings you’ve described, the late-night tears — I’ve existed like that for the past 5 years. I know where you are right now and feel for you, which is why I feel compelled to try to help.
      You’ve probably gotten feedback by now from people in-the-know, but just in case you haven’t: The best advice I can give you is to try to find an integrative practitioner — could be a holistic MD, an ND, or a chiropractor (who, random as it might seem, often have a wealth of knowledge and experience w/ food allergies, GI issues, and the interconnectedness of all our systems and symptoms). If you can start working w/ some sort of integrative practitioner, there are many great functional medicine tests they can use to home in on the cause(s) of your issues. For example, I, too, had a relentlessly painful sore throat (and burning mouth) 24/7, as well as terrible and scary reactions every single time I ate ANYTHING. It seemed I was literally allergic to the act of eating. Turns out my latest issues include an H. pylori infection (responsible for the throat/mouth pain as well as mucus caught in my throat/sinuses, trouble breathing while sleeping, etc) and leaky gut syndrome (hence, my ever-increasing allergic-to-everything issues), among some other things. If you’re wondering if H. pylori could be causing some of your symptoms, you could easily get tested for that through a regular doctor (usually a gastroenterologist) while you’re in the process of finding an integrative person to help you w/ treating it. FYI: it can be treated w/ herbal alternatives to antibiotics — that’s what I’m doing and it seems to be really helping so far.
      I’ve ping-ponged back and forth w/ many issues along my 5+ year struggle, and it’s not at all an easy road. But at least it’s a road…I didn’t even have that until I looked into integrative health options. Like I said, it’s not easy, but you will get to the bottom of it. In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes, a good integrative practitioner and some insightful diagnostic testing will definitely put you on the path to getting your life back.
      Trust me, I understand that just knowing that’s even possible (and it definitely is) is a wonderful small victory worthy of celebration and hope :)

  32. Samantha says:

    Heather, I have a topic to add to your list! Ionic foot baths. All the crunchy rage. Not supported by actual research. Debunk, please!

  33. Kayleigh says:

    Hi Heather! Just wondering if you have any doctor referrals (mainly an obgyn) in the Houston area. Thx!

  34. J says:

    Hi Heather,
    Do you have any natural remedies for pityriasis rosea? I have been diagnosed with this sort of rare skin rashes and the dermatologist said there are no treatment at all and what I can do is just wait for them to disappear. They are all over my legs :( Really hope you can help!

    • Kayleigh says:

      I left a comment a few days ago so this new comment came to my email… so random that I pityriasis rosea briefly when I was in high school! It lasted about two months and spread on my stomach and back, but then it did go away. I was also told to “wait it out” and that’s what I did.

  35. I love this! Good for you! It’s amazing how much you can change your life just by changing the way you eat and other day-to-day habits. You are a great inspiration, thanks for sharing. Love your blog!

  36. Bree says:

    I’m so happy I found your blog…I only wish I new about sooner! After having my daughter almost 1 year ago, I’ve had a reemergence of my autoimmune symptoms (as a result of stress/poor nutrition) and this is inspiration I need to get my health back to 100%. Thank you for sharing your story!

  37. Beverly says:

    Dear Heather, I follow Jill Winger at the prairie homestead and wanted your diy ebook after reading about it on her blog. So I purchased the bundle today from the Village Green Network. It downloaded on my Kindle but then I couldn’t find it and now it has disappeared. I was wondering if this has happened to any one else or if you have any suggestions. I was so excited and now so disappointed and frustrated. Thank you.

  38. Suzanne says:

    Is there any way to get your DIY Organic Beauty in a paperback copy?

  39. What a beautiful story! The website, as well as your pictures, look serene. You are inspiration to many and I hope more people will follow the road to health. Food is the primal source of our life, but people are so brainwashed these days that they don’t give a second thought to it and consume advertised toxic foods in excessive amounts.

  40. Katie says:

    Hey heather. This is katie Widmaier (ruthie’s mom) from classical conversations. I have been reading all of your blog posts and so throughly enjoying all your wisdom and recipes!! I have recently started my family on the gaps diet so those posts have been especially helpful. We are two weeks in and really struggling. I know you are crazy busy but if you ever have time to answer any questions through email I would love to hear your experience. Would also be super fun for ruthie to meet at a park!! If not, I totally understand! I really appreciate all you have put into this blog to help others walk through this difficult journey of healing. Thanks again, Katie
    Katiebwid@yahoo.com

  41. Lexi says:

    Hi heather!

    I know you are not a doctor, but I have been having digestive problems for several years. They have gotten way worse once I got pregnant and now my twins are 16 months old. I had a stool test done by my doc who practices integrative medicine. I was super low in digestive enzymes and had high strep bacteria and almost no acidophilus. I have had to severally restrict my diet due to one of my daughters allergies that she reacts to the foods I eat since I still breastfeed. Basically I eat some fruit, most vegetables, fish and olive oil. I would love to eat more variety but she gets extreme eczema when I eat anything she is sensitive to. I want to try to use a bunch of your recipes and such but it seems as any high protein item besides fish cause issues.

    I don’t know if u have any advice but I really don’t even know what to do. Or where to turn. My stomach is a mess most of the time and I have a myriad of other issues that I believe all relate. Super tired all the time!!!
    Thank u!
    Lexi

  42. Casey says:

    You are just precious! So is your family! I have read your blog for a while now. One post caught my attention, because you said, “y’all!” I use that word, but not many blogger I follow say it. I am from Louisiana, so naturally I would use it :0). You provide great information! Thank you! I too was a junk food junky! Even after being diagnosed with IC and Endometriosis I continued to eat terrible things. This year I was diagnosed with C.Diff and now I am on a healthy eating journey to heal my stinking gut ha. I really appreciate your blog!

  43. Elise says:

    It’s an amazing article for all the online viewers; they will take benefit from it I
    am sure.

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