life changer thursday: summer’s story

hello again! here comes another addition to our ‘life changer thursday’ routine! these first three posts have been about health and diet, however, starting next week, we will be branching into the fields of marriage/online dating, missionary work, faith, adoption, and much more!  thank you for all the feedback about these posts! it’s nice to know that people appreciate them :)

so here is summer’s story about taking control of her family’s health. she and her husband cory are the proud parents of ashur and tyson (whom you will see a LOT of on our blog…we love them…a LOT.), they are some of the most intentional, driven, and dedicated people we know. summer has been the single driving motivation and support behind the plerg health turnaround, and she creates most of the yummy recipes featured here. all of that to say, summ really knows what she’s talking about, and has done a ton of research into the world of natural food and medicine. nothing should be taken as a prescription (disclaimer here: we are not doctors…duh.) but the knowledge base of this girl is insane.

summer was nice enough to mention too, if you have any follow up questions for her, please leave them in the comment section of this post or email me directly, and she will respond to those as well.

enjoy! learn! and happy almost weekend!

summer’s story:

First of all, I want to say thank you to Leah for her enormous heart, and her desire to educate others on all things health, relationships, and just plain old life stuff. You are leaving your mark on this world, and for that I thank you.
With that being said…when Leah asked me to write this blog I had no idea it would be so hard…I have written and deleted my opening line to this thing four times now, and I’m kinda irritated with myself for trying to be so formal and “blog savvy” as I write this.  So screw it.  I am going to write as the thoughts sound in my head, and hopefully you all will learn something along the way.
My husband and I have been married for 6 years and have two beautiful boys.  Ashur, our 3 year old, and Tyson, our 2 year old are the reason I am sitting down writing this blog to you today.
Two years ago I had taken Ashur to his one year appointment. It was just a regular old check up, but it actually ended up being a life changing appointment for our family.  I remember very clearly leaving the doctor’s office feeling frustrated, hopeless, and very defeated.  When I had asked her about preventative care for the common sicknesses most kids experience throughout the year she said…and I quote, “these next few years you will be sick more than you ever have, and Ashur will too, and that is just part of the process of kids growing up in this stage of life.”  Well there you have it.  Don’t bother preventing your kids from getting sick because…well…you just can’t.
To make a long story short I simply did not accept that my family was going to be sick all the time during this stage of growing our family.  One thing you need to know about me…I am extremely passionate about food and the effects, both positive and negative, it has on not only us as humans but on the planet as a whole. (I have been a plant based eater for over 5 years now along with my husband.)  What I have found through years of research is that we can, in fact, prevent and even reverse sickness altogether.  To get there initially sounded, quite honestly, like a lot of work…but I would argue, so is taking care of a family that is sick all the time! It all seemed too good to be true, but what I discovered has changed my family’s life.
My oldest son Ashur just turned 3 in September and has never been sick.  Let me say that again….he is 3 and has NEVER BEEN SICK.  He has been exposed to every sickness that goes around, and regularly attends day care at the gym, preschool, nursery at our church and lots and lots of play dates.  Our second son Tyson who will be 2 in January, was hospitalized at 2 months of age with a severe fever and an infection that kept us in the hospital for 4 days.  However at that age sickness like that is not something we could have prevented with diet, as he had not started solid food yet.  Since then he has yet to be sick.  I say all this to give mothers out there hope that through discipline, consistency, and the right tools, we can take control of our families health.
I will give you a few examples of things we have done in our kids’ diet that I believe deserve all the credit to their health.  Number one…eating whole, plant based foods.  Number two…my boys never ever get sugar outside of fruit.  Number three, know what foods and supplements are preventative to specific illnesses and incorporate those into their diet at the appropriate time…for example, during the fall when sicknesses start to emerge I increase the boys vitamin D dosage as well as adding coconut oil to their diet for its antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties (coconut oil is a huge part of their regular, daily diet as well).  When the stomach flu is going around I give them “Braggs”organic apple cider vinegar (it is important that the label reads “with the mother”) to increase their stomach acid therefore enabling them to kill off a virus before they get sick.  We also give our boys a probiotic regularly to build up the good bacteria in their gut, as well as a multi mineral/multivitamin daily.  These are just a few of the things we do, but from my experience they are the “big ones”.  I will quickly add that brand names and the manufacturing companies I listed above matter greatly, so do your research!
Here’s the deal: My kids eat food off the floor in public places, they share sippy cups with friends, and outside of bath times their hands never get washed…my point is…I am not a ‘germaphobe’ or paranoid about my kids getting germs from others…I simply believe that our kids can be exposed to sicknesses and not get sick due to our diet and supplemental support. ( I am not a doctor, and it is important to know and understand what, why, and how much you are giving your children.) But be your own advocate! Trust your instincts as a mother and see where it leads you! This is one path, but I believe there are many ways to end up with the same result.
Honestly, I could keep writing about this topic but I promised Leah I’d keep it brief;)
Good luck and know that I am rooting for you!


  1. Anonymous says

    What an amazing story! I would LOVE to meet his woman. Her drive and passion is so contagious! I have a MILLION questions for her!!!! Thank you so much for posting this!

  2. Eleanor says

    Summer! Great post! Of course I have a few questions for you… Do YOU take anything to combat illnesses? How do you give Braggs V to your little cuties?


    • Anonymous says

      Hi Eleanor! Great questions:) I do take several things to prevent/combat illnesses. Raw garlic being on the top of my list to fight off anything from the common cold to a sinus infection. It is known as natures antibiotic and I have found that to be tested and true in my personal life. It has both antiviral and antibacterial properties along with many other properties that encourage immune health. It is important to know that when taking raw garlic the most effective way to do so is by crushing it and letting it set for 10-15 minutes to release the enzyme components necessary to kill off the virus or bacteria. I will typically do two cloves in the morning, afternoon and evening depending on how strongly I feel like I am fighting something. You can take too much garlic however which will result in a very intense kill off leaving you feeling shaky and sick to your stomach. That is actually a positive reaction because that means it is detoxifying your body but it is not necessary to take that much garlic to achieve the same health benefits. When that happened to me I had taken 13 cloves in one day…moderation is not one of my strong points:) I put the crushed garlic on a spoon and chase it down with some water…it’s really not that bad. I take a probiotic daily as well as the Garden of Life Raw Meal protein powder that contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals I need ( its is also gluten free, vegan, soy free). I take vitamin D (mycelized/liquid) during the winter months at the recommended dosage but if I feel like I am fighting something I will significantly increase the dosage. Vitamin D is huge for equipping the body to fight off illnesses. I drink ginger tea every single day during the winter and when fighting something off I make a soup made of veggie broth, raw ginger, green onions and raw garlic. This soup is incredible both in its ability to fight off illnesses through sweating it out and also in flavor…it is delicious and easy to make! I do coconut oil, local, raw honey and cinnamon to fight off a sore throat and it is all things effective, soothing, and tasty! I have tried a ton of different methods and these are my “go to’s” that I have found to be the most effective! I hope this was helpful! Sorry for the length.


    • Anonymous says

      Hey Eleanor! I forgot to mention that I give my boys the Braggs vinegar via a dropper…I usually give them 2-4 droppers full! I take the vinegar as well but I slam about a shots worth…its going to burn and taste awful but I swear by it.

  3. Bethany says

    Hey Summer and Leah! I miss you guys! This was such a great post. I have fallen off the bandwagon as far as a healthy lifestyle (my GF DF EF diet) since having Nia and have felt awful, been sick a bunch, plus have gained a ton of weight. There have been a ton of stressors this past year, but I can’t make excuses and need to get back on track. As a busy mom, I find myself gravitated towards the easy foods I can grab on the go, but need ideas for easy healthy foods and meals for breakfast and during the day. Nia eats super healthy, but I want to start supplementing her diet with a multivitamin and probiotic (she is 1 year), so can you give me the brands and supplies you use for the stuff you give your boys? Thank you so much! This post was so encouraging and motivating. Love you guys!

    • Anonymous says

      Hey Bethany! Great to hear from you! Sounds like you’ve had a ton going on this past year…adjusting to being a mom is a lot….A LOT! I am very thankful for my community of family and friends to encourage, support and keep me moving forward everyday cuz it sure aint easy. If you would like to send me your email (since I am not on fb) I would love to keep in touch with you and I would be able to answer questions more in depth and be of some support and encouragement to you! It takes a village!!! So for the kids multivitamin/mineral I give them Nature’s Plus Animal Parade 180 ct. It is gluten free, vegetarian and is sweetened only with fruit juice. You will notice that there is not much calcium in them so if you choose to supplement that for your daughter than you may need to find a calcium supplement. A quick word on that…I do not supplement calcium for my boys, newer research is showing that if you do not have a diet high in acidic foods (dairy, most meats, sugar, caffeine) then your body will not be depleting itself of calcium therefore no supplement is needed. I do make sure they eat plenty of greens and there is 45% of the daily value in the Almond milk I give them. Do whatever you feel comfortable with as a mom and trust your instincts! The probiotic I take is by Metagenics (which I believe to be the best brand for supplements on the market) and is called UltraFlora Spectrum 30 ct. I break open a capsule and mix it in with some homemade pb and give them a spoonful a couple times a week…more when it’s the flu season or if they seem to be fighting something. Metagenics also does a mycelized vitamn D that is amazing! I can give you some tips on quick snacks via email as this is already pretty lengthy! I will sum it up in two words though…MEAL PREP….it has totally changed my life! I hope this was helpful! I am proud of you for taking the first step towards becoming a healthier you! It’s a lifetime commitment but it is so worth it and it is such a beautiful gift to give to your daughter!



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