Do Your Vitamins Contain Folate or Folic Acid? And Why Does it Matter?

Do Your Vitamins Contain Folate or Folic Acid? And Why Does it Matter?

The one “vitamin” thing I remember most, way back in my pregnancy days, was that there was a great deal of fervor over making sure you were taking plenty of folic acid. Folic acid is essential to warding off birth defects and maintaining you baby’s brain and spinal cord health. Well, in the last decade or so, there is now new fervor saying that too much folic acid in the diet could be causing autism in babies.

If I have learned one thing over the last 30 years in regards to health and wellness trends is that reasonable truth lies somewhere between extremes.

I was completely clueless in my first years of pregnancy and “child rearing,” and I do mean clueless. Proof of this is that I was feeding my 7-week-old, second born son, raspberry sherbet right from the carton with my finger, in the grocery check out line because he was crying…and I wondered why the people all around me were staring at us…couldn’t they see I just wanted to do something to keep him from crying???

And I may have forgotten to take my pre-natal vitamins during my third pregnancy, but I didn’t forget to get Taco Bell and then pick up a chocolate cake from the grocery store.

Here are those sons today:

I am so thankful our bodies can handle our stupidity and ignorance for at least a season.tongue-out

You can do a quick google search and have millions of articles at your fingertips on the subject of folic acid and MTFHR (No, not a swear word), so I am not going to go into great depth here. My goal is just to bring this into your sphere of awareness so as you can make an informed decision on your health needs. If you are in your child-bearing years, this is an issue you will particularly want to take note of – and an aging adult.

So here is what I would consider the basics of the folic acid/folate matter:

Folate is one of the B-vitamins and is needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA. Its name is derived from the Latin word “folium,” which means leaf. In fact, leafy vegetables are among the best dietary sources of folate.

Adequate folate intake is extremely important during periods of rapid growth such as pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. It is also beneficial in treating mood disorders. It has also shown to be effective to improve cognitive function, memory and help alleiviate depression in aging adults.

Folic acid, is a synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as pteroylmonoglutamic acid. It is what is used in most vitamins, and many processed foods. The problem is that many of us (estimated 1 in 4) have a MTHFR variant which causes us NOT to be able convert folic acid to methylfolate. MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It is an enzyme that activates and regulates folate metabolism in the body. This genetic variant can lead to a possible folate deficiency in the body. In addition, unmetabolized folic acid has also been linked to poor immune function and a variety of other health conditions.

So yes, folate/B9 is important to have in your diet! BUT you want to consider the source of where you are getting it from.

So for optimal health the best recommendation, as always, is to try to eat adequate (note: NOT excessive) amounts of foods that contain naturally occurring folate.

Folate is naturally present in:

  • Beef liver
  • Vegetables (especially asparagus, brussels sprouts, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and mustard greens)
  • Fruits and fruit juices (especially oranges and orange juice)
  • Nuts, beans, and peas (such as peanuts, black-eyed peas, and kidney beans
Because most of us don’t know if we have a MTHFR mutation variant, it may be best to avoid vitamin supplements that contain folic acid and look for ones that contain Folate or L-Methylfolate/L-5MTHF.
Here is the mulitivitamin I use. When purchasing any muli-vitamin, or stand alone supplement,  look for folate as L-5-MTHF.
Trisch’s Tips

Trisch’s Tips

Forti-fy team member, Trisch has studied health and fitness for many years. She is also a certified T-Tapp trainer. Her daughter recently got engaged, so Trisch is getting herself ready for the upcoming wedding!


She recently shared some great tips on setting REALISTIC goals – ones that you can choose to be encouraged by!

Check it out here.


Last year, I started 2019 with a 3-day food fast.  On the second day of that fast, somehow I came across this 40 day sugar fast. I have no idea how, it must have shown up in my Facebook feed.  Anyway, although my regular eating habits include lots of good healthy food – my one weakness has always been sweets – yep – even those dye colored, sugar laden candies that contain all that stuff that I know doesn’t help my body one bit, but my taste buds love!

I had never heard of Wendy Speake, the mom of 3 boys, who facilitates the fast, however I really enjoyed her down-to-earth approach and love for the word of God.  She would do Facebook live videos in their camper, and sometimes in the middle of them her boys would be knocking on the door asking if they could watch a movie because the had finished their work.wink

I will tell you that it was during this fast that I spent a considerable amount of time in prayer for my family. And it was during this time that, as weird as it may sound to some, looking back, I really felt that God prepared me for the events that happened just a few weeks after the fast ended – specifically my son, Kyle’s, sudden death in a helicopter crash.  Now, I do not wish to scare you into NOT doing the fast for fear that something awful might happen. But rather, to show that God is intensely interested in drawing us very close to Himself and comforting us with his very intimate love for us. He knows everything about us, and His word shows us His profound love for us.

I am posting several resources here for you to check it out if you are interested in joining the fast.  This is Wendy’s 6th year doing the fast. She recently wrote the book “40 Day Sugar Fast” that she will be using as the basis for the  fast. As Wendy rightly points out, the emphasis is not on the fasting but on the feasting. “We are hungry people and we will always spend our lives “digesting something” to get us through.” Your comfort food may not be sugar, or even food, but whatever your “go to” vice is, I would encourage you to look to the ultimate comforter.

Here is the link to sign up for the fast and get more information:

Here is the link for the Facebook Group Page:

Here is the link for her new book:

Here is a link to one of my favorite podcasts – Java with Juli. I am currently working on another post about this podcast, but for now here is Juli’s interview with Wendy where they talk about the upcoming fast.

I will also be asking Donna to share some of her eating lifestyles resources that would be helpful in providing tips for controlling cravings.

For those women in the area that might consider doing the fast, perhaps when it is finished we could get together for a time of fellowship!

The Perfect Gift for Family, Friends and Pets!

The Perfect Gift for Family, Friends and Pets!

Do you love to give and receive REALLY useful gifts?

Then you will love my friend Susan’s homemade Sage Berry Soaps, Salves, Whipped Body Butters, Lotion Bars and Lip Balms! Susan makes all of these by hand and she is one of those very “natural” people, so you know you will never find “junk” in any of her products!

If you have kids or pets, you NEED the ultimate

Sage Berry Herbal Salve!

We have used Susan’s Herbal Salve for years – on EVERYTHING! Cuts, scrapes, deep gashes, dry skin, insect bites – you name it  – that includes on cows, horses, pigs, dogs and cats!!!! (Although, use on animals is just what we do – not sure if that was Susan’s intent!) We just wipe off the affected area with a little tea tree oil and then apply Sage Berry Salve.  Always. On Everything.  And we’ve been doing that for a lot of years with a lot of kids – and a lot of animals!

Many years ago I stopped buying store bought triple antibiotic ointment and replaced it with this  salve. When you look at the ingredient list in this powerful medicinal salve, you will see it is a POWER HOUSE chock-full of healing properties – comfrey, plantain, yarrow root, lavender, rosemary, tea tree – – it would take me pages to list all numerous benefits of all these herbs and oils! These are all known for healing damaged tissues, helping external wounds, minimize the risk of infection, killing bacteria, activating blood platelets to form protective layer of skin, reducing pain and inflammation, increase cell growth causing the wound to heal faster, decrease the appearance of scars, anti-septic, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal action!


Herbal Salve:

  • 1 ounce – $6.00
  • 2 ounce – $9.00
  • 4 ounce – $13.00
Herbal Salve


  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Beeswax
  • Comfrey leaf
  • Plantain leaf
  • Yarrow leaf
  • Echinacea roots & tops
  • Lavender flowers
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Tea Tree essential oil
  • Rosemary oil extract
This aromatic salve is made by infusing the herbs in a base of olive and coconut oils. After straining out the herbs, beeswax is added to provide a more solid texture. Lastly, I combine it with essential oils and rosemary oil extract (to help prevent rancidity in the coconut and olive oils). This is a favorite for families with many active children, who also share living space with mosquitoes ☺.

And I just love the fragrances of the Sage Berry Natural Soaps.

Eighteen scents to choose from!

Some of the oils used in soapmaking: Olive, palm, coconut, palm kernel, shea butter, beeswax, avocado, jojoba.

Current Soap Scents: ($3.75 each + tax, unless indicated otherwise)

  • Blueberry Butter
  • Lemon Sweet Tea
  • Spring Lilac
  • Pumpkin Spice – $4.00
  • Peach
  • Vanilla Spice
  • Lavender Mint
  • Cracklin’ Birch (masculine)
  • Fruit Medley
  • Japanese Cherry Blossom
  • Flower Shoppe
  • Spice
  • Peppermint Lime
  • Lingonberry Spice
  • Lavender Fir
  • Raspberry Truffle
  • Pink Peony
  • Pink Gardenia

And then there are the luscious Sage Berry Whipped Body Butters!

Dry winter skin motivated Susan to try this “whipped body butter” that she’d read about. The texture is reminiscent of marshmallow cream.She generally does not use it on hands  during the day because it is somewhat greasy – it’s not a lightweight lotion. But highly recommends this as being great for legs and body after a shower or before bed!

  • Mango butter
  • Avocado butter
  • Fractionated coconut oil (MCT oil)
  • Vitamin E
  • Fragrance – combination of essential oils & fragrance oils
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Jasmine Green Tea
  • Lavender Mint
  • Peach
  • Peppermint
  • Vanilla Mint
  • Vanilla Spice
Whipped Body Butter: 1.75 oz of whipped body butter in a plastic tub ($7.00 each + tax)

Please give 5 – 7 days advance notice, as these are made to order.

And Don’t Forget the

Lip Balms and Lotion and Salt Bars!

Lip Balm


  • Lanolin
  • Jojoba oil
  • Beeswax
  • Castor oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Vitamin E
Lip Balm Flavors:  

($2.00 each + tax)

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Vanilla Mint

Lotion Bars:

1.3 oz of solid lotion in a tin ($4.00 each + tax)

Please give 5 – 7 days advance notice, as these are made to order.

  • Cracklin’ Birch
  • Fruit Medley
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Jasmine Green Tea
  • Lilac

Salt Bars:

Coming in 2020

            These are bars of soap with a large portion of salt added to the soap batter just before pouring into the mold. The final bar is smooth and hard and does not turn to mush in the soap dish. The lather is creamy. I always keep one of these at the bathroom sink.

A little history on how Susan got started:

In the mid 1990’s I read an article in Country Woman magazine about a woman who made and sold soap. That idea so intrigued me that I immediately searched the library for any books on soap making. I found two, at the most. Nevertheless, I plunged right in after reading all I could find. I was so excited when my first bars actually lathered – real soap!

I kept right on learning, experimenting, and having mostly successes. I gradually found more resources in book form, and then, exponentially, on the internet. Now, there is an abundance of information in books and online for any level of soap maker.

There was no way that we could use up all the soap I made. Friends and family could only be gifted so much soap. So, I began selling. I expanded to lip balms, salve, and other products as I learned new things.

I thoroughly enjoy learning about soap and other personal care products. I make various products for my family that I do not offer for sale. It would not be unusual for me to walk around to family members with a batch of soap in hand, saying, “Smell, smell.” ☺ I’m happy when they like my products and ask me to make something to meet a particular need.”

Order Now!

To order any of these delightfully wonderful products, contact Susan at:

Email:  Phone:260-579-3153

The information on Sage Berry Soap products has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.

With the cost of health insurance premiums continuing to escalate, and deductibles continuing on an upward trajectory,  many people are looking to health sharing plans as an alternative option. However, often there is some lingering skepticism as to wondering if they really work.

What is a health-sharing plan? Typically they are faith-based programs where members share medical expenses in accordance with the program guidelines. The basic premise is that people “share one another’s burdens.”

I cannot speak for all health sharing plans, but I can share our experience with Samaritan Ministries.

We have been members of Samaritan for over 15 years. During that time, we have had some pretty serious medical issues, including shoulder, knee, and tonsil surgeries, mri’s, broken bones and trips to the emergency room. Enormous bills were incurred when we walked through Autumn’s seizures.

And you know what?

Every single cost was covered! And over 15 years, that has probably been close to one-half a million dollars in bills that have been paid.

You can read about our story with Autumn, here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me!


Trisch’s Transformation

Trisch’s Transformation

Have you ever heard the expression:

“A faith that has not been tested, cannot be trusted.”?

Have you ever been in the presence of a person whose faith has been so profoundly tested, that they seem to live in a state of continual trust of God’s mercy and faithfulness, at all times?

Forti-fy team member Trisch Richardson is just such a person! Trisch has known the heartbreaking sorrow of burying an infant son, came close to losing her husband in an accident that occurred just weeks before she gave birth to her 8th child,  and has walked through numerous health challenges, both with herself and her children. She is a woman immersed in the word of God, trusts in His faithfulness continually, and is simply a delight to be around, as she always has an encouraging word to share!

Today Trisch shares her health journey starting way back to when she was one of those girls we all envied in high school – you know—the one who could eat anything without gaining an ounce – – even when she was in France for her junior year abroad in college, eating generous amount of French pastries, her friends would joke that she could never join the “fat thighs” club. Then……fast forward 26 years and 9 kids later, she felt that she could be president of the club!

My struggle with being overweight and tired escalated after my husband’s serious accident right before our 8th child was born in October 2004…..Then my dad’s mental decline and concerns for my mom’s health……along with a c-section for our 9th in October 2006….. resulted in major hormonal imbalances that made it impossible to lose anything. I was a size 22W and lost hope that I would ever lose the weight.

At that point a friend shared with me an exercise program she was doing, In spite of not being really athletic or “loving” exercise, I started it and actually saw progress for the first time! After losing several sizes, I was ready to address my eating.

In our quest for better health, some of us address eating first while others come through the exercise door. I was the latter. With the brain fog and a big family, it was too overwhelming to overhaul our eating. As the fog cleared and I had more energy, I researched and tackled healing gut issues in our family with the GAPS diet (Gut And Psychology Syndrome-read here).

It is low-carb, taking out all grains and starchy veggies, and the Intro phase is brutal! But we powered through it, got over the “carb-detox” phase and after 6 weeks, we were all feeling better. I had two daughters specifically whose issues were the worst, and it was wonderful to see many of those clear up! We had set a goal to do the strict portion of the diet for 6 months and then transition off, depending how we were all doing.

During this time I was also training to be a T-Tapp trainer, and in hindsight my body was giving me clues that I was ignoring. I know “low-carb” is very prevalent today and many have found great help in doing the various low-carb eating plans out there. I did too, for a time. What I now know is that I needed more carbs, but I was feeling “so good” at that time I was actually afraid of losing my good health. And, unfortunately, since I ignored my body’s signs, I did just that!

During my trainer certifications I was soooo tanked—I chalked it up to the stress of certifying, traveling to get there, preparations, etc. Thankfully I didn’t go into a full-blown adrenal crash! I deal with hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue along with low ferritin, and have had times where I needed 3 naps a day just to function! I was grateful that at that time I didn’t go that far…but I still set myself back in the fatigue department. I had gotten down to a size 4 which was TOO small for me! In fact, I don’t like my “trainer picture” because of that, and I can tell by looking at my eyes that I was not well.

As we transitioned off of GAPS, I tried to keep important elements of it going—bone-based broth, good fats and fermented foods. I had figured out what had happened and tried to keep “good carbs” in my eating plan as well. I gained a few sizes back and felt better.

A few months later I developed a mysterious condition where I would be violently nauseous and sick every few months. During that time I realized that I was getting too focused on the fat-carb-protein ratio and needed to take a break totally from focusing on eating. My mother had an undiagnosed eating disorder—to the point that she only weighed 68 pounds when my dad died! While I love to eat 🙂 and didn’t think that would be a temptation, I realized the obsessive focus on “eating healthy” was just as serious.

I still made and drank bone broth and ate good fats, but I quit focusing on the ratios and just tried to make good choices without overthinking it. I definitely was an emotional eater (and sometimes still struggle). God was working on me at a much deeper level, and I needed to let that healing take place first.

In 2016 menopause was looming but I felt I was in a good place, starting to make good, healthy choices and being consistent with exercise, when my husband unexpectedly needed open heart surgery–on my birthday, no less! That pushed me over the edge and between the hormonal changes, stress, transitions with children leaving home, I ballooned up 3 sizes. I was still not a 22W—thankfully! But I struggled to get back on track with eating.

This spring I started working with a fellow T-Tapp Trainer who is also a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. I had mentored her for T-Tapp—now it was her turn to “mentor” me with the eating! 🙂 I told her I needed baby steps—no cold turkey like with GAPS. I couldn’t afford to crash my adrenals again! Her mom deals with thyroid issues, too, and has had great success, so I knew she would understand my needs as well. She doesn’t use a “one-size fits all” approach—which I appreciate!

For years my kids did the cooking, and to be honest, the thought of trying to figure out healthy meals that would work for a still-somewhat-big-family (7-9 people at home) overwhelmed me. Then my practitioner told me about a WONDERFUL resource in Cassy Joy Garcia’s website Fed and Fit.

I tried some of her free recipes on her website and was sold! I bought her cookbook “Cook Once, Eat All Week”and now I LOVE cooking! I love trying new vegetables and ways to cook them. The meals are flavorful, healthy and don’t use expensive, weird or hard-to-find ingredients, either. My kids love it when it’s “my turn” to cook—and I do too!

Cassy does have more Paleo recipes on her blog, but this cookbook is not 100% Paleo, although she shares tips to make it so if you wish. All recipes are gluten free. I don’t really follow one strict “eating plan”–just wholesome foods prepared well! I try to rough guess to make sure I’m getting enough good fats and carbs along with protein, but I don’t obsess about it anymore.

It’s a slow process—dealing with hormonal changes, stress and transitions in family sometimes send me to the chocolate aisle! But I pick myself up, get back into the Word and worship, get back on track and keep moving!

T-Tapp and Cassy Garcia’s cookbook have revolutionized my life! I never thought I would enjoy cooking healthy this much!

I realized just how much things were changing when I saw these pictures side-by-side! The one on the right was taken February 2019 and the one on the left was 6 months later in August 2019. No size loss, no pound loss, minimal inch loss—yet I look better because things reshaped and I can tell the inflammation is down in my face and body! A picture truly is worth 1000 words!

If I had to give a label to the way I eat, I would call it gentle changes or “Small Steps to Success”. As you make one good change and it becomes a habit, you can add another. I found this doable, and it sticks. It’s much easier to get back on track when life gets busy or throws you a curve ball. For those who find overhauling everything at once or planning meals daunting, check out Cook Once Eat All Week  by Cassy Joy Garcia. It might just revolutionize your eating, too—and make cooking healthy FUN!

Editor’s note: Make sure you check back next week when Trisch shares how her T-Tapp journey lead her to become a Master T-Tapp Trainer and landed her being featured in a major women’s magazine!

You can check out Trisch’s webiste here: