Back to School

Back To School.png

Are your little ones back into the swing of things yet with class and schedules? It can be really overwhelming and take some time to really process it all and create healthy consistency.

Going back to school can bring up a lot of things. Emotional health –> such as fear, sadness, excitement, worry, etc. or also physical health –> such as germs, sniffles, sickness, and weakened immune systems.

So what can a family do to help be prepared and ready for the emotional and physical wellbeing of their littles? Check out  a few of our favorite products for your family to maintain healthy bodies and happy days!

NSP probiotic kids

Sunshine Heroes Probiotic Power – This is a powerful source of healthy probiotics to encourage that MUCH needed gut health for your little ones to help boost their immune system. The healthier the immune system, the less likely our bodies are to fall susceptible to illness.

NSP calcium plus.jpg

Sunshine Heroes Calcium Plus D3 – Not only does this incredible supplement help support your child’s structural system, but the D3 has been known to be an excellent immunity booster to help keep those sniffles and aches at bay.

cereal-1444495_1920.jpg

Sugar – This sneaky ingredient takes all shapes, forms, and names, and is one of the biggest dangers to your littles and your family’s health. Instead of filling your child up with sugary foods such as cereal, processed granola bars, candy, chicken nuggets, fruit cups, bread, etc. try replacing with:

  • veggies and hummus
  • meat and cheese
  • fresh fruit
  • lettuce wraps
  • yogurt and homemade granola
  • etc.

Remember, sometimes “health food” isn’t actually very healthy. Read labels, research what different ingredients are if you do not know them, and trust you gut 🙂

IMG_8625

Valor Essential Oil – “Valor promotes a sense of calm and confidence. Add a drop to the fissure jewelry, hair ties, or simple bracelets for an easy way to diffuse at school.” -Tanya Weeks

img_8626.jpg

Thieves Essential Oil – “Kids pass around all sorts of yuck at school! Diffusing Thieves at bedtime is a great way to boost immunity while sleeping.” – Tanya Weeks

For more info on Young Living Essential Oils, contact Tanya Weeks at www.myyL.com/tweeks or check her out on Facebook!

What are some of YOUR favorite resources and tips that help keep your family healthy and happy? 

Advertisements

Gluten-free Carrot Cake Muffins

thomas-gamstaetter-130746

Did you know that carrots are good for more than just eye health? 

Benefits of Carrots

Want to know my favorite way to eat carrots? Besides salads and with hummus? Muffins! Oh ya’ll, there are few things better than a fluffy, hot, carrot muffin, completely covered in the melty goodness of grass-fed butter. However, sweets are generally drowning in sugar, gluten, and all things inflammatory. These yummy muffins are refined sugar-free & gluten-free! P.S. If you need a dairy-free option, replace the butter with coconut oil.

Green Leaves Illustration General Recipe Card

Southern Gluten-Free Biscuits

A few months ago, I abandoned all gluten. I avoided this change until it became ABSOLUTELY necessary. Diets tend to become fads. Gluten-free-ness is no different. Initially, my goal was to find out if I had an intolerance. My body was feeling sluggish and I was struggling from digestive issues. So, I decide to dump the gluten for a month. It was a hard decision. Bread is basically sent to us from heaven and if joy, happiness, and all things beautiful, were in the form of food, bread would be it ya’ll.

So here I am, 4 months later and still no gluten. That first month I filled my unhealthy “need” for the fluffy, oh-so-delicious gluten with corn and rice. Yep. I ate corn tortillas and eggs every morning, and most evening had chicken and rice. I slowly started to realize though, both those things weren’t making me feel so hot either. While many of my digestion concerns and sluggishness diminished considerably after removing the most delicious gluten, there was still a concern there. So the next month or two I worked on cutting out the rice and corn too, and most all other grains.

IMG_8315Now, when I consume most corn products and gluten, my body reacts almost instantly. So, now for the adventure of finding “bready” gluten free foods 😉 Can I get an amen?

Something you may not know about me? I’m a southern girl. Through and through. Born and raised in Texas, with potlucks, sweet tea, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy……mmmmm…hungry yet? Anywho, biscuits are my comfort food. Biscuits and jam, biscuits and gravy, biscuits and ham, biscuits and eggs, biscuits and butter, biscuits and…..well you get the idea. So a couple of weeks ago I tackled the task of finding a southern biscuit recipe for those “I gotta have one” moments.

I’ve tested ones here and there, but I always come across the same issue. Everything tends to taste so eggy. While there is nothing wrong with eggy, it’s not the most welcome flavor in bready foods. Well ya’ll, I finally found a winner!

So here, I share with you, my new favorite gluten-free/sugar free southern biscuit recipe:

Teal and Cream with Breakfast General Recipe Card.png

Bon appetit!

Iridology: The storyteller of our body

bekah-russom-231864.jpg

Did any of you grow up reading Encyclopedia Brown? Those old, thin books, that started in the 60’s, where you followed the life of a young boy who would solve neighborhood “crimes”? At the end of each chapter, you were asked to solve the crime yourself, using the clues and tips throughout the chapter. All of the answers were at the very back of the book to check your work. I couldn’t get enough of them! I loved being on the edge of my seat, transported into an interactive story, reading between the lines, and being my own detective.

Our bodies are our VERY own detective story. They are filled with clues and hints, constantly dropping tips about what’s going on. We get to read between the lines and connect the dots to put all those clues together to discover the story that our body is sharing with us. Our eyes happen to be one of the storytellers of our bodies and they share beautiful and deep insight.

The What

dung-anh-64706.jpg

Iridology: Iris examination to identify weakness and potential health concerns in the body.

Iridology is the story of our body. Each chapter can be vastly different than the first, with twists & turns and surprises you may not be anticipating. Our eyes can tell us of any weakness, but also the strength and healing going on inside our unique and incredible body system. Your left eye will reveal what is going on inside the left part of your body, and the right eye will reveal what is going on inside the right part of your body.

Do you ever feel tired and weak and in pain, and you KNOW that something is just not right, but you can’t figure out what is going on? I’ve had this happen time and time again with clients. They will sit down, frustrated, broken, and just aching to be heard and taken seriously. They don’t feel well but cannot seem to find answers that point to a real solution. Iridology is a wonderful tool and is absolutely one of my favorite ways to help identify health concerns in my clients.

The How

soroush-karimi-267323.jpg

Iridology is a non-invasive process that each practitioner does it a little differently. I will explain my process. When I meet with a client, I take a very up-close picture of both the left eye and the right eye, and make sure I can see as many details in that picture as possible. I will then take about 2 days to really study them both, using graphs, charts, research, and resources, to come to a final educated conclusion with their results. Each client will receive these results along with supplement and nutrition recommendations to help provide healing.

I hope that you embrace the ocean of beauty and mystery in the human body. And that you begin to explore what your body may be trying to tell you!

If you’re wondering what your eyes may be trying to tell you about your health, and if you are interested in an Iridology Exam for yourself, contact us

never fade (1)

Sunscreen: Safe or Toxic?

janko-ferlic-187787

It’s almost June! And we all know what JUNE means….sandy toes, lightning bugs, sweet tea, and sun hugs. But, June also means hours outside, which can result in dreaded sunburns and skin damage.

So the general and socially acceptable “fix”? Slather up in sunscreen and hope for the best! But do you know how many harmful chemicals are just bubbling inside that bright, fun, colorful tube that screams “SUMMER IS HERE!!”?? Do you know how many toxins we are smearing all over our bodies? Let’s find out!

The Facts Behind Sunscreen: 

The Environmental Working Group tested 880 sunscreens, 480 moisturizers, and 120 lip products containing SPF. In this test, they found that nearly 75% of all the products they examined contain “inferior” or “worrisome” ingredients. Such as “ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin.”

The Truth Behind SPF: 

Don’t let that higher SPF catch you off-guard. While, in and of itself, higher SPF is not known to have more chemicals or toxins than lower SPF sunscreens, it often leads to a higher level of “bravery”. Generally, people tend to apply LESS sunscreen with higher SPF and stay in the sun longer. This can result in a number of harsh issues to our skin and bodies.

sai-kiran-anagani-209542

So What Products ARE Safe? 

Sifting through every bottle and squinting through every list of ingredients is not only tedious, but, in the words of one of my favorite human’s, Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”. So let’s make it easy!

  • The EWG posted their top 19 choices for the least toxic options for you and your littles! For their entire list of recommendations for littles, click HERE! For their list of other sunscreen recommendations, click HERE!
  • If you are interested in making your OWN sunscreen, but aren’t sure how to about that, Dr. Axe’s recipe may be a great option for you! For his homemade sunscreen recipe, click HERE!

Hopefully this gives you some really tangible and easy solutions so that you are prepared and ready to face the summer without fear or hesitations.

Happy Sunning!

claude-piche-205364

 

 

What’s a girl to do when she doesn’t like health food?

Pottstown Weekend Market (1).png

I have never ever considered myself a picky eater. I will eat basically whatever is put in front of me (within reason of course). But let me tell you……I don’t like healthy food. There. I have said it. I don’t like eating raw vegetables and I never have. Kale is gross. Bell peppers taste like ear wax. And try as I might, I really really hate cauliflower. Fruit is less hateful, but still limited. I can eat Watermelon allllll day long. But give me anything else and I’ll love it for a day or two and then give up.

I don’t like eggs very much without a tortilla or bread. Protein shakes are grainy and the thought of drinking my meal usually grosses me out. I have had quinoa in all different ways, and even mixed with brown rice and it’s still a weird texture and nasty.

I have heard many talk about changing your taste buds and that if you eat it for long enough, you will eventually like it……because that sounds totally appealing…..

This is by no means my way of saying ‘be gone with ALL the healthy food!’, but instead my way of being realistic. I love food. I love how food brings people together. I love how food teaches about other cultures. I love how food can show a person’s giving and hospitable heart. I love how food is an adventure and there is a never ending supply of new things to try. I love cooking and trying new recipes. Food is an art form and can be used in so many different ways. Food can be a form of love, it can be a form of bonding, it can bring someone out of their shell, it can provide confidence, it can be healing.

So, how am I supposed to limit my passion for food to some “diet”? We get one life. In that one life, I intend to live it to the best of my ability. For me personally, that does not mean eliminating everything unless it is no less than 100% healthy. It does mean researching what is better though! Instead of wheat flour, I find heirloom, organic, non GMO flour and stick to making my bread products myself. Instead of fries, I make jicama fries. Instead of sugar, use raw honey or maple syrup (make sure to research the kind you get though). For dairy, find as many raw products as you can. Etc : )

So what’s a person to do when they have allergies, pickiness, or a true dislike for all things “healthy”?

  1. Improvise! There are so many ways to find GOOD tasting food, especially through the never ending lists on Pinterest.
  2. Explore! Don’t be afraid to try new things. I know, sometimes that burger wrapped in lettuce doesn’t look nearly as amazing as a normal burger with a bun. And when eating healthy, feeling ‘normal’ can be hard. But give it a try. You might find something you love that you thought you would hate. I’m constantly looking for a good almond bread recipe and have tried a couple that are pretty good.
  3. My favorite healthy meals are: Taco Salad, grilled chicken with a side, hamburger patty wrapped in lettuce with Jicama fries (my picky hubby LOVES these fries…..possibly more than potato fries), Cracklin’ chicken (a yummy substitute for fried chicken, and if you’re a southern gal like myself, that’s a necessity!).
  4. Don’t be afraid to explore with sweets either. I love this milkshake recipe that I make, or even just blending frozen mango’s up to make a yummy mango ice cream. And those chocolate chickpea cakes are actually good!
  5. Find your “soul mama’s” with cooking! Nom Nom Paleo, Against All Grains, & Pete Evans are a few of my daily go-tos for colorful, inspirational, and delicious dishes.

Cutting out things that make a person feel deprived & alone, especially a foodie, is a hard decision and reality. It took me a very long time and several health conditions to fully accept the reality that I didn’t have a choice. So as soon as I ‘decided’ I started googling and pinteresting as many yummy recipes as I could find so that temptation isn’t quite as hard. It’s brave to go against what others do and the norm. But you deserve that. You deserve to not only love what you eat, but for your food to also heal your body. AND to ENJOY doing it!! You are absolutely not alone and there are very “normal” and delicious recipes out there to explore. As you embark on this adventure, let’s do it together. ❤lauren-lester-205923.jpg

Jicama Fries

What the heck is Jicama?? I was extremely leery when I first saw a post on Jicama fries. I love fries, but they’re usually filled with nasties. So while exploring the many options online for substitutes, I ran across the delicious wonder that is Jicama.

Jicama is a root that has many health benefits. It is an excellent source antioxidants and fiber. It contains important vitamins and minerals, such as thiamine, magnesium, and iron. It’s extremely versatile and can be eaten both raw and cooked. The texture is similar to a turnip, but the taste is somewhat like an apple. It is sweet, but also savory. You can add it to salads, soup, bake it, etc.

When looking for a good Jicama, I always try to go with the smallest ones I can find. The skin is not as thick and easier to peel the smaller they are. So head to your local grocery store and pick up some. Try adding some Jicama as a side for your next meal and see how amazing it is!

100g almond flour200g confectioners' sugar120g egg whites40g caster sugargel food colouringfilling of your choice.png

 

Water Kefir – The Powerhouse “Soda”

Snapseed (1)

I’m sure you have heard of kefir, regarding milk kefir, but have you heard of water kefir? This probiotic, dairy-free, carbonated, delicious “soda” will become your  new best friend. So let’s start with the facts! What exactly IS water kefir, you ask? Let’s explore 🙂

THE WHAT

Water kefir grains are probiotic grains that consist of bacteria and enzymes your body uses for gut health and enhancing healthy bacterial flora in your body. Water kefir grains are dairy free and they do not contain actual wheat (even though they are called “grains”). Their texture kind of reminds me of those water beads you can get for you littles! They are translucent, jelly-like scoby that you can use in all sorts of ways. Think Kombucha, but milder in taste and much smaller!

IMG_7030

 

THE WHY

So why water kefir? It contains ALL sorts of yummy benefits, including, but not limited to:

We're getting married! (1).png

Water Kefir can also help with cravings. It has helped me SO much with my soda craving. I’m not sure why, and it’s never been so much about the flavor as it is the carbonation in soda, but as soon as I take even just a few sips, I’m HOOKED and have the HARDEST time getting off of it. Water Kefir is one of the only things I have been able to use as a replacement that is actually successful in getting me off the soda and sugar addiction. <–YES! It also helps cut back the sugar cravings. Win win in my mind!

THE HOW

There are lots of different “basic” recipes all over the inter-webs, but below is my go-to recipe. For some more in-depth information, recipe combinations, etc. I love Cultures For Health. You can even sign up for the free water kefir ebook!

You will notice, there is a good amount of sugar in the basic recipe to grow and feed your water kefir grains. When I first learned of water kefir, my question was, with so much sugar, how is that not adding sugar in my body and being counter-productive? It’s a ridiculously simple explanation actually. Water kefir grains need minerals and sugar to really thrive. So when you give them both, they will eat all of it away and grow! Therefore, the amount actually going into your body is extremely low.

Snapseed

When it comes to making the actual “soda” part, you can use any number of combinations, so be ready to live life on the wild side. Throw in some ginger and lemon, or some all natural and organic fruit juice, or chop up some strawberries and basil! Use your favorite flavorings and enjoy 🙂 Check out my recipe for Water Kefir Soda, below!

1 1%2F4 cups graham cracker crumbs1%2F4 cup white sugar2 teaspoons ground cinnamon1%2F3 cup butter, melted2 (10 ounce) packages frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed and drained1 tablespoon cornstarch3 (8 ounce) pac.png

Pro Tip: Your water kefir grains need minerals to really thrive. You can add a pinch of salt to each batch (make sure it is a high quality salt, such as himalayan), or, you can add some sucanat sugar and dark molasses (instead of the regular sugar) to your batch once every month or two. Both will effect the taste, so try them and see what you are your family like more. If you choose to the second option, you can easily just pour out the kefir water after and start fresh instead of using it to consume.

Happy kefiring! 😉

Snapseed (3)

10 Ways To Help Depression

matthew-henry-58760

Depression is a prevalent struggle among our communities and more than likely, everyone knows someone who battles it. Whether that be a family member, close friend, coworker, or yourself. What makes it harder is that each of our bodies work so vastly differently, which means that what works for one person to alleviate symptoms may be different than what works for someone else. This has also created a really terrible and damaging stigma about depression and what it actually is.

the-journey-isnt-about-becoming-a-different-person-but-loving-who-you-are-right-now-1

Depression is perceived as this dark, horrible, looming monster. It steals a persons peace and happy. The general view of depression is that it means laying in bed with a blank look, missing work, and an overall zombie-like condition. It’s not really talked about in tangible terms and assumptions are constantly being made about what helps and what a person “needs”. But what is depression really? What if it’s the grade-A student who seems focused and comfortable in her own skin? Or what if it’s the co-worker next to you who comes across as extremely self-motivated? What if it’s the friend who laughs the most and cracks more jokes than anyone else you know? What if the face of depression isn’t just one stereotype? What if it can literally be anyone? Depression doesn’t discriminate.

never-fade

According to Dr. Mercola, inflammation is generally the root of depression. By supporting your body in lowering inflammation through things such as supplementation, diet, healing your gut, etc. you may find that your symptoms find relief. Now, of course, there really is no black and white answer that will work for everyone. Each of us have a really incredible healing system designed in us that is individualized to our biological make-up and needs. I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember and have found some tangible things that have helped me. While there are not many black and whites, I do recommend these 10 ways to relieve depression for most everyone. While the in’s and out’s may look different (such as how each person self-cares, exercises, etc), the basics are a good general rule of thumb to follow.

americans-use-2500000-plastic-bottles-every-hour

Fermentation & Salsa

fullsizerender-1

Of all the natural remedies and whole-body healing methods, fermentation is one the best. Not only does it taste amazing (let’s be real ya’ll, this can be rare with home remedies), but it’s healing benefits are extensive and long-lasting.

What is Fermentation?

Fermentation is the process when foods are left to sit in all their glory to produce beneficial bacteria. The microflora that is dwelling inside of fermented foods help to protect your body by lining your intestines. Fermenting your food creates a powerful probiotic and your gut just eats it right up! Protecting and nourishing your gut is so crucial to finding whole-body wellness. According to Dr. Mercola, our gut houses 80% of our immune system!

What’s in it for me? 

There is an enormous supply of benefits in consuming fermented foods. Some of which include:

benefits-of-fermentation-1

What we have all been waiting for: Fermented Salsa

So HOW do you ferment? Let’s start with Salsa! One of my favorite go-to foods whether it be with eggs, sweet potato chips, or mixed with shredded chicken for tacos.

fermented-salsa-5

And VOILA! 2 days later, you have some delicious, extremely nutritious, salsa!

fullsizerender-4