Friday, March 20, 2015

Knocking Out Stress


I mentioned on Facebook this week that its been a rather emotionally stressful week for my family. My children and I have dealt with some fairly severe stomach issues from contaminated walnuts of all things! My poor, sweet fiancĂ© also landed himself in the hospital with a bicycle accident on a local trail. So yes, after a few broken bones, there's some stress going around.

Stress is just part of life. Stuff happens! It is not often I meet someone who says they do not deal with stress. In fact for those who have told me, I'm not sure I believe them. I think its more accurate to say that one manages their stress well. There are all different kinds of stress, emotional, physical, spiritual, and environmental. There is no way we are not affected.

There are many ways to manage stress. Some are positive and effective, while others, even though they seem on the surface to helping, actually magnify the negative effects of stress, like drugs, smoking, drinking alcohol, lashing out on Facebook or other social media, watching too much television, eating junk food, and not eating at all.

As a health and wellness coach, I'm not exempt from stress, nor am I exempt from having to make a conscious effort to manage my stress. I can be tempted at time to make less than profitable choices too. I have learned what works though, and what certainly doesn't. We are not just physical bodies or people. We are composed of mind, body, and spirit. Stress effects every aspect of our being, so it is important to nourish each part.

 Positive Ways to Manage  Different Types of Stress

1) I most certainly believe in spiritual attacks. I know when things are not going my way that is a time to buck up and praise God more. This is a sure way to defeat God's enemy. Being consciously aware of living thankfully while trials abound, strangely enough make it all bearable. It breeds humility that allows healing. This week I am taking more breaks to pray, read the Bible, be still, and journal. Journaling is like pressing delete on the issues at hand so everything doesn't feel so heavy.

2) Enduring negative stress can take a toll on your adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands are super important. They control the hormones in our bodies, especially cortisol, the stress hormone. When cortisol as well as other hormones are out of balance we become out of balance.

Two wonderful, all natural supplements that can help promote adrenal support are ashwagandha and holy basil (tulsi). Both of these herbs have roots in Ayurvedic medicine, the world's oldest medicinal practice based out of India. These herbs are cousins, and while you can use them apart, they work great together. I really enjoy Tulsi as a tea. You can buy it here too. They are in a class of herbs called adaptagenic. Both help our bodies to regulate our stress depending on how it is affecting us.

3) I melt my stress away through the use of therapeutic grade essential oils. They really help my body to deal with the undealable as well as over all health and wellness. Everyone is an individual and responds differently to each oil or blend. Its important to find the ones that work best for you.

4) Movement is key. I absolutely, positively have to keep my body moving. Exercise is so important, no matter what, I can't make excuses or let anything get in the way. Staying fit and active assists the body with staying on an even keel, as well as releasing built up tension. Despite trials this week, at the very least a 30 minute brisk walk each day is imperative.

5) ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ....yes, sleep and rest. Lack of proper rest is a huge problem for the body, this majorly stresses us out. So when we are already dealing with some serious "uglies", then being proactive about decent bedtimes is paramount. Get to be bed! Worrying will get you no where.

6) Making sure I get my D3, magnesium, and vitamin B12 supplements will help tremendously. These three factors operate so much terrain in our bodies.

Magnesium

Magnesium just to name a few things will help with sleep, muscles acting properly, and prevent fatigue. This mineral can only be found in plant foods and high quality salts like Celtic and Himalayan. Many United States citizens are magnesium deficient due to improper amounts of plant foods in their daily diet. Over the years of eating a poor diet, or taking pharmaceutical medication, the body becomes damaged. So often even when individuals change their food repertoire to a healthier, more plant based menu, nutrients are not easily absorbed due to the need for gut repair.

This is what makes the need for magnesium to be taken in with a topical transdermal solution imperative. That's why I choose to utilize foot baths with Epsom salts, which are rich in magnesium sulphate, a needed form of the mineral. Epsom salts are also extremely affordable, so this is a great option.If you are near Costco, they are really economical there. The feet absorb very well. I do this weekly, you could increase the numbers of times you do it per week if needed. It is recommended to do this at night since magnesium tends to relax the body.

Another very important form of the mineral is magnesium chloride. You could do soaks with them too. In my holistic body care line, I actually make a spray. You can email me to order the spray. Using the spray daily makes getting the magnesium very easy. I keep the spray by my bedside. I use 10-20 sprays on my abdomen. I rub it in, and afterwards I rub jojoba or coconut oil over top to seal it in and prevent itching. Sometimes the skin can itch because the magnesium tends to be drying.

D3

Often referred to as vitamin D3, while it's a not a vitamin at all yet more of a hormone, is one of the most deficient and most needed components in the human body. D3 is responsible for turning on many of the needed receptors throughout the body. It acts as a necessary catalyst for proper function. Dr.Joe Mercola, says the optimal range for your serum level in the body in most people is 50-70ml. In cancer patients he says its higher from 70-100ml. No one should go over 100ml though. The best way to get D3 is from healthy sun exposure without sunscreen. For many of us a supplement is still needed due to change of seasons, and other factors. Dr. Joe Mercola recommends 8000IUs at least to start if you are deficient. I personally have found that D3 drops held under the tongue for 30 seconds, and then swallowed are better for absorption.  The best way to know what you need is through blood testing.

Vitamin B12

If you have chronic low energy, headaches, aren't able to deal with your emotions well, poor memory, or digestive issues you may not be absorbing B12 very well or getting enough from your diet. This vitamin, according to Dr. Josh Axe, has the largest profile for fulfilling needs in the human body than any other vitamin. So if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you absolutely must supplement. There aren't too many vegetable food sources rich in B12 that we have in our diet. Some common B12 rich foods are grass fed beef, wild salmon, lamb, pastured turkey & chicken, pastured/free range egg yolks, and raw milk. Also keep in mind, much like the magnesium, if you have digestive issues like leaky gut, IBS, or colitis, that even if you are eating these foods on a regular basis, your gut is damaged, and the body is most likely not receiving what you need.

Something to be aware of is if vitamin B12 is not coming from our food, and we must supplement, that the best way to absorb it is through the blood stream. That means when you purchase a vitamin B supplement, be aware that even though it says B12 on it, chances are you not getting a lot of it or any at all. There are just some nutrients we can't get well in supplement form, or certain ones. Therefore, there are 3 ways to take it in properly:

1) Expensive, invasive shots
2) Sublingual Tablets
3) Patches

Know that all of three of these methods work. You need to determine what is best for you.

The first are shots. I hate shots, ouch! Plus those babies cost a lot of moola. Truth be told absorption is the highest with them.

Many people feel the way I do, so they resort to sublinguals. Sublingual tablets are made to dissolve under the tongue. The skin under the tongue is extremely thin, so it makes for better absorption. Now these are okay, but you have things to be aware of with them. First there are two types of B12 on the market in the world of supplements, cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is not a natural plant or animal based source, it is a chemical molecule coming from cyanide. While it is so small, and not said to be harmful, that is not the type I want to go into my body. Since it is a chemical form it is less absorbable in the body, but that also makes it cheaper. I implore you to pay a few extra dollars for the meythylcobalamin that is actually naturally occurring in nature and can be provided in a vegan form from bacteria growing on certain vegetables. Also when dealing with sublinguals there can also be little additions to those supplements that you might not want like sugar alcohols or sugar.

My favorite method is using methylcobalamin B12 patches. I actually have these available through my practice locally. You can email to purchase locally. They are also available on Amazon. I love the patches because they are easy to use, noninvasive, and come in the proper form of methylcobalamin. It's just like a small circular bandaid that you place on your body. The recommended place is the backside of the ear due to the thin skin. If you feel a warming sensation, that is completely normal. Some people feel it, and some do not. Transdermal and sublingual B12 both can have that initial effect on the body.

If you are dealing with a heavy load of stress, please look into what I've shared. This is no way  medical advice. Everything is simply for informational purposes. Always consult with your primary care physician. Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~ Marie A. Ligorria, HHC

References:


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/08/27/adrenals.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/08/29/insomnia-part-one.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/08/magnesium-health-benefits.aspxhttp://draxe.com/9-signs-magnesium-deficiency/
http://www.dadamo.com/B2blogs/blogs/index.php/2004/02/07/cyanocobalamin-versus-methylcobalamin?blog=27
http://www.naturalnews.com/032766_cyanocobalamin_vitamin_B-12.html


I do have affiliate links throughout the article. You are never required to purchase through them, but when you do, it is helpful to the work of Kingdom Health.





Friday, March 13, 2015

How to Build a Smoothie


                    
Do you struggle with getting enough veggies in yourself or your family? A simple way to help your body get the veggies in for the day are smoothies. Maybe during the cold weather you weren't interested in smoothies, well now is great time to start them! 

The fiber and nutrients in the smoothie each day will give you energy and vitality! Since the blender breaks everything down, that makes a smoothie a perfect first daily meal since it's easy on the digestive tract. It's fast and easy to put together if you are just running out the door as well!

The important part is knowing how to build your smoothie. You need a few factors to be aware of:

1) Nutrition: you'll want a good selection of veggies and fruit; more veggies than fruit, especially leafy greens; that's the bonus of a smoothie, getting all of those nutrients in easily; 2-3 handfuls of leafy greens; also rotate your greens in your smoothies for optimal nutrition, that's really important. Too much of a good thing can turn bad, think wide variety.

Do not limit yourself. Try all different fruits and veggies in your smoothie. Keep in mind some are better cooked a bit first. Use fresh and frozen.

For leafy greens try: kale, baby spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, Swiss Chard, bok choy, or lettuce. Always buy your greens organic, they are heavily sprayed with toxic herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides.

Have some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro in the fridge, throw them in there! Herbs are super cleansing and good for you! 

To sneak in even extra vitamins and minerals, you can try superfood powders. These include a multitude of dried greens like kale or broccoli, as well as foods like Camu Camu, goji berries, and often probiotics and enzymes too, all good for digestive health. Make sure it's certified gluten free if you are sensitive. Do NOT do superfood powders if you are allergic to grasses. There's usually quite a bit of them in there, so do avoid them if that is the case for you. I really like Healthforce Nutritionals Vitamineral Green, Ormus Greens, and Green Smoothie Girl

I add 1-2 tbsps of organic unrefined coconut oil in mine for healthy fat, detoxification, and fat burning. 

2) Taste: understanding what flavors compliment each other is helpful; Everyones tastes are different though. 

Know berries are great for flavor, but not sweetness. Tropical fruit like bananas, mango, and pineapple have more natural sugar, and it doesn't take much of those. 

I also like dates, a little raw organic local honey, and organic liquid stevia. Go for fruit to sweeten though when possible for the fiber. Fiber slows down that sugar release in the body. 

It's also fun to include other items for flavor like organic raw cacao (raw chocolate powder), organic ground cinnamon, ginger root or organic ground ginger, organic ground cardamom, or organic ground pumpkin spice. 

3) Texture: So most people want their smoothie a little creamy. Good add ins are bananas, avocado, nut butters, chia seeds (awesome nutritional bonus for fiber, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acids), whole organic coconut milk, whole organic coconut cream, and fresh coconut meat/flesh.

4) Liquid Base: You can really get creative here, but a liquid is definitely needed for all to move in the blender. My favorite is water because it's always there and it's inexpensive. 

You can also use milk, dairy based or not. Keep in mind store bought non-dairy milks have a lot of yucky additives unless they are homemade. I will use whole, organic store bought coconut milk by Native Forest. Whole Foods has it, but you can buy it cheaper here

If you go for a dairy based milk choose raw, grass fed if you can, and if not, grass fed, whole fat, only pasteurized (never homogenized and ultra pasteurized. Read why here.) You can also use organic, raw coconut water, or even herbal tea. 

5) Protein: So unless you are a wizard at combining just the right amounts of amino acids with your fruits and veggies, you'll need to add a protein if this is a meal replacement. 

My three favorite protein choices are hemp seeds, grass fed gelatin + raw almond butter, and Green Smoothie Girl Protein Powder. 

I love my Green Smoothie Girl Protein Powder because it's USDA organic, gluten free, sugar free, soy free, vegan, Paleo friendly, and raw. So it's completely junk free and only has 3 ingredients: pea protein, hemp protein, and Maca root! You can get it here.

6) Blenders: Well the most important thing is that you have one! I have a Vitamix and I love it. You'll never buy another blender again. A Vitamix is in a class called high speed blenders. All parts, labor, and customer service are sourced in the USA, if that kinda thing matters to you.

No, a Ninja or even a NutriBullet are not high speed blenders, they are good choices, but not high speed, no matter what anyone tells you. 

Another high speed blender is the Blendtec. My close friends have one and love it. 

Just make sure you have a blender. The biggest difference is with smoothies on a regular basis, you may burn out your regular blender. 

Hope that simplifies things for you and doesn't complicate them. Just throw stuff in the blender, experiment, and have fun! So proud of you for trying to eat well!

Helping you to be a good steward of your health! ~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC

Ladies, need help getting healthy? Need a friend, accountability partner, a helping hand to get your gut right? Check out my health coaching options here.

There are some affiliate links throughout my blog. A purchase through them is never required, but if you do, Kingdom Health, gets to keep a small percentage, which helps keep my mission of good stewardship for the Kingdom going, thank you!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Gluten Free Hair & Body Care

                  

When I first went gluten free about five years ago, I didn't realize just how entailed the change needed to be. Never in my wildest dreams did I consider having to switch body care, make-up, cleaning products, or shampoos as well as my food. Boy was I wrong! 

I understood the harsh chemicals, solvents, dyes, and perfumes were harmful, but I never considered that there would be gluten in these products, nor did I realize how much they were affecting me. 

I found out that the acne and eczema I was suffering from was actually from severe gluten and processed cows milk intolerance. Once I removed those items from my diet all subsided, at least for the most part. What I couldn't figure out is why the skin by my scalp and hair line continued to break out with a vengeance.

Then I began to dig deeper and research skin and hair issues. I decided to do an Internet search on what other products contain gluten and if it was possible that my newer, swapped out, cleaner body care and hair care products could be bothering me. Turns out they were. Now I totally get it, and it truly made sense at the time, it just hadn't occurred to me that my Eco-friendly, organic products could be making me sick. We absorb components through our skin so quickly and easily, and they travel right into the blood stream. 

So then I started my quest for safe, gluten free shampoo and body care items. Today there are more options than five years ago, but I definitely found some I liked.

I eventually started making my own body care items because I found it was less expensive if I bought in bulk and I enjoyed the control and customization. That's actually how my Kingdom Health Holistic Body Care Line was born. Friends knew I was making items, so I started making things for them, and it grew.

The one item that I've not been able to make and be satisfied with was shampoo. I tried other people's recipes, my own recipes, and nothing really satisfied me. So over the years I have just bounced in between gluten free shampoos on the market. I have to say that none of them ever really did my hair justice. 

I thought I'd share I'm really happy with the No-Shampoo or No-Poo method of washing my hair! It's gluten-free, safer, cheaper, and really low maintenance. I can now wash my hair twice a week. There was a period of adjustment. I have very thick, curly hair. I hear if you have thinner hair that a homemade coconut milk based shampoo may be more appropriate. 

 
 

I use 1 TBSP of baking soda in a pint size mason jar, fill it with water in the shower, put on a lid, shake it, then pour on my head. I rub my scalp gently, then rinse (using the same jar) with 2 TBSP Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and shower water. (You could use another Apple cider vinegar. I just always have this one here, plus it is organic.) I make sure to pour it on my scalp plus the rest of my hair as evenly as possible, then rinse with plain water from the shower. The combination of the vinegar and the baking soda creates a perfect pH balance for the scalp and hair.  
 
If you suffer from dry scalp or dandruff chronically, chances are there is a bacterial imbalance in the body. Using Braggs vinegar in this case is imperative because it has good bacteria to help the restoration topically. Consider also taking a high quality probiotic.
 
If you find using this complete method is not working for your hair type, but you have an itchy, dry scalp, then you can alternate it with your regular shampoo, or at night you can spray diluted apple cider vinegar on your scalp before bed. 


 
 
After I get out I gently towel dry my hair. I scrunch with argan oil, 1 drop of Young Living Oola Grow, and 1 drop of Oola Balance...smells awesome. The nights before I wash my hair I massage organic unrefined coconut oil plus 1drop of Young Living Lavender, and 1 drop of Rosemary onto my scalp and mid to bottom part of my hair. The coconut oil deeply moisturizers my hair and scalp. The lavender calms my skin and promotes healthy topical bacteria. Rosemary is great for both promoting skin and hair wellness, especially hair growth.

I hope you find this helpful. If you are in need of Young Living Essential Oils, you can order HERE. If you sign up for a wholesale membership, you can get a 24% discount on every purchase!

Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wild Smoked Salmon & Kale with Mustard Sauce (Five Things to Do with Quinoa-5)



So it's been a long day, you're exhausted, you managed to hold down most of your healthy habits today, but now it's dinner time. The fridge is kind of empty, you're starving, and while normally a frozen pizza makes you want to turn up your nose, it's currently inviting.

Don't do it! I have a really fast healthy dinner recipe for you! It will taste gourmet, won't break the bank, and there's minimal prep involved! I hope you love it! You can add to it and make it more elaborate if you want, but you're tired remember :) Chances are you have some these foods at home already.

Making Healthy Easy

Do yourself a favor and keep a few bags of organic frozen veggies at home, a fairly good assortment. Yes, I'm all about fresh and local, but ya know it just doesn't always happen. 

Believe it or not recently I made a new discovery at the grocery store that totally made my day, it's the simple things. So I'm sure other markets do this, nonetheless I'm a Whole Foods shopper. So in the seafood section they sell wild smoked salmon trimmings. So ya know those perfectly shaped fillets they sell for way too much money in the glass seafood case, well there are still really good pieces of salmon left that didn't make it on the fillet. So they shave it off, already trimmed from skin, no bones, and broken up into pieces. It's inexpensive and makes healthy recipes really simple! I hate touching fish! Can you hear me singing?!!! How did I not see this before??? It's like a dream come true for me! Yes, I know....and.....oh surely there are odd things that make your day too!





On to more ingredients I like to let live in my pantry or fridge, like mustard. So while I know how to make mustard, I also keep good, gluten free bottled mustard around in case I run out of my homemade version. Yes, there is a such thing as gluten free mustard, and it's not just marketing. Vinegar in mustard can be derived from wheat, so read your labels. 
Mustard can make a meal a party, therefore keep it close. 



Another item that I let hang out in my pantry is organic lemon juice. Now I adore freshly squeezed lemon juice, but in case I run out of fresh lemons, it's there. Lemon juice, much like mustard can send flavors over the roof in a dish.



The Recipe: Wild Smoked Salmon & Kale with Mustard Sauce

Okay, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. 

This should serve 1-2 people and you can easily increase it.

Ingredients:

1 Package of Wild Smoked Salmon Trimmings
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Organic Kale
1/2 Tsp Organic Garlic Powder
1-2 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
1-2 Tbsp Organic Lemon Juice
4-6 Squirts Organic GF Mustard
1/4 Tsp Celtic Salt
1 Cup Organic Quinoa (dry, uncooked)

Directions:

Now if you happen to have left over quinoa already cooked, that just eliminates a step. If you don't have any made, cook it.

Take out a large skillet
First cook the kale in the oil for 1-2 minutes on low to medium heat
Next put in the salmon, cook the for 3-4 minutes, stirring
Add the lemon juice, salt, mustard, and garlic powder, stir well

At this point I would either throw my cooked quinoa into the skillet with everything to warm it up or I'd put the just cooked quinoa into a bowl and dress the top with the salmon and kale.

You could use any frozen green for this you want and even add capers or butternut squash, your options are endless. Regardless you will think you got take out from a fancy restaurant and not spent anything close to it had it been from one.

If you try it, let me know! Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC

For more healthy recipes and help with balance of mind, body, and spirit check out my health counseling programs today!






Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Detox Baths ( Detox Series 2)


I never made time for myself as a busy mom before I was a wellness coach to take a soak in the tub. I whole heartedly believe today that I deserve a rebuke for that way of thinking. Moms everywhere need to soak in a bath at least once a week. I say lock the door, grab a magazine, and just enjoy it. This is a such a gentle and non-invasive way to take care of yourself.

Bathing can actually be a therapy to cleanse the body. Before beginning any detox regimen make sure your body can handle it by eating properly with plenty of vegetables and fruits along with a "healthy for you"daily water in-take. 

Detox baths are an extra luxury because it's an inexpensive day at the spa in your own bathroom. This is an opportunity to relieve emotional and physical toxins. This is NOT an option. Our bodies are covered in pores and were designed to release all foreign undesirable visitors in the body. Our lymphatic system, underneath our skin, is one of our bodies' hugest defenses against disease. According to Ayurvedic Healing Expert, John Douillard, it is easily clogged to due digestive distress with the villi in the digestive tract being irritated by inflammatory foods as well as stress. Much of the lymphatic system surrounds the intestines. 

Detox baths encourage good movement of the lymph as by helping to rid the body of non-beneficial bacterial disturbance as well as releasing negative stress so the white blood cells can get where they need to go to fight for us.

Simplicity

I'm a single homeschool mom and business owner, so I don't have a whole lot of time, and every penny counts.  Almost everyone has real Epsom salts laying around the house. If not, they are extremely inexpensive. I bought the brand below at Costco. In my area it came with two 6LB bags for $8.99.Epsom salts are rich in magnesium sulphate, which removes impurities from the body as well as relaxes the internal systems. Since the magnesium does relax the body, consider taking them in the evening before bed. I use them in all of my detox baths. Use 3-4 cups.


I also always use high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. Depending on what I am trying to detox from or achieve or the time of day that I take the bath will dictate the oils I use. Including lemon is a great idea because it promotes liver health. (Citrus oils are photosensitive on the skin though, so be sure if you choose a citrus oil like lemon that you are not in direct sunlight for an extended period of time within 24 hours of taking the detox bath.) Lavender is a wonderful choice if you are dealing with a great deal of stress or if you are unable to sleep easily. If you are experiencing aches and pains, peppermint can be extremely soothing. Use 6-8 drops of each oil. You can blend oils.

 ***IMPORTANT TIP*** Make sure when using essential oils, that you first mix them with the Epsom salts before putting them into the tub. This will result in much more pleasant experience. Certain essential oils have a very heated effect on the skin when not diluted, in this case by the Epsom salts. Mixing them will prevent the oils from all rising to the top and sitting on the skin in an overwhelming fashion. This way the oils will be evenly disbursed which will make the experience heavenly.


Good Options

Another helpful addition is bentonite clay.


I really like Redmond Clay because it is food grade. (Yes, it can be ingested for a detox too. That's a whole other article.) The bentonite helps keep heavy metals out of the body. This is a great option if you aren't using filtered water to bathe in. You can use 1/4 of a cup mixed as well as possible into the water.


Utilizing Himalayan or pink salt, like the one by Redmond, will purify the body as well as add minerals that are needed. Use 1/4 of a cup.

Use What You Have

Do not despair if you don't have these items. If nothing else, use Epsom salts if the other items are too difficult for you to ascertain right now. Do be sure to use water as warm/hot as you can possibly stand it. If using essential oils with the Epsom salts, then mix them in the water just before or as you are getting in the tub. Extreme heat can damage the effectiveness of the oils. In order for the bath to be effective, bath for 20-30 minutes. You will probably sweat, and that is a good thing. That means impurities are being released. After your bath rehydrate yourself with a filtered glass of water with a sprinkle of Himalayan or Celtic salt. I hope you will make detox baths a regular part of your regimen to live healthy now!

Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC

References:

http://lifespa.com/the-miracle-of-lymph/

 http://draxe.com/detox-bath-recipes/


Monday, February 9, 2015

What's Your Vision of Wellness?





Blessings today to you! Do you have a vision of what healthy looks like? I think we all do, and that's awesome! It is unfortunately far too easy to get distracted as well as discouraged and get off the healthy train. Remember it's a journey, not a single destination. It looks different for everyone, and we ALL need growth.

Today I'll share a snap shot of one of my weekly module exercises in my holistic wellness counseling program. I pray it helps you get one step further in accomplishing your goals of health and wellness for you, family, and friends.

Here is a peek into your virtual holistic health counselor's world. Above is a picture I shared last week on Instagram of my night stand. Right next to my bed, I keep closest to me the items that help me stay healthy: a picture of my lovies, the One Year Bible, Young Living essential oils and diffuser, my Kingdom Health Holistic Magnesium Spray, my Kingdom Health Holistic Lipbalm, a finished mug of lemon and ACV water, a pen and small pad of paper, and my sleep mask.

What's Your Vision?

Do you have a vision board to help you stay on task? When I wake up in the morning the first things I see are those boards.



Creating a vision board really helps to keep me hold positive focus instead of waking up to negativity. There is so much yuck out there, and it is our choice to get sucked into it, or to look beyond. This is part of my healthy morning routine. I gaze over the board after I read my bible and meditate on how good God is and how I know He wants good things for me.

Two Sides

I have one side for professional goals and the other side is for personal goals. You don't have to have two boards, it's simply how I've chosen to break it up.

Professional Side

You don't have to have a professional side. Being a business owner this helps me to see goals and tasks to achieve as well as where I'd like to be professionally. On my board I actually printed out someone else's inspiring blog article and popped it up there because this woman is in a place with her business that I'd like to be. Even if you don't own a business or work out of the home, you might consider it though. Every stay at home mother reading this blog article is a professional home manager as well as the one billion other hats that you wear! You're beautiful, and yes honey, you work!

Personal Side

My personal side right now includes my Young Living calendar; those pictures inspire me. I also have up vacation spots I'd like to visit with my family. I included approximately how much each vacation would cost too. That's the getting real part is making the dream a reality, no matter how long it takes. Attaching a break down of food, tickets, transportation, ect really helps make it less pipe dream and more attainable. My fiance often says the phrase pie in the sky when referring to just saying things we would like, but not doing anything about them. Our personal goals and dreams are very important. When we lose them, and just go on with the mundane hum drums of life, we lose momentum, and forget that God put us here to live! Ultimately, yes, it's all about Him and service to Him. At the same time He put us here to enjoy life as well.

Personal goals for you might be to improve your immune system and digestive health. Examples of things to put on the board is first the reason you are doing this. So I would suggest in one to two sentences on a piece of paper to physically write out what your greatest desire is over all, then stick it on the board. Then include things like recipes to try, a picture of someone who inspires you, a new health tip, healthy grocery lists, pictures of items that encourage your progress like a cup of herbal tea, a bottle of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar, or words like: grain-free, earth, deep breath, essential oils, planks, oil pulling, probiotics, squats, fermented foods, coconut oil...you get the idea.

Boards Will Travel

Recently, I attended this fabulous business building seminar by business mentor, Clare Luffman. Check Clare out by the way, she was awesome! She actually has her vision board in a binder. So Clare's active practice is to take her board with her even if she is traveling to be a source of support in her day no matter what happens. I loved that idea! So make this your own! If boards on the wall like mine won't work, maybe a binder like Clare's will! Maybe you could create both, so when you travel you won't be without that inspiration. Get creative, use your fridge, your bedroom mirror, or a blog if that works for you! You could digitally take photos of your goals and place them on the blog. Whatever style of board works for you, just do it!

This Is For You

If it seems silly, please try it. Maybe you have stayed on task for the most part up until now. If that's the case, a vision board could only be a boost to your progress.

Maybe you're like me though and on occasion people really discourage you or you get overly distracted. This is your chance to make an active practice of every time you get off track to return to your board. Tack up something new, look at the positive changes you've made, and just be still with God asking for His strength and help.Your board will grow and change as you do. You will add things and take them down.

Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC


Visit my website for your FREE health history consultation!

Monday, January 26, 2015

When Gluten Free Isn't Enough (Part 1)


Perhaps you've been running this race for your own personal healthy journey for a while. Like many you've discovered that if you have any food intolerances, immune disorders, or have had chronic gut health disturbances then chances are if you haven't gone gluten free already, that either someone has told you to do so, or you are in the process of thinking about it or slowly getting yourself there. First things first, that's awesome, great job, and please know that I am proud of you! It is a wonderful first step towards wellness. Gluten must absolutely be removed from your lifestyle.

Removing gluten is not the be all end all to getting well though. Often times in many cases it is simply not enough. There is not a standard one size fits all elimination diet. There are many factors that enter into our bodies rejecting certain foods. It takes time, often quite a few tests, and trial and error to really be sure what each individual needs.

Keep in mind there is hope. This is not the end of the world. Once your gut begins to heal, there's a huge opportunity to put healthy, real versions of those foods you removed that were junky back in. A lot of food intolerances go away after the body returns to a healthy state. The key here is thankfulness. Be thankful that God allowed your body to get to a place that you probably never thought it could again, and keep up the lifestyle. Don't return only to become sick again. This is not a band-aid, this is what a cure feels like.

There are other foods that can cause gut and immune health disturbances. Certain foods fit into certain categories. Today I will cover cross reactive foods. These are foods, that while don't contain gluten, can make the body feel as though it has been attacked by a glutinous based food.

Cross Reactive Foods:

Corn

A staple in many countries, corn is an inexpensive, easily accessibly, and good tasting grain. Due to its lack of gluten it is used in many gluten free mixes, crackers, cakes, and dishes. 

Corn, however, is one of the three top genetically modified organisms or foods (GMOS) in the world. Purchasing corn as USDA organic fortunately significantly lessens the possibility of it being a GMO as well as eliminating pesticides. Eating GMO corn can be detrimental to your gut health. GMO corn or otherwise known as Bt corn is developed with a bacterial organism called Bacillus thuringiensis. This was done to resist insects. When we eat this corn the bacteria mutates inside of our gut, goes into our blood stream, and starts to break down our immune systems. To learn more, read here.

You can avoid GMO corn by purchasing USDA organic. Yet, even as organic it is also extremely difficult for the body to break down and digest. The body has to work extremely hard to rid itself of the hard fiber. Eating corn on a regular basis, especially consuming a lot if you are consuming a gluten-free diet, can wear down the digestive system. 

While many consider corn to be a vegetable, it is not. It is a starchy grain that when body does break down what it can it is processed as high amounts of sugar. Too much sugar is a danger zone to the body. Sugar causes inflammation and feeds disease.

Corn is hidden in many products, especially natural supplements. If you find corn makes you breakout, lethargic, or cause stomach pain, be diligent to do a search as to what other products are produced with corn.

The best way to eat corn if possible is sprouted. When the corn is sprouted it makes it much easier to be processed in the body as well as to access any nutrients present. If you are experiencing gut health distress, it is best avoided sprouted or not.

Rice

There are so many different varieties of rice. This grain populates Asian and Latin cultures. Rice is the main staple of many homes in the US as well. 

The skinny on rice is if you purchase white rice, it is basically pure starch without a whole lot of nutrition. That means a lot of sugar is going into the body, and if there is a bacterial imbalance like candida overgrowth present, the condition is just being fed. 

Brown rice has significantly more nutrition, however it's extremely difficult to access due to the bran. It's ironic, the nutrients are in the bran, but our bodies don't possess enough phytase to break the bran down to access the vitamins and minerals. This are chemicals in the bran called phytates that cause our bodies to stop absorbing minerals. Once our bodies stop absorbing minerals we become malnourished. Other foods with high amounts of phytates are nuts and beans.

If you'd like to keep rice in your diet, one way to make it more nutritious to break down a lot of the phytates is to soak it. The Weston A. Price Foundation suggests milling and soaking with a starter culture. For those of us on restricted time, read below (similar to how I prepare gluten free oats).

How to Soak Rice:

Get a 1/2 gallon mason jar. Put 2 cups of rice inside.  Pour hot filtered water over the rice, just to cover it. Add one tablespoon of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Soak for 7-8 hours. Rinse off the rice after soaking. Cook in homemade bone broth for extra nutrients and add a little bit of good fat like grass fed butter.

I would also suggest consuming a high quality digestive enzyme with phytase with your meal.

Oats

Oats for me are such a comfort food. I adore both traditional rolled and steel cut. Oats have a ton of fiber, which helps the body stay regular and clean out the colon. Never eat quick oats. They are a processed food and serve no nutritional purpose. Besides it doesn't take any longer to cook traditional oats in comparison to quick oats. So kick out the quick oats!

Unfortunately, they can also wreak havoc in my body. I've noticed that when I eat oats more than once a week I become overly lethargic. More research is being done on whether it is wise to include oats as part of a gluten free diet if they can affect certain people the same way that gluten does or in other ways that seem to wear down the body. Specifically adults and children with confirmed Celiac Disease are cautioned to consider leaving oats out of their dietary regimen according to a government study here. If you notice the continuation of chronic foul gas, bleeding gums, teeth enamel problems, blood or mucus in the stool, or indigestion, then it is advised to eliminate them from your plate.

When I removed the oats I did notice that I didn't experience that overwhelming lethargic state. I really enjoy the taste and texture of them though. Oats are in the same camp as rice with high amounts of phytic acid. Due to the lack of minerals being absorbed this can absolutely tear down the immune system and cause lethargy in the body. It was when I learned how to prepare oats properly that all the difference was made. Preparing oats in a traditional fashion of soaking, much like rice, allows for much better digestion, and use of minerals in the oats.

How to Soak Oats (1 person serving):

Get a 32oz mason jar. Put 1 cup of traditional rolled oats inside.  Pour 1 cup of filtered water over the oats in the jar. Add one tablespoon of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Soak for 7-8 hours on the counter. Rinse off the oats after soaking. Cook in fresh water as usual. In the serving bowl add a little bit of good fat like grass fed butter or my favorite organic unrefined coconut oil to encourage even better digestion.

It is always a good idea to take an enzyme supplement as mentioned early with your meal. 

At the End of the Day

If all of your gut health or immune system troubles don't seem to have fully dissipated after removing gluten, and you are still consuming grains, consider keeping a food journal. After eating these foods at meal and snack times, write down the time of day when you ate it, what you ate in it or what it was with, and how much of it you ate. 

Try removing these foods for 2-4 weeks. Make a section in the journal record for your cross-reactive free food meal trial period. Make a note of each of your meals and snacks as well as how they made you feel. 

Introduce one of these foods back each week after the trial period. Pay special attention to how you feel when you eat, and write it down. Take this journal to a doctor, nutritionist, or health coach for help if any is needed in designing a safe meal plan for you.

(There are some affiliate links in the article. You never have to purchase from these links. If you choose to do so though, you are blessing my business by contributing a small percentage.)

Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC