Wednesday, June 3, 2015

An Awesome Bicycle Accident

(The other injured party)

April 7th, 2015

The past three weeks have been a whirl wind. My sweet fiance, Ken, took a horrible spill off of his bicycle on a local trail here in Raleigh. Everyone asks what happened when they see him in a sling, and at this point we chuckle because no one can believe there wasn't a pile of leaves, an animal that ran by, or anything other than riding too fast around a curve that could've made him fall. Well, that nasty tumble caused a broken collar bone and broken shoulder blade. As a result he hasn't been able to work much or drive in order for safety to allow healing and following medical orders. 

The reason I'm sharing is first as a testimony to God's holy and abundant grace and goodness...actually that's the entire reason I'm sharing. The Lord Yeshua has been nothing short of amazing from His protection over my fiance to all of His provisions. Really this was a great yet trying learning experience for my honey as he would admit himself. Point blank he just can't always go as fast as he wants to go. He is such a hard worker and busy bee, so this has been a little bit of a struggle to sit still. He really loves 'to do' for people, but not the other way around. In this case he hasn't had much of a choice, but to receive it, so the lesson in humility has been promising.

The Beginning

As I walked into the hospital into the emergency room I brought water, chicken and cabbage leaf wraps, and my bag of Oils. My honey loves his essential oils and could not wait for me to arrive with them. (All of the information that I am about to share is not medical advice, claims, or cures. It is solely for informational and educational purposes. It's just our story. I am not a medical doctor, so nothing here is a prescription or suggested remedy.)

We have used essential oils for many health promoting purposes, always to be delighted with the results. Whether we clean with them, use them for flavor in food, or as a chemical free option for self-care we always do well. We saw this situation to be no different. The plants God has made for us really help us to live naturally and safely. There is truly a plant for everything!

So as one would expect, Ken was experiencing quite a bit of discomfort. As one might not expect though, my sweetheart didn't want any prescriptions. He was waiting for the oils. I took out my case almost immediately and began applying. Again, Ken hadn't used any allopathic relief up until this point. I applied lavender neat first to every would, break, and scrape. Then I let him inhale the lavender from my hands to relax him. Next I layered with copaiba applied neat. I then followed with diluted lemongrass.

After I finished applying the oils I went to wash my hands and then feed him the chicken wraps. By the time I put the first wrap up to his mouth, Ken had expressed to me that the discomfort had significantly reduced. We very slowly walked to the car and I drove him home.
The Rest of the Story
For the past few weeks the couch has been Ken's best friend. Fortunately he has the most comfortable couch ever where he lives, so that has been a blessing. Laying down in bed on a broken shoulder blade doesn't feel very good.

He has wore his sling, unfortunately it doesn't prevent movement very well with the bones. Through sole use of essential oils, Ken has reported that irritation has been minimal. At home Ken's own self-created regimen for the oils has been 2-4 applications of the Young Living Deep Relief Roll-On, helichrysum, and copiaba applied neatly to all of the areas affected. This has worked very well for him.  The best part is that there aren't negative side effects to deal with, only positive ones.

Other Things to Keep On the Mend

In addition to utilize nutrition and natural supplements for happy, healthy healing as well Ken has added extra topical magnesium in the evening to help absorb the calcium from his green smoothies with chia seeds. For extra bone health he's added Great Lakes Collagen to his smoothie (the green canister), buy it here. He has also drank homemade bone broth daily.

On the Road Again

According to the last check up at the doctor everything looks wonderful. With the doctor's permission he has started driving this week. He is blessed enough to be able to use an automatic truck from work since he cannot use his stick shift right now. There is one more check up appointment to come, and God willing it should be smooth sailing provided all is taken easy during the rest of the recovery period. Thank you for taking the time to tag along with us during this adventure.We would appreciate prayers for continued healing as well. We will continue to update you!

If you don't have  Young Living Essential Oils in your home yet, why not? Would you like to learn more? Please contact me. I'd love to tell you more about them!

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

I do have some affiliate links throughout my blog. You are never obligated to purchase through them, but when you do, you support this healthy momma! So thank you!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Breast Health Tips!

About 6 years ago during a self breast exam in the shower I found a lump on my left side. That changed my life forever. I knew the Lord had been telling me for quite some time that I had changes to make in my life for my health, but I'd no idea at the time what those changes were. I'd been chronically sick with different issues for 18 years (not everything at once, symptom built upon sumptom.) Doctors were unable to diagnose me. That lump was the beginning of a new journey.

In June of 2009 I went to see my primary care physician after discovering the lump.  She was extremely concerned about my condition since my biological mother suffered with breast cancer, so she set me up with some specialists. I, extremely reluctantly, had 2 mammograms. Nothing was found.

It took 45 days of waiting until I would be able to have my biopsy. It was during that 45 days that my obedience to the Lord in this area of my life began. I heeded His words in changes needing to be made. I changed, by the Holy Spirits help, the way I looked at everything with my health and wellness. I adopted a raw, vegan diet, swapped out my body care for for natural options, changed my cookware and food storage, and started making my own cleaning products. I quickly began to feel amazing.

I remember being exceedingly frustrated that the hospital subjected my young body to the unnecessary radiation. Women under 38 have extremely dense breast tissue. Therefore it is practically impossible for a mammogram to detect anything cancerous or a mass at all. Mammograms work much better as far as detection in fatty breast tissue in much older women. Unfortunately, I was a victim of protocol instead of being looked at as an individual. Later a sonogram was performed. This still exposes the body to some radiation, but it at least is able to detect a mass. 

Truth, as of yet, only a biopsy can conclusively determine whether a mass or lump is cancerous or not. Even then can results be misinterpreted. So over all that means if a young woman actually has cancerous mass, but isn't aware, and she just gets a mammogram, it will not be detected. She will, however, be exposed to high levels of radiation year after year, as well as the crushing of the breast tissue, which has proven to be very dangerous in addition to the radiation. Therefore, it must be understood that mammography is a not a method of prevention. It is only a method of detection in certain women. Detection and prevention are not the same. 

Ladies, at the end of the day, you need to take the methods and routes to which make you feel the safest and most comfortable. You are a loved and valuable creation of the Lord. This article is just to share my story and information.

The results of my biopsy were positively negative. I continued with the changes I'd made, and consulted the "Great Physician" my Lord and God from there on out. There was no going back. I did not want to remain sick. I did not want another tumor and for the results to be positive next time. My daily diet has evolved with needs of my body yet remains clean and healthy. That's prevention!

Although not mentioned often by many medical professionals, there are many routes of actual prevention that can utilized. While genetics definitely come into play, we also have control over how we live our lives. You can reduce inflammation, the root of all disease, by the choices you make, then taking an active part to be responsible with your health, which is lessening the negative effects of our environment on our bodies. It's much better to take measures to prevent a problem than having to fix one.

We will discuss them below. Please take time to read the articles and studies listed in the references below. These articles are extremely informative. 

Breast Health Tips

Thermography: Something I didn't know about 6 years ago that I wish I had was thermography. Thermography is a test for inflammation in the body using heat through infrared technology. Inflammation is the beginning of disease. So what makes this technology so neat is it can show you areas in the body that are in trouble in the very beginning. This is important because it allows you to make lifestyle changes before anything severe like a tumor starts to grow. There is no pain or crushing of breast tissue. If your doctor or insurance doesn't offer thermography, petition until they do. A little persistent noise does wonders. Please check out the references below for more information. 

Essential Oils: These are the life blood or immune system of the plants. They are highly concentrated with wonderful traits. Several essential oils can promote breast health as well! Specifically there have been government studies on the efficacy of frankincense. It has been show through tests that frankincense has provided a positive effect in shrinking tumors. Check for the study in the references below. Do be sure to only use therapeutic grade frankincense. This cannot be obtained at most stores out in town. Get yours here

You can also try blending a few drops of sandal wood, orange, rosemary, geranium, and majoram to work along with the frankincense on a physical and emotional level. Apply these essentials with a little organic unrefined coconut oil directly to breasts and bottom of the feet.

Again I can't stress enough that store bought essential oils are not of the same grade. I only use Young Living. Feel free to contact me here to get yours at 24% off the retail price.

Bras: There of has been a lot to say about the stress on the body due to wearing bra, especially the ones with underwires. Some experts say that the underwire is a dangerous conductor for EMFs to travel negatively through the body. Another concern is the longer you wear your bra throughout the day the more of a risk it is by cutting the lymphatic system due to the tight fit of the underwire. You will read carried opinions on the topic. Honestly, through the information I've sifted, I believe at least some facts hold water. Check resources below. I also don't intend to stop wearing a bra all of time. So here are some options.

1) Only wear a bra or at least a tight bra with an underwire if you must have one out of the house. Cancer rates are said to go up the longer you use them.

2) Did you know that you can replace your underwire with a plastic option instead? Read what Dr. Mercola says here. Apparently they are easy to pop in there. 

3) Try a Coobie bra. These are wonderful, supportive bras WITHOUT underwires. Go here to check them out! Google Coobie Bras.

Wireless Devices: Whether it's a phone, lap top, or tablet, put it down whenever you are able. The less we hold them the better. Never wear phones in your bra or on your body period. Instead of a bra, pocket, or phone clip that rests on your body, put it in a purse or backpack. 

We are electrical creatures and have frequencies in our bodies. Every electronic device has what are electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs). Some devices have extremely high frequencies. Dr, Mercola,OD, health expert and speaker, says EMFs can be detrimental to our health. 

The EMFs are said to disrupt the natural frequencies in our bodies, especial sat higher ranges, like in wireless devices. So to be on the safe side here are some tips you can employ.

1) Be on your cell phone less

2) Wear rosemary essential oil daily; this particular oil is said to promote a health barrier to the frequencies in our bodies; daily mix it with organic unrefined coconut oil, and rub it across your forehead, temples, on the scalp, and bottoms of your feet.

3) Put your cell phone down and turn it off whenever possible

4) Use an old time wired phone at home

5) Use less wireless devices at home

Foods: Eating foods that reduce inflammation and bring minerals to the body are key! Here is a list of the best ones to keep in your rotation:

1) Turmeric
2) Broccoli Sprouts
3) Grass-fed Butter
4) Wild Caught Salmon
5) Chia Seeds
6) Fresh, cold pressed, raw/unpasteurized green juices
7) Lightly Steamed Broccoli
8) Green Smoothies (rotate your greens)
9) Pasteured Free Range Eggs
10) Shiitake Mushrooms

Exercise: Moving our bodies daily for exercise reduces stress and inflammation then being a positive aspect for breast health. The best exercises are ones that do not over tax your endocrine system or joints. Some of the best choices are:

1) Walking
2) Pilates
3) HIIT or Burst Training using your own body weight or light hand weights

Body Care: Switch to natural, safer options. Many products are so easy to make yourself. Avoid products with aluminum, soy, bleaches, fragrance oils, and other synthetics. Be especially concerned with deodorants. Regular store brands can clog your lymphatic system with toxins.

All of these tips are for informational and educational purposes. This is not and does not replace medical advice. If you suspect you may have breast cancer, please see your primary care physician or women's health practitioner. 

Much love to you! Grace and peace! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Being Green with Essential Oils

Today is the 22nd anniversary of Earth Day. Part of being a good steward of your health is taking care of the world around you! Our Holy Creator Yeshua the Messiah of All created this planet just for us. What a wonderful God we serve! So it our duty to take of the health of planet, so it in turn can help us with our health. All of creation is connected, while we are not same, there is a definite connection.

Here are Easy Ways to Be Good to the Earth with Young Living Essential Oils:

1) Keep Your Air Clean:

Still using Glade Plug Ins, aerosol room freshener sprays, or those crazy eye ball looking scented balls for a pleasant scent in your home or office? Ditch that mess! 

These products contain comments like: 

Phthalates: serious hormone disruptors, extremely dangerous for children, amounts built up over time can cause testosterone disturbance, and even genetalia mutations

Dichlorobenzene: precursor to DDT and linked to lung cancer

Instead....use a cold air diffuser! Young Living provides several high quality diffusers to choose from online. 

Pictured above is called the Home Diffuser. It covers smaller spaces like bedrooms and larger spaces like living rooms. Just adjust how much oil you use. Always start with just 4 drops. Increase from there if needed. 

Here's how to use it:

There's 3 parts to the home diffuser:

The Base
The Lid
The Plug

Remove the lid. There's a little plastic shelf line inside. Fill it with distilled water. Yes, use distilled. In this particular diffuser there's a stainless steel plate, and the minerals from the water can clog it. 

Add your desired oil and desired amount of drops directly into the water. 

Place on the lid.

Plug it in.

Push the button in the front to turn it on. 

The first time you push the button it will run continuously for about 3 hours.  The second time you push the button it switches to 90 second bursts, so it just depends on what you want.

This diffuser (or a higher quality substitution) comes for FREE when you purchase an Everyday Oils Premium Kit from Young Living. You get 8 essential oil sample packs, 2 Ningxia Red Goji Berry Health Drinks, and eleven 5ml sized bottles of therapeutic grade essential oils to use in your home! Order one here.

There are other diffusers available on the market besides the ones from Young Living, but many of them are cheaply made, and the plastic quality is lower. You won't be able to use citrus oils in some of them. For quality and control, choose Young Living.

2) Keep Your Water Clean: 

Get rid of the detergent and fabric softener. This stuff is seriously toxic. Then it goes into our waters, yuck! There are safer ways to have lovely smelling, fluffy towels. 

In commercial detergents and fabric softeners you'll find some of the following, and I'm not listing all of them:

Benzyl Acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer

Benzyl Alcohol: an upper respiratory tract irritant

Ethanol: on the EPA's list of hazardous waste

What works great at my house is I make my own laundry detergent, which is super easy, and way cheaper than brands you'd buy in the store. Here is the recipe I use, given to me from a friend a long time ago. 

Laundry Detergent Recipe

1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 Full Sized Dr. Bronners Baby/Unscented Bars of Soap
1 4-5 Gallon Bucket


Put your bucket into the tub (if you have one). Grate your bar of soap, put it into the bucket. Pour hot boiling water over the top, and stir until mostly dissolved. Pour in other ingredients. Fill the rest of the bucket with water from the tub spicket and stir. Allow this to set for 1-2 days until it kind of gels on top, then it's ready for use. You only need 1/4-1/2 cup per full load, depending on how soiled.

As an option you can scent your laundry detergent itself with 5-10ml of essential oil. You can add the essential to the bucket and stir once it's set. Consider using lemon since it's great on stains!

For fabric softener you can rinse with vinegar. Vinegar is great for softening clothes. Add 1/2 cup for a large load to the rinse cycle. No, your clothes won't smell like vinegar!

For even fluffier clothes, use wool dryer balls. My girlfriend, BethAnne is a Norwex consultant, so I got mine from her. 

Use all three balls for each load. You'll get a ton of uses out of them. I add 2-3 drops of lemongrass essential oil to each ball. That gets me through about 2 loads of my favorite scent!

3) Keep Your Soil Clean:

Do you garden? Did you know that Round Up and other pesticides are toxins to the brain and to the gut? Instead for pesticides use essential oils! 

Try 10 drops each of rosemary, thyme, peppermint in a gallon of distilled water. Keep in a dark, cool closet. Mix the solution, and pour some in a smaller dark glass spray bottle for easy use.  Apply on flowers and vegetables.

4) Reduce Reuse Recycle:

Have a ton of essential oil bottles? Don't throw them into the trash! Make your own essential oil blends and use them for your family, or give them away as gifts. Print out a special label for them and pick a name.

*If you need essential oils, you can purchase them here. You can contact me if you have any questions here.

Enjoy the rest of your earth day! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Building a Great Salad

I love salads, they are fast, healthy, and virtually limitless. You can be so creative with a salad from your base to your dressing. Some salads ingredients are so awesome a dressing isn't even required. 

I do believe building a good salad is an art though. The difference between a boring house salad and a wow oh my goodness I've died and gone to heaven salad is just the willingness to try new things. I can tend to be a salad snob though and while I love them in theory, I don't often order them when I go out because I tend to get disappointed. Salads shouldn't be boring, but that's often case. Paying $10-$12 for a plate of dullness really upsets me.

While I try really hard not to make multiple meals in my house, sometimes it's unavoidable when the main course for my guys is meat, and I simply don't eat it. 

This is when healthy fast food, like a great salad comes in handy. You can be as intricate as you want and the more ingredients, the more interesting. Balancing the right veggies, proteins, and dressings is a fun process. Don't be afraid to mix raw with cooked. I always like to when possible mix some of my homemade lacto-fermented veggies into my salad to boost flavor and nutrition. 

Some of my favorite added ingredients are: 

Raw Nuts & Seeds
Goat Cheese
Fermented Veggies (sauerkraut, beets, carrots) 
Organic Sweet Bell Peppers
Organic Grape Tomatoes
Pastured Chicken (if you eat it)
Capers (gluten free of course)
Avocado (my favorite food ever)
Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon
Grass Fed Steak (if you eat it)
Free Range Eggs (hard boiled or fried)

Your Green Bases 

Rotate your greens in your salad. For optimal nutrition allow a wide variety of greens to grace your bowl. Try to keep your leafy greens organic to avoid nasty pesticides and GMOs. Try baby spinach, mixed greens, bok choy, arugula, kale, chard, mustard, and collards.

Salad Dressings

Rule number one: do not buy them! They  are toxic messes full of junk not needed. If you go organic, yeah it's a step up, but totally not necessary. Seriously, take 5 minutes to drizzle some quality extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemons over your salad with good salt and pepper, your taste buds will dance.

For easy, awesome homemade salad dressings keep the following items on hand to whip up yummy dressings:

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Organic Lemons/Limes or Lemon/Lime Juice 
Fresh Organic Oranges
Fresh or Dry Organic Spices/Herbs
Organic Maple Syrup
Organic Local Raw Honey
Organic Mustard (gluten free; yellow/Dijon)
Nut Butters

In the picture below I threw together a miso dressing for my salad. I didn't measure (sorry for those of you out there that must measure everything). I'll try to give you approximates. 

2-3 Tsp Braggs ACV
1 Tsp Organic Chickpea Miso Paste
1/2 Tsp Organic Ginger Powder
2 Tsp Organic Maple Syrup
2-3 Tsp Creamy Almond Butter
1 Tbsp Organic Untoasted Sesame Oil

I just mixed everything in that glass bowl and put it on my salad.

As for the salad itself I just pulled things out of the fridge that I had there: organic fermented beets, organic baby spinach, and kelp noodles. What on earth are kelp noodles, you ask. Well simply stated they are a brown based seaweed providing a natural source of iodine. They are a good source of fiber and very filling. So yes they are gluten free!

I probably used 1/4 of the bag. I cut them with kitchen scissors. I bought mine locally at Whole Foods, but you can order them here. I promise they are safe and healthy although as my son has stated they look "plasticy." They take on the flavor of what you put with them. No, they are not fishy tasting. 

I prefer soaking mine in warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes before eating them. I enjoy the texture after soaking them and eating them with my salad. 

I really enjoy the change of pace the noodles provide to my salad regimen. Do you like kelp noodles? Have you tried them? Tell me below.

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

Want help creating more healthy recipes? Want to change your life now by adopting a healthy lifestyle change? Need help? Contact me to set up your FREE health history consultation here!

I do have some affiliate links throughout my blog. You are never obligated to purchase through them, but when you do, you support this healthy momma! So thank you!

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 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.


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


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