Saturday, May 19, 2018

Cauliflower Power Bowl

When I was a child the cauliflower was one I thoroughly disliked. Growing up though most veggies were prepared the same way over boiled leaving them flavorless, boring, and essentially lifeless.  Learning how to cook for myself was the greatest gift because I began to explore foods I never liked or tried before and discovered that there's not a vegetable out there that I do not enjoy for the most part. Cauliflower has truly become a favorite of mine due to it's versatility and ability to absorb flavors really well.

Cauliflower is in a class of veggies called brassica, the same family as Brussel Sprouts, kale, broccoli, and cabbage. It is rich in antioxidants, which means eating them reduces oxidative stress in the body, thereby reducing chances of turning on cancer in the body. Antioxidants are really important and eating a high plant-based daily diet is the way to get them. If you are not a cauliflower fan, try it different ways until you find one that you like.

An adored breakfast, lunch, or dinner option of mine are power bowls. Have you had them? Some people call them Buddah bowls, but I prefer Power Bowls because that's what plant food gives us, lots of power, natural energy, and strength. Do not underestimate the dynamism of plants! The most fun part is you can truly eat them any time of day and feel great!

So you can make all kinds of Power Bowls. You can add animal protein sources, but the main feature should be plant-based foods. I'll share more recipes of some of my most enjoyed options in future posts.

First thing to do with any Power Bowl is to decide what your base veggie will be and then build on top of it. So obviously, in this case, it was cauliflower. These work great with leftovers.

Cauliflower Power Bowl Recipe

Serves 2

2 Heads Cauliflower, chopped

Avocado Oil

2 Organic Red Bell Peppers, diced

4 Packed Cups Organic Kale, torn or chopped

2-3 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

1 Cup Hummus (homemade or store bought) You may need more or less

1 Cup Organic Quinoa, dry/uncooked

Sauce Ingredients

1/2 Cup Full Fat Organic BPA Free Canned Coconut Milk

2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1/2 Tsp Organic Chili Powder

1 Tbsp Grass Fed Cow Gelatin

1/2 Tsp Himalayan Salt

1/2 Bunch Fresh Organic Cilantro, chopped

As much organic ground pepper as you want

Optional: A healthy spoonful of grassfed organic ghee


Chop cauliflower and place on stoneware or cookie sheet with unbleached parchment, drizzle avocado oil on top, sprinkle with Himalayan salt, roast on 400 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes (check it at 25 minutes, it should be slightly brown).

Cook the quinoa.

Prep the kale and bell peppers, add coocnut oil to saute pan, saute peppers first then add kale at the end, don't overcook.

In a small pot add sauce ingredients, except for the cilantro. Whisk until it boils, Once it boils return to low heat, add the cilantro, let it wilt, remove from heat.

Grab a larger sized bowl to build your meal. Build your base as I mentioned above with cauliflower all across the bottom of the bowl. Scoop on top really as much as you want of everything else in sections. The sauce goes on top of the quinoa.

The texture is king with the power bowl, so be sure to balance it out along with appropriate flavors. My husband and youngest son are allergic to avocado, so until I stop nursing our son it is not on the grocery list. I love the soft creamy texture plus a dose of healthy fat that an avocado gives though. My creamy choice here was hummus, which is a big hit in our home with everyone except for my middle son.

You could make a bowl just like this with cooked riced cauliflower as the base veggie as well. Be creative, use what you have that is healthy and supportive to your body. Do not be afraid to branch out and change it up. Add new foods to the fridge and pantry to prevent boredom. If you don't have a particular ingredient in the recipe, do not stress. I don't want you to feel restricted if you want to make this recipe and can't use that ingredient today, however part of a health journey is doing things differently. I had a friend who used to consistently ask for recipes, but she would say didn't have this or that in the pantry. I totally get that, at the same time branch out.

Tell me what you like in your Power Bowls below. May this recipe be a blessing to your table.


Marie Brock, HHC

Friday, April 13, 2018

Why I Love Tea

I have been a tea drinker since a wee one because I used to watch my mom. Unfortunately to this day my mom still drinks black Tetley tea, which I highly advise against that brand due to toxic plastics in the actual tea bag, and the tea leaves being non-organic, possibly GMO, and sprayed with tons of chemicals. Regardless, she is where I gained my initial love. I've raised my older sons to be tea drinkers, and now our 1 year old is also enjoying the benefits of tea as well. He asks for tea each morning and night when he sees the teapot or his dada or I sipping our mugs.

Tea is a daily experience in our home. There are numerous benefits such as natural stress reduction, healthy sleep support, nourishment to the skin, and immune system health.

Something to understand about tea is that while there is the actual "tea plant" camellia sinesis, you can make tea from just about any plant to include herbs, spices, flowers, and roots. Technically herbal tea is considered a tisane, not tea because it doesn't come from the camellia sinesis plant. There are many different types of tea to be enjoyed. As you would expect from me I will discuss some of my favorite teas due to health benefits. When choosing teas, you always want to go organic because plants over all are heavily sprayed with poisonous herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides that wreak havoc in our bodies creating mutagenic changes and disease. Here is one study speaking about the healthy awesomeness of tea.

Black and Oolong

The most popular tea as far as a category that most people think of would be black teas coming from the camellia sinesis sinesis or camelia sinesis assamica leaves. You won't find me consuming black tea too often these days due to high caffeine content and lack of health value in comparison to other choices due to full oxidation during processing, so it is not in our house. Truth be told there is wonderful flavor to be found in them though, especially Darjeerling, and Ceylon as singles and yummy black tea blends are Earl Grey and Masala Chai. The longer you steep the tea the more the caffeine will increase. If you enjoy black varieties, keep drinking them as an occasional treat, not a daily occurence.

Oolong is only semi-oxidized compared to complete oxidation with black tea leaves. The oxidation process changes the color of the leaves. I remember drinking oolong as a child at Chinese restaurants. If you are transitioning from coffee, and you do not like green tea, this would be a good step away from coffee because the flavor is lighter than green tea and an 8oz cup contains 1/3 less caffeine than an 8oz cup of coffee.

Green and White

From a health perspective shifting from black to green tea is definitely a better choice. Green tea leaves are not oxidized at all, which means all of the chlorophyll, polyphenols, and antioxidants are intact. The leaves are cooked though. Antioxidants are super important components in our daily dietary regimen for fighting an overabundance of free radicals in the body that can create a cancerous environment. I don't over consume green tea due to the caffeine, but on occasion I may enjoy a cup, though rare, and I don't keep it at home. I enjoy matcha green tea the most due to flavor and antioxidant content. It is wonderful for making lattes with coconut milk.

Due to minimal processing and cooking as well as short steeping times white tea is said to have less caffeine than green and some consider it to be an even healthier choice. It's considered the raw tea according to Dr. Axe. In some drinkers it can stimulate a sluggish metabolism.


Now here is my heart. I adore utilizing herbs and roots for teas. You get flavor, health value, and no caffeine. I have several herbs, flowers, and spices on my wall as well as in an herb closet that I use each day.

I greatly prefer loose teas to bag teas because many bagged teas use plastics in their bags as mentioned with Tetley above, you will have to do research and email companies to ask. They do not post this kind of thing on their websites or boxes. We do not want to be pour hot water over plastics and then drink them.

Loose teas also allow me to enjoy the freedom of creating my tea blends as I desire. I use a glass teapot infuser like this one. I feel like I am at a spa drinking them. I choose a special mug and sip it if I can. It is a joy I allow myself daily.

I keep the following dried lovelies in my kitchen always for tea:

  • Rooibos (immune support)
  • Red Raspberry Leaf (great for female health)
  • Rosehips (immune for little people)
  • Stinging Nettles (skin, liver, immune for little people)
  • Hibiscus Flowers (heart and skin support)
  • Elderberries (immune support)
  • Lemon Balm (health rest support and stress reduction)
  • Calendula (skin support)
  • Pau D'Arco (immune support)
  • Red Clover (female and respiratory support)
  • Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks (healthy blood sugar...great for little people, naturally sweet)
  • Ground Turmeric (immune support)
  • Fresh & Dry Ginger Root (digestive and immune support)
  • Slippery Elm (immune and throat support)

I try to mix my blends up, but I will share two of my standing favorites!

Morning Tea Mix

4 Rosehip Buds
1 Tsp Rooibos
1 Tsp Stinging Nettles

Nighttime Tea Mix

1 Tsp Lemon Balm
1/2 Tsp Lavender Flowers
1 Inch Fresh Ginger Root (peeled)

You can steep your teas a variety of different ways. If you don't yet have a tea infuser you can wrap the herbs in unbleached cheese cloth, tie it with string, and then put them into the boiled water. 

I don't sweeten my teas, but you can feel free to add a bit of raw unfiltered honey, it is delicious. Sometimes I like to add Young Living Vitality Citrus Essential Oils just before drinking. I get a powerful healthy blast of plant power when combining essential oils with tea.

Are you a tea drinker? What do you enjoy?



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

What Do I Do For Natural Healthy Vitality and Energy?

(Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is to be considered medical advice. It is purely for informational and educational purposes. Readers are responsible for their own decisions about their health and wellness, and are always encouraged to discuss regimen changes with their health care professional of their choice.) 

I think that is probably one of the most popular questions that I get asked. Life can be fast paced, I get it, and I need help as well as a busy wife, mother, and business owner.

Truth be told, I've never really been a die hard gotta have my coffee drinker, although I do love the taste and smell. If you do drink coffee daily, my first plea to you is to switch to organic if you haven't already. The reason for that is coffee is one of the highest sprayed crops with herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. Those are all toxins that wreak havoc in our gut and cause unhealthy gene mutations. Next bring it down to one or two cups in the morning only, if you are doing more than that amount. Also for every cup of coffee you have then drink two cups of water.

You may not have thought of this, but drinking plenty of water is a huge contribution to energy. Many reach for that cup of coffee in the morning, sadly though caffeine is not sustainable energy. I’m thrilled that the Lord created the coffee plant, but it was not for nutritional daily purposes. Water contains minerals that hydrate us. Dehydration causes fatigue. The first thing I do is start my morning with warm lemon water. Be sure to consume enough water for your specific body type and activity levels. The basic equation for water consumption is your weight in half as ounces, so if you weigh 100 pounds, then you would drink a minimum of 50 ounces per day. There are a lot of considerations to take into account with personal water intake, but that's a good place to start with water.

Sleep is paramount. Natural, daily sleep each day is essential for real energy. I do not mean to sound condescending at all. We live in culture that simply doesn’t value rest. If you are not sleeping 7-10 hours each day, then something is wrong physically or emotionally. There have been a variety of times in my life where my sleep has been disrupted either for long or short periods of time. The important factor to recognize here is that not sleeping is not okay, at the same time do not beat yourself up over it. Sleep builds the foundation for our whole health profile. Proper sleep plays into normal hormone function, weight management, and brain development. Women, the ones who generally lack sleep, have been recorded in studies, here is one, to actually require more sleep than men. There are a variety of reasons why we don't sleep well. I will say that none of the reasons equivocate to us needing to take sleep medication or pharmaceuticals everyday. That is a dangerous road. It is important to get to root issue, sometimes it can be a combination factors. Be patient with yourself. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with utilizing natural means like diffusing lavender, a night time massage, or a cup of lemon balm to encourage healthy rest. However, from a healthy stand point when our bodies will not do the things they are supposed to naturally do, a red flag should go up. Here are some safe ways to encourage sleep.

While this is not a shocker, what we eat matters. Do the best you can to include quality nutrition. If we are not fueling our bodies with highly nourishing components, then we cannot expect it to have very much energy to expend. When I begin to feel consistently sluggish I don’t reach for a stimulant, but instead I recognize it’s time to support my colon, and eat more raw foods. Late spring and summer are excellent times to really dig into more of a raw foods eating regimen because that’s when fruits and vegetables are at their richest. I also consume chia seeds just about everyday in either chia pudding, a smoothie, or in my water like in the picture above. Chia seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acids that are very energizing because they support the brain and heart. 

Chia Water Recipe

16oz filtered water
1 Tbsp Organic Chia Seeds
Pinch of Himalayan Salt (not visible in picture but added already)
1-2 Drops Young Living Grapefruit Vitality EO (optional)

Aside from nutrition and a really great nights sleep there are 3 nutritional supplements that I use daily that definitely support natural, sustainable energy. I will share what they are below and why I take them.

The first one I'll introduce is a Young Living Liquid Mineral Supplement called Mineral Essence. Oh my word this has become a game changer for me. I try hard to eat healthy as a health coach, but being a busy mom and wife I know I don't always feed myself well or enough, that's just the truth. Our foods today are not rich in vitamins and minerals like God intended due to over farming, so supplements are a must. That supplement really fills in the gaps for me and I feel the difference. I'd no idea how truly mineral deficient I was until after taking it. I feel like a different person. Mineral deficiency is a big problem as well as huge in our culture. Unfortunately, most doctors will not even consider it when patients come to them with a whole host of symptoms that scream mineral deficiency like irritability, fatigue, headaches, muscle weakness, depression, constipation, coldness, inability to concentrate, and more. Instead they will just write their patients a prescription for a pharmaceutical drug, when all they probably needed was good nutrition.

Another hitch that can come with mineral absorption from our food is many Americans walking around have gut issues. When we eat nutrient dense foods, but our digestive system is not in tact, that makes it difficult to ascertain good nutrition. Since this is a liquid, it's much easier for our bodies to acquire what they need versus fighting with a damaged digestive system. The best way to know what you need is to go to your local health care provider and ask for a vitamin and mineral panel then go from there. Just remember that you call the shots with your health, not anyone else. FYI, I'm tooting this supplement because it really, really has good stuff in there. I've taken other liquid minerals and they never made in a difference in how I felt. Sometimes it is what we don't have that is the problem.

I also find Super B by Young Living to be foundational as well. B vitamins are known to support brain health, cell growth and development, and even emotional health. Here is one study remarking on how much we underestimate the value and importance of B vitamins. They assist the brain in functioning properly with ATP (energy) production. When we become B deficient, you can see our body may become confused in what needs to happen in order for us operate well. So on a basic level the B vitamins do not give us energy directly, but they do direct the components necessary to utilize energy.

The third one is so...well it's one of those things that you don't realize how good it is until it's gone, following suit is another Young Living product, Ningxia Red. This delicious bottle of whole nutrition is a wolfberry/goji berry puree along with other whole fruits and citrus essential oils. The wolfberry is one of the few foods to boost HGH (the human growth hormone) which has been called the key to our youth and vitality as well as being the food rated highest over all other in antioxidants. I love Ningxia Red as well because unlike other antioxidant supplements we get the whole fruit, and not just the juice. In order to learn more visit the Ningxia Red website. Again this is a liquid supplement, so it's much easier for our bodies to absorb that needed nutrition. This is a great supplement for the whole family. Dr. Lindsey Elmore, one of Young Livings product ambassadors as well as holding a PharmD (degree in Pharmacy), recommends Ningxia Red for children once they are eating solid foods. If you have stubborn family members who are resistant to healthy changes, this is a simple, yummy addition for them that most will not rebel against just due to flavor. You only need 1-4oz daily depending on the person, most people only need an ounce or two. I've found I personally function best on 4oz. You want to serve it cold. It can even go in freezer pops. It comes in glass bottles or portable 2oz packets.

The best way to purchase the products I've shared with you is to open a family wholesale account through Young Living Essential Oils. If you don't already have a friend or family member who uses Young Living, you can feel free to sign up on my website and I will be that friend who referred you. As a wholesale member that will save you 24% off of the retail price of all Young Living products as well as giving you the access to earning free products and reduce shipping through the customer loyalty program, Essential Rewards. All you do is choose the starter kit that is right for your family. A starter kit is like your wholesale member's card. If you are on Facebook, my husband and I operate and education based group so you learn more about essential oils, and the rest of the products for our members only. If you are local to the Triangle area in NC then you as a wholesale member through Kingdom Health (that's us) are privy to our members only meetings every first Thursday of each calendar month.We have an education portion, share a healthy potluck meal together, and participate in a make & take. I encourage you to email me here if you have any questions.

*If you are not quite ready for a wholesale membership, but you'd to try at least one product I mentioned, you can purchase with a retail account as well, which doesn't require a starter kit. You would be paying 24% more than wholesale members though when paying retail. The choice is yours. Go on the website to learn more.

Everyone whether or not you are a Young Living member are able to join our Kingdom Health Road to Wellness Facebook Group. It's a wonderful education group for those who want to learn more about having a healthier lifestyle and how to make it simple. We cover topics like essential oils, healthy eating, switching to safer more natural products and how to do so, fitness, natural ways to reduce stress, healthy habits that can support your body, and more. It is a closed group, and you must be invited by a member of the group. Let us know in an email here if you are interested or if you know someone in the group, ask them to invite you.

I hope this blog post was helpful to you! What healthy tips do you have for energy? Post them in the comments below.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Beets, Oh How I Love Thee

When I was a child I can totally remember my Mom having beets on the table. She loved Harvard beets out of a jar. I didn't hate them, but I didn't love them either. As I grew older beets certainly weren't my first choice to go on my plate. Like most people when we are exposed to foods as a child, we tend to think they can only be prepared or offered one way. It's funny how our minds work. As I come across adults I see how close minded or stifled in a box we can be when it comes to food. My sweet husband loves my cooking, but I still see him get a nervous if a new dish or food graces his plate. I've for the most part always been an odd ball in that respect. I always loved trying new foods within reason, anything in the vegetable or plant category I've deemed as safe to try. When we get into the animal kingdom that's where I begin to get picky for various reasons. I'm still like that today for the most part. I can remember branching out into what I considered healthier foods as a teenager the more trendy or fancy it was the better, again, I'm not that different today, I was a foodie in the making. Dare I say how hip I thought I was eating that veggie patty from TGI Fridays in 1995. If smart phones, food shots, and blogging were in then I would've been doing this way sooner.

I don't think many people reach for beets on a standard American diet since most are concerned with what is fast and tastes good going down in our busy society. You just don't find beets in the American drive thru. I am grateful to Mom for exposing me to beets though because I had a base to start from and in 2009 when I adopted a plant based eating regimen to transform my health I knew I'd have to expand my horizons above the over cooked frozen broccoli that I grew up on as well as the jarred beets. I will say she scarred me from trying brussel sprouts because of the boiling. I thought brussel sprouts always had to smell like stinky feet, which is what happens when you boil them, so I didn't go near them. It wasn't until I learned about the power of roasting vegetables that brussel sprouts became acceptable.

So I don't eat beets from a jar today, but I do enjoy them a variety of ways. I love them raw in smoothies, juices (best raw juice ever with lots of ginger), or grated on salads. I adore them lacto-fermented, which I can do a blog post about if you'd like. Let me know. I might do it anyway. A favorite and simple way that opens up lots of doors to enjoying beets, which I'll share today is roasting them. When you roast beets, magic happens. They soften, caramelize, and turn into root veggie candy. They are wonderful as a dinner or breakfast side dish, on salads, a snack, in sandwiches or wraps, or whatever other food experience you may create.

Foodie Tip: Do not throw out those beets greens and stems! They are amazingly healthy and are great juiced, lightly sauteed in coconut oil, or chopped up for a salad.

Beets have a phenomenal nutritional profile packed with minerals like potassium and manganese, vitamin C, fiber, and anthocyanins (really wonderful antioixdants). They support healthy blood pressure.

You want to buy them organic because they are one of the top genetically modified foods.

Simple Roasted Beets 

You can roast as many as you want or get into your oven. I've not frozen them afterwards before, but I would think if you wanted to do so after chopping them, and then throw them into a stir fry later, that would be fine or directly into a smoothie.

I do not peel them, but I do wash them with my toxin free Thieves Fruit & Veggie Wash. We never know what our foods' path was before it got to us, so washing is highly recommended. I put them in a bowl of filtered water with a 1/2 to 1 tsp of the veggie wash or I spray each beet with the veggie spray and then put them in the water. Using a vegetable scrub brush I gently clean them. You can get the veggie wash or spray with a family wholesale account through Young Living Essential Oils, here. You'll receive a 24% discount along with other benefits as a member. Young Living is a wellness company with wide range of safe, toxin free products for the whole family and house. You can see the products here. Feel free to ask me questions about it. You can email me here.

After you wash them I cut the ends off with the stems, but not the tips. (In the picture some are cut off because I honestly got distracted by my toddler.)

Cover the beets in either avocado or coconut oil, then sprinkle with Himalayan salt. Avocado oil would be better due to the temperature.

I always like to use parchment paper to reduce clean up. So I place parchment on whatever pan or dish or sheet I'm using to roast the beets.

Roast them in the oven for 50 minutes on 400 degrees F.

Let me know how you like your beets! If you've never tried beets before, definitely try them this way first.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Oats & Chia Pudding Part 2

Okay so the other week I shared about the oats portion. This week I am going to get right to the good stuff and tell you all about the yummy goodness of the addition of chia pudding. I've never had a bowl of oatmeal taste this good ya'll, like for real, sooo good!

If you do not have chia seeds in your kitchen, you most definitely want to pick some up. You can do a variety of things with them in the kitchen. One thing I love to do (while it took me a moment to get used to the texture in my drink) is add a tablespoon to my water. I love to do this in the beginning of the afternoon. Chia seeds pack a powerful punch with fiber at 11 grams for an ounce of seeds, high in healthy omega 3 fatty acids (great for the brain, heart, and healthy energy) at 17.83 grams, 19% of the daily allowance for protein, along with a whole host of minerals.

I like to buy chia seeds at Costco due to the price, but a good place to get some to try is Trader Joes. You can also purchase them at Thrive Market.

One of my favorite things to make with chia seeds is pudding! In this post I'll share with you how to make chocolate chia pudding. There aren't any refined sugars in it, and due to the nutritional profile, it is a great quick breakfast, or at least part of one. As a busy mom, sometimes even a health coach who meal plans, needs something fast she can grab out of the fridge. Add some fruits and raw nuts and you'll be in heaven! As I talked about chia pudding in the last post, I added it to my oatmeal. I'd read other bloggers doing this before, but never made time until recently. I may never go back to non-chia pudding oats again.

In order to make chocolate chia pudding you'll need:

1/4 C Chia Seeds
1 Can Organic Whole Coconut Milk (I get mine at Thrive Market)
3 Tbsp Organic Raw Cacao Powder (I get mine at Thrive Market)
1 Pinch Himalayan Salt
4-5 Medjool Dates (remove the pit)
1 Drop Young Living Peppermint Vitality Essential Oil (optional)

Get a quart sized mason ( you can use a pint size, but you may have a bit that won't fit, so I prefer the quart) and put the chia seeds in the jar.

Blend the dates, coconut milk, peppermint oil, salt, and cacao powder.

Pour the chocolate blend over the chia seeds in the jar and mix them well.

Place the fridge overnight and in the morning you will have a lovely, healthy dessert.

You can now get really creative with how you serve your pudding. While it is totally worth of eating on it's own, feel free to mix it up and make a healthy parfait with it and some fresh fruit. You can also do what I like to do and occasionally add it to my oatmeal. It transforms my oats into absolute paradise. To inspire you and give you an idea, I'll put the picture of my oats and chia pudding below.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Oats & Chia Pudding with Lots of Love! Part 1

Happy February, the month of love! Oh and I know I'm a bit late, but Happy New Year! I've so missed sharing all of the healthy love through blogging. It was an extremely difficult decision for me to put down the blog for a while. I wish I could've done it with a proper I'll see ya again message, but I just didn't get that far. Please know that I love every single person who reads this blog and I pray for you.

As you know with previous posts when I last left off I was toward the end of my pregnancy with our newest addition.  I'll share some pictures. So on July 2nd in 2016 (yeah, it's really been a while since I posted) our lives tremendously changed, and the Lord gave us Lukas. He is currently 19 months old and an incredible joy in our lives. Starting over with a little one was an amazing decision for us. I love being an older mom. It's so different than momming in my early 20's like I did with the older two young men who will forever light up my life (ages 14 and 17 now...big boys). I take things a lot more slowly and has truly allowed me to tune into his needs.

I don't know that I'd put a label on how we are choosing to parent though I think I could say it is fairly gentle and akin to what is now called attachment parenting. We are fans of nursing, co-sleeping, and baby wearing. I will share about a lot of those topics in other future posts.

So for the month of January my husband and I decided to do Whole 30 just for a reset even though we eat really well a majority of the time. Sometimes our bodies need a rest from certain foods and as a health coach I like to walk my talk and do the things I recommend to my clients. It was a good month for both of us. It left me with a craving towrad the end of the month though...oatmeal, I really, really wanted some oatmeal. Kind of a weird craving huh?! I'm sure looking through Pinterest and at other food blogs didn't hurt either. Also it's winter time and there's nothing like a bowl of warm, toasty oats in the morning.

Naturally the foodie queen that I am didn't just want oatmeal, I had to have it with chia pudding. When I was younger I absolutely hated oatmeal, but that was because I was under the impression that oatmeal came from those horrible artificially flavored packed where my mom always added too much water and it was just gross. It wasn't until I had made the switch to a whole foods healthy eating lifestyle that I realized oatmeal didn't have to be that way. Truth, I prefer steel cut oats, but we were out so for this post I will show you the recipe with organic gluten free rolled oats. I purchased the oats from

Here are the oats after sitting overnight in 1 cup of filtered water with 1 tbsp of raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (you can also use whey or fresh lemon juice) always in a glass container. Glass is a safer nedium for food.Years ago as I was learning about what foods were healthy I also learned about better ways to prepare foods. A lot of grains in particular are received by our bodies when soaked overnight. The soaking allows more nutrients to be released and be better digested. Our early ancestors prepared grains in this way, but those old ways of doing things got lost in our sea of microwaves and drive thrus. I soak the oats right before I got to bed so they will be ready in the morning. You want to soak them for about 8 hours. After soaking I rinse them lightly in a mesh strainer with filtered water then put them into a pot.

Hopefully this doesn't make anyone crazy, but I don't measure the amount of water that I put in with the oats to cook them at this point. I just barely cover the top of them and put the burner on low to medium heat. They cook very quickly, in just a few minutes so don't go anywhere, and do stir them. Add more filtered water if it looks like you need it. At this point you will determine your preferred texture.

I always like to add a bit of healthy fat to any grains that I'm eating because that is also going to aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. I opted to use ghee. If you are not familiar with ghee, you can read about it here and how to make it as well.

If you are not of the persuasion to want to make your own you can certainly purchase some. I purchased the 4th and Heart brand from Thrive Market (this is my affiliate link) because having a ghee made from milk that came from grass fed cows is extremely important to me.

I just grabbed a cereal sized spoon and added two spoonfuls of the ghee to the oats. Other healthy fats you could add would be grass fed butter or organic unrefined coconut oil.

I also usually like to add a pinch of Himalayan salt to add minerals to my food and balance the sweetness from whatever I add later. I didn't in this case because the ghee has Himalayan salt in it.

After this point you basically have a blank canvas to add whatever in the world you might want to your oats to make it a meal. Are you excited? Yes, I am a big foodie dork, I know. I'm okay with that though. So my middle son loves to load his oatmeal with organic peanut butter, organic maple syrup, fresh blueberries, a pinch of Himalayan salt, and organic cinnamon. I happen to love the taste of peanut butter, but I don't eat it because peanuts are really bad for your gut since they are way hard to digest. Due to the way peanuts are stored they also contain a mold toxin, I'm pretty sure even the organic ones. So you say why do you let your son eat it, well because he really loves peanut butter, he eats it sparingly, I do purchase organic for him, and it's just not a hill that I want to die on with my teenager. I find it's more important for me to give me lots of great, healthier options, only ban the worst of the worst, and then that way he will continue to make better choices as he grows up. If he chooses to ditch the PB later, than he can do so.

I've decided to break this post up into two so it will be shorter for you to read through and if all you wanted was a bowl of healthy oatmeal, there you go! I'll dress it up for you in the next post. I'll leave the recipe for you below for easy deciphering. Happy Oating!

Healthy Oats

1 Cup Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats
1 Cup Filtered Water
1 TBSP Raw Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar

Soak overnight for 8 hours in glass dish.

Strain/rinse oats.

Put oats in pot, cover with filtered water, cook on low to medium heat.

Remove from heat, add 2 Cereal Spoons Ghee, mix well.

Top it with whatever makes your heart dance!

Stay tuned for part 2!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Supporting a Healthy Pregnancy (PT-5 What else am I doing?)

Every time you take good care of yourself, know your baby feels that care. Right now the both of you share an extremely special connection, so whatever you do, baby does essentially. When you are relaxed and happy, so is baby. Your choices to move each day, drink lots of water, avoid toxins, eat well, being sure to remember your supplements, rest daily and at night as much as possible especially in the beginning and end of your pregnancy, practicing methods for stress reduction, and spending quality time with your spouse connecting in romantic ways and more. In this article I will discuss specific areas that I've been engaging in either on my own or with my husband to enhance and celebrate this natural and so beautiful part of life's circle.

 (Engagement Photo June 2015 to the left...found this one and loved it because of his hands on my belly, very suiting. Imagine 4 months after our wedding we get the joyous news! I know we didn't waste any!)

I was really excited to get to this particular blog article because there's so many things you can do throughout your pregnancy to make it enjoyable for you, baby, and spouse. Much like essentials oils in which you can get your spouse involved by using them himself for his own daily health and wellness (with oils appropriate for him), there are other practices that you both can and should take part in, as you are both equal parts in this beautiful making of new life that the Lord Yeshua has brought you both together to do for His glory. From the moment of conception this new phase in your family began to form and be knitted by your Holy Creator. You all hold so much value and carry very special roles. Make sure to life up your spouse always and let him know how important he is in this entire life long process. The making of a family never ends as it takes hard work and commitment. This is only the beginning!

What Else Am I Doing?


One commitment that I made to myself from the get go was to be active through the pregnancy whenever possible. I was already pretty active before pregnancy, and fitness experts as well as pre-natal care providers now say to keep doing whatever movement you were doing before pregnancy in pregnancy, as you get further along to modify as needed. Staying active through the movement of your choice encourages a healthy labor due Momma's strength, endurance, and flexibility all being supported beforehand. I will share what my movement choices have been, but know you can surely do something different according to your liking and what your pre-natal care provider approves of for your safety. Also if you haven't been very active before getting pregnant, consider getting active, but go slow and again discuss your movement plans with your health professional so you can make the best decisions.

I've really been motivated to stay active throughout all of these months. I walked quite a bit, not as long as I would've liked, but I kept it up, right until these last few weeks. Walking is not so easy with this sweet extra cargo. I would walk 2-3 miles max, I couldn't go farther than that, and that is okay. I found I could not walk farther without becoming too fatigued. I did not walk too much in my first trimester because of the weather and I was very nauseous.

Other ways that I have kept moving have been through an awesome pre-natal Pilates on DVD with Lizbeth Garcia and also Suzanne Bowen's pre-natal barre Slim & Toned workout on DVD. I found it simplest to work out from home as well as cost effective. I've loved both DVDs. I really have enjoyed the option of combining as many Pilates workouts as I wanted. She offer's 5 on the DVD so you can do one 10 minute Pilates workout or all 5, I always have done 3. Do not push yourself if you are new to fitness. Start with walking. I am very familiar with Pilates and barre since I've taken formal classes at studios. I've had excellent barre instructors actually using Suzanne Bowen's method at a local studio here in Raleigh called Barre Up. If you are in the area, you can drop in to take classes. Please tell them I sent you if you go.  It would be an excellent idea to take some classes at a local studio so you can truly understand the method and form of both types of exercise. They are both similar in that they utilize the core muscles all of the time.

Oh I cannot forget to mention my exercise ball! This has been invaluable for comfort, flexibility, core building, practicing kegel exercises, and stress relief for me. If you do not have a ball, consider the one in the link made with more eco friendly materials. I love the size of this ball for me. If you opt to purchase one, get the right size that fits you. Perhaps go to a sporting good store in the exercise section and see if they have several inflated so that you can sit on them and try them out before purchasing one. I spend probably 10-15 minutes or more on the ball everyday. I start out on it in the morning soon after getting out of bed. I find it relaxes my hips and back. If I feel discomfort throughout the day, I will sit on it and do side rocks. This is very helpful for me. I am bringing my ball to the birthing center on delivery day. They already have them there, but again the size of mine is perfect, and just in case the one they have there that is a good fit is in use, I now will not have a need for concern. Balls are very useful during labor.

In the picture is featured my Think Sport Pilates mat. I had gotten rid of my old one quite some time ago due to the toxic chemicals that it contained. The Think Sport Mat is composed of safe non-toxic materials - free of Bisphenol-A (BPA), PVC, lead, phthalates, dioxins, and biologically toxic chemicals.


Let me tell you something, sleep is sacred. Do not get between a Momma and her good night's rest. Right around 4-5 months in pregnancy a regular pillow in between my legs was not doing it. I was up night after night in discomfort until the Snoogle. I've not spent a single night of this pregnancy without it since my husband brought it home. It was the best $60 EVER spent! Do not second guess it, do not pass go, bring home the Snoogle to Momma! You can purchase a cover for it as well. The person who thought of this was a genius! Unfortunately, it does kind of put a damper on snuggling with hubby since the pillow completely envelopes you, regardless a happy better rested wife inevitably makes for a happy husband.


Through my Momma friend, blogger, and health coach, Madeline Blom, owner of Mommas Organics, I learned about something called HypnoBirthing. Madeline and I have been pregnant together, she is just a week behind me, so it's been a fun journey sharing stories, and encouraging one another on this beautiful walk through pregnancy. I only wish we lived closer to each other. Anyway...back to HypnoBirthing...I was excited to learn about it from Madeline because I had noticed her mention it twice and I absolutely had to find out what it was she was taking classes for with a certified friend of hers. I'd been on a search, as a crunchy, healthy Momma for a way to experience pregnancy and birth as a natural progression life that could be much more peaceful and even serene unlike the way pregnancy and birthing is most often treated here in the United States. I was through with everyone's negative birth stories including my own. In my heart and mind I knew there had to be a better way.

It turns out what I was searching for could be found in HypnoBirthing. Already resolving to give birth out of a traditional hospital setting, I knew there had to be more. There are several websites and instructors who teach HypnoBirthing in which there are variances. After research I'd found I like the combination of several. I typically gravitate toward European thought in several areas. I enjoyed watching some YouTube videos. Here is one set of videos I've enjoyed.

 I finally settled down to study with HypnoBirthing the Mongan Method. Specifically from the website here is the HypnoBirthing description: The HypnoBirthing® program is built around an educational process that includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Most importantly it fosters an air of mutual respect for the birthing family, as well as the health-care provider in a traditional health-care system or an alternative setting. 

Despite my love for a great British accent, Marie Mongan, creator of the Mongan Method is a US native. I am as well, so it's all good. Marie Mongan holds credentials as stated on the HypnoBirthing Website: She is a counselor and is certified as a hypnotherapist, hypnoanesthesiologist, and instructor of hypnotherapy. She is the mother of four adult children, all born in the late ’50s and early ’60s. She experienced all four labors without labor medication, using the theories of Dr. Jonathan Dye, of Buffalo, New York, and Grantly Dick-Read, of the UK, two pioneers in natural childbirth. Two of her birthings were entirely free of anesthesia at a time when it was unheard of, and her husband was by her side in both the labor room and the “delivery” room.

When I spoke to my husband about studying the method he was instantly receptive as he too was concerned with things going as peaceful as possible through the rest of our pregnancy and in labor/delivery. Having a supportive spouse is so very very important. He has such a special role and is much needed. This is not to say one could not study HypnoBirthing on her own if that support was not present, having that support makes things so much better though. If a supportive spouse is not available, a close family member, friend, or doula would also be excellent.

You can choose to study the method a variety of ways either by working with a certified HypnoBirthing instructor one on one, taking a certified class, or reading the book and listening to the included CD on your own. While I would've loved to have taken classes, due to my current schedule, I opted to read the book with my husband at home. Daily, sometimes twice, I listen to the included relaxation CD.

Allow your midwife or obstetrician, whoever is currently conducting your pre-natal care, to know that you are studying the HypnoBirthing Method. If you have hired a doula, include her on the information as well. If any healthcare provider is not familiar, give them the website to do further research. Get as much support as possible. It is important for your healthcare providers to understand your desires and train of thought for your pregnancy and your birth. Women have practiced this method in traditional hospitals, outside birthing centers, and at home births. Do not think if you are having a hospital birth that you cannot utilize this method. While some on call at the time may not understand it completely, I'd venture to say most staff would be very supportive of any measures you'd be taking to ensure a more joyful and calmer birthing experience.  More and more hospitals are realizing a woman's desire for less medical intervention and more natural means whenever possible.

More Reading & Research

Onto more adventures, another topic that I began to read about and decide that I'd like to embark on is the joy of cloth diapering. I decided that I wanted to cloth diaper because I really wanted to avoid the chemicals that are in disposable diapers. I knew I didn't want plastics, petroleum, and dyes against my baby's skin, especially in the diaper area. I also did not want to spend a fortune on greener and cleaner disposable diaper choices. I know I will probably keep some around for emergencies or the church nursery, but other than that, I'm really not interested in that crazy expense if I can avoid it. Sadly, I became weary quickly in my research. DO you have any idea how many choices there are today? This is not the cloth diapering of long ago. Fortunately, I knew where to turn! The image to the left is the logo for my friend and cloth diapering expert, Jenny's blog, Cloth Diaper Revival. She is an excellent resource, so do please check out her blog. Jenny and I attend the same church. As soon as Jenny found out I was pregnant, she was elated, and when I mentioned my interest in cloth diapering she was right there. She even gave me a tour of all she has in her home, her best tips, ways to make cloth diapering the least expensive (after all this is a huge reason to do it...saving $$$). If you are not fortunate enough to know Jenny personally, please understand that before reading her blog I was way overwhelmed. She has the best advice, and knows what it is like to be on a budget. Jenny also advised that I read this book (picture above), Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering, by Kelly Wels. I've found the book helpful as well. I will not go into whatI've chosen to use right now, because quite frankly that might change. I feel very confident in my choices though, and will blog about that later.


As a certified IIN Health Coach, I am a enormous advocate for positive, healthy, self-care. Something you might consider luxuries, are really necessities. Especially as women and mothers in our culture here in the United States, we tend to get things backwards, run ourselves ragged, and really not see an accurate picture of what is going on in our bodies. When we take care of ourselves we are taking care of others by setting a good example and making ourselves the best we can be in order to serve those around us.

Two services that I've chosen to take regular part in have been chiropractics and massage. I have chosen these two because I understand the importance of a healthy lymphatic system, good muscular skeletal support, and stress relief all the time, and especially during pregnancy. These two services are not the same, but go hand in hand. Remember when Momma is well, so is baby.

I have been seeing my chiropractor since 2009. Her name is Dr. Melissa Roccos. My teens and husband are also her patients, as will be this little pumpkin after birth. I'll blog about the baby's first chiropractor visit later and the why behind chiropractic care for infants. If you are local to SE Raleigh, here is her practice website, Elite Chiropractics. Please tell Dr. Roccos I referred you. Here is a coupon for a free consultation to her practice. I've chosen to be diligent about my chiropractic care through my pregnancy because as my baby belly grows that puts more stress on my entire body. Getting properly aligned really assists the body with proper function.

Massage to many is misundertood. Those who take part in it regularly understand the significance in healthy, non-sexual touch. The human body responds to positive touch as part of  a healing mechanism. This is why I prefer layering essential oils on my husband and children instead of using roller bottles. While I love the convenience of roller bottles, and certainly keep them around, without getting into a deep discussion, much better save for another article, our energy in our bodies receives other's touch, as long as it again is positive, as a way to put the mind and body at ease in a very special way (wow, there's so much more I could say...holding back for now). Professional massage is such a needed regular therapy. If you are in the Raleigh area, my wonderful licensed massage therapist, is Sonja Galan. Her website is Unwind Massage Therapy. If professional massage is not an option for you, do not discount massage from your spouse or another loved one. My sweet teens will rub my hands and feet often. Engage your spouse if he is not already in daily body massages. My husband uses Young Living Valor, frankincense, and lavender when he massages me for support and enjoyment. On my feet he will use peppermint as well.

Please comment below on what you did during your pregnancy to encourage health and wellness! As time gets closer, so does my excitement! I'll be 39 weeks tomorrow! Look for my next blog article soon! Blessings, love, and grace to all!

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

Health Disclaimer: No medical diagnoses, claims or promises of cures have been made. The information offered is simply for educational purposes. Any addition to diet or supplement routines should be discussed with your regular health professional.

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