Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash


Recently, I posted a blog article on how to use spaghetti squash as a crust for a gluten free quiche. It occurred to me that you may not have cooked spaghetti squash just hanging around. In fact, you may never have prepared one. I'd like to walk you through the easy steps to cooking one. This is my favorite method.

You can opt to wash it if you like, especially if it's not organic. You won't be eating the skin though, so it's up to you. 

Put the spaghetti squash onto a cutting board. Cut off the the end with the stem or where the stem was anyway. Then go ahead and slice it in half long ways. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, kind of like a pumpkin. You can keep the seeds or discard them. Leave the rest of the flesh there, that's what turns into the "spaghetti."

In a glass, stoneware, or stainless steel baking dish put the squash face down. Pour one cup of water into the dish. 

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes.

Let it cool, then flip each side over and with a spoon or fork fluff up the spaghetti type squash noodles :)

You can eat it numerous ways. Try it with marinara, alfredo sauce, pesto, in a stir fry, in a quiche or casserole.

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


Sweet Potato Crust Quiche




I love the excitement of Christmas morning! Getting everything just right, preparing to read the story of the birth of the Lord out of the Bible with kids, singing Yeshua, Happy Birthday, and so on. 

I really enjoyed our small tree this year. The past few years I've not enjoyed the process of the tree at all or the lights outside, things of that nature due to convictions in my heart about paganism. I've allowed the kids to take out the tree though and decorate because well, He who is in me is greater than He who is the world. My God made the trees after all, and my sons know who the Christmas story is all about. We never did Santa or went overboard with gifts. So this year we actually gave away our artificial larger tree, and purchased a real tree to support the local farmers, as well as to keep it simple. Again, since the kids find this fun to do, I let them decorate it. 


My favorite part is celebrating the Lord in fellowship with friends and family. Below is picture of my dear sweet friend, Aly and I in the kitchen amidst food prep and chaos.


My joy after fellowship is feeding my loved ones well. I like to do new things in the kitchen since it is my happy place. While some people find cooking labor intensive, it is a source of creativity and stress release for me. So for a bit of inspiration I searched out some recipes. I decided upon an idea from Kelly at The Spunky Coconut. We love eggs in my house, and  quiche is always a hit here, but I desired a twist. That's exactly what Kelly gave me with her "Oven Omelette with Sweet Potato Crust." My filling is different. Here is my twist, I hope you like it!

I apologize for not taking better pictures of the process, but you're smart, you'll catch on I'm confident. 

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

Ingredients:

1 Organic Small to Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled
1 Cup Organic Black Beans, Cooked
1 1/2-2 Collard Green Leaves, Chopped
3/4 Cup Quinoa, Cooked
1 Large Fresh Garlic Clove, Minced
8-10 Farm Fresh Free Range Eggs
1 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 Organic Black Pepper
1 Tsp Organic Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Organic Turmeric Powder
3-4 Oz Soft Goat Cheese
1Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven for 350F.

Sauté the collards and minced garlic lightly in the coconut oil.

Whisk the eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and turmeric in a bowl.

In a large pie plate, grease it a bit with some extra coconut oil, and put thin slices of the sweet potato, not layering, on the plate. (If you have extra slices, fry them up in a sauté pan in some coconut oil, yum!)

Put the beans, quinoa, and collards in the pie plate on top of the sweet potatoes. Then pour the eggs on top. Next crumble the goat cheese on the eggs and veggies. 

Bake it for 40 minutes. Then slice and serve hot. 

It's really super yummy and good for you. The quinoa I used was just left over from the day before. The sky is the limit.

I actually made two different kinds that morning. The other filling I used instead of collards, black beans, and quinoa was 1 1/2 cups of shiitake mushrooms and 1 1/2 cups frozen organic mixed bell peppers, sautéed in coconut oil. The other ingredients were the same. I wanted variety, plus I knew my mom would like one and my dad the other. I had all on hand, so it was easy. 

Let me know below if you try this recipe. Hope you and your family enjoy it! Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria



Spaghetti Squash Crust Quiche


Over the Christmas break a good friend of mine asked me if I would make a recipe that she had found to see if I liked it. I leaped at the opportunity because it just so happened that I was looking for a creative way to use the spaghetti squash I'd just cooked.

As previously mentioned in a recent article, we love to eat quiche at this house, and I love to make them. They are easy to make, nutritious, fairly quick to bake, and an awesome way to use up leftovers. 

The original recipe was from: kitchenaid.com

I will start off saying kudos to the creator of the idea to use the spaghetti squash in this way. I'd recently been playing with it in the kitchen, so this was perfect timing! I would make it again. It stays together really well. It's nice and crispy where the egg doesn't touch, but does stay soft where everything comes together. I really enjoyed the flavor. It's an awesome way to get more fiber in those kiddos.

Ingredients:

I used a variety of leftovers in mine that were in the fridge. That's the beauty of quiche, almost anything goes! I used left overs for this so my measurements are not exact. I threw in:

black beans, cooked
spinach
onions
peas
butternut squash
shiitake mushrooms
quinoa, cooked
goat cheddar cheese
garlic powder
ground turmeric
Celtic sea salt
ground black pepper

Oh did I need to say spaghetti squash and eggs? Hopefully not, but just so you know, eggs and spaghetti squash. I used 8 eggs. You may need 10 depending on size of pie plate/dish, and other ingredients. I used most of a cooked small-medium sized spaghetti squash. Don't know how to cook it? Read here.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Push the spaghetti squash against the bottom and sides of the pie plate. I greased it a little with organic unrefined coconut oil.



My suggestion is to lightly sauté any veggies you throw in there first before adding them. Then put them on the squash.



Whisk the eggs with any herbs and spices in a big bowl. Add them on top of the veggies.

Last, if you eat cheese, add it now, and be generous. If you don't, then don't worry about it. You could add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast to whisk with the eggs for a cheesy flavor if desired.

Bake it for 40-45 minutes. Give it 5 minutes to cool a bit, then serve. Along side soup and salad it's a perfect cold weather meal for any time of day! If you have a larger family just use more ingredients. This would make a great New Years breakfast or brunch!

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


Friday, December 26, 2014

Gluten Free Gnocchi


A labor of love occurred yesterday for my birthday/Christmas dinner. I prepared my favorite salad, pan fried wild sockeye salmon in a little coconut oil and coconut aminos, roasted leg of lamb with organic potatoes and carrots, steamed broccoli, plus one of my favorite dishes of all time, gnocchi.

I have not had gnocchi since going gluten free about 5 years ago. So for those of you unfamiliar to gnocchi (No-kee), it is like a pasta potato pillow. Typically gnocchi is a blend of potatoes and wheat flour. Sometimes you can find them made with ricotta cheese. 

I remember first having them at an Italian restaurant back in my hometown of Langhorne, PA. Gnocchi, no matter what they are paired with make such a unique and pleasant dish. 

After doing a little recon on ingredients ideas and the actual "how to" of making them, I thought that Christmas Day would be a good special occasion to try them. I made this mine by using what was in house. *This is not a Paleo, vegan, or nightshade free recipe. I'm working on a Paleo version so friends can experience gnocchi too.

Homemade Gluten Free Gnocchi
1 Cup Organic White Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Quinoa Flour
1 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt
2 Organic, Free Range Eggs
2 Lbs Organic Yukon or Golden Potatoes

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 400F. Bake the potatoes with the skin on for about an hour. You are trying to achieve a nice softness. 

In a small bowl whisk the eggs and salt.

In another small bowl mix up the flours. Then dump on top of a very large cutting board. 

So here come the laborious part. You will need a potato ricer (looks like the one below).


Once the potatoes cool, peel them, and you will put the potatoes one at a time in it. (Now important AGAIN you will need to PEEL the potatoes before putting them in the ricer.* The potato in the picture is not peeled.)


Press the potatoes through the ricer on top of the flour on the very large cutting board. Pour the whisked eggs and salt on top. Using clean hands mix everything together into a nice bread like dough, not really sticky. It might take some work to get it to that point. Add more flour if need be. 

Once your dough is a nice texture roll into a ball, or several balls, then into a snake. Slice into bite sized pieces.



Now if you want, and only if you want, you can press the indentation of a fork for a design into the top. 

Cooking them is super duper easy and fast! Just get a large stainless steel pot and fill it with water. Just like pasta, wait until the water boils. Put the gnocchi into the boiling water. They will sink for about 2-3 minutes. Once they pop back up give them 1-2 more minutes, and that's it! 

Gnocchi are great with red or white sauces. Below is the sauce I made on the fly.

Creamy Tomato Sauce

2 Cups Shiitake Mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Organic Peas
2 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Jar Of Bionaturae Organic Strained Tomatoes
1 Can Organic Native Forest Whole Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp Organic Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Braggs Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
1 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

In a skillet sauté the mushrooms in the oil on medium for 2-3 minutes. Next in a large stainless steel pot add the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low to medium for 8-10 minutes. 

Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and enjoy! Add a little Pecorino Romano for extra yumminess if you eat cheese.

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











Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Do You Make Bone Broth?


Two weeks ago I wrote about things we can do when we get sick. One of those things was making homemade bone broth. It occurred to me that I actually make this all of the time, not just when we are sick. I'd like to encourage you to do the same.

Before Modern Medicine

Once upon a time we trusted what our Heavenly Father, Holy Creator of the Universe, Yahweh, put on the earth. He truly provided for all of our needs, including medicine. Plants and animals were put here for us to use for our good. We used them, allowed our bodies to rest, and infections to run their course. 

Today our concept of health and wellness is quite different. There is a magic pill for everything, full of things that we don't even know what they are,  and we are expected to just take them. Meanwhile the side effects and consequences for taking these magic pills is a higher price than we ever could've imagined. 

Make Bone Broth All of the Time

 We have so many enivronmental toxins that attack our bodies, and utilizing tried and true safe methods for to preserve our natural immunity is the safest, smartest way to go. Making old fashioned bone broth is awesome prevention against breaking down during cold and flu season. Don't just make broth when you are sick. While it is extremely cleansing, and a wonderful, easy to digest, mineral rich food during illness, when we take advantage of using bone broth year round, that's what builds the way to great health. Instead of waiting until something is broken to fix it, let have a mindset of prevention.

Reasons to Make Bone Broth

  • Helps with Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Brings minerals to bones and joints like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sulfur
  • Strengthens our immune system
  • Gives you beautiful skin and hair
Mineral Deficiencies

Most of the United States inhabitants are mineral deficient. Unless you are eating an abundance of organic plant foods, clean meats on a regular basis, lots of healthy fats, then the chances are that you are lacking minerals in your body. Many disorders and illnesses are usually caused by simply not giving the body the tools it needs to run properly, vitamins, minerals, good bacteria, and enzymes. When a mineral deficiency is present, you may not notice right away until signs start to become severe or constant. At this point a break down has started to occur, which could've been prevented with proper daily diet.

Magic of Gelatin

The medicinal properties found in real bone broth cannot be found in vegetable stock or store bought chicken and beef varieties. In most cases the kind on the shelves in boxes and cans are made from synthetic chemicals and lots of monosodium-glutamate. If you purchase the organic kind, you're mostly getting a ton of sodium and water. Honestly, if you aren't going to make your own bone broth, don't bother using any.

It is only in homemade bone broth that an abundance of minerals and collagen can be found. Collagen is the lubricant in our joints and bones that lessens with age. Collagen also provides elasticity in our skin (lessens wrinkles and cellulite), and moisture in our hair. This diminishes with our age. Collagen ONLY comes from bones, so this is why veggie broth is not the same. Gelatin comes from the collagen in the bones that is extracted by adding vinegar to the broth to help it be released. So do NOT skip adding the vinegar. Gelatin is the usable food form of collagen after the collagen has been broken down.

According to Dr. Natasha T. Campbell, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, and creator of the GAPS Diet, she says due to the gelatin, that bone broth heals and seals your gut. So if you have a digestive disease or disorder, like Leaky Gut, drinking bone broth daily is a must. Gelatin is not a complete protein, however with the amino acids that it contains, they make it extremely healing.

How to Make Bone Broth

The first time I made bone broth I learned from reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Here is my adapted version:

1 Organic, pastured raised chicken
3 Organic Celery Ribs, sliced in threes
3 Organic Carrots, real carrots you cannot cheat with the baby ones, don't peel, cut/chop
1 Whole Onion, cut into quarters
2 Tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Bunch Organic Parsley, loosely chopped
2-3 Inches of Turmeric Root, if you have it

This is really simple! I soak my chicken in salt water first to clean it a bit. Next I just put everything into a large stainless steel stock pot, chicken is whole, and veggies as stated above. If the chicken still has the little gibblet pouch inside, yes, I know if you are new to this you are gonna say ewwww, gross, but trust me, don't ditch it. Take out the pouch, remove everything from it, then put the gibblets into the stock pot with everything else. There's a lot of medicine in that pouch. 

Then I fill the pot with filtered water. Bring it to a boil, then simmer on low for 6-8 hours. FYI: yes, cooking time is really important. Don't skimp on the time. It takes this long for the collagen to be released and then break down. Some resources will tell you 12 hours, and others even 24. Well, I only have one day a week that I'm home this long while I'm awake and I'm busy. I really don't like leaving pots on the stove while I'm asleep. People do use their crock pots. Then my concern would be lead unless you have a lead free crock pot like the Vitaclay. You also won't be able to put as much liquid into a crock pot, so your amount of broth would be limited.

After that I turn off the fire and let it cool. Then I put my stainless steel mesh strainer over my very large glass measuring bowl. It has a spout so it makes for easy pouring. I go through it rather quickly because I use it for all different cooking purposes. I store it in mason jars. You can freeze it in the mason jars if need be. Then discard the veggies and use the chicken meat throughout the week.
 
Ways to Use Your Homemade Bone Broth

As already mentioned, this should be a year long practice, not just for soup when it's cold outside. Now, I loooooove soup, but don't limit yourself. Here are some ideas.

  • Okay obviously, soup :)
  • Cooking rice
  • Cooking quinoa
  • Cooking beans
  • Add some to a pot to reheat chicken or veggies on the stove to add some extra minerals, prevent drying out, and add flavor
  • Add to sauces where water is called for
  • Make baby formula with it, yes, that's what I said, babies need nutrients too (I mix the powdered formula with 1/2 the amount required of water plus the same amount of ounces of broth in my niece's bottle when I watch her to help boost her immunity. So if she drinks a 4 oz bottle, then I use 2oz of broth and 2oz of water.)
  • Warm it and drink it when you don't feel like eating to get some nutrition
I hope that if you haven't already adopted this simple, nourishing practice that you will do so. If you have any questions whatsoever, please ask them below. Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC



Friday, December 12, 2014

Is Your Water Bottle Safe?


Do you use a refillable water bottle? If so, what kind do you use? The reason I ask is at Kingdom Health, prevention is paramount for promoting positive health and wellness. The containers we use for our foods and drinks make a difference. I'm going to dive into that below.

Also using a reusable or refillable "anything" is a great way to be respectful to God on this Earth by being less wasteful, so if you use a refillable water bottle, my hat is off to you! We can't control it all, or throw the baby out with the bath water, yet we can do our part! Everyone's small contribution makes a big one at the end of the day!

Types of Water Bottles

There are several types of water bottles on the market today. Maybe at this point you might be thinking, "Marie, why are you writing about water bottles? Don't you have more serious topics to write about on this blog?" I will say to please bear with me. Remember I spoke about doing our small part, and how it makes a difference? Well, this has EVERYTHING to do with that idea.

Back to types of water bottles, the material it is composed of can vary. Perhaps you were conscious of this fact, or maybe you just needed a container to hold water in while you worked out so you didn't really think about it. Now, I'm asking you to think about it. 

Common Types of Material Used

  • Plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless Steel
  • Glass

Below I will discuss each one, it's properties, pros and cons.



Plastic

Plastic has become the material of the future. It is light, doesn't break easily, and is cheap. Unfortunately, plastic while it doesn't crack easily, isn't all it's cracked up to be. The dangers of the toxins in plastic have made it's way into the public eye over the past few years. My concern is that we aren't looking at the big picture. There are two toxins that we hear about the most: BPA (Bi-Phesnol A) and phthalates. BPA is a chemical used to keep plastic hard and phthalates is a chemical used to keep it soft. BPA is an endocrine system disruptor. Basically it's messing terribly with our hormones. It's really difficult to avoid all BPA. Plastic is around us everywhere. Think about toddlers sipping on juice, water, and milk all day in sippy cups. We are inundated even in infancy. Consumers have made a conscious effort over the years to switch water bottles to BPA free plastic choices. While I applaud this effort, plastic has other chemicals to be aware of as well as the treatment of plastic. Plastic has numbers listed on it to tell you what it is made out of for awareness. Read more here.You should never heat any container made from plastic, especially baby bottles. Most baby bottles have BPA in them, and heating these plastics releases even more BPA. This is so dangerous to our children. Reduce plastic usage in the home over-all as a safety precaution, especially where food and drinks are concerned.


Aluminum

Why use aluminum? Well, for one thing it is light, so it is easy to carry. It is a metal that is abundant, so that also makes it inexpensive.  Unfortunately, aluminum is also a neuro-toxin. Recently, I wrote a blog post on aluminum in our vaccines.  Dr. Mercola, renowned osteopathic doctor, compares aluminum in the brain to cigarette smoke in the lungs. There was a recent medical study done directly linking Alzheimer's Disease to aluminum build up in the body. Aluminum is naturally occurring in our soil, however over exposure is a villain to our health. Vast amounts of aluminum is dumped into our drinking water, certain mining efforts have created an excess as well, and now aluminum is a common substance used to make cookware, deodorant, baking powder, and more including our portable water bottles. Heavy metals, especially aluminum has been known to leach into liquids. Aluminum bottles are also often lined with BPA. This definitely makes it a poor choice.

Stainless Steel 

While more expensive and heavier than plastic and aluminum, steel is extremely durable. Steel is a safe metal, not lined with plastics, does not leach, and is a wonderful conductor of heat and cold. If you take good care of your stainless steel water bottle, it should last forever. This is a much safer option and practical for kids.


Glass

This is my favorite choice. The downsides are it is heavy and breakable. The upsides far supersede the negatives though.  Glass is a very sustainable and safe resource. While at one time the only option for glass water bottles was an old mason jar (which I do all the time anyway), using glass bottles has become so trendy that now there are many options. You can find designer water bottles with protective casings at Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, local health food stores, and online. More and more ready made drinks are being sold in glass. If you are environmentally conscious, you can easily reuse one of these for your own personal water bottle. Then if it breaks, just buy another beverage of your choice ;) Baby bottles are also available in glass. If at all possible, try to use glass bottles for infants. While babies are in the womb they are exposed to so many chemicals. Every effort we can make to reduce this count is a step in health's direction.


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



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

4 Things You Can Do When You're Sick


Do your best with the resources that you have to stay healthy, and you will be blessed. That is the truth. Our health is a gift, and we honor God by preserving the gift that He's given us. The fact of the matter is though that we don't live in a perfect world, and sometimes we get sick. So while Kingdom Health as a whole is all about healthy preventative measures, the question remains what do we do when we actually do get sick? It happens to all of us, so here are a few natural, safe options to beat the cold and flu at home should it knock at your door.

Four Things You can Do When You Are Sick

 1) Rest, you absolutely, positively, must rest! You are not doing anybody any favors by going to school, work, or doing mountains of laundry...it will be there tomorrow, happily waiting, I promise. Your body needs downtime. No guilt necessary Mommas! Yeah, I know, I get it too. So stop it and go to bed! Even if you work strictly from home, your mind also needs to turn off temporarily so stress will decrease. Stress is the number one reason in the United States that people fall ill.

 2) Lots and lots of fluids are key here to flushing whatever unfavorable virus or buggie you have going on in your body. Now a good place to start is with good old fashioned water, spring or filtered. Drink as much water as you can muster. When we get run down, it's these times we actually forget to drink, so make it important. It's far too easy to become dehydrated when you're under the weather.

Other great choices for fluids are herbal teas. I especially like Traditional Medicinals Teas. Keeping a couple boxes of their Seasonal Sampler would be a good step for some healthy teas for immune wellness if you aren't a tea snob with a bunch of loose teas like I am. 

Raw organic coconut water is another winner. You want raw to avoid heat killing the beneficial nutrients and organic to avoid the heavy pesticides. Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts.  It is packed full of electrolytes that the body loses do to dehydration or loss of sweat.

My younger son always requests this smoothie when he is sick. Here is the recipe so you can try it at home.

Vitamin C Burst

2 Organic Oranges, peel them leaving the white on, throw right into the blender
1/2 Can Organic Whole Coconut Milk, I like Native Forest Simple or Thrive Market Brand, get them here
1 Cup Raw Organic Coconut Water, I like Harmless Harvest(You can use regular filtered water if you don't have this)
1 Tbsp Organic Raw Honey, I really like the Y&S Eco Brand, but local would be awesome too or Manuka 20+
1-2 Tsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Filtered Ice Cubes

A favorite hot drink of mine below, which takes a minute to get used to, but works wonders is something I learned a long time ago. It never fails me, most effective at the onset of illness, but still helpful during a full blown infection.

Hot ACV Tonic

1 Raw Garlic Clove, cut in half
1 Inch Hunk Raw Ginger Root, peeled
2 Tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar, if you buy another brand make sure it is UNpasteurized and organic
Pinch of Organic Ground Cayenne
Mug of Hot/Boiled Filtered or Spring Water 

Place the above ingredients into a mug. Let it steep for ten minutes. Then add 2 Tbsp Raw Organic Honey (Manuka or Local works fine) when ready to drink, but not beforehand. Honey has antibacterial benefits and you don't want to kill them with the extreme heat. 

Real Chicken Bone Stock

So this is not an old wives' tale, there is so much nutrition to homemade chicken bone broth. When you are fighting infection, chicken happens to be best. The minerals in the broth are so easily absorbed this way. According to The Weston A. Price Foundation this all due to the gelatin from the bones. Click here to read more. So as much as I talk about a plant based diet being really healthy, there is no substitute for animal broth. Veggie stock is simply not the same. When you're sick, drinking a few cups of the broth a day is really soothing and healing. You can do this as an actual soup, or just drink the warm broth like tea.

Here is how I make mine at home.

1 Organic, pastured raised whole chicken or 2-3 pounds of bones (include feet if you can)
3 Organic Celery Ribs, sliced in threes
3 Organic Carrots, real carrots you cannot cheat with the baby ones, don't peel, cut/chop
1 Whole Onion, cut into quarters
2 Tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
A Few Inches of Turmeric Root, if you have it 
1/2 Bunch Organic Parsley, loosely chopped (Add at last ten minutes of cooking)

This is really simple!  I just put everything (except for parsley) into a large stainless steel stock pot, chicken is whole, and veggies as stated. then I fill the pot with filtered water just cover ingredients. Bring it to a rolling boil, remove scum that rises to the top, then simmer on low for 6 to 12 hours. Add the parsley at the last 10 minutes. After that I turn off the fire and let it cool. Then I put my stainless steel mesh strainer over my very large glass measuring bowl. It has a spout so it makes for easy pouring. I go through it rather quickly because I use it for all different cooking purposes. I store it in mason jars. You can freeze it if need be. Use the chicken meat throughout the week or freeze it and discard the veggies.

4) Have you ever used a neti pot? It is an old Ayurvedic Medicinal practice used for cleansing the nasal cavity of intruders and irritants. This is a wonderful practice to employ even while you are not sick. For anyone susceptible to headaches, consider the neti pot. So the neti pot kind of looks like the little genie's lamp with an opening at the top. In it you lukewarm filtered water and micro-fine salt. Most neti pots come with a packet or two of it. I really like the ceramic ones to avoid any BPAs and phthalates. You simply fill the pot with the water, put in some salt, and then comes a little maneuvering. You have to stick the spout of the pot at the opening of one nostril, tilt your head, and the water will come out the other side. This will push the impurities out and help relieve pressure and infection.

5) People usually ask me about supplements during illness. What my family likes to use is a combo of elderberry extract and olive leaf extract. I find combined, these help cut down the duration of an illness. Depending on the age of your family members will dictate how much of each they'd take and what they'd take. I've made my own elderberry syrup as well as purchases the extract from the store. I prefer liquid extracts to syrups from the store because the extracts don't typically have any other preservatives. Even the more natural brands have those like citric acid, which is almost always GMO even in organic products. I really like Herb Pharm and Gaia Herbs. Since my sons are older I don't mind the minute alcohol base the extracts are made with to preserve the herb and bring out it's properties. If you do, look for alcohol free. That would then be a glycerin base instead. For myself I do a dropperful of each extract in a 1/2 cup of water. I do the same thing for my sons except I add a few drops of organic stevia to mask the mediciny taste. 

Let me know if these tips were helpful to you or if you have any questions. Don't be shy! Tell us about your healthy tips below! 

Be blessed and healthy! Helping you to be a good steward!~Marie A. Ligorria





Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vaccines: What's the Big Deal?



I know right off the bat this is a touchy subject. I also know the facts are not being told about vaccines in the doctors offices. My heart for the following article is that you would not even take my word for it, but that you would read, compare studies, and decide with empirical evidence before putting another vaccination into your body or a family member's body. I was vaccinated as a child, and I also vaccinated my children. I will be honest and tell you as a concerned mother as well as certified holistic health practitioner that if I knew way back when what I know now, that I would not repeat the vaccinations. Therefore, whatever decision to which you arrive, I pray that you will do so being educated.  

I am disturbed by the fact that schools are actually given money for pushing vaccines and the same are for medical practices. Whatever happened to parents and families being in charge of what happens or goes into a child's body? Not pharmaceutical companies with monetary investments, not doctors, and nor school systems alike have that right. Did you know the very studies and findings that the pharmaceutical industry uses to support efficacy of the vaccinations is done by the pharmaceutical companies? Does that seem right to you?  

I'd like to share just some of the contents of many vaccines, including the flu shots. I am not a medical doctor, I am however able to read, and I know for certain that I do not want these items in my body, nor the bodies of my sons. Below I will show which vaccines contain certain ingredients. I am not here to tell you whether to vaccinate or not. I will expose to you what's in the vaccines, and then you can go from there. Keep in mind I'm only covering a few of the unfavorable ingredients.

Formaldehyde

Did you know that in the influenza vaccinations that there is formaldehyde? There is no reasonable amount of this ingredient considered safe, yet it is injected into our blood streams and our infants' blood streams! According to the National Cancer Institute formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong smelling chemical that is used in building materials and used in many household products. Here you can read how it is classified as a known carcinogen (that means cancer causing agent).

 Mercury

There are extremely high levels of mercury in vaccines way beyond what are considered safe levels. This is a proven toxin to the body. Mercury through studies here according to the EPA have show to grow tumors in mice and rats. Depending on the type of mercury is contingent on the outcome on the type of damage. 

*Mercury is also a toxin to be aware of with dental care, read here if you or anyone else you know has fillings.

Polysorbate-80

Polysorbate-80 is also in highly concentrated amounts with absolutely no safe levels established. This is a surfactant or emulsifier used in personal care items and cleaners. According to studies concluded here by the National Center for Biotechnological Information (NCBI) polysorbate-80 can suppress the immune system. this is not just in vaccines. It can also be found in vitamins and supplements.Learn more about polysorbate-80 here. Dr. Joe Mercola expands on true immunity that is natural here versus herd immunity from vaccines.

 Human DNA

The following vaccines all contain either human protein or DNA: MMR (M-M-R 2), Chicken Pox (Varivax), Chicken Pox and MMR (Proquad), Hepatitis A (Havrix), Hepatitis A (Vaqta), DTaP Hib Polio (Pentacel), Rabies (IMOVAX), and Rabies (RabAvert).



You can read here from the NNii (National Network for Immunization
Information) about how vaccines are grown in human diploid cell from aborted babies.

Aluminum

According to the NYU Langone Medical Center,  "Aluminum is a heavy metal plentiful in the earth's crust. Aluminum toxicity occurs when breathes or ingests high levels of aluminum into the body. Exposure to high levels can cause serious problems in the body." There is a direct link now between aluminum and brain related disorders. Read here what Dr. Joe Mercola says about the dangers of this heavy metal.

Ways to Avoid Aluminum In Everyday Living

  1. Stop using body care products with aluminum like deodorants. There are several natural deodorants available on the market that work well. You can also easily make your own. I make and sell a wonderful safe, natural, effective deodorant in a paste and stick. To place an order go here.
  2. Remove aluminum cookware from your home. Replace it with stainless steel and cast iron.
  3. Get a good water filtration unit in your home. If you can't do a  whole home unit, get separate units, especially for your shower. I purchased mine here (this is not an affiliate link). In addition to aluminum there of thousands of gallons of waste and chemicals tossed into our waters everyday. When we shower its even more dangerous than drinking the water. This is because our pores open in the warmth of the steam and water so the toxins go directly into them.
  4. Use aluminum free baking powder. You can buy it or easily make your own.
  5. Use glass or stainless steel water bottles.
Read here about aluminum as well as several toxins to avoid and watch for in normal products you might have at home.

  What You Can Do to Learn More

 If you visit The National Vaccine Information Center here you can actually create your own vaccination plan. This allows you to choose the vaccinations, then the chart tells you levels of particular ingredients in the vaccines.This plan is extremely helpful, so even if after reading this information, you choose to vaccinate, you will be better informed to choose only the vaccinations that you deem necessary.

 Health Tips to Build Natural Immunity

For those of you that choose not to vaccinate, and even if you choose to do so, here are some things you can do to build up natural immunity.

1) Wash your hands regularly and do it with regular soap. Avoid anti-bacterial soaps that are too strong and strip our bodies of healthy bacteria.

2) Eat a wide variety of plant based foods in different colors that are organic to avoid toxic herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. Read here how pesticides and the like can travel to the unborn baby from the mother through the umbilical cord and what you can do to avoid them like eating organic foods. Plant foods, especially dark leafy greens, are extremely important to consume in large quantities for adequate magnesium and chlorophyll.Green smoothies really help here.

3) Everyday drink about 1 Tbsp of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar in 8-10 ounces of water.

4) Eat a tsp of raw, local, organic honey (unless you are diabetic).

5) Exercise with a high intensity workout.

6) Get plenty of sleep.

7) Drink lots of clean water and add a little Himalayan Sea Salt for minerals.

8) Avoid eating wheat.

9) Eat plenty of healthy fats like organic unrefined coconut oil, real butter from raw grass fed dairy, avocados, raw soaked nuts, and extra virgin olive oil.

10) Store as much food/liquid in glass or stainless steel as possible. Avoid neuro-toxins in plastic like BPA and phthlates.Don't do plastic water bottles EVEN if they say BPA free. BPA is not the only toxin in plastic.

11) Use therapeutic grade essential oils to make home remedies, toiletries, body care, and cleaning products instead of chemically laden dangerous cleaners/solvents.

12) Avoid factory farmed fish and meats. Eat wild fish instead that are not bottom feeders and grass fed, organic pastured meats and poultry.

13) Take time to go outside and get fresh air each day. Walk and touch the earth with your bare feet when possible.

14) Learn as much as you can about herbal and homeopathic remedies so when an illness does come come up you can treat it safely and naturally.

15) If you have access to it, eat/drink raw dairy. Read here about the benefits for immune health by consuming raw dairy. Specifically vitamin K2 is highly available in goat milk. Vitamin K2 is necessary for absorbing vitamin D, calcium and magnesium.

16) Take a high quality fermented cod liver plus butter oils supplement for proper amounts of vitamin A and D. Try this one. (This is not an affiliate link.) If the cod liver oil is not fermented and combined with the butter oil it will not be as beneficial. Vitamin D is extremely important for a healthy immune system.

17) Eat/drink plenty of fermented foods and beverages to encourage healthy bacteria in the body

18) Put down electronic devices whenever possible. Wireless signals do a lot of wear and tear on the immune system. Essential oils can really help dispel this problem.Read more here about EMFs and how to be safe.

19) Do not use a microwave. They destroy our food's nutrition and alter the food's chemical state. Read more here.

20) Speak life, smile, and be positive. Proverbs 17:22 says, " A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength."

Please do share this blog entry with friends and family members that are on the fence about vaccinations.

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

*There are some affiliate links in this blog post. When you shop through them you are helping to support my blog and small business.







   






































































Monday, November 17, 2014

Tips for Fighting Illness this Season You Might Forget


So over time we form lots of habits. Research has shown it takes 2 weeks to form a bad habit, yet it takes months to form a good habit that sticks for life. That's why I offer a 6 month holistic health counseling option. 

Instead of running to the doctor for constant colds, the flu, stomach issues, and more wouldn't it be great if you had some tried and true practices in place to avoid a lot of that illness?!!! I mean I'm not promising you that you'll never get sick. In fact a short cold once a year or so can strengthen your immune system. 

What I'd like to offer you in this post are a few tips I share with clients so they they can be healthier, more productive, happier human beings, as well as their family members. 

I have friends who sadly it seems every time I turn around that they or their family members are sick. I ask you, WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT? Wouldn't you rather spend your time feeling healthy meanwhile doing some prep work here and there to stay that way. I think you're worth it, and that's the better option...what about you?

Things We Think Save Time

I just want to touch on two practices in our culture that keep our illness rates high.

The Fast Food Drive Thru

I know, I'm a mom, I've been there done that...picked up the kids from school or from homeschool co-op, ran to the store quickly afterwards, then you hear it, "MOOOOM, I'm hungry" 50 thousand times! You look at the clock and you know you forgot to put the chicken in the crock pot this morning, you're doing times tables practice in the car, AND  in 30 minutes is karate! That fast food drive thru looks oh so inviting. It's fast, you don't even have to get out of the car, and it will quiet the noise for at least the remainder of the ride.

Is it really a time saver though? So maybe you're fortunate enough to zip thru at dinner time, but what are you really paying for in that bag or box handed to you thru the window? Look, you're an intelligent person, I know you know the food in that box or bag is not really food. Let me reiterate to you though...it's not really food. It is conventionally grown, GMO, chemical filled junk! There is absolutely, positively no nutrition in that meal you just tried to be ever so conspicuous about shoving down your throat at the red light.

I know $12 doesn't seem like a lot to feed a family, and you know what, you're absolutely correct. It should bother you that they just cooked your meal in under 120 seconds, and charged you so little. If they are a business, and managing to make a profit off of that small amount they charged you, then doesn't it make you wonder why real, whole, healthy foods at the farmer's market cost more? Ok, I'm not trying to beat you up. I do want you to see that you are throwing your dollars away though. 

So if there isn't any nutrition in what you just fed your child, is it any wonder they just asked for food 30 minutes later? Yes, our children are growing, but when they don't eat a balanced meal, with lots of plant foods (it's healthy fiber that fills you up by the way), good clean protein for the brain and muscles to work properly, and lots of healthy fats (especially for boys) their bodies cry for more.To compound that lack of nutrition also come a door wide open for illness. When we don't eat well with healthy, clean foods full of nutrition that we need to function and operate well, we tear down our immunity. So there we are plopped down in middle of the doctor's office sharing germs with infants there getting a check up...oh joy, or picking up worse infections from other children...lovely. 

Also when we create a habit of eating foods out it teaches our children to live their own lives that way. Cooking, sadly, has become a lost art. There's not too many things more satisfying than providing our families a really delicious. healthy, balanced meal. I am a single mom, so believe me, I know this may not happen everyday, but let's try to form a habit of making this the status quo. It's a life skill that everyone should have. Eating out all the time is also very expensive. If you saved that money, and put it into healthier food choices, and you learn how to shop for healthy foods the smart way, then you reap a beautiful harvest.

Okay so what if you're like, Marie, I hate to cook. It takes too much time, nothing I make turns out right, yada yada. I'm reminded of a friend as I write this sentence :) First ask yourself, why? Yes, why do you hate to cook. Is it simply because you don't know how? Is it not that you don't like to cook, but the underlying reason is you don't like to grocery shop? Is it because of all of the ungrateful small or sometimes big people walking around the house that when you spent time preparing a meal they turned up their noses? 

I want you to try again, please, do this for yourself, and your family. I have some fussy ones in my house too. I have decided that I am not a short order cook, and neither are you. Obviously, it's much easier the younger they are to make changes. I feel like if I make a somewhat tasty, healthy meal, and it's on their plate, or ready for the taking, and they don't want it, then they are not that hungry. If you're married, and your hubbs falls in that group, well I'd say compromise, and make sure at least one thing he loves or likes somewhat is ready to go. Oh and if you have older children, this includes boys, get their tails into the kitchen. there is no reason why those teens and in some cases pre-teens can't be making dinner 2-4 nights a week. Get them involved in the meal planning, and find healthier solutions for their favorite foods.

The Microwave

Here is another American standard in the US. I used to use my microwave everyday! I think I removed the microwave about 5 years ago.  You know what happened when I took it out, I actually started to cook as well as eat a ton more of raw foods! Things have never been the same.

This I realize may cause a feud in your home, so I'm certainly not advocating starting a war. Do a test, perhaps make it a game or a contest in your family. So here's a challenge for you and your kids. For 30 days I want you to unplug the microwave, maybe even, I know it's scary, but move it into your garage, or into a closet. Show everyone where the pots, pans, skillets, blender, a good knife, cutting board, and toaster oven is in the kitchen. Make it a competition. Come up with a really good prize (that doesn't involve food) for the whole family to enjoy for participating. If someone cracks, then they don't get to participate in the prize.

Print out some really simple, healthy recipes, say from my blog, or other food sites/blogs. Tape them onto the front of your kitchen cabinets, or put them in a binder that's easily accessible for all cooking. Just see what happens. Yeah, you might get complaints for about a week or two, but I bet at that 2 week point everyone will start to adjust. At the 30 day point you will have begun to establish a cooking routine. It will start to become doable.

I challenge you to unplug the microwave for several reasons. I understand your time is limited, so is mine. It concerns me however that something that normally takes over a hour to cook in the oven takes 60 seconds in the microwave. That heat level and radiation is totally transforming your food into an unidentified object. Read here what Dr. Joseph Mercola has to say. Also what I'd like you to do is consider what food really smells like, and then what it smells like after coming out of the microwave. If you use it often enough you may not even realize the grand difference. When I walk by newly microwaved foods they make me nauseous due to the smell. Maybe you won't become that sensitive to the smell, but who knows?

Eat, Cook, Live, Grow

My hope regardless for you and for those in your family, if you are married, or have children, is that you will grow closer by learning or re-learning new skills that will improve your health and wellness as well as relationships. If you are single, all still applies. Take time to reconnect around the dinner table while you eat. Connect by discussing the new recipes or kitchen tools you are trying, as well as other topics. Live well by eating wholesome real foods. Grow as you learn what is good for you as well as tastes fabulous, and what is not good. This is called engaging both primary foods (our relationships: personal, work, and spiritual), and secondary foods (what we eat) to create balance then equaling good health.

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