Friday, March 20, 2015

Stress Support

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

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

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

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

 Positive Ways to Manage  Different Types of Stress

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

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

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

3) I support my emotional wellness through the use of essential oils. They really help my body to stay balanced for over all health and wellness. Everyone is an individual and responds differently to each oil or blend. Its important to find the ones that work best for you.

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Vitamin B12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Friday, March 13, 2015

How to Build a Smoothie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Gluten Free Hair & Body Care


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

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

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

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

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

I eventually started making my own body care items because I found it was less expensive if I bought in bulk and I enjoyed the control and customization.  Friends knew I was making items, so I started making things for them too.

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

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


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

After I get out I gently towel dry my hair. I scrunch with argan oil, 1 drop of Oola Grow, and 1 drop of Oola Balance...smells awesome. The nights before I wash my hair I massage organic unrefined coconut oil plus 1drop of Lavender, and 1 drop of Tea Tree onto my scalp and mid to bottom part of my hair. The coconut oil deeply moisturizers my hair and scalp. The oils promote a healthy environment on my scalp.

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

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