What is a Cleanse/ DETOX and why do I need to do one?

Why do a cleanse or detox?

An annual spring cleanse has long been regarded as a necessity for the maintenance of abundant good health. It was a priority even when all of the food we consumed was what we now call “organic.” Even in those environmentally pristine times, our ancestors recognized that our own digestive processes inevitably leave a toxic residue that in particular was known to accumulate in the course of the long winter. 

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What is a Health Coach?

What is a Health coach and why do I need one anyway? Have you ever asked yourself this question? 

Have you ever tried to make a change and then fell back into old habits? Whether it’s trying to eat healthier, lose weight, clear clutter and get organized or create a new exercise plan; without sustainable habit changes and support we inevitably revert to the behaviors that didn’t serve us. It’s not about “willpower.” You are not weak. You just have not yet learned how to set up the circumstances for inevitable success in an easy way that fits into the context of your life so that you don’t feel like you are pushing a boulder uphill.

The simple act of changing one little thing with intention, is more powerful and sustainable than trying extreme diets, hard core exercise programs or obsessing about everything you put on your plate. The “GO BIG or GO HOME” philosophy is an attitude to fail. You see, big doors swing on small hinges. By consistently implementing small changes that align with what you want to achieve  you can bypass your brain’s fight-or-flight wiring system to such a degree as to create a sea of change and a ripple effect of global proportions! Real, sustainable changes that last, not loosing those 20 pounds by starving and depriving yourself only to slip back into the old habits and gain back the 20 pounds and then some. 98% of diets fail! That’s HUGE. So let’s look at what the 2% does to create changes that last.

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Eating A Nutrient Dense Whole Foods Diet

There are so many different diet philosophies out there, but there there is no one size fits all approach. That’s why much of the nutritional information out there can be confusing. What’s important is that we eat for our own bio-individuality and energy levels.

All food is either a carbohydrates, fats or protein, or a combination of these 3 macronutrients. Think of the macronutrients like the logs in a fireplace: Carbohydrates are like the kindling we use to start the fire. If we use only kindling to keep the fire going, we’re going to have to stand there all day adding more kindling. Fats and proteins are like the long-burning logs we add to keep the fire going. Those big fat logs can burn steadily for hours without much need of attendance. A high-carbohydrate diet is like using only kindling to keep the fire burning. No wonder we’re always hungry and never really satisfied!

The ratio we eat of those macronutrients depends on our energy level and varies with each person. Those who engage in high levels of physical activity can incorporate more carbohydrates in the diet without gaining weight; those needing to lose weight or control blood glucose levels require more healthy fats in the diet as fats provide satiety and help keep blood sugar within a normal range. So where to start? Start with a ratio of 40% carbohydrates- mostly from vegetables and fruits. 30% quality protein, and 30% healthy fat. Make these nutrient dense whole foods and avoid processed foods as they contain high amounts of sugar and trans fats which are health depleting. Keeping a food journal can be super helpful in determining which foods give you energy and are sustaining and which foods burn up quickly and leave you hungry or depleted. Eating this way is a lifestyle and not a quick fix diet approach. Try it and let me know how you feel.

Comparison is the thief of joy!

Two  of my favorite quotes are “Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order” and “Comparison is the thief of joy.” With all the images we see on Facebook and Instagram its easy to see all the amazing, fun, beautiful things people are doing and feel dissatisfied with our own life. We compare what we feel in our inner world to what we see in people’s outer world and we feel less than. On International Women’s day,  it’s time to erase that “stinking thinking” and embrace our own beauty and strength within because we are all so powerful and fabulous just as we are.

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Chicken, Spinach, Spaghetti Squash Marinara Casserole

 

 

This casserole is one of my go to favorites for meal that is traditional, clean, gluten free, dairy free, soy free and delicious. I’ve done several variations using spaghetti squash as my base for the casserole and change up the veggies and protein sources to make something new each time. This one is full of non-starchy carbs from spinach, spaghetti squash, carrots and onions. Chicken from my local farmers market is actually a stewing hen and is full of flavor. I added Applegate Farms turkey bacon as an experiment and it turned out fantastic.  

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Chorizo, Spinach, Acorn Squash Egg Cups

In the Restart program we focus on preparing food and prepping in week 1. When you are prepared you will succeed. So we talk about clearing out the pantry of processed foods and making items ahead of time to have on hand so you don’t grab a non-compliant food because you are hungry and have nothing prepared. Planning, preparing and putting foods away in meal size containers is a way to make meal times easier and healthier! I participate in the challenge along with my RESTART students and this is one of the tastiest breakfast items I have made. It’s gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, soy free and 100% delicious! It contains healthy fats, good quality protein and healthy carbs from veggies. This is a clean recipe that your whole family will enjoy. They are great to make ahead and then have on hand for a grab and go breakfast. Enjoy!

Chorizo sausage, spinach, acorn squash egg cups
Serves 6
A delicious clean breakfast
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 pound clean chorizo sausage- I get mine locally from Creek Side Farms.
  2. 2 handfuls of fresh organic spinach
  3. 10 pastured eggs
  4. 1/2 sweet potato- cubed
  5. 1/2 acorn squash-cubed
  6. 1 t. celtic salt
  7. fresh basil to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, cook the chorizo sausage. While it is cooking, add the sweet potato and acorn squash and sauté until soft. add in spinach and salt and cook until all is blended.
  2. Line a muffin tin with paper cups and place 1 T of sausage filling in each cup.
  3. Mix eggs in a pourable bowl. Pour the eggs over the filling.
  4. Bake 350 for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy as a quick breakfast. You can substitute any vegetables of your choice.
Shine Wellness https://shine-wellness.com/

Simple Detox Drink

Hey friends,

So there are  a lot of people that swear by Apple Cider Vinegar as an elixir of health. Some take shots of it daily and you may have even heard about the health benefits from your Grandma or Grandpa. But what are the benefits and why is it healthy to drink? And do I really have to take it as a shot? I’ve got some great news for you. No shots required. Instead I have a tasty drink that not only includes ACV but it is also beneficial in supporting the liver’s detoxification pathways. Win- Win!

Here is an easy how to video from Dr. Axe:

Ok- let’s get to the benefits of this quick and easy detox drink.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Make sure its RAW with the mother culture included. The mother culture contains enzymes and good bacteria to help improve your digestion and even eat up the starches that you may have consumed too much of.

Cinnamon: One of the best antioxidants on the planet. It’s the number one herb/spice for balancing blood sugar. And it tastes great.

Lemon juice:  High in vitamin C and another food that helps balance blood sugar.  It also has an alkaline effect on your body helping to regulate PH.

Cayenne pepper: Helps to increase metabolism and has been shown to help drop blood pressure.

Ginger: A powerful anti-inflammatory herb and antioxidant.

Honey: A food that is near and dear to my heart. Make sure to use RAW honey as it contains all the natural healing benefits of bee pollen and propolis, which are both two very positive health additions. Raw honey helps boost the immune system and is a power source of antioxidants. Honey is one of nature’s purest foods and is far more than just a natural sweetener. It’s a “functional food,” which means it’s a natural food with health benefits. Raw honey nutrition is impressive. Raw honey contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. Vitamins found in honey include vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin. (Dr. AXCE )

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My TOP 3 Essential oils

 

Essential Oils- What are they and how to use them?

When you walk in Shine Wellness Massage Therapy you immediately smell a relaxing fragrance that many of our clients comment about. What I hear is, “It always smells so good in here!” Or, “As soon as I come in, I feel relaxed and at ease.” So what is that fragrance and why does it make you feel relaxed, happy, at ease and peaceful? At the studio we use therapeutic grade essential oils in our diffuser and in our massage therapy treatments. You may have noticed the diffuser on our table and the beautiful jar full of empty essential oils for decoration. All of those empty bottles have been used in massage sessions and to diffuse into the air at the studio. When you walk in, you breathe in these essential oils and it goes to our emotional center ( the limbic system in the brain ) to give us a feeling of calm and relaxation- or uplifting and energizing depending on what oil is being diffused.

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Benefits of Raw Milk Yogurt and how to make it at home

IMG_3944Raw milk is truly one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and has a nutritional profile unlike any other food. It is even called a traditional super-food. When you combine this super food with live probiotics ( like yogurt cultures and kefir )- you get a nutritional powerhouse that not only feeds your brain and body, but it also feeds your gut with beneficial organisms that keeps pathogens at bay and heals the digestive system.  If you are unsure about whether raw milk is safe, check out this article by Dr. Axe on  5 reasons raw milk benefits are out of this world!

 

The best way to include probiotics in your diet is in their most natural state, which includes raw milk products such as cheese, kefir and yogurt.  Yogurt and Kefir are my top choices in adding a healthy daily dose of these good guys. And both are super easy to make at home. I’ll show you how below.

IMG_3947In North Carolina, we don’t have access to raw milk. However, South Carolina is just a few miles away and it is for sale there. I buy mine from Milky Way Farm every other week. I grab my cooler and get fresh nutrient dense whole milk and cream to make my yogurt, kefir and butter. But what if you don’t want to drive to SC? There are other choices of milk that you CAN use. It won’t have the same nutritional profile that raw milk does- BUT it can come close. The next best option is buying a milk that is pasteurized but NOT ultra- pasteurized. The ultra pasteurization kills ALL the beneficial enzymes and yogurt and kefir will not culture well with this type of milk. When I run out of my raw milk and the pic up day has not come around yet, I buy Homeland dairy from The Bradford Store right down the road in Huntersville.

Homemade Yogurt

Your first step is to grab your supplies. You will need:

1/2 gallon Raw whole milk

2 quart size mason jars– make sure they are clean and sterile (you can run them through your dishwasher or place upside down in boiling water for 2 minutes)

1/4 cup plain yogurt or 1/4 cup from your last batch of homemade yogurt (you can buy a small 8 oz container of organic plain yogurt at the store for this)

A candy thermometer – (See the picture below)

A spoon or rubber spatula

Step one: Heat your milk to 110 degrees 

yogurt 1

Once your milk is heated- Let it cool to 86 degrees

Step 2: Pour milk into your Mason jars

Step 3: Add 1/4 cup of your plain yogurt to each jar and stir

yogurt 2

Step 4: Let time do the work- Put a cap on each jar and place in your oven with the oven light on. Let it sit overnight or 12-24 hours.

I use a Yogotherm. It keeps the milk at a more consistent temperature to allow the milk to culture. But it’s not mandatory.

yogurt 3

And that’s it! Seriously simple right?! In the morning you have fresh homemade yogurt that is a fraction of the cost that you have to pay at the store.

I serve my yogurt with fresh berries and some local raw honey. Or you can use it in smoothies, as a dip or to make yogurt cheese.

Want to learn more about how to make traditional foods at home? Join me in the upcoming workshop. I’ll teach your how to make homemade sourdough bread, butter, fermented veggies and how to soak/ sprout your grains and turn them into your own nutrient dense flour. To learn more – Click here.

Enjoy!

In Peace and Wellness, 

Chris

What is bone broth and how do I make it?

BEAUTIFUL Bone Broth… It’s something that you may have heard mentioned recently in the health news or from friends who are making it and drinking it. It is known for it’s benefits in healing the gut and helping your whole body thrive by providing over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue  and nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health
Did you read that? Bone broth supports every part of your body, from your belly to your brain, from your muscles to your ligaments. It’s some serious stuff.

Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. They contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.

So instead of spending money on pricey supplements, all you need to do is cook up a batch of bone broth. Our grandmothers knew the wisdom and value in bone broths. They made a batch at the first sign of a cold or sickness. It’s traditional wisdom that has been lost to the commercialization of our food. Today big companies want us to buy their product. They have convinced people that they can’t make it on their own. The message is that it’s too hard, takes too long and won’t be as good as what you can buy in the store. Well, let me tell you- that is ALL A LIE! Bone broth is one of easiest, inexpensive and quickest healing food that you can make. You can make up a batch in your crock pot and then freeze it for later use or keep it in the fridge to use in making a multitude of healthy foods.

How do I use bone broth?

I use bone broth several ways to support my family with optimal health. The simplest way I use it is to just drink it. A cup a day supports the gut and digestive system with healing gelatin that helps to heal inflammation of the digestive tract and leak gut. It’s also super easy to digest and full of nutrients that you body can absorb easily. Drinking bone broth is one of the best ways to help heal your gut lining.

I also cook my vegetables in bone broth. I slice up my veggies and add a bit of bone broth to the pan. This adds healthy vitamins and minerals to my veggie dishes and gets some extra oomph into my family.

Cooking rice, quinoa and or grains is another way to use bone broth. After soaking my rice or quinoa overnight, I replace the liquid that I would have normally used with bone broth. It makes the rice and quinoa taste full of flavor and adds healthy fats, minerals and electrolytes to help keep my family healthy and feeling satiated.

Healthy fat is crucial to a healthy body and brain. And, fat is what keeps you feeling full and satiated so that you are NOT hungry again soon after you eat. It’s long burning fuel to keep you going without the crash that comes with processed over-sugared foods on the market.

So how easy is it to make? Check out my video below. It’s less than 2 minutes to watch. Soon you will be making bone broth in your own kitchen too.

Bone Broth Video

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message. I’ll be happy to help.

Want to learn more about making traditional healing foods?

I have a class coming up August 6, 2016. I hope you will join me!

Traditional foods. Whole foods. Nutrient dense. Healing.

Saturday August 6, 2016 10am-2p

$125.00

We will cover the basics of making sourdough bread and homemade butter, Lacto-fermented vegetables and kraut, and soaking and sprouting grains and making your own sprouted flour. Snacks and supplies will be provided to bring home a quart of your homemade kraut, homemade butter, sourdough starter and dough for a loaf to cook at home, along with recipes for breads, rolls, pancakes, tortillas, resources and instructions to recreate these foods at home. This is a hands on process with individual instruction and ample time for questions along the way. This class comes with FREE ebooks to guide you at home. Sourdough Breads, Lacto-Fermenting Veggies and Fruits, and Kombucha.

This class is designed for a maximum enrollment of six, and promises to fill quickly, so make sure you reserve your spot soon and mark your calendar!

Register Here

Be well friends and Shine Brightly,

Chris