Gut Health and Thyroid? There IS a Connection!

It’s Thursday and my goal is to bring you an informational blog post on Thursdays. I love sharing recipes but my heart is for you to be equipped with knowledge and information so you can make wise choices AND be in charge of your own health and wellness.

My heart has been and always will be to help others. I just have such a passion for people opening their eyes and experiencing truth. Some say truth is relative, but in reality truth never changes. There are laws that govern how we obtain health and wellness and the fact of the matter is that we were CREATED to consume God made foods and live an overall healthy lifestyle through movement, sunshine, quality sleep, clean air and water. Those are truths that will never change no matter what anyone else says. That is just how our bodies were created to function and when we take those things away, that is when we see disease and people living in un-wellness.

So on to today’s topic: Thyroid Health

Without a healthy gut, people can’t absorb nutrients, filter toxins, and eliminate waste from the body. All of these functions are essential to ongoing wellness. In fact, seemingly unrelated conditions can arise from poor gut health like anxiety, ADHD, depression, thyroid issues, and more. Once the you have restored your gut health, the symptoms of these conditions will often disappear.

Some issues that may be related to poor gut health include allergies, inflammation, and malnutrition. Because much of the immune system exists in the digestive tract, poor gut health can make you more susceptible to autoimmune diseases, mental disorders, and infections.

90% of those with hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid disease.  Since most of the immune system is situated in the gastrointestinal tract, poor gut health is a significant factor in triggering and exacerbating autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s. Thyroid issues lead to hormonal imbalances and stressed out adrenals.

One little known role of the gut bacteria is to assist in converting inactive T4 into the active form of thyroid hormone, T3.  About 20 percent of T4 is converted to T3 in the GI tract, in the forms of T3 sulfate and triiodothyroacetic acid. The conversion of T3S and T3AC into active T3 requires an enzyme called intestinal sulfatase.  Where does intestinal sulfatase come from? You guessed it: healthy gut bacteria. Intestinal dysbiosis, an imbalance between pathogenic and beneficial bacteria in the gut,  which significantly reduces the conversion of T3S and T3AC to T3.  This is one reason why people with poor gut function may have thyroid symptoms but normal lab results. Inflammation in the gut also reduces T3 by raising cortisol. Cortisol decreases active T3 levels while increasing levels of inactive T3; thus possibly leading to burned out adrenals.  Are you with me so far? Your thyroid function has less to do with your thyroid and more to do with your gut health. “But Kasey I have tried to eliminate XYZ from my diet and take my probiotics and nothing worked.” Well, good for you for trying but I hate to tell you that your gut health is WAY more involved than semi-eliminating some foods and taking a probiotic. We need to heal, literally on a cellular level. We need to close any gut permeability. We need to address parasite and yeast overgrowth like candida. We need to check for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) because somewhere along the way your gut didn’t just magically stop functioning properly leaving you with compromised gut health and an improper functioning thyroid. Something triggered your thyroid issues and typically it’s a combination of years of poor eating, hidden food allergies, parasite or fungus in the gut just to name a few. So many of your thyroid anti-bodies are actually created in the gut. Poor gut health over time leads to thyroid issues. Some people say, “oh but mine is genetic,” but guys EPIGENETICS. YOU ARE NOT BOUND TO YOUR GENES. Just because your mother, sister, and aunts have it doesn’t mean YOU have to. Think of your genes like a switch. You have the power to keep them off or turn them on and good news for you is, you can turn them off once they are on. Epigenetics is amazing. 

So we’ve made the connection that poor gut health can lead to thyroid issues like hypothyroidism and hashimotos but what else? This is where is where we see some more pieces of the puzzle start to come together. How many people have thyroid issues who also have gallbladder or liver issues? A sluggish gallbladder interferes with proper liver detoxification and prevents hormones (ope now we have introduced gut health, thyroid malfunction, gallbladder and liver issues and now hormones) from being cleared from the body, and hypothyroidism impairs gall bladder function by reducing bile flow. While some fat in the liver is normal, if it exceeds 5 to 10 percent of total weight of the organ, it is considered fatty liver and the first stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). If fatty liver progresses unchecked, it can lead all the way to cirrhosis. (Alcohol abuse can also cause fatty liver disease and the majority of alcoholics have a fatty liver.) NAFLD is the most common liver disorder in the west, affecting as many as one third of Americans. It primarily afflicts those who are overweight and middle-aged, but NAFLD is increasingly affecting children and teens due to their over consumption of sodas, sweets, and high-carb foods. High cholesterol and diabetes are typically found with NAFLD too. People with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism are also at a higher risk of NAFLD because of the affect of hypothyroidism on fat metabolism and liver function.

Now we have a messed up gut and digestive system which can lead to a plethora of issues that aren’t really even related to the gut…or are they?! Of course they are! So when doctors try to fix the thyroid only, or manage it’s symptoms, WITHOUT addressing the entirety of what started the thyroid issues in the first place, they are really doing you a disservice and not allowing you to fully heal. It is a lie that you will always have thyroid issues and be on medication forever. That is a lie from the enemy because he wants to keep you in bondage. I repeat, your body was designed to heal! That is truth. If it wasn’t, then when we get sick we would just die.

All of these connections make it clear that you can’t have a healthy gut without a healthy thyroid, and you can’t have a healthy thyroid without a healthy gut.  We have this thing called the gut-thyroid-adrenal-hormonal axis and when one is out, they all will be. We cannot reverse or heal one of those issues without looking at all 4. To restore proper function of the gut-thyroid-adrenal-hormonal axis, all must be addressed simultaneously. 

How do you start on your healing journey? The way to do it isn’t complex but it is too hard and bioindivideal to write in this short blog post. But I will give you a few points you can work on. Please, if you are suffering from thyroid issues know that you are not bound to them for the rest of your life. You CAN heal it. I would highly encourage you to work with a naturopath or functional medical doctor who will not just address surface levels issues but will dive deep and help you and EQUIP you with the knowledge to heal on a cellular level.

1. The absolute number one thing to do if you are suffering from thyroid issues is to remove gluten and dairy from you diet. No, not forever, although consuming them in a highly processed non-organic form will not bring health to your body even after your body is healed, but at least until we have eliminated all unwanted symptoms and you are thriving in your every day life. Why gluten and dairy you are thinking?

Gluten is one of the main causes of leaky gut in people that I see with thyroid issues, hormonal problems, and autoimmune diseases.  When one eats gluten-containing food, the gluten proteins make their way through the stomach and arrive at the small intestine, where the body responds by producing zonulin, a chemical that signals the tight junctions of the intestinal walls to open up, creating permeability.  Now that your permeable small intestine has allowed toxins, microbes, and partially digesting food to leak into your bloodstream, your immune system goes on high alert to neutralize all of these threats. But, because your gut is still key, the threats just keep on coming, putting your body in a state of chronic inflammation and putting you on the path to develop an autoimmune disease or other disease as your immune system becomes so stressed that it begins attacking your own tissue by mistake.  Unfortunately, the gluten that caused your gut to become leaky also makes it more likely that you will develop thyroid disease, due to its structural similarity to your thyroid tissue. Now hear me out, this is an important part of equipping you with knowledge: Every time your body is exposed to a dangerous outside invader, your immune system memorizes its structure, specifically its protein sequence, so that it can develop the perfect defense to that pathogen and recognize it in the future.  But, the immune system’s recognition system isn’t perfect; as long as a molecule’s structure and protein sequences are similar enough, the immune system can be fooled into attacking look-a-like molecules that are actually your body’s tissue, causing disease.  Unfortunately for the thyroid, it has two common doppelgangers that put it at risk for rogue autoimmune attacks: gliadin (the gluten protein) and casein (a protein found in dairy), both of which are likely rampant in your bloodstream now, thanks to leaky gut.  

Gluten and dairy literally mimic your own thyroid’s protein structure and can cause your thyroid function to worsen every single time you consume them. UNTILLLLL we restore the integrity of the gut that is. So don’t lose hope. Never lose hope because remember, your body IS designed to heal. Just not having gluten and dairy every now and then won’t cut it. The gliadin and casein proteins actually stay in your blood stream and produce a response for up to 4 weeks so at minimum, a 4 week elimination is a must but preferably more.

2. Eat 2-4 raw, organic brazil nuts a day. This is an easy way to get selenium into your diet without taking a supplement. Selenium is highly concentrated in the thyroid and plays a critical role in its proper function. It actually helps to catalyze the conversion of T4 to T3. Selenium also binds to mercury which can be stored in the thyroid making it toxic! Anyone have thyroid issues and mercury fillings? Or used to? Yeah, another piece of the puzzle.

3. Consume kelp every day either on your organic eggs (which are loaded with micronutrients your body needs like selenium, um hello!) or in a smoothie. Kelp is found in the sea and is a concentrated source of iodine. If you are a thyroid patient that doesn’t respond well to synthetic iodine, try kelp. Also, we need both iodine AND selenium; they are cofactors. So if you have tried iodine without selenium and felt worse, that’s why. You needed the selenium too and vice versa. We need iodine to make thyroid hormones. Simple as that and because we as a society and culture do not eat high enough amounts of wild caught sea vegetables and fish, we can easily become deficient in it.

4. Consume fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, apple cider vinegar and bone broth. Fermented food help to restore the gut tight junctions and also are loaded with probiotics which help to restore the gut microbiome. BUT you need to feed those good bacteria you are replenishing your gut with and they can’t replenish without having PREbiotics. Prebiotics are found in fibrous vegetables like leafy greens, celery, and any type of vegetable and fruit. So load up on those. A heavy plant-based diet is definitely recommended.

5. Lastly, consume coconut oil. Coconuts are an excellent food all around. Coconut oil contains essential fatty acids needed for proper metabolic function. These fatty acids are easily assimilated by the body and contribute to thyroid function, thyroid hormone production and regulating the metabolism.

Obviously, these are practices that ANYONE can do without side effects or taking your health history into consideration. With that said, and like I said before, there is so much more to healing your thyroid than what your doctor says or even what I have expressed here! I would love to help you on your healing journey if this is something you are struggling with. Please email me and we can connect to make sure you are living a life of wholeness!

Blessings to you! Kasey

Grandmas Chicken and Dumplings

It was snowing and below freezing yesterday and I have literally been craving my sweet Grandma Ada Lois’s homemade chicken and dumplings. I have an entire box of her handwritten recipes along with a cookbook her sons made one year while she was still alive for her family but out of hundreds of recipes her chicken and dumpling recipe was no where to be found. WAHHHH! I have attempted it before but it never turned out like hers. BUT THIS RECIPE is sooooo close. It’s not EXACTLY, but it is so close it really satisfied that craving and when my husband pretty much drank his bowl and had seconds I knew this one was a winner. I am still going to tweak it and i’ll edit and update this post as I do, to perfect it to be EXACTLY like hers; but in the meantime this one will do.

Grandmas Chicken and Dumplings

8 cups of Homemade Chicken Stock (store bought would work too but I promise you it won’t be as good!)
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 tbs of grass fed butter
1/2 cup of organic heavy cream or coconut cream
1/2 cup filtered water
Salt and Pepper to taste
To make dumplings:
1 cup einkorn flour
4 tbs butter
1/4 cup almond milk with dash of ACV to make buttermilk
Add your broth to a stock pan and bring to a boil.
Make your dumplings using the last 3 ingredients listed and combine into a sticky dough.
Use extra flour to cover your hands as you pinch off little pieces about 1-2 inch big at a time and drop into boiling broth, being sure to drop them into separate places in the pan as not to let them stick.
Every few dumplings you put in, give the broth a stir so they don’t stick together. Allow them to boil and cook for 3-5 minutes and then add your shredded chicken, 2 tbs of butter, and the 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup water.
Give it a gentle stir and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes or until the dumplings are soft but not doughy inside.
It should thicken up slightly as the dumplings cook since they are flour based and some of the flour thickens the stew.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and thats it!
We served with roasted carrots and pickles on the side but you could do a giant salad too! It’s very easy once you have your broth made!

This stew is a great dish for those cold months! I have talked about eating seasonly and WARMING foods in the cool months so your body stays in a good balance and this stew fits the bill! Plus, anything that brings comfort and reminds you of those sweet, good ole’ memories from years past is HEALING to your body.

The Ultimate Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The Ultimate Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2018

I thought it would be fun to do a Healthy Holiday Gift Guide!  I think as the trends of health and wellness continue, people get overwhelmed when trying to make simple changes like their makeup or household products and end up doing nothing. Christmas is a great time to start making those changes! My hope is that this guide will make at least some of those changes easier for you. Or maybe you already are into a healthy lifestyle but love learning about new products; either way I pray you are blessed by this guide and are able to use it all year long, not only for yourself but also for those you are purchasing gifts for!

I have broken my Healthy Holiday Gift Guide down into 3 areas:
1. Beauty and Fashion
2. Food and Supplements
3. Random Pretties!

Beauty and Fashion

1. Hynt Concealer
This concealer is full coverage and is literally the cleanest and BEST concealer I have ever tried! It’s average priced but I bought it in January of this year and am JUST NOW running out. And I use it every single day. Even when I don’t wear foundation I will dab some concealer on any areas that need some coverage and it blends so beautifully. I bought these brushes to put it on with but sometimes I even just use my fingers.

2. Plaine Citrus Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner
It is SO hard to find quality clean shampoo and conditioner. My sweet mom sends me an Organic Bunny Box every month (it is an organic subscription beauty box) and this past month it had a travel size of these shampoo and conditioners in it. I was hesitant to use it but I was pleasantly surprised with how well it got my hair clean not to mention the smell! This would make a great stocking stuffer for your daughter or sister or friend, since the bottles are small and for only $10 it includes BOTH the shampoo and conditioner. Plus if you are like me and you like to try a small bottle of something before committing to the large size, this is a perfect deal for you!

3. 3-Piece Set Dry Brush
You guys know I am ALL about efficient ways to support your bodies natural detoxification pathways. Dry brushing is PROVEN to have many benefits supporting your bodies own ability to get rid of dead skin cells all while moving your blood and lymph system. It is especially important to do in the winter but really all year long is best. I do it before I get dressed in the morning. You can also do it before you shower, but be sure and do it DRY; hence the name dry brushing. 😉 I recommend this for all of my clients and even kiddos. You want to dry brush towards the heart all over the body pushing fairly hard down with gentle strokes. Using the face brush, you can also do your face first thing every morning.

4. Face Ice Roller
Oh boy! This is one of my favorite beauty products of all time! You keep this $10 little ice roller in your freezer. Right when you wake up and after you dry brush your face and are enjoying your warm lemon water (which yes you should be doing and here is why) use this little gadget all over your face! It is a facial massage helping to tighten and tone your skin while boosting collagen production along with getting the lymph draining and moving in your face. The coldness helps to reduce puffiness and shrinks your pores! Plus, it just feels so darn good! Great stocking stuffer and you can get it in a ton of different colors-just be sure and get the stainless steel one, not the plastic one!

5. 3-Pack Organic Socks
So I know socks are super random but here is why I included them. First of all, a great socking stuffer, especially in that cute blush pink color. But secondly, did you know that you will sleep better if you wear socks at night? It’s true and scientifically proven. It helps to regulate your body temperature; sometimes I will end up kicking my off in the middle of the night but at least start out wearing them. I love that these are made from organic cotton as cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the USA. Choosing the organic option will allow your feet to stay clean and fresh while keeping your body temp stable.

6. 2-Pack Organic Underwear
A little personal? Nah, everyone wears them (or maybe not?!) but having heavily toxic underwear next to the precious places isn’t good for you! I love these organic cotton thongs; they also make them in full coverage cut and bikini cut too. These are tag-less and have a seamless design which makes them no show which I love. I think these would be great to tell your hubby to get for you! I’m sure he would love too! Just send him over the link! 😉

7. Pacifica Perfume
Smelling good is important but not at the expense of toxic chemicals that you are breathing in all day long. I love this Pacifica Perfume! It doesn’t last long but it smells great and at just $20 for the bottle I think it is a great deal. It uses essential oils to make the sweet fragrance and they offer all different smells. If you are looking for a more upscale, expensive but clean perfume, I got this one for my mom last year and it was also wonderful.

8. Au Naturale Lip Gloss
So this is a lipgloss with the way it goes on but it stays on long like a lipstick. It is SOOO good. I found this product 3 years ago and have used it faithfully since. I get compliments all the time on how beautiful and vibrant the colors are which I think is hard to find for an organic lip color. At under $20, this is reasonably priced and there are so many colors to choose from! On average, a lady consumes 9 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime so don’t you want it to at least be healthy?! I know I do!

9. Radiant Beauty Moisturizer
This product I actually haven’t tried myself. But it comes highly recommended from some top functional medical doctors who are in to natural beauty and health. The ingredient list is top notch using 100% organic ingredients and was formulated by a physician. The reviews speak for themselves, and although on the pricier side, a little goes a long way, way long way. So use a dab! It’s on my Christmas list this year, Santa!

10. Primal Pit Paste
My favorite natural deodorant ever! Smells great, doesn’t break you out, leaves no residue and WORKS. Remember though, the healthier you are, the less you’ll need deodorant. Save it for those really hot or sweaty days! At just $15 this would be another great stocking stuffer!

Food and Supplements

1. Magnesium Bath Flakes
You guys know my love for magnesium and these bath flakes are THE BEST way to relax and have a mamas night in! We are all deficient in magnesium and the best way to get it is using these bath flakes and also using topical magnesium spray like this one. You need 500 mg in magnesium per day, so load up and enjoy those baths!

2. Elderberry
I know giving or even receiving a “supplement” may be weird for some but how cute would making a Mama’s Winter Survival basket be? You could put in those organic socks I listed above, the magnesium bath flakes, some chocolate which I will also share below, and elderberry syrup! So why Elderberry? It is a strong immune booster and natural viral killer. It has antimicrobial properties too and people who consumed elderberry instead of the harsh prescription Tamiflu when faced with the flu showed GREATER healing than those who took the Tamiflu. It’s true you guys; nature rules. I love this one because it is safe for adults and children! 2 for 1 ya’ll!

3. Collagen Peptides
Here me out: on the same lines of the Mama’s Winter Survival basket above you could make a Pampering Skincare Basket! Put in some of these amazing collagen peptides, the silk pillowcase listed below, the moisturizer I shared above, and the face ice roller and what a fun basket you have! I love giving baskets full of fun things for presents as you can really be creative with how you package them and what you put in there. Plus, the practical Kasey likes that you can include practical items along with fun ones, just because… and bonus: you can use the basket for something useful! Collagen is shown to boost collagen production in the skin and decrease wrinkles and plump that skin up making it glowing and youthful! “Back when” our ancestors used to consume more naturally occurring collagen in things like bones and marrow of animals; one reason why bone broth has become so popular…actually, it always has been and for a good reason! Collagen is the best thing you can take for your skin!

4. Justin’s Peanut Butter Cup
Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? Justin’s PB Cups are an organic alternative to those nasty (okay good but gross ingredients) Reeces. These are made with all organic ingredients and the dark chocolate doesn’t have dairy which is my favorite anyways! One year, Axel got me like 10 of these and put them in my stocking and I was like ALL THE PRAISE HANDS! I hid them from my kids and made them last for a few months and savored every last bite! These make great stocking stuffers and you can rest knowing you are filling your kiddos (or your) belly with good-for-you ingredients.

5. Plentils
While not a HEALTH food per say, these are a HEALTHIER alternative to those deep fried potato chips. These have the crunch factor on point and the flavors are so yummy all while being allergen free like free from gluten and dairy. I love getting this variety pack off of Amazon and then stuffing them in the stocking too! Think outside of the standard candy canes and yucky chocolate. I am ALL about practicality and efficiency and I love, I mean Santa loves, filling out stocking with things we love and need. And snacks like these definitely are things we both love AND need. That Dill and Sour Cream Flavor tho!

6. Homemade Protein Powder
YOU NEED THIS PROTEIN POWDER IN YOUR LIFE AND SO DO YOUR FRIENDS. Make up a batch of my homemade protein powder and put that baby in a beautiful jar with a ribbon and you’ve got a great gift for those gift exchanges. Print out the recipe on a pretty card stock and attach to the ribbon. So fun! The link will take you to the recipe and all of the products to make it are linked there!

7. Plant Therapy Essential Oils
You knew essential oils would make the list I’m sure but this brand is just my absolute favorite. Their quality is unmatched, their purity is amazing and the way they design them with kids in mind is so comforting. I like that they sell them in these gift boxes and they are super affordable too while not compromising quality. Which leads me to….

8. Gold Essential Oils Diffuser 
A diffuser for those essential oils.  So I know this isn’t food or supplements but essential oils are basically supplements and I wanted this to go with it.  I make my own rules up anyways. This is actually on my own Christmas list this year. Santa, are you listening?! I LOVE when an diffuser looks like decor where you can sit it on your counter or shelf and it doesn’t look silly. This one has a light and remote control which I also love. If you search through, you can also find this in a brushed bronze if that is more your style.

9. Butcher Box
Butcher Box is a meat subscription service (although you can cancel, add, or change it at any time) that sources quality, organic, small-farmed, grass-fed, etc meat! They have all different types and it comes shipped 1-2 days after purchased straight to your front door! It comes in an insulated cardboard box that has dry ice it and all of your meat is frozen so it stays fresh and safe for consumption even through the heat or any weather! I love all that this company stands for and depending on which package you get you are paying less than $5 a pound for meat and anyone who buys organically source meat knows what a savings that is! We have tried everything they have to offer except their seasonal whole turkey and it all has been fantastic! They offer different size boxes as well as monthly or bi-monthly service. But again, cancel at anytime! If you use my link above you get free bacon and $20 off your first box! What a steal!

10. Spry Gum
If you are a gum chewer, this gum is the best and healthiest out there! It uses xylitol which has been proven to prevent cavities just as good as “fluoride” claims too! Although much safer, ammmmiright?! It comes in a few different flavors although I’m partial to the spearmint myself. My boys love the fruit flavor! It also comes in pocket size, purse size, and a large size to refill with. A must for under the tree or in the stocking!

Random Pretties!

1, Silk Pillowcase
This is on my lissssst this year! The blush one please. Silk pillowcases are so great for your skin! It provides natural body heat regulation (anyone say good-bye hot flashes!) and it also results in less wrinkles on your face because of how soft and smooth the fabric is. It can help in decreasing acne and help in smoother, softer skin. I’m excited to try this one and for under $25! Yes! Easy and simple changes throughout your day and night add up to BIG results.

2. Acrylic Recipe Holder
This is also on my persona list. I don’t use cookbooks often but when I do I’ve never been able to have a good system. I love that this is acrylic which will fit in with any style but I also love how the holder is essentially a shield so you don’t get the pages dirty with those working-in-the-kitchen hands. Under $15 and makes a stylish statement.

3. Air Fryer
I got an air fryer last year and it has been valuable and FUN. It is a quick way to make different recipes like french fries without loading them with oil (not that all oils is bad for you, read about the good kinds here) and making them quickly-like under 8 minutes! There are so many ways this is a valuable tool to have in your kitchen and I definitely recommend it!

4. Vitamix
If you have never had a smoothie from a Vitamix you are missing out! It is so powerful it can make flour, nut butters, and even grind up an IPHONE! SAY WHAT?! But really, it can make your smoothies so smooth and tasty. It is definitely an investment kitchen piece, but if you want to make smoothies on the regular, I highly suggest getting one. BUT the cool thing is, Vitamix actually sells refurbished ones on Amazon like the one I linked here and it comes with the same lifetime warranty as the non-refurbished ones. So why wouldn’t you save yourself a few hundred dollars and get a refurbished one?

5. Berky
I have yet to get one for my family, but it is on my wish list this year! A Berky is a powerful water filtration system that removes 100% of the pathogens in the water, fluoride, arsenic, chromium, uranium, and other toxins that are found in our modern water supply. I love that this filtration system doesn’t use electricity so if the power does go out, it just uses gravity to filter and we can still have clean water. The Big Berky is what I linked and it is suitable for a family of 4! You don’t have to change the filter but every 5-7 years! WOAH!

6. Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher
If you aren’t down with getting a $300 water filtration system just yet, this is the next best thing! We have been using this pitcher filtration system for 4 years now. We have to change the filters every 6 months or so, so this definitely isn’t a permanent option as we drink a ton of water and one filter runs $50. The pitcher is only $70 and does come with one filter and it is excellent at filtering out the above mentioned yuckiness. While it’s not a total great deal in the long-term, for short-term use it really is a great option. And since our bodies need water for every single bodily and cellular function, I’d say getting clean water is very important. I like that this fits right in my fridge or on the counter and it’s an all-in-one system too!

7. Acupuncture Mat
This is a gem! Such an easy and efficient way to help those detoxification pathways. This mat is so easy to use and the “needles” are just little plastic pieces on the mat that do not hurt. Even my kiddos love using it! You can put this in your car and sit on it while you drive. I love the neck pillow part and actually love using it on my feet while I’m sitting watching TV. You have pressure points in your feet that help to relieve muscle tension and headaches. The mat also helps to get blood flowing to your body and move lymph as well. Try and use it for 15-20 minutes per day.

8. Heating Pad
You could say I’m the queen of heating pads. I have around 8 of them and use them almost every day. Being in a cold room with a warm heating pad at my feet or on my neck when I have some neck tension is about the best thing there is. But you guys, I found the RANGE ROVER of heating pads and this one is absolutely on my Christmas wish list this year! Bonus: it comes with a eye pillow too! Axel said when I showed him this that it looks so cozy and i’m so extra and high maintenance that he assumes i’ll be wearing this out in public under my clothes…he may not be wrong. Under $40 too!

9. Shoe Cabinet 
A shoe cabinet may seem random but I am a huge proponent of NO SHOES IN THE HOUSE. Think about everywhere you have been wearing those shoes. And then you come into your home where your kids play on the floor and they are now rolling around essentially at all of those places your shoes have been….shutter. So gross! I got this exact cabinet (which looks black in person) to put all of our shoes in as soon as they come into the house from the garage. It’s automatic. And the size of the shelves (which are moveable) fit the shoes exactly! I have over 40 pairs of shoes in this one cabinet all nicely placed and all hidden behind the doors. I’m convinced, along with our healthy diet and lifestyle of course, that not wearing shoes in the house is a huge reason that we aren’t sick. Our family of 4 have not had any sickness longer than a day or two in almost 8 years! And on top of that, my boys have never had strep, sinus infections, pneumonia, or the flu! It’s amazing actually. So yes, a shoe cabinet actually fits perfectly in this guide! This one is only $100 and although it takes awhile to put together, is very solid and worth every penny!

10. My Pillow
To go with your silk pillowcase, you have to put it on your My Pillow! I was skeptical at first, thinking what a gimmick. But after my arms and hands kept falling asleep at night and I would wake up screaming waking up my poor husband thinking they had been cut off, I decided to give it a try. And it’s most definitely not a gimmick. I’m usually a 2 fluffy pillow sleeper but one of these does the trick. Totally worth the money! And we all know better sleep leads to a healthier life!

That’s it folks! 30 items that I have either personally used or have on my Christmas wish list this year! I have done all of the research so you don’t have too-trust me. Kasey approved! Have fun shopping!


(I receive a very, very small percentage of each sale if you use the links I have posted here. Thank you for supporting my website so I can continue bringing you guys free information!)

CBD Oil? Everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

CBD Oil? Everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

What is the endocannabinoid system and what is CBD oil? I have been getting quite a few questions lately from clients and friends asking what my research has shown regarding CBD oil. I have put off answering and promoting it because I am concerned that people will use it as a “one size fits all” cure. But the questions keep coming in and as its popularity grows, making an informed, educated decision regarding CBD is my duty as a natural health promoter. I have done my best to use peer reviewed published medical journal studies along with research and guidance from certified functional medical doctors. I hope you find this blog post helpful and most of all, I hope it helps you as you continue along your health and wellness journey.

You have an endocannabinoid system from your brain to your bowels. It is the most widespread G protein coupled receptor system in your body. CB1 receptors are in the brain, GI, uterus, and liver. It works on emotional and physical pain in the CB1 receptors in the brain. Using CBD full-spectrum oil is a novel way to treat endometriosis, cramps, and PCOS by working on the CB1 receptor. An interesting fact: dioxin in tampons, meats, dairy, etc wipe out CB1 receptors; women who have endometriosis have higher dioxin levels in their adipose fat tissue. I’ll let you re-read that paragraph and make all of the connections so far.

CB2 receptors are found on the immune cells in the body. There is a third receptor that is fairly new to research called CB3 receptors; it is mostly found in the brain and is composed of endogenous endocannabinoid 2-AG and anandamide.  It is found in breastmilk, it plays a huge part in implantation and conception, it is responsible for the “high” a runner gets and lastly it is apart of the mother’s childbirth experience.

In the early 1900s most early Americans had some sort of medicinal cannabis in their medicine cabinet before the corruption of the CDC and Big Pharma came along. There are over 1,600 published scientific studies on cannabidiol’s beneficial health effects. So what is really going on here? The threat of criminalizing CBD is part of an old tradition in which the agencies follow the drum beat of the pharmaceutical industry. This permits Big Pharma to hijack medicinal solutions for patenting.  Another tactic is often to discredit functional solutions that can not be patented, to thwart competition (example being colloidal silver, a natural antimicrobial that could undermine the antibiotics industry).  The purpose of controlling the distribution of medicinal solutions is to make profits, by the same industry that also fleshes out dangerous substances like opiates and amphetamines through “legal” prescriptions.  Thankfully, we live in an information age where YOU, the average American, have access to peer reviewed published medical journals; the same ones medical doctors get their research from. It is all there, you just have to do some digging to find it! Back to CBD oil….

CB receptors also bond THC. THC helps to activate CBD. CBD WITH THC counteracts the THC activation psychosis; it blunts THC-A receptors. So yes, THC is the part that makes you “high” but when you have 0.03% or less in your CBD oil, you are still going to reap the benefits full-spectrum CBD without the high from the THC because remember CBD blunts the effects of THC when consumed. So why THC?  THC is the part that is needed for pain and inflammation. I heard a medical doctor who is also a cannabinoid doctor say, “I’d rather my grandma get a little high than stoned on and addicted to narcotics.” JAMA did a study showing that there were less overdose deaths from narcotics where there medical marijuana is legalized. This is  a powerful statistic as we all know there is an opiate crisis in our nation and CBD oil could very well be the answer.

CBD isolate is not natural. CBD isolates only are sub-par products that do not work. You need an organic, full-spectrum product that is at least 500 mg of CBD.  Just like with your food, you need to know the farming practices involved. Make sure during extraction they do not use propylene glycol or ethanol. So there are over 500 cannabinoids. Some things to look for in CBD oil that make it full spectrum along with the organic, safe farming practices and 500 mg is you want it to include at least more than 3 if not all: CBDA, CBG, CBGA, CBC, CBCA, THCA, THC, THCV. If you take it like it’s supposed to be taken, there are a whole range of medicinal benefits. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done and let me just say it loudly and clearly: it is NOT a cover-up for emotional pain, fear, anxiety, depression or any other emotion.  It is also NOT a cure all. You cannot eat McDonalds every day, never deal with your emotions, yet take CBD oil and think you will be cured. It doesn’t work that way and that has been my fear with writing an article like this or promoting the benefits of it. My fear is that people who are promoting its great benefits are not sharing the entirety of what health and wellness truly is. I repeat, it is not a one size fits all cure in a magic bottle. However, it IS a safe, therapeutically used oil that can be safely consumed for pain, inflammation, anxiety, and over 300 other modalities WHEN USED IN COMBINATION WITH AN OVERALL HEALTHY LIFESTYLE focusing on diet, movement, and a healthy mind and spirit. It also has over 123 pharmacological actions researched in over 322 diseases. So yes, it is being researched like crazy both in the natural and conventional world. But let’s keep watching and using it safely along with a healthy lifestyle. I will preach that day in and day out.

Still a lot of research needs to be done on the plant; so far, it is not found safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It can be used on kids with certain symptoms such as ADD, ADHD, autism and seizures, however, again and again I will say it needs to be used in combination with a healthy lifestyle. If you have or suspect you have the MTHFR gene mutation (hint: over 40% of Americans do) you need to be extra cautious when using CBD oil. The way the methylation pathways work in combination with the endocannabinoid system pathways can raise your homocysteine levels into a dangerous spot risking cardiovascular incidents like stroke, heart attack or blood clots.  Also, if you are currently on opiates and want to combine them with CBD please talk to your doctor. Cannabis can delay opioid metabolism resulting in a very dangerous situation if you use both at the same time. So as you can see, it is very very important when considering CBD oil, that you understand what you are doing, your body, and the benefits and risks associated with it all. Just like I never recommend self-supplementing, I definitely don’t recommend self-CBD-oiling. With that said, a brand that I can vouch for after research is NuLeaf Naturals. (I do not work with this company or get any kick backs.)

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or experiences using CBD! I love sharing my knowledge but I also love learning from you and hearing your testimonies! Please share this post if you find it helpful. 


Buttery Dump Biscuits

I know, I know, I could have came up with a better title for this recipe than DUMP but that’s literally how you make it so…

On to the recipe because the pictures and deliciousness speak for themselves!

So you start with 1 stick of butter…yeah…I know 1 stick seems like a lot but this makes 12 biscuits AND grass fed, organic butter provides a certain type of fat known as CLA which basically means if you eat it you’ll have superman brain powers and pearly white, strong teeth. All kidding aside, CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid which is a serious immune booster and disease fighter, it has also been shown to help against the degenerative disease Alzheimers. It is also high in Vitamin K, which in combination with vitamin d, provides healthy bones like your teeth! So eat up that grass fed butter, dear.

So you melt your 1 stick of butter in an 8×8 or 8×9 glass baking dish either by sticking in your preheating oven of 425 degrees or in the microwave. (blah, not my favorite)

While that is melting you mix your batter together. Then you dump your batter into the butter which looks like this:

Don’t worry about spreading it out perfectly, or if the butter gets onto the top of the dough. It’s all gooooood and I mean really gooooood.

At this point you bake! Usually it takes about 20 minutes or so but please watch it. You’ll know its done when the top has browned and when you touch it, it springs back up. Now, keep in mind that using gluten free flour makes this spongy, not flaky. This is not a flaky biscuit. It is spongy. Got it? We actually prefer to eat them warm after they come out of the oven and then slice it and toast it. Don’t try to eat it hot, let it get warm about 10 minutes out of the oven before you cut into them otherwise they will be gooey, spongy and taste like dough. So after they have came to just warm, cut and slice one open and then pop in your toaster oven for 4-5 minutes to get it crispyish on the top. That’s our favorite but skipping the toaster oven is totally up to you. That’s how we heat them up leftover too, by the way.

This is what it looks like out of the oven.

And then I let it cool for 10 minutes and sliced it open…gah…..heart eyes….

And then I topped it with some shredded raw cheese, 2 pieces of crisp bacon, and then an over easy egg on top and some red pepper flakes. But you do you. Some homemade jam on top would be equally delicious! (And yes, these are Reset approved if you use maple syrup.)

Buttery Dump Biscuits
(Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar Free)

1 stick grass fed butter
2.5 cups of gluten free flour
1.5 tbs of coconut sugar or maple syrup
1.5 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup of almond milk with 1 tbs of ACV (let sit for 5 minutes-this curdles it and makes it like buttermilk!)

Preheat oven to 425,
Melt your butter in your glass 8×8 or 8×9 inch pan either in the oven as it preheats or in the microwave.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, syrup, baking powder, and salt together.
Pour in the ACV with almond milk and stir until batter forms. It will be super sticky. That’s okay.
Pour the dough batter on top of your melted butter in your baking dish and then pop in the oven.
Bake for around 20 minutes but watch the top and make sure it’s browned along with when you touch the biscuits you want them to bounce back or be springy.
That’s it! Once they are cut, you can store in a plastic bag or container in your fridge for 3-4 days. Pop in the toaster oven to reheat!


Lemon Crumb Bars

Before summer comes to a close and all things apples, stone fruits, and the inevitable squash and pumpkins make their appearance, I wanted to do one last summer recipe using fresh lemons. The sweet and sour combo when using citrus fruits to bake just screams hot, summer days to me and Lord knows we’ve had plenty of those!

We’ve been in a 3-4 week drought now with only sprinkles here and there. Thankfully, this week is calling for storms all week and we couldn’t be happier here in the midwest! I’m longing to see the bright, green grass again instead of the past month of dead, brown lawns.

Lemon Crumb Bars
(Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Option)

1 1/4 cup gluten free flour
1 1/2 cup gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup grass fed butter, melted (could sub coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt (could sub coconut milk yogurt)
1/3 cup Kite Hill cream cheese (made from almonds) or regular cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbs raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil 8×8 inch dish with coconut oil
In a mixing bowl add flour, oats, salt and baking soda.
Mix in the sugar.
Add vanilla and melted butter into dry ingredients.
Press 3/4 of your mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, mix together the yogurt, cream cheese, lemon juice, honey, and eggs + yolk.
Add it to the baking pan once it is one baking and pour it over the top of the prepared crust.
Bake for 10 minutes and then add the rest of your crumble mixture that you saved and sprinkle on top.
Bake for another 10 minutes or until the mixture is browning on top.
Let the bars cool on the counter in the pan and then stick in the freezer for about an hour to let them firm up so they will stay nice and neat for cutting.
Take out of freezer and let thaw for 5 minutes then cut into bars.
Or just skip the freezer and eat warm out of the pan as a true lemon crumble.
Either way. Just make them!!!

What I love most about this dessert recipe is that it is super quick to put together, tastes absolutely fresh and amazing, and uses no yucky grains or sugars. It’s nutritional profile is boosted by the addition of quality fats and oats which are a heart healthy gluten-free grain! They help lower cholesterol, provide a ton of fiber and prebiotics to keep your digestion happy (and feed those probiotics you spend money taking!), and also are high in antioxidants.


Loaded Vegetable Thai Curry

Per your request is my loaded vegetable curry. You are going to be AMAZED at how easy AND super delicious (and healthy) this is. There are a million recipes like it out there so although this is my own, it may look similar to someone else’s because it’s just that easy.

I love to serve it over white jasmine rice (we get some that is grown locally here in Missouri) but it is also equally delicious and possibly heartier than the rice. Just make some crispy roasted potatoes and ladle the veggie goodness over the top!

Also, this is vegan and gluten free too!

Loaded Vegetable Thai Curry
(Gluten-Free and Vegan)

1 tbs avocado or coconut oil
1 tbs of onion powder or 1/2 chopped onion
1 tsp of salt
1 tbs fresh grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic
About 3-5 cups of your favorite vegetables chopped (I used peas, yellow squash, peas, red peppers, kale, and green peppers-broccoli and mushrooms are great too!)
2 tbs red curry paste
1 tbs sweet red chili sauce
1 14 oz can of fall fat coconut milk
1/2 cup of water
1 tbs tamari
2 tsp lime juice
Warm the oil over medium heat and add in onion powder and stir over the heat for 20 seconds.
Add in your salt.
Then add your ginger and garlic and cook for 20 more seconds while constantly stirring.
Add all of your chopped veggies at this point except any leafy greens you are using.
Once your veggies are fork tender, usually about 5 minutes, add in your red curry paste and sweet chili sauce and cook a few minutes longer.
Now add your coconut milk, 1/2 cup of water, and your leafy greens.
Cook with a gentle simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or so.
Remove from heat and add in your tamari and lime. Add more tamari or salt as needed.
Serve over your cooked rice or crispy potatoes!

On my Instagram last a few days ago I talked about how we all need to aim for 40 DIFFERENT servings of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices a week AND 1 tbs counts as a serving. To be honest, you should aim for more as 40 isn’t that hard to achieve if you are eating a heavy plant based diet. But some of you were really curious HOW to get that amount in in a 7 day time span.

Think about this meal for example we have:
Red pepper
Green pepper (different colors and variety of each food counts because each type brings different antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients our bodies need)
Yellow squash
Not to mention the spices that are added to the meal

That right there is 4 servings PLUS spices. If you average 4 servings per meal, remember a serving is just 1 tbs, then 3×4 is 12 per day and 12×7 days is 84 servings! THAT IS DOUBLE than what is recommended in the natural health and wellness world. Obviously, some meals you won’t have that many or maybe you eat out one meal and don’t have any at all, but overall, you should be getting well over the 40 serving suggestion.

Instead of focusing on counting out macros or calories, try just focusing on getting your 40 servings of plant based nutrients in per week and see what a different that makes!

As always, if you are needing customized support and care regarding your health and wellness please feel free to email me or go to the SERVICE tab on the website here for more information.

Many blessings!

Grain-Free, Protein Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

These muffins were a long shot. I admit, I am not the best baker without loosely following a recipe. I don’t understand the science behind the chemical reactions that take place when baking and really, unless you do, you can’t just pop a recipe out of nowhere because it would be a big FAT fail. LOL

BUT, somehow, on a desperate Monday morning when I had the urge to bake and knew I wanted lemon poppyseed muffins but could not find a recipe that was nutrient dense, appropriate for breakfast, I whipped these babies up and they were a huge HIT! YAY! No wasted ingredients!

Protein Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
(Gluten-Free,  Refined Sugar Free, Grain-Free)

6 organic eggs
1/3 cup of full fat plain yogurt (can use dairy free yogurt)
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut sugar or pure maple syrup
1 stick of grass-fed butter, softened
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbs poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pop in some baking cups into a 12 hole muffin tin.
Beat eggs together and add in yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla and mix with hand mixer on low speed until smooth.
Add coconut flour and baking powder and mix until smooth batter forms.
Fold in poppy seeds.
Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the muffins are spongy, not gooey, and firm.
Perfect while warm with some butter on top!

Coconut flour-Coconut flour is high in fiber leading to healthy bowels and colon. It also helps keep you fuller for longer without any blood sugar crashes. It has a great amount of protein (4 grams per 1/4 cup) and it also is noted for it’s anti-inflammatory properties because of it’s perfect omega 3 to omega 6 ratio.


Chinese Chicken and Veggie Salad

I have been meaning to get this amazing salad up on my blog but this summer has been filled with FUN and FULLNESS. But after making it, again, this week I knew I had to make time. You guys have been asking for it and rightfully so! It is THAT amazing! Do you remember the Asian salad you could get from Panera? I think they still have it on their menu, although I haven’t been to a Panera in years. I always loved it except I would get it without chicken; I found their chicken to be chewy and fake tasting and it would freak me out. Ha! I rarely ate meat, even as a child, teenager, and young adult, without having an aversion to it. Now that I buy all locally sourced, humane, and properly raised meat, I feel confident and actually enjoy eating it a few times a week!

Anyways, back to the salad. It really is so easy but here are a few tricks. Buy an organic locally grown rotisserie chicken to keep in your fridge for the summer months. Nothing beats not having to turn on your oven or stove top and cook during the middle of these scorching hot days! If not, you could just make your own shredded chicken to keep in your fridge or freezer and pull out for this meal. This meal also keeps really well and even gets better the longer the dressing sits. Just don’t put it on your salad until you are ready to eat so that the lettuce stays nice and crisp without getting soggy. I pack this for my husband in a mason jar in the morning, dressing on bottom, and salad on top and then he shakes at lunch time and its ready to go all while staying fresh.

Chinese Chicken and Veggie Salad
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

1  precooked shredded chicken breast
4 cups Butter lettuce (or other favorite green mild lettuce)
1 large carrot shredded
3 mini sweet peppers sliced
1 green onion chopped
1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I like a lot, just according to your taste or omit)
Dressing Ingredients
3 tbs olive oil
1 teaspoon tamari or coconut aminos
1 tbs ACV
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs raw honey
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds (just put in dry pan on medium heat and toast until just starting to turn brown)
1 tbs dried ginger (or fresh)
Mix the dressing ingredients in a shaker bottle or mason jar and let sit in fridge for 30 minutes to let flavors meld together.
Combine all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl
Add dressing to salad and EAT UP BUTTERCUP!

This salad is loaded with tons of nutrients; remember-EAT THE RAINBOW! In veggies and fruits that is! You can see orange, yellow, green, and red here along with the amazing herb cilantro which is a powerhouse for detoxification. What I also love about this salad is it keeps you full because of the good fats from the olive oil, the protein from the chicken and the fiber and nutrients from the veggies and herbs. Enjoy and happy summer!


Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping (GF-DF-RSF)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping….what more could you want on a THURSDAY!?

Just look at that name and those slices. I had 3 almost rotten bananas that I couldn’t stand the thought of throwing away, so this banana bread was just waiting to be born! I was inspired by THIS recipe but had to jazz it up and make my own spin of it.

This is dairy, gluten and refined sugar free. You could make it vegan by doing a flax egg instead of the chicken eggs. But it is dense, moist, and so delicious COLD or WARM. Whatever you prefer-or maybe try both! Keep in the fridge when you’re done because it will spoil QUICKLY.

Let’s get to it!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

3 medium/large ripe all black bananas
1/2 cup nut butter (almond, sunflower, peanut, cashew, etc)
3 pasture-raised eggs
3 tbls honey
1 tbls melted coconut oil
Splash of vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tsp of baking powder
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1/2 bag of df chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tbls coconut flour
2 tsp of cinnamon
4 tbls of grass fed butter, ghee or coconut oil COLD!!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil a loaf pan with coconut oil.
Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy.
Add the next 6 ingredients to the wet ingredients you just mixed together and mix again until well combined.
Fold in your chocolate chips.
Pour your banana bread mixture into the loaf pan.
Now you are going to make the cinnamon crumble topping.
Take the next 3 ingredients and mix to combine. Now take your COLD butter, coconut oil, or ghee and mix into the cinnamon mixture with your hand until it resembles lumpy wet sand.
Pour this on top of your uncooked banana bread in the loaf pan.
Now pop in your oven for 25-35 minutes or until the center comes out clean when you insert a toothpick.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes or it will fall apart. Then slice about 1 inch thick and ENJOY!

What I love about this recipe is that there is no processed or refined grains that will spike your blood sugar. Coconut flour is a high fat low carb flour that actually is high in protein-so this makes a great addition to your breakfast or snack! Coconut flour is also full of fiber which keeps your detoxification pathways open and clean. Obviously since we used no refined sugar too, you won’t have that sugar crash after eating a slice!