Experience Truth in Wellness

Living Shalom is a Biblically-based endeavor that exists to inspire and equip you to experience greater health and wellness. Wellness Advocate, Lisa Gautier, shares knowledge, resources, and her own experiences related to health and wellness, and invites you to join her on the journey toward more abundant life and health!

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Spray

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Spray

This post is a quick one…to tell you that you can use magnesium oil spray to relieve severe muscle pain.

I had a BUNCH of horrible muscle pain when I was pregnant (it felt like when I had fibromyalgia). It was that kind of constant searing pain. Even the massage therapist working on me said it didn’t feel like my muscles were as tight as the pain to me indicated. My muscles, thus, were in a hyper-sensitive state (as when I had fibromyalgia, at times even a very light touch hurt).

Enter magnesium spray.

You may have heard of and/or used Calm Magnesium powder. I have used it, and still have some in my cabinet. However, it can be a bit tricky as it can get your bowels moving a bit much, or just cause a bunch of gas if it doesn’t turn into full on loose bowels.

Also, it’s important to note the concept that stress drains magnesium out of our bodies and that can cause muscle pains. So, taking magnesium helps restore that which has been lost due to stress.

What you need to know to get going with this is below.

You need this specific brand of magnesium spray: Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil spray. (Various websites carry this brand, I just gave you a hyperlink to one random place.)

You put it on after showering. Works best if you mix the spray in your hand with some lotion as you apply. Otherwise, I found the spray caused uncomfortable itching / tingling (it mentions it on the bottle).

You want to put it around your whole body. The idea is that the skin – which is the largest organ in your body – takes the magnesium in (instead of you drinking it). I found it worked with MAJORLY reducing my body pain.

Directions on the bottle say to rub it off after a certain amount of time, but you don’t need to do that. Just use a carrier to put it on.

I tried different kinds of lotions but not all of them prevented the itching. The one that did work great, was Acure. I just got the fragrance-free version. Worked great.

Magnesium oil spray can also be used topically if you are having a cramp or other muscular issue needing address. For example, when I had charlie horse cramps in my leg during the middle of the night during pregnancy, the spray was a great option. The spray can be applied topically on specific areas in instances like this. (Again, I still recommend using a lotion as a carrier to avoid the weird itchy sensation.)

Give it a whirl! I wish I’d known about this when I had near constant fibromyalgia pain – I have a feeling it would have made a HUGE difference!

Mommy & Son

Mommy & Son

Today I’m going to share 7 things I have learned about that I think all wellness-minded new mothers ought to know. Particularly, as a new mom, these are super important if you want to do things the most well way (and are skeptical of the “conventional” way).

So, let’s get started!

Here are the 7 things all wellness-minded new mothers need to know (in no particular order):

(1) Lactation consulting is like gold.  Thankfully, my insurance covered unlimited lactation consultations at zero cost to me. I took advantage from that from the start in the hospital and have continued to lean on my consultant for advice all throughout the first 4 months since my baby’s birth. This video shows our lactation consultant and a little more about why it was helpful to us. My lactation consultant also has a great Facebook page, Elite Lactation Consulting, here.

Jennifer Jordan, Lactation Consultant

Lactation Consulting at El Camino Los Gatos with Jennifer Jordan

Baby PC in the Hospital Lactation Video

(2) Check before you vaccinate to see whether your child has genetic predisposition that might lend him or herself to major health problems from vaccinating. If your child has issues and could have a bad reaction, you can find a medical doctor to write you a medical exemption. We have seen and heard of stories where children’s personalities literally changed after getting vaccinated. Please check before you vaccinate. Many children have no problems with vaccines, but some do. Isn’t it worth just checking? (I took a photo of the HUGE list of vaccinations the doctor’s office has along with their intended schedule for them and have included below so you can see what they want for your kiddo.)

Vaccination Schedule

(3) Get a doula. My husband told me that was one of the best recommendations I had made for our family. My sister had had one and that’s how I learned about what at doula does and why I knew I wanted one whenever I had a kid. Having a doula was the BEST investment, especially for a first baby. My husband and I really had little to no idea what to really expect when the delivery came around. I also had wanted a midwife and home delivery for the past many years, but once I learned about doulas and had found an OB locally that I loved and was very natural-minded, I felt having a doula with a great OB was ok and released my need for a midwife for that birth. Having my doula was my compromise. She was AMAZING. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Bec McAucliffe. She helped prepare both me AND my husband for what to expect, training us on things and pointing us in the right direction to prepare.

Picture of Bec McAuliffe, my doula, with a baby

She encouraged us to take a child birthing class (which I don’t know whether we would have done without her telling us about such!) When we got totally overwhelmed in the birthing class, realizing how much we DIDN’T know and wondering how in the world we were going to remember all the proper things to do in the delivery process, we remember with confidence that we had a doula. 😉 We didn’t have to remember! She would be there all the way.

We realized we didn’t need some of the other baby / mom classes out there, either, because we had a doula to show / teach us. She literally stayed with me from right after I checked in at the hospital until I got moved to the recovery room. She stayed up all night AWAKE watching me while I slept in and out with an epidural and my husband slept on the couch. Her being there allowed my husband to sleep.

(4) Miracle Swaddle is the best infant baby swaddle out there. At least it was for me and for one of my best friend (who now has 4 kids and she said that out of all the swaddles this was the only one they could not get out of!) When the baby got inconsolably fussy and other swaddles were ineffective, this one worked!

Miracle Swaddle

Miracle Swaddle

(5) Do massage and/or chiropractic for your baby if you had back labor. I had back labor during my 20 hour labor (it kicked in 7 hours into my labor, which is why I ended up with the unplanned epidural). If you have never had back labor, let me explain that it is the worst pain I have ever experienced. I was screaming and physically shaking, while also about to cry and throw up at the same time. That’s when I gave up trying to manage my labor pains and demanded drugs.

Well, if you have back labor (which is when the baby gets turned funky – and it can be his/her back scraping your back bone – ouch!) then you probably need a chiropractic adjustment afterward (I did).  And, your baby needs one too! My baby was pinching while breastfeeding, and the lactation consultant quickly identified the reason: he was too tight in the hips and needed craniosacral work. So, a baby-friendly chiropractor, Dr. Marilyn Moss, came in to the hospital to do a chiropractic adjustment and craniosacral on the baby, and the pictures below are of him smiling after her work. First smile he ever gave us was immediately after her work in the hospital. He was much calmer and happier. My understanding now is that if a mom has back labor in delivery, she should definitely get her baby some chiropractic / massage work after delivery. My son needed it in his hips and neck. I’m so glad we did that for him.

Baby Smiling After Chiropractic & Massage

Baby Smiling After Chiropractic & Massage (Day #2 of his life)

Baby after his second chiropractic adjustment (a few weeks later…smiling again!)

(6) Co-Sleeping. I had never heard of co-sleeping before my [first] baby came on board. I started hearing it about from some sources I trusted, from certain people who had also done co-sleeping themselves: a chiropractor, a lactation consultant, a doula, and a massage therapist. Suddenly I was surrounded by reputable individuals who had all done co-sleeping!

What is co-sleeping, you may ask? It’s just what it sounds like-it’s sleeping WITH your baby. You can do it by safely cradling then in your arm alongside you or by using a co-sleeper, like the SwaddleMe By-Your-Side “Moses basket” type you place in between you and your partner on the bed, or like anArm’s Reach co-sleeper crib that attaches to the side of the bed. (Please note: sofa and recliner co-sleeping are never safe, and whenever co-sleeping it is critical to keep loose covers or sheets away from the baby’s face to ensure they can breathe.)

Swaddle Me By-Your-Side sleeper

If you are considering co-sleeping, be sure to watch the video by Dr. James McKenna at University of Notre Dame. He explains why and how to do it, and comments that all other countries but the United States do it. Also, I learned that the reason we don’t do it here has to do with the fact that the aristocracy started the trend of putting their little ones in a separate room. No doubt that was one other way they could “show” their social standing: they had a separate room for baby.

Reaching into the co-sleeper

By the way, co-sleeping can also be done by just having the baby bed in the same room as you, the parents. My husband and I have tried a variety of co-sleeping methods to find which works best for us. We’ve done the separate standing crib in the same room (photo below).

Co-sleeping: separate crib in the same room

We’ve also put the Swaddle Me sleeper in our bed, cradling baby in arm with me in the bed, and now I even recently got an Arm’s Reach co-sleeper to try!

Swaddle Me on our ottoman – one nice thing about this tiny bed is you can put it almost anywhere!

(7) Herb Lore – This is a great resource for herbs that will help pregnant and postpartum moms. I have used a variety of there items. I learned of this through a pregnancy-minded chiropractor. The sitz bath blend is a nice one that came recommended, and I used after delivery. They also have a tummy tincture I took when trying to help my little reduce his gas. Additionally, when I got a clogged milk duct (OUCH!) – these can quickly turn into mastitis – not only did I get physical therapy to work it out with ultrasound and massage at a place called PhysioFit in Los Altos, but I also got the poke root herb from Herb Lore. While the PT place got the duct unclogged, I still had a big hard marble-sized lump in my breast. After using the poke root a few times over the course of a few weeks, the hard bump disappeared! I even had it confirmed today at the mammogram place that it was gone…it wasn’t just my imagination that it was resolved. Oh, happy day! My chiropractor also told me that poke root is good for the whole family for taking any time you start to feel like you are fighting something / might be coming down with something.

My Herb Lore Herbs

So, that’s it! Those are the top 7 things I want to leave you with today!

What do you think are the top things all wellness-minded new mommas need to know?

How CyberScan Works

How CyberScan Works

Today’s topic is one you want to read and not skip. If there are any of my posts I think you should 100% for sure read, it is this one. This is life changing for your health. Don’t click away…read on.

There is a new technology called Cyberscan, a biofeedback tool that can take a scientifically-based  “reading” from the placement of your hand on the machine (or of your saliva if you mail it in and don’t live local to a Cyberscan practitioner). Within seconds you end up with a computer generated report – if you are like me, 30 pages – which lists areas of sickness and potential weakness. Think of it as genetic testing. It reveals past, current, and potential (if not addressed to prevent) health problems.

How CyberScan Works


I have done similar biofeedback testing, such as the Zyto scan and Biomeridian testing (the latter of which proved incredibly useful in addressing and resolving some health issues for me, such as thyroid and gut problems). But this Cyberscan technology out of Germany is the most cutting edge now of all those tools, as it is the most accurate. You want to do this.

As I understand it, within approximately 6 sessions, health issues can be resolved. Even those persistent chronic ones you’ve lived with for years. (Read these testimonials to see how using Cyberscan changed these people’s lives and – as some of them note – it’s often within 6 sessions.)

Here are some personal stories to get you started, and help you understand why I believe in this so much.

(1) Me – I had the scan done and marveled at what it showed.

She could see a history of iron problems in my family. I told her my grandmother has struggled with anemia, as have I in the past. My sister also has to get B12 shots. The reason we have these iron issues is because of an adapted / hyper iron chromosome in our genetic line. We just have a funky iron chromosome! I never knew the reason we had this family problem until Cyberscan revealed why!

She could also see a history of BPA intake, but tell generally when I had switched to non-BPA water. She could also tell generally how long I’d been eating healthy.

She identified gluten and dairy allergies (I already knew I had gluten intolerance through using the elimination diet method). She also confirmed an allergy to dust mites and to an outdoor pollen of sorts. This explains to me why I have had to so often blow my nose! I thought it was a poor immune system, but it was allergens! We’ve been addressing these and already I’ve seen improvement with the need for less tissue and even a calmer gut (likely due to the decrease of irritating foods).

Additionally, she identified the root behind three of my most distressing chronic problems: anxiety, painful periods (requiring narcotic to manage), and poor peristalsis (I was diagnosed years ago with constipation-dominant IBS). All 3 of these issues were crippling and, at times, even made working full time incredibly difficult. I’d be doubled over in pain at the bathroom at work from the IBS or the period pain. The anxiety seemed to make the gut issue even worse. Well, it turns out all these mostly separate-seeming issues had ONE ROOT: too much fake / false estrogens in my body!

This we have been addressing through the biofeedback treatment (she generates this using the machine and customizes for you), and through the supplement Calcium D-Glucarate.

You should know that over a year ago, I tried to come off the Effexor (generic: venaflaxine) anxiety medicine I started three years ago. The attempted wean was a disaster. I slowly tapered my medicine down 25% at a time, but with each drop the withdrawal symptoms got worse. I looked online and discovered I was not the only one with this fearful withdrawal experience. I say fearful because at one point I felt I was very close to causing bodily harm. That thing was a drug, and the withdrawal no joke. Feeling confident I could have grabbed a knife to kill was enough to make me shudder, and to make me get back on the full med dose right away.

I’m happy to report that as a result of the Cyberscan and related treatments, I have completely weaned off my medicine as of today at this writing. And I had no more than 20% withdrawal symptoms this time, compared to my first attempt. I did it! And with MUCH greater ease than my last attempt. I’m off and I am doing well! We have been working to fix the estrogen issue behind it, and I’m feeling “like myself” but without the drugs!

I’m also happy to report that I have had great energy while adjusting to life with the new baby. I think that’s pretty impressive as well. Also, my bowels are moving much more normally, more than I ever recall in my whole life. I am thrilled to feel that my IBS has completely been resolved! This is truly exciting.

I’m still breast-feeding and don’t have my regular cycle back yet, so I can’t report on the periods. But given what I’m saying about everything else, I am excited that may be fixed too.

(2) Babies –

This test can reveal whether children have genetics that make them predisposed to problems provoked by vaccines, and thus whether they will have health problems from them. While the doctor doing Cyberscan said that many children can do vaccines just fine, there are some that do not. I have heard of / seen situations where children were negatively affected by vaccinations. Cyberscan and the resulting treatments can help reverse vaccination damage!

(3) Other –

I’m not going to name names here, but I know already several folks who have been getting this testing done and the stories I am hearing / seeing are remarkable. One family member was dealing with memory issues and now finds those much improved even after just ONE first session and the related protocols!

My baby is starting to get inconsolably fussy, so I’ll have to run for now. But let me leave you with the Green Health Wellness website for the doctor who can do this for you. If you live local, you can go in person. If not, you can contact them and they can give you a slide on which to deposit your saliva. You can then mail it in and do the consult over the phone or via video conference. You can set up your profile and sign up for appointments (initial and follow-up) directly on the website. You are welcome to tell Dr. Jennifer Gunst that I sent you!

That’s all for now but contact me or comment below if you have further questions!

Below is a screenshot of the PDF from my practitioner, Dr. Jen, with more info on CyberScan.

What is CyberScan

What is CyberScan

How to Make Soy Candles

How to Make Soy Candles

So, in my life as a Googler, I signed up for a class on how to make soy candles. It’s super easy, and super cheap. Even the gals running the class who make and sell candles said we should never buy candles again, but rather just make them!

I’m game!

Check out the steps below to see how easy it is to make your own soy candles!

First, gather all your materials. Soy wax is the easiest to work with (and least smokey when burning), thus the reason the instructors choose it over beeswax or paraffin candle wax. You can order the wax flakes on Amazon. You just need a double boiler or a candle pouring pitcher (which you put in hot water in a pot as if was a double boiler). You can get a candle making kit on Amazon for under $35 with the basics to get you started!

Needed Materials to Make Soy Candles:

  • Cotton wicks (instructors recommend over all other kinds)
  • Wick tabs (the little metal grommets at the bottom which will hold your wick in place)
  • Soy Candle Wax
  • Essential oils or fragrance oils
  • Mason jar or container of your choice (you can go to Goodwill and get creative with containers!)
  • Double boiler set up
  • Clothes pins
  • Wooden popsicle sticks

Now that you have all your materials, tie off a small knot (just one time will do) about 1 inch from the bottom of your string. Make sure your string (candle wick) is long enough to extend past the top of the jar when held up straight, including after you tie off an inch. (You’ll trim the wick down later – better to have it long enough than too short.)

Candle Making Materials

Candle Making Materials

Once you tie off the knot, thread the wick upwards through the metal wick tab, so the knot is underneath the grommet.

To set the knot, hold the wick straight up and pour enough wax in the bottom of the container to just slightly cover the wick tab. Just drape the wick over the side of the container while the wax “sets” (aka. dries) and leave it be.

Set the Candle Wick in a Wax Base

Set the Candle Wick in a Wax Base

Next you’ll want to choose your fragrance. Make sure your fragrance does not exceed 10% of the total volume of the wax you’ll be pouring into the candle. For example, for a 4 oz candle, you’ll use about 2 dropperfuls of fragrance oil to mix with the wax.

Now mix the fragrance in with the wax. Stir together. It’s good to do this in a plastic cup or something in which you can easily blend them together. You can use wooden popsicle sticks or similar to stir these two together. It’s important to stir for 4 minutes, to make sure that the fragrance is evenly distributed among the wax (which will help it evenly release its scent when burning).

Add Wax and Fragrance and Stir

Add Wax and Fragrance and Stir

After stirring for 4 minutes, pour mixed wax / fragrance mixture into the candle container. Straighten wick in the center of the candle. Use a clothes pin to clip the wick and hold it in place (lay clothespin horizontally over container to hold the wick firm).

Clip the Wick and Allow to Set

Clip the Wick and Allow to Set

Let wax set until firm.

Allow candle to “cure” for at least 2 days before burning.

That’s it!

When I asked how much each candle ends up costing like this, for the 4 oz ones, they said if you buy about $30 of materials, you should be able to make about 100 candles! That’s just 30 cents a candle!

They said “Now that you have learned how to make candles, you should never buy them again!”

I quite agree.

I’m glad to know now how to make my own soy candles!

Me at Google

Me at Google

As many of you know, I now work at Google.

Having worked at large, well-known companies in the past (and having less than exciting experiences), I was a bit wary of joining another large conglomerate again. Especially, when I loved my job at the time – at an exciting tech start-up.

But Google kept pursuing me and finally gave me an offer my husband and I felt we could not refuse.

So, I accepted.

I have since been in shock with all the amazing benefits they offer! They are the most truly wellness-oriented company of which I have ever been a part, and I am truly beyond grateful for the chance to be a part of the team there.

So, as a quick summary of some of their jaw dropping wellness-focused benefits, here are just 5 amazing wellness-focused benefits of working at Google:

  1. Free food – (which I heard has been reported at one time to be 70% organic); they do offer many organic snacks and drinks, in addition to their option for as many as 3 full meals a day google-breakfast green-juice Google Lunch  img_8390
  2. On-site Doctors and Chiropractors (so helpful and time saving!!)
  3. On-site, subsidized massage therapists (and massage chairs!) massage-chair
  4. Google bikes to ride around campus, and bikes available to loan for commuting to and from work! google-bikes
  5. On-site fitness centers, physical therapy, and other wellness focused areas with related equipment (Remember my post on inversion tables from a while back?? They have them!)

inversion-tables danceplex

Of course, beyond this, the people have been amazing to work with, and the work interesting and exciting. I am truly thrilled to be a part of such an energetic, wellness-focused company full of such an amazing and diverse group of people! Quite a unique and special experience!

I have worked at places before where the company gave lip-service to wellness but really preferred the energy of the employee go only toward the company and not really toward self-care (especially in the workplace). So, it’s neat to finally be in a place where the top down approach is truly to be well and where employees are well cared for! You can see it in the happy faces of the workers at Google.

I like being in a wellness-centered workplace. 🙂

Walk in Wellness

Walk in Wellness

Walk in Wellness

Today marks a change in the season with Daylight Savings Time. The extra hour this morning gave me a nice chance for a quiet time which included journaling and Bible reading. I’ve decided to do another reading through the Psalms as my next Bible jaunt.

So, today was Psalm 1.

I’ve read this chapter many times, and it’s short – easy to fly by.

But today what struck me was the contrast here. The contrast between the righteous and the wicked. For this is what the Psalmist here compares.

Here’s a run down of what we observe in Psalm 1:

The Wicked

  • Are like chaff that the wind blows away (they don’t last, no matter how it looks!) – v. 4
  • They won’t stand in judgment or in the assembly of the righteous – v. 5
  • Their way leads to destruction – v. 6

The Righteous

  • Doesn’t walk, stand or sit in the ways of the above people; they choose a different path, and they are blessed for it – v. 1
  • Their delight is in the law of the LORD – v. 2
  • On that law they meditate day and night – v. 2
  • They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season – v. 3
  • Their leaf does not wither, and whatever they do prospers – v. 3
  • The LORD watches over their way – v. 6

Well, you may be saying to me, “Well, duh, Lisa! You are just repeating the passage in a different way!”

Indeed, that is true. But that is part of good, thorough Bible study method: observation. You want to really look at what the text is saying. Comparison and contrast are excellent ways to break it down, as well, if you see that. And that is what struck me in this passage today – the contrast.

So, that’s the way I observed the passage today – the contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

And in the process, it really stood out to me what the promises are for the righteous, for the ones who choose not to follow the ways of the wicked, but rather to delight in God’s law and meditate on His Word.

What do they – the righteous – get as a result? What is the consequence in their lives?

They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit…whatever they do prospers. The LORD watches over their way.

I don’t know about you, but this is what I want. What my heart desires, soul satisfaction as that of a green tree that has plenty of access to water, and thus flourishes…that whatever I do prospers.

Who doesn’t want to prosper in whatever they do?!?

Even more the message I felt the LORD speak to my heart was that He watches over my way.

He sees everything.

He sees every trial. Every pain. Every stress.

None of it escapes His notice.

He is watching me. He is watching over my way.

To make it straight.

Yessss!!! Now that is what I want! Straight paths! Prosperous paths!

This morning at church, the pastor preached on Galations 1: 10 – 12. The topic of these verses is finding favor with men versus God – another contrast.

Which will we choose? Will we spend our lives trying to please men? Or striving to please God?

He made an excellent point about the apostle Paul, the author of these words. This man had left a life of striving to please men as a former Pharisee, striving to keep every letter of the law, and chose instead to please God. And amidst the latter, in seeking to please God he had a tremendous influence, one that undoubtedly outweighed the influence he would have had while seeking to please men.

There was prosperity. There was that life like the tree planted by streams, the fruitful and prosperous life. And it came by following God and His plan rather than his own. By pleasing God rather than men. By choosing the way of righteousness rather than the way of the wicked.

So, which way will you choose?

There is a way that leads to life. And a way that leads to death.

A narrow way versus a broad way.

The path of pleasing men or the path of pleasing God.

The path of peace or the path of angst.

The path of the righteous versus the path of the wicked.

There is a way that seems right to man, but leads to death. Therefore, I encourage you, choose life, that you may live.

Give & Get

Learning Through Loss

Did you know that when you give you get?

Yup. That’s how it works.

In fact, the Bible says that (a) the one who GIVES is actually MORE BLESSED than the one who receives, and (b) that when you GIVE it will be given TO YOU – in such an abundant way that it’s like a cup “running over” for you!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of THAT!

Give and YOU get the bigger blessing! Give and you will actually get more in return!

Now, clearly, I’m not promising you that it will be kind for kind. In other words, just because you give money doesn’t mean you will get more money back. Hah. No. That’s not it.

But what I’m simply telling you is the plain truth that God’s Word says: you give you get a greater blessing than the recipient. You give, you get blessings back.

That’s something, isn’t it? And, I’d say, that’s one more key to wellness – giving to others.

I’ve had to learn that the hard way.

For years, I could only think way too much about ME. My pain. My issues. My struggles. My lack.

Then guess what?

Amidst my own problems, God started convicting me to give. Even when I was like “Um, wait a minute…I don’t even have much TO give! I’m sick, tired, underemployed, and financially struggling!”

But, guess what I learned?

You don’t have to have a lot to be generous. You can be generous with a LITTLE.

After all, remember that woman that gave “all she had” by just giving ONE COIN in the temple?

Mark 12:44 says that “…she, out of her poverty, put in everything…”

Hmm. That changes the game a bit, doesn’t it?

So…I don’t have to be wealthy to give?

Nope. In fact, there were wealthy folk right there where the woman was giving, but who put in more? The wealthy or this poor woman?

Jesus said the poor woman actually put in more!

Why, that sounds absurd! How could she put in MORE than the rich people?

Aha…it says it right in verse 44. She gave “all she owned” (NASB).

You can have less and give more.

Yes, you heard me right. You can have less and yet be giving MORE than those who have more.

And that is what God started to show me.

Lessons for Life

I started to give – out of my poverty. Maybe I didn’t have much strength left; I gave the little I had away.

Sometimes I felt sorely criticized and condemned for it. It was as if I could hear some people’s minds judging me with “you should have given more.” But they did not know. They had a lot. I had very little, so what I gave felt HUGE.

But who cares? God knows. God knows when you give generously to others for Him. He knows when it’s on the “all you own” level – when it’s a huge sacrifice to you, even if it doesn’t look like it to others.

I mean, really – think about those rich dudes looking on at the woman who gave one coin. I’m pretty sure they were probably snickering, and arrogantly patting themselves on the back with words like “Look at that. She only gives a coin. That’s not enough for God. But, look at me – look at much I put in. I put in many coins! That is so much better!”

Yet, who got the praise here? The wealthy ones or the poor woman with ONE coin?

The answer is right in the text. I don’t need to tell you.

So, today that is my challenge to you. Consider how you can give generously, sacrificially out of what you have. Do it for God, not for others. Let it be your gift to Him.

He sees after all. He knows.

Living It Out

Because this is on my heart a lot right now, I’m going to also give you the opportunity to give right now. If you want a way to be a blessing to someone in need, you can do so here. It’s a story about a woman I know who is in need. God put her on my heart to try to help her get a car to help her keep getting to work. If He so leads you, you are welcome to have the chance to be a blessing to her through giving.

Regardless of where or when you decide to give, it’s something we need to be doing and be doing with both cheerfulness and generosity!

So, start looking for ways you can give and give generously, remembering that it is not the AMOUNT but it’s what is sacrificial for you and your situation.

Enjoy giving and then reaping the intrinsic fruit that comes as a blessing in return!


Grapefruit Seed Extract for Viruses

Grapefruit Seed Extract for Viruses

I recently learned about this neat remedy from a very wellness-minded friend out here in CA: grapefruit seed extract.

You can buy this in liquid or capsule form in Whole Foods (Whole Body section). The brand is Nutribiotic.

My gal friend said her friends who got viruses seemed to heal a lot faster using this stuff.

I picked this grapefruit seed extract up recently, but it was already at the tail end of my stint with a virus, so I only got to use it the last few days. So, I didn’t get a good test with it. However, the next time I get a virus, I’d like to jump in with it right away and see if it shortens the length of the sickness.

Instructions for use are on the bottle.

It’s best mixed into something like orange juice, where you can’t taste it. If you just mix it into water to drink down, it’s not the best tasting. So, go with a juice as a carrier past your taste buds.

Anyone else used grapefruit seed extract before for viruses?

I’m curious to give this a true trial the next time I start fighting a virus!

Boiron Basket

Boiron Basket

So, my favorite health and beauty store for naturally-based products is a store they have here in California called Pharmaca. It is pretty great. Think Whole Body (at Whole Foods) – but BETTER. Bigger selection of items, better products, more product choices within each brand, and the top of the line natural beauty / skin care items…it’s just, frankly, great.

My entire facial skin care line comes from there, but that is another post for another day.

Anyway, I love their store and it’s always fun to just browse and find new brands and items I had never heard of. One of my favorite parts is their clearance section, where you can find amazing natural-based brands for up to 75% off! That’s a good deal when you are trying to purchase all-natural products. But, I digress.

Today’s post is about the interesting, super practical gift basket I just won at their Mother’s Day Weekend raffle. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed it was something that requires being “sick” to use…. (I mean, when you get a gift basket, wouldn’t you want to dive in and take advantage of it right away?!?) On the upside, however, it’s a very full basket of homeopathic goodies (which are right up my alley) and worth probably $100 estimated retail value. Not to shabby, even if you do have to be sick to use this stuff.

The brand is Boiron. (Though at first I was a bit tempted to think the basket was “boring” due to the less-exciting nature of its contents. After all, facial products or spa goodies or even mani/pedi items would have been pretty darn exciting from one of my favorite stores ever!!) But nope. It was not any of those. No beauty products. It was Boiron.


Seemed a bit at first…but I did a little bit of extra research online and Amazon reviewers are giving these products 4.5 to 5 out of 5 stars. Not too shabby. Usually Amazon reviews are a pretty solid way to get a read on product quality.

While I don’t exactly want to get sick to be able to test these (thus the “boring” nature of the Boiron basket), I am quite curious to put these homeopathic meds to the test!

What about you? Do you know anything about Boiron? Would love to hear your comments below!

Evan Healy Lip Butter

Evan Healy Lip Butter

I’m a chapstick girl.

Have been for a long time.

For some reason, cold weather and/or dry weather take a big toll on my skin – and that includes my lips!

I hate dry, cracked lips. And, as someone who has dealt too much with such, I have tried a variety of conventional and more “all-natural” types of chapstick.

Today, I’m here to tell you my newfound favorite. It feels silky smooth, moisturizes deeply, and stays on long. It is the Evan Healy brand Whipped Shea Butter chapstick. I get mine at a local healthy and beauty store that mixes conventional and herbal types of skin care, medicines, and remedies. But Whole Foods also sells this brand; and I’m sure you could find it online.

Definitely give this amazing chapstick a try if you have dry lips! It is the best chapstick ever IMHO.

Ingredients: Sunflower Seed Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Vanilla Oil, Shea Butter, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Argan Kernel Oil, Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Cocoa Butter, Tocopherols (non-GMO)

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