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!

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)

Did you know you can implement birth control without any hormonal pills? Alternatively, did you know that you can figure out (on your own) when you are fertile and thus able to conceive?

I, for one, prefer to avoid medicines whenever possible. And, in particular, am not comfortable with many birth control methods for a variety of reasons. But now that I have been using an app to track my cycle, I have – through additional reading and personal education – learned that if you know how your cycle works you can know when you ovulate and thus know when to try to get pregnant (if you are trying) or when to avoid sex (or otherwise use a barrier method at the appropriate time) if you do not want to become pregnant. No drugs required!

Why didn’t anyone teach us this a long time ago?!?!

Could it be because pharmaceutical companies would rather have your money than tell you how to accomplish the same goals without their drugs?

It’s pretty exciting stuff, actually, the concept of tracking your cycle. You learn so much more about how the female body works! And using a free app, like Kindara, makes it both fun and simple!

Trying to get pregnant? Wanting to avoid pregnancy? Either way, this app is for you!

Read more about this concept and how it works in this insightful article here. As the article explains, this app is like the FitBit for your period!

Any apps you like to use for fertility tracking?

From the Inside Out

“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in.

“The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums.

“The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment.

“The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”

– Ezra Taft Benson

Who are you allowing to work in your life?

Is the transformation you are seeking from the outside in or the inside out?

There is only one Way through which true wellness can come.

Thoughts to ponder as we experience this Easter season.

He has risen! He has risen, indeed. Hallelujah!

Evolve Pilates

Pilates Reformer Machines

Pilates Reformer Machines

Today I want to share about my newest fitness felicity: pilates!

Living and working near this Classical Pilates studio called Evolve, I have been able to attend classes regularly for the past 6 weeks and to begin taking semi-privates with my husband as well.

Pilates Mats & Equipment

Pilates Mats & Equipment

We both love it! There are classes that use the pilates reformers (machines shown in first photo above) and classes that use the mats (photo immediately above). Additionally, there is even more equipment that fills the studio for pilates training (see below)!

More Pilates Equipment

More Pilates Equipment

Pilates is a great exercise for dancers, as it especially strengthens your core muscles. Part of why I love it so much is because it helps me both stretch and strengthen in a low-impact manner. I don’t know about you, but high-impact workouts can be stressful to both mind and body! This exercise, however, is wonderful refreshing and renewing. I wish I had tried this many years ago!

It’s also wonderful for people with injuries and I believe can help with back problems (that is what my professional dancer husband says, anyway!)

Evolve Pilates Studio

Evolve Pilates Studio

The staff at Evolve are wonderful and very knowledgable with their technique as well, which makes me feel like every time I go I am getting a truly valuable workout.

Inside Evolve Pilates

Inside Evolve Pilates

The next thing my hubby and I plan to start incorporating into our fitness routine is the gyrotonics (picture of the gyrotonic machine below). This appears to also be a great exercise for core training and we feel it could really help us as dancers as well. Hopefully we will be able to start that in the near future!

Gyrotonic Machines

Gyrotonic Machines

I’d love to hear your stores with pilates or gyrotonics if you have any to share! If you live in the Silicon Valley area of the San Francisco Bay, definitely check out Evolve Pilates. It’s a wonderful studio…and I truly am loving it so much that I am finding pilates to be an exercise I could do every day!

Hi Everyone!

As you may recall, I blogged a while back about the best high-powered blender on the market. You may recall that my full-sized blender of choice is the BlendTec. I still love mine and use it regularly. I have also found their customer service to be great about resolving any issues I have had. They make things right!

Today, I saw on Groupon that you can get yourself a BlendTec for half off!! Instead of $399 retail price it’s going for $199! There are only 7 hours left on the deal! Click here to head to Groupon with my referral and then search for the BlendTec to find it in their inventory.

Additionally, I believe they are still running an extra 20% off promotion. Enter the code GREEN20 to see if you can get that applied too!



Make Your Own Veggie Pasta!

Make Your Own Veggie Pasta!

Don’t eat wheat? Need to avoid pasta? And yet, do you wish you COULD eat pasta?

Well, wish no longer.

You can make non-wheat, non-grain noodles using VEGETABLES!

And it’s so easy. Use zucchini, squash, carrots, beets, raw sweet potato…whatever your heart desires!

I usually use zucchini and squash in the summer months when they are super fresh and abundant. But you could certainly use the root vegetables in the winter!

All you need to make these wonderful, healthy, and totally glutne-free veggie noodles is some kind of spiralizer.

I have a Japanese one which was one of the best at the time I got it about 10 years ago (but it admittedly wobbles a bit when I use it and I can tell it’s cheaply made).  It’s the Benriner Spiralizer here.

Recently, however, I found out that Sur La Table (a kitchen store popular in my area) carries this cool tool below that does the same thing. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and my guess is – easier to clean than the one I have. I’d go for this one instead.

OXO Spiralizer

OXO Spiralizer

Once you have your noodles, you can top them with a homemade (preferably also raw) marinara sauce. It’s great to make that fresh in the summer with ripe tomatoes, garlic, basil, and whatever else you want to add to the food processor! Blend together and top over pasta. Sprinkle with pine nuts, if you like, olives, and/or raw parmesan cheese, for a wonderfully healthy alternative to spaghetti that is gluten-free!

Raw Pasta and Marinara

Raw Pasta and Marinara


Homemade Bar Soap

Homemade Goat's Milk Soap

Homemade Goat’s Milk Soap

While I’m on a kick with homemade skincare products, our next stop is going to be on how to make homemade soap.

This was what I got from my younger sister for Christmas.

What is it with sisters giving homemade beauty products this past Christmas??? I have no idea…

However, I do know that my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed these soaps. And my husband has very sensitive skin and cannot use all skin care products. He liked these soaps so much I found him finally saying to me, “Um…is it hard to make this??” which I translated to mean, “Hey, I really like this soap we’ve been using from your sister. Could YOU make some more for us?”

Ok, I get the hint.

So, I started to find out from my sister what the ingredients were and how to make it. It’s really super simple, and I’ll give you a tip for how to save money on it too!

Here goes…

Ingredients you need:

  • Goat’s milk soap base – package at Michaels Craft Store makes four 2.5 oz bars of soap
  • Loaf pan to pour soap into
  • Exfoliant of choice (coffee grounds, dried lavender, etc.)
  • Essential oil or extract of choice (lavender, vanilla, etc.)

How to make the soap:

To make the soap, obtain goat’s milk base from a craft store. Tip: to save 50% off, get a coupon at the Michaels website or in their regular flyers which makes the $10 base only $5. Melt the soap base in the microwave. Once melted, stir in your desired exfoliant and essential oil(s) / extract(s) in the preferred amounts. Pour mixture into loaf pan and let harden. Once hardened, pop out and slice into four 2.5 oz soap bars.

Enjoy bathing with your new homemade body bars!

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