Tips for a Healthy Brain

One aspect of our health is mental health. In the last blog post I discussed all about a healthy mind. Read it here.

This post is all about a physically healthy mind: our brain.

Our brains are so important! (Hello- without a brain we can’t live!) They protect us from illness, control our central nervous system, keep us safe, amongst a zillion other things. So, keeping our brains healthy is super important.

So, what can we do to keep our brains healthy?

Here’s my top 5 tips:

1. Exercise your brain

Yup. Do activities and games that stretch your thinking. Cross lateral movements help both hemispheres of your brain communicate better. Puzzles and games like sudoku (my personal favorite) keep your mind sharp. Also, learning a new skill or playing an instrument can also help exercise your brain.

2. Eat nutrient rich foods for brain health

These would include:

  • dark leafy greens
  • seafood – especially smaller oily fish like salmon or sardines
  • coconut oil
  • berries
  • turmeric
  • dark chocolate (Hello! Yes Please!)
  • pasture raised eggs

3. Drink lots of water.

Our brains are more than 75% water, so keeping them hydrated is of upmost importance. I recommend to my clients to drink between 50% & 75% of their body weight in ounces of water a day. This is a general number. Make sure you honor your body and give it the water it desires. (My body requires more like 75-100% of my body weight on ounces of water a day.)

4. Avoid foods that can cause brain issues

This would be sugar, artificial anything, gluten, and sometimes dairy. Sugars and gluten especially are detrimental to the brain. Some doctors are calling Alzheimer’s Type 3 diabetes. This is because of how the body is responding to sugar. Gluten has so many pesticides that the brain can’t help but be affected (yes, even organic grains can have pesticides). And many Alzheimer’s patients are seeing reduced or eliminated symptoms from no longer consuming sugar and/or gluten.

5. Reduce stress

Stress cause so many negative symptoms in our bodies when we don’t deal with the stress properly. Our bodies can actually store stress in our joints, muscles, and brain. This wreaks havoc on our health. We can’t eliminate stress, but we can manage it better.

Find at least one relaxing activity a day just for you. And maybe that’s just taking 2 minutes to breathe deeply. Or maybe it’s a hot bubble bath, a walk, or cuddling with warm blankets out of the dryer. Find something that soothes you. And give control to God. Let Him deal with the overwhelming parts of life. He wants to. And when we can finally give up control we will notice an immediate sense of peace and relief.

If we adopt a lifelong habit of caring for our brains and bodies then the likelihood of brain disease down the road will be dramatically diminished.

Want a cure for Alzheimer’s? Stop eating sugar!

Why is Change so Hard?

Change is hard.

A new job. Turning one year older perhaps. Having a kid. Trying new foods. Moving to a new town…

There are so many changes in our lives. And one thing is absolutely certain: change will come.

When things change our brain’s goal is to keep us in a place of love, safety, and belonging. And oftentimes our brain doesn’t know what’s going to happen with this new change. So, many times it freaks out and tries to get us to do things the old way. The safe and familiar way.

So, when we get ourselves in a health predicament that requires change sometimes it’s much harder than we expect.

Or perhaps, have you ever met anyone that has all kinds of health problems and complains ALL. THE. TIME. but isn’t willing to do anything about it.

This is the kind of person who just wants a pill to fix it all. An easy button. They don’t want to change.

I know people like this too. And it frustrates me to no end. They ask me what they should do. I give a few ideas. And they say, “I’m not doing that” or “I’m not eating that.”

It makes me so very sad when health issues can be EASILY avoided or reversed with one little switch. Or perhaps it does take a whole lifestyle change.

Either way, I’m here to tell you it’s worth it. It’s worth the effort it takes to get off your blood pressure meds. It’s worth the effort it takes to be able to stop taking nsaids. It’s worth the effort to get off the proton pump inhibitors.

Why?

Because God never intended for us to be reliant on chemicals. Ever. In fact, if you’re willing to work hard enough, and make some hard changes, you probably won’t need any of those chemicals at all.

There is ALWAYS HOPE.

Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

No matter what the doctor tells you, there is hope. No matter what the test results say, there is hope. No matter what you’ve grown up believing, there is hope.

We are a deceived culture. We’ve been taught that every time we have a fever, cough, ache, or pain we must rush to the urgent care, doctor’s office, or hospital. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a time a place for those things. BUT, not nearly as often as they’re used.

These symptoms we have are just messages our bodies are sending us. It’s a wake up call that something is out of whack and changes need to be made to put our bodies back in balance. Sometimes those changes are as easy as extra sleep, one day off work, eat more veggies… And sometimes those changes are a little more involved.

If you’ve been working hard to heal or overcome a health issue, but haven’t had results I encourage you to seek a different kind of help. Maybe a functional medicine doctor is what you need. Perhaps a chiropractic physician. Or maybe even a health coach will give you tools to start in the right direction.

Whatever you decide, make the choice and go for it. Take a step towards hope. Take a step towards healing. Take a step out of pain and suffering. You can do this!

What Are You Allowing in Your Mind?


Philippians 4:8

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”


Our minds are more powerful than we might realize.

Did you know that people have actually lost weight by simply seeing themselves exercise in their mind! Hear me again: they didn’t actually do any exercise. They simply visualized themselves doing the exercise. AND. They. Lost. Weight.

What?!?!

Yup. It’s true. Our minds are powerful. And if we fill it with negativity like:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’ll never fit in
  • I don’t have a purpose
  • The nightly news
  • Fear and dread
  • Constant arguing

Then we will have that in our lives abundantly.

On the other hand, if we fill our minds with positivity like:

  • God loves me
  • I have a purpose (even if I’m not totally sure what it is)
  • I am loved
  • UP television
  • Peace and calm
  • Fun times with friends and family

Then we will have that in our lives abundantly.

God gives us freedom to think about whatever we want. But Satan also has the ability to influence our thoughts.


2 Corinthians 10:5 says,

“Take captive every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.”


So, how do we know of what we’re thinking is from God or not. Well, we can test it.

Here are a few litmus tests for each thought:

  • Does it contradict the Bible?
  • Does it help me show love to others?
  • Will this further the kingdom of God?
  • Do I have the mind of Christ?
  • How is this thought offering grace to others?

I only know these things because I have allowed so many thoughts in the past turn to actions that, I realized later, were not of God. And that led to some very painful events for me. (Saying sorry is really hard.)


2 Timothy 1:7 says,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”


He gives us tools to use our mind wisely and powerfully! What we put in matters. From out of the overflow of the heart and mind the mouth speaks.

What are you allowing in your mind?

#real life

Let’s get real here friends.

Life is hard. Being a woman is hard. Parenting is hard. Work is hard. Doing the right thing is hard.

And sometimes we do it well. And sometimes we don’t.

You know, in easy times and in tough times most of us know at least one thing to do to help ourselves or our situation. We know at least one thing to help us lose weight. We know at least one thing to raise our kids to be happy and healthy. We know at least one thing to help our relationships.

YET, sometimes we do those things and sometimes we don’t.

Why? Why do we choose to do things that we know probably won’t help and might even hurt the situation or circumstance.

Because we’re tired. We’re overwhelmed. We don’t have any willpower left.

Plus, pride, selfishness, the ways of the world, and evil can get in the way too.

And choosing the quick or easy thing doesn’t usually give us the results we’re looking for. In our culture of instant gratification hard work doesn’t seem very enticing.

So, what are we to do to help ourselves get through- especially during the really tough times? Here’s my top three ways:

1. Pray

Turn your eyes to Jesus. Tell him your hurts, your struggles, your pain. He knows what you’re going through, and he knows how it feels.


Matthew 7:7

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”


And God wants us to co continually ask, seek, and knock. It’s not a one time and voila. Draw close to God in persistent prayer and He will draw near to you.

2. Read and Meditate on Scripture

The Bible has answers for all life questions and struggles. It may not be in the form of a neon blinking sign (which I prefer! Ha!). But, as we read more of God’s word we get to know Him more, and He then reveals more of his plan.

Study scripture (and believe it) for tips on physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It’s the greatest guidebook ever!


John 11:40

“Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?'”


3. Get an Accountability Partner

Having someone like a friend, coach, or pastor to help hold you accountable can be life changing. They can help you step towards your goals in a way you can’t do by yourself.

Again, most of us know what to do. We just have a hard time following through. Having an accountability partner can be the missing piece- especially if we’ve tried again and again without success.


Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other one up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”


Which one of these do you need more of in your life? How can you implement more of that starting today?

Set yourself up for success and better ability to handle the storms of life with these three tips.

If you need someone to be your accountability partner, I would be honored to have the opportunity to walk alongside you in life.

Click here to schedule a time to chat with me for free to see if we might be a good team.

5 Ways to Use Essential Oils to Support Your Ears

I’ve been using essential oils to support my health and life for many years. And it has now become my medicine cabinet. I use essential oils every single day – usually multiple times a day. I haven’t been sick in years and when I do get a mild symptom I immediately turn to my essential oils and the symptom is eradicated quickly or at least diminished.

These oils are truly a gift of the earth – from God of course. When you choose essential oils for your home please make sure they are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. Just because it says therapeutic grade on the label doesn’t mean it’s 100% pure essential oil. I learned that the hard way. And never, ever, ever buy your oils off Amazon or from a box or drug store. They will not be pure – ever. I get my oils here – the only 100% pure safe oils in the country. (For more information on my beliefs and these oils please message me. I’m happy to chat about it.)

So, let’s discuss some ways you can use essential oils to support the health of your ears!

1.Ear Pain/Ear Infections

If you read my previous blog post you know that I’ve dealt with so much ear stuff in my lifetime. Here’s my go-to recipe for help with ear pain, infections, swimmers ear, or ear pain when I’m flying:

In a roller bottle put about 5 drops each of grapefruit, frankincense, digestive blend, melaleuca, and respiratory blend. Then top with fractionated coconut oil. Roll this behind, in front of, (never put essential oils in your ear!) down the neck under ear toward the heart, and along the jaw line to the chin. Apply several times a day, even every hour if needed, until symptoms subside.

I have had great success in using this recipe to help my ears decompress after being in an airplane. I use the roller bottle for ease, but you might have even better relief applying these oils one at a time in the same locations. You can also take 2 drops of each: protective Blend, oregano, melaleuca, frankincense, & lemon internally in a capsule to help support the immune system.

2.Earache

I have also used basil for relief from ear issues. You can rub it in front of, behind, and below the ear in the same manner as for an ear infection. Basil is antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, and a decongestant among many other things.

You could also put a few drops of basil on a cotton ball and gently place the cotton ball in the ear. But remember, you never want to drop essential oils directly into the ear. The oils will remain on the cotton ball and not reach the eardrum so this method is safe.

3.Tinnitus

Tinnitus is ringing in the ears not caused by an external source.

See, sometimes we have ringing or buzzing in our ears because they are hearing something at a hertz that is not in our range of hearing. This is not tinnitus. This is good hearing! Tinnitus comes from something internal. If you struggle with vertigo or dizziness, and ringing or buzzing in the ears you might be dealing with tinnitus.

Many people have seen total healing or nearly so when using helichrysum. Rub the oil behind, in front of the ear (again, never put essential oils in your ear) and down the jaw line toward the chin. Do this 3-4 times a day.

4.Motion Sickness

Often when we’re feeling dizzy or have motion sickness it stems from an imbalance in the inner ear.

Before travel you can inhale digestive blend and/or rub coriander essential oil behind the ears. I have also had good results inhaling ginger.

Warning: Ginger is a hot oil and you DO NOT want to get it on your nose – or anywhere else for that matter – without a carrier oil. If you smell keep it far enough away not to touch the skin.

After you’re already feeling the sickness you can take 3-5 drops of digestive blend internally and rub it on your belly. You can also use peppermint or ginger internally too.

5.Hearing Loss

I don’t personally have experience using essential oils with hearing loss, but here is a protocol an expert suggests:

Apply this technique 3 times per week for about two months. With each step apply the oils to the palm and dipping one finger at a time into the oils start rubbing at the front of the ear, then over the fleshy rim, and down to to lobe multiple times. (Never put oils inside the ear!) Then, rub down the neck below the ear and along the jaw line. Use:

  • 4 drops each grounding blend and restful blend and repeat application technique 10 times
  • 4 drops helichrysum and repeat application technique 5 times
  • 2 drops each lavender and siberian fir and repeat application technique 5 times
  • 3 drops geranium and repeat application technique 3 times.

What techniques to you use for your ear health? Share more ideas!

Back to School, Schedule, Work, or Just Anytime Stress

Back to school time for parents and kids can seem like a lot of hustle and bustle. Gotta get a new backpack (or clean up the old one from last year), get the million things on the school supply list, new clothes perhaps so cuteness can abound, get to bed earlier, plan lunches, talk to teachers, fill out paperwork for hours…

I could go on for days about stress of getting ready for school. Not that I’ve ever had to get a kid ready to go back to school, but I sure did that for myself many, many years.

The hustle and bustle can be stressful. I kinda think of it as similar to the hustle and bustle at Christmas time too: presents, food, traveling, managing money, Santa, pictures, family, tree, church…

I could go on for days about this too.

It seems no matter what’s going on in our calendar our culture does a really good job at making us stressed out about it. We set expectations on ourselves, others, the schools, our homes, families, friends… And for what? So, we can be the cutest, give our kids the best, look like the perfect family, be the perfect student, have the most or best stuff?

What if we took a moment to step back, breathe, and refocus?

What if we could de-stress these stressful times by taking pressures off ourselves that our culture tries to drown us with?

What if we could focus on what was the most important thing?

At Christmas time of course the most important thing is Jesus. So, can we focus on showing His love and sacrifice to others? (I’m not saying we can’t give gifts, but I am saying we have the ability to simplify.)

At Back-to-School time the most important thing is also Jesus. So, can we focus on our kids and helping them feel loved and cherished – like Jesus would? (I’m not saying we can’t buy them things, but again I am saying we don’t have to keep up with the Jones’s – or what the culture says we have to be and do and have.)

It’s so easy to lose our focus when there are so many distractions every single day. Think tv, cell phones, radio, billboards… These things on their own don’t seem so overpowering, but when we look at our cell phones for over four hours a day, watch tv for over five hours a day, and listen to the radio for about two hours a day (these are average amounts for Americans according to google) our time is nearly filled up. That’s about 11 hours of marketing that we’re getting per day. People trying to get us to buy, buy, buy so we’re happy and more fulfilled.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:20,

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

If we’re so focused on what our culture tells us we should do and what we should buy we are storing up treasures on earth. We’re trying to keep up with everyone else, and causing ourselves endless stress in the process. All. Year. Long.

So, how can we reduce stress and refocus?

I might invite for us together, to reduce the amount of media we’re taking in during our personal time.

I might invite for us to resist the temptation to be the same as all the others, feeling the need to buy all the things and go all the places, and focus on what is MOST important.

I also invite for us to put Jesus at the center of our focus. When our eyes are trained on Him, no matter what comes He will provide us His perfect peace. BUT, we must keep our eyes trained on Him. (See Isaiah 26:3)

We can’t get rid of stress in this world today. But we can do things to manage how we deal with stress. We can start with reducing how much hustle and bustle we allow during each the seasons.

My Ear Story

This month is all about ears. So, I thought I’d tell you my own personal ear story.

When I was little I had a ton of ear issues. Ear infections all the time, pain, and fevers. Probably worried my parents sick. I would get an ear infection, finish the antibiotics and then get another ear infection. By the time I was eight years old I had too many ear infections to count, three sets of tubes put in my ears, and my tonsils and adenoids removed. Plus, my hearing had begun to decrease in my left ear. I did hearing screenings regularly. You know push the button or raise your hand when you hear the beep. I knew I was missing several because there was too much time between the ones I was hearing. And I tried to hear so hard. Because I wanted to be good at hearing.

I loved to go swimming as a child (even thought I was certain a shark lived in the drain of the pool). While swimming, I always had to wear ear plugs because if I got any water in my ear I got an ear infection. I had to really battle this being an embarrassing thing for me. I hated wearing ear plugs. Plus, you can’t hear very well with them in. Two things going against my hearing.

And by the time I was in eighth grade (I was 13), it was a problem. The hairs inside my ear – which are responsible for feeling the vibration of sound which creates hearing – were not damaged. However, I had a hole in my eardrum from scar tissue from all the infections. My doctor determined that he could replace it by taking fat from behind my eardrum (who knew there was even fat there?!?!) and graph a brand new drum for me (this procedure is called a tempanoplasty).

So, towards the end of my eighth grade year I went into the hospital for the operation. And I haven’t mentioned my phobia of needles yet, but it’s a real live thing. And while it has improved, I still am not fond of needles today. They had to shave about two inches of my hair around my ear. And honestly, at the time, this was perhaps the most detrimental thing for me. I was so embarrassed about it. And I also get sick after anesthesia. So, this wasn’t the most pleasant experience. I mean needles, puke, and shaved hair. What more could a teenage girl have to go through?!?!

After the operation I had to wear this plastic bubble over my ear to protect it for several days. And I wasn’t allowed to even get water close to my ear or do anything that would rupture or disconnect the delicate new eardrum. I had to be extremely careful.

And a few weeks after the operation my youth group went on a trip and there was a pool. I was told I couldn’t swim, but I just got in the pool and stood. Promise!

Slowly, but surely, my hearing began to return. And now, almost 30 years later, my ear is doing just fine. I can hear well even though I do hear better in my right ear than my left. And the scar is barely even noticeable anymore.

I tell you my story because this was hard for me as a child. There were several times that I felt shame (even though I probably didn’t know that’s what it was). I didn’t want to have this struggle. I wanted to be normal. Just like every kid out there. We want to fit in and not be judged or laughed at.

Hmmm… it also sounds like me as an adult too. I don’t want to be judged or laughed at either (unless I’m cracking myself up or making a joke – then please laugh – haha).

God actually reserves the right to judge others for himself. It’s not in our job description as humans. However, I think it’s one thing that we all struggle with – myself included.

I might invite for you today to notice someone you interact with – whether in person, on social media, or on the phone – and their differences. And just practice accepting their differences. Not judging it or trying to do anything with it. And you don’t even have to agree with their differences. Just notice and accept. If we all did this a little more I think we might be able to love more, have more peace, and deal with less stress.

I’d love to hear about you and your story of being different. Just comment below and let’s share our differences.

Safe Products for your Skin

I know, I know. I’ve been talking A LOT about skin and sun and products lately. ‘Tis the season!

They say you are what you eat. And while that is true, it’s also true that you are what you put on your skin. Because EVERYTHING you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body and is either put to good use or stored as toxins. Yikes!

So, I wanted to share some products that I use on my skin that are safe, non-toxic, and I’m happy to have them absorbed into my body.

LOTION

I use doTERRA’s unscented Hand and Body Lotion. I like this one because I can add a few drops of essential oil depending on what scent I’m in the mood for that day. My personal favorite to add is grapefruit! (Just don’t add grapefruit if you’re going to be out in the sun. It’ll make you burn.)

BODY WASH

The doTERRA Spa Body Wash is my favorite! It smells so good! Plus, it’s safe for you and your kiddos too!

SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

You guessed it. I use doTERRA’s Salon Essentials Shampoo & Conditioner. The smell is lovely and it works wonderfully on my long hair. Plus, my husband and I both use the conditioner for shaving cream. Yup! Double duty! I purchase the large 32 oz bottles and they last us about six months. Very cost effective!

FACE WASH & MOISTURIZER

The Verage Skin Care Line is the best! In my opinion. I love how it moisturizes just enough and the cleanser doesn’t leave my skin oily or dry.

These are the daily products I use. Of course there are other things I use on my skin too. However, I do all I can to use non-toxic products that I trust the company where they came from. Have questions about these or other products? Send me a message! I’m happy to help!

Are you a perfectionist like me?

Hi. My name is Carrie. And I am a recovering perfectionist.

I like things neat, tidy, my way, and perfect. And I prefer the people around me to be too.

However, that’s not real life.

Real life is messy, imperfect, unpredictable, painful, and way out of my control. (God is showing me this pretty intensely in the current season of my life. Sigh.)

I feel like part of being a perfectionist is feeling in control. And when life spirals out of control then we freak out, stress out, and our anxiety hits the roof (and perhaps blows it to smithereens).

Control is really an illusion. There are certain things in life that we can control such as:

  • What we eat
  • What we wear
  • What we talk about
  • What we think about
  • Our happiness
  • Who we hang out with
  • How seriously we take life
  • What we believe
  • Our priorities
  • How kind we are

Other than that, God has the ultimate say on what goes on in this crazy world of ours. We can’t control other people. We can’t control situations. We can’t control hate.

So, if you’re a perfectionist – recovering or not- like me, I invite for you to take a step back. Allow God to do His thing (He’s actually really good at it) and give Him control over all things. All things.

All things.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

What Sun-Safe Products Does a Health Coach Use?

There are sooooo many stay safe in the sun products out there! How do we know which ones are actually safe and not toxic?

One way that I have learned is by using two apps:

The EWG -Environmental Working Group App

The Think Dirty App

These two apps rate products and ingredients on a toxic scale. Zero is non-toxic and ten is very toxic. You can scan bar codes or type in product names or ingredients. AND they are free to use! Score!

So, based off my research using these two apps here are a few products I use to keep myself safe in the sun:

HOMEMADE SUNSCREEN

I choose to make my own because it’s cheap and it works! I’ve used this recipe for years for me and my family and never get burned. Plus, the ingredients are safe and non-toxic! Here’s my recipe:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup beeswax pellets

2 Tablespoons shea butter

Melt ingredients in a double boiler while stirring with a wooden spoon or popsicle stick. Once melted remove from heat, let cool slightly, and stir in:

1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

12 drops helichrysum essential oil (you can get here)

12 drops myrrh essential oil (you can get here)

2 Tablespoons non-nano zinc oxide powder

Stir occasionally until solidified. Store in a glass container and apply liberally when going in the sun. Use high quality and organic ingredients whenever possible. I get some products locally and others from Amazon.

**Side note: It’s not safe to order essential oils from Amazon. Ever.

**Another side note: If you’re freaked out about making your own sunscreen and worried about it working- first of all try it! Second, if you don’t want to then Think Dirty has an excellent sunscreen guide with products you can buy.

LIP PROTECTION

Don’t forget to protect those lips! They can burn too! I make my own lip protection – similar to the recipe above with only a few differences. There are also many safe ones out there to purchase. Again, check Think Dirty for a great list!

SUNGLASSES

This might seem obvious, but protecting your eyes from sunburn is important too! Find ones that block UVA and UVB rays.

SPF CLOTHING

Long sleeves in the summer sounds crazy. However, they are very useful in preventing sunburn- especially if the fabric has UV Protection in it. And you might find it’s not so bad after all! Don’t forget a UV protecting hat! I got my long sleeves (see picture above) from the kids section at Target. HA!

ALOE VERA

Inevitably, I’ll forget to apply the sunscreen or leave home without it. (I’m not the only forgetful one, right?!?!) And when I come home a little red or charred I want something safe to soothe the burn. Aloe from an aloe vera plant is best. A little sticky, but feels so good!!!

If you have questions about other products or about what I’ve mentioned here, please reach out! I won’t bite! Promise! I’d love to be a resource for you in using safe products for you and your family!