Healthiest Foods for Gut Health & What They do for You

Here’s a list of some of the healthiest foods for gut health and what they do for your body.

  • Blueberries – they help restore the central nervous system and flush out the liver
  • Celery – strengthens acid in the gut and provides mineral salts to the central nervous system
  • Sprouts – they’re high in zinc and selenium and they help strengthen the immune system
  • Asparagus – cleanses the liver and spleen and strengthens the pancreas
  • Spinach – helps create an alkaline environment and provides micro-nutrients for the nervous system
  • Cilantro- helps remove heavy metals
  • Parsley – helps remove copper and aluminum
  • Coconut Oil – it’s anti-viral and anti-inflammatory
  • Ginger – helps with nutrient assimilation
  • Raspberries – powerful anti-oxidants and helps remove free radicals from the body
  • Lettuce – stimulates peristaltic action in intestinal tract
  • Papayas – helps restore central nervous system and strengthens acid in the gut
  • Apricots – helps rebuild immune system and strengthens the blood
  • Pomegranates – helps detox blood and the lymphatic system
  • Grapefruit – full of bioflavonoids and calcium and helps flush out toxins
  • Kale – provides alkaloids that protect against viruses
  • Sweet Potatoes – helps to cleanse the liver
  • Cucumbers – helps strengthen adrenals and kidneys and flush neuro-toxins from the bloodstream
  • Fennel – anti-viral


When I was working on overcoming some food allergies I came across this list of foods.  It was recommended that I eat at least 3 of each of these a day and to make sure I eat almost all these foods each week.  They are listed in rough order of importance.

This is not an extensive list of the healthiest foods for your gut out there, but it is a great start!  What will you add into your diet this week to help boost your body functions?

Recipes for a Day of Healthy Eating

Ever just need someone to tell you what to eat?  Well, I’ve got a one day meal plan that not only tastes delicious, but also packs in great protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients!  Try out these recipes and let me know what you think!


5 Ingredient Quinoa Superfood Breakfast Bowl



Collard Green Veggie Wrap

with a side of apple slices



No Bake Energy Bites









Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers

with Sweet Potato Wedges (leave out the sugar from this recipe)

ChunkyPortabellaBlackBeanBroccoliPatty  sweetpotwedges-306x1024.jpg

Even if you’re a meat eater, this vegetarian meal plan is still delicious.  I do encourage you to always choose organic, grass fed meat whenever possible if you choose to eat meat.  What are some of your favorite healthy recipes?


Recipes and pictures from:



Silver Linings


Take a little imaginary journey with me…

You walk out your front door to a blustery windy, downpour rainy day. Like sideways windy rain. You are nearly soaked by the time you get in your car. Deep breath! You drive slowly to the airport, avoiding -only barely- a collision from hydroplaning. Deep breath! You arrive to the ticket counter (late from the horrid rain) to hear you have less than 5 minutes to get to the gate. Running with your backpack bouncing on your back, shoes off through security, back on without tying, hope you didn’t forget anything, you make it to the gate just in time. Deep breath!

You settle in, buckle your seat-belt, watch the safety presentation, and close your eyes for a moment of peace or even a little nap. The airplane takes off in the pouring rain and as it climbs the turbulence is intense.  Will this morning ever calm down?

Suddenly, everything is calm. You glance out the window and the sunshine is so bright you have to squinch your eyes. It is so beautiful!! Above the clouds, above the storm, things are calm, smooth, easy, and beautiful. Thinking back, you may not have noticed the magnitude of this moment – this beauty – if it hadn’t been for the storm.

Doesn’t life often feel that way? Sometimes the storms of life are long, arduous, and depressing. Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. And sometimes it seems as if the storms will never end.

Yet, the sun still shines- above the clouds, above the storms of life. There’s always a silver lining. Sometimes, that silver lining is hard to find, and if we look for the good it will appear- one way or another. One thing I do to help me see the silver linings of every day is to keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s something I have to practice or I lose it. Kind of like flexibility. Join me in this practice:  What can you be grateful for today? What is your silver lining today?

Who I am.

Wanna know a bit more about me?  I recently took the Gallup Strengths Finder 2.0 online test. I thought I would share what I discovered.

I really didn’t find my results surprising.  However, it is really helpful to know your strengths so you can focus your efforts on what you’re good at doing.

Here are my top 5 strengths:


“People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.”

I am definitely a life-long learner.  My husband often gets frustrated because I’m always wanting to go, try, and learn new things instead of keep going with what I know.  It’s just in my nature to learn, and I have an intense deep desire to do so. Bring on the self-help books!


“People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.”

I think this goes right along with being a learner.  And yes, I do store away little tidbits of info – like the names of the different kinds of columns in the Greek era.  Haha!! Or that the area of your entire digestive system is the size of a tennis court.


“People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.”

Me being an empath is super great for my clients!  I am compassionate, understanding, a great listener, and can guide you where you want to go.  On the other hand, being an empath is challenging for my personal self.  I often take on the feelings of others as if they were my own, large groups of people overwhelm me, and I cry at Folgers Coffee commercials.  Haha!


“People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.”

I definitely believe in divine intervention, and that God puts people in certain places at certain times.  My faith is strong and I use it to guide me daily.  I also believe the best about everybody.


“People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.”

Earlier in my life I would’ve called this part of myself perfectionism (my friends called it over-achiever).  While I’ve had much counseling on being a perfectionist, I feel like that part of me has dwindled away almost completely (not totally though! Ha!).  If I have an assignment or a task that needs accomplished you can bet your little tush it’s going to get finished.

2018-01-15 11.44.40

So, why learn about your strengths?

Learning about your strengths can give you an idea of where to focus your talents.  If you’re a construction worker, then you’re not going to focus your time on trying to be the best cake maker out there.  It’s not relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.  In the same way, we have the opportunity to focus on our strengths as related to our goals and possibly outsource the other tasks to someone else.

Yes, perhaps a construction worker needs a cake for a daughter’s birthday.  But, there are a ton of places that bake amazing cakes.  And if the construction worker doesn’t have time to bake a cake, then outsourcing that task to someone who’s talents include baking cakes could be a time-saving, energy-saving, stress-reducing choice.

Same with us.  If it’s not in our bag of tricks, it drains us, or we don’t have the time (Let’s face it, we could all use more time, right?!?!) then perhaps outsourcing parts of what we need to do would not only benefit us, it also allows others to share their amazing strengths with us.

What is something in your life you could use a little help with?


10 Benefits of Detoxing

Maybe you’re thinking, “What is all this talk about detoxing?  And why in the world would I even consider it?”

Well, detoxing is actually an amazing experience that can leave you feeling lighter, tighter, and soooo amazing.  Here’s 10 benefits you can experience in less than 14 days:

10. Reducing or eliminating auto-immune symptoms.  

Do you struggle with an auto-immune disease that your doctors can’t seem to get a grip on?  Have they suggested a detox?  If not, this is a great one to try because it’s gentle on the body and very effective.  If you have auto-immune symptoms you are likely very toxic.  So, a detox would be amazing for your organs and digestion!

9. Losing weight and inches

We will be taking out all sugars and caffeine out of our diet for 14 days (you can do this!  I’m here to help!).  See, fat doesn’t cause us to be fat.  Sugar causes us to be fat.  Taking sugar out of the diet – even for just a short time – can help us shed pounds, inches, and feel lighter.

8. Reducing headaches and joint pain

Sometimes a build-up of toxins can cause pain and headaches.  Our bodies are designed to process and eliminate toxins.  However, when we overload our body with toxins it can’t process them quick enough.  So, the body stores the toxins to deal with later in our joints, muscles, and organs.  As you can imagine this causes pain and decreased efficiency of our body.

7. Reduce or eliminate heartburn

Belching, feeling gassy, or having heartburn after meals is often a sign of digestive upset.  Taking some time to detox will help your digestion work better creating less gas and bubbles in your tummy.

6.  Think clearer

Ever feel like your brain is foggy and you can’t remember anything?  Actually detoxing your digestive system can eliminate this fogginess and help you think clearer.

5. Take control of sinus and allergy symptoms

Certain foods can cause inflammation in our bodies and sometimes even cause sensitivities or allergic reactions.  We’ll be taking out the most common food allergens to reduce these symptoms and allow you to test and see if your body has any adverse reactions or sensitivities to any food.  In addition, we’ll be filling our bodies with nutrient-dense foods, like fruits and veggies, to reinvigorate the gut.

4. Eliminate food cravings

Our bodies desire balance.  When we eat too much of one kind of food it will begin to crave it or crave the opposite of it.  For example, if we eat too much salty food our bodies will crave sweet food to balance it out.  Then when we eat sweet food our bodies ride the blood sugar roller coaster – sugar high to sugar low.  Then we crave more sugar.  It’s tricky to balance it out.  This cleanse will help you eliminate those cravings and help create more balance in your diet.

3. Double your energy

Ever get that foggy headed, super sleepy feeling around 2, 3, 4:00? Sometimes the food we eat actually causes us to lose energy and get sleepy.  Our bodies are telling us to take a nap (and most of the time we can’t lay down in the office for a snooze). So, taking control of our food intake can give us an abundance of energy.

2. Reduce or even eliminate anxiety and mood swings

Sometimes, negative emotions can be increased simply by the food we eat.  Eliminating common trouble foods will help you reduce or eliminate anxiety helping you take control of your emotions.  Who doesn’t want less anxiety!?!?

1. Feel amazing

You will be amazed at how good you will feel on this cleanse.  If there are ANY symptoms, emotions, pain, or moods you want to get rid of – then detoxing is on your to-do list!  During a cleanse, we give our digestive tract a vacation from the stress of hard to process foods.  I’ve had clients tell me they felt the best they had in years after detoxing!  Why wait to feel better?!?!


If you’re interested in learning more about detoxing or about the specific 14 Day Reset Cleanse I offer let me know!  Let’s help you feel better today!

I am willing.

Imagine this:

You’re a young girl, engaged to the man of your dreams, life is amazing, and then…. you get pregnant.  And it’s not his.

Stop for just a moment and imagine what you would be feeling, what you would be saying, what you would be hearing….

This probably wouldn’t be the highlight moment of your life.

Your soon to be husband would probably leave you, your family might disown you, and your friends – well – no longer friends.  Life is all of a sudden not so amazing.

2017-12-19 16.02.58

But for Mary all was well.  But not because of her.  Because God.

God sent an angel to Joseph to let him know to go through with the wedding, and Mary hadn’t been cheating on him.   Mary’s family was excited and she gained more friends and support than she could’ve ever imagined.

We’ve probably heard the story of the virgin birth a bazillion times.  Yet, something new popped out for me this year.

So, in Luke chapter one, an angel comes to visit Mary to tell her she’s going to have a baby.  And not just any baby, but the son of God.  And it’s not going to be Joseph’s.  Here’s the part that jumped out at me:  She says, “I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said.”  (Luke 1: 38 NLV)

“Let it happen to me as you have said.”

Did you catch that?  She didn’t freak out, fuss, argue, complain, or throw a fit.  She said, “I am willing.”  How many times has life thrown us a curve ball and we’ve just said, “I am willing.”  I’m pretty sure I’ve never said that.  HA!

Yet, I’m also pretty sure that when that curve ball is from God, if we choose to go with the flow and allow God to do his thing, then all will be well (not meaning perfect, but well).

Mary had her baby.  Not at home with a midwife, but in a barn far from home with Joseph (who was probably freaking out, right?!?!).  And the baby was perfect – literally.  All was well.

I’m willing to learn a lesson from Mary this year.  When God tugs at my heart, or calls me to a higher purpose, perhaps next time I’ll go willingly, knowing the one who hung the stars is working on my behalf.

I encourage you to open the Christmas story again for yourself this year.  Perhaps something new might pop out at you too!

Merry Christmas!

With peace and love,


If you need encouragement this Christmas season, reach out!  To me, to someone you love, a friend.  Don’t put off for tomorrow what you could do today.



Life is complicated.

Jobs are complicated.  Relationships are complicated.  The internet/cable service is complicated.  Politics are complicated. Religion is complicated.

So, how are we to live a simple, yet fulfilling life in the midst of all this complication.  (I’m not talking about a simple, boring life!  I’m talking about a simple, abundant life!)

Good question!

Here are 5 tips for simplifying life to create space for fulfillment and abundance.


Your external environment is a direct correlation to your mental state.  If you live, work, or play in a place full of clutter you are likely going to be stressed and anxious.  Your life will not feel simple.  It will feel complicated and messy.  Take 5-10 minutes a day to pick up, clean up, get rid of, or organize.  Breaking it down into chunks will help remove the feeling of overwhelm.  I might also recommend  de-cluttering your schedule as well.  What are activities or events that drain you?   What can you let go of?  Fill your calendar with things that nourish and fulfill you instead of clutter.

2. Meditate/Pray

Take a few minutes a day to clear your mind and just breathe.  This can be a prayerful time too!  There have been abundant studies to show that taking time daily to meditate/pray makes you more productive, more compassionate, less anxious, happier, and focused.  Who doesn’t want that in their life?!?! In addition,  it helps you to feel more grounded so you can make better choices to simplify your life.  Opening your mind and heart in prayer can also give you guidance so you can take the next step forward.

3. Take a walk

There are soooo many reasons to get outside in nature.  We all know the benefits of  exercise.  And, so many of us think exercise has to be complicated to be beneficial.  Actually, it doesn’t.  You don’t have to do zumba, pilates, rock climbing, or surfing (But if those bring you joy, then by all means go for it)!  We just need to move our body in a way that feels good for us.  Taking a walk is easy on the joints, gets us outside, works our heart muscle, and gives us time to think or enjoy the company of a friend.  Simplify your exercise routine to help create a simpler life.

4. Take a day (or a week) off

You have vacation days.  You have sick days.  You are allowed to use those!  Take a day (or week) for you!  Send the kids to school, the spouse to work, and lay in your pj’s all day, binge a Netflix series, get a massage, take a bath, or whatever!  Simplify by using this time to fill your cup.  When we do all the things all day,  everyday we become depleted, sick, and life feels complicated because we don’t  have any energy or patience left.  Take some time for you to renew and rejuvenate.

5. Don’t expect so much from yourself

Of course, do your best.  And do your best at a few things.  You don’t have to do all the things.  God created the entire universe in 6 days.  He didn’t do it all in one day.   And you don’t have to either.  This is one thing near and dear to my heart because it’s a struggle I’m having right now, actually.  And I recently read a book called  The 12 Week Year.  It has opened my eyes to the tasks that are most important in achieving my goals.  AND it has helped me make a step by step plan to reach my goals.  AND I’ve taken several things off the to-do list because of it.  I highly recommend this book if you’re someone who has big goals, a large to-do list, and overwhelm.  Whether you read it or not, simplify by removing items from your to- do list (or get help doing them).

Remember:  life is short.  Do what’s important in the long run!  Simplify now so you have more space/time/sanity later.

For more help on simplifying your life email Carrie at


The PTSD Christmas

Happy Thanksgiving!  Merry Christmas!  Jingle Bells!  Santa Claus!

Do these words make your heart swoon or send dread all the way to your toes?!?!  For some people, the holiday season can be a time of anxiety, sorrow, dread, worry…

And I get that.

If you’re like me and have suffered from PTSD or anxiety/panic attacks, the whole thing and especially socialization of the holiday season can feel like a boulder on top of you. Even thinking about being with all those people and having to have conversations might just send us into a full blown “I refuse to get off my couch and celebrate – bah humbug” state. And possibly even the idea of getting one tree out of the attic -much less seven (yes, I have seven Christmas trees!) – is just too much to handle.

Let me explain.  When there is an emotional war going on in our brains the body is trying to figure out how to create balance and peace.  Some days it does better than others.  And some days it’s a total loss.  Either way, when something is thrown in – expected or not – that is out of our control our brains flip out.  Our brain is already overloaded and this small feather just sent it into full combat mode.  Que the heart palpitations, sweaty palms, shallow breathing, tight chest, dread, fear, and fight or flight mode.

The sympathetic nervous system -the fight or flight system – is fully engaged and anxiety is high with panic riding full force towards us on the horizon.  And grandma, parents, aunts, uncles, sisters, nephews, and in-laws are arriving shortly!  What am I supposed to do?!?!?!

Here are 5 tips for those of us with PTSD and/or anxiety to use in moments like this.

  1. Stop.  Take a deep breath.  And another.  And another.  And another.  When we breathe slowly and deeply for at least two minutes our brain says, “Hey!  I was freaking out, but I’m breathing like a calm, relaxed person soooooo – I must be relaxed.”  This turns on the parasympathetic nervous system and allows us to relax and calm down the nerves.
  2. Focus on what is going well in this very moment!  We are in control of our thoughts!  Much to many people’s surprise, we have the ability to stop negative thoughts from taking over and sending us in a downward spiral.  “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.”-Philippians 4:8 (NIV)  Paul’s words are written as he sits in a jail cell wondering if he will live or die.  If he can focus on positive thoughts in that situation then I can too.
  3. Get grateful!  Begin to name all the things you are grateful for.  This also takes the focus off of the negative and puts it on the positive.  Gratitude can do more for us than we realize.  I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal that I write in everyday, and I really notice a difference in how I respond to anxiety producing moments.
  4. Be prepared ahead of time.  Take some time for yourself filling your own cup.  Maybe you’ve heard the thought that you can only serve others from the overflow of your own cup.  And if you’re dealing with anxiety or PTSD then you need some extra filling of your own cup to be able to deal with life – especially around the holidays.  What nourishes you or helps you relax?  What is enjoyable? Go do that!
  5.   Choose your activities wisely.  What are some parties, events, or gatherings you want to attend (if there are any)? You don’t have to go to all of them.  Choose the one or two that will be important for you but also the ones that could end up nourishing your soul.  If it’s too much to have Mammy, Pappy, and Uncle George over then ask if someone else can host this year.  Things don’t have to stay the same just because, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” Being kind to yourself and to others, make the best choice for you.

Implementing these tools won’t stop your anxiety, but they will help you manage it.  And as a yoga teacher I often tell my students that when we feel depression we are living in the past.  When we feel anxiety we are living in the future.  The best way to counteract both of those is to live in the present moment.

Comment below with a way you help manage your anxiety!

To learn more about me and my story visit my website, and contact me if you need advice for dealing with anxiety or PTSD.


My sweet 91 year old grandmother visited me a few weeks ago, and she used the word serendipity several times.  Then within just a few days this word, serendipity, presented itself to me many times in random locations.  It was right in front of me again yesterday.  I figured this is a word I am supposed to pay attention to.

Realizing I didn’t really know what it meant, I went to the trusty Google to find out.

A pleasant surprise, according to Wikipedia.

The phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for, according to Mirriam-Webster.

And according to Wiktionary, the term was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754 when writing a fantasy story about three princes.

Many other definitions include the word luck.



I love a good St. Patrick’s Day celebration full of leprechauns and luck, but I don’t really put much faith in them.  I’m not sure I believe in luck or coincidence at all.  In fact, I believe that everything happens for a reason.  And a good one too.

I think I like the definition of serendipity to be:  amazing things happening without trying or looking.

Like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen for years at the salon.  Like opportunities falling in your lap.  Like peace on a chaotic day.

I have found myself in the battles of control lately.  Knowing that I can truly only control things like what color shirt to wear that day (and sometimes something gets spilled on it and I have to change, so I’m sometimes not even in control of that!).  One of my yoga teachers, Victoria, once said that when we hold onto things in life so intensely, like a squeezed tight fist, everything gets so intense.  Eyebrows are constantly furrowed, shoulders are tight, and necks are painful.  And when we choose to let go of control, releasing the fists, relaxing the muscles, allowing the ebb and flow of life, we can often feel such release.  Such peace.  Possibly even serendipity.

I invite you to stop what you’re doing (cause I’m about to ruin the image and the style ya used to). Yes, I love me some 90’s hip-hop dance music!

Anyways, I invite you to stop and actually take a deep breath.  And with your exhale relax all your muscles.  Allow your shoulders to drop, your jaw to release, your brows to relax.  Un-clench anything that is squeezed.  Actually open your palms and allow them to release anything you’re holding on to.  Release control of that one moment.  Then release control of the next – allowing yourself to flow with the tide.

I think when we can truly live a life allowing ourselves to flow with what is that is when the entirety of life will be serendipity.


Where does your confidence lie?

“Your level of strength is directly related to your level of confidence.” –Carl Lentz

Where does your confidence lie? Is it in yourself? Or is it in something more powerful?

Anxiety often occurs because of worry and lack of confidence in the future. What if I…? How can I…? Where do I…? Who will I…?

Notice all those statements revolve around confidence in self! There’s a feeling of the future depending on me.

Again, where does your confidence lie? Is it in yourself? Or is it in something more powerful?

How do you gain the strength to step out of the boat into confidence? I’d love to share a bit of my own story to illustrate this idea.

I was an elementary school teacher for 17 years. It’s all I knew. Kids. Kids. Kids. And about half way through those years something began to stir inside my soul. I went through an extremely difficult time personally with anxiety, depression, and major health issues during this soul shaking. Through about 10 years, God brought me from a place of complete despair and lack of confidence in everything to a place of complete confidence in Him. And He healed me completely and totally.

Then He asked me to step out of my own boat. He asked me to leave my teaching career and trust Him. He allowed me to be trained as a health coach using my own personal struggles with health as a basis for my new career. In May 2017 I left my job and stepped into a new job with completely unstable income. I didn’t and still don’t know where the next paycheck is going to come from- or if it will come at all.

I have stepped out of my personal boat. My personal life raft. Me. And I have stepped into the confidence of God.

At a worship service recently, God gave me an image. Just like he asked Peter to step out of the boat and trust Him, he has asked me to do the same. And I have listened. I have stepped out of the boat. I am completely vulnerable. I have the weight of worry and anxiety tied to my feet. As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus the weight doesn’t even bother me. Yet, when I let my eyes wander down and focus on the weight it begins to pull me under.

I’m not going to lie and say I’ve kept my head above water. I have had days where I have been flailing trying to keep my own head above the water. This flailing is painful and anxiety provoking. Then… Jesus reminds me to keep my eyes on Him. And as I return my eyes upward, almost instantly the peace returns and I am again standing on the water instead of nearly drowning.

This is a Peace that passes all understanding. I can’t explain it. I can’t tell you why God has chosen to give it to me. What I can tell you though is that this Peace is available to every single person on this planet. It’s available to you.

All you have to do is step out of your boat into the confidence of God. When you’ve reached the end of your rope, the end of your confidence tap into a confidence that is so much stronger and powerful. And unlimited.

Now, I’m not telling you to quit your job. What I’m suggesting is to put your confidence in something more powerful than yourself. Step out of the boat of yourself and into the version of you that you were designed for.

What are you waiting for? Step into confidence today!