Looking Beyond One-Size-Fits-All Solutions for Our Health

Is science ever settled? How can we continue to be our own health advocates, look beyond the one-size-fits-all solutions, and find what is helpful for our unique bodies? There are so many different opinions, so how do we know what to do that’s right for our health?

If you’ve listened to my podcast, you know that I like to keep an open mind, and I am willing to have discussions that you won’t hear from many popular news outlets or even other podcasts. Why? Well, I never learned anything from only listening to people I agree with. In fact, I’ve found that some of my most teachable moments came when I stepped into the hard places, the places most would prefer not to dip their toes into. I am constantly on a quest to learn more – and if that means stirring up some controversy, that’s fine with me!

Del Bigtree is an Emmy-winning producer who is raising awareness for body autonomy and medical freedom. His internet news show, The Highwire, is the fastest growing program in the natural health arena. His non-profit, the Informed Consent Action Network, or ICAN, is leading worldwide investigations into drug and vaccine fraud that have already resulted in multiple winning lawsuits against US Government agencies Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, CDC and FDA.

In this conversation, we dig into some controversial topics in order to better understand all sides of the growing conversation on medical risk and medical freedom. Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts!

Topics include: the pro/anti vaccine debate, the history of informed consent, the importance of being able to make choices for your own body, lawsuits that ICAN is involved with, chronic disease rates in kids, and how we can arm ourselves with knowledge moving forward.

Watch Del’s news show by clicking here.

Check out the current lawsuits and information on his nonprofit organization by clicking here.

Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Nachos

Guys. I just stumbled upon something amazing. Do you ever get the craving for buffalo sauce or is that just me? Lately I have been OBSESSED with Primal Kitchens Buffalo sauce, AND I found a vegan ranch that is creamy and delicious with NO soybean or canola oil. (Can you tell by the capital letters how excited I am???)

I should also add that I am – once again – off of gluten and dairy. Why? A few reasons. One, I feel better. Two, my skin has been acting up and these are the two main culprits for many skin issues. Three, I really don’t need to offer an explanation for why I decide to eat the way I do, so move along with your judgment. Haha. I say that in a spicy way because about a year and a half ago I started following a bunch of “food freedom” nutritionists, dietitians, and influencers in hopes that I would gain a better understanding of how intuitive eating could work in my life – so that I am not held down by diet culture and its nonsensical food rules.

What I discovered is that in allowing myself unconditional permission to eat anything and everything, my mental and physical health started suffering, and turns out – my INTUITION about gluten and dairy and sugar was right – I don’t do well with those guys. So… if by listening to my body’s cues and leaving those things out of my diet means I’m just falling prey to the evil snares of “diet culture,” then the whole food freedom movement is just as judgmental and apt to finger-pointing as the “diet culture” they are so against. You can’t promote food freedom and eating intuitively for YOUR BODY, then tell someone they’re doing it wrong.

Ugh. Double standards and hypocrisy make me LOSE MY MIND. And there is so much of it happening today, I’m surprised I’m sane enough to be typing this out. As one of my good friends in the wellness world says, “eyes on your own plate.” YOU get to decide what is best for you, not matter what anyone else thinks about it.

Oh – am I supposed to be sharing a recipe? Apologies. I’ll stop ranting in CAPITAL LETTERS now.

Here we go…

Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Nachos

Continue reading “Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Nachos”

Authentic Conversations and Communication in Marriage and Beyond

Can we truly have authentic conversations in today’s world? How can we navigate the ups and downs of relationships stress in a healthy way? How can we speak to one another in a way that is respectful and also gets heard?

Cathy Krafve is the host of Fireside Talk Radio and the author of two books, Marriage Conversations and The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversation.

In this episode of the Sparking Wholeness podcast, Cathy shares about her books and what she has learned about communication in marriage, friendships, parenting, social media, and more!

Continue reading “Authentic Conversations and Communication in Marriage and Beyond”

What’s the Big Deal About Inflammation?

Inflammation is a word getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. Many health experts consider it a major cause for chronic illness, and it is threatening all of our health right now. Understanding inflammation, how to manage it, and addressing root causes is more important than ever!

Dr. Mark Sherwood is an ex-professional baseball player and 24-year retired veteran of the Tulsa Police Department who now is a Naturopathic Doctor on a mission to help others achieve wellness. He and his wife, Dr. Michele L. Neil-Sherwood, have a successful medical practice, the Functional Medical Institute, along with a number of books and a television and radio program.

Continue reading “What’s the Big Deal About Inflammation?”

Feast 2 Fast Lent Round

The Lent round of Feast 2 Fast, starting February 17, is open for registration!

Typically, Feast 2 Fast is 4 weeks long, as we systematically use a pattern of feasting and fasting to increase metabolic flexibility and restore nutrient density. The Lent round is six and a half weeks long. We start with a brief sugar detox and incorporate a weekly superfast. We are encouraging each other to give up a food/practice/poor habit for the duration of Lent, while also adding in a divine activity to level up the spiritual focus and become more mindful and purposeful in who we are.

We are simplifying our lives to focus on what truly matters, and I hope you will join us! For more information or to sign up, click here.

  • No calorie counting.
  • No logging macros.
  • No mandatory workouts.
  • No shakes or supplements.

In this program, we use intermittent fasting in a way that works for YOUR unique body. We introduce real food carbs, whole food carbs, and my favorite – heck yeah carbs – which not only encourages metabolic flexibility, it encourages a healthy mindset toward food as well!

Weekly Zoom meetings are available for those wanting more individualized support, but they aren’t mandatory. You get to go at your own pace and use what components work best for you!

Sign up here.

Understanding Adolescent Addiction

As mental health issues in teens continue to rise, increased substance abuse can be a side effect.

Richard Capriola spent 11 years working as an addictions counselor for Menninger Clinic, one of the top ten psychiatric hospitals in the US, before retiring in 2019. During his tenure there he worked in the Adolescent Treatment program and the adult Comprehensive Psychiatric Assessment and Stabilization program.

Download and listen to the episode here, or find wherever you get podcasts.

Continue reading “Understanding Adolescent Addiction”

How Relationships Impact Your Health

It’s February, the month of loooooove, so I can’t NOT talk about the importance of relationships to your overall well-being.

While loneliness is just as detrimental to your health as smoking, there are numerous studies showing that having healthy relationships increase your quality of life and longevity! Those with social support have better mental health, cardiovascular health, immune system function, and cognitive ability.

In fact, a study spanning eight decades of research at Harvard, proved that close social connections are better indicators of health and lonevity than anything else.

Our relationships with others are PRIMARY NUTRITION.

What you put inside your mouth may cause a temporary shift in your body’s digestive processes, but being in a stressful, unhealthy relationship – or being in isolation – can be a chronic stressor that causes permanent dysfunction to your entire body.

Why is that? I have a few thoughts.

  1. When a body is in “fight or flight” mode from stress, it is impossible to access the prefrontal cortex in the brain to make clear decisions, show empathy, connect to others, regulate emotions, be open-minded, and control impulses. So for someone who is under chronic relationship stress, or under stress from isolation and loneliness, it is possible that they will struggle with making good choices when it comes to health and well-being. They will literally be in survival mode, taking the easy way out, time and time again, because their brain can’t offer any other solution.
  2. Another possible reason stressful relationships wreck physical health is because it increases the amount of cortisol pumped into the bloodstream. Where there is cortisol imbalance, there is inflammation. Where there is inflammation, there is chronic disease and lack of health.
  3. Stress destroys digestion. When digestion is altered, your body can’t utilize nutrients from food or restore bacterial balance in the gut, which is so needed for mental and physical health.

I encourage you to make the effort to strengthen the relationships you have.

Maybe that means seeing a marriage counselor, or finding an individual counselor for yourself to deal with your past hurts in relationships. Maybe you need to call up an old friend or schedule a dinner date with someone you care about but haven’t had time to see lately. If you’re married, plan an intentional date night (you know, something different than turning on Netflix after the kids go to bed).

Take time to nourish your relationships this month. Your health and theirs depend on it.

*If you are looking for a professional therapist to support your healing journey, check out Talkspace and use the code sparkingwholeness for $100 off your first month of therapy.

Top Foods to Improve Your Libido

Can your diet impact your sex life? The answer is yes! It involves the same function that keeps your heart and brain healthy – blood flow. For this special Valentine’s episode, I welcome Leslie Bumpas back to the show. Leslie is a certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner whose passion is helping women thrive in all ages and stages.

In this episode, Leslie shares all the tips and tools to redeem romance in your life – using nutrients in food! Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts!

Continue reading “Top Foods to Improve Your Libido”

How to Add Meditation and Mindfulness Into Your New Year

A regular practice of meditation increases gray matter in your brain, which can help with decision-making, empathy, memory, and of course – improved mood and focus. (I write more about the topic here).

But how do we make it practical and work in our crazy, busy lives?

In this packed episode of the podcast, we cover the importance of mindfulness and meditation, why they help, and how to incorporate them into our daily lives. Colleen Long is President of Adventum Mental Health Network in East Texas.  She is a Registered 200 hour Yoga Teacher, Master Reiki Practitioner, and creator of all things Adventum.

She opens up and shares vulnerably about overcoming head trauma and grief and how quieting her mind changed her life and led her to start a movement for mental health in her East Texas community.

Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts!

Continue reading “How to Add Meditation and Mindfulness Into Your New Year”

Freedom from Scale Drama

It’s been one year and a half since I stepped on a scale. She’s an old friend. We haven’t had the best relationship over the years. More like a dysfunctional one.

She doesn’t give me my worth or value. She doesn’t even tell me how healthy I am. But I used to let her, over and over again.

7423bab9-3d12-45d5-950a-30aeb2b59f41

When her number is up, my mood is down. When her number is down, my mood is up. We can’t ever seem to agree on anything. Yet the codependency has existed for decades.

Some would say I fear her and what does that say about me? But I’m learning to see past her gaslighting and abuse, her finger-pointing and blaming.

I refuse to let an inanimate object steal my joy or give me fleeting confidence. I refuse to let a number tell me a story about my health – because health is about so much more than a number, or a diagnosis, or anything you can measure.

In my new online course, ReFOCUS 21, starting February 1, we are renewing our minds with truth and adjusting the way we look at health, habits, body image and chronic dieting!

It’s not too late to join us for 21 days of a new view of who you are – beyond what a number tells you. Each day’s content will be delivered straight to your inbox. Click the link here learn more and sign up!.