How to Get Out of Your Own Way to Have a Healthier Marriage

Everyone knows creating a healthy marriage means putting in the work, but what work is valuable and what are some good ways to get started?

This episode dives deep into all the important marriage topics – with a brain health twist! Download and listen here or find wherever you get your podcasts.

Bill O’Herron, LCSW, is a corporate executive, practicing therapist, and writer who seeks to use his 33 years of financial sales management experience, 24 years of marriage, 15 years of counseling clients, and 8,500 hours of sitting quietly to help his clients better understand themselves and deepen their relationships.

Key Topics:

  • Male and female brain differences and how that impacts marriage
  • How the male brain develops differently than the female brain
  • Healthy emotional self-regulation instead of partner regulation
  • How relationships are the most important thing in life
  • Chronic stress’ impact on relationships
  • Reticular activating system: how it works and how it kills the marriage
  • How relaxing can trigger old memories and activity causes us to avoid self
  • Tuning in with your 4th grade self and why that matters
  • The deeper emotions that anger covers up

Learn more about Bill and his counseling practice at Wholecounseling.com and grab his book, Waking Up Marriage.

Get 20% off your first order of Ancient Nutrition collagen when you use the code sparking at checkout.

Integrating Eastern Medicine Tools for Better Sleep, Stress Resilience, and Digestion

Jacqueline Gomez is the founder and CEO of Welleum, a company that brings Eastern medicine to the modern Western World.

In this episode, we dig into why more and more people are seeking out alternative health solutions, the hesitancy some may have in trying something new, and how Welleum offers a way to advocate for your health with resources and solutions that work.

Download and listen here or find wherever you get podcasts.

Key Topics:

  • What is Eastern medicine and why do we hesitate to utilize it?
  • The stress-body connection
  • “Pop-a-pill” culture and the need to treat the root
  • Why people are now turning to Eastern medicine
  • The resources provided by Welleum, along with their tinctures
  • How your boy is designed to function like a clock
  • Stress management tips
  • How to integrate Eastern and Western medicine and how it doesn’t have to be either/or
  • Developing a schedule to benefit whole body health
  • Ingredients in Welleum tinctures and science behind it
  • Correcting digestive imbalances

To learn more about Welleum and try their products, head to their website here.

This podcast is sponsored by Sleep Number. Save $1,000 on the NEW Sleep Number 360 special edition smart bed. Head to sleepnumber.com/wholeness to check it out!

More Stories from the Mental Illness Memory Vault – My Surprise Pregnancy

My baby graduated high school this weekend! It brought up so many emotions for me. I can’t help but feel weepy and nostalgic as I reflect on her life – and who I was when she entered my life.

In case you don’t know my story… I found out I was pregnant with her my senior year of college.

I was not stable mentally and taking a pretty heavy dose of Depakote at that time – something you definitely should not be on if you’re going to get pregnant, due to major risk of birth defects. I was encouraged to terminate the pregnancy.

Continue reading “More Stories from the Mental Illness Memory Vault – My Surprise Pregnancy”

Understanding and Embracing the Healing Power of Herbs

Adaptogenic herbs are getting a lot of buzz in the health world, so this episode is a dive into all things herbs and herbalism, with herbalist and writer Brittany Ducham.

Brittany’s new book, Radical Remedies, is a great starter for anyone wanting to learn more about how to use herbs to support health and well-being. In this conversation, we discuss her new book and how to individualize your personal use of herbs to support your health goals.

Download this episode and listen here, or find wherever you get podcasts!

Key Topics:

  • Brittany’s background in herbalism
  • How herbalism is a form of empowerment and activism and background on her book, Radical Remedies
  • Herbal energetics and elemental forces and how different people need different things
  • Herbs for mental health support, anxiety, stress, and tension
  • Digestive support and herbs that improve gut health
  • Adaptogens – what they are and how they help
  • How to get started with herbs without getting overwhelmed
  • Where to find herbal tinctures and formulations that are good quality
  • The interconnectedness of our world with plants and nature’s healing power

Find more information about Brittany and herbalism at her website here and follow her on Instagram at spellboundherbals.

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Top Brain Health Killers and How to Flip the Script

Five things will always sabotage your mental well-being:

  1. Lack of sleep.
  2. Lack of nutrients.
  3. Lack of sunshine.
  4. Lack of movement.
  5. Lack of community.

I could leave it at that. It’s a whole post in itself.

But I want to flip this, because most of us know these things on some level. However, during times of stress, we often forget to take care of ourselves. We forget that we humans are basically just plants, and plants left without care will wither and die.

We were not designed to stay inside all day, blinking back at a screen with artificial light, head and neck perpetually tilted downward while the rest of our body is unmoving, eating food that is filled with hard-to-digest chemicals and additives, with a schedule so packed we don’t make time for people who are important to us.

Yes, I know that was a massive run-on sentence. It was exhausting (and convicting) typing it out.

Times of brief stress and opposition can be helpful for the body, but when we are continuously stressed, doggy-paddling up to the surface of the water all day long, we will start to feel side effects. It will impact our physical body’s health, and it will most definitely affect our brain’s health. It will cause us to be unable to make clear decisions, show empathy, and connect well with others – because we are in survival mode.

Our bodies are amazing at survival – that’s why you’re here. You’re here because your ancestors survived during difficult times. You gain weight after you diet because your ancestors were able to store weight during famine and not die. Your digestive discomfort is physical evidence that your body knows how to respond to mental stress and anxiety. Your blood sugar fluctuates in order to adapt to emotional stressors and physical stressors on your body. Your hormones are wacky, because duh, it’s never optimal to reproduce when there is a famine or threat to your safety (remember – your body doesn’t know the difference between a stressful job or a T rex chasing you). Even your afternoon fatigue that hits you like a load is a sign that you are overflowing with stress chemicals, and your body’s response system is working properly.

Your body is doing all the right things it is supposed to do. Your body is on your side.

Continue reading “Top Brain Health Killers and How to Flip the Script”

Food, Fertility, and Faith: What is the Connection?

Fertility and reproductive health are hot topics in the world of health and wellness right now. Many women (and men) are struggling and looking for natural tools for support. In this latest podcast episode with one of the leading experts in the field, we cover it all!

Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts.

Dr. Robert Kiltz is a board-certified OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist, and Founder and Director of CNY Fertility, one of the largest and most dynamic fertility centers in the country, featured in the Wall Street Journal, Today Show, and CNBC for helping shape the future of fertility medicine. In this fascinating episode, we discuss how to merge intuition and ancestral wisdom with the latest science for fertility and overall health and well-being.

Key Topics:

  • Myths and misconceptions of fertility
  • Difference in Western medicine and taking a holistic perspective
  • The impact of stress on our physiology
  • How food factors in and creates inflammation
  • Obesity is not the cause of disease; it’s a symptom
  • Plant toxins and a carnivore approach to health
  • How the glycobiome trumps the microbiome
  • Prejudice and bias in science

“Living Your Best Life: How to Think, Eat, and Connect your Way to a Better Flow” by Dr. Robert Kiltz is now available on Amazon or at DoctorKiltz.com. For more information, visit Dr. Kiltz’s website, or follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Get $100 off your first month of therapy with Talkspace.com when you use the code sparkingwholeness.

Moving and My Mental Health

A few years ago, I said to my husband Richard, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a type of counseling center that has regular counseling, all the helpful therapy support, along with nutrition, yoga, and other tools for healing?” He agreed it would be a great idea, and we said… “one day.”

Well that one day is here! We are so thrilled to follow the path that we believe has been so clearly laid out for us. We are going to be working together at a holistic counseling and wellness center in East Texas, called Living Well Tyler.

Tyler is a place that contains sad memories for me, but it is also filled with memories of so much hope and redemption. I first moved there at nine years old, fresh from the Bay Area of California, and six months later I witnessed the death of my grandfather on my front lawn. I spent my mentally tumultuous teen years in Tyler, but I also met my best friends there. I graduated college there. My first child was born there. I went on my first date with my husband there. Almost two decades after leaving, It feels special and fitting to be able to move our family there at this time.

This verse was read during a contemplative prayer session with the soul care director at Living Well a couple months ago, and it has been such a source of comfort as I process this transition:

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – ‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:16-19‬

Any kind of change – even good change – is a trigger for my mental health. The unknown, the “what ifs,” can heighten worry and anxiety.

Continue reading “Moving and My Mental Health”

Delicious Ways to Make Lower Carb and No Sugar Fit Your Lifestyle

Deana Karim is a mom on a mission. She is bringing delicious, low-carb, and sugar-free baking mixes to the world – and they are truly delicious! Deana is the founder of Good Dee’s, a company that makes mixes for brownies, cookies, bread, and so much more.

Before I hosted Deana on the podcast, I was able to sample some of the Good Dee’s baking mixes. I tried the brownies, cornless corn bread, and devil’s food cake mix. All were surprisingly delicious. They didn’t taste like they were low carb or sugar free. I can’t stand the taste of anything artificial, and I could tell that Good Dee’s baking mixes are only used with the highest quality.

In this episode, we cover how she started Good Dee’s, and why she feels having options to individualize your health goals is so important! Download to listen here, or find wherever you get podcasts.

Key Topics:

  • Story behind the baking mixes
  • How she came up with different seed flours to use (even watermelon seed flour)!
  • The various sweeteners used and the impact on her blood sugar
  • What makes Good Dee’s mixes stand apart from the others
  • Deana’s mission with her products
  • Deana’s favorite mixes and recipe suggestions
  • Tips to change things up and make it easy to fit your lifestyle!

Find all the Good Dee’s mixes or find a store near you that has them at the website here.

Get 20% off your first order from Ancient Nutrition at ancientnutrition.com – use the promo code sparking at checkout!

Talking About Gut Stuff Can Be Fun

Lisa and Alana MacFarlane are identical twins in every way – except when it comes to gut health. They became the ‘chief guinea pigs’ for the British Gut project where they discovered that despite having 100% the same DNA their guts have only 40% the same microbiota.

In their debut book The Gut Stuff, the dynamic duo offer a fun-filled, fact-packed, achievable guide to better health. In this fun and informative episode, we cover all the basics of gut health in a fun way!

Download and listen here or listen wherever you get podcasts!

Continue reading “Talking About Gut Stuff Can Be Fun”

Feast 2 Fast: Purpose of the Body

Summer is right around the corner and I’m here to remind you that the purpose of your body is NOT to get swimsuit ready.

The purpose of your body is to be “fit to serve” right where you are, with the body you have.

Here’s the thing, though – sometimes we get into a food rut, due to stress and factors outside of our control, and we find ourselves fueling on food sources that aren’t optimal for our unique bodies. It can lead to blood sugar instability, poor gut health, brain fog, fatigue, and overall blah.

Feast 2 Fast is a complete reset for nutrition, mindset and spiritual health! No calorie-counting, no macro-counting, no deprivation, no complications – just real food, the way God made it!

Continue reading “Feast 2 Fast: Purpose of the Body”