Easy, Inflation-Proof Granola

I don’t know about your budget, but groceries are ridiculously expensive for us right now.

Because I try to limit the amount of overly processed foods my family eats, it seems even more daunting. However, one thing that has helped me as I try to adapt to these new ever-climbing prices, is to focus on buying foods that will actually fill everyone up.

For example, while tasty and a cultural fave, chips and cereal are not necessarily filling. My kids can eat an entire bag or box and still be hungry in 30 minutes. That is due to many factors, one being the fact that these foods were designed to be hyper-palatable and to keep you eating more while never actually nourishing you on a fullness level. The other reason is that many of these processed foods are devoid of essential nutrients, and notably devoid of sufficient fiber.

Fiber is extremely satiating because it can slow down the blood sugar spike we get after eating refined carbohydrates. Fiber works as a prebiotic for our “gut buddies,” as I like to call them. It acts like a miracle grow so that the bacteria in our gut garden thrives to support proper hormone function and neurotransmitter support, among so many other vital functions.

So that brings me to granola. If I make my own granola, load it up with fiber from nuts and seeds, will that be filling enough for my kids for breakfast or a snack?

The answer – yes!

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Overcoming Cancer, Crohn’s, and Other Autoimmune Disease

Struggling with a chronic illness can feel defeating, and struggling with multiple chronic illnesses can feel debilitating. This episode is for anyone who suffers from autoimmune disease or any other limiting label.

Amber Satterfield is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the Founder of Feel Good Nourishment, where she specializes in helping people who suffer from gut health issues and autoimmune diseases. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2008, followed by rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and cancer in the subsequent years. It wasn’t until she found functional medicine that she says her life & health changed forever. After her own journey, Amber became passionate about helping others do the same in their own bodies. Amber is now sharing her personal healing story in her new book, “Thriving with Autoimmune Diseases”, coming out later this year.

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

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Chemical Pollution: The Silent Pandemic

This episode is timely, in light of a recent water safety warning by the Environmental Protective Agency. This episode is part personal journey, part information. Tim’s story will inspire you to take control of your health in ways you’ve never thought of before.

Tim James is host of the Health Hero show and the founder and CEO of chemicalfreebody.com, a mission-based organization that is passionate about helping everybody ignite their highest excitement in life by putting themselves and their health first. Tim’s journey led him to a shocking discovery which helped his friend beat cancer and transform every area of his life. Feeling charged with a duty to help others he started sharing his knowledge with anyone that would listen. This led him to producing his own chemical free food products. ‘Chemical Free Body’ was born.

Download this episode here or wherever you get podcasts.

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It’s Not Either/Or; It’s Both/And

I started my website four years ago because I wanted to share my story of surviving mental illness, and I wanted to give hope for healing for those that are continuing to struggle with errors. I wanted to share how it isn’t just chemicals in the brain, how it isn’t just in your head, and how there are very real physical deficiencies and imbalances at play, just as much – if not more than – imbalances at the brain level.

I have never been anti-medication, and I have never recommended anyone go off their medication without consulting their health practitioner. But I have always wanted to be realistic about the risks that come with taking medication. While medication may have served its purpose for me in the short term, there were plenty of unpleasant side effects I experienced when I took the wrong medication, or medication at too high of a dose, or because the medication I was given didn’t fit the disorder that I was experiencing. I never hallucinated or heard voices or saw strange things… until I started taking an antipsychotic.

With that being said, there are plenty of people in the world that do benefit from medication and will need to be on that medication long-term. For other people, there may be different solutions that improve their quality of life more than medication does. There is no one-size-fits-all to mental health.

I started my podcast because I wanted to seek out experts in the field who are doing things differently, who are looking for new solutions to an age-old problem that isn’t being solved with medication and talk therapy alone.

Because of what we know of the gut-brain connection, the HPATG axis, the vagus nerve, and even mitochondrial function, we know that there is so much going on under the surface when it comes to mental and physical health. We know that our body works as a network, one huge spiderweb, and nothing occurs on its own.

We are living in a time when everything is being polarized and divided into either/or categories. If you look at alternatives to medication or vaccines, you must be anti-med or anti-vaccine. If you take medication, you must be anti-natural health. If you are promoting any kind of nutritional support, you must be promoting dieting. These things aren’t true. It isn’t either/or. We can live in a both/and world.

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Super Spinach and Artichoke Dip – and Other Healthy Game Day Appetizer Ideas

It seems that every game day side item is loaded with cheese, cheese, and more cheese…in the form of cream cheese, sour cream, shredded, melted (called “queso” if you live in Texas), and maybe yogurt if someone is getting creative. I love dairy just as much as the next person, but it doesn’t always make me feel my best, and I’m pretty picky about when I choose to consume it. So I wanted to offer a few of my favorite non-cheese game day side options.

  1. Spinach and Artichoke Dip

All right, this recipe is not my own creation. I like to give credit where credit is due. The original recipe is here. It’s delicious, and doesn’t taste dairy free at all!

Continue reading “Super Spinach and Artichoke Dip – and Other Healthy Game Day Appetizer Ideas”

Everyday Practices for Whole Body Nourishment

Dr. Michele Kambolis is a mind-body health specialist, registered therapist, meditation teacher, and an acclaimed author and speaker who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Her second book, When Women Rise, was published in Fall 2021.

In this episode, we discuss how Dr. Michele is an unshakable believer in our innate capacity to self-heal and thrive, while also being wholeheartedly committed to developing evidenced-based resources to help people create the consciously healthy life they were born to live. 

Download this episode here or listen wherever you get podcasts!

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Why I’m Not Bipolar – and Neither Is Anyone Else

22 years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (or manic depressive illness, as they called it back then) based on a set of symptoms, according to the DSM and failure to respond well to SSRI medication. My identity is not in my diagnosis, and neither is yours.

Imagine if we also said, “I am depression,” “I am anxiety,” “I am Hashimoto’s,” or “I am diabetes.” The phrasing doesn’t work for any other diagnosis. I’d also suggest that anytime we turn our diagnosis into an “I am” statement, we are attaching our unique identity to a set of symptoms, and putting our worth in our limitations.

22 years ago, I was suffering from the symptoms of bipolar disorder. I experienced bouts of glorious manic/hypomanic highs, where the world looked brighter and more alive, when I could stay up all night even with an illness like mono, when I felt charming and unstoppable and like the most brilliant person in the room. I also experienced waves of crushing depression, where I was unable to leave my bed, my body frozen, exhausted, and the world was a dark hole I couldn’t climb out of. It confused me because I was taking an anti-depressant at the time. So we upped the medication amount, and the highs got higher. I didn’t have any other tools for support (except my psychiatrist did mention there was emerging research on omega 3 supplements and brain health – too bad I hated burping up fish).

But here is the point I really want to get across:

Just because you were diagnosed with a mental illness by one person, based on a set of symptoms during one period of your life, doesn’t mean you will struggle with those symptoms for the rest of your life. That’s an archaic school of thought, and it doesn’t line up with newer research on brain health.

Often when we ONLY treat symptoms, instead of looking to the interconnecting root causes in each individual body, we don’t heal, and we limit the opportunity to find healing.

There are so many evidence-based tools to support mental WEALTH. Does rapid relief through medication possibly play a role? Sure! But remember, for some people, like me, it may exacerbate symptoms or make things worse, leading to new diagnoses and treatment cycle.

What are the puzzle pieces in my story that potentially led to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder? Some would say I have a genetic predisposition and leave it at that. But based on what we know of epigenetics, we know that our genes are only as influential in the way they express, and they express according to our environment.

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You’re Not Fat, You’re Inflamed: The Latest Science on Losing Weight

Fat cells are really amazing protective organs, and contrary to what you’ve been told – you can’t burn them. New research changes the way we approach weight loss and addressing inflammatory fat cells.

Dr. Tracey Stroup is a naturopathic doctor who has been in the health and wellness industry for over 25 years. She joins the show for a second time in order to break down common weight loss and exercise myths.

Download and listen here or find wherever you get podcasts!

Key Topics:

– Weight loss myths (including calorie counting and the phrase “burning fat”)

– What fat cells are and how they are protective

– Reasons for rapid weight gain and what to do to treat the root cause

– Nutrient deficiencies, medications, gut dysbiosis and the role they play in weight gain and loss

– How being 15 pounds overweight or more makes your body pro-inflammatory

– Stress and the impact on exercise

– How to work out without stressing your body out

– Optimizing detoxification and products that can aid in the detox process

Learn more about Nutritional Frontiers and their products here.

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How to Boost Your Fertility Through a Natural and Holistic Approach

Sarah Clark is the author of “Fabulously Fertile – Supercharge your Fertility Naturally,” “Fabulously Fertile Cookbook” and creator of the Fertility Preparation Program.

In this episode, she shares how she uses a functional medicine coaching approach and natural fertility solutions in an effort to reverse infertility through natural, holistic methods!

Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts.

Key Topics:

– Dropping fertility rates

– What does it mean to be diagnosed with infertility?

– The connection between gut health and fertility

– Issues with the birth control pill

– Best foods for fertility

– Environmental toxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals

– The impact of stress on fertility

– Tips to de-stress and the importance of sleep and relational support

Learn more about Sarah at her website here. Listen to Sarah’s podcast Get Pregnant Naturally wherever you find podcasts.

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

Five Common Myths About Mental Health

As we continue to suffer from a growing epidemic of mental illness in this country, and creating awareness is trending, we must take time to re-evaluate the way we handle this mental health conversation. As renowned psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen often says, mental health outcomes haven’t changed since the 1950s. Treatment options appear to be limited, because while we have plenty of medications, cases are skyrocketing.

However, there are new discussions happening, and a growing number of practitioners are seeking to support mental health with tools that were previously brushed aside. In order to move forward in our thinking about mental health, we need to dispel the myths that are often perpetuated by antiquated mentality on the topic.

Warning: some of these will be tough pills to swallow (pun intended), but they are all backed by the latest research. Please drop me a line if anything is questionable to you or you need further clarification. I’d love to have a longer discussion on the topic.

Continue reading “Five Common Myths About Mental Health”