Recipe – Medicine Balls!

Got a RECIPE for you all today!!

Cuz it’s been a gosh dang while since I’ve posted one (but be sure to follow @livinginthelight_today on Insta for some short, sweet, simple recipes! When they’re straightforward enough for an IG caption I drop em there 😉 ) .. and also cuz .. I’ve got big balls, he’s got big balls, she’s got big balls .. and it only seems fair if I share with YOU how to get dem biggest balls, too.

But you better bet I won’t be doin this without letting some herbs get involved ..
So today, dear readers, I’ll be walking us through how to make HERBAL MEDICINE BALLS!  Continue reading

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Apologetics ~ In Defense of Catholicism

Hi there!

Got an extra February post for y’all.

Cuz this one just feels so necessary given an encounter I had the other night, and also just happens to be pretty darn timely .. haven’t yet gotten to wish ya a HAPPY LENT! +

But before I get into the content of it, let me set you up with the context.

The other night, I found myself in a pretty intense dinnertime discussion on Catholic vs. Protestant beliefs. Well .. actually, if I’m real about it, it was less a discussion on what my dinner partner believes versus what I believe, and more a rather one-sided lecture on why Catholicism isn’t valid and is, in fact, a religion based in paganism.

Now I do have to say, I may have in some sense asked for it. I’m not one for small talk, so while I’m definitely interested in your likes/dislikes/hobbies/family/experiences/what keeps you busy every day/your story in general, it won’t take me long to get down to the deep stuff. (Cuz that’s the real good stuff, imho.. 😉 ) What are your beliefs about life? What are your values? How do you feel about the nature of human existence, and why we’re here?? .. So I may or may not have started us down this rabbit hole by asking a few religion-based questions ..  Continue reading

Healthy at Home: Cold & Flu

Happy cold and flu season, everyone!! ( Ok .. or maybe not so happy …)

Maybe you’re an excellent student blog reader and have already pored over and deciphered my last blog post on elderberry syrup, mixed yourself up a recipe and put yourself on a diligent regimen that’s been keepin you totally bug-free (or so far, so good anyway .. Yay!). Or maybe (most likely) that’s not the case (who has time to read my posts much less act on em, anyway?! 😛 ), and you’re one of the many poor souls suffering from a cold or flu right in this very moment. Whether you’re in the former or the latter category or somewhere inbetween .. keep reading!

This flu season is making the news and shaping up to be one of the worst yet. So no matter if you’re just trying to keep yourself healthy, or if you’re caring for the health of a whole family, I’ve laid out a list of my top go-tos when it comes to infectious illness treatment and prevention. (Remember, though, I’m not a licensed professional yet .. so run anything you might like to try here by your doctor first!)

The inspo for this particular post came in part when, all within a matter of days, multiple people I care lots about let me know they were either not feeling well themselves or looking after someone else who wasn’t. (Hello, flu season! What’d I tell ya, we’re in the thick of it!!) In cases like these I inevitably have to (very strongly) push back the urge to throw ideas of every natural trick in the book straight at em; In those moments I’m always wishing I could make individualized recommendations for and take care of each person right then and there. (Maybe that means I’m going into the right profession? .. ha, hope so!) But since listing off to every ill friend or family member everything anyone could possibly try is not really plausible, and also very unlikely to be welcomed by someone who is not feelin so hot and probs just wants to be left alone as it is, I thought my best bet might be to just make a lil list here. That way it’s available when you need it, and you only have to swallow it in whatever-sized chunks you’re feeling like digesting at any one time.

Well what are we waiting for?! Let’s hop right in, then! How to shake a cold or flu ~ or (better yet) keep it away in the first place. Continue reading

Medicinal Syrup Recipe: Elderberry

Keepin it short and sweet (literally) today, y’all! With a recipe (since we haven’t had one in a while!) that just happens to be very well-timed, if I do say so myself .. 😉

As we enter into the thick of cold and flu season, everyone who’s anyone who knows anything about natural medicine is undoubtedly making sure their stock of elderberry syrup is tip top. It may be the first thing that comes to mind when most people think holistic cold/flu remedies, and with good reason. The popularity and long-standing history of elderberry syrup’s use did not develop for no reason! (And JK about the “everyone who’s anyone” thing .. everyone is someone and every someone has to hear about everything for the first time at some point, right?!)

Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are known across cultures for their numerous medicinal benefits, and have been for ages. The tiny, dark lil berries are packed with Vitamins A and C, as well as bioflavonoid antioxidants (but you don’t need me to tell you that; their deep purple color reveals all!), and have been used for a wide variety of indications; they help alleviate allergies, protect against microbes, decrease blood sugar, improve immune function, aid in digestion, and can even slow cancer spread and promote weight loss. (Of course, as with most herbs, these indications are more empirically than scientifically proven, since (sadly) no one does much research on things they can’t patent/profit from..)  Continue reading

Detoxing in 2018: Greening & cleaning your home and body care routine

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year to everyone!!

Hope every day of this beautiful season has been merry and bright, cozy and light for each and every one of you ❤

Now I don’t know about all of you guys n gals .. but New Years resolutions aren’t exactly 1st on my mind at this time. (Yes, I know it’s NYE, and already 2018 in some parts of the world!!) I’m still livin’ large and largely in the moment and eating every gluten-filled, sugar-loaded holiday treat in sight and watching Christmas movies with the fam instead of exercising .. ahh, the joys of the holidays! But before we know it, it’ll be back to reality/routine, and time to get back on track.

How about you, though? Do you already have a plan for the new year? Are you wayy more on top of it than I am, and thinking up lotsa ways to live healthier, shine brighter as 2018 begins? TBH, I’ve never really been one for the whole resolution thing anyway, because really, isn’t any day of the year as good as any other to make change for the better? Why wait for January 1 to start working toward your goals, and then, when something doesn’t go as planned, set yourself up for disappointment because you blew your only shot at it for the year and now will have to wait til the next one rolls around! New Years resolutions just somehow seem to carry so much weight, come with so much pressure, don’t they? More people beat themselves up for not going through with them almost as soon as they’ve started .. it’s just not something I wanna get myself too wrapped up in, that’s all.

BUT, if it works for you .. DO IT! MAKE SOME! And then knock it out of the park with all the ways you’re successful in reaching above and beyond your goals!! I’d love to hear your ambitions for 2018 .. but if you’re still not sold on what changes you’ll plan to implement, I’ve got a lil somethin somethin here today that might help get those noggin wheels turning. How about finding new ways to DETOX your home and hygiene routine?!  Continue reading

Living with Passion & Purpose

What is one of the main ingredients for the heathiest, happiest existence imaginable?  A zest for life!!

For many of us, we do the same thing day in and day out. Most likely, our current job or education or family life requires it. And most likely, we’ve just sort of slid into this routine over time and perhaps haven’t had a long enough moment to step out of it and realize that, maybe we’ve let our excitement over and passion for life dissipate right alongside our spontaneity, variety, and curiosity. Maybe things have been feeling kind of old, boring, stale lately, but we just sort of shrugged it off and figured that that’s what we ultimately must accept out of life as the cost of stability and possibly comfort… But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If I were to ask you, WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE?! What makes you most passionate, brings you joy, makes you feel that zest for life that’s so integral to our wellbeing and our enjoyment of life in general? .. What would you say?? And will you be engaging in any of it today? Continue reading

Sleep Hygiene

Night night!

Sweet dreams!!

Oh wait .. don’t go fallin’ asleep on me yet! We’ve got lotss and lots of bedtime tips to get through before you’re even allowed to think of sinking that pretty head of yours into your soft, fluffy oh-so-inviting pillow … 😉

Sleep is SO important to our existence. (Duh, I know y’already know.) It’s vital ~ essential, to keep our bodies alive ~ and yet, so many of us aren’t getting the quality sleep we need to thrive and then shrugging it off as though it’s not really that big a deal, as though we’ll be able to slide through ok without it. But that’s just it. It’s that sliding through part that may be true, and that’s the issue. We have the tendency to “just get by” in so many areas of our lives; in this fast-paced, non-stop, ever-stimulating, go-go-go world of ours, we sort of get caught up in the whirlwind and never have a chance to slow down, take in the scenery, enjoy the journey, “smell the roses” .. or REST!

Do you know what happens to the human body when it’s deprived of those precious ZZZs? Cortisol (the “stress hormone”) increases, blood pressure rises, our heart has to work harder, inflammation shoots up, our immune defenses sharply drop .. and that doesn’t even begin to touch the mental effects, say .. not being able to think clearly or retain new information (not so good if you’re a student, as we discussed in our last post, eh?? Though, really, not so good for anyone .. We all need to think at least a lil bit 😉 ), or being in a less than happy/flattering mood .. Not getting enough sleep also increases levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” and can cause more wrinkles and just, in general, faster aging. Think of a machine that never gets a break. Our bodies are surely much more intelligent and capable of self-repair than machinery is .. yet, there are only so many repeated insults from which we can recover.

So are you convinced yet?? To get more/deeper/better quality sleep, I mean? Sold on the fact that you’ll perhaps have to put some extra effort in to create a bedtime ritual or sleep-prep-practice(s) that might be somewhat challenging to get into the habit of first, but that I assure you will soon have you glad you started ‘em? I hope so! Continue reading