Health Tips From My Holistic Practitioner

Ahh – we’re doing our best to be healthy down here. I know there are always SO many different angles or techniques. We’ve been trying a few new things with the help of some holistic practitioners here. I guess I feel I need to stay up on it due to my (so far) silent Hashimoto’s, endometriosis, and various autoimmune antibodies. But then again, I’ve never gotten pregnant once. So I guess these things aren’t so silent even though I don’t currently have other symptoms.

Here are a few health tips that we’ve learned from our holistic practitioners. Thought I’d share these in case you want to check into any of them further:

1. Soak dry beans for 3 days until they sprout. It increases their nutrition by 30%. Don’t leave them in water too long as they can mold. Change the water once a day.

2. Aloe Vera is AMAZING for gut health. Add the gel from a leaf to a smoothie. You can’t taste it.

3. Sleep with the window OPEN, even a little, every night. Oxygen is crucial for healing. In an enclosed room, you can deplete the oxygen available during the night, when healing is trying to take place the most. Multiple people or animals in a room will deplete oxygen even more.

4. Avocado is the best thing to add to smoothies as it stabilizes the fruit and adds super healthy fats.

5. Everyone really, really should do at least two parasite cleanses a year (in the U.S.) and more like 3 per year if you live elsewhere.

6. Use a mixture of coconut oil and beeswax for a natural sunscreen.

7. Symptoms are a message; a form of communication. Without them, you could further deteriorate. So, see a symptom as a positive discovery. Instead of “I’m dying” or “Crap, I’m sick”…..say: “I’m thankful my body is communicating with me. I can now can start the process of healing and I’m now getting better.”

8. Beliefs affect and even create our biology.

9. Burn bundles of dried sage for aromatherapy.

10. Meat absolutely must be organic if you eat it. Pork should be avoided completely.

11. Take Vitamin D3 during the daylight only, since you normally would get D3 from the sun, when your body is awake. Taking it at night could interrupt your sleep.

12. Coffee enemas are an extremely effective way to cleanse the liver and the colon. They recommend doing an enema once per week.

13. Probiotics are being called the new Prozac as gut health is so closely tied to mental health.

14. Regular detoxing IS recommended as the body is flooded with chemicals, pesticides, plastics, pollution, and heavy metals on a daily basis.

Have you come across any great health tips lately?? I love this stuff. 


P.S. My skin and my moods are usually the top indicators of my health. I guess in this selfie I was feeling healthy and I feel lucky to say that I mostly always feel that way. It’s a mystery to me that my health hasn’t worked itself out as I really do feel good. Hoping I can one day get to the bottom of these underlying issues, or at least keep any further problems at bay.

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  1. Traci January 19, 2016 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    The tip about not taking vitamin d at night makes sense, but I had never thought about it! This was a fun list to read. I agree with a lot of it but have some new ideas now.

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 3:43 am - Reply

      so glad to hear! And same – I hadn't thought of taking Vit. D during daylight, either.

  2. Ruth January 19, 2016 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    I LOVE avocados! I have been using a coconut oil mosturizer. I did not know it was good for sunscreen, when used with beeswax.

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      We love love avocados, too. One of the great joys of Ecuador is you can get them here 4 or 5 for $1! We have been making a chocolate shake lately w/ homemade coconut milk, avocado, powdered raw cacao (cocoa), a wee bit of honey, and a wee bit of stevia. It is UNREAL. Also, the raw avocado chocolate puddings are DELICIOUS. I know there are many recipes online. One place to check is Kris Carr's site.

      I keep reading that avocados are also SO great for your skin (when used as a mask). I've been wanting to do that and haven't yet.

  3. Loraine January 20, 2016 at 2:54 am - Reply

    So many great ideas on this list! Thanks for sharing Mara.
    My husband and I have been drinking a teaspoon of diatomaceous earth, organic apple cider vinegar and lemon juice every morning to add to our overall health. I haven't been doing it long enough to tell you if I can see a difference, but we've read a lot about the benefits. I will let you know how it goes.

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 3:50 am - Reply

      Interesting. I've definitely heard of the recommendation to to take those things for cleansing purposes, though I haven't heard of taking them together. I'd love to read more about this. Thanks!

    • Loraine January 20, 2016 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      Yes, the lemon and apple cider vinegar is great for cleansing, the diatomaceous earth for elastins and skin and absorbs toxins.
      We made a tea last night with half of a lemon, a couple teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and raw honey. It was so good, and all of those things are wonderful for cleansing and overall health. The diatomaceous earth doesn't taste bad but it's pretty gritty. I prefer to just drink that in a shot glass. Blah.
      Here's to health!

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      Wow. Thanks for this – and especially the motivation. I've head so much about ACV but haven't been using it internally yet – (though I've used it as a toner on my face with great results.)

  4. Anonymous January 20, 2016 at 3:16 am - Reply

    I love your health, food, natural beauty and exercise/yoga/meditation, etc. posts!!!

    There are so many great ideas in this post! I've been hearing about enemas lately, but have to wonder if they are safe? Have you tried it? I wonder if our colons should cleanse themselves (as God made us), but mine hasn't been doing a good job of it lately. : (

    I think I could benefit from the aloe vera (hoping it will help with the above problem! : ) ). What differences have you seen after using it? How long did you have to use it to see results, and how often do you use it?

    I am eager to try soaking beans until sprouts form. Want to make sure I don't soak them too long–would mold start to form after three days, or longer?

    Do you have a recommendation for a probiotic?

    So glad to read this post today! : )

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 4:13 am - Reply

      Glad you love these posts!
      So – yes, we have tried the enemas for detoxing purposes. I know some say they aren't safe. Some say they cure cancer. Some say they improve health immensely, even clearing acne, candida, parasites, etc. It's certainly difficult to know for sure. Though these holistic doctors we're seeing are completely sold on it and have a lot of experience with it. They do them once a week themselves. And I must say, they look incredibly vibrant, glowing, and healthy. The more I read about health, the more it all points back to the health of the gut. So for us, we decided to give it a try, especially because I have these underlying issues that often are related to the gut. I can't say we've noticed any changes yet. Though prior we already had decently clean systems I think due to eating lots of produce, chia seeds, green smoothies and green juices, etc. For someone who has a VERY unhealthy lifestyle and has elimination issues or obesity or yeast issues, etc., I'm guessing enemas would make a larger difference. Anyway, I would say to research it a ton – and maybe find someone in your area who has experience with it who can advise.

      Also, we haven't been using the aloe vera very long – so I can't report results. But at the moment, twice a week is what we're pulling off.

      I know online they have instructions for the bean soaking. The truth is: Danny soaks our beans. ha. He just went to bed, otherwise I'd ask him exactly what his method is. But I know he found instructions on line.

      Probiotics: I love the recommendations from Kris Carr and she recommends Garden of Life or Dr. Ohhira. So I've been alternating with those. They're not cheap. But they're supposed to be crazy good quality. So I thought of going for the best at least for a time. For me, I have to REALLY make sure I don't get one with milk in it, which is very, very common. It's also common for them to have gluten. The NY Times did a big article on this – many probiotic brands say gluten free and they're not. Argh. So – anyway, keep that in mind if you're sensitive to those foods.

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      I re-read my note – and realized it sounded kind of funny to say we have 'clean systems" or something…because the truth is, we're still exposed to heavy metals, plastics, pesticides, parasites, pollution, etc. So still, I feel there's a need to do a detox periodically to just keep the body functioning as good as possible.

    • Anonymous January 23, 2016 at 4:57 am - Reply

      I appreciate your reply! Thanks!

  5. Anonymous January 20, 2016 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Mara, I don't want to be misunderstood, but I was wondering how do you balance wanting to be extra healthy and taking excellent care of your body and the fact that you dye your hair with chemicals that go through your blood and all. I ask because I am trying to go extra healthy too and would love to dye my hair, but I can't manage to do it, because even the most natural products to dye the hair are full of chemicals… How do you do it?

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      Hi – so this is a tricky one. Certainly I'm not chemical free in every aspect of my life, even though I'd like to be. I still have some work to do in various areas. Regarding hair, I generally do have blonde highlights which I've had since I was 18 – so I'm so used to it that I don't love my hair as much without them. Instead of getting highlights often, I do it maybe 3 times a year. I try to keep the highlights pretty basic and natural looking so I can get by doing it less often. I guess for now highlights are one of those things that I let pass as the exposure happens so infrequently. Though maybe one day I'll give it up. We'll see.

    • Anonymous January 22, 2016 at 9:56 am - Reply

      Thank you!

  6. Anonymous January 20, 2016 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Do you melt the coco oil and beeswax together for sunscreen? Would love to know what you guys do for parasite cleanses! Going to have to investigate coffee enemas further…

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      I actually haven't tried this method myself yet. Though yes, you'd melt the two together to stir, then either let it cool and re-solidify at room temperature There are also several recipes online for homemade sunscreen. Here's one that looks great:

      They usually add zinc oxide and some other natural ingredients. The best thing will be to experiment and go with what seems to work the best.

  7. Jo Schaeffer-Crabb January 20, 2016 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Mara, you're beautiful.
    Thanks for this post.
    The only thing I would add is WATER. My husband is super unhealthy with food choices and exercises only 2x a week and still manages to never get sick and stay in pretty good shape and always get great bills of health at his annual check up. He also drinks more water than anyone I know. His skin is great and he has very few body issues. It could just be him but I seriously think water has amazing healing properties.

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      Yessss on the water!!! Oh gosh…I think this is perhaps the #1 thing we could do for our health. I just posted on the ABAL Facebook page about my new favorite water bottle. It's seriously helping me to improve my water intake! Anyway, thanks for the inspiration here. I'm always trying to make sure I drink enough – and I probably still don't get enough most days.

  8. Andrea Quimby January 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara! Love your hat, and you look so glowy and happy. Would love to know what your skin care regimen is now. I am using all FatFace products now and my skin is very happy. I also bought Milk of Magnesia (from another one of your posts!) yesterday to begin using as deoderant. I have been seeing integrative health /naturepathic drs for a while now and I too am on a probiotic regimen. This was decided after they did a lot of tests, not just for fun! I really appreciate your tips.

    • mara January 20, 2016 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Ah, thank you. The hat is from ASOS. (I saw it on the Love Taza blog! 🙂 It's one of my favorite things and I'm so glad it has a wide rim.

      I haven't heard of FatFace…I'll have to check it out. Also, I've been wanting to write an updated Skincare post FOREVER. So that's still coming. But basically, I use the most pure ingredients I can find…. just natural oils on my face (no heavy creams with chemicals). I still don't use soap – I use the oil cleansing method. One of my favorite oils is the Everything Oil from Crude. My routine is VERY minimal these days! If I'm really going all out, I'll still use the Apple Cider Vinegar toner. And I use an exfoliator by Imbibe called Pearl Essence. Or the stem cell one by Acure (greenish packaging). Or the "Clean Dirt" by May Lindstrom (love). And my favorite mask on earth is by May Lindstrom.

  9. Anonymous January 20, 2016 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    What do you do for your parasite cleanse? Help! There is so much information out there–I'm overwhelmed!

    • mara January 22, 2016 at 3:30 am - Reply

      OK, there are many different things one can do. eeks. Right now we're about to start on some heavy duty herbal parasite cleanses – – – but they're not online purchases, they're from an herbalist. I'll see if I can get more info. to point you in the right direction. The BEST thing would be to find a holistic provider. Most will very likely agree that parasites are VERY concerning to the body. And also, right now with people's gut flora being so freaking screwed up (thank you to pesticides and Round Up from GMOs), parasites can go rampant in the gut. Many say this is one of the major causes of autoimmune disease (which is also most certainly rampant now in the U.S.)

    • Anonymous February 10, 2016 at 2:47 am - Reply

      Thank you–I'd love ANY info you have!

  10. Jenny D. January 20, 2016 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Cool list! I love this stuff too.

  11. Anonymous January 21, 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Great list of things to consider, however the one comment I have is that whenever I read about someone's belief in "detoxing" the body I think about The Guardian article on it being a scam. Here is a quote: “Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.” You can google the article titled: "You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth. So how do you get healthy?"

    • mara January 22, 2016 at 3:25 am - Reply

      Hi Anon – for me, with any body care – whether medical or holistic – I definitely feel I need to research the crap out of it. I also try to seek out people that align with my own health philosophies and also things that I have found to be true myself. There are SO many different ways to cleanse or detox the body – and I personally do believe in it, though I know others may not. And this is mostly due to my own personal experience. For example, detoxing my body of sugar has been LIFE CHANGING. After doing a 30 day raw food cleanse I had a rash disappear that I have had on and off for about 14 years. That was 2 years ago. It has not come back. I've had decades of acne finally disappear. I've kept Hashimotos at bay by detoxing my body of inflammatory foods. I've reset food addictions with a juice cleanse. I've eliminated migraine headaches 100%. Anyway, for me personally I could go on and on about this… and I've seen enough people transform their lives as well by cleaning up their bodies. So, call me crazy, but I'm a believer. And at the moment, we're doing some additional cleanses to eliminate other harmful antigens. We'll see how that goes. I'm sure I'll share another update on the blog.

    • Anonymous January 22, 2016 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      I was also wondering if there were really benefits to detoxing. So glad to read your specific examples. I hope you do post updates on your blog about more cleanses you do and the results.

  12. Famous Astrologer in Canada January 21, 2016 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Sounds great. Adding more, Drinking plenty of water is a healthy practice. You look glowing even without makeup.

  13. Meg January 23, 2016 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Such a great list! I've been wanting to do the coffee enema… but I'm scared ;?. Seriously. But I know that my liver could really use it. Thanks for sharing your tips. Here is one I recently found that I'm loving. I know that you have already found a natural deodorant that you like, but here is another one if you want to try it out. It's a magnesium oil spray deodorant. Get a 4 oz spray bottle. Add in 1.5 TBSP magnesium oil, 20 drops essential oil (whatever you like the scent of), and fill the rest of the bottle up with witch hazel. I've been trying to find more ways to get magnesium into my system and I've been loving this deodorant.

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