The Health Mama

helping healing with whole food nutrition


September 2014

Sleeping better tips and tricks

I talk about a lot of random things in this video blog post to try. I forgot to mention that you should have your room you sleep in around 63 degrees. Also taking a mineral supplement, like Greensmoothiegirl’s minerals is another great way to help you sleep well. One I did mention is getting the free app called f.lux which you can get at this link: I noticed that now they have a version for your ipad and phone so that is AWESOME!!!

Link for Upgraded Collegen:

Link for Sleep induction mat:

Here is a list of supplements from to help get and stay into a deep sleep.

1.Magnesium – almost everyone is short on it – try up to 400mg. Too much will give you the runs, which doesn’t help you sleep! (I have worked up to about 800mg/day) You should be taking this if you want to live a long time anyway. The best forms are the *ates, including malate, citrate, aspartate, and others. (I get mine from Nutrikey and it is Magnesium Glycinate.)

2.Potassium – synergistic with magnesium; the combination will remove nighttime leg cramps for most people. Less cramps equals more sleep. My preferred forms are citrate and the harder to find potassium bicarbonate. The bicarbonate form is a part of the kreb’s energy cycle and can help you make more ATP. All potassium supplements can conceivably interrupt your heart, so you should not mega-dose. I take 400mg of potassium citrate at bedtime. Start with 100-200 and work your way up from there if you feel you need more. (you very well may)

3.L-theanine in capsule form (not tea) helps with relaxation. I use 100mg of SunTheanine at night.
Chamomile tea actually does help you sleep. So do many warm drinks except for coffee, black tea, or alcohol. (I find this is a weak effect but some people swear by it. There is science to back this up…)

4.GABA is a neuro-inhibitory transmitter. It’s what your brain uses to shut itself down. Taken away from any other protein, it will dramatically calm you. Start with 500mg. I don’t need this anymore, since I hacked my brain with EEG, but I used to swear by it. I’ve recommended it to stressed out executives for use during the day on days when they were really tweaking. One ex-IBM executive was transformed by 500mg of GABA taken mid-morning during stressful times, for instance. For most of us, night-time use is best.

5.Ornithine is a relaxing amino acid that helps your body to eliminate ammonia in the gut (excess ammonia causes stressful feelings). Some people sleep MUCH better with ornithine. Try 1-5 grams. It may improve growth hormone levels too. I take a mix of arginine and ornithine at night for growth hormone release. Arginine is stimulating for some people so be careful. Arginine also releases nitric oxide to cause capillary dilation, which is why it’s included in “natural enhancement” formulas for men.

6.5-htp is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. It helps you fall asleep, but it makes blood serotonin levels much, much higher than brain levels. No one knows what this does to you in the long term. It was publicized when pharma companies used PR tactics to get the much stronger and safer L-tryptophan taken off the market in the 1970’s after a single batch manufacturing defect led to serious problems in people who took the altered batch (which wasn’t actually L-tryptophan!). This nicely reduce competition for sleep tranquilizer-selling drug companies. As you’ll see in the next bullet, there’s not a good reason to take this stuff anymore.

7.L-tryptophan is again available over the counter, which is why I don’t recommend 5-htp for sleep anymore. Tryptophan is powerful stuff, especially taken with GABA. People who tell you to eat turkey or milk for the trace amounts of tryptophan in them are doing their best to help you, but it doesn’t work at those concentrations, except as a placebo. There is evidence that a high-tryptophan diet is unhealthy, so only use this stuff if you need it to fall asleep.

8.Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, aka GHB, or a “date rape drug” is available by prescription and is vastly superior to, and safer than, Ambien and its clones. GHB is a naturally occurring part of meat and beer. It’s non-addictive and causes sleep along with a huge spike in growth hormone. It was maligned by a FDA-led media campaign controlled by sleep drug companies in the 80’s as a “date rape drug.” They never bothered to explain that it takes several teaspoons of it in a glass of water to knock someone out, and it tastes like table salt. Try mixing that into a drink without someone figuring it out. Funny enough, after the FDA broke the law by pulling the low cost supplement form of it off the market as a dangerous street “drug,” it’s now available as a “safe” prescription drug. This is one of the first times a pharma company was able to take a supplement off the market to remarket it as a drug. I don’t use GHB because I don’t need it to sleep, but if I could get it easily, I’d take it just for the beneficial growth hormone effects. I tried it by prescription a few times and slept very deeply, waking up uber-refreshed. GHB is non-addictive. Ask your doctor to try it before you accept Ambien.

9.Melatonin is a potent hormone and antioxidant which your body is supposed to produce on its own if you get real darkness and enough sleep. Since you probably get neither, there is an open debate around whether you should supplement every day and risk further depressing your natural production, or do it occasionally. I do it 1-2 nights/week when I want power sleep. Most melatonin supplements are too strong – you only need 150mcg for men or 100mcg for women, but the common dosage you can buy is 3mg (3,000mcg). Unless you’re shifting your sleep time to earlier or later, I don’t recommend using melatonin without fully understanding what it does.


Butternut Squash Soup Recipe


My kids love to pose and making really weird faces when we take photos. I also have a few extra with me in this photo, a niece and nephew joined us for the hike.



The weather has been so warm and beautiful lately that it is hard to believe that fall is here. We were able to go up to the mountains recently and see the colors start to change on all the trees. It is such a beautiful time of year. As we were walking around Silver Lake, I saw President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his wife. They were all by themselves just hiking around on a Sunday evening. I had to ask him if I could shake his hand. He is such a nice looking man and his wife was very sweet as well. It was like a mormon celebrity. I didn’t ask for a photo with him, but I did snap one as they were walking away. It isn’t everyday you get to meet and see someone you admire and follow like Uchtdorf.

This is also the time that your squash is getting ready to be harvested or that you will be able to buy organic squash for a great price at your farmer’s markets. I just made this the other night. All my kids ate it and even my daughter Ella said, “This is actually good mom.” She is my daughter that has Candida and always is craving sugar and processed foods so she is my hardest critic. We are working on her diet, but man is it hard in today’s world. My kids are offered candy and crap basically, every single day. I could write a really long post about that, and probably will at some point because it gets my blood going! Anyways, back to the fall. Take advantage of the wonderful simplicity of plant foods and what is in season.

This recipe is from Making it Paleo by Bill and Hayley

1 Onion, chopped
2 TBS coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 quart chicken stock, (or bone broth)

Serves 6-8 people

Saute onion in coconut oil in a large pot. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add chopped butternut squash to pot, and pour in broth. Boil the butternut squash in the broth until tender. Puree soup in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth. Garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon and shopped walnuts if you want a little crunch to your soup.

Very simple and beautiful recipe. Keep your meals simple. Use organic plants, good fats, salt, seasonings and just enjoy the real flavor of real food.

Homemade Deodorant

My friend’s little boy heard me call myself a hippie. Well, the other day he said, “take a bath hippie” and I just burst out laughing. He is 4 years old and loves the movie UP, which is where that phrase comes from.
So here is my recipe for my homemade “hippie” deodorant recipe. Super easy. If you want it the consistency to be a little creamier, just add a little more coconut oil but it should be like a dry paste. A little goes a long way. I also have a stick deodorant recipe that I will post soon for those of you that don’t go for the paste. It is all what you get used too.

5 TBS coconut oil

1 TBS baking soda

6 TBs Arrowroot powder

2 TBS Bentonite Clay

5-15 drops of your favorite essential oil

Get your grain-free granola on!


This is a picture of Angie and her family a few years ago in West Yellowstone. I love our family reunions and the few times a year we get to be all together. There is nothing better!

First off, Angie is doing good. She is keeping positive and fighting the fight. The mind is so powerful. I hope Angie will tell herself everyday that she loves her body and know that it can fight and heal the cancer. It sounds corny but saying positive affirmations are really powerful. Sometimes when I sit in my infrared sauna, I practice saying some positive affirmations. Sometimes it is just telling myself I am a patient and loving mom, or that I love my body and am so grateful that it is working. Usually I say the affirmations that I need to really work on. I am hoping by saying them, they will start to happen. Call me a granola girl, but I know that what we believe will come to pass if we work on it. Angie, you ARE beautiful inside and out. Your body is powerful and can kill the cancer that is in it. Keep fighting sister!!!

Yesterday I was thinking how much I miss eating my granola recipe. The last few years, I used to make some homemade, sprouted granola and loved it!!! It gave me a little variety to breakfast once in awhile and was quick. The only problem with my old recipe is that the base of it was oats it is used a lot of raw honey or pure maple. Those sweeteners are still great to use, but I knew I could do even better on the sugar department and the refined grains. Well, we don’t eat oats anymore. For a while we ate gluten free oats, but my son who is wheat intolerant would notice that his stomach still hurt when we had these refined grains, even when they didn’t have wheat in them. As I have kept studying anti-inflammtion diets I learned that there are other foods that carry more nutrition and keep our insulin response down better than most grains do. So I have been looking for a really clean granola recipe that didn’t have added sugar in it, tasted great, and filled my body up with a pack of nutrients. I think I found a good one. This is a little hard core for my kids, but for once a week for breakfast, they like the change.

We use coconut milk that I make myself using one glass 1/2 gallon bottle, two cans of Trader Joes’s light coconut milk and fill the rest with filtered water, add some organic vanilla stevia and that is our milk for the week. It is a great milk for smoothies too. Coconut fat is extremely good for you and your kiddos. We really need those fats for our hormones to stay balanced and for our brain to work properly.


Here is the recipe:

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sliced almonds
1 tbs of cinnamon
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped medjool dates (they sell them at Costco and they taste like carmel-so good!! You must use these dates because it is what makes it so good without any added sugar.
1 cup raisins. (also at organic raisins are at Costco.)

Soak nuts and seeds in warm water and a tablespoon of salt for 8-12 hours.
Drain and spread onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the nuts and seeds.
Set oven temperature at 110 degrees, or if yours is like mine and only goes down to 170, then I roll a towel and prop it open as far I as I can. Dry out for 10-12 hours. You could also use your dehydrator. I just wanted to save on time and clean up and used the same cookie sheet to do the drying and the mixing.
Coarsely chope dehydrated nuts and then mix in coconut, chopped dates, and raisins.
Toss lightly to evenly distribute all ingredients.
Serve with some unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk and store excess in an airtight container.
I thought it was perfect but my kids wanted to drizzle a little raw honey over it.

If you have a problem with constipation, this is a great recipe for you to try. When you soak your nuts and seeds your removing the part of the nut and seed that is hard to digest. Your basically sprouting the seed so that your body absorbs even more nutrients from it along with awesome fiber. I think I am going to add this to my breakfast schedule just one day a week or when I feel like a little treat in the late afternoon, this would be a great choice as well.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Since school is back in, I always need some muffins in my freezer to add to the kids lunches. I love when I find recipes that actually taste good and are healthy. This recipe is from detoxinista. I try a lot of her recipes from her blog and most of them turn out. I love this time of year!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (Nut-free)

Makes 12 muffins


3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
3/4 cup maple syrup
6 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)


Preheat the oven to 350F and line a standard muffin tin with 12 parchment or silicone baking cups. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir well with a whisk to break up any clumps.

Divide the batter into the 12 baking cups, then bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden and the centers are firm. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store the muffins in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Chocolate Protein Smoothie/Shake-No sugar added including fruit.

Great new Protein Powder from JJ Virgin with defatted organic grass-fed beef protein. No whey in this protein powder so a great alternative to anyone with dairy sensitivity or just wanting to have another protein powder to rotate with your smoothies.


2 cups filtered water
1 cup light coconut milk ( I use Trader Joes)
1 organic beet
1 TBS raw organic Maca powder
1/4-1/2 Tumeric powder
1/4 tsp upgraded vanilla powder or any organic vanilla
2 TBS organic pumpkin seeds. If you can, soak in water for as long as you can, or even the night before if you can remember.
1 cup greens- today I used organic cilantro, dandillion leafs, celery
2 scoops of raw chocolate powder or cocoa
2 scoops of organic golden flax seed- grind in coffee grinder if you don’t have a high powered blender that can break them down.
1/2 dropper of english toffee liquid Stevia
2 scoops of JJ Virgins Chocolate Shake protein powder
1 handful of ice

If you really can’t drink this and need it sweeter, first try and just have a few more sips. Sometimes at first, it seems a little bitter but then my body must know it likes the nutrients in it, so it becomes better. Sounds crazy, but I have other people tell me the same thing. Also you can add a little more stevia or raw honey. You can also add 1 cup of frozen berries. Berries are really low in sugar and you get the antioxidants and fiber. I love to eat berries at night with some coconut cream. I just don’t like to start my day with too much fruit because of the fructose and the affects it has on my sugar cravings throughout the day and also brain fog. If I ever use fruit in my smoothies, and I do sometimes- I try and use berries and a small amount. You of course get fiber from them, which is also a benefit of using them.

Raw Liver Smoothie

Ok, so I absolutely HATE liver. I have bought it many times trying to find a recipe or a way that I could eat it more and still like it. I came across Liz Wolf’s blog and thought this raw liver smoothie was worth a try. By the way, the best way so far is still just hiding a very small amount in any ground hamburger recipe or swallowing desiccated liver tablets. They are just like horse pills though so they are hard to swallow for me and my kids. You can cut them in half but they crumble a bit so that is one reason why I was still pursuing a better way. Besides, I think the actual food is the best way of getting your body to absorb all the nutrients of the food.

This was a very quick way to get it in, but I just had the worst liver aftertaste!! I promised myself that I would try it one more time without letting the liver thaw out this time. If it doesn’t change the aftertaste, then I have failed again and will probably just feed the liver to my chickens, which I have done many times before.

Here is the recipe:

1/4 frozen strawberries
2 frozen squares of organic raw liver
just enough water to cover your blades.

Here is the blog post with more details if your brave enough to try this:

Blend well, drink the shot! As you can see from my video, Mya didn’t mind this at all. So maybe I didn’t fail completely. Just a few reminders of why we should eat liver.
1. High in vitamins A, D, E, K, B12
2. High in Folic Acid
3. High in minerals like copper and iron

All these things help the body to elliminate toxins. Here is a great article on liver’s benefits from Kris Kresser:

Angie, if you or anyone else actually tries this, send me a video and I would love to share it with everyone on here.

Bison Heart Stew

Got to set the record straight. I talked to Angie and she did say that she only threw up on a few races and only came in last a few times. She actually ended up doing really well in cross country. I can tell you she can outrun all the rest of us 8 kids. It is a little funny how we all remember things a little differently than others. If anything, this again show you how determined and hard working Angie is.

I wanted to get back to you on the heart stew. It was seriously Good!! You could use heart or liver. The key to doing this for our family is that I cut it up in little pieces and basically hid it with the grass fed ground beef. My family all ate it, without complaints and even had seconds. You can substitute the coconut aminos for gluten free soy sauce and also can trade out any veggies you want to use, even though the leeks and fennel give it a great flavor. This recipe is from an excellent blog. Here is the link to the recipe with instructions and pictures. I hope you give it a try. This will be a regular meal at my house during these winter months. Soups and stews are such a great way to get broth and veggies in everyone.


Our Mom came and stayed the weekend with me this past weekend. It was great having her. My Dad passed away in March so she has had a hard time being by herself and not feeling lonely. She has been a wonderful mother. She tells it how it is and makes us all laugh. She is so hard working and has completely dedicated her life to her family. I asked her to share some memories of Angie with us today on this blog. Somethings she says may make you think about how our words affect one another, like the mom that told my sister she needed to lose weight. We are keeping it real here! Angie, we all love you. I think Mom’s stories show how determined and strong you are. You have overcame obstacles that were really hard. It shows your resilience and strength. The end of some of those stories that mom didn’t mention is that you became the mascot of Bonneville High School and everyone loved you. You also were a valedictorian and a wonderful piano player. You excelled in college as well and became successful in anything you put your mind to. You overcame your struggle with running and have ran several half marathons and marathons with really fast times. I think some of those struggles were meant to make you strong enough to handle the one your fighting now. You will overcome this trial like you have for so many before. Love you lady!!!

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