Clear skin and the connection.

When I turned holistic a few years ago, because lack of health care inspiring this blog, I forgot about the first health issue I dealt with for years. It hatched the idea of everything being connected physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

I know that feeling of desperation, in having skin issues and searching for a real cure only to be disappointed again and again…I’m not saying I tried it all, now use this and all your dreams will come true! I will say what I used, then give several ideas from my experience that may spark a connection with your skin needs.


  1. Proactive
  2. Lerroset
  3. Neutrogea
  4. Clear skin
  5. Murad
  6. Bare minerals
  7. Aloe vera
  8. Retin A from a doctor

Basically any new acne product, but I’ve lost track over that 7 years of nothing working. I also made sure to give each product a few weeks to work and keep to a routine.

The issue with curing skin issues is it’s more than the cleanser you use. We as humans are more complicated than that. One day during the worse break out time I went through, I was eating out with my parents. My skin was so sensitive that even water burned. I was not using any chemical creams. I was doing everything on my own, going to school full time, being a nanny for three children, and my skin looked like it was going through a battle with something.

During that meal with my parents, my skin started to itch badly, so much that it felt like poison ivy. My dad said something that I needed to hear years ago living at their house with my first acne issues. He said we want you to go to a dermatologist and we will pay for it…My skin immediately stopped itching. 

I then realized the connection emotional health has with skin on a wider scale for some people. Have in mind I did not feel the best support from my parents in the past with my skin issues. Most issues were ignored since I was emotionally shut down growing up. Mainly from childhood experiences of emotions not being accepted by my parents. My body needed to feel security to calm down. In my mind I was alone in the world and had to fix everything myself. Anyone helping was a joke, a fantasy to me from my past experiences dealing with challenges.

Another connection I made was how much a negative person, or chaos affected my skin. when I removed myself from a negative person, my chronic acne cleared up over a week. My skin broke out again but that break showed another action for my skin’s reaction.

I also took out several foods to find out my skin reacted more to emotional dysfunction than over unhealthy foods. I tried everything to the fullest to get real results. I went four-six weeks without gluten, fast food, coffee, bread, and sugar. The only food that I saw a difference in was dairy. It only took a week to see a difference, and came to find out I was allergic since birth, but my mom only feed me non dairy formula until I was old enough to tolerate milk. People usually tolerate food allergies because they are unaware of them. Dairy though is something to consider taking out of your diet. It builds up mucus in your system making acne worse while also affecting joints and throat.

Other things I took out such as gluten resulting in making my skin worse. The stress of not eating connected to emotion of anger and depression. Please be kind to yourself. Practicing strict diets, buying every vitamin and cream promised to fix your skin is not worth the damage.

You have to learn to listen to your body more, and let it know you are going to put boundaries up against things in your life that are not adding value, joy, and security. Stress makes any issue grow stronger, deeper, and harder to over come. You do not need anyone or anything adding to the odds against you.

Once you have reached a good emotional place, then you can try other things without worrying about the disappointment that will come.

I know its hard being patient having chronic acne, you want to just have that one issue fixed so you can enjoy life more. It did not take long once I realized why my skin broke out due to dysfunctional emotions to have my skin clear and find alternative methods that keep it clear. Your body will let you know when you are in “danger”. It may not be life threatening danger, but just like we have flight or fight response to actual danger our bodies can show signs of temporary danger to let us know we need to change something.

Years after learning my skin issues were connected to deadly emotions, (Deadly emotions comes from stuffing your emotions, suppressing your feelings, and needs, maybe because they are not met or accepted by those you surround yourself with. ) I saw the actress from the show, “That’s So Raven” speak in an interview on how the stress of running her own show at such a young age caused the stress leading to her weight issues. She said for some it shows through their skin, through dandruff in their hair that won’t go away. She went down a couple of sizes, and everyone wonder what she did, but she just released the stress and deadly emotions from her childhood of running a T.V. show.

So my advice is to stop all the routines of skin care and start from scratch. I do go on water based retin A just to get my skin under control, but then switched to all natural products. I changed my life style of eating and studied emotional intelligence while giving my skin time to heal instead of putting it through anything else. If nothing is working for you then why not try an holistic life style? You do not have to change everything at once, just small steps will do.

Products I have used off and on depending on the weather and the condition of my skin is a mix of cleansers. Now that my skin is clear, my only task is finding products that are safe for sensitive skin,. This means products that are paraben, fragrance, dye, chemical and toxin free. I’ve used Yes to Tomatoes gel cleanser during the winter, and Dr. Bronner’s baby Hemp seed oil during the summer. Both help clear up breakouts and are not harsh on your skin. I know some people say they have sensitive skin as they put every chemical product on, which shows they don’t.  I’m second generation Irish and any product with those things mentioned above cause a reaction.

Later I found better alternatives in Korean skin care, and really their whole philosophy of moisturizing to heal skin is very effective. Western society teaches acne suffers to dry out their skin because oil is bad, but others that are wiser know oil is good for your skin. I had a stubborn break out from work stress and just using the products I already had in the Korean skin care routine, my face cleared up in two days. I then switch to all Korean skin care products, and even only doing  about 6 out of the 10 steps recommended, it has improved my skin and kept acne at bay. I recently changed to Joyome serums from Plexus to replace the many steps of the routine because it has so many active ingredients, but the Korean routine is great too. So that it has keep my skin at its best the longest. I just know anything from Plexus is going to be worth a try being on the products for over a year for my health issues. I’ll post a skin update on using the serum after a few weeks.

This bring us to now talking about gut health, which Plexus is all about. I’ll have another post on my experience over the last year taking the supplements. If you research gut health, then tons of issues will pop up including acne, and if my stress level is low and I’m on my plexus products I barely have a break out. I tend to break out where my glasses are, even if I wash them, literally my skin does not like being touched so I try not to touch my face, but just saying if your acne prone I understand how hard it is to try to just live without your skin having a reaction constantly. Anyways after a few months on Plexus Triplex system I was on my way to a wedding and had no foundation left because of budget, and I noticed I didn’t need it and off to the wedding I went. I’m a person who loves wearing make up too, but my skin was so healthy looking for once my standards were set. If you are confused on gut health or want to know what steps to take then just ask. Yes I do sell Plexus but I’m not going to push it on anyone. I make sure to eat foods good for my gut as well. The microbiome is a wonderful thing!

Let’s see years of trying to heal acne, what else could I add…We went over emotional health, diet, allergies, gut health, topical treatments, and stress. Oh yeah hormones, I have a whole other post on this subject. I don’t think I have to tell you hormones affect your skin especially acne. I’ve had my hormones balanced to the best of my ability and do not have the issues I use to have before learning how to balance them. I recommend Maca, and DIM for hormonal acne. I also found eating a Mediterranean diet  with high healthy fats with low carbs help my over health and skin. I’ve been eating manly fish with low carbs for weeks and  had the least painful cycle ever. I’m grateful to have an open mind on constantly improving my health because you never know what a difference little changes make!

I really hate how younger kids have to suffer with bad health and have acne as a result all while having ads tell them to buy this special lotion and your acne will disappear. Lord if I had all the money back I used in searching for a cure then I’d probably have my student loan paid off! Turn off the tv and pick up a book on healing, emotional health, just something to help you learn about yourself and your body better. I hope this helps someone make a connection to start their path to clear skin. Also use CosDNA or google ingredient ratings before wasting any more money on products that claim to clear acne but actually keep you buying it because some of the ingredients cause acne. Which is basically anything advertised.

Here are some of the products I currently use or recommend from past experiences.

The face shop rice oil

Hemish balm oil

Neogen demonology- green tea foaming cleanser

Corsx ph balancing tea tree cleanser

Wishtrend’s mandelic acid

Tru naturals Vitamin C or Retin A serum

Rose water of any kind

Physician’s formula rose serum

Corsx honey and rice face masks

Here’s to Keeping it real!

Here are some pictures, not good or many because I stayed away from the camera for years. I had chronic acne for a few years and these don’t really show how bad it was because they are from when I was finally making changes. The first 3 are from before, and then the last two is my skin now:)

















Adrenals affect weight, fatigue, and sleep cycles. Found a simple change to help.


So in my last health post I talk about learning that my adrenals were not working probably. If you have issues hormones related then this post may be helpful. This explained all the symptoms that I had had over the past two years. And well if this really was the issue then making changes specially to affect my adrenals and hormones should work right? Yes! So had a dear friend give me a book on adrenal health called, “The Adrenal Reset Diet” by: Dr. Alan Christianson. I read through the book quickly because the information was so helpful. So I’m going to give a review of the book so others can see if they want to follow these steps or get the book for their own health journey.

In reading, I was able to make connections on issues months prior to now knowing what caused them in the first place. I had always been know for having a health appetite. I would drink coffee in the morning but then could each every two hours. I’ve been eating organic and whole foods for a few years now, but I was not getting the energy from food any longer. Plus I had enough fatigue to know something was not right. I had thought it was just my body trying to recover from a car wreck along with nerve damage, but the adrenals were the cause of the every day symptoms. Your adrenal glands allow the food you eat to turn into energy. I had posted about maca root before and how it nourishes your body to create the hormones it needs to function, but your adrenal glands determine where those hormones go and transports them to your cells. So even if you have your main hormones producers doing their jobs, the rest of the endocrine system has to work as well. So basically I’m eating all this healthy food, but still having to take high vitamin Bs to function because food was not being allowed into my cells to turn into energy.

Then for about four weeks straight I had no appetite at all and only wanted to eat oranges?! I usually have to have some kind of protein and carb. every day or I felt ill, now all I was craving was oranges and that is all I ate and had to force myself to eat anything else if I felt weak. This was not me, never been on a diet in my life, and counting calories is a myth another thing the book goes over. So in reading I found out that during settlement times with the English and Native Americans, a doctor was studying how the Native Americans did not get scurvy like the English settlers. The doctor witness that the tribe had a tradition in when they caught an animal they would share the adrenal glands of the animal among everyone. You know what prevents scurvy? Vitamin C! You know what adrenals are made of? Vitamin C! You know when your body start craving what it needs to survive yeah…my adrenal were yelling for help.

So now what changes has the book offered that were effective? Basically the book goes over losing weight in the first half, but you have to look pass it to understand its a health issue not a weight issue. Usually hormone issues cause weight gain like with thyroid issues that are related to adrenal health. I’m in the cycle of my hormones actually eating my muscle so I’m losing weight. But the symptoms of someone who is over weight are the same, such as my joints hurting, high fatigue, feeling light headed, insomnia, and just feeling awful in general. So really no diet is going to matter if you don’t have your body working properly, it is much more than eating less and exercising more, in fact that is all myth as well. (look into the hormone reset diet by Sara Gottfried)

All I had to change was when I eat what,not what I ate. There are three stages of adrenal health you could be in that show in your sleep cycles connected to the hormone cortisol. This hormone could be over produced or under produced in the body leading to havoc. There is a thing called a cortisol slope. This hormone helps you wake up, gives you mental clarity to get the day started, assists with stress, and is suppose to lower by the end of the day so you can sleep. The slope shows I had low cortisol in the mornings, needing stimulates, sugar, etc (keeping an unhealthy weight) then having high cortisol in the evenings so I have insomnia but a clear mind to get things done. I had always been a night owl but the past few months of not sleeping had been more than I could handle.  Oh and your cortisol slope being back wards as so, also has been proven to be more deadly than smoking, yes more people are recorded to have died from this hormone issue than smoking.

So how do you get your adrenals healed through diet? Well basically the book goes over the effect of foods on our hormones and how carbohydrates can help. The eating of carbs helps lower your cortisol or keeps it from rising at night when you need to sleep. The book goes over how eating a high protein breakfast is key then adding more carbs throughout the day to allow your adrenals to reset themselves. So morning 1 protein:1 carb, lunch 1 protein:2 carbs, dinner 1 protein:3 carbs. I don’t have the funds or the time for all the extra cooking and such but I’m still doing a high protein breakfast with carbs being saved for later then eating fruits and vegetables all through out the day. The book goes over foods you can eat at any time to satisfy hungry being mostly fruits and vegetables.  It also lists foods that are nourishing for the adrenal glands to add to your diet.

Breakfast: Protein smoothie: Fruits such as berries, peaches, pineapples, avocado, bananas, and white tea or water to blend. Add hemp seeds, chia seeds, protein powder such as pea protein etc.

Boiled eggs, turkey bacon, chicken etc.

Lunch: Chicken, tuna, or salmon with a vegetables, fruit, yogurt, quinoa, soups, and salads.

Dinner: Chicken or some other protein with rice, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, pasta, whole grains, and breads.

I have seen a positive effect in eating only protein in the mornings and carbs at night. I actually would crave pastries in the mornings and want to eat boiled eggs at night. My appetite was so back wards, but eating to what it had grown accustomed to with backwards functioning.  I can to go bed earlier from feeling actually tried and not have so many carbs cravings in the mornings. This diet also goes with other health changes of course but if you are going to eat healthy then why not do it to were your body and life get the most out of it?

I still take vitamin Bs, DIM, adrenal support from Standard process, and probiotics. Another symptom of your adrenals not working is having digestive issues which explained why I was eating healthy, but feeling like I had a gut related disease. My adrenal glands were not supporting the digestion of the food along with not turning it into energy. So please comment if you have any questions because this was just a review without going into scientific detail. I always do my research as I don’t have time to try changes that have no proof or evidence of working. I hope this helps or opens a door for someone else trying to figure out their health issues similar to mine.

Also an update on finding a break through in healing my adrenals with real results in my next post called, “Finally a Break through on my Health Journey.” Please check it out because my health has improved with certain supplements, and hope to help others improve as well.

Here’s to #Keepingitreal

-Ms. Shawna



Nerves are a pain. New health discoveries. Everyone is over worked.

Life is hard. Life is harder with damaged nerves. Life is also what you make it. I’m trying to make the best of my body falling apart before I’m even thirty. This is another health update in sharing research and giving advise to others trying to heal from pain or issues invisible but deeply felt. I feel my research is lacking from being over worked and tired all the time. Damaged nerves cause a different kind of tired, one that cannot be solved with sleep or more coffee.

I’ve got some good news in discoveries but going to share some symptoms first to compare on my next health post. First, I am over worked and so are all my friends. Can you relate? I want to share how important it is to balance your work and health even with baby steps towards your goals. I work forty hours a week and like many others live pay check to pay check. No, I do not have an iPhone, or WiFi, shop online, have a kid with no father, go on vacations, or what ever other small minded judgement I’ve read others write in attacking the younger work force.

There are no Generations, there are just people. I am not apart of a generalize group. I am me, always worked and finished two degrees, and living on my own. Only one loan because of my injuries delaying school. Which are not any huge accomplishments, but seems to be in our society today. The point is even if your health issues are different from mine, you still risk being over worked affecting your health. It’s a viscous cycle. You have health issues so you have to work more to pay for doctor bills or medication. In my case, treatments and vitamins. #holisticliving Now if you take off of work to rest, then you may suffer later when a bill is due. The stress of money adds more pain to what you are already feeling and the cycle continues.

This is when the skill of saying “No” comes in. I have said no to those who suck up my energy, no to plans that would leave me in bed for days later, no to others’ responsibilities, no to working over time, no to anything that would negatively impact my health. You should try it too.#NoBoundaries

This week I worked with only one day off and then eight hours over. I finally had a two day break in which I stayed in bed mainly trying to turn my brain off with Korean dramas. The day I had to go back to work in when the stress of the week finally hit my body…I felt like I had been shish kabobbed. My spine, ribs, hips, and shoulder blades all hurt reacting to the rods in my back with the constant pressure of my lower back and neck going against them. I, dependable worker called in sick.

The next two days at work I’m still fatigued and having signs of someone who has not slept or has cognitive damage even though I have neither, I hope…This is what nerve damage can be like. Then even with all this going on I’m thinking of working a third job, yes that is right. I know my body reacts to stress more and the stress of money could do just as much harm. For the record I do sales at a hotel forty hours a week, then work as a social assistant to families in homes on demand.

A year from now as my Chiropractor said, I may be back to the quality of life I was use to and that he was not giving up on me #GodBless. My doctor also identified something that could help explain the constant fatigue and imbalances in general. This  was that my adrenals were tapped out….I’ve done research and post on hormones balance before but did not have much knowledge on important the adrenal glands had to do with hormone function. I finally found out why sitting at church when I stand up to sing I have to take deep breathes or I will feel faint like. Light headiness is a symptom. It’s sad what we become accustom to.

Basically your adrenals glands release hormones to deal with daily life stress and even trauma. Hormones releasing and reacting to our daily lives keeps us moving and accomplishing stressful tasks without being over whelmed or having a melt down. After a while of a person dealing with constant stress or never resting in recovery from trauma causes the adrenals to tap out.

This process takes years to occur so when the symptoms of adrenal fatigue start showing, it could take up to a year to repair them back into full function order. This also is not recognized by most doctors until it is chronic in which it then called Addisons disease. The next things to happen is thyroid issues and high blood pressure. Which makes sense when you think about it.

I know others that have these symptoms and can connect it to their stress of life from experiences of childhood to adulthood. I can easily see a connection on why we all have our adrenals tapped out. Some examples are being in less than a safe environment as a child, and the person dealing with it mentally and shutting down emotionally, but their adrenals still releasing hormones for the person’s survival. Another is a person who was highly intelligent as a child being put on dangerous meds so their parents could collect a check in saying the child was mental. Years after being taken off such medication, the person had to feel everything at once. Then life becomes a copping game.

I’m sure others have similar stories and at the age 27, I’m not giving up on the quality of life I worked for, being an  all around healthy being just because the adrenals did not get any love or support. Yes, you can deal with stress in a healthy way mentally at the time, but it does not mean physical scars are not left behind after so many occurrences. The three main things to heal your adrenals are to change your diet, manage stress, and take supplements. Luckily I’m already doing all the recommends foods in my regular eating. Basically whole foods and cutting out fake or processed foods. Then there is learning new ways to deal with stress. I enjoy zumba, which I just started back in my home till I build up to a class, and learning Korean.

I have also cut down on coffee to allow my body to heal. My regular coffee consists of 2-3 americanos a day, that’s 6 six  espressos if you didn’t know already. Caffeine can affect your hormones in making cortisol high in non stressful situations and making it hard to shut down. I know why coffee does not affect me with shakes or keeping me up as it normally would. My body already has hormones working to keep me fighting constantly. This is why I can walk at night by myself in a parking lot like a thug.  Until something affects my nerves, then I feel as if I could go into a comma for days.

The third thing to help get those adrenals working again is taking the right supplements. Taking supplements and eating healthy can be expensive so it is important to research the supplements right for you and not falling for every super food out there. From my last health update I posted how I was taking glutamine from TAG,  alpha lipoic acid, and vitamin B. I stopped taking the alpha lipoic acid from nausea. I saw a difference in taking the vitamin b and just switch to a whole food vitamin b recommended from my doctor. I take the glutamine when I have been more active, and do not want to risk feeling the effects of torn tissue which is getting better with sound wave treatments.

By the way, sound wave treatments are an effective way to break up torn tissue and have been used to break down kidney stones in the past. I’ll do a post on how it has helped after I’ve completed the treatments. I will tell you that it hurts, but it is worth being able to do light zumba in my home too.

The adrenals are similar to an avocado in having three layers responsible for releasing different types of hormones. I found several links that are easy to read in understanding their functions and listing the symptoms of those with adrenal fatigue. The standard process company also explains what supplements to take depending on your level of adrenal dysfunction. I am currently on the Drenamin that you can find in the link provided.

After dealing with these health issues for almost three years now, finding new information that matches to improving things is really exciting for me. So I want to share the real issues, but also how you can heal naturally with the right doctor, foods, supplements, and knowledge of what is wrong and how to repair it. I have had others tell me I am on the right path and appreciate the encouragement. I could of easily became an regular drinker in dealing with all my pains and stresses if I did not have any answers. I could of easily became dependent on pain pills. I could of easily accepted there was no cure for the many issues my body was having, but I decided to just take it one step at a time.

Here’s to Keeping it Real!












Paradise Pizza:Healthy Alternative

IMG_2387 (1)

This Dessert Pizza is healthy, dairy free, and great for summer events. I always get great comments on this one because it’s different and not full of sugar so more than one piece is okay, plus I dare you to only eat one piece. 


  • 16″ pizza pan or smaller
  • rolling pin
  • wire strainer
  • med. bowl
  • 2 rolls of sugar cookie dough (organic if possible) *1 roll may be enough if your pan is less than 16″
  • 2-3 ripe kiwis
  • 1 container of strawberries (fresh)(organic if possible)
  • 1 container of blue blueberries(fresh) (organic if possible)
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 vanilla or banana flavor yogurt 16oz. total (I use so delicious non- dairy unsweetened vanilla) always use carrageenan free as well. 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened to preference. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and have the cookie dough already thawed out in the refrigerator. Then place the dough on top of the oven while it heats up for easy kneading  and rolling. You may use some flour to keep the dough from sticking to hands and rolling pin. Use rolling pin for even covering of pizza pan. You can cut off the extra dough around the edges and add to any weak spots. 

Place in oven 14-16 minutes long, you want to watch and make sure the edges do not burn but the dough is not raw either. 

Next wash off all fresh fruit. Dice strawberries on their side to make a dollar coin cut to mimic pepperoni, peel kiwi’s and cut in half long ways, then cut on angle to mimic green bell peppers. Blue berries can be tossed on as is. View picture above for reference. 

After crust is done cooking, let cool on rack. We want the dough cooled off enough to put the cold yogurt on. Next empty the can of pineapple into a wire strainer with a bowl underneath to catch juice. Once drained, put drained pineapple in med. mixing bowl. Add the yogurt and mix together. 

Once crust is completely cooled off, spoon yogurt mix over the crust as a pizza sauce. Place strawberries, blue berries, and kiwi slices all over. Keep the coconut on the side or sprinkle on Paradise Pizza. (for non coconut lovers) Finally slice into squares or into pizza slice and enjoy! Comment if you have any questions!

Here’s to keeping it real-Ms. Shawna









Health Update: Journey to repair nerves and muscles.

The last health post I did was on Juice Plus. I can’t say it didn’t help but I’m not sure what difference it made either. I already eat an 80% organic diet while being holistic, maybe someone with a different lifestyle would of seen a more definite difference. I am an antioxidant junkie if you will. Maybe after I have more serious health issues fixed then I will see a difference in taking Juice plus.

In my graduation Tales post, I talk of the first onset of health problems resulting from a car wreck and being holistic wanted to share how I was taking care of my body to maybe help someone else not receiving help from modern medicine. News flash! Nerve damage has no real cure in modern medicine. I’m going to share what vitamins I’m researching and adding to my routine as I try to heal my body naturally.  After a year of the car wreck I was still unable to physically do what I use to but I look fine, looks are very deceiving. During this journey I’ve found out who really cares about my well being and then those that put my whole worth into having a teaching career.

First of all lets learn a little about nerve damage. Your nerves send signals of everything to help you move and feel. When you have a few nerves damaged then those signals do not die but actually travel to the next working nerve, which causes overactive nerves. These nerves then have to work twice as hard in keeping your body going, explaining all the fatigue I have now. It’s a bad cycle of your nerves overacting then you feeling pains in muscles that should be healed, but are they still damaged or are your nerves making you feel they are? Either way you have to now take vitamins to heal both if you want the pain signals to stop.

I’ve been blessed with an out of my comfort zone job that I’ve discovered new talents in having until I’m back to 100% and my boss has MS. I was also blessed on a business with her to find a lot of my issues are similar to MS. This disease has the side effect of damaging your nerves. My boss told me of a lady when she was first diagnosed was a small business owner not being able to afford insurance, and actually keep their MS under control for years with  vitamin therapy. I know this conversation was not by chance. On to researching once more! I love researching but I’m also trying to start my life over again and feel I  have been really patient so I’m curious if anyone else has experience with nerve damage and what have you taken?

Nerves need protection for free radicals causing nerve pain and overreaction. I also found out my nerve damage could very possible be damaging my organs from these overreactions. I’m taking a full vitamin B pill that has helped so far with energy levels and made me feel some percentage of what I use to daily.

I’m still taking Glutamine from TAG that has help repaired the torn tissue in my lower spine. When I over do it physically and tear more tissue then this powder heals it quick while repairing muscle tissue during work outs as well.

The other vitamin I have added is alpha lipoic acid, which is the top thing that comes up when researching for nerve damage or neuropathy. I have not taken the Alpha Lipoic acid long enough to notice a difference, but it does give me a nauseous feeling for about 30 minute with or with out food.

what else should I look into? I’ve been told to look into things that repair nerves and muscles to repair damage caused, but their is always trial and error to find out what works best for your needs. Please comment if you have advise or experience with nerve damage. 4c01a7650a1d2d5a4643fb8979df8679

Here’s to Keeping it Real-Ms. Shawna




Dairy free Ranch Chicken & Rice

Yet another dish you don’t have to do without if your trying to eat more nutrientous or on a dairy free  food life. This was actually inspired by my mini me aka sister that could pass as my daughter and yes as of now she is my favorite as much as we get along we have very different talents and cooking is not hers…but this dish she wanted from having a friend make it for her. I listened to her description of it and off we went to the store! 


  • 1 organic ranch packet
  • Salt
  • Organic parsley 
  • White rice
  • Organic Ville Dairy free ranch dressing
  • 2 packets of organic chicken breasts (4-6 slices) 
  • Coconut or olive oil
  • I was able to buy everything at Publix #lovePublix 
  • pictures are below

All depending on how many you are cooking for…I would do 1 cup rice per 2 people.

  • Start boiling water for rice
  • Preheat oven to 350 
  • Coat a baking pan with oil
  • Spice the chicken lightly with salt then the whole package of ranch evenly as possible on the chicken
  • Place in oven for 35-45 minutes depending on cut
  • Place cook rice in big enough mixing bowl 
  • Add dairy free ranch dressing into of the rice and stir
  • Start light then add to taste
  • Chopp cooked chicken in pan then pour on top of rice 
  • Mix together adding parsley To your desire 

So this new recipe was win! On the first try and why give up ranch right?! Please comment if you have any questions.

Hope you enjoy and here’s to #Keepingitreal

Cooked with love -Ms. Shawna

Bean and Kale, Spices Galore Dish

I have been told this dish is one of the best smelling dishes I make and have made it so much over this past year. I love it because it is an easy, filling, healthy dish that does not cost a lot of time or money.

A close up of the Glory.

A close up of the Glory.

I always advise using organic greens and spices, but use what you have already because we want to keep it simple. I always have my organic beans, spices, and kale from regular shopping trips.  Thank you ALDI……You can create many recipes from these ingredients if your willing to be adventurous in the kitchen!

TIP: If you buy the huge bag of organic kale for savings, then store in zip-lock bags in the freezer for separate recipes in the future. Kale does not stay fresh for long unless it is kept in the freezer. 


1 can of black beans

1 can of chick peas

1 hand full or zip lock bag of kale

olive oil


Sea salt





Cayenne pepper

Instructions for Deliciousness: 

Heat your fry pan to medium with a small amount of olive oil. 1- 2 TBS. Open and pour in your can of black beans and chick peas. Have all spices ready and while your pan starts to warm the beans try dashes of all spices into the pan. This will depend on much you like each spice, while creating a balance and not letting any spice over power the dish. For example, 5 dashes of salt, rosemary, basil, and parley. Then 7 dashes of garlic if that is your spice of choice. I would advise starting out with only 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and not going over 1/2 teaspoon unless you can take the heat. These spices work well together and add much needed flavor to the beans and kale. Keep the pan on a medium or low heat so not to dry out all the juice from the beans. You may add water if this happens or if you add too much salt. A cap full of white vinegar gives a nice taste and balances out the spices as well. Remember to taste test to find the right amount to your desire! It is simple with just a few dashes and stirs!  Add kale and stir allowing it to simmer and soak up the flavor of the spices. Turn off heat and enjoy!

You may also want to replace the chickpeas with your favorite bean. You could even add other greens such as spinach. Get creative and enjoy this simple tasty dish!

Here’s to Keeping it Real

~Ms. Shawna

Health Experiment with Juice Plus. When will this inflammation go away?!

Fruit blend, vegetable blend, berry blend

Fruit blend, vegetable blend, berry blend

This is Juice plus! I had a good friend introduce it to me, and read many good things about the benefits of these pills. This is another chapter of my health journey. I was already on a health journey, but after a car wreck, my journey has turned from being healthy to healing from injuries and treating pain the holistic way of course. I have said before that I am not against medicine and all the good it does, but this is my life choice. If I didn’t look for holistic ways to heal from pain, then I would be on pain medicine weekly while never treating the source of the pain. So this post is going to be on why I’m taking Juice Plus and what other things I’m doing to heal from pain. I will give an update on the list of things that it showed to help or didn’t show to help. First is a list of things that are  not fun to deal with as a young 20 something trying to live life. I’m determined to take the time to listen to my body in the journey to healing.

Health Issues:

1.) Inflammation of the lower spine and tail bone causing pain from daily ground impacts such as walking, running Haha! or jumping…I forgot what jumping feels like anymore.

2.) Neck stiffness and pain

3.) Head aches

4.) Fatigue which really messes with your productivity.

5.) Insomnia

6.) Limitations on lifting, pulling or carrying anything over 10 pounds.

7.) Muscle soreness/ joint pain

8.) Nerve damage

If I am to be honest with myself, this is only the major things I am aware of that are a health issue right now in my life. I do not focus on what I cannot do, but what I still can do.

I think our society has trouble dealing with people who are not “fine” in their lives physically. There are some that play a victim in life, but you can’t judge all by those few.  I lived with back pain for years from surgery and was happy to find doing Zumba in the water took away my back pain from gaining muscle. The step back now is the inflammation has stopped me from working out even in the water. I did work out for three straight months and did not gain any muscle. Thanks inflammation… it is not as simple as some may think.


So since Juice Plus has real fruits and vegetables that help with things such as stubborn inflammation, why not? Here is a simple description of their claims for health improvement. As any other holistic product, you will have research and people saying it works and others saying it is all a scam. I have to wonder if it does not work, then why have people shared testimonies on it working for them? One size does not fit all in health or education. It is better to try things for yourself to see if they work or not for you. If it does not work then what is the harm is adding some extra fruits and vegetables in your diet?

These are their clams.

The most I’m interested in helping with is the inflammation though.


Ease chronic disease through healthy diet, proper nutrition

Juice Plus+ has been shown to support a healthy inflammatory response.

Chronic systemic inflammation is invisible, and can contribute to an increased risk for developing chronic health conditions. Investigators at the University of South Carolina found Juice Plus+ significantly decreased levels of three key biomarkers of inflammation.

I feel if I can reduce the inflammation then I can be active again and gain muscle to help with daily limitations. Before the car wreck I was a size 7 from easy gained muscle from Aqua Zumba. After the car wreck I lost all my muscle and went back to a size 3….this is a problem for me.

So this is another thing added that will hopefully help me and someone else out there thinking of trying juice plus or needs help in recovering from similar issues.

Here is a list of things I do to help with inflammation and staying healthy.

1.) No processed food 80/20 rule Eat 80% organic with 20% allowed from out of control situations.

2.) Anti-inflammatory diet, meaning foods with omega 3’s, brightly colored produce, spices such as turmeric and rosemary        used.

3.) No hydrogen oils, only coconut and olive oil


5.) Limit on processed sugar

6.) Glut-amine (repairs torn tissue, 10g a day)

7.) Adjustments to the spine and neck

If these changes scare you, then check out some of my recipes on my blog to show I don’t go without good food, I just replace the fake stuff with the real stuff. I still have brownies! I just make them with real whole ingredients!

I started taking juice plus before but had trouble implementing it into my routine. I have taken half a bottle over several months, then my pain became worse from too much daily activity and stress. Which is why I’m determined to use what I invested in my health and take the pills daily from now on. I will update after taking the pills consistently for two months.

Do you have any personal experience with Juice Plus or advice on inflammation? Please comment and share! Questions welcomed as well.

Here’s to Keeping it Real ~Ms. Shawna