Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Uncategorized

Sweet Ways to Lower Blood Sugar

It’s National Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Day!

My family tree has an over abundance of Diabetes- my mom, aunty, grandma and even great grandma were (are) all Diabetic.

Not this girl!

It was years ago that I was blessed to have a massage (I know, swoon) and at the end of the massage, I asked the therapist if he noticed anything that was out of line.
“Nope” he said, “All the bones and muscles are in right order, but you eat too much sugar, that’s why your back hurts RIGHT THERE” as he pressed into the spot on the right side of my middle back that ALWAYS hurt.

“What? What do you mean?” with a shrug of his shoulder he gave me insight that would change everything for me.  “That’s not a muscle hurting” he explained “That’s where your pancreas is. It’s inflamed. Don’t believe me? Cut out refined sugar for a week and see if you notice a difference.” He further explained that I didn’t even have to cut out all sugar, just the white stuff. Switch to raw sugar or honey, he said.

I did. And guess what! No. More. Back pain!

So let’s start there. If you have a pain in the right side of your middle back, cut out white sugar for a week and see if anything changes.

Beyond that, there is so much you can to to keep your body humming along, healthy and even with the worst genetic pool, be encouraged. You don’t need to receive the diagnosis plaguing so many in our Nation today.



Here are a few simple things that you can do today to help your body stay healthy or even return to the health it was created for.

1-SAY NO to fake food! GMO foods are not real food. Even if your tongue thinks they are, your cells not better. Don’t eat them. Kick them to the curb! Corn, Soy, Canola oil are the most common offenders with any hydrogenated oil fast behind. Skip the fake stuff, including dyes and bleaching agents.

2-FEED Your Body the good stuff! Macro’s are key. Good fiber helps your body do the happy dance. They slow down the rate at which your body absorbs glucose and help detoxify your system. Some great fiber choices that are nutrient rich are Artichokes, Avocado, Nuts and Seeds (especially Chia and Flax) Healthy fats (like coconut oil) can help level out your blood sugar therefore helping out your pancreas. Good clean protein is also key. They work to slow the absorption of sugar. So, if you eat meat, get good grass-fed organics, wild-caught fish (which are packed with Omega-3’s to reduce inflammation) or reach for lentils or eggs!

3-MOVE Your Body! Studies show that as little as 20 minute of light exercise 5 times a week can help prevent and even reverse type 2 diabetes.



About 10% of the American Population has diabetes, including our kiddos.

How about we move that number down by moving our bodies UP and out for a nice walk and then a healthy plate of real, nutritious food. We can reclaim the health God gave us, one step, bite, choice at a time.


Shannyn Caldwell is a certified holistic nutritionist and author of The Healing Season.

Find her at


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Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Homemaking, Recipes, Uncategorized

From the Healing Season Kitchen

Last month, we welcomed an InstantPot into our kitchen.

Honestly, pressure cookers have always scared me a bit, with stories circulating through our family history of explosions and spaghetti sauce on the ceiling. But when all of American exploded at Christmas with blog upon blog and photo after photo of happy/healthy mama’s smiling next to their shinny little cooker-bots…I BIT!

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that probiotics are a blessing for your belly, digestion and entire system. They are healing ninjas! I want an army of them!

Mostly, I wanted to be able to push a button that says “Yogurt” and then watch a tiny little miracle happen. And THAT’S exactly what I feel has happened.


My Syrian grandma, Mary used to make her own yogurt. It was delish. Making is…GROSS, Grandma! But this…for realz, ya’ll. It’s “set it and forget it” goodness.

My husband says it’s the best he’s ever had. My son has requested I make it each week!

And…holy EASY Batman! So…if you are feeling adventurous or just want to up that pro-biotic count, this is for you.

I don’t know about YOU but for me, if it’s going into something called the “Instant Pot” it better be really, really easy. Dare I say Instant?

There are LOTS of recipes out there for homemade Instantpot Yogurt. So require boiling milk. Some require a thermometer! #aintnobodygottimeforthat. Because this is a coconut yogurt, no thermometer required! YES, LORD!

This is definitely easy.

Easy homemadecoconut yogurt

To create this Greek Yogurt textured pot of yummy, simply mix all the ingredients above (except the gelatin) together. Split the creamy goodness between your two clean ball jars and put them uncovered in your Instant Pot for 11 hours.  When your little pot sings it’s happy “I’m done” song it will read “Yogurt” on the display! That’s when you just pull out the jars, stir in the gelatin (or better yet, BLEND that goodness) and pop them in your refrigerator until they are cool.

And they are SO cool! I hope you enjoy this and thanks to the blogger at My Big Fat Grain Free Life for getting this idea started. (she doesn’t add the syrup so hers is a pure plain yogurt, while this is a tiny bit sweet)

Top with your favorites: Berries….MORE syrup? Have fun, sweet ones! Be well.

Shannyn Caldwell is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and founder of The Healing Season: Holistic. Wellness. Community! 


Christian Living, Prayer, Social Justice, Surrender, Uncategorized

My God is Stronger Than Your Gun

Excepted from my  book Raised Catholic: A Healing Season Book


Chapter 8: Last Rites


In 1994, I was 24 and finally had my first apartment without a roommate. The place was an upper, and my friend (a lighting guy from a local theatre) rented the place below. Bob Smith (not his real name…and no he’s not a Catholic nun who asked me to change it) was doing lighting for a play I was producing.

I was down at his apartment going over the staging needs, as we would be opening the show in days. We were sitting on his couch…the kind of couch you pull off a curb if you’re a kid and put on the curb when you’ve grown up, when a knock came at the door.

It was a solid wrap. Firm.

“Who is it?” Bob shouted above the sounds of the Bob Marley Live in Concert video which played in the background.

“It’s Jim,” said the voice through the closed wooden door.

Bob, seeming to know this Jim, reached over me (this was a tiny studio apartment) to pull the door open. I was the first to see who was in the hall. It was not just Jim (I doubt his name was Jim. I know he was no nun) but Jim and five to eight of his friends, lined up down the hall. All wearing ski masks, with guns drawn. “Jim” was the first in the room. He covered my eyes with his hand. Why was his hand so soft, I thought? His eyes were so blue. What was going on?

“Put your head in the couch,” Jim ordered me. I did.

As the gang proceeded to turn the apartment upside down, Bob begged, pleaded.

“Oh, my God! Please don’t kill me! I’m so sorry! Take it! It’s all yours! I’m so sorry! Please don’t kill me.” He was screaming.

I looked up for a moment to get an idea of what was happening. Could I run? Could I hide?


As I took the tiniest peek, I saw Bob, with a pillow case over his head. Two men in ski masks pointing guns at Bob. One man in a ski mask, beating Bob. Some number of men in the only other room, flipping everything over. Two men in ski masks, guns trained on me.

“Put your head down! Don’t make me shoot you, woman!” one of the men barked. He meant it.

Oh my God, I thought. They were going to kill Bob! Why would they put a pillow case over his head if they were not going to kill him?

That’s when the panic set in. This was real. They were going to kill him. For some reason—I, to this day, have no idea why, and I never want to know—they were there to settle something big. Bob knew. He must have known, or what was “I’m so sorry!” about, right?

Then it hit me. If they killed Bob, they would have to kill me next. I’d seen them! I could ID them. Oh, my God. I was going to die tonight. I hoped they didn’t rape me before they killed me. But I mentally prepared, (as much as one can) to be raped…literally gang-raped. I started to pray in the way that I knew.

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Try will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

This didn’t seem to be working. My heart was not ready to die. I tried a different prayer, “Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee…”

When Jim stopped the assault of Bob to quiet me,
his “SHUT UP!” was a cannon.

I fell silent. This was the hour of my death, I thought. What do I believe in? I thought. It’s time to decide, Shannyn. What do I believe in? Decide now. The best truth I could craft was this: I believe “in the light.”

(God from God. Light from Light. True God from true God.)

And so, I visualized the light, a tiny pin point of light, and I held it in my heart. Then, as quietly as I could, I visualized that light softly filling my chest, then my torso. Next, I sneaked a bit of the light down my arms, then legs and held it there until it felt steady. Next, I let that light ease its way into my hands and fingers, feet and toes.

Once my body was entirely filled with the light, I sent it quietly, as not to attract attention, out of the edges of my skin, till it was a glow around me, and held it there for a bit. Next, further…a bubble of light around the couch and held it there. Finally, I imagined the light spreading into the entire room…every corner, ceiling to floor, then around the corner to the only other room, where the gangsters were still busy digging through drawers and emptying cupboards.

I could hear the impact of Jim’s blows to Bob’s body. I could hear Bob breaking, flesh and bone. I thought he might skip the gun and beat him to death. At the very instant that I could see the entire room filled with light, Jim stopped.


“Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s GO!” he shouted to the men in masks.

“But the…” one objected.

“Go! Go!” Jim shouted.

“Do you want us to grab the…” another shouted back.

“I said GO!”

Jim was heard and his orders were matched with the obedient sound of tennis shoes on dusty floors moving to the door by my still-buried head, and then out the door and down the hall.

“I’m sorry for the inconvenience, lady,” said Jim.

Then the click of the door.

They were gone.

This is the reason I will never feel the need to carry a gun.

This is one reason I feel the need to carry the light.



You can find Raised Catholic and Shannyn’s other books at, Amazon, Kindle and where fine books are sold.


Dear Justin, Keep it Classy


Dear Justin,

We see you with your Super Bowl half time re-do and have this humble plea.

Keep it classy.

Justin  Timberlake, you know we love you.

You are a very talented cat.

You know that we, the mama’s, the classy classy ladies this Nation just beg you, sweet Justin.

You know we’ve loved you since the Mouse Club, Justin.

Since Britney….Justin. We’ve been praying.

Cheered you on through Star Search., Justin.

You have a gift. I mean a real gift. You know it.

We all know it.

You’re so smooth, you can dance,  you travel with a horn section.

So, Justin, keep it classy.

We remember, Justin.

You know what I mean, right?

We remember the thing with Janet and that statement out a “wardrobe malfunction, Justin” and….please….please…..Justin… are a Tennesee boy.

You’re the baby of Lynn and Charles…Charles the church choir director.

And lordy is they teach you, Justin. Praise God for the harmony, the skill and the soul, young man.

Justin, they, I’m sure will be watching with pride. Please make them proud.

For the church groups watching, keep it classy, Justin.

For the un-churched, keep it clean.

Show when what your father at home and your Father in heaven have taught you….

To dance like David and sing like an angel AND to keep it classy, Justin. Keep it and keep it clean.

You Justin Randel Timberlake are the last line of defense in the Half time show. You’re live. So very alive. So from the bottom of our NSync loving hearts,  speak life! And no matter what, Justin.

Keep it classy. Keep it clean.

Give ‘em heaven, Justin.

From a mom and fan who will be watching with her littles on Sunday.