How we’ve managed the cold and flu season…

by montejosmemorials on February 17, 2018

fresh summer herbs - aromatherapy at white background close up

I have had more people ask me this cold and flu season, than any other year, how we manage to keep our big family healthy for the most part and off of medicines. It makes me excited, because it seems that as a whole, people are taking more responsibility and advocating for their own health, as they learn to utilize more natural options.

For our family, it’s an intentional process, It has definitely changed over the years, especially since our children have gotten older, but there are many things that have stayed the same. We always start naturally.

We started our health journey, over 20 years ago, when our oldest son was caught in a cycle of ear infections and antibiotics. There was something in my spirit that knew the circle could be broken, but I wasn’t really sure where to start.  As crazy as it may seem now, we couldn’t just google the answer, research took a little more effort.  I was listening to the radio one day and a lady came on talking about the effects of food on the body and how sensitivities could be manifested in ear infections, cold symptoms, etc. I still have the book, called Food Smart, that she recommended. What I learned from the book, started us on an exciting journey and we’ve never turned back! As a result, we have managed to stay vaccine and antibiotic free, with all of our older children. Don’t get me wrong, I was not opposed to medicinal intervention, I am thankful it’s there when necessary, but thankfully, most of our sicknesses have been able to be helped through a plant based lifestyle.

So, what does that mean? Yes! Food plays a part. Sugars, flours and a lifestyle of lots of processed food, is not helpful when you want to keep colds and flus at bay. Are we obsessive about it? No, but we do try to intentionally limit these things more in the winter months when so many germs are rampant. I definitely have the personality that could go overboard and if you ask our kids, they’ll probably tell you I do, but we try to maintain balance.  I believe the stress of how you eat can be just as harmful as eating the wrong things.

Food has looked different ways for us, in different seasons. There were times, when everyone was little, that I made all of our baked goods and breads from whole ground grains, much of them soured or soaked. There were other seasons of intense juicing. In this busy season of life, I feel accomplished when we have a homemade meal. Find what works for your family in the season you are in and try to keep the foods as close to God made them as you can, including lots of fruits and veggies.

I learned early on to implement herbs into our lifestyle. We have used herbs in lots of different ways. When our kids were little, we used lots of herbal tinctures and teas. I bought some premade and also learned to make them myself from dried herbs. Elderberry syrup, vitamin C and D, were huge staples when the kids were little. I also keep at least a half a gallon of Fire Cider in the pantry. I try to make a gallon at a time, so I can share with friends who need it. For the kiddos, and adults who don’t like spicy, grape juice covers the taste pretty well.

We also have implemented essential oils on our journey and the past few years, I have learned so many amazing benefits about adaptogenic herbs as well as CBD and hemp. There’s just not a one size fits all answer, but implementing the things that aid the body in doing what it was naturally designed to do have worked well for us. Personalities also play a huge role in the remedy I resort to. Sometimes, I just have to be creative!

I am not a Dr., not do I give medical advice, but I do love to share what has worked for us. Learning to take advantage of plants and their benefits has been a great choice for our family. I’d love to hear what works for you! Please feel free to comment or connect with me on Facebook and let’s chat for a bit.



Fake it until you make it!

by montejosmemorials on June 3, 2017


Many years ago I had a mentor who used to tell me “Fake it until you make it.” I have remembered that through many times in my life and have told others the same thing. She didn’t mean to pretend like there aren’t hard things to go through or ignore the situations we have to deal with. She also didn’t mean to step out of reality or pretend certain things don’t exist. What she did mean was to keep walking. She would always encourage me to do the things that were in front of me, to not let go of the things that kept me strong and healthy. As I continued moving, eventually my feelings about the situation I was in, would catch up and I would be able to process or heal.

I have learned that my personality feels things deeply. Where you may be able to look at a situation and feel sad for someone, I take on that person’s pain and feelings as my own. This is considered a strength in my personality, although many times it doesn’t feel like it. As I have come to understand this about myself, I have been able to take a more proactive stance in “Faking it until I make it.”

We have had to spend some extra time the past few weeks at MUSC, Medical University of SC. Our oldest son had an injury to his eye and we have been following up with the Dr. every few days to monitor healing. As we were sitting in the waiting room, I couldn’t help but think of all of the different situations there. Because it’s a university, a children’s hospital, and specializes in many things, there are many circumstances. Young people with cancer, parents who are camped out for days to weeks to months because of a child in NICU or the cancer floor, some waiting for reports that will alter the course of life and who knows what else. I couldn’t help but take on a few of those feelings as well as my own.

MUSC was a sort of second home for us for almost a year, as we had Daniel with us. As I walked down the pathway in the picture above, it took my mind to so many things. When I walk to the end of the pathway and go left, there is a small parking area for large vans. It was a blessing to have that large van, because it kept us out of the parking garage and made parking easy.

My mind went back to how many times we had walked that path. There was the surgery for our second to oldest son. There were the many visits with Daniel, the feeding tube surgery, the successful heart surgery. There was the day we were scheduled for a second heart surgery, but they sent us home because what needed repairing before wasn’t there anymore. What a day of celebration that was as we walked that path! There was also the morning he passed away and how we felt as we forced ourselves to trudge that path leaving a part of us that in this life we could never bring back.  There was the wisdom teeth surgery for our oldest son, then the jaw surgery as I had to face returning to that hospital after losing our baby there. There were the MRI’s for our oldest son when they found the cyst close to his brain that God miraculously healed. Looking ahead to another MRI with our youngest who had an unexpected, unexplained seizure. So many memories on this one walkway from just our one family. Remembrances that are happy and sad, creating lots of feelings to process.

So how does this “Fake it until you make it.” work? It looks different for everyone, but for me this is my process. holding onto faith and the things that make me strong, my bible, prayer, worship, talking with someone who is supportive. Being gentle with myself is imperative to process. Providing good food, herbs, and essential oils that help support my body are also important because there is such an intricate connection between the mind and body. Pulling our family in a little tighter to provide some extra love and good memories. Reminding myself that feelings are there to serve a purpose, but I don’t have to let them control me.

What are some of your favorite tools to “Fake it until you make it?”



How do you get your greens?

by montejosmemorials on May 2, 2017


How do you get your greens in? I do it anyway I can. When I first started on our nutritional journey, I learned to use the blender and I worked as much good stuff as I could into the shakes I made. I have to admit that many of those shakes were forced down, because they didn’t taste too great. Our oldest children can remember and tell you about the forced “shots” of barleygreen and other green powder mixes. Now I watch our oldest daughter at the blender. She throws all kinds of stuff in, but her motivation is to have clear skin, which she does. I love knowing that she’s creating a healthy body too.

Green drinks and shakes have come a long way! We don’t have to force down those green drinks that may cause us to gag. I have been privileged to take part in a clinical study for SolleLean Greens. It is a 100% plant-based blend of  Adaptogens, a daily tonic blend of herbs, and a dynamic sustaining blend of sprouts, hemp and fruit. In keeping with the commitment Solle has made to target the physical, intellectual and emotional issues people commonly face in our society, it has been formulated with this in mind. Each ingredient was selected mainly for its value in helping assist the body with sustained nourishing energy, instead of depleting energy like a stimulant, helping support the thyroid and adrenal system, helping balance (not boost) the immune system for better performance, and helping protect the mind and body from the environment.

This is my first week starting, but I love the blend. When I opened the bag, I immediately smelled the fruit. On the first day I mixed mine with a few bananas, almond milk and a scoop of collagen. I since have been adding in some berries and a handful of spinach. You can never get too many greens, wink, wink. The fruits in the blend really cover up the taste of the herbs, so it has an extremely pleasant taste. This is definitely something I’ll be able to sneak in to a kids shake without it having a strong green flavor they’ll detect.

The study is a six week study that will gather data from about 100 people. It is hypothesized that drinking the SolleLean Greens daily will result in positive effects on mood, physical activity and health, and mental health. Previous investigations have already indicated that meal replacements are a generally effective and established method of losing weight and improving metabolic variables. These past studies have focused primarily on calorie restriction as a method to create these outcomes. The focus of this study is on the nutrition, tonic herbs and adaptogenic herbs in the SolleLean drink.

The bad news is this isn’t available yet, they are gathering the data to have when it’s released. The good news is that Solle does have other tasty drink blends that focus on the mind/body connection, including herbs and adaptogens that have these benefits.

One of my favorite places to learn about the benefits of many different kinds of adaptogens is Adaptogenie. If you haven’t stepped into the world of adaptogens, now’s the time! If you have, leave me a comment and tell me about the benefits you are receiving.




Is it Possible to Squeeze in Better Health… These awesome drops may do the trick!

You guys know that I never, ever give up looking for ways to make life better and overall work towards having a healthier lifestyle that enables us to stay in a place to do all that life demands. God’s got things for us to do and I need to operate at full capacity! That means taking care of myself.

As an INFP personality, I just can’t stop searching for ways to make things better, for me and everyone I can impact around me. (You can learn more about your personality here.) So, that means if I find something awesome, I’m going to pass it on to you!

Through a series of events, God led me to look at CBD, which led me to adaptogenic hemp oil, which could be easily shipped to all 50 states. (FYI, it doesn’t have the same psychotic affects as marijuana, because there’s no THC.)  I’m going to be honest, I was having a struggle, because it’s so controversial, but I couldn’t deny the doors that had opened and the research that has tremendous benefits for just about anything you may need help with. The more I read, the more people come to mind that I know, who can receive the benefits. It’s kind of overwhelming, because I can’t talk to everyone quick enough. Who knew the benefits? What do you have going on? It may just have a benefit!

One thing I have found on my health journey and sharing with others, is that so many are not willing to step out and make a change for themselves unless it’s super easy. Many of the things I’ve run into when sharing herbs or essential oils are, “It’s too much to learn. It’s too expensive. I don’t like the taste of herbs. What if it doesn’t work?” and the list goes on. It saddens me many times, because I know many can benefit, but they just won’t take the step or discipline themselves to be consistent.

If that’s you, you’re going to love these drops!  I can’t make claims, but can offer you a FREE course and you can learn for yourself.  Make sure to connect with me on Facebook, it’s the best way for us to chat.

There are some awesome testimonies here.

Take the FREE Online Class Tour here.







Turn Your Wax Warmer into a Himalayan Salt Warmer

by montejosmemorials on March 6, 2017

Himalayan Salt Warmer

What if you could receive the benefits of a Himalayan salt lamp with your Scentsy or standard wax warmer? Well you can!

Did you realize that warming Himalayan salt may actually improve the quality of air in your home? In a nutshell, the  salt attracts moisture from the air and when warmed, evaporates quickly. This evaporation produces negative ions. Pollen, dust, dirt pollutants, and allergens are suspended in air because of the positive charge they carry. The negative ions from the salt, neutralize the positive ions, resulting in them no longer being airborne. (source)

Here are some interesting studies:

In 1966, a hospital in Jerusalem conducted a study of thirty-eight infants suffering from respiratory problems. They cared for half of the infants in a ward without any ion change, and cared for the other half in a ward where a negative-ion generator was in use. “The researchers reported that neg-ions without any other treatment “ that is, no drugs “ seemed to cure attacks of asthma and bronchitis more quickly than drugs, antibiotics included… children treated with neg-ions were less prone to ‘rebound attacks’ (relapses)… the scientific report said that the tests ‘demonstrated that atmospheric ions have an effect on infants, especially those suffering from asthmatic bronchitis. Less scientifically, they found that the babies didn’t cry as often and as loudly as they did in normal air.” The Ion Effect, by Fred Soyka, p. 57, 1991.

World renowned Dr. Albert P Krueger, microbiologist and experimental pathologist, “worked with bacteria of the kind that float in the air and spread diseases “ mostly colds, influenza, and other respiratory ills “ and found that an astonishingly small quantity of neg-ions could kill them and quickly take them out of the air so they were less likely to infect people.” The Ion Effect, by Fred Soyka, p. 57, 1991.

Many natural living advocates claim that the negative salt ions that are released by heating the salt can boost blood flow, improve sleep, increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and calm allergy or asthma symptoms. It has also been said that the negative ions are known to neutralize electromagnetic radiation from household electronics, as well as prevent the build up of static electricity. (source)

I don’t know about you, but we implement a variety of resources on our journey of health. There’s definitely not a one size fits all for every situation. The incorporation of healthy eating, sleeping and exercise, herbs and essential oils, are all part of our health strategy.

Make sure to follow me on Facebook for daily encouragement and tips.

My favorite source of Himalayan Salt to use in the warmer are these stones. Get your warmer here.




Allergy season is here in South Carolina!

by montejosmemorials on March 4, 2017


Bumble bee on thistle flower. Beautiful macro.
One of the benefits of living in the south, is spring shows up early, this year earlier than normal. Along with spring comes boatloads of pollen, which means most everyone’s allergies go crazy!

Many rely on sprays and medicines to control their symptoms, but I like to do things as naturally as I can. Many think I’m a little crazy for that. Call it what you may, it’s just my preference.

One of my favorite things about a natural lifestyle is there are lots of options, and even if you take baby steps, you can make progress. I was sick lots when I was a child, took lots of antibiotics, had my tonsils removed, etc., so I have really had to work at building my immunity. It’s been about 20 years since I’ve been on this health journey and every year I feel stronger and healthier. As I continue to learn and implement new things, I peel away deeper layers of health. It’s not a one size fits all option, but with patience and perseverance,  we can keep moving forward.

There are so many things  at our disposal to utilize in preparing our bodies to handle seasonal allergies. Food is huge! We don’t eat perfectly at all, but in times when my body is under extra stress, like allergy season, I try to greatly reduce or eliminate dairy, sugar, white flours, and make sure I add in lots of fruits and veggies, healthy proteins and fats, etc.

There is lots of research available to connect an overloaded or toxic liver with allergies, so I have made it a habit to implement herbs in our lifestyle that are always doing a gentle cleaning of the liver and several times a year, I do a deeper cleanse. Some of these same herbs, are natural antihistamines and tonics to the body. Adaptogenic herbs can also be highly beneficial to implement, because they help the body to handle stress.  I’d say allergies are a big stressor, how about you?

In addition to food and herbs, essential oils play a major roll in our home during allergy season. Not only directly helping us with any allergy symptoms, like using our Balance spray bottle, or lemon, lavender, peppermint roller ball, but indirectly by eliminating toxic chemicals from our home.  Using essential oils in our cleaning products, has dual benefits! Our bodies don’t have to figure out how to process substances they don’t know how to handle, while at the same time we are receiving physical and emotional benefits from the oils.

Make sure to connect with me on Facebook, where I post lots of tips for Balancing Life Naturally! I’d be honored to help you take some new steps in your health journey or specialize your allergy plan just for you.




You don’t have to be brave on your own!

by montejosmemorials on February 24, 2017

I pulled this book off of the shelf as I was cleaning this week and realized what a forgotten gem I had found! It’s out of print, but the author has written many more books.

The Psalms are an incredible tool for us to reset our worship! I know I teased you with this book that’s not available, but here’s the gist of it! Choose a Psalm and meditate on a specific attribute of God in that Psalm all day. Journal, post it on the mirror, however you like to keep things in front of you, to meditate on what you’ve learned from that Psalm.

Today I looked at Psalm 34, focusing on God as our Refuge.

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

As our children have gotten bigger, I have found myself more fearful in certain aspects of being a mom than I was when they were smaller. Even though I have always believed God has loaned them to me, when they were small and I was able to physically take care of them, it felt easier. The bigger they get, it’s more of a walk of faith, trusting God to take care of them. This Psalm says “He delivered me from all my fears.”

One of the things God has led me to do is recite back to him what he’s shown me in his word. The enemy loves to bring doubt, and if we keep positive affirmations coming out of our mouth, we strengthen our belief and cause the enemy to retreat. You don’t have to be brave on your own, but because of who you are through Jesus.

Do you struggle with fear? Speak out, “I have been delivered from all my fears!”

Is it shame? Remind the enemy, “I am radiant, not covered with shame.”

“I am saved, I am delivered, I am blessed!!!”

You will believe what you speak, so speak life!

If you are reading this and don’t have the security of knowing God, take that first step. He loves you and wants you to experience the benefits of his word here and now, as well as the security of eternal life. Ask him to take over your life, forgive you for your past mistakes and sin, and to set you on a new path. Connect with a local church, so you can learn and grow.







Progress, not perfection!

by montejosmemorials on February 1, 2017


It’s the end of January and many are already experiencing a let down, because they set high expectations of themselves or resolutions they were unable to keep. I am constantly setting expectations that are so high that I’d have to be superhuman to accomplish them. My goal this January, was to start reprioritizing and to get better about having realistic goals. I wanted to set up some self care steps that would be realistic, so I would feel a sense of accomplishment.

In thinking through this, I wanted to set myself up for success! What were some of the things I wanted to accomplish? I wanted to lost some weight, but not just for the pure reason of doing that, but also because it would improve other issues in my body. I wanted to add exercise, but not only to help me lose weight, but to stimulate the lymph system to release toxins, and to make a step in the right direction of being healthier. There was a list a mile long of things I wanted to accomplish. So, what did I do? I convinced myself to keep it simple!

I chose a few things to focus on and I started in December instead of January. My thought process was that even if I wasn’t completely faithful to stick to my plan in December, that by January, I’d already be a step ahead. I didn’t say to myself, “I’m going to walk every day, and not eat anything with sugar or flour, and I’ll take a detox bath every night, and I’ll take herbs, supplements, and essential oils for all of the things I want to address, etc.” This may sound crazy, but this is typically what I do and set myself up for huge failure! As I was making my plans, I kept reminding myself of my resolve to keep it simple.

In keeping with this goal, I started focusing on becoming more aware of what I was eating, when, and why.  I started reminding myself that I could make a choice of what to eat, when and how much. Some days with our crazy lifestyle, it just doesn’t work out to stay on a strict plan, so learning not to beat myself up and realize there’s always tomorrow, has been helpful. I’m in for the long term, not the short term. I implemented a 15 minute workout along with dry skin brushing and committed to consistently using a few of my favorite herbal blends and essential oils that I know are balancing and cover a wide range of issues.

It has worked wonderfully!!! I am happy to say that I just started my eight full week of exercise and skin brushing, that my eating, although not perfect, is going pretty well, and I have been consistent with the herbs and essential oils I chose. I feel like I am actually accomplishing something, rather than defeated because I have not kept up with the grandiose plan I set up for myself. For so many of us, there is a huge emotional tie to eating. Becoming aware of that and how it effects me, has been huge in the success I have had this month. I have convinced myself to grab an oil or drink some water when I feel that emotional eating looming over me.

We are all on a journey of healing in various facets and need to find what will work for our unique situation. Here are some of my choices for simple solutions to keep me on track for this busy season of life.

My favorite workout is the Basic Workout Plus by T-Tapp. I have always looked for ways to combine benefits and this workout is a great way to do that. Not only are you able to lose inches fairly quickly, but this workout is rehabilitative to back, shoulders, hips, and knees,  stimulating to the lymphatic system and helpful with hormone and emotional balancing. Being that it’s 15 minutes, I can talk myself into it, which isn’t as likely with other workouts. You can Try Before You Buy, to see how you like it.

After T-Tapping, I dry skin brush to further stimulate the lymph system. This also helps with encouraging skin tightening, which can be a big deal with weight loss.

For many, digging into essential oils can be overwhelming. I have shared more about simplifying this process, if that describes how you feel about them. Don’t miss out on the amazing benefits! They truly are life changing! Remember, this is your journey and it doesn’t have to look like your friends who has a bag with 25 oils in it, wink, wink, or anyone else’s for that matter. If you are the one who loves having a bag full of oils, don’t feel guilty, I totally understand!

My last givens are a few basic herbal blends. I have chosen herbs in place of fractionated supplements. From what I have learned and what my body has responded to, I do so much better with naturally occurring nutrients. My favorite blends, include adaptogens, which are balancing to the mind and body.

So, how are you doing? It’s not too late to simplify! If you set yourself up for failure and need to restart your new year journey, now’s the perfect time! If you’d like some encouragement, Facebook is a great place to connect with me.




Collagen… When there’s just not enough time for bone broth!

by montejosmemorials on January 1, 2017

Flat white hot coffee on wood table

Collagen… When there’s not enough time for bone broth!

by Joyce Montejo

In my perfect world, I would make everything from scratch. This has been one of my huge battles, because as perfectionistic as my personality is, I have had to accept that I don’t live in a perfect world!

We have a large family, side businesses, and lots of things that keep our family on the go. I try to make as much as I can from scratch and implement things like bone broth, but I have learned to take some shortcuts too! Collagen has been one of those shortcuts and the more I use it, the more I love it!!! I literally have been adding it to everything! Once you learn how easy it is to add the great benefits into your everyday lifestyle, I bet you’ll be adding it to everything too!

I am famous for getting up in the morning and doing a million things before I realize too many hours have passed and I haven’t taken in any protein. This is one of my favorite ways to use collagen, because I make sure I get some goodness in my first drink of the morning.

I usually start off with some warm lemon water and after that I have either a Cinnamate, an herbal vitamin and mineral blend, or coffee. Here’s how I incorporate the collagen. This is my version of Bulletproof coffee or Cinnamate.

1 cup of coffee or Cinnamate

1 to 2 scoops of  hydrolyzed collagen (Depending on whether or not I am eating with it.)

1 spoonful of coconut oil or MCT oil

Stevia or Preferred Sweetener

I then whiz this in the blender. The oil creates a foamy creaminess that allows me to skip any kind of creamer, or you can add some in.

Wondering about the benefits of collagen? Here are just a few taken from Perfect Supplements blog. There is a great series of articles, including benefits, differences between collagen and gelatin, and the science behind collagen.

Improve Skin Health

Promote Younger, Firmer Skin

Support Joint Health

Improve Gut Function and Digestion

Keep Excess Inflammation in Check

Build and Restore Muscle

Support a Healthy Metabolism

Keep Appetite In Check

Promote Healthy Brain Function

Promote Deeper Sleep

As I am looking for ways to improve my health, the goal is always to feed my body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. as well as repair. Not to just treat a problem, but to provide fuel to increase overall health. Since I can’t manage to have a big mug of bone broth with every meal, I use the collagen to fill in the gaps.

Some of my other favorite ways to use it are mixed in Vital, a cup of warm tea, or a smoothie.



Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

November 30, 2016

  I don’t know about you, but when I am really busy, it’s a key trigger for inflammation to rear it’s ugly head!!! This month can be especially difficult for many, because we add so many activities on top of already full schedules. Inflammation is our bodies way of fighting foreign invaders, so can be […]

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