So What’s Your Plan Now (a true story about my dad)


(My dad and I at a  10 course meal this summer at our house.  Rouge Chef Chris-Rachel Oseland stayed with us and raided our pantry to create this feast.)

So What’s Your Plan Now ? (a true story about my dad)

This is a question I asked my dad as he was laying in an E.R. hospital bed yesterday complaining of chest pains.  He has had an on going cold for over a month, and feels he just started another one today.

He was feeling much better after some nitroglycerin and 4 baby aspirins.  They ran a myriad of tests on him, and then left him in his room unattended (mom was there thank goodness) for 2 hours waiting for tests results, and for the doctor to give the go-ahead to go home.

He tells me, ‘This is going to probably cost over $20,000 for E.R. time, and all the tests.’  I’m sure he is right, because it will be billed to Medicare (insert disdain for the insurance world).  I had just got done teaching my Wednesday night Yoga Class, was in the middle of eating my dinner – (the uze, bananas, peanut-butter, almonds, protein powder and nutmilk) while talking to my dad at 7:30pm, way past all our normal dinner times.

Then I asked him – ‘So what’s your plan for now?’  meaning, how do you plan on taking care of yourself after a scare like this?  I don’t think some people realize that when they take their health for granted, it not only affects them, but it seriously trickles down to EVERYONE!  We are all connected!!!

Let’s break it down.  My mom, stressing out, sitting next to him hooked up to all kinds of monitors etc… Her mind is racing, ‘What if…..???????’ She might think of her other widowed friends, her home, I’m sure us kids, but mostly…’What will I do if my mate dies?’  Her Cortisol levels must be peaking out.

Dad has a perfect job for himself, I actually dreamed he would get this job before he moved here 8 years ago.  He is the bus driver for the Senior Center.  He picks up little old ladies for hair appointments, and takes them inside the beauty salons, and picks them up when they are done.  They go to doctor appointments, and even picks up a little boy after school sometimes.  Relationships have grown here, and he’s a little celeb in town.  He’s a happy guy (most of the time) and hangs his fist on his hip and throws his head back for a hearty laugh often.

He’s the head haunch driver and tells all the other drivers their schedules and goes to big meetings trying to get funding for garages, wheel chair lifts for the vans and helps with the grant work.  He sees that the vans are running properly, and has a butt load of paperwork to manage along with the people he delegates and cooperates with in the senior center.  His job affects many on many different levels, and alllll the other people interconnected to the other bus drivers, the passengers, the hair stylists, the doctors, the receptionists at the clinics, the guy at the gas station, the ladies in the kitchen.  SO MANY PEOPLE.

Back to my question…’So what’s your plan for now?’  What I am meaning when I ask this question, and maybe I should have just said it….. – What’s your plan for your health after a scare like this?  The way my dad answers is straight from the gut…’I’m waiting for the doctor to come by to release me, then we are going to go out for Chinese.’  Yup that’s my dad.  I explained what I meant in my question and suggested swimming.  They live 2 blocks from the pool!  He is even a board member at the pool after they swam pretty constant for about a month or two, then came up with excuses to not go.  Again more people affected by his health choices.  He agreed he gets up real early because he can’t sleep, and the pool does open early.  Maybe there is hope?

I talked to mom later about the test results.  She said the doctor came in and said, ‘you need to lose weight and exercise.’  Are these such buzz words by doctors that no one really listens?  I wasn’t even there, but if I had a scare like that, just wasted $20,000 in the insurance scam world, and had OPTIONS – It would be a NO BRAINER.  4 years ago he gave us a similar scare with a  life flight to Billings with blood clots that were in his legs, and breaking loose into his chest.  Same advice, lose weight, exercise.  It happened again, another E.R. scare with blood clots.  I’m sure the same advice.

I know eating healthier seems expensive at first (especially where we live), and it’s an excuse I know my parents use.  One time my mom teased my dad about being a big spender and bringing home organic bananas.  I think his response was something it was all they had, or all the others were too ripe.  But as I ate my banana uze while dad told me he figured his medicare bill would be $20,000 – I figured, it just pays me to eat this way.

So I just want to get across to my readers, realize the way you take of your body isn’t just for your rewards of feeling better every time you get out of a chair, or out of bed, or putting on your clothes, or walking up a flight of stairs.  You are saving your seat at the Thanksgiving Dinner Table for many more years.  You are keeping the lives of others who depend on you for love, support, guidance, and friendship more stable, more relaxed, and abundant on many levels.

Take care of yourself for you, and those who love you…please dad.

Love, Me

By Suzi Shelhamer


So a big question brought to me about health is what about food and recipes? Eating healthy tastes as good if not better than eating highly processed food. Today my lunch was pretty darned processed I must say. And what does highly processed mean exactly? Processed is anything in a box or a can or wrapper from the store. These are the foods we want less of in our diets.

This was lunch. Two pieces of organic herb turkey breast (I crave turkey this time of year) and two pieces of cheese. I also counted out 26 little crackers to show a serving size. I don’t think I would normally put that many on my plate. If I was holding the box and watching TV I would easily eat the whole box. These are organic crackers but they do contain gluten. Number one ingredient is organic wheat flour.

So let’s break this down more. How did I feel about this meal before, during and after?

Before while making it I was thinking, this is a nice light meal. But really lacking some veggies and color. (Negative thought going into my meal).

During the meal I’m getting cheesed out. Too many milk products clog up my throat and I am not enjoying it. Realizing I’m intaking dairy and wheat and thinking this ‘light meal’ isn’t feeling so light. But I keep on eating because it’s on my plate. I could have stopped there and ate an apple.

Afterwards I don’t feel overly full, in fact I’m craving a little something more sweet. Or am I? Has it just become a habit to have a little something sweet after lunch? I believe this is the case and should be satisfied at this point with a ‘light meal’ especially this time of year when I’m not as active.

So I have sent some negative thoughts to my food. I have essentially fed myself negativity. Yet the food was labeled fairly healthy. High protein, healthy fats in the cheese, a couple of organic labels. How could I change this whole situation?

I could friggin lighten up! Say, ‘Hey- this is a satiating meal that fueled my body in a tasty and healthy way.’ My mind could tell my body a corndog and funnel cake were good for me, and if I let go of my beliefs, my old destructive inner talk, maybe a corn dog and funnel cake would be good for me.

I’m not giving myself permission to go eat those crazy meals everyday though, because analyzing how I feel that night and next day my body tells the truth. But if I do eat something out of my normal healthy eating routine I try not to send negativity to it, I definitely don’t make it a habit, and I just allow myself a simple pleasure like that very rarely (at the fair). Honestly though I wonder why I did it the next day.

So my advice is, pay attention to your thoughts of your food during preparation, while you’re eating it, and observe the feelings afterward.

Most of all, love your body.

PS. I ate some dried papaya to curb the sweet tooth but told myself it was to aide in digestion. Watch the thoughts.



By Suzi Shelhamer

Cold Showers

This is my hand after a 5 minute cold shower before bed. My hand starts out white with big purple patches in the meatiest parts of the hand. Then back to white and red splotches. I’m observing my circulation in awe.

Why cold showers?


I started doing the Wim Hof Method of breathing, holding the breath, push-ups, stretching, head stands, all followed by a cold shower. All of this practice raises your oxygen levels, raises your alkalinity levels, resets the nervous system, makes you feel very alert and clear minded, increases your flexibility and teaches you to face your fears, and so much more in the feel good brain chemicals. There are so many benefits I’m sure I have forgotten some.

Also, cold showers are hip. They are the in thing with movie stars and pro-athletes.

Facing Fears


So you may think you’re not afraid of any of this, but then I challenge you…go turn your shower knob to full on cold and feel your minds reaction; I don’t want to get in there. So then the observer in you hears this message and you force yourself to get in. This one small action is a quantum leap. Pay attention to these feelings. What has happened here is you have created a new healthy neurotransmitters. Bravo!!




How I started was by getting the Wim Hof Innerfire app. ($3.99). He explains to start off with a warmish shower and to slowly turn it to cold. This was a great starting point, and you can build up your resistance by trying for longer periods of time. The key for me personally to stay in longer is to really concentrate on my deep breathing. It becomes very bearable this way.



By reading some of my older posts you may catch the drift that I like to start new healthy habits. Starting new patterns and breaking free from the old habits also creates new neuro-pathways. Brain health. Feel the change in your thinking be very observant of feelings to reinforce the quantum leap of it all. The feelings in the middle of your chest and the connection to the arguments in your head. This is HeartMath. There’s an awesome book called The HeartMath Solution by Childre and Martin. I will discuss more on quantum leaping and HeartMath later. For now know that the benefits of this types of habits help to:

  • Immediately lower stress hormones
  • Raise anti aging DHEA hormone levels
  • Improve your heart rate for maximum longevity
  • Maintain emotional clarity in the midsts of chaos
  • Achieve peak mental and intuitive performance

Another excellent book on this topic is Grow Younger, Live Longer by Deepak Chopra.

Try a cold shower and let me know how you FEEL!!!


16 BENEFITS OF COLD SHOWER < strong>Bortowed from<

. Reduces stress

According to experts, swimming in cold water significantly decreases cortisol. Splashing your face with it slows your heart down. It is an apt treatment for unusually fast heart rates.

2. Improves mood

Cold showers increase your beta-endorphins and noradrenaline blood levels, which will lift your mood.

3. Enhances skin quality

Cold water tightens your skin’s pores and reduces under-eye puffiness. To experience its best effects on your skin, do wash your face with warm water first.

4.Improves alertness and focus

Cold showers may enhance your concentration. A combination of hot and cold water accelerates your breathing rate and oxygen intake.

5. Prevents depression

Cold showers are ideal for people with chronic depression or inflammation. Triggering cold receptors is therapeutic. Cold water constricts your blood vessels, allowing the body to conserve heat. It also sends fresh blood to the brain and other organs, oxygenating them. With fresh oxygen and nutrients, you are bound to feel refreshed.

6. Improves hair quality

Cold showers drastically improve your hair quality. Cold water moisturizes and conditions your hair naturally. Cold water smoothens hair follicles and retains moisture.

7. Treats sore muscles

There may be more benefits of cold showers that you probably expect, especially with ice-cold water. Their advantages make them favorites among athletes and fitness experts. Chris Beakley from the University of Ulster found that treating sore muscles with cold water was more efficient than doing nothing. It reduced muscle soreness by 20%. Athletes Kobe Bryant and Lechon James use it to treat their sore muscles and inflammation.

8. Prevents Varicose Veins

Cold water can help an older person stand up without any pain in his legs. It is one of the best remedies for varicose veins, a common malady among the elderly. Cold water stimulates the smooth muscle that links vessels and causes them to contract.

9. Stimulates Immune System Function

Cold water encourages blood cells to gather around your organs. It allows the arteries to pump blood efficiently, therefore increasing circulation and boosting overall heart health. Renowned natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola attests to its ability to lower blood pressure. It also clears blocked arteries and purges waste from the body, therefore boosting your immunity.

10. Enhanced will power

Willpower is an emotional muscle that needs to strengthen and grow. It is a higher predictor of success than IQ. Take a cold shower to increase it. A cold shower in the morning works as well as doing 100 push ups.

11. Encourages weight loss and fat burning

Cold showers increase your metabolic rate and enhance your fat-burning capabilities. They also encourage the build up of healthy brown fat, located around the neck and collarbone. Brown fat determines if your body mass is healthy, and people often associate it with trimmer waistlines. It also helps to regulate blood sugar.

12. Boost Fertility

Cold showers are a boon for fertility levels, and explain why testicles are the only organ outside of the body. They need to have a lower temperature to preserve sperm. Some old school powerlifters had the habit of freezing the ballsack before big competitions.  Studies performed on rams and monkeys by J Androl. et al. showed that animal cells exposed to heat could not secrete testosterone.

13. Increase emotional resilience

If you feel put out because of a tough day, a cold shower will help you. According to a study by Siems WG et al., winter swimmers secreted more antioxidants and less cortisol than people who did not swim in cold conditions. Their bodies adapted better to the cold.

14. They wake you up

An ice-cold shower is a way to get you up in the morning. If you have trouble getting up for the day, a cold shower provide assistance.

15. And help you sleep

Cold showers can wake you up in the morning, and help you get your beauty sleep as well. In The Four Hour Body, Tim Ferris states that a 10-minute ice bath acts like a powerful tranquilizer that puts an elephant to sleep.

16. Improves the lymphatic system

The lymphatic system ferries waste from your cells. Like all objects, your lymph vessels contract in cold temperatures and expand in warmer ones. The adaptation results in a stronger immune system and better health.

The Side effects of taking cold showers

Although there are benefits of cold showers, they are not perfect health boosters; they can have detrimental effects, especially after rigorous exercise.

Since they cause blood vessels to constrict, you will want to avoid them if you have heart diseases or hypertension. The narrowing of the veins will reduce blood supply to the brain, which could lead to a stroke.

Why a hot shower may work

Hot showers are a practical alternative if you feel tense and anxious. Hot water can soothe aching muscles. It massages your back, shoulders and neck.

Hot water also raises oxytocin, the hormone that creates a soothing, “cuddle” effect. It reduces anxiety and makes sleep easier.

Hot water opens pores and behaves like a natural decongestant. The steam will keep your nasal passages moist.

Experiencing the benefits of both hot and cold showers

Cold showers have benefits, as do warm ones. Alternate them to boost your well-being.

You may finish off a hot shower by rinsing yourself in cold water for a few minutes. Alternating hot and cold water will work as well. Start with your upper body to prevent a sudden increase in blood pressure.

By Suzi Shelhamer

Have FUN be Brave

 I had a blast with my girls last week at the Trampoline Park in Billings.  I haven’t been on a trampoline for 5 years.  Here’s a video of me in 2011 with my girls.  Baby Chelsea’s voice is so cute in the background. 2011 Trampoline.


Here’s a video from last week 2017 Trampoline Park. Chelsea’s voice says ‘Really Pretty’ at the end of this one.


Anyway, my encouragement to you is, go have fun!  Push your limits.  Try something that scares you or excites you!  Be safe, but enjoy this short time we have.  When someone says…want to go to the yoga retreat, the roping clinic, the trampoline park…say, ‘Hell Yes!’
By Suzi Shelhamer

Cabbage and Carrot Kimchi


Delicious and nutritious! And oh so odoriferous!!

I just altered my sauerkraut recipe with cayenne pepper and crushed red peppers.

See recipe under Ferementation page.

By Suzi Shelhamer

Spring Cleaning our guts
We just started our Ayurvedic cleanse. This is a wonderful bi-annual practice of eating Kitchari for lunch and dinner every day for a week (or more) and rice for breakfast. 

Here’s our breakfast rice. 


Basamati rice, raisins, almonds, cinnamon and ghee. I cook the rice  in the crock pot over night. Add the raisins etc in the morning. 

Here’s lunch and dinner

Kitchari makes me want to lick my bowl when I’m done. Basmati, mung Dal bean (looks like lentils), kitchari seasoning from Banyan Botanicals and ghee. It all comes in a kit along with detox tea and Seasame oil for self massage to run out the toxins.  Also a bottle of Triphala to take at night for added cleansing results in the morning. 

I cook the kitchari at 8:30 am in the crockpot on high and it is ready at noon. There is enough for 4 meals in the directions on the kitchari seasonings. 

The rice makes enough for four breakfasts at 1 cup rice, 2 cups water. I always double that because I like to have extra rice around. 

I cook the kitchari on low in the crockpot overnight if we are taking it with us the next day. 

We always add cilantro, more ghee, and Himalayan salt. You can add veggies if you want but this is the way we love it. 

After doing this fulfilling cleanse you have a nice feeling of accomplishment of being disciplined and for some reason it is very easy to say, ‘sorry, we can’t eat that (fill in the blank)_______unhealthy food. We are on a cleanse.’  Then when it’s over, you have created a healthy habit of saying no, but the greatest thing is you just don’t want that garbage in your nice clean pipes!

All the info on cleanses is on Banyan Botanicals website. Just click the top picture for more info. 


By Suzi Shelhamer

How to make Blue Solar Water with a Clear Jar

Here you see you do need a blue jar or two but just place them in front of your clear jar and the blue rays shine through. You can see the blue rays on the ground. 

Placing your jars on the ground is extra beneficial when weather allows. A windowsill works too. Note a house plant grows well through a Window’s light in the winter.  So will your water charge in the sun. If you place your jars on the ground make sure it’s on the dirt. Not grass. It acts as a buffer and doesn’t get the best charge. One hour minimum is best. 


By Suzi Shelhamer

Winter Blues

We in the north of North America really are shafted when it comes to sunlight in the winter.  I am so grateful I don’t live any further north.  The sun sets about 4:15 p.m. on the Solstice, and doesn’t rise until 8.  That’s good and all for those who like to hibernate, but I think we all still lack all the nutrients from the sunny days.

Gratefully, this has been an El Nino winter and it has been very mild here.  ‘Thank you Mother Nature’. Another thing I am grateful for is the Sun Gazing.  This has helped immensely with my mood, and energy levels, and appetite (lack of).   Here is my article on Sun Gazing.

So since I know my mom and Mother in law are not going to bundle up in the winter temps of (9 degrees this morning) Wyoming and Montana, go hug a tree and watch the sun come up…I’ve tried to find the next best thing.  I looked up Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Lights, and found this baby.


Philips GoLIGHT BLU Energy Light – Health & Personal Care

Healthy Gadget Girl had to get one too.  The reviews were what sold me on it.  It helps with Insomnia by re-setting your internal clock.  Mitch’s mom has had a ton of energy, and sounds very chipper.  She opened hers up early, so she’s ahead of the game.

We turn it on us while we are on the computer.  You don’t look into it.  It just shines on you like a blue sunny day.  There are 3 settings, and the 1st setting is pretty intense as it is.  It does feel like I’ve watched the sun and changes the light in the room.

I will use it on days the sun isn’t shining and when we sit in the computer room.  By Mitch’s mom results already I would recommend this product.  Plus we all know I love Light Therapy!  I am such a believer that our cells LOVE light.  On the Lasers, the blue light kills bacteria.  So, maybe this blue light helps in that sense as well.

Everyone got health related gifts from us this Christmas, even though I wasn’t going to participate.  I hope the gifts get used.  Here some of the gifts our family received from us this year.  Many available in our boutique.




Copper Gloves that are WORKING for my father in law.  I told him to wear them at night:


Himalayan Salt Inhalers for the kids who smoke e-Cigarettes.  We use ours every night.  Available at the boutique


Tongue Cleaners for EVERYONE!!  All food, and bacteria enter the gut from the mouth.  This scrapes it off.  Brushing your tongue only smears bacteria around.  This also stimulates healthy digestion.  Healthy Gut Healthy Body









By Suzi Shelhamer

Probiotic and Enzyme TEST

Tonight at the ‘Diet Class’ we did a little experiment with oats and two pill forms of probiotics from Natures Sunshine.  There were 3 cups.  Each with old fashioned rolled oats and water.  Then we opened one capsule of each probiotic into two of the other bowls.  I would get up occasionally and stir the oats and it was amazing to see the breakdown, the Proactazyme kicked butt!  It basically chewed the oats up like a blender.  It was so impressive I can’t even remember the name of the other Probiotic we tried.

We also ATE, as in chewed up, one of Nature’s Sunshine FISH OIL PILLS! Super Omega 3  I was so afraid to stick this giant gel cap in my mouth, let alone chew it.  I waited for others to go before me, even though she handed me the pill first.  Mitch popped it in his mouth and it CRUNCHED when he chewed it.  He said, ‘It’s not bad, tastes like lemon’.  The girl next to him said the same thing.  So I tried it, and it was lemony, and oily.  And weird.

On the way home we talked of these experiments, and taste tests, and Mitch asked if we should buy these products.  Now I LOVE Nature’s Sunshine, and believe they are the purest supplement, oil, cleaner, etc… multi-level company out there.  Plus they actually send you CASHOLA when you buy product and people buy under you.

Anyway, I told Mitch I think we eat the way these pills are meant to work.  We drink kombucha daily, we eat Sauerkraut dang near daily, and we eat lots of almonds and nuts, and seeds.  These are in the form our body is meant to break them down.

So I decided to do a little experiment when we got home.  I got three little bowls and filled them with a little bit of rolled organic oats.  I poured some Goats Milk Keifer in the first bowl, Sauerkraut + it’s juice in the second, and Kombucha in the third.


The Kiefer made it sticky and ball up, but I did noticed the oats breaking down.  The kraut didn’t break it down much, but for some reason it felt very light.  The kombucha being the wettest did some work, and was breaking it down.  I was boiling water for the sleepy time tea, and Mitch suggested I added some before it boiled to assimilate the warm fluids in the belly.  That evened the experiment up to one we did in the Diet Class.

We plan to leave this test out all night and see what we wake up to.  So far, the Kombucha seems to be the winner.  Stay tuned until tomorrow.

test 2

Kombucha Wins, Keifer second and Kraut last.  All three did break it down, but pleasantly surprised by Kombucha’s work.


By Suzi Shelhamer