Self Care is Non-Negotiable

This is not a blog post about me. I just want to share some thoughts with you. This blog is meant to be a wake-up call from my heart to you. I get asked this question all the time, you do so much… how do you do it ? I I’m an entrepreneur. I operate a wellness retreat with other therapist, which within I also run my own private practice. I am an aromatherapist and writer, and I also have my own family responsibilities. How to I manage all of this without breaking? This is how: It’s called self-care, and to me it is non-negotiable. My clients depend on me to be present  for them 100%.

I have seen the opposite in my private practice. Women that are completely worn out to the point where their health is affected. Some even ended up in the hospital because of stress related conditions that develop the later on. Ask them what happened before their body just broke down and said no more? Many times I hear them say that had so much going on in their lives with high stress levels and they just stopped taking care of themselves. They completely forgot about themselves.

One of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard multiple times have been women telling me that they aren’t “good at taking care of themself”. However their health was a wreck. My question is… if these are the consequences, do you think it’s really working? Do you think that you need to change something? And let me tell you, I’ve never heard a man say that. I have a higher male clientele in my practice than women. Never in 15 years have I heard a man say that they “don’t have time” or “don’t know how to take care of themselves”. Men just go get massage, they do it without guilt. Now I’m not saying this is a woman only problem, but is very prevalent. LADIES!!! You do so much. Your life, your work, you family’s depend on you. Don’t forget about yourself. Set your priorities straight and have me-time regularly. This doesn’t have to take a whole day, every little bit counts. Other things can wait. And guess what, no one else will do it for you. You have to do this for yourself. You have to put yourself as a priority, because you cannot pour from an empty cup. Don’t allow it to go completely empty to the point where your health becomes compromised.

Self-CareIs non-negotiable (1)

Do you know what happens when you take out time regularly to take care of you? You will show up completely different in your life. You just will. Instead of dragging through life completely exhausted and drained, you will be full of Vitality and glowing. And other people will also notice too.

But I don’t know how...

The key is to take care of yourself is to do it the same way you do to the others that you care about. If you didn’t grow up with a figure in your life as a good example of this, then it starts with you. If you have children, think of the good example that you’re going to give them because they follow what they see.

Boundaries- they are important. Life happens, it’s normal but there are certain things that we can control. When is time to take care of you and there are unnecessary interruptions, put a stop to it.

Exercise: Take a piece of paper and draw a line right down the middle vertically. On one column but the word yes, on the other column but the word no. Now start writing down a list of things that you will say yes to for now on, and things that you will say no to.

My Personal Wellness Routine..

I’m just going to share my self-care list of activities I do on a regular basis so that I can keep doing what I love without sacrifice, without depleting myself. Self-care can be different for everyone, just make sure that you do it.

  1. Receive massage -2-3x/month Thai Massage, Myofascial Release or other treatments.
  2. Don’t skip meals- especially breakfast
  3. Sleep 7-8 hours
  4. Morning Movement- some type of exercise, walking and yoga typically
  5. Aromatherapy self care- baths, self massage, etc.
  6. Reading and reflecting. Sometimes i do this while im doing #5. I love audios!
  7. Supplementation. Because it doesn’t matter how healthy you eat, nowadays you cannot get everything from your diet. Here is what I do.
  8. Write- I love to share, it is a great outlet. I recently discovered this amazing journal: The Morning Sidekick Journal. I’ll share more details in a future blog.
  9. Detox every season
  10. Mindset- stay positive and stay away from negative people!

What are you doing for your self-care? Please share! You may inspire others to do the same. ?


Flower Power- with Hibiscus!

Hibiscus Flower- Hibiscus sabdariffa

Hibiscus tea

Many of us have had the chance to admire this beautiful flower of the tropics. It grows commonly in tropical warm climates. Its is also the official flower of Hawaii and Puerto Rico. It is commonly used in landscaping to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Did you know that these delicate flowers are not only to admire with their rich, red color but they are also full of nutrients and powerful antioxidants and make a delicious, zero-calorie beverage? This exotic flower adds a burst of color, flavor and nutrients to herbal teas and recipes! Lets learn more…

Did you know?

Almost 15-30% of hibiscus tea is composed of organic acids which are malic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid. These acids are also found in many fruits such as grapes and citrus. They help in reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, promoting better skin, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and improving digestive issues. Hibiscus tea has diuretic and choleretic effects, thus controlling blood viscosity by reducing blood pressure and enhancing digestion. It has also been used in the past to calm muscle spasms.*

According to the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference one 8oz cup of Hibiscus tea contains: 20.48 g Iron, 43.6 g Vitamin C, and 702 IU Vitamin A.

Below are 9 Health Benefits of this Delicious Flower:

Hibiscus Tea delicious

 1. Healthy Heart- Lowers Cholesterol & Blood Pressure

Many studies have been conducted over the years that have shown Hibiscus to have heart health benefits. A six-week study found that three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered systolic blood pressure significantly, without unpleasant side effects (Journal of Nutrition, February 2010). How does hibiscus lower blood pressure? It has diuretic properties, it opens the arteries, and it appears to act as a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which means it slows the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels. Hibiscus has also been found to reduce blood lipid levels naturally.

2. Antioxidants Hibiscus is high in Antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect your cells by neutralizing free radicals which cause disease in the body’s tissues, organs, ect. Antioxidant properties of hibiscus tea may also help in treating liver disease

3. Immune Support It is high in vitamin C which will also strengthens the immune system which can equal fewer colds!

4. Detoxifying  Hibiscus  tea is a natural diuretic which helps release excess fluid and impurities stored in the body. This also will help reduce excess bloating. Who doesn’t need that?

5. Weight Loss- Nutritious without calories, Hibiscus tea is a natural carbohydrate inhibitor. This is because it inhibits the production of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down sugar and starches. This means less storage of carbs converting into fat in places we don’t like (ex hips, belly thighs, etc.) That means a person’s body can’t use or store all the carbohydrates he eats, which can enhance your weight loss results.

6. Anti-Cancer benefits- Since Hibiscus is high in Antioxidants, it protects our cells and helps them to replicate well. This means, with less damage, or mutations, cancers often do not form that easily

7. Anti-Inflammatory- What a great addition this would be to your anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Because of its healing Antioxidant properties it may help with conditions such as Arthritis and/or swelling such as after an injury

8. Beauty- The way to beauty from the inside & anti aging is this: ANTIOXIDANTS ANTIOXIDANTS ANTIOXIDANTS! We want to get them from different sources in our foods. Hibiscus is high in nutrients and antioxidants. This equals a beautiful complexion with a healthy glow, as well as reducing the signs of aging.

9. DeliciousNot only is Hibiscus good for you, but it also tastes yummy. It’s kind of tart yet has its own natural sweetness. Sometimes I like to drizzle a little agave nectar or raw honey for added sweetness. A cup of Hibiscus will tantalize your taste buds!


Hibiscus tea can be enjoyed both hot or cold, depending on your mood. I love to make a pitcher and keep it in the fridge in the summer. Makes the perfect refreshing drink.

How to make the perfect cup of Hibiscus tea:

If you like to drink cold, let cool, then store in the fridge. Always sweeten while its warm, if desired.

  • 1 teaspoon  dried hibiscus flowers or 1 bag of Hibiscus Mint tea
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Steep Hibiscus in water 5-10minutes, then strain.
  • Add Agave necar, or honey for added sweetness if desired.


Berry Mint Hibiscus PopsiclesHibiscus Popsicles


4 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers or Hibiscus Mint Tea
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries( chop)


1. Pour dried hibiscus flowers in boiling water. Cover and let steep 5-10 minutes. Strain.  Stir in honey and lemon juice. Let cool

2. Divide berries in paper cups. Pour tea mixture into cups. Cover cups with foil; insert craft stick into center of each pop (Or fill ice pop mold according to manufacturer’s directions.) Freeze about 8 hours or until frozen.

Where do I find Hibiscus?


Barefut makes a delicious Hibiscus Mint Tea. You can use it for It is organically grown without the chemicals or pesticides. Herbal-Teas1

Try this mouthwatering tea here.

How do you like to have your Hibiscus? Please share!

Note: Hibiscus tea is not recommended for pregnant women, particularly due to its emmenagogue effects which may stimulate menstruation or blood flow in the uterus or pelvic region. For those undergoing hormonal treatments or taking birth control pills, it is recommended to consult your health specialist regarding any consumption of hibiscus tea, and let him give you a yes or no. #

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product(s) is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article is copyrighted material written by the following author

Fernanda Santiago is a Health Professional, Weight Loss Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist. She specializes in helping people achieve optimal wellness using alternative treatments. She helps people look and feel great from inside out.  She is an Educator in Natural Health and wellness solutions. Read more on her bio here.



8 Steps to Wellness

This is something I teach in my practice Healing Feels Good in North Carolina. We can take steps each day toward getting our body and mind back in balance and to promote complete wellness. It can be a great reminder to keep ourselves on track and also work as a check list to make us self-aware of what we might be able to improve on in a daily basis.

Couple hiking

  1. Drink More Water: Your body is 60% water. It is a vital nutrient to the life of every cell and acts first as a building material!
  2. Eat Breakfast: The morning hours serves as a foundation for how our bodies respond for the remainder of the day. Did you know…You can speed you metabolism up by 20% by consuming Protein at breakfast? Skipping meals cause your blood sugar to peak and dip, affecting your energy and mood.  It can often cause over eating later on because you’re so hungry.

Quick Breakfast meal options:

  1. Get Moving! Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exerciseKeep it simple … But Consistent! Make just 30 minutes of movement your daily goal.               Research has shown that spending time in nature increases creativity and problem solving by up to 50%[1]. According to researchers “Our results demonstrate that there is a cognitive advantage to be realized if we spend time immersed in a natural setting. We anticipate that this advantage comes from an increase in exposure to natural stimuli that are both emotionally positive and low-arousing; and a corresponding decrease in exposure to attention-demanding technology.”
  2. Get Massage Regularly – Get the best out of your treatments by getting them regularly. Just like your vehicle needs maintenance, so do our bodies. Massage for maintenance is recommended once per month. Need a therapist? Learn more about massage and find one near you.
  3. Nurture Your Spirit- Keep positivity close by and stay away from negativity. This includes: those we surround ourselves with (Friends, family, relationships), our lifestyle (physical activity) or how we choose to spend our time.
  4. Eat the Colors of the Rainbow- No we are not talking about skittles. Fill your diet with foods rich in color that come from the earth. Fruits and vegetables are high in phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and more. The way to health starts with what you put in your mouth.
  5. Get Your Essentials, Supplement the Right Way-

Essential nutrients means our bodies do not make them therefore we must take them.  With our food supply compromised with over harvesting, GMO’s, toxins and chemicals it’s essential to take proper form of supplementation to fill in the gaps so our bodies can continue to thrive in this complex world.

** Watch video at: **

8. Sleep- This is the time where your body recovers, detoxifies, and regenerates. Better sleep = better health. Tips for better sleep here.

Make Time for Massage

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Sprouts – It’s Alive!


What is a sprout?

A sprout is when a seed is in the process of growing into a vegetable. Sprouts can come from vegetable seeds (eg. Broccoli, onion, beets, peas), grains and legumes (eg. Buckwheat, garbanzos, mung beans).

Why I love sprouting

This is what fascinates me: the fact that during germination sprouts “come alive” and triple or more in the amount of nutrients. There is an increase in Amino Acids, Enzymes, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene. Here is a nutrition fact sheet: SproutNutritionFacts

The process of sprouting neutralizes what is called enzyme inhibitors, which make the seed when its un-sprouted harder to digest. Have you ever eaten legumes and had trouble with gas after? Well, sprouting can help eliminate that issue.

Who wouldn’t want a live food that is higher in nutritional value plus easy to digest?


Sprouting is easy and fun!

If you know me by now, I like to keep things simple. Sprouting is perfect for a busy lifestyle as there is little time involved. I like to sprout in a jar.

I recommend getting a Sprouting Mason Jar that already comes with the screen lid. Some even come with the seeds to get started!


Follow the directions for each seed you get. But for the most part all you do is this:

  1. Get your clean jar
  2.  Add the amount of seeds specified(depends on what your sprouting)
  3. Add purified water- fill the jar
  4. Let soak overnight (while you sleep or 8-12 hours)
  5. Drain the water through the screen lid
  6. Place jar face down or at an angle in dish rack so that it continues draining(we don’t want too much water inside)
  7. Go on with your day and fill jar with purified water again this time shaking jar (stimulates them) and drain right away, lay jar at angle. Repeat this 2-3x/day
  8. After about 2-3 days(depending on sprout) your sprouts will be ready!


What to do with sprouts?

I like to add them to sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. For legumes, I sprout them before cooking the way I would normally such as in a bean soup or hummus. The possibilities are endless and adding this to your diet will be very beneficial in more ways to count.

 Buy your sprouting supplies and save!Mung Bean Sprouts

Abdominal Massage – How to Strengthen Your Powerhouse

Massage has many health benefits including:

  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Enhanced sleep quality.
  • Greater energy.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Increased circulation.
  • Reduced fatigue.

One area that is highly ignored is abdominal massage. Abdominal massage is very beneficial for the health. In Traditional Chinese Medicine your abdominal’s are also known as the “second brain/ inner mind” or “dan tien” which is an energy center near the belly button.

abdominal massage

This area has great influence on the rest of the body. Also called the “solar plexus” or powerhouse where many nerve endings connect. Every neurotransmitter in the brain is found in the intestines. This includes serotonin which is also manufactured there.

This day in age there are a lot of people who are victims of the gut. When we manifest negative emotions this will give us very unpleasant sensations in our abdomen. These include the feelings of “Knots” in the stomach, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers,  etc.

Do you ever wonder why there are so many stress-related conditions associated with digestive issues?

There is a correlation showing that problems in the abdomen are signs that there is a disturbance with our emotions. Also, when we make poor dietary choices, that will affect our mood or mental state.

Abdominal massage can not only sooth the tension away, but it will help promote digestion, relieve bloating and gas, calm anxiety  and will leave you feeling “grounded” and “centered”.

When our “solar plexus” is balanced it helps you to be yourself, look after yourself and to have the courage to follow your intuition.

A healthy solar plexus promotes action and assertion. it makes you energetic, dynamic and confident in yourself.

Massing your center is a simple technique that you can do yourself as part of your wellness routine that can help alleviate stress and get you in a state of relaxation.

How to do Abdominal Massageabdominal massage1

Lying on the floor or the bed begin by massaging your abdominal’s in a clock wise mot
ion. With one whole hand, move down your abdomen with a downward stroke and follow with the other. Cycle one hand over the other and continuously repeat the motion in a backwards bike-pedaling motion. This is called “the sun and moon“ stroke.  This will encourage the movement of waste to be eliminated out your body.

Use your fingertips and massage in small circular motions. Move from the sides of your abdomen inward and downward. Go progressively deeper with your fingertips but always keep it comfortable.

When you’re first starting abdominal massage, proceed slowly and gently. If you find some tender areas, lighten you pressure.

5 Tips for Effective Abdominal Massage

  • I recommend getting a Massage oil that is infused with Pure Essential Oils are great to use. It feels amazing and the oils have each a different therapeutic effect depending which you choose.

Make you own Abdominal Massage Oil- Leave by your night stand and massage your abdomen morning and night for a few minutes.

Mix the following in a 1oz Amber Dropper Bottle:

10 drops Tumease Eternity Blend

1 oz carrier oil of your choice

  • Do not massage on a full stomach or full bladder. Best time is when stomach is empty.
  • Drink plenty of water- massage helps to move toxins in the body. You can assist it by “flushing” and drinking water.
  • Abdominal massage can be done daily or as needed.
  • Do not perform abdominal massage in cases of: bleeding in stomach, brain or lungs, during menstruation and pregnancy, when there is inflammation of uterus, bladder, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes, hernias and ulcers of the stomach and intestines, bleeding in stomach, brain or lungs. Abdominal massage should not be done during menstruation and pregnancy. Abdominal massage should not be done whenever there is inflammation of uterus, bladder, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Abdominal massage should also be avoided in cases of hernia. Abdominal massage should also be avoided on patients of ulcers of the stomach and intestines.



If your having issues with your digestion, click here to learn what you can do to help.

Need a good quality massage oil? There are plenty to choose from…


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Spice up your life with…Cinnamon!


Cinnamon is not just a spicy flavoring… it has many health benefits being a potent antioxidant.


Let’s see what this exotic spice can do for you:

Circulation- Cinnamon stimulates the circulation of blood, warms the body and can reduce pain significantly.

Weight Loss- Cinnamon increases metabolism activity as good blood circulation increases oxygen supply to the body’s cells.

Digestive tonic- Cinnamon is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence.

Pain Relief- Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties, which will help remove stiffness in the muscles and joints.

Diabetes- Cinnamon helps balance blood sugar , so diabetics find it very useful because cinnamon aids them in using less insulin.

 Kissable breath – Cinnamon is a natural Mouth freshener, it is often used in chewing gums, as it eliminates bad breath.

Are you adding Cinnamon to your diet? 

The warming, spicy flavor of cinnamon makes it a perfect complement to winter foods such as soups/stews and hot beverages, as well as spicy dishes.. It is also a staple in baked goods, and can be added to fresh fruit, black beans and cereals.Spice up you life by adding some to hot cereals, protein shakes, your morning coffee and more.

Here is one of my favorite raw hot cocoa recipes including cinnamon…

Natural Hot Cocoa

hot cocoa

1 cup Almond, or any nut milk of your choice

1 packet stevia ( you may substitute with agave nectar or honey)

1 tablespoon Raw Cacao powder

Sprinkle cinnamon and/or nutmeg to flavor


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