490: How To Recover From Stress: Try a Magnesium Soak, Kristen Bowen

Stress is something that is constantly around us and sometimes unavoidable. You need to stay on top of stress levels so they don't get out of control. Learning how to relax is important, but so is getting your body the nutrients it needs to heal itself. In this episode, Kristen talks about magnesium soaks, how to get a better night’s sleep, and managing the stress in our daily lives.

Ashley James & Kristen Bowen


  • Ways to lower stress levels
  • Magnesium soaks
  • Insulin resistance
  • Knowing your “why”
  • Taking care of your circadian rhythm
  • Achieving cell saturation


Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. Today, we have back on the show Kristen Bowen. She is so amazing. She was in episodes 294, 341, and 381. Although if you haven’t listened to those episodes, you will still enjoy today’s episode. I do recommend though that you eventually go back and listen to episode 294 because she shares her story, and it will bring you to tears in a good way. Let me just give you a little bit of a spoiler. She was about 90-something pounds in a wheelchair, having 30 seizures a day. Now, she’s fully recovered from that. She shares her story as to what caused it and how she got over it, and it will shock you. It is just amazing and sad how many people are suffering out there needlessly. It is people who, like Kristen, who advocate and her family who advocated for her health. I know that’s what you’re doing right now by listening to the show, you're advocating for your health. So, make sure you go back and listen to episode 294. You can always find if you're ever looking for a topic or an episode, you can go to Learntruehealth.com and search it in the search bar. Just type in, for example, magnesium or Kristen Bowen, and other wonderful episodes will come up.

In today’s episode, we do cover magnesium and the way that we can absorb the best forms of magnesium. We also go into recovering from the stress of the last two years and learning from the stressors of the last few years, learning from it, learning from our own stress and learning how to heal, overcome and grow, so that we can be better the next time we’re hit with a stressful situation in life, which I think is so important to learn from each other and learn from our past as well. 

Make sure you go to Kristen Bowen’s website, Livingthegoodlifenaturally.com. That's Livingthegoodlifenaturally.com and be sure to use the coupon code that she gives you. She gives a wonderful discount to our listeners. The coupon code is LTH as in Learn True Health. So that’s coupon code LTH at Livingthegoodlifenaturally.com. I love her magnesium soak. If you’ve listened to any of my previous episodes, I even talk about it in other interviews whenever we bring up magnesium because it’s made such a difference in my life. And there’s over 200 listener testimonials in the Learn True Health Facebook group. Go there and type in “magnesium soak” and you’ll see so many people talking about how wonderful this magnesium soak is. Listeners have shared that it has help them get rid of their migraines, their sleep problems, muscle cramps, their restless legs syndrome, energy. They got more energy out of it. I definitely notice that my muscles felt relaxed. It helped me with my detox. I’m doing heavy metal detox for the last 4 years. It’s helped me with that. It’s helped me with my liver functioning better.

Magnesium is needed for over 1800 enzymatic processes in the body. It’s the most needed mineral. The second most needed mineral is zinc at 800 enzymatic processes. So, when we think minerals, we always think calcium is the most needed but it’s not even in the top two. Magnesium is the most important. And we’re often walking around completely deficient in magnesium, and that's why a lot of people have these things like restless leg, digestion, adrenal burnout. And the list goes on and on. It’s pretty wild. So yes, listen to episodes 294, 341, and 381, the past episodes with Kristen. And today’s episode, you're just going to love where we just continue this wonderful conversation of how we can use magnesium to help heal the body. So, enjoy today’s interview, and thank you so much for being a listener and thank you so much for sharing this podcast with those you care about.

[00:04:02] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 490.

I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show Kristen Bowen who, if you guys have been long-time listeners, well, remember my absolute favorite magnesium soak product. And the whole company, Livingthegoodlifenaturally.com, of course, you can use coupon code LTH as in Learn True Health for so many of their amazing products. Kristen, I love your company. You’ve been on the show with episode 294 where you shared and honestly, I dare you guys listen to episode 294 without crying tears of joy and inspiration because Kristen shares her story where she was crippled in a wheelchair and just so close to death, and she was able to regain her health and now she is an advocate to help those who are sick and suffering that no longer need to be sick and suffering. We can gain our health back and we can create optimal health. Kristen’s here to help. She’s like a sister from another mother, I don’t know. I don’t know.

[00:05:17] Kristen Bowen: It’s official, Ashley. We’re sisters. 

[00:05:20] Ashley James: We are, we are. So there’s episode 294, and then there’s 341 and 381. And we talk about all kinds of great things.

[00:05:28] Kristen Bowen: That’s what I love about your podcast, Ashley, is who knows where we’re going to go. 

[00:05:33] Ashley James: Who knows where we’re going to go? We definitely talked about parasites. You know it’s a real good interview when we talk about all the things we can get out of the body, detox and parasites. And I love this that you noticed in your coaching because you do this wonderful group coaching that women who held on to shame and guilt, no matter what lifestyle changes or supplements or diet changes they made, their bloodwork still showed that they weren’t getting the healing that they should be doing based on other lifestyle changes. When they were able to heal and move through shame and guilt and let go of it, that’s when their body then caught up.

So, you’ve observed some amazing things in the many years that you’ve been working with people. 

[00:06:22] Kristen Bowen: Oh, it’s been 20 now, Ashley. Just over 20 years I’ve had the privilege of connecting with the women I’ve connected with.

[00:06:32] Ashley James: And men, you can listen too. My husband loves the magnesium soak. So, men are here too. But, you know, as women, we definitely see relationship between our stress, between our magnesium levels, and between our hormone balance, and I think that’s really interesting. And we’re going to get into that today because Kristen and I, we’ve both been through it as I think everyone has who’s listening. The last two years, there was high, high levels of stress, higher levels than normal. And, now, what we’re seeing after two years of just this background noise of higher stress in people’s lives.

[00:07:12] Kristen Bowen: And disconnect.  

[00:07:14] Ashley James: Yeah. It’s now showing up in bloodwork. And we’re now seeing not just stress hormones and blood work, but we’re seeing other things. So, Kristen was telling me about that before we hit record. And I thought, how interesting. Right now, what we need to do is a mass healing. So, everyone who’s listening is here to gain better health, to learn true health, and acknowledge and heal from the last few years, let it go, and now, we need to heal from it on an emotional level but also on a physical level, and make sure that we’re checking in with our physical body and our emotional mental body, and then making the lifestyle changes, the diet changes that we need to make to bring that healing in so that we can go back to health and then from before the last two years, and even then, even get more health from that. Because I want to be able to use the last two years, even though we’ve kind of sort of stepped back in our health, some people, like I know I have, with the stress that I’ve been under in the recent past, and now I’m back into healing mode. Right? We’re going to be able to take the last two years, learn from it, and then grow even more.

[00:08:34] Kristen Bowen: I love that. 

[00:08:35] Ashley James: Yeah. And there’s something that was taught at our church recently where we talked about how Jesus, there’s times where He would go into the wilderness, he went to the wilderness, and then He goes up on the mountain. Right? And sometimes, we’re in the thick of it. We’re in the wilderness, and that’s when we’re stressed and we’re suffering. Then there’s times we go up on the mountain and that’s when we’re rejoicing, and we’re loving life, and we got a whole new perspective. And so, I’m inviting everyone to walk out of the wilderness, up into the mountain, and learn from the last two years. But right now, today, we’re going to learn from Kristen what we can do to check in with ourselves and to get back up on that mountain of health.

[00:09:23] Kristen Bowen: You know, Ashley, I loved so many things that you said. I love the fact that you talked about and spoke of the different dimensions of healing because I think everyone listening right now could share their hard time. You can share your hard time, I can share my hard time. Your listeners can share their hard times. One of the things that happens as a trauma response, is we stay in one dimension to heal. And it is a trauma response. We need to recognize it as a trauma response so that we’re not stuck in singular dimensional healing because that’s where we get frustrated, that’s where I hear women say, “I’ve tried everything, nothing works”. And we are multifaceted dimensional beings, and we need to heal on all of those dimensions.

Before we get started, can I just tell you, I had never even thought of going on a podcast like that. It hadn’t even crossed my mind. You were the very first podcast that I went on. And Ashley, you’re my favorite. It’s okay to say that, it’s the truth, because right now, I do not have to filter “Oh my gosh, say that in a soundbite. Get done in 30 minutes, they want this podcast over in 30 minutes.” Oh, I can’t even go there because just helping them understand so that they understand that concept, that’d take me 15 minutes and then that podcaster is going to be frustrated. And it’s just so nice, Ashley, to come on to your podcast knowing that it’s not a set place of where we’re going to go in our conversation that you will help me to flesh out anything and everything. So, I am just sending you this big massive, warm, enveloping hug of gratitude for the gift that you have in taking and leading your guests who come on to your podcast. I’m pretty confident that your listeners are sending that right along with me, so thank you. 

[00:11:45] Ashley James: Absolutely. Well, thank you. For listeners who didn’t listen to our previous episodes with Kristen Bowen, in episode 294 I explained how we met. My friend found out that Kristen was flying all the way into Seattle to host…

[00:12:02] Kristen Bowen: Downtown Seattle. 

[00:12:03] Ashley James: Downtown Seattle, in the summer. No one goes to downtown Seattle. You don’t do that.  

[00:12:09] Kristen Bowen: I didn’t know. I didn’t know. 

[00:12:12] Ashley James: It was a free health lecture on magnesium and it was like a Facebook advertisement, my friend told me about it, and I said, “Okay, well let’s carpool down there.” And it was ridiculous because you just don’t go into Seattle in the evening in the summertime. There’s construction, there’s crosstown traffic. It’s ridiculous.

[00:12:33] Kristen Bowen: I think at one point my team and I were two minutes from walking. The Google Maps told us two minutes walking to the thing and we were in our van that I had rented to get everything there. It was over an hour to drive there. It was so bad.

[00:12:53] Ashley James: Right. It’s like New York City. Just get out and walk. So, it’s pretty crazy, the traffic here. So, I just thought it was hilarious. Anyone who knows Seattle, you do conferences outside like you do it in the suburbs. People would rather join up north than drive into it. But there we were in this gorgeous conference room overlooking the sounds, like overlooking the ferries. It was beautiful. The sun was setting. It looked like you spent a million dollars in this place. And like maybe 7 people showed up, I felt so bad for you. But you paid so much attention and gave an amazing health demonstration/health lecture. You let us all soak in your magnesium. And then you answered everyone’s questions and you acted like the room was filled with a thousand people.

[00:13:41] Kristen Bowen: To me, those 7 people who came were as important as 1000 people, Ashley.

[00:13:49] Ashley James: But I’ve hosted these things before. That’s what I used to do. I used to work for a training company, and I used to travel around and host these. I know how much that costs, so I was sitting in the backroom going —

[00:13:59] Kristen Bowen: Yeah, I was upside down. 

[00:14:00] Ashley James: I was like, she has lost a lot of money on this. I’m just sitting in the backroom. Because that’s what I used to do in my previous life, was lead those kind of trainings and book them and budget them and advertise and all that stuff. So, in the back of the room, when I thought it was just so funny because I was thinking to myself, you know, Kristen doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to expose her to like 100,000 people, and this is going to be so great. Sure enough, at the end of it, I say, “hey, you got to get on my show.” And I felt drunk by the end because I was soaking her magnesium. Now, I’ve done a magnesium intravenous before and it felt like that. I’m like, this stuff is legit. Because I’ve soaked in other magnesium products, didn’t feel a difference. I’ve soaked in Epsom salt, that feels relaxing, but nothing felt like actually getting it in my veins.

[00:14:55] Kristen Bowen: You got to get the real deal, baby. 

[00:14:56] Ashley James: Like the real stuff. So, Kristen’s magnesium soak, to me, felt like I was getting an IV of magnesium and it felt amazing. I’m like, this stuff is awesome. Then I started to have a detox reaction in a good way, and I started to taste heavy metals, then she told me what I needed to do. So, I’ve used it in conjunction with all the other things that I do for my heavy metal detox. I soak in the magnesium while in my sauna, and that’s something I learned from you as well. And it’s a great one-two punch. But I noticed almost immediately feeling better, but what was really cool is our son who fights sleep like you wouldn’t believe, I put it in his bath without telling him, and he was a toddler at the time, and he turned to me and said halfway through the bath, he goes, “Let’s just go straight to bed. You can skip books. I’m too tired. Let’s just go straight to bed.”

And I’m like, what? First of all, who is this kid? So really, this stuff was working and then I had you on the show and then we got over 200 testimonials in our Facebook group of people saying how much the magnesium soak made a difference. And your magnesium cream is fantastic. When I was pregnant, I had like those achy kind of muscles in my legs, almost like restless leg syndrome and I immediately rubbed it with your magnesium, really concentrated magnesium cream. And then, just immediately the muscles would let go.

[00:16:27] Kristen Bowen: I think it’s so interesting to remember that especially when we’re pregnant, we’re now taking the magnesium our body has and ensuring that with the baby. And if you don’t upgrade your magnesium levels during the pregnancy, one or both of you is going to become deficient. So, it’s the critical time to be soaking during that pregnancy. Studies have shown that as the baby comes down the birth canal, that the head bends more easily when magnesium levels are high to get in the proper position for birth. So, magnesium is important always, very important during pregnancy.

[00:17:11] Ashley James: Well, I felt it. Your products have saved me so many times. Another thing I wanted to say was that you have, in the past I bought a coconut powder on your website as an electrolyte. I recommend anyone who likes to build their medicine cabinet filled natural stuff that they can just run to. Having that coconut powder in my medicine cabinet has really helped because there's…

[00:17:39] Kristen Bowen: Ashley, I have bad news.

[00:17:41] Ashley James: No! I’ll just take this out then.

[00:17:47] Kristen Bowen: Well, let me share with you though and then you can decide. So, in 2020, businesses had a decision to make. That decision was, do I change suppliers and sell any kind of junk? Or, do I get real with my customers and say we can’t source the quality that we usually have? And Living the Good Life Naturally, with me being the CEO of that company made the decision that because we lost our supply chain, we were not willing to compromise on quality of that product. What the company sent us was not acceptable. Everything goes through third-party testing before it goes into our warehouse. And so, I made the decision with team Good Life absolutely supporting me that this was not a product we were willing to sell to people. And so, because of that, we are temporarily out of stock of that. We are looking for another supplier but we will not put that back into stock until we find that supply chain that meets our rigorous standard. 

[00:19:03] Ashley James: You know what, I’m not deleting that. I’m not deleting it. I want listeners to hear what you just said. Now there's only two companies. Yours and one other company I know of that's willing to lose money to ensure quality products and it’s rare. It’s such a rare thing for a founder of a company to cut their own profits for the safety and efficacy and for their customer. Right? You’re making ethical decisions that prove to me and this is again why I really love your products. So, when it gets back to stock, I love the coconut powder. It’s a fantastic electrolyte. And you don’t know when you need an electrolyte. There's only been about three times that I’ve needed it. My husband likes to do fast once a year. He does like a 30-day fast. And all of a sudden I’m like, oh, his electrolytes are off and I made him some, and it restored him right away. Then there was two more times during the summer when my son or I, I think we were like at the fair or something all day long and we both became almost like beyond dehydrated. You know what I mean when you're in the sun too long and you start getting headache-y. Man, that stuff immediately brought us back.

So, as far as electrolytes go, that is my favorite electrolyte drink. So, when you get it back in stock, you’re going to have to let me know because that coconut powder. And it hardly tastes like anything. It’s not very strong but it’s all those different trace elements and minerals the body needs to just restore it. So, it’s not just magnesium that Livingthegoodlifenaturally.com has, and I love that you really look at quality. In terms of your skin care lines, it’s stuff that I would make if I was in a kitchen filled with ingredients and I needed to make like a facemask or I needed to make a cream for my face. It’s just all real ingredients that are very pure. So, I really appreciate you.

[00:21:13] Kristen Bowen: Thank you. We’ve lost so many products because of supply chain issues. But here’s the thing. And I think that your listeners might enjoy understanding the concept of when you know your values, decisions are easier. So, in the company, we work every year on our values and fine tuning our values. I am a company, I have to make profit, payroll and keep the lights on—money does not drive my decisions. That is not one of my core values. And so, once you’ve fleshed out your values, decisions are so much easier. That plays for your health also. Knowing your personal values will help you to make those decisions when it comes to your health with more ease.

So in January is what I do every year, is I reassess values and ask myself those questions. “Am I making decisions based on my own personal core values?”

[00:22:30] Ashley James: Absolutely. When I check in with myself, when it comes to my values, I will make better health decisions. I’ll say “No, I don’t want to eat out” even though eating out is fun. It’s easy, it’s convenient, I don’t have to wash dishes after, like I’m tired. All these reasons that sound really good. So, that would lead me to a behavior of eating out a lot. But when I check in with myself and I go “I value my health above all else,” I know the ingredients they put in that food. Don’t put your head in the sand. When you eat out, you're getting the lowest quality foods because restaurants need to make a profit and you're getting a ton of pesticides and those oils and those free radicals, lots of sugar, just highly processed food versus eating at home. Or, I’ll be at the grocery store and something looks good, I will always read the label. I will read that whole label, all those crazy ingredients, and then I’ll decide, is this fuel for my cells? Are my cells going to rejoice at these ingredients? Or are my cells going to shrink, shrivel up, and die from these ingredients? And that's because I value my health. Right?

So your decisions, your behavior and then your results in life are directly impacted by making sure that your values are motivating and driving your decisions. It is always good to check in because sometimes we sort of fall off the bandwagon. I know talking about stress in the last year, losing our daughter, moving twice and then losing a major family member in our little family unit, so we’ve had two deaths and two moves in a year. And I did have some PTSD that was acting up. I’ve never had it in my life until then, but that's why I didn’t know what it was at first. But I was very dysfunctional in my life. Couldn’t even walk into a kitchen and complete cooking a meal. And I love cooking and I’ve been cooking since I was a kid.

So, I was like wow, why can’t I focus, why can’t I cook. I went from publishing 2 to 3 episodes a week to 1 a month. That, for me, was like what is going on? Why am I not functioning correctly? And I was eating out a lot. Because that's the only way I could get food in me because I couldn’t even cook a meal. So that, for me, like at my peak stress and then I had to step back and go, okay, I need to do some triage, do some deep breaths and I need to do baby steps. And that's some coaching I got from this amazing psychologist, Dr. Glen Livingston who’s been on the show multiple times. I just love him. He said, you know, “You need to choose some baby steps. What can you do?” Because of course, I was feeling so much guilt and shame for I am this big health advocate, I love being healthy, but I’m eating out and not taking care of myself because that's all I could manage. 

So, he invited me to figure out what I could do versus what I thought I should do. Right? I had to really scale back. Okay, what can I do? And maybe it’s a 5-minute walk. Maybe it’s just 2 minutes of deep breathing. Maybe it’s just steaming some vegetables. What can I do? And those little baby steps got me back on track. But I love that you said to check in with your values because we can use that in our business to help steer an ethical business. We can use it in our health to help us steer in the direction towards better and better health.

[00:26:11] Kristen Bowen: Ashley, I want to take a minute and just recognize that we mourn to the level that we love and just sit with you. That's a lot that you went through. And just honor all the work that you put in, the support that you had, the trauma, the heartache, the love, the refining that happened for you and your family during that time. We love you, Ashley.

[00:26:49] Ashley James: Thank you. Why I’m sharing and why I’ve always been vulnerable in my show even before all this, is that I know the listener, whoever is listening also has been through it or is going through it. Right? This is a bridge. We are so connected. I want people to feel like they’re being heard and they're being understood, and it’s like, wow, I’m going through to giving them permission to self-nurture, to heal. 

[00:27:24] Kristen Bowen: You know what could be happening right now, Ashley? Could I talk about it for a little bit? Kind of our first little sideways jaunt. So, you experienced like that is so many major traumas stacked on top of each other. Patterns can walk us toward health or walk us away from health. We all carry healthy patterns, and we all carry broken patterns. I’ve watched over the last 20 years as I’ve helped women achieve self-saturation through soaking in magnesium from Living the Good Life Naturally, I have watched women not even be able to see their broken patterns. As they start to bring those broken patterns into the light and heal them, that’s when the flow kicks in and health becomes easier to create. One broken pattern that could have been happening with some of your listeners that I know comes up for me a lot is the pattern of what I call “compare and contrast”.

Now, when I’m buying beautiful shoes, I’m a shoe girl and I love shoes, when I am buying shoes, I am comparing them to other shoes. And I am contrasting them to determine is this a shoe that I’m willing to bring into my closet? Because I’m also someone who operates from the belief that I don’t want too many pairs of shoes. So, it slows me down; I have to be very conscious about my purchasing decision with my clothing and my shoes. And so, I’m comparing and contrasting, and that's an appropriate way to use the pattern of compare and contrast. But if I was listening to you say that and I was in a stressed-out state, but I took that pattern of compare and contrast, I could be increasing my guilt and shame right now by saying, “Oh, my stress isn’t as bad as Ashley’s stress.” So, therefore, what I’m going through, I’m minimizing that like oh, it’s no big deal. Because here’s the thing. Trauma is trauma. Making that change in my business from teaching classes in person to now I spend my day teaching classes online, I can put my body into a trauma mode by sitting too long, Ashley. And it can go back into a dysregulated nervous system because I forgot to stand up every hour and move and make sure that that psoas muscle is not stuck in fight or flight. 

So, there are definitely degrees of trauma when my husband experience double amputation. That's a different level of trauma than me sitting at my desk. But trauma is trauma, and walks us away from healing and focusing on not comparing my trauma to your trauma, but recognizing we all need to be regulating our nervous systems because if we’re not achieving cell saturation with magnesium from Living the Good Life Naturally, is not going to happen as easily. I like that ease and flow. It’s one of the reasons I love coming on your podcast. There’s an ease in the flow to have a conversation, and I want that same ease and flow in creating health. If I’m comparing my trauma to your trauma, I’m just increasing my own personal trauma. Hard is hard no matter what it is ease.

Now, some of it has more complexity, some of it has more layers. But when we’re in a dysregulated nervous system state, it doesn’t matter the food we’re eating. It doesn’t matter the supplements we’re taking. It doesn’t matter how often we’re soaking in magnesium. We’re not in healing mode. And so, making sure that we’re adding layers to our day throughout the day to help keep our bodies regulated, our nervous system regulated is one of those dimensions that you spoke of earlier that if you are not focusing on that right now, you are slowing down your own healing. 

[00:32:25] Ashley James: Yes, stress is stress. I did a recent interview where a doctor talked about how your nervous system and your body and your hormones, they can’t differentiate the difference between stress from your boss yelling at you, stress from eating a fried food, drinking alcohol. Stress is stress. Or breathing in smoke from a nearby forest fire or mold exposure. And the body responds to stress in the same way. Just like drinking alcohol and eating a Mars bar is all the same to your liver really. It converts to sugar and your body still has to deal with it. So, a lot of times when people give up alcohol, alcoholics give up alcohol, they will run to sugar. Go to an AA meeting and you’ll always see sugar at an AA meeting. They’re actually still doing addictive behavior. Luckily, they're sober. They're not sober from sugar but they're sober from being drunk. So, it is an improvement, but they're still feeding the addiction brain and that's still a high state of stress. 

[00:33:37] Kristen Bowen: Can I share one of my favorite tools that pretty much I think all of your listeners would have access to? It has helped regulate my nervous system. And I actually do it while I soak in magnesium. Have we got a minute that we can go there, Ashley?

[00:33:53] Ashley James: We have all the minutes you need.

[00:33:55] Kristen Bowen: Okay, I love that. So, now, please remember I’m not a doctor. I’m not prescribing, I’m not diagnosing. I am not a psychologist. So, please make sure that you are using a strong filter to make sure that this is an appropriate activity for you. For me, it was like a great big deep glass of water on every dimension of my health. But I don’t know what each individual experience will be like, so please remember that. 

Go to YouTube. Put in the search your favorite song that you just, you know, that song. In fact, do you have one, Ashley? Do you have a song that you just love? One of my mine is Hallelujah. I love that song. Do you have a song that you love, Ashley, that you can think off the top of your head?

[00:34:53] Ashley James: I am thinking of a song, but I forgot the name.

[00:34:56] Kristen Bowen: Okay, that's fine. So, one of mine is Hallelujah and I love listening to different renditions of that song. So, if you go to YouTube, and this works better if you have headphones on. You go to YouTube with your headphones on, put in the name of your favorite song, and then put 8D. Now, my experience was incredible, deep relaxation, which when you're soaking in magnesium, if you're in fight or flight, it’s going to take longer for your body, your lymph specifically, to pump up that magnesium through your body because you're in fight or flight. And so, by putting that music on in 8D, it just helps relax me. Now, my husband –

[00:35:54] Ashley James: Did you say N? Could you just explain? Is it like N as in Nancy, the number 8 and D as in dog?

[00:36:02] Kristen Bowen: No. Just the song that you like, so Hallelujah, and then 8, and then D as in dog. So the numeral 8 and then D as in dog. It’s the same song but a different format and different waves for your brain. Now, some people, it will be irritating. So please, filter this to your own experience. If it’s irritating to you, be done. It’s not a good fit. For many people, it is just soothing at the cellular level. My husband is a Styx fan. I cannot tell you how many times that man has driven through the night to go to a Styx concert. He loves Styx. So, I said to him, for those that don’t know, he’s a double amputee recently in the last couple of years. He was born without the proper veins in his body and so, certain parts of his body don’t get enough oxygen and blood, and so, the body part dies. He has a higher level of pain than most people have and experience. So, I’m always looking for things to help facilitate and help him manage his pain. And magnesium is one of those. So, he was in soaking in magnesium, he does it in the tub because he doesn’t have feet, so the tub is the best option for him. I said to him, just put these headphones on and listen to this music. It was a Styx in 8D. He now has headphones on all of the time. And now, in our marriage, I’m like “okay, take the headphones off, talk with me, connect with me, come on, come back to me,” because it’s helped him so much relax. When you find those tools that help you relax, it increases the ability that your body has to hold on to magnesium, to stay at cell saturation, which activates your stored vitamin D to convert to active vitamin D, which is the first gateway we need built for optimal health. So, that simple task of music in the 8D form can be an incredible tool to help you achieve cell saturation faster.

[00:38:40] Ashley James: It makes sense that we absorb less or takes longer to absorb when in fight or flight, understanding that the sympathetic nervous system response of the autonomic nervous system, it shuns blood away from certain areas and puts blood more into the muscle so that we’re running. It gets us ready to fight or to run. It increases insulin so that it drives sugar into the cells and obviously, there's an increase in stress hormones as well. It shuns blood away from the logic centers of the brain so it’s harder to think clearly and make rational decisions, and it’s harder to decide that it’s a good idea to sit down and soak in magnesium. When we’re in a state of stress, we’re like, “Okay, we got to go, go, go,” and then we’re kind of tired and exhausted. Some people go, “Well, I don’t feel like…” This is my husband. “I don’t feel like a magnesium soak right now.” I’m like, “That's because you’re in stress response. I’m just going to put a bowl under you and you're going to put your feet in it, and then by the end of it, you’ll be happy you did.” And he’s always happy he did.

Another thing in addition to listening to the music, and I can’t wait to try that, is doing a specific type of deep breathing that was taught by Forrest Knutson on the show. This is a type of breathing that increases heart rate variability which heart rate variability is, if listeners didn’t hear that episode, heart rate variability is the variation between heart beats, the heart rate on an inhale versus an exhale. If there's no difference in your heart rate when you're inhaling versus exhaling, you are in a high state of stress. Health insurance companies are now experimenting with using this metric to determine life expectancy and whether they're going to give you a life policy or not because those who have good heart rate variability will die sooner basically is what they're proposing based on what they’ve been seeing. So, you want to get your body out of state of stress.

Recently, Dr. Alan Christianson came on the show, talked about a massive study where they followed a huge amount of people for their entire lives. They found that the number one cause of early death was stress. Number one cause. And it didn’t matter what kind of stress. It could be like staying up till midnight every night. It could be smoking, it could be drinking alcohol. But it could just be bad habits like not walking, not breathing, allowing yourself to stay in stress and staying up late at night, choosing to eat the standard American diet. But just stress levels, they saw that if you stay in stress, it all costs mortality, die younger than people who chose to be not in stress or figured out how to not be in stress.

So, I know it sounds like I’m just saying, “Oh, just get out of stress,” right? Just do it. But, it’s little tricks like you said. Closing your eyes, listening to this music. Another thing is this breathing. The breathing is you take as deep of a breath as you can, make sure that you expand your lungs, you expand your ribs, you feel your ribs expand, you feel your tummy expand, you feel your clavicle and your sternum rise, or you're feeling your whole being expand. Then when you think you’ve got to the top of the breath, you can even add a few more ounces of air. But you take about 5 seconds to do this big deep breath and then you take 7 seconds and there's no pause in between. So, 5 seconds in, inhale, inhale, inhale, inhale; and immediately, 7 seconds out, so you're counting, you can do it even longer, but as long as the exhale is longer than the inhale and then there's no pause at the bottom, you’ll then immediately inhale again.

So, if you're doing a longer inhale than 5 seconds, you can make it 7 but then you need to make your exhale 10 seconds. So, you do this and you do that after a few minutes, you’ve increased your heart rate variability and that you’ve taken yourself out of the stress response. So, that's a very powerful breathing technique.

To pair it with sitting in a magnesium soak would be really good because the diaphragm is one of the major components of pumping the lymphatic system, which is all the fluid outside your cells, to get them back up into the circulatory system, into the veins, and back into the arteries. And that's where the body removes all the junk and that's where it brings all the nutrients. That's where all the good stuff happens. So, the magnesium soak comes into our skin, through our skin, into the lymphatic system, and by pumping the lymphatic system, we’re washing the cells with nutrients and taking out the garbage and reoxygenating. It’s so good for us. So, doing that deep breathing along with the magnesium, along with listening to the music, if we can do this every day, we’ve now cut down significantly our stress levels. To figure out how to do something throughout the day to lower stress is so important.

What other patterns do you have that could really help us?

[00:44:18] Kristen Bowen: One thing that I tell my clients, so we had ended up on a trip to Hawaii with a couple of our kids. It was amazing. I said to my husband, if I could do this every month, my stress levels would just be spectacular. He looked at me and he’s like, “Yeah, we’re not doing this every month.” So, I realize in that moment, oh, I need tools that I can do when I have 10 seconds, tools that I can do when I have 5 minutes, tools that I can do when I have an hour, tools that I can look forward to that are a vacation that if it’s a destressing vacation, if you're married up and so my vacations with my husband are incredibly destressing, they're not stressful, and so we need tools that we can apply every day because if I only have the tool of oh, when I have that opportunity to go to Hawaii, my stress levels will drop. That doesn’t happen all the time. So, we need to make sure that we have tools that we can use in a moment and when we have more time so that we have this varied array of tools.

While you were talking, Ashley, I just again found it so interesting that it’s those small moments that get us to where we want to be. The space in between our heartbeat is what determines our health. We can change that through the way that we breathe. It’s the smallest of things that make the most profound difference in the long-term quality of our life. I think that's a good pattern for all of us to remember. We can sometimes be looking for that next new cutting-edge thing to learn, the big tool that we have to save up and buy, but in reality, it’s changing our breath pattern. And that increases the quality and the space between our heartbeat which now we know and science has shown how absolutely vital that is for our vitality. 

You said something else, Ashley, that I would love to dive a little bit deeper. Because I don’t think the connection is talked about enough on the connection to inflammation. We know that inflammation drives disease. We know that inflammation increases pain. And so, with my filter on, with my husband, I’m always looking at things that I can do to help with inflammation. Because if you are someone like my husband who manages pain, that inflammation aggravates it.

You talked about the insulin and going into the cell. We have a problem in our country in that insulin is not going into the cell. The cell is not getting the insulin that it needs because of a cell that hasn’t been made from proper healthy materials. So, the cell knows it needs insulin and it calls out for more, so the pancreas creates more insulin and sends it over to the cell, but the cell is blind to the insulin and so then, we have all this free-floating insulin that’s incredibly inflammatory because it’s not in the right place. So, making sure that your body is seeing, you're at the cellular level that you're seeing the insulin, that the insulin can enter the cell, is so important. If someone ever says to me “I’ve tried everything,” that is what I hear in my language in my head is, “I might be insulin-resistant and not understand it and not have the tools to put into place to walk away from that” because that free-floating insulin is incredibly inflammatory.

[00:48:53] Ashley James: So, I used to have type 2 diabetes and I reversed it naturally. I’ve gone on studying with naturopaths, I’ve gone on to do a lot of coaching around blood sugar balance. When the body becomes insulin-resistant, which like you said, the cells, they're unhealthy cells, there's a few reasons for this, which is quite interesting. One of them being that there are 16 trace minerals required for insulin to open the door to allow glucose in. So, glucose will rise and rise and rise in the blood which is very pro-inflammatory, and the pancreas has to produce more and more and more insulin until it busts the cell open to allow glucose in. It’s opposite of type 1 diabetes being too little insulin. Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas often is fantastic at producing insulin, it’s producing enough insulin for 5 people, but the cells are sick and the cells are not responding to the insulin, so the glucose is rising and rising and rising on the outside of the cell, but the cells are starving on the inside. I remember experiencing this first hand. I was hungry all the time. I had to eat all the time. Every 45 minutes, I had to eat. It wasn’t until I took in trace minerals and I changed my diet and I started walking and within days I felt just this huge shift. But minerals were the first things that stopped the hunger, the constant gnawing hunger, was taking in trace minerals and then the hunger went away first time in years.

That’s the first thing that helps the insulin work with the cells. But when we have high stress, the body is trying to force more glucose into the cells so that we have more cellular energy to be able to run from the bare. So, people are often hyper- and hypoglycemic. They’re just a rollercoaster. So, under stress, they’re a rollercoaster of blood sugar. And then that often with the lifestyles that’s happening today and with stress, people have insulin resistance and don’t even know it.

[00:51:17] Kristen Bowen: Well, and there’s such a simple way that they can look at their bloodwork. And if they're willing to look at the relationships in their bloodwork, not all, but a lot of people are very familiar with a cholesterol panel. If you look at your triglycerides and you look at your HDL, the relationship of those two numbers can give you some data into your body into how insulin resistant you are.  

[00:51:54] Ashley James: Can you explain? I’m really excited to learn this. 

[00:51:57] Kristen Bowen:  Absolutely. So, grab a phone, grab your bloodwork, your cholesterol. You want your triglycerides and your HDL. You take your triglycerides and you put that into the calculator first, your triglyceride number. And then hit ‘divide’ and then enter your HDL number and then hit ‘equals’. That number will give you a feedback. It’s a feedback tool for you to know how deep into how insulin resistant you have become. Because some people on being insulin resistant are like what you experience that you just never felt full. Some people with insulin resistance wake up in the morning and they don’t want any food and so they go all day long without having any hunger pains and they don’t recognize that’s a sign of insulin resistance. Some people with insulin resistance are putting weight on as a spare tire around their belly and they don’t realize that’s a sign of insulin resistance.

And so, it used to be, and it depends on who you listen to and different studies, that you want that number minimum at 1.5. I see women creating optimal health when that number is closer to 1. If it’s in the 2’s, we're in trouble. If it’s in the 3’s, 4’s or 5’s, that’s a fire that has got to be taken care of so that it can be turned around and that communication between the cell and glucose and insulin can be balanced back out to where it needs to be.

[00:53:51] Ashley James: So, what lifestyle changes do you have your clients do in order to see those numbers change? 

[00:53:58] Kristen Bowen: Three things to start with that it doesn’t matter what a person is working on. There are three things that build the first gate of a strong vitamin D panel and the cells working. They soak in magnesium, they achieve cell saturation, they walk in the early morning sunshine. If you get on Google right now and you search for red light machines, you can spend thousands of dollars. I think we’ve forgotten the common sense. The original red light machine is the sun. And that first 2 hours that the sun comes up, the spectrum of colors specifically reduce inflammation in our body and help the insulin and the glucose to do what they’re supposed to do and interact in an appropriate relationship with the cell. So that red light therapy from waking up in the morning, within 2 hours if you can be there as the sun comes up, that’s the most powerful spectrum. And it helps to set that circadian rhythm and it also helps determine how much melatonin your body will produce to go to sleep that night. So, when we start to set that circadian rhythm in our cell, it’s like a wave. I’m able, I live in Morro Bay and so I walk the ocean every day for my walk. There’s that big crash of the wave that comes in and then it gets pulled out. And our cell has that same thing. That circadian rhythm needs to be a great big crash of the wave coming in and then going out. The way that we set that circadian rhythm is when we have strong magnesium levels, we’re walking, we’re in that sunshine and watching the sun come up and watching the sun go down.  

[00:56:03] Ashley James: Love it. I had Dr. Carolyn Dean on the show talking about magnesium. That was a really long interview. So good. And she’s a naturopath and an MD. She’s dedicated her life to magnesium. She says that magnesium is used in over 1800 enzymatic processes in the body. The next mineral or element is zinc at, I think, she said 700. So, calcium wasn’t even in the top 2. In terms of the body needing it for enzymatic functions, magnesium is absolutely the most important nutrient. Now, all the trace minerals and elements are important for the body. If you’re missing one, it’s like building a building and being like, okay, well, but you don’t have any cement. You have everything else but you don’t have cement really. Like, so you need everything. The body needs everything. And unfortunately, so many people are deficient and what they need in the body will take unhealthy substitutes to build because it’s like let’s just duct tape this together and keep going and maybe one day we’ll get the nutrients we need. 

That’s when cholesterol builds up. A lot of cardiologists have come forward and said that cholesterol is actually the body trying to patch up an area because it didn’t have enough building blocks for elastin and collagen. Like vitamin C, for example, is a needed nutrient for elastin. And if it doesn’t have enough of these nutrients, it’ll make patches, kind of like if you had a bike that the tire was ballooning but you didn’t have any tape, you would use glue or whatever. You’re going to use whatever you can to tape it up. And that’s what the body does. The body will take unhealthy heavy metals or halogens and replace and put them in our bones and put them in areas instead of the healthy ones.

So, that’s why every bite of food, I always have to remind myself like pleasure from food, it’s kind of the silliest thing, and we’ve just been so brainwashed and so marketed to. To put a donut in your mouth, for example, what are we building ourselves out of? A lot of sugar, flour, inflammatory foods, oil. Fifty different processed manmade chemicals. Like, what are we trying to build cells out of?

[00:58:36] Kristen Bowen: Oh Ashley, I have a donut story. Can I tell you my donut story? 

[00:58:41] Ashley James: Sure.

[00:58:42] Kristen Bowen: My husband used to work on campaigns. He’d be the manager of a campaign and he’d have a vision. He only did the campaigns that, for example, a school district that he worked on to recall the school district because the kids didn’t have pens and paper but the school district officials were taking private jets and flying their girlfriends to Las Vegas. And so, he wanted to help them recall those people who had been elected to office that were misusing funds. Do you know what his strongest strategy was? 

[00:59:28] Ashley James: Don’t tell me donut. 

[00:59:29] Kristen Bowen: It was. He would come up with different strategies and he’d evaluate, okay, what was the most effective. And here’s what he would do. He would take the opposing team because you’d have two political teams that were working against each other. In his situation, it was usually school boards that had forgotten who they were serving. And so, he would go in and do the recall and when it got down to the wire, he would take his campaign money and buy donuts and send to the other campaign the last week. They would be like, “Oh, who sent all these donuts?” When all those volunteers and all the workers are supposed to be out walking precincts to get their version of the story out, they were exhausted, tired, and couldn’t think because they had eaten his free donuts.

[01:00:26] Ashley James: No! 

[01:00:27] Kristen Bowen: Yup. He scrambled their brains with donuts and it was so effective, he used it every time. They couldn’t figure out like, “Who got these donuts?” “Oh, I don’t know. Here’s all these donuts showing up, though.” And it scrambled. Now, you can talk about whether that’s ethical, you know. But in the end, the bigger picture was, that school district, those people who had been elected to serve children were recalled because he scrambled the other side getting their word out that was actually a lie and broken, and they just wanted to hang onto the money that they had to be able to fly and go and misuse that money. It was used for a higher good because he wanted that money back developing the hearts and minds of children, but that’s how he scrambled the other side, was donuts. And it works, incredibly effective. And then, you take that and you look at our children. And what are we feeding them? We’re setting them up to fail, Ashley, because of the way that we’re feeding them.

[01:01:43] Ashley James: Mm-hmm. Oh, it is so sad. It is absolutely so sad. Go down a cereal aisle and I dare you to find a cereal that doesn’t have any sugar in it and also barley, wheat, rye or oats, because those are highly inflammatory and harmful. I have other interviews about that. 

But back when I was a kid, my mom was super strict when it came to eating clean. I had amazing health. After the age of 6, my mom found a naturopath. It was actually Dr. D’Adamo, the man that created Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type diet. He was my naturopath as a kid and I went from being sick all the time to overnight no longer being sick because he’s like, you’re O blood type, you can’t do dairy anymore, you can’t do sugar, you can’t do flour. I was 6 years old and boom, I remember waking up and all of a sudden, I had energy for the first time in my life. And I’m like woah, this is great. And I could go all day long just bike ride, bike ride. And I couldn’t do that before on the cereal and the cow’s milk and all the junk that I was being fed before. So, all of a sudden now, I was eating super clean and taking supplements and my whole life… it was almost like Paleo kind of. It was like just grilled chicken breast or eggs and lots of steamed vegetables and lentils. That’s what I grew up on. Then, of course, in my teenage years I rebelled, and that’s why I gave myself all those health issues because in my teenage years, completely the opposite and ate the standard American diet.

So, I’ve watched myself go from ill health to really amazing health to ill health, and then I’ve been building my health back up and giving myself amazing health. It’s simple as what meal you choose. So many doctors have done bloodwork and shown that even one meal makes a difference. Because some people go, “Oh, I’ll start that diet next week,” or, “I’ll start eating healthy next week and I’m just going to do this. I’m just going to eat these donuts now and then I’ll start…” But that one meal, just one good meal of steamed vegetables and brown rice and lentils, for example, instead of the burger and the fries, that shows up in your bloodwork right away. Right away. Every single thing you put in your mouth is feeding your cells. Because your body is constantly making new cells. You have over 37 trillion cells. It’s like 37.2 trillion cells. 

And so, millions of cells are dying every day. Millions of cells are being born or being created. Do you want those next 10 million cells to be fed fries and be built out of fries and a milkshake or a donut? Or do you want them to be built out of really nutritious food?

So, we actually will feel good after we start making these choices. So much of it, there’s so many components, right? When we’re under stress, we’re not thinking clearly. We can’t organize. Cooking, it’s like we have to have a break state. We have to get in there somewhere and just make a good choice. Just buy some apples. Something. We got to somehow get a wedge and then go “I need to insert a healthy habit here because I’ve been on a rollercoaster of bad choices because I’m under stress.”  

[01:05:03] Kristen Bowen: Okay, we’ve got to talk about this. Okay. So, I’ve experienced hard times. When my husband, during that amputation, and the one leg was taken and then six wees later, the second leg was taken. Ashley, I was not eating how I normally eat. It was all I could do to figure out how to get the ramp on the house, how to sell the car to get the new car that I’d be able to get him in to remodel the inside of the house, to show up at the hospital and learn the techniques of how I was going to help him get out of bed while I held the fear of I’m losing this man, I’m losing him.

Ashley, I was not out in my garden picking vegetables, steaming them. What I experienced was increased stress because I knew better, but I wasn’t living up to it. So, it kicked in even more stress because of what I know. So, sometimes, my concern is, am I helping to create more stress when people listen, who maybe aren’t in that place right now that they are making the greatest choices?

So, I want to stop right now and I want to share a couple of things that I do and I want to ask you what are some really simple things that you do when life is happening in a way that we’re doing our very best to just hang on. So, for me, stewing apples. When the apples are stewed and that skin goes shiny on an apple, so I just cut it up, shallow pan of water. A cooked apple is actually more nutritious than just eating an apple. It releases the pectin. And when that skin turns shiny, that means your body has access to that pectin. Incredibly healthy, incredibly easy. Apples can sit on your counter for a long time without going bad. Super simple way to stop, take a moment, and increase. And if you don’t have time to cook it, when you’re taking that apple and eating it, chew it really, really well. Chew it so very well and that will increase your health.

So, Ashley, share with me something because I do not want to do a podcast that gives someone more ammunition to throw more guilt on themselves when they're having their own hard time. Because one thing I’ve found that people do is they’ll project on me that during that hard time, I was eating perfectly. And Ashley, I did not. It was all I could do to get the modifications in our home. The insurance kicked him out of the hospital. I had to fight the insurance. Plus, I just wanted to be with him in the hospital. There were times I was eating out of the vending machine just because my caloric intake had dropped so low and there was nothing around me and it was midnight. I didn’t even have enough to take the next step to do what I needed to do. And so, I want to make sure, number one, that people are not projecting that during my personal hard time that I was eating impeccably—because I was not.

You talked about how adaptive our bodies are. When we build, when we take that pattern of building trust and trusting our bodies, and when we build healthy habits like hydration, chewing our foods well, our bodies can adapt. My body had the ability to create health for me even though I wasn’t doing things perfectly. But if our belief is that we have to do everything perfectly to deserve the health, then we never create health. Because our beliefs drive what our body can do. Our body is listening to our internal dialogue, and we are so powerful that it will create what we’re thinking. And if we think, “Oh I can’t have optimal health because I didn’t do everything that I’ve learned perfectly today,” that’s actually a trauma response. You’re in fight or flight. And part of creating health is rebuilding that trust bank with our body. My health got better when I was taking care of him even though I was not doing things perfectly. And I ate things from that vending machine that right now, I would no more make that choice. But at the time, Ashley, truly it was the best choice for me. It was the only choice that I had.

So, that pattern of rebuilding trust with our body and knowing “No, I’m not doing it perfectly. I’m doing the best that I can with the tools that I have in this moment.”

[01:10:31] Ashley James: Yeah. Well, there’s good, better, best. Right? My mother-in-law taught our son the little poem. Maybe you guys should learn this because it’s such a good reminder. Good, better, best. Never let it rest until you’re good is better and your better best.

She taught him that when he was just a toddler. It was so cute too hear his little toddler voice say it. I always have frozen vegetables like an assortment, like the giant bags. I like Costco. Our Costco has got a lot of organic choices. Frozen vegetables, I wouldn’t want to live off of them for the rest of my life. It’s a better choice than fried food and takeout. Okay? So, I always have frozen vegetables that I can grab. Or I actually have a few bags that I’ve made my own where I’ve cut up my own vegetables. Because if you’re like me and you buy a bunch of vegetables and all of a sudden, four days go by and you realize your vegetables are going bad and you haven’t cooked them all. You can chop them all up, put them in a big freezer bag, put them in the freezer, and then throw them in a stew or soup for later, so you don’t have to let them go bad. 

But at a moment’s notice, I can make rice in the instant pot. So, I woke up this morning and the first thing I did is I threw brown rice in the instant pot and I took 4 cups of brown rice, I washed it, rinsed it, poured out the water, and then I put 5 cups of water because it’s 1.25 cup of water per cup of brown rice for the instant pot. If it’s white rice, it’s 1 to 1 ratio of water to rice. And then I set the instant pot on high pressure, seal the lid, high pressure for 30 minutes. And I just hit start. Now, when I finish this podcast, I’m going to go downstairs, I’m going to steam some vegetables. I already have some lentils in the fridge, I’m going to add them to the vegetables. And I have like a tahini. I’m dairy-free so it’s not taziki, but like a tahini sauce that’s really easy to make. Garlic, lemon, water, a bit of liquid amino’s, and tahini, which is sesame paste. I just blend that. That’s really delicious to put over steamed vegetables. And I can do fresh because I have some time this afternoon to be able to prep that. But if I didn’t have time, I can grab the frozen, put it on the stove and have vegetables in a minute.

So, that’s my quick just like throw-a-meal together. 

[01:13:24] Kristen Bowen: Oh, I love that. It’s so important that we have those, that we’ve got things like oh, what can I do in a really quick moment. And I want people remembering the chant “good, better, best”. Because getting healthy is not about eating perfectly; it’s about good, better, best. And I have to throw in, I think every home needs the book Favorite Poems Old and New because it’s got that poem in it. 

[01:13:52] Ashley James: Oh, really? Oh, that’s cool.

[01:13:54] Kristen Bowen: Favorite Poems Old and New is an incredible collection of poetry that is just… I always had my kids memorize poetry, and it’s just got some of our family favorites in it. 

[01:14:07] Ashley James: That's fun. So, when I was under high stress earlier this year, that meal that I just described which is very simple, they’re going to take me less than 15 minutes to make that, that was too complicated for my brain to handle under high stress. I did actually manage to make apple butter. I don’t add sugar to apple butter. I just condense apples on the stove or on the instant pot. It’s like applesauce.

I had just done an interview actually where we talked about how every day we should eat homemade applesauce because it is the number one thing to heal the gut. It heals the gut. He actually explained the science behind it which I geeked out on. But he said just if you can do one thing for your gut health, eat homemade applesauce every day, put it in the instant pot if you can’t by a stove and cook it. That's what I did. I just took the core out, threw it in the instant pot with a little bit of water and just put it on for a few minutes and then let the instant pot do the work. What I would do, if I had to eat out, is here’s a really quick great thing. Any Thai restaurant will have in the back—I’ve never seen a Thai restaurant not do this, so far it’s been every Thai restaurant that I’ve been to—in the back there's side dishes and you can order steamed vegetables and steamed rice.

[01:15:37] Kristen Bowen: And kimchi.

[01:15:39] Ashley James: Yeah. If you're at a Korean restaurant, you could ask for kimchi with steamed vegetables. But there are so many restaurants. I even went to an Italian restaurant and I said I just wanted some really beautiful grilled vegetables. I asked for no oil. So, you can ask for even at a restaurant you could say or takeout, “I just want a bunch of steamed vegetables and some brown rice.” Or even if you're on the road. A lot of people forget that there’s some really healthy choices you can make at a takeout. Wendy’s has a baked potato. You could just order a few baked potatoes. And don’t eat the skins. Skins of baked potatoes, when it’s dry heat, when they bake it, it causes a free radical that’s very damaging to the body. But if you steam it, that free radical doesn’t get created. So, you can eat the skins of baked potatoes when it’s steamed, but when it’s baked, you shouldn’t. Don’t add anything to it. Just eat it. That starch is incredibly good. It gives the body energy for over 7 hours. It’s a slow drip, so it won’t cause you to go into hypoglycemia.

So, there's these little choices that I’d make here and there and I just ask myself is there a better choice. Is there a better choice in this moment? Not looking to be perfect because you're right, I had to catch myself and go, “Wait a second. I’m really creating a lot of guilt.” I’m putting on a mom guilt, I’m creating a lot of wife guilt, I’m creating a lot, you know, health coach guilt. I’m just creating a lot of guilt not making these amazingly amazing excellent choices because I was just having to keep it altogether. Right? Keep my family together and keep everything functioning. So, I had to go, okay, what’s the best choice I can make in this moment? Then I had to find peace in that. 

[01:17:29] Kristen Bowen: And that’s the part that you can only claim for yourself and you can say that you’ve done it. But then you need to check in with your body and feel that your body is not in fight or flight. Because if you don’t do that part that you just talked about, taking action on it, Ashley, you’re still in fight or flight. And we have the most educated sick people walking this planet than we’ve ever had. We’ve got the education. There’s so much that we can learn. But we’ve got to take it and put it into action. And the gap of our education and our action is creating a fight or flight, or freeze or fawn state. And that's what we’ve got to close down as a society. 

[01:18:19] Ashley James: And I would say what I found really helpful was always having snacks in my purse and in the car that were incredibly healthy. So, the apples, you could just have a bag of apples in your purse. I’d always have apples, I’d have healthy snacks for my son always. Always, always, always I have a big pile of healthy snacks for him. This is not processed food. I’m thinking like nuts and clean trail mix. Organic. Always buy organic apples. Always buy organic nuts. They did tests on conventionally grown apples and found that there's at least 50 pesticides, 50 different chemicals that they could detect on conventional apples that’s really hard for the body over time. So, I’d rather choose an organic over non-organic when that choice is available.

Then, algae. Spirulina and chlorella. I love ENERGYbits.com. I’ve had the founder of that company on the show several times and just having a handful of chlorella or spirulina with some nuts, just throwing that in my mouth, that is actually sometimes a meal replacement. It’s an incredible amount of protein and available nutrients. So, just being able to do that on-the-go, really helpful. Those healthy proteins from nuts and from chlorella and spirulina, protein helps the body with stress. My chiropractor who is just such an avid, every time I talk to him, he’s like, “Make sure you're eating protein. Just a little bit of nuts or little bit of lentils or something,” because protein, he sees it that it helps to regulate the stress response. So, those little habits.

But the big thing was for me, and not everyone, it’s about 1/3 of the population deals with addiction, and for me, I’ve got addiction brain. And checking in with myself because in times of stress, I want to self-soothe. I want to go for something. Not now but in the past, I’ve gone for those crazy, sugary drinks at Starbucks, for example. I’m not into alcohol. I was a bartender, so that's not my thing, but going for something that is like potato chips, chocolate bar, something that is going to increase the dopamine response that’s going to get my brain jacked up to help self-soothe when I’m under stress. So, a big bowl of noodles, a big bowl of some Asian noodles, that's like my alcohol, basically. To the liver, it’s the same thing. It’s quick sugar to the body. 

And so, in those times of high stress, I needed to step back and go “Is this choice me self-soothing? Is there a better choice I could make to regulate my emotional state and my stress?” Because when we self-soothe with sugar and with food and with an addiction, we actually are checking ourselves into a rollercoaster ride for the next 24 hours. Because I eat that bowl of noodles, I end up having bad sleep. The next day, my stress is even higher. Same with alcohol, same with that sugary coffee drink or same with that choco bar or that ice cream. Whatever we’re choosing to self-soothe, that putting in our mouth to self-soothe or that donut, whatever we’re choosing. And people will be like, “Oh, I’m celebrating. Let’s go out for pizza and wings” or whatever. Like, “Oh, I’m celebrating.” Or, “Oh, I had such a stressful day. Let’s go out and get this.” Right? Whatever it is that we’re putting in our mouth or the activity that we’re doing that we know is an addictive activity, that is going to make our stress levels even worse.

I have a family member who always turns to wine. I keep talking to them about it in a gentle way and I say, “I know you're under high stress, I know you're on antidepressants. I know you're on anxiety meds.” This person keeps talking to me about not wanting to be on them anymore and I say unfortunately, alcohol, you go… and she’s admitted to this. Alcohol in the moment makes you feel good. That's why she goes to it. But the next day, she’s wrecked. She’s not even drinking a ton. It’s like two glasses maybe. But it causes our body to go through even more stress for 24 hours after. So, that's the thing for me when I’m dealing with stress and when I’m healing from it, is checking in with myself and going, is this the best choice I can make right now? And, is this choice a self-soothing choice? Or, is this actually a nourishing choice?

[01:23:22] Kristen Bowen: Ashley, you and I are very similar in that addictive brain. And two foods, well, one’s not a food, two things that I have cut from my diet entirely because I didn’t understand how deeply triggering they were for me in craving other foods that didn’t support my health, and one is natural flavors. It excites my brain and it gets it looking for things that cannot be found in nature. So, I do everything I can to avoid those natural flavors and it decreased my cravings. The other is Stevia. Now, for some people, Stevia is great. For me, it just triggers me wanting more and more sweet things and looking everywhere to get that sweet thing. Now, I do use other sweeteners but Stevia, for me, is a trigger. So, I think it’s so important as each of us are on our individual journey that we recognize that part of this journey that we’re on in supporting our bodies is learning what your triggers are. And those two, for me, staying away from them as much as possible has been a gamechanger in my ability to not be driven by cravings. 

[01:24:50] Ashley James: At the moment it doesn’t even feel like you're craving, right? Because let’s say having to drive to and from the hospital, taking care of a family member, taking care of a sick kid, it’s like go, go, go. You're just trying to get some food in you. Then, you're standing in front of, maybe you're looking at the menu at the restaurant or at the hospital, or you're looking at that vending machine. The moment you just need to put the best choice in you as possible, right, because it’s maybe that apple in your purse and that's a great choice.

[01:25:21] Kristen Bowen: I have a hospital go pack now. And it literally is packed in my car foods that do not perish so that I never have to be in front of a vending machine feeling that desperately hungry with that being my only options. I just call them my go-bags and I’ve got them in all my cars. So, I never have to be in that position again. But I made that position worse because of the stress that I experienced over the options and what was going in my mouth. That’s where I needed help from your son chanting “good, better, best”. Just make the best choice that you can, Kristen, and move on. Instead of buying into perfectionism, which we know is driven by shame and guilt. And so, wrapping that together has been such an important realization for me and not buying into perfectionism, which means for me, I’m not letting shame and guilt drive my decisions. 

[01:26:32] Ashley James: Yeah. Exactly. And so in front of that vending machine, you’d never put yourself in front of the vending machine under regular circumstances.

[01:26:42] Kristen Bowen: No, never.

[01:26:43] Ashley James: With a menu in front of a restaurant or in front of a hospital restaurant. In normal circumstances, there’s times, or maybe you're at a potluck or at a banquet or something. You need to make the best choice in that moment and there's things you wouldn’t normally eat. I had to check in with myself and go, I want to make the best choice that I have given the limited options, and I also want to make sure I’m choosing something that isn’t going to feed into my addiction brain, or isn’t being chosen by my addiction brain. Because there are times when it’s like oh, ooh, we’re at this place and they have these choices. My addiction brain goes “Ooh, good. We get to indulge.” And I have to rein myself back in because that is a rollercoaster. I don’t want to go down. I think the movie’s called Leaving Last Vegas. I just see that spiral down through alcoholism. I just remember that. That image comes to my mind that there's this little addiction brain in me that just wants to get completely trashed, but it's on sugar or it’s on Asian noodles or something. Or it’s on some kind of pleasurable food or donuts, right? Or pumpkin spiced lattes. Whatever it is, it’s a spiral that then causes my entire body to have inflammation, have bad sleep, have bad energy, and then I have a short fuse.

My interview with Joan Ifland was really good. She’s a PhD in processed food addiction. She talks about how when we are using a substance, it can be sugar, it can be flour, it can be eating fries, it’s the weirdest thing but when we’re using to up the brain chemicals, then we have a shorter fuse and we’re quick to anger. I’m just sort of summarizing it but when she described it, I could see in both my parents, their struggles with food addiction, their struggles. And I wouldn’t say they’re alcoholics but they would come home and my mom would have 1 or 2 shots of vodka and they’d split a bottle of wine. They were never drunk but you could tell it was going towards a substance to regulate your stress, to regulate your emotional state. I liken it to as a baby needs a binky or a blanket or a toy to soothe them if they don’t have the mom’s boob, right? We’ve all seen it, right? The baby wanted its blanket or the toddler wants its blanket or its binky. And we never really grew out of that. Not everyone but a lot of people. They say, statistically, 1/3 of the population has this propensity, their brain has this propensity to do this. And we have to catch ourselves and ask ourselves is there that little addiction brain in me looking for its binky? And catch ourselves and go, okay, if I eat a food that triggers that or feeds into that addiction brain, I’m going to put myself in that rollercoaster for the next 24 hours. I don’t want to be put on that rollercoaster because I’m already under stress and so I want to make the best choices for me to maintain my health levels.

JJ Virgin was on the show, this was a few years ago and she had to live in the hospital where they didn’t think their son would make it. A car hit him at 50 miles an hour. Every bone in his body was broken. They had to fly him to a special hospital and I think they had to fly him to a second hospital. It was ridiculous. He had a feeding tube. She was sneaking supplements down his feeding tube. But she shared in that interview how she maintained her sanity by choosing the best foods possible in the menu at the hospital and she would take breaks to go walk up and down flights of stairs because she knew that sitting the whole day by her son and then eating the junk food at the hospital, that she could not be in peak performance emotionally and mentally to be there for her son.

I’ve actually had feedback from a listener who said that that interview, there were three different interviews but that interview and then two others helped her save her mother’s life when her mother was dying in the hospital. They were able to save her mother’s life. And she said that strategy of get up, walk some stairs, drink some water, make sure you're hydrated, make sure you're eating the absolute best food. If you're only eating fruit, that's better than the fries, right? A handful of nuts and some fruit is so much better. But making those good little tiny baby step choices to keep you on the top of your game so that then you can handle and ride the stress as best as possible and do things like the deep breathing, the walking. I love that idea of getting up in the morning with the sunlight, with the red light of the sun, and save yourself thousands of dollars with a red-light machine.

[01:31:57] Kristen Bowen: It’s the OG of red light. You know, the pattern, I’m always looking for patterns, Ashley. That pattern of learning how to take care of yourself in any situation is so important. The other thing that I was thinking that you really highlighted pattern-wise, was the pattern of making decisions in a way that support our health. Okay, I’ve decided this good but now I’m going to be stressed because I didn’t soak the nut to get rid of the problems in the nut. You made that decision strongly and you did the best that you could in that moment.

Also, another pattern that I thought of that you highlighted was knowing your why. I am very driven by my why and my choices. One of my why’s is I want the physical strength to be there for my husband. His body does not have the benefit of oxygen and blood like my body does. It’s a higher maintenance body. I love having that ability to massage him down and use some different melt massage techniques at night for 60 to 90 minutes every night. If I’m not caring for my body and putting myself first in some experiences in the morning especially, then I don’t have it to give to him. So, knowing your why, not just “Oh, I want to be healthy. I want more energy,” but specifically, what will you do with that energy, how will you utilize. When you get to the why of the why, that’s what starts to motivate and change the behaviors of what you're doing during the day. If “Oh yeah, I want to be healthy, I want more energy,” why? Why? Because I love climbing trees with grandchildren. I love being able to take 90 minutes at the end of an incredibly full busy day and still have the capacity to take my body and put every ounce of my being into massaging him and helping him manage his pain.

So, knowing your why and being connected to it helps to drive just like your value. Knowing your why and your values and being deeply connected to them, number one, helps you maintain your magnesium levels because we know that’s the first foundational piece of creating health, because that magnesium activates stored and active vitamin D, and then it helps you to become deeply connected to your why and your values. 

[01:34:57] Ashley James: I love it. When I do coaching, most of the time it’s with women. Most of the time, we talk about their life, their day like tell me about your day. So, you wake up and what you eat. Like, tell me about your routine. Most women go to bed way later than they should. 

[01:35:21] Kristen Bowen: Which crashes their circadian rhythm, which creates disharmony in their hormones. But then we’re all going “Oh, I want better hormone balance, I want better hormone balance. I’m willing to spend thousands of dollars over here,” when in actuality, get your butt to bed on time. Really. Said with love. My grandma vibe just came out. It’s official. But really, we’re saying “Oh, I want this, I want this.” Are you taking care of your circadian rhythm? It's the foundation of your health. It will determine your heart rate variability. You get up with the sun and you go to sleep with the son. And that sunlight from being outside with that sun sets that circadian rhythm. It’s not found in going and buying a supplement. It’s found in your basic daily habits.

[01:36:20] Ashley James: Yeah. So, the biggest thing, with these women, and the biggest reason, and I think that a lot of listeners can relate, they get their kids to sleep or their spouse is doing whatever, their house is finally quiet and it’s their alone time, and it’s like, well, after 10:00 or after 11:00 is my time. So, they’ll stay up until midnight or to 1:00. I had a friend that stayed up until 4:00 AM the other day reading a good book. And I’m like, I’m all about reading good books, but get your butt to bed. Or Netflix or whatever. And I’ve done it too. The problem is, is that if you are aware past 10:30, and it doesn’t matter what time zone you're in, it’s kind of cool and weird how the body works, but 10:30, if you're still awake at 10:30, you get a second wind. You ever notice that you're tired at 9:00. At 9:00 PM you could be like, yeah, I could go to bed now. And then you're “But I have to do the dishes and I have to do this, and I got to put the kids to bed, and I have to send that email,” or whatever. “I want to watch that TV show.” Then at 10:30 or 11:00, you're like, “Oh, I’m awake now. Now I’m going to clean the toilet or I’m going to clean the kitchen or I’m going to…” whatever, go watch more TV or I’m going to work out. 

The problem is, like we were tribal people for many generations and the person that had to stay up and guard the tribe while everyone else slept, they got the second wind. They’re sitting around the campfire watching for the lion or whatever. So our biology will kick into stress mode to survive. If you stay up past 10:30, you’ll get a second wind of cortisol, which tells the melatonin to go away. Because they’re opposite. So melatonin tells the body to fall asleep, it doesn’t make the body fall asleep, but tells it it’s time to fall asleep. It’s an antioxidant. You want your melatonin up there. 

[01:38:16] Kristen Bowen: You create melatonin in the morning. It’s determined that two hours in the morning of sunlight determines the quality and the quantity of your melatonin that your body can kick in that night. So truly, your sleep starts with how you spend your morning.

[01:38:37] Ashley James: I love it. So, the best thing that my clients have done, the ones that do, oh my gosh, it’s lifechanging. I say, okay, here’s the deal. I had this one client who she ran her own business, she said, “Listen, I do all my emails at night after I get the kids to bed.” I said, what if, just what if, I said, how long does it take you to write these emails, like come on. She goes, “Well, I’m so tired, it takes me longer to write them.” I said, exactly. You're not putting your best brain power in your business because you're doing it at 11:00 at night. So, I said, eat dinner with the kids at 6:00 or the bedtime routine starts at 7:00, get them all into bed at 8:00, fall asleep by 9:00, you and the kids. Then, you wake up, because kids will sleep for like 11 hours, they should. If your kids aren’t sleeping for 11 hours, then they're not going to bed early enough. You’ll wake up at 5:00, you’ll wake up at 4:00 or 5:00. If you go to bed at 9:00, you’ll wake up at 4:00 or 5:00, you’ll feel amazing, really refreshed. You go downstairs, make yourself breakfast, drink a big glass of lemon water and sit there on your computer. And she goes, it was amazing. She was, “I had a good three hours of me time and I was at 100 percent energy and mental clarity.” That was more productive better me time than the at night. But the thing is, if you are one of the people that’s the 1/3 of the population that has the addiction brain like I do, that addiction brain will try to take over and convince you it’s fun to stay up late. “Oh let’s just watch another show. Oh, come on.” That addiction brain is looking for more and more dopamine and will try to keep you awake, so you have to talk to yourself and go, okay, it’s now 9:30, I’m getting into bed with a good book, not the cellphone. Or, I’m going to listen to a podcast but don’t look at the cellphone. Get into bed at 9:30 and try to be asleep between 10:00 or 10:30. Then have an earlier morning. All the stuff you like doing late at night, do early in the morning, and you go for that walk in the morning to set the tone for the next evening. But that is a way to significantly lower stress in the body. 

What this last year of the last two years has taught me, is my sleep is one of the most important things to me, and that's where I put myself first is to make sure I’m getting to bed. My husband sometimes, the thing is he can lie down and he’s immediately asleep, snoring right away. So, I got to get in bed before he falls asleep. Otherwise, he’s snoring every side of me. But yeah, that's it. Just putting yourself first, putting your health first and knowing that it’s going to set you up for an amazing day the next day. Sometimes, if you have adrenal fatigue, sometimes that takes time. I have a friend who says, you know, I did that, but I’m still tired the next day. I’m like, yeah, well, it’s going to take those baby steps. We got to get your magnesium up, soak in the magnesium to full cell saturation. We need to shift your diet so that your cortisol, insulin and your glucose are all in this harmony together, and decrease the stressors. But the sleep is so important earlier in the evening, falling asleep, and then just do all the fun stuff you want to do at night, do it in the morning. 

[01:42:10] Kristen Bowen: So, I love staying up late. I know that I feel better when I’m in bed early. So, the compromise, like there's optimal and then there's life. So, for me, over the years as I’ve tracked and I’ve always watched my heartrate variability and I track my temperature and all sorts of things, I’ve found that once every 10 to 12 days, I can handle a late night without my data dropping or changing too drastically. So, that way, it doesn’t kick me into all or nothing thinking. Because when I’m there, that’s being driven by that perfectionism and shame.

So, it’s okay with the fact that I stay up late every once in a while. I just know I don’t do it often and then that way, I’m not driven and triggered back into fight or flight. Because if you're being driven by that guilt and shame, you are in fight or flight. So, by giving myself permission to do it imperfectly, it helps to keep me out of that fight or flight which helps decrease the rate that my body is burning up that magnesium because I want my cell saturation at 6.3 or above.

[01:43:36] Ashley James: Right, right. And we talked about blood tests or getting blood tests. On my website down in the sidebar, if you're on a cellphone it’s all the way at the bottom, there’s a link to a lab that you can buy your own labs. If you’re in the United States, you can buy your own labs and I believe you can buy the magnesium RBC lab which is about $40 to $50. 

[01:44:08] Kristen Bowen: Almost always a coupon out for it.

[01:44:12] Ashley James: Yeah, you can look for that. But it’s not incredibly expensive. And that's kind of a hard test to get a doctor to do, which is annoying, but you can just buy it yourself and then go to LabCorp, go to Quest with that receipt from that company and then you can get it. Same with the cholesterol labs. It’s good to look at labs because it checks us in with stuff that we don’t feel in our body. But also, not a good thing to stress about. So, labs don’t really help if you don’t know what it means. Right? So, a lot of times we’re going to the wrong kind of doctor because MDs are not trained in nutrition, they're trained in drugs. The best thing to do is go to a functional medicine practitioner or go to a health coach that’s trained in it or go to a naturopathic physician that’s trained in looking at labs through the lens of how can I help you achieve optimal health. I love all doctors, I believe they want to help people. Their education, MDs have a lens that they look through that informs them. What they do is they look to see what drugs they can put you on, they are not taught how to help you achieve optimal health. Unless they went after medical school and took extracurricular activities and became like a functional medicine practitioner, MDs are not taught how to help us achieve true health. They're taught how to help us save our lives. I love them for emergency medicine, absolutely. But we have to know when to take our body to the right practitioner.

And going to an MD for chronic illness to get better and to get so healthy you no longer need medication oftentimes doesn’t work because they're not trained to do that. They're not trained to get you so healthy you don’t need medication. Just like you wouldn’t take your car to a plumber, you got to find the right practitioner. Then labs are a really great tool but also, we have to check in because I tend to feel the guilt and the shame comes up when my labs aren’t perfect-perfect. But I also rejoice when my labs are great. So, I also have to check in and go okay, this is not who I am, my labs aren’t who I am. Just like a diagnosis is not who you are, diabetes is not who you are. It is a manmade construct of a set of parameters that they have detected and you can change those parameters so you no longer are labeled diabetic. Right? So, you are not your diagnosis, you are not your labs. These are all feedback to help you on your journey. We have to really check in and make sure that we’re not putting ourselves down when we’re looking at this information in front of us.

[01:47:12] Kristen Bowen: So, I love to look at labs as neutral data. When I get on the scale, it’s neutral data. Now, I didn’t always look at it that way. So, please know that was a huge journey for me on healing that relationship. It’s neutral data. We’re asking for feedback and what I was doing was throwing a fit about the feedback. So, instead of throwing the fit and putting it into fight or flight, I’m looking at it as neutral data. For some, that comes easily and for some, we’ve got to build a relationship of healing, take that healing journey back to the point where it’s neutral data.

I think there's a lot of confusion, I’d like to touch on just really quickly about the magnesium testing for cell saturation. Number one, they don’t even throw out the number anymore of 6.3 because years ago, nobody was hitting it and so they dropped the standard. I’m not dropping my standard of cell saturation because the rest of the country is not eating how they should. So, I still hold myself to that old standard of 6.3 or above.

Number two, I’ve had a lot of people email in lately about oh my gosh, my test came in at 2.1 but they said that was fine. They’re looking at blood serum. So, you want to make sure it’s not serum but red blood cell. Then the next one is, there was new magnesium testing. Ashley, I was so excited because I thought oh my goodness, easier to do, less inexpensive, but it’s not ready yet. So, there's a lot of people jumping on about testing your magnesium through your urine. So, I bought a bunch of them to just test and evaluate because I thought oh my gosh, I cannot wait to share this with my clients and it is so inaccurate. I would take one strip and it would tell me I was low. I would test it 10 minutes later, it would tell me I was high. And it was actually an investor out of San Diego that really blew this company up. I think eventually, the science will be there that we can accurately test magnesium levels through our urine, but at this point, it’s just not sound and solid enough. So, the gold standard is, the magnesium red blood cell test. 

[01:49:53] Ashley James: Yeah. That's really good to know. Going into the 30-day challenge, we talk about this in episode 294, 341, and 381, so listeners, definitely want to go back and check out those previous interviews with Kristen. You do a 30-day challenge. And you don’t have to do a blood test. I was too excited. I’m like impatient. So, I just jumped in and did a 30-day challenge and I felt it in my body so I knew it was making a difference. I saw it in our sleep and I saw it in my energy, and I saw it in my detox. I just feel fantastic. Some people, when they do your magnesium soak, which is really easy. You get a bowl that’s not plastic. So anything that’s not plastic. It could be a bowl from the kitchen big enough for your feet or a pan like a roasting pan. We went to a kitchen supply store actually and got like a chafing dish that’s metal. I have a big glass bowl and sometimes we just use that. Whatever’s kicking around that’s big enough for your feet, you're just putting enough water to cover your feet. You don’t have to go all the way up to your ankles or calves. Then you're putting a quarter cup which is 2 ounces of the magnesium soak in the water and you sit there, it can be any temperature of water although I personally like hot water, but in the summer I’ve done it with cold water and I got the same results. It’s really good to move your limb beforehand, so walking up and down the stairs, doing some jumping jacks or bouncing on the rebounder or going for a walk. But if you can’t, then just doing some deep breathing while you're in the soak. I like to tell people to do it for an hour, but half an hour, I think you said you uptake about 70 percent of the magnesium you're going to absorb in 20 minutes.

[01:51:34] Kristen Bowen: In 20 minutes, the average absorption of the elemental magnesium was 80 percent. In 45 minutes, the average absorption of the elemental magnesium was 98 percent. Realizing that's going to vary a little bit from person to person, depending on inflammation levels. So if your inflammation is high, then that's going to change a little bit. But on average. 

[01:52:04] Ashley James: I just like telling people to do it for an hour, you know. If you can do it for 45 minutes, do it for 45 minutes. If you can do it for half an hour, do it for half an hour. Definitely do it longer than 20 minutes. But if all you have is 20 minutes, you're up-taking a lot. I throw it in my son’s bath and his baths are 20 minutes long. He’s a kid. So he just wants to go do something else. But he absorbs it and he gets better sleep. So, I see it.

We had a family member who was in hospice and doing magnesium soaks, decreased his pain significantly. He went from moaning, moving was very difficult for him, he was in so much pain. We do a magnesium soak and then he’d just be walking. Sometimes, he wouldn’t even use his walker. And we’re looking at him like, are you kidding me? You were in pain all day and after a magnesium soak he’s walking around like nothing, no pain at all. It was really cool. We couldn’t really get him to talk about it like hey, how’d you like it? He’d be like, eh, it’s okay. But then we’d walk around and he wouldn’t moan. I thought that was really interesting because times he would sit, he would moan and then sit and then stand. He’d be like “ugh…” the whole time, he’d be moaning. It was so sad, we just wanted to take his pain away and he was refusing pain meds. He was in hospice care and he’s like, “I don’t want to become addicted to them.” I’m like, I can appreciate your principle; however, let’s get your quality of life up at this point.

[01:53:31] Kristen Bowen: That's a tough one though. That was a real challenge for my husband especially because he comes from a family that there’s been end-of-life was because of addiction. So, that can be a real challenge for people in how do I balance this pain and not become addicted to that. So, that can be a whole journey for somebody.

[01:53:56] Ashley James: We saw with the magnesium that it made a huge difference in his quality of life. He wasn’t doing anything else for his health. When I work with the magnesium soak and with clients, they're doing a lot of changes at once. But to see how drastically, how much it helps someone who is not eating healthy, who is not making any changes to their lifestyle and the only thing they did was magnesium soak, it significantly lowered his pain. I thought was really cool. 

[01:54:24] Kristen Bowen: You know, Ashley, when you were talking about that, it connected me to something you said earlier that I want people to understand. You commented calcium’s down the list of things that we need. When we become magnesium deficient, we become calcium dominant. So, take someone who experiences chronic pain, it puts them in fight or flight which drains the very magnesium that they need and then they become calcium dominant. Then, what happens, those pain receptor sites stay open because of calcium dominance. So, magnesium becomes so, I mean, it’s important, it’s foundational. Someone who’s in pain is going to need more soak time in magnesium because we’ve got to walk away from the calcium dominance so the body can shut down the pain receptor sites that get stuck and open with the feedback loop being always having pain.

[01:55:35] Ashley James: Exactly. It’s incredible for pain. Asthma, for example, my son, this was a few years ago. We took him to Children’s, he was in respiratory distress. It was like 10 out of 11 respiratory distress. All these doctors are rushing around this emergency room and they’re hooking him up to an IV. They’re about to put something in his body and I said, “Stop, I need informed consent,” because I had no idea what they're putting in his body. And I wanted them to save his life but at the same time, I also need to know what’s going on. The doctor looked at me and she took her mask off, this was more than 2 years ago, she took her stuff off so we could make eye contact and make an emotional contact and she smiled. And I’m like, woah. Because I was expecting her to get angry and she was, “Oh, okay.” Then she started explaining what was going on. You have to say to doctors “I need informed consent.” They have to perform this where they need to tell you the benefits of the procedure, the downside to the procedure, and the alternatives to this procedure. She said, “We are giving your son magnesium intravenously because magnesium is so important for the body.” In some cases, when children or adults even are in respiratory distress, the muscles in the alveoli and the lungs are spasming and the way to release them is through magnesium. Muscles in your body, when they don’t have enough of that magnesium because magnesium relaxes muscles and calcium contracts muscles. So when you have that neck tension, when you have the cramps or your eyes twitching or you have restless legs, that's magnesium deficiency. That's an imbalance of magnesium to calcium. And I was so happy to hear the first thing that they were administering at Children’s Hospital to our son, was a bag of IV magnesium. How cool was that? It wasn’t a bunch of drugs they were trying to pump him with. I was so grateful. I was like, okay, go ahead! Give him magnesium, that's great.

[01:57:48] Kristen Bowen: Many hospitals when you go in with symptoms of a heart attack, that's what they’ll do for you because they know the magnesium will relax the heart muscle. Yeah. 

[01:58:00] Ashley James: It’s so important.

[01:58:01] Kristen Bowen: It is.

[01:58:03] Ashley James: I was just reading an article about magnesium deficiency in adults who are prone to A-fib, to going into atrial fibrillation where the upper part of the heart is beating rapidly and out of sync with the ventricle, with the lower part of the heart. So, that's dangerous because it can cause clots in the body and cause strokes. They’re analyzing why do some people go in and out of A-fib or why are some people jumping into A-fib whereas others don’t. One of the causes, they saw, one of the similarities was that people who had chronic low levels of magnesium were more likely to enter A-fib than people who had a history of A-fib and got their magnesium levels up were less likely to reenter A-fib. So, I thought that was interesting. 

[01:59:04] Kristen Bowen: It’s that foundational mineral. It’s not the only mineral. It’s the mineral that we start with to put the pieces and the gates back together to create a strong foundation. Ashley, I could get it for so cheap out of Utah, I won’t because of the arsenic levels. Right now, Utah has got some problems happening because there are water issues and they're in a drought. The arsenic is just being exposed like crazy. Well, of course I could get that really, really inexpensively, but I’m not soaking in magnesium to increase my arsenic levels. I could get it from Russia for pennies, but that's very high in heavy metals. I could have lab-manufactured magnesium. That's not why I carry magnesium. I carry magnesium to help clients achieve cell saturation. Currently, undiluted sea brine from the cleanest source in the Zechstein Sea is the best magnesium available to help you achieve cell saturation.

[02:00:20] Ashley James: Yeah, well, I noticed the difference. Like I said, I could feel it. When I soak in it, to me it’s like getting an IV of magnesium. I can feel it. It’s really cool.

One thing that you mentioned before we hit record, we were kind of catching up.

[02:00:37] Kristen Bowen: It was nice to catch up, wasn’t it?

[02:00:39] Ashley James: It is. And it’s been a while. But you talked about how, well, when I first interviewed you, I was your first podcast, so I was so excited. Episode 294. You have mentioned since then, you’ve been on the show a few times and you’ve mentioned being on other shows, but since then, you’ve grown your company. Have you moved twice or three times? You’ve gone bigger and bigger. Tell us about how the company has grown since you’ve last come on the show.

[02:01:13] Kristen Bowen: So, we had decided because we’re a family-owned company, and we had decided okay, we are jumping in at a deeper level. We want to share on a bigger stage more magnesium. So, we had decided to do the traveling magnesium parties of which I met you. And it ended up being so much more expensive than what we thought it would be. And it was one of those this is either going to work or the company is going to fold. And you made that comment, I think there were 7, was that 7 including my team or was that 7 people?

[02:02:05] Ashley James:  I think it was like 7 people in the whole room.

[02:02:08] Kristen Bowen: So that was 7 people including my team and just in advertising I had spent $1000. Just in advertising. Let alone driving out with the magnesium, the payroll hours, the gas to get there, all of that kind of stuff. So, my husband, because before, it was the day before I turned to my husband and I said Seattle is a bust, we cannot go here. And he looked at me and he said “Two things I’m going to remind you of. You’ve never cared about the numbers. Why start now? And someone will show up to that that will help you get the word out to more people and they will connect with your heart.”

[02:03:00] Ashley James: Give your husband a hug for me. 

[02:03:02] Kristen Bowen: And I was stressed the day before because I’m like, I’ve got more of my team here than people showing up. As I saw the people who were there, I think there were 3 actual new people that weren’t my team, I just thought, okay, I’m being driven by my values. These three people are important, their lives are important. The people that they’re connected to are important. And I threw away my stress and worry about how much money I had spent and determined to make it a value to those people who had driven into Seattle at night in the summer and had done all of the things that they needed to do to get there. Little did I know that Ashley James was sitting there with the potential to connect me to other like-minded people who are passionate about creating health. And I do podcasts all the time now and you're still my favorite podcaster because of your ability to not like “We’ve got to be done in 30 minutes” but to just really flesh out and have true communication instead of staged question-and-answer. I love the true communication versus the staged question-and-answer. And all of your listeners, Ashley, we so appreciate what you do and our heart broke as we watched what you went through and you have inspired us to remember and remind ourselves that we can take the ashes and we can create something beautiful and make a difference in the lives of other people. So, we’re so grateful that you’re back and on your road of recovery, and we appreciate the authenticity of sharing it with us because in those moments of our own darkness, even though they're different than what your hard times were, we remember that we are not alone and we can take that next step and take that next step, whether we’re standing in front of a vending machine, getting a Nature Valley granola bar or we’re grabbing apples and nuts. We’re taking that next step together without judgment and with love connecting as humans to each other and supporting each other in the process.

[02:05:41] Ashley James: Absolutely. You know, life is incredibly messy and incredibly beautiful, and there are moments where you feel like the pain will never end. I promise you if you hold on, it will end in the biggest thing, is getting out of your head and sometimes the biggest thing is being in service to others. When you need help the most, I know that sounds crazy because you're like “I need help. Why am I helping others?” Sometimes, being in service to others is the best way to get out of your head, to get out of your depression, to get out of your funk. Yes, asking for help is important to asking, and it’s not about pride. It’s about loving yourself enough to go “Please, this is a moment in my life where I’m requesting some backup. I need some backup here.” And it’s not a weakness; it’s a strength. It’s a strength to be able to say I need some help holding it together. And it’s okay to cry and find your friend that will cry with you and you will put it back together. You know, I turned to God and we felt His grace with us.

[02:07:00] Kristen Bowen: So glad.

[02:07:02] Ashley James: We felt. And I grew up in the church but my husband did not and he turned to me something like 2 or 3 days after she died, our daughter, and he said “I feel God giving me a hug.” It was something like both of us, we felt His grace and His presence. We felt His protection, we felt His love. And it was so beautiful and so intense and so real to us, both of us.

[02:07:33] Kristen Bowen: It is tangible, I can hear it in your voice.

[02:07:34] Ashley James: It was. It was tangible. For my husband…

[02:07:39] Kristen Bowen: A new experience for him probably.

[02:07:41] Ashley James: It’s a new experience. I mean, I brought him to church a few times but him, this was a new experience. And I do not believe that God causes bad things. You know some people go “oh well, God has a plan.” God does not cause suffering or bad stuff. The more you study and the more you build a relationship, God loves you the most out of everyone, wants the best for you. In your life, some perfect life is messy and in those moments of mine, we can find connection. Another thing that came out of it was my community of friends and family and my community of homeschool moms came together and supported us in a way. Even the listeners of the podcast supported us in a way that my husband said “I’ve never felt so loved before.” He’s an introvert, he doesn’t have like a lot of friends. He just likes to hang out with me. It was a nonstop flow of people coming in. Because I said, you know, my door is open, right, but he said “I’ve never felt so supported. I’ve never felt so loved.” 

And I was told that some friends and even when we were arranging the burial, a woman who works at the cemetery, and several people told me this that other people when they experience a loss of a child, they sort of just get silent and they don’t ask for help and they don’t get public about it, and they don’t tell friends and family and they don’t reach out. They just suffer in silence. And whether it’s a miscarriage, a stillbirth or a child dying early in infancy, there are so many parents that feel guilt or shame or they don’t know how to reach out. And they just get silent and suffer in silence. I did the opposite. I suffered openly. And I opened my heart aloud for love and healing and connection, and I communicated. I think that's how I healed and survived. 

But what I was amazed at is so many women came out of the woodwork and said, “When I lost my child, I never told anyone. When I had a miscarriage, I didn’t tell people. When I had a stillbirth, I didn’t tell people. And I suffered for years in silence and seeing you do it publicly has been healing for me because now I want to talk about the child I lost. Now I want to get it off my heart and I want to share it.” 

[02:10:27] Kristen Bowen: And feel comfort.

[02:10:29] Ashley James: The thing is, whatever, listen, all of us, if you live long enough, you're going to suffer. There’s going to be a loss. I mean, I want everyone to live to be 120, right? We want to live long and beautiful glorious lives. And all of us are going to be, at some point, in a hospital supporting a loved one. Right? In an emergency. In a situation where we’re taking care of a sick family member or a sick friend. Or where our needs are going to go on the backburner for a day or a week or a month because we’re taking care of someone we love. The strategies we talked about today are so important to think about and learn because if you live a long enough, full enough life, you will have those moments. No matter how healthy you are, you could be a marathon runner that’s like whole-food plant-based and eating your own food from the garden, you could be just like the healthiest person in the world. And when you're up against it and you're up against the wall and you're in a hospital taking care of a loved one or your entire routine is thrown off or you're sleep-deprived, you're nutrient-deprived, it’s those times of stress. Or maybe you're just under the gun at work. Whatever your stress is, it throws off our routine and that's where the patterns, the little habits, the little choices, the little baby steps that we talked about today can make your experience be a healthier one, be a better one, be one where you can manage it with grace. That's what I want for everyone. Life is messy, life is not perfect, and you can learn the good, better, best of the choices to help yourself so that you can help the ones you love during those crucial times.

But I love that we talked about that's like there's no perfect, right? When I started the podcast, I wasn’t the perfect weight, I wasn’t the perfect health. I’m incredibly passionate. My number one value is health. I study health. I eat healthy. I make the best choices I can. 

My husband is the one that pushed me to start the podcast. I wanted to do the podcast but there was that voice in my head that said I don’t look like an Instagram model yet or I don’t look like these people on Instagram. You know what I mean? Like these raw vegans who have their own garden in the backyard and they all look perfect and they all eat acai berry bowls or whatever it’s called. Okay, that smoothie bowl looks disgusting, I’m sorry. But like the people that eat smoothie bowls every day, right? That level, it seems superficial. I mean, I don’t know. Those people, I’m not putting them down because those people probably have beautiful authentic life, but that compare and contrast that we look at these people, the health gurus. You look at them and you go like, “Oh.” Like there's that little voice in your head that goes “I’m not like that. I’m not good enough. I can’t do that. I wish I could do that.”

[02:13:39] Kristen Bowen: That's a way we keep ourselves safe. It’s a way that our subconscious is keeping us safe because ultimately, we know like okay, that's not going to happen and so I’m just going to watch them and follow them, and it’s a very convenient excuse to stay exactly where you're at. One of the things that I’ve recently done, Ashley, that I finally stepped out of that perfectionism is I’ve always wanted to become certified in Pilates. It stopped me because I don’t have a flat Pilates tummy. It doesn’t look like the Instagram Pilates tummy. And Ashley, it has been one of the most enjoyable journeys and I just realize I’m not waiting to do that until I look like that. I’m creating it now. And it has been life-changing for me. So, hairs up for imperfect action.

[02:14:41] Ashley James: Yes, thank you. So, that's what I was saying. It’s like when I started the podcast, I had to let go. I just say, you know what, “No. I’m on a journey. I’ve come a long way.” Like when I started the podcast, I had already healed. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, infertility, chronic adrenal fatigue and chronic infections. That's five things that I had healed in my body. And I’m still working. I’m still working on my health. There's no promise land where it’s like okay, I achieved it, I’m up Mt. Everest of health and now I’m the guru. It’s like no, that's not it. Life is messy, life’s not perfect. Make good, better, or best choices.

And I started the podcast going, people are suffering, I can’t wait any longer. There's an urgency. These people to know this information and we’re going to get healthy together. We’re all going to learn to make good, better, and best decisions, make better decisions every day and we’re going to get there together. We’re going to shed those layers of symptoms and ill health together. I love that you didn’t wait to have a flat stomach before you started studying Pilates. I love that. I think that we should grab on to the things that we love to do or things we want to do and just go and run with it. 

[02:16:00] Kristen Bowen: Healthy women create. 

[02:16:02] Ashley James: We will grow as we learn, as we do, as we experience. So, good. Awesome. It’s so exciting to have you on the show and I know there's a lot more I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about the growth of your business. We got a little sidetracked into health talk, of course.

[02:16:18] Kristen Bowen: Imagine that. You and I, Ashley, getting sidetracked. But thank you so much for having me on today. Hopefully, I can come back again and we can talk some more. 

[02:16:29] Ashley James: Yeah, businesses are recovering from the last two years from supply chain issues and quality issues. You have kept your quality high. And as the world heals from the last two years and the supply chain heals…

[02:16:44] Kristen Bowen: We dropped 13 products and we lost.

[02:16:48] Ashley James: I know you want to get those products back. When everything comes back to the high standards that you hold, come back on the show and we can talk about the products you're able to offer again. But I’m so happy that obviously, your flagship which is the magnesium soak is still at Livingthegoodlifenaturally.com and listeners can use coupon code LTH to get the discount and do the 30-day challenge, the soak every day. If you can do it for 20 minutes, do it for 20 minutes. If you can do it for an hour, do it for an hour. I like doing it at night because it helps me sleep but for some people, it gives them more energy. So, I say the first soak or two, do it like in the middle of the day, if you can, like maybe on your lunch break because then you will figure out whether your body gets more energy from magnesium or whether you fall asleep from magnesium. And yeah, listen to the previous episodes of Kristen because they're just packed full of amazing information—294, 341, and 381. Kristen, wonderful having you on the show again, as always. Can’t wait to have you back and thank you so much for being on this journey with us. Thank you for not waiting to be perfect before you took action because you would have never started. Just like me, I would have never started the podcast if I waited to be perfect before I took action. Just remember, baby steps, good, better and best. Make your choice. You’re always improving upon yourself and shed that guilt and shame. There's no place in that for your life. Your life is filled with joy and love.

[02:18:18] Kristen Bowen: Love it. Thank you, Ashley.

[02:18:21] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today’s interview with Kristen Bowen. She’s absolutely amazing and I highly recommend you go back and listen to the other episodes that’s she’s been in and you can go to Learntruehealth.com and type in “Kristen Bowen” in the search bar there to find the other episodes where she shares about how to get rid of parasites and more about magnesium. Just incredible information about magnesium. And of course, her health journey which she has an amazing story, so it’s really worth listening to. Please go to her website Livingthegoodlifenaturally.com and use coupon code LTH as in Learn True Health. Use coupon code LTH to get the listener discount. Please share this episode with those you care about who you know this would help. We’re all recovering from the last few years in some way or another and let’s support each other in our health journey. Have yourself a wonderful rest of your day.

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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


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