Tree and Leaf Wellness

Jessica Stephens

Tree and Leaf Wellness is Jessica Stephens. She is certified in Nutritional Therapy, Spiritual Direction, and Yoga Therapy. Why? Mid-life crisis? That and because they all helped her, and continue to help, with her own issues around

  • chronic illness,
  • autoimmune diseases,
  • depression,
  • thyroid issues,
  • SIBO and other digestive issues
  • and more.

And now she wants to help others. In this podcast Jessica shares her stories, interviews other experts, people with their own stories, shares books and other resources that have been helpful, and just has a lot of fun. There is a lot of laughter and a few tears. It gets real!

Join us!


The Poop On Your Poop
Jan 23 2022
The Poop On Your Poop
talk about poop on a podcast about Christian wellness? if you aren't pooping regularly and with ease, you are not well, your body is not working according to original designIn holistic medicine, digestion is widely considered to be at the core of your health.you are not just what you eat but what you digest (nutrient absorption)proper elimination is one of your body's natural systems of detoxallergies and auto-immune issues arise from digestive dysfunction What is "healthy" poop? frequency - minimum of once a day. some people say up to 3 times a day, food in-waste out scheduletransit time - ideal is between 12-24. body needs time to absorb nutrientspolka dot poo test - 2 tbs hulled sesame seeds, see how long they take to re-appearBristol stool chart 3-4you actually have to look at your poopfirm and sausage shaped is ideal, anything else can indicate something isn't working righta word about floaterscommonly thought this meant undigested fats in stoolother benign causes such as excess gas Dysfunction Constipation - not often enoughcommon contributing factorsnot drinking enough watershallow breathing (diaphragm massages transverse colon)chronic stress reduces gut motilitylack of movementlack of fiber (2 kiwi, ground flax seed, chia seeds)bacteria imbalance - don't just throw a probiotic at it! SIBO needs careful treatmentDiarrhea - too oftencommon contributing factorsfood allergies and sensitivitiesstresstoo much magnesiumtoxins (pathogens or otherwise)bacteria imbalance (again SIBO)gallbladder issuesexcessive strenuous exerciseGascommon contributing factorseating too fast, taking in extra airfood allergies and sensitivitiesbacteria - stomach not digesting food properly, fermenting in gut, bacteria growing and being really activecarbonated beverages What do do about your poo learn to breathe from your bellyeat in a relaxed state (parasympathetic, allows body to digest)slow down and chew your foodstay hydratedcooked veggies vs raw for digestiondigestive bitters for constipation and gasmagnesium oxide for constipationeliminate processed foodfood sensitivity testingreduce stresscastor oil packsenemas!work with me! I can help pin-point the dysfunction and walk with you to get things working right
Crafting A Rule of Life
Dec 27 2021
Crafting A Rule of Life
Post link. ugh, not good at this. Love the idea and the planning of it though! Where did this come from? From Sacred Ordinary Days website "The first example of a Christian rule of life came from the Desert Fathers, a monastic community of mystics living in Egypt around the third century AD. The most well-known rule is the rule of St. Benedict, written fifteen hundred years ago, which was created to help his community of monks translate their faith into the habits and rhythms of their shared daily life. His famous rule has inspired many communities and individuals to develop their own rules with a similar intention." What is this? "rule" - think intentional pattern for your lifeone author likened it to a trellis that provides the framework for your growth towards Godlike resolutions? a little, but it is more about how you will attend to your desire to experience God in life. involves spiritual practicesRHB says "how do I want to live so I can be who I want to be?"from RHB: take into account your personality, your spiritual type, your season of life, the sin patterns you are contending with, the place you know God is trying to stretch you How To Make One let yourself acknowledge where you are at in life and what you want your spiritual life to look liketalk to God about these thingsmake note of promptings from God, what does He want to work on with you?identify your pathway, how you are wired to connect with Godthink about what spiritual practices are meaningful for you or practices that you want to trytake a big picture view of your life: daily, weekly, monthly. What do things look like? where do you need to create space for your spiritual growth? what needs to go? what needs to be added? What is working, what isn't working?begin to plan your rule/rhythm with God. What spiritual disciples and practices will I engage in? dailyweeklymonthlyquarterlyyearly Example my life - mostly home-bound, self employed, in school, trying to build business. Want my life with God to be instinctually first - in time and priority,prayer!God wants to work on keeping me present with him, not looking ahead in expectation or dread, responding to his invitation. Also need to attend to my body better through movement and a more loving dietpathways - naturalist & contemplativepractices - lectio divina, meditation, spiritual direction, holy yoga, outdoor silence and solitude.life - work daily, no weekly demands (church?), monthly serving at church. I have lots of space! Not always so, in past I have had to name what I would discontinue so that I could have time and space for new practices. Realized I need regular time with close friends and something fun on the horizon. Want to add some creative activity My Rule Of Life  daily - time with God and scripture first thing with my cup of coffee, movement (yoga, ballet or walks), time playing pianoweekly - church in person or online, practice actual sabbath, connect with 1 friend, date/adventure time with Corby, examen on Sunday nightmonthly - half day of silence & solitude, nature outingquarterly - night away with Corby, possibly visiting churches in the dioceseyearly - create rule of life, would like to do retreat at an abbey
Putting It All Together: Holistic Christianity
Oct 31 2021
Putting It All Together: Holistic Christianity
PHILOSOPHY characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole. MEDICINE characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease. living out Christianity holistically is the idea that the parts which make us who we are are united or integrated that we aren't ignoring or neglecting a part, but placing it all before God and saying I want to live "well" for you and with you spirit - the part of us that engages with Godbody - our physical self, the vessel for our spiritsoul - our humanity, where spirit and body intersect, where we experience body, thoughts and emotions Love the lord your god with… What does it look like to live disintegrated? this is familiar to us! the common state of humanityour primary engagement is with the circumstances of lifemay attend to one or the other as dysfunction arises we live reactively instead of intentionally What does it look like to live integrated or holistically? prep work (actually constant but start here!)slow downassess your life and state without judgementacknowledge desirelisten for God's heartspirit learn how you are wired to connect to God, "personal" relationshippractice listening and respondinglook for how God wants to minister his love to youbodystop living in denialstart small eat real fooddrink watermove your body with intentionsoulmaybe the hardest area, the heart of our pain and traumasSTRESS, neurological patterns of mental illness (Curt Thompson MD book.....)be attentive to your feelings and how you are experiencing lifewatch for disconnection, allow the lord to work out connectionexamine, examine, examinegrace, grace, grace Sarah Song: Awakening - I've known for quite awhile that I am not whole, realization that you are being called into a faith that may not be pretty but is real
Jessie's Story: Spiritual Direction
Oct 17 2021
Jessie's Story: Spiritual Direction
Post link - is Spiritual Direction different from discipleship - you are not accountable to me, I am not telling you how to grow.mentorship - I am not your example, Jesus iscounseling - while there is a lot of exploring of feelings and processing, I do not offer advice or counsel.  How did I get into Spiritual Direction? there has to be more than reading bible, praying (just the speaking part, I hadn't learned to listen yet) and servingHoly Yoga introduced me to lectio divina which is a process of meditating on scripture and listening for the Holy Spiritpart of a group working through Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton, which offers opportunity to try out lots of different spiritual practices and reflect togetherI'm a listener, people come to me with their stories and I'm naturally curious so I ask questionsback-ground in discipleship, so I am wired to want to help people growconversation with some special people, and one of them pointed out that I am Spiritual Director - what the heck is that? What is Spiritual Direction? very, very old practice, going back to the early days of the churchcontinued through many Christian traditions, most commonly seen in the catholic churchnot "direction", nobody tells you what to do or think. think "companion"soul care, working with people who want to grow in their relationship with Jesus and need help to find their wayit's for people who want to lean in to the fullness of life with God. Time in spiritual direction creates space for you to become aware of his presence, attend to his voice and respond to his invitation What does it look like? intro call to answer questions, see if we are a good fitbegin with sharing of our God stories, establish a relationship and take time to honor God's movement in our livesmonthly sessions of one hourbegin by settling into God's presence spiritual exercise (lectio divina, examen, scripture immersion, etc) to grow in our listening to Godtime for you to process as I listen, make observations and ask questions that will help you respond to Godgoal is to process and grow in living an honest and deeper life with God Who can benefit from Spiritual Direction? literally everyone, at any point of their walk with GodI have a spiritual director!
Jessie’s Story: Yoga Therapy
Oct 4 2021
Jessie’s Story: Yoga Therapy
Episode blog post. how I got started with Yoga address chronic back pain at the recommendation of my chiroTri-Zone Movement Therapy - early 2014Holy Yoga Instructor - March 2014Yoga Therapist - June 2015not certified but also taught Foundation Training (posterior chain strengthening) The Yoga Can of Worms Christians and Yoga - I am not here to convince you that it is okA few facts (read Holy Yoga by Brooke Boon)I am not worshipping Hindu gods. Yoga came before the Hindu religion by about 1000 years, it did not originate with the Hindu religion. They adopted it as a spiritual practice.The human body belongs to God, not any one religion. Other religions have incorporated the body in the worship of their deity. In Holy Yoga, we are directing our bodies in the worship of Jesus.I am not inviting demons into my body by positioning my parts into a shape with a yoga name (asana). My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and I am literally entering into that place of worship. (little story of lady leaving my class when we started in child's pose for prayer)Traditional Yoga teaches one to empty your mind, Holy Yoga teaches to empty your mind of everything but Jesus so you are free to connect with Him.Do you disagree? I'm ok with that. Holy Yoga has been both permissible and beneficial for me. Maybe God has not released this freedom to you. What is Holy Yoga 100% and 100% JesusYoga, means "unity" or " to join".physical postures, breathing and meditationpostures - The body is our vehicle for navigating life. Yoga helps to stretch & strengthen muscles, increase range of motion, place beneficial pressure on organs to stimulate function.breathing - God designed truth that breath is of him, brings life. Stimulates vagus nerve, calms nervous system, transports much needed oxygen.unity with God through physically agreeing with how he created us.meditation - what really sets Holy Yoga apart from traditional yoga, taking opportunity to release the world and enter into conversation with God. Scripture, speaking prayer, listening prayer, contemplating his movement in your life.What type of yoga is Holy Yogahatha - stretching postures with breath and mindfulnessspecifically bakhti yoga, devotional yoga. we seek to use the practice to deepen our devotion to Jesus Why Yoga is a Part of Holistic Christianity my personal positionacknowledging the body was created to move. Movement is a part of healthy humaning. there are other ways of movingyoga specifically because there is opportunity for spiritual engagementmindful breathing encourages a healthy nervous system which benefits body and mental health Why you Actually CAN do Yoga. Yes you. Personalized Yoga Therapy services
Jessie's Story: Nutritional Therapy
Sep 19 2021
Jessie's Story: Nutritional Therapy
Show post - with food as therapyJer as a toddler, behaviors that we thought were ADD but now know were ASD (unable to focus, constant tantrums, also massive rashes and food reactions)research, research, research! Feingold diet and EFAsalways cooked from scratch, but research led to more whole food eating in general (as opposed to SAD)Jer ASD diagnosis and the GFCF diet (actually ended up testing with allergies to both)first naturopath we went to expanded understanding of therapeutic eating (Dr. Jacqui)always just drawn toward nutrition, learning on my own about the most supportive and intentional ways of eating for healthdevelopment of my own health conditions, NDs recommended different dietary approaches for healing (Paleo, AIP for auto-immune, Bi-Phasic diet for SIBO)interest exploded and my ND told me about the NTA programWhat the heck is an FNTPfunctional nutritional therapy practitioner (as opposed to NTP/NTC)Functional - I am trained in a hands-on method to assess your body's functioning and possible nutritional deficiencies (lingual-neural testing)palpating reflex pointsthrough client feedback, identifying organs and systems with dysfunction, testing supplements against those reflex points for their beneficial effectsNutritional - I'm all about nutrition, whole food, what is most beneficial way of eating to support my clients' healthTherapy - It is not a one and done practice. I work with people over time to make long-term changes that specifically address their health concerns.Practitioner - trained and certified specifically in nutrition, I "practice" my craftMy specialtiesholistic living - integrating Christian spiritual health and body healthspecifically work with people who are suffering the effects of chronic stress and burn-out auto-immunechronic illnessesSIBOWhat it looks like to work with me as a NT clientdiscovery call - 10 minute chat to see if I your concerns are within my scope of practice and we are a good fitinitial 3 session therapy package1 - intake interview where we talk about your health history, major concerns and what your life looks like. Walk away with initial recommendations to put into place ASAP2 - nutritional assessment. 1 week after 1st session, you will have completed and returned a 3 day food and symptom journal prior to this session. I analyze this and we review my findings together. Walk away with initial nutritional and dietary recommendations.3 - functional assessment. 2 weeks after 2nd session, you will have completed an online NAQ which provides a ton of functional information for mein person - review of what your body is telling me (from NAQ), hand's on assessment of dysfunction and personalized supplement recommendationsonline - review of what your body is telling me, personalized supplement recommendationsNext steps - HIGHLY recommend monthly therapy sessions to track progress and make adjustments as your body is healingAdditional servicespantry clean-outguided grocery shoppinggroup presentationsSara Song: Painting Pictures of Egypt, all about looking back and longing for things that did not serve us well when we are being called to move forward