Benefits of Pumpkin - Purely Simple Organic Living

Carved Pumpkin Faces…

Pumpkin decorations….

Pumpkin Latte’s…

Pumpkin Pie…

Pumpkin Bread…

Pumpkins…pumpkins….pumpkins EVERYWHERE!!!

We have officially entered the season where pumpkins are impossible to ignore! 

And why should we! They not only fun to decorate with but they are a satisfying and amazing food source… another example of a GOD FOOD FOR A GOD BODY!

Let's take a super quick look at why they are so great for us:

  1. You will feel fuller
    Packed full of fiber equals satisfaction as well as keeping our bowels healthy.
  2. You will sleep better
    Improves serotonin which is the “feel-good” neurotransmitter that helps you settle down, unwind and doze off to sleep.
  3. You will have a healthy heart
    Remember the fiber from #1?!
  4. You’ll increase your prostate health
    Pumpkin is rich in Zinc; it contains more than 2mg per ounce which can contribute to the prevention of prostate cancer, research shows.
  5. You will receive magnesium
    Naturally without risking overdoing it.  Magnesium is an essential mineral that aids in many physiological functions like the relaxation of the nervous system, muscle growth, and regulating bowel movements.
  6. You’ll feel the antioxidant benefits
    Beta carotene is thought to play a role in protecting cells, boosting the immune system, and helping to keep the reproductive system healthy.
  7. When you eat some pumpkin, you burn the fat
    It will keep you full longer, and regulate your blood sugar levels to keep food cravings at bay which helps you eat fewer calories and burn more fat.
  8. It’ll keep your eyesight sharp
    A cup of pumpkin will meet your daily vitamin A requirements that aid in the integrity of your vision, especially in dim light according to the National Institute of Health. 
  9. You will have to eat fewer bananas
    Bananas have made themselves popular for their potassium benefits. But pumpkin serves us up more cup per cup. Potassium deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness and inactive reflexes, so switch it up and rotate some pumpkin into your diet instead of solely relying on bananas for potassium


  1. AKA: #10 – It will boost your mood
    Serotonin deficiency is a growing concern for many people. Researchers claim that it’s an epidemic inflicting its unique dark cloud misery on people and it’s noted that 80% of people suffer from serotonin deficiency. The reason why serotonin is important to overall wellness is that it’s our primary defense against depression and anxiety. A simple way to make sure you’re producing natural serotonin is to include foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan which gets converted to serotonin in your body. Pumpkin seeds contain loads of tryptophan which will help keep your outlook on life bright.

So how do you incorporate pumpkin into your diet?

  • Pumpkin Latte – this is one of my favorite shakes and/or Latte that I created a few years back that ensures I have to “chew” a shake so I still receive all the gut benefits of creating the enzymes our gut so very much needs to ensure it is breaking things down!
  • PUMPKIN BREAD:  Christina has created a pumpkin bread that is so good you’re going to want it even during the summer months! This is the perfect time to experiment with going gluten-free if you have been on the fence!  Christina’s Gluten-Free cookbook is truly COUNTRY COMFORT MEETS GLUTEN FREE!

Don’t let baking Gluten-Free scare you off. 

But in case you are feeling a bit intimidated, we have you covered with this video mini-series that we walk you through several recipes as well as what the tricks are to make gluten-free baking super successful!

As always have an amazingly blessed day, week, month and remember to keep journaling your gratitude….this is the perfect time to start doing this if you haven’t already!

Blessings and prayers always,

Christina & Kelly

PS….November’s Coffee Chat and Happy Hour are ready to sign up for!  Join us for an hour of fun twice a month as we venture into the holidays….we will be covering gratitude, baking, protecting our immune system as we enter deeper into cold & flu season….and so much more.

My favorite recipe for this time of year is Elderberry Syrup, a centuries old, reliable recipe full of immune boosting properties! Elderberries are known to help lessen inflammation and stress and help protect your heart too. Ginger helps break down mucus, making it easier for your body to expel air. It also helps improve circulation to the lungs and reduces inflammation.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

by Christina Sessums, MSW, ND, CNHP, CAHP, Baker


    • 2/3 Cup Black Elderberries
    • 3 1/2 Cups of water
    • 1 Cup raw honey
    • Wolfberries
    • dried cloves
    • whole fresh rosemary beat to open pores
    • whole cinnamon sticks
    • whole nutmeg
    • whole allspice
    • fresh ginger sliced and pounded
    • turmeric sliced and pounded, double your water


    • Add water to medium saucepan
    • Add organic elderberries, Wolfberries, cloves, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and turmeric
    • Bring to a boil

Cover and reduce heat

Let simmer about 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about half

Remove from heat and let cool

Once Cooled

    • Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil
    • Pour through a strainer into a glass jar
    • Discard the elderberries
    • Let the liquid cool to lukewarm


    • 1 Cup of raw honey
    • 2 drops of Essential Oils

NOTE: If liquid cooled too much to stir in honey, warm honey by placing in hot water and add warmed honey to the syrup. (DO NOT microwave)

Stir well. After mixed pour the syrup into a jar (I use brown cold brew glass jars)

Store in the fridge and take daily for immune boosting properties.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe Downloadable Printable PDF

Do you have questions? Please feel free to post in our Facebook group (click here) or use the Contact Us page.

Have you seen the Elderberry Hot Cocoa Recipe? Yummy and good for you!

Want to know more about wonderful Elderberries?

Elderberry Health Benefits from WebMD
The berries and flowers of elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They could help tame inflammation, lessen stress, and help protect your heart, too. 

Some experts recommend elderberry to help prevent and ease cold and flu symptoms.

It’s also been used as a treatment for:

  •  Constipation
  •  Joint and muscle pain
  • Infections that affect how you breathe
  •  Headaches
  •  Fever
  •  Kidney problems
  •  Epilepsy
  • Minor skin conditions
  •  Stress
  •  HIV and AIDS
Have you ever had Turmeric Tea?
Did you know it was a liver detox?
The benefits of this turmeric tea are:
Detoxes the body
– Boosts immunity
– Eases symptoms of coughs and colds
– Cleanses and purifies the blood
– Improves circulation
– Prevents internal blood clotting
– Reduces bad cholesterol
– Reduces inflammation
– Improves skin
– Protects liver tissue
– Stimulates secretion of bile
One great way to enjoy Turmeric is to make this delicious tea:
Turmeric Tea Recipe

Turmeric Tea Recipe


  • 4 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1-21/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Boiling water


  • Fill a mug halfway with the boiling water
  • ADD turmeric and ginger
  • COVER and let steep for 10-15 minutes
  • STIR IN cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla nad honey
  • FILL mug with coconut milk and stir


Watermelons are a summer favorite for many. Here are some fun facts you might not have known about them:

  • Watermelon is a very hydrating treat as it's made of over 90% water!
  • It's also high in Vitamin A and C and full of antioxidants!
  • Watermelon is a good source of fiber
  • It's low in calories and high in nutrients
  • You can eat ALL of it! See the recipes below for fun ways to prepare this delicious fruit!

This Elderberry Hot Cocoa recipe is easy to make, delicious autoimmune system booster! Have you ever had elderberries?

Elderberry Hot Cocoa

by Christina Sessums, MSW, ND, CNHP, CAHP, Baker


  • 1 Tbsp elderberries
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 3 oz cocoa powder
  • 3 Cups milk or non-dairy alternative of your choice
  • 3 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar


Simmer elderberries in water for 10 minutes


Pour strained liquid into clean saucepan and bring to just under a boil

Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth

Turn down the heat

Slowly add milk, chocolate chips. and sugar

Stir constantly until well blended

Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

Yummy Immune Boosting Elderberry Hot Cocoa Recipe

Are you looking for the Elderberry Syrup Recipe?

Have questions about essential oils and how to use them? Be sure to contact Christina about Young Living products and Kelly can help out with Doterra ones.

Want to learn more about Elderberries? Be sure to visit Healthy Holistic Living article: Scientists Verify Elderberry Beats the Flu, Prevents Colds & Strengthens Immunity


Happy Friday readers, and welcome to another week in wellness with Purely Simple Organic Living! If you have been keeping up with any of the latest trends in weight loss, you are probably familiar with the ketogenic diet–aka the keto diet.

From people putting globs of grass-fed butter in their morning coffee, to recipes on social media like “peanut butter cream cheese fat bombs”, the keto diet has truly garnered a cult following (#KetoLife, am I right?). Whether the appeal is weight loss, improving mitochondrial function, or just a way to lead a healthier lifestyle, the keto diet has definitely made a splash in the health scene that has researchers and nutritionists taking a second look.

In this blog post we will be sorting through some of the research on the ketogenic diet to help explain what it is, how it works, as well as the important questions like is eating keto healthy? and is keto right for me? So without further ado, let’s discuss!

What is the Keto Diet?

There are several different versions of the keto diet: the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKG), Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD), Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKG), and the High-Protein Ketogenic Diet–with most of the contemporary interpretations falling under the standard. Standard ketogenic diets usually limit carbohydrate intake to about 25 to 50 grams a day, and focus on quality-sourced, high-fat meals with high amounts of fiber a moderate amount of proteins1.

This usually involves portioning around 70 percent of your diet to healthy fats, 25 percent to high-quality protein and only 5 percent to carbohydrates1. By restricting net carbs and upping fat intake, you will ultimately put your body in a state of nutritional ketosisas well as lowering your blood sugar and insulin levels1.

Ketosis, not to be confused with diabetic ketoacidosis, is a natural process in which your body begins to burn fat for fuel instead of sugar (aka blood glucose)1–making it an effective tool to burn off some excess fat. When your metabolism shifts from burning carbs to burning fat for energy, your liver produces blood acids called ketones or ketone bodies that can also be used for energy2. Unlike glucose, ketones are readily able to cross the blood-brain barrier, making them efficient in providing the brain fuel2.

Ketones that are not used by the body as fuel are usually excreted and can show up in your breath, urine or blood. When ketones build up in persons with type 1 diabetes, matched with high blood sugar and low insulin, the blood becomes too acidic and causes diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe life-threatening complication (unlike ketosis). Ketone presence detected in your breath, urine, or blood are easy ways to test if your body is in a state of ketosis, with urine test strips being a popular means to test your ketone levels at-home.

Is the Keto Diet Healthy?

Doctor Joseph Mercola, one of the leading authorities in alternative health and nutrition, often recommends the standard ketogenic diet to people with chronic illness, obesity, or to those who are wanting to optimize their health1. He cites benefits such as increased weight loss, decreased risk of inflammation, lower risk of cancer, improved muscle mass, reduced appetite, lower insulin levels, etc.1as positive outcomes of the ketogenic diet.

Amy Meyers, MD also supports ketogenic diet practices for certain groups like those with epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancer3. With the ketogenic diet reentering mainstream health culture, researchers are looking more closely at its ability to mitigate symptoms in certain disorders and for its cited effectiveness in reducing inflammation3.

However, the ketogenic diet works like every other diet that puts you in a calorie deficit, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Studies have shown that the keto diet commonly causes deficiencies in potassium and sodium4,5, denoting a need for high mineral and high potassium intake in conjunction with a keto lifestyle. Due to the limited amount of glucose available while one is in ketosis, perimenopausal women and those with thyroid issues may suffer thyroid impairment and adrenal stress as a result of the ketogenic diet3,4,5.

Chronic low-carb diets do not feed you gut flora, which may also compromise you microbiome in the long term6. Most importantly, our bodies are not designed to operate in a state of ketosis forever! Your body is designed to have the metabolic flexibility to use both glucose and fat for fuel, and cycling in and out of nutritional ketosis is the best approach to this diet5,6.

Is the Keto Diet Right for You?

So are you a good candidate for the ketogenic diet?

Well, the jury is still out. Every single person and their bodies are different and have a unique set of needs that a one-size-fits-all approach does not address. As with any major diet change, the only way to know if the keto diet is right for you is to consult with a trusted medical professional to assess your nutritional needs. If you fall into any of the sensitive categories listed above, such as: type 1 diabetes, thyroid and hormone issues, high-stress lifestyle, or have existing salt or mineral deficiencies often seen in fingernails as vertical ridges, it is best to seek professional advice on whether your body

Want to make healthier food choices but don’t know where to start?

A foolproof way to “clean up” your lifestyle is to start by cutting out heavily processed foods. Making the switch to healthier fats by switching out any vegetable oils or margarines in your kitchen with alternatives like grass-fed butter, coconut oil and avocado oil. Being conscious of what you consume is one of the most sustainable changes you can make going forward in your journey to health!

Here at Purely Simple Organic Living, we aim to safely support our clients by assessing and considering all areas of their life–food, exercise, lifestyle, environment, etc.–and always opt for sustainable lifestyle changes to help you reach your wellness goal. Our biochemical wellness analysis tests your urine and saliva on 7 parameters that can tell you if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies, as well as if your body is able to process proteins–a necessary piece for anyone looking to make appropriate food choices!

Face, tongue and nail evaluations have also been used for centuries to detect imbalances long before they present as physical symptoms in the body, which we offer as part of our services. We also address the emotional piece that often goes neglected when people fall into the cycle of diets and why you wanted to start that diet in the first place! Our EVOX voice mapping service is a gentle, effective means of emotional release to heal from the consequences of stored trauma and stress in the body.

As part of our July Health is Wellness campaign, we are proud to be offering new client appointments for $50 off, as well as biochemical wellness analysis (urine/saliva test) + face/tongue/nail evaluations for $79! Follow our Facebook page to keep up with our latest events and specials, you don’t want to miss out!

Call us today at (512) 265-0303 opt. 1 to schedule your FREE 30 minute discovery call to find out more about how Purely Simple Organic Living can equip and empower you to lead a life full of happiness and wellness! Also, feel free to join our private Facebook page Holistic Tools for Autoimmune Freedom to be part of a powerful community and learn to conquer autoimmune disease naturally. Have a blessed weekend!

Christina Sessums, ND,  MSW, CNHP, CAHP
Autoimmune Disease Specialist
Call Today: (512) 265-0303
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