Importance of Calcium for Any Stage of Life

This article was adapted from an article written by Dr. Murray Clarke on Safbaby.com.

Did you know that by the time a child reaches the age of 17, almost 90% of their adult bone mass will already have been established! Kid’s calcium intake is very important for their future bone health! Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body and accounts for approximately 1.5% of total body weight. Bones and teeth contain 99% of the calcium in the body while the remaining 1% is distributed in other areas.

It is during childhood, often referred to as the “bone-forming years,” that a child’s body is most capable of absorbing calcium. But the fact is, most children and adolescents aren’t getting the calcium they need to build peak bone mass. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 86% of teenage girls and 64% of teenage boys are “calcium deficient.” Did you know that children who don’t get enough calcium are more likely to suffer from bone fractures and may develop osteoporosis as they age? They also risk having weaker teeth and tooth decay later in life. …Continue Reading

Creamy Cauliflower Soup Recipe

Does it ever feel like a whole head of cauliflower is too much to eat? Well this recipe is perfect for you! Cauliflower is an excellent source of nutrients called indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane that fight cancerous cells, reduce excess estrogens in the body, and support detoxification. …Continue Reading

Healthy Home Nesting for a Healthy Baby

This article is adapted from Safbaby.com, written by healthy home expert, Mary Cordaro.

You’re pregnant!  Images of beautiful nurseries fill your head as your thoughts turn to how to prepare your home for your little one. Whether you are adding a new room, remodeling an existing space or simply painting and furnishing a room, you want it to be beautiful and perfect. You want the best for your baby.

But you wonder…can you trust the products you see, the ones labeled as “non-toxic”, “natural” or “safe” for baby?

EWG’s Baby Body Burden Study made it starkly clear that what the mother ingests, absorbs and inhales directly affects the fetus. In fact, nearly 287 chemicals were found in the cord blood, the majority being carcinogenic, neurotoxic and developmentally toxic. Until recently, the impact from chronic, extremely low-level exposure to these chemicals has not been clear.

Dr. Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, well-published expert on children’s environmental health, states “There is strong evidence that learning disabilities and lower IQ scores can be attributed to extremely low levels of exposure to toxic metals like lead and mercury, persistent toxins such as polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), and other toxins including organophosphate (OP) pesticides and compounds used as flame-retardants.” He concludes that thirty years of research led to the conclusion that chronic low-level exposure to these chemicals does matter. …Continue Reading

Environmental Nutrition

What is environmental nutrition?

Environmental nutrition examines the interrelationships between our food choices, our environment, and our health. The conventional food system threatens our health and overall well-being with increased air and water pollution, toxic chemical exposure, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, soil erosion, climate change inducing greenhouse gas emissions, and loss of biodiversity. These disruptions in environmental integrity can affect human health and nutritional status.

Environmental contamination from industrial and agricultural chemicals such as heavy metals, organochlorines, and radionuclides may compromise people’s nutritional status and health either directly or through changes in diet. Herbicides and pesticides eliminate uncultivated food sources from agroecosystems; other chemicals may make them unfit for consumption. Persistent organic pollutants (POPS) transported in the atmosphere can have adverse effects on traditional food systems far removed from major sites of pesticide use.

The EPA states that 25 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were produced by industrial facilities in 2014 alone. See what toxic chemicals have been released in your neighborhood with this interactive map.

…Continue Reading

Dark Chocolate Bark Recipe

Dark chocolate is well-known for its high levels of antioxidants, which makes it a great dessert! The darker the chocolate, the less sugar is added, so the healthier it is for you. Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and other nuts such as cashews and almonds provide some protein, fiber, and additional healthy fats. Sea salt is a fantastic source of not only sodium, but also many other trace minerals.  …Continue Reading

Oil Pulling for Oral Health

Do your gums bleed when you floss? Are your gums receding? Does your tongue have a white or yellow coat on it?  Do you have bad breath? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should try this ancient technique used to keep the mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue clean!

Oil pulling is an old remedy that originated in India thousands of years ago. In fact, ancient Ayurveda texts claim oil pulling may cure about 30 systemic diseases! As reported by the Indian Journal of Dental Research, “oil pulling has been used…to strengthen teeth, gums, and jaws and to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, and dryness of throat and cracked lips.” Oil pulling uses the concept of “like dissolves like” – you swish a couple of teaspoons of oil in your mouth for 20 minutes to clean your teeth and gums. It may seem contradictory to use oil to clean your mouth, but oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without causing any harm to your teeth or gums. Oil pulling helps kill bad bacteria in your mouth, such as Candida and Streptococcus, which produce toxic waste products can contribute to plaque accumulation and tooth decay.

…Continue Reading

Benefits of the Sauna

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? And it is a great pathway of elimination for the body. When you exercise, take a hot bath, or go in the sauna (any way you work up a sweat), you are encouraging toxic chemicals to be released from your skin!

With hundreds of thousands of man-made chemicals in our environment, we are all accumulating these compounds in our body. The majority of these compounds end up being stored in our fat cells, our bones, and our nervous system (including our brain). And many of them have very long half-lives in the body, years to decades! So with continuous exposure, you could expect to never get rid of those chemicals.

So how do we get them out? The major organs of elimination include our liver, GI tract, kidneys, lungs, and our skin. Elimination through our skin is one of the very underutilized ways of encouraging these toxins to leave our bodies. Exercising, increasing body temperature, and the subsequent sweating is a safe way to mobilize these toxins from where they were stored and excrete them out of our bodies.

…Continue Reading

Four Thieves Vinegar Health Tonic

This recipe centers around herbs that have been known for their antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties for centuries. In fact, there is a legend that four thieves robbed the homes of those who died of the bubonic plague wearing masks covered in this herbal vinegar.  The legend says that they robbed many houses but never caught the disease. When they were caught, they gave up the recipe of the vinegar that saved them from the plague in exchange for a quick death, hanging, rather than being burned alive.

Whether the legend is true or not, the concept of a potent antimicrobial herbal vinegar survived!  This recipe serves as a valuable remedy against many illnesses and is a powerful disinfectant and bug spray.

There are many versions of this recipe, but this is the most common one. Other ingredients used include marjoram, camphor, horehound, angelica, juniper, meadowsweet, wormwood, and cloves. I encourage you to make your own with dried herbs from your garden or local farmer’s market!

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Nutrition for PostPartum Depression

Postpartum depression is very common among new mothers. In fact 40-80% of new moms feel the baby blues! Discussing your emotions and mental state with your health practitioner during pregnancy can be very helpful in catching any sign of depressed mood early.

Symptoms of depression may include negative feelings toward baby, lack of pleasure, lack of appetite, fatigue, feeling withdrawn, feeling worthless or guilty, agitated, irritable, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, or having thoughts of death or suicide.

…Continue Reading

Herbal Beauty Care

The best regimen for maintaining healthy skin is to cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Cleansing the skin removes dead skin cells and dirt, which unclogs pores and allows your skin to breathe. Toning aids to close the pores in order to tighten and strengthen its role as a protective barrier. Moisturizing feeds the skin with the nutrients it needs to stay strong, healthy, and prevent flaking and irritation. …Continue Reading

SMART Goals for Health

Do you feel ready to make lifestyle changes, but just not sure if you will be able to pull it off? Making SMART goals is a great exercise to help you flesh out your goals and think through exactly how you are going to make these changes. It is also a great idea to share your goals with someone who can hold you accountable.

I encourage you to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down the goals you want to reach. Look at each goal and evaluate it. Make any changes necessary to ensure it meets the criteria for a SMART goal:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely Specific …Continue Reading

Glutathione: Your Body’s Best Antioxidant

Glutathione is one of the most important molecules for protecting you against chronic diseases. Your body produces its own glutathione, but stress, poor diet, pollution and environmental toxins, medications, trauma, aging, infections, cancer, and radiation all deplete your levels. These stressors also make it harder for your body to produce adequate levels of glutathione to minimize the collateral damage from the stressors.

Glutathione is a molecule composed of three amino acids, cysteine, glycine, and glutamine. Sulfur, a component of cysteine, sticks to free radicals and toxins like heavy metals, which is then carried out of the body through the bile and stool.

With too much oxidative stress or too many toxins in our body, the glutathione becomes depleted and we can no longer protect ourselves against free radicals and infections, thus chronic illness develops. Glutathione is also critical in helping the immune system fight infections and prevent cancer. Maintaining adequate glutathione levels in your body is one of the best ways you can take care of your health. And luckily, diet and lifestyle changes boost glutathione levels significantly!

…Continue Reading

Nutrition for Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails

 

Our hair, skin, and nails deserve to be pampered and cared for! In fact the skin is the largest organ of our body and plays a critical role in our health. Our skin, nails, and hair reflect the state of health of our inner health. The functioning of the GI tract and liver are very connected to the health and appearance of your skin, hair and nails. By staying hydrated, eating fermented foods, avoiding food sensitivities, and eating a nutrient-dense whole foods diet you can have strong nails, glistening hair, and silky smooth skin.

 

While we all have different types of hair, skin and nails, we need the same basic nutritional support. If you do have concerns about what your hair, skin, or nails might be telling you about your health, consult your doctor or health professional. In addition to vitamins and minerals, hair, skin, and nail health is dependent on stress, hormone levels, medications, and hydration. The foods outlined in this article provide a nutritional guide for the foundation of your health, with an emphasis on nourishing your hair, skin, and nails. …Continue Reading

Your Nutrition Physical Exam

What can your body tell you about your health?

Your pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and body composition are foundational ways to assess your health status. Your sense of smell and taste, oral health (tongue, lips, teeth, cheeks), and your nails can provide further insight into your nutritional status.

In what ways can you improve your health? Try out this quick, self-assessment and find out what your body is trying to tell you.

…Continue Reading

Alloxan: a Compound in Bleached Bread that Causes Diabetes

White Bread Contributes to Diabetes for Many Reasons

 Aside from lacking fiber, nutrients, and protein, white bread contains small amounts of a chemical that is used to induce diabetes in laboratory rats and mice.

How does white bread become so white? The outer layers of the wheat seeds are removed and the flour is bleached, usually with chlorine gas. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines chlorine gas as a flour-bleaching, aging and oxidizing agent that is a powerful irritant, dangerous to inhale, and lethal. Other agents also used include oxides of nitrogen, nitrosyl, and benzoyl peroxide mixed with various chemical salts.

Similar to disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in water, alloxan is formed when the chlorine reacts with certain proteins remaining in the white flour after the bran and germ have been removed.  Alloxan has not been added to the flour, but the manufacturing facility processes the wheat with chemical treatments that result in the formation of alloxan in the flour. …Continue Reading

Summertime Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 small yellow mangos
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 large yellow onion

 

Directions:

Peel the mangos, garlic clove, and onion. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until desired consistency! Pour into a serving dish and enjoy at your next picnic or BBQ!

Nourishing Hair Cream Recipe

Nourishing Herbal Hair Cream

Creams are topical, healing applications.  They are less greasy and more nourishing then salves because they are a combination of water and oil.  They can be vulnerary, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, emollient, and soothing so they are great for healing sprains, strains, bruising, open wounds, mild burns, inflammatory conditions, rashes, and insect bites.

 

Creams also contain an emulsifier, which is an important component to getting the water and the oil to blend together and to stay in solution.  The emulsifier binds the water with the oil, creating fat micelles (tiny globules) that are small enough to keep both the oil and the water together in solution.

 

This recipe calls for beeswax as an antimicrobial, thick emulsifier. Coconut oil lightens the cream and also provides antimicrobial properties.  Almond and avocado oils are nourishing and soothing to dry hair.  Borax is also an important component of this cream because it is a preservative, buffering agent, and an emulsifier. Citric acid was also chosen as a preservative.

…Continue Reading

Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas


Always in a hurry? Try these quick snack ideas! Meal prep is a great way to have healthy meals and snacks that you can grab and go during the week! Make 1 serving per person per day. Chop vegetables and fruits ahead of time so when you are looking for something to munch, you’ve got fresh foods to snack on right away. (And perhaps keep your hunger at bay while you make a more substantial meal). 

…Continue Reading

X-Ray Safety

X-Rays and ionizing radiation: How safe is it?

Have you ever wondered if getting an x-ray could cause long-term health effects? This article discusses ionizing radiation from x-rays and background sources of radiation exposure and it’s effects on the body.

 

X-ray essentials

X-rays are waves of extremely high energy composed of individual units of energy called photons. They have a short wave length, small enough to pass through “spaces” in our bodies. These rays travel at the speed of light, 186,000 miles-per-second. One important thing to note is that x-rays do not stay in the body. In very high doses (very much higher than we use in typical diagnostic radiography), x-ray can possibly cause damage to short-lived cells such as white blood cells, can induce malignant tumors, cause genetic changes and sterility, and reduce life span. …Continue Reading

“Jump into Spring” Smoothie

Spring is your opportunity to cleanse your body from all the toxins you’ve accumulated during the winter. Wearing lots of clothes, eating heartier, saltier foods, not exercising as much, feeling gloomy like the weather, and not going outside are all wintertime behaviors that decrease your body’s ability to keep itself clean. Eating seasonal produce (and foods high in fiber), drinking plenty of water, and participating in outdoor physical activity are great ways to embrace the spring season and prepare your body for the upcoming warmer months. This smoothie will help you jump into spring by incorporating arugula and peach, two spring/summer foods for the Pacific Northwest!

The arugula is a mildly bitter, stimulating green that is rich in vitamins C and K, moderate amounts of minerals, and contains powerful antioxidants and sulfur-containing phytochemicals that support healthy metabolism of foods and toxins we encounter. Peaches, known to promote healthy skin, are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, B vitamins, and electrolytes like potassium. They also contain fiber, which aids in healthy digestive function and elimination. Coconut milk, avocado, and hemp seeds contain healthy fats and proteins that will keep you full and satisfied for longer than your typical smoothie. They slow the absorption of the sugars from the fruit (and honey if you find you like your smoothies sweet). This smoothie is a great snack for when you are out gardening and watching your seedlings grow with the season.

…Continue Reading

Liver Cleansing Vinegar

Vinegar is one of the oldest methods of herbal extraction.  Infusing herbs into raw apple cider vinegar is a fantastic way to boost your phytonutrient content in your meals – this recipe makes a great dressing, accompanied with olive oil!

…Continue Reading

Ginger: Herbal Profile

Zingiber Officinale

Ginger

Zingiberacae Family

 

Ginger is a common household herb that provides numerous health benefits.  It is an excellent herb to have on hand for sore throats, colds, aches and pains, stomach upset, and to warm you up on a chilly day.

…Continue Reading

Homemade Sauerkraut

Making your own sauerkraut is quick, easy, and cost effective. Fermented foods are one of the healthiest foods you can eat and they are so easy to prepare at home. Sauerkraut is one of the most nourishing foods for your intestine. Cabbage and the juice from cabbage is high in glutamine, an amino acid that is very important for your intestinal cells to heal and repair.  The fiber in cabbage can bind to cholesterol and help lower lipid levels in the blood.  Cabbage contains anti-cancer components and is an excellent source of vitamins K and C, vitamin B6, and antioxidants. Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that will protect your GI health, support your immune system, and promote wellness in all aspects of your body’s health.

…Continue Reading

Baked Chicken Wings with Herbs and Olive Oil

Looking for a delicious chicken wing recipe that doesn’t douse the chicken in high sugar barbecue sauce? Try this savory recipe. It’s packed with flavors of garlic, olive oil, mediterranean herbs, and fresh basil. It pairs well with a salad and a glass of red wine!

…Continue Reading

Herbal Profile: Rosemary

Rosemary is a wonderful culinary herb that is also medicinal! It is most famously known for it’s ability to enhanced circulation and support vascular health.  It is commonly used to support those with depression too. Rosemary protects liver function, is rich in antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory.

…Continue Reading

Women’s Herbal Teas

Looking for an easy, delicious way to support your hormones?  These tea recipes boost a woman’s energy, promote balanced hormonal cycles and levels.

Red Raspberry Leaf:
This herb is an all-around excellent herb to use for women at any life stage, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is rich in chelated iron (easily absorbed), stimulates the flow of breast milk, and facilitates the mother’s post-birth recovery.

Peppermint:
Peppermint is an all-over body strengthener and cleanser. Aids in digestion and is safe to use during pregnancy.  …Continue Reading

Throat Soothing Cough Lozenge

A lozenge is a slow-dissolving and mucilaginous method of preparing herbs.  They are beneficial for sore throats, mouth, and upper respiratory tract because they soothe and coat mucus membranes. Herbs that are ideal to use in lozenges are expectorant, sedative, pain relieving, and antimicrobial. Honey is soothing and coating to mucus membranes, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and nutritive (containing vitamins, minerals, and enzymes).  Honey best extracts water-soluble constituents (tannins, vitamins and minerals, mucilages, alkaloid salts, vitamins, polysaccharides), plus small amounts of waxes and resins. When taken internally, honey calms inflamed GI tract so it’s very fitting to be added to a lozenge!

…Continue Reading

7 Superfoods for Pregnancy

These foods are powerhouses for your body during pregnancy.  Supporting the growth and development of a child is no small feat!  And your body will need to be nourished with high-quality organic foods in order to prepare your body for the new life it supports.

 

Eggs and Egg Yolks – Egg whites are a complete protein source and egg yolks are rich in nutrients necessary for the healthy growth and development of a baby.  Yolks are high in choline, which is critical for the development of the brain, neurons, and the synapses where two neurons can communicate. Four yolks and at least one egg white each day will provide about 500mg of choline, a modest recommendation for daily choline intake. Yolks are also rich in cholesterol, a crucial nutrient for the healthy development of a baby’s brain, nervous system, intestinal tract, and hormones.

…Continue Reading

7 Lifestyle Factors that Influence Fertility

Research is showing that the decisions you make about your nutrition, exercise, stress, and environmental toxin exposure can influence your health and fertility.  Additionally, these lifestyle factors also influence the health and development of your baby once your pregnant!  While some aspects of lifestyle may not be modifiable, there are many that can be modified in order to promote health and fertility. The main factors that are influential to creating a fertile environment in both men and women include: …Continue Reading

Homemade Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent

Common dishwasher detergents are loaded with toxic chemicals that leave residues on your dishes and subsequently come in contact with the food and beverages you eat! Don’t believe me? Visit the Environmental Working Group’s website to see how toxic your dish detergent is. Making your own dishwasher detergent at home is simple, cost-effective, and healthy for you, your family, and the environment. This recipe will thoroughly clean your dishes and not leave any soap residue.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts borax
  • 2 parts washing soda
  • 1 part salt
  • 1 part citric acid

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in an air-tight container and use as you would use store-bought dish detergent! Label your container so you know when you made your detergent – you will be amazed at the money you save with this recipe.

Healthy Baby Bottle Guide

Many BPA-free plastics are just as bad for us as the ones that contain BPA, and and in some cases, are possibly worse, according to research by neurobiology professor George Bittner and his team at CertiChem.  The endocrine disruptors in most plastics have far-ranging effects that not only alter our gene makeup and increase infertility risks, they can also harm children.

Perhaps even more disturbing: companies are not required to determine their level of toxicity before releasing them for sale and marketing them as “safe and non-toxic.” Heat, oils, acidity, UV light (sunlight), and abrasion are all factors that increase the release of BPA and other toxic plastic ingredients such as phthalates into the food or environment around the plastic item. As in the case of baby bottles containing breast milk or formula, heat, oil, light and abrasion are the main factors that increase the release of toxic ingredients out of the plastic bottle and into the baby’s milk and mouth!

…Continue Reading

Health Benefits of Seaweed

Seaweeds have been used as food and medicine for millennia.  They are extremely high in minerals. In fact, seaweed is 20-50% mineral by dry weight!  Potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, sulfur, phosphorous, vanadium, cobalt, manganese, selenium, iodine, and iron are all found in seaweed.

Crave Salty Foods?
Do you crave salty foods? Your body may be trying to tell you that it wants more potassium. Potassium tastes up to 8 times saltier than sodium! Since seaweeds are a great source of all minerals, eating seaweeds regularly can add a natural combination of minerals that can decrease cravings, support mood, energy, mental health, and the nervous system. …Continue Reading

Miso Soup Recipe


Ingredients:
1 piece kombu
1 piece wakame
8 dried shitake mushrooms
1 in. fresh ginger, chopped
Spinach leaves, to taste
1-3 tbsp miso
4 cups water

Directions:
Soak kombu, wakame, and mushrooms in 4 cups of water in saucepan for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the seaweed and mushrooms, saving the liquid. Slice the seaweed and mushrooms and return them to the stock. Add spinach leaves and simmer 5 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Turn off the burner and add miso to taste.

Guide to Healthy Household Cleaning Supplies

Did you know that there are no federal regulation of chemicals in household products?! That means that there are no safety standards and no testing data required before selling the product to consumers like you!  Chronic exposure to chemicals contributes to the body’s toxic burden, or the number of chemicals stored in our tissues at a given time.  That means that all of the chemicals in our environment influence our health, often contributing to chronic disease.  While there are numerous toxins that we are exposed to, we do have options to reduce our toxic exposure!

Toxic Ingredients in Cleaning Products

 

1. Phthalates
Found in: most fragranced household products like air fresheners, dish soap
Labeled as: ‘fragrance’
*companies don’t have to disclose phthalates
Health Implications: Endocrine, reduced sperm count, asthma, migraines

…Continue Reading

Super Greens Detox Juice Recipe

Are you craving cold beverages now that the weather is getting warmer?  This green juice is packed with nutrients that will nourish your body and support it as you prepare for the summer months. Start with this recipe as a base, get creative, and see what you can create!

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts kale
  • 4 parts lettuce
  • 5 parts dandelion greens
  • 2 parts cilantro
  • 1 part lemon/lime
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:

Juice all produce and then add the cayenne to your beverage. The juice will keep for 2 days in the fridge in an air-tight container.

Juice Pulp Muffins

Ever wonder what to do with the pulp after you make juice? This muffin recipe is a great way to use your pulp!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups juice pulp
  • 3 cups coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil + more as needed
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk + more as needed
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 2-4 tbsp flax seed powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flour, flax seed powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt together. Mix in the juice pulp, eggs, honey and coconut oil. Spoon into an oiled cupcake baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden and cooked throughout, about 20 minutes.

5 Nutrition Lessons from NANP Conference 2014

I was in Tucson Arizona in April for the annual National Association of Nutrition Professionals Conference. It is such a great opportunity to connect with my fellow nutritionists, learn about cutting edge nutrition topics, and share our passion for the healing power of natural living. I wanted to share 5 lessons I learned at this year’s conference.

1. Food is information for your body. What message do you want to communicate? How about nourishing your cells with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and energy-boosting foods! Did you know that the origin of the word “recipe” stems from the Latin word “recipere” which means “medical perscription“? I love that! Hippocrates had it right when he said to let medicine be your food and food be your medicine!

2. 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetime! And cancer diagnoses worldwide are expected to increase by 45% in the next 20 years.  A lifetime of sub-optimal lifestyle drives cells to malfunction and become cancerous.  In fact, our environment contributes to 90-95% of cancer origins! The best cancer prevention involves eating organic, whole foods, plenty of plants, and supplementing with nutrients like CoQ10 and NAC that support healthy mitochondrial function.  …Continue Reading

Natural Homemade Toothpaste

Looking for a natural toothpaste that is low-cost and easy to make? This recipe will not only clean your teeth, but will also support oral health and strengthen your teeth.  All of the ingredients work synergistically to kill bad bacteria, scrub plaque off your teeth, whiten, and freshen your breath. What a great way to support your oral health!

Ingredients:

  • 3-5 tsp organic coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp diatomaceous earth
  • 3 tsp calcium and magnesium powder
  • 1-2 drops of essential oil (optional: peppermint, orange, lavender, wintergreen are examples)

Directions:

Add all powdered ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Mix well. Add coconut oil and essential oils. Mix again. And brush your teeth! You can use a small spoon to scoop out the toothpaste from the bowl.

Value of Living Healthfully

non-toxic lifestyle

If you eat right, you will thrive

What Does it Mean to Eat Right?

  • Organic Whole Foods: Quality Matters
    • Produce: in season is best
    • Meat: pasture-fed, cage-free eggs, wild caught fish
    • 5-6 Smaller Meals Each Day (eat breakfast!)
      • Keep blood sugars (energy) stable
      • Always eat protein or fat at every meal/snack
      • 10+ Cups of CLEAN Water
        • If your urine isn’t clear, drink more
        • Never go anywhere without a reusable water bottle
        • Address Digestive Issues
          • GI tract is our connection with the external world (how food becomes energy)
          • Digestive problems indicate there is something not right with what you are eating
          • 70% of your immune system is in your gut
          • Digestive issues can lead to nutrient deficiencies and poor athletic performance
          • Avoid Food Allergens
            • Dairy, gluten (wheat), soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish
            • Allergens weaken your immune system, destroy your intestines
            • Weak intestines leads to toxic molecules entering your body and making you sick

…Continue Reading

Digestive Wellness Herbs

There are many herbs for nourishing the digestive system.  Use this guide to find the right plants that will help your body cleanse and repair.

 

Mucilages:

These soothing, anti-inflammatory herbs help support the mucus membrane that lines your intestines, thereby promoting intestinal integrity and supporting the body’s defense against pathogens and disease.

Marshmallow, slippery elm, plantain, comfrey, irish moss

Indications: acid reflex, gastritis, peptic ulceration, enteritis, colitis

Cautions: congestive bronchial or excess mucous conditions

…Continue Reading

Chemical Toxins in Subway Sandwiches

Recently I met  Tiffany Dickerson, a pescatarian blogger in Seattle. I wanted to share her thoughts on the food quality at Subway.

Here is her post:

Subway, eat fresh. More like eat azodicarbonamide, a flour bleaching agent linked to respiratory issues and allergies. What is even more alarming is azodicarbonamide is used to make dough rise quicker and in rubber/plastic industries as a “blowing agent” that gives synthetic yoga mats and other products a foamy quality (NYDailyNews, Tracy Miller). Imagine what eating plastic can do to your body, uuuum, pretty sure it’s not good. The worse part of this is I ate Subway today. I feel like my insides have been taken over by plastic.

…Continue Reading

Health Benefits of Cilantro

Cilantro as a Powerful Detoxifying Herb

Cilantro is not only a potent flavor enhancer in your meals, but also a powerful herb full of nutrients that support your body in metabolizing toxins and maintaining health!

Recent research studies have confirmed cilantro reduces cholesterol and oxidative damage, while also regulating blood pressure. Research also suggests that the volatile oils found in cilantro leaves may have antimicrobial properties.

Cilantro can help mobilize toxins (most notably heavy metals like mercury) out of storage and into the blood stream so that the body can excrete them. The chemical compounds in cilantro actually bind to the heavy metals, loosening them from the tissues, blood and organs. Cilantro’s chemical compounds then aid to transport these harmful substances out of the body through elimination. …Continue Reading

Homemade Lotion for Healthier, Smoother Skin

Store-bought lotions often contain toxic chemicals and harsh ingredients that are easily absorbed through your skin.  In fact, Americans are exposed to over 100 toxic chemicals each day from all of the personal care and cleaning products!  That is a significant source of environmental toxins because these types of compounds are easily absorbed through your skin and go straight into the bloodstream.  Fortunately, you can easily make your own nourishing lotion at home! …Continue Reading

Vegetable Mineral Broth to Strengthen Your Immunity

This broth is a superfood, rich in potassium and numerous trace minerals that are easily depleted during times of stress. Drink it like a tea, or use it as a base for all your favorite soups and rice dishes. Don’t be daunted by the ingredient list. Simply chop the ingredients in chunks and throw them in the pot, roots, skins, and all.

Boost Your Energy with Plant-Based Mineral Broth

  • 6 unpeeled carrots cut into thirds
  • 2 unpeeled medium yellow onions, cut into chunks
  • 1 leek, both white and green parts, cut into thirds
  • 1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
  • 5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat‐leaf parsley
  • 4 medium red potatoes with skins on, quartered
  • 2 Japanese or regular sweet potatoes with skins on, quartered
  • 1 Garnet yam with skin on, quartered
  • 1/8‐inch strip of kombu
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Rinse all the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12‐quart or larger stockpot, combine all the ingredients accept the salt. Fill the pot to 2 inches below the rim with water, cover, and bring to a boil.

Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer a minimum of 2 hours. As the stock simmers some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. Add the salt and stir.

Strain the stock using a large coarse‐mesh strainer (remember to use a heat‐resistant container underneath). Bring to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.

 

Makes 6 to 7 quarts.  Broth can be frozen up to 6 months in a variety of airtight container sizes for every use.

 

Bone Broth for Wellness

Nourish your gut, your bones, your energy, and your mind with this superfood!

Bone broth is a mineral-rich infusion made by boiling bones, vegetables, and spices. It is a very affordable and nutrient dense food. It strengthens the immune system, digestive system, and adrenal glands. It is high in minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. These minerals along with the amino acids (proline and glycine) and fatty acids present in bone broth can support hair, skin, and nail health as well as bolster joint health. Glycine plays an important role in DNA synthesis and muscle repair. It helps regulate blood sugar levels, influences neurotransmitter levels to promote calmness and reduced stress, and it is involved in detoxification. Proline is another amino acid present in bone broth that is involved in connective tissue health and helps protect blood vessels from cholesterol buildup.  Homemade bone broth is not only beneficial when you’re feeling sick, but also for every day wellness.

…Continue Reading

Your Guide to a Healthy Holiday Season

2013 is rapidly coming to a close. Are you ready for this year’s holiday season?  Here are some tips for staying healthy, and some health-promoting gift ideas.


5 Tips to Stay Healthy this Month & Plan for a Year of Wellness

1. Start each day with a warm glass of water with lemon juice and sea salt to hydrate and refresh.

2. Remember your food sensitivities and avoid holiday treats that contain these ingredients, especially dairy and wheat! Instead splurge on a delectable treat within your food plan (ie. a hot chocolate made with raw cacao and coconut milk!)

3. Choose organic whole foods for 85% of your food intake, and save the 15% for treats at special events. This way you can feel good about eating right, but also be able to indulge and enjoy this merry season. …Continue Reading

Pumpkin and Roasted Cauliflower Dip

Pair this dip with lightly sautéed veggies or your favorite protein for a warming, autumnal dinner!

 

Ingredients:

Roasted Veggies
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil
pinch of sea salt and pepper …Continue Reading

Homemade Granola & Coconut Milk

Enjoy Your Breakfast!

Looking for a filling, and nourishing breakfast idea? Try making your own granola and homemade coconut milk. Non-dairy milks are often mostly water and vegetable oil with additives, preservatives and, sometimes flavorings. Store-bought granola often contains undesirable ingredients such as cane sugar, preservatives, and oils turned rancid from the baking process. Making your granola and non-dairy milk at home gives you the ability to use ingredients that will nourish your body rather than cause harm.  There are many flavor combinations possible with granola, so this recipe is a framework from which you can build a delicious breakfast with ingredients you love.

…Continue Reading

DIY Kombucha

How To Make Your Own Kombucha

Kombucha is an alkalizing probiotic beverage that has many health benefits.  It is a fermented tea, packed with immune-supporting organic acids and probiotics.  It has a sweet, tangy, and effervescent taste and has energy-boosting properties.

Making your own kombucha is quick, easy, and fun!  It takes about 30 minutes every week or two, depending on how much you drink.  …Continue Reading

Turmeric Tonic

You know the feeling when you think you are getting a cold, that achey feeling or scratching in the back of your throat? This tonic will help your body defend itself against the infection and get you feeling back to normal quickly!

Turmeric is a fantastic spice with many immune-supporting compounds.  There are over 580 health conditions that turmeric may be beneficial for!  Coconut milk and garlic are antimicrobial to support your body against bacterial infection.  And the egg yolk coats your throat and is rich in phosphotidylcholine which is beneficial for the nervous system and brain too.  The variation below also contains honey, ginger, and lemon, three powerful foods that support your overall immune health. Support your body and prevent disease by drinking tonics like this daily and especially when you are feeling under the weather! …Continue Reading

Sports Nutrition from a Holistic Perspective

 

Nutrition for Athletes

Exercise puts stress on our bodies so it is important to nourish and feed yourself if you are an athlete.  Here are some recommendations and tips to change your body composition, build strength, maintain muscle mass, and feel energized for your workouts.

…Continue Reading

Nutrient Profile: Sulfur

Health Benefits of Sulfur
Broccoli, onions and other members of the cruciferous and allium vegetable families contain high amounts of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates. These compounds help the liver detoxify harmful, often cancer-causing chemicals. One sulfur compound in particular, called sulforathane, increases live enzymes that quench free radicals and therefore prevents cellular and genetic damage.  Another sulfur compound, indol-3-carbinol, has been studied to suppress breast cancer growth and prevent metastasis. Cruciferous and other sulfur containing vegetables are also known to protect the eyes against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. For a quick and easy way to add sulfur-rich veggies to your diet, lightly steam broccoli and onion and toss with olive oil, garlic, lemon, and salt and pepper.


5 Minute Brussels Sprouts

 

5-minute Brussels Sprouts
  • 1lb Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 tbsp dijon mustard or minced parsley

Fill up a pan with 2 inches of water and turn burner to high. Chop the sprouts, removing any dirt or yellow leaves on the exterior of the plant. Mince the garlic and parsley and add sprouts to steamer. Cook for 5 minutes then toss with the dressing ingredients. Enjoy!

 

Home Gardening

Gardening: An Important Aspect of a Nourishing Lifestyle

Do you grow some of your own food? Have you wanted to start but just have not been able to for one reason or another? Now is a great time to start! A nourishing lifestyle is not only about eating well, it’s about living well. And growing and cultivating your own food has so many benefits for your health (and your wallet). Get your whole family involved and transform your yard into a garden and haven for beneficial insects and especially for bees!

…Continue Reading

Eat Healthy When You Travel

Pack On The Fun, Not The Pounds

Guest Post By Cole Millen

It can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet in general, and that difficulty tends to be compounded on vacation.  With temptations like in-flight snacking, minibar treats and restaurant foods many people return from amazing trips only to discover that they’ve gained five or ten pounds.  Vacation doesn’t have to mean unhealthy eating though, and with the proper planning and self-control anyone can eat healthy on the fly.

…Continue Reading

Tips to Improve Mental Health and Avoid Alzheimer’s

In the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is currently at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans—including one in eight people aged 65 and over—living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.

By 2050, this is expected to jump to 16 million, and in the next 20 years, it is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect one in four Americans, rivaling the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes.

There is still no known cure for this devastating disease, and very few treatments. Alzheimer’s drugs are often of little to no benefit at all, which underscores the importance of prevention throughout your lifetime.

While memory loss is indeed common among Westerners, it is NOT a “normal” part of aging, and cognitive changes are by no means inevitable. Research repeatedly suggests the best hope for patients lies in prevention through optimal diet, exercise and staying socially and mentally active. …Continue Reading

Yoga: Good for Your Immune System, Brain, and Metabolism

Stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can enhance the body’s ability to handle and recover from stressors like chronic disease, work stress, or relationship stress. These practices bring the body in to a state of relaxation, dominated by the parasympathetic nervous system. New research is providing some insight into why yoga and these techniques are beneficial to our health. …Continue Reading

Frothy Coconut Latte

Looking for a healthy alternative to “Coffee Mate” or other coffee creamer?  Organic, unsweetened coconut milk is a fantastic alternative.

Why is a coconut latte a good choice for your morning coffee?

1. Coconut milk offers fat to slow the absorption of caffeine, giving you lasting energy without the jitters. It also keeps you satiated and gives your morning drink some substance. …Continue Reading

The Cost of Chronic Disease

and how we can regain control of our health through natural living

Recently I found a great article about how expensive healthcare is for the U.S. and the world. I wanted to share with you some highlights from the article about how many people in the world are not well. You can find the full article here: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/files/library/sp-problem-solution.pdf …Continue Reading

Healthy Organic Meals Delivered to Your Door

Do you wonder what “right” foods you need for long term health?

Do you feel like you would eat healthier if you only had the time and energy to shop and cook at home?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get organic, natural meals delivered to your door, ready to heat and eat?

Now you can! …Continue Reading

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever wonder if there is a dessert that has some health benefits?  These cookies are free of refined sugar, wheat, dairy, and eggs, but rather made of almonds, coconut, honey, and dark chocolate.

Why don’t you try this vegan and paleo-friendly delicious dessert! …Continue Reading

Kefir Smoothie for Digestive and Mental Health

Kefir Smoothie – Food& Mood Booster

This quick smoothie brings lasting energy, boosts your mood, and regulates your digestion!  Each ingredient is rich in at least one nutrient known to benefit digestive and mental health. The beneficial bacteria in the kefir, the phytonutrients in the berries, the medium chain triglycerides in the coconut oil, the enzymes in honey, and the choline and B vitamins in egg yolks all combine for a powerful food-as-medicine smoothie!

  • 1 cup kefir
  • 1 cup berries
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 tbsp raw honey
  • 1-2 raw egg yolks (optional, to calm nerves)

Toss all the ingredients into a blender, whip up, and enjoy this stabilizing and strengthening breakfast or snack.

Neurotransmitters and Health

Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that transmit signals from one neuron to the next. They work with receptors in the brain to influence and regulate a wide range of processes such as mental performance, emotions, pain response and energy levels. Combined with hormones, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, neurotransmitters play a foundational role in regulating your ability to heal and strengthen your body and find optimal health.

…Continue Reading

What are hormones and how do they affect our health?

Hormones determine how we feel! They are powerful molecules essential for maintaining physical and mental health. We frequently think of estrogen as being a female hormone, and testosterone as a male hormone. But men and women make and use both! Plus there are several others that affect health.  An imbalance of any one hormone can throw your physical and mental health out of balance, causing aggravating and potentially serious health problems.

One size does not fit all when it comes to hormones! Your hormones are like your fingerprints, unique to you. In order to be optimally healthy, you need to know if you have any imbalances. …Continue Reading

Chocolate Oatmeal Smoothie

A smoothie for hormone support

  • 1 banana
  • 1/8 cup oatmeal
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao nibs
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maca
  • t tsp spirulina
  • 1 date
  • coconut water/milk
  • 4 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients, adding more coconut water/milk until it’s the consistency you’d like. The maca and hemp seeds nourish your endocrine system and the spriulina provides a powerful punch of nutrients. This is a delicious and savory smoothie to support hormone health!

Almond Crusted Chicken with Spinach

Struggling to find a recipe fit for a cleanse, low in carbs, and high in flavor? This recipe is great if you are on a hypoallergenic diet, it’s anti-inflammatory, and even transports well for lunch at work.

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients:
1/2 c almonds
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp sea salt
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 organic chicken breast halves (can substitute with organic tempeh)
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 lemon, wedged

 

Directions:
Make a coarse paste of the almonds, garlic, sea salt, and extra-virgin olive oil in a food processor. Rub onto the organic or free-range chicken breast halves. Roast in 425-degree oven until cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Slice and serve on baby spinach with lemon wedges. Optional: toss the spinach with a dijon vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil. 

 Adapted from www.wholeliving.com

Eating Traditional Foods for Longevity and Overall Wellness

In traditional cultures, balancing health with a balanced lifestyle was a core belief.  They live in harmony with the environment.  The diseases of modern civilization were rare.  Food and medicine were interwoven.  All cultures used special or functional foods to prevent disease.  Food could be used at different times and different situations and used as either food or medicine.  Foods, cultivation, and cooking methods maximized community health and well-being.  With methods passed down through generations, cooking processes were utilized that enhanced mineral and nutrient bioavailability.  Today, the modern lifestyle lacks many of these traditional practices, and we have the high prevalence of chronic disease to show for it! …Continue Reading

Clear out your body’s toxins for more energy and better overall health

Not only are we exposed to external environmental toxins (air pollution, pesticides, heavy metals…), we are also exposed to our own internal toxins produced by the body.  These toxins are often not neutralized and excreted from the body, but rather stored in the fat cells.  When the body is under stress, it can release these toxins into the blood stream where they can wreak havoc on many other places in the body, causing inflammation and burdening the liver.

So how do you know if you are toxic? Do you suffer from headaches, excess weight, muscle/joint pain, food allergies, depression, insomnia, fatigue, asthma, body odor, or acne/eczema? If so, your body is trying to tell you that it is out of balance and these matters need to be addressed before they become serious health conditions.

Nourish Your Body for the Winter Season

Although it is not too cold in Southern California right now, we are in the middle of winter.  Eating warming, nourishing foods during this time of year can help support your organ systems that are under stress from the cooler temperatures.  What foods are good for the winter?

Meats: beef, pork, chicken, goat, shellfish, organ meats, nitrate-free preserved meats

Beans: all dried beans, especially adzuki and black beans

Fruits: lemons, oranges, kumquats, grapefruits, and other citrus, pomegranates, kiwi, and dried fruits

Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cabbage (especially fermented), celery root, collard greens, endive, escarole, kale, kolrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, radishes, rutabagas, sea vegetables, turnips, winter squash

Grains: barley, rice, millet, oats, dark varieties of quinoa

Herbs, Spices, Condiments: ginger, sea salt, miso, tamari, and pickled vegetables

One thing to keep in mind is quality: always strive for finding organic foods and grass-fed or free-range for animal foods. Notice that all of these foods are whole foods and if you buy organic, they will be free of toxins and promote healthy weight management.

The Inflammation-Toxin-Obesity Connection

Excess body weight, specifically adipose (fat) tissue, increases toxic storage and endotoxin production.  Adipose tissue is not metabolically active, in that it does not use and produce energy. However, in excess, adipose tissue is considered an endocrine organ because large amounts produce inflammatory cytokines and can wreak havoc on the body.

…Continue Reading

How to Choose High Quality Supplements

 

Knowing what supplements you should take for your optimal health can be incredibly complicating, especially with all of the different types of products out there.  But not only do you have to worry about what nutrients to take, you must also be extremely inquisitive about the quality of your supplements.  Unfortunately, there are many poor quality supplement on the market today.  These products may be ineffective, contain toxic ingredients, may potentially contribute or exacerbate your conditions instead of help them, and ultimately they will be a waste of your money.

So how do you choose what is right for you?  Consult a qualified health care practitioner who can recommend what types of nutrients specific to your body and your current health conditions to get the best value out of your supplementation.  Only then will you be able to benefit from the healing power of nutritional supplements.  This article will highlight some important factors to consider when choosing your supplements.

…Continue Reading

Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes


These gluten-free pancakes, with blueberries, almond butter, chia seeds, and pasture-fed eggs are a nutrient-dense meal that will keep you energized and satisfied until lunch.


Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup milk or non-dairy milk (use more as needed, until desired consistency is reached)
  • 3 spoonfuls of raw almond butter
  • 3-5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 pint of organic blueberries

…Continue Reading

To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat?

 

Recently one of my clients asked me my thoughts on both the vegan diet (plant-only) and the GAPS diet, which is an omnivorous diet for restoring mental health, immune health, and digestive health.  It was such a great question I thought I would elucidate my comments in this article.  Here are my thoughts:

There is no diet that is right for all people, because everyone is different, with different histories, different lifestyles and exercise practices, and different environments (the holistic approach considers all of these factors).  Different life stages and health conditions call for different nutrient needs as well, so changing the diet throughout life is also key to optimal health! …Continue Reading

Probiotics Help Bolster Immunity and Support Overall Wellness

Did you know that you have about 3-4lbs of microorganisms in your colon that you cannot survive without?  These symbiotic microorganisms are intimately linked with your wellness.

Your  diet, medications, lifestyle, environment and shape the composition of the different microbial communities in your GI tract and body.  The microflora in the intestine has even been collectively considered an organ because of their ability to support the immune system, regulate intestinal health, support healthy metabolism, and contribute to overall health and wellness.

…Continue Reading

More Than 3,000 Epigenetic Switches Control Daily Metabolism

 

Circadian rhythms do more than just make us sleepy at night.  These rhythms affect our individual organs, even our genes. Circadian cycles affect nearly every living organism, including plants, bacteria, insects, and humans. In fact, there are over 3,000 epigenomic elements that regulate the circadian cycles of about 15,000 genes in humans.

The liver is one of the most important organs of the body: it is responsible for over 13,000 biochemical reactions, regulating everything from filtering ingested food, detoxifying harmful chemicals, producing glycogen (stored glucose) and synthesizing compounds like cholesterol.

…Continue Reading

Reverse Multiple Sclerosis by eating the Paleo Diet, increasing vitamin D, and avoiding artificial food additives

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, degenerative disease of the nerves in the brain and spine.  The disease causes the body to attack an insulating substance around nerve cells called myelin.  When the myelin is damaged, the function of the nerves deteriorate, resulting in symptoms such as muscle weakness, imbalance or loss of coordination, vision loss, and tremors.  Research is now showing that the disease can be reversed by adopting a paleolithic diet (primarily meat, veggies, and nuts), optimizing vitamin D levels, and avoiding artificial ingredients, especially aspartame.

While the exact cause of MS is still largely unknown, it is now understood that environmental factors play a large role in the development of this degenerative disease.  Diet is one of the most important ways for individuals with MS to control and reverse their disease.  The Paleo Diet, consisting of organic, whole foods from grass-fed meats, vegetables (sea and land), fermented foods, and nuts, is packed with nutrients that protect the nervous system and immune system. The Paleo Diet is high in B vitamins, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids (animal based EPA and DHA) that support myelin growth and repair.

…Continue Reading

Mercury Levels in Fish: Are They Safe to Eat?

With the ever increasing toxicity of this planet’s oceans, plus last year’s Fukushima’s radiation disaster, all fish from every ocean will soon be contaminated with radiation.  So I do not recommend consuming fish frequently, at most once or twice a week. You should also be concerned with any seaweeds, chlorella or spirulina that you consume, as these aquatic plants are also at risk of radiation and heavy metal toxicity.

Mercury is a major concerning contaminant in fish. As a general rule, larger fish contain higher levels of toxins because they eat smaller fish and assimilate those toxins in their own tissues. This process is called biomagnification and it holds true for all animals.

If you are taking fish oils, beware of the quality of your product.  Often, supplements contain high levels of mercury and other heavy metals.  Nordic Naturals is a high quality company that purifies their fish oils so well that their products contain at least 10 times less contamination than the EPA’s allowable limits.

…Continue Reading

The Holistic Guide to Vitamin D

Vitamin D:  Is Your Deficiency an Obstacle in Your Health?

Vitamin D is actually a prohormone that is critically important for the development, growth, and maintenance of a healthy body.  It activates hundreds of genes that promote health and reduce your risk of getting any chronic disease.

It is produced in the skin when exposed to UVB light.  UVA radiation penetrates deeper into the skin and causes wrinkles and damages DNA.  On average, getting 15 minutes of sunlight at least a couple of times a week, will keep your vitamin D levels in a normal range.

Phytoplankton, zooplankton, and algae have the capacity to produce vitamin D.  However, most animal and plant foods we consume do not contain vitamin D.  Sunlight is the natural way of getting our vitamin D.

…Continue Reading

The Holistic Sanctuary: an oasis for those with chemical dependency

The Holistic Sanctuary is an addiction treatment center in Rosarito, Mexico that has cured countless individuals of their drug addictions. An organic, whole foods diet is at the foundation of their healing protocols.  Other healing modalities include IV therapy, chelation, Reiki and body work, energy healing, ibogaine treatments, hydrotherapy, and more. In this way, clients that stay at this oasis of wellness, learn to heal their mind, body, and spirit.

Visit The Holistic Sanctuary

…Continue Reading

Health Risks of Chewing Gum

Why Chewing Gum is Bad for Your Teeth
(and Overall Health)

Chewing gum is not a healthy habit!  Gum products contain artificial ingredients and preservatives that not only contribute to poor dental health, but also contribute to numerous health conditions and diseases.

Artificial food additives are the culprit
Artificial sweeteners and sugar-free foods have been linked with tooth erosion.  Two main artificial sweeteners are sucralose and aspartame.  Sucralose is carcinogenic, toxic to the liver, causes birth defects, and damages the immune system.  Aspartame is a potent neurotoxin releases methanol in the body.  Methanol is dangerous because it breaks down into two toxic compounds, formic acid and formaldehyde.  It is liked with digestive issues, migraines, depression, and even diabetes.

…Continue Reading

Delicious Cashew Cream Recipe

If you are sensitive to dairy or just want to avoid it, this recipe can satisfy that desire for creaminess!  This cashew cream recipe is so delicious and versatile you won’t even miss the dairy.  This recipe is quick, easy, and full of nutrients and flavor!

…Continue Reading

Heal Cancer Naturally with Nutrition and a Balanced Lifestyle

 

What I Learned at the 2012 Healing Cancer World Summit

I attended this year’s Healing Cancer World Summit and learned some really empowering information about cancer and how it is not an incurable disease.  Here is a list of the key points I heard at this wonderful online event hosted by Kevin Gianni.

Want to learn how to heal your body of all degenerative disease?  Lifestyle medicine is the answer!

Cancer is just bits of yourself, gone wrong.  Changing your external environment will change your internal environment and make your body uninhabitable to cancer.

Nature heals. …Continue Reading

Food Combining for Better Digestion

Digest Your Food With Ease!

One of the fundamental aspects of a nourishing lifestyle is to maximize your body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients.  Eating foods in combinations that promote optimal digestion empowers your body to use the nutrients to fuel biochemical reactions that promote health and wellness, rather than create inflammation, malabsorption, weakened intestinal wall, and an open door to infection and disease.

…Continue Reading

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Wondering What to do with Your Pumpkin?

How about turning it into a nourishing meal! Pumpkins are packed full of nutrients that can help keep you healthy during these colder months.

Pumpkin is rich in phytochemicals like carotenoids, leutin, zeanthin, and antioxidant vitamins like vitamin A, C, and E.  It also contains b vitamins and minerals like copper, calcium, and potassium, magnesium, zinc. Plus it’s a good source of fiber!

…Continue Reading

Why Eating Sugar is Unhealthy

Does Sugar Decrease Your Health?
Yes! Because of Advanced Glycation End-Products

 The more sugar you eat, the more it coats the surface of cell membranes, causing life-changing damage.  One of the main issues with sugar consumption is a process called glycation.  The sugar creates cross links between cellular parts (usually proteins) that are normally mobile.  Unfortunately, all cellular activity is impaired when this occurs.  Moreover, cross-linking prevents white blood cells and other cells from getting to the location they are trying to go, thus disrupting chemical messages from being transmitted.  As you can imagine, this creates impaired function throughout the body.

…Continue Reading

Minerals for Blood Sugar Regulation

Are You Mineral Deficient?

Minerals are crucial elements of the biological processes that govern blood sugar metabolism in the body.  Individuals with blood sugar imbalances and diabetes often exhibit mineral deficiencies and have a weakened ability to regulate glucose levels.  Supplementing with high quality, bioavailable minerals improves the body’s ability to modulate glucose levels and can be extremely therapeutic for individuals with deficiencies.

To reduce inflammation and oxidative damage, key antioxidants and minerals are key to fighting these inflammatory and destructive reactions. Therefore, individuals with mineral deficiencies should supplement their diet in order to restore optimal vitamin and mineral levels, thus controlling oxidative damage and inflammation.  Minerals are especially important for reducing the occurrence of comorbid conditions common in diabetic individuals such as pancreatic insufficiency, renal disease, neuropathy, and retinopathy.

Minerals are also required for proper insulin function.  Insulin is the hormone that brings blood glucose into cells and therefore lowers blood glucose levels.  Of primary importance to glucose metabolism, inflammation, free radical scavenging, and immune health are the minerals zinc, magnesium, chromium, manganese, vanandium, and copper. 

…Continue Reading

The Gut-Brain Connection: Nutrition and Mental Health

Food has a Direct Effect on our Mental Health

The gut-brain connection is a very real and very active line of communication and analysis in the body.  There are over 100 million neurons in the digestive system that produce as many neurotransmitters as the brain (Holford, 2009, p.16)!  Our brain and gut are in constant communication, which is why foods have a direct effect on our moods and behaviors.

…Continue Reading

Ghee: a Healthier Way to Eat Butter!

Ghee is a form of butter that is an integral part of traditional Indian cuisine.  It is clarified butter, which means that the water and milk solids (mostly proteins) have been boiled off and removed, leaving just the rich, golden butterfat.

Ghee can be part of your nourishing lifestyle too!  Just make sure you choose the high-quality organic version, made from pasture-fed cows.  …Continue Reading

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Eating seasonally is important to nourish your body with foods that thrive in the current environment. To learn more, read my post about seasonal eating.

Here is a recipe packed with foods that prosper in fall.

…Continue Reading

GMO: Our Food is Making Our Nation Sick

Genetically Modified Foods: Why So Many of Our Children Have Behavioral Problems & Why There is a Rise of Allergies and Chronic Disease


Genetic engineering is the process of adding a gene from another species into your target genome.  Spider genes have been inserted into goats to make bullet-proof vests. Cow genes have been inserted into pigs so the pigs have cow hides. 88% of corn produced in the US and 96% of soy are genetically modified. Canola and alfalfa crops are also genetically modified.

GMO FACTS:

Since the mid 1990’s when GE crops were introduced, we have seen nationwide increases in GI diseases, inflammation, leaky gut, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, allergies, eczema, birth defects, infertility, autism, autoimmune diseases…
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Seasonal Eating: Autumn

What do you eat to support your body as the temperatures get cooler?

As the leaves turn, the air crisps, and we break out the heavier jackets, scarves, and boots, we realize fall is upon us. Nourishing your body with warming, building foods can help you adapt to the cooler temperatures and decreased sunlight.

Eating organic, locally grown produce that is in season is the very best way to support your health.  Do you know what foods produce fruit in the fall months?

…Continue Reading

Webinar: Conquer Insomnia with Holistic Nutrition

In this 45 minute webinar, learn about the causes of insomnia and how you can get a better night’s sleep tonight! Focusing on blood sugar support, hormonal balance, neurotransmitter balance, digestive health, and body composition, this webinar is not just about Insomnia, but about how to adopt a nourishing lifestyle for optimal health!

Watch here:

Conquer Insomnia: 5 Ways to Better Health and Sleep

And let me know what you think!

 

Role of the Autonomic Nervous System

Involuntary Homeostatic Controls Regulate Our Health!

The autonomic nervous system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis within the body.  The actions of the ANS occur independent of our consciousness, as these involuntary functions (such as breathing and heart contractions) are required for survival.

…Continue Reading

Curried Vegetables

This vegetable curry recipe is packed with flavor, color, and nutrients! Curry is a spice containing curcumin, one of the most potent anti-inflammatory phytochemicals! This dish is delicious on its own, or paired with a side of brown rice.

…Continue Reading

Veggie Stir-Fry

This is a fantastic recipe, packed with vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting nutrients! Serve with brown rice for a complete delicious Asian-inspired meal.

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Gluten-Free & Vegan Sushi

Making healthy vegetable sushi is not as intimidating as it sounds! It’s actually pretty easy, pretty quick, and much cheaper than eating out.  This recipe contains nourishing sea veggies, supportive fats, low sugar, and whole grain brown rice for total body wellness.

 I’d never made sushi before so I decided to keep it basic with a veggie roll and garlic sauce. I was very satisfied with my sushi-making experience and I encourage you to pick up some nori, sushi rice, and veggies at the store and give it a try!

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Innate vs Adaptive Immunity

The innate immune system is the first line of defense the body has against foreign particles.  It acts as a physical and chemical barrier to pathogens.  Innate immunity is non-specific and it does not provide long-lasting protection for the body.

The innate immune system is responsible for bringing in other immune cells to sites of infection in the body.  White blood cells secrete cytokines, chemical messengers, to draw in other immune cells called the complement system in order to identify the pathogen and activate specialized white blood cells (adaptive immunity) to help remove and clear the pathogen.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Holistic Approach

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body’s immune system dysfunctions and confuses “self” with “non-self.”  The immune system begins attacking the body’s own cells.  Any tissue or organ of the body can be targeted.  Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that primarily effects synovial joints of the body (i.e. hands, shoulder, knee, elbow).  The disorder involves a deterioration of healthy synovial fluid in between bones, leading to a painful inflammatory response in the affected joint and can often lead to systemic inflammation over time (William C. Shiel Jr., 2011).

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Holistic Nourishment Goes to the Carlsbad Wellness Expo

On Saturday, July 7th, Holistic Nourishment participated in a Health & Wellness Expo in North County San Diego.

Thanks for everyone coming out to show your support for health and wellness.

This was my first expo, and I can’t wait to do another!

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Belly Breathing: Longevity in Just 15 Minutes a Day

Have you ever heard the proverbial phrase, “stop and smell the roses”? Taking time to relax and refocus is a fantastic age-defiant habit that complements any nourishing lifestyle.

Stress management techniques are absolutely essential for people with high-stress lifestyles.  Prolonged stress can lead to fatigue, weakened immunity, higher risk for other diseases, depression, and even insomnia. This is perhaps one of the most important manifestations of the mind-body connection.

Diaphragmatic breathing is a great way to rest, relax, de-stress, and even reduce your blood pressure!

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