Environmental Nutrition

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

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.


Homemade Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

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.



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


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.

Guide to Healthy Household Cleaning Supplies

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

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


Eating Traditional Foods for Longevity and Overall Wellness

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

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! (more…)

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

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

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.

The Inflammation-Toxin-Obesity Connection

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

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.


To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013


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! (more…)

Mercury Levels in Fish: Are They Safe to Eat?

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

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.


The Holistic Guide to Vitamin D

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

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.


Heal Cancer Naturally with Nutrition and a Balanced Lifestyle

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012


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. (more…)

GMO: Our Food is Making Our Nation Sick

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

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.


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…

Seasonal Eating: Autumn

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

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?


Innate vs Adaptive Immunity

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

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.


Clean, Nutritious Produce From the Farmer’s Market

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Every Sunday I head to the Farmer’s Market in Encinitas.  I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and receive a box of local, fresh-picked, organic produce each week.

It’s a great way to support dedicated organic farmers and receive the healthiest, cleanest produce possible!

This week, the first week of June, the box contains a delicious array of seasonal fruits and vegetables.  I can’t wait to steam the beans and sauté the greens in veggie broth.  Once the veggies are lightly cooked, I spray olive oil, and add lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper. It’s so quick and easy to eat healthy!


Is Your Sunscreen Causing Cancer?

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Prepare For Summer and Use A Healthy Sunscreen!

As summer heads our way and we are outdoors more often, we need to be aware of the benefits and dangers of sun exposure.

The sun is our biggest life-force: it provides the energy plants need to grow, it warms us, and it triggers the synthesis of vitamin D.

Although the sun provides many benefits, it can also be harmful.  The sun emits two types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA and UVB.  UVB is what causes the “sun burn” on the surface of your skin.  UVA penetrates deeper in the skin and causes damage deeper in the body.


Starting Your Own Home Garden

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Last weekend I embraced the Spring season and started planting my own garden. I can’t wait to have fresh, home-grown vegetables!

These vegetables will be even more nutritious than the produce you can buy at the grocery store because I can pick them and eat them within 5 minutes! They don’t have to travel 5-10 days to reach me.

Growing your own food is a great way to minimize toxic exposure and cut down on food costs. It’s great for the environment, it makes your home/yard look great, and it’s FUN!


The immune system in your gut…

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

How Important is My Gastrointestinal System?

Your gastrointestinal system has 4 functions.  The first three are related to nutrient intake: digestion, absorption, and excretion.  The 4th function however, is related to protecting your body from the external environment.  The intestinal wall, along with your lungs, skin, eyes, ears, and nose, are barriers that defend your body from pathogens and toxic particles in the air we breathe, the objects we touch, and food we eat.  The lining of your intestinal tract, your tonsils, appendix and lymph nodes are collectively referred to as your Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT). These tissues and associated processes comprise roughly 60-70% of your immune system! (more…)

What You Need to Know About Your Microwave

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

 Microwaves are low energy waves that rapidly heat your food by a process called dielectric heating.  A magnetron is a high-powered vacuum tube that generates microwaves by subjecting electrons to magnetic and electrical fields to produce an electromagnetic field with a microwave frequency of 2.4 gigaHertz.

 The waves bounce through the food and cause water molecules, which are bipolar, to resonate at very high frequencies.  The movement of the water molecules creates molecular friction and heats up your food.

This process alters the chemical structure of the food.  Significant antioxidant damage has been found in microwaved food.  Moreover, microwave radiation alters your food producing unique molecules into the food called radiolytic compounds. Radiolytic compounds are mutations that are unknown to the natural world.  These substances lead to deterioration of your blood and immune system.  By microwaving your food, you not only severely decrease the nutrient content of the food, but you also introduce toxic substances into your body.  One woman actually died in 1991 after receiving a blood transfusion that had been warmed in the microwave. (more…)

Why water is fundamental to a healthy diet

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Drinking pure water is a crucial factor of a healthy lifestyle.  With your body being between 60-70% water, this substance plays a fundamental role in regulating all aspects of biological activity. Being dehydrated is the root cause of countless conditions that lead to tiredness and general malaise. Are you dehydrated?  (more…)

Is Milk Good for Us? Pasteurization and Homogenization

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

There is a big controversy about whether consuming milk is healthy.  I think that the nutritional value of milk and the pasteurization and homogenization of milk represent two factors that contribute to the confusion because the science and governmental policies conflict.  Pasteurization and homogenization completely alter the milk on a chemical level that renders the liquid undigestible, toxic, and dead. No wonder so many people have food allergies to dairy. What is the truth and why isn’t it well known?  (more…)

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Do you have food allergies, digestive distress, environmental toxicity, acne, or eczema? You may have a leaky gut! Read more to learn what happened and how to heal yourself.  (more…)

Eating With the Season

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Fall is here and winter is coming! Eating foods that thrive in this fall season is a great way to prepare your body for the coming winter.   The plants that grow in this transitional season have the right balance of nutrients to survive the cooler temperatures.  Some foods, like spinach beets, and carrots, actually taste sweeter after a night’s frost! Eating locally adds to the benefits-the plants are experiencing the same climate changes and therefore are most attuned to your body’s needs. Going to the farmer’s market to buy organic produce from your local farmers, or joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) will connect you with your food and nourish both you and the environment.  (more…)

Holistic health practitioners and naturopaths directory listings

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Find a holistic health practitioner or naturopath in your area today! Holistic health practitioners and naturopaths directory listings.

This website is also a great resource for organic, vegan, and kosher food as well as eco-friendly living! This website also lists organic farms that have Community Supported Agriculture programs.  You prepay for organic produce for the season. Each week you pick up your food and take it home to enjoy.  This is a great opportunity to support a local organic farm as well as enjoy the benefit of fresh and alive produce. Find a CSA in your area today!

I am a part of the CSA at Tomato Mountain Farms in Wisconsin. It’s been a great opportunity for me to connect to a local farm and enjoy delicious produce each week.  It’s also been a great experience to try new vegetables I don’t normally buy!

My food is irradiated!?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

There have been concerns about the negative effects of having too many x-rays, but never any concern that the majority of food we eat is been exposed to radiation far greater (up to 4 million times greater) than the amount used in x-rays.

Who would ever think that irradiating food wouldn’t negatively effect our health? Well I was reading, Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine by Dr. Robert Schmid and I found out that it was a conglomeration of the National Food Processors Association, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and several congressional representatives that legalized food irradiation.

Why did they think this was a good idea? Well food irradiation preserves food by killing insects, bacteria and fungi on grains and seeds and extends the shelf-life of fresh produce. Extending the shelf-life means more money for those involved in food production and distribution. (more…)

Forks over Knives, a 2011 documentary

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

I just watched a new documentary called Forks over Knives that advocates a whole foods, plant-based diet. It focuses on the careers and life-long research of a physician named Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and a nutritional biochemist, Dr. Colin Campbell.

The research and success stories in this movie are overwhelmingly convincing that a whole foods, plant-based diet is the best diet for your health. Eating these healthy, natural, unprocessed, unrefined, and chemical-free foods is the best way to proactively prevent disease and even to reverse chronic disease if you have it already.  (more…)


Monday, September 19th, 2011

Welcome to holisticnourishment! It is here that I plan to share the benefits of eating a whole foods, plant-based diet.  I am pursuing a M.S. from Hawthorn University and I plan to document my journey of becoming a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist.   I hope the information I share enlightens and empowers people to make healthier decisions for themselves and the planet.

To get started, check out this amazing documentary about the interconnectedness of your health and the environment: