Thursday, November 17, 2011

Processed Food Industry Shows USDA Who's Boss in the Cafeteria | Lunchbox

I remember the quality of school lunches when I was a child. Not pretty. Now with the major food processors offering huge cash rebates for schools to buy their so called foods, I am sure it looks even more grim for the youth of our nation. And we wonder why so many children are obese and have learning difficulty and behavior problems?! Lets take a look at what they are eating at school, as well as what they are learning...
Processed Food Industry Shows USDA Who's Boss in the Cafeteria Lunchbox

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Book of RAWesome

The most detoxifying phase of The Whole Life Wellness Cleanse is the raw foods phase.  Anyone who has tried traditional fasting for detox will find eating fresh fruits and veggies during this phase refreshing, however for those of us who are new to cleansing, eating only raw foods may seem like a prison sentence.  You mean I can't even cook my veggies?!

Raw foods contain far more vital nutrients and antioxidants because they have not been heated or processed.  They also contain high amounts of fiber, which is beneficial for removing built up toxins from the colon and digestive tract.  Raw or living foods are a main ingredient in a healthy diet and should be eaten in abundance and without reservation.
Plan your raw meals in advance as much as possible.  Having a recipe in mind helps us feel less overwhelmed while shopping for food and also reduces the chances of eating something convenient when pressed for time that may not be the most healthful choice.  Eating raw can be fun, and definitely doesn't limit you to salads for every meal.  Try raw soups made in a blender or food processor, energy bars and cereals made from raw nuts and seeds, and raw food entrees that will make you wonder why you ever cooked your food in the first place! 
Find some RAWmazing recipes at the following links:

Make sure you schedule time to shop for food.  You will need to shop for fresh foods at least twice a week to ensure that you are using foods before they spoil or their nutrient content diminishes.  Utilize local food as much as possible, such as local farms and farm stands, farmers markets, co-ops and food shares.  Find local food sources at

If you find yourself feeling fatigued or sluggish during your raw food journey, add some healthy fats to your diet, such as flax oil added to smoothies or raw soups, raw nuts and seeds or raw free range eggs, fresh from the farm.  NOTE:  Eating uncooked eggs is not recommended for children, the elderly or anyone with a weakened immune system.  Please take care handling raw eggs properly and use only the freshest eggs from a verifiable source.  Raw cheeses, butters and milk may be a good choice for you if you choose to eat dairy products.  Raw dairy is an extremely healing way to add saturated fats to a healthy diet.

Experiment with different ways to prepare raw foods, using a blender, food processor, dehydrator or sun drying.  Create your own unique salads and soups to suit your personal tastes.  Some prefer to cast away all the machines and simply eat the fresh foods as nature intended, biting into fresh fruits and veggies with a vengeance! 

A raw food detox is a great way to cleanse your body without adding the stress of fasting.  The best part is that raw fruits and vegetables are guilt free eating.  Enjoy as much as you like! 

Here's a list of raw foods that will fill your belly and curb cravings:

Raw almonds
Raw sunflower seeds
Sprouted grains or legumes

Organic Flavor

Let's take a close look at this product.  Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, certified USDA Organic by Oregon Tilth and produced by Pacific Foods of Oregon, Inc.  Looks pretty safe, right?  So lets take a close look at the ingredients.  We know to watch out for things called "natural flavors" in the ingredient lists, right?  Natural flavor is just one of many misleading marketing terms which can mean just about anything from MSG to naturally derived chemical additives.  After all, aren't almost all chemicals "natural?"

So just what exactly is "organic flavor?!"  We see it here on the label not once, but twice.  Organic chicken flavor is the second ingredient, followed by natural chicken flavor and the last ingredient is even more mysterious - organic flavor.  So what is this mystery flavor?  Is it spices?  Is it chemicals?  We don't know.  And if they have decided not to label it any more specifically than that, we probably don't want to know. 

So how can they get away with this?  What makes this "organic flavor" any different from those "natural flavors" we have been told to stay away from?  In reality, probably nothing.  Processed food that is certified organic has become somewhat misleading.  Many major producers of so called organic foods are growing their crops using "approved" chemical methods.  The USDA standards for organics are listed on The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and included in the allowances for organic livestock are such chemicals as chlorine, ethanol, aspirin, tetracycline, sulfates and all vaccines.  The section pertaining to "flavors" simply states that only non-synthetic sources must be used and no artificial preservatives are allowed.  Otherwise anything goes, I guess.

Please don't misunderstand my intentions.  I believe very strongly in sustainable organic agriculture.  The kind that is happening at more and more small farms all across the nation.  But what I disagree with is the governmental regulations and "standards" which have so many loopholes for major processed food distributors, like Pacific Foods, to label substandard products as organic and natural and therefore make more money.

The bottom line:  Don't eat processed food.  Period.  Doesn't matter if it is organic, natural or not, just stay away from processed food which is ruining our health and lining the pockets of the wealthy corporations.  Buy your food from small local producers.  Find a local farm in your area and see if you can tour the facility to ensure that the animals are being treated humanely and the produce is grown naturally and handled with regard to safety.  You can find local growers online at Shop at farmers markets and farm stands, and stay away from the supermarket as much as you possibly can.  When shopping in a supermarket, read the labels carefully!  Don't just assume that because it says "organic" or "natural" that it is good for you.  Take the time to make a wise consumer choice.  When you buy whole foods from local sources you are using your hard earned dollars to vote for sustainability and the healthy future of our planet.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October Unabashed

I fell off the wagon tonight.  Yup, that's right, screwed up the cleanse.  Ate almost 3 oz of dark chocolate.  That doesn't sound like much, but believe me, it was a lot.  I grubbed it like there was no tomorrow.  Definitely a binge moment, and I am not proud.  But I am honest, and thought you deserved to know.  Everyone makes mistakes and gives in to temptation sometimes.  The key is to not get carried away and to learn from our mistakes.  Appreciate mistakes for what they are- a part of ourselves.

I can take accountability for my indulgence.  I know it was not good for my body and I know that it affected my body's cleansing processes.  I also know that it wasn't the end of the world.  Tomorrow I won't make the same mistake, and life will go on.  My cleanse will be successful and I will feel great about myself for sticking with it and making a commitment to my health. 

Self defeating behaviors arise when we can't allow ourselves to make a mistake without losing faith in our ability to make good decisions.  In other words, when we give up trying simply because we screwed something up.  Where would we be if all our great thinkers, activists and inventors would have just given up when they didn't get it right the first time?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Veggie Tales

The first week of the Whole Life Wellness Cleanse was pretty simple for me since I normally avoid processed foods anyway.  Week two and three are going to challenge me to get a little more creative.

This week I let go of meat and dairy in my diet.  I've been a vegetarian before, but I've never gone without cheese.  Yikes!   I do intend to continue to use butter and organic cage free eggs.  Healthy saturated fats are extremely important to all our body functions, and during a cleanse my body will need vital macro-nutrients like fats and proteins. 

The important thing to remember here is the quality of the ingredients.  Eating cheap supermarket eggs will do little for your health because they are loaded with the very toxins that you are trying to flush out.  Tour a local farm and buy your eggs there.  Some farmers will give you a discount on fresh eggs if you buy them regularly.    

Tonight I brewed a new batch of kombucha tea and prepared a salad for tomorrows lunch using the colorful cherry tomatoes I got for volunteering at Produce With Purpose.  I also started soaking some oats for breakfast.  Leaving processed, sugar infused garbage in the dust hasn't been hard, at least not after the first couple days of cravings.  Now lets see how easy it is to let go of meats and dairy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Combatting Cravings

It's 12:48pm.  Only a few more minutes left of my lunch break, and all I can think about is something sweet to eat.  This is the time of day that I crave sweets the most, just after lunch when I am feeling a little sluggish and not looking forward to plowing through the rest of the afternoon.  Normally I would indulge myself at times like this with a square or two of dark chocolate or a cup of coffee, but as I am doing the Whole Life Wellness Cleanse and have given up all processed foods for the month, I must refrain.

So how am I dealing with my intense cravings?  Well, the first thing I always do is make sure my rational mind is in control.  It is too simple to give in to cravings if you don't allow yourself the opportunity to think them through.  Ask yourself, "Why am I craving this?  Do I really need food, or am I trying to fill some other emotional need?"

If you are craving sugar or caffeine, chances are you have an addiction to those substances, and you are not alone.  Most Americans are addicted to either sugar or caffeine or both.  We consume it morning, noon and night in our coffee, cereal, soft drinks, snacks, breads, even pizza and ketchup.  Restaurant food is literally loaded with added sugar.  You may think you can give up sugar at any time (like many addicts will claim) but have you ever tried?  Craving sugar is a physical withdrawal symptom caused by not getting our "fix" of sugary snacks and drinks.  In some cases severe withdrawal symptoms can occur, such as sweating, dizziness, fatigue, headache and feeling "lost" or mentally disconnected.

I notice my sugar and caffeine cravings the most while I am cleansing, because I don't allow myself to indulge them.  It can become a battle of internal wills at times, almost like the cliche of the angel and devil on my shoulders.  In this case it is a dark chocolaty devil drinking a tall mocha, and a whole foods angel reminding me to let go of my cravings because they are an illusion caused by my addiction.

Something I always do when I start to have cravings is drink a huge glass of water.  Sometimes two.  Often times our bodies will trigger the hunger or craving mechanisms when we are in fact only thirsty or slightly dehydrated.  Drinking water can help you feel full and will improve your health immensely.  Avoid the temptation to drink "flavored" water (unless you flavor it yourself by adding ripe fruit and refrigerating) or diet drinks, which are full of additives and harmful chemical sweeteners.  Chemical sweeteners aggravate a sugar craving by confusing your body and making you crave the sweet sugar even more.  Some great natural alternatives for sugar that do not aggravate a sugar addiction are Raw Honey, Pure Maple Syrup and Stevia.

If you can't shake a craving, make a more healthful choice, rather than giving in.  When I crave sugar I usually reach for some dried fruit and nuts or some fresh fruit.  A spoonful of peanut butter on my fruit will usually do the trick for me nicely.  Make sure you are buying natural peanut butter, because most major brands add sugar! 

The craving for caffeine is usually lessened for me with herbal teas, or occasionally green tea, which does contain caffeine but in safer amounts.  A hot cup of tea in the morning makes me feel even better than that coveted coffee ever has.

If you would like to learn more about sugar and caffeine addictions, and what to do about them, read these helpful links:

As always, if you would like advice or support on your journey to wellness, please contact me.  Consultation with a Certified Wellness Coach is always free at OneWellness!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Unprocessed Begins

Today I started the challenge of removing all processed foods from my diet for a month. I have also committed to doing the Whole Life Wellness Cleanse  during the month of October. I don't eat that much processed food to begin with, but there are little things I have already noticed that are going to be a challenge for me.

For one thing, I woke up a little groggy this morning and wanted nothing more than a hot cup of coffee. I struggled for a few minutes with my will power, then chose a chai green tea with raw honey instead. I try to stay away from caffeine while cleansing, but a small amount of green tea is allowed in the preparation phase, so I felt this was a good compromise.

Breakfast is usually a light meal for me, so in addition to a big glass of water and my tea I shared a fresh grapefruit, orange and banana with my son. I felt refreshed and energized after breakfast and we headed out to the farmers market.

We enjoyed browsing all the fall pumpkins, corn stalks and crafts before stopping at our favorite chemical-free vegetable farm stand and picking up some salad mix, carrots, onion, a big bunch of beets with greens and some beautiful rainbow kale. Then we headed home for lunch.

I couldn't wait to get home and sauté the beet greens, which are my favorite. Check out my simple recipe for Beet Greens with Garlic and Butter.  I served the tender greens over quinoa with some organic cottage cheese, which could be considered a processed food, but I didn't want it to go to waste sitting in my fridge.

After lunch we were invited to a local farm, Produce With Purpose owned by Rick Slager and family, who is committed to using natural and organic practices. Rick was kind enough to show us around his farm and show off his innovative design for affordable hoop green houses. I was particularly impressed with Rick's work on the Rural Empowerment Initiative, which is working to teach West Africans sustainable agriculture practices.  After talking with Rick about his farm and initiative, I am excited to get involved with his mission and get my hands dirty, literally, as he is always looking for volunteers to help with planting, harvesting and daily farm work.

When we arrived back home this afternoon, I was feeling pretty tired and could feel a slight headache nagging behind my eyes.  I am all too familiar with my "detox headache" which often happens when I cleanse or fast.  I was surprised it happened so fast this time, on the first day.  I had some rose hips and raspberry leaf tea and a few cashews to help pick me up and then made chicken strips for dinner with a big green salad.  I made a simple salad dressing, and added fresh grated ginger for added flavor and cleansing power.  During dinner my son asked me what the red onions in the salad were.  I explained that onions are good for our bodies and help keep us healthy.  He immediately picked one up and popped it in his mouth.  I waited on eggshells, expecting him to spit it out and make a yucky face, but he just smiled and said "Oh, that's good!"  I laughed when he then flexed his arm and said "Now I'm gonna be big and strong!"
I said, "Yes, you are!"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SLS Is Lurking In Your Supplements

I can't stress enough how important it is to read the labels on the products and foods you are buying. Even health foods and supplements are often laced with harmful chemicals and hidden ingredients that are undesirable. For example, I was surfing through sites selling nutritional supplements and noticed this product from Herbalife which is seemingly health promoting, being made with fruit, but check out the "Other Ingredients" hidden under the nutritional facts. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?! I don't want that in my shampoo, much less my daily supplements!

The Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate even states that prolonged exposure to the chemical can cause death. So why is it a main ingredient in so many health and beauty products and cleansers? Because it's cheap.

Read the labels carefully on anything you put on or in your body. Look for products and foods with very few ingredients and all of them recognizable. Avoid chemical ingredients in skin care products in particular because your skin is your largest and most exposed organ, absorbing all the different toxins and free radicals it is constantly being bombarded with.

If you buy supplements online for convenience, make sure you can view the product labels and ingredients online before you purchase.  Otherwise you could end up wasting your money on poisons like this formula from Herbalife.  Yikes!

Preparing for October Unprocessed

October Unprocessed: T(-2) Days

I am so excited to be starting this journey! I have made a commitment to eat only whole, unprocessed, nourishing foods in the entire month of October, and I am actively recruiting other friends and family members to take this challenge with me.

Last night I compiled a list of my favorite websites and apps for real food recipes, including the following:

I also made shopping lists based on the recipes that I want to try next week. I intend to take full advantage of the fall harvests and the last few weeks of farmers markets.

I am also using this time to begin an internal cleansing cycle, using the Whole Life Wellness Cleanse program:

The first week of the cleanse unprocessed whole grains are allowed, as well as fish and dairy, so I am looking forward to some of my favorite dishes, like grilled salmon, curry, stir fry and baked oats with maple syrup and walnuts. I can't wait!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reduce Stress with Whole Life Wellness

Rush season is stressful for all retail professionals, as it guarantees long and busy work days. Too much stress taxes our immune system and can literally make us sick, tired and less productive. As we are faced with double shifts, crowds of guests and team members to manage this rush season, lets not forget to take care of ourselves by keeping our bodies healthy and reducing stress levels as much as possible.

Here are a few tips to ensure we all stay healthy and happy this rush:

1. Drink plenty of water. Keep a water bottle nearby at all times, and take a moment to drink water regularly throughout the day and especially if you are feeling thirsty or stressed.

2. Bring lunch and snacks from home. In busy and stressful times, it is all too easy to hit the vending machine or a drive thru, but junk food is high in processed carbs, unhealthy fats and sugar which cause your metabolism to peak and then crash, making you feel sluggish. Instead, bring filling and wholesome snacks and meals from home. Here are a few examples of foods that will give you lasting energy and keep your body strong and focused:

Almonds or other nuts
Dried fruit
Granola bars
Whole grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter
Pita and hummus
Sandwiches on whole grain bread
Fresh fruit
Dark chocolate
Chicken, Turkey or Beef
Baked potato
Cottage Cheese
Leftovers from last night's dinner

3. Keep hand sanitizer at all cash registers and in staff areas. Crowded stores and handling filthy cash all day means you are going to get up close and personal with a lot of germs. Wash your hands often and especially before you eat.

4. Take breaks. Be sure to schedule break times each day so everyone on the team is guaranteed time to themselves. Take a walk, get some fresh air, listen to music or read a book on your break, and don't forget to refuel yourself with plenty of food and water.

5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee and avoid soda and energy drinks which are loaded with sugar. Resist the temptation to indulge in alcoholic beverages after work to unwind, although one glass of red wine may be acceptable...and necessary.

6. Get enough sleep. Stressful times are when our bodies need the most rest, and are often when we get the least. Try your best to get at least seven hours of sleep each night to recharge your overworked body and mind.

7. Take your vitamins. Take a high quality whole food multivitamin and mineral supplement everyday, such as Nature's Plus Source of Life with Whole Food Concentrates.  Another great way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, especially raw foods. Take a flax or fish oil supplement to increase energy and stamina as well.

8. Laugh out loud. Laughing is one of the best stress relievers, and it is said to be good for the soul. Have a laugh with your team to give you all a boost of positive energy.

9. Listen to your body. Our bodies give us subtle clues about what they need throughout the day that go beyond simply hunger or thirst. If you feel fatigued, anxious, irritable or stressed, take a break as soon as possible and recharge yourself with plenty of food, water and some "me time."

10. Breathe. Although we don't normally give our breath much thought, breathing deeply reduces stress and increases the flow of vital nutrients and oxygen throughout our bodies. Inhale deeply through your nose, then slowly exhale through either your nose or mouth several times and feel the tension fading away.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gift Ideas for Father's Day

Does Dad really need another T-shirt or tie?  This year, let's show him how much we care about his health and well being.  After all, we want him around for a long, long time!

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Father's Day:

1.  Sports Equipment - golf balls or golf gift certificates, tennis rackets, basketballs or footballs, etc.

2.  Exercise Equipment - free weights, weight bench, treadmill, stationary bike, etc.

3.  Bicycle

4.  Buy dinner or lunch at a health conscious restaurant

5.  Make a healthful meal for Dad - This is one of my favorites, and just might be his too!

6.  Gift certificate for a massage, acupuncture or chiropractic session

7.  Music CD's, concert tickets or a musical instrument - music is healing for mind, body and spirit!

8.  Stainless steel water bottles or in home water filtration system

9.  A home made card or craft - this will warm his heart, and make you feel great too!

10.  A Personalized Wellness Coaching Membership -

Any other ideas?  Post them as comments.  I would love to hear from you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Green Lawn

We moved to a house in town last fall and decided to downgrade to a small push style lawn mower.  I surfed craigslist to find something affordable, when I stumbled upon an ad for a vintage manual mower.  I have always wanted to try one of these motorless mowers, and so I was immediately interested. 

The gentleman who was selling the manual mower said it had belonged to his wife's grandfather who had maintained it well.  He was kind enough to give me a demonstration of how the mower worked. 

I was sold as soon as I saw how beautiful the grass looked after being cut with this "old" mower.  It was a short and even cut with no clumps of grass or mowing lines.  I gave the mower a try, and realized using it would also be great exercise.  So I bought it on the spot and was excited to start cutting my overgrown lawn.

I realized right away that I needed to adjust the blades because the grass was so long.  But I was amazed to see that even the thickest parts of my lawn looked great.  I also had to rake some twigs out of the back yard before I mowed it so the blades wouldn't jam.  Even so, I still finished the entire corner lot in about an hour.  Not much longer than a motor push mower would have done.  By the time I was finished, I was sweating and felt like I had really accomplished something. 

I did not have to pay for any fuel or lug around smelly gas cans.  And I got a great cardio workout without a trip to the gym.  My yard looks awesome, and I know that next week my grass will take even less time to maintain, and won't cost me a thing!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Whole Life Wellness Cleanse

One Wellness had created a detox program which will cleanse your body of unwanted toxins and toxicants, without starving, fasting or fad diets.  You can easily work the cleanse into your daily routine, and it is adaptable to fit into a one week or three day cleanse, as described below.  As with any detox program, consult a doctor, nutritionist or wellness coach before attempting the cleanse. 

Contact One Wellness at for more information.

Preparation – Week One
Remove processed foods including processed or cured meats, complex carbs and sugars from your diet. Also remove caffeine and alcohol. Green tea may be used occasionally in this stage. Reduce red meat, dairy products and processed grains such as bread and bagels. Drink plenty of water. This step may be skipped if the individual is already consuming a whole foods diet.

Whole Foods – Week Two
Remove all meat and dairy products, in addition to avoiding processed foods and sugars, caffeine and alcohol. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas. Soak whole grains and legumes at least one hour and over night for optimal digestion. Diet consists of soaked whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Raw Foods – Week Three
Eat only fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juice. Drink water and herbal tea liberally. Dried fruit such as cranberries may be eaten in small amounts. Add coconut oil to your herbal tea to combat hunger cravings and flax oil may also be taken in salad dressings. Use cayenne pepper to help combat chills and add variety to salads and raw soups.

Rejuvenation – Week Four
Soaked whole grains, fish and steamed or roasted vegetables may be re-introduced to the diet. Continue to stay hydrated with water, juice and herbal teas. Green tea in small amounts may be tolerated if desired. This is the phase of the cleanse that you will experience the most healing. You may feel energized, experience mental clarity and feel at peace. Be sure to get plenty of rest, and you may enjoy meditative practices or gentle internal exercise like stretching or Tai Chi.

If you don't feel you can commit to a full month of cleansing, a shorter detox may be right for you. You can adapt the four phases of the diet to fit in your lifestyle. Extend the rejuvenation, if desired.

Day 1 & 2 – Preparation

Day 3 & 4 – Whole Foods

Day 5 & 6 – Raw Foods

Day 7 - Rejuvenation

This is the quick cycle that may be right if you are pinched for time, unsure if you want to commit to a longer cleanse, or want to cleanse on a monthly basis. Extend the rejuvenation for maximum benefit.

Day 1 – Whole Foods

Day 2 – Raw Foods

Day 3 – Rejuvenation

Tips for Removing Toxins

If you would like to attempt a cleanse to remove toxins from your body, please contact me at or visit my website at

Here is more helpful information that will make your cleanse more successful:

Try these while cleansing, or on a daily basis:

  • drink water with fresh lemon juice or ginger and lemon tea
  • dry skin brushing
  • meditation
  • writing a journal daily
  • deep breathing
  • chew thoroughly
  • drink 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar with 1/3 cup room temp. water each morning

Eat these foods regularly, especially while cleansing:

dandelion greens
dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, bok choy and swiss chard
beets and beet greens
broccoli and cauliflower
red bell peppers
radishes and turnips
sea veggies like kelp, nori and wakame
lemon, lime and grapefruit
berries, especially cranberries and blueberries
sea salt (combined with foods)
raw cider vinegar
raw honey and maple syrup
ghee (clarified butter)
cayenne pepper
flax seeds and flax oil
coconut oil and unsweetened coconut milk
pumpkin seeds
mung and aduki beans

Use in herbal teas, salads, or supplements:

dandelion root and leaves
ginger root
milk thistle
licorice root
raspberry leaf

Avoid these on a daily basis, and especially while cleansing:

corn syrup
artificial sweeteners
deep fried foods
soy and soy products of any kind, including tofu, soy sauce and soy milk
refined and/or bleached flour and grains
processed carbs (bread, bagels, pastries, cereal)
coffee and black tea
alcoholic beverages
soft drinks and sugared juices
pasteurized dairy
processed and cured meats
canned foods (contain BPA)
condiments such as ketchup, barbeque sauce, mayo and most processed salad dressings

Why Detox?

A toxin is a poisonous substance produced by living cells or organisms.  Toxins can be small molecules, peptides, or proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact with or absorption by body tissues.
Although normally grouped together, man made chemicals which cause ill health are technically not considered toxins, and are instead referred to as toxicants to distinguish their non-biological origins. For the sake of simplicity, many sources call all poisonous substances toxins, whether they are biological, chemical or environmental.

Detoxifying your body promotes healing and rejuvenation, and helps combat the effects of aging and disease. Its like giving your body an internal shower, or a tune up. Internal cleansing helps reduce mucus, excess body fat, cellulite, build up in the digestive tract and promotes healthy skin and organs.

How does a cleansing diet work?

Cleansing flushes toxins out of your body through the natural processes your body uses every day to clean and maintain it's systems. A cleansing diet simply gives your body a jump start and allows it to concentrate on cleaning, without being bogged down with more and more added toxins.

How will I feel while I am cleansing?

Ultimately cleansing toxins from you body will create more energy and overall well being. However there are often healing reactions during and after the cleanse that are easily misunderstood. Healing reactions are common and can range from headache, acne, aches and pains, fatigue, chills, body odor, mood swings, gas and intestinal distress. As with any time you clean, the unwanted materials need to be disposed of. These unpleasant symptoms are simply a manifestation that the cleansing process is working to flush the toxins out through the body's many natural cleansing processes. Healing reactions typically last from one to seven days and disappear without treatment once the toxins have been flushed out. After overcoming a healing reaction, your body will feel rejuvenated and energized.

A word on fasting:

Often detox and cleansing programs include a fasting period. Fasting is a powerful detoxifying technique and can be extremely useful in cleansing the digestive tract and jump starting a weight loss program. However, fasting is not for everyone, and not everyone can be successful at it. I don't recommend fasting for those who are new to a cleansing routine, nor for the chronically ill, those with weakened immune systems, anyone underweight or the elderly. One pitfall to watch out for should you choose to incorporate a period of fasting in your cleansing routine is binging. Often the lack of food during a fast can cause one to crave large amounts of food afterward, and whether these are wholesome foods or not, overeating after a fast can be devastating to your digestive tract and internal organs, not to mention your metabolism. Only those who are familiar with routine cleansing should attempt a fast without the direct supervision of a physician, dietician or wellness coach.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fair Trade: for the people, for the planet

Last weekend I had the awesome privilege of attending the Fair Trade Federation Conference in Milwaukee.  I carpooled to the event with a group of local women who are making a difference by volunteering their time with Just Fare Market, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives through global partnerships and fair trade.

What I learned through attending the various activities offered at the Fair Trade Federation Conference was as simple as the main ideal of fair trade itself.  Fair trade supports and nurtures all the people of the world, and our fragile ecosystem.  Using consumer decisions to improve the environment and the lives of others is something we can do to create change everyday, whether it is through buying fresh organic produce at a local farmers market or buying a stunning pair of rain forest seed earrings in a fair trade store like Just Fare Market.

Change is implemented one small step at a time, and we all can make a difference by taking the time to wonder where all these products we buy come from, who is working to make that product, and what kind of working conditions and wages are given in return for their labor.

 Visit the Fair Trade Federation website for more information on World Fair Trade Day events in your area.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why Fair Trade Matters

Fair trade is not a charity, brand name or political perspective.  It is an ideal for equal opportunity for all people, both in our local communities and the throughout the globe. It supports sustainablility and empowers farmers, craftsmen and artisans who would otherwise have little opportunity to improve the quality of their lives.  Involvement in the fair trade program teaches these producers sustainable agriculture, conservation and entrepreneurial skills.  These individuals and families are becoming small business owners and strengthening their local communities.

In addition to buying local food, products and services, shopping with awareness of global fair trade can also strengthen our local economy.  When you use your dollar to support a fair trade product, you are ensuring that jobs in your own community are not being sent to foreign countries to decrease labor costs.  You are also casting a vote in favor of a higher global standard of environmental awareness which impacts us all.

Behind each fair trade product is a story.  Ask your local farmer or the shopkeeper at a fair trade store.  They will tell you the story of how a person's life has been improved because of people like yourself and everyone who supports fair trade. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Emotional Eating

Admittedly I have always had a problem with emotional eating. You know, those times when you are so stressed out that you turn to food- often extreme amounts of overly processed and sugar laden food. Like tonight, for example, when I ate two pieces of cheesecake for desert, then turned to the chocolate covered raisins that I picked out of my trail mix. Oh yes, I had a sweet tooth tonight. It was almost like a demon inside me poking and prodding until I gave in and consumed mass quantities. A little of the “forbidden fruit” of chocolate and dessert is no big deal, but when eaten with such blatant disregard for portion control these temptations can lead to disaster. The disaster of having a spare tire above my bikini bottoms this summer.

I feel this guilt now that it is over and I have had my fun. I wish I had moved more slowly, savored the moment more. I still feel unfulfilled.

Emotional eating can only end when you take a good strong look at your personal life and relationships and decide what it is that is making you unhappy and craving more. Are you struggling at work, financially, in your family or relationships? Do you have a strong support system in place to help you cope with these stressors? And most importantly, what is missing in your life that you are trying to replace with the comfort and pleasure of food? Do you lack intimacy? Excitement? Time to yourself?

Once you have determined why you are turning to food to help you feel better, you can begin to change your habits into more healthy ones. If you find yourself craving or indulging in junk, ask yourself what you are feeling emotionally. Allow yourself to feel that emotion for a moment, whether it is fear, anger, worry or lonliness, and then take several deep breaths and clear your mind, letting go of any emotions as much as you can. Try to redirect yourself in this way each time you reach for the junk food at a tense moment. You may find that you would benefit from relaxing practices such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, or artistic expression.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weed Out Garden Mistakes

If you are anything like me, you love the idea of having a large and bountiful vegetable garden.  You imagine how beautiful it will look in full bloom, the great smell of fresh herbs in the summer sun, and best of all you anticipate the glorious fruits of your labor at harvest time. 

I have attempted to create this garden utopia year after year, and have found that perhaps my green thumb is really more of a brown twig.  In other words, I stink at gardening!  Yes, I have finally admitted it.  I can't seem to keep up with a large garden.  Every year I plant more and more with bigger and better visions of permaculture.  And each year I am disappointed again and again as the weeds rise higher than the plants and the deer eat what little harvest I do have. 

This year I have resigned myself to container gardening and perhaps a small flower and herb garden alongside my walkway.  Of course I will also have my greens garden with a variety of spinach, romaine, kale and radishes, which are the only things I seem to be able to grow reliably. 

For those of you who are new to gardening, or like me just can't seem to get it right, I have posted a link from Real Simple Reader's Top 10 Gardening Mistakes, Solved.  Trust me, I have done them all!  Well, except for the one about using too much pesticides, because obviously I don't use any pesticides.  Yuk!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Get Real Exercise

Let's get real about exercise. If you don't like it, you're not going to do it. Not regularly and not to your best ability. Even if you have a favorite type of exercise that you do regularly, say swimming or jogging, its bound to get boring doing the same thing all the time. The best kind of exercise is the kind that makes us feel like we are not exercising; in other words, things that are fun!

Don't confine yourself to a view of a workout as going to the gym and lifting or stepping until you feel like you are going to fall over. We can tone, strengthen and increase flexibility doing many of the things we already enjoy doing. Maybe you love ballroom dancing, or maybe just dancing with your broom while you sweep the kitchen floor. Maybe you enjoy playing sports or playing tag with your kids. Not to mention having sex! Who doesn't enjoy that?!

The point is that our bodies are meant to get physical activity each and every day through a variety of means, including both those that are necessary and those that we do simply because we enjoy them.

Looking at our ancestors way of life can help us realize why hitting the treadmill for 20 minutes can seem so dismal. Throughout our evolution, humans have never had to try to keep their bodies in shape. Obesity was a fairly rare occurrence and no one lifted weights to obtain attractively defined muscles. There was just no need. Early humans had to struggle everyday just to feed themselves and stay out of danger; then as the human race evolved into a “civilization” they continued to participate in daily household duties, sports, battle, and other physical recreations.

It is only the most modern man who sits on the couch or at a desk all day staring at a screen while overeating packaged and processed pseudo-food loaded with sugar. It's no wonder we all struggle with our weight considering how little daily activity we are actually getting. It is also no wonder that our nation is plagued with disorders like depression and anxiety which are definitely relieved and prevented with regular physical activity.

So forget exercise routines and workout plans, well, unless of course you really enjoy them. Instead try to find a physical activity every day that you can look forward to doing and that will keep you moving for at least one hour. Interval training is the latest news in fitness science, so it is not important that you are working at the same intensity for the entire time, or even that you are engaging in the activity for one full hour at a time. You might do your broom dance for fifteen minutes, then haul the laundry up and down the stairs, do squats and bends while you fold it, then start walking again while you put it away and make the beds. Another day you could take your dog for a walk or go power walking at the mall, giving yourself a short break of course to browse your favorite store. It's easy to see how when you are doing something you enjoy, an hour can pass without seeming like eternity.

One of the best ways to get some variety in your activity routine is to take a class or join a group doing sports or dancing, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gung or cycling. Many people also enjoy dance workout routines like Zumba or doing kickboxing. The idea is to create a variety of activities that you enjoy so you can do something a little different each week. Any personal trainer will tell you that you don't want to do the exact same workout every time because your body will become used to that routine and no more progress will be made.

When you do a variety of physical activities on a daily basis, you will notice that your body is becoming stronger and you are gaining stamina to do the things you love. You will look and feel great and won't have to fight yourself every morning to go to the gym.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Better Health With Water

I run into people quite often at work or around town who become interested in my career as a Wellness Coach.  They ask me how to lose those last ten pounds, or what to do for various symptoms and ailments.  I love to help people and have no issues with giving advice to anyone and everyone.  The problem is, without a thorough evaluation of a person's nutritional type, metabolism, health history and current lifestyle (all of which are included in my Free Wellness Consultation), it is very difficult to pinpoint exactly what must be done for that person to achieve their wellness goals.  We are all so uniquely different that what works for one person may not work at all for another.  But of course we all want to know the simple answer, the fortune cookie revelation.  Luckily, there is one!

Invariably in those situations when someone would like some quick advice for looking and feeling their best, I smile and answer, "Drink more water!"

Most people smile and nod, and some even laugh out loud.  Too easy, they must be thinking.  There must be some complex and expensive combination of herbs or vitamins that will decrease my heartburn symptoms or help me lose weight.  It cannot be as simple as drinking more water.  And so I am sure that most of the people I give this advice to shelve it away as not important.  But in reality, there is no single thing anyone anywhere could possibly do that is more important for their health.

We all know that our bodies are mostly made of water, and of course that we require water to live.  We also know that we should be drinking at least 64oz per day, and that we want to avoid contaminants in our drinking water.  But how many of us are actually drinking that much?  Most people don't bother to drink water unless they are really thirsty, and often reach for coffee, soda or juice instead of plain water.

Unfortunately, by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.  Your body has a very simple system for dealing with a lack of water.  It begins shutting down the functions and organs which are less vital than your heart or lungs.  Dehydration will cause your body to stop sending fluids to your digestive tract first, basically shutting it down, then moves on to organs like your liver, kidneys and finally your brain which requires more water than any other organ or system.  If you have ever gotten a headache or felt lightheaded from dehydration, you were very severely dehydrated and your body systems were suffering far more than you know.

So why don't I feel thirsty first, before I get dehydrated, you ask.  The answer is evolution.  As creatures evolved to live out of the water, we slowly developed longer and longer periods that we could go without drinking, which reduced the sense of thirst and our ability to recognize dehydration.  In a sense, we de-evolved our thirst mechanism as we evolved our species.

There is a long list of ailments and disease that are aggravated and caused by dehydration.  Here are a few of the most well documented:

Blood Pressure
Constipation / Colitis
Headaches / Migraines
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lower back pain
Autoimmune disorders
Depression / Anxiety

Water repairs DNA damage and prevents the body from producing abnormal DNA.  Proper hydration increases immunity by supporting bone marrow health, which is the root of our immune system.  Drinking plenty of water each day even helps increase your body's defenses against cancer!

There is no doubt that staying properly hydrated is crucial for your overall health and well being, and in many cases can reduce symptoms and even cure disease.  Here are some simple tips for helping you to increase your daily water intake:
  • Take a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE!  Stainless steel reusable bottles are the best.  Avoid overpaying for "pure" bottled water which is probably just filtered tap water and comes in a plastic bottle that leaches toxic chemicals into the water, making it even less pure.
  • To determine your ideal water intake each day, take your body weight in pounds and divide it in half.  This is the number of ounces of water you should drink per day. 
  • For each cup of coffee or drink containing caffeine or alcohol or for each hour spent on an airplane, drink an additional glass of water.
  • To flavor your water, try adding a slice of lemon or cucumber, or drink a warm herbal tea.  You can also infuse water with fruit flavor by adding very ripe berries or other fruit and refrigerating.
  • Drink two glasses of water first thing in the morning and drink water before exercising and eating, and especially an hour or two after a meal to help aid the digestive process.
Just this one simple step towards better health can make all the difference!  So have a drink!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mood Food

I've always been in love with food. There is very little that I haven't tried and even less that I don't care for. As a child, I was fairly typical. I loved soda, candy, chocolate, baked goods, sugary cereals, breads, crackers, and even some healthful foods like cheese, fruits, and an occasional vegetable. I have never been much of a carnivore, with the exception of a good cheeseburger and of course a home made pot roast that melts in your mouth.

So of course with such a lovely array of food consumed in mass quantities, I was a chunk as a child. I started to grow taller than wider around my early teenage years, thank goodness, but I was still incredibly unhealthy and suffering for it. I developed severe clinical depression when I was 15 and stopped going to school. I was moody, irrational and violent at times. I did not care about anything. I was able to pick myself up somewhat by moving to an art school in the city, but even that did not last long, and soon I was skipping school again.  Instead of hanging out with friends like most my age who played hooky, I was staying in bed all day and gorging myself on cereal, ramen noodles, and whatever else I could find, easily prepare and shovel into my mouth.

I struggled with my depression for years. I tried most of the popular antidepressants with no improvement and several awful side affects.  I tried talk therapy several times, and even admitted my self to a hospital once for a weekend.  None of the usual treatments seemed to be working for my depression.

It was not until I was about 22 that I discovered natural living. I believe I was turned on to it by picking up a book that I came across at the public library where I was working. I cannot remember the title, but it created a tidal wave of discovery for me. I devoured all the knowledge and information I could about living in tune with nature and eating for health and wellness.

Of course I immediately took my new enthusiasm to the extreme. I became a strict vegetarian, eating mostly raw foods and I completely swore off anything “unnatural” including deodorant and even toothpaste. The results were disastrous. The lack of protein and fats in my diet caused me to plummet into even deeper depression and my self esteem continued to fall because rather than losing weight on my “perfect diet” I was actually gaining more weight and looked worse than I had in years. To top it all off, I began to have problems with my teeth and digestive tract, not to mention debilitating migraine headaches, which I had never had before in my life.

I continued to read and research healthy living and realized that I needed essential fatty acids. I love fish, so I began to eat it regularly and started to feel a little better. Then I decided to try something radical. I began to eat whole fat dairy products. I was raised on low or non fat diary, then decided dairy was evil when I began my natural living campaign. However, something remarkable happened when I ate some whole fat plain yogurt, cheese, and only used whole milk and real butter. I actually began losing weight. Dropping pounds like crazy actually. I was amused by the irony, but continued to buy only high quality whole fat products. I also gave up traditional yeast breads and only ate sprouted grain products. My digestive troubles disappeared and I began to feel good about my body, but I was still not emotionally strong and healthy.

The summer after my mother passed away I decided to volunteer on an organic farm CSA in Happy Camp, California. We ate the fruit of our labors, along with some high quality local dairy. We were peaceful, spiritual, and happy. Or at least everyone else was. Despite the fact that I was living more healthfully than ever before and I was surrounded by the most gorgeous and peaceful nature setting, I was miserable. I was not nutritionally fulfilled and my emotional stability was suffering still. When I returned home in fall I began to gradually increase my protein in the form of meat and more beans and nuts. Suddenly, I felt great! It was like night and day! Adding a little fat was not enough for my body. I also needed far more protein and saturated fat than I had previously been allowing myself. I lost even more weight, and my self esteem continued to improve.

That was about 4 years ago. Now I am a proud and grateful size 6 and I have not had an episode of major depression since. I have ups and downs of course, as we all do, but now in my lower spirits I know to look at my diet. Am I getting enough protein and fat? Am I drinking enough water and avoiding caffeine? Am I over stressed and need to take some “me time?”

I literally have come full circle with my nutritional beliefs. As a young person, all I cared about was how something tasted. If it was good, I ate it. Then as I began to receive new information I became obsessed with eating only natural and “healthy” food, but found there was still a lot of gray area and misinformation out there. It was only when I stopped believing everything that I read and started listening to my body and spirit that I discovered the diet that was right for me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Relaxation 101

Here's a simple relaxation technique:

Deep breathing is a simple stress reliever. Find a quiet moment to yourself (or make one) and sit comfortably or lie flat on your back. Close your eyes. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Each complete breath (inhale and exhale) should last at least 5 seconds. Feel the air expanding your chest and diaphragm. And feel how your body reacts. Your muscles will start to relax automatically, and the tension will melt away. Try to quiet your mind as much as possible, but don't beat yourself up if you can't. Consciously relax each muscle in your body, starting with your feet and legs, then your abdomen and back, then chest, arms and neck, and finally release all the tension that is stored in the muscles in your face. Do this slowly and thoroughly, which usually takes at least 10-20 minutes.

Friday, February 25, 2011


My son has been troubled with reoccurring ear infections since he was a baby.  The first time we went to the doctor with a sick 5 month old baby, the doctor prescribed an antibiotic liquid and sent us on our way.  I gave my son the medicine exactly as prescribed, and after ten days his ears were still red and sore and to top that off he had loose stool and upset stomach.  He was miserable.  I went back to the doctor, and guess what they prescribed?  More antibiotics! 

Being an advocate for natural living and whole life wellness, I knew there was no sense trying a medicine that did not work the first time.  My girlfriend worked for a chiropractor at that time, and she suggested taking him in for an adjustment.  She said that her clinic treated many children and infants and that chiropractic adjustments could drain the fluids in the ear to clear the infection.  I took her advice, and within a week my son was back to his normal vibrant health.

Over the next two years we made several trips to the chiropractor any time his ears became a problem, and saw the same amazing results every time.  Within a few minutes of being adjusted his nasal and chest congestion would clear and usually within a week of treatment his ears were clear. 

Last week we noticed that his ears were red and he complained of pain in his left ear at preschool.  I called the chiropractor and he had a few adjustments with good results.  Then this week he began to develop a rattly cough and a fever.  He was so lethargic and not like himself that I felt we better go in to the doctor.  No surprise to me he was diagnosed with an ear infection and of course was prescribed an antibiotic.  Thinking that we needed to take care of this sickness fast so he could get back to his usual spunky activities, I decided to give him the antibiotics.  He took the medicine as prescribed for two days, and within about 12 hours he was running around and playing again.

On the morning of the third day, my son told me his arm itched.  When I checked it out I noticed there was a red rash forming all over his elbow.  Within a half hour the rash had spread all the way up the arm and was starting in on his other arm and even his cheeks.  By the time we got to the clinic the rash had spread onto his belly and back as well.  The doctor explained that it was a reactive side effect of the antibiotic and he should stop taking it immediately.  He had little else useful to say other than to watch for any hives or shortness of breath which are signs of a serious allergic reaction and would require emergency medical attention.

I headed straight for the local health store and bought a fresh bottle of garlic ear drops and silver hydrosol liquid, which is no doubt what I should have done in the first place rather than even start the prescription.  Garlic has powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties and when used as an oil in the ears can help treat and prevent ear infections.  Silver has been renown for its antibacterial properties for centuries, but has only recently been released as a readily available immune boosting remedy.  It is available as a throat spray which works miracles on sore throats, a nasal spray for congestion, a salve for burns and other skin infections and also a liquid which can be taken orally in small doses to increase immunity and relieve bacterial and viral infection symptoms.

In addition to the silver and garlic, I have been ensuring that my family is taking a high quality whole food liquid multivitamin and mineral complex and of course eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Prevention is the best medicine, but when illness occurs, we don't always have to rely on antibiotics to treat our symptoms.  Often we can achieve the same or better results with a little help from nature and thousands of years of traditional medicine.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be your own Valentine!

A short post today to remind us all to give ourselves some love today.  Yes, that's right!  You.  Give it to yourself, too!  You may have planned a special surprise for a loved one, or made a thousand valentines for your kids to give to their friends at school, but if you haven't taken the time to show yourself some true compassion, you are missing a vital ingredient of health and happiness. 

Self love is so often overlooked and can even be seen as selfish, but this could not be more untrue!  Being proud of who you are is healthy and loving yourself is a major key to staying well.  It is critically important to show yourself the compassion and understanding that you strive to show others.  If you don't love yourself, how can you love another?  How can you be happy?

Take a moment today to think about the things that make you truly unique and beautiful.  Write them down if you can, or even make yourself a valentine card that lists your best qualities and the things you are most proud of in your life.  Don't be ashamed of this!  Hang it on your fridge or bedroom mirror and revisit it any time you are feeling low. 

Do something nice for yourself as well.  Buy yourself something indulgent (not necessarily expensive) that you normally wouldn't, or simply do something you love but rarely find the time to do, like take a walk or a bath, or fix your hair or makeup so you look fabulous.  Whatever it is, feel good about it.  You are a beautiful and unique person, and no matter how much love you get from others, make sure there is always a special place in your heart for yourself.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Live in Balance

Balance is the most fundamental principal of wellness. When we lead a balanced life we have the least chance of disease, because our bodies are not being stressed by excesses. But what does it mean to live in balance?

The first definition of balance, according to is:

  1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.

The nature of balance is equality. The saying “all things in moderation” comes to mind. Think about the things you eat for a moment. Do you have certain foods that you eat more of than any other? Do you eat processed meals and fast food? Are you addicted to sugary snacks and drinks?

When we eat too many processed, deep fried and microwaved foods, we create a build up of toxins in our bodies. Our bodies become stressed out fighting for balance, and our immune system weakens. This creates a constant lack of energy that is often misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue or depression.

Start balancing yourself by reducing foods and drinks that do not enhance your health and give you true lasting energy. Then begin to add more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It is not necessary to completely omit foods that are less than wholesome, as long as there is a larger portion of the diet being made up of nutrient rich, high energy foods. Dark leafy greens in particular have an extraordinary ability to counteract the toxins that are so abundant in our Standard American Diet. Superfoods and foods high in antioxidants should be consumed daily to ensure that we are doing our part to stay balanced.

Nutrition is not the only area of our lives that we must achieve balance. The third and fourth definitions of the word balance from are:

  1. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.
  2. a state of bodily equilibrium
Balance is a state of wellness that encompasses all areas of our lives. Our minds must be focused to achieve our goals, and a strong, limber body is crucial to getting the job done. Our mind, body and spirit are all equally important to Whole Life Wellness. This means that in addition to proper nutrition and exercise, we must also keep our emotions and convictions in balance. Make a list of all the things that create true happiness for you, then make another list of things you don't enjoy. Take a good long look at these lists, and decide how you can create more joy and less suffering in your life. Make a plan, write it down, and stick with it. Setting and achieving goals is one way to ensure that you are increasing balance and living up to your full potential.

No matter how determined we are, it is probably impossible to achieve complete balance, at least for any length of time. Imagine an old fashioned scale of weights, with a pointed fulcrum between the two suspended trays. The point is so small, that even the slightest difference of weight causes the scale to tip. Then it seesaws back and forth, a slave to the laws of science, with only the resistance of the air to slow it down. No one can live in perfect balance all the time, but if we make smart choices and strive for balance, we can ensure that we are not swinging out of control.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Question of Digestion

More often than we would like to admit, there is the unpleasant feeling of indigestion. Heartburn, acid stomach, diarrhea, bloating and gas. None of it pretty. We treat the problem not by looking at why it is happening, but rather by adding medicines and antacids to the already tumultuous depths of our guts.

Lets move beyond treating symptoms, and start addressing the real problems: poor diet, excess stress and a lack of beneficial probiotics and enzymes.

The simplest way to improve your digestion is to eat more raw, fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh foods contain more micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Eating more fruit and vegetables daily will improve digestion and increase overall health, immunity and beauty.

Fresh fruits and vegetables also contain water, which is another important element of digestion. Drink at least 8 large glasses of water every day, and be sure to take a water bottle with you wherever you go. By the time you actually feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated, and dehydration is a common cause of heartburn and acid reflux. Drinking water and reducing sweet drinks and caffeine will keep you hydrated, and keep your body looking and feeling your best everyday.

Another key to digestive health, particularly if you suffer from chronic indigestion, is choosing the right supplements. Chewable papaya enzymes are a great remedy for heartburn and even prevent indigestion when chewed after meals. They work as fast and even more effectively as an antacid and taste much more pleasant.

A high quality probiotic supplement is also recommended for optimal digestive health. The best contain several different types of beneficial bacterias and flora. These little guys help break down our food for us, relieving the heavy burden on our stressed out systems. They also fight to kill nasty bacteria and yeast in our bodies that often give us the gut rot to begin with. An easy way to get more probiotics in your diet is to eat a whole, low sugar yogurt daily.

The most popular cause of indigestion of course, is stress. Not only ulcers, but also chronic heartburn, acid stomach and IBS are often caused by a stressed out body. Taking a good look at the pace of our lives and evaluating where we can cut complication and reduce stress is critical to overall better health. Implementing a daily meditation or relaxation for several minutes each day also does wonders to relieve stress and brings a greater sense of balance.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fruit, Vegetables and Honey are in Danger!

If you have ever had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with a colony of honey bees, you know that these tiny insects are some of the most amazing and energized creatures on the planet.  Watching them work to feed, build and protect their community is truly a spiritual experience.  Honey bees create some of the most versatile and potent health products on the planet, including bee pollen, royal jelly, and of course, honey! 

What's more, bees are the number one plant pollinating insect, which means that they are an integral part of growing and sustaining natural foods.  Any fruit or vegetable that produces a flower needs a bee to pollinate that flower before the tomato, squash, apple or berry will grow.  Considering this, bees are probably the most important player in our quest to a more healthful and sustainable future.

Many of you have heard about the "bee crisis."  For those who haven't, basically billions of bees have been dying since 2003 and scientists have been unable to pinpoint and eliminate the problem.  Bee farmers around the country are losing entire colonies and sometimes their entire bee farm to this "disease."

But it is no disease that is killing our bees!  A pesticide that has been approved to kill undesirable insects on common crops like soy and corn has a devastating effect on our honey bee population, and the government and the chemical's distributor have been covering it up to increase crop production and  profits.

Please sign this petition to make a stand against this gross disregard for our health and the sustainability of our planet!  Thank you.