What are the symptoms of Heavy Metal toxicity?

In the last few years, I’ve been working with clients with heavy metal toxicity more than ever before. The soil, air and water are more contaminated all over the world, and it’s only getting worse. Even certified organic fruit and vegetables can contain high levels of heavy metals, because the soil (and water) does not need to be tested in order to obtain organic status (crazy but true). There are several other reasons why heavy metal levels are increasing in our food supply, but I would have to go down the rabbit hole a bit in order to explain and you may or may not be ready to hear that story. In short, the health of our soil will always determine and affect the health of our bodies.

Heavy metals such as lead and arsenic can occur naturally in the soil, even in organic farms

Here’s what’s happening: many healthy eaters and detox/cleansing folks are getting sicker and feeling worse and can’t figure out why. Does that sound familiar to you? It seems to be especially true for that subset of people because once you eliminate the old mucoid plaque from your stomach, small intestine and colon you will absorb everything much more efficiently. That’s a good thing, unless what you are absorbing contains high levels of lead, arsenic, mercury, aluminum, cadmium or thallium..in which case you absorb much more of it than everyone else. Combine that with a diet higher in vegetables grown in toxic soil (unbeknownst to you of course). The person eating more fruit and vegetables will have more toxic exposure than the person not eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, even if they are all organic, that is unless you are growing them yourself at home (and not adding anything bad to the soil. More on this in a future post for those of you already growing your own, like me).

Check out the list of symptoms below and see if maybe you need to look at doing some heavy metal detox as part of your healing journey. It’s an easy thing to miss because many of the symptoms of heavy metal toxicity can mimic other chronic conditions, such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic anxiety, depression, insomnia, hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, histamine intolerance, infertility, foggy brain, weight gain, itchy rashes, hives, urticaria, peripheral neuropathy, thyroid disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), auto-immune disease, kidney disease and even certain types of cancer. And if you are eating such a good diet compared to everyone else, you would never think that your food, water or nutritional supplements could be the source of your illness.

Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity

  • Foggy Brain – arsenic, lead
  • Fatigue (extreme and/or chronic) – arsenic, lead
  • Hair loss – thallium
  • Memory loss – lead, aluminum
  • Chronically bloodshot eyes – arsenic
  • Mee’s lines (deep ridges on fingernails and/or toenails) – arsenic
  • Impaired concentration – thallium, lead, aluminum
  • Impaired motor function, sensory function, and cognitive function – aluminum
  • Increased nervousness – thallium, lead
  • Irritability – thallium, lead
  • Dizziness – lead
  • Depression/mood changes, headache – lead
  • Skin discoloration – darkening (hyper pigmentation) – arsenic
  • Hyperkeratosis (most frequently on the palms and soles) – arsenic
  • Throat irritation / difficultly swallowing / chronic sore throat – arsenic
  • Impaired immune system – lead, arsenic
  • Generalized muscle aches, weakness and body pains – lead
  • Muscle cramps or muscle tenderness – arsenic
  • Numbness, tingling and pain (sensory) – arsenic
  • Spontaneous pain – arsenic
  • Localized edema – arsenic
  • Inflammation or pain in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract – thallium, arsenic
  • Decreased libido – lead, arsenic
  • Decreased sperm count – lead, arsenic
  • Infertility – lead, arsenic
  • Peripheral neuropathy (hot or burning feeling in hands and feet) – arsenic
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – lead
  • Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) – arsenic
  • Hemolytic anemia – lead
  • Nausea or diarrhea – arsenic
  • Low Vitamin D levels (inability to convert Vitamin D) – lead
  • Severe osteoporosis and osteomalacia – cadmium
  • Proteinuria (too much protein in the urine) – arsenic
  • Cardiac Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) – arsenic
  • Skin cancer – arsenic
  • Impaired lung function / fibrosis – aluminum
  • Lung cancer – cadmium, arsenic
  • Kidney (renal) failure – arsenic, cadmium, lead
  • Gout – lead
  • Kidney cancer – arsenic
  • Bladder cancer – arsenic
  • Liver cancer – arsenic
  • Prostate cancer – arsenic

 
-from the Agency for Toxic Substances & Diseases Registry
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 
How do you know if you have heavy metal toxicity? Heavy metals are not so easy to test for since, upon exposure, your body will push them into 3 “safe” places as fast as possible – your bone, tissue and fat. That keeps the heavy metals from causing too much free radical damage in the essential organs. You can have a buildup of arsenic in the bone, for example, and the blood test can come up clean. In Iridology, I can determine very quickly if someone has a higher likelihood for heavy metal accumulation. Then, I will ask a series of questions about your symptoms vs. the highest potential sources of heavy metals. We then eliminate the suspect sources and re-assess your symptoms. If you are feeling better, then we continue on that track and add in herbal and natural forms of heavy metal detoxification. Getting on a low or no heavy metal diet is essential. You can get hair testing or a 24-hour urine test if you want, or you can put your time and money straight into chelation therapy or detoxification of heavy metals.

Heavy metals can also be added to fruits and vegetables through pesticide use

Three things need to be done in order to remove heavy metals from the body:
1) Eliminate the source (easier said than done, believe me…but possible) then
2) Detox the body from heavy metals in a safe and effective way (also easier said than done but possible) and
3) Support/strengthen the essential organs and immune system with a clean heavy metal-free diet and high anti-oxidants to protect organs from any degeneration

What is the best type of heavy metal detox? This is something that needs to be more individualized, based on the strength and weakness of all the other organs, including the skin, lungs, liver, colon and kidneys. Bio-individuality is the best approach to achieve maximum results. Taking additional zinc, selenium and Vitamin C is important for anyone with high heavy metals. Remember though, the first step is to eliminate the source. If you don’t do that, there is no amount of heavy metal detox that will help.

 


For more on how to achieve your health goals and actually start feeling great, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a smart phone or digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval for Iridology Analysis.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!


More on Detox:

More on Skin Cleansing:

More on Liver Cleansing:

Our Farmhouse Kitchen for under $3K!! Before and After DIY Makeover

If you’re like me, then you spend a lot of time in your kitchen. Chopping, grating, slicing, juicing, fermenting, harvesting, cleaning….the list goes on and on! The kitchen should be a room you love, otherwise you won’t want to spend any time there at all. If you can’t find the knife or cutting board you need, it becomes a hassle. Organized cupboards, dried foods and easy access to appliances make a whole world of difference. A nice vibe and a personal touch in the decor always give a good positive energy flow to the space. Changes to your diet and lifestyle have to start in the kitchen!

We recently did a DIY kitchen makeover, from a bad 80’s sitcom feel to a cool and funky farmhouse kitchen…and now our kitchen is a space I love! It’s a fun and organic feel. And for those of you on a budget, you’ll be excited to know that we did everything for under $3000! Now that IS amazing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to put a new spin and fresh look on your old dark and dated kitchen. Trust me! Here I’m going to share the results!

Farm Kitchen DIY – Before and After pics

The 80’s Kitchen Before

We definitely did not choose our house for the kitchen, to say the least. It’s small and a bit strange in its layout, with the sink by itself against a wall and not under the windows facing outside. The dark oak cabinets were screaming 1981 and my dreams of having a fresh clean modern kitchen were not reflecting reality at all. But, we fell in love with the land (for starting an organic farm) and the area (an all farming area in the mountains of North Carolina) and the rest of the house was nice too so it’s all good.

Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover BEFORE

The Farmhouse Kitchen After

Since we may rehab the entire kitchen in a few years, we didn’t want to waste money on new cabinets or counter-tops or even a new layout yet. Our goal was to give the kitchen we have a decent enough facelift to actually enjoy the space and start having fun preparing lots of healthy food, straight from our veggie garden. Because I was working with existing cabinets and counter-tops, I decided to go for a farmhouse look because a modern design wasn’t possible with what we had. Initially I figured the rehab would take 2 months. In the end, it took 6 months to complete. Well, everyone says these DIY’s take longer than you expect (without a full crew working on it like in those 30-minute HGTV shows that make everything look far, far too easy!).

Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover AFTER

Farmhouse DIY Makeover List of What we Did

1. Popcorn ceiling removal – we did this ourselves and it all crumbled off with wet rags, no scraping or spraying at all. Took 2 days in total to complete. (Then we went to Vegas for the weekend, true!)

2. Painted old light fixtures. No idea why but the previous owners had painted the discs red/orange so I painted them white. 1 day.

3. Walls and trim sanded, primed and painted. The old kitchen had a strange greenish paint that had a slight texture which has to be sanded and the trim was a bright orange/red. Yes, time to GO! This was a BIG job. We moved everything to one side and painted 1/2 the kitchen then moved everything to the other side and painted the other half. The paint we used for the walls is Pratt & Lambert “Winchester” in semi-gloss and for the trim, a semi-gloss white.  I also added beadboard wallpaper to the kitchen peninsula and painted it too. Beadboard wallpaper is amazing! 1 week.

Bye bye green walls! What a difference a coat of paint makes.

4. Cabinets primed and painted white, with beadboard wallpaper added and painted, then installed oil rubbed bronze hardware. I got the cabinet pulls/knobs and cabinet handles from amazon and drilled all the holes myself. Definitely buy the cabinet hardware drilling template if you are going to do this step yourself. This was a huge job that I hope to never have to do again! 1 week.

Kitchen Oak Cabinets BEFORE painting – Kitchen Makeover

 

Painted Kitchen Cabinets – AFTER with new hardware – Kitchen Makeover

5. Also painted a pull out cart next to the stove which was originally purple (yes purple). I painted it gray to match the counter tops. Later we realized that the shelf on this cart was too high for the magnetic knife strips on the wall, so my husband cut off one shelf. I then put wood filler in the gaps, then sand prime and paint again. 2 days.

Note the purple pull out cart next to the oven (it holds baking trays and drying racks inside)

 

The pull out cart next to the oven now painted in grey (and notice the new barn house style pocket door)

6. Finally we were ready to put up the farmhouse shelves! I forgot to mention that my husband pulled down the wall cabinets before we painted the walls. It was a bit of a spontaneous decision. We were both working in the kitchen preparing the walls one day and all of a sudden he said, “I’m taking these down!” And that was that. We had looked at photos or farmhouse wood shelves before that but hadn’t decided to do it or not. Well, in that moment we pretty much decided to go for it! After painting the walls, we measured the space and went to Lowes to buy wood. I had done A LOT of research checking blogs for farm style kitchen shelves, and wasn’t able to find exactly what I wanted which was a thick wood floating shelf without having to make a hollow wood shelf and without spending a lot of money on expensive wood. In the end, we bought simple pine 2 -inch thick shelves (that’s 2x12x12) and here’s a tip: Lowes will even cut the wood for you, just bring the measurements!

7. Farmhouse shelves phase 1: Sanding and staining. We decided on 3 shelves on one wall and 2 on the wall with the stove. Also we took out the old cabinet above the fridge and measure out space for shelves there too. I sanded and stained everything myself (phew!). The stain we used was Minwax Early American, left on the wood for 10 minutes. But, I used a pre-stain wood conditioner first which I think is an important step! Then I left to dry overnight and applied butcher block oil. I didn’t want to use any varnish because of the nasty chemical smells. This took 3 long days.

Sanding and staining the farm house style shelves

8. Farmhouse shelves Phase 2: Hanging the shelves. Prepare yourself for lots of measuring, and checking the level many times. We marked all the studs before painting because I knew with shelves like this, we had to hang them in the studs. Almost all the brackets got in studs with the exception of one, so I’d say we did ok! For the brackets, I found nice 8″L x 6″ H hand-made steel metal brackets on amazon. It comes in different sizes for different widths of shelves. We chose wood for a 12-inch width shelf after I measured our dinner plates and largest bowls. 2 days.

Measuring and installing the brackets for farmhouse kitchen shelves

The wood farm style shelves are up – yay!!

9. Hanging new lights – We installed a new ceiling light above the kitchen table and also put up a few battery-operated under the cabinet lights which went under the bottom kitchen shelf. We have very dated and 80’s style track lighting as well, but we weren’t up to the task of changing that just yet, so instead just installed Edison style LED light bulbs. 1 day.

10. Farmhouse doors – how could I forget my favorite part of the kitchen – our farmhouse style doors! We installed one to the pantry (where previously there was a bright red/orange door). Then we installed a new pocket door from the kitchen to the wood stove room, so we could close the kitchen if need be (if a guest is sleeping in the other room for example). The doors were a special order from Home Depot, then were stained in the same way as the shelves. I love these doors! 1 week (it took time for our carpenter to make the pocket door frame and we had to drywall, prime paint, etc after).

DIY Kitchen Makeover BEFORE – the old red/orange pantry door

DIY Kitchen Makeover AFTER – the new barn style pantry door LOVE!

11. New oven – By this point of the makeover it was the end of December (we had started in September), and I said to my husband, “Would it be great if we could get a new oven..like a Viking industrial oven?”  We started reading reviews and were going “wow” then looking at the price and saying “hmmm..” Literally a few days later we went to Habitat for Humanity and found a Dacor brand convection bake oven, already set for propane gas, for $500. It was unreal. And it fit into the space like a glove. Totally manifested it! This oven new sells for over $5K!! We were over the moon. 1 day.

12. Oven installation – had to get an electrician to install the 240V line for the oven, cost about $200. As you can see all of this was almost 1/3 of the $3000 we spent…and in that budget we still landed a $5K oven! This was over xmas/new year and it took some time to book the electrician.  2 weeks.

Oven envy! LOVE our Dacor convection oven, bought used

13. New farmhouse wood kitchen table from IKEA – and yes this is a big deal because it’s a 2-hour drive to IKEA where we live and I had been looking at this table for months. Then when we were ready to go to IKEA, the table was suddenly on sale for $80 less. Total score!! I wanted this particular table with the drop leaf on either side because our kitchen is so small, however we could have guests with this if need be and also, it’s not easy to find a thick farm style kitchen table with a drop leaf on either side. 1 day.

14. Chalkboard wall painted – Up until now, I thought we were going to have a small section of the wall painted in black chalkboard paint, mostly for my husband because it was his request. (He’s a graphic designer and wanted some room to draw.) Actually he wanted an entire wall for a chalkboard, and I kept saying, “No way. You can have this small space here!” I thought the black color would make the room look too small. Fast forward a few months into the project and all of a sudden I said, “Ok let’s do the whole wall.” He was like, “Really?!” I have no idea what happened, but now that the wall is done, I love it. It actually adds depth to the room and it’s so much fun to have guests over and let them draw whatever they want on the walls. Yes, a lot of our guests will ask if they can draw something! It’s really a lot of fun. I love having a real, genuine feel to the kitchen and the ever-changing chalkboard wall adds that for sure. 2 days.

The chalkboard wall and the farmhouse kitchen drop leaf table

15. Kitchen sink backsplash using grey wood-like floor tiles. Yes, we used floor tiles for our backsplash around the sink! I wanted something to go with the grey formica counter tops and not too much white because the cabinets above and below were now white. The grey colored wood tile was a perfect match to go with the counters and add something nice on all that white. We bought the tiles at Lowes and my husband did the tiles himself, first time ever doing tiling and what a great job! 3 days.

Kitchen sink backsplash with grey wood tile

16. Stove and farmhouse shelf backsplash – for this wall, we chose a large subway tile, much larger than normal because 1) it was less work to use bigger tiles 2) the price was actually better than buying small subway tiles and 3) the classic subway look is getting a bit old and we wanted to put a bit of a spin on it. We chose the 16″ x 4″ white tiles from Lowes. 3 days.

Large white subway tile backsplash – DIY kitchen makeover

17. Cutting board wall – this is one of my favorite changes to the kitchen! I bought a few hanging racks and S hooks and hung them on the wall to make the perfect cutting board station. I have to say that this cutting board rack is the most convenient things ever especially for someone who is often chopping up fruits and veggies several times a day!

Cutting boards hanging on S hooks – LOVE this!

18. Finally, the last touches! I added hooks for towels on either side of the sink, hung pictures on the walls, another 2 shelves on the chalkboard wall, two walnut wood magnetic knife holders that look amazing (one knife strip is never enough if you do a lot of food prep like me!), also shelves for spices and supplements which I installed over the tile after staining the shelves to match everything else, and a few bars and hooks from IKEA for a bit of organizing towels and hanging stuff. 2 weeks.

Magnetic knife holders wood farmhouse style kitchen

I hope you like the end result as much as we do, and if not…well maybe you got a few good ideas for your own DIY kitchen makeover. Looking back at all the steps, I have no idea how we did all of that! Now the fun part…is using the new kitchen!

Farm Kitchen DIY – Before and After pics

 

Is your Olive Oil fake or “cut” with inferior oils? Check this list!

Quality of food is one of the the most important factors in determining the quality of your health. If you’re using extra virgin olive oil for better heart health, clear skin, healthy gallbladder & liver and to avoid genetically modified oils such as canola oil or high heated rancid vegetable oils, that’s great! But, what if your olive oil really isn’t olive oil at all?! What is the brand you buy has unbeknownst to you been “cut” with sunflower, safflower or canola oil, then mixed with perfumes and green dye to look and taste like olive oil? Your liver/gallbladder flush detox will absolutely not work if your extra virgin olive oil wasn’t actually olive oil. Also, for anyone with food allergies, and especially anyone with sunflower seed or sesame seed allergies, it’s absolutely critical to not eat an adulterated olive oil. If you have irritable bowel syndrome or any type of inflammatory bowel disease, then you definitely want to avoid fake olive oils, especially since other cheap oils can create more inflammation in the gut (and the rest of the body too, including arthritis and gout). Not to mention trigger major brain fog too! Scroll down to check the list of unsafe olive oils vs. safe brands you can trust.

Learn how to make sure what you are buying is what you are getting with your olive oil!

More than 2/3 of olive oil imported into the USA is NOT olive oil!

A University of California Davis (UCD) study found that most olive oil imported into the United States fails to meet the international criteria for “extra virgin.”

The study found that 73 percent of 134 samples of the five top selling imported extra virgin olive oil brands failed the International Olive Council (IOC) sensory standards based on the results of two IOC-accredited sensory panels.

Sensory defects are signs that the oil samples were oxidized, of poor quality or adulterated with cheaper refined olive oil.

An earlier UCD study released in 2010 found that 69 percent of samples of imported olive oils labeled as extra virgin and sold in California failed to meet international extra virgin standards since the oils were too old, poorly made and/or adulterated.

How can you know if your olive oil is REAL or FAKE?

Don’t be a victim to the olive oil fraud. Check your brand against the UC Davis study results below:

These brands FAILED THE TEST to meet extra-virgin olive oil standards:

  • Bertolli
  • Whole Foods
  • Felippo Berio
  • Carapelli
  • Mezzetta
  • Pompeian
  • Mazola
  • Primadonna
  • Colavita
  • Sasso
  • Antica Badia
  • Star
  • Safeway
  • Coricelli

These brands PASSED THE TEST and met the standards for extra virgin olive oil:

  • Lucero
  • McEvoy Ranch Organic
  • Corto Olive
  • Omaggio
  • Bariani Olive Oil
  • California Olive Ranch
  • Lucini
  • Ottavio
  • Cobram Estate
  • Olea Estates
  • Kirkland Organic

Did you notice that the beloved Whole Foods brand FAILED the test? This is just to emphasize that you cannot simply trust in a company with good branding and nice advertising and believe that what they are selling is ok. (For more on this read my article called Why I don’t buy 90% of the “food” at Whole Foods.)

Personally, I buy California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This brand, while not organic, does not give me any of the side effects that I can feel when being “hit” with canola oil (extreme fatigue, bloating/gas, brain fog for 4-6 hours after), it tastes good, smells good and it’s in the Passed the Test list. While not organic, it’s at least what I call a “safe” food. They also have the Non-GMO project verified logo on the label which I always look for when buying a non-organic food. I can find this brand at most normal supermarkets where I live in North Carolina.

Why would companies sell cheap alternatives that are dyed and perfumed to taste like olive oil?

The olive oil industry is BOOMING. We’re talking billions of dollars every year. And there just aren’t enough olives grown to keep up with demand. In fact, tampering with olive oil to make more money is not a new scam. Even the Romans were known to have done it!

How else can you check your olive oil to know if it’s safe?

In his book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller, there is one thing he wrote that really stuck with me. He said: If you are paying LESS than $10 a liter for your extra virgin olive oil, then it’s not olive oil. That book was published in 2012 so I could reasonably estimate the number to be even higher today! In short, you get what you pay for with olive oil. Don’t settle for less, because your health is so much more valuable and important than anything else!

How to choose good Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Here are a few more tips from Tom Mueller’s book Extra Virginity that can help you navigate the deceptive olive oil market:

  1. Look for olive oil with a “best by” date, or better yet..a date of harvest. Try to buy oils from this year’s harvest. “Best by” date is usually 2 years after an oil was bottled, so if you see a date that is 2 years away, the oil in more likely to be fresh.
  2. Phrases like “packed in Italy” or “bottled” in Italy do not mean that an oil was made in Italy, or even made with Italian olives. Generally speaking, avoid oils where a precise point of production – a specific mill – is not specified on the label.
  3. Don’t pay attention to the color of an oil. Good oils come in all shades, from vivid green to gold to pale straw. Both in flavor and aroma, genuine extra virgin olive oils have a marked fruitiness reminiscent of fresh olives, and typically some level of bitterness and pepperiness.
  4. Choose dark glass bottles over other containers that protect against light, and buy a quantity that you will use fairly quickly. Even an excellent oil can rapidly go rancid when left sitting under a half-bottle or air.
  5. Make sure that your oil is labeled “extra virgin,” since other categories – “pure” or “light” oil, “olive oil,” not to mention “olive pomace oil” – have undergone chemical refinement which strips away olive flavors and many of the oil’s health benefits.
  6. Finally, remember: If you are paying LESS than $10 a liter for your extra virgin olive oil, then it’s NOT olive oil.

How to Eat Clean: Start with Green Smoothies!

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got loads of recipes using dark leafy greens and many delicious combos without any chemical additives, flavorings or refined sugar. It’s so easy!

Clean your body from the inside out and watch your skin improve, your hair and nails get stronger, your eyes look brighter and your waistline slim down….all naturally and effortlessly! It’s simply amazing and your only regret will be that you didn’t start drinking green smoothies sooner.

When you take care of your whole body, you get whole body health.

When you let your food be your medicine, you are always moving towards better health.

Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!


For more on how to achieve your health goals and actually start feeling great, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a smart phone or digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval for Iridology Analysis.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!


More on Food Labels:

More on Food Additives and Food Allergies:

More on Genetically Engineering Foods:

Why you’re still low in Vitamin D (and it’s not about sunlight)

If you’ve ever suffered from low energy levels, fatigue, trouble waking up in the morning, depression in winter months or just a general lack of enthusiasm over things, you probably ended up on a standard “why do I feel tired or sad all the time?” google search and concluded that you may be low in Vitamin D. You might have even followed up with a test from your doctor to confirm that you are indeed deficient. But, do you know why you are actually low in Vitamin D, even in summer months when, in theory, just a short exposure to the sun should refill your reserves?  Or even if you consume foods (such as dairy products or soy milk), which are “fortified” with Vitamin D?

There's more than meets the eye with Vitamin D...

There’s more than meets the eye with Vitamin D…

What is Vitamin D

Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all; it’s a hormone. Your body makes its own Vitamin D when you expose your skin to direct sunlight (that is, not while using sunscreen) for 10-20 minutes per day, depending on where you live. In North America, for example, you can get Vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays during the months of March-October. In winter, your body should have enough reserve so you don’t run low.

You get sun a lot, so why still low?

Here’s the important missing link with Vitamin D: Your body must have magnesium in order to synthesize Vitamin D. And most people are deficient in magnesium, due to a number of reasons. Magnesium is known as the “relaxing mineral” because it helps to calm the central nervous system and relax the muscles, especially during times of stress. Given the high-stress fast-paced round-the-clock lives people are living today, it’s no wonder their magnesium gets burned out, literally on a daily basis. Magnesium is also one mineral that’s difficult to absorb, even in a good digestive system. And who has one of those anymore? A compromised gut, or a leaky gut, will not absorb nutrients well at all.

With no magnesium to make your Vitamin D, you can see how you can never have normal Vitamin D levels. Even if you live in a country with 360 days a year of sun. No wonder people in sunny climates are still low in Vitamin D and are going to the doctor for their D shots year after year.

Getting your Vitamin D levels up is much more about having magnesium than it is about exposure to sun!

The Magnesium Miracle

Magnesium helps you have good energy levels through the day, maintains balanced blood sugars, strengthens kidneys, keeps blood and circulation strong, and is critical for managing stress. In fact, it’s so important for overall health that there’s a book called The Magnesium Miracle. And really, when you start getting the magnesium that your body has been waiting for, it literally feels like a miracle!

By the way, if you happen to crave sugar or chocolate (especially at night), that’s a sure sign of magnesium deficiency! Also, much of your mental health in general can improve with a daily boost of magnesium, which literally helps to calm the nerves.

How I have perfect Vitamin D levels

Yep, you guessed it…I take a magnesium supplement. Every. Single. Day. Summer. And. Winter. Too. And I say that because most people who will buy a new supplement will eventually forget to keep taking it, only for the bottle to become a wonderful collector of dust long forgotten for its original glory. Don’t let that happen with your magnesium! Take it daily, forever. And ever.

How much and what kind of magnesium? I recommend Magnesium Citrate, because it’s easily absorbed (and remember, most people do have compromised gut health). The RDA for magnesium is 400-600mg daily but here’s the deal. Your body (and blood sugars) will benefit from having magnesium all day long, not just one big hit in the morning or night. Otherwise you will be more likely to feel frazzled and start craving sugar at the other end of the day when your magnesium is running low. That’s why I recommend to take 200mg THREE TIMES per day, morning noon and night. With or without food is ok.

You’ll get plenty of other benefits from magnesium too. But most importantly in relation to Vitamin D levels, your body will finally be able to synthesize its own Vitamin D!

If you’re wondering what the signs of magnesium deficiency are, then check out this article I wrote on magnesium deficiency here.

The proof: Test results

I’ve never taken a Vitamin D shot in my life, or a D supplement for that matter. But 1.5 years ago I moved to Asheville NC with my husband, which is pretty cloudy and cold in wither months to say the least! Our first winter, I was pretty much indoors working all the time. And I must admit I did start to wonder about my Vitamin D levels -are they normal? Should I get tested? I wonder if I’m low since I haven’t seen the sun in months??

In February, I flew to Bangkok for work and decided to go straightaway and get a blood test, just to know for sure (nothing wrong with that and I highly recommend you do the same with your medical doctor).  The blood test that measures vitamin D is called a 25(OH)D blood test. The result? 100% normal levels of Vitamin D. My D3 levels were 45.6 ng/ml (considered sufficient above 30 ng/ml and very good above 40 ng/ml). Above 40 ng/ml, vitamin D is working well to regulate the level of parathyroid hormone and calcium in the body.

All I can say to that is THANK YOU magnesium!!

Health benefits of Vitamin D

Not to forget why Vitamin D is valuable (and important) for your health..Here are the reasons why your body needs Vitamin D in order to work properly:

  • Helps to absorb calcium and promote good bone density
  • Sustains good joint health
  • Maintains good energy levels
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps strengthen blood

Signs you may have a Vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Low calcium levels
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue/low energy levels
  • Depression/melancholy
  • Muscle cramping/weakness
  • Joint pain

For more on how to achieve your health goals and actually start feeling great, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Detox:

More on Immune System:

What Are Some Benefits of Estrogen Therapy?

Menopause is a time of great change for women and one where confusion often looms heavy. There are pros and cons of estrogen therapy that can make it difficult to know whether to ask for or accept treatment or whether to suffer with the never-ending hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats that can make sleep elusive.

Yes, previous research has made estrogen hormone replacement sound dangerous. The higher degree of blood clots and heart attacks can have any woman turn and run to the nearest health food or vitamin shop in search for alternative means of treatment. This does not have to be the case. Arming oneself with the facts about estrogen therapy can uncover phenomenal benefits that can be achieved in a safe manner.

What are some of the benefits of estrogen therapy for menopausal women?

First up: the restoration of elasticity and lubrication to the vaginal tissue. This helps decrease the risk of infections, improves urinary incontinence, and restores libido, sexual arousal, and pleasure.

The next item high on the list of estrogen therapy benefits is the reduction or cessation of night sweats and hot flashes. No more soaked sheets and clothes changes to get through the day and night!

Another positive result of estrogen therapy is the lowering of bad (LDL) cholesterol and the raising of good (HDL) cholesterol.

Estrogen therapy can also help balance erratic mood swings and stabilize emotions.

About Estrogen Therapy

Estrogen therapy is not advised in women who have had or are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Females with blood clotting issues should also avoid estrogen therapy.

Kingsberg Medical has different types of estrogen hormone therapy, and knowing which one is best for your needs is vital before beginning treatment.

Estrogen pills can reduce the symptoms of menopause and lower the risk of developing osteoporosis. On the negative side, they can bring a slight increase in blood clot and stroke risks. When combined with synthetic progestin, estrogen therapy can increase heart attack and breast cancer risks. Oral estrogen should not be used by individuals with liver problems.

Estrogen patches are safe for women with liver issues as the estrogen bypasses that organ and goes through the skin into the bloodstream. There is a belief that the risk of blood clots is lower with estrogen patches, along with the risks of stroke and cancer. Do not expose estrogen patches to high heat, tanning beds, saunas, or direct sunlight.

Topical estrogen such as creams, gels, and sprays are absorbed directly into the skin and through to the bloodstream. This also makes them a safer alternative over pills. It is important to make sure not to allow the treated area to get wet or sweat until after the estrogen has had the chance to dry. Also, do not put on clothes until the area is completely dry. Remember to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after application. There have not been enough studies to determine safety factors at this time for topical estrogen therapy. Do not allow others to come into contact with the treated area until dry to avoid cross contamination.

Vaginal estrogen treatments may consist of suppositories, creams, and rings. These forms of hormone replacement therapy only treat the vaginal symptoms of menopause, so if there are other issues, this is not the best choice of treatment. Long-term use of vaginal estrogen is not recommended for women with an intact uterus as it may increase the endometrial cancer risk.

One very important thing to remember is that progestin and progesterone therapy are not the same things. Progesterone is a natural form of hormone replacement whereas progestin is synthetic. The use of progestin in menopausal women increases the risk factors exponentially. Progesterone is safe to use with or without estrogen therapy.

How Can Estrogen Therapy Actually Help?

Estrogen therapy can help women facing the adverse effects of menopause by entering the bloodstream and going directly to the estrogen receptors in the body. Aside from the benefits mentioned in the first section, other positive changes will occur.

Estrogen therapy helps to maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. Estrogen works with testosterone, vitamin D, growth hormone, and calcium to stimulate bone production and keep it from slowing down as old bone cells are resorbed. This can prevent the concern that women lose up to 20 percent of their essential bone mass after menopause.

In order to avoid estrogen dominance where estrogen levels become too high, and progesterone levels are lower than needed, hormone replacement therapy specialists often prescribe progesterone cream to help maintain proper hormone balance. Speak with an HRT specialist before beginning any type of hormone replacement therapy.

 

Happy disclaimer: This post contains sponsored content. Thank you!

Find out where I moved to….! HINT: It’s a healing place

If you’ve been following my travels and adventures around the world for the last 15+ years, then you know I’ve been to a lot of places! I lived in Thailand for 6 years, traveled all over SE Asia, explored Central and South America for almost a year and most recently, lived in Tel Aviv Israel for the last 2 years. So where do you think I would have moved to next…and how/why did I choose it?

First I have to say that I am sorry for not updating my blog in such a long time! I was super busy in 2015, working at new detox retreats, traveling for work, and being blessed with many new coaching & Iridology clients over Skype. Did I mention that I also left Israel, got married, moved to a new country AND found a house?! Yep, we were beyond busy. And, truth be told, I’m really not a fan of announcing things until they’re a done deal. Luckily, my husband is the same way on this one. We cherish our privacy in making important life decisions, and wanted to stay focused on what was best for us, not getting distracted by other people’s goals or opinions.

More time in nature is cleansing for the soul

More time in nature is cleansing for the soul

Where we ended up

Drumroll please….ok here it is: we are now living near Asheville, NC in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, USA. We have divinely clean well water to drink, fresh mountain air to breathe and are surrounded by mountains, trees and creeks. It’s the most quiet and peaceful place you can imagine.

The best part is that we plan to have cabins and invite people (like you!) here to do detox programs & retreats. Yes, a real chance to unwind, de-stress and get back to basics with 100% organic smoothies, juices and food. Literally, this is the place to feed your soul. We are so excited and have a lot of work to do, but finally I can offer the best detox and fasting programs that I know work with a focus on spiritual growth and health too.

For the summer of 2016, we may just be open for “glamping” …that’s “glamorous camping” in case you didn’t know! Imagine sleeping in a tent right on the edge of a mountain creek with the sounds of water and birds, and open campfires at night under the stars to discuss healing and health topics, or just to play music and get back to living in the moment. We are waiting for you!

We're about 20 miles outside of Asheville in the mountains, real country living!

We’re about 20 miles outside of Asheville in the mountains, real country living!

Why we chose North Carolina

Lots of people want to know – what’s so special about North Carolina?? It all goes back to 16 years ago when I thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, yep…just like the movie A Walk in the Woods. Except I actually finished the whole 2168-mile trail, but that’s another story! Anyway the trail goes through North Carolina and Tennessee through the Great Smoky Mountains, a beautiful area of lush green mountains and wilderness. While on the trail I had heard about the nearby town of Asheville and what a cool place it was. In fact, a lot of people got off the trail to visit Asheville and wound up staying there for good! I didn’t want to stop hiking so I never visited the town, but it stayed with me as a place I would like to check out someday…

Secret pocket of natural beauty - Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina

Secret pocket of natural beauty – Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina

Fast forward 15 years later and I was living in Tel Aviv with my partner. We decided that we wanted to leave Israel for a few years and started thinking about where to go. Out first thoughts were to stay in the Mediterranean region since we both love the climate and the food (mmm…pomegranates and fresh oranges!). We considered Cyprus and even Spain or Portugal; however things seemed to be getting more tense in Europe with migrants, instability, etc and we decided that maybe now is not the best time to move there.

We've got gorgeous fresh local organic fruit and veggies galore in Asheville

We’ve got gorgeous fresh local organic fruit and veggies galore in Asheville

From there, we did the whole “well, where else can we go?” and it just organically, magically and serendipitously fell into place. We had already traveled a lot, in SE Asia, Central America and even South America…and we were pretty sure we knew what we wanted and what we didn’t want. We were ready to grow our own food so we needed clean farmable land and a good source of water. We wanted to be in nature, in the peace and tranquility of mountains and trees. We wanted to be in a safe place where I could feel comfortable walking or hiking alone. We wanted to be closer to my parents, who live in USA and are in good health but are getting older and may need my help more in the next several years. We wanted good internet since we both work online. And we wanted a nice vibe of a place with some type of interesting art and music scene, good farmer’s markets and nice people.

Fresh local (and organic) food - that's my kind of place!

Fresh local (and organic) food – that’s my kind of place!

After scratching our heads for awhile over that long list, I finally said, “Hey I know this place in North Carolina that I always wanted to check out. Why don’t we go there, rent a house for a month and have a look around?” So that’s what we did. Found a place on airbnb and after 2 weeks in Asheville, we both said YES, we really love it here. From there we started looking at property, and as they say, the rest is history.

How can you know it’s right?

Because it feels right. I’ve followed my instincts my whole life, and they haven’t steered me wrong yet. That’s pretty much how I live. I’ve never been one to talk about doing things; I just do them. And I’m not afraid of trying or making a mistake. How will you ever know what you want if you never get out there and give something new a try?

We wanted nice people and good vibes and a chance to live in nature

We wanted nice people and good vibes and a chance to live in nature

You have to take chances in life if you want to really live. I thought about how I wanted to feel in my next home, and I kept that vision strong. Suddenly the idea of Asheville, NC came to my mind and it felt right. Going there confirmed the feeling. Most people think we are pretty crazy for making such a dramatic move, but it seemed perfectly natural and logical to us.

The Law of Attraction really works if you stay focused on what you want (not on what you don’t want). I even got a book deal just from using the Law of Attraction!

What’s better about North Carolina

I get a lot of emails from people who want to move to Thailand, Ecuador or even Costa Rica, and they ask me questions like “how do you compare this country to that one?” or “where should I move?” These are really impossible questions for me to answer because what’s best for me is probably not what’s most important to you (and that’s perfectly ok!). Thailand was an amazing experience and I cherish the 6 years that I lived there. Having walks on the beach and access to tropical fruits was a dream. Eventually I wanted more challenge with my work and I was also seeking a more balanced life (since my whole life was work!). That led me to my (now) husband and moving to Israel which, in my opinion, is one of the most amazing places on earth. To float in the Dead Sea or to wander through the ancient streets of Jerusalem…it’s just pure magic. We lived 300m from the sea in Tel Aviv and I loved having weekends off, like a normal person finally!

We eventually decided that we were craving more time in nature, and a chance to grow our own food. Even though we had access to a weekly CSA delivery in Tel Aviv, it just wasn’t enough. We wanted to know exactly what was in the soil and we wanted the very best water for our vegetables too.

We have a different Tailgate market (aka farmer's market) every day of the week!

We have a different Tailgate market (aka farmer’s market) every day of the week!

The only solution was to move to a place where we could grow our own. In the meantime, we wanted to be able to buy directly from the farmers. Asheville is literally buzzing with farm-to-table restaurants and there is a different organic farmer’s market every day of the week. I was very impressed to see raw goat’s milk for sale, raw sauerkraut and fresh organic wheatgrass shots in addition to the most amazing organic grapes you will ever taste in your life, truly. Quality of food is a huge priority for us and it was at the top of our list in deciding where to go. Next to that, we wanted to be around genuinely nice people, and we definitely found that in Asheville. It’s a sheer pleasure to meet people who are friendly and actually seem happy!

Our neighbors :)

Our neighbors 🙂

We knew we needed a place with good water and we wanted to be able to afford to buy some land too, not a small lot. Again, Asheville ticked all those things for us. And it still has an urban music scene and enough culture to feed our creative souls. I can own land in NC (unlike Thailand); it’s safe to walk around alone as a woman (unlike Ecuador) and the roads are excellent and it’s a safe area to live (unlike Costa Rica). Not to say that you can’t be happy, healthy and successful living in any of those other places, but North Carolina has more of what we need for where we’re at. Since life is impermanent, all of this can and will change!

By the way, did you know that Obama wants to move to Asheville? We had no idea! It would have never been the reason for us to consider this place as a home, but his interest in the area has definitely put Western North Carolina on the map. Now the New York Times, Washington Post and lots of other national newspapers are writing article on Asheville as the newest, coolest place to visit. Interesting!

We're really excited to explore the area - there are a lot of hidden gems (including us!!)

We’re really excited to explore the area – there are a lot of hidden gems (including us!!)

This is truly a healing place. It’s in my vision to have juice fasting, water fasting and spiritual fasting here for the right guests who are interested in genuine healing. I’ll be offering Iridology, Crystal Healing, workshops and detox retreats in addition to fermentation classes, raw food cooking classes and clean food eating. Stay tuned!

Getting out of the All or Nothing mentality

Do you find yourself swinging back and forth between good and bad days? One day you do everything “perfect” and the next day is a complete disaster? When you’re doing good, everything is easy and you’re making the right food choices, exercising and feeling great. When you’re doing bad, all the comfort foods sneak back in, the exercise goes out the window and the guilt and self-loathing starts creeping in. It’s a dangerous and slippery slope. Maybe you’ve even had good and bad weeks or good and bad months. The all-or-nothing game is not only unhealthy but it’s exhausting and it will never, ever work. Read that again: the all-or-nothing mentality does not work. Aren’t you ready to try a new approach and get out of the feeling of being trapped?

You can achieve your goals!

Why all-or-nothing doesn’t work

If you’ve started identifying certain foods as “good” or “bad,” then you’ve already assigned a negative energy to the “bad” foods. That means if YOU eat that food, you are also bad (in your subconscious mind that is). After all, anyone who is good will only eat good foods, right? If you’ve tried this road before, you already know the way it goes. No one can eat perfectly “good” all the time. So when you’re in the “good” phase and you eat a “bad” food, you’re already beating yourself up before you even clean up the plate. Then, the guilt, shame and negative self-talk starts. Why did I do that? Why did I mess up? Now I feel bad.  Well, since I messed up a little, I might as all go for it. What other “bad” food do I want? And before you know it, you’re out of control and back in the “bad” day, week or month phase.

It’s a viscous cycle that will never be broken unless you start looking at your food and yourself in a different way.  Because really, it’s not even about the food. It’s about you!

Stop the old thinking

Remember, the thoughts you have now are creating your future. Telling yourself that you’re not good enough hasn’t worked for years and will only set you up for a future of not feeling good enough. What if you are good enough right now? Get out of the negative self-talk.  It will never serve your greater good and it will never help you feel better.

If you catch yourself slipping down the self-loathing slope, STOP your thought. Replace it with a more positive thought. Try these positive affirmations. Repeat over and over until you start to feel better:

  • I am who I am and who I am is okay!
  • Today is a new day and a new beginning, a chance to be whomever I want to be.
  • I let go of old limitations. I am at peace with myself. I am motivated!
  • I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.
  • I am in the process of making positive changes in all areas of my life.

Law of Attraction

Reward yourself (yes, it’s okay!)

This goes completely against where you were before so brace yourself. See your “good” foods as the nutrient-dense and health-filled choices you make every day to support your journey towards better health. Then, look at your “bad” foods as a reward food or comfort food to treat yourself for all the great work you’ve done all week.

Start with a “treat day” once a week. Choose one favorite drink and one favorite food. (No, you can’t fill your cart with a week’s worth of junk and gorge yourself all day. It doesn’t work like that!) Get the best quality and most expensive version of your favorite food because you deserve the very best. Eat that food with pride and joy.

Whoah!  Stop right there! That’s a real head spinner if you’ve been beating yourself up for eating that “bad” food all these years. How can you suddenly be rewarded for something you always thought saw as your weakness or a mistake?

You’re only 100% human. No one is asking you to be 100% perfect. Do you know anyone who has never made a mistake? Forgive yourself for any and all mistakes you made in the past. You are worthy! The future is where your power lies. You’re doing the very best you can, and when you know more, you will do better! Changing the way you look at yourself will help you to change the way you look at your food, and that will also help you to change the way you look at yourself. Get it? 😉 Good!

You only get a treat day if you’ve done good all week. That’s how it works.

After 1 month, spread out your “treat day” to once every 2 weeks. You can also use your reward day for a party, wedding or special occasion, but in general it’s best to choose to same day, say Friday or Saturday. After 3 months, you’re ready to have just one treat day per month. Life is quite comfortable and joyful when you still occasionally get to indulge.

Remember, one treat day per month means that 353 days per year you are eating well. 12 days per year you’re rewarding yourself for a job well done. Over the course of your life, can you see where the power lies? You’re doing SO MUCH GOOD for your body and your health! Inhale, exhale. You can do this!

(Here’s the real secret: Over time, you won’t have to count your reward days because you will naturally make the right choices and eventually you won’t even want those reward foods anymore. It happens organically and easily when you change the way you think!)

4-hour or 4-minute or 4-second diets will never work because they keep you in the instant result mindset. Think healthy habits for a long and happy life instead!

How to stop the cycle

If you need a good reminder & support, print out the next section and put it on your fridge or vision board:

  1. One Green Smoothie a day is better than none.
  2. 20 minutes of exercise is better than none.
  3. One raw food meal (salad, green juice or smoothie) per day is better than none.
  4. You can’t get results if you don’t start. Sooner is better than later.
  5. Never give up. Always try your best. If you get off track, go back to #1.

You can break the cycle of the all or nothing mentality. No one is born an expert. Everyone has to work hard to get results. But, you have to do the work and you have to work at it every day.  It’s okay to reward yourself for a job well done. You are the master of your destiny. You have the power to create the life you want. Start by loving yourself …..and watch as the transformation unfolds.

For more on how to achieve your health goals and actually start feeling great, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

1. Take photos of your eyes with a digital camera.
2. Email the photos to me for approval.
3. We schedule a time to meet via phone or Skype!

More on Manifestation:

More on Motivation:

Win a FREE Green Smoothie Starter Kit Superfood Bundle!

It’s time for another awesome giveaway! I’ve been lucky enough to team up with the generous folks at Navitas Naturals and they’ve prepared a Superfood Starter Kit for one lucky winner!  This is YOUR chance to win a FREE quality and organic superfoods and get blending to make the best Green Smoothies ever!

Thanks to John Wiley & Sons for gifting a copy of my book Green Smoothies for Dummies to the WINNER too!

Green Smoothie Giveaway

Navitas Naturals Green Smoothie Starter Kit Giveaway: Online Contest

This FREE giveaway is for YOU: 5 Navitas Naturals Superfoods + My NEW Book: Green Smoothies for Dummies
(Over $100+ total value!!!)

How to Sign Up

The more tasks you complete in RaffleCopter, the greater your chances are to WIN!

Good Luck and Healthy Blessings!

Click on the Rafflecopter link to Enter to WIN:

Start Date: 20 April 2015
End Date: 30 April 2015
Winner Announced: 30 April 2015
Open to: US and Canada Addresses ONLY
Prize: Navitas Natural Superfood Bundle and Green Smoothies for Dummies Book

No purchase necessary. 
Contest closes at Midnight (EST), 30 April 2015.
Winner announced at 12pm noon (EST) 30 April 2015 EST on twitter @rawfoodbliss, FB at http://facebook.com/healthybliss and also here on http://healthybliss.net.

Superfoods – Do you need them? (Answer: Yes!)

In my book Green Smoothies for Dummies, I explain how Superfoods can help you get healthier:

What is a Superfood?

“A superfood is a natural food with exceptionally high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace minerals, enzymes, proteins, or special healing benefits. Regular food becomes a superfood when it’s nutritionally dense for its particular size and weight. That means that compared to other foods of the same size, a superfood contains even more nutrition and healing power. Think of the difference between regular fuel and premium fuel for your car. That’s the same logic applied to normal food versus superfoods.”

Why Superfoods?

“Superfoods are especially good for anyone trying to reclaim health, increase energy levels, improve endurance, prevent disease, or simply feel better. More nutrition means better health and wellbeing. It’s that easy.

In today’s modern, busy world, most people are deficient in minerals and vitamins — a situation worsened by the stressed-out lifestyles so many people live. Life doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon, so taking a practical approach to nutrition is important. That’s where superfoods really can help you live a better, longer, healthier life.”

Navitas Natural Superfoods

One of the things I recommend when buying superfoods is to make sure you’re buying high quality and organic. Thankfully, Navitas Naturals is virtually a one-stop shop for all your superfoods…everything from maca to lucuma to pomegranate powder and of course wheatgrass, chia, hemp and more; all 100% certified organic. I’ve created what I think is the perfect Starter Kit for Green Smoothies. Here’s what we have in this giveaway:

Hemp Seed – Hemp contains all the amino acids and is a great vegan plant-based protein.

Chia Seeds – A fantastic source of fiber and protein, again great for vegans and vegetarians.

Cacao Powder – Who doesn’t love a good healthy chocolate fix? Add 1 Tbsp to your smoothie for a yummy choco taste.

Wheatgrass Powder – Hey if we’re talking Green Smoothies…we need to have a “green”! Wheatgrass contains all the minerals, making it a perfect food.

Antioxidant Superfruit Mix Blend – I wanted you to get the most bang for your buck on this so I asked for the Goji – Pomegranate – Acai Blend…giving you a chance to high boost on 3 of the most potent healing fruits on the planet!

Don’t want to wait for the giveaway? You can buy these items here and give yourself the gift of health – you deserve it!

Green Smoothies for Dummies: The Book

The winner of this giveaway is getting more than 90 Green Smoothies recipes plus a complete guide to Green Smoothie making, from beginner to expert in my book: Green Smoothie for Dummies. (Actually you’ll get TWO copies!)

(If you already have the book, thanks for your support! And please remember to leave a review on amazon!)

To enter to win, Answer this in the comments below:
What’s your favorite SUPERFOOD to add to your Green Smoothie?
(My answer: Oh no, Can I only choose ONE? Ok, I’m going with HEMP SEED!)

Your comment will not appear immediately as all comments are moderated for spam before approval.

Why I don’t add Almond Milk, Soy Milk or Coconut Water to Green Smoothies

The hottest new trend in Green Smoothie recipes is to add either Almond Milk, Soy Milk or Coconut Water instead of plain water. Let’s face it, people love the thought of adding more nutrient power to their health drinks, and it seems like a good idea, right? Well, it’s only a good idea if you are interested in adding artificial chemicals, and increased sugar and fat to your Green Smoothie, and that doesn’t sound like a good idea to me! Actually, it’s the fastest way to contaminate the beautiful, fresh raw food delight of a Green Smoothie. Not to mention adding a lot of hidden extra calories that you don’t even really taste. So, if you are not losing weight from your daily Green Smoothie, the answer could lie in that added almond milk, soy milk, or coconut water.

Example 1: Coco Libre Pure Organic Coconut Water

It even says ‘No Added Sugar,’ a term which is not regulated by the FDA by the way, and when you look on the back you will see that there are 13g of sugar in one serving! So, essentially, all of the calories in this drink are from sugar!! With so much sweet flavor from fresh, natural fruits in a Green Smoothie, there is simply so need to add more sugar and it’s simply a waste of calories for anyone looking to watch their weight.

Why add 13g of added sugar to a Green Smoothie that's already full of fresh sweet fruit?

Why add 13g of added sugar to a Green Smoothie that’s already full of fresh sweet fruit?

Example 2: Vita Coco Coconut Water

This bottle is 16 ounces and contains a total of 22 grams of sugar. Most people mistakenly think that they do not eat any added sugar in their diet. Clearly this is not the case! While coconut water does have some natural sugar in it, real young green coconuts never taste as sweet as the coconut water being sold in the USA. So something is going on to make then taste extra sweet. Not to mention the fact that all coconut water imported into the USA has been irradiated, yet another reason to re-consider having too much bottled coconut water in the diet.

11g of sugar in a 8oz serving of this Coconut Water? It's true!

11g of sugar in a 8oz serving of this Coconut Water? It’s true!

Example 3: Silk Original Soy Milk

Many reasons not to drink this or any soy milk for that matter, and again, why contaminate a perfectly pure and natural Green Smoothie with these ingredients? Here we have added sugar and 2 suspicious food additives on the label: “Carrageenan” and “Natural Flavors.” Carrageenan is a thickening agent which is known to increase inflammation in the body, in especially gastrointestinal inflammation. The term “Natural Flavors” essentially has no regulation so there can be anything under the sun in it, and it’s usually nothing natural! This is the classic way that food manufacturers hide chemical additives like MSG. And, yes, it is legal. Anytime you see that term on a label, it is a food best to leave on the shelf!

Many reasons not to drink this including GMO, added sugar and suspicious food additives

Many reasons not to drink this including GMO, added sugar and suspicious food additives

Of course, the other issue with soy milk is the Genetically Modified issue. More than 90% of soy in the USA is GMO. That makes the soy higher in certain proteins which are known to trigger food allergies and intolerances, especially in children whose smaller bodies can’t handle the excess proteins in unnatural amounts. The other major issue with GMO foods is the direct link to infertility. Isn’t using plain water in your Green Smoothie suddenly sounding like the obvious healthy choice?

Example 4: Silk Organic Non-GMO Soy Milk

Don’t think you are doing much better by choosing the organic non-GMO version of soy milk. As you can still, they are still using Carrageenan as a thickening agent and a nice inflammatory food to add to your organic soy milk. In addition, who knows what they are hiding in those “Natural Flavors?” It could literally be anything, and it’s legal of course. The other issue with soy milk is that it is highly concentrated in phyto-estrogens (whether organic or not) and this is also not good for long-term use. High amounts of estrogen are linked to many health conditions for both female and male sexual reproduction hormones. Men can actually grow breasts from high amounts of estrogen! Stick with water in your Green Smoothie, add some 100% organic superfoods for an added nutritional boost, but stay away from the soy milk!

Many reasons not to drink this including GMO, added sugar and suspicious food additives

Many reasons not to drink this including GMO, added sugar and suspicious food additives

Example 5: Silk Original Almond Milk

Here we have added sugar, and of course the almonds are naturally high in fat which is more concentrated in a liquid form. Why not eat whole, raw almonds later in the day as a snack? That way you can actually enjoy the taste and spread your caloric load throughout the day. With so many people trying to lose weight, I can’t understand the desire to add additional sugar to a perfectly naturally sweet Green Smoothie.

Organic Products can still contain chemical food additives? Yes!!

Organic Products can still contain chemical food additives? Yes!!

Example 6: Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk

Here you can see that there is essentially no added sugar, so this seems like a good choice….but, how exactly do they make this almond milk taste sweet and have vanilla flavor? Have you checked how expensive pure vanilla beans are lately? I don’t think they are adding them! That term “Natural Flavor” is screaming out to me, flashing warnings that this food is not natural at all. There could be all kinds of artificial flavor enhancers in there and the food manufacturer does not have to list them on the label. Simple as that. Again, why add more chemical additives to your diet? Plain, raw whole almonds do not have the term “natural flavor” on the package!

Added sugar and fat is not needed is a naturally sweet Green Smoothie!

Added sugar and fat is not needed is a naturally sweet Green Smoothie!

While there is no official government standard on how much (refined) sugar to consume daily, most nutritionists will agree on a recommended daily intake of no more than 40 grams. If you choose to put these sugar-laden drinks into your Green Smoothie, all of a sudden you have less sugar available to consume the rest of the day. Why not save your ‘sugar bank’ for something you are really going to taste and enjoy?

Some will ask: “Can I add homemade almond milk or fresh coconut water to a Green Smoothie?”

Your body will be able to absorb the nutrients in your Green Smoothie more easily when you keep it simple.

Save your young green coconut for an afternoon snack later in the day. Avoid bottled coconut water.

Add your homemade almond milk to a cacao, banana smoothie when you will really taste it and enjoy the texture of the fat….and spread your caloric load throughout your meals as well.

If you are exercising a lot, for example after a 10km run, then yes….that would be a good time to add homemade almond milk, young green coconut flesh or young green coconut water to your Green Smoothie. The electrolytes in the live coconut are great for a post-workout recovery, and you will need the calories because you burned the calories.

Green Smoothies are good for you because they are made from simple, whole ingredients. That’s why you feel better when you eat them on a daily basis. Add 1-2 cups of plain water to your Green Smoothie to make it more drinkable but leave out the rest. You can absorb all the wonderful natural nutrients from a Green Smoothies, as long as you keep them natural, whole and pure.

How to Make Healthy Green Smoothies

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got loads of recipes using dark leafy greens and many delicious combos without chemical additives or refined sugar. It’s so easy!

Clean your body from the inside out and watch your skin improve, your hair and nails get stronger, your eyes look brighter and your waistline slim down….all naturally and effortlessly! It’s simply amazing and your only regret will be that you didn’t start drinking green smoothies sooner.

When you take care of your whole body, you get whole body health.

When you let your food be your medicine, you are always moving towards better health.

Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!

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Recipe for Super Energy Seed Crackers…& without a Dehydrator!

This is one of the easiest recipes you could ever make and the results are super-amazing-delicious! And, you can share these seed crackers with your vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, anti-candida AND paleo friends. Now, that IS amazing!

Check out this fast and easy recipe - you'll be amazed!

Check out this fast and easy recipe – you’ll be amazed!

Super Energy Seed Crackers Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic pumpkin seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1 cup organic sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1/2 cup organic ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup organic whole flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic sesame seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1 Tbsp. organic poppy seeds
  • 1 organic medium size white onion
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 sheets of baking parchment paper
  • Optional added spices: cayenne pepper, cumin or turmeric powder

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry seeds.

2. Peel the outer skin from the onion. Then, using a grater, grate the onion on the medium-size holes. Add to the mix.

3. Measure 1 cup of filtered water and add to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together, adding the salt and any additional spices (I make these without any dried spices because they are delish enough on their own!) You can also grate a few raw garlic gloves and add them is desired. Once stirred, the mix should be sticking together. If not, slowly add a few more tablespoons of water until the mixture stays together.

4. Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Spread the mixture onto the paper, keeping the thickness uniform across the baking sheet. This is also the time to score the crackers if you want them to come out in even squares. (I never remember to do that, and they get eaten so fast that no one seems to care if they’re in uneven sizes!)

5. Place in the oven at 200C or 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until they look golden brown. (Keep scrolling down to FAQs to find out why I don’t use a dehydrator.)

6. Remove from oven to flip the crackers. To flip them easily, place the other piece of parchment paper on top of the cooked mix. Then, carefully flip onto a new baking tray. If you’re really agile, you can do a flawless flip onto the same tray. Remove the original parchment paper from the top of the now flipped crackers. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and break off into pieces. You can serve with some yummy pumpkin seed cheese or delicious garlic and lemon tahini.

Use organic seeds, raw and unsalted for these Paleo - Vegan - Gluten-Free crackers.

Use organic seeds, raw and unsalted for these Paleo – Vegan – Gluten-Free crackers.

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry seeds.

Grate 1 medium onion, add to seeds plus 1 cup water then stir into mix.

Grate 1 medium onion, add to seeds plus 1 cup water then stir into mix.

2. Peel the outer skin from the onion. Then, using a grater, grate the onion on the medium-size holes. Add to the mix.

3. Measure 1 cup of filtered water and add to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together, adding the salt and any additional spices (I make these without any dried spices because they are delish enough on their own!) You can also grate a few raw garlic gloves and add them is desired. Once stirred, the mix should be sticking together. If not, slowly add a few more tablespoons of water until the mixture stays together.

Spread cracker mix evenly on pan and be sure to use parchment paper so they don't stick!

Spread cracker mix evenly on pan and be sure to use parchment paper so they don’t stick!

4. Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Spread the mixture onto the paper, keeping the thickness uniform across the baking sheet. This is also the time to score the crackers if you want them to come out in even squares. (I never remember to do that, and they get eaten so fast that no one seems to care if they’re in uneven sizes!)

Ready to go into the oven at 200C or 400F for 15-20 minutes.

Ready to go into the oven at 200C or 400F for 15-20 minutes.

5. Place in the oven at 200C or 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until they look golden brown.

Flip crackers onto clean paper, then peel off the old one and discard. Back into oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Flip crackers onto clean paper, then peel off the old one and discard. Back into oven for another 15-20 minutes.

6. Remove from oven to flip the crackers. To flip them easily, place the other piece of parchment paper on top of the cooked mix. Then, carefully flip onto a new baking tray. If you’re really agile, you can do a flawless flip onto the same tray. Remove the original parchment paper from the top of the now flipped crackers. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and break off into pieces. You can serve with some yummy pumpkin seed cheese or delicious garlic and lemon tahini.

These vegan crackers are GREAT to share with family and friends or at a pot luck.

These vegan crackers are GREAT to share with family and friends or at a pot luck.

How to Make Seed Crackers FAQs

1. Why don’t you use a dehydrator?

Years ago I bought a dehydrator and I got really into it for an entire summer. I was dehydrating mangos and bananas round the clock, literally. After 1 month, I noticed my electric bill had jumped more than 40% higher than normal. Jeez! They don’t tell you that in the marketing. Energetically, I also felt that something was wrong. Blowing hot air on perfectly natural bananas for 2 days just to eat them in 1 minute seemed like a huge waste. Then I learned about positive ions and I realized I was blowing them into my house continuously when running a dehydrator. After that, I sold in on ebay and never looked back.

2. What are positive ions?

The air we breathe is full of oxygen molecules. Any molecule with an electron deficiency is called a positive ion and one with an extra electron is called a negative ion. Positive ions come from damaged molecules of air, in heating/air conditioning systems and from hair dryers…and food dehydrators. They are bad for our health because they can cause irritability, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Negative ions come from ocean waves, trees, plants and running streams. They have the opposite effect, leaving us feeling energized, healthy, happy and balanced.

Ever wonder why you feel more tired and depressed in the winter months? It could have to do with the build-up of positive ions in your house, right under your very nose!

3. Are you okay with these not being a RAW FOOD?

Yes, totally. I’ve been living a high raw food diet (80%-90%) for almost 10 years now and I am comfortable with where I’m at in my journey. I also love raw seeds and I often sprinkle them on salads but these crackers fulfill my occasional desire for something crunchy. It’s so awesome to eat a huge salad with 2 of these yum crackers on the side!

4. Can I use almond pulp or other ground nuts too?

Certainly you can try whatever combo or variation you want! But, I can tell you that almond pulp will probably not stick together very well. Same goes for ground cashews and other nuts. Seeds are unique because they have a special coating called mucilage which makes them naturally sticky or gelatinous when exposed to liquids. The stickiness helps the crackers stay together and not fall apart. Grated onion and water form the perfect “glue” to keep everything together even when cooked.

5. Why don’t you soak the seeds in advance?

Soaking the seeds in advance is an option if you are shooting for a live food, but since one of the things I like most about this recipe is that the crackers get crunchy, I don’t soak the seeds in advance.


This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and contains NO food additives. It’s full of fiber, contains natural medicinal foods and is loaded with vegan and plant-based proteins. And best of all, everyone seems to love them! I personally bring these to dinners with friends and also during Passover for traditional chametz meals and I can honestly say that everyone LOVES them!

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Why the “Detox Myth” is a Myth!

The latest trend in the detox world seems to be debunking the whole idea of detox. You may have seen articles written by nutritionists or health coaches that say the body is designed to take care of itself and that it detoxes on its own when you go to the toilet every day, naturally. They may also say that your body is already designed to take care of environmental toxins thanks to your skin, liver, kidneys and lungs. Some “experts” are saying juicing doesn’t do any good at all (Read more on my take of these things below).

Fresh juices and smoothies cleanse the body, mind and spirit!

Fresh juices and smoothies cleanse the body, mind and spirit!

Why people are saying that detox or juice fasting doesn’t work

With so many opinions out there, it can really start to feel confusing. Why would natural health professionals try to persuade you or anyone against drinking a few juices or green smoothies to better your health?  If you look a little deeper, it seems quite clear that: 1) most people who are against detox are actually too scared to have ever even tried it and 2) fear-mongering articles generate a lot of google hits, a sad but true reality.

I can’t tell you how many times someone has challenged me to a detox duel, trying to argue that there is no need to ever clean the body out and demanding peer reviewed scientific studies for my claims that it does work. Do you need a scientific study to prove that the cut on your arm will heal or that your broken ankle will mend itself?

“The most popular criticisms of fasting are written by people who have never missed a meal in their lives.”
– A. Rabogliati, M.D.

Controversy makes for great publicity. If you tap into someone’s fear (i.e. doing this is wrong and goes against your body) then you can also manipulate them very easily to buy your special magic supplement, protein powder, pill or special other “detox” which just happens to be the perfect alternative to doing a juice fast, cleanse or detox, according to them.

What goes in doesn’t always come out

It’s true that your body is designed to eliminate wastes through your elimination organs; that’s your skin, colon, lungs, kidneys and liver. On a daily basis, your body is performing “natural detox” tasks as you release acid waste through your urine, solid wastes through your poo and other wastes through respiration, or breathing. But, what goes in doesn’t always come out.

Constipation, shallow breathing, dehydration, deficiency of minerals, acidosis, breathing toxic air, chemicals on the skin, too many chemical food additives, pesticides, prescription drugs, heavy metal contamination and imbalance of gut bacteria can all disrupt that perfect system. There are now are 3,000 chemical additives in food alone, and the numbers keep going up every year. Your organic body can only handle so much and after a few years or more, the body that was designed to take care of itself is overworked, toxic and exhausted. The result: bad skin, aches and pains, headaches, dark circles under the eyes, bad breath or body odor, poor circulation, low energy, digestive problems, polyps, hemorrhoids, trouble sleeping, chronic cough, mucous, kidney stones and even infertility.

Symptoms of imbalance are the reality of most people’s lives today. Just look at the rates of dis-ease and more importantly, how fast those rates are increasing. The most common diseases in the world today – heart disease, diabetes and obesity – are all diseases of excess. Do you personally know anyone who died from a lack of protein? But what about cancer….do you know anyone who had or has that? Speaking of which, do you know anyone who got cancer from drinking wheatgrass shots, green juices or green smoothies? It’s clear where the real danger lies. Too much fat, cholesterol, refined sugar, fried foods, processed foods and sugar drinks are wreaking havoc on people’s organic bodies. Anyone who gives their organs an occasional break from the onslaught of constant toxicity is giving their body the greatest gift ever imaginable – a chance to catch up on internal housework!

Does doing a Detox work, and if so, how?

Think of the oil filter in your car. When your car needs an oil change, do you put the new oil in with the old filter? Of course not…because the old filter is full of gunk and will not work well, even with the new clean oil. Changing the filter with a new one and then adding clean oil is the way to keep your car running longer and better.

The same runs true with your body. A “detox” is a natural tune-up for your body. If you’ve ever done a colon cleanse and seen (or smelled) what actually comes out, you KNOW that it’s nothing you ate recently. A detox works like this: you clean out the sludge, impacted old fecal matter and excess mucous with fresh cold-pressed juices, green smoothies, colonics or enemas and then bring in natural, whole and pure food (i.e. new fuel).

Once your body is back in tune aka “cleansed,” your eyes shine brighter, skin is clearer, body odor is less, urine is clear, poo is easy to pass and you have more energy, naturally. There is no need to convince anyone who feels that much improvement in just 7 days that detox really works!

In fact, the only scientifically proven way to achieve anti-aging is through caloric restriction, i.e. fasting.

The real myth is calling Detox a myth!

The idea of fasting for physical, emotional and spiritual purification is not some kind of diet trend; in fact, people have been doing it for thousands of years. Calling detox a myth is the only fad I can see, and I’m sure it will pass as more and more people experience the miracles of fasting themselves.

Detox is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women, young children or in certain medical conditions. You need to be ready for the process of detox, both physically and emotionally. In the years that I’ve worked with detox clients, I personally witnessed medical miracles in the realm of detoxification: a woman with MS arriving in a wheelchair and walking out 3 weeks later, multiple cases of psoriasis and other rashes healed within just 7-10 days, worms released, migraine headaches gone, arthritis gone, acne healed, vision improved, constipation/digestive disorders healed, kidneys healed, fibroids/cysts healed and of course weight loss, clear skin and increased energy levels.

In short, don’t let the naysayers fool you. Your body will thank you for any chance to detoxify itself.

A fresh juice is a welcomed hit of energy & nutrients for your body

A fresh juice is a welcomed hit of energy & nutrients for your body

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Learning how to say “No”….for your health!

Are you typically the person who says “yes” and has a hard time saying “no”? If you feel guilty for saying no and are always saying yes to please others, then you’re probably already feeling the pinch of the “yes” trap and wishing you had a plan of escape. Read on…this could be one of the most important things you ever learn on your health journey!

What happens when you never say “No”

You might be the yes person who signs up for every class, race, charity event, adventure trip, and social outing to the point of feeling totally exhausted and in need of a holiday just to recover from too much social time. You could be the friend who is there for everyone, always putting your needs last and taking care of others.  Or, you could be stuck in that feeling of “needing to do it all” and putting pressure on yourself to be the expert chef, perfect partner, ever-present friend, fitness guru, zen meditation seeker, yoga and pilates wonder-stretcher all while posting every moment on youtube, Instagram, Facebook, twitter and in blast emails to your family and friends while working a full time job and engaged in part time study and setting up your business on the side, all while doing a juice fast cleanse of course because you don’t have time for that at any other time of year!

Whew!! Can you see how quickly all your to-do items can snowball into a get me outta here feeling?!

Feeling Frustrated, Resentful and Overwhelmed

If you’re the person who is always first to help, offer, fix, mediate or organize things for others, you will quickly see that every time someone needs something, they’ll soon be knocking at your door. Or your email, Facebook, phone and door. If you’re simply taking on too much all the time, you can start to feel overwhelmed constantly. It won’t take long at all before you don’t have a single moment left for yourself.

Your initial enthusiasm for all your new hobbies or genuine desire to help others can quickly turn into anger, resentment and frustration.  And guess what? Those energies are very bad for your health!

Most people have trouble managing their goals with how much time they realistically have in one day. Then, they feel so overwhelmed over where or how to start, so instead they do nothing. If that sounds like you, then it’s time to achieve a better balance and learn to start saying “No.”

How to say “No” (and without guilt!)

First, decide what you want. Yes, you get to decide! Don’t think of your friends or family or what anyone else thinks of you. What do you want and what is of most value to you? That’s where your focus and priorities should be.

Once you prioritize the areas of most importance, let go of the rest. Don’t feel you need to do it all! Remember, if you’ve done 10 things halfway, you’ve still done nothing! It’s impossible to do everything so let go of that pressure. Right now. And most importantly, release any guilt that may start to creep in once you make the choice.

How to actually say the word “no” can feel very difficult initially, especially if you’ve been a yes person your whole life. You might feel like peeping out a quiet no and then running for cover, for fear of what people might think or say. You’ve gotta let that bad feeling go, hold your head high and just do it! If you are really having a hard time, start by saying, “Can I get back to you on that?” This is a great tool to give yourself some space from the confrontation of saying no but without being roped into another unwanted yes. Some people need you to be the one to set boundaries with them, but you would never know it had you always said yes to their every request.

As you make the change from yes to no, release any guilt but also keep your compassion. You are allowed to be busy or not available and you don’t need to explain why. You can still say yes when you want, and that’s okay! But there is a wonderful sense of power in taking back your health and your life when you say no. Believe me, it feels so good after the first few times that you might want to start saying no to everything!

Saying YES

Benefits of Saying “No”

More time to do what’s important for you

More energy for your own health and healing

Increased self-esteem and confidence

More enthusiasm over the things that you do choose to do

Feeling that you’re on the right path (your path!) and in control of your destiny

Say “Yes” to Yourself!

The reward of starting this new practice is that you’re actually saying “yes” to yourself….that means more time for you to focus on what really matters to YOU. Time management is most definitely one of the keys to success in life. The sooner you realize that you need to be in control of how and with whom you spend your time, the better and healthier you will be. The only person that will make sure that you are achieving your own goals is YOU.

I’ve often thought to myself, “If I do that I will be achieving their goals, but those are not my goals.” Now, I don’t think like that about a minor thing like going out to the movies lol, but I will definitely make that consideration it in the case of a business proposition or a big life decision.

Remember to have the courage to follow your own path and not let others persuade you away.

Your homework: Practice saying “no” without guilt and make more time for the things YOU really want to do. You can achieve your goals… and you can start today!

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