Easy Recipe: Make organic pickles at home!

Are you ready to make your own fermented foods at home? (Answer: Yes!) Pickling cucumbers is a great start to build up your confidence with fermentation. And who doesn’t love a crisp tasty pickle on a hot summer day? You can have your pickles ready to eat in as little as 7 days with the easy recipe below.

Use this fast and easy recipe to make delicious pickles at home

Health benefits of Fermented Foods

For optimal digestive health, we need to get good bacteria in the gut on a regular basis. Antibiotics destroy all the bacteria in our system, both good and bad. Over time, this can lead to more imbalance in digestion function, absorption and elimination. Some experts even say that food allergies, autism and ADHD may be related to an imbalance of bacteria in the colon. Certainly many digestive diseases like colitis, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease are caused in part by lack of good bacteria in the gut. Having the right balance of good bacteria helps to strengthen immune system, improve digestive health and long-term, can even prevent dis-ease. Probiotic, or good bacteria, literally means “for life.”

You may think that fermented foods are only made with yeast (like beer or wine), but there are other cultures used for fermentation. Other types of natural bacteria are used as well as SCOBY’s (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). With pickles, the natural bacteria on the skin of the cucumber itself is what’s used to start the “lacto fermentation” process.

Pickles are perfect to try if you’ve never done any type of fermentation before. You get relatively fast results (in 7 days), unlike kombucha, for example, that can take a few weeks. And there isn’t a lot of hard work involved or checking required, like in making raw sauerkraut. You should see bubbles rising in the pickle jars when you flip them every day, and when you eventually open the jar to eat them, the jar should make a “pop.” Then you know you’ve done everything correctly and can enjoy the fruits of your fermentation labor. Scroll down to get the recipe below.

Homemade pickles have no food additives!

There are other great reasons to eat homemade pickles instead of store-bought, besides the obvious better taste. Commercially sold pickles are pasteurized, which means all those beneficial natural probiotics are destroyed. Homemade pickles keep all the good bacteria intact, making for good gut health when eaten. A healthy microbiome is the basis for a strong and healthy immune system.

Store-bought pickles can also contain nasty food additives, the worst offender being Yellow #5. Banned in many countries (including all of Europe) since it was shown to be a carcinogen, Yellow #5, or tartrazine, is a coal-tar derivative. It is currently still allowed in foods in the USA. Yellow #5 is frequently used in your favorite brands of pickles for added color to make the pickles look brighter and fresher. Most store-bought pickles also contain preservatives, the most common one being sodium benzoate (not good).

Examples of Yellow #5 in pickles:

Vlasic: Hamburger Dill Chips Pickles – Cucumbers, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), Calcium Chloride, Natural Flavor, Polysorbate 80, Yellow 5. “Great taste & crunch. Classic dill taste.” (No thanks!)

Vlasic Bread & Butter Spears No Sugar Added Pickles – Cucumbers, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Spice, Calcium Chloride, Sucralose, Yellow 5. “No sugar added!” (But you kept the carcinogens, great work.)

Mt. Olive Sweet Gherkins No Sugar Added Pickles – Cucumbers, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Calcium Chloride, 0.1% Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Alum, Sucralose (Splenda Brand), Natural Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 80, & Yellow 5. “Mt. Olive Pickles are Picklicious!” (Don’t think so…)

Heinz Dill Spear Pickles – Fresh cucumbers, water, distilled white vinegar, salt, sodium benzoate, garlic extract, gum acacia, calcium chloride, natural flavoring, polysorbate 80, fd&c yellow 5. “Classic dill taste and crunch Heinz pickles are 100% fat free, Gluten free.” (But they contain chemical crap, hmmm…)

Organic brands of pickles are often no better. I’ve seen xantham gum, natural flavors, spices and agave syrup…all of which are suspect ingredients that I avoid as much as possible.

The bottom line is this: YOU deserve the very best in life and you are worth having only the very best ingredients in your food. Taking the time to make your own food is one of the best investments in yourself, your health and your family’s health.

High-five some hashtags to health!! #homemade #homegrown #farmtotable #organic #cleanfood #cleaneating

Choosing organic ingredients

The best part about making cucumbers at home is that you can use all 100% certified organic and whole food ingredients. Look for smaller sized pickling cucumbers at your local farmer’s market. You can also grow your own pickling cucumbers in your backyard garden at home – they’re actually very easy to grow! Choose fresh organic dill. And definitely use organic garlic. (Non-organic garlic is mostly all grown in China, so the quality is a big unknown. But I find that non-organic garlic has a too strong and overpowering taste; whereas organic garlic has a soft yet flavorful and more delicate taste. Organic garlic also doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth or a bad smell on your skin.)

The water you add to your pickle jars should not contain any chlorine, because chlorine can stop the natural fermentation process. The best option is to use natural spring water or clean well water. If you are using tap water, then be sure to pour your water into a big pot or glass bowl and let it sit out on the counter overnight before using. This should off-gas the chlorine so it’s no longer in the water by the next morning. (If you’ve ever had pet fish, then you’re familiar with doing this when changing their tank water.)

Remember to cut off the blossom ends!

When you’re pickling cucumbers yourself, you must cut off the blossom ends. There’s an enzyme in the blossom that can make the pickle soft and unsafe to eat. The blossom end also tastes bitter when you eat a raw cucumber. That bitter taste can make an entire juice or smoothie taste bitter too, so it’s generally just a good practice to always cut off about 1/16-inch on the blossom end of all your cucumbers. In fermentation, cutting the blossom ends will help your pickles get more crisp and crunchy.

Every cucumber has 2 ends: A Blossom end and a Stem end

The blossom end of the cucumber is the end that grew the flower. The opposite side is where you will find the stem that connected the cucumber to the vine. Sometimes it’s easier to identify the stem end first. Then, you know that the other side is the blossom end.

Which end is the blossom end of the cucumber? To identify the blossom end, check both sides of your cucumber.

The picture below shows the stem end of the cucumbers. Do you see the smooth, indented dot? That’s where the cucumber was picked off the stem.

The stem end has a smooth, indented dot

The next picture shows the blossom end of the cucumbers. Even though the flower is gone, you can see that there is no indentation. This is the side that you want to cut about 1/16-inch off.

Note there is no indentation in the Blossom end of the cucumber

Don’t forget to cut those blossom ends for a crunchy, crispy pickle

Recipe for Organic Pickles

With this recipe, the pickles take 7 days to ferment and then you’ve got the best tastiest pickles ever! No sugar, no honey, no preservatives and no cancer-causing Yellow #5. Oh yeah, and these are 100% organic farm-to-table and made with love!

Pickling Ingredients

  • Pickling cucumbers (approx. 6-8 small cucumbers needed for each jar)
  • 1 1/2 cups (or 360ml) filtered water
  • 1/2 cup (or 120ml) organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. fine Himalayan salt (as desired)
  • 1/2 tsp. organic crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. organic mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. organic back peppercorns
  • 1 sprig fresh organic dill
  • 2 organic garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 2 organic fresh grape leaves* (optional)
    You can buy the organic dried ingredients listed above on iherb.comAlso will need:- Wide mouth clean Mason jars with canning lids
    – 1 permanent marker
    You can buy Mason jars plus organic raw apple cider vinegar on amazon.com

Pickling Instructions

1. In a glass bowl, mix 1/2 cup organic raw apple cider vinegar + 1.5 cups water.
Add peppercorns, red pepper flakes, mustard seed, and up to 1T Himalayan salt.

2. Rinse your cucumbers but don’t scrub them. You want them to ferment from natural bacteria in the skins. Make sure you cut 1/16-inch from the blossom ends of each cucumber, then slice the cucumbers in spears. You want to keep the skins intact (do NOT peel the cucumbers), so the good bacteria in the skins can kick off the lacto-fermentation process.

3. Add 2 organic garlic cloves, fresh dill, and 1 grape leaf to the bottom of the Mason jar. Stack in chopped cucs and pack tightly. Add liquid and spices. Add another grape leaf to the top before closing. Secure the lid tight by hand. Write the date on the lid with a permanent marker.

4. Place the jar on a tray or plate on a shelf or counter-top. Flip the jar once daily for 7 days. Sometimes liquid may seep out of the jar, which is why having a tray or plate underneath is a good idea. You should see small bubbles rising in the pickle juice when you flip the jar. And that’s the fermentation happening right there!

5. After one week, put the jar in the fridge. Now, you can open, eat and enjoy!

Store pickles in a tray or glass container to prevent spillage during 7 days of flipping once daily

*Fresh grapes leaves are recommended because they’re supposed to help keep the pickles more crisp and crunchy. I don’t know if they are totally necessary or not, but because we have plenty of wild organic muscadine grape vines growing all over our land, it’s no problem for me to pick a few leaves and add them to each jar. Sometimes in summer, you can find fresh grapes leaves for sale at local farmer markets. If you don’t have access to fresh grape leaves, don’t be discouraged. You can still make this recipe without them!

Homemade Pickle Eat-by Date

Using the above recipe, there is no canning or heating required. That’s nice because it keeps the cucs as a raw food, with all the enzymes intact. But, because they are not totally sealed the way canning or heating will do, these pickles should be eaten with 3 months of making them. Just keep that in mind if you give them to family or friends. After 3 months the pickles may turn soft or watery. If you see that, then it’s best to toss them in the compost bin. Writing the date on the lid of each jar helps to know how long to keep them.

My Pickle Detox/Cleanse

Last summer, we had so many cucumbers from our organic veggie garden that I was making 2 jars of pickles per day! By mid-August, we were up to our ears in pickles and the fridge was almost full. I had been planning to do a 7-10 day green juice fast as a nice transition from the end of summer into fall. But when I looked at all the pickles, I said to my husband, “Why don’t we just do a pickle detox and eat only organic pickles for 10 days?” So we did!

On average, we each ate about 1.5 jars of pickles per day and we drank all the pickle juice too. We also drank plenty of water in between. It was totally unplanned and un-researched. But it turned out great. We both felt energized. Our guts got a major boost of probiotics from the lacto fermentation and the organic raw apple cider vinegar. We had a mini-parasite cleanse from eating so many fermented garlic cloves. The pickles were cold and refreshing during the hot summer days. We had high energy and slept great. The was no juicer to clean! And we used organic clean food fresh from our garden. This year, we may do a 3-day pickle cleanse and go into green juices after that. I’ve got plenty of organic dandelion, celery and parsley that I’d love to use in juices or smoothies so we’ll see….!


For more on how to do a detox at home or how to navigate through your detox symptoms and start feeling great, book a personalized health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Consultation:

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

What your Poop and Pee can tell you about Your Health

With all this talk about detox and fasting, it’s inevitable that I would eventually cross onto the topic of eh-em, bodily excrements. Actually, your poop and pee can tell A LOT about your health and should always be the first thing to check when you’re not feeling your best. If you notice any sudden changes in your bowel movements, it’s also a good idea to ask yourself – has my diet changed recently or have I added a new supplement or something different? Often times the answer is yes.

Your poop: What is a healthy Poop?

On a daily basis, your bowel movements or poops should be easy to pass, formed and should sink in the toilet (not float). The color should be a normal healthy brown color.

Many people say that you should go to the toilet as many times as you eat in a day. That means someone eating 3 meals a day should have 3 movements per day. Anything less than that would be considered constipation.

Types 1 and 2 on the Bristol Stool Chart (see below) are indicative of constipation and types 5, 6 or 7 can indicate loose stool or diarrhea.  Types 3 and 4 are considered the ideal, healthy stools (especially type 4), as they are easy to pass while not containing excess liquid.

What does a different color poo mean?

Red stool can be an indicator of blood, inflammation, diverticulitis or blockage in the colon. Just remember to note what you’ve eaten before, because in some cases red stool is just a normal passage of coloring in the food, like after you eat red or purple beets.

Sometimes if taking an iron supplement, your stool can turn a very dark red, almost black color. Eating a lot of meat in the diet can always make your poop look black. Taking charcoal capsules will most definitely turn your stool black. Don’t worry if you see black poo after taking charcoal; it’s the normal passage of the charcoal through your intestinal tract.

Green or yellow stool can be a sign of liver or gallbladder problems. If you’ve just done the liver/gallstone flush though, that doesn’t count! A liver flush is a temporary detox reaction and should not be used to compare your stool color on a daily basis.

What do different sizes or shapes of poop mean?

If you are pushing hard to pass your stool, or if it’s small pellets and very dry, then you’re most likely dehydrated and not drinking enough water on a daily basis. You may also need more fiber in your diet. A first good step would be to drink more water and see if anything changes for the better.

Long and thin poo can be a sign of bowel constriction, inflammation or other conditions in the colon. With that, you can try to eat more fiber, adding 2 Tbsp. ground organic flaxseed to a Green Smoothie daily. You can also try taking 1 tsp. black seed oil daily and see if the condition improves.

Runny or liquid poo can be an indicator of parasites, infection, food allergy or food intolerance. There can also be a lack of fiber in the diet. In some cases, doing a colon cleanse can really help.

If your poo floats, it may be a sign that your body is not digesting fats properly. Always look at the diet and see what the person is eating (or not eating). Sometimes doing a small intestine cleanse can help, especially if this is a recurring problem.

Your urine: What does normal urine look like?

Remember, the goal for healthy urine is: Clear and Copious!

Normal, healthy urine should be clear, not cloudy or turbid. There may be more of a yellow color if taking certain supplements like B Vitamins; however the liquid itself should not be cloudy. Turbid urine can be a sign of bacteria in the urinary tract or kidneys, or crystallization of the urine or even kidney stones.

By copious, I mean that the amount of urine flow should be steady and have decent volume. Want you don’t want is a small, leaky trickle. If you don’t have a good flow of urine, it’s a sign that you may be dehydrated.

If your urine is clear and copious on a daily basis, then most likely you’re doing ok!

Keep in mind that thirst is not a good indicator of whether or not you’re dehydrated. Many times, you will pass the thirst marker and remain dehydrated for hours without any additional feeling of thirst. Always look at your urine as a more accurate indicator.

How much water should you drink?

This is something I get asked all the time, and really there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer.

If someone speaks a lot in their job, they will lose more water through respiration. Living in a warm climate or doing more exercise will create more loss of water from perspiration. People who eat more high-water content fresh fruits and veggies usually need less water than people who eat more dried foods like bread, cereal or dried snacks.

At the end of the day, your best bet is to just check your urine. Is it clear and copious? If yes, then you’re ok. If not, then drink more water!

What kind of water is best to drink?

Having fresh, clean spring-fed mountain water would be great, although not many people have that luxury. At home, you want to at least avoid chlorine, fluoride and heavy metals in your drinking water. Probably your best bet in catching the worst of those is to get a reverse osmosis filter on your drinking water tap in the kitchen. You can buy a reverse osmosis filter online and have a plumber install it for you.

During a detox, depending on the case, distilled water is usually best.

When doing a detox: How your poop and pee can change

Bodily functions can change when you’re doing a cleanse. It’s actually a good sign when your body is eliminating more toxins and taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up on internal housework. You gut health and overall microbiome can finally rebuild, recharge, rebalance and renew.

Many people will poo much more often during a detox, and they can also feel like they need to pee all the time. Often times, a person will get up several times through the night to pee during their cleanse. This is all considered normal, as long as the urine is clear and copious and there is no pain with urination. In fact, most fasters will comment on how clear their urine is after just a few days on a cleanse. That’s always a good indicator that the body is more clean than before.

In some cases, I’ve had fasters comment that they smelled ammonia in their urine when doing a detox. Perhaps this is from old, built-up toxins that were released from the tissue, liver or fat during the cleanse and then eliminated through the urine. Usually it will happen 1-2 times and then stop. Just an extraordinary example of how amazing and active the body can be in its own healing!

During a cleanse, ALL of your elimination organs – the colon, kidneys, lungs, skin and liver – get an opportunity to catch up on their backlog of work. After a cleanse, the most common thing I hear is, “Wow, my bowel movements are so much better now….and my eyes are brighter, skin is clearer and overall I FEEL younger!”

If all that didn’t clear things up for you (literally!), then check out this infographic below from The Daily Infographic which explains the various things your poo and pee are telling you.

Current global poop situation: Not Good

Approximately 70 MILLION Americans have digestive disorders, prompting nearly 60 MILLION visits to the doctor’s offices and hospitals each YEAR. With the rise in digestive problems and even colon cancer all over the world, I have to wonder….why aren’t more people talking about their poop? If it wasn’t such a taboo topic, then someone having poo problems might feel more comfortable to seek out help and get the answers they need.

If you know anyone having digestive problems, please share this article!


For more on how to do a detox at home or how to navigate through your detox symptoms and start feeling great, book a personalized health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Consultation:

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

How to make a Castor Oil Pack for Healing, Pain Relief or Detox

Castor oil has been making a huge comeback recently with the rise of young Instagrammers applying it to their hair (and even eyelashes) for shinier, thicker and longer locks. But did you know there are many other ways to use castor oil for natural healing? Once you start using castor oil, you will seriously be amazed and wonder, “How did I not know about this before?”!

Discover the ancient medicinal properties of Castor Oil

What is Castor Oil

Castor oil comes from the castor plant that grows castor beans. The castor bean plant originated in Egypt and was used for medicinal purposes in the Middle East as much as 5,000 years ago! In the old days, many people used castor oil to help promote a bowel movement and prevent constipation. You may remember your grandmother having 1 spoonful of castor oil a day for good gut health. But way before that, castor oil was commonly applied topically for healing cuts, wounds, injuries, muscle pain, body pain, menstrual pain, and in many cases even healing internal infections, disease and imbalance. So much so that in the Middle Ages, castor oil was actually known as “Palma Christi,” perhaps because people believed that anywhere you applied the oil was like having the “Palm of Christ” applied to that area, often offering instant and miraculous healing.

What can Castor Oil do

Edgar Cayce was a medical intuitive who used castor oil for healing hundreds of patients. Dr. William McGarey, MD eventually picked up where Casey left off, helping thousands of patients using castor oil for various ailments over the course of 20 years. In his book, The Oil that Heals: A Physician’s Success with Castor Oil Treatments , he lists many cases of castor oil working very well for healing. Open festering wounds that would not heal started to miraculously dry and close after applying castor oil daily. Ringworm and other fungal infections on the skin were healed after applying castor oil to the affected area. And amazingly, people who complained of gallbladder pain often had zero reoccurrence after several rounds of applying castor oil directly to the skin on the right side of the abdomen with a heating pad, otherwise known as a “castor oil pack.” Knee pain, shoulder pain, joint pain, muscle pain, sports injuries, sprained ankles, wrist pain, hernias, bowel obstructions, pain after surgery, arthritic pain, even skin cancers – all seemed to improve after applying a castor oil pack topically to the affected area. Some people say that castor oil can also be taken to help induce labor ( but remember: always check with your doctor first).

In his book, Dr. McGarey wrote, “The most obvious effect I found in treating the body using a castor oil pack was the enhancement of the immune system. As a portion of their duties, the lymphatics – part of the immune system – drain all parts of the body. When the tissues in any area of the body are cleansed by the eliminatory process, the cells are in much better condition to work normally – and the activity of the immune bodies and substances are able better to do their job in defending the body or rebuilding it.”

Wow! With nothing to lose and possibly so much to gain, why not give the old school castor oil pack a try?!

How to Apply a Castor Oil Pack

To make your own Castor Oil Pack at home, you need these 4 items:

  • Castor Oil (preferably organic castor oil)
  • Wool Cloth
  • Heating Pad
  • Old towel (either hand towel or bath towel size)

To make things as easy as possible, look for the Heritage brand “Castor Oil Kit” for sale on amazon or iherb. The kit contains both a wool cloth and castor oil, so it’s a great starter for making castor oil packs at home. The only thing is that the kit has regular castor oil and not organic castor oil. If you want to start with organic castor oil from the get-go, you can buy the wool cloth and the organic castor oil separately. What I did was I bought the kit first, and then upgraded to organic castor oil when I ran out of the oil in the kit. Either way will work! (Each person should have their own flannel so if you’re planning to do castor oil packs with your partner, friend or family member, then every person ideally has their own wool cloth. Best not to share your wool cloth with other people.)

With castor oil, you always want to choose a high quality cold-pressed oil. Don’t go for cheap, low-quality alternatives that may have been heated to a high temperature in processing.

Next item you will need is a heating pad. I bought my heating pad on amazon. (Note: If you live in a 220V country, you will need a heating pad for 220V voltage outlets.) Alternatively, if you don’t like or don’t have a heating pad, you can use a good old-fashioned hot water bottle.

I also use an old towel to keep the oil away from sheets or clothing. Castor oil is sometimes known to stain material, so having a towel to catch any oil can help to keep things white and bright.

Apply the Castor Oil Pack

  1. Lay down and get comfortable with whatever you may need for 40-60 minutes (book, water, phone, TV remote (to watch a health DVD of course), iPad (to read my book on Green Smoothies – hint, hint!).  I will usually do a castor oil pack before bed so I can just fall asleep with the heating pad on (I use a heating pad with a 2-hour timer).
  2. Plug the heating pad in and have it ready to apply.
  3. Apply a generous amount of castor oil topically to the affected area. I will usually add a palm-sized area of oil. The goal is to cover the skin area you are working on with a layer of castor oil.
  4. Immediately put the wool cloth on top of the oil.
  5. On top of the wool cloth, add your old towel.
  6. On top of the towel, place the heating pad. Turn the heating pad on. Heat helps the skin (and body) absorb the castor oil more quickly and efficiently.
  7. You’ve now made a Castor Oil Pack! It’s a “sandwich” of 4 layers directly on the skin: castor oil, wool cloth, old towel and heating pad on top.
  8. Now, relax and think of all the good you are doing for your body!
  9. Keep the heating pad on for at least 40 minutes, up to 60 minutes.
  10. Then, remove the heating pad and turn it off. Wipe the skin dry with a clean towel. You can store the wool cloth in a clean ziplock bag for future use (I simply wrap my wool flannel cloth in the old towel and store them together).

Congratulations! You can now use castor oil to help heal the body or promote detoxification.

If you’re interested in knowing more about healing power of castor oil, I highly recommend the book called The Oil that Heals: A Physician’s Success with Castor Oil Treatments by William McGarey.

My experience with Castor Oil

I’ve personally seen some pretty amazing results with castor oil. I’ve done many castor oil packs on my liver (abdomen right side area) during colon cleanses, after a liver/gallstone flush or even if I’m just feeling tired or sluggish, after a long-haul flight for example if I’ve got a bit of jet lag. I’ve also personally had menstrual pain go away completely in 30 minutes or less after applying a castor oil pack to my lower abdomen (I’ve never experienced heavier bleeding as a result). I always feel better after a castor oil pack.  I’ve used castor oil to eradicate ringworm, both on myself and on our dogs and cats, with outstanding success. (For more info on fungal infections, check out my article – What is Ringworm and How to Treat it Naturally.) Castor oil is definitely a staple item in our house and I seem to continue to find more uses for it all the time.

Often I recommend Castor Oil to my Iridology and Health Coaching clients, for anything from liver/gallstone pain to skin rashes to arthritis to Fibromyalgia, in addition to what their medical doctor recommended and after seeking approval from their doctor first, of course.

My husband was sold on castor oil after he healed a neck and shoulder injury in less than 24 hours. Several months ago, he fell while going up the stairs at home. At the time, he was holding things in both arms (and going up the stars too fast, in a hurry) so when he tripped on a stair, he didn’t have a free hand to catch the fall. He wound up stumbling hard into the stair with his shoulder/neck. Yes, ouch! Poor fella was in a lot of pain and could barely move his head from side to side. I immediately applied castor oil directly on his neck, with a wool cloth and heating pad and had him lie down for 45 minutes. Afterwards, he was feeling better but the neck was still stiff. That night, we applied another castor oil pack on his neck and he went to sleep with it on. The next morning, he was 100% back to normal with no pain, no stiffness and full range of motion in the neck. He was totally amazed! He commented that had it happened a few years ago, he would’ve been feeling bad for a week!

What’s your success story with Castor Oil? Having natural tools for healing is truly a blessing. I love to hear new ways to use castor oil, so please share your experience in the comments below!


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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:

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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

More on Detox:

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What to do for Food Poisoning: What You Need to Know

Food Poisoning RemedyHaving what you need to heal naturally can save you a lot of unnecessary suffering. Don’t let your next business trip, holiday, romantic dinner, salad bar night or long-haul flight be ruined. Prepare yourself for travel or unexpected belly bugs by knowing what to do for food poisoning.

Food poisoning can occur when you eat or drink something that is contaminated with infectious organisms. Bacteria, viruses and parasites – or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. They’re usually mild but unpleasant. If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you know how unpleasant it can really be!

Don’t think that only tourists who go to India get food poisoning. You can get food poisoning both at home or abroad. Food that was thawed and re-heated, not cooked properly, stored incorrectly, handled on an unclean surface, or not cleaned at all can create potential hazards.

I think everyone knows someone who got sick from seafood, but it can happen at salad bars and with raw food too.  Travel is also a definite risk with things like Bali Belly and Montezuma’s revenge. Believe me when I say you don’t want to add those experiences to your bucket list!

 

How to Stop Food Poisoning

1. Take Activated Charcoal capsules immediately at the first sign of food poisoning (cramping, malaise or nausea after eating food). Take 3-4 capsules of Activated Charcoal with a glass of water. Do not eating anything else. Slowly sip water to stay hydrated.

2. Wait 20-30 minutes.

  • If your symptoms subside, continue to drink water. After 1 hour, eat a banana for potassium and to help with electrolytes.
  • If you still have cramping or nausea, take 2-3 more capsules of Activated Charcoal. (In rare cases of more intense food poisoning, you may need to take a few more.)  Once your symptoms subside, wait 1 hour and then eat a banana as your first food.

3. After you manage to eat a banana without feeling sick (this may be 1 hour up to 3 hours after), then start taking Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). Add 8-12 drops in a glass of water and drink 3x daily. Continue for 3-5 days after the food poisoning. At this point, you can slowly add other foods back into your diet as well.

4. Follow up for a good 30 days with a daily probiotic or added fermented foods in your diet like kombucha or raw sauerkraut to help bring more good bacteria into your gut. Take 1 probiotic capsule at night before bed.

Note: Activated Charcoal is safe if you have food poisoning while pregnant or nursing but do not take GSE if you are pregnant or nursing unless approved by your doctor.  

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is nothing new; in fact, it’s been used for thousands of years as an ancient remedy in Chinese, Ayuredic and Western Medicine. It’s usually made from wood or coconut shells (no, you don’t want to use the charcoal briquettes from the bbq – they’re NOT the same!). Activated Charcoal works through a process called “adsorption” which means to bind to rather than to absorb. Think of Activated Charcoal like a natural super sponge that goes into your guts and soaks up all the chemicals, toxins and bad bacteria then safely carries it out through your poo. As a side note, your poo may turn black the next day after taking charcoal but this is completely normal so don’t be alarmed!

Today, hospitals still use Activated Charcoal an antidote for drugs and poisons in pregnant women and children. In Asia, it’s widely used as a remedy for poisonous snake bites in household dogs and cats. If you live in Australia, you can keep activated charcoal at home and in your car in case of snake or spider bites. Of course, for any poisonous bite you should seek medical attention immediately but you can take charcoal on the way to hospital to help minimize damage.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is a great follow-up to the charcoal capsules. The charcoal soaks and absorbs as much of the bad stuff as possible and then the GSE kills any bad remaining critters. Grapefruit Seed Extract is extremely anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic…and it’s completely natural, made from pressing the oil from the seeds of grapefruit.

Always take GSE with water, i.e. diluted. Never take it straight from the bottle because it’s very concentrated!

While living in Thailand, I cured my dengue fever with GSE. In less than 2 hours my fever broke after taking a triple dose of GSE. And yes, I have the blood test to prove that it really was dengue fever! The stuff is simply amazing.

Probiotic

“Probiotic” means healthful to life. A probiotic capsule contains billions of good bacteria to help get your gut back into balance. Any time you get food poisoning, you can have an imbalance in your microbiome..that’s the combination of microbial communities that are actually part of your immune system as well as your digestive zone. Re-instating more good bacteria helps get your microbiome up and running again and that means you should bounce back faster with more energy and no lingering gut pains. If you’re traveling with probiotics, you want to find a brand that does not require refrigeration. I recommend the Jarrow Formula Jarro-Dophilus brand (see more info below).

Stop Food Poisoning

Travel Arsenal and At-Home Kit

I recommend to have both of these supplements at home in case of any emergencies. It’s also very wise to travel with them because once you’re already sick, you usually don’t have the energy or desire to shop around for what you need. The sooner you start taking the charcoal, the more effective it is.

In SE Asia, you can find charcoal capsules in any pharmacy. They even sell them by the single pill! But in Central and South America, they’re virtually impossible to find. It’s much better to be prepared and just bring your own.

What to Buy

You can find all of the above at your local health food store. Or, save time and money and just buy online at iherb here. If you’re an amazon fan, you can find all the products under the Supplements Tab on my amazon astore.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician. Read full disclaimer here.

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Fasting shown to reduce inflammation: Research from Yale University

If you’ve ever done a fast before, you’ve seen for yourself how quickly inflammation is reduced. In just a matter of days, you can see rashes disappear, puffiness going down, joints moving easily without pain, brain fog clearing, eyes brighter and blood sugar levels stabilizing. Well, finally…scientists are proving it!

Reduce Inflammation

“Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

In their study, published in the Feb. 16 online issue of Nature Medicine, the researchers described how the compound β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) directly inhibits NLRP3, which is part of a complex set of proteins called the inflammasome. The inflammasome drives the inflammatory response in several disorders including autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and autoinflammatory disorders.

“These findings are important because endogenous metabolites like BHB that block the NLRP3 inflammasome could be relevant against many inflammatory diseases, including those where there are mutations in the NLRP3 genes,” said Vishwa Deep Dixit, professor in the Section of Comparative Medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

BHB is a metabolite produced by the body in response to fasting, high-intensity exercise, caloric restriction, or consumption of the low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Dixit said it is well known that fasting and calorie restriction reduces inflammation in the body, but it was unclear how immune cells adapt to reduced availability of glucose and if they can respond to metabolites produced from fat oxidation.”
(Source: Anti-inflammatory mechanism of dieting and fasting revealed, Yale School of Medicine)

When I did a 40-day water fast a few years back, I had the privilege to experience this phenomena first-hand. Water fasting means to drink only water, in the same way that juice fasting means to drink only fresh juice. Only water is consumed during the fast. No food is eaten. Natural Hygienists agree that having small amounts of fresh lemon or lime in the water is ok; however in that water fast, I didn’t do that. Two years later I did a 25-day water fast in Vilcabamba, Ecuador and in that fast, I did drink fresh herbal teas like mint, sage and parsley and also added lemon to the water for the first week. After that, I went straight to water. In both fasts, I experienced a profound reduction of inflammation and a deep sense of healing, both physical and spiritual.

Even 1 day per week of fasting can greatly help to reduce inflammation.

If you’re interested in learning more about water fasting, check out my eBook: A Comprehensive Guide to Water Fasting. This book is immediately downloadable in either .pdf or .epub format:

Water Fasting

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician. Read full disclaimer here.

 

What is an Alkaline Diet? Know your pH Health

An alkaline diet is a diet that is naturally high in fruits and vegetables to help ensure a healthy alkaline pH in your blood. Why do you need to be alkaline for good health? Because dis-ease, viruses and bad bacteria all grow in an oxygen-poor and acid-rich environment. If you get frequent colds, coughs or flu, have poor digestion (irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, constipation, acid reflux) or suffer from aches and pains in the joints, you are more than likely too acidic. Other signs of acidosis include body odor, bad breath and frequent skin eruptions (acne, eczema, dermatitis). By maintaining an alkaline pH, you’re naturally changing your internal terrain to a healthy environment where disease cannot thrive. Alkaline foods help to keep your immune system strong, your digestion working properly, and your joints in good health.

Juice Detox

What is pH health?

The most important thing to understand with pH health is how your body digests food. Alkaline foods are foods that require almost no extra acid from the stomach for digestion. Even though a lemon is acidic on the table, for example, it’s 100% alkaline-forming to the body and is therefore an alkaline food. On the other hand, meat takes a whole lot of stomach acid to digest and so it’s an acid-forming food.

Ideally, the pH of your blood should be slightly alkaline, in the range of 7.385, in order for your hormonal system and immune system to work its best. To achieve that, you should strive for a diet of 80% alkaline-forming foods + 20% acid-forming foods. (In reality, most people are doing the exact opposite, eating 20% alkaline-forming foods + 80% acid-forming foods. Is it any wonder why the rates of disease are so high?) The best anti-cancer diet is an 80% alkaline diet.

If you don’t eat the right combination of alkaline vs. acid foods, your body will try to force itself into an alkaline pH. The way it knows how to do that is to leech calcium directly from your bones. Calcium is the best natural buffer there is! Long-term, if you eat an acid-forming diet for many years, you’re setting yourself up for loss of bone density, more likelihood of hip, knee and joint problems and even osteoarthritis in addition to higher risk for disease.

What are alkaline foods?

80% of your daily diet should consist of: fresh vegetables, chlorophyll, fresh fruits, raw apple cider vinegar, cold-pressed oils and legumes.

What are acidic foods?

20% of your daily diet can consist of: nuts, seeds and grains. Also on the acidic side are coffee, alcohol, bread (wheat), refined sugar, dairy, meat, fried foods, processed foods, jams, jelly, cookies and chocolate. Artificial sweeteners are the most acid-forming food there is (and yes, that includes sugar-free chewing gum!). Note: I’m not saying that all of these foods are good because they’re not. You need to pick and choose what will be in your 20% from this list every day. Personally, I choose organic nuts, seeds and grains.

How to get more alkaline: Think alkaline thoughts!

The most important factor in determining your pH health comes from your diet and also your mental and emotional health. Did you ever hear someone say that they are “sick with anger”? Yep, that’s an acid-forming emotion, along with fear, jealousy, greed and hate. Conversely, love, joy, acceptance, laughter and forgiveness are all alkaline-forming energies. Keeping your focus on positive thoughts and emotions helps to maintain an alkaline pH, and hopefully that’s a practice you can keep for life.

Does drinking alkaline water help?

Alkaline water filters are extremely expensive and they are also quite wasteful with water. If you’ve ever seen one running, you will have noticed that 1/2 the water goes back down the drain and only 1/2 of the “alkaline water” stays. As an environmental engineer, I can’t help but see that as a completely wasteful system of a very valuable and important resource: clean water.

I don’t think you can fix a bad diet by drinking alkaline water. But, if you’re already suffering from acid reflux, digestive issues or skin problems, you can try a combination of eating more alkaline-forming foods AND drinking alkaline water in an effort to get faster results. In that case, you may want to try something cheaper than an alkaline water filter. I recommend adding 1 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 Tbsp. of raw apple cider vinegar to 3 glasses of water daily. Of course, you need to drink it too! Not only is this a great naturally alkalizing drink, but it helps to gently detox your liver, kidneys and skin too.

>>>>>>> What is you favorite ALKALINE FOOD or ALKALINE lifestyle tip? <<<<<<<<

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How to Quit Smoking Naturally

When you decide to quit smoking, you need to support your body nutritionally through the transition, withdrawal and detox process. If you do everything correctly, you’ll have a much better chance of long-term success. Years of smoking cigarettes make the body more toxic and acidic and the first step in detoxification is to eat an alkaline diet.

Repair Free Radical Damage

A daily Green Smoothie is the perfect alkaline food to bring your body back to a healthy pH. The fiber in the smoothie helps to sweep out toxins through the bowel, naturally. Greens are high in chlorophyll and the chlorophyll helps to repair free radical damage caused by the toxins in the cigarettes. Greens also help to stabilize blood sugar levels and that will be much needed as the body rebalances its adrenals.

Green Smoothie: A Daily Detox & High Nutrient Boost

Green Smoothie: A Daily Detox & High Nutrient Boost

Support the body through Nicotine Withdrawal

One of the main minerals that become deficient through smoking cigarettes is magnesium. Magnesium is used to relax the muscles but it is also used in the body’s natural heavy metal detox process, and when you take in heavy metal toxins from habitual use of cigarettes, you can imagine that any excess magnesium reserve gets burned out very quickly (no pun intended!). As a non-smoker, you will need to rebuild your magnesium levels, and especially if you want to feel relaxed naturally (Magnesium is called ‘The Relaxing Mineral’). Guess what one of the foods highest in magnesium is? Greens! Any dark, leafy green that you add to a Green Smoothie will be naturally high in magnesium. Especially for anyone who is trying to quit smoking, I recommend an additional supplement of 1 Tbsp. kelp powder or 1 Tbsp. Magnesium Citrate powder in your daily Green Smoothie for an added magnesium boost. Kelp is the highest food in magnesium, weighing in at 760 milligrams of Magnesium per 3 ½ ounces or 100 g serving.

Clean up Free-Radical Damage

Smoking creates a lot of free radical damage, or internal rust, from the toxins directly ingested with every puff. The added magnesium increases antioxidants which are then used to break down the free-radical buildup, all part of the detoxification process. Vitamin C is another natural antioxidant. If you add fresh pineapple, mango, orange or lemon to your daily Green Smoothie, you’re getting plenty of Vitamin C. Dark, leafy green vegetables are also a high source of Vitamin C. Add a handful of fresh parsley or watercress to your Green Smoothie to get your natural boost of daily Vitamin C.

Balance Mood Swings with Tryptophan and Tyrosine

In additional to adding more magnesium to your diet, I also recommend taking 500 mg of L-Tryptophan at night before bed and 500 mg of L-Tyrosine in the morning before breakfast for anyone who just quit smoking and is going through the transition off of nicotine. Tryptophan and Tyrosine are both amino acids that help with mood elevation and balancing. Tryptophan stimulates the brain to make its own serotonin, and that in turn helps you relax and improves sleep. Tyrosine triggers the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, the ‘alertness chemicals,’ and those help to stimulate focused brain thought and improved concentration. All of this will help with any feelings of depression that may arise during the transition and withdrawal process. If you’ve been smoking for a long time, I recommend taking both of these supplements for 6 months at a minimum.

Think Detox & Alkaline Diet!

The combination of supplements – Tryptophan and Tyrosine – plus a daily Green Smoothie naturally high in magnesium, chlorophyll, minerals, fiber and alkalinity will give you the best recipe and natural cure for how to stop smoking, once and for all. When you give the body the minerals it needs and support the brain with amino acids, you minimize feelings and symptoms of withdrawal. When you support the body through natural detoxification, you feel better faster. Green Smoothies are the key to your success!

Drink Green Smoothies

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got loads of recipes using dark leafy greens so you get easily get you daily dose of Magnesium, naturally.

Did you know that lack of Magnesium can lead to massive sugar cravings, mood swings, muscle cramps, irritability, trouble sleeping, constipation and fatigue? Your body really works as a whole. A deficiency in one area can lead to other problems somewhere else.

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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What Magnesium Deficiency Can Do to Your Health

By not having your daily greens, you could be setting yourself up for Magnesium deficiency. When the body is low in Magnesium, many imbalances in health can result, including heart problems, anxiety, kidney disease, constipation, osteoporosis, chronic fatique and even depression.

Green Leafy Vegetables for Health!

Green Leafy Vegetables for Health!

According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, Magnesium is of therapeutic value in treating a myriad of symptoms.

Top 15 Health Conditions Related to Magnesium Deficiency:

1. Anxiety and panic attacks: Magnesium normally helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control.

2. Asthma: Both histamine production and bronchial spasms increase with magnesium deficiency.

3. Blood clots: Magnesium has an important role to play in preventing blood clots and keeping the blood thin without any side effects.

4. Bowel disease: Magnesium deficiency slows down the bowel, causing constipation, which could lead to toxicity and mal-absorption of nutrients as well as colitis.

5. Cystitis: Bladder spasms are worsened by magnesium deficiency.

6. Depression: Serotonin, which elevates mood, is dependent on magnesium. A magnesium deficient brain is also more susceptible to allergens, foreign substances that in rare instances can cause symptoms similar to mental illness.

7. Detoxification: Magnesium is crucial for the removal of toxic substances and heavy metals such as aluminum and lead from the body.

8. Diabetes: Magnesium enhances insulin secretion, facilitating sugar metabolism. Without magnesium, insulin is not able to transfer glucose into cells. Glucose and insulin build up in the blood, causing various types of tissue damage.

9. Fatigue: Magnesium-deficient patients commonly experience fatigue because dozens of enzyme systems are under functioning. An early symptom of magnesium deficiency is fatigue.

10. Heart disease: Magnesium deficiency is common in people with heart disease. Magnesium is administered and hospitals for acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmia. Like any other muscle, the heart requires magnesium. Magnesium is also used to treat angina, or chest pain.

11. Hypoglycemia: Magnesium keeps insulin under control; without magnesium, episodes of low blood sugar can result.

12. Insomnia: Sleeper regulating melatonin production is disturbs without sufficient magnesium.

13. Kidney disease: Magnesium deficiency contributes to atherosclerotic kidney failure. Magnesium deficiency creates abnormal lipid levels and worsening blood sugar control in kidney transplant patients.

14. Migraine: Serotonin balance is magnesium-dependent. Deficiency of serotonin can result in migraine headaches and depression.

15. Osteoporosis: Use of calcium with vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption without balancing amount of magnesium causes further magnesium deficiency, which triggers a cascade of events leading to bone loss.

Having a Green Smoothie every day is the best way to start getting your body back into balance with the nutrients it needs, naturally. To enrich your diet with Magnesium, increase consumption of green vegetables, nuts, seeds legumes and unprocessed grains. Of course, a daily Green Smoothie will do this for you! Add 1 Tbsp. dried organic Kelp powder to you Green Smoothie for the highest Magnesium-density food there is (100g Kelp has 760mg Magnesium). Add 1 Tbsp. organic Molasses for more Magnesium (100g Molasses has 258mg Magnesium). Molasses is especially good for pregnant women to avoid cramps and premature labor…yes, that can be caused from a simple lack of magnesium!

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Magnesium is 400-600mg daily. For a supplement, you can take 200mg three times daily.

For additional Magnesium, you can also apply Magnesium Oil or Magnesium Spray to your underarms or wrists every day. Or take an epsom salt bath! Known as Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, this is a really good way to supplement the natural diet. There’s a good book on this subject called Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Marc Sircus. Other foods high in Magnesium include brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans and filberts. Apricots, dates, figs and avocado are also good sources of Magnesium.

If your goal is to achieve excellent health and longevity, then a good diet filled with natural, whole and pure foods is the key.

Looking for Green Smoothie recipes to eat more high Magnesium foods?

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got loads of recipes using dark leafy greens so you get easily get you daily dose of Magnesium, naturally.

Did you know that lack of Magnesium can lead to massive sugar cravings? Perhaps you can start to see how your body really works as a whole. A deficiency in one area can lead to other problems somewhere else.

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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Daily Green Smoothie to help Acid Reflux?

Did you know that one of the top selling over the counter (OTC) drugs in the world today is heartburn medication? Acid reflux and heartburn are seemingly minor and annoying conditions, but they can have a long-term effect on your health. To be chronically over-acid means that your body is too acidic. ‘The volcano effect’ as I call it, or heartburn, is your body’s way of trying to expel the excess acid. Many people have such bad heartburn that they have to sleep sitting up.

A Daily Green Smoothie for an Alkaline Diet

A Daily Green Smoothie for an Alkaline Diet

What most people don’t realize is that acidosis can be very much regulated and controlled by diet.

A typical breakfast for a chronic heartburn sufferer might be coffee with sugar and milk. Add a slice of toast and an egg or muffin and you have a 100% acid-forming meal. That means the stomach will have to produce a lot of acid in order to digest that meal. (The first rumblings of the volcano).

Later that morning, this person might start feeling tired so will reach for another coffee, or a bagel or maybe even a cigarette. At lunch, due to a busy schedule, the meal may be a burger, slice of pizza, sandwich or meat pie….and yes, all of those foods are acid-forming. Now the volcano is starting to spew some sparks of fire and by mid-afternoon this person may be reaching for an antacid tablet to get through the rest of the day.

Going home to a beer or glass of wine followed by a typical dinner of pasta and bread, and this person has just won the prize for a 100% acid-forming day. It’s no wonder that 5 or 6 more antacid pills are required after dinner. Start that whole cycle over again the next day and the next and you have an antacid customer for life.

The problem with being chronically acidic, though, is much more serious than just having a ‘symptom’ like acid reflux. Internally, an acidic terrain is a breeding ground for the first stage of every dis-ease, including cancer. I always say, ‘You don’t catch cancer on Wednesday and get diagnosed on Thursday.’ Something like cancer takes years to develop, and the first thing that starts the process is an over-acid environment.

Keeping the environment alkaline is one of the best forms of natural prevention. Acid-reflux should be looked at as a warning sign; the body is trying to tell you that it’s out of balance.

Benefits of an Alkaline Diet: Lower risk of dis-ease and no more acid reflux!

Benefits of an Alkaline Diet: Lower risk of dis-ease and no more acid reflux!

Taking antacid tablets on a daily basis may take away the symptom, but it doesn’t take away the problem: chronic acidosis.

This is where the Green Smoothie comes flying in wearing a green cape offering real relief to the poor victim of a Standard American Diet (SAD). Ok, it might not be as dramatic as that, but it may feel like a superhero rescued you when you finally stop suffering from acid reflux and start feeling good with your digestive health. Let’s go back to the old breakfast of the heartburn sufferer and let’s make the first food/drink/meal of the day a Green Smoothie instead. Now, you’ve got a 100% alkaline-forming food to gently wake up the stomach for work for the day and there is no volcano in sight. You feel good, satiated and ready to start the day. After the Green Smoothie, you can even add a coffee (preferably organic and with no milk or sugar) and you will not experience the same volcano effect as before.

So you can still have your coffee (hopefully organic), but only after the Green Smoothie.

At lunch, aim for a nice portion of salad or steamed vegetables, and even another Green Smoothie if desired. (The Green Smoothie can be made up to 2 days in advance). This give you another 100% alkaline-forming meal. At dinner, you can now enjoy a wine with pasta (preferably brown rice or quinoa with some fresh salad or vegetables) and you should be throwing out your antacid tablets for good. It can really be that simple. If you don’t give your body the right combinations of foods, you are not going to experience the right combination of results. Everything that goes into your body has an effect on your body. A daily Green Smoothie brings the chronic heartburn sufferer back into balance, naturally, with an alkaline diet.

Looking for Green Smoothie recipes to help with acid reflux?

Green Smoothie recipes for Acid Reflux and many other common ailments too!

Green Smoothie recipes for Acid Reflux and many other common ailments too!

Check out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got a whole section on Cooling the Burn of Acid Reflux where I feature 5 amazing Green Smoothies for Heartburn. Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!

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Detox Soup to Make You Feel Awesome Recipe

This yummy Detox Soup is the perfect way to get through the holidays and start the New Year healthy. If you treat your body well with natural foods, you can immediately start to feel better – more energy, improved digestion, clearer skin, better sleep and yes, even weight loss. You can enjoy this recipe whether or not you are doing an actual “detox program.” But, if you are doing a detox, juice fast or cleanse…you can drink juices and smoothies until 5pm and have 2 bowls of Detox Soup at night for dinner. In the dead of winter, you may not feel so inspired to go 100% cold pressed juices or smoothies (key word: cold!). And that’s totally ok! Check out all the super detox ingredients and instructions below.

Detox Soup Ingredients

Detox Soup Ingredients

Detox Soup to Make You Feel Awesome Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 5 organic carrots, chopped
  • 1 head organic cabbage, grated
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. celery greens, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 lemons, squeezed
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 small garlic cloves
  • 2-3 inches of fresh ginger, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. organic turmeric powder
  • Cayenne and/or organic black pepper to taste
  • Himalayan salt to taste (optional)
  • 2-3 liters of water
Prepare your soup ingredients in advance

Prepare your soup ingredients in advance

 

Directions:

1. Put olive oil in a large soup pot at high heat. Add garlic, onion, leek, salt and turmeric powder and let cook until the onions are soft. Note: If you are on a “no salt” detox, then omit the salt.

2. Add chopped carrots and celery; stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and ginger juice. Note: If you don’t have a juicer, then grate the fresh ginger and squeeze the juice out by hand. Only add the juice; discard the pulp. (Ginger juice adds a mild flavor while adding the whole ginger can be over-powering in taste.)

3. Add grated cabbage. Fill the remainder of the pot with water; bring to a boil and let simmer for a minimum of 1 hour (up to 2 hours).

4. Pour serving into the blender and PULSE 3 TIMES at low speed, for 5 seconds each time. This keeps some of the texture in the soup but makes it soft and easy to digest.

5. Pour into serving bowl and add cayenne pepper or black pepper to taste.

 

First add onion, leek, garlic and turmeric.

First add onion, leek, garlic and turmeric.

 

Leek, onion and garlic are very anti-parasitic.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and liver cleanser.

 

Cooked onion. leek, garlic and turmeric.

Cooked onion. leek, garlic and turmeric.

 

1. Put olive oil in a large soup pot at high heat. Add garlic, onion, leek, salt and turmeric powder and let cook until the onions are soft. Note: If you are on a “no salt” detox, then omit the salt.

Once the onion, leek, garlic and turmeric are cooked until soft, you can add the other ingredients plus water.

 

Adding fresh ginger juice and lemon juice

Adding fresh ginger juice and lemon juice

 

2. Add chopped carrots and celery; stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and ginger juice. Note: If you don’t have a juicer, then grate the fresh ginger and squeeze the juice out by hand. Only add the juice; discard the pulp.

You can add either grated ginger or ginger juice, but in my experience, the ginger juice makes for a much more pleasant taste and is not as strong.

 

Finally, add the grated cabbage and water

Finally, add the grated cabbage and water

 

3. Add grated cabbage. Fill the remainder of the pot with water; bring to a boil and let simmer for a minimum of 1 hour (up to 2 hours).

Cabbage is naturally high in sulfur, making it a powerful detox food. It also adds a beautiful texture to any soup and is mild in taste.

 

Pulse the soup in an blender for an easy-to-digest consistency

Pulse the soup in an blender for an easy-to-digest consistency

 

4. Pour serving into the blender and PULSE 3 TIMES at low speed, for 5 seconds each time. This keeps some of the texture in the soup but makes it soft and easy to digest.

Note: Turmeric powder can turn the color of the blender container to yellow; but it will usually wash out after a few rinses.

 

Finally, you're ready to serve!

Finally, you’re ready to serve!

 

5. Pour into serving bowl and add cayenne pepper or black pepper to taste.

Cayenne pepper is very cleansing for the liver and is excellent for blood and circulation. Black pepper is not a major detox food, but it’s a matter of taste…you can add either or and still enjoy a fantastic detox soup!

This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and contains NO food additives. It’s full of fiber, contains natural medicinal foods and is good recipe for an alkaline diet. And, it tastes delicious. Try it for yourself and see!

Reminder! I’ve got an awesome VITAMIX BLENDER GIVEAWAY happening RIGHT NOW, so be sure to enter for your chance to WIN! Ends on 15 December 2014.

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