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!


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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:

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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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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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Do you need to eat 100% raw food for success? How much raw food is best?

Recently the New York Times ran an article in their online blog section entitled “Growing Up on Raw Foods” where the author discussed whether or not it is safe to raise children on a 100% raw food diet. I found this article to be very interesting for a number of reasons and I am so happy that it highlights some important factors to consider when transitioning to a raw food or vegan diet.

How much raw food do you need to eat for success?

Getting Iron and B12 on Vegan or Raw Foods

First, the author points out that children who eat a vegan or raw food diet have higher risk of anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. As many of you know, I am a huge advocate of eating dark leafy green vegetables, which in my opinion, are the most important food to add to any diet, whether it be a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo, diabetic, heart healthy or weight loss diet. In fact, I wrote an article called My Boyfriend Followed my Raw Food Diet and Got Anemia to try and get people thinking about eating more leafy greens for a good vegan source of iron. B12 is also a valid concern (and actually meat eaters are often deficient in B12 too due to low absorption); for that I always recommend a high quality B12 supplement. Note: I do not recommend liquid B12 supplements because many people develop gum sensitivity and/or nerve pain in the teeth from B12 in liquid form.

Accepting your % of raw food

But, the highlight of this article for me was to read about how some well-known raw foodists are changing their 100% raw food status and are eating more cooked food in their diet:

“Some longtime raw-food evangelists are rethinking their devotion. Jinjee Talifero, who runs a raw-food education company with her husband, Storm, in Santa Barbara, Calif., was 100 percent raw for most of the last 20 years, until about a year ago, when financial and other considerations made it difficult to continue feeding their five children, ages 6 to 19, that way. “It was always like a borderline thing to keep enough weight on them,” she said, and getting proteins from cashews and almonds was proving too expensive.

Her children also ran up against social problems. “They were socially isolated, ostracized and simply left out,” said Ms. Talifero, who now incorporates cooked food in the family’s diet.

Sergei Boutenko, 29, a filmmaker in Ashland, Ore., ate only raw from 9 to 26, and for years his family preached the virtues of the diet. But, he said, “there was this constant hunger,” and the raw children he met seemed “underdeveloped and stunted.”

He now eats about 80 percent raw, with occasional meat and dairy. “When it takes 15 hours to make a raw food lasagna that wipes out two days of your life, it’s better to just make a vegan or vegetarian lasagna and move on with your day,” he said.”

The Daily Mail UK website had an article on raw food recently where Australian raw food advocate and follower of a fruitarian or 80-10-10 diet Freelee the Banana Girl explained that she remains ‘raw until four’ – meaning she eats no cooked or heated food until 4pm.

These articles make me so happy because finally, the raw food world seems to be letting go of the 100% perfect raw food pedestal. Even Gabriel Cousens (author of Conscious Eating) says that you can get the same results with eating an 80% raw food diet as you can with 100% raw food, but it will just take you a little longer to get there.

A high raw food diet is usually more than 2/3 or 66% raw food, and 80% is excellent

The conclusion: It’s ok to eat a high raw food diet, as long as you focus on quality of food and:

  • Choose organic fruit and veggies wherever possible
  • Prepare your food with loving intention
  • Avoiding processed foods and chemical food additives
  • Eat cooked food without guilt (because you are 100% human!)
  • Cook your food in healthy ways without heated oils, frying or charring the food

Remember, balance is the key to success. As Dr. Bernard Jensen says, “One cup of coffee won’t kill you, but one glass of orange juice won’t cure you either.”

What’s my % of RAW?

I was 100% for 2 years until I started traveling more and then I dropped down to 90% raw to accommodate my schedule, eating plain steamed veggies, an occasional plain baked potato or organic brown rice. After 8 years on the raw food path, I now sit comfortably at a high raw food diet which means I eat 85-100% raw food. My daily diet consists of green smoothies, green juices, huge salads, sprouts, nuts, seeds, fresh wheatgrass shots, homemade sauerkraut, kombucha and occasionally some organic cooked black beans, chickpeas, steamed vegetables, veggie soup with homemade broth, organic brown rice or red quinoa. I mostly follow the Hippocrates Diet or Ann Wigmore style of eating. Technically speaking, I am not a vegan because I do eat raw organic honey and other bee products like royal jelly on occasion. I made some mistakes with my raw food diet nutritionally along the way, and I’m going to reveal all my lessons learned in a new ebook, so stay tuned!

If you’re going to keep your new diet habits as a healthy way of living for life, it has to be a sustainable for life. Many experts agree that you have to eat at least 50% raw food to start seeing and feeling results (more energy, improved skin, better digestion, anti-aging & cellular repair, reversal of disease). Whether you’re eating 60 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent or 100 percent raw food, the most important thing to allow yourself to be is 100% human. As you go through the years of your life, your percentage of raw food may increase or decrease, and that’s okay! No matter what, the percentage of raw food that you are eating should feel right for you.

> Are you trying to transition to a raw food, vegan or vegetarian diet and feeling overwhelmed with all of the different opinions out there?

> Are you struggling emotionally and socially with changing your diet and feeling isolated or confused?

> Are you eating a healthy raw food or vegan diet and still feel tired, have trouble sleeping, or suffer from skin problems, hair loss, brittle nails, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, infertility, or dental problems?

> Do you want to change your diet but simply don’t know where or how to begin?

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, 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!

To read the New York Times article in its entirety, go here: Growing Up on Raw Foods

To read the Daily Mail UK article in its entirety, go here: ‘I lost 3st eating vast “mono meals”: Controversial diet guru who consumes 5lb of potatoes in one go says single-food feasts are key to weight loss and health

More on Raw Food:

Get Affordable Organic Food with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Vegetable Home Delivery

Want to save time and money and get more affordable organic fruits and vegetables? Then check into finding a local CSA for organic home delivery in your area. Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is a way to connect consumers directly to organic farmers. With no store or “middle man” in between, you get more affordable produce that’s fresh and in season.

Get local organic produce delivered to your door & save money too!

How does a CSA work?

Basically, you invest in a “share” of the harvest, meaning you pay in advance for regular deliveries of organic, fresh, seasonal produce from local farmers. Every program varies in what it offers, when and where it is delivered and how much a share costs. Typically, you choose between a “small box” or a “large box” which is delivered weekly on a certain day (say every Tuesday or Thursday). The contents of the box will vary depending on what’s being harvested that week. For example, this week (in summer) in Israel I received: organic tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, dill, parsley, beets, green chives, mint, pumpkin, spinach, Swiss chard, daikon, zucchini and watermelon. Other times I will get garlic, onion, lemons, papaya, apples, melon or kohlrabi with a mix of fresh greens that also vary depending on the time of year. On average, 1 large box will last me about 4-5 days. I usually need to supplement with my own store-bought organic fresh fruit because admittedly, you usually get more veggies than fruit in a CSA box. With the CSA that I belong to, there is also the option to order additional items, including local organic eggs, tahini, honey and olive oil (I don’t order any additional items but I know a lot of people who do). The box is delivered directly from the farm to your door.

The benefits of eating organic food

Organic food is higher in minerals because the soil in which its grown is a much better quality than the over-farmed, depleted and toxic soil you find in industrial farming. Without any hazardous pesticides either, organic food can decrease your risk of allergies, rashes, inflammation and asthma and keep your immune system strong. This is especially important for growing children. Organic food is also not irradiated or genetically modified (GMO), two more processes and man-handling added to the food supply today which can be harmful to your health.

And, my favorite thing about organic food? It tastes way better!!! My fresh organic produce is never bitter or bland. And a better natural taste has to be better for you. Once you try it, you will see for yourself!

The saddest thing I find about organic food is people seem to only invest their money in it at certain times in their life: mainly, when they’re pregnant, sick or have cancer. Outside of that, it can be really hard to convince anyone to spend money on organic veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and/or grains. Even vegan, raw food, vegetarian and gluten-free folks will often turn their head at the added cost of organic. But why wait until you are sick or pregnant to start eating the best food for your body? If you eat organic food for years before your pregnancy, don’t you think you will be higher in minerals, less toxic and therefore increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby? And perhaps if you invest in some high quality food now, you won’t ever get sick and if you do, you will recover much more quickly. If you put better fuel in your car, it will run better and last longer. Well, let’s add some extra miles to your life and keep your internal engine working great with high-quality organic food! You deserve the very best.

The benefits of using CSA delivery

1. You increase the amount of organic food in your diet.
2. It’s more affordable and fresher than buying organic produce in stores.
3. The fruit and vegetables are locally grown and in season.
4. You’re supporting small local businesses and farmers in your area.
5. You save time and hassle by enjoying home delivery.
6. You naturally get more variety in your diet.
7. You can experiment and try new veggies that you might not otherwise buy (like daikon or kohlrabi).

In fact, I can’t think of any reason not to join a local CSA! To get started, research your local community by googling “CSA organic delivery + your county, city or state” and see what you find. You can also inquire at your local health food store or Wholefoods market.

A good list of Organic Home Delivery farms in USA: Organic Consumers Directory List for USA

In Israel, there are 2 popular CSA services for Tel Aviv: Chubeza and Maggie’s Garden (I personally have tried both and now am happy with Chubeza). Find a complete list of Organic Home Delivery farms in Israel, including Jerusalem, the north to Herzilya and south to Ashkelon here: Times of Israel article on Eating Organic in Israel using local CSA

If you’re using a local CSA in your community, please list the link in the comments below with your city, state and country below and let’s share the good times of eating more natural, whole and pure food! I’m thoroughly enjoying a healthy week with yummy green smoothies, juices, raw food salads and desserts all with beautiful vibrant organic food!

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, 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 Organic Food:

Raw Detox Salad Recipe

Eating raw organic food can be so much fun! Check out this gorgeous salad that took only a few minutes to prepare…and it’s full of detox foods to make it a mini-cleansing meal!

Use the healing power of raw foods to create a fantastic detox salad

For the salad add: Chopped rocket leaves, grated carrot, chopped cucumber, fresh mint, parsley, sunflower seeds and top with homemade raw sauerkraut. If you can’t find rocket leaves, then just use fresh chopped spinach or romaine lettuce.

Make the dressing with: Chopped garlic, crushed papaya seeds, extra virgin olive oil, raw organic honey (optional), fresh lemon, a dash of cayenne pepper and Himalayan salt to taste. The papaya seeds should be fresh, from a ripe papaya. I usually set aside some papaya seeds after eating the papaya. Store the seeds in a small jar in the fridge for up to one week. Use a few seeds each time you make this recipe.

What makes this a DETOX salad?

  • Fresh parsley: Kidney cleanse
  • Cayenne, olive oil & lemon: Liver cleanse
  • Garlic & papaya seeds: Anti-parasitic foods (kills germs)
  • Sauerkraut: Natural probiotic (good bacteria)
  • Rocket & cucumber: Skin cleanse
  • Sunflower seeds: Good for glandular system
  • Raw honey: Immune booster
  • Fiber: Colon cleanse

Let Your Food be Your Medicine…..Wow, it’s really true!

Click here to learn how to make fermented cabbage and raw sauerkraut. In a temperate climate, it takes as little as 4 days!

What is DETOX?

The highly refined foods that you eat every day, including sugar and white flour, make you susceptible to intestinal problems, and possible diseases. The average diet today is heavily loaded with chemical additives, flavorings, coloring agents, toxic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other toxic chemicals which overburden our bodies. Add to that work and family-related stress, indigestion, illnesses, constipation and sedentary lifestyles, and you have a recipe for an unhealthy colon and an overweight and tired body. Many health conditions are caused by the combination of processed foods, low fiber diets and poor evacuation of waste.

Periods of abstinence from solid food – a ritual performed since ancient times – can allow the body to “cleanse and purify” or “detox”, that is, to remove toxins, excess fat and even parasites caused by years of ingesting processed food, excess food, refined sugar and wheat and even fast food that eventually impairs the normal functioning and our body’s elimination.

During fasting, large amounts of these accumulated metabolic wastes and poisons are eliminated through the cleansing ability of all the organs of elimination – the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin.

Eating more detox foods in your regular diet is a way to have a “mini-cleanse” on a regular basis and that helps the elimination organs keep us with their daily housework. Eat a detox salad for lunch instead of pizza or Chinese food and you will have better digestion, less headaches or insomnia, improve your skin and increase energy levels, simply by choosing better fuel for your body. A raw food diet is a detox on its own. You can continue for 1, 3 or 7 days on a 100% low fat raw food diet as a way to really give the body a good natural cleanse from the inside-out.

For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

How to Book Your Health 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!

More on Raw Food:

How to Ferment Cabbage and Make Raw Sauerkraut

If you think that eating more fresh, natural raw food in your diet is too expensive, then this recipe is definitely for you! Making fermented foods at home is one of the most inexpensive ways to enjoy raw food. For optimal digestive health, we need to get good bacteria in 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.”

How to Make Raw Sauerkraut at home, a healthy naturally fermented food

How can we get good bacteria or “probiotics” back in the gut? The Western diet has virtually eliminated all traditionally fermented foods out of the diet, with the exception of yogurt. Store-bought yogurt is pasteurized, and usually contains added sugar, flavor and colorings. It’s also not a suitable option for vegans, and it’s expensive! Nowadays you will see Kombucha drink as a fermented raw food vegan option. Kombucha is fantastic, but it is also expensive at $6.00 per bottle. You may see sauerkraut for sale in supermarkets, but it’s already been pasteurized, so virtually all of the good bacteria has already been destroyed.

Not to worry! If you have just a few heads of cabbage, some salt and a few jars, you can easily make your own raw sauerkraut at home! It’s so easy to make that you will be wondering why you didn’t make it sooner! Cabbage is not expensive, and once the sauerkraut is made, you only need to add about 2 Tbsp. per day to your salad or veggies to get the good bacteria that your body needs. At that rate, 2 heads of cabbage could easily last up to 2 weeks for a family of 4. That’s some healthy savings!

What You Need: Raw cabbage, salt, a grater and jars

How to Make Homemade Raw Sauerkraut

Raw Sauerkraut: Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large organic green cabbage heads (or purple cabbage)
  • 1-1.5 Tablespoons Himalayan Salt or Pure Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway and/or mustard seeds (optional)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh dill (optional)
  • 2 organic carrots (optional)

Raw Sauerkraut: Equipment

  • Grater or Mandolin
  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Large Mixing bowl
  • Wooden Mallet (optional)
  • Large widemouth canning jar (or extra large mason jars)
  • Small glass baby-food jar or small glass cup to fit inside the larger jar
  • Clean rock or other weights to fit inside the small jar (to weigh down the cabbage)
  • Old t-shirt or towel for covering the jar
  • Large plate to catch any overspill

Instructions

Clean all materials before starting. Fermentation can be a sensitive process, and if there is any soap residue in your jars or hand cream chemicals on your hands, the fermenting might not work. I prefer to wash everything with a 50/50 mix of tap water and boiled water. For safety reasons, I do not recommend using 100% boiled water. Be careful not to rinse your jars with only boiling water because the glass can crack. Add tap water first, then some boiled water. Swish everything around and rinse. Wash your hands well with clean water and no soap.

Shred the Cabbage. Peel off the leaves of the cabbage and set them aside for later. Grate the cabbage on the large grate side of the grater or use a mandolin to shred the cabbage. Be sure to use the safety mechanism on the mandolin!

Combine Cabbage and Salt. Place the shredded cabbage to a large bowl and sprinkle some of the salt over top. If you have a wooden mallet, then start pounding the cabbage. If using only hands, then begin massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. In just a few minutes, you should start to see the cabbage becoming watery and limp – this is a good sign! You can add some shredded carrot at this stage too (optional).

Making Raw Sauerkraut: Use a wooden mallet and pound away!

Add the salt. Then start squeezing by hand…

As you squeeze the cabbage, it will start to soften and you should see liquid/water. Put the liquid and cabbage in a glass jar for fermenting, pushing out any air bubbles. You can also add fresh dill, whole mustard seeds or caraway seeds for flavor.

Pack Cabbage and Liquid into Jar. Use your hands to pack the cabbage into the jar, pressing out any air bubbles each time you add more. At this stage, you can add some fresh dill, caraway seeds or mustard seeds for flavor. Pour any excess liquid from the cabbage into the jar. When the jar is nearly full, place a few of the larger outer leaves to cover the surface of the sauerkraut. This helps keep the cabbage submerged.

Gently press out air bubbles. Place some large cabbage leaves on top and be sure that your cabbage is all covered by the liquid. If necessary, add a small amount of water to cover the cabbage.

Cover the Jar. Place your filled jar on a dish, cover it with an old t-shirt or towel and put it in a quiet place to happily start fermenting. Ideally, your jar will be on top on a cabinet or on a table where it will not be disturbed. The best place is away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F.

Place your sauerkraut on a dish or in a large bowl. Usually there will be liquid coming out of the jar as it ferments; this way any liquid escaping is caught and will not make a mess.

Finally, cover your sauerkraut with a towel or old t-shirt and keep it undisturbed. Check once a day, pushing out air bubbles and adding more water if needed. It should be ready in about 4 days.

Check Daily. Once a day, be sure to check your cabbage. Open the lid and push down the cabbage to release any air bubbles. If necessary, add a small amount of additional water and salt. By the 2nd day, the cabbage has usually been pressed down enough that there is some extra space in the jar. At that point, add the small baby-food jar or glass cup with rock inside to keep the cabbage submerged under water.

Taste after 4 days. Small batches of sauerkraut like this can be finished in as little as 4 days. On the 4th day, taste your cabbage. If you’re happy with the results, you can transfer your sauerkraut to the fridge where it will continue to ferment, although much more slowly. You can also keep it out to ferment for up to another 10 days, but you must check it every day, press out any air bubbles and add additional water and salt if necessary.

Note: It’s normal to see air bubbles coming through the cabbage during fermentation. When you press them down daily, you are eliminating the air space between the cabbage. In some cases if you forget a day, you may start to see mold, dark scum or smell a bad odor from the cabbage. If the scum can be skimmed off, then it’s ok to do so. If there is a bad smell or visible mold, I recommend to throw out the batch and start over.

When your sauerkraut is ready, put the large container in the fridge or transfer the sauerkraut to smaller jars and then refrigerate. Raw sauerkraut is a fermented product and will stay fresh for a few months. Once you open a jar and start eating it, it’s best to consume the sauerkraut within 30 days.

After 4 days, start tasting your batch. When you like the taste, you can transfer to smaller jars to put in fridge…or share with family and friends!

Making Large Batches of Sauerkraut

You can make much larger batches of sauerkraut in a ceramic fermentation crock, but the crocks are very expensive. It’s probably a good idea to try fermenting in glass mason jars first and see if you actually enjoy eating sauerkraut before making the investment in a crock. (One benefit of the large crock is that you don’t have to check it daily. The weights in the crock keep the air bubbles out.) Over time, if you find you want to make larger batches, then definitely consider making the leap.

How is Sauerkraut Fermented?

Raw sauerkraut is made by a process called lacto-fermentation. We can ferment cabbage thanks to the good bacteria that naturally exist on the surface of the cabbage leaves (and many other veggies too). Food becomes fermented when the “good” lactobacilli bacteria convert their sugars and starches into lactic acid. This is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. The lactic acid also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine. Sauerkraut contains high levels of glucosinolates. These compounds have been shown to have anti-cancer activity.

The diets of every traditional culture have included some kind of lacto-fermented food. Kimchi from Korea and cortido from Latin America are 2 examples of traditionally fermented vegetables made from lacto-fermentation. In Europe, people fermented sauerkraut, grape leaves, herbs, and root vegetables. Lacto-fermented veggies are nutrient-dense, enzyme rich, a raw food, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. And they taste yummy too! Fermented cabbage is one of my favorite foods for a mini-daily detox and a balanced raw food diet!

More on Fermented Foods:

My boyfriend followed my Raw Food Diet and got Anemia!

Before I met my boyfriend, he was a normal meat-eating guy and definitely a sugar and bread addict. Luckily, once we got together, he was open to trying my “rabbit salad” and “strange smoothies” ie. raw food style of eating. To his surprise, he immediately felt better and without any pressure from me, he decided himself to go on a high raw food and vegan diet! It was really great to witness his transformation. In the last 2 years, his energy levels improved, his skin cleared, his digestion improved immensely and he continues to look younger and younger. Because of such positive results, he even joined me on a 10-day and 14-day juice fast. Most recently, he completed a 21-day water fast with me in Vilcabamba, Ecuador.

The Results of His Blood Test. It’s easy to become anemic on a Raw Food Diet if you don’t eat GREENS!

Over the last 6 months, however, he was starting to feel exceptionally tired. My schedule was pretty hectic with a lot of travel and we initially thought it was from all the buses, planes and changing hotels which would make anyone tired (including me!). But it just seemed to get worse. So, when we arrived to Israel, he went to the doctor and ordered some standard blood tests. The result: Low Red Blood Cell Count (RBC), Low Hemoglobin, and Low Hematocrit. What does that mean? He has a case of iron-deficiency anemia.

Vegan foods high in IRON: Cherries, Organic Apricots, Molasses and Leafy Greens

What is Anemia?

Anemia can occur for a few reasons, but is most commonly associated with a lack of iron in the blood. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, and low iron levels result in decreased incorporation of hemoglobin into red blood cells. Because hemoglobin normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the capillaries, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. This can make a person feel lethargic, dizzy, weak, generally unwell and even a bit foggy in the brain.

Did the Raw Food Diet fail for him?

The truth is, although my boyfriend followed me on the raw food journey, he never really liked eating dark leafy greens. He didn’t like the taste of spirulina, in fact, he hated it. So, he wasn’t eating enough greens, either powdered or fresh. In the morning, he would make a big batch of fresh fruit smoothie, pour out some for himself, and then add the green superfoods and leafy greens for me. One of my “go-to” snacks is always a handful of dried organic apricots. But he never really liked those either. Being a former refined sugar lover, he would choose organic dates instead. It’s easy to see that he was simply not getting enough high-iron content foods in his daily diet. So, I don’t think the raw food diet failed him and I do not think that a vegan or vegetarian diet is dangerous to his health. He just wasn’t attentive to getting all the minerals his body needs. (And he also wasn’t listening to me saying “You need to eat more greens!”)

As a side note, the last time I was tested for iron, it was just below the threshold of being too high! The doctor actually told me to stop eating red meat! I didn’t say a word but silently laughed to myself, because I haven’t eaten meat in over 21 years!! I knew it was from my daily Green Smoothie. Somehow my body knew how to hold on to just enough iron and not have too much. When we give the body what it needs, it knows what to do…that’s the internal intelligence of our healing system!

What now?

The blood test results were a big wake-up call. The same day that he received the results, my boyfriend immediately started adding spirulina to his smoothies and started taking a liquid iron supplement. After only 2 days, he noticed the difference. His energy levels picked up and he had an easier time waking up in the morning. Now he is also making a conscious effort to eat more greens in his diet as well. He is not eating meat and has no interest to eat meat, but he did decide to try some plain vegan seitan (with no added flavors so no flavor enhancers). He cooks the seitan with some olive oil, organic cumin and cayenne pepper and adds it to a big raw food salad. (Note: Seitan contains wheat and is not a good option for anyone who is a celiac or sensitive to gluten.) He seems to be remembering to take his daily B12 supplement now too because he is just overall more aware of the importance of getting all the nutrients he needs!

Because of what happened, I will also take an iron supplement for 1-2 months to help get my body back on track just in case I am deficient as well. With over 8 months of non-stop traveling to Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, we did not always have the chance to eat as much variety in our diets. For that reason, I could now be low in iron too. Living in one place makes it very easy, and I am now happy to be having 1 green juice, 1 Green Smoothie and 1 fresh wheatgrass shot per day along with my normal salads and fruit.

Vegan Sources of Iron

There are definitely vegan and vegetarian food options that are naturally high in iron, like cherries, dark leafy greens, molasses and/or organic apricots. Green superfoods like spirulina, chlorella, dulse or kelp are also good sources of iron. Having some organic powdered greens in a Daily Green Smoothie is a great way to get a healthy daily dose of iron. Rotating greens helps to get all the nutrients you need, so be sure to switch out your greens between kale, spinach, bok choy, parsley, beet greens, collard greens, Swiss Chard and whatever other edible fresh greens you can find in your local farmer’s market or organic supermarket. If you are new to a vegan or raw food diet, it’s a good idea to get your blood tested in the first 6 months to be sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.

Do you Need to Take a Supplement?

Whether you take an iron supplement is really up to you, but I don’t think it’s necessary if you are attentive to eating greens in your daily diet. If you do decide to take an iron supplement, be sure to find one in liquid form because iron tablets (or pills) tend to have a constipating effect. If you become pregnant, you will need more iron and for sure, you should consider taking an iron supplement.

Example of Ferrum Chromotose Iris

In the Science of Iridology, we have a subtype by color called Ferrum Chromotose which shows an inability to store iron. An example of this subtype is shown here. You can see the “tiger striping” or light brown and dark brown stripes in the iris. This is an inherited trait, and if I see this marking during an Iridology Analysis, I will always advise the client to be attentive to getting enough iron in their diet. It should be no surprise that my boyfriend has this marking in his eyes and I do not. If you have this marking, you are more likely to suffer from anemia, especially when there is a lack of high-iron content foods in the diet.

On a daily basis, the only nutritional supplement I take is a B12 complex. I personally think it’s important for everyone to take a daily B vitamin complex, including meat-eaters. Most B12 is lost in the process of cooking and many people (especially meat-eaters) have reduced or limited absorption capabilities.

Need more guidance? I offer personalized nutritional counseling, health coaching and Iridology sessions by Skype and email to help you achieve your best health ever!

Here’s to your health!

More on Healthy Living:

Detox Juice Recipe

When’s the last time you made a delicious detox juice at home? Yes, it’s time to pull out that juicer and start using it! Each ingredient in this recipe is full of phytonutrients, and that means more health benefits for the body.

Place All Ingredients in a Juicer for a Healthy Detox Drink!

Apples and carrot help to detox the liver. Carrots are also high in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Grapes have been found to have strong anti-cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory food and helps strengthen digestion. Parsley helps to cleanse the kidneys and contains folic acid and chlorophyll which can help to regulate blood pressure. The most powerful detox ingredient in this juice is fennel, a simply amazing detox food. Fennel helps to cleanse the colon; it relieves constipation; it’s great for the immune system with its natural anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties and it’s particularly known to be very alkaline-forming and that means excellent for an alkaline diet and as a natural antacid remedy. When the body heals from the inside-out, the skin clears naturally too! If at all possible, choose organic for your juice ingredients.

A Juice has NO fiber and in made in a Juicer.

What’s the difference between a juicer and a blender? A juicer separates the fiber from the liquid, and you drink only the juice. A blender blends all ingredients together and you drink the fiber and the liquid, called a “smoothie.” This recipe is for a juice, but if you don’t have a juicer, you can certainly mix all the ingredients in a blender and make a nice detox Green Smoothie too! Juice is easy to digest and absorb and is particularly good to high-boost your mineral, vitamin and micro-nutrient reserve.

How To Make a Detox Juice

Place all Ingredients in a Juicer and Juice. Makes 1 Serving.
Detox Juice Recipe:

– 2 Green Apples
– 4 Small Carrots OR 1 Large Carrot
– 2 Cups of Grapes
– 1/2 inch slice of Fresh Ginger
– 1 Handful of Fresh Parsley
– 1 Cup of Fresh Chopped Fennel

Drink Immediately. You can also add 1-2 Tbsp. of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, stir well and drink.

Use Variety in Your Juices. Make Different Variations!

This is a great juice recipe, all vegan, vegetarian and of course a raw food, but it complements any diet. You can make variations of this recipe by using cucumber instead of carrot or celery instead of apple or kale instead of parsley. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations! More fresh juice packed with fruits and vegetables is always a good thing!

Drink once a day or 3-4 times per week for preventative maintenance. Add to your juice fasting routine. Share with any family and friends who are sick to help them recover more quickly. As Hippocrates (the Father of Modern Medicine) said, “Let Your Food be Thy Medicine and Thy Medicine be Thy Food.”

If you're ready for juicing, this is the juicer for you!

If you’re ready for juicing, this is the juicer for you!

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

10 Detox Tips

In the same way you spring clean your house and schedule maintenance service on your car, you should also make the time to do regular detox for the promotion of health and prevention of dis-ease. Whether you go away to a tropical paradise for your next detox holiday or simply try an at-home detox program, you should be make a plan to do at least one 7-day detox per year. It’s even better to do a colon cleanse program every 6 months. When you’re clean inside, all of your organs work better. That means more energy, clearer skin, better sleep, improved digestion, balanced weight and a boosted immune system to keep you healthy all year long.

Clean Your Body, Clean Your Mind, Clean Your Soul!

Imagine giving your body the gift of a cleanse and creating time for a much needed rest, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. As an Iridologist and Nutritionist, I have become increasingly aware that the toxic overload on all of these levels contributes to many health issues. The following detox guidelines will help you get the most out of whatever cleansing program you do, and many of these tips can be done on a regular basis to keep you feeling balanced long after your cleanse.

10 Detox Tips

1. Drink Lemon in Water Upon Rising.

When you wake up in the morning, juice 1 lemon into 2 full 8-oz. glasses of water and drink both glasses immediately. This is a great way to hydrate your body, a natural form of detox, and also creates an alkaline pH in your body. Lemon stimulates digestion, getting the digestive enzymes in the stomach active and ready for proper absorption and assimilation of food. You can switch out the lemon occasionally and drink 2 Tbsp. of raw apple cider vinegar in water upon rising too.

2. Try some Cold Water Therapy!

At the end of your hot shower, turn the water to cold for just 60 seconds. This is a natural way to stimulate circulation and is great for the immune system. It also tightens the skin and gets you feeling energized for the day.

3. Stretch and Move.

Stretching the body helps to strengthen and detox the lymphatic system. Especially if you are used to sitting all day, be sure to take a break every few hours and move! You can also practice dry skin brushing to clean the lymphatic system. Or, better yet, treat yourself to an occasional lymphatic drainage massage.

4. Drink Herbal Teas.

Use the healing power of Mother Nature by drinking more fresh herbal teas (with no sugar or dairy of course!). Try fresh mint tea for digestion; sage tea for clear mental thinking; parsley tea to strengthen the kidneys; red raspberry tea for female fertility; hawthorne berry tea for heart health and blood circulation; and fennel tea as a natural anti-parasitic remedy.

5. Enjoy an Epsom Salt Bath.

Add 3-4 cups of Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) to a bath. It’s a great way to absorb magnesium directly through the skin, also known as “transdermal magnesium therapy.” This helps the muscles relax and is excellent for improving blood circulation and kidney function and also for reducing stress. You can add a few drops of pure organic lavender or grapefruit essential oil to your bath to get a nice essential oil infusion. If you don’t have a bathtub, simply make a foot bath and soak your feet in the Epsom Salts for about 30 minutes.

6. Take a Media Detox.

Let your brain have a break from the daily negative and toxic information over-load. Avoid any emotionally disturbing information the news, Internet, magazines, television, movies, newspaper or radio. When your mind feels calm and rested, your body can go deeper into the physical process of detoxification.

7. Get in Tune with Nature.

Get outside, breathe fresh air, enjoy a sunrise or sunset, listen to the sound of the ocean waves, take solace in the beauty of the forest and reconnect yourself with nature. Our bodies are organic beings and we have to recalibrate ourselves to natural environments to feel more natural, whole and pure.

8. Detox Your Home.

At the same time you detox your body, make time to also clean and purge old items from your home. Give away things you don’t use, organize your belongings and simplify your living space. Letting go of the old creates a lot of space for new healthy habits and new goals. And that’s a great form of detox!

9. Enjoy a Daily Liver Flush.

You can add a healing boost to your detox routine by drinking 1 Liver Flush Drink per day. You can even do this as a separate detox after your 7-day cleanse by having 1 Liver Flush every day for 30 days. The liver is your “grand filter” in your body; it filters everything you drink, eat and breathe. When you clean the liver, your entire system runs more efficiently.

10. Drink More Water.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is that they don’t drink enough water, and especially during a detox, the importance of water is not to be under-estimated! Your urine should be clear and copious (by “clear” I mean not cloudy). If your urine is dark or cloudy, you are already dehydrated. Water helps your kidneys flush out excess toxins and acid waste.

Taking the time to detox the body on a regular basis is a great way to invest in your health and well-being. Whether you choose a raw food cleanse, a juice feast, a Green Smoothie detox, a water fast or a colon cleanse, you are giving all of the elimination organs a chance to catch up on internal work and that’s a good thing! The cleaner your are inside, the better you feel…and the better you look too!

For more personalize detox advice, see me for a private consultation via Skype or phone. We will optimize your detox program to get the best results in the shortest period time, truly a “fast-track” to health.

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