Posts

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!

What are the symptoms of Heavy Metal toxicity?

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

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

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

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

Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity

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

-from the Agency for Toxic Substances & Diseases Registry
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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

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

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

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

 


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

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

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


More on Detox:

More on Skin Cleansing:

More on Liver Cleansing:

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!

What are the symptoms of Heavy Metal toxicity?

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

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

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

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

Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity

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

-from the Agency for Toxic Substances & Diseases Registry
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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

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

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

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

 


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

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

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


More on Detox:

More on Skin Cleansing:

More on Liver Cleansing:

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

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

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

More time in nature is cleansing for the soul

More time in nature is cleansing for the soul

Where we ended up

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

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

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

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

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

Why we chose North Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can you know it’s right?

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

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

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

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

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

What’s better about North Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

Our neighbors :)

Our neighbors 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Example 1: Coco Libre Pure Organic Coconut Water

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

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

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

Example 2: Vita Coco Coconut Water

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

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

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

Example 3: Silk Original Soy Milk

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

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

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

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

Example 4: Silk Organic Non-GMO Soy Milk

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

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

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

Example 5: Silk Original Almond Milk

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

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

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

Example 6: Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make Healthy Green Smoothies

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

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

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

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

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

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

More on Manifestation and Weight Loss:

More on Nut Milk and Healthy Recipes:

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:

More on Skin Cleansing:

More on Liver Cleansing:

Hollywood Celebrities and Supermodels are Drinking Green Smoothies!

Could a daily Green Smoothie be the secret to keeping fit, looking good, having beautiful hair and skin and maintaining a fabulous figure? Green Smoothies are definitely the latest craze in Hollywood and we know that looking good and staying fit is part of the job for any model or actress! Have a look at what Hollywood Stars we’ve seen drinking Green Smoothies after a workout or just out for a stroll around town in LA…

Kate Upton green smoothie
Kate Upton, model, and now actress, is back on the set of The Other Woman and was seen drinking a Green Smoothie!! Well done Kate, yet another ambassador of the Greens!

Ann Hathaway
Here’s Anne Hathaway sipping a healthy Green Smoothie in Hollywood…another ambassador of the greens!

Colin Farell
Even Colin Farrell drinks Green Smoothies to stay fit and look great! (photo from dailymail.co.uk)

The benefits include weight loss, elimination of toxins, mental clarity, increased sex drive, ‘glowing’ complexion, and better overall health. Colin Farrell and Josh Duhamel prove that the health craze isn’t limited to women trying to lose a few pounds.

Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel running around town with his Green Smoothie in hand. (photo from dailymail.co.uk)

Rosie HW
Is a daily Green Smoothie the secret to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s perfect complexion? (photo from handbag.com) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Miranda Kerr have been Tweeting their approval of nutrient rich Green Smoothies and juices!

Ellen and Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba makes a Green Smoothie on the Ellen Show with kale, celery, cucumber and apple! Start making your detoxifying Green Smoothies yourself at home, today!! All you need is a blender and a willingness to change!

Drew Barrymore
A Green Smoothie is the go-to beauty drink for Drew Barrymore, Olivia Wilde & Jenna Dewan (not to mention Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn!).

“Every time I work on a movie set, the whole cast starts to drink it,” says Drew. “It’s a ton of nutrients, condensed and blended into a juice so your body doesn’t waste energy breaking it down. The vitamins, minerals and amino acids will flow right into your system to rejuvenate you. And it’s full of fiber, so you’re not reaching for that bagel or that second cup of coffee between meals.”

Ashley Greens
Twilight Actress Ashley Greens Drinks a Green Smoothie after her workout in LA…well done Ashley! (photo from justjaredjr.com)

It’s clear that having a daily Green Smoothie is the fastest, easiest way to get more raw food in the form of leafy green vegetables into your diet, and the blender breaks those greens up into an easy-to-digest form. If a Green Smoothie can improve digestion, stop sugar cravings, provide a natural source of vitamins and minerals, help to clear skin and even detox the liver, isn’t it time for you to give Green Smoothies a try?

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 can enjoy the same benefits of Green Smoothies as the most beautiful stars in Hollywood. It’s so easy!

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

When you take care of your whole body, you get whole body health. When you let your food be your medicine, you are always moving towards better health.

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

More on Skin Cleansing:

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!

More on Detox and pH Health:

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!

More on Skin Cleansing:

More on Liver Cleansing:

 

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.

More on Detox and pH Health:

More Healthy Recipes:

How to Pre-Cleanse for Detox or Juice Fast

Are you getting ready to do a detox, cleanse or juice fast and want to know how to prepare? A pre-cleanse is important to gently ease the body into the detox and minimize any cleansing reactions.

A good pre-cleanse is key for a great detox

A good pre-cleanse is key for a great detox

Many people trick themselves into eating and drinking whatever they want before doing their cleanse because, in their mind, they are going to eliminate all those toxins out so why not indulge as much as possible right before? Wrong! Those are the very people who always suffer the worst through the detox, complaining of headaches, fatigue, nausea and even vomiting. The quality of your detox is directly proportional to the quality of your pre-cleanse. When you prepare the body in the right way, you will go deeper, faster, release more toxins and usually lose more weight in a shorter period of time.

If you plan to fast for 7 days, then ideally a 3-week or 21-day pre-cleanse is best. Try to have 500ml of Green Smoothie daily, either as a replacement for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. During that time, you should eliminate all coffee, wheat and refined sugar. See a gentle progression of elimination in the recommended pre-cleanse schedule below.

One of the best foods to add to your diet during your pre-cleanse is a daily Green Smoothie. This is a gentle way to increase your vitamin and mineral reserve so you go into your detox being mineral-sufficient, not mineral-deficient.

Your Pre-Detox Schedule

3 weeks before: Eliminate refined sugar and alcohol (Remember: alcohol is liquid sugar!) Start drinking 1 green smoothie daily.

2 weeks before: Eliminate wheat and all gluten products. Choose organic quinoa or brown rice instead.

1 week before: Eliminate coffee. Drink organic green tea instead.

3 days before: Eliminate salt. (Note: salt is often hidden in canned, packaged, frozen and restaurant foods).

Remember: Each week, you’re adding another food category to eliminate. When you reach 1 week before your detox, you will have already eliminated all refined sugar, alcohol, wheat, gluten and coffee.

Having all the minerals your body needs allows the process of detox to rapidly increase. You will most likely start eliminating more mucoud plaque right away compared to other fasters who did not do any pre-cleanse. A daily Green Smoothie give you lots of chlorophyll (one of the most necessary elements for healing) and fiber (the colon’s natural broom for cleaning).

Even after you finish your detox, keep the daily Green Smoothie in your routine as a mini-detox and reboot every day. The fiber in the Green Smoothie should help you have healthy, daily bowel movements after your colon cleanse to keep your body clean and feeling great.

Are you looking for a fast & easy detox you can do at home? Check out my 3-Day Green Smoothie Detox in my new book: Green Smoothies for Dummies. You’ll get a chance to clean your kidneys, skin, colon and liver with specially designed recipes for each elimination organ. In just 3 days…yes! It’s totally possible!

Green Smoothies for Dummies by Jennifer Thompson for Wiley Publishers, NY NY

Green Smoothies for Dummies by Jennifer Thompson for Wiley Publishers, NY NY

In Green Smoothie for Dummies, I’ve created a beautiful 3-day Detox where each recipe focuses on a different organ of elimination, giving you a full-body cleanse in just 3 days!

Find plenty of other recipes and healthy tips too…everything from the best way to clean your blender to how to store your superfoods. I’ve created a “bible” for the best green smoothie making, and it’s all based on what I learned from teaching Green Smoothie classes for years. Every question that any student has ever asked me is in this book!

More on Detox and pH Health:

More on Green Smoothies:

Detox Reaction vs. Allergic Reaction or Intolerance – Which one is it?

Understandably, it can be really frustrating to start eating better and still not feel your best. You might feel confused, discouraged or even angry that you are trying so hard and not seeing the results you want.

What happens if you start a new cleanse, supplement or detox product and find yourself feeling worse? Doesn’t feeling bad mean that you are having a detox reaction and you should “suffer through it?” And doesn’t foggy brain, fatigue, sugar cravings and rashes always mean you have candida? Definitely, no, or at the very least, mostly no.

Symptoms of a Detox Reaction vs. Allergic Reaction

Symptoms of a Detox Reaction vs. Allergic Reaction

I’ve been in this field for a long time and I want to share with you one of the biggest mistakes that people are making today in the world of detox and natural health: They are calling everything a detox reaction.

In my opinion, the most “over-diagnosed” and incorrect problem that people get labeled with when they’re eating healthy (especially high raw food or vegan) but still feeling bad is: 1) They have candida or 2) They are still detoxing. I’ll address the candida issue in another post, but I can tell you that in my experience of seeing well over 4,500 clients, 95+% of the time, both of these assessments are false.

Did you ever consider that you might actually just have a food intolerance or sensitivity to a food additive? Believe it or not, this happens much more than you could ever imagine. And, when you take the suspicious food out of your diet, you can feel better in a matter of days. Finally, you can start enjoying some real healthy bliss! Read on to understand the difference between a real detox reaction and a potential allergic reaction or an intolerance to a food or food additive.

What is a Detox Reaction

When your start to do a detox, as old, excess toxins flush out and unwanted bacteria, microbes and viruses die off, you can actually experience a temporary detox or cleansing reaction. Based on the work of Dr. Karl Herxheimer in the late 1800s, this temporary feeling of illness is known as the Herxheimer effect and is actually an intense sign of healing. These reactions can indicate that your body has started to cleanse itself as it quickly tries to catch up on the overload of toxins being released.

Symptoms of a Detox Reaction

  • Mild headaches, nausea, chills, sweating.
  • Fatigue, aching muscles.
  • Mucous, body odor, rashes.
  • Dizziness, weakness or even foggy brain.

Typical Length of a Detox Reaction

A detox reaction will last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. If you are experiencing a real “healing crisis,” normally that will last from 1 to 3 days total. Usually after the detox reaction, you feel amazingly better, and you will not have that symptom again. For example, you could feel chills or nausea or intense exhaustion, then a few hours later (or after an enema), feel totally energized.

Click on the Disclaimer Link below to read the full disclaimer for this website!

Click on the Disclaimer Link below to read the full disclaimer for this website!

What is an Allergic Reaction or Intolerance

True allergic reactions are much more rare than intolerances but they’re definitely on the rise (thank Monsanto and GMO foods for that). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there’s been a continued rise in allergic diseases in the industrialized world for over 50 years.

An allergic reaction occurs when your body sees a food such as shellfish, peanuts or wheat as a foreign body or allergen, and starts to attack it by creating antibodies and inflammation.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction or Intolerance

The symptoms of an allergic reaction can vary from mild to severe. If you are exposed to an allergen for the first time, your symptoms may be mild. These symptoms may get worse if you are repeatedly exposed to the allergen.

According to the Mayo Clinic, The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth.
  • Hives, itching or eczema.
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body.
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing.
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting.

If you have a food additive intolerance, such as an intolerance to Monosodium Glutamate, you can experience:

  • Headaches, chills, fatigue, aching muscles, dizziness.
  • Insomnia, sensitivity to light or sound.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Fatigue (especially the following day).
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Hives, itching or eczema.
  • Swelling of the lips, eyes, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body.
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or constricted breathing.

Typical Length of a Food or Food Additive Allergy/Intolerance Reaction:

An intolerance or allergy can last indefinitely, especially if you continue to eat the food or use the product that you are intolerant to. The problem with “intolerances” is that they usually have a delayed reaction time and they don’t give nearly as severe a reaction as an “allergy.” That’s why they can easily go undiagnosed for years. After a reaction, you may feel temporarily better, but if you eat the suspect food again, you will have the exact same symptoms over and over and never find yourself feeling better.

As you can see from looking at the above lists, it can be easy for a novice to label a food allergy or intolerance incorrectly and call it a detox reaction – the symptoms are almost exactly the same! In rare cases when someone is taking too many detox supplements or doing too many detox protocols at once (far infrared sauna, colonics, zapper, parasite cleanse, heavy metal detox etc.), I will recommend to slow down the detox itself and determine the best order and pace of detox for the individual.

In the old days of detox, almost 20 years ago, no one was doing this stuff and the people who were really knew what they were doing. In the world of detox today, there is a TON of misinformation out there. Someone who made 1 green juice or fasted for 3 days is suddenly on every forum as the guru of detox. As with everything, this is a blessing and a curse at the same time. It’s a blessing because more people are getting out there and trying a fast or cleanse for the first time and that is simply awesome. And I no longer get booed out of a room for talking about coffee enemas, lol! But it’s a curse because people are being misled down the wrongs roads.

What kind of foods can you be intolerant to?

You can react to certain fillers in supplements (like malodextrin); chlorella in your green powder blend, Miso soup, seaweed snacks, vegan butters, vegan mayonnaise, and pesticides. I’ve even had clients react to whole foods like tomato paste, sesame seeds or celery. Once we get that food out of the diet, the reaction goes away and then we know for sure that we’re dealing with a classic food intolerance and not a detox reaction. How does it work? I can usually identify which foods you need to remove after 25-30 minutes of Q&A about your symptoms, current diet or recent detox.

For more on how to do a detox at home or how to navigate through your detox symptoms and 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: