Why I worked on an organic cattle farm

Yes, it’s true! I worked on an organic cattle farm for 6 weeks while living in Australia several years ago. You may think, “Traitor!”…but of course, no peace-loving health enthusiast would ever think that!  Why did I do it? I’d never worked on a cattle farm before and was open to see what it’s all about. The family who hired me had actually never met a vegetarian in their entire lives. What a union! I went into the experience with an open mind, and an open heart.

A vegetarian meets a cattle ranch family…will it work?

I took the job at the cattle station not long after working and living on Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef for a year and a half. I was coming out of the isolation of island living and driving around oz, happily visiting friends along the way. One of my friends was working in Alice Springs at the time, so I drove to see her. During my visit, she said, “Jennifer, why don’t you stay awhile and look for work? There’s plenty of work ’round here. Plus, when are you ever going to be back?” (Never, I thought!) But, it seemed like a good idea to stay and get to know more of what the strange, desolate, dry, red landscape had to offer. The next day, I checked the local job board and there was a sign for domestic help on an organic cattle farm. Well, I liked the word “organic” anyway! Why not call them and give it a try? I had nothing to lose.

Outback scenery…the road to Alice Springs

Living in the real outback of Australia is not easy. The husband of the family drove 4 hours one-way to come and pick me up in Alice Springs. We drove back to the farm together, getting to know each other along the way. The pickup truck had a big spider crack in the windshield and I remember spending a lot of time wondering how he could even see the road. Never mind that the car was covered in so many layers of dust that you could no longer see the color of the car! On the dashboard were several shotgun shells. They rolled back and forth with every turn that the car took. Admittedly, I wondered what I was getting into. The husband seemed tough, with thick skin tanned from the desert sun and just as many layers of dirt on him as the car. Yet, he seemed genuine and funny too. Not long after the initial small talk, we started talking about nutrition and health. He proudly told me, “I reckon I get the 4 food groups every morning: coffee, milk, sugar and water.” Ok!

The road to their farm was straight and long. Like hundreds of kilometers long. And nothing but desert for as far as you can see. Finally, we got to a dirt road that was another 200km until we got to their driveway. Then, the driveway was 35km long! And not an easy drive because you had to stop every so often at a cattle gate and get out to open the gate. Mind you, I had just come from living on a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef, and I thought that was remote. This was beyond anything I had ever seen!!

The family that I worked for had 2 children: one was still at home and learning online via School of the Air, a fascinating program that’s been in place way before the internet (and originally by radio) for outback families. Their other child was already in boarding school back in Alice Springs. The farm was originally owned by the husband’s family. He inherited it after his father passed away. His wife ran the house and prepared meals for everyone, including the family, me and the other cattle hands. Every night, we all ate together at one big table, unless the guys were out somewhere on the farm mustering cattle.

Fair dinkum outback cowboys

The staff (3 of us) stayed in an old house on the property. It was run down, full of dust and smelled bad. Nothing to write home about. The best aspect of the job is that food and accommodation were included, so you could bank all of your money while you were there and come out with some nice savings. After all, what could you possibly spend your money on out there?! Literally nothing. The other 2 guys were nice guys. One was an experienced mustering pilot who worked side by side with the father each day. The other guy was an Irish backpacker who was a butcher back home in Ireland. They hired him to work with the mustering and also to cut up a cow for their freezer (more on that later). They never seemed to remember his name and just called him “Backpacker” all the time. My job was to spring clean the main house, section by section, room by room, from top to bottom.

In the evenings I would walk on the property…but you don’t want to get any closer than this. The cattle can turn and charge at any moment

I left the farm only once during my stay. The wife needed to stock up on some food essentials, so we went to the “local” store instead of driving all the way into Alice Springs. The local store was still a one hour drive away! It was in an Aboriginal village and catered mostly to them. You could immediately understand why obesity and diabetes have become such big problems in the Aboriginal communities. The store was full of candies, sweets and sugary sodas with just a few old wilted vegetables on a back shelf.

One thing I didn’t mention yet is what we ate. Thankfully, there were plenty of veggies for me to eat as well as bread and pasta (This was before I switched my own diet to a healthier version, but I was still a vegetarian). There was no snack food at all and I didn’t bring any snacks. It was a prison diet, in a sense. You just got your plate of food 3x a day and that was it. For the rest of the crew, they had tons of meat, at every meal. I’d never seen people eat red meat with breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. They had one entire freezer full of meat. In fact, while I was there, they started running low so they had Backpacker chop up a “kill.” It took him 2 days and seemed like a LOT of work. I also didn’t mention the flies. You can’t be in the outback without flies. Especially during those 2 days, there were tons of flies.

One thing that happened without fail at every meal – I was always asked if I had enough to eat. You see, this family had never eaten with a vegetarian before, so it was hard for them to believe that I could feel satisfied without meat. I found it pretty funny. If I was tired on any day, they would always say, “Do you want some meat?” Of course, the answer was always, “No thank you”!

The highlight of my experience was getting to spend a night in the outback with the boys while they were out mustering. I drove with them during the day in their “Mad Max” style jeeps on the ground, while the father and pilot flew from above in gyrocopters. We made a campfire at night, put the billy on the fire and slept on cots out in the open air, straight from an outback movie scene.

Mustering cattle is a lot harder than it looks!

In the end, was it a great experience and a good cultural exchange. Why not let a cattle ranch family live with a vegetarian and vice versa? How will we ever understand each other if we don’t foster positive friendships? I respect the family for their hard work, dedication to the land and desire to raise cattle who eat real grass and are not confined to a mega factory farm. I now have much more of a real understanding of what happens in an organic cattle farm than I ever did before. If people do eat meat, it should be organic meat…and ideally, that would be the only option. Our land can sustain it (although dairy farming is another issue), and there is no overuse of antibiotics, GMO feed or growth hormones as a result.

Aussie outback: where the earth and sky meet

Some may think that I should have boycotted such a place and never accepted the job. I myself ate meat, including pork, chicken and beef, as a child. Should I be burned at the stake because I ate meat until the age of 21 years old? What makes me better or worse than someone who eats meat now? I originally become a vegetarian for environmental reasons. After 15 years or so, my focus shifted more on health reasons. This year will be my 26th year of having not eaten meat.

An interesting note to all of this is that the husband’s father passed away from colon cancer, in his 50’s. It’s a very sad ending for someone who loved the land so much. And does make one wonder – did eating so much meat, even organic meat, contribute to his ill health?

The one thing I do know is this: acceptance, forgiveness and love are the keys to bridging the gaps that divide us. Whether vegan, vegetarian, breatharian or other…we are all human.

More Travel Tales:

Does the Squatty Potty Really work?

If you’ve never heard of a Squatty Potty, then you are definitely not up-to-date with the latest trend in bathroom accessories (and yes, there are bathroom trends!). This simple yet practical toilet stool has taken the digestively-challenged world by storm, literally! Times have certainly changed since I started working in the field of detox nearly 20 years ago. Back then, I couldn’t talk about poo without everyone running as fast and as far away as they could. Now, I can write and share a full article about something that is helping people have better bowel movements! In this blog post, I’m going to share my results in using the Squatty Potty at home. Does it really work, or it is just hype?

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free product in return for my honest review and experience with the product.
All thoughts and opinion expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates, in any way.

The Squatty Potty 2.0 model fully extended to the 9 inch position

Why I wanted to try the Squatty Potty

Admittedly, my husband wasn’t so thrilled to be part of this experiment, but in reality he was the one who needed help in the a-hem..toilet department. Having suffered with constipation his entire life, he understands more than anyone how frustrating it is when you don’t “go” every day. When I first met him, he was literally amazed that I could be in and out of the bathroom in less than 3 minutes, for a Number 2! Often, he would sit on that porcelain throne for 30 minutes or more, praying to the heavens above for any miracle cure. Many times, we would have to wait all morning before going out because he still “had to go.” In some cases, he wouldn’t have any bowel movement for 3 or 4 days at a time. I was in shock! When he first told me this, I immediately scheduled a colonic for him. And can you believe – he actually went through with it? His first colonic ever (but not his last!) Now… that’s true love!

Fast forward several years and many detoxes later, and things has vastly improved for my husband’s gut health. If he eats well with green smoothies, fresh fruit, a daily probiotic and plenty of water throughout the day, he generally does exceptionally well and is actually quite regular these days. But, if any of that gets off track, his colon will be the first to let him know. It’s awful to see someone you care about not be able to go to the toilet and really feel miserable as a result. Naturally, I kept thinking – what else can I do to help him improve this situation? Having heard of Squatty Potty and having used many squat toilets myself over the years while living in SE Asia, I thought that using a stool and changing the position of his sitting could help. The only way to know for sure was to give it a try!

We received our new Squatty Potties by mail in an unmarked box with no exterior labels, which was reassuring since I can imagine that some people would prefer complete privacy with this type of purchase. My first impression was that the company has done really well to put a fun and cute spin on a topic that was formerly more on the taboo side and for many still is not so easy to discuss. Even I was accused of giving #TMI when I texted a good friend to tell her we just received our Squatty Potty! Anyway, the packaging and branding of Squatty Potty is great. The stools were wrapped in turquoise blue tissue paper, with a paper unicorn crown (for the new King of Poop) and a button that proudly states “I Pooped Today.” Classic! All of this made me even more excited to give the Squatty Potty a try.

Squatty Potty: What is it and who needs one?

A Squatty Potty is a modern-day version of the squat toilet, brought to you with all the comfort of your Western-style porcelain throne.  The Squatty Potty is a step stool designed to fit easily around the base of your toilet seat. It works like this: Sit on your toilet as you normally would, gently lift your legs, rest your feet on the stool and let the bowel movement begin. By lifting your legs slightly, the transverse colon gently rises thus preventing any “kinks” in the colon and allowing the pipes to flow, so to speak.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only. 
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition. 

Squatty Potty Slim Driftwood Teak Model in 7 inch height

If you have a history of constipation, inflammation in the colon, or a feeling of not fully evacuating then the Squatty Potty is worth a try. In terms of how many people could actually benefit from something like this, just look at the statistics. Approximately 70 MILLION Americans have digestive disorders, prompting in nearly 60 MILLION visits to doctors’ offices and hospitals each year.

Clearly, what goes in doesn’t always come out.

Low stomach enzymes, an unhealthy “microbiome” or bacterial balance in the gut, an over acid environment, toxicity, and/or inflammation are warning signs that the body is not eliminating well. (Remember, any bowel disease ending with the word “itis” is a disease on inflammation, like ulcerative colitis, gastritis and diverticulitis.) What’s worse is that more health problems can arise from all this internal stress. As Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” I agree!

Our results: Using a Squatty Potty

In theory, I knew that the Squatty Potty should work. But still, I wondered – could a toilet stool really mimic the true Asian squat and offer improved evacuation? The answer is: YES! I am actually impressed at how well it works!

On the day the Squatty Potty arrived, my husband tried the 2.0 model set at the standard 7″ height. Within 10 minutes, he was out of the bathroom (that alone is amazing!). Without getting too graphic, he said, “More just kept coming out! Every time I thought I was done, there was more!” Well, that never happens. Usually it’s the opposite and more in lines of, “I kept pushing and nothing came out” OR “I pushed and pushed and only got a rabbit turd.” If you’ve been in that situation, I am sure you can relate.

I can only guess that my husband has some prolapse of the colon, which can definitely keep the large intestine in a more kinked position. Changing the position of the colon created an immediate positive effect. Every time he uses the Squatty Potty, he has a release and it’s always more than he thought he was going to have. That’s simply amazing!

For me, the results were also good. In my case, I am very regular and have a large bowel movement every morning. Could the Squatty Potty help someone like me, who doesn’t have any digestive problems and goes to the loo every day? Yes! When I’ve used the Squatty Potty, I have my normal release, and then I have another almost full poo immediately after. Almost like two poo’s at once. Definitely I feel improved evacuation and I feel flatter in my stomach after. I can only surmise that more is getting through even my clean and healthy pipes, just from the change in position of the colon.

Asian Squat Toilet vs. Western Sit Toilet – What’s the poop?

An Asian squat toilet is a simple style of toilet design that consists of a hole in the floor and 2 porcelain treads for your feet on either side. You stand in position, squat and then go. This design is used in many parts of the world but is mostly found in Asia, hence the name “Asian-style” toilet.

Who would want to squat like a dog to go to the toilet?! Well, imagine the days before real toilets existed. What would have been the easiest and most natural position to a-hem..fertilize a tree? There’s no way you would stand and bend at the knees (muscles shaking) as if sitting on the loo. Naturally, you would squat in a low position, close to the ground. Squatting is easier on the joints and less tiring on the muscles, but more importantly it puts the transverse colon in the correct position and lifts any prolapse in the colon. Kinks in the colon are lifted naturally, especially where the ascending and descending colon turn. All of this allows you to “go” quickly and easily, standing up after to check for any predators and be on your way.

The first man-made toilets copied the style of squatting and in many parts of the world, squat toilets were the norm. This made perfect sense until more modern day folks decided that sitting was the preferred position of defecating.  That’s when the Western toilet arrived, and along with the Western diet (refined sugar, wheat and dairy), came many new digestive ailments.

I used many squat toilets over the course of several years while living in SE Asia. In my experience, public squat toilets are way cleaner than public Western toilets. It’s a relief to not have to sit on a dirty seat splashed with who-knows-what. Using a squat toilet also helps strengthen your leg muscles and gives the body a good stretch. It just feels more natural. I also think that I had more volume evacuated whenever using a squat toilet.

Is it better to squat on the toilet? That’s kind-of a trick question because believe it or not, a lot of Asians who have never used a Western toilet will actually stand on the seat of a Western toilet and squat!

Is a squat toilet better? In my opinion, yes. I wish we had the option to build an Asian style toilet in our home here in the United States – I would definitely do that!

What Squatty Potty model is best?

I had a hard time deciding which Squatty Potty model to try. I didn’t really like the medical look of the traditional Squatty potty. I just recently painted one of our bathrooms and I wanted to maintain a sleek, modern style there.

Also, my husband is 6’8″ tall and weighs 220 pounds. I was worried that the slim teak style might actually break from his weight.  At the same time, I didn’t know which height would work best for him. I read a few reviews from tall people who said that the 9″ was too high for them, and their knees were in their face. I was leaning towards the new 2.0 model which allows for 2 positions and adjusts between 7″ and 9″ heights.  But, I didn’t like the medical-looking style. So, what to do?!

In the end, I chose the Squatty Potty 2.0 for one bathroom and the slim teak model for the other one. We’ve been very happy with both. Initially, my husband was happy using the 2.0 at the 7″ height. After 2 weeks, he decided that he wanted to adjust it up to 9 inches. Starting at 9″ probably would have been too uncomfortable for him, and may have discouraged him from trying. Definitely, having the flexibility to change the height is really nice. The driftwood teak slim design in the other bathroom satisfies my desire to have a nicer look. I tend to use that bathroom more than my husband, and the 7″ height of that stool feels more comfortable for me. The slim stool is sturdy in design, even with the weight of a 220-pound man.

I also LOVE the idea of the Porta-Squatty, which folds up easily for travel. Since traveling is always more challenging for my hubby in terms of staying regular, I could see where this could really come in handy.

In the case of optimizing one’s poo, position does matter!

How to Improve Gut Health

In addition to getting the squat position right, there are other natural remedies that also help to keep things “moving”.

To improve gut health, you can:

  1. Increase fiber. Add 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed to a green smoothie daily
  2. Take a daily probiotic, one at night before bed.
  3. Don’t overeat. Set regular mealtimes.
  4. Add fermented foods to your diet.
  5. Detox and/or colon cleanse once a year (at a minimum).

Finally…don’t forget to Listen to your Gut! Your body is giving you signals when things aren’t right. Stay in tune with how you feel. Heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, gas, pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain are all signs of imbalance. Pay attention when things aren’t working. The faster you make changes, the sooner you can feel better.

Read more on natural health and healing here:

What your Poop and Pee can tell you about Your Health

How to Do a Castor Oil Pack for Liver Cleansing

How to Do Onion Socks for Healing

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!

More on Skin Cleansing:

More on Liver Cleansing:

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.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only. 
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition. 

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!

Benefits of Flax Seed, How to Grind/Store and How Much to Take Daily

Flaxseed (or linseed) is a very small shiny seed with a lot of great health benefits, from reducing cholesterol to improving blood sugar levels for diabetics. The reason why it’s a Superfood is because flax is very high in dietary fiber, it’s a plant-based source of omega 3 fatty acids, and a high source of lignans (phyto-nutrients possessing powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties).

Adequate fiber in the daily diet is key for good digestive health.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Benefits of Flax Seed, How to Grind/Store and How Much to Take Daily

You can buy flax in a few different ways – in whole seed form, already ground into powder form (ground whole seeds) or as flax seed oil. While flax oil does have many health benefits, it is lacking the valuable fiber of the seeds themselves (because the seeds are pressed, separating the fiber from the oil).

Whole flax seeds contain both the fiber and oil, giving you all of the nutritional value in one. However, flax seeds need to be ground before eating so the body can absorb their nutrients. If not, they will simply pass through the digestive track in whole form and that means their nutrients will pass through too!

Mini-food processor to grind flax seed at home

The freshest way to consume your flax seed is to buy the seeds whole and grind them yourself at home. It’s the most inexpensive way to add them to your diet too. Look for organic whole flax seeds in the bulk food section of your local health food store or in your supermarket near the cereal or baking section. You can use either a mini-food processor or coffee bean grinder to grind your flax seed into powder form. Simply add the seeds to the grinder, and grind. You should add the seeds dry and end up with a dry powder. Do not add water to the grinder. Also, be sure that your grinder is clean before you start (clean out any coffee bean residue if using a coffee grinder). For an inexpensive mini-food processor, check on ebay or at local yard sales (many people sell them as ‘baby food makers’). I usually keep about a 2-4 weeks’ supply of ground flax seed in the refrigerator at any given time; that equates to 2 cups or almost 500ml.

Adding whole, unrefined high fiber foods to the diet can help strengthen the digestive system, decrease toxicity in the body, stabilize blood sugar levels, clear the skin and even improve kidney and liver function. It’s a small amount of time and money invested that offers a high return: your health!

Organic ground flax seed

Whole flax seeds can be stored at room temperature in a container or jar. When the flax seed is open (into a powder or pressed an oil), it becomes temperature-sensitive and will turn rancid if left at room temperature. Once ground, it is important to store your flax seed powder in the refrigerator (and preferably in a glass container).

If you are reading this article and have your freshly ground flax seed stored in the cupboard, please do not just move it to the fridge and think that it’s ok. It’s best to throw it away, grind a new batch and store the newly ground flax seed in the fridge. Store-bought ground flax seed should be stored in the fridge after opening.

Flax Seed FAQ:

How much ground flax seed should I eat every day?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommended daily fiber intake is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. I was admittedly impressed to read the following statement in the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010): “Most Americans greatly underconsume dietary fiber, and usual intake averages only 15 g per day. Breads, rolls, buns, and pizza crust made with refined flour are not among the best sources of dietary fiber, but currently contribute substantially to dietary fiber consumption because they are ubiquitous in typical American diets. To meet the recommendation for fiber, Americans should increase their consumption of beans and peas, other vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other foods with naturally occurring fiber.”

Ground flax should be stored in a glass container in the fridge

2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed has almost 4 grams of total dietary fiber. I recommend that you start with adding 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to your daily diet, and slowly increase to 3-4 Tbsp. per day. Some people consume 6 Tbsp. daily and are very comfortable with their digestion, often finding relief from constipation and other digestive problems just from the simple increase of fiber in their diet.

Imagine someone consuming 15 grams of fiber per day who adds 4 Tbsp. of ground flax or 8 grams of fiber to their daily diet: without changing anything else; they are now consuming 23 grams of dietary fiber daily! It’s so easy!

What if I buy a package of already ground flax seed? Do I store that in the fridge?

You can buy flax seed already ground. Be sure to store it in the fridge immediately upon opening the package.

Is it better to buy the light brown or the dark brown flax seeds?

The best type of flax seed to buy is 100% certified organic, of course! I’ve tried both the light (or golden) and dark brown flax seeds, and I do make a conscious effort to add variety into my diet so sometimes I buy the golden brown and sometimes I buy the dark brown. When I’m feeling a bit wild and crazy, I even blend them both together and store the mixture in the fridge!

Is it possible to eat too much flax seed?

I do think that any one food eaten in too much excess is probably not a good thing. The key to good health is variety and balance in the diet. In this case, if you were eating 10x-20x the normal recommended amount of daily dietary fiber, you may be in store for some serious buffalo-sized poo! As I said before, start with 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed daily and slowly build up to 3-4 Tbsp. with a maximum of 6 Tbsp. per day. Think nice human-size poo and you should be fine!

What about the fat content in flax seed?

This question always amazes me. It’s most often asked by my female clients who have been struck with the ‘no-fat’ or ‘low-fat’ mindset. These same women will turn down such a high nutrient-dense food like flax for fear of excess fat, but continue to indulge in a daily latte or afternoon chocolate bar. I am often left very perplexed by this logic!!

According to the USDA, 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed weighs 14 grams, has 75 calories, 5.9 grams of total fat and 3.8 grams of total dietary fiber. While true that ground flax seed does contain fat (5.9 x 9 calories per gram = 53.1 calories of fat per 2 Tbsp./75 calorie serving), it’s important to keep things in perspective. If you’re eating 53 calories of fat in a 1500 calories per day diet, that equates to 3.5% of total calories in fat. Move up to 4 Tbsp. per day and you’re at 7%. Now do the math on your latte and chocolate bar and factor in their nutritional value then re-evaluate who is your friend and who is your foe. The answer: 2-4 Tbsp. of ground flax seed is not a high-fat contribution to your overall dietary intake of food.

What about the photo-estrogen in flax seed – is it dangerous?

This is another important factor to consider and a question I get asked occasionally. Remember, we are talking about adding 2-4 Tbsp. with a maximum of 6 Tbsp. daily of ground flax seed. Keep in mind too that I am recommending the whole ground flax seed, and not the oil (which would be more concentrated in phyto-estrogens). It is true that flax seed does contain photo-estrogens but there are mixed reports on whether the estrogen from flax seed alone is affecting people’s glandular and hormonal systems. I do believe if you were eating a bucket of flax seed at every meal, this would be an important issue, but we are talking about a few spoonfuls, and the other health benefits of this natural, whole and pure food are major reasons to keep it in the diet.

Keeping variety in your diet is the best way to give your body all the important micro-nutrients it needs without over-whelming it with any excess amount of anything. Of course, if you have an estrogen-related health condition or specific medical concerns, it’s best to consult with your medical doctor.

  • Add 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed to your Green Smoothie daily.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed onto a fresh fruit salad.
  • Mix 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed into a homemade salad dressing or raw food veggie salad.

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Aloe Vera: Nature’s Alternative to Botox!

There are countless new products and procedures out there promoting healthy, age-defying, clear and beautiful skin. You can spend anywhere from $10 to $1,000 or even more for that ‘youthful’ glow. Even women in their 20’s are spending money on Botox, fillers and dermal abrasion procedures to avoid getting wrinkles later in life. It all seems a bit crazy to me, especially when Mother Nature provides an inexpensive, nutrient-filled natural alternative – right in front of our very eyes – Aloe Vera!

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Look for Fresh Aloe Leaf in your local supermarket or organic veggie store

It’s true. Aloe Vera really is Mother Nature’s alternative to Botox. Did you know that ingesting the natural, clear interior gel of the Aloe Vera Leaf can increase the body’s natural collagen production? Rubbing pure Aloe Vera gel on the skin at night provides a natural tightening agent for the skin to keep it fresh and give a ‘natural face lift’ look. Use what nature has provided, and over time you will see and feel the difference for yourself!

Aloe Vera – Cleans from the Inside Out

Aloe contains many minerals, amino acids and vitamins and is a natural anti-inflammatory food. It’s known to help with absorption, digestion and elimination for anyone suffering from bowel conditions, especially inflammation of the colon. It can help with constipation and provide a mini daily detox effect when taken on a regular basis. You can easily add the fresh inner gel to a morning smoothie or stir into a juice for a real superfood boost.

Aloe is best eaten and applied when fresh. Try to buy a large Aloe Vera Leaf from your local health food store or gourmet supermarket and store it in the fridge. Every day, cut out a piece of fresh gel about 1 inch x 1 inch. Do not ingest the green skin – you can throw that part away or add it to your compost bin. Take the fresh gel and add it to a fruit smoothie for a delicious and healthy breakfast blend.

Try apple, banana, fresh Aloe Vera, 1 cup water, 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed blended into a fantastic healing drink. Sweet fruits combine well with the Aloe Vera to hide it’s naturally bitter taste.

If you can’t find the fresh Aloe Leaf, look for 100% organic Aloe Vera Juice sold at your local health food store and add 1-2 capfuls to your smoothie. Do not use any normal store-bought aloe vera gel in a tube as there may be added chemicals or other ingredients that are not edible. Fresh is always best. A fresh Aloe Vera Leaf should remain fresh when stored in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks.

Fresh aloe in a smoothie is great for digestion too!

You can also apply the fresh cut inner gel of Aloe Vera directly to your skin for a 100% natural skin cleanser, toner and beautifying treatment. Place on the skin at night before bed or apply for 10 minutes in the morning prior to showering. Combine the Aloe Vera skin treatment with an Aloe Vera smoothie or juice every day and you’ll be investing in good health and great skin from the inside out, naturally!

Where to Buy

If you can’t get fresh aloe vera, then go for the 100% certified organic aloe vera juice, available for sale online.

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Okra Pepsin Small Intestine Cleanse

Okra Pepsin Formula

The Okra Pepsin is a type of a cleanse which is specially formulated to remove any residual plaque and/or toxins from the small intestine. It is an old formula using concentrated okra vegetable enzymes. Okra is a very ‘sticky’ vegetable, and because of that, it stays longer in the small intestine than other foods. The enzymes of the okra are especially good at ‘eating away’ old fifth that may be blocking the micro-villi within the small intestines.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

It is usually recommended to do this cleanse for 10-14 days. You can still eat during that time, but ideally you would not be drinking any coffee or alcohol, and avoiding wheat, sugar, processed foods and meat as much as possible. The Okra Pepsin cleanse is a great pre-cleanse to a normal 7-day ‘fasting’ program, because it gives the body a chance to loosen a lot of ‘gunk.’ Going from that into 2 enemas a day and 7 days of only juice is a perfect combination, especially for those who have done a 7-day program many times already.

Some people recommend this cleanse to celiacs and anyone suffering from bowel dis-ease, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and colitis. I have personally know a few clients who did this cleanse and mid-way through, they expelled a huge pile a ‘black slimy sludge.’ Can you imagine how something like that could seriously affect the function of the small intestines?

I personally tried this formula, and I used it for 12 days. The main reactions I experienced were: nausea, fatigue, cramping in the abdomen, foul-smelling stool, sweating, excessive heat, itchy skin and low appetite. All of these symptoms came and went over the course of the cleanse. Sadly, I did not release any ‘black slime’. A few days after finishing, I started a 7-day colon detox with juices, psyllium and 2 enemas daily. After the entire cleansing combination, I felt great.

Okra Pepsin Ingredients

Not many people know about the Okra Pepsin, and it’s not an easy herbal formula to find. The best company that still makes it is called Standard Process. In the US, one normally has to order this herb through a naturopath. It is sometimes available for sale on amazon.com. Outside of the US, I was able to find it in one health food shop in Hong Kong.

One final thing to note with the Okra Pepsin is that there is also a cow hormone/extract in the ingredients. For strict vegans, this cleanse would therefore not be recommended. I struggled with the decision to do the cleanse myself, but for the sake of my clients and being able to share my personal experience, I decided to try it once. If you are still wanting to experience the effects of the okra enzymes, you could consider doing a 7-10 day fast taking only green vegetables juices and eating fresh okra and green salads every day.

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