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Are farmers getting CANCER from pesticides sold at Home Depot?

Friends, your health matters, at least to me!  This is something you need to know. Poisons are being marketed and sold to us to use freely on our gardens, fruit, vegetables, flowers, lawns and precious earth. This one particular pesticide is used everywhere, from huge agricultural farms to your neighbor next door, who can easily buy it at Lowes and Home Depot just down the road from you. In July 2017, the State of California added this pesticide under Proposition 65 as “known to the state to cause cancer.” In the EU, it’s currently under discussion for vote on a ban of the chemical by 2020.

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. 

If someone offered you a salad dressing that was known to cause cancer, would you add it to your plate? Of course not! Well, unfortunately…this pesticide is already in the salad! Even in some “organic” foods too!! (You can understand why we moved to the mountains to start growing our own food. Scroll down below to find out what you can do NOW to improve your food at home.)

The world today is currently undergoing a slow and painful death and there is no smoking gun since this pesticide has very sneakily been added to our food supply for the last 4 decades and wrongly labeled as “safe” for the sake of profit. It’s in everything from corn, barley, sugar beets, oats, potatoes, sunflower, soy and canola oil, and the list goes on and on. Of course it’s in the feed given to cows and chickens, so that means it’s even more concentrated in meat, eggs and dairy. Recently, this pesticide was even detected in (non-GMO) Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. In fact, it’s so heavily used that it’s been detected in the water and air. (Do you think the average organic farm is really free from this stuff, and especially considering that most “organic” produce sold in the USA comes from Mexico?) While this pesticide is most commonly used on Genetically Modified (GMO) crops, it can also be used and found in conventional crops as well.

It’s not only in the United States

In Europe, where it’s widely thought to be “better than the United States” for all things related to what’s allowed in foods, you will find this pesticide all over the place. In fact, it’s so pervasive that its residues were recently found in 45% of Europe’s topsoil – and in the urine of three quarters of Germans tested, at five times the legal limit for drinking water. Its residues have been found in biscuits, crackers, crisps, breakfast cereals and in 60% of breads sold in the UK. (Can you imagine how much worse it must be in the US then?!)

I see normal everyday people buying this pesticide at Lowes and Home Depot, actually bragging about how great it works to kill things like poison oak, invasive multi flora rose, or bamboo (without realizing that it’s killing them too!).

Could the dramatic decline in honey bee populations all over the world in recent years be linked to this pesticide as well?

Link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

This particular pesticide has been heavily linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). With NHL, the cancer starts in the white blood cells of the lymphatic system, all of which are part of the body’s immune system. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes – a type of white blood cell.

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

  • Painless, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling.
  • Chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing.
  • Persistent fatigue, lethargy, feeling of tiredness.
  • Fever.
  • Night sweats.
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss.
  • Skin rash or itchy skin (pruritus).
  • Difficulty moving parts of the body.
  • Pain in the chest, abdomen or bones for no known reason.

Are you ready to know the name of this pesticide?  Since I don’t want to get trolled or harassed by the company who manufactures this chemical, I’ll write it in this way:

R..O..U..N..D..U..P  also known as  G..l..y..p..h..o..s..a..t..e  made by  M..o..n..s..a..n..t..o

Farmers using this pesticide who got NHL cancer

March 2016 – The family of Cambria, California farmer Jack McCall, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against M.o.n.s.a.n.t.o, claiming that McCall’s cancer was caused by R.o.u.n.d.u.p exposure. McCall was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using R.o.u.n.d.u.p for nearly 30 years on his 20-acre fruit and vegetable farm. He died in December of 2015 after suffering a massive stroke due to complications from cancer.

February 2016 – California couple James and Brenda Huerta filed a R.o.u.n.d.u.p cancer lawsuit against M.o.n.s.a.n.t.o claiming exposure to g.l.y.p.h.o.s.a.t.e caused Brenda to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The R.o.u.n.d.u.p cancer lawsuit claims that both were exposed to the herbicide while living on a sod farm where g.l.y.p.h.o.s.a.t.e was sprayed between 2004 and 2008.

November 2015 – Christine Sheppard owned and worked on a coffee farm in Hawaii between 1995 and 2004. For around eight years, she relied on M.o.n.s.a.n.t.o R.o.u.n.d.u.p [g.l.y.p.h.o.s.a.t.e] to kill weeds on her farm. Sheppard alleges her exposure to R.o.u.n.d.u.p is the cause of her non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In her R.o.u.n.d.u.p cancer lawsuit, she claims that M.o.n.s.a.n.t.o failed to warn the public about the dangers of g.l.y.p.h.o.s.a.t.e.

(The above info resource link here.) 

The list goes on and on. In 2015, 200 people filed a class action lawsuit in California against the maker of this pesticide.

People just don’t know and that’s the problem

Here’s a big part of the problem: the public perception of risk is low. Would you really think your Kona coffee grown on the hills of the Big Island of Hawaii could be loaded with a cancer-causing pesticide? Or you hippie-loving Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? It’s really hard to convince people that these seemingly healthy products could be contaminated.

Last year I was at a weekend farmer’s market her in Western North Carolina. There was a nice man selling “farm fresh artisanal” goat cheese. We got to talking, and I casually asked him about what he feeds the goats. He explained to me that he doesn’t have his own goats. Instead, he buys the milk from 2 different local goat farmers. I asked if the farmers used non-GMO feed. He exclaimed, “No way! They can’t afford that, and I couldn’t afford to buy their milk if they did!.” I was in shock. I think it took half a minute for me to say something! What’s even more shocking is that his cheese sells for $12-15 per piece! And for that, you’re getting a GMO product (along with the cancer-causing pesticides)!! Every time I’ve been to that market since, his booth is packed with customers. Sadly, I’m sure they have no idea what they are really getting. (In his defense, I can only say that perhaps he, like many others, just doesn’t know or understand the problem.)

The numbers say it all

Look at the charts below to get a better understanding of what we are really dealing with. To understand the severity of these findings, remember, research shows that probable harm to human health begins at really low levels of exposure – only 0.1 ppb. And yes, the manufacturer of that chemical is trying desperately hide that number for the general public! Below, you can see for yourself that many foods were found to have over 1,000 times this amount!  Also note that you see organic foods on the list too. This should be on the front page of every newspaper!!

What You can do: 5 Easy Steps

Hopefully by now, you are wondering, what can I do to improve my health and stay away from this chemical?! This is something that I will go into more and more in future posts, to help you navigate through this maze and find better ways to detoxify your body so you don’t have too much accumulation of any chemical or heavy metal. In the meantime, some things you can do now:

  1. Avoid buying organic produce from Mexico. Since we have no idea what’s it the soil, water or otherwise…it’s just a risk not worth taking. Organic produce from USA may not be much better, but at least there is a chance! (And when you see the difference in price between organic from Mexico vs. organic from California, doesn’t it make you wonder??)
  2. Avoid bottled water, unless it’s distilled water. Don’t waste your money on anything other than distilled water…and at least the distilled water can help bind and transport heavy metals out of the body. We drink freshly collected mountain spring water and distilled water in our home.
  3. DON’T BUY or USE R.O.U.N.D.U.P !!! Not for any reason! I cannot emphasize this enough. If people stop buying this crap, the company will suffer. Let your lawn and flowers and bamboo do want they want…which is grow! If you don’t like a particular weed, pull it out of the ground. Would you rather have no weeds and cancer, or no cancer and weeds? It’s a no brainer!
  4. Avoid foods from China. This is easier said than done and takes a bit of learning to figure out what common foods are imported from China. Garlic is a good example. Nearly all conventional fresh garlic sold in supermarkets today comes from China.  An easy upgrade for you and your family is to buy locally grown certified organic garlic (or grow your own, like we do!).
  5. Avoid packaged snack foods. Use only certified organic spices. Use whole organic ingredients (preferably locally grown) and make meals from from scratch whenever possible.

Ready to do even more? Start planting more pollinating flowers outside your home or apartment. And don’t use any chemicals on them! Give the honey bees a chance to survive with some decent clean food. I’ve found that the bees in our area really love organic catnip, lavender, sage and delphinium – all of which are pretty easy to grow.

How to Eat Clean: Start with Green Smoothies!

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

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

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

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

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


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

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

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


More on Food Labels:

More on Food Additives and Food Allergies:

More on Genetically Engineering Foods:

Are farmers getting CANCER from pesticides sold at Home Depot?

Friends, your health matters, at least to me!  This is something you need to know. Poisons are being marketed and sold to us to use freely on our gardens, fruit, vegetables, flowers, lawns and precious earth. This one particular pesticide is used everywhere, from huge agricultural farms to your neighbor next door, who can easily buy it at Lowes and Home Depot just down the road from you. In July 2017, the State of California added this pesticide under Proposition 65 as “known to the state to cause cancer.” In the EU, it’s currently under discussion for vote on a ban of the chemical by 2020.

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. 

If someone offered you a salad dressing that was known to cause cancer, would you add it to your plate? Of course not! Well, unfortunately…this pesticide is already in the salad! Even in some “organic” foods too!! (You can understand why we moved to the mountains to start growing our own food. Scroll down below to find out what you can do NOW to improve your food at home.)

The world today is currently undergoing a slow and painful death and there is no smoking gun since this pesticide has very sneakily been added to our food supply for the last 4 decades and wrongly labeled as “safe” for the sake of profit. It’s in everything from corn, barley, sugar beets, oats, potatoes, sunflower, soy and canola oil, and the list goes on and on. Of course it’s in the feed given to cows and chickens, so that means it’s even more concentrated in meat, eggs and dairy. Recently, this pesticide was even detected in (non-GMO) Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. In fact, it’s so heavily used that it’s been detected in the water and air. (Do you think the average organic farm is really free from this stuff, and especially considering that most “organic” produce sold in the USA comes from Mexico?) While this pesticide is most commonly used on Genetically Modified (GMO) crops, it can also be used and found in conventional crops as well.

It’s not only in the United States

In Europe, where it’s widely thought to be “better than the United States” for all things related to what’s allowed in foods, you will find this pesticide all over the place. In fact, it’s so pervasive that its residues were recently found in 45% of Europe’s topsoil – and in the urine of three quarters of Germans tested, at five times the legal limit for drinking water. Its residues have been found in biscuits, crackers, crisps, breakfast cereals and in 60% of breads sold in the UK. (Can you imagine how much worse it must be in the US then?!)

I see normal everyday people buying this pesticide at Lowes and Home Depot, actually bragging about how great it works to kill things like poison oak, invasive multi flora rose, or bamboo (without realizing that it’s killing them too!).

Could the dramatic decline in honey bee populations all over the world in recent years be linked to this pesticide as well?

Link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

This particular pesticide has been heavily linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). With NHL, the cancer starts in the white blood cells of the lymphatic system, all of which are part of the body’s immune system. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes – a type of white blood cell.

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

  • Painless, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling.
  • Chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing.
  • Persistent fatigue, lethargy, feeling of tiredness.
  • Fever.
  • Night sweats.
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss.
  • Skin rash or itchy skin (pruritus).
  • Difficulty moving parts of the body.
  • Pain in the chest, abdomen or bones for no known reason.

Are you ready to know the name of this pesticide?  Since I don’t want to get trolled or harassed by the company who manufactures this chemical, I’ll write it in this way:

R..O..U..N..D..U..P  also known as  G..l..y..p..h..o..s..a..t..e  made by  M..o..n..s..a..n..t..o

Farmers using this pesticide who got NHL cancer

March 2016 – The family of Cambria, California farmer Jack McCall, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against M.o.n.s.a.n.t.o, claiming that McCall’s cancer was caused by R.o.u.n.d.u.p exposure. McCall was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using R.o.u.n.d.u.p for nearly 30 years on his 20-acre fruit and vegetable farm. He died in December of 2015 after suffering a massive stroke due to complications from cancer.

February 2016 – California couple James and Brenda Huerta filed a R.o.u.n.d.u.p cancer lawsuit against M.o.n.s.a.n.t.o claiming exposure to g.l.y.p.h.o.s.a.t.e caused Brenda to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The R.o.u.n.d.u.p cancer lawsuit claims that both were exposed to the herbicide while living on a sod farm where g.l.y.p.h.o.s.a.t.e was sprayed between 2004 and 2008.

November 2015 – Christine Sheppard owned and worked on a coffee farm in Hawaii between 1995 and 2004. For around eight years, she relied on M.o.n.s.a.n.t.o R.o.u.n.d.u.p [g.l.y.p.h.o.s.a.t.e] to kill weeds on her farm. Sheppard alleges her exposure to R.o.u.n.d.u.p is the cause of her non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In her R.o.u.n.d.u.p cancer lawsuit, she claims that M.o.n.s.a.n.t.o failed to warn the public about the dangers of g.l.y.p.h.o.s.a.t.e.

(The above info resource link here.) 

The list goes on and on. In 2015, 200 people filed a class action lawsuit in California against the maker of this pesticide.

People just don’t know and that’s the problem

Here’s a big part of the problem: the public perception of risk is low. Would you really think your Kona coffee grown on the hills of the Big Island of Hawaii could be loaded with a cancer-causing pesticide? Or you hippie-loving Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? It’s really hard to convince people that these seemingly healthy products could be contaminated.

Last year I was at a weekend farmer’s market her in Western North Carolina. There was a nice man selling “farm fresh artisanal” goat cheese. We got to talking, and I casually asked him about what he feeds the goats. He explained to me that he doesn’t have his own goats. Instead, he buys the milk from 2 different local goat farmers. I asked if the farmers used non-GMO feed. He exclaimed, “No way! They can’t afford that, and I couldn’t afford to buy their milk if they did!.” I was in shock. I think it took half a minute for me to say something! What’s even more shocking is that his cheese sells for $12-15 per piece! And for that, you’re getting a GMO product (along with the cancer-causing pesticides)!! Every time I’ve been to that market since, his booth is packed with customers. Sadly, I’m sure they have no idea what they are really getting. (In his defense, I can only say that perhaps he, like many others, just doesn’t know or understand the problem.)

The numbers say it all

Look at the charts below to get a better understanding of what we are really dealing with. To understand the severity of these findings, remember, research shows that probable harm to human health begins at really low levels of exposure – only 0.1 ppb. And yes, the manufacturer of that chemical is trying desperately hide that number for the general public! Below, you can see for yourself that many foods were found to have over 1,000 times this amount!  Also note that you see organic foods on the list too. This should be on the front page of every newspaper!!

What You can do: 5 Easy Steps

Hopefully by now, you are wondering, what can I do to improve my health and stay away from this chemical?! This is something that I will go into more and more in future posts, to help you navigate through this maze and find better ways to detoxify your body so you don’t have too much accumulation of any chemical or heavy metal. In the meantime, some things you can do now:

  1. Avoid buying organic produce from Mexico. Since we have no idea what’s it the soil, water or otherwise…it’s just a risk not worth taking. Organic produce from USA may not be much better, but at least there is a chance! (And when you see the difference in price between organic from Mexico vs. organic from California, doesn’t it make you wonder??)
  2. Avoid bottled water, unless it’s distilled water. Don’t waste your money on anything other than distilled water…and at least the distilled water can help bind and transport heavy metals out of the body. We drink freshly collected mountain spring water and distilled water in our home.
  3. DON’T BUY or USE R.O.U.N.D.U.P !!! Not for any reason! I cannot emphasize this enough. If people stop buying this crap, the company will suffer. Let your lawn and flowers and bamboo do want they want…which is grow! If you don’t like a particular weed, pull it out of the ground. Would you rather have no weeds and cancer, or no cancer and weeds? It’s a no brainer!
  4. Avoid foods from China. This is easier said than done and takes a bit of learning to figure out what common foods are imported from China. Garlic is a good example. Nearly all conventional fresh garlic sold in supermarkets today comes from China.  An easy upgrade for you and your family is to buy locally grown certified organic garlic (or grow your own, like we do!).
  5. Avoid packaged snack foods. Use only certified organic spices. Use whole organic ingredients (preferably locally grown) and make meals from from scratch whenever possible.

Ready to do even more? Start planting more pollinating flowers outside your home or apartment. And don’t use any chemicals on them! Give the honey bees a chance to survive with some decent clean food. I’ve found that the bees in our area really love organic catnip, lavender, sage and delphinium – all of which are pretty easy to grow.

How to Eat Clean: Start with Green Smoothies!

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

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

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

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

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


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

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

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


More on Food Labels:

More on Food Additives and Food Allergies:

More on Genetically Engineering Foods:

The BEST natural remedy for your pet’s health!

In a recent blogpost, I praised the healing powers of castor oil. But what I wanted to share with you today was how we even use castor oil on our dog. In my opinion, it’s simply the best natural remedy to have at home for pets. You can use it on your pets too!

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. 

Finally, a chance to feature Ella on my blog <3

Ella has benefited from the healing effects of castor oil. After she got spayed, she was understandably in a lot of pain. I was worried because she’s a big dog (more than 85 pounds of pure Great Pyrenees love) and she was having a difficult time walking after the procedure. When she arrived home, I immediately applied castor oil on her belly around the incision, but not directly on the stitches. I noticed an almost immediate improvement in her pain levels and ability to get up/walk/move in just a few hours. I continued to apply it twice daily for 2 weeks after her surgery. She healed perfectly with no infections or problems. I do believe the castor oil sped up the process of healing for her. Funny enough, during that time I noticed she would lick my hands after I applied the oil and I realized that she really liked the taste! So, I started adding 1 Tbsp. of castor oil to her food daily. After a few months of her eating this small amount of castor oil daily, I really noticed a major improvement in her coat. Her hair was thicker, softer and fuller…to the point where now, people comment on her fur every time we take her out. “That’s the fluffiest dog I’ve ever seen!” is something we hear all the time now. Before the castor oil, I cannot recall anyone commenting on her fur. One small word of advice on this – if you do decide to give castor oil to your dog, only add it once a day and to the morning food only. Because castor oil does have a natural laxative effect, adding it to an evening meal can make a dog have to go in the middle of the night. And I’m sure neither you nor your dog wants that!

After so much success with castor oil, I did some further research and found that it’s also helpful for ear infections, ringworm, itchy rashes, ear mites and even fleas. I immediately thought again of our lovely dog Ella and how she was often irritated with her ears, trying to scratch or shake her head all too often. Many times, I would check her ears and could see signs of red inflammation.

So, I bought a glass dropper and poured castor oil inside. Now, when I see her having any ear problems, I will place 1-2 drops of organic castor oil in each ear and rub the ear after. I try to do this at night before she goes to bed. Amazingly, the next day I can see that she’s no longer irritated, no longer scratching and when I check the ears, they are a good healthy color again.

I love having natural remedies that work for everyone at home, including our animals!

More Motivation:

Can your eyes change colors on a juice fast?

This is a question that I’ve been asked a lot over the years: “Can my eyes change colors from doing a detox, juice fast, master cleanse or even from becoming vegan/vegetarian?”

The other question that a lot of people have is: “Should my eyes change colors if I am doing a lot of detox, and if they are not changing, does that mean the cleanse or master fast isn’t working?”

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. 

Iridology and Detox/Fasting/Cleansing

First, let me address the first question; that is, can the eyes change? The short answer is: Yes. (The long answer is: No.) Keep reading to find out why!

What can happen in certain eye colors is that layers of coloration can dissipate after the body gets cleaner, whether it’s from a detox or positive change in diet. The most common color changes you may experience are:

  • Green eye turning blue
  • Grey eye turning blue
  • Brown eye turning green

Let me explain each one.

1. Green eye turning blue. The green hue usually occurs from a buildup of uric acid in the body. In Iridology, we would call this a “uric acid subtype by color.” During cleansing or a significant change in diet, old, accumulated uric acid waste may be released through the kidneys and skin. Often times this person had a history of skin problems before. The skin is sometimes called the “3rd kidney,” because when the kidneys are overworked, they will often give their excess work to the skin. The real problem behind the scenes is the kidneys and poor elimination of metabolic wastes. Once the uric acid is released, the yellow hue on the eye may lessen, making a green eye appear more blue in color. (It was always a blue eye actually, which is why the long answer is: No. More on that below….)

2.  Grey eye turning blue. A grey eye may have an over acid condition in the body. In Iridology, we would call this an “over acid subtype by color.” From a distance, the eye looks grey but when you look up close, you can see more white fibers on top of the blue fibers. This may indicate an imbalance of pH in the body. Usually it comes from too many acid-forming foods in the diet (such as coffee, wheat, refined sugar, processed foods), and not enough alkaline-forming foods (fresh fruits and vegetables). Prescription medication can also make the body acidic. A chronic over-acid condition in the body creates a tendency to be more stiff in the joints and a higher risk for a weakened immune system. Many people will suffer from chronic acid reflux or GERD for years, not knowing that the acid problem they have is actually a huge red warning flag for their health. The body is trying to expel the excess acid waste on its own! Eventually you may be more likely to have another health problem down the road, whether it be arthritis, gastritis, diverticulitis, auto-immune disease or even cancer. When a person switches to an alkaline diet (more fruits and vegetables) or does any type of detox that flushes out acid waste, those white fibers in the eyes may start to fade. The end result is that the blue fibers underneath start showing more, and the eye appears to have changed in color, from grey to blue.

3.  Brown eye turning green. This is probably the most profound change you may see, and that’s a brown eye changing color to green, or even in some cases blue. How is it even possible? The “brown” eye is a “mixed eye color” in Iridology, or a Biliary constitution. It’s not actually a true brown eye. While from a distance it can appear more brown in color, when you look up close you will see yellow, orange, brown and sometimes even blue fibers in the eye. In a true brown eye, you will see only brown up close. The “mixed eye” is what I call a “mood ring eye” or a “cat eye.” It’s very changeable in color, depending on the lighting and background colors. Different conditions in lighting may pick up different colors in the eye, making it appear more or less yellow, orange, etc. My clients with this eye color will sometimes tell me they have a “honey colored eye.” During the process of cleansing, as the kidneys strengthen and the overall toxicity lessens, these darker colors may start to break up in the eye. The yellow and blue fibers remaining may make the eye appear green. In some cases, the yellow fibers may also lessen in color, leaving more blue fibers and giving the look of a blue eye.

You may be wondering, “Why is the long answer “No”?” In Iridology, there is no such thing as a green eye, a grey eye or an amber, light brown or honey-colored eye. There are only 2 natural eye colors: blue (Lymphatic constitution) and true brown (Hematogenic constitution). Those honey eyes are known are the “mixed eye” color, or Biliary constitution. Biliary eyes can also be brown, darker brown, green or orange in color. (Note: it’s not always easy to identify the difference between a Lymphatic and Biliary person and always better to consult with a Certified Iridologist.) In Iridology, a “green eye” is a blue eye with a yellow hue (it could be uric acid but may also be other things as well/uric acid is the most common). The “grey eye” is a blue eye that may have toxicity in the colon or an over-acid subtype by color (it may also be other things as well). A “brown eye” may be a blue eye with several other subtypes by structure or color, making the eye appear brown in color from a distance. So, you can see how the eyes don’t really change in color after all; they just start showing their original, dominant color more. Of course, healing occurred still, and that’s what is most important!

As an experienced Iridologist, I can tell you many stories about eyes I’ve seen change over the years and health conditions that improved for people after fasting. Could it just be a coincidence? Maybe or maybe not!

  • Stomach enzymes may improve
  • Overall pH can may more alkaline
  • Uric acid may be released
  • Skin may show healing
  • Lymphatic system may clear
  • Blood may become cleaner and more active (more “chi energy in the body”)
  • Kidneys may strengthen
  • Colon may clear toxins/mucous
  • Liver may improve
  • Layers of toxic accumulation may release
  • Stress and old tension may be released
  • Even molecules of emotion may release!

Note: Iridology does NOT diagnose disease.

Many changes that may appear in the eye are too subtle for an untrained eye to see. Usually it will take at least 10 days of cleansing (and preferably more, up to 21 days is better) to see real changes in the iris. Don’t try to identify markers yourself, unless you are working with a qualified Iridologist. The reason why is that you may not catch all the important points to consider, and you may not understand how certain markers affect other markers in the eye. And of course, you probably won’t know which things should change first and which marks may take longer to change, if at all. That can set you up for unnecessary disappointment and/or unrealistic expectations in your healing.

That leads me to the final question: “Should my eyes change colors if I am doing a lot of detox, and if they are not changing, does that mean the cleanse or master fast isn’t working?”

Not everyone is going to experience a dramatic eye color change with their healing journey. That said, an Iridologist should be able to see some positive change still, even if it’s not a full change in eye color. Some markings in Iridology are inherent, meaning they will not change. Most important is to pay attention to how you feel and what your body is showing you. Are your energy levels better, has your sleep improved, are your eyes brighter in the whites (or sclera), is your mind sharper, has your body odor lessened, has your elimination improved? Are you feeling happier and more at peace with yourself? If you’ve answered yes to most of those questions, then your detox program has worked and you should consider it a success, regardless of your eye color!

One more important point, not to be underestimated. There are 2 parts to healing, don’t forget: 1/2 is elimination and the other 1/2 is rebuilding. Too often people get locked into the detox-detox-detox phase and they forget to stop and rebuild. Too much elimination leads to a low vitamin, mineral and alkaline reserve. Other people swing back and forth from detox to retox. And the retox never involves clean eating or a consistently healthy diet. That can set a person up for deficiencies too. Those deficiencies will show up in the eyes. That person may expect their eyes to be perfect in an Iridology reading because they’ve done so much fasting, but I will see right away that the body is out of balance still. As the saying goes, “The eyes never lie.” In all my years of working with Iridology, I can definitely say that is very true!

Remember: Balance is the key to success in life. Good luck and happy detoxing!


For more on how to do a detox at home, plan a successful post-detox or to get your Iridology reading, 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!

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!

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

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

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. 

Discover the ancient medicinal properties of Castor Oil

What is Castor Oil

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

What can Castor Oil do

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

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

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

How to Apply a Castor Oil Pack

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apply the Castor Oil Pack

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

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

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

My experience with Castor Oil

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

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

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

Read more information on the liver and liver cleansing here:

Liver Flush Detox Drink – Recipe for a Daily Liver Cleanse

Gallstone Liver Flush – Recipe & Cleanse Info

How to Do a Coffee Enema at Home

How to Do Onion Socks for Healing


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


More on Detox:

More on Skin Cleansing:

More on Liver Cleansing:

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

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

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

Farm Kitchen DIY – Before and After pics

The 80’s Kitchen Before

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

Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover BEFORE

The Farmhouse Kitchen After

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

Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover AFTER

Farmhouse DIY Makeover List of What we Did

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

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

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

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

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

Kitchen Oak Cabinets BEFORE painting – Kitchen Makeover

 

Painted Kitchen Cabinets – AFTER with new hardware – Kitchen Makeover

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

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

 

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

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

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

Sanding and staining the farm house style shelves

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

Measuring and installing the brackets for farmhouse kitchen shelves

The wood farm style shelves are up – yay!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oven envy! LOVE our Dacor convection oven, bought used

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

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

The chalkboard wall and the farmhouse kitchen drop leaf table

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

Kitchen sink backsplash with grey wood tile

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

Large white subway tile backsplash – DIY kitchen makeover

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

Cutting boards hanging on S hooks – LOVE this!

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

Magnetic knife holders wood farmhouse style kitchen

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

Farm Kitchen DIY – Before and After pics

 

The last time I got sick was…

Wait, really?! Is it actually possible to still get sick when you are eating high organic raw food and doing regular detox? If you thought that was Mission Impossible, then I welcome you to the land of being human! 🙂

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.

Truth be told, I almost never get sick. In fact, I am seriously amazed to hear how often our “normal” meat, processed and/or fast-food eating friends or family members get side-lined with fevers, colds, coughs, and flus. (Those are the same people who make fun of my “extreme” diet and (wheat)grass-eating habits by the way.)

Without a doubt, eating an alkaline plant-based diet is a natural way to boost your immune system and the best way to prevent illness. But, it doesn’t mean that you will never, ever, ever get sick again.

The last time I got sick was…

A few months ago. We had just had several days of winter rain in Tel Aviv, and my boyfriend caught a cold from a co-worker at the office. He managed to keep it at the status of a cold for a few days, but then it turned to a high-mucous flu-like illness with fever. I felt so bad for him! I gave him Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) and made fresh orange juice with organic turmeric and green smoothies with lots of fresh fruits to high-boost his Vitamin C. We slept in separate bedrooms so he could rest and I would lower my chance of getting sick. By the 6th day, he was back to normal and I remember saying, “Wow, I am amazed that I didn’t catch it!” That night, we slept together again and he kissed me goodnight for the first time in 6 days.

The next day, I woke up sick!! It happened that fast. I felt stuffy, exhausted and slightly feverish and I thought….man, I can’t even remember the last time I had the flu! In my case, it lasted only 3 days. I basically just surrendered myself and rested. I took GSE and drank lots of fresh ginger tea. I envisioned my immune system getting stronger by the day. 3 days later, I was up and running again.

Are you a failure if you get sick?

Is doing all this detox, immune boosting and healthy eating a waste of time if you’re just going to get sick like everybody else? First, I would say…don’t throw all sickness into one basket. There’s a big difference between someone who gets sick every 3-5 YEARS (or more) and someone who get sick 3-5 times PER YEAR.

And most definitely, there is no such thing as a failure in my book. In fact, every illness can be a gift…a chance to slow down, rest and let your immune system get stronger. It’s also an opportunity to truly appreciate your health. You also may actually need an occasional cold, cough or flu to upgrade your gut health and immune-boosting capabilities.

Your body is a community!

What did I do wrong?

I guess I could say that kissing my boyfriend while he was still sick was a mistake…but in reality, I think the real cause of me getting sick was simply being run-down after months of a lot of deadlines and excess work. Stress alone can make your entire body acidic, even when eating an alkaline diet! I’m definitely a believer in the power of positive thinking and how important that is for your physical health! In that time, I also stopped making fermented foods such as kombucha and raw sauerkraut, which I feel are even more important for boosting your immune system than anything else!

Within 1 week of feeling better, I was back to making batches of kombucha and raw sauerkraut at home. I also drank more lemon and/or raw apple cider vinegar in water, at least twice daily. I started taking 1.5 days off a week and made more effort to stay offline for that time, giving my body and mind time to rest. De-stressing is very important for me (and for you too!).

Combining that with my normal routine of green smoothies, green juice, fresh wheatgrass shots for chlorophyll and minerals and lots of variety in my organic fruits and veggies and I now feel like a superstar again 🙂 Seriously though, I have high energy: I feel balanced; and I like who I see in the mirror every day!

When I look to my body for healing, I understand that I need to strengthen and heal my body as a whole.

How to Boost Your Immune System

Here are some foods/supplements that can help your immune system stay strong:

1. Manuka Honey (great to have on-hand in winter months, note this is not vegan)

2. Echinacea and Goldenseal (a powerful combo for breaking up stagnant lymph, i.e. mucous)

3. Grapefruit Seed Extract (my go-to remedy with the first sign of cold, cough or flu)

4. Pomegranate (can add to a green smoothie in powder form)

5. Raw apple cider vinegar (a healing food since the time of Hippocrates)

Looking to buy an immune-boosting bundle? You can find all of the above items on iherb.com, and yes they ship internationally!

Whole Body Healing

 

More on Motivation:

More on Fermented Foods:

More on Healthy Living:

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!

More on Detox and pH Health:

More Healthy Recipes:

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

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

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.

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

Getting Iron and B12 on Vegan or Raw Foods

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

Accepting your % of raw food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s my % of RAW?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Book Your Health & Nutritional Coaching Session:

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

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

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

More on Raw Food:

Do you need to juice, and should you be juicing?

With all the hype about green smoothies for fitness, health and detox, you might be wondering: do I need to be drinking green juice or fresh juice too? And, if I only have time for one, which is better: blending or juicing?

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.

I personally make a green juice for breakfast and a green smoothie for lunch every day and I love them both! But there are some real differences between blending a smoothie in a blender and making a juice in a juicer. Find out how and why below.

What are the health benefits of drinking fresh juice?

Juicing FAQs

Why is juicing important?

Juicing is important because it gives you the opportunity to high-boost on vitamins and minerals. In one meal, you wouldn’t normally have the capacity to eat ½ bunch celery, 10 carrots, 8 large kale leaves, an entire handful of parsley, 2 apples, a lemon, and a cucumber. Take all of those ingredients, put them in the juicer, and you’ve just ingested all the same nutrients in a few easy sips.

What are the pros/ benefits of juicing? Any cons (to one’s health and otherwise)?

The reality of living a busy lifestyle and not having time to prepare food at home today means that most people are not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables and are therefore nutritionally deficient. Juicing is a way to combat this, and so that’s definitely a pro. The con is that it takes time to prepare and it’s takes even more time to clean the juicer. Most people don’t own a juicer, so it’s also an added expense to have to buy another appliance. For those reasons, I usually recommend blending smoothies in a blender. In a blender, the fiber remains intact and so you just drink everything. Blending is definitely more practical and easier to continue doing long-term. Any new habit has to be a healthy habit for life.

Who should juice? Why? Who, if anyone, should not?

Just to be clear on terms, juice is made in a juicer. The juicer separates the fiber from the liquid and leaves only a liquid to drink (the juice). If you take those same ingredients and put them in a blender, the fiber will remain intact and you will have a smoothie, which is thicker and more filling than a juice. Traditionally people think of a smoothie having milk or yogurt, but you can easily make a healthy smoothie with fruits, greens and 1 cup of water. You may have heard of ‘Green Smoothies’…well, that’s what it is: fruits and greens blended in a blender. I think everyone should have 1 Green Smoothie per day.

So, who should juice? Anyone who is sick is already nutritionally out of balance and most likely deficient. Ideally they should be high-boosting with nutrient dense foods to try to get the body back into balance, so a daily juice would be great for them. For diabetics, fresh fruit juices are usually too high in sugar and in that case, make only green juices instead, like cucumber, kale, lemon, ginger and parsley.

Take the time to make a green juice – it’s an investment in your health!

Is there a limit to how much juicing one should do? Is there such thing as excessive juicing?

I usually recommend adding fresh leafy greens (like celery greens or boy choy) to any fruit juice just to balance the natural sugars with the greens. People can do 100% juice fasts, ie drinking only freshly made juice, for up to 60 days at a time with no ill effects. For the average person, having 1 fresh juice or smoothie per day is a great addition to their daily diet. Think of getting your vitamins fresh from Mother Earth and not a pill!

Should juicing replace entire meals or be a supplement?

It really depends on the individual, their energy levels and their goals. The average person can have a green smoothie for breakfast as a meal replacement because the fiber in the smoothie keeps them from being hungry and it’s a great way to start the day with fiber, alkalinity and minerals and chlorophyll from the greens. I work one-on-one with my clients to determine the best meal plan for them.

Is juicing the same as detoxing? If so, are the terms interchangeable?

Juicing is not the same as detoxing. One glass of fresh apple, ginger, lemon juice is not going to put you into detox mode (although it will high-boost your mineral and vitamin reserve). The process of detoxification starts when the body has been eating light raw fresh fruits or drinking only fresh juice for at least 36 hours. If you continue drinking only juice at the 36-hour mark, then you are going into ‘detox,’ and that means your body starts using the enzymes it would normally use to digest food and directs the energy inward to internal housekeeping. Think of your organs having extra paperwork and a backlog of work on their desks. Suddenly, no more papers are coming in so everyone has a chance to catch up on their jobs. That’s detox. If you are eating refined sugar, bread, fried foods or drinking coffee and alcohol, you are still adding more work for those organs and no detox will occur.

When and How to Juice

Initially you may enjoy having fresh juice on the weekends when you have more time to prep the ingredients and clean the juicer. You may also find yourself making juice when you’re ill as a natural recovery remedy. On a daily basis, making a green smoothie is faster and easier, and because of that, you’re much more likely to keep doing it every day. This article covers the key points in making juice and what equipment you need. For more information on making fruit smoothies or green smoothies in a blender, go to this link.

Experiment with different fresh & organic ingredients in your juice

Making juice is more labor intensive and a bigger commitment in terms of time and money for a few reasons:

  • You need a juicer. A juicer is a different appliance than a blender. It’s an added expense if you don’t have one already.
  • You need more ingredients to make one 16-ounce juice than you do for a 16-ounce smoothie.
  • You need to spend more money on the extra ingredients required. It takes time to cut up the extra ingredients too.
  • Cleaning a juicer takes more time than cleaning a blender because a juicer has several parts (unlike a blender that just has a pitcher and a lid).

On average, it may take 6-8 minutes to clean your juicer in addition to 5-6 minutes of prep plus 2-3 minutes of juicing, for a total of at least 17 minutes to make a juice. Compare that to a 5-minute green smoothie and the difference really adds up!

How long does a juice stay fresh?
Without any fiber, juice oxidizes very quickly and that means you need to drink it immediately after making it. If not, the juice will start to go off and in just a few hours, it can go bad. This is a major difference between green smoothies and green juices.

Making a green juice

Besides cutting up some extra ingredients and cleaning a few additional parts of the juicer, it’s really not difficult at all to make a green juice. One thing that is important for green juices is the type of juicer you have. (Note: If you’re interested in juicing your own wheatgrass at home, you need a masticating juicer. The Omega 8004 juicer is a great model for making fresh green juice and wheatgrass juice. Other options include the Champion juicer and the Hurom vertical slow-press juicer.) I explain more on that in my article about Choosing a Juicer.

A green juice is a high-boost of minerals, vitamins and chlorophyll

Green juice recipes are very similar to smoothie recipes with just a few exceptions. The following are ingredients not to use in a juice:

  • Banana, dates, nuts, seeds and avocado – Due to their high density, they don’t really have any liquid to juice.
  • Superfood powders – You can add your favorite superfood powder, ground flaxseed or chia seeds to your glass of juice and stir just before drinking, but you don’t want to add it to the juicer. With powders, there’s nothing to juice!

Fruits and greens with high water content, like cucumber, orange, lemon, apple, pear, pineapple, watermelon and celery are great options for juice ingredients. You can also add carrot, beet, daikon, ginger, fennel or leek. My favorite greens to add to juice are parsley, cilantro, basil, kale, Swiss chard or collard greens. Organic fruits and greens are best, but do the best you can with what you have when starting out. A non-organic juice is still better for you than a frozen dinner or fast-food lunch!

Tip
Save the stems from your large green leaves like kale, spinach, Swiss chard or collard greens after making a green smoothie. Store them wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge. When you’re ready to make a juice, add the stems to the juicer. That way, the stems don’t go to waste and you’re getting the added nutritional benefit of the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants from them in your juice.

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

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

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

How to Book Your Health Coaching Session:

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

More on Colon Cleansing:

My boyfriend followed my Raw Food Diet and got Anemia!

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

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.

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

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

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

What is Anemia?

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

Did the Raw Food Diet fail for him?

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

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

What now?

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

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

Vegan Sources of Iron

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

Do you Need to Take a Supplement?

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

Example of Ferrum Chromotose Iris

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

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

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

Here’s to your health!

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10 Detox Tips

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

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.

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

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

10 Detox Tips

1. Drink Lemon in Water Upon Rising.

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

2. Try some Cold Water Therapy!

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

3. Stretch and Move.

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

4. Drink Herbal Teas.

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

5. Enjoy an Epsom Salt Bath.

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

6. Take a Media Detox.

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

7. Get in Tune with Nature.

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

8. Detox Your Home.

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

9. Enjoy a Daily Liver Flush.

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

10. Drink More Water.

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

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

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

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