Friday, October 30, 2009

Taking Responsibility for Your Family's Health

Dear Readers,

Out of concern for all the fear around the swine flu, and the pro's/con's around the vaccines for it, I thought I would write a post reminding you that there is so much one can do through lifestyle and diet to keep you and your kids immunities up and therefore less vulnerable to the flu and other illnesses. How you decide to fuel your body can make or break your immunity.

Refer to Natalia Rose's website for a bunch of kid friendly recipes that include fruits, veggies and good sources of fat and protein (Yes, dark leafy veggies do have protein in them and unlike processed lunch meats are a clean source of protein, vitamins, minerals, hydration and fiber, wooHoo!).

The major "foods" that tax immune systems greatly as well as drain energy are below in black: (and in blue are good alternatives)

White Foods:
  • Refined sugar, fake maple syrup, high glucose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners--stevia, agave (in moderation), raw honey, REAL maple syrup (in moderation)
  • Refined flours and baked goods, ie., white bread, donuts, cakes, cookies, white pasta, buns, rice--sprouted whole wheat breads that only have 3 or four REAL ingredients that you recognize listed; brown rice, quinoa, gluten-free baked goods, whole-wheat or gluten free pasta, sprouted grain buns and wraps.
Processed Foods:

  • Essentially anything in a package: chips, candies, crackers, cereals, peanut butters, etc. -- raw and unsalted nuts and seeds (not peanuts which have over 20 different kind of fungus on them and are rancid), almond butter, whole grain or gluten free crackers, dark chocolate, agave or honey sweetened candies, natural fruit leathers, brown rice crackers, panda puff cereals and low sugar/high fiber cereals.
  • Meats: hot dogs, deli meats, pepperoni, beef jerky, hormone injected meats like beef and chicken, eggs, orange and america cheese, frozen foods-- Annie's organic mac and cheese/prepared frozen foods, sulfate-free/hormone free meats, wild caught fish, free range eggs, goats cheese or sheep's cheese rather than cow cheese (mush much easier to digest).
Sugary and diet Drinks:

  • Soda!!!!!-- natural sodas on OCCASION
  • Concentrate juices-- fresh squeezed juice, carrot juice, apple cider
  • Juice boxes-- organic juice boxes on OCCASION, water with fresh lemon, fresh squeezed juice
  • Flavored waters--real water with fresh lemon juice or a hint of fresh oJ and a few drops of stevia
  • Chocolate milk--chocolate almond milk
  • Iced teas/Lemonades--real lemonade sweetened with stevia or agave
  • instant hot chocolate or anything from those machines at the gas station--real hot coco on OCCASION

  • Squeeze yogurts or the ones with lots of added sugars and god forbid the candy toppings, yikes! Coconut milk yogurt, organic Keefer (much easier to digest), organic goats or sheep's milk sweetened with honey
  • Hormone injected milk --best is raw milk from cows or better goats, unsweetened almond or hemp milk
  • Margarine--real organic butter, olive oil, coconut butter
  • Plastic and fake cheeses like the orange nacho cheese--real organic cheese, almond cheese, goats/sheep cheese
  • Ice cream--organic REAL ice cream that should only have 5 max ingredient in them, coconut milk based ice cream.
  • Whip topping-- Real organic whip cream on occasion
Bad quality salt:

  • Table salts-Himalayan sea salt or Celtic sea salt
  • Very salty processed foods (anything in a bag typically)-- unsalted almonds, cashews, walnuts
  • Soy Sauce-- Tamari, Namo Shoyu
  • Margerine--organic butter, coconut butter
  • Vegetable Oils-- for cooking always use coconut oil as it does not turned rancid under hight heat. AFTER cooking you can drizzle cold-pressed olive oil and/or flax and hemp oil on your food for a nutty flavor.
  • Shortenings-- coconut butter, organic butter, apple sauce


  • sodas--see above
  • coffee-- decaf to wean you and then green teas
  • teas-- rooibos, green, herbal
  • Hard liquor, beer: occasional organic red wine

In addition to food getting 8+ hours of rest, drinking plenty of water (not flavored waters, sodas or juices other than fresh pressed), dressing warmly, making sure your kids are having regular bowel movements (the colon's health determines over 80% of your over all immunity so if it is sluggish that can make you much more vulnerable to dis-ease. MORE FRESH veggies, fruits and whole grains, please!), connecting to nature and people rather than machines and video games and of course outdoor play is key. If your children are often feeling stressed out or anxious, this can also lower immunity significantly. Daily doses of good quality fish oils, probiotics (I really like the branded "renewed life"), Vit. C (not the chewy gummies please as they are full of other crap), and zinc are great for immunity too.

Here are a few more links from another trusted nutritionist/mother's blog, Natalia Rose:

If you are interested in doing a whole foods based cleanse, I highly recommend the book CLEAN by Dr. Alejandro Junger. I have meet and spoken at length with him many times and he is fabulous and knows what he is talking about. A friend of mine who has three boys actually put one of her sons on this cleanse because he was on the brink of being medicated for behavioral issues as well as what the Dr's thought was the beginnings of Crohn's and Colitis. After doing the "elimination" diet portion of this cleanse all the tests came back negative and he is back to being a happy kid! :)

Be well and if there was ever a time in history to do something good for yourself, NOW is the time!

In good health,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Reading List

Lately I have been blessed by so many good reads that I would like to share with you. 

Mindset, by Carol Dweck. Dweck explains in this book "why it's not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-- but whether we approach our goals with a fixed or growth mindset."

Eating in the Light of the Moon, by Anita Johnston. "How women can transform their relationships with food through myths, metaphors & storytelling."

A Sugar Addicts Total Recovery Program, by Kathleen DesMaisons. "She explains exactly how you can free your mind and body from the tyranny of sugar and shake off the exhaustion, mental fogginess, and mood swings that sugar dependence causes." 
**While I don't totally agree with her dietary approach of a high meat diet, I do think she has many wonderful insights on sugar addiction.**

Breakthrough, by Suzanne Somers. "Discover how to: Balance hormones through bioidentical (not synthetic, cancer-causing) hormone replacement. Fix thyroid problems. Sleep 8 to 9 hours each night without drugs. Improve memory. Detect diabetes early. Prevent and manage cancer. Restore hearing. Preserve eyesight." This is A MUST READ!! 

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin. "Everything you need to know to have the best birth experience for you-- whether in a hospital, birthing center, or the comfort of home." 

Yoga Hotel, by Maura Moynihan. "A charming and delightful book. It offers great insight into the world of India."

Donate Your Weight, by Sheri O. Zampelli. "The stress-free program to stop dieting, get slim and help others while doing it." 

Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. "Make peace with food. Free yourself from chronic dieting forever. Get to the natural weight that fits you."

As summer comes our way, I wish you a lot of relaxation, rejuvenation and fun! If you have books you'd like to share with us, please leave a comment!

Happy Solstice!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tongue Analysis: A window into your internal health

Start looking at your tongue seriously.

Your tongue accurately reflects the state of your digestive system- from rectum to esophagus, including the stomach, small intestines, colon (large intestine), pancreas, spleen, liver and gall bladder.

Imagine, you don't need a battery of tests to find out what part of your digestive tract is in stress. You can diagnosis the whole GI tract and corresponding organ integrity all in one easy view- just stick your tongue out and take a good look at it.

As a whole the tongue reflects the condition of the digestive system and the organs associated with blood, nutrient assimilation, and excretion. You can also see how 'hot' or how 'cold' your internal organs are. Therefore it has a high value as a diagnostic tool.

Specific sections of the tongue mirror the condition of particular parts of the digestive system and the digestion related internal organs.

The following correspondences exist in this relationship:

Start looking at your tongue seriously.

A- the tip area reflects the rectum and the descending colon.

B- the peripheral area reflects the large intestine.

C- the middle region corresponds to the small intestine.

D- the back edge region relates to the liver, gallbladder, duodenum, and pancreas.

E- the near back region corresponds to the stomach.

F- the back region ('the root of the tongue') reflects the esophagus.

G- the underside of the tongue reflects the quality of blood and lymph circulation in each corresponding area.

Structural characteristics

Like each particular area of the body, the tongue can be used to evaluate one's overall condition.

Zetsu Shin as it is called in Japanese, is one of the most important forms of diagnosis used in Chinese medicine. Two main aspects are considered in tongue diagnosis.

First is the structure of the tongue. Is it wide or narrow, thick or thin, pointed or rounded? Such qualities convey information concerning the individuals basic constitution and overall strengths and weaknesses of body and mind.


  • a wide tongue reflects an overall balanced physical and psychological disposition.

  • a narrow tongue reflects a lack of physical adaptability with pronounced strengths and weaknesses. Mentally, thinking may be sharp but tend toward seeing a narrow view.

  • a very wide tongue reflects a generally loose and expanded physical condition and a tendency toward more psychological concerns.


  • a rounded tip reflects a flexible yet firm physical and mental condition.

  • a pointed tip reflects a tight, perhaps even rigid physical condition and an aggressive or even offensive mentality.

  • a very wide tip reflects an overall weakness of the physical body and a flaccid or even "spaced out" mental condition.

  • a divided tip reflects a tendency toward physical and mental imbalances with the possibility of sharp fluctuations in thinking and mood.


  • a flat tongue reflects a balanced condition and the ability to flexibly adapt to circumstances.

  • a thin tongue reflects a more mental orientation, with a tendency to be more gentle and easy going.

  • a thick tongue reflects a more physical orientation, with the tendency to be assertive or even aggressive.

In comparison to structure, the condition of the tongue is influenced more by daily lifestyle and provides information about an individuals current state of health. Qualities to look for include:


  • Dark red: indicates inflammation; lesions or ulceration; and sometimes a degeneration of the related organ.

  • White: indicates stagnation of blood; fat and mucus deposits; or a weakness in the blood leading to such conditions as anemia.

  • Yellow: indicates a disorder of the liver and gallbladder, resulting in an excess secretion of bile; deposits of animal fats, especially in the middle organs of the body; and possible inflammation.

  • Blue or Purple: indicates stagnation of blood circulation and a serious weakening of the part of the digestive system that corresponds to the area of the tongue where the color appears.

The color on the underside of the tongue can also be used to determine the internal condition. In general, the colors and their indications listed above are the same, with the following exceptions:

  • Blue or Green: In excess, either of these color reflect disorders in the blood vessels and in blood quality and circulation.

  • Purple: In excess, this color reflects disorders of the lymphatic and circulatory system. It indicates a weakening of the immune ability and of the blood vessels.


  • a swollen or enlarged tongue: indicates a Jitsu, or full state.

  • a shriveled or withered-looking tongue: indicates a Kyo, or empty state.


  • the flexibility of the tongue also reflects the condition of the digestive system. Characteristics to look for include:

    • a flexible, supple, smoothly moving tongue.

    • a stiff, tense, or inflexible tongue.

    • a loose or lolling tongue.

    • a tongue with a pronounced slant to the left or right when it is extended.

Pimples or projections of the tongue's surface indicate the discharge of fat, protein, and sugar. Where in the body this discharge is coming from can be determined by the specific area of the tongue on which it appears. You can find the correlation between the areas of the tongue and the digestive tract.

When cleansing notice how your tongue changes daily. At first it may get worse before it gets better because of the detox and everything dislodging from the tissues and coming to the surface. But over time this will lessen and lessen. Once your tongue is a beautiful pinkish color with little to no coating, you will know that you have done a long enough and thorough cleanse.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Juice Fasting Vs. Master Cleanse

The debate over whether the Master Cleanse is safe and effective has come up a lot recently in my workshops and consultations, so I thought I would make my thoughts available for all.

The Master Cleanse has gotten so much hype and press in the past couple of years, thanks to celebrity endorsements, it is not surprising that people would think that this is the safest and best cleanse out there. And why not? It is easy in terms of preparation, cheap in terms of supplies and ingredients, makes a refreshing drink that most people find palatable, and you are guaranteed to lose weight and feel relatively good in just a few days. (Note that this is not every ones experience-- the feeling good part)

The Master Cleanse is also a pretty marketable and easy sell for busy people who want to do a cleanse but don't necessarily have the time or desire to put a lot of time into it. But quick, easy, tasty and cheap does not always mean it is good or right for you.

Juice cleanses are in my opinion the better choice, but are a harder sell because they require more time, money and understanding. After using myself as a human experiment, my better inner judgement told me very clearly that flooding my body with 4 quarts of freshly pressed veggie and fruit juices was by far a more effective, cleansing and nurturing cleanse. And here's why.

Freshly made juices, particularly those with at least 50 percent greens in them (kale, spinach, chard, parsley, collards, beet greens, dandelion greens, celery, cucumber, etc) are teeming with a diverse (our bodies just like nature thrives and grows on diversity) amount of nutrients that is quickly absorbed into the blood stream and delivered to the cells. Once in the cells, accumulated toxic matter and gasses begin to awaken and loosen up and are then released into the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is like our waste disposal system responsible for carrying cellular garbage to one of the many elimination organs, such as our skin, lungs and colon (large intestine).

In addition to the cleansing effects of the cells, these juices also loosen any compacted fecal matter that has been accumulating in our colons. Our colons are like the garbage can of the body and therefore need to be cleaned out every so often otherwise it overflows and reek havoc on our immune systems and our abilities to digest and eliminate.

While on a cleanse, cellular toxins get awakened and dumped into the colon at such a fast rate it is highly recommended that one gets regular gravitational style colonic irrigations to make sure that the toxins get flushed out in a timely manner. In many ways the colonics are the true cleanse, because unless these toxins get flushed out of your body they will just continue to recirculate and become more activated and more damaging the the long run.

So while all this loosening, awakening and elimination of toxins are accruing, the cells and tissues are being rebuilt with organic vitamins, minerals, proteins, and digestive enzymes, making you feel and look younger, more energetic, slimmer and A LIVE! :)

Your body is also getting super hydrated and alkaline from all the naturally distilled water from the vegetables and fruits.

You can also consider juice cleansing as more of a feast than a fast, because the goal is to flood your body with nutrients, while decompressing the cells of toxic material. Why would you want to deprive yourself of that?

The Master Cleanse, on the other hand, is less than ideal for the body because it is not as diverse in terms of ingredients and therefore very nutrient poor. It also has high amounts of sugar from the maple syrup, which is not good for stabilizing blood glucose or for diabetics. While it does do some cleansing of the cells, this cleanse mainly targets dissolving fatty deposits in the tissues and liver. This is good, but the juices do the same and much more! Also, because the Master Cleanse so low in calories and protein it can really slow down a persons metabolism making it harder to keep the weight off once you are back on solid foods.

But do you have choose on or the other?

The answer is yes and no. What I have done in the past is incorporated one or two quarts of spicy lemonade into my mostly juice cleanses, but replaced the maple syrup with stevia, a natural leaf sweetener that does not effect blood sugar but rather helps the body increase its glucose tolerance over time. This way you are getting all the nutrients you need from the juices and getting the best cleansing effects of the master cleanse without any compromises to your health.

Without a doubt, both cleanses give the body a much needed break from digestion so that it can repair any damages that have been done, dissolve nagging aches and pains, dissolve fatty tissues, cleanse the liver and give you more energy. But incorporating the best qualities of each and taking the time to take care of yourself in a way that honors your body, mind and spirit is the true essence of any cleanse.

For more information on both cleanses check out: and

Friday, November 21, 2008

turning Up the Heat eating Raw!

Raw food and heat? Huh? I know it sounds very counter intuitive, but according to raw food expert, author and researcher, Victoria Boutenko, consistently eating a raw food diet will actually straighten your adrenal glands and improve your circulation over time.

In this excerpt below, she get to the root of why one feels cold in the winter. Believe it or not it is NOT the raw food, it's the cooked stuff!

"Can we eat raw food in the cold climate? I know many persons who quit the raw food lifestyle because they were afraid that they would become too cold during the winter. Let us take a closer look at this situation. Would a quarter pound of rice physically keep a 160lbs body warm? In order to get warmed by it, one would have to fill a bathtub with warm rice and sit in it for 20 mins.
So why do we feel warmer after consuming cooked food? A hot meal, a cup of coffee or ice-cold shots of vodka warm our body in the same manner. When any impure substances get into our blood through the walls of the intestines, they irritate our adrenals, the endocrine glands located above the kidneys. The adrenals immediately begin to produce epinephrine, norepinephine and a variety of steroid hormones. These hormones stimulate our sympathetic nervous system, which is why we feel awake at first. They also force our heart to beat faster and pump larger amounts of blood through our body, which makes us feel warm. This feeling doesn't last long and we pay a high price for it. After 10-15 mins our body gets exhausted from performing extra work, sleepy and even colder than before. However, we remember only the feeling of getting warmer after eating cooked food and repeat such stimulation again and again. This harmful practice wears the body out and by the end of the winter many people feel exhausted and depleted.
Another reason why it is hard for many of us to tolerate cold temperatures us because eating a cooked food diet severely impairs our capillary circulation. According to Dr. Alexander Zalmanoff, author of "Sacred Wisdom of Human Body" 80% of all blood in any human body is located in the capillaries and only 20% in arteries and veins. Tiny capillaries get clogged easily by unnaturally large particles of cooked food, and the blood no longer circulates adequately.
If you truly ant to feel warm during the cold season, a raw food lifestyle is an inevitable choice for you. During your first "raw" winter you may experience some coldness due to your weakened adrenals, so put on an extra sweater, take a hot bath, exercise and do yoga. If you continue being raw, your adrenals will rest and recover, your capillary circulation will improve, your nervous system and your heart will naturally strengthen without any artificial stimulation."

If this is your first raw winter, let these facts help put your mind at ease-- you are doing the right thing so keep on eating those green juices, salads, blends, avocados, nuts and seeds.

But while you wait for your body to clean house here are a few other things that can help keep you warm inside and out.

  • Add lots of ginger to your juices and blends
  • Add warming spices to your dressings, blends and meals, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, curry powders, garlic, onions, ginger.
  • Put a pinch ( and I mean JUST a pinch) of cayenne pepper in your socks and mittens-- instant hand and foot warmers!
  • Sauna (Infra-Red is the best) once a week
  • Get gravitational style colonics. When you cleanse the colon more space is created for your micro channels to release more toxins into. If your colon is clogged so is the rest of you!
  • Let your food come up to room temperature before eating. Never eat or drink anything straight out of the fridge. Not only will you feel cold on the inside, you are weakening your immune system
  • Exercise! Get that lymphatic system rocking and rolling and your heart pumping naturally with movement. Yoga, rebounding, walking, pilates, swimming, chi-running, dancing are all great, low-impact ways to increase circulation
Warm blessings to you all!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Rational Raw Truth

Awwww... it feels really great to be back into the blogging swing of things. After taking a good long sabbatical (got married this summer, yeah!), I am back with more fire and enthusiasm than ever. I have so many juicy ideas to post about, but today, I have decided to confront a recent infuriating experience that involved (and still does) me, my choice in lifestyle and the mainstream media.

 To give you some context, a few months ago, I was asked by a co-worker to participate in a raw food support group that she hosts once a month. This is a safe and supportive place for our clients and others that are either raw foodist, in the health industry, or interested in any of the above to come and share/ask/tell and educate one another about the raw food lifestyle. This particular meeting was unique because the ABC show 20/20 was coming to film our group for an upcoming episode on raw foods. Being a health writer for FOX News myself, I thought how wonderful that the mainstream media wants to do a report on raw foods and its healing effects on people like ourselves. How naive of me!

 The experience of being taped was pleasant enough and quite comfortable. They let us say what we wanted to say and even bought us a bunch of raw food from a local raw restaurant. The man (I forget his name) who was representing 20/20 even tried some and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.

 Our support group had a wide variety of our clients represented, all of whom have directly benefited from eating raw foods and have even cured themselves of various illnesses such as candida, cancer, cysts, sever digestive issues. They spoke about their recoveries and how raw foods is more than just what they eat, but truly a lifestyle of natural health and personal responsibility.

 We also discuss the effort in being a raw foodist, considering that most of the world lives in a fast-food prepared mentality of quarterpounders and fries and considers an "energy bar" or popping vitamins a meal. 

I personally talked about how preparing my food each day as a raw foodist can take hours, but in the same breath how it took me about the same amount of time if not more to make my meals when I was eating cooked foods. I mentioned that when one takes control of their health you can feel a bit isolated and at times make you feel aware of your lifestyle choices non-stop.

 When I watched the 20/20 episode I was APPALLED by the way in which they construed, manipulated and sensationalized the raw foods lifestyle. Rather than focusing on how raw foods has a healing effect on people, they choose to focus on two individuals that were not our clients, and were extreme cases of what one can experience if they are not educated on how to properly transition to a raw foods diet. These people were very emaciated physically and clearly very sick. Flash back to our group and you see 12 very glowing, strong, athletic happy individuals that look quite "normal." ( I would rather say well above average :)

 John Stossel, 20/20's right wing host, compared our healing, well informed and healthy support group to two emaciated individuals that have been coined as "Orthorexics" or people that are so obsessed with health they are unhealthy. He made it seem as though anyone who eats raw food has Orthorexia and is slowly killing themselves due to this kind of modern eating disorders. His comments where misguided and misinformed, his cunning attitude not only made raw foods seem like a "crazy" and dangerous idea.

I felt like I was watching a bad Reality TV show or one of those Entertainment Tonight deals. The quick camera cuts from one person to another, with only half of their thoughts included so that everything is taken out of context and sound outlandish was very effective on Stossel's part. He captured exactly what he wanted: Extremes - consciously creating the response he wanted: Fear.

It has just been a day and a half and already my in-laws in Nebraska have called and said many of their friends saw me on TV and hope I am not ever going to get as ill and skinny as the main guest are. I have had people in NYC that don't even know me see me on the street and ask me about it and what kind of "group" I am apart of as though we are terrorists or something!

Although only about 3 lines of my entire interview made the cut, they were spliced and edited in such a way that made me and my group seem like were were just as mentally and physically as sick as the main featured guest.

 This experience is not just my own it is yours too and happening every day, every minute. As soon as we turn on our TVs, radios and open the newspaper, we are getting a very manipulated and consciously construed version of someone with some power's idea of reality to keep the dumb (i.e., you and me) dumber/dazed/confused, and more importantly scared, and the fat rich guy, fatter, richer and more secure at the top.

I find this utterly disgusting, sad and damaging.

But ultimately it is an invitation. It is a invitation for us to get fired up, outraged and to leave our comfort zones and find our voices individually and collectively. One of the beauties of raw foods, when consumed smartly, which of course they did not mention once in the show, is the fact that eating this way gives you mental clarity, does not numb you from seeing and feeling the truth like many cooked processed foods do, and gives you more energy to use than hours in the day.

I invite all raw foodist and non-raw foodist that have a healthy and educated lifestyle they adhere to to get up and take a stand for your rights and lifestyle choices!

The way our civil liberties have been taken away during these past few years, I would not put it passed the current administration to start dictating what one can and can not eat and what is government accepted "food." Trust me it won't be green leafy veggies, ripe fruits, avocados, nuts/seeds, healthy oils and green juices!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Spontaneous Juice Feast

Yup, 3 days and feeling light and good! 

Two friends of mine, one physical (Kim), and one virtual (Sandy), inspired me to get juicy for a few days to kick-start another fun-filled plan of action, so to speak. 

LOVED the fruit, but need to give it a break for a little bit as I was starting to find myself feeling a little off balance and falling towards foods that were the complete opposite (salty and cooked). 

With the markets in their full glory right now, I am longing for getting my pleasures through a variety of greens and juices. 

Essentially, I am going with my intuition these days and if the fruit angles come back and say its time to get extra fruity then I am game! But for now I am going for the greens and some avocado, but no nuts, and oils. 

Tomorrow I am very much looking forward to a salad made with fresh greens complements of a beautiful upstate farm, topped with a little avocado, red pepper, tomatoes, celery, garlic, cilantro, and a pinch of sea salt dressing. All to be consumed before 6pm and not after (my newest experiment). 

So thank you all, no matter what your food style ways may be for inspiring me to continually try out new things! Whether I stick with it, like it, dislike it-- doesn't matter, it is finding the opportunity that is present in each experience that makes me grow closer and closer to my true nature. 

May we all continue to uniquely define what we as individuals need to grow closer and closer to our inner bliss.