holistic health – mind. body. soul.

Sigmund Freud did not invent the concept of the three levels of consciousness but he brought it to the forefront of science.  It’s mind boggling when you think about it being the era that this came to life. Sort of when you think about how a cellphone came in our day!  What’s next?

Whatever the mind can think and see – it is!!

What I want to convey is how much of your very own unconscious thoughts are running and possibly maybe even ruining your life? And, you thought bad luck had something to do with it!  Or, that you don’t have control of what your mind thinks!

You do!!!

The mind is nothing but an energy field on the quantum level. Our entire body is truly just ball of energy not matter. The mind sits outside our body as a swirl of energy attracting like energy.

What’s truly fascinating is that 90-95% of your brains activity is beyond our conscious awareness and resides in the unconscious mind.  And, 5-10% of our cognitive activity resides in the conscious mind.   When I was researching, there were conflicting percentages but for the sake of this post I’m leaving it to two.  I honestly don’t remember learning this in school but this would be a great lesson to learn!  And, as much as I’ve been learning about this for the last 15+ years it’s not that easy to truly change our subconscious beliefs and thoughts – but it is possible!

This is where Sigmund Freud’s “Tip of the Iceberg” analogy comes in.  The vast majority of our lives is being driven by our unconscious minds where we are totally unaware or even know that we are thinking these thoughts – and my gosh in massive state.  Just look at the picture!  You can clearly see that the most important part of that iceberg is underneath where you can’t see, just like your unconscious.

This isn’t hokey pokey stuff – this is learning how to direct your life in the way that serves you best.

Don’t you want to be in the drivers seat of your life from now on!  You may think you are but most of your actions are on autopilot driven from the thoughts you are thinking subconsciously.

Whether you want to believe your unconscious mind is directing your life or not – it is!  It’s the law of the universe.  The entire universe is governed by the mind – the Law of Attraction. Everyone and everything on this earth is energy!

Now to put this to use for your life:  Let’s use an example such as “You may want to make more money!”  If your subconscious mind is telling you (conscious mind) that more money isn’t good, is hard to come by, or has you believing you are not worth that much money – you will never attract it no matter how much you want it.  Or, you may make good money especially if you are inspired and driven but somehow you always make it disappear.  Or, I’m sure you read stories where people that won the lottery and are broke in two years! Your car breaks down, you have unexpected expenses, you give it all away as soon as you get it, even worse repel it by being totally careless with your money.  Money is just an exchange of energy.

If your thoughts about money are any of those I mention above, money wouldn’t spend that much time around you.  It would go looking for someone with beliefs of respect, worthiness, deserving, helping others, etc.

Same goes for overeating or eating unhealthy on purpose.  You can say you don’t want to overeat and you want to lose weight. You even get all excited about the new you that you are creating!!  But little by little you find yourself overeating, you are eating things that are not healthy and you don’t even know why.  You drive yourself bonkers with cravings then you beat yourself up for overeating and wonder what’s wrong with you and you give up.  Well, nothing is wrong with you!

Most people are not even aware of the thoughts they are keeping that are leaving you in the dark your entire life.  And, year after year you try, try and try again but you don’t really succeed to the level you wish.  Or, things are good for a little while but you wind up going back to your old ways.

Living with regret and mediocrity.

We are all born with a blank slate.

It’s through our parents, caregivers, family members, mentors, teachers, friends, environment, etc that help form the beliefs that are so locked up in our unconscious minds.  As children, we are like magnets just taking in all this information.  But as a child we don’t have the analytical skills to really figure right or wrong – we just absorb this information and store it in our subconscious and unconscious mind.

We become ashamed, resentful, anxious, fearful, scared, embarrassed to name a few. Maybe not at that given time because we don’t even know any better – we just take it in.  Just remember it’s not your parents fault – they are just doing the best they can/did given how they grew up.

There is no blame.

Now you know this – you can change your thoughts so you can have the life you truly desire.

Your mind’s job is to keep you safe and out of danger.  This is how the subconscious/unconscious works.  It is constantly trying to keep you safe – even if at this present time that isn’t serving you or complete opposite of what you want to do.  It’s just doing it’s job.

Does this sound familiar?  “Hello!  I’m ready to jump into a new business but I’m scared of  “fill in the blank” so I never really do what I need to do. Keeping myself comfortable and in the right lane of life – just plugging by, making excuse after excuse as to why you can’t do what your true dream is.  Sound familiar?

So what’s next?

Once you understand how your actions are created from the above diagram you can truly create anything you desire.  I’m not going to pretend it’s easy especially if you’ve been believing a certain thought your entire life.  But – if you want to change what you are doing or not doing you have to change your thoughts! Your thoughts are causing you to feel a certain way which in turn is causing your actions or in action.

This isn’t going to require hours of therapy, dragging up the past, beating yourself up or hours of soul searching.  You can start right here – right where you are – now!

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How am I feeling upon doing or not doing a specific action? i.e. overeating, drinking, taking action on business goals or sabotage
    • anxious, stressed, disgusted, annoyed, etc ?
  2. How and why do you feel this way?  If you say, you don’t want to feel this way but you are still doing it…
  3. What’s causing it?
  4. What thoughts are creating this feeling?
  5. Where are these thoughts coming from?  Your childhood?  Your parents, teacher, friend, etc?

Just understanding and being aware these thoughts, feelings and where and why you have this belief will help you move forward.  You also need to have compassion for yourself and not beat yourself up.  If you skip this step, you will land right back in the road to nowhere!

Write this down.  Do not spend hours, days, weeks, years doing this exercise.  Just think where these thoughts could be coming from.

Everything in your life right now is a reflection of your thoughts.

Remember, you are exactly where you need to be.  Once you understand why or what this thought that you are having is making you feel a certain way, it triggers a certain action or in action.  You can change your thought pattern (even if you don’t believe it to be true!).  Your unconscious mind does not know truth from lie.

  1. Rewrite your new beliefs and truths that will create your desired results.
    • ie.  I am worthy.  I am enough.  I am important.  Money supports my happiness., whatever is true for you, etc.
  2. Keep these new beliefs with you, in the forefront of your mind, read them, morning, noon and night and more!  Write them on your bathroom mirror.  Say them aloud and have some emotion around it.
  3. Visualize your new self, your new manifestations as if they already are here. Close your eyes and just feel the emotion around it.  See it as real, even if it has not happened yet.
  4. Use Mel Robbins 5 second rule to stop yourself and interrupt your thought pattern (if you don’t know Mel Robbin’s 5 second rule – google it.) if you still are having old self-destructing thoughts or not doing what you desire.  Ready – 5 4 3 2 1 – bam!

We all live by our feelings.  We go through life wanting to feel a certain way at any given moment. It’s why we do the things we do.

If you try to go about it just like 95% of the world does.  Such as…

I want to go on a diet —> You go on a diet —> You start out great —> lose 30 lbs  —> little by little you are back into your old habits and 10 lbs heavier than when you started.

It’s because you haven’t changed your beliefs.

Or, possibly you only got to day 3 and you are raiding the cookies because some how you think you can live on lettuce alone.  Weight-loss has nothing to do with willpower!  Your brain will always win! Stop beating yourself up!

It’s your subconscious/unconscious mind that keeps us stuck in our old patterns. It keeps you comfortable.  You might be saying well I’m not comfortable being 40 lbs overweight.  If you think about where your thoughts are around food or the feelings that is driving that behavior that is causing you to eat something that you know  you shouldn’t or don’t really want to eat can really help put a stop to it.  Think about your childhood where is coming from?  Do you use food to comfort yourself because to you food creates a feeling of comfort.  These are just examples to help you do a little investigating as to how you came to believe these thoughts.  And, they are not right or wrong – they are just thoughts and they are not serving you in your adult life anymore.

I want you to succeed to your highest self no matter what that looks like for you.

No matter where your thoughts are today we can change our thoughts and beliefs so that we can live a life that we truly are meant to live.

It’s available to us right now if we choose it to be!

There are so many toxic chemicals we use on our skin, mouth and in our daily household cleaning regimen that IS making you and those you love sick! Your body is meant to naturally detox.

But, we are overloaded with harmful chemicals that are wreaking havoc on your health. These toxins also travel through our blood stream directly absorbed from our skin. It might not be apparent in your everyday life that they are making you sick until something goes wrong. Hello breast cancer! Hello depression! Hello weight gain! Hello hormonal disruption! Hello infertility! Hello thyroid condition! Hello liver & kidney damage! Hello skin rash! Hello brain & gut disfunction! Hello allergies! Hello developmental delay! You get the picture ~ it IS affecting your health every single day in every single way!

The US is about the only country that allows all these harmful chemicals in our products. Most of these chemicals are banned from other countries. Would you believe the US only bans 11 toxic chemicals but Europe has 1,300 on their list of banned chemicals? What? This is crazy!

It’s really up to us – the consumer – to stop buying and using these products that are killing us and our children. Apparently, children absorb 40-50% more than adults making them at higher risk for disease.  Not to mention the rate of children with learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, autism, depression, mood disorders and allergies has skyrocketed the last 50 years!! This is just sad but often ignored as a trigger!

There are so many people still using harmful chemicals on their bodies and household cleaning. These chemicals have direct impact to how well our endocrine and neurological system is working especially your Thyroid! Once absorbed they produce systemic damage to internal organs.

13 Toxic Chemicals You Need to Avoid:

1. BPA – (bisphenol-A) is a chemical that is added to many commercial products. Most widely used in the lining of cans, plastic food containers, bottles as well as hygiene products. The reason why they use it in the lining of cans is to keep metal from corroding. It is also found in CDs/DVDs, thermal receipts, plastic containers and bottles, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, eyeglass lenses to name  few. Because BPA is estrogenic (mimicking estrogen properties), it has the potential to affect hormone-mediated neurologic and behavioral development in early life(1) and is recognized as an endocrine-disrupting chemical as well as linked to breast cancer. It can bind to estrogen receptors which can influence growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy level and reproduction. It also can alter the function of your thyroid and your entire endocrine system.  Unfortunately, recent research is showing BPA has been replaced by bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF) which may also disrupt the function of your cells similar to BPA(2). Using glass whenever possible is best for food storage and avoiding plastic overall when possible to avoid these harmful chemicals.

2. Plastic – Use glass whenever possible especially heating your food (not that microwaving your food is good either). Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

3. Parabens –Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. While that might sound good, parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties and are linked to breast cancer and are found in biopsies of breast tumors. The skin is one of the largest organs and it’s directly absorbed into your body. Parabens can be found in makeup, lipsticks, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and facial cleansers, lotions and creams, etc.(3)(4)(5)

4. Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea – These are the most commonly used preservatives after the parabens. According to the American Academy of Dermatology they are the primary cause of contact dermatitis.

5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – is used as a sudsing and foaming agent which penetrates the skin. Harmful effects include reproductive and developmental toxicity, tissue damage that could result in chronic liver, brain, heart, lung damage and may include cancer. SLS has been found in the tissue of these organs so it accumulates in the body. It is found to be a contributor to acne, eczema and other dermititis skin irritations.  It also disrupts your skin’s natural oil balance because of its harsh agents.(6) 

6. Tricolsan and Tribclocarban – found in toothpaste, deodorant and antibacterial soaps and   handsanitizers. We have become so obsessed with germs that it is actually causing bacterial resistance which is opposite of what we want. We need microbes in our gut to keep us healthy. It also disrupts our endocrine system, impairs muscle and immune function and allergies.

7. Benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol – these are the chemicals that have been replaced in some antibacterial products and are showing just as harmful affects as Tricolsan and Tribclocarban (7).

8. Phthalates – a group of chemicals used in products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. It is used in cosmetics and personal care products such as nail polish, perfumes, moisturizers, deodorants, and hair spray.  They are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer as well. Unfortunately, companies are not obligated to disclose their secret formula of fragrance which is a major flaw in the law.

9. Polyethylene/PEGs – PEG, which is the abbreviation of polyethylene glycol.  It’s most common form is plastic and when combined with glycol, it becomes a thick and sticky liquid. It’s found in cosmetics as emollients which help soften and lubricate the skin, it’s also an emulsifier and it helps deliver other ingredients deeper in the skin (ugh!!!). They are used in cosmetics for scrubs and exfoliants as well as body wash. These PEGs wind up traveling through our waterways and collecting more pollutants along the way ultimately being consumed by fish and other marine mammals.

10. Dibutyl phthalate, toluene – linked to endocrine disruption, respiratory issues, birth defects and headaches.  They are found in nail polish and nail products and other cosmetics.

11. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives such as some potato chips, cereals as well as oils. They are beneficial because they help prolong the shelf life of certain items. This doesn’t mean it’s safe.  Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that BHA is “generally recognized as safe,” The Department of Health and Human Services, however, cautions humans to avoid BHA because certain studies show it is linked to cancer. It also can accumulate in the body and can be considered a human carcinogen.   Evidence shows high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen resulting in hormone disruption.

12. Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and poses significant danger to human health (it has been linked to nasal squamous cell cancer(8).  It is also skin irritant that can cause allergy-like reactions including watery, burning eyes and throats, stuffy noses, and skin rashes. It is mainly used in the production of industrial resins such as particle board.  It also can be found in furniture, permanent press clothing, draperies, glues, adhesives, cleaning, beauty products and in some brands of baby wipes(9).

13. Mercury – Exposure to mercury impairs neurological development, and recent research has linked high levels of mercury to ADHD. Because neural development happens rapidly in pregnancy and early childhood, it is important to eliminate exposure where possible(10) (11)   Oxidative stress is associated with the cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease(12)(13). Mercury enters the environment through air pollution and industrial waste. When mercury enters water, fish absorb it through their gills. The primary exposure to mercury is from consuming large, older, and predatory fish (ahi tuna, swordfish, shark, orange roughy, mackerel,  yellowfin tuna, sea bass, blue fish, grouper). Here’s a list of the levels of mercury found in fish/seafoodfrom the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so you can decide which seafood is best for you to consume.

As you can see every single one of these chemicals are an endocrine & neurological function disruptors.  They are linked to many cancers and diseases.

Now, if you think I’m being overly cautious, I’m not. It’s up to us to start making these changes for our health and our children’s health. I don’t even like the fake and strong smells from the cleaners that are on the market. If you think Mr. Clean, 409, Fantastic, Gain, Palmolive or Dawn dish detergent is safe to use they are not. Once you switch to a healthier cleaning regimen and skin care you will notice the difference. I know it has made a difference in my own thyroid function and that is coming from someone that no longer even has a thyroid.

One of the most popular laundry detergents on the market – Tide –  is loaded with toxins for example.  I’ve ditched Tide about 20 years ago!  There are many natural detergents that are on the market today that work well!  You can also make a homemade natural detergent too using simple ingredients like borax, washing soda and natural soap such as Dr. Bronner’s.

Companies are tricky in making you think something is natural and safe – like Tide Free and Gentle is not “free and clear” of all chemicals!!  Thankfully, in a 2013 press release noted on EWG’s website, Procter & Gamble has agreed to reformulate Tide and other popular laundry detergents to reduce contamination with 1,4 dioxane, defined as a carcinogen by California consumer product safeguards known as Proposition 65. The giant multinational’s action came in response to a lawsuit filed by an Oakland-based nonprofit called As You Sow. My understanding is as of today, 1,4 dioxane has been taken out of Tide Free and Gentle, however, EWG.org website still rates this product an “F”. I would stay away from all conventional detergents that are in the market despite Tide being the most popular laundry detergent. Read your labels – natural or free doesn’t mean that it is non-toxic and chemical free. I try my best not to use harmful chemicals on my skin or in my home. The chemicals that are in your products have a direct connection to how your hormones work (both in women and men!) as well as can cause many different cancers. We must all be conscious consumers and realize that these very products are making us sick in more ways than we care to believe.

Unfortunately, the cosmetic industry is also unregulated and the FDA doesn’t require them to make safety assessments on their products.  There are tons of products on the market starting from the conventional deodorant that has been linked to breast cancer to the foundation make-up that is loaded with chemicals that are being absorbed through our skin. Harmful ingredients are often masked with the label of “fragrance” or sometimes they are labeled with the actual chemical but are not required to inform the consumer of its harmful affects on our health. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the products you use everyday are harming your health?

Check out how your product rates.

Check out The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website which was developed in 1992.  Although some ratings may not seem totally fair, they are based the available data and still a good resource to see where your product rates.

I know I was very disappointed to see method brand products not rate well.  I really liked them. I have since switched to greener products or usually make my own. While method products are definitely “greener” than conventional products apparently they are using ingredients that are still considered unsafe.  Since there is no regulation, I’d rather be safe than sorry. Not all the method products are rated poorly but a lot of them are. As consumers it’s extremely important to read labels because many of these products are misleading making you think they are perfectly safe and natural.

Please tell me some of your favorite products that you love down in the comments!

These toxic chemicals are a huge factor in so many diseases that we are an aware of.  The first place we need to clean up is our skin care and cleaning products.  Many chemicals cross the skin barrier and are absorbed directly into your blood stream.  Once absorbed they produce systemic damage to internal organs.

Click Here to download a FREE guide to safe and natural products I love and use.

Additional References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3554682

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4702494/

While we sometimes do need a prescription for certain ailments or life threatening situations true health arises when we balance our mind, body and spirit.  We need to look to ourselves for the answers.

What Does a Balanced Healthy Life Really Look Like?

Getting there doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not really a destination!  Good health nourishes you from inside out.  Starting with the how we talk to ourselves – self love. Our bodies are meant to work like a well-oiled machine and in perfect harmony.  It’s truly miraculous!  When given the right ingredients your body can heal itself but you need to be aware of what’s going on and do not ignore the symptoms it gives you.  A healthy balanced life doesn’t have debilitating side effects like some prescriptions do especially if taken long term for a chronic issue.  Especially most of them weren’t even designed to be taken that long (ie. acid reflux medicine!!).

It probably doesn’t look like the super-model on the cover of Vogue either!  Get comfortable in your own skin!

Balance isn’t Perfect Everyday!

Balance isn’t perfect everyday but a practice over time to what feels good for you. Listen to your body and look to your higher self for the answers, it knows intuitively what it needs as well as has all the answers it needs. Symptoms pop up to tell us “hey, something is off, come look a bit deeper to finding the root cause”.  Try to get out of the habit for looking for the quick fix or pop a pill to put a band-aid approach to a bigger issue.  Question your health care professional, seek a second opinion, don’t believe everything you read, what is good for one might be poison to another.

Stress can Wreak Havoc on Our Bodies

Stress is also a huge factor in our lives today especially with all the technology that is literally coming at us every minute of the day.

Stress comes in many levels. For example, your body can be stressed internally from a simple sugar overload which is difficult for you organs and blood to process.  Or you may be eating a food that you don’t even realize you are sensitive too which is causing digestive distress.  Top that with stress from business or job, financial pressures, family, relationships, etc.  You could be eating all the super-foods in the world and if you have a lot of stress in your life you can kiss your health good-bye.  On the flip-side, some small level of stress, helps keep us motivated and strive for something better so that’s where balance is key.  Do what feels good and practice what keeps you peaceful!

12 Steps to balance your life for better health:

  1. Take 6-8 deep belly breaths, breathe in through your nose while your belly expands (not your chest) and hold for 5 then out through your mouth slowly for 6-8 when you first wake up or anytime you want to recenter yourself.  This helps trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and awaken more happiness, peace as well as productiveness in your life!
  2. Get a morning daily ritual that includes some self-care.  Meditation, reading, journaling are all great to include.  Time to reflect and appreciate the day that is coming.  Also a gratitude journal is also a great way to start your day.  Gratitude truly can be a game changer!
  3. Just eat whole foods (forget food with labels and boxes, fast food and it would be a good idea to try to eat home as much as you can).  Restaurants are known for using bad oils and unhealthy ingredients.  However if the restaurant you frequent is using healthy ingredients and preparation  than go for it!  And, please share in the comments who they are!  Even Whole Foods is using canola oil in preparation of their already prepared food station — canola oil is not a healthy oil!
  4. Drink more water!  When you urinate your urine should be light not yellow and dark (although if you are taking supplements they do cause yellow urine).
  5. Exercise!  Find what works for you but get moving to create oxygen and move stagnant energy that might be stuck in your body!! It doesn’t have to be hard core as a matter of fact over exercising is not good either!  Walking or stretching is great way to start!
  6. Body Tapping! Your body is energy! If you’ve been sitting for a long time or when you first wake up you want to wake up your organs and get the blood and energy moving and release stagnant energy in your body.  This helps to release toxins as well.  First rub your hands together in quick motion creating energy or even clapping is great.  Start with your ankles and move all the way up the back of your legs, arms (each one), neck/sternum, chest, back and kidney area.  The whole idea is to move the energy in your meridian lines in your body and helps balance your chakras (your energetic/emotional body).
  7. Eat more vegetables! I don’t subscribe to one style of eating but everyone, everyone could benefit from eating more vegetables!  They are nutrient dense and help with so many ailments.  Please note eating cold salads everyday doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good for you if they cause bloat and gas.  This typically means that you may not be digesting them and cooking them would be ideal for you.
  8. Sleep! You should shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep a night.  For some that might seem like a dream but if you are not sleeping, your health will deteriorate in some form or another.  You need to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.  It all happens when we sleep.
  9. Dump the chemicals you are using in your home, on your skin and in your food!  Nowadays it is easy to find natural products in regular stores as well as online.  Chemicals disrupt hormones, cause cancer, breathing/lung issues, asthma, brain fog, ADD, ADHD, contributing to you not losing the weight you want to lose, inflammation, organs not working optimally…just to name a few!
  10. Prepare and plan!  Food, schedules, life needs to organized not wake up and figure it out in a scattered mindless way. You set your day up for failure that way.  Focus and allow yourself enough time to plan your week and day.  Everyone has a different system but find one that works for you.  If you are running late all the time for appointments, going through the drive through or just plain exhausted you need a better plan!  We all get 24 hours in a day – it is a choice on how we choose to use it ~ no excuses!
  11. Eat mindfully.  Sit down and really enjoy your food and praise it.  Take time to really appreciate it.  You might think this is something you can skip but digestion starts the minute you look at your food.  Digestive enzymes are start to churn in your mouth the minute you look at your plate!  Take time to chew your food that is half the battle of helping it to digest!
  12. Feed your mind with good thoughts!  Your beliefs DO rule your life.  It’s good practice to continue to feed your mind with positive thoughts several times a day if you tend to have negative self talk.  Just be aware of the thought and then send it on it’s way then replace it with something positive even if it’s not really true.  Believe first, then see!!! Not see and believe!

This has been a long time favorite soup of mine for years despite that it may not look that appetizing in color.  The best part is it’s so simple to make.  I often leave out the asparagus tips and just puree the entire soup.  Mainly because I love to sip this in a mug as a mid-day snack or with my lunch.    

I’ve been cleansing for a few weeks and this is the perfect soup for it! Did you know that asparagus is a vegetable that is a great cleanser for your body naturally? Yes it is! It is a great diuretic, helping in the cleansing process and lifting the detox load of the liver and kidneys.

Here’s some great health benefits from this beautiful spring vegetable:

  • It’s a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
  • Helps slow down the aging process due to it’s high antioxidant properties and neutralizing cell-damaging radicals.
  • It contains the amino acid asparagine which is a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts.  Good for edema and high blood pressure!
  • It contains vitamins A, C, E and K as well as has lots of fiber, folate and chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. 

Asparagus contains asparagusic acid, among other compounds, that gives urine that unique odor.  Have you ever noticed it?  It literally can happen within 15 minutes of eating it. Its compounds are volatile and released as a vapor through the urine. However, apparently not everyone can smell it and that is because everyones sense of smell is unique to themselves as well as the ability to produce the odor. Interesting!!  

Okay, enough about asparagus pee ~ eat asparagus because it so good for you!

Creamy Asparagus Soup

2 lbs of asparagus (trim tough ends, cut in 2” pieces) (extra if you want to add some asparagus tips at the end)
4 cups organic vegetable stock (32 oz con’t – such as Saffron Road or Nature’s Promise)
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced.
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan pink salt
fresh cracked pepper

Sauté onion in extra virgin olive oil, add garlic & asparagus and add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft.
Take asparagus out with a slotted spoon and add stock (a little at a time) to blend in high speed blender or regular blender until smooth and creamy (you may not need all the stock depending on the consistency you prefer (reserve juice and drink it up in a mug if you want). Add Himilayan pink salt (about 1+ tsp) and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Enjoy!

If you are adding asparagus tips to your soup, blanch them for just about 30 seconds (add to already boiling water, than in ice cold water to retain color, remove with slotted spoon). Add them to your soup before eating.

If you tolerate dairy, you may add a dollup of organic plain yogurt to the mix while blending for added flavor but it is perfect the way it is.

This has been my go-to breakfast lately!   Who knew breakfast could be so creamy but delicious, healthy and satisfying while being dairy-free!  I have been really enjoying this!  It all started when I was cleansing a few weeks ago and decided to have this over a smoothie.  Smoothies in the morning are great especially on the days I chef.  However, I become “smoothied-out” sometimes especially after years of drinking smoothies.   Plus there is something to be said about chewing your food.   Digestion starts in the mouth when you chew your food.  The enzymes amylase and lipase are released which starts the digestion process.

When you are eating healthy you just feel better, think better, move better and your body runs better!   Try this delicious and satisfying breakfast it’s so light and refreshing as well as gluten-free and dairy-free!  Berries are packed with antioxidants and lower on the Glycemic Index!  Ideally fruit should be eaten alone so another plus to have this first thing in the morning.

Mixed Berries with Sweet Cashew Cream

2+ cups of berries (strawberries, black berries, blue berries)
1 ripe banana (divided)
1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in hot water for 1/2 hour or more)
1/2 cup+ coconut milk or almond milk (no carrageenan) (add more depending on consistency)
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
handful slivered almonds
chia seed (optional)
cinnamon (optional)

Place mixed berries in a bowl and slice up 1/2 of banana. Blend the other 1/2 banana, coconut milk or almond milk, vanilla extract and cashews together until creamy smooth.

Pour cream over fruit and top with slivered almonds. Add cinnamon and chia seeds if desired.

This delicious asparagus salad was on my clients menu today and it’s one that they often request so I snapped a quick picture.  When I prepare food for clients I have to think of how this will hold up so I don’t mix in the feta as I would normally serve this so that is why there is big blob of feta just sitting there and not all dispersed pretty – like I said I just snapped a quick picture!  But I wanted to share this since asparagus is in season right now!  Besides the health benefits of asparagus, eating seasonally has many benefits. Here are a few:

  • Save money on food
  • Peak supply and cost less to farmers for distribution
  • Best tasting, healthiest food available
  • Food is more local since it’s in season

Also, your body actually has seasons just like the planet does. Do you ever notice how you want to eat lighter come spring time? It’s because our bodies are ready to shed the winter stagnation in our bodies and it naturally cleanses which is why we crave lighter foods.  Same when fall comes around it’s just natural that we reap our harvest from spring and eat more grounding foods such as carrots, squashes, potatoes, etc.  Your own life has seasons as well which is a good thing especially if you are going through a difficult time.    Ebb and flow of life ~ it’s normal for people to perk up a bit in spring, have a bit of fire in the summer and tend to close down in the fall and winter and can easily be more melancholy!

But lets stick to asparagus for now and enjoy all that it has to offer. Praise it for it’s beautiful green color and all the vitamins that it nourishes our body with.

 

Surprisingly, cinnamon is a lot more than just a spice you bake or cook with.  Although when you do, the aroma is quite warm and comforting, isn’t it?   It is considered a “warm” spice that can literally warm you up when you ingest it.  Not only do I love the aroma, I love the numerous health benefits it brings.  Cinnamon is considered an ancient superfood, has been prized for it’s medicinal properties and is one of the oldest known spices.  It has been used for thousands of years according to Ayurveda medicine (one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems).  In Ayurveda medicine, it is considered a “fire” element due to its warming properties and may be used to stimulate and/or balance where appropriate.

Quality Counts:

The type you use does make a difference!  After some research, Saigon cinnamon which I use has high levels of coumarin.  Coumarin is actually toxic to your liver when consumed in high amounts.  Yikes!  Ceylon cinnamon has low levels of coumarin and is the one to use!  Ceylon is the best/true source of cinnamon.  Mexico is the biggest importer of Ceylon cinnamon but is native to Sri Lanka (90%), India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean.  Saigon cinnamon comes from Vietnam and is a bit more spicy than Ceylon which is mild and sweet.  The most common here in U.S is Cassia cinnamon which also has high levels of coumarin.  If you are using cinnamon to boost your health or even using it in baking be sure to check which type you are using.  I know I’m now switching over to Ceylon cinnamon pronto!

How it’s Made:

Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it. When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.

The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde (2).  Cinnamonaldehyde, an essential oil within the bark, is what gives cinnamon its unique aroma and flavor.  Cinnamaldehyde is also an effective insecticide.

Benefits:

It’s commonly used for matters of the immune system, and to help the body fight off bacteria or viruses that is constantly in our environment.  Naturally has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties!   The oil can also be useful for cleaning, air quality, and mood support believe it or not.   Studies show that it supports blood sugar balance along with proper diet.  You can use cinnamon as a powder, cinnamon sticks or an essential oil.  One or two drops is more than enough as it’s very potent.

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols.  Polyphenols are phytochemicals, meaning compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties.  Polyphenols play an important role in maintaining your health and wellness.

It is this compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and wellness.

How to use doTERRA Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil:

  • During your nightly routine, add one drop of Cinnamon to two ounces of water and gargle for an effective mouth rinse
  • Place two to three drops in a spray bottle with water for a quick and effective cleaning spray
  • During the winter months, dilute Cinnamon with Fractionated Coconut Oil and create a warming massage for cold, achy joints
  • Place two to three drops in a doTERRA Veggie Cap to maintain a healthy immune system*
  • Place one drop of Cinnamon essential oil in hot water or tea and drink slowly to soothe your throat*
  • Add to your favorite recipes in place of ground cinnamon for a delightfully spicy flavor
  • Supports healthy metabolic function*
  • Naturally repels insects
  • May promote healthy circulatory function

Risks of Using Cinnamon

While cinnamon can support your health, too much is not good. Ingesting high levels of coumarin (a natural chemical) found in Cassia & Saigon cinnamon can cause toxicity to your liver. Ingesting high amounts of dry cinnamon powder is dangerous! Not too long ago, teenagers were trying to do the “cinnamon challenge” from ingesting dry cinnamon powder. It caused numerous hospitalizations across the country as well as some deaths due to lung complications!

If you are taking statin drugs which also has side affects of liver damage, you should be careful, as well as anyone taking blood thinners.  Always check with your doctor for any medications you are currently taking that may have complications with any supplements, herbs or anything else you might be taking. According to drugs.com, adverse reactions to cinnamon have not been reported in doses up to 6 grams daily.

The Take Home Message:

Cinnamon is delicious and one of the healthiest spices on the planet!   It has impressive health benefits ~ just be sure to get Ceylon cinnamon and/or use a pure essential oil such as doTERRA Cinnamon Bark essential oil.  doTERRA essential oils are pure and are natively sourced which is extremely important.  Plus there are no synthetic additives.

As always, quality counts in food and supplements!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Sources for this article:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23297571
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22518078
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22518078
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25331834
https://www.drugs.com/npc/cinnamon.html
http://www.rxlist.com/cassia_cinnamon-page3/supplements.html

This is an issue near and dear to my heart!  When I was 19 years old, I was diagnosed with Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune disease that causes your thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone causing hyperthyroidism. I spent months not knowing what was wrong with me before finally going to the doctor as my symptoms got worse.  Even though I was super-hyper I also had extreme exhaustion all in the same day not to mention all the other symptoms that come along with Graves. Although Graves disease dates back to the 1800’s, I don’t remember not one doctor explaining to me that this is an autoimmune disorder.   Frankly in the 80’s doctors believed there is not much you can do about an autoimmune disorder and even now 30 years later there is this very same misconception. Honestly, I found that out through my own research when I started studying health and nutrition many years later that Graves disease was an autoimmune disorder. Not having a thyroid now has honestly made complications with weight management as well as just regulating the amount of thyroid hormone I need to take to keep everything else in check in my body.  This makes me very frustrated because I could have possibly avoided having my entire thyroid removed.

According to Dr. Mercola, your thyroid is responsible for producing metabolism hormones that control every function in your body.  When your thyroid levels are out of balance, so are you. Too much or too little hormone secretion in this gland can wreak havoc for your overall health.  Hormones secreted by your thyroid interact with all your other hormones, including insulin, cortisol, and sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The fact that these hormones are all tied together and are in constant communication explains why a less-than-optimal thyroid status is associated with so many widespread symptoms and diseases.

Yet so many people are living with thyroid symptoms and not even know it.  Or, have just settled on taking synthetic hormones to try to help regulate your thyroid but yet still suffering.  Synthyroid  was one of the top selling drugs in this country for the last several years.  Crazy!  It’s why I went in the health & wellness field in the first place so I can help people heal naturally.  Unfortunately, for me it’s a bit too late to change my thyroid condition but it may not be for you.  Did you know that eating gluten is the one of the worst things you can eat if you have a thyroid condition?  Did you know that eating iodine rich foods such as sea vegetables can help nourish your thyroid.  Of course, this is not the only thing but don’t be fooled into thinking there is nothing you can do to help nourish and regulate your thyroid.

The truth is approximately 30% of the population will get a thyroid related condition in their lifetimes.  It’s slightly higher if you’re a woman. And 60% of those people, who will have thyroid disease…

They won’t ever know what’s making them so sick.

Thyroid disease and it’s many different types and conditions is far, far more common than you might think – and it’s one of the most often misdiagnosed medical conditions on the planet. Furthermore, the treatments offered by conventional medicine are seriously lacking, but there are solutions that no one really knows about- I want to change that.

Even if you’ve never even considered the idea that you might have a thyroid problem, I urge you to take a minute and watch the trailer to an explosive new documentary.  It was created by Dr. Izabella Wentz, a pharmacist who was diagnosed with thyroid disease and wouldn’t accept a lifetime of suffering.  She has put together an amazing documentary and it’s called The Thyroid Secret and the World Premier will be released on March 1st – Absolutely FREE for everyone to watch online!

Watch the trailer now and reserve your spot for the main event!   Dr. Wentz has also put together an online quiz if you are interested in finding out if any of your symptoms might be related to your thyroid.

10 Common Symptoms that may be Related to Silent/Chronic inflammation

  1. acne
  2. allergies
  3. acid reflux
  4. asthma
  5. obesity
  6. depression
  7. joint pain
  8. eczema/psoarsis
  9. high blood pressure
  10. colitis 

Often chronic inflammation is referred to as “the silent killer”.  It sounds dramatic but it’s the cause of many chronic and/or debilitating diseases such as autoimmune, heart disease and  cancer to name a few.   It’s quite different than acute inflammation (ie. abscess) where your body’s immune activity is aggressive but short term.  In the case of an abscess, an infectious organism or foreign material may cause an inflammatory response in the body, which triggers the body’s immune system to form a capsule to contain the infection and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body.  Chronic inflammation happens over time and you may not notice it until a symptom that you think is totally unrelated pops up.  Something such as a migraine headache from time to time or high cholesterol levels and even weight gain.  Your immune systems top priority is to defend against outside threats and keep you balanced.  Chronic inflammation is a continued response and there is no resting because it’s job is never done like an acute response.  Chronic inflammation processes can be the bronchial wall in chronic bronchitis/asthma or the debilitating destruction of the joints associated with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Chronic disease is a serious problem here in the United States.  The Center for Disease Control reports that nearly half the population in the United States of America lives with at least one chronic disease.  The pharmaceutical industry is a billion dollar business in the U.S. alone and it’s only growing.  To matters worse, a lot of the side affects from prescription drugs cause more illnesses especially statin drugs or medications for acid reflux.  All those illnesses that end with “itis” are all related to chronic inflammation.  

It has become a serious problem and is only going to get worse unless we take control of our health.  The very food you are eating could be making it worse as well as the right food can make you feel better.  Which is why bio-individuality is so very important.  What’s good for one might be bad for another person. Good nutrition can make all the difference in getting you there. Getting healthy takes time and patience is a virtue ~ you didn’t get sick overnight and it may take a while to regain your health depending on the cause.   There is no magic pill or potion that is going to make it all disappear so why use a band-aid approach to cover symptoms.  

Research shows it’s preventable so eating an anti-inflammatory diet is a start in the right direction!   You need to turn off the inflammatory response!  A lot of these diseases are thought to be normal as we age.  There is nothing normal about joint pain.  Yes, if you are sedentary for most of your life you might expect to be stiff but it’s never too late to add movement to your life.  Yoga is an excellent practice to add to your life at any stage.  The benefits of yoga go far beyond the exercise.  It’s a mind, body and spiritual practice that can also bring lots of peace to your life. Stress itself is another issue that adds to inflammation in your body.  The list goes on and on.  Let’s take control of our health, you know your body better than anyone else.  Listen to it!  

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or contact me directly.  And, of course never discontinue a medication unless consulting your physician or medical provider.

I can’t believe 2016 is coming to a close in just a few days!  It’s one of my favorite times of the year!  You get to reset no matter what the past year has been like ~ of course you can do that every day but there is something special about the beginning of a brand new year!  Unfortunately, we sometimes set unrealistic goals that we never achieve!  Research shows that resolutions last but a mere few weeks.  Before you know it they all have fallen off the wayside by the second week of February if they even lasted that long.  Mostly because we start obsessing over things we can’t have, shouldn’t do, or mustn’t think about.  It’s just natural for our minds to start seeing these things as desirable. 

For the last few years, I make it a practice which intertwines both personally and professionally to make an intention list of what I want my year to be look like!  An intention is much more well… intendedand in alignment with the result you are looking to achieve.  It works toward progress of achieving it instead of perfection and be let down.  Rather than drastically giving up something (unless it totally does not serve well in your life ~ ie. alcohol and sugar), try working on what would be good for me “today” and serves me well.  Possibly going for a walk just to get moving if you barely stepped foot in the gym would work better than signing up for a membership than barely getting there!   When you have big goals most times overwhelm sets in and you don’t know what to do first as well as make unrealistic ones that are hard to stick to.  Keep the intention list with you!  Keep it on your desk, fridge or wherever you will see it often – make multiple copies.  I also love to create vision boards ~ they are a great tool that keeps you focused and inspired.  Setting an intention should be attainable and something that is within your control.  For example, if health and wellbeing is on the top of your list possibly spending some alone time before your day starts.  Write in a journal or even a brain dump that you can write on a piece of paper that just gets things off your mind so you are more clear (you can even throw it away).  Meditating each morning is another great way to start your day while keeping your intentions in hand.  It tells the universe that you are looking for ways to attain them.  Mediation is a powerful tool don’t discount it!  It can help center yourself and worry less!  My list looks like above and doesn’t include drastic unrealistic ones that I know will never happen and just on a wish list!

So here’s to a fantastic 2017!!! May it bring you loads of success, joy, health & peace!  I’m really looking forward to making great things happen in 2017!! 

Please leave a comment below and tell me about how are you going to make 2017 your best year yet!