Posts

It seems the 20 years of the “Got Milk” campaign has really got us believing that milk is so good for our health and bones.  But is Dairy really good or not?

Now a days there are all kinds of nut milks on the market. Is it a fad, is everyone allergic or lactose intolerant? 

There are some cultures that can tolerate lactose (milk sugar) – but many do not. There is also casein (one of the proteins found in milk – the other is whey) which is another issue for some and is slow to digest – it takes around 7 hours to digest. 

Dairy was not even consumed until after the agricultural revolution. Here in the U.S. parents usually switch their babies to cow’s milk after age 1. We are the only species that drinks another animal’s milk which if you think about it – it’s kind of weird! Babies produce lots of lactase which is an enzyme that helps absorb our mother’s milk.  After weaning, they stop producing as much lactase which is why some become lactose intolerant. Like I said, certain populations tolerate it better(1).

Dairy in general is inflammatory, mucus producing and is growth producing. 

It has been linked to ear infections in children, tumor growth, joint inflammation, increases insulin, skin issues like acne, psoarsis and eczema as well as respiratory and cardiovascular issues.  

Dairy sometimes produce vague symptoms. And, by vague I mean you are not having an acute reaction to it.  It shows up in different ways – usually inflammation of some sort. If you are lactose intolerant, you may have an acute type reaction usually within an hour or so – such as stomach pain, diarrhea, gas or bloating.

If you are drinking conventional dairy you are likely adding hormones and antibiotics that causes issues in your gut and disrupts your endocrine system. Furthermore, most milk here in the U.S. is produced from A-1 cows which is part of the problem. And before I totally go off in another direction on A1 vs. A2 cows because that in itself is a whole other story. I’ll just give you the short version. Regular milk mostly here in the U.S. contains A1 beta-casein, which is partly broken down to beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7) in the stomach. BCM-7 has been linked with several adverse health effects. In Europe, they have A-2 cows and it seems they do not have the problems we do with dairy. 

RAW, full-fat, organic grass-fed dairy on another hand is said to be extremely beneficial to our health. New York is one of 26 states where it can be bought with restrictions although where I live I have not come across where you can buy raw milk. California for example is much more readily available and even sold in stores because it’s legal. Pasteurization in conventional milk kills any nutrients that are valuable to our bodies which is why raw milk is the better option.  Raw milk contain live bacteria which is what makes it beneficial. If you do find raw milk in your area, make sure you are aware of the farmer’s practices so to be sure it is safe.  The FDA will demonize raw milk, however, I don’t have confidence in an agency that is paid by the US treasury as well as receives pay checks from drug companies. They are far from protecting us from dangerous foods on the market.

Organic, raw, grass-fed fermented diary in the form of kefir or yogurt has beneficial nutrients and in some cases healing to your body. Be sure to make sure the yogurt you are buying is not filled with sugar and other fillers.

What about Calcium?

There really is not a high amount of calcium in milk and there are much better sources. There is actually more calcium in leafy greens then there is in dairy.  Nuts and seeds are another excellent source of calcium besides it also has fat which helps absorption. Many people are under the assumption drinking low-  or no-fat milk is good but it leads to low absorption of calcium. Sardines is another excellent source of calcium. Dairy is acidic and vegetables are alkaline so another plus for eating vegetables over dairy for calcium. Plus, because dairy is acidic your body naturally aims to neutralize the body and will take calcium from your bones. Much contrary to many beliefs about dairy for preventing osteoporosis.  Studies show vitamin D is better for your bones than calcium.

Bottom line:

For me, I don’t drink milk or eat yogurt for quite a number of years. But I do eat grass-fed butter, ghee (which his actually dairy free but I mention it as a butter alternative as it also has a lot of healing properties) and occasionally eat cheese. When I do eat cheese, my joints are inflamed and my face breaks out – so I always regret it.  It also causes me digestive distress and bloating. It has caused me more harm than good so I stay away for the most part.  I seem to be okay with grass-fed butter on occasion or at least I think so.  Even with all the negative side affects it has been the hardest for me to 100% give up.  I try not to focus on it honestly and it works for the most part.  
 
It’s always good to declare you don’t eat something rather than you can’t have something (even if it’s only you are talking too :).  When your brain hears can’t it connects it with deprivation. 
 
Now, that’s not to say you will have the same issues. Some tolerate dairy well but I’d source your dairy from grass-fed cows at the very least.  And, if you are able to get raw dairy from a reputable farmer/source that would be your best option to reap the beneficial nutrients.
 
Cows that are raised on pasture and eat grass have a different nutrient profile than cows that are eating grain (which actually makes them sick which is why they need to give them antibiotics). Grass-fed/grass-finished cows have more more Omega-3 fatty acids and up to 500% more Conjugated Linoleic Acid.  The omega-3 to 6 ratio in grass-fed cows is perfect.  Grain-fed/conventional raised cows omega-6 ratio to omega-3 ratio is about 20 to 1.  The much higher ratio in omega-6 creates inflammation.  And if the cow is eating antibiotics so are you causing disruption to your microbiome.  This is the same for eating conventional beef vs. grass-fed.
 
Dairy sometimes has vague adverse symptoms and the best way to see if you have a sensitivity is to do an elimination diet for at least 7-9 days then reintroduce it for 3 days and see how your body reacts.  Most people do not even realize that dairy is in fact causing a lot of disruption to your health until you take it out.  
 
Here is a website I found very informative about milk facts from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – Cornell University.
 
How well do you tolerate dairy?  What’s your take on it?  I’d love for you to share in the comments.  

This shaved winter brussel sprout salad is delicious and light!  I’ve made it a few different times over the last few weeks for my clients.  It’s always a welcome addition in the winter.  Although not completely necessary to make the dish with a mandoline, it makes it so much easier to get the thin shreds you want.  You can also use a food processor shredding blade or a sharp chefs knife will work as well but may take you just a bit longer.  These are the times when you wish you had one!

I purchased mine on Amazon – Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline and have had it for many years and use it often.  It works great because it’s a very sharp blade!  You have to be careful for ones that are not as sharp because that could be dangerous for slipping.  And on the other hand you have to be careful because whatever you are cutting you don’t want to go all the way down to your fingers or you will slice them.

Try this delicious salad as a light lunch or as a side with your dinner.  It’s delicious and comes together so quickly.  It also holds up in the fridge for a few days too so it’s an added bonus!

Winter Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

Delicious raw winter salad!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 2 packages raw brussel sprouts shaved
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan (or buy pre-shaved) BelGioioso Parmesan Shaved Cheese, 5 Oz

For the Dressing

  • 3 ea lemons freshly squeezed
  • 3-4 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Instructions for salad:

  1. Shave the brussel sprouts with a mandolin being careful of your fingers in a large bowl.

  2. Add cranberries, slivered almonds and shaved parmesan.

Instructions for Dressing:

  1. In a glass jar or bowl, squeeze lemons, add rest of ingredients and shake the jar or whisk to emulsify and toss well into the salad. Adjust seasoning to your taste. 

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
Serves 4
Dairy-free delicious asparagus soup
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs of asparagus (trim tough ends, cut in 2” pieces) (extra if you want to add some asparagus tips at the end)
  2. 4 cups organic vegetable stock (32 oz con’t - such as Saffron Road or Nature’s Promise)
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 1 garlic clove, minced.
  5. 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  6. Himalayan pink salt
  7. fresh cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Sauté onion in extra virgin olive oil, add garlic & asparagus and add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
Notes
  1. for future and 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.
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/
source:  
Eating Well 3/2016
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19895471

Avocados seem to be all the rave the last few years and for good reason.  They are a nutrient-dense stone fruit.  Most fruits are primarily carbohydrates while avocados are rich in healthy fats – particularly monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which promote heart health and basic body functions.  Avocados are known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties in the body.  

They contain a variety of essential nutrients, minerals and important phytonutrients.  They also contain more potassium than a banana.  One third of an avocado (5o g) has:

  • fiber – 3 g
  • folate/folic acid – 45 mcg
  • iron – .3 mg
  • magnesium – 15 mg
  • potassium – 250 mg
  • niacin (vit b3) – 1 mg
  • riboflavin (vit b2) – .1 mg
  • pantothentic acid (vit b5) – .7 mg
  • pyridoxine (vit b6) – .1 mg
  • thiamin (vit b1) – .04 mg
  • vitamin e – 1 mg
  • vitamin c – 4 mg
  • vitamin k – 11 mcg 
  • calcium – 10 mg
  • copper – 10 mg
  • phosphorous – 20 mg
  • zinc – .3 mg

Here’s another way to add this healthy fat into your diet. Surprisingly, the avocado doesn’t oxidize/brown when heated and it comes together in no time.  

Baked Avocado Fries w/Sriracha Lime Mayo
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 avocado
  2. 1 1/2 cups Aleia's Panko GF bread crumbs
  3. Himalayan pink salt
  4. fresh cracked pepper
  5. 1 tsp garlic powder
  6. avocado oil (for drizzling)
  7. 1 lime
  8. SRIRACHA LIME MAYO
  9. 1/4 cup mayo
  10. 1 tsp sriracha (or more according to your taste)
  11. 1 smidgen of finely fresh grated garlic
  12. zest of 1 lime
  13. juice from 1/2 of lime
Instructions
  1. Directions for mayo: Mix together and serve with avocado fries.
  2. Directions for Avocado Fries: Preheat oven to 450 F (convection if you have). Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick foil. Set aside.
  3. Score the entire avocado lengthwise around the pit with a large chef knife. Turn with two hands to separate. Remove pit by hacking the pit with the knife and turn, it should come right out. Scoop avocado with a large rounded spoon to keep in tact. Slice avocados lengthwise. I find it easier to scoop first rather than slice in it's shell for the fries.
  4. Mix together the breadcrumbs with the pink salt, pepper & garlic powder in a wide bowl. Coat thoroughly with the panko gf crumbs all over avocado slice. Line on the baking sheet without touching.
  5. Drizzle with avocado oil lightly.
  6. Bake for approximately 10 minutes (depending on oven might need more) on top rack until lightly browned. Turn and continue baking until lightly browned on the other side.
  7. Cool for about ten minutes. Squeeze lime over fries before serving (if desired) and serve with sriracha lime mayo. Enjoy!
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/

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.htm

 

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.

With the cold weather in full swing, this is the perfect time to make this luscious warming to your soul soup! It comes together in no time so it’s perfect for a healthy mid-week meal too. It’s full of delicious healthy fats and helps keep you satiated which is great for in-between meals to sip in a mug. It’s super creamy (with no dairy added) especially when using a Vitamix. But not necessary, I also make this at my clients’ homes that do not have a Vitamix and a regular blender works fine!

For a longest time, I didn’t like curry or at least I thought I didn’t like it. I think it was because I rarely made recipes with it or ate it out. Turns out I really love it so don’t be afraid to try it because it really does make the soup yummy. It’s one of the reasons I don’t call this soup “Curried Butternut Squash” soup for all the clients that think they don’t like curry but love this soup. It may not be an “authentic” Thai recipe by any means but it it’s my version of this delicious soup!

Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large butternut squash (about 3 lbs) (skinned and cut into chunks), look for large long neck
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  4. 2 pears (seeded/skinned & cut in chunks)
  5. 1 container of organic vegetable broth - 32 oz (I prefer Saffron Road or Natures Promise brand)
  6. 1 can of unsweetened Native Organic Coconut milk (mix it before using) - 13.5 oz
  7. 1 tbs madras curry powder (more or less depending on your taste)
  8. Himalayan Pink salt to taste
  9. 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
For the Spiced Pepitas
  1. 1/2 cup of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
  2. Cayenne pepper
  3. Smoked Paprika
Instructions
  1. Heat EVOO or coconut oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, butternut squash, pears, garlic and about 3/4 of the container of vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft.
  2. Transfer ingredients to a high speed blender (or regular one is fine) in batches if necessary. Add pinch of pink salt, a little coconut milk as well as the curry a little at a time to your specific taste. You may use up to the full can of coconut milk for the full batch depending on size of your butternut squash and taste as well as adding more broth if necessary - for me I like to use about 3/4 of the can. Continue each batch until done and transfer to a ball jar. Or, plate it in your favorite bowl and sprinkle w/the spiced pepitas and enjoy! I love to store soups in glass ball jars in the fridge. They look enticing and keeps it in full view looking pretty in your fridge! I use the 2 quart one when I make this soup.
Spiced Pepitas
  1. Toss the seeds with a sprinkle of cayenne and smoked paprika and heat in a 400 degree oven (works great in a toaster oven if you have) spread out on a small cookie sheet until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes.
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/

’Tis the season where we are overloaded with goodies and/or alcoholic beverages.  It happens to everyone, we fall off of our healthy living habits and we over indulge more than we should or care to think about.  It starts at Thanksgiving and continues though the holiday season leaving us to forget about our health for the time being as well as all the other gatherings throughout the year.  It’s not until we start to feel fatigued, our pants a little more snug and/or brain fog sets in that we realize we are out of balance.  With so much misinformation coming at us from every angle it’s hard to figure what’s what in health and our food! 

I do believe there is a difference!  A detox is just that ridding your body of toxins.  Most likely starting from the very environment we live in.  It’s almost impossible to avoid all chemicals – its in the air we breathe.  But top that with chemicals in our food as well as heavy metals, smoking, cleaning products, makeup, hair and poor skincare products and your body gets overloaded and weighed down and just doesn’t work properly.  Sometimes a good detox in supporting specific organs is in order to help you bring your body back to it’s natural balance.

A cleanse on the other hand helps clear out your digestive system and enhances your bodies natural detoxification system.  It helps rid your body of toxic matter that is clogging your digestive system.  With so many people using them interchangeably it’s hard to decipher which one is for you and I think that’s a personal choice depending on how you are feeling.  Believe or not our bodies are meant to cleanse themselves naturally aka the skin, liver, kidneys and colon not to mention our entire lymphatic system.  Given the right foods they can work beautifully together.  Keeping them healthy and clean is key to keeping them working well.  I don’t believe you should be sitting on a toilet and afraid to leave the house!  I recommend using food as a natural detoxification even if you are “cleansing/detoxing.”  Although some good supplements or herbal teas help the detoxification process move along.  One thing you have to remember is detoxing and cleansing may have ill effects on you the first few days if you were eating poorly prior to it.  It’s important to keep that in mind and also to prepare yourself prior to do doing a cleanse so the body is eased into it.  It would be a good idea for instance to slowly take caffeine out of your diet starting several days before you start your cleanse so you don’t get that dreaded “caffeine headache”. 

Here are some signs of that your body is in need of a cleanse or detox:

  • fatigue
  • stressed
  • anxiety
  • acne
  • not losing weight when you are doing your best
  • headaches
  • allergies and/or food sensitivities
  • joint pain
  • mood swings

I hope that helps in some way but either way just ridding your body of the junk one to two times a year is a good idea!  It’s almost inevitable even if you are eating well, and not using toxic chemicals our bodies get clogged up.  They need to reboot and take a break from working so hard to keep us healthy which is truthfully it’s only goal.