Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Decorating Projects

I wanted to share some of my decorating projects for this season and take a break from topics on health.  My favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Being the visual person that I am, I revel in decorating for the holidays.

My kids have a hard time understanding why our house is always the last to be decorated in our neighborhood.  I get so busy this time of year that I just can't get to everything all at once.  Over the years they have learned to adjust.  

My daughter made these for me

This arrangement didn't cost a dime.  I made it from wild harvested Ilex branches, Holly and Christmas tree throw away cuttings.  
I love making arrangements from nature's bounty.

This is the wreath on my front door.

I wouldn't have posted this photo except that the birds love to come and peck at the pine cones in this wreath.  Being the bird lover that I am, I welcome them tearing at it as much as they want.

My daughter took this shot.  She says that she wants to be a photographer.  Just what I need!  Another zany right-brained person in this household! 

My daughter designed this table.  I helped some.
Not bad for a nine-year-old.

Our Christmas Tree

I didn't have a centerpiece for my table, so I clipped some of the lower limbs off my tree and pulled some candles out of storage.  Done!

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season, merry Christmas and blessed new year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Are Psych-Meds To Blame For Connecticut Tragedy?

I was going to do a post on some of the holiday decorating I have done this season, but I cannot with what happened in Connecticut.  What horror!  My heart bleeds for the families involved.  How do you continue on with life after such a tragedy like this?  This event leads me to question, What on earth is going on with all our young people who are involved with such acts of violence?  Alternative health sites are buzzing with discussion and they all seem to be pointing toward psychiatric drugs. 

I believe psychiatric medications have some terrible side effects, some of which include suicidal tendencies and violent outbursts.  Can we begin a discussion that mentions the psych meds involved?  Is anyone questioning the safety and efficacy of the medications that are prescribed to children these days?  Did you know that the Colombine and Batman shootings were linked to psych meds as well?  My son has dyslexia and attention issues.  Ordinarily, he would likely be put on Ritalin.  Reading up on it, my husband and I decided that there was no way we would subject him to mind altering drugs.  Ritalin is a precursor to cocaine.  This drug is actually legal?  How is it possible?

I think that alternative methods of healing will always be superior to what any drug can do.  My father's mother who lives in Guatemala was very lethargic and losing her mental sharpness.  I told my mom to take some of Dr. Schulze's Superfood and give it to her.  Soon after she started on Superfood, she snapped out of her lethargy and mental sluggishness and was back to her normal self.  Dr. Robert O. Young has helped several people with mental disorders achieve normalcy again simply by helping them learn how to make their bodies and brains alkaline and following a healthful lifestyle.  Our brains are no different than the rest of our bodies.  They need to detoxify. They need nutrition and oxygen rich blood.  Dr. Schulze says that our bodies have a schematic blue print of what true health is; all we need to do is to stop doing what hurts us and start a health boosting program which includes proper nutrition, exercise, sunshine, water, detoxification etc., etc.  Chemicals (drugs) never heal any part of the body but raw living plant based foods and medicinal herbs are the building blocks of life!

Another issue that concerns me is the brain numbing effects of screen time.  You may already know that watching television and video playing has a brain numbing effect.  Remember being lectured by your parents in regards to this?  Screen time makes the frontal lobe of your brain go to sleep.  The frontal lobe of is responsible for higher thought processes such as creativity, decision making and morality.  Okay, so now we have a generation of children who are drugged up with suicide/violence inducing medications and play endless hours of violent video games.  That creates a recipe for disaster.  

I knew Mike Adams would have something to say about this and sure enough, his articles on this topic were front and center on Natural News.  Read up on them here and here.  The second link has a clip on a roll playing video game.  I couldn't finish watching it - much too disturbing.  Natural Society also has an excellent article worth readingDr. Schulze chimed in as well.   The media may mention that Adam Lanza was on medication, but they won't pursue this topic to any degree that would raise awareness.  Sadly, the media will always cover up for FDA backed Big Pharma.  Why on earth would they bite the hand that feeds them? The real criminals are those who care more about profits than the effects of prescribing mind altering poisons to children that not only affect the patient, but as in this tragedy, so many beautiful innocent victims.  My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Better Holiday Baking

Some Quick Updates

Did you hear the news about Dr. Mehmet Oz? Wow! He has always spoken against GMO's on his show. Now he's changing his tune!  It seems like he has either been payed off or threatened. This is the second time he has done this.  First he spoke out against certain vaccinations and then he recanted. This is why I never trust main sources of information. There is always someone or some organization looming over what information is shared. Media sources have to keep their investors happy. The truth hurts too many powerful businesses!

Also, I have featured Dr. Burzynski on this blog. Remember him? He has helped many people overcome brain cancer. After 30 years of fighting with the medical establishment he has finally won the legal battle. Check out the article here.  

Better Holiday Baking

Baking cookies and treats has always been a favorite activity for me around the holidays. I never liked how I felt after I ate them, however. I originally titled this post Healthful Holiday Baking, but I really wouldn't call it health food. Now more than ever, the cleaner I eat, the more I react to over indulgence. Sweets and treats really should add up to no more the 5% or one's total diet - less if possible.  In my household I restrict having treats to once or twice per week. That said, I still like to bake and give them away to friends. (It will be sheer punishment to bake them and not eat them. I can't have gluten in my diet anymore.) The question arises then: Is there a way to make holiday treats a little more healthful? These are some tips I have found for better baking.

Mill your own flour.  
The best thing you could do is to mill your own flour. Who knows how fresh (or old) flour is after having been milled, processed, packed and shelved? You can know exactly how fresh your flour is (and what's in it) if you mill it yourself. Blendtec has a good mill, but there are several others on the market as well.

Use Ancient Grains.  
I just mentioned that I have recently become gluten sensitive. I already had been moving toward more gluten free foods, but I would indulge every now and then. Now that I know that I need to avoid gluten, everything has really become complicated for me. I'm trying to find the right balance of foods and pinpoint allergens so as to avoid them. I really try to provide as much gluten free foods as I can in my home. My family will oblige me only so far. The best alternative to this problem is to use the ancient grains that have not been tampered with. Lofty biotech scientists with their grandiose plans to save the planet (I honestly think they are more apt to be responsible for crop failure and mass starvation!) have done a lot to destroy our food sources, not to mention pollute the environment and damage our health. (Gee, I wonder why the media won't touch that topic!) Thankfully, there is an effort among some others who are concerned about the effects of all the genetic tampering to grow and harvest ancient wheat grains that over thousands of years have not caused all the problems modern day wheat does. If you are interested in getting the absolute best wheat flour you can, get it from this source.

Use organic, eggs from free range chickens.
My son likes eggs every now and then. If he is going to eat them I would rather he eat the best eggs I can get my hands on. Organic isn't enough in this regard. Are the chickens over-crowded? Do they see the light of day and are they able to roam free? Are they free of hormones and antibiotics? What kind of food do they eat? (If you eat meat, I suggest you use this screening method as well.) I purchase eggs from a nearby family  that raises chickens on their property. If you live locally, you can find them in Laytonsville - Brink road between routes 108 and 124.

To make your baked goods vegan, try using Ener-G egg replacer. It really is hit or miss with this product. I've had some successes and some flops.

Use coconut oil or organic Earth Balance.
Of these two types of oils, coconut is superior. The draw back is that it may change the flavor of your food. If you want something buttery, use Earth Balance. It is gluten free, free of trans-fats and vegan. This product should be consumed sparingly just like sugar or treats. Earth Balance recently introduced a new product that I absolutely love - Coconut spread. Coconut oil is less likely to be fattening because of the medium chain fatty acids. The spread tastes more like butter. I did not detect a coconut taste to it at all! Love it!

Use aluminum-free baking powder.
Can I take a moment to sing the praises of Rumford? I wish more companies would feel the responsibilty to provide the most healthful products possible, like Rumford. They have taken the effort to provide quality products like reduced sodium and aluminum free baking powder. They also have GMO free cornstarch. Read more about their products here

Use organic natural sugars.
Sugar is sugar is sugar. Is it good for you? The answer is always a resounding No. It stifles your immune system, creates acidity in the body and can cause lethargy, depression and contributes to many other conditions. Which is why it should always be very limited in one's diet. My friend sent me this YouTube clip that I thought was really cute. Remember the polar bears ad of some well known soda company? Here is a good spoof on that ad. Please watch it! It is so good. A word of warning, the chain saw scene may be disturbing to a child. Do not use artificial sweeteners, they are worse for your health than the sugars they are trying to replace.

Okay, now that I've totally trashed sugar, here are some sugars I would use for baking treats. I would use coconut palm sugar, date sugar, turbinado or sucanat. Of these choices, coconut palm sugar would be the best. 

Replace milk with dairy free options.
I will use eggs in a cookie recipe but I draw the line with dairy. There are a thousand reasons not to consume dairy products. One of the main ones being that proteins found in dairy can trigger the onset of cancer. Here is a clip with Dr. Mark Hyman, MD and 6 reasons to skip dairy. There are so many tasty non dairy alternatives these days that it is easier to eliminate dairy products. My husband and I drink coconut milk and our kids like almond milk. Most recipes will work using non-dairy alternatives. Here is a guide for substituting dairy in baked goods.

How to prevent over-indulgence.  
The key to prevent overindulgence is to not let up on your raw food intake. Keep up with your green smoothies, salads and fruit and vegetable juices. Fill your plate with healthful cooked and raw plant based foods first and then once you're full, move on to the dessert. I find that after a full day of eating this way, I can hardly have an appetite for anything else. It really does fill you up. And when you do indulge, you'll be better able to bounce back to your original diet plan. 

For gluten free recipes I recommend The Daily Dietribe and for vegan cooked and raw recipes, I like Chocolate Covered Katie.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Prop 37, Alkaline Water and Doctored

It was very hard for me to see the outcome of Prop 37 in California for several reasons.  Take a look at this article about how GMO's are responsible for the dramatic increase of gluten sensitivity as well as many other conditions not mentioned here. The fact that Prop 37 was defeated emphasized the fact that if an organization is powerful enough, they can fix an election.  This wasn't a proposition to outlaw GMO's, just to label them.  Those who spoke against Prop 37 had the audacity to say that these foods are safe.  If that is the case, why are so many countries outlawing GMO's?  Why hide the fact that certain foods contain GMO's?   The big power players pumped millions into spreading lies that labeling these foods would increase the cost of GMO foods.  Does it cost more to label something that contains bananas? oranges?  Yet, somehow they managed to pull it off.  The bright side of this issue is that the campaign process brought far more awareness to the topic.  So much so that high profile celebs and corporations are beginning to speak out against them.  Last I checked, we still have the ability to choose what to buy.  Jeffrey Smith, Founder of the Institute of Responsible Technology has fantastic tips and a non GMO shopping guide that you can download to your computer or phone to help you make the non GMO choice.

In response to my post "The Importance Of Drinking Pure Water" one of my readers sent me this clip on Kangen water. Thank you, Bill.  Raw food enthusiast, Canadian bodybuilding champ Wade Lightheart uses and promotes Kangen water as an integral part of his diet.  Like I said before, if I had thousands to spare, I would be tempted to get one.  I enjoyed Bill's Facebook page on healthful tips- check it out here.  I personally have not tried alkaline water from an ionizer and will not take a stance for or against it.  Your call, folks.  If you are looking for a low cost alternative, consider pH drops.

I just recently saw a documentary that was very good.  So many are coming out these days!  This information covers a topic that alternative therapists have known all along.  The medical establishment has had it out for the demise of non-medical therapies for a very long time, a fight that continues on to this day.  The infamous Morris Fishbein, was a relentless adversary to Harry Hoxsey, a man who provided an alternative effective treatment for skin cancer.  Fishbein was also the face of the A.M.A. from 1924-1950 and went after any therapy that would threaten the highly lucrative, financial monopoly on healing.  He is featured in this film.  Today chiropractic is widely accepted as a mainstream therapy.  It hasn't always been so.  I remember when chiropractic was a fringe therapy.  Please take the time to watch this excellent film, "Doctored."

You know how the routine goes with a doctor's visit.  You go, you get tested, you get a prescription and you see your doctor for all of ten minutes!  Cured!  Trouble is, when it comes to chronic conditions, I don't believe that drugs can cure anything.  They mask symptoms but the sickness is still there.  The original cause of the illness is never removed.  So what do you do when you want to get to the root cause of a sickness?  Who do you see?  I contacted Physician's Committee For Responsible Medicine and these are the resources they gave me.  The first is  and the second Dr. McDougall's list of physicians.  Many thanks PCRM!  I also highly recommend very well informed nutritionist Michelle Ross

Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Reflections on Thanksgiving

It is black Friday and I have absolutely no desire to brave the crowds at the shopping centers. So I decided to just relax at my parents' home in Boston.  I received a call from my sister Amy this morning.  When we are separated for the holiday, we always compare notes on how we spent the holiday, what foods we prepared and who came as our guests.  We have adapted our menu over the years since we were children.  Almost two decades ago, after I made the dietary switch, my sisters and parents also chose vegetarianism.  Our Thanksgiving meals have been no less delicious, I must say.  We prepare all the traditional fixings from scratch - sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, everything sans the bird.  In lieu of the turkey we have had various replacements.  My sister has become very adept at using TVP (texturized vegetable protein) and makes a killer Peruvian pascualina that knocks anybody's socks off.  It has been a wonderful challenge to make it just as appealing as when we had the bird.  Amy and I also talked about how certain dishes have to be prepared just so.  I just can't do raw food on Thanksgiving. I'm a stickler on this holiday, nothing but traditional fair will do.  This has made this holiday particularly poignant for us because aside from changing ingredients, we have experienced a major difference this year.  My sister Sallie, the one who lived in Puerto Rico, has relocated to Argentina.  True to our custom, we talked about the menu via Skype.  The town my sister lives in does not have access to many of the ingredients necessary for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  So she prepared the best meal she could and gave thanks anyway.  As always we will continue to adapt and tweak the ingredients and recipes, be they gluten free or vegetarian.  Year to year, the food changes and yet it stays the same.  We recognize that this holiday goes beyond the palate to a much deeper significance.  As the years go by and even though we are separated by many miles, we pause for a moment, united in spirit... and still give thanks.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Importance of Drinking Pure Water

It is taking every ounce of me not to blog on the outcome of Prop 37 in California.  I think I need a little time to cool off on that topic before I begin writing about it.  What better topic than the one I promised you!  Drinking pure water. We all know we need to drink water.  Reading up on the reasons why, however, can help to reinforce the habit.  I'm sure you've read that adults need to drink eight glasses of water daily.  We should rephrase that to at least eight glasses of water.  Our bodies are primarily made up of 70% water which naturally means that the majority of our bodily functions require water to work effectively.  For many Americans, drinking water can be a chore.  They would rather pick up a can of soda or drink coffee.  I believe that drinking water is critical for both detoxifying and hydrating the body.  Sodas and coffee are not capable of properly hydrating the body and can hinder optimal health.

Here are just a few benefits:

Water is helpful for weight loss.
If someone is not properly hydrated, their body will seek ways to maintain water in an act of self preservation.  In other words, they will become bloated.  Instead of taking diuretics, the better solution would be to drink more water.  Once the body receives the amount of water it needs, it will let go of excess water.  Drastically minimizing your consumption of sugar will also allow your body to let go of water. When someone is seeking to lose weight by exercise and diet modification, the vehicle by which the body eliminates the excess fat is by water and urination.

Drinking water helps to flush out toxins.
Our bodies are constantly trying maintain wellness, despite how we may abuse them.  Water helps to flush out the toxins that we are exposed to.  Drinking a glass of lemon water every morning first thing will help your liver to flush out toxins.  Water dilutes toxins and bacteria we may have in our bodies and helps to protect the surrounding tissues as it (along with some white blood cells) escorts them out of the body.

Drinking water helps to lubricate and increase effectiveness of our organs.
Have you ever had a dehydration headache?  Awful!  It doesn't take much time without water before your organs begin to protest.  Every single organ, tissue and fluid in your body needs lubrication.  Water helps to regulate the viscosity of your blood, decreasing your chances of having a heart attack.  Water helps with cognitive functions.  When your synapses are firing away, they'll have an easier time if they are shooting smoothly rather than in a dehydrated environment.  Fine facial lines that begin to show up as we age are sometimes a sign of dehydration.  (They may disappear if you are well hydrated).  Water aids proper kidney function, helping to prevent stones from developing.  Also, drinking plenty of water helps maintain normal bowel function.

Water is the optimal drink for aiding athletic performance.  
It drives me a little crazy when I see sports drinks touted as better for athletic performance than water.  Are you kidding me?  Have you read the ingredients list?  Red flags anyone?  If you are seeking to replenish lost electrolytes and minerals, do yourself a favor, forgo the toxic neon colored drinks  and drink coconut water instead.

Folks, I feel like I'm preaching to the choir, everyone knows that drinking water is important.  But sometimes we forget the importance of drinking this all important resource of nature. There are some surprising reasons however, why you would want to skip the tap. 

Tap water tastes like metal to me.  In a pinch I have drunk some tap water, but the more I read about what's in it, it just makes my stomach turn!  Read here about all the ingredients you may be able to find in your tap water including trace amounts of pharmaceutical medications, and chemotherapy drugs that others have urinated out!  Yuck! Reading this info you could surmise that a whole house filtration system as well as a separate filtration system for drinking would be advisable.

Better options for drinking water.
There was a time when I heard that the best water to drink was distilled.  I had friends who distilled their water on a daily basis.  If you get distilled at the supermarket you will notice that it tastes funny.  Because it is empty water, it acts like a vacuum and what you are tasting is the plastic from the bottle that has leached into the water.  If you distill water be sure to store it in a glass container.  Dr. Mercola suggests forgoing distilled unless you are detoxifying.  Empty water may cause minerals to be leached from your body - you don't want that!

I drink purified water, reverse-osmosis being the primary filtering method.  I know that purifying you own water is probably best but I just have it shipped to my house by a company called Endless Waters in BPA free bottles.

The jury is still out on whether or not water ionizers are worth the investment.  One thing I have noticed in regard to the advice of various professionals I respect: although they may have much in common in their philosophies, they will disagree from time to time on specifics.  The physicians at Weimar Institute say that water ionizers are just part of money making propaganda.  Robyn Openshaw, as well as others I know personally swear by it and actually do test alkaline when drinking water from an ionizer.  Just do your own research and come up with your own conclusions.  I do agree with the Weimar doctors that you shouldn't rely solely on this water to alkalize, but should keep the focus on fruits and vegetables to do the job.  If I had thousands to spare on an ionizer, I personally would be tempted to get one.

Let's see how long I go before I tear into the Prop 37 topic! Maybe I'll cool off enough by the next time I post.  Regardless, I can't believe Thanksgiving is here again.  I feel like I'm not ready for this crazy, busy time of year.  However, It is good to reflect on all the blessings - I have so much to be thankful for.  I hope you do too!  A very warm and Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your loved ones!

Enjoy the Journey!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Facing Goliath- Monsanto

When most people think of GMO's or purchase their product, they don't realize how far reaching the implications are.  Many farmers lives have been destroyed by simply owning property next to another farm growing GMO crop.  In India, several farmers have committed suicide because it has destroyed their income and livelihood.  As we approach this coming election my thoughts and attention are directed to California where the fate of prop 37 hangs in the balance.  This initiative is for the labeling of GMO's in food products.  My hope is that California will pave the way for the rest of the United States. Yes, our health is affected by GMO's but the livelihood of hard working farmers is also affected if not obliterated.

Please take a time to watch this documentary, "David VS. Monsanto" which can be viewed free of charge until November 10.

What can you do?  Eat non GMO.  Post this info on your Facebook page.  Contact your friends in California and share Genetic Roulette and this documentary with them.  I'm crossing my fingers!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Say A Prayer For The Victims Of Hurricane Sandy

It is hard to see images of the destruction caused by the storm.  My prayers are with all who have been seriously affected by Hurricane Sandy by losing property or loved ones.  May God's grace sustain you during this difficult time.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Healing Cancer World Summit and a New Documentary

I was planning to do a post on the importance of drinking water but there are so many good things that have popped up that I had to share them with you.  First is an article on cancer.  I don't agree with Dr. Mercola on everything.  For instance, I believe that a primarily plant based diet provides all essential nutrients needed by the human body and animal products are not necessary whatsoever.  However, there is a lot of common ground I share with Dr. Mercola and I would rather focus on that.  He posted on new cancer research findings that are pretty amazing.  I have always believed that chemotherapy accelerates the growth of cancer cells because it is so toxic.  Now research is showing that it actually makes cancer cells resistant to treatment.  As seen in a few of my previous posts, this does not surprise me at all.  Don't expect to hear about this on the evening news.  I do not trust main sources of information for info on health and nutrition .  I find that they will spout off whatever they are paid to spout off.  I would rather see sources that answer to no one and have nothing to lose for sharing the truth like natural news

The next thing I wanted to share with you is The Second Annual Healing Cancer World Summit.  Why on earth did I not hear about it the first time around?  Anyhow, this time of year there are pink ribbons everywhere.  Like Chris Wark from Chris Beat Cancer blog, I do not support The Race for the Cure.  I believe it is a waste of money and resources to fuel one of the biggest scams of all time.  The powers that be will not allow for a cure because they are making an insane amount of money.  Take time out of your schedule, however, to view something that will not tax you financially and can help you become informed on natural methods of healing cancer.  It is such a shame that physicians and scientists that are making amazing discoveries have to risk their careers to share this all important information.  Of their many speakers, I recognize Kris Carr from Crazy, Sexy Cancer, Chris Wark from Chris Beat Cancer blog and Mike Adams from Natural News.  

Lastly, there is a documentary that I believe everyone should watch.  I am very leery of pharmaceuticals.  There are some very necessary drugs, but are they all?  My son and I could be dead today had it not been for modern medicine to help me during childbirth.  How much of it is really necessary and how much has been pushed on us for profit?  The Greater Good explores the topic of vaccinations, a topic that has bothered me for a very long time.  Please take the time to watch it!  

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Feeding Our Children The Absolute Best Nutrition

When I was in the hospital after giving birth to my son, our diet came up in conversation with the nurse.  I told her that we are vegan.  She gave me a very worried look.  Although there are many doctors (Phycisians Committee for Responsible Medicine) and nurses who are more informed about nutrition, it seems that nutritional ignorance is what is most prevalent in the medical community.  As seen in this clip, they barely touch upon the topic when they are in school, so by design they are prepped to feed the pharmaceutical money-making machine.  The nurse called the nutritionist to visit with us - presumably to set us straight.  We told the nutritionist what our dietary choices are and being far more informed than the nurse, she had no problem with it and just smiled at having been called at all.  I have never fed my children any dairy and I can assure you, they have strong bones and bare no semblance to slithering octopi.

If, however, I were to feed my kids plenty of dairy foods, take them to McDonald's, let them eat whatever candy, soft drinks or junk food that so liberally is given to children these days, no one would ask me about the absence of nutrients in their diet...unbelievable!  I read this article and really thought you should too.  I met Dr. John McDougall, MD during a Q & A session in California at Danny Vierra's Health and Healing Crusade.  I consider him to be a pioneering physician who dared to do his own research and educate himself in regards to the consequences our dietary choices.  Please take the time to read this very important article.

Arian Foster is a running back for the Houston Texans.  With adult diseases becoming prevalent among children, he has determined to be a good role model to those who look up to him.  He consequently has decided to become a vegan.  Take a look at this clip where he relates his reasoning in regards to his diet and lifestyle.

Enjoy the journey!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Antioxidants and Free Radicals at the Molecular Level

Antioxidant electron stabalizing a free radical
At the Natural Remedies Workshop at Andrews University, I learned something amazing about how antioxidants and free radicals work at the molecular level.  Our cells are made up of many molecules.  When we compromise our health by eating the wrong foods and top that off with stress, drugs and negative emotions, we create free radicals in our bodies.  (As you probably already know, free radicals are responsible for creating a myriad of diseases and premature aging.) The molecules of a free radical lose an electron and become very unstable.  In an attempt to create balance again, the molecule goes in search of another electron, stealing it from another molecule.  This makes the molecule that has lost an electron unstable as well.  This process continues until the cell's health is compromised to the point of mutation, creating an environment that is highly reactive and unstable.  Cancer is a disease that is comprised of cells that multiply out of control because they are mutated.  With this in mind, one can understand the reason for concern about eating foods from plants that have been genetically modified (GMO foods).  The solution to counteract oxidation at the cellular level is to consume antioxidant rich foods.  The picture above illustrates that antioxidants have many electrons and they behave in the body by donating electrons to unstable molecules that are incomplete, making the molecule stable again.  This process in which antioxidants restore stability to unstable molecules helps reverse major degenerative diseases.  Fascinating isn't it?  So what does this mean to us in practical terms?  Eat an overabundance of fruits and vegetables!  Check out this YouTube clip that illustrates this process.

Enjoy the Journey!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Is There A Natural Alternative To Plastic Surgery and Botox?

I love eating clean, raw foods. (My diet is 90-95% raw.)  I exercise faithfully, it's just one of my passions. But after two pregnancies, all that has not been able to restore the elasticity of my skin on my abdomen - until just recently.  I have been using a product that is clean ingredients-wise and infused with concentrated plant botanicals.  It has provided amazing results in tightening my skin.  I have not only tested the product on myself but on several others, all of whom have had positive results to varying degrees.  

I love the amazing power of plants and foods placed on this earth.  As a civilized people we have long sought to answer questions of health, healing and youthfulness.  Being civilized however has caused us to distance ourselves from the natural world.  If we return to nature and study it in depth perhaps we would find answers that would astound us.  We would be so far ahead in terms of healing.  I believe that most people just cannot accept that the lowly, humble plants and elements put forth by the natural world have any power at all in doing anything effectively.  So we have turned to conventional methods much to our detriment.  Don't get me wrong, there is obviously a place for surgery , drugs and modern medicine, but I believe that we shortchange ourselves when we don't look to natural methods first.

I am very excited about a company called It Works!  This company has developed a wrap called the Ultimate Body Applicator.  All I have to say is "Wow!"  Do me a favor and search "It Works! before and after photos" and be totally amazed. Here is an article about it I found online.  This company has been invited twice to the Oscars and Emmys and they have provided the wraps in the gifts bags the stars get to enjoy.  The wrap is made of a double layer, non woven cloth.  One side is impermeable and the other is absorbent and porous.  The absorbent part is saturated with a clean, botanically based cream.  Application of this wrap can be done by placing it on any part of your body you would like to treat, to firm, tighten and tone your skin.  With repeated applications of this wrap, some people have been able to achieve a leaner body and their results have been absolutely amazing.

The botanical cream of the wrap seeps in through the skin and latches onto the toxins in your body, allowing your body to release fat, resulting in a leaner body and minimized appearance of cellulite.  I imagine some may question, Why would you take a short cut and not just clean up your diet, exercise and do it the right way?  The way I see it, there is no reason why anyone couldn't do both.  Once people see what concentrated antioxidants can do through the skin, they may be inspired to give their bodies the absolute best, highest grade nutrition.  This can accelerate the process of achieving ideal weight and can tighten and tone your skin at the same time.

 From what I have seen, results vary from person to person.  One individual may have drastic results from the first application, while another may not see any difference until after the third or fourth application.  Approximately 70% of those who try this product will notice a difference with one application.  Another 20% will notice it with the second application.  The rest will notice it with the third and fourth application.   This product is detoxifying for the body so you will need to drink plenty of water when  you do the applications. Those who are constipated may want to deal with that problem  before trying this product. (It Works! has an herbal product called Regular which helps cleanse the bowel.)

Because I am so impressed with the products, I've decided to become an It Works! affiliate.  I love that their products do not have any harmful ingredients and are effective.  (The propolyne in this product is the same pharmaceutical grade ingredient that is used in surgical gloves and is contained in the impermeable backing of the wrap, and does not touch your skin.)   Here are my recommended fav's:

The first is the Ultimate Body Applicator with the Defining Gel (called the Wrap Pack).  The Defining Gel is what to use between applications and makes the Applicator more effective.  The Facial Applicator is formulated specifically for the skin on your face and Lifting Eye Cream helps to build the collagen in your skin and to minimize the appearance of facial wrinkles.  Email me if you have any questions or if you want to learn how to try one for free if you live locally.  Enjoy 40% off retail pricing by becoming a "loyal customer" (option available while checking out). 

I believe that there are so many things that we could solve using natural ingredients.  Eating clean, live foods and moving our bodies is the first step.  Avoiding toxic ingredients and emotions is another.  Turning to natural methods is yet another important step.  So is there a natural alternative to plastic surgery and botox?  I believe that there is, it's called It Works!

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

I don't do well driving long distances.  I don't mind being driven, I just prefer not to drive.  Something about the movement of the vehicle that just lulls me to relaxation and slumber. I generally avoid caffeine from coffee because to me it's just another drug to get addicted to, so when I need to drive a long distance, I choose to drink green tea.  Caffeine from coffee makes me feel like I'm wired and on overdrive; I hate that feeling.  Not to mention that the coffee itself can irritate my stomach.  Green Tea gives me just enough alertness (70% less caffeine than coffee) to stay focused on the task at hand.  I also love all the many health benefits that go along with this wonderful ceremonial beverage.

I do not skimp when I buy green tea.  It costs more to get a good quality green tea.  The less processed it is, the more antioxidant power you get from it.  Green tea has many anticancer properties, it aids in heart health and diabetes prevention.  It aids in weight loss and can stave off dementia. I have some Matcha Green Tea, but there are other varieties that are great as well.  So next time you need a boost, try out some green tea and see if it works for you.  Check out this youtube clip on green tea.

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Dangers of GMO's and an Interview With Jon Gabriel

The wide-eyed innocence of a child is something that tugs powerfully at my heart.  Any decent human being's innate tendency is to protect and defend the defenseless, especially children.  What then could possess someone or an organization to see a beautiful child and see only profit?  I'm not talking about starting up a clothing line for children, I mean knowingly doing something to imperil the health and well-being of a child. Would you call that monstrous?  I would.  Please take a look at this article which discusses that GMO foods are being tested on children.  There is also a documentary that I hope you will take the time to see.  This film features Jeffery Smith, founder of Institute For Responsible Technology and author of Seeds of Deception.  In this film he discusses  the effects GMO's are having on the health of the U.S. population.  Mutating the perfect genes of our God given food supply is nothing short of ludicrous, reckless, irresponsible and evil.    Patenting plants is insane, what next- air?  Genetic Roulette, will be showing on Jeffrey Smith's site for a limited time only (September 15-22).

The next film I would like for you to see is the complete interview of Jon Gabriel from Hungry for Change.  He discusses his journey toward health.  After bouncing around from diet to diet, he realized he needed to understand why he couldn't lose weight to begin with.  Once informed with the necessary information, he was then able to shed the excess weight.  Take the time to watch this very informative interview.  This clip can be viewed free of charge until October 6.  You can also go to his site,

Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How To Slow The Aging of Your Skin and Possibly Reverse It

It never ceases to amaze me when I see women purchasing products to improve their skin tone but continuing the same lifestyle practices that injure their skin to begin with.  According to Markus Rothkranz, any effort to manipulate and treat the body (skin) for improvement without considering diet and lifestyle is as futile as "painting over rust." This makes perfect sense to me.  I believe the better approach is to make your organs, tissues and blood healthy and beautiful on the inside.  Once your body has been able to detoxify and cleanse itself with the foods you eat, your skin will soon reflect the changes.  Here are some tips I've been able to gather.

Stop these things:   You are not doing yourself any favors if you drink alcohol, smoke, drink coffee or sodas.  Drink water, juiced fruits and vegetables and non-caffeinated herbal tea (except green tea).  Excessive sun exposure is also a problem.  You need to expose yourself moderately to the sun for good health but  excessive exposure can lead to photo-aging of the skin. Fried foods, processed foods, and sugar wreak havoc  on the skin and your health.  (Please don't consider nutrasweet, diet sodas, or aspartame as a healthy option. Instead choose to use sparingly coconut palm sugar, date sugar, raw honey or stevia.)  I personally choose not to eat animal products, dairy in particular.  Animal products are difficult to digest and sap your body of energy that could be used for other things.  Eating animal products also ages you faster than eating a plant based diet.  Dairy products can do a number on wrecking the clarity of your skin.   If, however, you decide to continue eating meat, please consider buying it at a local farm where the animals are raised humanely, roam free and have a more nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones.

 Eat an Alkaline Diet:  My brother-in-law is a physician who has done studies in longevity and hyperbaric medicine.  In a conversation with me he said that if you know how to prevent cancer, then you know how to slow the progress of aging.  The enemy of youthfulness is free radical damage.  The way to combat free radicals is to overwhelm the body with antioxidants.  This means that you should eat an alkaline diet which would comprise at least 75% raw vegetables, fruit, soaked nuts, seeds, sprouts, sea vegetables, etc.  Include lots of dark leafy greens.  Green smoothies are the easiest way to consume these.  Also consider adding juicing to your regimen.  Juicing is phenomenal for the skin.  Include healthful grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet.  These foods contain the mineral silica which helps promote the elasticity of the cell membrane and thereby the elasticity of your skin.  Include foods such as figs, cucumber, coconut oil, hemp seeds, aloe vera, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts and turmeric.  According to David Wolfe, these foods are high in antioxidants and contain several minerals (silicon, sulfur and zinc) that promote the elasticity of your skin. 

Use Sea Buckthorn:  Sea Buckthorn is a bright orange berry that grows in the Himalayas.  The local people who consume this berry regularly or drink its juice have very youthful skin.  You can find Sea Buckthorn lotions and juice at health food stores.  Tonya Zavasta - Beautiful on Raw, Nadine Artemis - Living Libations and Longevity Warehouse all have lotions that include this berry.  Avoid body care products that are not clean!  See this recent post for better alternatives.

David Wolfe's Eating For Beauty
Dry brush your skin daily: I first heard of dry skin brushing when I read Dr Richard Schulze's book, There Are No Incurable Diseases.   Dr. Schulze includes this practice in his Incurables Program.  Dry brushing is very important for the skin.  It helps to exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells.  It stimulates blood circulation and cell turnover and it stimulates  lymphatic drainage.  In other words, dry skin brushing helps to detoxify your skin and ultimately, your body.  Be sure to brush towards the heart.  Get a brush with some sort of natural bristle.  These are available at most health food stores.  Tonya Zavasta sells a facial brush on her site.

Consider these supplements: I would consider these supplements for healthy skin. I suggest including some sort of superfood. I have a preference for Dr. Schulze's Superfood, but I think Sunwarrior's Ormus Supergreens is good too.  Probiotics are very important for skin health as crazy as it may sound.  Having healthful intestinal flora can help control the harmful bacteria in your body preventing acne.  I keep things simple and just eat sauerkraut to meet this need.  Enzymes are very good to have as well.  We are born with a limited supply of enzymes and require them for our digestive process as well as other metabolic functions.  Eating a high quantity of raw foods helps to replenish your stores, but you could also take a supplement in addition to your raw foods.  Raw enzymes by Garden of Life seems like a good product.  Lastly,  consider taking Silica.  This is the mineral that Truth Calkins and David Wolfe recommend.

Heal Your Face by Markus Rothkranz

An amazing new product:   First I need to divulge some information about myself. I'm not very excited about telling you this, but it just let's you know how excellent this product is.  After having children, the skin on my abdomen wasn't as... well, smooth as it was before kids.  The conventional approach would be to have plastic surgery, collagen injections or what have you.  I searched high and low for a natural alternative but to no avail... until just recently.  I am using a botanically based product that is tightening my skin and restoring it to its pre-pregrancy smoothness.  It's absolutely amazing.  I'm still testing it on myself so it'll be a couple of weeks before I do a post on it.

Recommended Reading:  Consider reading David Wolfe's Eating for Beauty and Markus Rothkranz's Heal Your Face.  Having good skin is something very personal and affects us at a deep emotional level.  What most people don't know is that you do have control over the health of your skin and how fast it ages.  It's most definitely not a matter of chance but a matter of choice!  

Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Effects of Nature on Your Brain

I thought this would be a fitting post after coming back from a vacation out in nature.  A few months back I was at my dentist's office for a cleaning when I saw a copy of the December, 2011, issue of Outdoors magazine.  I'm not particularly drawn to male publications.  I'm really not interested in seeing Grizzly Adams like men trekking the Arctic Tundra.  But there was a title that grabbed my interest, "This Is Your Brain On Nature."   I loved what I read and thought I would share it with you.

This information was compiled by Madison Kahn:

1. Increased attention span.  A 2008 study by University of Michigan psychologists found that walking outside or even just looking at pictures of natural settings improves directed attention, the ability to concentrate on a task.  Put another way: nature restores our ability to focus.

2. Better Memory.  The same study supported previous experiments showing that being in nature improves memory - by 20 percent when it came to recalling a series of numbers.

3. Reduced Stress.  Office workers with views of trees and flowers reported lower stress levels, higher job satisfaction, and fewer ailments than colleagues with views of buildings, according to a 1989 study by the University of Michigan.

4. Improved Mood. In a 1991 study by Texas A&M psychologists, subjects who viewed scenes of water or trees reported a much quicker return to a positive mood after a stressful event than those who viewed urban scenes.

5. Greater Creativity.  In a pilot study this March, psychologists found that students in an Outward Bound course showed a 40 percent boost in frontal lobe activity - after four days in the back country.


I can't help but think about the book, The Secret Garden by Burnett, a story I have read to my children.  Colin Craven was a wealthy, sickly, paralytic boy raised by nannies and was locked up in his palatial bedroom with the curtains drawn closed.  He forgot that he was even sick or couldn't walk when he ventured to the great outdoors and spent time in a garden with his friends.  This fictional story illustrates that mood is intrinsically linked to the health of our bodies.  If we neglect the care of our emotional state of being our health will suffer.

Nothing improves my mood like running in the trails that are close to my home.  I hate running!  But just being out in the woods (I never run alone, by the way!)  turns what would be a drudgery into a pleasurable experience.  If you are fighting sickness, improve your diet and lifestyle - and spend time in natural settings! 

On another note:  The new cookbook by Forks Over Knives is out!  Check it out here.

Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Road Trip

I am writing from Big Sky country, Montana. We are traveling into Wyoming today heading for Yellowstone National Park and then onto The Grand Teton National Park. By the time I get home, I will have been gone a month. It's fun to travel but I'm really ready to be home and sleep in my own bed. Living out of suitcases can get old pretty fast. Our cross country trek started off at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan for a week long workshop on hydrotherapy and natural remedies. This program was developed by Dr. Agatha Thrash, M.D. Wow! I was so inspired by this workshop. Home staging consultations are not what I had in mind when I pursued design but is what is available in a sluggish economy. I think, however, that I would have enjoyed naturopathy as a field of study. There was so much excellent information at this workshop that I would like to share with you! The program was mostly lead out by Dr. David DeRose, MD from Weimar Center of Health and Education and Don Miller, ND from Uchee Pines Institute. I am fascinated by natural methods of healing. There is something alluring about taking the road less traveled that attracts me to no end. So much to blog about on this topic, so little time.
Grand Hotel - Mackinac Island, Michigan
From Berrien Springs we headed up to quintessentially idyllic Mackinac Island. I really need to spend more time on this historic island. There are no cars allowed there . My kids got a real kick out seeing the horse drawn garbage collection buggy. We cycled the eight-mile loop around the island and left feeling like we just didn't spend enough time in such a gorgeous place.
Authentic Wells Fargo Stage Coach, 1880 Town - South Dakota
We traveled across the Upper Peninsula into Wisconsin and Minnesota. My family couldn't resist staying away from the Mall of America in Minneapolis and going on a couple of the rides at the theme park situated in the middle of this massive mall. From here we were off to the wild west. I felt like I was in some western movie as soon as we hit South Dakota. I never knew that there was so much to see and do in this state. My husband kept humming a tune from the old western films he watched when he was growing up. I couldn't help but think about what it must have been like for Lewis and Clark or Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. I need to go back some time; I felt like we just scratched the surface there.
Mountain Goat, Glacier National Park- Montana

Do you see the line that traverses the mountain?  That's a road!  I white-knuckled it the whole way!  Logan Pass, Glacier National Park - Montana
During our trip we saw spectacular vistas at Glacier National Park, Montana and harvested wild huckleberries in grizzly country in northern Idaho. Aside from the famed novel by Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, I had never heard of huckleberries. It turns out that huckleberries are the most highly prized berries out in those parts. My husband wanted to buy a huckleberry pie and came back with just a seven-dollar slice to share among the four of us. They were selling a pie for a whopping $42.00! A pound of freshly picked huckleberries can fetch between $40.00 and $50.00 wholesale. Talk about a pricey berry! When we experienced how long it took to harvest these dark succulent beauties, we understood why they are so highly prized. Not only do you have to look over you shoulder to be sure not to have any grizzly or mountain lion encounters, you also need to harvest from shrubs that stubbornly will grow only where they darn well please - which happens to be mostly in remote mountain tops.
Big Horn Sheep (Ram was not around) - Badlands, South Dakota

It thrills me to see wildlife in their natural setting. So much nicer than going to the zoo and seeing them in boring enclosures. Chancing upon a regal bull elk with a full, impressive rack or handfeeding skiddish prairie dogs just sends me to the moon. Anyone else get excited over such experiences?
Bison, Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming

Me and my kids (Nathan took the shot)

There is so much breathtaking beauty in this country of ours. From plains and prairies to fantastic sweeping mountain panoramas. It's no wonder that this land has been the muse of so many writers and artists striving to capture and convey the arresting beauty found in the varied landscapes. So much I want to see and do but time is limited! We'll save further exploration for another trip! Back to my regular blogging by next week!

Have a great day!