How to avoid sweets and eat healthy on the road with ‘Leaky gut’, ‘Candida’ and a pregant lady… Oh and did I mention it’s Valentine’s Day weekend!?


It’s Valentine’s Weekend! Wahoo! I know ya’ll are doing fun and exciting stuff, even if its watching a love movie with your friends or special someone! This weekend, Scott and I are headed out on a road trip to Montana! We are going to Glacier National Park. Figured it out this morning looking at our car GPS map. It’s actually not that far from us, about 9 hours (10-12 including rest/pit stops). It should prove to be nice, it certainly looks beautiful! Today (Friday) is all about getting ready for the trip. Taking care of the dog, we found an awesome Ranch in Monroe, WA that I took a tour of and dropped him off at this morning. Needless to say he is going to have a blast while we are gone, it’s a vacation for the dog too! Then I went to our local market, PCC, and got some good road food. The cool thing about PCC is that they care about using organic ingredients in their deli food as well as do their best to make it as allergy free as possible.

I love this because I can get some premade foods like beet salad, Moroccan salad, bean salad, etc. Because I get so exhausted so quickly being pregnant, having this option helps a ton! I usually make these types of salads myself. However, lately I’ve noticed that I need to pay attention to what I have the energy to do-instead of assuming I can work like normal. It was something I mentioned at pregnancy Yoga yesterday when we had our circle introductions. We are very fortunate to have a birthing doula as our yoga instructor because she is very in-tune with the body and pregnancy. She is also very personally experienced, having had 5 kids herself. She said that during this time our body is preparing us for having the baby through all types of stages. We are not going to have the same amount of energy pregnant as we did not being pregnant and that’s a good thing because we learn to be patient with ourselves and take it one step at a time. It helped to hear that, but I definitely still adjusting. I’m so used to being capable of going 150mph and getting so much done, that when I get tired after a few hours of work…I almost don’t know what to do with myself.

Back to provisions, I also found some treats that Scott can eat that don’t have any added sugar or dried fruit. We’ve had to be especially careful with his health because his “leaky gut” is healing, but we are also dealing with what we speculate to be “Candida“. Poor guy is going through a lot to heal himself holistically and it’s not so much “challenging” as it is “readjusting”. Luckily he has his own personal chef to help him through it, plus I get to create recipes that can cater to people who have specific food restrictions. (like the no added sugar/dried fruits) I did find some nuts, he loves pistachios’ and cashews, I will make some of those delicious cashews for the road (without the coconut sugar) or I’ll make up a new recipe all together. We have fruit and veggies at home which I can use to make some breakfast road food. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to juice for the morning like we routinely do because it’s too much of a hassle to bring all of the equipment and the juicing materials–it’s a vacation after all so breakfast will be slightly different but that’s okay!  We’ll still bring our supplements, with his candida we have to get a lot of healthy bacteria in his gut as well as make sure he doesn’t eat things that cause anything to disrupt his healing process, you can find out more in a simplified version here.

The supplements he is currently on are:

  • Intestinew by Renew Life helps repair the intestinal wall
  • Jarrow Dophilus +FOS to help add healthy bacteria
  • Zinc, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin A, C, E
  • Other suggestions are herbs such as slippery elm and aloe vera, which he is not currently on.

We’ve done the blood work tests to check levels for IgG, IgA, and IgM candida anti-bodies where higher levels in certain areas can indicate overgrowth of candida but are not the most ‘reliable’ test form, for many reasons, but they are good indicators as to what is leaking into your blood if you have the precursor to candida “leaky Gut” which let’s you know what foods are getting through your intestines into your gut.

A great way to find out if you have candida growth is in your stool tests, which determine the species of yeast too.  These are all great tools to learning more about your body.  While it is extremely helpful to listen to your body we are not all ‘scientist’ when it comes to eating.  For example, in his situation he may eat something naively and believe that it’s ‘healthy’ say ‘raw broccoli’ when in fact it’s just the opposite and causes us more harm then good.  However, your body is very good at letting you know that ‘something’ isn’t right and it’s your job to figure out what that ‘something’ is.

Knowing exactly what you put into your body helps, adding supplements to help heal the gut flora is essential when you have ‘leaky gut’ and ‘candida’. I have to be careful as to what he can eat as far as raw veggies goes too, but we don’t eat a ton of those.  It’s also recommended that he stay away from nightshades like tomatoes.  There’s a lot to take into consideration and it’s not just grab and go, there’s a lot of thought that gets put into eating on the road when you have to be careful what goes in your body.  You should always be ‘mindful’ however, there is a big difference between that and ‘careful’.

So, here’s a picture of some things I purchased for the both of us: Road Trip FOod 2

Road Trip Food

For the most part he can eat everything here, though there were a few treats I purchased especially for him:

  • Firefly Kitchen’s fermented Kraut
  • Yam Salad
  • Beet & Veggie medley Steamed Cold Salad
  • Cashew Butter
  • Pistachios
  • Teeccino Tea (because he loves coffee and can’t have any)

We’re not perfect by any means but we do, do our best.  If he has a reaction to something we pay attention and remove that item from his diet.  It’s a lot of give and take, but with the probiotic, L-glutamine, and HCL we’re on the right path to healing his gut and he’s already seen some great results! The Kombucha is for us to share.

Lately, as in the past couple of days my appetite has been for nut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I almost couldn’t drink my morning juice today, so I’m wondering what the baby is needing and what changes are going on now.  I do love beet salad and cold salads, so I’m thinking I may be at the stage where I need to eat more cold salads and raw foods.  Which is the complete opposite of what my husband needs right now….of course. 😉

Anything cooked, unless it’s tomato something is not approved by the baby administration so.. looks like fresh salads will be packed for the road.  It makes things more complicated but not impossible.  Another reason I was happy to make a trip at the PCC and get some pre-made meals! 🙂

I’m looking forward to packing up the Jeep and taking pictures, I’ll most likely take pictures of our trip and talk about it next week (if I have time).  I’m really wanting to get the nursery finished painting next week, but I also have a lot of things going on too so we shall see.  I will do my best to blog though!  I always look forward to writing…

Right now though I need to be helping prepare for our road trip, so I’ll blog more later!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

JEM-Signature

Pavlov’s Dog…gone wrong??


Before Christmas last year I wanted to teach our dog, Kyoto, how to open presents.  Kyoto is an Akita and they are VERY smart.  My goal was to teach him how to rip open the cardboard box and inside I would have enticing treats.  He already showed that he really liked cardboard boxes to begin with.  Usually he would take the cardboard pieces, usually long and flat, and possess them, so he could…possess them. “Mine”, “No wait, that’s mine!” During the past summer he had a favorite cardboard piece and whenever we tried to recycle it he would lay on it and start playing with it.  We’d make sure he wasn’t ‘too-possessive’ over it and pick it up and move it to make sure he’d always be okay with things not being ‘his’ per-say.

His whole interest in them made me wonder if I could not only teach him how to tear open a box, but he could also break down boxes with us.  That way he could feel like he was proudly doing a job too and help us instead of stare at us.  So, he started to really get into it.  When it was recycling day, he’d come over and just start helping us tear the boxes apart.  Any large boxes, he’d attack without resistance.  He loved when it was garage day and a lot of boxes were thrown in the middle of the garage! You can probably tell where this is going by now… if so, continue to play along. For Christmas, he was a champ!  He definitely knew what to do when the box was in front of him ready for tearing open.  Especially when we’d say “Get that box!”

Kyoto-Christmas-Collage

Yes, he learned very well and perhaps a little too well… When we finally took down the tree and put it in the box, we found out that we were out of box tape.  Scott moved the box to the garage and when we next made it to home depot we’d pick up some tape.  Which we did purchase this week…unfortunately, we weren’t fast enough.

This morning it was pouring down rain and usually when it’s raining this hard, we’ll leave the garage door open so Kyoto will have a nice dry place to go. (though, we rarely see him inside as he seems to love the rain and cold-he is a snow dog after all.)  So that’s what Dad did.. he left the door open for the dog and we continued on with our morning rituals.  At some point, while I was making breakfast, Scott went outside and noticed that our dog-son had been busy working on that tree box…

He came back inside and said “Hon, it’s raining outside so I opened the garage door for Kyoto…well, I think you need to see the garage…”
In my mind, I already knew what that dog did.  I said “He got the tree box, didn’t he?”
A few chuckles slipped from his mouth and he said “Really good.  Pieces are everywhere… we shouldn’t get upset though, you know, we kinda trained him to do that.”
I smiled in agreement,  “yeah, sure.. and the tree wasn’t messed up?”
“No, but you gotta see the box, he really got it good!”
I laughed, “What did you say to Kyoto when you saw it.”
His voice quieted a bit with this next sentence, “I said, Good Boy Kyoto!”

Seriously, pieces were absolutely everywhere!

I’d like you to take notice that there’s a perfectly good shoe in the path of this destruction and many other things he could have chewed, but only kept to boxes…

Tree Box Demolished

I couldn’t help but laugh!  It’s true… the dog was doing his job at least someone was!  It was obviously we weren’t!!

He must have been on serious patrol because he even found one by the squat bar on the other side of the Jeep.  LOL!

Tree-Box-demolished-1-circled

Well, like the subject of this blog post says “Pavlov’s dog…gone wrong??”

To this I’d answer:  Dog 1: Humans 0.


Does this post have anything to do with Healthy eating or a healthy lifestyle?

Yes and No.  While it doesn’t directly connect to healthy eating, it does have a little bit to do with a healthy lifestyle.  It’s really important to understand the psychological aspect to how we treat the beings around us, especially one’s that are learning from us.  When we think about how we respond to our pets or our children, it’s especially important to remember they respond TO us and we teach them everything.  In a realistic reflection, how we treat others is really how we treat ourselves.  Consciously or sub-consciously, directly or indirectly we are connected to their learning behavior as well as our own.

For example, some people might believe that this dog was misbehaving. In reality he was really following a silent order.  Boxes are meant to be destroyed, see a box, demolish it.

It’s also important to not get angry or frustrated in a situation like this, no matter how challenging it may be.  The best thing you can do is a self-reflecting exercise and the next time you get into a challenging situation (where you may feel even a hint of frustration) stop and ask yourself this question, “what can I learn/gain from this situation?”

For us, there were a few answers to that question.

  1. Don’t leave the garage door open unless we want our little worker bee to get to get a job or two done.
  2. Pay attention to what is left out carelessly.
  3. Take care of tasks as soon as possible.
  4. Confusing the dog by punishing him for a task we’ve assigned him to, will only cause damage to his psyche.
  5. If it angers me or frustrates me, what is causing those feelings within myself?  (Usually it will come down to self-worth.)  If you are feeling those feelings, most likely at some point in your life you learned that frustration was a way of handling a stressful or challenging situation.  It is very challenging to confront those feelings and think about them rationally before reacting to a situation.  However, the more you work on your reactions the easier and more naturally it becomes for you to unlearn those same behaviorisms.  That way when something happens that is a result of life you’ll be able to learn from the situation and keep your emotional state in tact.  You’ll also feel more peaceful and may even laugh at the situation.  The goal is to always be able to laugh at it because ‘shit’ will happen.
  6. Last but not least…Take it with a grain of salt.  It is after all, just a box.  Besides…the hubster wanted a tree bag anyway. It’s actually a WIN/WIN sort of situation if you think about it. 🙂
    (Dog feels proud of a task done well/ we don’t have to tape up the annoying tree box after all.)

Want to learn more about what Pavlov’s Dog means?  Read this interesting article and if you got a few minutes watch the youtube clip.  It’s an interesting educational video-for those who find classic conditioning of value.

Thanks for reading my blog!

JEM-Signature

Water: How to stay hydrated and what that means…


WATER INTAKE EXPLAINED

WATER

There are a lot of questions involving the role water plays in our bodies.  In order to overcome a lot of these common questions and concerns, I’ve decided to approach this in a question/answer format.  There are a ton of questions out there and more than I could possibly get to in a couple days.  There’s also a lot of information regarding water and although I have read a lot about it, divulging it into a few paragraphs in a blog doesn’t feel sufficient to me.  That’s why I will be continually updating this blog post with more information and answering your specific questions about water and hydration in the comments section below. (I’ll update the questions on this blog in standard format within the sections)


HYDRATION VS. DEHYDRATION

We all know that we are supposed to be hydrated but it has become confusing as to how we can stay hydrated and not become dehydrated.  It’s common that most of our bodies are actually starving for water.  We may not feel it in the sensations of ‘thirst’ all the time or we may even misunderstand what that sensation is. 

Question: Is dry mouth an indicator that you are dehydrated?

Answer: Unfortunately not, as the body is already thirsty even before you feel the sensation of being thirsty.  It is a common misconception that dry mouth is an accurate indicator of dehydration.  If you are feeling thirsty, your body is pathologically dehydrated.


PROPER ‘TYPES’ OF HYDRATION

Any drink is going to contain mostly water which is why it’s even more confusing when you are told that most drinks do not hydrate well enough for the body and can actually cause you to be more dehydrated than prior to drinking them.  While the intention of most drinks is to hydrate, the complication comes in to the factors of how they are absorbed into the body.

Question: Can I substitute juice or milk in place of water in order to get my water requirements?

Answer: Replacing your water requirement with juice, soda, or milk will cause different types of problems and will not properly hydrate your body.

Juice, even natural juice, like orange juice can increase histamine production.  This can lead to asthma problems in both children and adults as well as program the liver into a fat-storing-mode.

Milk should be considered a food as it contains protein properties and vitamins that originally were intended to grow and hydrate a newborn.  This goes for both breast-milk and cow-milk both intended to feed and grow infants.  Use milk as you would food.  While you will get water from milk, this is definitely not a ‘substitute’ for water.

Note: A little before adolescence the digestive system stops producing rennin (the enzyme used to curdle milk and turn it into a digestible form in the stomach) causing milk digestion in adults to be laborious and frequently incomplete.  This may be an indicator why so many of us are unable to digest dairy components, such as casein found largely in cow milk.  Also, it should be recognized that there is a difference between milk and whey.  Whey is easily digested and helps in regenerating intestinal flora but is still considered a ‘supplemental drink’ used for therapeutic purposes only.

Commercial soft drinks/soda & sports drinks:  Caffeine soda causes more dehydration (see caffeine below) as it is a diuretic, thus elevates blood pressure and the rate of urination.  soda’s are composed of highly refined sugars or artificial sweeteners, coloring agents, acids, and various other toxic additives.  When consumed this causes an immediate imbalance where the body removes water from extracellular fluid (the fluid that surrounds cells allowing them to be mobile) causing dehydration.  This process of continual cyclic soda drinking is caused by itself; drink soda to quench thirst, cause further cellular dehydration, cause more thirst, drink to quench thirst, repeat.  This process is only exaggerated when caffeine is involved.

Question: How does caffeine cause dehydration?

Answer: Caffeine is like turbo to an engine and burns fuel the same way it would in a car, faster but at an inefficient rate causing a higher rate of fuel to be burned.  The same happens in your body forcing your body to increase the consumption of energy (ATP) by the brain.  The brain stores excess ATP as a reserve of ’emergency energy’.  The faster that energy is used the more exhausted your body becomes.  In addition to depleting your energy reserves, caffeine also causes dehydration by producing more urine than what is ingested.  Hot caffeinated drinks also cause perspiration by attempts to ‘cool’ the body down.  This level of dehydration and the inadequate functions cause both depression (where energy in the brain is exhausted and inefficient) and chronic fatigue syndrome (begins as depression, mental fatigue, and becomes a generalized fatigue because the body loses its ability to use brain energy to do mental and physical work). *(2)


PHYSICAL EXERCISE

It’s common knowledge that we need to properly hydrate before playing sports or working out.  However, with all the gimmicks and advertisements out there saying what is best it does get confusing when it comes down to quenching that thirst and staying hydrated.

Question: Should I drink water before or after I workout?

Answer: The body will always utilize a necessary supply of water, especially when engaging in physical activity.  It is important to compensate for initial water loss by drinking an adequate amount of water prior to physical activity, so your body doesn’t deduct from tissues and muscles.

Question: How much water should I drink before physical activity?

Answer: The intestines are only capable of absorbing 20-34oz of water/hour, anymore will sit stagnant in the stomach.  If you drink a large volume of water prior to activity, this will cause the tissues to become hyperhydrated.  (resulting in urination during physical activity)

TIP: Drink 18-20oz. of water 30-60 minutes before physical activity.

Question: How much water should I drink during physical activity?

Answer: It is best to keep your body hydrated during activity because a liter or more of water is lost through sweat glands on your body.  It’s important to replenish and hydrate during physical activity.

TIP: Drink 4oz of water every 10-15 minutes to give your body the best rate of absorption and hydration.

Question: How much water should I drink after an activity?

Answer: Depending on how strenuous the activity was results in how much water you should drink in order to rehydrate your body.  The more strenuous the activity, the more rehydration will be required.  Your intestines can absorb 3 liters of water in 4 hours at the rate of 3-7oz/15-minutes.  (not affected by how dehydrated/stressed the body is)  If you felt you had a lot of perspiration during your exercise more hydration is required to replenish your body.


HEALTH & DISEASE

If you don’t drink water regularly every day of your life and are unable to address ‘symptoms’ to realize the significance they play in signs of dehydration as a preventative measure to your health, you will inevitably force your body into a disease state.  Symptoms that lead to diseases like: asthma, allergies, hypertension-high blood pressure, constipation, autoimmune disease, and type II diabetes to name a few.

Question: How can you tell if the body is dehydrated?

Answer: There are many ways your body communicates with you general or localized water needs.  From asthma and allergies to more localized chronic pains.

Here are some of the areas that indicate your body’s need for hydration:

-heartburn

-migraine headaches

-back pain

-leg pain (when walking)

-dyspepsia

-rheumatoid joint pain

-asthma

-allergies

Many symptoms and signs of chronic dehydration lead to degenerative diseases that are linked to a persistent body-water-storage as well as cancers.  Everyone is different and therefor produces different symptoms unique to their own body.  A person may suffer from chronic disease, allergy, or systematic ailments as a result of perpetual dehydration.  In fact many of these early ‘symptoms’ are camouflaged by prescription medication resulting in multiple ‘diseases’.  This is where disease becomes grouped by syndromes such as autoimmune disease, MS, insulin dependent diabetes, muscular dystrophy, lupus, and other diseases with unknown etiology.  Western medicine determines these syndromes and begins the process of ‘treating’ the problem instead of ‘curing’ where cure identifies that the symptom was an advanced state of ‘lack’ of something not included in the diet.

Question: How are asthma and allergies affected by dehydration?

Answer: A majority of asthma and various allergy conditions are treated with kinds of antihistamine medications. (Histamine is an important neurotransmitter that is responsible for the ‘thirst’ mechanism as well as the localization of ‘drought’ management in the body.)

“Several thousand people die from suffocation due to asthma every year.  Sometimes the onset of asthma is associated with repeated dry coughs with each breath.  There is always an associated wheezing when exhaling, without an apparent infection in the lungs.  Asthma affects more than seventeen million Americans, mostly children.  I believe that asthma and allergies are the body’s crisis calls for water…the body possesses a number of highly sophisticated emergency thirst signals.  We need to be aware of these newly identified indicators of water shortage in our body.” –F.Batmanghelidj, M.D.*(1)

When your body is dehydrated, an increase of histamine is produced in your body creating an ’emergency’ like signal that initiates a type of water rationing program your body utilizes in order to move water to a specific location of the body.  When this production of histamine increases, spasms in the lung cause the bronchioles to constrict. (a design function of the body used to conserve water)  Because the constant flow of air through the air sacs located in the lungs continually evaporates available water, dehydration causes damage to these tissues.  A way to stop this from occurring, the body utilizes a mechanism to reduce the rate of airflow.  This mechanism is called asthmatics.

The release of histamine, responsible for cutting down the rate of airflow through the lungs, is an indicator of dehydration in the body.  With adequate water supply histamine production is inhibited naturally.

Question: How do you reverse autoimmune disease?

Answer: ‘Reversing’ autoimmune disease is not always possible nor is it an easy transformation.  Autoimmune disease is a serious disease that acts as a desperate call from your body for repair.  Those who have Autoimmune disease will have to change their habits and knowledge of their body, as the process requires a complete understanding of the acid-alkaline balance and metabolic responses associated with dehydration, like: low amino acid range, improper absorption of minerals (zinc & magnesium) and the requirement for essential vitamins and fatty acids.

 Question:  What happens when you have joint pain?

Answer: When a joint is dehydrated constant friction causes cartilage cells to die at a fast pace.  When the damage occurs to the cartilage it is caused because the area is being overused and under-repaired. The cartilage needs water supply in order to repair the lining of the joint capsule.  Hormones that are released to stimulate repair also produce pain.  When this hormone is released a series of processes occur:

-blood circulation is moved toward the affected area causing the swelling of joint capsules causing stiffness and added pain.

-amino acids are stimulated for the repair of damage creating a ‘pool’ in the localized joint.

-white blood cells produce hydrogen peroxide for sterilization and oxygen for cellular repair, this process is part of the ‘inflammation’ response.

-tissue growth response causes local remodeling and fortification which causes the gnarling in arthritis.  (the brain processes this information as a new ‘structure’ and similar structured joints will follow out on other parts of the body, as if the DNA is being restructured. )  Advanced arthritis seen in rheumatoid joints.


WEIGHT

A lot of us understand that drinking water is important and staying hydrated is essential to our weight balance.  Defining that thin line between hunger and thirst is where it gets complicated.  There are a lot of components that play a role in our weight and one of them is proper hydration.  It’s important to make sure that you understand the difference between the two and for those struggling with weight make sure you drink enough water throughout the day and prior to meals to help satiate the ‘drive’ of your tastebuds.  It does take time to transform how you desire water as your brain has been trained to believe it’s hungry when it’s actually thirsty.

Question: What is the relationship between dehydration and hunger?

Answer: There are two associated sensations that form eating habits.  One is for food and the other is for thirst, both felt in the same area and are stimulated by the same histamine response.  Which is why it is easy to confuse the two when the sensation occurs.  Some people believe they are hungry when they are actually experiencing thirst relying on dry-mouth as a sign of dehydration.  The signal for thirst is subsequently hidden when food is consumed at the onset of the symptom.  This forces hydration to play a role after digestion, where water is consumed after heavy eating as a ‘last-stage’.

Question: How can you distinguish between hunger and thirst? (preventing over-eating and digestive dehydration)

Answer: The best way to separate the sensations is to drink water first, if you do this first before food, you’ll find that in many cases you were hungry.  Often we will eat and then drink water, commonly long after our body is dehydrated by the intake of solid foods.

NOTE:  If you have a habit of eating when this sensation has presented itself in past instances, you will need to re-train your body to recognize the difference between hunger and thirst.  When you feel a sensation of ‘hunger’ train your brain to associate that sensation with ‘thirst’ and drink 10oz. of water at the onset of this feeling.  Continue to do this until you feel your body has identified the difference between thirst and hunger.  It will take patience, practice, and determination in order to make this transformation.  It is not easy to re-train your brain, but it is possible.  Because food is converted into energy (ATP) it will be more satisfying to the brain by taste buds over water.  It is very common to associate the histamine response of dehydration to hunger and cause mental and social stresses on the body which can set the tone for ‘over-eating’.

TIP: A very important tool is pure water, because it does not interfere with signals to the body for implicating anything except use of hydration.  That’s why health experts and advisors recommend drinking 8-10oz of water 30 minutes before eating.  This gives the body enough fluid transport and hydration to utilize processes of digestion.  It’s also helpful in satisfying the ‘urge’ to over-eat.


SKIN COMPLECTION

Aging: Water is essential for skin regeneration and retention.  The skin retains water by special molecules capable of holding a thousand times their weight in water.  Dehydration is a key factor in aging and loss of youthful glow of skin.  This can be seen when skin becomes dull, dry, and wrinkled, losing its firmness, color, and elasticity.  Without proper hydration, the skin does not properly eliminated (flush out) toxins through the skin resulting in breakouts of pimples and blemishes (acne).  Proper hydration allows the body to rejuvenate the skin and properly remove toxins from the sebaceous glands.

Question: How much water should I drink per day, in order to maintain healthy skin?

Answer: The answer depends on what you are doing throughout the day, but generally speaking at a minimum you should be drinking about 2.5 liters of water/day everyday your entire life.  This does not account for caffeine intake, highly refined sugar drinks, teas, or exercise. 


*(Sources)

  1. Batmanghelidj, F. M. D. “Chapter 7/Asthma and Allergies.” Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life. New York: Warner, 2003. 71-93. Print.
  2. Batmanghelidj, F. M. D. “Chapter 11/Depression and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life. New York: Warner, 2003. 200-03. Print.
  3. Vasey, Christopher. The Water Prescription: For Health, Vitality, and Rejuvenation. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 2006. Print.
  4. Louise, Mira. The Acid-alkaline Balance: Explaining Some of the Functions of the Parotic Glands. Adelaide: M. Louise, 1964. Print.
  5. Emoto, Masaru. The True Power of Water: Healing and Discovering Ourselves. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Pub., 2005. Print.
  6. Rue, Nancy N., and Stephen Arterburn. Healing Waters. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2008. Print.

Juil Earthling Shoes! (For a limited time 50% off & Free shipping!)


YAY!!  Friday I got a special surprise in the mail!  My new Juil’s arrived and I’m sooooooooo excited to share them with you.  🙂

Juil-Delivery

I’m usually a girl who loves to wear high heals but being pregnant has made it less than comfortable to wear heals, especially while shopping for the little one.  I went to a few shoe stores especially DSW (one of my favorite places to shop for shoes) and tried on practically every shoe they had in my size (size 11).  Yes, big feet, but I’m also 6 feet tall too so if the shoe fits!  I couldn’t figure it out, normally size 11 fits!  However, with each shoe I tried I felt like my feet were getting bigger…  I’ve heard of feet getting swollen and puffy during pregnancy, but longer?  I don’t even have wide feet but given the circumstances I thought maybe I should try those.. and THOSE didn’t even fit.  Tried size 12, nope, too big!  I was starting to get frustrated and finally gave into trying some low heal cowboy boots, they were the last pair and they fit just fine.  I was tired and hungry and really just wanted to get out of there so I could eat and rest.  I got home and set them aside to get other things done around the house, since looking for shoes took waaaaay longer than I anticipated.

The next day I was excited to wear my new shoes.  Slipped on the right shoe a little snug.. went for the left and I couldn’t even get my foot in the shoe!  It was like I was trying to put on a size 10!  What the hell?  I lowered my lip and took my shoes back to their box.  Scott looked at me puzzled and said “what’s wrong baby?” Still with the lowered lip I pouted and said “they don’t fit!” 😦  He was comforting but I was still pretty glum about the whole ordeal.  I didn’t want to wear sneakers for the rest of the pregnancy…

Later that day I got an email from Juil saying 40% off everything with a special code.  Juil shoes are one of those kinds of shoes that are well made, organic material, and have special features like their copper dots on the toes.  They say that these copper dots help free radicals in the body by connecting to the electrons of the earth’s surface.  I love the whole concept of wearing organic materials but buying a pair of shoes based on this electron ‘theory’ alone wasn’t enough to persuade me to purchase a pair of leather flats for $115.  However, this 40% off everything definitely added a hopeful little pep-to-my step for the day.

Later that evening I showed Scott the colors and asked if he liked any in particular.  I’ve been really into the spring color ‘peach’ and have always wanted a pair of red flats.  However, I really liked the navy blue with sky blue (like my hubby’s eyes) and couldn’t decide which one to get.  Being the amazing husband that he is and seeing how excited I was about the whole thing he smiled at me and said the magical words “get both!”

After jumping for joy that he recommended such an AWESOME idea, I ordered both.  I was elated that this new possibility presented itself to me.  (Also, reading the reviews of how happy people felt in these shoes and that they fit a little larger, but really comfortably.  I was feeling really confident and hopeful about these cute shoes!)

Finally, Friday arrived and my special delivery came in a very nice package and a little letter!
( I love the packaging of these and will be repurposing this cute Juil Box)

Juil OPEN BOX

JUIL letter

Now, the time I had been waiting for.  Time to try them on…

WOOHOO THEY FIT!  SUPER comfortable too!!

Yes, I was very excited and pranced around the house like a 10 year old. (cuz ya know I’ve got that special talent of tapping into kid-like feelings) I showered my husband with hugs and kisses!  Very thankful that he encouraged me to not get just one but both!  I kept showing him my shoes throughout the weekend and he kept laughing at my joy.

Juil-In-love-with-my-options

Questions you may be wondering:

Do I notice an electron difference in free-radical removal of my body?

No, but knowing that free-radicals are on a cellular level, I don’t suppose I ever would.  However, I will say that the entire time I was wearing them I felt happier.  Should I contribute that to the dots or having a new pair of shoes?  I’ll let you know later and update this post later to let you know if when I wear these shoes, I feel any different than normal.

Do I feel more connected to the ground?

Yes, actually I do.  Oddly enough I feel more connected to the ground with these on.  It may be because they are flat and I’m used to wearing heals, but even my Born boots have the same sole thickness by the toes and I don’t feel ‘connected’ to the ground.  When I wear these I feel ‘in contact’ with the ground.  I’ve had the 5-finger vibram’s too and I still feel something different with these flat shoes.  The 5-finger vibram’s are awesome though and if you have a tendency to walk on the ‘outside’ of your feet they are definitely worth trying.  I use mine for playing Tennis but because I live on a gravel road, I do not run in them-OUCH!  I won’t be ‘running’ in these technically, but I will be ‘running-around’ in these and so far.. so good!

Does the leather mold to your feet?

When purchasing these you are supposed to wear them for a few hours each day to give the leather enough time to relax and mold to your feet so they can be even more comfortable.  I’ve worn these several hours each day and they’ve been fitting very nicely.  I’ll update you on how they feel a week or two from now after wearing them!

Am I a believer in this copper dot technology?

I’ll answer this in a few weeks, but I will say that I’m a believer enough to purchase them again!

Right now, there is a sale going on  that is even better than the original 40% off sale when I got these last week!  50PERCENT is the code and I don’t know for how long the sale is going on.  Check them out and if you are looking for a cute pair of comfy flats or some sandles or boots, check them out: www.juil.com

Scott also wanted me to get a neutral color in addition to my current collection *swoons*

So, I just purchased a pair of black/gray ones to add to my wardrobe.  Did I mention I love my husband?


Did you buy a pair of Juils and want to share your experience?  Comment below!!  🙂

JEM-Signature

3 rules that will help you master eating healthy on-the-go!


(This blog was actually posted on Monday 1/26/2015 in response to the #Vote4Monday and for some reason is missing?  That’s why I’m reposting.)

Eating healthy on-the-go can be very challenging, especially with how busy we can be in this ‘game’ called life. Play the game well, you get rewarded with a car full of kids and a bunch of life tokens when you reach the end at your millionaire estate, right?! haha
Life on the Go busy (Game)

Well… maybe not so cut and dry. Truth is, it can get to be pretty overwhelming and with all the options that are available.  It’s pretty hard to narrow down the best option, especially when it comes to healthy eating. Everyone’s got their own idea of what ‘healthy’ means, so when I got this topic for #Vote4Monday, I was definitely interested.  Depending on your definition of healthy I decided to address different areas, from eating healthy in terms of ‘less-processed-highly-refined foods’ to eating organic and eating allergy free.
Being that I’m a nutritional therapist, there are definitely things that I have a strong opinion about.  Like, eating organic.  I absolutely believe organic is the way to go, however, when it comes to eating out and finding options that are healthy are hard enough.  Adding another obstacle like, allergy-free is another challenge.  Adding organic well, right now, it feels that there are literally 5 places within 100 miles that serve organic foods.  It may be less for other people out there, so what do you do?  Never eat out?  Depending on where you are at in life, that may not be a suitable option.  I keep that in mind while writing this article and purposing helpful ‘rules’ that we’ve used to keep our lives as close to on track as possible.
I do hope that it finds to be useful to you as well!! 🙂

Here’s some great guide rules to help keep you on track to being healthy on-the-go:

  • RULE #1. If you can pre-make your food, it’s ALWAYS the best choice.

-Left-overs in a container from the night before that you grab before you head out the door.

-Cut up an apple, sprinkle cinnamon and add a spoonful of nut-butter to a container.

Life Hack: You can make this process even faster by using one of those apple corers.)
Tip: If you’re worried about your apple turning brown, add a little bit of lemon juice on top before adding the cinnamon.
Health Fact: Cinnamon helps slow the digestion of the sugars (lowering blood sugar) and boosts brain function. So, if you’re in a hurry you’re probably overloaded mentally too!

-NUTS! Put a handful or two of nuts in a bag and grab a fruit and go!

-Water!! No matter what, you’ll feel hungry if you don’t have enough water.

-Slice up some veggies and bag them for later. Carrots, Cucumber, whatever you love.

-Remember ants on a log when you were a kid? Well, just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy these delicious treats. Cut up a few celery sticks, add some nut butter, and line up a row of raisins on top. Wrap em’ up or store in a container.

-Grab a jar of those awesome pre-made cashew treats, you know you love them!

Note: We hike a lot and our pace is pretty fast, when we do stop for a breather or if we’re out of energy we’ve learned that an apple is the BEST way to keep the energy going. It’s better than those energy bars, which really seem to slow the body down. If you are planning on running around a lot and you don’t have time to eat, make sure you have an apple on hand.

Idea: In your car, always have a reserve of fruits, nuts, and water. You can change this out weekly, so you always have fresh produce in the car. Stick it in basket in a cool place of your car and always have a few pieces of fruit on hand like: apples, oranges, and pears. This is great for emergency situations so you don’t end up in a gas station grabbing a sugar bar of some sort. Water is a little more challenging, but it’s best if you bring it or have it already in your car. Yes, gas stations have water but if you’re hungry chances are you may pick up more than just a bottle of water… If you find that you have a habit of forgetting to bring water make sure you always have a few water bottles in your car. Hey, maybe put it next to the basket? 😉

  • Rule # 2. There are ZERO healthy options at mainstream fast food restaurants. (period)

Yes, it’s a wonderful concept to be able to grab a healthy meal on the road especially if there are options in a fast food joint. However, truth is the salad options or ‘lettuce’ instead of bun really dissolves into some sort of sick joke. I’ve tried this in the past, when I wasn’t completely organic. Fortunately, when you start to realize the amount of gross pesticides and harmful chemicals that are literally saturated in the ‘veggies’ of these fast food chains in order to keep them ‘fresher’ well eating dirt doesn’t seem that bad in comparison. I wouldn’t eat the chicken, I wouldn’t eat the beef, I just wouldn’t eat anything from a majority of chain fast food restaurants. You can find out more about not eating fast food and why eating organic is important at Food Matters, Food Inc., Forks over Knives, The Gerson Miracle, Vanishing of the Bees, GMO OMG, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, The Future of Food, The Ghosts in our Machine, A Place at the Table, Earthlings, and Fresh. (Documentaries with resource information)

Basically, I’d rather starve all day then eat at any of the fast food restaurants that are very common and mainstream. Which is why I highly recommend Rule #1, as there are more than a few of these fast food options out there. When we’re hungry, we may not always be in the right frame of mind to think clearly.

  • Rule #3. Eating out is a social trap, overcome this by choosing ‘safe’ places to eat.

There will be those times when you are out with a friend/family member when you didn’t pack food and forgot to refresh your car’s travel basket OR maybe you want to grab a bite to eat together. That’s OK. Let’s take a look at some good options, when a situation arises.

Coffee Shop:
Okay, you meet at a coffee shop. Very common in Washington State as there is some sort of coffee place practically every 100 ft. What do you do? Depending on the coffee shop, usually there are a few healthy choices. When choosing an actual coffee shop, look for an organic coffee shop first. If you can find one of those, they’ll usually have ALL sorts of healthy alternatives! Inside the shop:

-Opt for the fruit cup or whole fruit over whatever pastry they have sparkling behind the glass case.
-Choose nuts or a nut bar. (at Starbucks I’ve seen their Kind bars, go for the one with the lowest amount of sugar.)
-If you don’t have a coffee addiction, opt for some flavorful tea.
-If you must have sugar, go for the raw sugar. Some places even have stevia, which is much better than the other ‘zero-sugar’ substitutes out there.
-If you have allergies, make sure you ask what they are putting in your drink. If they are just seeping tea bags you’re most likely safe. (if you have a gluten allergy/sensitivity you can ask if there is added gluten or just ask for the box the tea is from and read the ingredients. The ingredients should really just say the tea. Should you see a list of other natural flavors or added sugars, or weird additives, try a more natural tea.)
-Dairy allergy? Do not get a Frappuccino. (In order to make this they use an emulsion powder, which has casein (milk solids) in order to make it that nice thick consistency.) -If they are adding syrups, just say no. (yes, even cane syrups)
-There is always the option of water, as boring as it may seem.
-Gotta have coffee? Go for an Americano or latte (with no sugar) and add your own. -Dairy free? Ask for dairy free ‘milk’ alternatives, most places will have soy milk. (which I don’t recommend for the role it plays on your hormonal imbalance but is better than dairy if you are allergic.) Sometimes they’ll have rice milk, almond milk, or hemp milk. Out of all those, I choose hemp milk. Though this option is near impossible unless I’m in Oregon or in a Whole Foods Market.

Restaurant:
These are a little more tricky and may require you to spend a few minutes on your phone before meeting up with someone. That’s okay, there’s a great website called HappyCow that sort of does some of the foot work for you- if you are just looking to eat at a healthier place that is aware of the ingredients they put in the food. If you have an allergy it’s a bit more tricky. HappyCow offers options to narrow down results based on vegetarian, vegan, and veg-friendly. Now, one thing we’ve noticed when travelling is that if a place says vegan. They are more likely to have options for gluten-free too! I can eat vegan, but sometimes they’ll add gluten to their dishes which really make it difficult for me to eat. For us, this would be a great tool to use to narrow down the results from all the other places around. Then you can call the restaurant or café and ask them if they have a gluten-free menu. I find that even if you don’t have a gluten allergy, this is a great indicator of overall awareness. It means that they will most likely have options for vegan, vegetarian, gluten, and overall have healthier choices on their menu. Here are some great indicators of whether they’ll have great options for you, when you call the place up and ask if they have a gluten-free menu. If they respond and…

-Don’t know what gluten-free is = they are practically in the stone age right now and you should avoid.
In your efforts to look for healthy food, you’ll find that it’s more of a struggle because these places have high sodium, lots of processed foods, highly refined grains and sugars, and are generally not healthy.

-Have some gluten-free options on the menu that aren’t listed but they can tell you = they are a little more aware as a general house-hold term.
They know potatoes don’t contain gluten, they know salads without croutons do not contain gluten, but they will most likely offer you bread with butter after you ask for gluten-free options. This annoys me. It’s also a sticky situation. Some Asian/Thai restaurants have heard the term enough to know that their phad thai doesn’t have gluten in it (because they don’t add soy sauce) but then they’ll serve you peanut sauce which has soy sauce in the ingredients. They didn’t directly add the soy sauce so in their mind it’s gluten-free. This causes headache and for us, lots of health-related problems. In this case, if you have to eat at one of these places, just buy the simplest thing on the menu. A salad with no croutons, no dressing, and no (whatever else you can’t eat) and ask for a side of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Make your own dressing. You can also order salmon and ask them to cook the salmon plain. If you have an allergy to dairy, make sure they do not use butter. Ask them to cook it in another oil. The only way they will not do this for you is if the salmon is pre-packaged which more than likely means it contains gluten, soy, preservatives, dairy, etc.

-Have a gluten-free menu!
This is fantastic, this means that they are more than aware because they are actually taking measures to ensure there is no cross-contamination. Even if you don’t have a gluten allergy this is great because it means that they are paying attention to the ingredients in their food. They’ll want to serve more people more options so they’ll most likely be aware of all the ingredients in their food choices. I’ve seen more and more restaurants include a gluten-free menu and they take the time to remove un-necessary components and they substitute things. Like, instead of serving a salad (-minus croutons) they’ll actually have pumpkin seeds instead. The servers will most likely know what the items on the menu contain and the restaurant will go out of their way to simplify the orders. The nicer the restaurant the higher the quality. They may even have gluten-free bread that you can have as an option. However, if you are gluten-free vegan or gluten-free dairy-free, be careful that they don’t add milk or eggs to their bread. Usually, that’s the case. No worries, you can always get a burger with lettuce instead.

-For healthier options, opt for salad instead of fries.

-Drink water (ask for a lemon to add to your water) instead of Soda.

-Get plain tea (hot tea) instead of instant sweetened tea.

-Don’t use the fake sweeteners, unless it’s stevia.

-Look for sides if your main meal. They almost always have steamed broccoli, corn, asparagus, brown rice etc. Pick things that are not heavily sautéed with butter and oil.

-You can always add olive oil or vinegar to anything you want.

-Nothing is stopping you from just having in your purse some of your own dressing. 🙂

-Want sushi? Keep in mind, sushi is made with gluten. Unless you can find a sushi restaurant that does not add gluten to their rice to make sushi, you are going to be eating a small amount of gluten. To keep the gluten to a minimal, bring your own bragg’s liquid aminos or tamari soy sauce and avoid the ‘fried’ sushi rolls. (If you have a serious allergy to gluten you will want to get the sashimi as it’s just raw fish with no rice. Dairy allergy? Avoid the ‘creamy’ sushi or the sushi with a cream/spicey glaze over them.)

-Organic Restaurant with Vegan and Gluten Free Menu or Raw café/Restaurant!
Now this is a serious GEM of a restaurant and there are actually quite a few in Washington state, mostly near Seattle. They’ve got gluten-free options (if not all options are gluten-free), vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, soy-free, etc. These places are fantastic and if you are like me, you go a little nuts when you find them. I will usually order a ton of food options because I’m so excited that they exist and I didn’t have to cook them myself! These places use quinoa, gluten-free oats, salads that have cashew dressing, and usually the most amazing gluten-free, vegan desserts. Sometimes you can even find a place like Zoopa Organics in Southcenter Tukwila, Wa which amazingly is an all organic vegetable buffet. They have non-organic stuff like meat, ice cream, and breads. However, their vegetable salad bar is organic, fresh, and their soups are made in house with organic produce! WIN!

Here are some great places to try near Seattle, Wa. that have organic options as well as gluten-free, vegan menus.

Redmond, Wa
Hugo’s Restaurant (Vegan, gluten-free, Organic)
Flying Apron (has a juice bar as well as gluten-free, vegan, options)
Chipotle (gluten-free/Vegan options, 1 location)

Bellevue, Wa
Seastar Raw Restaurant (gluten-free menu, high-end no gluten options for sushi) –Chipotle (2 locations)

Seattle, Wa
Café Flora (Vegan)
Flying Apron Freemont (Has some good options, watch out for the high sugar desserts) –Thrive (LOVE this place Raw food, gluten-free, vegan)
Chaco Canyon Organic Café (has organic, gluten-free, vegan options)
I love my gluten free foods (gluten-free menu, organic)
Chipotle (5 locations)

Southcenter Tukwila, Wa
Zoopa’s Organic (gluten-free/Vegan menu as well as many other dietary restriction menus) –Chipotle (2 locations)

  • Rule #3. When all else fails, Organic Local Markets usually have a dining section and plenty of options!

I know, I know it’s a grocery store. However, don’t underestimate the awesomeness of an organic local market!! We travel A LOT, seriously we put over 30,000 miles on our jeep in one year. We love to travel and we know a lot about travelling and eating. The above really addresses the “want to eat out with friends” and the “I’ve got 5-minutes to prep, what do I do?” scenarios. However, what about the tougher ones? The one’s where you DO have time to prepare and you know you’re going on a road trip or travelling far away?
The best thing you can do, is make your own meals ahead of time. Investing in a nice travel cooler (the ones you plug into your car) with an adapter that plugs into your wall and filling it with pre-made foods. Because we have a lot of food sensitivities and allergies, we make a lot of meals ahead of time. But one things to always remain consistent no matter how many pre-made meals we have in the cooler. We love to just find food at local markets! It seems it’s been a goal of ours these past few years when on our road trips to find fun organic markets to shop. Most of the time they are Whole Foods Markets, sometimes they are PCC’s, sometimes they are co-op, and the little gems which can literally have up to 4 customers at a time they are so small -those are the fun one’s. They have ‘organic’ in their business name and usually are tiny places that have very narrow aisles. Those places are fun because they have the most obscure items in them! Sometimes they have local people making the ‘gluten-free vegan bars’ and sometimes they just know a ton about coconut sap. I always find these places to be very unique and interesting. Typically we do not eat out at restaurants, usually it happens about 3-4 times a year. When it does, we find gluten-free gems or organic vegan gluten-free places that are just really awesome! For example, Santa Rosa California road trip had the most awesome little organic everything whiskey bar/restaurant called Jack and Tony’s. Their meats were organic grass-fed meats and they had local organic produce with some greenhouse varieties. Truly a unique place and the food was absolutely delicious! Places like that remind us why we like to eat out- not to save time or to be lazy for a night, but really to enjoy unique creations that inspire us to cook new things!

Well, I do hope that I addressed a majority of the concerns regarding Healthy Eating on the Go. If there was something I missed that you’d like me to address or there is a suggestion you’d like to add (like a hot location you’d like to rave about that has organic, gluten-free/vegan options) let me know in the comments section below!!

Thanks again for reading this blog post!

<3Jem

Coconut Secret Teriyaki Sauce (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Low Glycemic, Organic, Non-Gmo)


Teriyake Sauce

A Teriyaki Sauce that’s pre-made, safe and GOOD for me?  No, it can’t be!  Yes.. yes it can and IS.

I recently stumbled upon this product while looking through the livesuperfoods.com website to replenish my stock of the liquid Fermented Cod Liver Oil-cinnamon flavored supplement.  I’ve found that this particular website has some of the best prices for ‘healthy alternatives, supplements’ and offers free shipping over $50.  Since the cod oil is $43 on this site, instead of the $60+ on amazon or the $44.50 +shipping on Green Pasture’s website, I figured it was definitely worth it to check around to see what new unique products are on the market.

That’s when I stumbled upon this secret!  I religiously use the other coconut secret products, especially the raw secret coconut vinegar.  They taste good and they are really healthy for you.  In the teriyaki sauce there are no preservatives, no additives, and the ingredients are sound: organic Coconut Sap, sea salt, organic ginger, organic onion, organic garlic, organic cayenne pepper.  You can’t really ‘organify’ sea salt just like you can’t ‘organify’ honey since Mother Nature is completely in control and all.   Organify = certify as organic by USDA standards.  (and really how can they charge mother nature $10,000/year for making it?  Uh.. yo nature, pay up to certify/prove this is organic.)  If only mother nature could talk…  then again, the things she’d say to the human race… “you b*tches petroleum was MY fossil fuel!”  Okay bad jokes aside.

The company has already proved to me that they have good intentions and the ingredients gave me confidence that I could give it a try.  Really happy I did too! It’s DELICIOUS!  I do love teriyaki but because so many sauces on the market are just really unhealthy and contain a lot of crap.  I don’t buy them.  (Crap like: wheat, processed soy, additives, high amounts of sugar, high amounts of sodium, non-organic, etc..etc..)  I usually make my own.  I haven’t made my own ‘teriyaki’ yet, but I have made sweet sauces similar to this.  I also love to buy products so I can get a taste for it and then make my own recipe from it.  It’s not necessarily the exact flavor but it inspires me!  Something you benefit from when you buy my cookbook.  🙂

Note to the Teriyaki enthusiast: If you are a teriyaki snob… it probably won’t do it for you.  First of all, it’s far less salty than your typical teriyaki sauce.  Second, it doesn’t have the crap (explained above) you’re most likely addicted to.  You don’t give Teeccino to a coffee lover and say “it tastes just like coffee”.  No, no you don’t.  That caffeine addiction is like no other!  😉

Note to the allergy sufferer: If you’ve been ostracized from enjoying some good teriyaki, this will do it for you.  Some of us have been going years without teriyaki in our bellies.  We’ve practically lost hope that anyone will just make a wholesome healthy teriyaki!  Well my friend, this product will quench your teriyaki thirst! You will know that it’s not the real teriyaki… but you won’t care.  It’s damn close enough.


Quick Rating:  Quality: 5/5, Healthiness: 5/5, Taste: 4.5/5

Quality: Meets USDA standards as certified organic.  They do NOT add additives, preservatives and other crap.  It’s wholesome basic ingredients. 

Healthiness:  Compared to other teriyaki sauces the sodium is SIGNIFICANTLY less/serving and the sugar is from a low-glycemic sugar (also a low number).  The health benefits of coconut sap contain minerals and vitamins that are also very good for the health of your body.

Taste: While it does taste amazingly delicious, there are a few things that I would have added to make it taste even better.  This is where I say, look for my cookbook (when it releases) to see for yourself. Hey, give me credit…I gotta give myself some hype before the cookbook releases! 😉

What’s in YOUR fridge?


Personal update

Phew!  This week has been pretty tiring to say the least.  I’ve been running around trying to prep the house so I can move to phase 2 for the baby’s room. Phase 1 was to find a theme.  After searching around for a couple weeks, my husband and I finally figured out what we wanted for our little girl’s room.  Needless to say, we’re super excited about it!  The theme is based off of something that really called to us and is very original.  A big plus, I get to use my creative/artistic talents to really work on the room!! Woohoo!  I’m going to love sharing it with everyone as I complete mini-steps to the larger steps.  I’ll share the theme once I receive the package with the main theme components in it. 🙂

This weekend we are driving to Renton, Wa to visit Ikea.  There, we will be picking up a daybed for the nursery (for when we have family over) and maybe a few other things for around the house to finish the odds&ends for what needs to be done.  Christmas decorations away, curtains hung, miscellaneous shelves put in, etc..etc.  I also want to get the house ready for the ‘spring/summer’ look as I know I will be very busy this summer, fall & winter!  Then it’s on to Phase 2, while I chug away at school, research, blog, cookbook, and books I need to read.  Challenging stuff but couldn’t be more excited about doing it all!


Cookbook update

Lately, I’ve been reading some of the research books I need to complete for a class I’m taking.  I am learning a ton and I even found some major components to the backing for the cookbook.  As you know there is a ton of information out there regarding health, diets, research, scientific stuff, and all kinds of ways to eat and live life.  However, my cookbook really focuses on the basics of being in the kitchen and knowing how to cook really good healthy food.  Though it’s fun and easy to do many of these recipes they are also very well-balanced in nutrition and healing the body by the foods we eat.  I also want to help guide people in the right direction with research information too.  Things I recommend that help build a foundation of knowledge for those who want to really dig their fingers in deeper to some of the principles I discuss in the book.  That has almost been the single most important concept that I want to drive home with the overall message that one gets in reading the cookbook.  Yes, I want to discuss and reveal awesome recipes, it is after all a cookbook, but I want to also help people understand that it’s also a great foundation tool for building a healthy lifestyle.

Many people I run into want to eat healthy, some love to cook, and others want to succeed in some health related goal.  Whatever the motivation is, I really bring all of those together in the cookbook with these recipes and the information prior to the recipes.  I teach a lot of concepts that can help people lose weight, cook healthier, and help ignite the creative juices that give ultimate freedom in the kitchen (i.e. not needing a recipe for everything that’s cooked and just knowing how to use the ingredients.) I’m big on that.  I want each person to be able to open their fridge or pantry and without hesitation know what they want to cook.  I do that in this cookbook, which is why it’s also challenging to write.  There’s a lot of research, case studies, and daily living that goes into this cookbook to create the formula I use for the recipes. (That’s another way of saying a lot of blood, sweat, and tears without the brutality.)


Eating healthy and making healthy choices

Which brings me to my next topic.  When I first wanted to change the way I ate, I remember thinking to myself “how the heck do people have a fridge full of vegetables?”  What do these people make for their meals? Salads all day?  How is it even possible?  This is coming from a background, like many people where bread, pasta, dough, and other grains were used to represent 50-75% of the meal, while the other 25-50% was a protein and sometimes vegetables were present.  At most veggies played a 5-10% existence in many of those meals.  This isn’t uncommon for the vast majority of people.  In fact, I often experience these similar situations from a lot from my clients and various people I talk to.  Frozen meals are common, eating out is more of a daily ritual, and cooking is putting together packaged meals.  If you look back on history and the development since the Industrial Revolution, it totally makes sense!  How it happened.

However, with more and more diseases becoming a common theme in every household and prescription drugs being the ‘remedy’ a lot of us are turning back to the ways of our grandparents and their grandparents.  We want to know how to make things ourselves.  The revolution of people making their own home remedies or using homeopathic resources to heal their body is becoming much more common.  We’re learning the importance of taking care of ourselves and starting to question western medicine and the foods we eat.  It’s quite remarkable and I’m so happy to be a part of such an important time in history.  The part where people decide the future for their kids and grandkids.  What do you want for your future?  More organic foods?  Hand-made items?  Farmers markets?  Homeopathic medicine?  Naturopath doctors?  Home remedies? Whatever it is, we’re starting to wake-up to the blindfolds that society has given us and realize that we ARE in control of our own health.

Rant about the current healthcare crisis: We do NOT have to suffer these ailments and diseases, though some of us might be more susceptible hereditarily to certain types of sicknesses, diseases, or ailments, it does not necessarily that we WILL have them.  Just that fact right there, can be inspirational to many of us.  Having a future decided for us based on a past we were given, doesn’t make any sense.  Not now, not with all this information and research that’s been done on how to ‘heal’ the body.  That is heal the body, not cover-up underlying issues so they continue to progress un-noticed. What’s happening when you go to the doctor with heartburn is a quick-fix antacid that ‘relieves’ the symptoms or when you have high blood-pressure and they give you ‘blood pressure medication’.  It doesn’t solve the underlying issues or address the more impending problems that may cause even greater problems later on in life.  Unfortunately, most doctor’s don’t have time and are not paid to care if you have heartburn to ask the more appropriate questions of why your stomach isn’t producing enough hydrochloric acid to digest the foods your eating or whether or not you are in a chronic state of acidosis.  With those who have high blood-pressure, digging deeper to find out Why the arterial walls have plaque and whether the patient’s diet consists of highly refined foods again looking at the acid/alkaline balance in the blood or using their Doctor like powers to recommend supplements or put patients on the proper diet to help heal their body. I’d like a doctor to be real to a patient and say “Look, this is the diet you need to be on, these are the supplements you need to take, and these are the exercises you need to do daily to heal your high blood-pressure.  Then, after 3 months we’ll visit again and look at your progression.”  To the patients who are ‘healing’ the doctor should adjust their diet or make decisions that address the patient’s concerns.  To the patient’s who don’t get better or just want the quick-fix then the doctor should have a real serious discussion: “If I put you on blood pressure medication, your life expectancy could drop 20+ years.  Your also putting a lot of pressure on your circulatory system which affects all the other systems in your body, including your nervous system, which does affect your brain and of course increases your chances of stroke significantly.  Taking blood pressure medication, will only ‘stall’ your body long enough where the plaque has to continue growing to restrict the flow even more, when that happens, chances of clotting are significant, even with the medication.  Not to mention, you are also compromising your immune system and increasing risk to coronary disease and countless other diseases.”  Those are the real conversations that happen in medical school, the doctor’s know what the risks are but fail to deliver that information to the patient.  Why?  To many reasons to write in this ‘rant’ section of the blog.  I will say two things, one- the obvious, I’m very passionate about this topic and two- no matter what the reason is that the doctor fails to prevent disease and focus on ‘healing’ the patient, the reason/s are not in-line with the fundamental principle that all doctor’s and medical professionals are taught in school which is “first, do no harm to the patient“.  Of course that can be taken out of context to all hell, but one theme remains: covering up a problem IS causing more harm to the patient, period. But..the doctor is the one with the degree right, he has to be looking out for your health, right?  I wish that were true in all cases.  No matter what, here’s the main thing I want to really drive home.  If you can’t get answers from your doctor or your doctor is quick to just hand you some sort of ‘answer’ via prescription drug or equivalent.  Find out more information before believing that the doctor has your best interests in hands.  You have the right to the answers to your questions.  It is your right, not privilege, to have more than 15 minutes with your doctor without feeling rushed. (Keep in mind, you are the one paying for the doctor’s time and services.)  It is also your right to contact another doctor, if you don’t like the one you’ve got, get a new one and I recommend turning to a Naturopath doctor.  Not all of them are treated the same, but you should treat your doctor, the one who is your guide to better health, at minimum the same as you would a restaurant.  If the food they are handing you is under/over cooked, tastes like shit, or is served half-assed do you go back to the same restaurant again?  If the doctor is giving/not-giving you the answers to your questions, gives you a prescription, or doesn’t seem to care about you, why would you go back to the same doctor again?  M.D. doesn’t indicate that you’re Married to the Doctor, it means they are qualified to give you the answers you deserve or at least guide you in the right direction.  If they choose not to, choose someone else who will. –end rant.

Back to eating healthy.  I didn’t find my answers to how people had a fridge full of produce and healthy foods until I questioned my doctors.  Struggling with weight problems, mood swings, anxiety attacks, emotional distress, hypothyroidism, PCOS and the related symptoms of PCOS (which are onset from the time of puberty) I hit a wall with these doctors.  I kept getting the same answers and as time passed, the symptoms and problems got worse.  The next thing I know, I am diagnosed with PCOS.  I’ve got a laundry list of prescription drugs, as well as a nutritionist who’s giving me a ‘guide-to-eat’ healthy that I’ve been following for years that got me to this point.  It was as if every road I tried to take lead me down the same path.  The answers the doctors were giving me were nothing about nutrition and instead were about covering up the issues.  I didn’t even have diabetes and I was being prescribed with metformin, because being diagnosed with PCOS, based off research of PCOS being a pre-cursor to diabetes, I was next in line to diabetes.  Had I not questioned THAT.  I’d still be taking that laundry list of prescription drugs-for life as well as STILL struggling with my weight and all the associated problems of this PCOS which according to my doctor (at the time) was un-curable.  I just had to deal with it and learn to work around my weight.  That was a pill I wouldn’t take.  I refused to be unhappy for the rest of my life, I refused to ‘settle’ with that answer and I looked elsewhere for answers.  When I did, a whole new world opened up for me and I learned a lot about the body.  I learned a lot about PCOS and many other diseases, ailments, and symptoms people suffer from ‘without’ a diagnosis.  To that, I’m very happy that I found happiness in healing my body and my PCOS.
However, I realize that there are so many people who like me, were told very similar stories from their doctor and the more I listened to others the more I learned this to be a very hard fact.  I wasn’t alone and there were many people who still were suffering, which fast-forward to today I am set on a mission to do something about.  That’s why I’m writing a cookbook, that’s why I’m a nutritionist, and that’s why our fridge is jam-packed with healthy foods…
My Fridge

AND I know what to do with them!
(and it’s not salads for every meal either-not even close!).

I’ve helped heal many other people too and I want to help even more!  We should all be able to open our fridge full of produce and healthy foods, and know JUST what to do with it!   It’s my goal to help start that process with this cookbook series I’m creating. 🙂


If you have any questions or would like to share your story too, please feel free to do so in the comments section below!

I’d love to hear or help in any way I can. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed today’s post.  Have a fantastic weekend and do something awesome for your body!

Epsom Salt Baths and Magnesium Intake explained.


A lot of people have seen Epsom salts or heard of epsom salt baths for relieving muscle tension/relaxation, but perhaps don’t really know the true health benefits that epsom salt baths provide beyond that.

The facts on baths: Epsom salts or Epsomite (a hydrous magnesium sulfate) with the chemical formula of MgSO4 7H20 contain elements oxygen, magnesium, and sulphur (sulfur).  Because magnesium is so important to our body and a lot of people are not getting enough magnesium in their diets via leafy green vegetables, raw nuts and fruit or perhaps are eating those foods but are still not getting enough magnesium due to how it’s absorbed into the body.  There are ways that we can get magnesium without the use of supplements or through digestion-which those who have digestion issues can also have magnesium deficiencies from the inability to break down proteins in order to utilize the magnesium into the blood stream.

How Epsom Salt baths work: The elements that make up Epsom salts, when dissolved in water, work to remove toxins from the body and take in minerals through the skin membrane.  This process is often referred to as reverse osmosis.  This process allows the magnesium and sulphur to enter through the membrane and create a series of systematic responses.  It also allows the muscles to relax, which is why it’s heavily promoted to use Epsom salt baths for muscle cramps and muscle pains.  However, there is more to increasing your intake of magnesium other than the use of Epsom salt baths.  First, let’s take a look at the benefits of magnesium.

Benefits of Magnesium/Magnesium Chloride :

  • All organs in the body rely on magnesium in order to function.
  • Teeth and bones utilize magnesium via the parathyroid in order to balance calcium levels in the body. (when calcium levels go up, magnesium levels go down and when intake of magnesium is low, the body uses the bone tissue to increase calcium levels-which long term can cause bone deficiencies like osteoporosis.)
  • Reduce muscle cramping and spasms, nervous fatigue, tics and twitches, irregular heartbeat, hypersensitivity, restlessness, anxiety and confusion.  (Low magnesium levels cause nerves to lose control over muscle activity including respiration and mental processes)
  • Helps with lowering blood pressure by taking 2x magnesium as calcium. (Reverse is true for those who have low blood pressure-both minerals in relatively high amounts)
  • Reduces PMS symptoms including menstrual cramps, bloating, mood swings, headaches and breast tenderness.
  • Fights infection and promotes antibiotic effects, especially in cleaning wounds because it does not harm tissue, increases leucocyte and phagocytosis by destroying pathogens.
  • Promotes good sleep due to the strong relaxing effect as well as reducing depression and stress tension.
  • Influences metabolism to control weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol for functioning in the liver, thyroid and parathyroid.
  • Aid in preventing osteoporosis (especially those who have a high intake of dairy products from cow’s milk, with the exception of butter)
  • Stimulates activity of digestive enzymes and produce hydrocholroic acid in the stomach.  (see HCL; Stomach Acid)
  • Works to prevent or dissolve kidney stones and gall bladder stones by improvement of the intestinal flora health which normalize digestive processes and reduce discomfort of bloating and stool odor.
  • Reduces ‘offensive’ body odors. (including underarm and foot odors)
  • Normalizes cardiovascular and nervous system functioning.

Ways you can increase your intake of Magnesium:

  1. Epsom Salt Baths or Magnesium Flakes.  Epsom salt is again, magnesium sulfate, so you will absorb the magnesium through your skin that way.  However, there are additional ways that you can increase your absorption of magnesium in a bath by adding magnesium flakes (which is magnesium chloride a more readily absorbed version of magnesium).How to use for a bath?  To your warm bath water add 1-1 1/2 cups of Epsom salts, I recommend from my store the San Fransisco Bath Salt Company or 1 cup of Ancient Minerals magnesium flakes to your bath water.  Usually you’d want to relax in the bath for at least 15 minutes.  It’s important that your water is coming from a reliable source that does not contain bleach chlorine, to ensure that you don’t have the toxic chemical in your water you can use a bath filter to remove unwanted toxins and pollutants from your water.
  2. Magnesium Oil is an awesome way of absorbing magnesium into your blood stream without having to go through your digestive tract.  This is especially helpful for those who suffer from digestive issues and is the most optimal way of delivering magnesium straight to your cells.  I recommend Ancient Minerals Magnesium oil or the lotion here (the added MSM enhances cell membrane permeability). You can also make your own oil if you already have the Ancient Minerals Magnesium Flakes by dissolving the flakes in water, similar to your salt bath, but instead use in a spray bottle.
    Make your own: Simply add half a cup of magnesium flakes to half a cup of filtered hot water, stir until the flakes have dissolved and allow to cool before adding to a 4oz. glass spray bottle
    To use:
    Spray as much as you want on your body and rub the oil into your skin.  Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing if you need to rinse. (I don’t feel the residue and it doesn’t bother me.  However if it does bother you, simply rinse it off.)  If you do plan on rinsing it off, it might be a good idea to do this prior to showering.  I dry brush before showering and I use magnesium oil right after I shower, there is a tingle sensation which is heightened with dry brushing.  For some this may be too intense and I recommend using the magnesium oil before showering.  However, everyone is different so feel free to experiment with different ways of using the magnesium oil!
    Warning: I don’t recommend using magnesium oil after shaving or on sensitive areas of the body.  Avoid face and eyes, wash hands after applying.
  3. Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium chloride supplement
    There are a couple ways for taking magnesium internally.  Stay away from pill or capsule versions as they do not readily digest in the body and are not easily absorbed through the digestive track.  A good magnesium citrate supplement to try is Calm by natural vitality, a powder version, they have different flavors you can choose from that you can add to your warm water or dissolve in warm water and add to your  smoothie for those who have a more sensitive pallet.  You can also take Magnesium Chloride, a liquid version, as it is also a highly absorbable form of magnesium and is easier on those who have digestive problems.
    When using the supplement it’s best to start small and gradually increase.
    If you are taking the powder form, Natural vitality Calm, I recommend starting with half a tsp. a day and gradually increase to your own comfort up to 2tsp. twice a day.  (Read the warning section for laxative effects)
    If you are starting with the liquid form of magnesium chloride, start with a few drops in your drink, or meal and slowly build up to half a tsp. 2x a day.  (amount is 600 mg. daily)  The taste is salty, so taking this straight is unpleasant and should be diluted.
    Note: Your body can only absorb up to 300mg of magnesium at any given time, so it’s a good idea to space out your intake of magnesium throughout the day.
    Warning: Taking magnesium as a supplement does have a laxative effect and needs to be kept in balance with calcium and phosphorus.  If you are having issues with muscle spasms your blood and lymphatic circulation may be poor making it difficult for magnesium to dissolve and flush out joint calcifications.  If that’s the case use the combination of bath and magnesium oil in order to increase your magnesium intake.

For more information regarding the benefits of magnesium check out the database for natural medicine based on published scientific research http://www.hyperhealth.com.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog about magnesium!  I hope you learned about the importance of magnesium and found some good ways to increase your intake of magnesium.  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment below! 🙂