"We are indeed much more than what we eat, but we can nevertheless eat to become much more than what we are."
~Adelle Davis

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Essential Wellness 101 Teleclass

Essential Wellness 101 Teleclass
When: August 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm MDT/7:30 pm Central
Call-in Information Below 

Unleash the healing power of essential oils into your life! The time to change your life with better health is NOW. This is a great introduction to the what's, when's and how's of using essential oils in your everyday life. I'm bringing this info to you via teleclass, because as a work-from-home mom, I know how busy things can get.   Do a little prep work ahead of time the day of the call to make sure that you can listen in. When it's time for the call, just dial the number, enter the pin number, put your phone on speaker/pop your headphones in and either sit and listen or do a little multi-tasking if you need to! You're going to be glad you called in when hear what guest speaker Jaime Alcone, essential oils expert, and I have in store for you! 
  • Find out just what essential oils are, if you've been wondering, and why I consider them to be nature's "gateway drug" to optimal health and wellness. 
  • Find out why doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are the purest, safest and most effective essential oils on the planet (I wouldn't use them if they weren't). 
  • Get a good understanding of a few of doTERRA's most popular and useful essential oils and how to use them. 
  • Learn how to treat your family's everyday issues, like cold/flu, ear infections, congestion, cuts/scrapes, burns, skin irritations, indigestion, warts, fatigue, poor sleep,etc., in a safe, non-toxic way. 
  • Learn how to get your doTERRA essential oils for FREE and then some (Or a lot. It's up to you)! 
To join the call, dial 1-712-432-1212; when prompted, enter the Meeting ID: 173-910-952. For those who listen LIVE, you'll be able enter a drawing for a FREE doTERRA Intro Kit! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wild Mahi Mahi Ceviche

I was asked to a lunch date by my husband today, and instead of going out, I'm taking a homemade lunch to take to him at our indoor soccer arena. Now, we could go out for sushi, but I try to keep that to a minimum. We live in New Mexico, so I'm leery of the quality, especially when most restaurant owners can't tell me where their fish is from. The truth is, most sushi fish is farmed under who-knows-what conditions. That said, we love when we get the opportunity to visit coastal areas and seek out restaurants that are using freshly caught wild fish. That's not our typical reality, though. So today, I'm making Wild Mahi Mahi Ceviche that I purchased frozen and then thawed in the fridge. I'm a stay-at-home mom of a 14 year-old and 1 year-old, and I also work from home (can't put down my passion for nutrition education), so my days are packed. Luckily, this lunch takes no time to make, and it will be divinely healthy and delicious! 

 1.5# wild-caught mahi mahi, diced
Marinade: 1/4 c raw apple cider vinegar, juice of 1 lemon and 2 limes, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1/3-1/2c minced cilantro, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 small minced onion, 1 tsp ground cumin, pinch of ground cayenne, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 drop doTERRA ginger essential oil or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger, 1-2 drops doTERRA lemon essential oil (optional). Also optional, diced mini cucumber, which I added today. 
Mix marinade and pour over fish in a flat-bottom glass dish. Marinate for at least 10 min, up to 10 hours. Fish will turn almost white when "cooked". serve with guacamole on a crunchy medium, like black bean chips or rice cake. Pair with a veggie, such as sautéed collard greens or mixed green salad! Talk about YUM! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Holistic Health Approach to World Cup in Brazil

Keeping my family and myself healthy for our trip to Brazil for World Cup has been top priority for me lately. I am fortunate to be a Functional Medicine Dietitian in that I have access to lots of great minds and resources. I just finished up Tom Malterre's Progressive Practitioner Coaching Program, and I got some great info as well as mentorship from him. This made me feel quite confident going into this trip, regarding my ability to do my best at keeping us all healthy and having what we need on hand. I also have a slew of doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils with me. Beyond food and supplementation, these gems really come to our rescue when issues arise.

In my travel medicine chest, I have mostly Thorne Research supplements. As a practitioner, Thorne is my go-to because they are the most pure and potent supplements I know of. I am very tuned into food sensitivites in the work that I do with my clients, so I only feel comfortable recommending supplements which do not contain food allergens, fillers, dyes and other excipients that might be counterproductive. As a health care practitioner brand, Thorne supplements are formulated based on scientific research and clinical data. Of course,  I brought our multi-vitamins and minerals. That goes without saying. I also brought Meriva, which is a highly bioavailable curcuminoid complex, meaning that it contains the bio-active compounds found in turmeric in a form that is taken up by the cells very efficiently. As you might imagine, it is a powerful  anti-inflammatory. It is similar in effect to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), without the damage to the liver and GI tract. In fact, curcuminoids have been found to contain prebiotics, which feed particularly anti-inflammatory strains of beneficial gut microbes. Now that's my kind of med--one that not only effectively deals with the issue, but makes you healthier in the process! I also brought Berberine, which is an herbal antibiotic. I just started using this one it in my practice in some clients to help eradicate small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)/candida, and it can also be helpful with any type of infection, including "stomach bugs", which are a travel concern. Speaking of Montezuma's Revenge, we're also preventing this by taking Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) and digestive enzymes with meals. We're drinking from Brita filtered watered bottles, and when we do drink water at restaurants, we are protected by the GSE. Even (and especially) the baby gets a drop of GSE in water each day.

As far as the baby (Issa, who is 11 months), I would have to say that his front-line defense is being breastfed. Mother Nature is truly brilliant, and I am so thankful that I can give him antibodies to the potentially pathogenic bugs in his environment, while strengthening his system with beneficial microbes. That said, my eating well is crucial to the quality of the milk he receives. That means seeking out the best quality food before and during travel (all of the time, really!). Luckily, we are staying with family and renting a house during this trip, so we can cook. We also avoid fast food and highly processed foods and are choosy about restaurants. Although my Portuguese isn't perfect, I can spot preservatives, chemicals and dyes on an ingredient list! However, eating real food eliminates the need to do too much detective work. I do have some organic baby food for the times when food quality is questionable or not ideal for Issa. We also stay stocked with bananas, mango, avocado for him. My first-line of defense in the face of illness for Issa is hands-down, doTERRA essential oils. As a practitioner, purity and potency are of utmost importance with any supplement, essential oils included.
We've already encountered a situation, which we seem to have nipped in the bud. On Saturday evening, Issa awoke crying and sneezed a huge amount of yellow mucous. After which, he could not lie down, and nursing was impossible, due to nasal severe congestion. He was also obviously feverish. I did not measure his temp, but watched him closely and read his body language and energy. I immediately gave him 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 (I will continue this for a week and then go back to his usual 400 IU daily dose) and applied diluted (in fractionated coconut oil) Breathe and Lemon essential oil to his feet, as well as to his chest and back of the neck and kept applying throughout the night. I must also say that I did some heavy praying and reiki. The power of prayer and energy medicine (which to me are one and the same) have not only been proven anecdotally, but there is a growing body of research which shows their effectiveness. After several hours, he was clear enough to nurse and lie on his back to sleep. He continued to be congested and feverish on Sunday, although he was in good spirits and was able to nurse and nap. My husband and I stayed behind at the house, while our daughter and housemates toured Salvador, although we played with Issa outside quite a bit. I'm also a firm believer in sunshine, fresh air and nature as medicine!

Later in the evening, Issa woke up with a barking cough, which for a moment, stopped me in my tracks.  I read up on croup (which would have freaked me out, but I decided to remain calm and logical) and added some sandalwood to his essential oil protocol. We fed him a light dinner, had him breath in cold air from the freezer a few times and kept our room pretty cold for sleep. We could have done more, but after applying the sandalwood, we honestly did not hear the barking cough again Today there is only a minor cough here and there, along with minor nasal congestion. Otherwise, he is all smiles, and so are we! Here's hoping we don't need to use anything else in our travel medicine chest from her on out, but it feels good to know that we have it all on hand. Tudo Bom!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The LAST Detox 4 Real of 2014

The LAST Detox 4 Real workshop of 2014 is Sunday, May 18, from 2 to 4 pm! I will be doing more workshops in 2014 of various topics, so check back often for updates. I am officially not taking new clients at this time. If you would like to access my expertise, come to my workshops and classes. Hope to talk to you soon!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kale Detox Smoothie

In gearing up for my Detox 4 Real workshop tomorrow here in Albuquerque, I feel inspired to share a little food as medicine tip. Kale, a part of the cruciferous or brassica family of veggies, is particularly great for detoxification. Why, because it contains compounds which upregulate the production of liver detoxification enzymes. It's also chock full of antioxidants, which the liver must have in order to carry out detoxification processes. The lemon in the smoothie acts to further aid in alkalinization of your body tissues, reducing inflammation (an antioxidant sucker). Limonene, an antioxidant found in lemon and lemon peel, as well as lemon essential oil, acts to increase bile production. Bile carries toxins away from the liver for excretion, so it's important to be making enough! The fiber in the smoothie works to absorb the bile (and toxins) when they reach the colon, and move them on out. Give your liver and your taste buds a treat with this simple, but ingeniously healthy kale smoothie, courtesy of Dr. Michael Stone. Dr. Stone is one of the fabulous instructors of the Institute for Functional Medicine's Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice course, as well as their Functional Nutrition Course. I have taken both, and I'm so excited to share what I have learned with YOU!

Papa's Kale Smoothie, by Dr. Michael Stone

6+ Kale leaves, chopped

½ - 1 Avocado
Avocados contain: Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate, Dietary Fiber, B6 and Copper!

½ -1 Banana
Bananas not only help your smoothie have a deliciously creamy texture, but they contain only 109 calories per medium ripe banana. They are also rich in: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Dietary Fiber and Manganese

1 Whole lemon (juice)
Lemons are such a fantastic source of vitamin C. They also help absorb the iron found in other foods, like kale!

Water to desired thickness: Add crushed ice if you wish

Blend it up for a tasty and nutrient dense treat!

Monday, February 24, 2014

5R Gut Restoration: The Key to Success in Healing

I often hear from people who have a diagnosis of Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, who after going gluten-free, do not feel better. Even when a person has multiple food sensitivities, identified via testing, simply avoiding those reactive foods may not be enough. While important, an oligoantigenic diet should be accompanied by efforts to restore optimal gut health. This is why I do a 5R Gut Restoration Program, from the Institute for Functional Medicine, with nearly all of my clients, including my LEAP clients. Also, we know that most "dis-ease" is connected to altered gut health, so it's imperative to think about gut-healing no matter what kind of disorder is being dealt with. This goes beyond digestive issues and extends even to disorders such as autism, diabetes, migraines, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, heart disease, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and on and on.

Have you received a diagnosis of Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and don't feel better off of gluten? Have you had food sensitivity testing and don't feel better or completely better off of all of your reactive foods?  Chances are good that you need to address gut healing. Chances are even better that your doctor, or even your nutritionist, is not aware of and/or has not been trained in the proper way to address gut restoration. Until you heal your gut, you can be certain that you will not achieve the health and quality of life that you are so desperately after and deserve. I would love to help you get your life back!

All of the Best,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Traditional (and Optimal!) First Foods

We just started solids with our little guy, Issa, about 2 weeks ago, on his 6 month birthday. Up until then, he was (of course!) exclusively breastfed. His first food was not what you may imagine. Most babies these days start out on rice cereal. Being  a nutritionist--a Real Food kind of nutritionist--that was not on our list. At all. Ever. Rice cereal is really just starch and synthetic nutrients. In other words, they are a refined grain and are in essence, just sugar. Iron from iron-fortified cereal has only about a 4% absorption rate, and the synthetic form of iron used makes zinc absorption poor. Whole grain baby cereals aren't much better. They contain anti-nutrients which not only make them difficult to digest (and therefore more allergenic), but also block nutrient absorption. Not what you're going for, right? In addition, did you know that babies don't even make amylase, the digestive enzyme that breaks down starch, until closer to 1 year of age, and that they do not have a full set of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes until about age 3? I didn't either until recently. I had never learned this, and I have a Master's Degree in nutrition. Go figure! We are not taught these things by conventional medicine and nutrition--public and professionals alike (I'm so glad I found Integrative and Functional Medicine/Nutrition!!).
So, what did we start him on?
Only the most nutrient-rich foods we could possibly feed him, besides mama's milk: soft-boiled egg yolk first, and then small amounts of frozen grated grass-fed beef liver added to yolk after 4 days on the just the egg. I also am adding just a few granules of Real Salt for trace minerals. The boy laps it up. I had read that babies love the taste of liver in the book, Super Nutrition for Babies, but didn't fully believe it until my own experience with Issa.
Why egg yolk?
To start, eggs are brain food! They contain saturated fat and cholesterol, which babies need a lot of for brain development. In fact, mom's milk is about 50-60% fat, over half of which is saturated, accompanied by sizable doses of brain-healthy cholesterol (yes, healthy!). Eggs also contain choline, which is needed for both brain and eye development/health. Pastured egg yolks are also rich in Vitamin A and D, Omega 3 fats, B vitamins and contain some iron.
Why liver?
Liver is one of the most nutrient-rich foods you can find. We're taught that veggies are where the nutrients are, but animal foods are far superior in both nutrient content and bioavailability (our bodies' ability to use a nutrient). Babies' iron stores from in-utero are running out at about 6 months, and liver has lots of iron, not to mention B-Vitamins, Vitamins A, D, E and K, folate and more. It is very rich, so just a little each day is all that is needed--up to 1 chicken liver or 1 oz of beef/calf liver every other day; or up to 1/3-1/2 oz per day. I am taking cod liver oil, which he gets via breast milk, so I do not plan to exceed this.
You may be wondering about food safety.
We use only organic pastured eggs (lowest salmonella risk and best nutrient profile) and grass-fed liver that has been frozen for a minimum of two weeks to kill any pathogens. Soft-boiling protects the heat-sensitive enzymes, fats and cholesterol in the egg yolk. Destroying the enzymes by over-cooking the yolk, makes it hard to digest and therefore allergenic. Plus, a runny yolk is safer texture-wise for young babies. It's very important to omit the white of the egg completely, as the white is allergenic. I recommend practicing your technique and perfecting it before actual introduction.
What's the trick with the egg?
Here in Albuquerque, we are at 5,000 ft, so the time it takes to soft-boil an egg is twice and long as sea level cooking. I boil my egg for 6 min, 45 sec, rinse it with cold water and then peel it. I take a smooth-edge paring knife and gently cut around the egg about 1/4 of the way down, so that when I remove the top, I can see the top of the yolk. I then take a different clean knife and pierce the yolk, then turn the egg so that the yolk contents pour into my small glass serving bowl. Then I add my grated liver and sea salt (this can be done while the egg is boiling to save time). All the while Issa is watching me impatiently, and is only happy when he is finally able to devour his favorite meal!
Next Up:
After two weeks, we began offering him a solid in the afternoon. First, mashed banana, because raw bananas actually contain amylase to assist babies' digestion of the starch. He is also now eating mashed avocado, which he enjoys more when he is very hungry. Raw avocado is also teeming with enzymes that aid its digestion (particularly lipase, which breaks down its fat as it ripens) and rich in monunsaturated fat, folate and the antioxidant glutathione (much-need for liver detoxification!). Tonight, I will be roasting a grass-fed beef marrow bone and scooping out the marrow for him.  Remember that babies need lots of fat, and marrow from grass-fed cows is a great source. Long-forgotten with the onslaught of commercially prepared baby foods, marrow was once a common staple in babies' diets. I can't wait to see how Issa likes it!