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stop inflammation

How Can I Stop Inflammation?

You can treat inflammation after it occurs. But wouldn’t you rather stop inflammation from happening. The latter is my functional approach for leading you to optimal wellness.

What Are The Signs of Inflammation?

Since inflammation is at the root of nearly all chronic disease, you will want to detect warning signals early. Here are my top 5.

  • Pain, especially in the joints
  • Low energy and constant fatigue, despite sufficient sleep.
  • Depression, anxiety and mood disorders.
  • Poor digestion, including bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and acid reflux.
  • Frequent colds, excessive mucus production, allergies, asthma, or eczema.

Where Does Inflammation Come From?

Although causes of inflammation are many and varied, 3 factors play a significant role in most inflammatory conditions. They are insulin resistance, poor gut health and stress.

Insulin resistance can initiate inflammation, but inflammation can trigger insulin resistance. So once the spiral gets started, it can be extremely challenging to end. Insulin resistance occurs after years of eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates.

Poor gut health is another way of saying increased gut permeability. In other words, the lining of the digestive system is compromised. Stress, food sensitivities, and an altered microbiome all contribute to poor gut health. You change your microbiome when you eat processed foods, don’t digest your food well, expose yourself to environmental toxins, or use antibiotics repeatedly.

Stress can be emotional or physiological. Your body responds the same to both. For instance, your body releases stress hormones that ultimately result in inflammation whether you can struggle with an overbearing boss or whether you just completed an Iron Man competition. Your body also perceives a food sensitivity as a stress.

How Can I Stop Inflammation?

In nutritional therapy school, we learned to “remove the triggers and strengthen the barrier.” Therefore, the first steps to ending the inflammation cascade are to eliminate insulin resistance, heal the gut and regulate stress. Then you can begin a protocol to fortify your body against further susceptibility.

Reversing insulin resistance requires that you choose your carbohydrates wisely – the more fiber, the better. You will need to eat a protein-rich diet with adequate essential fatty acids. Exercise in important, too.

You should work with a qualified practitioner to assess your gut health. She will be able to make recommendations to improve digestion and balance the microbiome. She can also help you test for food sensitivities. Good digestion is key to nutritional therapy.

Stress reduction is a daily habit. I tell my clients, “If you don’t manage stress, it will manage you!” Mindfulness, play, breathing exercises, and journaling are just a few ways to dissipate stress. My class teaches dozens more tips that you can implement in any given moment.

Following an anti-inflammatory diet will help minimize your symptoms while you work on root causes.

eat for beautiful feet

Eat for Beautiful Feet

Summer is here! Did you know you can eat for beautiful feet!

Are you embarrassed to go barefoot or wear sandals? Many common foot problems can be healed and prevented through dietary changes. Check out these 10 ways to eat for beautiful feet.

1. Rough Dry Heels

Dry, flaky heels and foot callouses are an early sign of essential fatty acid deficiency. Fatty acids are used to create the membranes around each and every cell in your body. Because your body prioritizes nutrients for vital organs, your skin will be one of the first place this lack shows up. So, avoid deep fried foods and hydrogenated fats. Instead, focus on including fish oil in your diet, and check with your practitioner about the use of flax seed oil or black current oil.

2. Foot Cramps

When cramping is infrequent and sporadic, you may simply be dehydrated. A tall glass of water may correct the situation without further problem. But if cramping occurs repeatedly, it may be a sign of mineral deficiency. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are the most common electrolytes you need to keep your muscles contracting and relaxing properly. Therefore, you must eat mineral-rich leafy green vegetables frequently and don’t be shy about organ meats in your diet. Try adding a pinch of sea salt or a splash of lemon juice to your water. Avoid empty calories from nutrient poor foods such as chips, pop, and sweet treats.

Additionally, eating under stress keeps you from absorbing the minerals in your food. Take these four steps at meal time: sit down comfortably, breathe deeply, slow down, and chew thoroughly.

3. Itchy Feet

Most people consider itchy, scaly athlete’s foot to be an annoyance on the surface of the skin. But it could be a sign of an imbalanced gut flora. To keep your gut microbiome healthy and protect your feet from itchy fungus, first, stay away from simple, sugary carbohydrates. Second, eat lots of prebiotic plant fibers, such as garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, apples, and green vegetables to support microbial balance.

Thick, pimple-like itchy patches on your feet may be causes by psoriasis. As with rheumatoid arthritis, an over-reaction of the immune system causes psoriasis. Healing the gut is imperative to balancing the immune system. Particles that escape through a compromised gut are what’s over-stimulating the immune system. Gut-healing foods such as bone broth and licorice tea can be healing after the offending triggers are removed. A food-sensitivity test may be important to detect what your triggers are.

4. Sore Toe Joints 

Achy joints, especially in the hands and feet, are often an early signal for rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease. This crippling disease results from a dysregulation of the immune system. To get the body back on track, the immune system needs foods high in micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. So, eat high-quality protein and lots of deeply-colored produce. Avoid the most common immune-triggering foods: gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, and corn.

5. Burning Feet

This sensation is common among diabetics. If you have not been diagnosed with this disease, check with your physician for blood sugar testing. In the meantime, eat foods rich in B vitamins and reduce your carbohydrate intake.

6. Foot Sores That Won’t Heal

This symptom is a major warning sign for diabetes. One in three Americans is diabetic and doesn’t know it. The greatest dietary contributor to this condition is an imbalance between carbohydrates and proteins and fats. Check the risk factors, and aim for no more than 40% of your calories from carbohydrate. Also, eat natural, unprocessed fats, such as olives, coconuts, avocados and butter, while avoiding hydrogenated and heat- or chemical-extracted oils. Finally, try to make at least 1/4 of your plate protein at every meal.

7. Pain in the Big Toe

Gout is a notorious cause of sudden pain in the big toe joint, along with redness and swelling. However, contrary to popular opinion, excessive protein is not always the cause of gout. In fact, drinking pop is a major contributor to this condition because the high fructose corn syrup breaks into purines in your body, resulting in uric acid build-up that settles in the joints. To maintain joint health, eat a balanced diet and limit your consumption of sweeteners.

8. Yellow Toenails

Fungal infections are usually the root cause of thickened yellow toenails. Treat as you would for athlete’s foot by reducing fungus-feeding foods: sweets, refined carbohydrates, and empty calorie foods. Focus on prebiotic vegetables. Lastly, eat probiotic rich foods such as kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and traditionally-fermented sauerkraut.

9. Spoon-shaped Toenails

If there has been no injury to the nail, iron deficiency is likely the cause this unusual shape. Your body absorbs heme iron, from animal products better than non-heme iron from plants. But aside from eating more red meat and organ meat, you can increase your iron absorption by consuming foods rich in vitamin C. For instance, include citrus fruits, berries, papaya, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, and dark green leafy vegetables. Also, don’t use acid blockers, over-the-counter heartburn remedies, or reflux medication, as these interfere with mineral absorption.

10. Blue toes

Toes that turn blue when exposed to cold might signal Raynaud’s disease. Raynaud’s is often linked to an autoimmune condition which requires gut healing, mineral-rich foods, and removal of the antigens. If you are fighting this disease, it is wise to contact a practitioner who can guide you through the dietary changes most appropriate for your unique biological make-up.

Eat for Beautiful Feet

In summary, they key to stylin’ in sandals is to eat a nutrient-dense whole foods diet. Remember to

  • Include lots of fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens and deeply-colored produce.
  • Eat the right kind of fats – those that have not been processed or refined but occur naturally.
  • Include enough high-quality protein.
  • Limit carbohydrates to less than half of your calories.
  • Eliminate sugar and empty carbohydrates.
Rainbowl Salad is cooling food

Cooling Foods Beat the Heat

Cooling foods beat the heat by not requiring the oven for preparation. But they also keep the fire of inflammation down in your body.  No one wants to be hot from the inside out when the sun is blazing outside.

To keep your body cool, stay away from deep-fried food and entrees weighted with excessive meat. Focus on lighter seafood, green vegetables, and summer herbs, such as cilantro.

Next, steer away from heavier, starchy food, such as pasta and potatoes.  Instead, select juicy summer-harvested produce. Fruits come to mind, but even zucchini is a cooling food.

Finally, don’t indulge in inflammation-causing cookies, cakes, and pastries. Fennel, with its licorice-like flavor, can be paired with sweet pears for a light dessert in scorching summer heat.

If you have a chronic inflammatory condition, such as autoimmunity, pre-diabetes or heart disease, learn more about beating the heat with diet and lifestyle.

Chill Crab Cups

Create a refreshing entree with a combo of cooling foods that includes crab, cucumber, dill, and chives.

  • 16 oz. crab meat
  • 2 Tb. parsley, minced
  • 1/4 lb. snow peas
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 Tb. lemon juice plus zest
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tb. fresh dill, minced
  • 2 Tb. chives

Toss ingredients together and serve in lettuce cups, in hollowed tomatoes, or in halved bell peppers.

Fruit Rainbowl with Lime-Mint Dressing

Drizzle anti-inflammatory fruits with revitalizing mint to give you relief from the heat.

  • 1 cup each: cantaloupe cubes, watermelon balls, cherries, blueberries, and kiwi slices.
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 Tb. Honey
  • 3 sprigs of mint leaf

Combine fruits in a large serving bowl. Tear mint leaves and whisk together with lime juice and honey. Pour over fruit and toss.

Caramelized Pears & Fennel

In less than ten minutes, you can enjoy a unique, refreshing dessert that doesn’t heat up your body or your kitchen. Now that’s cooling food!

  • 3 pears, cut into wedges
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 c. cream

Fry pears and fennel bulb in butter over medium high heat until pears are golden. Reduce heat. Remove pears and fennel to a serving plate. Slit vanilla bean pod open and scoop seeds into the skillet with the butter. Add honey and fennel seeds. Simmer 2-3 minutes, until  sauce is thickened. Drizzle pears with syrup and pour cream over the top.


An American Refrigerator

American Refrigerator

What’s in your refrigerator? Is it full of real food or just food-like substances? I got a glimpse of a typical American refrigerator the other day. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have made a satisfying meal with its contents.

Is This Your Refrigerator?

When I opened the door, incredulity overtook me.  I found beverages, condiments, trans-fats, leftover fast food, and refined white flour products. In short, man-made products filled the shelves. I saw beer, wine, pop, flavored water, and Coffee Mate. Moreover, margarine, bread, buns, tortillas, leftover pizza, and a single lemon shared the compartments.

But, were the vegetables? Well, yes, if potatoes count! But, where was there protein? I suppose I could name the flavored, sweetened yogurt, and the processed cheese.

Is this the sum of an American refrigerator? Next, I opened the freezer. My dismay remained: ice cream, popsicles, waffles, and a box of chicken nuggets stood frosty and ready.

Cupboards to Rival This American Refrigerator

Maybe I would find real food in the cupboards.

I didn’t.

Similar to the refrigerator, there were substances to satisfy one’s cravings: popcorn, crackers, chips, chocolate chips, and Swedish Fish. If I intended to cook, I could have used the white flour, sugar, shortening, and vegetable oil. Then, I could pour imitation syrup on top. In summary, I discovered only three “meals” – instant oatmeal, canned soup, and canned chili. (Peanut butter is not a meal!)

Why is the American Refrigerator Problematic?

A steady stream of empty-calorie foods degrade your health. Unquestionably, food-like substances have been linked to fatigue, depression and diabetes. These non-foods negatively impact the function of your heart, your liver, and your brain. Furthermore, they can damage your memory and cause dangerous swings in your blood sugars. Not to mention increasing your risk of cancer. Lastly, they impair your digestion.

Refrigerator Makeover

So, how do you create a super-stocked refrigerator?

  • Start with produce. No health practitioner will argue that you need fewer plant foods. Fruits and vegetables are critical to optimal wellness. Your body needs the fresh leafy greens, brightly- colored tree and vine fruits, and cruciferous vegetables you store in the refrigerator. Strive for variety and include as many colors as possible.
  • Visit the butcher block and the fishmonger. While you don’t need an excess of protein, you should include good quality animal products in your diet. Regardless of your chosen diet, eat no less than 20 grams of protein per meal. Seafood and pastured animals provide building blocks for your red blood cells, hormones, immune cells, organs, bones and muscles.
  • Add some natural fats. Grass-fed butter, coconut products, olive oil, nuts, and avocados create health on a cellar level. They support brain health and contribute to beautiful skin, hair, and nails. Also, natural fats make vegetables taste good and are helpful in preparing meats.
  • Stick to whole grains. Steel-cut oats are a better choice than boxed cereal, and quinoa trumps pasta. Choose 100% whole wheat over products from refined flour.

No one can give you health. You create it from day to day by the choices you make. So, decide to fill your refrigerator with nutrient-dense food.

My anti inflammatory diet doesn't have food labels

My Anti-inflammatory Diet

What does a nutritional therapist eat to keep inflammation under control? Here are 3 secrets to my anti-inflammatory diet.

I Eat Foods That Don’t Have Labels

Compare some of the most inflammatory foods with some of the least inflammatory foods:

  • Processed meats
  • White flour products (bread, crackers, etc.)
  • Sweetened beverages
  • Desserts such as candy, ice cream, etc.)
  • Transfats, including margarine
  • Snack foods, such as chips
  • Cold water fish (salmon, sardines, etc.)
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Fruits (berries, cherries, grapes)
  • Sulphur vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Natural fats (coconut, avocado, olives)
  • Spices & herbs

Can you see that the latter category comes without an ingredient list? I pick foods from farmer’s markets, gardens, dairy farms, ranchers, and roadside fruit stands, not from the factories of industrial food makers.  Also, when I’m at the grocery store, I shop the perimeter.

I Eat Close to Nature

Although a snack from the health food section of the supermarket may only have 3 or 4 ingredients, I would still rather have the fresh food rather than a packaged product. For example, why should I eat a fruit bar when I can simply have an apple or an orange? If that seems boring, I can create my own pudding, ice cream, popsicle, or other fun treat using only whole ingredients.

I Don’t Espouse an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

What I endorse is a way of life, not a short-term diet program. Too often, individuals fall into a trap of thinking that they will deprive themselves to meet a goal, then they will be able to eat whatever they want after that. I choose not to restrict myself, but to celebrate the vast array of flavors, colors, and textures that nature offers. After all, inflammation seems to be a modern problem that comes with modern commercial foods. I believe that following a traditional lifestyle puts me back in harmony with my body’s requirements for nutrition.

Want to learn more about how to eat anti-inflammatory foods? Contact me to set up a private mentoring session.

Woman can't stop carb-loading

Stop Carb Loading

Whether you just love breads and pastas,  or whether you’re unaware how skewed your diet is, you have to stop carb- loading if you want to balance your blood sugars.

Americans typically get 60-80% of their calories from carbohydrates. A healthier amount would be closer to 40%. That means filling the gap with wisely-chosen proteins and natural fats.

Choose Protein at Every Meal

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Swap cottage cheese for yogurt some mornings, or add cottage cheese to salad at lunch time. (Low-fat cottage cheese is 73% protein, substantially higher than yogurt, and definitely higher than nut butters, or beans).
  • Drink bone broth and substitute bone broth for water in cooking (for grains, legumes, sauces, simmered veggies). I even mix bone broth with tomato paste whenever I need tomato sauce. Most brands average about 8 grams of protein per cup. It’s easy to make your own!
  • Slip in an extra egg white! Yolks are mostly fat, but whites are almost all protein. (You can save the yolk for a moisturizing treatment for dry hair.)
  • Snack on grass-fed jerky. This helps offset the tendency to grab chips, crackers, cookies, and other empty carbs between meals.
  • Top salads with canned crab, shrimp, tuna or salmon. If your budget is tight, these seafood options are much more affordable than fresh fish, poultry, or meat.
  • Focus on breakfast. Adding a little more meat to lunch and dinner may be easy, but it’s trickier to get enough protein in the morning. If you want to avoid heavy, high-fat choices, you might consider a sausage alternative that goes well with breakfast foods.
  • Whisk some collagen powder into salad dressings, meat sauces, or even your oatmeal!
  • Sub sprouted grain bread for your regular loaf.

Ways to Stop Carb-loading

  • Limit yourself to 1/2 cup fruit at breakfast. If you are a smoothie lover, it may be easy to overdo it here. And if you eat oatmeal, remember that your bowl is all carbohydrate even before you start topping it with honey and fruit.
  • Choose grain OR potato for a meal, but not both. If your curry contains potato cubes, you don’t need rice, too. If you’re eating mashed potatoes, skip the dinner roll.
  • Reduce rice and pasta to 1/2 cup per meal.
  • Try Thin Slice bread for 15-17 grams carbohydrate instead of the 28-35 grams of a normal slice. Seeded breads tend to be lower in net carbs because the high fiber is subtracted from the carb count. A great one is Dave’s Killer Bread Power Seed.
  • When you eat out, skip the dinner roll.
  • Make breakfast count! Experiment with some low-carb breakfasts, such as egg & avocado, or cottage cheese pancakes, topped with honey butter (2/3 butter, 1/3 honey).

Stop Carb-loading to Restart Your Energy

High levels of refined carbohydrate intake have been associated with chronic fatigue, cravings, hormone imbalances, obesity, insulin resistance, depression, anxiety, high cholesterol levels, and even autoimmunity. If you want to regain your health, it’s best to stop carb–loading as your first step.

Jappy Hydration

Fun, Flavorful Hydration

Summer is coming, and with it, the need to drink more in the heat. Everyone knows soda – whether diet or not – isn’t healthy. But did you know that by switching from soda to water, you can boost your metabolism up to 30%? Even so, water is…well, boring! Check out these original ways for fun, flavorful hydration!

Raspberry Fizz

Pink Fizz is Fun Flavorful Hydration

This cold-infused tea is made in sparkling water to give it a pop-like sensation. By using an herbal fruit tea, you get lots of flavor and fizz with none of the harmful sugar or artificial sweeteners. Just dangle your tea bags from the neck of the bottle when you stick it in the fridge to chill. The next day, when you hit the pool or the zoo, it will be ready to enjoy.

Electrolyte Delight

Pina Colada Ice Cubes are Fun Flavorful Hydration

Coconut water has lots of electrolytes, but it also has a high sugar content when guzzled by the pint. Get a jazzy pina-colada flavor by freezing pineapple chunks (also high in electrolytes) covered with coconut water in ice cube trays. Plop a few in your water bottle for cold, crisp refreshment.

Monster Shaved Ice

Monster Shave Ice is Fun Flavorful Hydration

If you have a shave-ice machine, forget buying all the sweetened flavorings. Just pour your green juice spiked with refreshing mint over the ice. This is a high-electrolyte beverage, too, that fights inflammation and provides lots of vitamins.

Orange Fennel Infusion

An Orange Fennel Infusion is Fun Flavorful Hydration

Fruit & herb infused water is all the rage. Using a tea-infuser, get a unique licorice-like flavor with crushed fennel seeds in place of herbs. Enhance the flavor with some orange zest. Fennel is purported to speed the metabolism and stimulate the body without the use of caffeine, so it’s a great drink if you have a lot of driving to do on your summer vacation. Caffeine actually induces more fatigue in the long run, because it is a diuretic, and losing just 1-2% of your body fluids can bring on fatigue. Fennel does not have any dehydrating effects.

More Fun, Flavorful Hydration Tips

When purchasing flavored waters from the store, check the label for sugar content, and avoid artificial flavorings. This post contains more ideas to hydrate correctly.


herbs are potent inflammation fighters

Inflammation Fighters

Taming inflammation is more than gulping cucumber juice and gobbling turmeric capsules. It’s incorporating inflammation fighters into your daily routine, and passing up the foods that flare an inflammatory response.

Eating Creates Oxidation

Your body is an engine. An engine is a device to convert fuel to energy. But the process is not perfect. As a result, waste results. For example, when a car burn gasoline, it expels exhaust. Likewise, when you burn your food, you create oxidation. That’s normal.

However, having more oxidants than antioxidants in your diet is not normal. Modern processed foods do not contain many antioxidants. So, they leave an excess of “reactive oxidative species” after you have consumed your meal. These ROS instigate inflammation. Hence, convenience foods – especially those containing sugar – are NOT inflammation fighters. If you have too much of them in your diet, your body responds like an old oil-burning truck.

Whole Foods Are Inflammation Fighters

Neutralizing ROS requires vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients (plant chemicals) such as chlorophyll, beta-carotenes, quercetin, and other antioxidants. Often, processing destroys these necessary components to our diet. But eating food in its natural state preserves the synergy from these nutrients so they can interact with each other and our physiology to produce health. Fresh is best. So, of course, fruits and vegetables are going to be an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet. But animal products that contain minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids are important, too.

Five Ways to Add Inflammation Fighters To Your Diet

Don’t limit yourself to a supplement to maintain your health. Consider all the diverse ways of eating inflammation fighters throughout your day:

  • Beverages – Berries, of course, are rich in anti-oxidants, but so cherries. Think outside the box, and enjoy some tart cherry tea in place of your morning smoothie. Or add some unusual leafy greens to the blender when you make your drink. Cilantro is one of my favorites.
  • Seafood – You need Omega 3 fatty acids to quell the inflammatory response. No food is richer in this essential fatty acid than seafood, which includes fish, shellfish, and sea vegetables.
  • Vegetables – Many vegetables are champions when it comes to fighting inflammation, but the leafy greens are perhaps the superstars. So, fill  your plate with them. In addition, hide them in burgers, sauces, hashes, dressings, or any place else where you can chop them and stir them in. I include basil in my list of greens and consider it a great addition to desserts and drinks featuring berries.
  • Herbs – These unsung heroes supply Vitamins A, C, E, and K, which are critical inflammation fighters. Herbs are a delight to liven up boring salads, to add flavor to soups, to create appeal for cooked vegetables, to steep for teas, and to season meats. Not only that, they are inexpensive. You can even grow your own on a windowsill. One powerhouse you might not consider is nettle.
  • Spices – With potent phytonutrients, spices are mighty inflammation fighters. Beyond turmeric, other heroes include cumin, fennel, and ginger. These are easy to add to dry rubs, salad dressings, sauces, soups, stir-fries, sandwiches, and salads.

Inflammation Fighting Recipes

Try the following to expand your repertoire of inflammation fighting foods.

  • Tart Cherry Tea – Steep 1″ thinly sliced ginger root in 2 c. hot water. Strain, then stir in ¼ c. tart cherry juice, 2 Tb. lemon juice & 1 Tb. honey.
  • Cilantro Smoothie – Blend together: 6 Cutie oranges, 6 oz. pineapple juice concentrate, 1 can full fat coconut milk, 1 bunch cilantro, and 1 cup ice.
  • Parsley & Cucumber Salad – Toss 1-2 bunches chopped parsley with 1/2 c. cooked quinoa, 1 bunch sliced green onions, 2 diced tomatoes, 1 diced cucumber, 2 Tb. minced mint, 1 Tb. lemon juice and 2 Tb. olive oil.
  • Nettle & Lentil Soup – To a can of ready-to-serve lentil soup, add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 1 Tb. lemon juice, and ¼ c. dried nettle leaves. Simmer until fragrant.
  • Salmon & Pineapple Skewers – Broil skewers of pineapple, red bell pepper and cubed salmon until meat is no longer translucent. Brush with a glaze of 1 Tb. soy sauce & 2 Tb. honey.
  • Mexican Crab Tostada – On a tostada, layer mashed avocado, crab meat, tomato, jalapeno (optional), and chopped cilantro. Top with salsa and garnish with lime.
  • Monster Burgers – Add ½ c. finely chopped herbs or leafy greens to 1 lb. hamburger. Season & cook as usual.
  • Berry -Basil Smoothie – Blend 1 avocado, 3/4 c. spinach, ¼ c. basil leaves, 1 1/2 c. mixed berries, ½ c. coconut milk, and 1/2 c. water.
  • Ginger Dressing – Whisk together 2/3 c. sesame oil, 1/3 c. rice vinegar, 1 Tb. soy sauce, and 1” of grated ginger. Pour over cooked fish, serve with oriental salad, or dress tropical fruit.
  • Fennel & Cumin Dry Rub – Combine tsp salt, 1 tsp. ground cumin and 1 tsp. ground fennel with ½ tsp. black pepper. Rub onto meats or mix into sausage before browning. To make a sauce for cooked vegetables, omit and salt and mix into 1 c. marinara sauce.
Whole Food Mother's Day Cookies

Mother’s Day Cookies

Show your love for Mom with these whole food cookies that will make her love YOU! These Mother’s Day cookies are deliciously free of inflammatory sugar and gluten. With only a handful of ingredients, they are simple to make, but they turn out so beautifully, that the whole family will think you slaved for hours baking them!

Almond Crisps

Almond Crisp Mother's Day Cookies
Photo Credit: Kristi Jo, (208)242-6148

2 c. almonds

2/3 c. raisins

1 egg

A splash of vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°. Process all ingredients in a high-speed blender or a food processor until smooth. Chill dough. Roll into 18 one-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten to 1/4″ thick with a glass dipped in chopped nuts. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until set and slightly browned.

Cherry Chocolate Chews

Cherry Chocolate Mother's Day Cookies

Photo Credit: Kristi Jo, (208)242-6148

2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

1 c. dried cherries

1 egg

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. salt

3 oz. chocolate bar, 70% cacao

Preheat oven to 325°. Process all ingredients except chocolate bar in a high-speed blender or a food processor until smooth. Chill dough. Roll out on a greased surface to 1/8″ thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set and slightly browned. When cool, ice with melted 70% cacao bar.

Sugar Saboteurs

Sugar Saboteurs

Sugar Saboteurs are loved ones who undermine your efforts to avoid treats, desserts, sweeteners, and sugar-laden food. If you are emotionally attached to individuals who are sugar addicts, you may have a difficult time avoiding sweets when you are around them. Six strategies can help you maintain a healthy friendships AND a healthy lifestyle.

Suggest a Substitute

No one wants to feel deprived. In fact, going without something can actually drive you to it. So, consider higher quality, more nutrient-dense options, such as these from Life Health HQ.  It can be liberating to bring your own sugar-free treat, or offer an alternative that is more acceptable to both you and your sugar saboteur.

Progress, not perfection

If you fall off the bandwagon, don’t wallow in the mud. Climb back up with compassion, but determination. You know how to nourish yourself better now than ever before in your life. But you are still learning. It is unlikely that you will ever reach a state of flawless food consumption. But, you can do a little better each day, perhaps hydrating more, selecting a few more fresh vegetables, or simply adding more Omega 3’s to your routine. Wherever you are, shun complacency, but be realistic. There are likely to always be sugar saboteurs in your life.

Your uniqueness is a gift

Instead of being ashamed that you are making different food choices than those around you, see yourself as a ring leader. Perhaps your sugar saboteurs just need a little encouragement to follow suit. Your initiative could be the factor that changes your office culture.

To reduce sweets, increase nutrients

Sugars can leave you hungry and roaming for more, like an exhausted fire waiting for kindling. Fueling with vitamin- and mineral-rich choices throughout the day satisfies you, so that you are less vulnerable to cravings. Choose colorful vegetables, wild-caught or pastured protein sources, and include natural fats. Unrefined fats are satiating, providing long, slow, burning fuel, like a log on the fire. Stick to unprocessed choices, like butter, coconut oil, olive oil, or avocados.

DIY is always in style

Special diets are accepted these days: there’s always the gluten-free, the dairy-free, or the meat-free crowd. So if your sugar saboteurs are coaxing you to make unhealthy choices, it’s okay to say, “My practitioner told me I can’t”  It’s easy to say, “I have food sensitivities,” or “I have special dietary considerations.” Most people won’t even ask why, but if they do, you have an opportunity to share your food philosophy!

Develop Your Dance

Sugar saboteurs may be eating to fill a need, such as beating boredom, escaping fatigue, or connecting with loved ones. Why not suggest a physical activity to replace eating?  Perhaps just strolling through a park, or tossing a few horseshoes would fill that need. If all else fails, dance!