Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

We could argue over Phthalates.  Disagree about estrogen receptors.  Parabens, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, 1,4 dioxane, synthetic fragrances?  I’m sure someone out there will fight on their behalf.

You could make yourself crazy reading all the literature.  There are plenty of studies supporting booths sides of the argument.  So, why go there?

I’ll tell you one thing you can’t argue with: that natural, organic skin care products are bad for you.

So, if you KNOW that natural skin care products that avoid these chemicals are safe.

And you KNOW that you can find them easily at the store or online.

And if they DON’T even cost anymore than department store products…

Then why not use them?

It is like this:  there are two bags of dog poop.  One bag is totally safe and 100% guaranteed to not break.  The other bag is promoted to be safe, but studies say there is a chance it will break.

Which bag are you going to choose?

That’s what I thought…

So, if you don’t want that cr&p touching your hands, why would you want it to touch your face?

($14 in the swear jar and counting)

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Another amazing and successful Karma Club meeting was held last week at my house. This time, I invited physician and 30+ year practicing iridologist, Ron Logan, to come and talk about iridology and give individual assessments.

I have a really healthy group of friends, but each of them had slight weaknesses. Some of my friends got new information, but interestingly, many were told of weaknesses in areas that they were, in fact, having problems (some already diagnosed by doctors). It was very interesting, to say the least…

What is iridology?

Iridology is one of the oldest forms of alternative medicine, dating back over 2,000 years. It is even thought to be talked about in the bible, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light,” Matthew, chapter 6, verse 22.

Iridology is the scientific practice of using markings on the eye’s iris to reveal the patients bodily weaknesses. Similar to the idea of Chinese medicine or reflexology: one body part (like the hand or foot, but in the case, the eye) mirrors the entire body. In iridology, specific points on the eye correspond to different bodily systems since the entire central nervous system feeds into the eye in an organized fashion. Thus, small markings on the iris, sometimes undetectable to the naked eye, give the practitioner clues into the body’s weakest parts.

An eye with a good constitution

How can you use iridology?

There are over 10,000 iridologists in Europe, compared to 1,000 in the United States. In Europe, it is widely accepted and used to identify a person’s general constitution as a starting point for diagnosis. As Dr. Logan explained, iridology cannot “diagnose” diseases like cancer but can clue into weaknesses that may lead to greater problems in the future. If you have a weakness in your adrenals (like me!), for example, them you can incorporate stress reducing practices like meditation and support your adrenals with natural supplements.

A couple fun things you can check out for yourself are:

– Does your eye have a dark rim around the outer edge? This indicates your skin has a hard time detoxifying. You may not sweat through your pours well so toxins can build up. Solution? Try body brushing.

– Do you see light rings (like the age rings of a tree trunk) in your eye? These are “stress rings” that occur from stress and tension. (I had two! No wonder I meditate…)

– Do you see a yellowing over your eye? This is chemical build up (front things like sulfur preservatives) that settle over your real eye color. Apparently a super clean diet and detoxifying can lighten the eye an show its true color underneath. Crazy!

Should I run out and find an iridologist?

First of all, it would be hard to find one! Iridology is a fascinating alternative medicine practice, but there are other methods that are easier to find and just as or even more effective.

Acupuncture, for example, is older than iridology and finds weaknesses or “blockages” by listening to your pulse and looking at your tongue. Acupuncture has been tested and studied in the greater medical arena. Even Mayo Clinic uses acupuncture! So, it is much easier to find a really good practitioner.

An eye with a poor constitution

Bottom line, there are many amazing ways to uncover our body’s messages! Iridology is another awesome example of how the body is divinely designed to give us answers. If there is a seasoned iridologist in your area, you may find it really interesting and informative. Just keep an open mind to all forms of medicine and you will find one that is perfect for YOU.

If you are in Kansas city and are interested being on the Karma Club email list, send me a personal message and I’ll get you on the list!

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After having an interesting discussion with a friend in the medical field, who’s opinions comes mainly from a “Western Medicine” perspective, I realized that most people think that I am anti-western medicine. I think it is interesting that people who embrace other forms of healing arts often seen as opposing the modern medical system. As if the two cannot be blended…

Every practice has its time and place. When a friend was fighting for her life, infection throughout her body, wester medicine saved her! Accupucture wasn’t going to bring her back, homeopathy wasn’t going to solve her problems. She is on her way to a full recovery because of the amazing advances in modern medicine!

Our modern medical system is brilliant for accidents, traumas, emergencies, and dire situations.

But, it is NOT good at uncovering and dealing with the root cause of disease. When our bodies are out of balance, a whole host of things can occur like allergies, auto-immune diseases, thyroid problems, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep disorders, muscular-skeletal problems…the list is endless! Generally speaking, our pharmaceutical products dampen the symptoms without dealing with the genesis of the condition.

Alternative medicine is like a journey to the truth

The foundation of ancient medicine is listening to the body and discovering what it is trying to tell us. Often the answers are simple BUT they require a lifestyle change. They require us to believe in our own body’s ability to heal itself. And, most importantly, they require our patience.

It took you years of eating, thinking, and doing things to get you into this “dis-ease” so it is going to take some time to reprogram yourself into wellness.

We are so lucky to live in a country that allows access to ALL medical genres. We can blend them beautifully, using parts of practices that resonate with us. There is no absolute answer. No right or wrong. We just have to listen to our body’s messages and open to exploring different paths to the truth.

Look out for my next post, which will talk about a fascinating, ancient medical practice: Iridology! We had an iridologist (who has been practicing for over 30 years!) come and speak to our Karma Club and it was eye-opening. (couldn’t help myself)

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Before I bon voyage to San Diego for my Deepak Chopra retreat, I wanted to pass onto you a great book I just finished reading: Make Peace With Your Plate.

Jess Ainscough is an Australian writer, blogger and certified holistic health coach. I ADORE her blog, The Wellness Warrior. Anyone who gives a step-by-step video of how to do a coffee enema (rated G, of course) is super cool in my book. She is darling and hysterical and calls red bell peppers capsicum. I can’t get enough.

Her Story is Amazing

Jess has literally healed herself of terminal cancer through juicing and whole foods using the Gerson Method. Her story is proof that we have what it takes to heal our own bodies! Check out her video of how she has managed to sustain the rigorous protocol of her healing agenda. She has such willpower and strength!

Back to her Book

She just came out with her new e-Book, Make Peace With Your Plate: How to End Your Tortured Relationship with Food.

On my “food” journey (which still continues as my love for Mexican, cheese, and beer will never die) I have read a dozen nutrition and food books. Her book assimilates ALL of those books into one. It is very informative, beautifully layed out, and funny! Jess still manages to keep me laughing while she is talking serious sh$t.

You Know How Much I Love Supporting Women’s Dreams

So, I can’t go on my trip without spreading the word about Jess, her website, and her new book. This girl is moving and shaking and I think we will be seeing her hit it big time. Jump on the band wagon now!

Ta Ta, as they say in Australia! I’ll be on a plane Wednesday and plan on keeping you abreast of any moments of enlightenment. I still can’t believe I’ll be meditating with the Deepak…truly amazing!

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I know a lot of you are curious about juicing or finally got yourself a new juicer. Congratulations! Juicing is an awesome way to get nutrients in your body. Look at fresh vegetable juice as a liquid vitamin – better than any pill you could pop in your mouth. There are people out there that have cured their cancer with juicing. Check out Jess from Wellness Warrior if you want to get inspired!

Why juice over eating a carrot or making a green smoothie?

By stripping away the indigestible fiber and drinking it alone, your body can assimilate the vitamins and minerals immediately. When the body has other “stuff” to deal with, many of the nutrients get passed through the digestive system without being used.

What kind of juicer should you get?

My first juicer was a Jack LaLanne juicer from Costco for about $89. I didn’t know how I was going to like it so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. This juicer is a centrifugal juicer, where the produce is shredded then spun through a fine mesh basket, extracting the juice along the way.

The problem with this type of juicer is you get less juice, particularly out of the greens. The nutrients also deteriorate faster do to the heat caused by the friction and the amount of oxygen the juice is exposed to. But, centrifugal juicers are the most reasonably priced juicers out there and still great to start with.

I just graduated to a Green Power twin gear juicer, which uses a different technology to extract the juice. Two large “screws” are fitted so close together that when the produce is pushed through, it presses the juice out. It minimizes the exposure to oxygen, the slow moving gears do not produce heat, and pressing the juice yields way more juice. I guess I’m getting about 25% more juice. I have actually had to alter some of my recipes because I am getting so much more juice out of my greens, it has changed the taste!

Whatever juicer you start out with, good for you. Don’t get too hung up on spending a lot of money to get the “best” juicer out there. It needs to fit into your lifestyle, countertop and budget!

How often should you juice?

I try to juice 4-5 times a week. I drink about 8 ounces on those days that I juice. Kris Carr juices a couple times a day, everyday. Jess juices on the hour, 13 times a day! If you are trying to cure something, your juicing will be much different than if you are healthy and are using juice as a way to augment your nutrient intake.

Bottom line, DO WHAT YOU CAN. Work it into your life. Get used to it. It feels big at first, but it gets easier.

Ready to start?

Here is an easy recipe for you!

Ginger Beet Juice

4 beets
6-8 carrots (about 12-14 ounces)
1 apple
1 peeled lemon
1/2 inch piece of ginger

Wash your beets, carrots and apple thoroughly, but don’t peel. You’ll be giving away minerals! Juice and enjoy! (Makes 2 servings)

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Is it possible that there may be a purpose for our winter blues?


Some interesting research in science may say so.



It is this time of year – those two bleak, cold months after the excitement of Christmas – when some of us feel the winter blues. If we look to nature for answers, winter is a time of hibernation and regeneration. It is a time of darkness, quiet, and solitude. Plants are focusing inward and preparing for spring’s new growth.


The same things are happening to us. While our responsibilities keep us going in full swing, we are still susceptible to the same rhythms of nature.


Thus, it is a natural time for introspection: of focusing in and solving problems.


Interestingly, studies show that light depression or a “melancholy” mood actually improves problem solving skills. Ruminating (fixating on a problem) is a common element of depression. A study by Andy Thompson and Paul Andrews revealed that depressed patients have increased brain activity in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), which is associated with extremely analytical thinking. This part of the brain brings together all available information in our consciousness and helps us think more deliberately and methodically. But, the VLPFC can also be slow and exhausting.


In another study by Joe Forgas, patients were given a simple memory test. Forgas found that people with “low moods” remembered 4 times the number of items! Again, pointing to an increased awareness and attention when we have the blues.


So what comes first, the blues or the problems?


Usually the problems trigger our analytical thinking, which can lead to the blues. For example, Andrews performed another study in which he gave students an abstract reasoning test. Non-depressed students showed an increase in “depressed affect” after the test. So, any challenging problem can make us feel sad!


Your blues may also be a sign of creative brilliance!


Look to history at all of the great thinkers and creatives that had melancholy dispositions. Socrates, Plato, Keats, Darwin and Milton all had depressive personalities. In a study at John Hopkins, successful artists and writers were 8 times more likely to suffer from depression than the general population! So, you are in good company 🙂


Some of the best solutions to the winter blues are obvious but worth mentioning:


1. Exercising – it allows the stress chemicals to work through our bodies and gives us mood lifting hormones.
2. Meditating – gives our ruminating brains a break from the mental chatter associated with problem solving.
3. Writing – helps us clearly identify the problem we are trying to solve so that we can more quickly work to a solution.


So, never fear, you are not alone. It is a natural time for us to turn inward and work on problems. Take a yoga class and start journaling…see what bubbles up. You may find the solution is right there! Happy hunkering!


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Imagine that you are preparing dinner for a very important and celestial guest. For me, I’m picturing Jesus coming to dinner. Maybe you have Allah, Buddha, or just good ole God gracing your dining table. Whoever your Holy guest is, they will be eating with you tonight!

What would you feed someone Holy and Divine?

I imagine that you would choose your favorite recipes, make a list of ingredients, and take time at the store picking the perfect items. You would select the brightest strawberries, the freshest spinach and the most beautiful wild caught salmon.

You would come home, make sure you were not rushed, and lovingly prepare all the dishes for your Divine guest. You wouldn’t mind the cost, time, or effort it took because this was for someone special!

You couldn’t imagine picking up a drive-through dinner or quickly throwing together Hamburger Helper for your Holy visitor! You would never offer them a frozen dinner or Starbucks coffee. Why? Because a special spirit deserves only the best food.

What, however, would you have fed yourself if you didn’t have a Divine guest to feed?

You are Spirit and you deserve the same life-giving nourishment

Without your body, where would your spirit live? Your spirit and body are meant to work together to help you grow, evolve and succeed. Your body isn’t just along for the ride! Feeding it addictive foods like sweets, sodas, coffee, processed foods, breads, and take-out only dull the senses, keeping us stuck. Its hard to soar and excel when you are stuck in a food coma.

Imagine treating your body like the Divine vessel it is and only offering it the highest quality nourishment. You would have the keen senses, clear intuition, and vibrant health to propel you forward and achieve your wildest dreams!

Food and Spirituality and interconnected

We see this in the bible, we see this in our rituals, and we see this in our every day traditions: food is integral to our spiritual experience.

It is no coincidence that if you are a spiritual person you likely have an interest in healthy food. Likewise, often people who are very interested in whole, clean eating find themselves very drawn toward spiritual exploration.

They are dependent and enhance each other. It was designed that way.

Treat yourself like a God

For those of you that are completing the last day of the cleanse, you just spent five days treating your bodies with Divine respect. How did that make you feel?

It isn’t always easy breaking ourselves from addictive foods. Heck, I can’t wait for my glass of wine on Saturday! But, the closer we get to treating ourselves like the holy spirits we are, the more in-tuned we will become, the greater success we will see, and the faster we will achieve our goals.

Congratulations on finishing 5 days of beautiful eating! Have a great weekend and keep treating yourself like the rock-star holy hot bodies you are!

***Interested in reading more about this topic? Check out this great book: If Buddha Came to Dinner by Hale Sofia Schatz

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Hump Day

Half way done with the cleanse! Hooray!

I commend all of you who are joined me this week in a 5 day Jumpstart Detox! For those of you who didn’t, but would like to try something like this, it is never too late. Whenever you are ready is the right time to start.

I have loved all of the comments and personal emails, thank you! You all are hilarious and make my day.

Here is what has bubbled up:

1. Sugar cravings
2. Acne
3. Excessive urination
4. Gas
5. Paranoia
6. Headaches
7. Fatigue
9. Hunger (duuu)

A couple of things to remember – EAT, rest, drink. Don’t forget to eat enough! This isn’t about starving yourself. A cleanse is about cleaning out your system of the old, built up junk.

Try not to obsess or get PARANOID over making a mistake to the point that you don’t fuel your body. Everything you are doing is better than you did before so there are no mistakes. (I have already dipped into some chocolate pudding, if that makes you feel better!) Look at this as honoring and loving your body so much that you want to do your best for it. You deserve that!

Here are some ways I’ve been helping myself get through the week:

1. Chai tea in the morning
I love something hot in the morning, but regular tea doesn’t do it for me. I brew my own chai tea until it is nice and condensed, add some stevia and a shot of coconut milk. It feels more like coffee. Yum.

2. Add spices to my food
I am LOVING my Conveniently Natural meals, and I hope you are too. I think they taste best when I heat them in a pan with some olive oil and spice them up! I’ll add salt, pepper, hot pepper and other spices to fit my own taste. Eating healthy does’t have to be bland, so spice up your meal to your liking!

3. Eat Earlier
I hit my low point around 4:00. I’m really hungry and getting tired. Oh, and then there are those kids of mine that want some attention. So, I allow myself to eat my dinner then! I fill up on a meal-sized portion so that I am totally satisfied. Around 6:00, I am hardly hungry, so I’ll end on a smoothie or a salad. That timing works better for me, so I’m going with it!

Have you found anything interesting?
What is the hardest part so far?
What have you loved about it?

I’d love to hear how you all are doing!

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When I drastically changed my eating habits about 5 years ago, something totally caught me off guard: I had the worst gas and the weirdest poop FOR A MONTH.

I shit you not (couldn’t help myself), it lasted a month.

I remember going in for a massage and having to warn my long-time masseuse that she was about to experience something that may change her forever.

We both survived that day and she still agrees to work on me, God love her.

Shit Shock

What you should know about suddenly and drastically shifting your diet like I did is that it can put stress on your digestive track, causing what I like to call: shit shock. Even when you are changing from junk food to whole foods, the flora and fauna of your digestive track is being effected. You may experience stinky farts, sticky poop or floating poop due to the increased gas from the hard-working bacteria.

It can get ugly, so warn your roommate, partner and children.

Herbivore Farts vs. Carnivore Farts

Generally speaking, carnivores product a smaller amount of smelly gas and herbivores make A LOT of gas that isn’t as offensive.

When you are drastically changing your diet, however, other things come into play.

Our bodies are unable to digest cellulose, which is the main component of vegetables, so it passes through our system as fiber, “scrapping” the intestinal track along the way. Any caught-up gunk left over from your unhealthy eating days will get loosened by the fiber and pass. This is why initially it can get a little stinky when you start eating healthy.

No worries, your digestive track will eventually settle down. I changed my diet very abruptly and never looked back, which is why my poor intestines took a month to balance. You may opt to ease in slowly, which may not be a bad idea.

DETOXERS BEWARE: you may see some crazy crap!

What can you do to help the gas situation?

1. Beano
During that first month of diet transition, I tried Beano, and found it didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work for you.

2. Artichokes
Yes, they are known to neutralize the smell of gas, so while you still may have a lot, it may smell just a little bit better. Put some jarred artichokes on your salad and keep your fingers crossed.

3. Invest in some charcoal underwear
I am totally kidding. But they do make them. They also make charcoal pads you can sit on that absorbs the smell. I need my boys shoes to be infused with charcoal.

It’s the price we have to pay for health, fellow health visionaries. But it doesn’t last forever!

Good Luck this week! test

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So, you decided you are going to try the 5-day Jumpstart Detox. Awesome! I really can’t wait to hear about what you feel and think along the way. You have to promise me you will share the good and the bad with me. Others will want to know your tips and turning points so they know they are not alone!

It isn’t always a piece of cake…but don’t worry. If you take time to prepare yourself, you will be much more likely to succeed and feel in control.

Before Monday, Answer These Questions So You Are Totally Ready!

1. Why did you decide to try a cleanse? To lose weight? To stop cravings? To jumpstart a longer commitment to healthy eating? Kick a caffeine addiction?

Getting an idea of your goals for this detox will help ensure you don’t blow it in the end.

I am doing it for all of those reasons. I have found that eliminating inflammatory foods – like wheat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and animal products – and being very strict for a manageable amount of time kicks my cravings fast and helps me lay the foundation for continued healthy eating. Thus, I don’t plan on eating more Christmas cookies on day 6 🙂

So, don’t stop after the detox! Use it to propel you into a year of healthy eating! This isn’t a diet…it is about changing the foods we put in our bodies permanently. You may find that eliminating some of these foods makes you feel so good that you don’t want to add the back!

2. How does your calendar look?

How Does next week look for you? Is it full of things that will have you running all around town? Do some of your appointments back up to each other not allowing you to get a healthy meal in?

Make sure you set yourself up for success by allowing yourself to have an easier week. I know that isn’t always possible, but if you can reschedule some meetings or errands, do it!

I am one who’s eating deteriorates when I am too busy to deal with food: I’ll just grab something that isn’t the best for me. I don’t even care and think I somehow deserve it because I’m busting my butt.

5. What is one life-giving thing that you would like to do this week?

I’m going to make an appointment for a massage! What can you treat yourself to?

Maybe a lunch with an old friend at a place that has wonderful salads? Or trying that yoga class you have always wanted to check out. What about walking through the museum exhibit you keep telling yourself you will do. Have you always wanted to get energy work done?

Think about this and don’t stop there: MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AND PUT IT ON YOU CALENDAR!

4. What foods are you going to eat?

If you are planning on ordering food from Conveniently Natural, make sure you call them (913-475-8004) by Friday and mention the Dalai Lina cleanse for 10% off!

If you are making your own foods, start looking NOW at possible recipes that you can eat from all week. I like to make one soup and one side like a rice, bean or quinoa dish.

Remember, you can make most recipes vegan by altering some of the ingredients!

Here are some ideas:

Indian Roasted Tomato Soup

Broke Bean Stew

Spicy Collard Green and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Lickable Lentil Stew (substitute vegetable stock)

French Lentil Soup

Mexican Quinoa (omit the cheese)

Quinoa Tabouli

Curried Quinoa (substitue vegan sour cream for the yogurt)

Mexican Bean Salad

Barefoot Contessa Roasted Carrots and Brussel Sprouts

You can find so many amazing recipes on the internet, if these don’t tickle your fancy, spend some time looking at some food blogs. Here are some of my favorite: Oh She Glows, Peas and Thank You, The Edible Perspective, Sketch-free Vegan, and The Wannabe Chef.

If anyone has an amazing recipe, please share the link in the comments!

Once you have your recipes, print them off, highlight what ingredients you will need, and tuck them aside until tomorrow when we will make a grocery list.

So, stay tuned! Tomorrow, I’ll give you some foods to put on your list so you can go to the grocery store this weekend and be all ready for Monday!

Until then, chill out today on the sugar and caffeine…

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