Posts Tagged ‘Health’

I was talking to Terri from Nature of Beauty and developer of Pit Potion (a natural deodorant I love) about our favorite beauty products. She said if she had to pick one it would be her Clarisonic face brush, and I completely concurred.

It got me thinking of my absolute must-have items.  The things I CANNOT  live without.

I can live without deodorant.  I can make it without mascara.  I don’t need a toothbrush (jk)…

But, I MUST HAVE these 10 things on a daily basis!

1. Lemons

I go through a bag of lemons a week.  I drink warm lemon water in the morning, put lemon juice in my tea, add them to my fresh green juices for flavor and a natural preservative…I just can’t live without them.

2. My Journal

I love going back and reading my creepy dreams.  If dreams are are a gateway to the soul them I am certifiably bonkers.

3. Vitamix

How did I ever blend before I owned this?  I bet I could blend a rock into my smoothies and not tell the difference.

4. Juicer

It’s a love-hate relationship.  If it could just clean itself.

5. Lulu Lemon pants

Otherwise I’d be naked because I wear them most of the day, looking like complete dog’s a$$ with sweat encrusted hair until I finally decided to take a shower about bedtime.   My daughter asks me if I’m going to a party when I wear jeans.

7. Digestive Enzymes

I’ve been using them (relying on them!) more and more as I’ve gotten older. Everything in my body seem to need a little extra help after I turned 39.

8. Clarisonic Skin Care Brush

It’s like a vibrator for your face, people.  It rocks.

9. My Luvsac Bean Bag Chair

It is gigantic and  skwooshy like a love seat-sized marshmallow.  I sometimes curl up on it and take a nap.  Heaven.

10. A cup of hot tea

There is nothing better than wrapping my hands around a warn cup tea and slowly sipping in the flavors. There seems to be tea for my every mood.

What about you? What is ONE thing you COULD NOT live without?

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I’ve already told you how I like to make myself a healthy “salad” on Sunday that will last me all week. Keeps me from panicking when I’m hungry AND in a hurry since there is something nutritious waiting for me.

I’ve also already told you about my newest obsession: Pinterest. I think the entire US is on Pinterest by now, but if you are new to this site, look at it as an online vision board or scrapbook. Instead of clipping out the article, photo, or recipe (who clips anymore, anyway? It’s all online!) and tucking it in a file or on your bulletin board, you “Pin it” with a click of your mouse to your online “boards.”

I have boards for photos, recipes, books, inspirational quotes, brilliant ideas…

Once you pin your photo, you can click on it and it will bring you back to the original article or recipe. It is so easy to keep track of those great ideas you come across! I used to email myself good looking recipes and keep them in an email folder, but this is much easier…

Which brings me to my Wild Rice and Lentil Salad…because it has been on my Pinterest board to try and I finally did!

It ROCKS! It is hearty and chewy and crunchy and yummy. I altered the original recipe, and mine is much better 🙂

Wild Rice and Lentil Salad

  • 1/2 cup dry wild rice
  • 1/2 cup Edamame
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup broken walnuts (or any nuts, really!)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of another type of oil (I used walnut)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Cook the wild rice in 1 1/4 cup of water for time on package (about 50 minutes). Drain and cool.

Boil the lentil for about 20 minutes (you don’t want them too soft and mushy). Drain and cool.

Cook/thaw edamame.

Whisk dressing ingredients.

Put rice, lentils, edamame, nuts and cilantro in bowl and toss with dressing.  Add additional salt or pepper to taste!  Eat chilled!

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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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Of course you are. So am I, Lord Jesus. I am a belly full of cookies and BBQ (thanks to Dalai Dan and his recent smoked pork butt). This body of mine is ready to kick some ass.

Today, I am going to give you some general rules of this MILD cleanse. Nothing crazy like only drinking lemon juice and cayenne pepper for 5 days. I won’t make you consume ghee or epsom salt. You don’t have to submit pictures of your poop or eat only kale.

(Don’t stop reading yet, because there is a special deal for my KC readers. Non-KC readers can stop only if you didn’t gain 5 pounds like me)

Here is What You Are Going To Do:

Cleanse Length: 5 days (Monday, Jan 9th – Friday Jan 13th)

DO NOT consume: wheat (gluten), processed sugar, coffee*, sodas, alcohol, dairy products, or animal products**

DO consume: detox or other favorite tea, fresh-pressed vegetable juices, green smoothies, steal cut oats, brown rice, beans, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, vinegar, fruits, vegetables, hummus, quinoa, rice/almond/soy milk, vegan yogurts/cheeses, gluten-free products***

DO NOT: freak out if you go off course, put too much on your schedule, be mean to yourself if it feels hard, starve yourself, compare yourself to others.

DO: start every morning with warm lemon water, eat when you are hungry, have your last meal around 6pm, eat a grapefruit if it is after 6pm and your are starving, try yoga (hot!) or any life giving exercise, drink lots of water, exfoliate your skin, take baths (try epsom salt or himalayan sea salt), take a nap, get a massage, start each morning with a prayer or vision for the day, try a colonic, BE KIND TO YOURSELF!

There are Two Ways You Can Do This:

1. Prepare some key foods over the weekend that will last you all week.

I am going to provide you with some ideas and recipes tomorrow. They will include things like,

  • Vegetable/bean soups
  • Quinoa salads
  • Roasted vegetables and other vegetable recipes

2.  Or, use a vegan meal service if one is available.

This, my friends, is what I am doing this time. Thankfully, here in Kansas City, we have Conveniently Natural, a company that provides awesome vegan meals right to your door. I have talked about them here and have used them several times throughout the year.

IF YOU CHOOSE THIS ROUTE, call them directly at 913-475-8004 (BY FRIDAY!!!) and mention you are participating in the Dalai Lina cleanse for 10% off your order. The meals will be delivered on Monday, January 9th. If you are doing the cleanse alone, a 1/2 gluten-free order should be perfect. Kim at Conveniently Natural will gladly help you with your order and any food questions when you call. She and her husband are amazing!

This choice makes it much easier and is very economical, but you will still have to do some grocery shopping and preparation over the weekend….

So, stay tuned over the next couple days for recipes and a grocery list!

In the mean time, eat sensibly this week – it will make next week SO much easier!

*coffee: I know this is a killer for some of you. The acid and caffeine in coffee is hard on our bodies. Try really hard to see if you can do it! Black tea (which has a little caffeine) can take the edge off. Otherwise, if you need to, have a cup of decaf coffee with a vegan creamer or non-dairy milk.

**gluten-free products: try to limit the number of processed food. There are some great gluten-free cereals, breads, and crackers, but try to keep the cleanse about whole, fresh foods.

***animal products: if you feel like you must incorporate some animal products, consume “light” meats like fish or eggs for lunch (along with lots of veggies). Still avoid dairy!

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Sweet Jesus, the box weighed a ton of bricks. I couldn’t wait to open it…

Ahhh, gorgeous bottles of juice.

I have to be honest, this wasn’t my first impression. No. I panicked.

I thought I was going to get a box a day, so I feared I had screwed up my order and somehow clicked for three people, not three days. Images of how I was going to convince my husband and children to drink the excess juice flashed before my eyes.

Nope, they just ship up to three days at a time since they can guarantee the juice for that long.


I have got to say, the packaging and correspondence from this company has been awesome.

Just look at these pretty bottles…

They have been preparing me with great, funny emails full of information and tips.

One of which was to do a “pre-cleanse” to prep my body for three days of pure juice.

But, on the day of Halloween, I had other ideas. Like eat candy.

Oh, and pizza. Did I mention chocolate-peanutbutter Rice Krispie treats?

I’ve always been a rule breaker. Truly. My teachers felt genuine disgust for me. Ask my mom…

And if the “pre-cleanse” offense wasn’t enough, I broke the cleanse before I even started it. Not kidding.

It wasn’t that bad. Just an apple.

My juice hadn’t arrived by the time I was to leave to play two hours of tennis and I didn’t want to faint on my partner. COMPLETELY VALID EXCUSE.

So, I finally tasted my first juice at 12:30 and had my last at 7:00.

How has it been? Not bad! I’ll tell you more tomorrow, but I had to get these pictures out of my system. You HAD to see the pretty packaging before I go and dink it all.

I am fully obsessed with these cool bottles, can you tell?

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Remember the Chia Pet commercials in the early 70s? Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Joseph Pedott was the brains behind the quirky pet. He bought a failing chia seed company and paired it along with a terra-cotta dog and the result was one of the most successful original infomercials of all time.

What he didn’t tell you is that you could eat the chia seeds and forget trying to grow the disturbing figure (which never worked anyway – the seeds always fell off leaving my chia rabbit looking like a chemo patient)

No need to find them in an infomercial. You can get chia seeds anywhere, now that they are known as a super food.

Leave it to Native Americans to teach us how to eat – they have been consuming it for hundreds of years.

Once ounce of chia seeds contains:

  • 4 grams of protein
  • 11 grams of dietary fiber
  • Omega-3 fatty acid contents higher than any other seeds, even flax

This little guys have more iron than spinach, more antioxidants than blueberries and more calcium than milk!

And, unlike flax, the chia seed does not need to be ground to help the body assimilate the nutrients. You can literally throw it into just about anything and you can get all the benefits without much work or altering the taste of food.

Another cool benefit of the chia seed is that it can absorb 10x its weight in water. There are ingenious recipes out there (many for overnight oatmeal and pudding) that takes advantage of this property. You can add bulk without many calories. Its gelatinous texture is also good for the gut: its high fiber content and gel consistency helps it move through the digestive track and “clean up” along the way.  Cool.


How do I use it?  I throw it into every smoothie, use it in my Banana Chia Seed Pudding, add it to cooked oatmeal (don’t cook the seeds), and make overnight oats with it.  Check out Oh She Glows for some great overnight oat recipes.

If you haven’t used them before, start simple. Just add them to things your already make. When you feel inspired, get cooking!

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I love to read and keep up on the latest health studies and crazes. I follow so many health blogs, I sometimes can’t keep up with them! I’ll tuck my favorites away for possible future posts. Here are some of my favorites from the past couple weeks that caught my eye and I thought I would pass along…

“If I’m not hungry enough for an apple, then I’m really not hungry,”  Dalai Dan circa 2010.  Well, honey, this may change your mind:  recent research shows that eating an apple a day, independent of any other changes, may actually keep the doctor away.  This long-term study showed a 23% decrease in bad cholesterol after 6 months.  Read more here

Do you sit all day at work?  This 13 year study shows that you are at a 54% greater risk of dying of a heart attack.  Yikes!  I sent this one to Dalai Dan because mama needs a husband!  Read more here

I have had a lot of questions about the HCG diet.  I have written my opinion here but found this article by Dr. Mercola very informative and surprisingly (for him especially!) unbiased.  Reading the comments of people who have tried the diet is interesting too.  Check it out here

Lastly, if your vagina is needing attention, here is a new fad gaining popularity in California:  vaginal steam baths.  I think my vagina is just fine, but if your vagina seems a little sluggish, mungwart steam may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Get all your answers here

Adios, my friends!  I’ll keep doing this from time to time and save you all from having to go through the hundreds of boring articles for those gems in the rough 🙂

Doesn’t this picture make you want to eat an apple?

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I just finished a book by Gary Taubes, “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It.”

I bought it, knowing that it was an Atkins-type book.  When I saw the review, I thought, “Haven’t we seen this before and decided it was a bad idea?  How is this guy possibly going to convince us that eating butt loads of bacon is good?”

Even though I went into reading the book with a closed mind, I found it very interesting.  There were some excellent points that I think are worth mentioning:

1. Calories-in, Calories-out is old science

If losing and maintaining a healthy weight rested purely on a calories-in/calorie-out model, then eating 20 calories extra a day would take us from fit in our 20s to obese in our 30s.  A bite of a granola bar.  That means maintaining weight is so scientifically precise that we all should find it impossible to achieve.

Bottoms line:  there is much more going on then just the amount of calories we put in our bodies.  Things like genetics, hormones, and medications have a huge impact on how our bodies decide to store calories into fat.

Thus, the idea that overweight people are just chowing down and loafing around isn’t a correct picture of the situation.  If our body is in a “fat making” mode, then REGARDLESS OF CALORIE RESTRICTION the body will continue to try to store calories into fat.  It will hold onto fat and not release it for energy use, and the body becomes inactive as a result.  So, overweight people are not necessarily fat because they are inactive, they are inactive because they are fat and the body won’t release the fuel they need to move more.

2. It’s OK to eat Meat

Our genes have been adapted by the two and a half million years as hunters and gatherers prior to the last 10 generations of the industrial age.  So, it would stand to reason that our bodies could handle and thrive on a typical hunter-gatherer diet.

In 2000, researchers analyzed the diets of 229 hunter-gatherer populations that survived deep enough into the 20th century to have them assessed.  It is considered the most comprehensive analysis done on hunter-gatherer diets.  They found, without exception, that these diets consisted of high amounts of animal food, as much as 85-100%.  Their diets were also very high in fat as they consumed the whole of the animal: skin, organs and all.  This means that their diets were very low in carbohydrates.  And what little carbohydrates they did eat were very high in fiber.

This should at least indicate to us that high quality, free-range animal products are not bad for us.  Our bodies know what to do with it.  A scientifically engineered protein bar?  Not so much.

What most people do agree on is disease starts rising as soon as we start eating a western diet.  No matter if it is a milk-drinking tribe in Africa, a soy-eating community in Asia, or a meat-eating community in South America.  Once the western diet is introduced, all hell breaks loose!

3. Carbohydrates and Insulin are the bad guys

Gary Taubes would say if you already have the decks stacked against you – genetics, hormones, chemical imbalances – the only thing that you CAN control is insulin levels.  Yes, we have all heard this before and it is a valid point.  The one body mechanic that ensures that we stay in “fat storing” mode is insulin production.  Insulin triggers a domino effect that guarantees fat storage.  If you are genetically gifted and can get away with eating refined carbohydrates and sugars, consider yourself blessed.  The rest of us have to watch it.  Refined carbohydrates (breads, pastas, sweets) are part of that nasty western diet that is wreaking havoc on our health, not a little meat in your diet.

Taubles goes on to to say that if you are one of the genetically unlucky ones, your may be so sensitive to insulin, that you will not be able to tolerate even moderate amounts of carbohydrates.  Obviously, when you take carbs out of the diet, the only things left are animal products.  But, if that is what it takes for a person to lose weight, decrease the chances of disease, and increase energy, I’m not one to judge. Eat your bunless burger.  You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

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