It’s here. We’re officially heading into one of the busiest times of the year!
Before everything ramps up … let’s take some time to get prepared NOW.
A little bit of effort now will help you cruise through the holidays without the stress.
It all starts with taking care of YOU.
When life gets hectic, one of the first things to drop off our to-do lists is our self-care routine. Which is ironic, since taking a little time for yourself each day will help you do everything else better.
Here are some tips to stay ahead of the game:
1. Try to make a simple meal plan each week during the holidays, so you can avoid too many on-the-go meals. Holiday treats are notoriously high in salt, fat, and sugar, which will just leave you feeling bloated and awful.
But more importantly, eating sugary foods affects the good bacteria in your gut (that helps you fight off cold and flu viruses), which obviously can have a negative impact on your immune system. It also inflames the delicate gut lining. It will cause glucose (blood sugar) spikes followed by insulin spikes, which is pro-inflammatory.
What are some easy meals you can throw together at the last minute? My go-to’s are turkey burgers and veggies, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs (yes, even for dinner!) and sweet potato, pre-roasted veggies with some grilled chicken.
2. Don’t compromise on your exercise time. Keep your immune system happy and get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like a brisk walk) most days of the week.
One study found that women who walked for a half-hour every day for a year had 50% fewer colds than those who didn’t. That’s because regular walking appears to lead to having more infection-fighting white blood cells.
Not only that, but exercise can help you fight stress. When you work out, your body releases more feel-good, mood-boosting hormones.
3. Make a list (or two!). If you have a hectic holiday schedule, start planning NOW so you can do as much ahead of time as possible. Running around at the last minute trying to get everything done is the absolute worst!
Put together a checklist of everything you have to do, and then do it (even better, delegate it!).
4. Relax. Make time for family and friends and enjoying old traditions or making new ones.
Let go of expectations of how you think things “should” go and enjoy them as they are! It’s often the things that happen out of the ordinary that we look back on with a smile.
If you’re going to be alone or working over the holidays, make time to mark the occasion! Watch a movie, eat a special meal, or treat yourself to a spa session.
Homemade Chai Tea
8 cups Water
5 servings Cinnamon Stick
2 tbsp Cardamon Seeds
2 tbsp Whole Cloves
1 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
2 tbsp Ginger (peeled and thinly sliced)
Combine ingredients together in a large pot and simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes and then strain. Serve. Add milk and honey (optional). Enjoy
Keep an eye on your inbox, because I’ve got great recipe ideas and stress-free holiday tips coming your way over the next few weeks.
I’ve also got something special coming up…
To your radiant health, with love
PS! If you would like to receive more information on how to create healthier holidays join our Facebook group, the amazing sisterhood.
From soap making to our plates…
Can you guess what I am talking about?
Let me give you some more hints. The American Heart Association recommends them. Maybe even your doctor told you also to use them for cooking as part of a heart healthy lifestyle.
I am sure by now you know I am talking about industrial seed oils such as: canola, soybean, corn, sunflower, cottonseed, safflower, etc.
Latest researches are indicating they are not as healthy as it was thought. They are harmful for our bodies, making us sick.
Let’s go back into history briefly. Industrial seed oils were used originally in the soap making process.
The question is how did they end up on our plates?
Proctor and Gamble came up with the idea to create a new type of soap by using vegetable oils. That was cottonseed oil. It was known as a toxic waste in the industry. In the process of soapmaking they discovered that the oil could be changed via a process of hydrogenation, turning it into a solid cooking fat resembling lard. That is how oil classified as toxic waste ended up on our plate.
The price we pay today for that is epidemics of chronic inflammation, obesity and chronic diseases. Of course, vegetable oils are not the only cause; diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates, toxic laden food, lack of exercise and lack of sleep are also contributing factors. Keep reading….
Five reasons why vegetable oils are bad for our health.
- They raise Omega-6 fatty acid levels, changing the Omeag-6 to Omega -3 ratio.
- They are unstable and oxidize easily
- Contain harmful additives
- Derived from GMO crops (soy, corn, sunflower etc.).
- When repeatedly heated, even more toxic byproducts are created.
This is what we know so far.
- Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory (via arachidonic acid; including Prostaglandin E2 and Leukotriene B4. Omeag-3 fatty acids such as ALA, EPA, and DHA act anti-inflammatory. For maintaining optimal health Omega-6 and Omega-3 has to be in balance. The ancestral ratio was 1:1. Today, with the SAD diet 10:1 or even 20:1. This imbalance is causing chronic inflammation that contributes to many chronic diseases.
- Vegetable oils are very unstable and oxidize easily upon exposure to light, heat and chemicals. Under those circumstances two harmful substances are being created: trans fats and lipid peroxides. Known to cause heart disease, diabetes and harmful effects on DNA, proteins and cell membranes.
- They are full of additives. Since the vegetable oils are unstable synthetic antioxidants are added to prevent oxidation and turning rancid. Unfortunately, the synthetic antioxidant (BHA, BHT, TBHQ) have many side effects (endocrine disrupting, immune-disrupting and carcinogenic).
- They come from GMO plants (another long conversation).
- When repeatedly heated more toxic byproducts are being created.
How vegetable oils are making us sick?
Vegetable oil consumption is associated with many health problems.
- Autoimmune disease
- Mental health and cognition
- Obesity and diabetes
- Heart disease
- IBS and IBD
How to avoid them?
Simply get rid of bottles of canola, corn, cottonseed oils in your kitchen and don’t eat processed food.
Oils you should be using in your household:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Butter and ghee (grass fed)
- Pasture lard and tallow
- Duck fat
PS!! Make sure to incorporate plenty of healthy fats from whole foods into your diet. Soaked and sprouted nuts, avocado, wild-caught fatty fish, coconut, grass fed meats, organ meats, wild game are great sources.
Black Olive Salsa
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup white onions, chopped
- 1 14 oz can salt-free diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp raw honey
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 10-12 black olives, drained and chopped
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Vegetable chips, Organic corn chips, Cassava flour chips etc.
- Optional: 1 cup leftover roast chicken, chopped or canned tuna (drained and rinsed) or canned, cooked Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed)
Sauté the onions with the olive oil in a medium frying pan until slightly translucent. Add the tomatoes, honey, garlic, and oregano. Continue to cook on medium heat. If using, add the chicken or tuna or beans and cook until juice has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the olives and pineapple. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Place the mixture in the center of a plate and place the chips around it. Serve while still warm.
- If the pineapple in the recipe does not appeal to you, then eat if just before the meal or just after to get the digestive benefit. Mango or papaya will also work in this recipe.
- Use vegetables chips, organic corn chips, cassava flour chips etc.
- If you want to consume some raw garlic, then only use one clove while cooking and add the other when the mixture has finished cooking on the stove, at the same times as the black olives and pineapple.
- Olives are green first and then ripen to become black olives
- You can make your own vegetable chips by cutting vegetables and dehydrating them.
To your radiant health, with love
Are you confused with so many different information, study results, recommendations out there?
To tell you the truth, I used to be. So many contradictory information!!! Do you remember the coconut oil “saga”. Not to mention cholesterol. For decades it was blamed for heart attack. The low fat/ no fat diet craze took over the world and hijacked our health. Look at the food pyramid!! Recommending inflammation causing food!!
I could go on and on (trust me on that).
So how can we sort out what information to accept as “the truth” or study result as acceptable, what recommendations to follow? The answer is simple. Depending where is the information coming from. Is the source trustworthy, serving our best health or maybe motivated by profit (you know what I mean; prescriptions, a lot of them).
After many years studying human body, pathology and disease my latest focus in my work is on INFLAMMATION. It is the root cause of many chronic diseases of our modern time, including heart disease.
I would like to share a study with you that gives us hope. Especially for us who have heart attacks in our family history.
INTERHEART study (conducted in 52 countries) revealed that approximately 90% of heart diseases could be simply prevented by diet and lifestyle changes. That means 9 out of 10 cases of heart disease can be prevented without drugs. This is huge!!!!
This is a phenomenal news, because it gives us empowerment and hope that we can change our current situation. So, if you are awake late at night wondering are you going to die of heart attack just like mother did this is a great news for you. No more sleepless nights.
To understand the changes we need to make, let’s examine what are the causes. We know so far, it’s not cholesterol. The two most important causes are
- INFLAMMATION and
- OXIDATIVE DAMAGE
The top four causes of inflammation and oxidative damage are:
- Physical inactivity
Focusing on reducing the factors that contribute to inflammation and oxidative stress we can create better health and a different reality for ourselves. We can feel empowered and take our health in our own hands.
Let’s explore our diet.
The SAD (Standard American Diet) is inflammatory, making us fat and starving our cells at the same time. It is loaded with chemicals (many of them harmful), voided of nutrients, providing empty calories.
What is in SAD?
- Highly processed carbohydrates
- Sugar and HFCS
- Vegetable and seed oil
- Chemicals (emulsifiers, preservatives, colorings etc.)
No wonder why we are inflamed, sick, overweight and overmedicated.
Food should be our medicine. It should make our bodies thrive, create health and longevity. Whole, nutrient dense food gives the right information for our genes (yes, food is information), provides building blocks for our cells, energy and support for our cells to thrive.
In the next email we will explore more in detail food that calms inflammation.
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
- 1/4 cup canned, light coconut milk (carrageenan free)
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds, chopped raw walnuts, or chopped raw cashews
- Mix the chia seeds with coconut milk and nutmeg in a small bowl and let sit for one hour. This can be done the night before.
- Place the cooked quinoa in a medium bowl and add the chia mixture. Mix together.
- Mix in the orange pieces and raspberries.
- Drizzle the maple syrup on top and top with seeds or nuts or choice.
To cook the quinoa:
- Rinse 1/4 cup of dried quinoa in a sieve.
- Place in a pot with 2 cups of water and 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cook until the quinoa reaches the desired texture. Normal instructions for cooking quinoa would say only use double the amount of water for the quinoa, but for quinoa, time and temperature are key to preventing the quinoa from being crunchy. Adding extra water allows you to cook it to the texture you like best.
- Rinse the quinoa after cooking. This can be prepared ahead of time and the quinoa stored in the refrigerator, or the quinoa can be cooked at the same time as the rest of the meal but start the quinoa first as it will take 25-30 minutes.
To your radiant health, with love
PS! I am still offering free consultation for breast cancer survivors this month. Sign up using this link: https://my.timetrade.com/book/6ZDTG
Its October already but temperatures here in Western PA are still in mid-eighties.
October is breast cancer awareness month when pink ribbons, pink ponies, pink hairs and bumper stickers are showing up daily. Everyone is talking about early detection. Which is great!!! Don’t get me wrong. Early detection means a better outcome. The problem that makes me so upset is that almost no one is talking about PREVENTION.
So maybe instead of early detection, we should start even a stronger campaign about REAL PREVENTION.!!
Ladies, we know cancer is an amazing money-making machine. It brings billions to the table. Everyone will benefit from it. Hospitals, will create new jobs, medical sales, biotech companies, not to mention drug manufacturers, hospices etc…who is hurting in this process? US!!! Yes, us ladies.
So here is what I am thinking. Maybe, just maybe the companies who promote those pink ribbons and pink whatever should clean up their products focusing more on PREVENTION. We know their products are filled with cancer-promoting ingredients such as mineral oils, phthalates, mica, talc, parabens, petroleum derivatives, just to name a few.
This is my big pet peeves ladies!!!!
Let’s talk about some prevention because I care about you and our sisters.
Here are a few steps to help you with breast cancer (and cancer in general) prevention.
- Clean up your diet (don’t ingest chemicals). Our body thrives on whole food, that comes from nature, the way God created it. Don’t buy packaged food, fast food, and toxin-laden food.
- Clean up your skincare and makeup. Be mindful of deodorants and antiperspirants. Use aluminum and paraben-free.
- Pay attention to your bras. Whenever possible go bra-less (at home), if you can (and is culturally acceptable) exercise braless or at least wear a loose fitting sports bra. Our boobs need to move in order to drain toxins (including carcinogens). Hop on a trampoline and jump for a couple of minutes to stimulates lymph drainage including from your breast. Try to do it without wearing a bra. Your boobs will thank you for that. A bra will compress breasts and block the lymph drainage so the toxic materials will stay longer in contact. Don’t wear bras with the metal wire (they can be irradiated). Choose cotton bras (if possible white, organic).
- Eliminate or at least minimize plastic. Don’t fall for BPA free labels. BPA free contains BPS and BPF that are even worse than BPA (BPA stands for Bisphenol A, BPF is Bisphenol S and BPF is Bisphenol F). Did you know that BPA was isolated from breast cancer cells? Never heat your food in plastic containers (microwave) or freeze your drinks. High and low temperatures will cause bisphenols to leach into your food and water because they are unstable at low and high temperatures. Use stainless steel or glass bottles for your water. Don’t waste your money on bottled water. The quality of the water is poor, you don’t know how much chemical is being released into that water. If you want quality water, invest in a good filtration system. That will be a worthwhile investment.
- Move your body. Yes, we need movement. Our bodies thrive on movement. Find an exercise you like, it’s fun for you and do it. Movement helps with everything. Moving lymph, moving toxins, helps with regularity, builds your immune system, helps with better sleep, etc.
- Manage stress. Chronic stress will lower immune function and make us susceptible to many diseases.
- Have a healthy 7-8 hour sleep.
- Restore your gut health and microbiome. We want to have a strong immune system that will fight against cancer cells. About 80% of our immune system resides in our gut.
- Check your breasts regularly. If you are noticing any change don’t panic, but visit your doctor to check them out.
- And the last but not least one of the best cancer-preventing activities, that won’t cost you a dime is There are so many benefits of fasting that simply we can’t afford to do it.
Fasting activates autophagy (the cleaning process, when we remove damaged cells, cell parts, etc.), cancer cells hate not having food and will leave. As we know cancer cells thrive on sugar, so eliminating sugar is one of the first steps every cancer patient should be doing!!! Besides fasting the KETOGENIC DIET is also very useful for cancer patients because cancer cells can’t use ketones.
I hope ladies this will be helpful to you. Please share this information with your daughters, sisters, friends, nieces. They need to hear this information!!!
If you are a survivor or undergoing treatment or have breast cancer in your family, hit reply to this email. I would like to talk to you. I am paying it forward and gifting you with a free consultation. Let’s talk.
Berry Yogurt Smoothie
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup coconut yogurt
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk (carrageenan free)
- 2 tsp ground chia seeds
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 orange, peeled and broken into segments
- 1 portion unsweetened, unflavoured protein powder of choice
- Non-chlorinated water to adjust consistency, if needed
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a glass and serve.
To your radiant health, with love
Coffee is one of those things- you either love it or hate it. You know if you like the taste or not (or if it’s just a reason to drink sugar and cream). You know how it makes you feel (i.e. your gut, your mind, etc.).
I must admit I like coffee and drink it regularly. I like especially my morning coffee. Having it first thing in the morning is like a ritual for me. I drink Turkish coffee in my pj’s.
What about you?
Not to mention the crazy headlines that say coffee is great, and the next day you should avoid it!
There is actual science behind why different people react differently to it. It’s a matter of your genetics and how much coffee you’re used to drinking.
NOTE: Coffee does not equal caffeine. Coffee contains between 50-400 mg of caffeine/cup, averaging around 100 mg/cup. Coffee is one of the most popular ways to consume this stimulant. But…a cup of coffee contains a lot of things over and above the caffeine. Not just water, but antioxidants, and hundreds of other compounds. These are the reasons drinking a cup of coffee is not the same as taking a caffeine pill. And decaffeinated coffee has a lot less caffeine; but, it still contains some.
Let’s look at caffeine metabolism, its effects on the mind and body, and whether coffee drinkers have higher or lower risks of disease. Then I’ll give you some things to consider when deciding if coffee is for you or not.
Not all people metabolize caffeine at the same speed. How fast you metabolize caffeine will impact how you’re affected by the caffeine. In fact, caffeine metabolism can be up to 40x faster in some people than others.
About half of us are “slow” metabolizersof caffeine. We can get jitters, heart palpitations, and feel “wired” for up to 9 hours after having a coffee. The other half is “fast” metabolizers of caffeine. They get energy and increased alertness and are back to normal a few hours later.
This is part of the reason those headlines contradict each other so much – because we’re all different!
The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body
The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body also differ between people; this is partly from the metabolism I mentioned. But it also has to do with your body’s amazing ability to adapt (read: become more tolerant) to long-term caffeine use. Many people who start drinking coffee feel the effects a lot more than people who have coffee every day.
Here’s a list of these effects (that usually decrease with long-term use):
- Stimulates the brain
- Boosts metabolism
- Boosts energy and exercise performance
- Increases your stress hormone cortisol
So, while some of these effects are good and some aren’t, you need to see how they affect you and decide if it’s worth it or not.
Coffee and health risks
There area ton of studies on the health effects of coffee, and whether coffee drinkers are more or less likely to get certain conditions.
Here’s a quick summary of what coffee can lead to:
- Caffeine addiction and withdrawal symptoms (e.g. a headache, fatigue, irritability)
- Increased sleep disruption
- Lower risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Lower risk of certain liver diseases
- Lower risk of death
- Mixed reviews on whether it lowers risks of cancer and heart disease
Many of the health benefits exist even for decaf coffee (except the caffeine addiction and sleep issues).
What’s super-important to note here is that coffee intake is just one of many, many factors that can affect your risks for these diseases. Please never think regular coffee intake is the one thing that can help you overcome these risks. You are health-conscious and know that eating a nutrient-rich whole foods diet, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep and exercise are all critical things to consider for your disease risk. It’s not just about the coffee.
Should you drink coffee or not?
There area few things to consider when deciding whether you should drink coffee. No one food or drink will make or break your long-term health.
Caffeinated coffee is not recommended for:
- People with arrhythmias (e.g. irregular heartbeat)
- People who often feel anxious
- People who have trouble sleeping
- People who are pregnant
- Children and teens.
If none of these apply, then monitor how your body reacts when you have coffee. Does it:
- Give you the jitters?
- Increase anxious feelings?
- Affect your sleep?
- Give you heart palpitations?
- Affect your digestion (e.g. heartburn, etc.)?
- Give you a reason to drink a lot of sugar and cream?
Depending on how your body reacts, decide whether these reactions are worth it to you. If you’re not sure, I recommend eliminating it for a while and see the difference.
Also take note. Have organic coffee whenever possible. Coffee beans are a sensitive plant and prone to molding. So conventionally grown coffee beans are treated with lots of chemicals.
Also, are you aware what is in your coffee? Are you putting a lot of sugar and cream? Hmm…maybe not the best idea.
The season of pumpkins are upon us.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1 cup coffee (decaf if preferred)
Instructions: Add all ingredients to blender and blend until creamy.
To your radiant health, with love
I read a study the other day that I just had to share with you, because it personally made me even more committed to eating a diet based on real, whole foods.
It’s all about how ultra-processed foods make us want to eat more.
Here are the basics of what they found: people who eat a diet of “ultra-processed” food take in more calories and gain more weight than people who eat less-processed food – even when they are given meals containing the same calories and macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbs).
The study was conducted by the National Institutes for Health.
Scientists had 10 men and 10 women check into a clinic for a month and fed them a controlled diet. For two weeks they were given meals consisting of ultra-processed foods, and then for another two weeks they ate a diet of minimally processed foods. They could eat as much of their meals as they wanted.
As an example, an ultra-processed breakfast was a bagel with favored cream cheese and sweetened tea, while a whole foods breakfast included oatmeal, bananas, walnuts, and almond milk.
When they were given the “ultra” processed diet, the study subjects ate their meals faster AND consumed about 500 more calories a day… not surprisingly, they also gained an average of about 2 pounds!
Meanwhile, they lost about 2 pounds on the minimally processed diet.
This is the first study to ever show a direct relationship between processed foods and weight gain when other factors are controlled. Even so, it’s something we’ve kind of known over the years, right?
But here’s the kicker: processed foods are filled with things that make us want to eat more – salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. So not only are they linked with eating more, they ALSO contribute to chronic health problems!
When we eat MORE of those foods, we’re taking in yet more things that are not good for us! (other studieshave suggested that junk foods are engineered specifically to make us want to eat more.)
Here’s another thing “shocking-not shocking” aspect of the study: the processed diet was actually much CHEAPER (by almost 50%!).
Scientists estimated the weekly cost to prepare 2,000 calories a day of the ultra-processed diet at $106, while the minimally processed diet cost $151, based on the prices at a nearby supermarket.
Here’s my personal takeaway on this one.
The food you eat is SO MUCH more than just “calories.”
It has a powerful effect on your health and well-being… and eating a healthy, whole-foods-based diet makes a strong statement to manufacturers when it comes to our food supply.
Over time, extra calories add up, and that extra weight can lead to serious health conditions. We are facing epidemics of obesity and chronic conditions like never before.
If you think healthy eating is expensive, I challenge you to do some research and find out what is the cost of diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer etc.
How can you save money when it comes to eating a healthy diet?
- Buy in bulk and buy locally
- Shop sales,
- Use your freezer as much as possible
- Batch cooking
- Meal planning
If you need help coming up with healthy meal ideas that are affordable let me know. We are always here to help. Just reply to this email and I will be back to you shortly.
Quinoa Veggie Bowl
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 sweet potato, cut into chunks and cooked
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- 5 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp tamari or coconut aminos
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- Black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup sauerkraut
Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve.
To your radiant health, with love