December 19, 2010

Coo-Coo for Coconuts!

Meet your new best friend… The coconut! This friendly nut has nothing but goodness in store for you and your body. Let me start you off with a few fabulous facts on what coconut can do for you to get you interested in this rich, buttery, tropical oil that can change your health:


  • · They improve digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and amino acids.
  • · They are valuable to the immune system as they contain healthy antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial saturated fatty acids, helping to naturally fight off viruses, bacteria, and fungal overgrowth (more about this below).
  • · They improve the utilization of blood sugar and can lessen the symptoms of hypoglycemia.
  • · They improve the absorption of the right kinds of calcium and magnesium ions.
  • · They consist of 90+ percent raw saturated fat – a rare and important building block of every cell in the human body. Unlike long-chain saturated animal fats (that have been associated with creating poor health), the saturated fat in coconut oil is in the form of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs support the immune system, the thyroid gland, the nervous system, the skin, and provide fast energy.
  • · They contain powerful antioxidants in the form of raw saturated fats and oils. Coconut oil contains the most lauric acid (a powerful antiviral substance) of any plant source (the closest second is palm kernel oil).
  • · They help the body use the essential fatty acids (omega-3, omega-6) and other fatty acids and phospholipids (e.g. choline, lecithin, etc.) more efficiently (coconut oil and omega-3 fatty acids are twice as effective when taken simultaneously).
  • · They help regulate and support healthy hormone production.
  • · They are a nutritional precursor to the anti-aging hormone compound known as pregnenolone.
  • · They increase the speed of the thyroid, thus allowing the body to drop excess weight and accumulated toxins. Contrary to some previously held beliefs, coconut cannot be stored in the body as fat; it actually needs to be burned up on the spot, which helps fire up our excess fat-burning metabolism instantly!!!
  • · They help displace toxic hydrogenated trans-fatty acids (e.g., partially hydrogenated soybean oil).
  • · They restore natural saturated fat levels to the skin, subcutaneous fat layers, and to the individual cell membranes. The saturated fats in coconut products are also vital for the health of growing nervous systems in children… so eat up pregnant/breastfeeding Mama’s!).
  • · They increase metabolism and help with weight loss due to the presence of medium-chain saturated fatty acids. Farm animals fed coconuts and coconut oil never become obese. When fed partially hydrogenated soybean oil and other rancid fats, the animals gain weight rapidly.
  • · They contain no appreciable levels of cholesterol and actually support cardiovascular health.
  • · They support healthy cholesterol formation in the liver. This high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the kind of cholesterol we want and that is essential to healthy hormone production.

Interested in my friendly little nut yet? You should be! And all these benefits above are just from coconut oil! I’m not going to get into coconut water in this blog, but let me give you a couple of highlights from the benefits of coconut water here:

  • · An excellent nutrition source for infants.
  • · Great for rehydration.
  • · Contains organic compounds possessing growth-promoting properties- coconut is excellent for improving muscle size and general physical growth in children.
  • · Helps to calm urinary tract infections (struggling with these in your pregnancy?)
  • · Effective in helping to alleviate the pain of kidney and urethral stones. Coconut water helps to fight nanobacteria and the production of bad calcium in the kidneys.
  • · Used as blood plasma substitute because it is sterile, does not produce heat, does not destroy red blood cells, and is readily accepted by the body.

So how does this all work? Well the part I’m super interested is the effects against all kinds of viruses and bacteria for our immune system. The part of coconut oil mainly responsible for this is Lauric Acid. According to Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. in his book, The Coconut Oil Miracle (I highly recommend this read! It is responsible for most of the info in this blog) our bodies convert the coconut oil into a form that is “deadly to troublesome microbes yet remains harmless to us.” He goes on to explain that the triglycerides in coconut oil are nothing more than three fatty acids hooked together to a glycerol molecule. When we ingest the oil, the triglycerides break apart into diglycerides, monoglycerides, and free fatty acids. It is the monoglycerides and free fatty acids that have the antimicrobial properties. The most active being lauric acid and capric acid and their monoglycerides –monolaurin and monocaprin., The monoglycerides and free fatty acids are active, and the diglycerides and triglycerides are inactive. The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil (which consists of tryglercides), therefore, become active ONLY when ingested or otherwise converted into free fatty acids or monoglycerides. Lauric acid is amazing! “When coconut oil is consumed, the body makes the disease fighting monolaurin, the monoglyceride of lauric acid. Kabara and co-workers have shown as early as 1966 that lipophilic compounds had an adverse effect on lipid coated viruses. Later it was found that simple lipids could inactivate bacteria, yeast, fungi and enveloped viruses by disrupting the lipid membranes of the organisms. The antimicrobial effects of added and endogenous fatty acids and monoglycerides are additive and total concentration is critical for inactivating viruses. Among the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has the maximum antiviral activity.

Kabara, although a professor emeritus from Michigan State University, continues to promote the practical aspects and the potential benefit of nutritional support regimen for individuals infected with genital herpes and other herpetic viral problems using medium chain lipids.”[i]

Here are some examples of lipid-coated microorganisms that lauric acid is effective at fighting off (according to Fife; Note –It is not suggested that lauric acid alone will “cure” any of these diseases):

Lipid-Coated Viruses:

  • · HIV
  • · Measles virus
  • · Herbpes simplex virus
  • · Herpes viridae
  • · Sarcoma virus
  • · Syncytial virus
  • · Human lymphotropic virus (Type 1)
  • · Vesicular stomatitius virus (VSV)
  • · Visna virus
  • · Cytomegalovirus
  • · Epstein-Barr virus
  • · Influenza virus
  • · Leukemia virus
  • · Pneumonovirus
  • · Hepatisis C virus

Lipid-Coated Bacteria:

  • · Listeria monocytogenes
  • · Helicobacter pylori
  • · Hemophilus influenza
  • · Chlamydia pneumonia
  • · Staphylococcus aureus
  • · Streptococcus agalactiae
  • · Groups A, B, F, and G streptococci
  • · Gram-posistve organisms
  • · Gram-negative organisms (if pretreated with chelator)

(These bacteria are responsible for such illnesses such as stomach ulcers, throat infections, pneumonia, sinusitis, earache, rheumatic fever, dental cavities, food poisoning, UTI’s, TSS, ringworm, Candida, thrush and giardiasis.)

Now you Mom’s must be wondering why I am fixated on coconut as it pertains to us… well, we all know about how important breastfeeding is, so let me share with you one of the components of breast milk that is so crucial for our little ones!
The fatty acids that make coconut oil so effective against germs are the same ones nature has put into breast milk to protect children. Human breast milk (and the milk of other mammals) all contain small amounts of MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids). These MCFAs are what protect the newborn baby from harmful germs at his/hers most vulnerable time in life –just after birth, while their immune systems are still developing. This is exactly why (if you look at the ingredients list of your infant formula, if you use it) these MCFAs are added to infant formula. Unfortunately most brands add a substitute, not actual coconut oil. They ad MCT oil which is more cost effective for them, and although it is not as good as coconut oil, it is still okay. MCT oil contains about 75% caprylic acid and 25% capric acid, with little or no lauric acid, which we know to be the most important antimicrobial MCFA. As a mother, if you consume coconut oil, you will have even more MCFAs in your milk to help add protection and nourish your baby even better. MCFA’s not only help infants with the absorption of much needed fats, but it increases their ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and protein.
The most important component once again is lauric acid. This is the primary saturated fatty acid found in coconut oil as well as breast milk. Lauric acid is the most abundant MCFA found naturally in mother’s milk, so if you are breast feeding, baby is getting plenty. The ration of lauric acid to other MCFAs in coconut is closest to that in mother’s milk than any other source. Our bodies naturally do not produce a large amount of MCFAs. However, if you begin to add MCFAs to your diet, you will consequently begin producing breast milk richer in MCFAs as well. “When nursing mother’s eat coconut products (shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil, etc.) the levels of MCFAs in their milk increase significantly. For instance, eating 40 grams (3 Tbsp) of coconut oil in one meal can temporarily increase the lauric acid in the milk of a nursing mother from 3.9% to 9.6% after 14 hours. The content of caprylic and capric acids is also increased. If the mother consumes coconut oil every day while nursing, the MCFA content will be even greater.”


Ladies, this is why I am so strongly advocating the consumption of coconut oil!!! I personally consume anywhere between 3-6 Tbsp per day. In addition I drink coconut oil, eat lots coconut in my superfood snacks, and my favorite “take-out” is Thai food, because I can order coconut curry dishes with vegetables. There are so many great ways to ingest coconut, but don’t get carried away and think that by ordering a case of Almond Joy’s from Costco is going to do the trick. Get organic, raw, coconut oil and consume that (;; and use organic, unsweetened shredded coconut in all your recipes. Buy organic, raw coconut milk (when possible) and purchase pure, unsweetened coconut water. These products are a sure-fire way to get the right kind of MCFAs into your diet. I use only coconut oil in all of my cooking and baking. I use it as a spread on my gf toast (when I am eating grains) instead of butter, with a little bit of raw honey. I put it into my smoothies, and warm beverages. If the day is closing and I realize I haven’t had enough, I just take a tablespoon of it. Either way, I get it in, and you can too.
Coconut oil is not only safe for us it is safe enough for a newborn baby. It is so complex that it can kill off all kinds of bacteria, microbes, viruses and germs, yet is gentle enough for the newborn digestive system. How amazing!
Nature made MCFAs to nourish and protect us against infections illnesses. Coconut oil is much better than riddling our bodies with synthetic drugs that come with so many negative side effects and toxins, right? Coconut oil is nature’s own antimicrobial weapon. Regularly ingesting coconut oil will greatly reduce your chances of being infected with so many illnesses and diseases. What a simple thing we can do for our bodies and our babies.
If you are not a pregnant or breastfeeding Mom, you still need coconut products! Men, women, children, we all need to up our intake. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, start now with the coconut products. The kind of fats you consume and store in your body now are the same ones that will be used later in the making of your breast milk. These stored fats along with whatever fats you consume daily are what will be used to nourish your baby. “If you ingest plenty of MCFAs, especially lauric acid and capric acid (coconut products), your milk will be at its maximum nourishment level for your baby. You can have as much as 18% of the saturated fatty acids in your milk in the form of lauric and capric acids” if you do so. Mothers who do not ingest these MFCAs will only produce approximately 3% lauric acid and 1% capric acid.

If you are struggling with weight loss postpartum, then coconut oil is your ticket out. Farmers began feeding their livestock coconut oil at one point to promote fast weight gain for economical purposes. But what they discovered is that the livestock began losing weight while maintaining muscle mass! What?! Yes! The farmers found that “the high polyunsaturated oil content of corn and soybean quickly did what the coconut oil couldn’t. Animals fed corn and soybeans packed on the pounds quickly and easily. The reason these oils worked so well is that their oils suppressed thyroid function, decreasing the animals’ metabolic rate (soybeans are particularly bad because of the goitrogens [antithyroid chemicals] they contain). They could east less food and gain more weight. How awful! Many people are in a similar situation. Every time we eat polyunsaturated oils (soybean and other vegetable oils), our thyroid gland is assaulted and loses its ability to function normally. Weight gain is the unhappy consequence.” Coconut oil is amazing because the instant your body digests it is used to produce energy and stimulate your metabolism vs. sabotaging it. Many athletes therefore use coconut oil to enhance their performance. The thermogenic effect of coconut oil doesn’t last a mere hour or two after ingesting it, studies show that after eating a single meal containing these MCFAs, metabolism remains elevated for at leaset 24 hours! During this time you will have a higher energy level and will be burning calories at an accelerated rate. I could go on and on here, or you could just buy the books… I’ve already had to edit this blog down significantly, ha! Either way, who doesn’t want all of these amazing benefits from this seemingly unreal nut?!

Scientists are jumping all over coconut oil in their research against these diseases, weight loss and more, and you should be too! There is nothing but goodness in store for you in adding coconut oil to your daily diet. Prevention is always the best medicine, and coconut oil can certainly help prevent so many illnesses, promote healthy weight, and optimally nourish our infants and more. I don’t have enough room to get into all the details of coconut oil and its beneficial properties here, but I am available for questions if you have them, feel free to email me. Also, I would strongly encourage you to read David Wolfe’s book, Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future, Bruce Fife, N.D.’s book, The Coconut Oil Miracle, and the report on coconut oil published by Dr. Kabara, for more information on this amazing little nut. That is where I have gleaned most of my knowledge which I have regurgitated in small part here for you.




Other sources for blog information:
The Coconut Oil Miracle, by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D.
Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future, by David Wolfe

November 27, 2010

Recipes: Super {food} Peppermint Mocha

Starbucks hasn't got a thing on this delicious, so incredibly good for you steaming hot drink. Perfect for a morning accompaniment to your newspaper reading or email checking, or a warm drink to make your latest read even better.
Aside from tasting amazing, this warm chocolaty beverage will help you focus, reduce your appetite cravings, calm your growling stomach, curb your sweet tooth, fill you up and help you lose weight (the coconut oil & cacao!!!) "HA!" you must be thinking, but oh no, I assure... would I drink it otherwise? Come on now ;)

I created this recipe specifically because the holiday season is upon us, I am craving my traditional Starbucks Holiday Latte's, and just don't want to make room for that kind of sugar calorie in my diet, nor do I want to risk lowering my immune system while breastfeeding. So here you go. Taste and see that the drink is good!

12 oz Silk (or other brand) Almond Milk (I use original flavor, but its up to you)
3 Tbsp (rounded) Organic Raw Cacao Powder
2 Tbsp Grade B Maple Syrup (you must use grade B for the nutrients, the other is just sugar with no benefits)
1-6 drops of Stevia (I love the dark chocolate flavor of stevia for this OR the pepermint flavor! Note: I use the stevia if I need it sweeter -I usually do, but don't want to add more calories from the maple syrup, so I just sub stevia drop by drop until I'm happy with the sweetness)
1 tsp Organic, Gluten-Free Peppermint extract
1 heaping Tbsp. Raw Organic Coconut Oil

Heat the almond milk on the stove in a saucepan until you reach desired heat. Try to avoid boiling. Remove from heat. In your mug, mix the raw cacao powder with the grade B maple syrup until a chocolate syrup consistency. Add in the stevia drops and the coconut oil. The coconut oil will probably be solid, don't worry about mixing it together with the chocolate syrup.
Add the heated almond milk to your mug with other ingredients, mix until all ingredients are dissolved, including coconut oil. Avoid reheating if possible.

***Note: If you want to turn this into a genuine mocha beverage, which I commonly do in the wee small hours of the morning ;) then simply add 6 oz coffee to 6 oz almond milk, or 8-10 oz off coffee and less almond milk depending on your preference; and there you have it. If you are not a coffee person, this is also delicious with caffeine free peppermint tea, or a plain black tea like Tazo.
Please try and make ALL the coffee/tea you drink organic (and fair trade!!!). Organic coffee isn't treated with the same awful pesticides that regular coffee is. Those pesticides are extremely hard on your body's organs of detoxification; your skin, liver, kidney, etc.




November 20, 2010

FFP Hotspot: GFC Bakery

How many of you out there are either gluten intolerant, gluten sensitive or celiac? How badly have you missed delicious fresh-from-the-oven confections that you don’t have to struggle over yourself? Well then, you simply MUST visit my friends at Gluten Free Creations Bakery in South Scottsdale (AZ).


If you’ve ever eaten the tasty gluten free pizza at Red, White & Brew, Spinato’s, Sourdough Pizza Restaurant, Vitos’ Pizza, Nello’s Pizza, Barros Pizza or Streets of New York, then you are already familiar with the tasty handiwork of GFC Bakery! They also provide gluten free delights for other fine establishments in the valley such as Indulge Burgers, J.W. Marriot’s Blue Sage Café, Gooseberries Lunch & Tea Room, Octagon Café and more!

They offer a wide variety of treats right out of their bakery location, including many mixes you can take home and whip up yourself. Sweet and basic baking flours, bread mixes, desert mixes, mock-graham cracker crumbles for crust, breakfast mixes for pancakes or waffles.
You can pick up fresh loaves of cheddar cheese bread, English muffins, tasty donuts (you simply must try the “Insane Chocolate” flavor!) almond flax bread, cinnamon coffee cake, brownies, pecan wedding cookies, and many more.


They have tasty bagels, muffin and cupcakes, breakfast breads, cinnamon rolls, everything your little gf heart could desire. They also have dairy-free selections for my lactose intolerant friends. If you’re looking to pick up a couple of deserts for the holiday’s, they can help you out there too. They have delicious pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, pumpkin and pecan pies, date nut bread and harvest donuts!
My favorite feature is their wonderful birthday and celebration cakes! Lisa (the fabulous gf pastry chef) will create a wonderful cake for you, anything from red velvet to German chocolate, French vanilla with raspberry filling, and beautifully decorated. Gluten Free Creations Bakery is located on the S.E. corner of McDowell and Miller near the Peter Piper Pizza and H&R Block, or visit their website to order online!




November 16, 2010

The Food Angle

Life is going by too quickly! I can't believe the holiday's are already upon us. Mia is growing so fast, such a strong, independent and happy girl. I am in love! Is there any other better feeling? I can't imagine. She astounds me daily, and I am constantly humbled that I have been entrusted with such a sweet spirit as this darling girl. Here are some newer pictures...



So I’ve been driving myself a bit crazy lately, I’m not going to lie. I am feeling more and more torn between all the different “food angles” (as I refer to them) that are out there for our information and education. As I feel pulled in a few different directions, and have for the past six months or so, I am also finding a strange sense of balance, which is what I want to share with you. It is so easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest when it comes to what we put in our mouth, or don’t. But what can you do to “stay on track” and at the same time being doing the very best thing for your own body?

I’d like to shed some light on the particular “food angles” that I am mulling through, and share with you the balance that I am finding between them. I think often we are pressured to commit our entire lifestyle around one conviction, like my fellow Vegan friends. I’ve been there –I was Vegan for two years (I recommitted to Veganism during my pregnancy, right after Food Inc., came out!), Vegetarian for 5 or 6, nearly completely Raw for one year. I’ve toyed with Macrobiotic, Alkaline, and most recently, the Chronobiotic “lifestyle” and have avoided dairy completely since just before my daughter was born, about 9 months (until recently). Back in the day, I even did a couple months of the awful (should be illegal) Atkins diet, and the Zone Diet (I still have value from that and use some principles), as well as the South Beach diet. Basically there is nothing about diets or food/nutrition that I haven’t researched and dissected completely.
Sound obsessive? I had to try everything! You’re right, I am obsessed with nutrition and optimum health and wellness, and most importantly, having an iron-clad immune system. After working in the medical field and wanting to continue doing so in the future, I’ve had plenty of microbiology/biology classes that have left me, well, a little bit worried about the amount of bacteria and viruses out there. I don’t believe they are just waiting to prey on those of us with poor immune systems however, they have no power over a healthy and alkaline digestive system, let me tell you! I have gotten off track…
I have been completely gluten free for 3+ years, and after reading Tim Ferriss’s article (, I’ve been totally grain free for the past 6 weeks, including rice and corn (including quinoa, even though it’s not technically a grain)… until this weekend, that is. It started with not being able to resist the cheese I bought for a party I was throwing, and of course who can eat decadent cheese without some delicious gluten free (corn) crackers, and a dish we had made for the party which included rice; I mean, a cook can’t serve without tasting, right?! And then, as a fanatical patron of my latest and greatest dining spot, Nourish ( which caters to those of us who are gluten free, soy free, vegan, lactose free, nut free etc., I couldn’t resist a wonderful breakfast which included a gf bagel… it’s been years since I’ve had a bagel! So needless to say, I fell off the wagon of my own construction and woke up feeling “ugh” this morning. Upon reading deeper into my new slew of books, I felt this peace come over me. And I had to remind myself of the truth that has gotten me through years and years of ups and downs and different “food angles” –It’s all about the balance.

Who says we can’t take our favorite components of these different food angles and piece them together for our very own tailored lifestyle and needs?
So where am I at? That is just what I am balancing out, and using this blog to jot it down for my own sake. Bear with me.
Each of us has a delicate balance to be found in our own set of systems… endocrine, digestive, circulatory, immune, lymphatic, muscular, nervous, reproductive, etc. So the gentle balance of what may work for one of us, may not necessarily work for another. Do I believe it is a close call between what works for one and for another? Absolutely! I believe whole heartedly in some simple truths about food and the human body and disease. Like certain meats and diary. These are universally accepted as being very hard on our bodies. And as we’ve seen by the rise in celiac disease and gluten intolerance, there is certainly something to be said about the over-saturation of gluten in our food and food-like substances (how I prefer to refer to pre-packaged, processed junk food).
Another is sugar. Sugar, in all its forms, especially high fructose corn syrup and the like, is “the devil.” No joke. It should be made illegal (I’m not saying that it isn’t delicious!)
Then there are your “bad fats” of course, such as Trans and (animal) saturated… we all know about these things, or should. So what about those of us foodies who have been living a step beyond all these basic facts for a while now? We skip from one food “lifestyle” to another, or maybe stick with the same one, whether or not it is negatively affecting our health or immune system. Some of my Vegetarian and a few Vegan friends are sadly amongst the unhealthiest that I know! They avoid meats and/or dairy/animal products, but instead fill up on breads, pastas, sugar-saturated snacks, and other simple carbs!
They over-indulge in cheeses, white/brown rice and other things. They’ll stand there eating a package of Cheese-Its talking about how becoming Vegetarian was the best thing they ever did for themselves, and I’m flabbergasted.
I am in love with the recent upspringing of food knowledge and education that has been flying around the past 7-8 years or so. I love the hard work that is being put into research, studies and publications regarding super foods, alkaline living gluten free lifestyles and more. Everything is so accessible, and everyone seems to be answering the call of our sick nation with solutions and information. So what do we do with all this information? We take what makes sense for us, and leave the rest. And when/if what we’ve taken and applied is no longer effective, we revisit old information or seek out new information, and try again.

It’s very difficult for me to commit to one thing. I find so much value in so many places, that I don’t want to leave anything behind. It’s hard sometimes though to make it all work together for my body, especially in lieu of the past 18 months of my life which have been dedicated to being pregnant, than a breastfeeding new mom. I had to give up on being completely raw and vegan, which I had been back to doing for three months starting a couple of months after my daughter was born. I was simply not able to maintain the amount of calories I needed to keep up a healthy milk supply, and provide myself with enough nutrition simultaneously. Under the supervision of my Naturopath I began eating specific meats (organic, free-range/grass fed bison and turkey) a couple of times per week. It was very difficult for me to do, but my body responded so well, that I continued to keep it up. I let go of the red meat (bison, never cow) and continued on with the turkey, adding in some organic chicken here and there. She also suggested organic New Zealand lamb, but I just could not do it. With the addition of the meats, not diary, I was able to revive my milk supply, and my hair stopped falling out, my finger nails stopped flaking and breaking, my skin plumped back up and I was able to sleep again, and had daytime energy. This is what I individually had to do as a breastfeeding mom for my body and my daughter. I am now beginning to lean towards cutting certain meats back out.

I’ve not wavered from my gluten free lifestyle at all since my “diagnosis” three and a half years ago. The one or dozen times I’ve accidentally ingested gluten have sparked such uncomfortable and irritating side effects, I’m happy to avoid the stuff like a plague. Adding in the avoidance to rice and corn however, was a difficult challenge. I’ve read the book Dangerous Grains, twice ( and then along with Tim Ferriss’s article, felt that I needed to try it for my body. The results were magnificent. Do I think I will eternally be able to avoid rice, corn and quinoa? Nope. I especially love quinoa, and find that I sometimes need to include it in my diet to ensure I am getting adequate calories in a day. I make sure I always buy organic/non-GMO when it comes to the grains I do ingest, and when I don’t, I feel the difference.
Tim Ferriss advocates for meats, however, which was kind of hard for me. If you’ve ever read The China Study you can understand why ( But without eating any grains whatsoever for 6 weeks, I had to add in organic chicken/turkey into my diet, along with fish. For me, it was a very difficult task still breastfeeding six times per day, to consider living on fruits, vegetables, nuts/legumes alone. It simply wasn’t enough for me. Without breastfeeding could I do it? Sure, but life sure wouldn’t hold much food pleasure for me!
Add in my daily attempt to stay as alkaline and Chronobiotic as possible, while ingesting optimum amounts of super foods, and I am literally walking a food angle tight rope! I don’t exactly recommend this! You will drive yourself crazy like I occasionally find myself doing. Let’s talk about the balance.
As I am approaching a milestone birthday in December, I must consider all that I am passionate about and figure out what components of these passions make up how I am going to function on day-to-day basis, which is exactly what you need to do to. Number one is to never interpersonally judge or punish for falling off whatever wagon you have built and placed yourself within. As women we tend to live in prisons of our own creation, and remain there crucifying ourselves for our failures, and falling. No more. This is the most glorious time in your life! Whether you are pregnant for the first or ninth time, single, newlywed, divorced or playing the field, embrace where you are at and punish no more! SO MUCH of what happens in our bodies is mind-related.
Our delicate female hormone balance is directly related to our thoughts and perception of ourselves. Empower yourself with the gift of grace. Grace in your own personal “food angel,” grace in letting go of your past, grace in embracing what lies before you, grace in fortifying your health and immune system. If you are struggling with a sleepless baby, let go of that last failed nap or sleepless night and remember that every minute is a change to change it all. Even if that change happens only in your mind for the moment; what we will in our minds will eventually play out in the universe, one way or another.

So all things considered, what do I take away and implement at this point in my life from all these different food angles? The best of all worlds, as applied to me, of course! Here’s a glimpse of what that looks like (in response to multiple email requests for samples of my daily routine) in order to get your own ball of balance rolling.

I start my day Chronobiotically with 11-12 organic, raw, soaked almonds before even sipping water; (1 almond for every 10 lbs of desired body weight). Why? Let me take an expert from the book: “Soaking the almonds in purified water releases the nitrogen in them to set the full strength of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach for all day protein digestion.” (Harting & Bergstrom: “Yes, No, Maybe” Chronobiotic Nutrition”)
I then have 1 cup of Cobalamin Tonic for hormone balancing (8 oz cup of organic fair trade coffee, with 1 tsp of raw cacao powder mixed with 1 tsp of grade B maple syrup). I usually follow that with a huge glass of warm water with lemon. I work out (either P90X, Sprint 8’s with Mia, weights, running, yoga, something) and then start finish up my Chronobiotic morning with some fruit and nuts. I then turn alkaline by ingesting about 1-2 oz of Aloe Vera leaf gel, followed by a cup of kombucha tea.
I have my green smoothie (there are morning where the green smoothie may be replaced by the Nana-Cacao smoothie, or the Cobalamin Tonic replaced by the Incan Warrior Hot Chocolate; again, trying not to box myself in). I usually go back to chronobiotic for lunch and dinner, eating 5-6 times per day. Chronobiotic is basically the science of eating certain foods at certain times of the day. Simply explained, you start at the top and work your way down. Breakfast is at the tree tops, meaning fruits and nuts, afternoon is 4ft to ground level, meaning vegetables, some fruits, dairy and meats (if you eat them). Evening/night is anything ground level and below, mainly root vegetables, fish/seafood, and eggs (she explains why eggs in her book: This isn’t always possible for me to stick to, but I do my best. I implement my super foods as I can, and try not to eat anything after 7-8pm. With a baby, this isn’t always possible. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there weren’t many nights where we don’t get to eat until after 8pm for one reason or another. I just try and make the meal light, in that case.
For a balance on all the food angles; if I eat meat, I try and make it organic 90% of the time (this is easy at home, most difficult when traveling/eating out). I stick to fish, chicken and turkey. I avoid red meat, that’s just me. But if I had to eat it, it would be free range/grass fed/organic. I buy organic eggs, and never have them more than 1-3 times per week. I avoid all dairy, almond milk is my replacement of choice, and if I’m really craving cheese, I buy goat cheese. I try and make that local and organic. I do not eat gluten. I avoid rice and corn as much as humanly possible, but sometimes I do eat rice, and corn, and when I do, I try to make sure it is organic/non-GMO. I love quinoa. I still eat it and just try not to over-saturate my diet with it, or any one thing.

That was what was happening to me with the gluten-free products and rice. All these new delicious gluten-free products out there on the market, they are so tasty and amazing! Suddenly cinnamon rolls, muffins, chocolate cake, brownies, pancakes, waffles, bread, cookies, cereals and more, are all readily available and gluten free! It’s hard to resist, but I was over-doing it in all of my excitement over the new uprising in gf products. So I had to eliminate it, and will slowly add back in things on occasion as the exception, not the rule. I mean, let’s face it. I am going to PIG OUT on the gf birthday cake my husband promised me. :)


I try and make 60-70% of all my foods raw, with as much super food ingredients as possible. The rest I cook lightly, use grapeseed and coconut oils almost exclusively, and keep green smoothies and other handy snacks readily available. I go easy on fruit, drink gallons of water each week, and keep wine (wine is raw!) to a 1-3 glasses a week.
The only thing I’d change if I were pregnant from my lifestyle? The wine. Other than that, I can honestly say that my food lifestyle helped me to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight, and quickly shed the baby weight postpartum. I now feel like I am in the best health and shape of my entire life. But when I start striving for more, or overwhelming myself with information, I stop, step back, and remember my balance. Find your balance. Take what’s best for you, and leave the rest behind.




November 1, 2010

Recipes: (Gluten Free) Sweet Corn Muffin Cakes


Ring in this fabulous time of year with a comforting favorite addition to your meal! These little corn muffins are wholesome and hearty, and nicely compliment a bowl of turkey chili, a cup of soup or stew, or are even delicious as a morning breakfast with a bit of your favorite buttery spread, a heaping spoonful of organic applesauce and a few drizzles of maple syrup!

1 C. Organic stone-ground cornmeal
1 C. Gluten Free Flour (Bob’s Red Mill or your other fav)
1/3 C. Organic Sugar
2 ½ tsp. gf Baking Powder
½ tsp. Sea Salt
1 C. Organic Buttermilk
1 C. Organic Sweet Corn (frozen or canned)
6 Tbsp. Organic Sweet Butter, melted
1 Organic, Free Range Egg, slightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Grease 10-12 muffin cups
2. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl, then stir in buttermilk, corn, butter and egg, and mix gently
3. Spoon batter into muffin cups, set on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for approximately 20 minutes (check with a toothpick or knife, depending on your oven, 15 minutes may be plenty)




October 23, 2010

Getting in the Burn

My little Mia is getting so big! She turned 8 months on the 17th of October, and time is just flying by. It's getting harder and harder to work in my daily exercise, but I am still determined! Mia is busier by the day, crawling all over, pulling herself up on absolutely everything, putting everything in site in her mouth, I'm sure I'm burning a few extra calories chasing my pink pixie around the house. Since Mia is 8 months, how about we discuss 8 sprints that can change your life?


Like I said, we don’t have a lot of extra time as busy Mom's, but the time you do have to work out you want to make the most of. I get it. Well if you don’t have those extra 30 minutes to jog in the mornings, how about 20 minutes for some intense and yet incredibly effective cardio? Here are some pointers that will help you to see result when you try on your skinny jeans in a couple of weeks from now.

For starters, let’s talk basics. What are you doing before you work out?

The very best time of day that you can work out is first thing in the morning. So after you’ve been woken up at that wee small hour of the morning, such as 5:30, or 6:30am, this is when you start thinking “I’m going to get my burn in.”

Start with drinking a massive glass of water. I’m not talking one of those 12oz Crate and Barrel tumblers in your cupboard. I’m talking one of those giant 24-32oz brightly colored plastic cups you keep on the top shelf, so guests don’t see them immediately. Fill it up with room temperature or warm water, and preferably some lemon. I keep sliced lemons in a Ziplock in the fridge for just those occasions, or if lemons are out of season, I buy organic lemon juice in those squeezy little yellow plastic lemon-shaped deals and use that. I might even add a couple drops of stevia. Pound the whole thing while you are nursing or feeding baby their first meal of the day.

The best time to exercise in the morning is prior to consuming anything at all. Studies show that exercising after a night of fasting will lead to maximum fat burning. Some say that consuming high quality whey protein 30 minutes to working out is second best to fasting, and can even up your fat burning a little bit ( But if you’re like me and like to avoid whey, then consider a superfood made with hemp protein powder.

My favorite pre-workout snack is 2-3 of my spirulina-hemp-cacao balls (titled “Little Black Balls” under my recipes label) or a cup of my Incan Warrior Hot Chocolate. I try and go on an empty stomach, but let’s face it; sometimes we just can’t pull that off. I usually need a little “umph” to get going, especially after a rough night, so that’s when the Incan Warrior or superfood balls come in handy.

The worst thing to eat before hitting the pavement or hand weights is carbohydrates (fruits, energy drinks, a bagel, cereal, etc.). Eating carbs activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), which promotes energy storage. This reduces your fat burning efforts, which is the complete opposite of what you're trying to do!

The same applies to your post-workout regimen. You must avoid the sugar/starch/simple carbs post workout (including energy drinks!), otherwise you are sabotaging your body’s HGH production, limiting your ability to burn fat. Avoid these type of foods for at least 2 hours post workout, otherwise your insulin sensitive and HGH production will be inhibited (check out Dr. Mercola’s in depth article regarding this topic here, if you are interested: So what do you eat? Eat a low-carb meal such as an egg white scramble with some vegetables, or you can also go with something like my green smoothie (under my Recipes section) which is just vegetables, fats and hemp protein powder. Try and avoid protein and other meal supplement-type bars, as they are usually loaded with unseen sugars and carbs.

Now moving on to what you should do for maximum fat burn in a minimal amount of time; “Peak 8” exercises is the absolute best. Here’s what I do. I take off from my front door, jog over to a long stretch of street with minimal traffic, and break into a sprint.
I sprint for 30 seconds, then jog or walk for 90 seconds. Repeat this 8 times (hence their name, “Peak 8’s”). If you are having a particularly energized day, try for 9 or 10 sprints. Then simply jog home.
Jogging to the street where I like to run my sprints takes about 5 minutes, then the 8 sprints take about 20 minutes, then I jog 5 minutes home, and in 30 minutes I’ve burned more fat in a day than a lot of people will. If you don’t have 30 minutes, but have 20?
Take off with your first sprint right out the front door! Don’t have 20 minutes? Try for 6 or 7 sprints… something is always better than nothing!
Your goal is to get your heart rate to its maximum (220-your age; mine is 191). If you are really getting into this and want to check your heart rate, then simple take your pulse at your wrist or neck, count for 15 seconds and multiply by four. Otherwise, I’m sure if you’re going all-out for 30 seconds for all 8 sprints, you are doing just fine. J

I don’t carry a stop watch, and usually I am giving Mia attention in her B.O.B. stroller in between sprints, so I just keep track on my phone or in my head. As soon as I start to somewhat catch my breath in between sprints, I know it’s time to go again. If you are a real hard-core runner, then you can do the stop watch and everything, or running on a treadmill, using an elliptical or stationary bike are also optimal for this kind of workout. But if you’re a Mom like me, and getting into the gym has turned into a long running family joke, then take to the streets ladies -early in the morning, baby in the stroller or napping at home with Daddy on duty.

The reason why Peak 8 exercise is so effective (also Circuit Training, same concept; Peak 8 can also be done on a stationary bike, elliptical, etc. as I mentioned above) is because it is the only type of exercise that is going to promote the production of HGH in your body. HGH is produced when your “super-fast” muscles are engaged, in contrast to engaged your “slow” or “fast” muscle fibers. For a detailed report on this concept see Dr. Mercola’s article:

This is just more proof that there is a way to get it all in. Even if you just do these 8 sprints 2-4 times per week, you will see results and feel a million times better for getting in the burn. Your clothes will start to fit a bit loser, and your daytime stamina will increase, as well as your deep sleep at night.

Now for the question you pregnant gals are dying to ask… “Can I do these sprints pregnant?” I did. They got slower and fewer towards the end of my pregnancy, and I wasn’t a maniac. I listened to what my doctor said about where my target heart rate (for pregnancy) should be, and I did what she said. I was in great shape prior to my pregnancy, so I didn’t just start all of this out of the blue once my e.p.t. test came back positive, so use your common sense, talk to your doctor about all of your questions and concerns, and go with your gut. I found the sprints to give me marvelous energy, and avoid unnecessary fat gain during my pregnancy. But only you know your body, and when/how/where to push yourself. If you have never had a consistent workout routine, and want to start one for the first time during your pregnancy, then I would consider some other options, as a beginner. Talk to your doctor about a good place for you to start, and maybe work up to some moderate sprints. Either way, stay hydrated and always use your common sense.

You can do this!



October 22, 2010

Recipe: Decadent Chocolate Layered Nut Bars


So there I was craving a decadent desert the other night... and since I am on my 100% grain free kick (usually just gluten free, and I'll eat corn, rice and quinoa, but I've eliminated those for 30 days) I had to come up with something delicious that would make me forget about the big fat gluten free cupcakes I wanted.

This is how the process works girls! You have to think of the ingredients you want, and find substitutes and stay within your range of eating style. Especially if you have dietary restrictions like I do, or are simply trying to lose that baby weight, keep from putting on the baby weight, or just want something you can devour without feeling guilty about it. =)

I was craving the flavors of chocolate, nuts and coconut. So here is what I came up with; mix, press, refrigerate, and enjoy!

1 Cup Organic Raw Cashews
1/2 Cup Organic Raw Almonds, slivered
1 Cup Organic Raw Coconut, shredded
1 Cup Organic Dates, chopped
2 Tbsp Organic Raw Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Organic Raw Honey
1/4-1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Organic, Gluten Free Vanilla (or inside of 2 vanilla beans)
1 Heaping Scoop Raw Maca Powder

Chop ingredients in food processor (depending on size of food processor you may have to do it in two batches).
Spoon nut mixture into an 8x8 or 9x9 pan or glass baking dish greased with 1 tsp. raw coconut oil. Using a piece of parchment paper (or wax paper works too) press mixture firmly into the pan, pressing on the top and edges with the palm of your hand until solid. Set aside.

Using a double broiler (a glass bowl on top of a sauce pan with a cup or two of boiling water works), slowly melt approximately 1 1/2 - 2 cups organic raw cacao butter. You will need to shave the block of cacao butter so that it melts quicker and doesn't over-heat, losing it's raw properties.

Slowly stir in:

1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. stevia powder
1 Scoop (approx. 1 heaping tbsp) either Lacuma or Mesquite powder
3-4 Heaping Tbsp. of Raw Cacao Powder

I always have to play around a bit with the amounts of cacao and sweetener... Add the sweetener and cacao powder to your liking, there is no "wrong" with raw chocolate, unless it tastes awful, ha ha. But just keep playing around with your sweeteners! Sometimes I like to add a dash of cayenne pepper or cinnamon!

As soon as all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly and clumps are dissolved, remove from heat (as quickly as possible) and set aside. Allow to cool for about 3-5 minutes.

Pour chocolate evenly over the pressed nut mixture. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool for 45-90 minutes.

Some tasty twists include spreading Nutella on top of the cooled bars (if you have no milk allergies and aren't avoiding sugar) or sprinkling shredded coconut on top of the cacao prior to cooling. Both are fun and yummy, and the bars 'naked' are my fav. =)

Enjoy your raw, gluten free, superfood packed sweet treat with zero guilt, and share with family and friends to really impress ;)




October 20, 2010

Recipe: Grain Free Granola Squares

These super chewy goodies will keep you full and satisfied while on the go, during a road trip, or a handy grab 'n nosh for the diaper bag. My husband loves them, and they don't stay in the fridge for long! I can't seem to keep them stock!

(Use organic whenever possible!)

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews
1/2 Cup Raw Almonds
1 Cup Dried Apricots, chopped
1 Cup Dates, chopped
1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
2 Scoops Raw Maca Powder
1 Tbsp. Raw Honey
2 tsp. Gluten Free Vanilla
1/2 Cup Raw Coconut, shredded
1/4 Cup Raw Sesame Seeds
1/2 Cup of dried Currants, dried Blueberries, or dried Cherries
2 Tbsp. Raw Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, possibly in 2 batches. Place mixture on a large piece of parchment paper, oil a rolling pin with raw coconut oil, and roll 'dough' out to about a 1/2 inch or so.


Cut bars into the size of square or rectangle that you desire, place in container and refrigerate. Mmmm!




October 18, 2010

Looking To Save $$$ ?

This is more of a "tip" than a blog post, but I had to pass along this great information for those of you still unaware as I was just a short time ago.

A client of mine recently tipped me off to the great savings you can accumulate by becoming and "Amazon Mom" on! You can sign up for free, no obligation, to have your choice of diapers, baby food, wipes and a million other wonderful, organic and baby essential items shipped to your house for %15-%30 off store prices!

You sign up for the products you want, the amount, select the frequency you'd like your favorite products to be shipped to your door, and there you go! You can change items, delete/add items, or cancel all together at anytime, again with no obligation! It is absolutely fantastic, and wow, what a time-saver!!! Forget running to the store at 10pm because you forgot to grab diapers earlier in the day, or running out of wipes at the worst possible poomergency moment. You can even order home essentials and great baby-friendly cleaning products you use everyday like Seventh Generation and more! They even carry all the on-the-go baby food I like to keep in stock, such as Ella's Kitchen, World Baby Food, Happy Baby Organics, Plum Organics and tons more.

Had to pass on the tip; I've signed up and have been loving it so far. I am currently saving almost $13 per package of diapers... I am currently using the Huggies Pure & Natural diapers with Organic Cotton, and am getting 144 diapers for $28. That is a steal of a deal! Sign up if you are interested, or share any other money saving tips in the comments section!



October 17, 2010

Recipes: Kombucha -The Making!

I've written about the benefits and power of this tasty and intriguing beverage before, and now I want to share with you how to make your very own! It is so easy, and the possibilities are endless.

Let's start with the basic recipe:

12 Cups of Water
1 Cup Organic, Fair Trade Sugar (raw is best)
3-5 Tea Bags (your choice)
1 Kombucha "Mother"


Bring the water to a boil in a giant pot. Add in the cup of sugar, stir until dissolved. Add in the tea bags, and allow the entire pot to cool to room temperature.


After it's cooled, transfer tea to a large glass bowl. Lay 'The Mother" on top of the bowl, and then cover with either a cloth, or clear wrap with many, many holes punctured in it. You can then cover the top with a cloth. If the cloth won't stay put, I like to use an old Goody hair band to secure into place.

("The Mother")




Allow tea to ferment for 7-9 days, depending on the strength you prefer.

Remove the mother and start a new batch, placing the removed tea in a pitcher, refrigerated.

After a couple of batches you can peel off layers of "The Mother" mushroom and give away or start multiple batches!

The most common tea is just a plain, organic black tea. But you can certainly mix things up! You can add an unsweetened juice of your choice for flavor, grape is my favorite. I will add R.W. Kudson's Just Concord Grape for a bit of flavor, but you can add anything you'd like. Avoid super sugary juices like mango, or purees.

My very favorite variation is "Black & White Mango" Kombucha. I use two 3 mango flavored black tea bags, and two white tea bags.
Another favorite is Pomegranate White Tea flavor. Trader Joe's carries a delicious box of Pomegranate White Tea.
For pregnant or lactating Mom's, use caffeine free tea, such as a Raspberry Flavor, or any other the caffeine free Celestial Teas... all delicious! I like using the Lemon Zinger, and adding some fresh ginger to the tea, that will take the edge off of morning sickness!
Another yummy combination is Blueberry Tea and White Tea together.
The possibilities are endless, and it is so good for your health.

You can find "The Mother" online and order it, or start asking around to see if anyone can peel you off a layer from their mushroom. You'd be surprised who has them! I got my first mother from a guy in my yoga class many years ago. I "fell off the wagon" when I moved, as my mushroom didn't make the move. But my cousin recently provided me with a new fantastic mushroom, and I'm going strong once again!
Making your own kombucha can save you BIG bucks, as they charge upwards of $3-$4 per 12oz bottles in the store.