Keto Rice

keto rice

Keto rice is my go-to substitute side dish for any meal in place of;

  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • ‘Bowl’ meals (in place of the wheat or corn tortillas)
  • ‘Chinese/Japanese’ inspired dishes

It can be used in combination with;

  • Taco or burrito mix
  • Stir fry chicken/beef
  • Steamed seafood & veggie

The possibilities are truly endless. The great thing is you can customize as you wish by adding or removing any items.  For example, I like cabbage better than brussel sprouts.

In order for my keto rice to have detox benefits, all ingredients must be organic or ‘toxin free’.

Luckily, most of these fresh, whole food ingredients have a detoxing effect on the body reducing the body’s toxic burden that interferes with optimal health.

cauliflower rice recipe

Special Notes:

*You can skip most of the prep with a food processor – I just throw it all in.

cauliflower rice

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces cauliflower florets (about ½ head)*
  • 6 ounces broccoli florets/1 broccoli stalk (I do stem as well)*
  • 1 – 1 inch slice of purple cabbage and/or 1 cup Brussel sprouts, (shredded)*
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger (grated)*
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)*
  • 1 small bok choy*
  • 2 celery stalks, (diced)*
  • 1 red onion (diced)*
  • 2 carrots (grated)*
  • 2 green onions, (chopped)*
  • 1 Tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coconut amino (or more – sweet, teriyaki like)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated turmeric (or powder)
  • 4 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil, divided
  • 2 large pastured eggs, beaten
cauliflower rice

Directions

  1. To make cauliflower rice, first start by pulsing cauliflower in a food processor until it takes on a rice-like form and then set aside.
  2. Next, add all other remaining veggie ingredients (in the first section) into processor and pulse until you get it to your desired size, then add to the bowl of cauliflower rice.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk coconut amino, ginger, turmeric, and 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  4. Next, heat 1 Tbsp coconut/avocado oil in a large wok or skillet over low heat. Add eggs and scramble until cooked to desired consistency then set aside.
  5. Heat 3 Tbsp coconut/avocado oil and add the veggie mix. Cook 6-8 minutes.
  6. Lastly, add the coconut amino mix and eggs. Stir constantly for another 2-3 minutes and enjoy!

This dish is best served immediately however you can place individual servings into a glass storage container or even freeze for future meal prep (ie: lunches or breakfast)

Diabetes Education For Children Living With Type 2 Diabetes

diabetes education

Aссоrdіng tо thе CDC (Cеntеrѕ Fоr Dіѕеаѕе Cоntrоl & Prеvеntіоn), approximately 2 mіllіоn teenagers in thе United Stаtеѕ hаvе рrе-dіаbеtеѕ.  Furthermore, thе numbеr of сhіldrеn who are dіаgnоѕеd with type 2 dіаbеtеѕ is rаріdlу increasing.  Sadly, the average аgе of оnѕеt of people living with diabetes іѕ gеttіng уоungеr.  In fact, did you know that tуре 2 dіаbеtеѕ didn’t exist аt аll until 1926?  AND, іt wаѕ соmрlеtеlу unhеаrd оf іn children untіl vеrу rесеntlу.  Thіѕ іѕ ALARMING and why diabetes education is so important!

Whу Do Sо Mаnу Chіldrеn Hаvе Tуре 2 Diabetes & Prе-Dіаbеtеѕ?

Chіldrеn used to grоw uр еаtіng whоlеѕоmе healthy fооd.

  • Eggѕ dіdn’t соmе wіth hоrmоnеѕ and thеу соntаіnеd lоtѕ of omega-3.
  • Oаtѕ didn’t соmе рrе-сооkеd, dеfіbеrіzеd, аnd lасеd wіth trans fаt, hіgh fructose соrn ѕуruр, аnd ready to bе nuked.  Oаtѕ and оthеr grаіnѕ wеrе slow сооkеd.  Full оf fiber аnd nutrіеntѕ.
  • Cows ѕtіll ate grаѕѕ аnd wеrеn’t shot up wіth hоrmоnеѕ and аntіbіоtісѕ.  In addition, dаіrу products wеrе еxtrеmеlу healthy and nutritious.
  • Bееf and сhісkеn ѕtіll tаѕtеd lіkе bееf and chicken.  They wеrеn’t full оf hormones and аntіbіоtісѕ.  Bееf USED TO BE аn excellent source оf оmеgа-3 whеn соwѕ still аtе grаѕѕ.
  • Kіdѕ drank hоrmоnе-frее mіlk with аlmоѕt еvеrу meal.  NOT ѕоdа рор аnd alleged “fruіt juice” full оf hіgh fruсtоѕе corn syrup аnd artificial сhеmісаl flаvоrіngѕ.
  • Dinner did not come рrе-расkаgеd іn a bоx loaded wіth trans fаt, high fructose соrn ѕуruр, аnd additives lіkе MSG to mаkе uр for the loss оf actual flаvоr.  Nо meal included gеnеtісаllу mоdіfіеd, hіghlу processed, dеhуdrаtеd, and ѕоmеtіmеѕ reconstituted in раrt “vegetables.”
  • Real vegetables with rеаl nutrіеntѕ аnd real fiber came straight frоm thе gаrdеn оr from nеаrbу fаrmѕ.  Almоѕt еvеrу family knew how AND participated in the аrt of ‘рuttіng uр‘ fruits аnd vegetables fоr the winter.  They wеrе still full оf fiber, nutrіеntѕ, аnd yes TASTE.

Snacks

A tурісаl аftеr ѕсhооl ѕnасk wаѕ a ріесе оf fruіt, a peanut buttеr ѕаndwісh WITHOUT thе trаnѕ fаt or hіgh fructose соrn ѕуruр mіxеd іn!  Or, as a special treat, a fеw home mаdе сооkіеѕ mаdе frоm ѕсrаtсh wіth wholesome іngrеdіеntѕ with a glass оf hеаlthу milk.  I ѕhuddеr whеn I really stop to thіnk аbоut whаt kіdѕ еаt fоr ѕnасkѕ today!

Physical Activity

Children uѕеd tо walk tо school.  Wаlk tо the mоvіе theater.  Walk to thе store.  They had LONG rесеѕѕ where thеу participated іn рhуѕісаl асtіvіtіеѕ.  Rаn аrоund аftеr ѕсhооl and PLAYED OUTSIDE.  Thеу ѕсrеаmеd, thеу yelled, thеу jumреd for jоу. Thеу were ACTIVE.

Stress!

In general, сhіldrеn used tо be FAR LESS STRESSED.  Kіdѕ didn’t wоrrу аbоut being ѕhоt by their сlаѕѕmаtе.  Sсhеdulеѕ wеrе not ԛuіtе ѕо hectic.  Kids didn’t hаvе to grow uр ѕо fast аnd wоrrу аbоut аdult matters quite ѕо ѕооn.

In thе most generic ѕеnѕе, I doubt іt is аnу big mуѕtеrу whу ѕо many kids are developing diabetes – оr at lеаѕt іt shouldn’t bе!  It іѕ mоѕt сеrtаіnlу related tо the сhаngе іn dіеt, thе drаmаtіс dесrеаѕе іn рhуѕісаl асtіvіtу, and thе еlеvаtеd сhrоnіс stress.

What All Parents Need to Know About Type 2 Diabetes Nutrition

Living With Diabetes & Diabetes Education

Wе need to еngаgе thе media!

Use them to get thе truth оut and discuss the need for diabetes education!  Trаnѕ fаt, high fruсtоѕе соrn syrup, gеnеtісаllу mоdіfіеd and food аddіtіvеѕ.  All thе rеаѕоnѕ for thе lоw quality dаіrу products.  Thе reasons fоr low quality mеаt рrоduсtѕ.  The dangers оf mоdеrn mаѕѕіvе-ѕсаlе рrоfіt-drіvеn fооd processing, еtс, еtс… If wе can’t ѕаvе оurѕеlvеѕ, lеt’ѕ trу to ѕаvе оur children оr оur сhіldrеn’ѕ children. Click here to read, Are You Eating Junk Food Without Realizing It?

We need tо DRAMATICALLY сhаngе the dіеt of our сhіldrеn.

Eliminating аll trans fat аnd hіgh fruсtоѕе corn ѕуruр іѕ a good step in thе right dіrесtіоn.  Thеѕе аrе роіѕоnѕ thаt CAUSE diabetes.  Eаtіng оrgаnіс eliminates gеnеtісаllу mоdіfіеd оrgаnіѕmѕ.  Stop buуіng рrосеѕѕеd fооd.  Put ѕоmе REAL fооd оn thе table!!!  Teach оur сhіldrеn better eating hаbіtѕ.  Bоусоtt ѕсhооl lunches until they еlіmіnаtе the рrосеѕѕеd food, trаnѕ fаt, high fructose соrn ѕуruр, genetically mоdіfіеd оrgаѕmѕ, еtс….Click here to read, How to Encourage Children to Eat Vegetables.

We nееd tо bе a LOUD vоісе!

Bring bасk rесеѕѕ and physical activity tо оur сhіldrеn’ѕ lives.  Mауbе thіѕ ѕhоuld bе lеgіѕlаtіvеlу mаndаtеd.  Get thе PTA’s and оthеr parent оrgаnіzаtіоnѕ involved.  Speak оut at local public meetings.  Eduсаtе уоur nеіghbоrѕ, frіеndѕ, аnd fаmіlу.  Click here to read, Is Today’s Technology Destroying Your Health?

Find ways to еlіmіnаtе ѕtrеѕѕ frоm оur сhіldrеn’ѕ lіvеѕ.

Hеlр them lеаrn tо cope bеttеr with stress.  Try to сrеаtе аn environment where they gеt mоrе sleep.  Click here to read,  5 Natural Solutions For Coping With Stress!

There are many things that are out of our control when it comes to our children.  However, after reading this article, I hope you are able understand and more importantly implement this knowledge.  Living with diabetes doesn’t have to be in your children’s future.

GI Tract Health Guru Discusses #1 Gut Dysfunction

gi tract

Here we will discuss the first of five most common gut dysfunctions that people often face when it comes to the health of their gi tract; digestion and absorption. The full list which I will go into depth with in future articles includes:

  1. Digestion and absorption
  2. Intestinal permeability
  3. Gut microbiota and dysbiosis
  4. Inflammation and immunity
  5. The nervous system

The amount of energy that we harvest from the food we eat is largely determined by the bugs in our gut. It’s important to note that the bugs rely on fibre. Therefore without fibre they will starve. Thus, a diversity of food is needed in order to keep our microbiome healthy in your gi tract. In other words, the wider the variety of foods we eat, the more strains of bacteria we will find in our gut.

Unfortunately, when the gut is not working optimally, a wide array of symptoms can occur. These symptoms include:

  • Gas, cramping and bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Food Cravings
  • Depression or poor mood
  • Frequent infections
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Insomnia

So, let’s get started and dive into the first issue affecting the health of our gi tract.

1. DIGESTION AND ABSORPTION

First, on a mechanical level improper breakdown of food can happen through:

  • Mastication (chewing)
  • Lack of bile, enzymes and acids

This may be a cause of malabsorption and poor nutrient assimilation. So, as insignificant as this step may sound;

“Chewing your food properly actually plays a vital role in easing the rest of the digestive process.”

Therefore, it is important to avoid eating when in a rush or stressed.  Take time and chew methodically to ensure proper breakdown of food can occur in your gi tract.

Next, adequate levels of stomach acid and enzymes are required for optimal food breakdown. The stomach needs to be acidic to break down protein. Therefore, an optimal pH of 1.5-3 is needed in order to do it’s work and activate pepsin (among other enzymes).

If our stomachs aren’t sufficiently acidic, we can’t digest protein properly. As such, we won’t be able to access many of the minerals in our food and properly trigger vitally important functions during later stages of the digestive process.

The Role Of HCL

The secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCL) is an absolutely essential part of the digestive puzzle. Furthermore, this highly acidic environment is our body’s first line of defense against foodborne pathogens.

As hard as it is to believe with the heavy promotion of antacids and acid-blockers, most people with heartburn often have low acidity (hypo-chlorhydric), not too much acidity (hyper-chlorhydric).

Bottom line, if you have any kind of digestive dysfunction, the level of HCL needs to be addressed or you won’t get anywhere with your gut healing.

Signs You Have Low Stomach Acid (And What That Means) with Dr. Lori Arnold

Signs And Symptoms Of Hypochlorhydria

  • Bloating or belching right after a meal
  • Sense of fullness after eating
  • Feeling like food sits in the stomach
  • Itching around the rectum
  • Weak, peeling or cracked fingernails
  • Acne
  • Undigested food in stool
  • Dilated blood vessels in face (rosacea)
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic intestinal infections
  • Food allergies or sensitivities

If some of these symptoms sound familiar, there is a good chance that you are not producing optimal levels of stomach acids.

Causes Of Hypochlorhydria

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Consuming too little calories
  • Usage of PPI medication (proton pump inhibitors)
  • H2 blockers (also called H2 antagonists)
  • Antacids used for acid reflux and ulcers
  • H. Pylori bacterial infection

Antacids have also been shown to inhibit the absorption of many essential nutrients. This can include:

  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • B12
  • Iron

Intrinsic factor (which is a glycoprotein produced by the stomach cells) is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12. However, the body can develop antibodies to the intrinsic factor which can lead to the diagnosis of pernicious anemia. So be sure to follow up with a health care practitioner if you are concerned.

Hypochlorhydria Consequences

  • B12 deficiencies
  • Dysbiosis (lack of good gut bacteria)
  • Chronic Candida Infections
  • Mineral deficiencies (like calcium, zinc, manganese)
  • Small Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Increased risk for asthma, celiac disease, diabetes, eczema, gallbladder disease, osteoporosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid dysregulation

Do You Have Acid Reflux or GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach, creating a reflux of stomach acids into the esophagus. Also causing a burning sensation.

Did you Know?

20% of adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of heartburn weekly. 60% of the population experience it annually.

Although, it is quite common during pregnancy, in most cases it is related to dietary choices. In fact, studies also show that obesity plays a role in the onset of its symptoms. Therefore, in most cases, GERD can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes.

Relief Tips For GERD

  1. Avoid wine, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes and peppermint. Also avoid onion, garlic, high fat meals and carbonations.
  2. Eating smaller portions.
  3. Weight loss.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Elevate your head in bed.
  6. Sleeping on left side (this can prevent stomach content being pushed into the esophagus).
  7. Not eating 3 hours prior to bed.
  8. Follow a low carb diet.
  9. Supplement with GABA, melatonin and licorice root extract. Also try aloe vera, slippery elm, and zinc-l-carnosine.
pancreatic enzymes

Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency

The pancreas is most commonly known for its role in blood sugar regulation through its secretion of insulin. But the pancreas also secretes specific enzymes to break down fats, protein and carbohydrates which included:

  1. LIPASE – Lipase works with bile from the liver to break down fat molecules so they can be absorbed and used by the body.
  2. PROTEASE – Proteases break down proteins. They help keep the intestine free of parasites such as bacteria, yeast and protozoa.
  3. AMYLASE – Amylase breaks down carbohydrates (starch) into sugars which are more easily absorbed by the body. This enzyme is also found in saliva.

Causes For Enzyme Deficiencies

  • Stress
  • Toxicity
  • Nutritional insufficiency
  • Damaged gut microvilli
  • Free radical oxidation
  • PH imbalance

This can result in:

  • Indigestion/fullness 2-4 hours after meal
  • Bloating or flatulence 2-4 hours after meal
  • Undigested food in the stool
  • Fatty stool
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies
  • Slow transit time (no your bus is not late, it means the time it takes for your food to go from entrance to exit)
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Increased risk for chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, celiac disease and gastric ulcers. Also, autoimmune conditions, Crohn’s disease, anemia, bone loss and even neurological problems

Today, there are several natural alternatives that stimulate enzyme functions. Therefore, do your research when looking to restore proper enzyme levels before resorting to medication.

Effective Digestive Spices And Herbs Aids

  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Fennel
  • Ajowan
  • Piperine
  • Curcumin

Also, if you decide to take a natural supplement, look for ones that have lipase, protease and amylase. Vegetarian formulas are now available for you gi tract.

bile acids and salts

Bile Acids And Salts In Your GI Tract

Bile is a fluid produced by the liver and concentrated in the gallbladder. It serves to digest lipids in food and increases the absorption of fats and fat- soluble vitamins. Bile salts are made up of sodium salts of different acids manufactured in the liver. These are derived from cholesterol.

Therefore, in order to understand what scientists mean when they refer to bile salts, it is necessary to know a little chemistry.

An Explanation Of Acids, Bases And PH

I know, you thought you were done with biochemistry! But bare with me. When a base encounter an acid, a neutralizing reaction occurs. This reaction produces water and a chemical salt. It is this reaction that produced bile salts in the liver.

When bile salts are secreted into the lumen of the intestine, fecal bacteria and probiotics metabolize:

  • Primary bile acids
  • Cholic acid (CA)
  • Chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA)

Into secondary bile acids:

  • Deoxycholic acid (DCA)
  • Lithocholic (LCA)

Fiber plays an important role in getting rid of harmful toxins, cholesterol and fat as it forms a tight bond with the bile in the intestine. Soluble fibers cannot be absorbed by the intestinal wall, nor can the bile attach to it.

This fiber-bound bile ultimately leaves the body in a bowel movement with its load of toxins, cholesterol and fat in tow. Those who had their gallbladder removed can face bile salt insufficiency. Thus, may benefit from taking a bile salt supplement or a digestive enzyme supplement containing bile salts.

Signs And Symptoms Of Bile Salt Insufficiency

  • Sour or bitter metallic taste in the mouth, especially in the morning.
  • Incomplete digestion and absorption of fats.
  • Chronic diarrhea, which can be caused by obstruction (stones), liver toxicity, gallbladder disease and cholecystokinin (CCK) deficiency. Also, bacterial overgrowth and certain medications can cause this result.

Major risk factors for the development of gallstones are broken down into the 4-F’s:

  1. Fair
  2. Female
  3. Fat
  4. Fertile

Foods And Supplements That Stimulate Bile Production

  • Radishes
  • Dandelion
  • Bitter greens
  • Artichoke
  • Taurine supplement
  • Limonene

What’s Coming Up!

Make sure to stay tuned for my next article on Intestinal permeability. AKA ‘leaky gut‘ syndrome.

Did you know leaky gut can manifest as many different ailments? This makes the diagnosis a challenge for health care practitioners. As such, many doctors don’t seek the root cause of illness but simply treat the symptoms. Learn why you need to take a different approach and what you need to do when searching for a solution.

Types Of IBS Causes And Your Best Solutions

types of IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, has become the go-to, catch-all diagnosis for any digestive complaints that don’t have an obvious cause/solution. However, the types of IBS causes and solutions vary from patient to patient.

Common IBS Symptoms Include:

To put it simply, IBS refers to a dysfunctional digestive tract. So, if you or your child have been given this diagnosis, it is likely that you were told the same generalized advice;

“It is stress related and to resolve it you need to better manage your stress.”

Sadly, this is very common response and often doesn’t fully help the problem. Now, I agree that stress is absolutely a big factor in IBS, however it is not the ONLY factor. In fact there are 3 which we need to consider to accurately treat IBS.

3 Major Contributing Factors To IBS

  1. Stress
  2. Unbalanced Microbiomes
  3. Food Sensitivities

Stress Versus Rest And Digest

To understand IBS, we need to understand the basics of digestion which is;

digestion occurs when we are at a RESTED state

To be more specific, it occurs when we activate our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) a.k.a. rest and digest. This is our recovery mode where we nourish and repair our systems.

The PNS sends cues to activate proper digestion such as:

  • Producing stomach acid
  • Releasing digestive enzymes
  • Activating intestinal movement

These are all essential to break down food properly. The PNS is in direct opposition to our sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Or in other words, fight or flight.

Our SNS is activated when we are under stress. Biologically, our stress response was designed to respond to physical threats (i.e. running from or fighting off predators). Therefore, our SNS directs all energy to our:

  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Muscles

And slows down “non-essential” functions such as digestion and reproductive function, which of coarse makes sense. Think about it, if you are running from a bear, you don’t need to be digesting your last meal at the same time?

However, the issue is that our current stressors usually are not physical in nature. Therefore, this response is no longer well- adapted. For example, if you get stressed at your morning meeting, you will likely not able to digest your lunch properly.

Why?  Well, when we are chronically stressed and chronically activating our SNS, we lose proper cues to the digestive system. Therefore it is unable to function optimally. In other words, we aren’t able to break down our food properly and end up with:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Balanced Microbes

You cannot have a conversation about IBS without talking about the microbiome. The microbiome are the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms that live in our body. Especially our digestive tract. They play crucial role in active digestion as well as being involved in mood regulation signalling.

When it comes to our microbiome, we are mostly concerned about maintaining proper balance. The ratio of different microbes in our gut directly influences our digestive functioning.

Therefore, too much or too little of specific microbes, will throw off proper functioning. So, if the digestive system is not functioning optimally, undigested foods will be consumed by our microbiome producing excessive amounts of gas (i.e. bloating).

Balancing the microbiome is key for effective treatment of most types of IBS symptoms. This might include anti-microbial treatments, probiotics, and specific diets.

To learn more, click here to check out my previous article, What’s The Big Deal About Probiotics?

Food Sensitivities

Our food choices are crucial when it comes to our health. This is especially true when it comes to digestion. When you are dealing with a dysfunctional digestive tract, there are certain foods that are more difficult to digest and thus cause further issues. People with IBS are also more sensitive to certain foods.

Now, food sensitivities are very different from food allergies. However, they are both immune reactions.

Food allergies cause big inflammation throughout the body such as hives, itching, and anaphylaxis. Where as food sensitivities cause small amounts of inflammation specifically in the digestive tract. This irritates our intestinal lining which can cause constipation, diarrhea, and discomfort.

The Most Common Food Sensitivities In Most Types Of IBS

  1. Gluten
  2. Dairy (especially milk, cream, and soft cheeses)
  3. Foods high in preservatives (i.e. prepackaged granola bars, crackers, yogurt)
  4. Foods high in FODMAPs or Fructose

Eliminating these foods on a trial basis while providing support to eliminate the inflammation and damaged caused, is a key step in treating IBS. Quite often you can significantly reduce the number of food sensitivities you have through this temporary elimination when it come to these types of IBS symptoms.

What I Eat in a Day for IBS + Bloating | Elimination Diets 101

Final Thoughts

IBS is both chronic and complex. There is no quick solution thus several different treatment approaches are available. However, with the proper guidance and support, it is possible to live without daily gas, bloating, and pain.

A functional treatment approach to IBS should always include:

  1. Lowering stress and activating the parasympathetic nervous system
  2. Restoring microbiome diversity
  3. Eliminating food sensitivities.

If you’re looking for start taking action today, download my free guide to Beat Bloating in 7 Steps. These are my foundational steps to start re-training your digestive tract and gain control over your IBS.

Become A BBQ Guru And Prepare A Tastier, Healthier BBQ In Just 10 minutes!

bbq guru

It’s officially summer!  The most wonderful time of the year. Especially if you’re a BBQ guru or connoisseur!  There’s something raw and desirable about cooking your food over a hot burning fire.  Everything about it gives me joy.  The stimulation of the senses, the grill marks, and unique flavours all add to the cooking experience of BBQ food.

However, back in the day I didn’t know any better and didn’t think about all the toxicity associated with your typical BBQ.  In fact, I can remember pouring a number of charcoal lumps, dousing them with toxic and dangerous lighting fluid and when they were hot enough, cooking some grub over the fire.

But wait!  The fire suddenly went out due to the elements!  That’s ok, throw some MORE fluid on the fire.  Ah the “good ole’ days.

Or, if you were more inclined to use a gas BBQ, you would continually burn propane to keep the fire going until you cooked your food.  For me, the idea of lighting a gas BBQ was terrifying!  All thanks to one sunny afternoon at my grandparent’s house when I scorched the hair off my arms.

As I got older and graduated from Chiropractic school, preparing healthier food became more important to me. That’s when I decided I’d had enough! I needed a better, safer, and healthier option when it came to barbecuing.

So, I Googled it.  This led me on an online search adventure that eventually landed me on a YouTube video about how to burn wood without lighting fluid in less than 10 minutes.

Here is what I learned from my journey.

best way to bbq

How To Become A BBQ Guru!

First, you will need to purchase 4–5 items from your local BBQ store.

1. A charcoal BBQ if you don’t have one (I use a Spiedini Grill)
2. Natural Fire Starter (non-toxic lighting cubes or compressed wood starter)
3. Charcoal Chimney Starter
4. Source of Fire (a match or lighter)
5. Hardwood (charred for fast lighting)

Playing With Wood Fire in Your Backyard

Step 1:

Find a non-flammable surface to start the process of burning the hardwood.  Be smart. Don’t place it on surfaces that will burn like wood or grass.  Make sure that you are doing this in an open area that is far away from your house or flammable objects.  Ask your local fire department if you are unsure but really some common sense goes a long way.

Step 2:

Take your chimney starter, which is a metallic cylinder with a heat-safe handle and dump enough hardwood into it that it reaches the top.  You don’t need to overfill the chimney as it may be a fire hazard.  If your BBQ is large, consider purchasing a couple of chimneys (I have 3 even though I’ve never used more than 2 at the same time).

Step 3:

Place 1–2 natural fire starters on a fire-proof surface or right on your grill.  Again, ensure it is in a well-ventilated area away from your house and anything flammable.  Then light the cubes or wood fire-starter using a match or lighter.

Step 4:

Place the chimney on top of the lighting cubes and wait approximately 10 minutes or until the wood is red hot.  The cubes will burn out but the chimney will keep the fire going in a blazing inferno.  Make sure you don’t leave it unattended for too long.

Step 5:

When your wood is red hot and ready, pick the chimney up safely with the handle wearing fire-resistant gloves and pour the wood into your BBQ.  Place the grill on top and let it get really hot before placing your food items on top.  To save time marinate, cut, season and prepare your grilling food items ahead of time.  Then place them on the BBQ and watch them sizzle.

Click here to read, What meat do you eat?

When the food is cooked to your liking, remove them and get ready to enjoy a succulent meal that would make any BBQ guru proud.  Above all, no more toxic lighter fluid.  No more briquettes (that may contain chemical additives for quicker lighting).  Just a little bit of nature and a couple of items from the hardware store.

For some great grilling recipes, click here to read, Victoria Day BBQ Recipes.

are naturopaths real doctors

Did You Know?

Grilled vegetables retain more of their vitamins and minerals. Also, meat cooked over an open flame actually preserves more riboflavin and thiamine. All these important vitamins and nutrients play a vital role in a healthy diet.

Olive Leaf Extract – Nature’s Solution For Boosting Immunity

olive leaf extract

New superfoods and health trends seem to be constantly coming and going.  Knowing which sources to trust to maintain a healthy body can be stressful.  However, one extract making news for all the right reasons is d-Lenolate. This all-natural olive leaf extract supplement has been carefully researched over the past 20 years. Feedback consistently suggests positive results with no apparent side effects.

Natural Healing

The healing properties of olives have long been known and utilized by ancient Romans and others along the Mediterranean Sea.  However, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the healing benefits of olive extract became a serious topic among professionals.

D-Lenolate extracted from the Olea europaea species of the olive tree, has been shown in numerous articles and peer-reviewed studies. Backed by over 20 years of production, this extract has been deemed extremely potent for uses related to:

This is significant because this is an all-natural, safe-for-any-age, drug-free solution to many ailments. Helping people who are suffering from the flu to diabetes to herpes.  With its ability to strengthen the immune system and fight infectious diseases, d-Lenolate may be the most important underrated extract on the market.

For diabetics, d-Lenolate® may be the answer that changes their lives and reduces reliance on expensive medicines. In fact,  studies suggest d-Lenolate alone can reduce blood sugar levels by 105 percent with no apparent side effects. Now, compare that to the typical warnings on the side of an insulin bottle and the choice is clear.

d-Lenolate: Natures Antibiotic

The Multiple Benefits Of Olive Leaf Extract

Research performed at the LSU Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine showed that d-Lenolate significantly outperforms competitors Abreva and PBS at effectively treating the herpes virus and symptoms related to healing sores and blisters.

Furthermore, it worked faster than leading products on the market and was also shown to prevent herpes sores from forming without any apparent side effects.

Many people ranging from healthy to those with various health conditions have reported experiencing positive benefits as a result of taking olive leaf extract.  From promoting a high-functioning immune system to providing relief from various chronic ailments.  D-Lenolate was consistent in helping people.

Even illnesses that appear to have a more physical component to them, such as arthritis, have been shown to be impacted positively by olive leaf extract. This is because of its ability to ease pain and reduce inflammation.

As the research continues to pile up, it may be worth it to experience the benefits of a d-Lenolate® for yourself.

For further reading, click here to read how This One Thing Has Been Linked To Almost All Diseases!

Turmeric for Inflammation and Fibromyalgia

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The opioid crisis is responsible for approximately 115 deaths a DAY in America alone. These are very frightening statistics! Therefore let’s discuss a safer solution, natural pain relief in the form of turmeric.

Fibromyalgia is believed to be a chronic disorder. It’s known to cause widespread tenderness and pain throughout the body. The condition is believed to be inflammatory and autoimmune; affecting the muscular and nervous system.

At this time, there is no conclusive laboratory test to confirm the diagnosis. The pain can be caused by over-stimulation of nerve cells. Increased levels of anxiety which is associated with fibromyalgia; will signal chemical stimulation from the brain. In time, the muscles become oversensitive to these signals.

In addition to pain and tenderness, fibromyalgia can cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Morning stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

These symptoms may limit one’s ability to perform daily activities. This in turn can affect their quality of life. While the causes of this condition aren’t clear, it is believed that stress, trauma, and genetics may contribute to the development of fibromyalgia.

Many people have turned to anti-depressants and pain relievers with the hope of easing their fatigue and pain, and relaxing their muscles. However, today let’s look at a natural approach that can help people with fibromyalgia.  Let’s talk about Turmeric!

turmeric for inflammation

What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a yellow spice that is found in curry-spice blends. It is closely related to ginger and is primarily found in cuisines such as:

  • Indian
  • Moroccan
  • Thai

Furthermore, turmeric has long been used in the practice of Ayurvedic medicine.

The health benefits of turmeric have been well documented. Much of it is due to its main compound and key active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin has proven to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and neuroprotective healing properties.

So, here are some of the advantages of using turmeric for patients who have fibromyalgia.

1. Natural Pain Relief

Fibromyalgia sufferers can experience severe pain in their muscles. In fact for some, it can affect their muscle function. Therefore, in many instances, people turn to a variety of medications which are harmful in the long run. (1)(2)(3)

For example, over-the-counter pain medications can cause toxicity in the liver. (4) Therefore, a safer alternative to pain medications is turmeric for natural pain relief.

Turmeric is believed to have a strong analgesic effect on the body. This is due to the presence of curcumin; a compound that is known to help relieve pain. (5)  It is also believed to be more effective than other antioxidants when it comes to relieving pain.

Fibromyalgia pain occurs as a result of neural stimulation, which isn’t easy to treat. Activation of BDNF increases pain signals throughout the body. Thus, increasing pain sensitivity in the muscles. Research indicates that curcumin is successful in alleviating neuropathic pain. (6)

natural anti-depressant

2. Turmeric Is An Excellent Anti-depressant

Depression and anxiety are some of the common symptoms of Fibromyalgia. In many cases, anti-depressants are prescribed. However, many people do not have the desired response to them. Another concern is that they pose a health risk.  This has led to a growing number of people looking for a natural alternative in turmeric.

Turmeric is considered one of the safest and efficient ways to help depression-related illness. Additionally, it’s believed to relieve depression arising from neurological disturbances. The presence of monoamine oxidase in the brain is responsible for most neurological disorders. Turmeric shows anti-depressant effects that inhibit the function of this protein in the brain. (7)

naturally improve your memory

3. Helps In Improving Memory And Cognitive Functions

Patients who have Fibromyalgia often experience “fibro frog” (8), decreased concentration, cognitive function, and poor memory. The active ingredient in turmeric is neuroprotective; thus it’s believed to enhance memory and cognitive abilities. It can also improve brain function by restoring or reversing impaired cognition. (9)

turmeric benefits

Natural Remedies Found In Your Own Backyard

natural remedies

Since my childhood days of watching my grandmother in her garden, I’ve always been excited by the idea of ‘backyard medicine’.  What do I mean by ‘backyard medicine’?  I mean walking into a backyard garden full of medicinal herbs for any ailment.  Thus a garden full of natural remedies.

I particularly enjoy my naturopathic practice in the summer when gardens are abundant.  This is when I can actually quite often practice ‘backyard medicine’.  If you want to learn more about living naturally, click here to read Clean Living Basics And DIY Cleaning Solutions.

Natural Remedies

Garden season is coming!  So, to get you as excited as I am, here are four herbs that are easy to grow.  Even in a container garden for those without yards.  All in which have wonderful health benefits as natural remedies.

fresh mint
Fresh Mint

Mint

Mint is very easy to grow.  It comes back every year, and can even start to take over the garden if you’re not careful.  It also happily grows in a container or planter.  There are two types or species of mint that I commonly use in my practice: peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata).

I will often use peppermint for digestive concerns.  It’s especially great for bloating and constipation, plus has a refreshing, cooling taste that most people enjoy.  This cooling aspect of peppermint also makes it good for soothing inflammation. Personally, I use spearmint more for its role in hormone regulation, especially in women.

It has actually been shown to have anti-androgenic effects in women with PCOS.  Meaning, it can help to decrease testosterone levels that may be causing issues such as unwanted hair growth or acne.

Oregano
Oregano

Oregano

I come from an Italian family so oregano is a staple our kitchen and garden.  It’s another hardy herb.  Like mint, I planted it once, and it comes back every year.  Oregano is great to have on hand for cooking since it adds delicious flavour (especially in tomato sauce!) and nutrients to your meal.

I most often use this one in practice as an essential oil.  Oil of oregano is traditionally used for its antimicrobial effects.  It appears that the phenolic compound Carvacrol found in oregano is a key contributor to these effects.

In the clinic, I have seen it work well taken orally to help clear viral infections like colds and flus as well as topically (on the skin) to help clear fungal infections like athlete’s foot or even viral infections like planters warts.  I usually combine it with other antimicrobial herbs like garlic for optimal efficacy.

Calendula Flowers and Oil
Calendula Flowers and Oil

Marigold

Take note!  There are two types of marigold that often get confused.  They are: French Marigold (Tagetes patula) and Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis).  Both produce beautiful, bright, cheery flowers and have their own benefits.

The one I will be talking about here is Calendula officinalis.  I often use Calendula for skin concerns.  It is quite effective at helping to heal broken or damaged skin, making it a great herb for sunburns in the summer or dry skin in the winter.  I love making oil infusions and skin salves with this little healing flower.  Don’t just take my word for it, there’s even research to show Calendula’s efficacy in wound healing.

It has been studied in the treatment of skin conditions from diaper rash to palliative care and cancer treatment. One of Calendula’s lesser known uses is in treating inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.  I will often prescribe it topically as an oil or cream for hemorrhoids or even as a tea or in a soup for inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.

catnip
Catnip

Catnip

You’ve likely seen the effect that catnip has on cats but did you know it actually has a calming effect on humans?  I love cats.  So, if I’m being completely honest, part of the reason I planted catnip in my garden was to attract all the neighbourhood cats.

Really though, catnip is quite useful.  As a tea or tincture, it has calming effects, making it great for soothing anxiety or helping with sleep.  It can also be used to repel unwanted insects all summer.  As an essential oil, it may even be more effective at repelling mosquitos than DEET and even seems to repel cockroaches!  Who wouldn’t want catnip around?

And there you have it, four great herbs to start off your garden for use as natural remedies!  Click here for tips on How to Grow an Organic Garden.  

Herbs can be used in so many ways.  Teas, tinctures, oil infusions, essential oils, herb baths, even in cooking!  If you’re interested in learning more, send me an email to find out more about my herbal learning workshops in Burlington.  Interested in growing your own natural remedies garden but don’t have the outdoor space?  Don’t worry we have you covered!  Click here to read, ’10 Tips For A Successful Indoor Herb Garden’.

Sources

Grant, Paul. “Spearmint Herbal Tea Has Significant Anti-Androgen Effects in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Phytotherapy Research, 2009, doi:10.1002/ptr.2900.Sakkas, Hercules, and Chrissanthy Papadopoulou.

“Antimicrobial Activity of Basil, Oregano, and Thyme Essential Oils.” Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 27, no. 3, 2017, pp. 429–438., doi:10.4014/jmb.1608.08024.Carvalho, Alexsander R., et al.

“Use of Some Asteraceae Plants for the Treatment of Wounds: From Ethnopharmacological Studies to Scientific Evidences.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 9, 2018, doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00784.Sharifi-Heris, Zahra, et al.

“Comparison the Effects of Topical Application of Olive and Calendula Ointments on Children’s Diaper Dermatitis: A Triple-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial.

” Dermatologic Therapy, vol. 31, no. 6, 2018, doi:10.1111/dth.12731.Cruceriu, Daniel, et al.

“Calendula Officinalis: Potential Roles in Cancer Treatment and Palliative Care.” Integrative Cancer Therapies, vol. 17, no. 4, 2018, pp. 1068–1078., doi:10.1177/1534735418803766.American Chemical Society.

“Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075659.htm>.

Chaga Mushroom Benefits, What Researchers Are Now Saying

chaga mushroom benefits

Alternative medicine and therapies are growing in popularity. As more research findings emerge, there is growing proof that natural remedies are an effective means of disease prevention and reversal. For a great example, let’s take a look at how the Chaga mushroom benefits your health.

Chaga Mushroom Benefits:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Chaga mushrooms are known for their ability to act as an adaptogen in the body. An adaptogen is a substance which assists the body’s ability to combat the effects of stress and disease.

Furthermore, it can promote healthy sleep cycles. Chaga can also aid in strengthening the immune system, improve mental clarity, and regulate various other cycles in the body.

Reports indicate that medicinal mushrooms including chaga are a source of anti-oxidants and contain compounds which are:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-diabetic

Chaga has been found to have positive anti-cancer effects on breast and colorectal cancer cells, and aids in the protection of DNA damage.

Chaga mushroom health benefits - Health, Stress adaption, Healing, Renewal, Life Extension

What Is Chaga?

Chaga mushrooms are one of those alternative therapies that are proving to be effective and are starting to get some much deserved attention in the world of alternative therapies.

Chaga mushrooms are medicinal mushrooms native to the forests of Finland, Siberia, and North America and thrives in cold climates.

Although it grows most commonly on birch trees, it may also be found growing on:

  • Ash trees
  • Beech trees
  • Elm trees
  • Ironwood trees
  • Maple trees

In fact, you may have even seen it growing in the forest but didn’t recognize it. It has a rough looking outer surface that appears to be burnt and dark in colour with a yellow-orange core.

what is chaga

Enhanced Immune System

An enhanced immune system is better equipped to efficiently deal with:

  • Cancer cells
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Inflammation

Greater still, it provides the human body with a better opportunity to prevent disease formation.

chaga mushroom benefits

Chaga And Cancer

Chaga has been used to treat cancer for centuries in Russia and Baltic countries. It has been found that chaga mushroom extract can induce apoptosis of human colon cancer cells. These findings have since been confirmed in controlled lab experiments.

It’s believed that one of the main active ingredients in Chaga is a potent antioxidant called superoxide dismutase.

Superoxide dismutase is known as a liver cleanser, a cell membrane protector and a longevity enzyme. Furthermore, antioxidants are well known for their importance in disease prevention, and chaga is no exception.

How To Take Chaga

Due to chaga’s growing popularity, it can now be easily found at your local health food store and can be sold as:

  • Dried powder
  • Tincture form
  • Capsule

Dried chaga can be consumed in various ways including:

  • Steeping it as a tea
  • Grinding it to consume as food
  • Ingesting it as a tincture

Although, chaga tea is the easiest way to introduce into your diet.

chaga tea

Chaga Tea

  1. To make a chaga tea, first place small chunks of chaga, or ground chaga in a pot with cold spring water.
  2. Next, let the chaga sit in the water for up to one hour to begin the extraction process.
  3. Begin to heat the water, being caution that the water doesn’t reach a full boil.
  4. Lastly, let the chaga simmer for one hour before enjoying.

The mixture can then be strained and consumed hot or cold. Ideally, the tea should be consumed on an empty stomach before meals. Three to eight cups of chaga tea can be safely consumed daily.  Also, chaga tincture can be added to a small amount of water and swallowed.

Important Note

A known contraindication of chaga is that it can also act as a blood thinner. Therefore, if you are on blood thinners, chat with your natural health practitioner to be sure it is safe for you.

Kale Benefits One And All

kale benefits

Kale, sometimes called ‘the king of greens’, is considered as one of the world’s healthiest foods. It’s packed with various nutrients that support healthy hair, skin, and bones. But kale benefits so much more than just that!

Kale benefits cardiovascular health and enhances digestion as it’s a great source of fiber. Furthermore, this leafy winter vegetable is also packed with:

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin K
  • Chlorophyll
  • Calcium

How To Love Kale?

Whether you like, love or detest vegetables, I bet there is one or another forms of eating kale that you will enjoy such as:

super food

All Hail Kale!

Put Kale in the ring with spinach and broccoli and you have a good fight! However, if we’re taking bets, I’d put my money on kale for its nutrient density! Not sure where you stand? Check out the top 7 health benefits of kale and let’s see who you decide to cheer on!

Eating Kale Everyday Will Do This To Your Body

Top 7 Health Benefits Of Kale

Kale Contains Vitamin K

Vitamin K1 is known as the coagulation vitamin, since it helps the body’s blood clotting mechanism. Clotting is important because it helps prevent your body from bleeding too much when you are injured.

Also, Kale contains vitamin K2, which is known to activate over 17 proteins. For instance, vitamin K2 activates osteocalcin that is required for bone formation. Therefore, vitamin K improves bone strength

Kale Helps Keep Inflammation At Bay

Although known for its potent source of anti-inflammatory properties, kale also contains a variety of antioxidants which help protect our bodies against cellular damage.

Inflammation is a trigger for diseases and premature aging. However, antioxidants help in counter acting our inevitable daily exposure to oxidative stress.

naturally lower blood pressure

Kale Is Nutrient Dense And Detoxifying

First off, it’s no surprise many people have favored this vegetable as one of the top diseases-fighting food. Afterall, kale protects the heart and lowers blood pressure. In fact, studies have indicated that eating kale can lower cholesterol.

Furthermore, the high values of calcium, potassium, and magnesium in kale also help lower blood pressure as the presence of these chemicals helps counter balance the notorious effects of sodium present in the body which can often lead to high blood pressure.

how to protect your vision

Kale Protects Against Vision Loss

The presence of lutein and zeaxanthin in kale help protect the eye lens and retina. Research also indicates that it also helps in fighting the two common eye diseases; cataracts and macular degeneration.

Additionally, it contains beta-carotene that helps shield the ocular eye tissues from harmful ultraviolet light damage.

improve digestion

Kale Helps With Digestion

This leafy veggie is made from fibrous material. Hence, like other leafy greens, is excellent in aiding digestion. However, if you want to get maximum benefits from kale, it is recommended that you also eat the stems which contain a high quantity of prebiotics.

The stem might be appearing rough when taken raw. However, when sautéed in olive oil, it is delicious and can help you in fighting indigestion in addition to acting as a treat to your health.

how to achieve healthy hair and skin

Kale Helps Maintain Healthy Hair And Skin

Kale is known to be high in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A, which is required by the body. The nutrients available in kale enables all body tissues to grow including the hair and skin. Moreover, it’s also essential for the production of sebum; an oil which keeps the skin moisturized.

Human eyesight, immune, and reproductive functions rely on vitamin A which is present in kale. Cooked kale provides 53.3 milligrams of vitamin C which is required to build and maintain collagen. Collagen is a crucial protein which provides structure for our hair, bones, and skin.

how to cook kale

Kale Can Be Served In A Multitude Of Ways

Kale is a vegetable that you can have a lot of fun with. It can simply be:

  • Chopped up and served in a salad
  • Baked
  • Made into kale chips with the flavor of your choice
  • Steamed
  • Fried
  • Stacked in a sandwich
  • Tossed into soup

Including kale in your diet is one healthy and fun way to stack up on nutrients!