Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oregano Oil? What Do I Do with That?

OREGANO OIL, did I just fall off the Oregano Truck?  Why hadn't I heard about this wonder oil before?

Last summer a friend of mine told me about Oregano Oil and how it is an immune system strengthener and that it was also good for several other healthy benefits, skin, etc.  So, being who I am, I went home and looked it up immediately, started talking to other people who had used this fragrant oil as well and I began to comprise a list of the pros and cons.   Let's get started -

Oregano Oil was used by Ancient Greeks, as well as some others. However, they were one of the first. The Greeks saw the medicinal value this oil had and how it affected their health.  It was used as an anti-fungal, pain reliever, anti-bacterial, an inflammation reducer and it was known to successfully fight infections, which I imagine with all their fighting, they needed a good natural remedy!

Hippocrates used Oregano as an Antiseptic, Respiratory Cure and Stomach Ailments. Hippocrates said "Let Food be thy Medicine and Let Medicine be thy Food".   I think they were onto something!!

This herb is closely related to the Marjoram herb and is also known as wild Marjoram. 


Skin Issues -This oil helped to keep my Roseaca under control due to it's ability to knock out organisms that were hard at work causing flare ups. I used this topically as well as in my tea. Once again, 2 drops was sufficient. Always read the instructions on the bottle as some tinctures recommend mixing with an oil.  This works great as well for skin infections and itchy skin.

Digestive Issues - Destroys organisms that supply fuel for tummy troubles.  I used 2 drops in some warm water with lemon or with tea for a calm and properly digesting system. Oregano Oil contains large properties of Thymol and Carvacrol. These relax your digestive system.

Immune System - Strengthens your system and since it's working on your gut simultaneously, you are automatically improving your health. Your gut is the tell all of your health and your immune system. When your body is keeping mucous and your sinuses are feeling congested,  try Oregano Oil for 3-5 days and notice a breathing difference. Same for your lungs, feeling congested, a few drops in juice, tea, water, and voila! you should begin feeling better!

Ladies! Oregano Oil has been said to reduce the bodies ability to absorb iron.  This caught my eye and immediately as many women are low in iron to begin with. So, if you are using this oil on a regular basis, you may want to take an iron supplement. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD NOT USE OREGANO OIL.  BABIES NEED IRON!

Some people have allergies to Oregano, Mints, Basil, and Thyme.  These are all in the same family and may give you allergic reaction you didn't count on! So, avoid!!   You may want to avoid Marjoram too!

As with any herb, oil, supplement, if you are not sure if its right for you, talk to a Naturopath or Dr. and get another opinion.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


We all know sugar has a bad rap and for very good reasons.  Sugar depletes your body, raises risk of  diabetes, heart disease, contributes to obesity, asthma, mood disorders, sleep issues and the list goes on!  Of course no one forces us to eat sugar, and yet... we cannot stop, as if it were a drug and it's giving us our fix.

First off, I'd like you to aware that sugar is in most of the foods you consume on a daily basis.  Store bought Juices are loaded with sugar, your breads, pasta sauces and condiments all contain sugar.  These items usually contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as well, but that's another post all together.

Being aware of what's in your food is a first step to controlling what you are putting into your body.  Sugar is labeled under a variety of names in your food.

The next time you're eating something you think is healthy, check to see if any of these sugar labels are part of your ingredients:

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Fruit Juice or Concentrate
Barley Malt
Anything with Syrup

and... these are not even all of them! 

Just remember, Sugar is not working with your body, but against it.

Take the Sugar Challenge for 7 days and see if you don't feel better after eliminating all sugars from your diet.  If you have headaches within the first few days, that's your body detoxing.  Drink extra water and eat extra green vegetables during this time.  Skip the coffee, switch to tea and skip the what?  You got it.. SUGAR!  


Another Reason to eat a Plant Based Diet

What are your risks from eating PORK?

Yes, we’ve all heard the frightening tales of tapeworms entering the brain, because of eating undercooked pork, so let’s add to that nightmare with this disturbing piece of information. According to Huffington Post, don’t worry about the tapeworms, but keep an eye out for their larvae, as they could be eating holes in your brain as we speak.

Neurocysticercosis (NCC), a fancy term for brain tapeworms, is the most common parasitic disease of the nervous system, Medscape reveals. Let’s break this down for you.
Brain tapeworms produce larvae that can latch themselves onto the cranium in the form of large white cysts. Now, larvae are used to traveling through a pig’s bloodstream and attaching to its muscles. So, in turn, if you eat undercooked pork you’re eating larvae. Sounds delicious right?
When the larvae enters a human it still thinks it’s inside a pig and as a result, “It flows through the bloodstream and gets stuck inside fluid-filled cavities in the brain, then latches on and masks itself from the immune system. These larvae can form vast networks on the brain and completely mangle its function if not treated,” Huffington Post explains.

Someone who comes in contact with such larvae can enter into a coma, lose motor functions, have violent seizures and even go blind.
According to Dr. Theodore Nash of Maryland, who spoke with Discover Magazine, more than 2,000 people in the United States have tapeworms, while 29 million (or more) may have them in Latin America.

Luckily, there is a cure called praziquantel. However, there are side effects such as brain swelling, along with problematic seizures. A full proof treatment is still in the works.
Are you ready for another “comforting” fact? Tapeworms can lay up to 50,000 eggs each in your intestine. To avoid such a nightmare, all you have to do is cook meat all the way through and wash your hands methodically. Here’s another tip. Just stop eating meat all together and you’ll have no worries of tapeworms and larvae.

To learn more, read the full article by Discover Magazine who recently wrote an expose

Source :

BLOSSOMING LOTUS - A Trip to Downtown Portland Oregon

One of my favorite new places is called the "Blossoming Lotus".  This Restaurant serves Vegan and Raw Food that any food lover would appreciate. The atmosphere is airy, yet intimate and is modern with a fresh and yet nostalgic feel. I truly get pangs of excitement when I know this will be my place of dining!

Their dishes are flavorful, colorful and truly nutritious.  Some of my favorite yummy dishes are the Garden Veggie Wrap made of pesto & white bean spread, carrot, tomato, cucumber, purple cabbage, romaine, micro greens (if available), and roasted garlic vinaigrette, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla; Smoked Maple Tempeh with romaine, tomato, micro greens (if available), and stone ground mustard, served warm with choice of whole wheat tortilla or whole grain bread. I personally like to add avocado to this one; Green Goddess Salad made with steamed greens, mixed greens, micro greens (if available), with avocado ranch and roasted garlic balsamic vinaigrette, topped with sesame seeds, served with a choice of brown rice or quinoa.  I personally switch off between the brown rice and quinoa, although I seem to be drawn to the quinoa more often than not.

Ok, quick nutritional lesson: 
Quinoa - Seed, not a grain.  Grown in the Andes of South America.  Eight Grams of Protien per serving.. Contains all 8 of the 8 amino acids and is loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Definitely not new, but is now considered in North America to be on the Superfood list. When prepared correctly, quinoa has a soft little pop in your mouth, can take on a nutty flavor or whatever the influence of your dish may be.
Tempeh - Highly fermented Whole SoyBean Product.  Loaded with protein, vitamins and dietary fiber. Has an earthy flavor, which in this case I would describe as meaty, nutty and almost mushroom like.  Tempeh's flavor will be influenced by the ingredients that are being used to prepare it.
Micro Greens - Micro, meaning small, is exactly what they are. Tiny little seeds that are grown from plant seeds like broccoli, beets and radishes to name a few. They range in color from purples to light greens and these little guys contain protien, calcium, vitamin A and are phytonutrient rich.  Phytonutrients contain disease preventing compounds. Micro greens can range from a bitter bite to mint, lavender, lime, peppery and spicy and several other flavors.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Gratitude not Attitude is really a philosophy that when practiced, reminds you that everything you need, you already have.  When you enjoy what you are surrounded by, you do not wish for more.  You delight in what is right in front of you.  You live in the moment and feel the joy of the people around you or perhaps you are a better friend, better human.

The best recipe for Gratitude, not Attitude is:
Stop right where you are
Breathe in all the positives
Appreciate the people in your life, past and present
Share your wisdom

Smile and be kind daily and remember your focus is being grateful

I like to begin my day with meditation.  I use the first 5-10 min. or so to focus on gratitude.  I do not wish for things I do not have, or didn't get or want but I cannot have them.  I focus on the love I do have, the people in my life who are blessings, my son, my dog, my home, and creature comforts that make my life easier. I focus on a mantra I created for myself, honoring loving, gratitude I feel.

It's not to say that I don't have heartaches or challenges or obstacles that need to be overcome, it's to say that I am not focusing on what I cannot change, however I am appreciating the positives, now. 

Each night before you go to sleep, write down a few things you were grateful for throughout your day.  It can be as simple as being in gratitude to the person who asked "How are you today" to you having the opportunity to open a door for someone.  Daily Kindnesses.  It can be your child's laugh or funny story, it can be a moment in nature that caught your eye and captured your heart.  The point is, reflect, feel and write.

In Gratitude

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Best Cantaloupe Smoothie

This morning I made the most refreshing Cantaloupe Smoothie!!

Check out my facebook page and get the recipe and benefits of fresh Cantaloupe!

It's truly a Mornings Delight! I am actually drinking it right now!!   

The benefits of eating this delicious melon, which is a part of the cucumber family, are truly amazing! Vitamin A & C, Beta Carotene, it's good for lungs, stress, skin and your cardiovascular system.

To make a wonderfully refreshing smoothie - pop these ingredients into your Vitamix or high powered blender:

1/2 Cantaloupe
1 Apple
1 banana
small handful of Spinach
Coconut Water - maybe a cup -- could be more...
Large handful of Ice

Blend and enjoy. Serve with a fresh piece of mint! ♥

Exercise - Just Get Moving!

So, you want to begin exercising but you are not sure what you should do to really start losing weight.  You're tired, don't have the time and it seems too hard to commit, you feel you have too much weight too lose, so why start?

Most people have felt these feelings at some point in their lives and it's natural to come up with all they reasons/excuses as to why not.  However, let's talk about the Why You Should and How You Can!

Why You Should Just Begin and How You Can

5 Minutes of walking or running (even in place) is better than remaining stationary.  Those 5 minutes boost your mood, get your blood pumping and could be the beginning of a healthy pattern that will increase over time.  As a matter of fact, you can challenge yourself that each week you add another 5 minutes until you're at a good time limit.  You can invite a friend, co-workers or take advantage of the time by listening to music or clearing your mind.  Just Begin - No excuses.  Just Move!

If you are stuck at a desk all day, take one minute 5 to 10 times throughout your day to do a few simple desk exercises.  Chair Dips, piece of cake, unless your chair rolls, that could be more challenging.  Stationary Lunges, easy to do, just move your chair.  Count them out on each leg or alternate, but make a goal from 10 and up for each set! Desk Push ups, move your chair and use your desk as a push up platform!  It's that easy! Go for 8, then 10, then 12, then 15, then 20. If those are easy for you, start with 20 and work your way up throughout your day!

Those are just a few ideas to get you started! Just Get Moving!  Take that first step because you feel better - it's a fact.  Endorphins will be released and you will have taken your first action into motion which you will undeniably feel happy with yourself about!!!  Trust Me, it works!!!  

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Emotional Eating Issues are a concern for many people, women and men.  Ranging from over eating, not eating at all or binge eating and purging, to just eating enough to survive.  These issues have been more publicized about teen girls, young women and women in general vs. men, however, more men have come forward about eating issues throughout the years and it is a serious, potentially life threatening disorder for any involved.

Girls, Women, Boys and Men are surrounded by images growing up of magazine models, celebrities, mothers making statements about their own bodies, fathers making comments about women, girls talk with their friends about what types of bodies boys like, and sometimes a boy will tell a girl why he likes or dislikes her body, and the dislike talk from a boy, a guy or a man is the kiss of death of self esteem to that girl who may be on the cusp of her own self doubt and esteem. There are some girls who will not let a comment tear them down, however, there is a large number that will remember it and either live by it, become it, or become the opposite.  The list of negative messages we all here goes on and on.  Self Image is splashed in every ounce of marketing to every age group.

As a society I believe we have an obligation to ourselves, to our children, to our neighbors, to our parents, to our spouses, our siblings, our nieces and nephews and to the earth to live with as much respect as possible towards one another. Feeling worthy and respected and loved and having a healthy self esteem is hard to come by for some and those feelings of a lack of love affect their every bite or every purposeful starvation act.

Listen to those around you and recognize when someone really needs help for a eating disorder. A Food Disorder is really a symptom of pain much deeper.  The word Dis-Order speaks volumes to the chaos that one puts themselves through rationalizing or avoiding their "dis-order" on the inside, emotionally.  It is the longing in the human condition to want to feel loved, worthy and to think healthy thoughts about ourselves.  We owe it to ourselves to get help when needed and receive much needed help and much deserved care for our souls.

For more information about Food Related Disorders, go to the National Eating Disorders Organization.

Why Lemon and Warm Water in the Morning?

What can Lemon Juice and Warm Water do for you? 

Well for starters drinking it in the morning will help your body get going.  By get going, I mean it alerts and awakens your lymph system, digestive system and the smell of lemon makes one feel refreshed.

Lemons naturally assist in hydration and staying hydrated helps you to avoid, adrenal fatigue (which I am working with right now). When your body is seriously lagging and is in a state of chronic dehydration, your adrenals cannot do their best to control your cortisol levels, which manages how you manage stress.  These two little glands are vital to keeping your body and mind in a top functioning state.

Lemons contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant, which helps to boost your immune system and keep your skin clear as it assists in ridding your body of toxins.

Lemons are an Alkaline Food which means they are not acidic.  One would think they are acidic because they are a citrus fruit, however they are an Alkaline which is needed to keep the body healthy and balanced.  Too much acidity knocks your body into a state of panic and it has to work overtime to fight off infections and illness of all kinds. 

The Vibrant and Tangy Lemon is not to be overlooked!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Afternoon Chia Delight!

~Easy as can be and loaded with Omega 3's and Fiber ~

1 Eight ounce Glass of Water
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/2 Juice from a lime

*some people enjoy a splash of cranberry as well   -   Just take a handful of cranberries and blend, crush and squeeze the juice or juice them to add a little punch!

The Chia Seed provides you with plenty of Omega 3's, Omega 6's, and 5 Grams of Fiber.  All important to maintaining a healthy balance in your body.

The Lime is a wonderful source of Vitamin C which of course helps to keep your Immune System STRONG! Also, the lime has been studied for it's cancer fighting powers as well!   This is an alkaline fruit.

Cranberries are known for their protection against Urinary Tract Infections, also contain Vitamin C and being studies continuously for their healing properties in the stomach lining and urinary tract.   These are an acidic fruit.


Did You Know?

Infection causes one in six new cancer cases: study

Largely preventable or treatable infections with viruses, bacteria and parasites cause about two million new cancer cases and 1.5 million cancer deaths each year, said a study published Wednesday.

This amounted to about one in six of the 12.7 million new cancer cases reported in 2008, said the report in The Lancet Oncology journal.

"Application of existing public health methods for infection prevention, such as vaccination, safer injection practice or antimicrobial treatments, could have a substantial effect on the future burden of cancer worldwide," said the report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.
Four infections, hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus (HPV) and the Helicobacter pylori stomach bacteria, accounted for the bulk of the cases, some 1.9 million -- mostly gastric, liver and cervical cancers.

Infection-related cancers accounted for 3.3 percent of new cases in Australia and New Zealand, but 32.7 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, said the report, based on a study of 27 cancer types in 184 countries.
Cervical cancer accounted for half the infection-related cancers in women, and liver and gastric cancers for 80 percent of cases in men.

"Around 30 percent of infection-attributable cases occur in people younger than 50 years," said the report.

Source: ( )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kale Salad

One of my absolute favorite Kale Salads to make is loaded with healthy nutrients, tastes delicious and beautiful colors that will wet your appetite and fill your tummy!

One bunch Kale
1 Tablespoon Hemp Oil or Olive Oil
1 or 2 pinches of Himalayan Salt or Seat Salt
1/4 Red Beet - Grated
1/2 Carrot - Grated
1 Avocado - Diced
1/2 Lemon
7 Grape Tomatoes - Halved

Chop your Kale to bite size pieces
Place in bowl with the 1 Tablespoon Oil
Massage the oil into the Kale until Kale is covered and softened
Toss in Tomatoes
Layer Carrots 1st, then add Beets
Toss gently
Add Avocado - I confess, sometimes I use 2 Avocados!
Squeeze lemon over salad and very lightly toss again. Make sure you coat the Avocado with lemon

Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving or serve at room temperature
*Use Organic whenever possible*

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Food Pyramid Revised

Food pyramid out, 'My Plate' in for healthy eating

Michelle Obama AP – First lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Agriculture Department in Washington, Thursday, June 2, 2011, …
WASHINGTON – The Agriculture Department unveiled a new symbol for healthy eating Thursday, abandoning a food pyramid that has guided some Americans' food choices while confusing others.
The new guide is a plate, divided into four slightly different sized quadrants, with fruits and vegetables taking up half the space and grains and protein making up the other half. The vegetable and grains portions are slightly larger.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says "My Plate" aims to show that nutrition doesn't have to be complicated. After almost 20 years of preaching nutrition through a food pyramid that USDA officials now say was overly complex, obesity rates have skyrocketed. The new symbol, unveiled by Vilsack Thursday at the department with first lady Michelle Obama in attendance, is simple and gives diners an idea of what should be on their plates when they sit down at the dinner table.
"Parents don't have the time to measure out exactly 3 oz. of protein," Mrs. Obama said as she introduced the new graphic. "We do have time to look at our kids' plates."
To get that message out, the department is planning to use social media — posting advice every day on Twitter, for example. The address of the accompanying website,, is written on the chart. That website will eventually feature interactive tools that help people manage their weight and track exercise.
Robert Post of USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, who has spent two years developing the plate and the website, said the new chart is designed to be "more artistic and attractive" and to serve as a visual cue for diners.
Gone are any references to sugars, fats or oils, and what was once a category called "meat and beans" is now simply "proteins," making way for seafood and vegetarian options like tofu. Next to the plate is a blue circle for dairy, which could be a glass of milk or a food such as cheese or yogurt.
Vilsack stresses that the plate is supposed to be suggestion, not direction.
"We are not telling people what to eat, we are giving them a guide," he said. "We're not suggesting they should not have a cookie or dessert, that's not what it's about."
Even though the plate is divided into four different-sized sections, the servings don't have to be proportional, say officials who developed the symbol. Every person has different nutritional needs, based on age, health and other factors.
The graphic is based on new USDA dietary guidelines released in January Those guidelines, which are revised every five years, tell people to drastically reduce salt and continue limiting saturated fats. They ask diners to enjoy food, but balance calories by eating less and taking smaller portions. It also suggests making half of your plate fruits and vegetables — a message easily translated on the dinner plate.
"We know Americans want to be healthy, but making those healthy choices is not easy, it's hard," said Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, who joined Mrs. Obama and Vilsack to unveil the plate. "We're trying to make it easier."
Many nutritionists and nutrition groups praised the new effort, crossing their fingers that people will listen.
Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food Studies, and public health at New York University, says there are already a lot of symbols out there telling people what to eat.
"This brings it all together," she says.