coffeelover, gluten free, health, paleo, weight loss

21 day cleanse – day 4

Today’s the day!  With every cleanse there comes the day where you realize that you feel AMAZING, naturally. This is the program I’m on, modified by my practitioner.


Currently I am working the morning news shift, that’s 3-9 am. That means I wake up at 2 am, when some of you go to bed.  This is day 4 of my detox and without caffeine. Day 1 was a beast. I had flu like symptoms and head aches, overall it was yucky. Day 2 was very similar. I’m not sure if this happens to others during a cleanse, but you release a lot of pent up emotions as well. So after a good cry the other night, by mid-day yesterday the fog started to clear and I could think straight and feel normal again.

I’ve done 7 day cleanses before, and this one will be similar. It’s basically a 7 day cleanse done 3 times.

I’m replacing my need for coffee with Teecino dark roast dandelion tea. It’s not the same, but it’s close enough AND it helps with detox!


Change in Gut Bacteria Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Reposting these from

Research Shows Swapping Gut Bacteria Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Other Diseases NEW

Research Shows Swapping Gut Bacteria Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Other Diseases

A researcher in Amsterdam, Dr. Max Nieuwdorp, has published a number of studies looking at changes in the microbiome that are characteristic of type 2 diabetes.

In one trial, he was able to reverse type 2 diabetes in all of the 250 study participants by doing fecal transplantations on them. Remarkable as it may sound, by changing the makeup of the gut bacteria, the diabetes was resolved.

Dr. Perlmutter has embraced this new information full force, and has even helped develop a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Medicus, that focuses on this kind of research. They’re also holding an annual conference to which the leading microbiome researchers in the world are invited.

In his view, and in mine, the understanding and practical adjustment and modification of the microbiome is an important part of the future of medicine. Fifteen years ago, we thought that the Human Genome Project (HGP) would allow modern medicine to leapfrog into new gene-based therapies that would solve all our ills.

That didn’t happen, as HGP discovered that genetics are only responsible for only about 10 percent of human disease,1 the rest—90 percent—are induced by environmental factors. Now we’re coming to realize that your microbiome is actually a driver of genetic expression, turning genes on and off depending on which microbes are present.

“The gut microbiome is 99 percent of the DNA in your body, and it is highly responsive and changeable based upon lifestyle choices, most importantly our food choices,” Dr. Perlmutter says.

“There’s this beautiful dance that happens between the gut bacteria and your own DNA. The gut bacteria actually influenced the expression of our 23,000 genes. Think about that. The bugs that live within us are changing our genome expression moment to moment.

Our genome has not changed over thousands of years. But now, suddenly, because we’re changing our gut bacteria, we are changing the signals that are going to our own DNA; coding now for increasing things like free radicals,oxidative stress, and inflammation. That is a powerful player in terms of so many disease processes…

Being a brain specialist dealing with brain disorders, my whole career I’ve been stymied by not having really powerful tools to implement to bring about changes in individuals who have these issues. Now we’re beginning to get those tools, and they are in the gut. Who knew?

In neurology school, we didn’t study the makeup of the gut bacteria and how that would ever influence the brain, and yet, this is leading-edge science.

This is what our most well-respected researchers and peer-reviewed journals are talking about: not only are the gut bacteria fundamentally involved in brain health, but you can change the gut bacteria by interventions – taking probiotics and choosing to eat foods that are rich in prebiotics and to enhance the growth of good bacteria – and even more aggressive therapies [such as fecal transplants]”


Stop Throwing Away Old Food!

These 17 Hacks (from Will Have You Cooking With Scraps


There ís nothíng more frustratíng than buyíng groceríes and then throwíng out unused, once-fresh produce a week later. We’ve all let a bundle of herbs wílt ín the frídge after we used the small portíon our dísh called for, but you míght also be throwíng out parts of fruíts and veggíes you dídn’t know you could eat! Before you let any more food go to waste, check out the 17 ways you can get the most out of your íngredíents below. You’ll never buy bread crumbs or throw your píckle juíce down the draín agaín!

1. You probably already knew that the best way to use up too-rípe bananas ís to make banana bread. But íf you don’t have tíme to whíp up a loaf ríght away, you can put black bananas ín the freezer and save them for later.

2. When you throw away the rínd of a watermelon, you’re throwíng away edíble food! Instead of tossíng them, píckle your watermelon rínds for a uníque summer treat.

3. If you dídn’t fínísh your morníng pot of coffee, don’t throw the leftover brew down the draín. Freeze ít and save ít for a uníque coffee-based treat, líke these mocha popsícles.

4. Save the píckle juíce from your store-bought píckles and use ít to make píckled everythíng.

5. It’s ímpossíble to get all of the meat off your chícken or steak bones, so save them and make meat stock for soups.

6. You can save slíghtly mushy vegetables for soup stock, too.

7. Vegetable tops are edíble and full of nutríents.

8. Save bacon grease and use ít to fry up breakfast foods.

9. Stale bread can be used to make croutons or bread puddíng.

10. And stale potato chíps make for a uníque breadíng on chícken.

11. Broccolí stalks make great coleslaw.

12. Before celery, carrots, and oníons get old, cut them up and freeze them.

13. Fry potato skíns to make críspy, homemade chíps.

14. You can use apple peels and apple cores to make jelly.

15. Gíve slaw a tangy flavor by addíng slíghtly mealy apple slíces.

16. Don’t let herbs wílt ín the refrígerator. Throw them ín the blender wíth just a líttle bít of olíve oíl. Then freeze them ín an íce tray for later use.

17. In the fall, save the ínnards from your carved pumpkíns and make proteín-rích roasted seeds.

Original post:


Non-Dairy Milk Ingredients to Avoid

I’m re-posting this information found on

Empowered Sustenance 

Non-Dairy Milks: Think Twice Before Buying!

Icky additives in non-dairy milk

Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk, hempmilk… new varieties of non-dairy milks have been popping up all over grocery store shelves. But are these milk substitutes healthy? Well, not really. While these milk substitutes sound good according to the claims on the packages (things like as much calcium as milk and heart healthy), the ingredients in these processed products tell a different story. Here are seven reasons to think twice before buying non-dairy milks:

1. Carrageenan

This seaweed-based additive is extremely inflammatory and should be fastidiously avoided. As a matter of fact, carrageenan is so caustic to the digestive tract that researchers use it to induce colitis in lab animals! The World Health Organization classifies one type of carrageenan as a “possible human carcinogen” (learn more about carrageenan here). Lesson? Just because a carton of Almond Milk claims the titles “organic” and “heart healthy” does not mean it should be a part of your diet.

2. “Natural flavors”

This term conveniently eliminates the need to list unsavory additives on the ingredient list. “Natural flavors” can even mean forms of MSG and artificial sweeteners. I want to know EXACTLY what is in the food that I eat. That is why I prepare most of my food from scratch and only purchase ingredients from companies who have the rare integrity to list every single ingredient on their product. I feel a visceral distrust of a company that puts “natural flavors” on their ingredient list.

3. Vegetable oils

small olive oilMost nut or seed milks contain canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower seed oil, and/or soybean oil which are all bad news. Vegetable oils are a freak of nature… after all, it takes a lot of effort to get a gallon of oil from corn! Vegetable oils are extracted with toxic solvents as well as high heat and pressure, agents that rancidify the delicate chemical structure of the fatty acids. Further, corn and soy oils are most likely from heavily-sprayed and GMO crops.

To prove my point, watch this video on How Canola Oil Is Made. You won’t believe it until you see it! Canola oil is simply not fit for human consumption (or animal consumption, either, for that matter).

Vegetable oils = icky. Period.

4. Soy

When it comes to non-dairy milk options, soy milk is by far the worst choice. For the sake of keeping this post a reasonable length, I am just going to give you some of the detrimental health consequences of soy in a nutshell:

  • Soy contains high amounts of phytoestrogens which may cause estrogen dominance. Pre-pubescent boys are most susceptible to (often irreversible) hormone damage by consuming soy products and parents should make a careful effort to never feed their babies soy-based formulas.
  • Soy impairs thyroid function which lowers metabolism. This leads to hair thinning, skin problems, and weight gain.
  • Soy contains substances that interfere with protein digestion. This can cause serious pancreas problems, including pancreatic cancer.
  • Soy is super high in mineral-blocking phytic acid.

Want more details and studies on the horrors of soy? I recommend The Whole Soy Story by Dr. Kaayla Daniels.

5. Vitamin D2

The natural vitamin D in real milk, as well as the D the human body produces from sun exposure, is D3. Vitamins in a whole-food form, such as in raw milk, provide an easily-assimilated form of the nutrients along with important cofactors for absorption. Vitamin D2 is a synthetic and isolated form of the vitamin and, as a result, is extremely poorly absorbed (here’s the study). It offers no viable benefit to the body and may actually be harmful.

Some experts believe that D2 actually desentitizes the D3 receptors, making us more prone to vitamin D deficiency! Stay far, far away from the D2.

6. Other isolated vitamins

tabletsWhen it comes to processed foods, the sum of the parts does not equal the whole. Here’s what I mean in the case of milk substitutes: companies isolate forms of vitamins and minerals and add it into the milk substitute base. But just because a rice milk claims to have as much calcium as regular milk does not mean the body absorbs and utilizes the calcium from both items the same way. I believe nutrients are always better absorbed in the whole-food form.

For example, real, whole milk provides adequate saturated fats to help the body utilize the calcium and fat-soluble vitamins in the milk. Non-dairy milks offer no natural co-factors to allow assimilation of the vitamins.

As another example, non-dairy milks often contain synthetic vitamin A. While naturally-occuring (non-isolated, food-source) vitamin A only creates toxicity in uber-extreme doses, moderate overdoses of synthetic vitamin A can cause toxicity (read more about synthetic vs. natural vitamin A). This is because the body cannot assimilate the synthetic version of the vitamin.

7. Bonus: Phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors

(Not an additive, but natural anti-nutrients)

As explained in Nourishing Traditions, traditional cultures soaked their nuts and seeds in a salty brine and then dried them in the sun. This reduced the phytic acid content (a substance which impairs mineral absorption) and the naturally-occuring enzyme inhibitors (which cause digestive distress and impair protein digestion). I know that many of you are already fans of soaking and dehydrating your nuts/seeds to make the nutrients more bioavaiable. Unfortunately, commercially-prepared non-dairy milks are not made from properly prepared nuts/seeds.

Let’s take a more detailed look at the ingredients in popular non-dairy milk options.

soySilk Original Soymilk

Soymilk (Filtered Water, Whole Soybeans), Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12.

Well, the first ingredient is soy. Need we read further down the ingredient list before we place the product back on the shelf? No, but let’s anyways, out of morbid curiosity. I see carrageenan, that caustic carcinogen that we discussed earlier. I also see isolated calcium and vitamin A, which aren’t going to be optimally absorbed by the body. And there is that useless vitamin D2. The verdict? Don’t touch this stuff.

Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Almond milk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D2.

The real red flags here are the foreign-sounding ingredients. Locust bean gum – what in the world is that? Here’s the explanation from Wikipedia:

“[Locust bean gum is a] vegetable gum extracted from the seeds of the carob tree […] The long pods that grow on the tree are used to make this gum. The pods are kibbled to separate the seed from the pulp. The seeds have their skins removed by an acid treatment. The deskinned seed is then split and gently milled. This causes the brittle germ to break up while not affecting the more robust endosperm. The two are separated by sieving. The separated endosperm can then be milled by a roller operation to produce the final locust bean gum powder.” 

That is definitely not an ingredient that can be prepared by the home cook! Even if it is from a natural product like a carob pod, I know it is not truly “natural” if it requires such strange and complex extraction methods. The same goes for the sunflower lecithin (a highly processed byproduct) and the gellan gum (a product of a bacterium).

And there is that ominous “natural flavor” label… that’s bad news. The verdict on this popular almond milk option? Avoid it.

Rice Dream Unsweetened Rice Milk

Organic rice base (filtered water, organic rice), organic tapioca starch, organic expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, carrageenan, natural flavors, sea salt, xanthan gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B12.

Okay, so we have some red flag ingredients discussed above like vegetable oils, carrageenan, natural flavors and D2. It also lists xanthan gum, a highly processed, bacterial byproduct ingredient. It certainly doesn’t pass the test of “would your great-grandmother have recognized this as food?”

hempTempt Hempmilk

Hemp nut base (filtered water, hemp nut [shelled hemp seed]), natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, tricalcium phosphate, carrageenan, sea salt, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, riboflavin, vitamin B12. Contains a trace of sugar.

Like other nuts and seeds, hempseeds are a whole food that has been enjoyed by traditional cultures. And the good news is that hemp seeds do not contain phytic acid, so they do not need to be soaked. But unfortunately, this commercial non-dairy milk contains that darned and dangerous carrageenan as well as the red flag ingredients of natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, and D2. Verdict? Pass on this one.

What about coconut milk?

I frequently use coconut milk in my recipes on Empowered Sustenance. Although it is a seed, coconut has an excellent fatty acid profile with lots of metabolism-boosting medium chain fatty acids and very little PUFA. But we have to be careful when buying coconut milks because they can have the same problems of other milk substitutes. I don’t recommend buying cartons of coconut milk, because these often contain carrageenan.

The best option is additive-free coconut milk in BPA-free cans, although the can lining likely still leaches chemicals into the milk. I feel totally comfortable consuming 1-3 cans of coconut milk per week.

In my option, the best non-dairy milk is homemade coconut milk. You can also make coconut milk at home from unsweetened coconut flakes. Make a couple of batches and keep some in the freezer. It will lasts months in the freezer and about 4 days in the fridge.

What milks and milk substitutes are best?

milk pourI believe the most nourishing option is real raw milk. Why is raw milk so special? So many reasons! I explain the benefits of raw milk in my post here. That post also debunks the myths about the “risks” of raw milk consumption and addresses the question “isn’t cow milk for baby cows?” If you think you are lactose intolerant or believe you can’t tolerate dairy milk, I encourage you to give raw milk or raw goat milk a try. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well you can tolerate it!

If you still want a nut/seed milk, then the best option is making it from scratch. Again, I recommend homemade coconut milk because it contains the healthiest fats and is free of anti-nutrients like phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. 

If you choose other nuts/seeds, it is best to soak and dehydrate your nuts/seeds according to the directions in Nourishing Traditions. This reduces the problematic phytic acid (remember, it prevents mineral absorption) and enzyme inhibitors (remember, those harm your pancreas). Then blend up the nuts/seeds with filtered water and strain it through a nut milk bag. You can find unlimited recipes  for homemade nut milk on the internet.

Carrageenan, vitamin D2 and more... here is why you should think twice before buying "healthy" non-dairy milk! (plus the best non-dairy milk options)